Here’s What Happened Around The World In December 2023

Take a look back at some of the biggest stories that you may have missed in December 2023.

Here’s What Happened Around The World In December 2023

Take a look back at some of the biggest stories that you may have missed in December 2023.

1. The war in Gaza entered its second month.

Since Oct. 7, Israel has killing more than 20,000 Palestinians, while the death toll in Israel stands at 1,200.

Palestinian journalist Wael al-Dahdouh, whose wife and children were killed in October, was injured by an Israeli airstrike, which also killed his cameraman.

Meanwhile the Israeli military admitted that it killed three of its own hostages by mistake.

It also shared video of it rounding up and stripping Palestinian civilian men and children on several occasions.

And the UN security council finally passed a watered down solution calling for more aid for Gaza but not an immediate ceasefire.

2. Iran has been using the war in Gaza as a cover to execute more than 100 people

Iran has been using the war in Gaza as a cover to execute more than 100 people.

Since the war began on Oct. 7, the Iranian government has executed more than 127 people, including women and children, according to human rights groups.

The Iran Human Rights group said that Iran doubled the number of executions in October and November, compared to August and September.

The group said that the country has increased the number of executions as there has been “little international focus” on the human rights situation in Iran.

People who were executed included a 17-year-old boy, after being made to give a forced confession, according to Iran Human Rights.

The government also executed a 22-year-old young man over his participation in the mass protests sparked by the death of Mahsa Amini, making the eighth protester to be executed.

Activists and rights groups have said that the Iranian government is carrying out the executions in secret, without giving people access to lawyers and without informing family members.

Since 2023, Iran has executed more than 700 people, which is an average of about two people a day.

3. This Japanese woman soldier sued three male colleagues for sexually assaulting her and won

In a landmark moment, this Japanese woman soldier sued 3 male colleagues for sexually assaulting her and won.

24-year-old Rina Gonoi said that she had wanted to join the army as a child after she saw troops helping victims of an earthquake and tsunami in 2011.

But she said after she joined the military, she faced constant sexual harassment, with male colleagues sexually commenting on her body and breast size and even asking her to give them blow jobs.

Then in August 2021, three male colleagues pinned her to the bed, forcibly spread her legs open and rubbed their crotches against her sexually.

She said the incident happened in front of several other people, but no one intervened and some people even laughed.

Gonoi said she reported the incident to senior officers but they dismissed her over “lack of evidence”.

After no action was taken, Gonoi eventually decided to leave the military.

In 2022, she took the rare step to go public and share her story on YouTube, drawing attention worldwide and in Japan, where speaking out against gender violence still remains a taboo.

After her video went viral, Japan’s defense ministry issued an apology and said it had dismissed five men in connection to the assault.

It also pressured authorities to launch an official investigation into sexual violence in the military, which uncovered about 1,400 cases of sexual harassment and bullying, most of which had not been reported.

Gonoi then sued the three men, who were found guilty on Tuesday Dec. 12 and sentenced to two-year suspended prison sentences.

4. A gunman opened fire on a Czech university, killing 14 people in the country’s worst mass shooting

A gunman opened fire at a university in the center of Prague in the Czech Republic on Thursday Dec. 21, killing 14 people and injuring 25 in the deadliest mass shooting in the country’s history.

Police said the gunman, a 24-year-old identified by police as David K., was a student at the university, who later killed himself after he was surrounded by police.

He is believed to have killed his father in his hometown of Hostouň, west of Prague, earlier in the day and is also suspected to have shot and killed another 32-year-old man and his two-month old daughter in a forest six days earlier on Dec. 15.

Police had evacuated the building he was supposed to attend a lecture in at Charles University in but did not find the gunman.

At about 3pm, the gunman opened fire in the corridors and classrooms of another building that was a 12 minute walk away from the evacuated building.

Videos shared on social media showed people hiding on the outside ledges of the building while others jumped down to a rooftop terrace below.

The shooter then killed himself on the roof as police closed in, authorities said.

Officials said 13 people were killed at the scene and another one died after being taken to hospital, according to CNN.

Those killed included students, a lecturer and the head of a university department.

Police said the gunman had been a high-achieving student, did not have a criminal record and had a license to own eight guns, including two long guns, according to AP.

Authorities say they believe the man acted alone.

Czech prime minister Petr Fiala declared Saturday Dec. 23 a national day of mourning for the victims, with flags flying half-mast and a minute of silence held at noon.

5. In a first, countries have agreed to transition away from fossil fuels to fight flimate change

For the first time, countries have agreed to transition away from fossil fuels to fight climate change.

The agreement was announced on Wednesday Dec. 13 at the end of COP28, the UN’s annual climate change conference, in Dubai, UAE, after 2 weeks of negotiations between nearly 200 countries.

This is the first agreement in COP’s history to explicitly state that it is necessary to shift away from fossil fuels, thus recognizing their role as drivers in the climate crisis.

It calls for countries to “transition away” from fossil fuels in a “just, orderly and equitable” manner this decade to reach net zero by 2050.

