2016 in Review: The Top News Stories

2016 in Review: The Top News Stories

The year 2016 has been eventful and there was a lot going on around the world. Although now we are in the beginning of 2017, we will have new stories, and new events, we cannot forget a few events that happened the in 2016 and which have had a major impact on the world and people.

1. Pulse Nightclub incident in Orlando

This was one of the most heartbreaking incidents, a mass shooting occurred in a gay nightclub in Orlando, Florida. The gunman was Omar Marteen and had killed nearly 49 people and injured dozens before dying in a shootout with the SWAT team. The gunman had declared an allegiance to the Islamic state.

2. Brexit

The U.K. vote in June to quit the European Union which stunned everyone and it has had a major impact on the British and European economy along with the resignation of the Prime Minister.  David Cameron who claimed that Britain would be a safer, stronger and better off economy inside the Union but the votes declared otherwise which ultimately lead to his resignation.

3. Russia, U.S. participate on Syria Peace talks

In the UN peace talks, Russia and U.S. talked about creating a humanitarian aid which would help bring some stability in a war-torn country.

4. The U.S. election

The top discussion of this year was the U.S. election where Trump was declared as the president. People around the world raised their eyebrows as Hillary had won the popular vote whereas Trump won the electoral vote.  Added to that there was allegations of Russian interference in the election process.

5. Terror attacks around the world

The Brussels, Istanbul, and Nice attacks are the highest profile terror attacks of this year. The two blasts in the Brussels airport and the one that exploded in a Metro Station. These attacks are closely related to the ISIS terrorist attacks spree which has been followed in the footsteps of Paris, Turkey, and Lebanon last year.

6. The Clinton emails

When Hillary Clinton served as the secretary of the state, she used the private server in order to send emails during her tenure from 2009-13. However, the case was closed by the FBI without any criminal charges but the case again reopened just a week before the elections held in November once again resulting in no charges being laid.  Here is a video explaining the whole story.

7. Earthquake in Eucador

A 7.8 magnitude earthquake hit this south American country and it had a really huge impact on the people. It killed nearly 350 people and injured around thousands of people.

8. The Loss of Celebrities

Every year we are always saddened by the deaths of celebrities but this year more than 250 musicians, actor and celebrities had passed away.  We saw the passing of musicians like Glenn Frey, Prince, David Bowie and George Michael.  Along with movie stars like Carrie Fisher and her mother, Debbie Reynolds who died one day apart.

How Much did Russia Interfere with the American Election?

How Much did Russia Interfere with the American Election

It is believed that over the past two years Russian Intelligence targeted Democratic Party members using Malicious emails and have continued to do so even after the just concluded November’s election, this is as per a recent US federal law report which was jointly produced by the Federal Bureau of Investigation and the Department of Homeland Security.  The question remains; how much did Russia interfere with the American election?

TIP THE SCALES

The report corresponded with various measures released by Washington to serve as reprisal for what the US believe to be Russia’s unscrupulous attempt to tip the scales in favour of Donald Trump the President–elect.

This was done through theft of certain excruciating information from the Democratic Party as well as other senior party officials using malicious emails/tools mentioned earlier. The information obtained were then released to the media causing a shift in the political atmosphere.

The joint report claims to trace the alleged routes used by the hackers to spy on party activities, using malicious emails that were designed with the sole purpose of retrieving passwords and other sensitive information from party officials. Once the malicious emails had the information it then went ahead to steal large volumes of crucial emails.

THE GRIZZLY STEPPE

The malicious code referred to as the “Grizzly Steppe,” is what the US claim to have been used by Russia to hack and steal emails from Democratic Party members in the lead up to the elections. Recent reports claim that the code was also found in Vermont in a company’s utility computer.

A lot of what the report had found out corroborated what news outlets had already reported on; news outlets were of the view that the hacking was orchestrated by various cells such as Advanced Persistent Threat (APT 28) which has links to the Russian Intelligence Service.

A DECADE LONG ATTEMPT

A joint press statement issued jointly by the Department of Homeland Security and the Federal Bureau of Investigations stated that “The hack was part of Russia’s Intelligence campaign that was directed at the US government and its citizens for over close to a decade”. This was said in the presence of the Director of National Intelligence.

The US government’s accusation were officially directed to Russia in October, however the US government have had a hard time producing concrete evidence to back their accusation for fear of compromising their own intelligence information.

What is surprising is the fact that the report claims the Russian’s used domains from US institutions of learning and other organizations’ to send the malicious emails to various US officials, the New York Times reported that APT 28 hacked emails belonging Hillary Clinton’s campaign chairman John Podesta as well as other party officials tasked with Hillary’s Campaign.

It is believed that individuals linked to the Russian Intelligence Service may still be engaged in spearphishing activities long after the US elections.