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Top News Stories of 2013, an Historic, Tumultuous Year. Part Two

| Sande Caplin |

What a year it’s been.  In Part One of this article I covered about a half dozen of the events and news making stories of 2013, such as the Boston Marathon Bombing, the unsteady and continual disappointment of Obamacare, and the official welcoming into the Vatican of the new Pope, Pope Francis, the 266th Pope.  Well, that was only half the story.  Read on, and realize that you have witnessed some very powerful, tragic, uplifting and historic events.  Let’s ring in 2014 on a positive note!

The Death Of Nelson Mandela  “We’ve lost one of the most influential, courageous and profoundly good human beings that any of us will share time with on this Earth,” President Barack Obama said following the Dec. 5 death of former South African prisoner-turned-president Nelson Mandela. Mandela was imprisoned for 27 years after trying to challenge the country’s apartheid government. He was finally released from prison on Feb. 11, 1990, vowing to help change South Africa.  About 4 years later, Nelson Mandela became South Africa’s first black president, serving from 1994 to 1999. The 95-year-old leader was known to many as a freedom fighter and compassionate man that fought for the rights for all races.

Failure of the Gun Control Bill.  The massacre of 20 students and six adults at Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newtown, Conn., last December brought the issue of gun control to the forefront of the United States as Americans took sides between gun control and gun advocacy. This attack and other incidents led President Barack Obama to call for gun control legislation that would, if enacted, lead to more rigorous and stringent background checks for purchasing guns and firearms, particularly online and at gun shows. In April, the Senate defeated a bipartisan background check measure in a 54-46 vote. Obama referred to the decision as “a pretty shameful day for Washington.”

George Zimmerman Trial – On July 13, neighborhood watchman George Zimmerman was acquitted of second-degree murder and manslaughter – charges that had been brought against him following an altercation that resulted in the 2012 shooting death of 17-year-old Trayvon Martin. Though many experts were not surprised by the verdict, all the same it sparked protests and vigils throughout the country, and opened up national discourse on issues ranging from racial profiling to Florida’s Stand Your Ground statute. Since the verdict, Zimmerman has not been able to stay out of the spotlight. In September, he was accused by his estranged wife Shellie Zimmerman of smashing an iPad at their home. And just last month, George Zimmerman’s current girlfriend accused him of pointing a shotgun at her face and throwing her out of her house. Zimmerman was not charged.

The Miracle in Cincinnati “Help me. I’m Amanda Berry.” It was the first time Berry’s voice was heard in a decade after she called 911 in May when she, along with Michelle Knight and Gina DeJesus, escaped from the house of Ariel Castro. The three girls were held captive for a decade after being kidnapped by Castro, a former school bus driver. To say their lives were a living hell is an understatement, after authorities found chains where Castro kept them. Shortly after being sentenced to life in prison, Castro took his own life in his cell

And on a positive note, all the world waited for the birth of Prince George of Cambridge, son of Prince William, Duke of Cambridge and his wife Catherine, Duchess of Cambridge.  Just recently the couple brought their son to his Christening at Chapel Royal in St James’s Palace in central London. Just a few months before, the world watched on in awe and anticipation for the birth of the future king of England — and finally, on July 22, Prince William and Princess Kate’s royal baby, George Alexander Louis, was born. Paparazzi met Kate and William outside the day they left St. Mary’s Hospital to show the world their son. William didn’t even hire a driver to leave the hospital, but drove his wife and their newest addition home. The little prince is now third in line to the throne.

As we say farewell to 2013, we all have our own personal memories, goals that were met, dear friends passing away, and the world around us changing every day.  But we made it through 2013, and we forward, in anticipation, to 2014.  Happy Holidays and Happy New Year to all!

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