However, the agreement was a last minute compromise that does not call for “phasing out” fossil fuels, which means stopping the use of coal, gas and oil.

More than 100 countries, from small island countries – which are the most hard hit by the effects of the climate crisis – to Western superpowers including the US, UK and the EU, had all been fighting for the stronger phrase of “phase out”.

The president of COP28, Sultan Al Jaber, who is the CEO of the UAE’s state oil company, hailed it as a historic moment.

At the conference, countries also committed US$700 million to the “loss and damage” fund that helps pay for climate change damages in poor countries.

However, activists and rights groups say that the number is not nearly enough and that US$400 billion is needed.

6. A volcano in Iceland has finally erupted after weeks of causing earthquakes and it looks unreal

A volcano in southwestern Iceland has erupted on Monday Dec. 19 after causing weeks of tremors.

The Iceland meteorological office started to report earthquake activity since October in the Reykjanes peninsula in southwest Iceland.

The rise in earthquake activity and the formation of a fissure alerted meteorologist in Iceland to the possibility of a volcanic eruption.

In November, the Grindavík town was evacuated after it experienced about 1,000 earthquakes in 24 hours.

Finally, on December 19 at 10 p.m. local time, livestreams and videos captured the beginning of the eruption with lava gushing through the fissure.

The eruption has been classified as a fissure eruption, which means lava comes out of a fissure or opening in the ground and there are no large explosions.

With about 130 volcanos, Iceland is no stranger to eruption but most happen in areas without little to no population.

7. This Thai activist politician has been sentenced to six years in prison for criticizing the monarchy

This Thai activist-turned-politician has been sentenced to six years in prison for criticizing the monarchy.

29-year-old Rukchanok Srinork, also known as “Ice”, rose to fame as an activist during the mass, pro-democracy protests that swept Thailand from 2020 to 2021.

She is a member of the progressive Move Forward party, which won the Thai elections earlier in 2023 but was blocked from taking power.

She was sentenced on Wednesday Dec. 13 over two posts on X, formerly known as Twitter, in 2020, before she joined Move Forward.

In one post, she said that the government was using its distribution of the COVID-19 vaccine to promote the monarchy’s image.

The other post was a repost by another user that was “graphically worded”, according to Reuters.

In Thailand, it is illegal to insult, defame or threaten the king, the queen and other members of the royal family under the lèse-majesté law.

The court said that Ice had defamed the monarchy and showed “great malice” towards the king and sentenced her to six years.

She has since been released on bail for 500,000 baht, almost US$14,000, on the condition she does not repeat the offense and says she intends to appeal.

8. Denmark has made it illegal to burn the Quran in public

Denmark has made it illegal to burn the Quran, Islam’s holy book, in public.

The move comes after Denmark and Sweden both saw a large number of protests this year where anti-Islam protesters burned and damaged copies of the Quran.

The burnings caused an uproar in Muslim communities, with mass protests breaking out in Muslim-majority countries such as Iraq and Yemen.

Denmark’s justice minister said that there have been more than 500 demonstrations that included burning Qurans or flags since July alone.

The government has said passing the new law was a matter of national security.

It had been concerned that the burnings would trigger terrorist attacks from Islamist extremists.

It added that the new law does not forbid criticizing religions and still allows freedom of speech.

Under the new law, which passed on Thursday Dec. 7, people who break the law could face a fine or up to 2 years in prison.

9. BTS’ final four members have begun serving in South Korea’s mandatory military service

The final four members of BTS – RM, V, Jimin and Jungkook – have officially begun South Korea’s mandatory military service.

Last October, BTS’ management company confirmed that the K-pop superstars will serve in South Korea’s mandatory military service, starting with the oldest member Jin, who enlisted in December 2022.

A few months later, J-Hope and Suga became the second and third members to enlist.

On Monday Dec. 11, the group’s leader, RM, and V enlisted, followed by the last two members, Jimin and Jungkook, who enlisted a day after.

Several members took to social media to say goodbye to the fans, ARMY.

All able-bodied South Korean men aged between 18 and 28 must serve in the military for about 20 months and cut their hair in a buzzcut style.

BTS’ members are expected to reunite as a group again around 2025 following their respective service commitments.

10. In a landmark moment, Pope Francis has said Catholic priests can bless same-sex couples

In a landmark moment, Pope Francis has said that Catholic priests can bless same-sex couples.

In a document released on Monday Dec. 18, the Pope said that priests could offer blessings as long as they did not resemble marriage.

This means that blessings cannot be done during or in connection to ceremonies that resemble a civil or same-sex union.

There must also not be “any clothing, gestures or words that are proper to a wedding”.

This is because, in the eyes of the Catholic Church, marriage is still a union between a man and a woman.

However, the document said that the church should not deny same-sex couples requesting blessings.

It said that the blessings are about helping people increase their trust in God and a sign that God welcomes all.

You Might Also Like

Here’s What Happened Around The World In November 2023
Here’s What Happened Around The World In October 2023

Subscribe To The Almost Newsletter For More