2018 came and went. Over the course of the year, world leaders gathered, storms shattered, and news reporters chattered. As we reminisce about 2018, 2019 has already stormed in with another bombardment of “Breaking News.” Reflecting over this past year, one may consider what 2018 news stories will really appear on a drab history book within a century.
- World Cup
According to Google Trends 2018, the most popular global news story was the 2018 FIFA World Cup. Hosted in Russia, more than half the world watched as France claimed the gold trophy. Over the summer months of June and July, 3.572 billion people tuned in to watch this international soccer tournament. Unfortunately, probably only the die-hard soccer fans will ever remember this glorious victory within 50 years.
- Thai cave rescue
On June 23, twelve members of the Wild Boars soccer team entered the complex, expansive Tham Luang cave network to celebrate the birthday of one of their team members. Raging monsoon rains flooded the caves, leaving the team trapped 800 metres below the surface. On July 2, British divers found the boys four kilometres inside the cave. However, excitement over the boys’ discovery soon disappeared with the realization of the risky and dangerous rescue needed to save the soccer team. Just four days after the team’s discovery, a former Thai Navy SEAL died from lack of air while delivering oxygen tanks inside the cave. A team of international cave diving experts led the mission to retrieve the team, evacuating the boys one-by-one. The final evacuee, the team’s coach, successfully exited the cave on July 10.
- Kim Jong Un announced that North Korea will denuclearize.
This June, during the summit in Singapore, North Korean Supreme Leader Kim Jong Un announced that he wanted to end the nuclear tension between his country and the United States. Together, Kim Jong Un and President Donald Trump signed an agreement including the denuclearization of North Korea. While the deal eased tensions between the two nations, North Korea has done little to eliminate its nuclear arsenal. Further summits between the two countries are expected to occur in the future, but it may not bring much progress on the slow pace of denuclearization.
- Hurricane Aftermath
In 2018, ferocious windstorms racked up over $33.3 billion dollar in damages during the Atlantic hurricane season. Hurricane Michael ripping through the panhandle at just 2 mph shy of Category 5 status, killed over 45 people. In terms of pressure, Hurricane Michael was the third-most intense Atlantic hurricane to make landfall. On the other hand, the lethargic Hurricane Florence continually dumped heavy rain along coastal areas from September 13. Many counties received record-breaking rainfall, with more than 30 inches measured in some locations. At least 55 deaths were attributed to Hurricane Florence.
- The Royal Wedding
If you woke up a little bit earlier on May 19 to watch the royal wedding, you are part of the 1.9 billion people who tuned in to watch Prince Harry and Meghan Markle get married. Because the number of viewers of this royal wedding far exceeded that of Prince William and Kate Middleton seven years ago, many attribute the wedding’s large audience to the fact that American Meghan Markle brought millions of American to their television. Whatever the reason for such large turnout for viewers, I will shamelessly admit that I too was sitting behind the TV on May 19.
Maybe these news stories will grace the pages of future history textbooks or maybe they will not. For one thing however, one news story occurring millenniums ago continues to be relevant even in 2018. According to the news reporters in Thessalonica at the time, this news “turned the world upside down” (Acts 17:6). The radical and life-changing good news of Jesus Christ’s sacrifice for sin was even relevant in 1820 and continues to be relevant in 2018. Whatever 2019 brings, the good news of the gospel should always be more influential in our lives than a thousand “Breaking News” stories.
2018 is gone and over; put in your vote for the most influential or inspiring news story of 2018 or just leave me a note to let me know that I wasn’t the only TPS student sitting in front of the TV watching the royal wedding.