Here’s What Happened Around The World In March 2024

Take a look back at some of the biggest stories that happened around the world in March 2024.

Here’s What Happened Around The World In March 2024

Take a look back at some of the biggest stories that happened around the world in March 2024.

1. Hong Kong passed another national security law that makes it easier for the government to crack down on opposition

Hong Kong has passed another national security law that makes it even easier for the government to crack down on opposition.

Under the new law, known as Article 23, people can face up to life in prison if they are found guilty of “endangering national security”.

The definition of “national security” is now copied from China, where is it a vague concept that covers “major interests of the state”.

This means that it can be applied to basically everything, according to Amnesty International.

In addition, Article 23 creates a new category of crime called “external interference”.

Under this, people who collaborate with “external forces” on activities that threaten national security can be jailed for up to 14 years.

In this case, external forces can include any individuals or groups associated with foreign governments and political parties, as well as international organizations in business, academia or even the UN.

Hong Kong’s leader John Lee says the law, which was passed unanimously in less than two weeks, will “safeguard national security” and hailed it as a “historic moment”.

2. Gunmen opened fire in a concert hall in Russia, killing at least 144 people and injuring 182 others

On Friday, March 22, gunmen opened fire inside a concert hall on the outskirts of Moscow, Russia, killing at least 137 people and injuring 183 others.

The attack at the Crocus City Hall, which has a capacity of 6,200 people, happened at around 8pm local time before the rock group Picnic was supposed to perform a sold out show.

Before the band began their performance, masked gunmen opened fire on the crowd, and also reportedly slashed people, before setting the auditorium on fire.

Video of the moment showed crowds inside the auditorium screaming and rushing for the exits as the sound of repeated gunshots rang out.

Other footage showed the music hall on fire, with the roof of the auditorium partially collapsing later on.

Russian authorities said some of the victims had died from smoke inhalation.

3. France became the first country in the world to make abortion a constitutional right

France has become the first country in the world to make abortion a constitutional right.

In a joint session on Monday March 4, lawmakers from both houses of parliament overwhelmingly voted to approve the change.

Abortion has been legal in France since 1975, but now it is a “guaranteed freedom” under the constitution.

This means that future governments will not be able to “drastically modify” the law, which allows women to have abortions up to 14 weeks of a pregnancy.

4. Kate Middleton revealed she has been diagnosed with cancer and is receiving treatment after disappearing from the public eye for months

Kate Middleton, the Princess of Wales, has announced she has been diagnosed with cancer and is undergoing treatment after her disappearance from the public eye sparked weeks of speculation.

The 42-year-old had undergone a “planned abdominal surgery”, according to a statement from Kensington Palace in January and was expected to return to her official duties in April after Easter.

Prince William’s wife announced her condition through a video published on Kensington Palace’s social media channels on Friday, March 22.

Middleton said in her video that at the time, doctors had not known it was cancer, but tests following the operation revealed cancer had been present.

Middleton has said the diagnosis came as a “huge shock”, and she took this time with her family to process it privately.

She added that her family now needs “time, space, and privacy”.

She also took time to call on other cancer patients to not “lose faith or hope”.

5. Ghana passed a bill that would make it a crime to be LGBTQ

Ghana has passed a bill that would make it a crime for people to identify as LGBTQ.

Those who are found guilty of engaging in LGBTQ sex acts could face up to 3 years in prison.

In addition, anyone who promotes or sponsors LGBTQ activities can be sentenced to up to 5 years in prison.

Gay sex is already illegal in Ghana and can lead to three years in prison.

6. Japan’s ban on same-sex marriage was found unconstitutional by a high court for the first time

In a win for LGBTQ rights, Japan’s ban on same-sex marriage has been found to be unconstitutional by a high court for the first time.

In Japan, the constitution defines marriage as one of “mutual consent between both sexes,” which has been commonly understood as not permitting same-sex marriage.

The decision comes after three same-sex couples in the district of Sapporo brought forward a case in 2019, demanding the right to get married.

The couples argued that the government was violating their constitutional right to equality by banning same-sex marriage.

A court then ruled in 2021 that the ban was unconstitutional, but rejected their claims for compensation.

The couples then appealed the decision to a higher court.

And on Thursday Mar. 14, the high court in Sapporo found that denying same-sex couples the right to get married is a violation of human rights.

The court said banning same-sex marriage is an act of discrimination that lacks rationality, and legalizing it would not result in any harm to anyone.

7. Thailand passed a bill that would legalize same-sex marriage

Thailand has moved one step closer to legalizing same-sex marriage.

On Wednesday March 27, Thailand’s lower house of parliament overwhelmingly passed a bill with 400 votes in favor and 10 against.

The bill would change the definition of marriage to one between two individuals, instead of between a man and a woman.

The bill now needs to be approved by the senate and the Thai King before it becomes law.

If approved, Thailand would become the third country in Asia to allow same-sex marriage after Taiwan and Nepal.

8. Iran jailed this singer who wrote the song that became the anthem of the Mahsa Amini protests

Iran has jailed this singer who wrote the song that became the anthem of the Mahsa Amini protests.

26-year-old Shervin Hajipour was arrested in late September 2021, a day after he released the song “Baraye”.

“Baraye” – which means “for” – lists out the various reasons that Iranian people had taken to the streets in anti-government protests after the death of Amini.

“Baraye” went on to become an unofficial anthem of the protests. And the line “For woman, life, and freedom”, which was featured in the song, also became a slogan of the movement.

Although Hajipour was released on bail in October 2023, he was sentenced to three years and eight months in prison on Friday March 1.

The court had found him guilty of “inciting people to cause unrest against national security” and “spreading propaganda against the regime”.

9. This Ukrainian director gave a moving speech against Russia’s invasion after he won Best Documentary at the Oscars

A Ukrainian documentary – “20 Days In Mariupol” – shot by a Ukrainian journalist in the first days of Russia’s full-scale invasion of Ukraine has won the Oscar for Best Documentary at the 96th Academy Awards held in Los Angeles on Sunday March 10.

Directed by Mstyslav Chernov, who was working for AP at the time, “20 Days in Mariupol” offers a chilling firsthand account of the initial days of Russia’s invasion in 2022, showing its relentless aerial bombardment and gradual encirclement of the southern port city of Mariupol.

Chevron and his team had stayed behind to document the invasion, becoming the last journalists to leave the city.

They managed to leave by passing through multiple Russian checkpoints with the footage hidden under a car seat.

10. This Dutch runner smashed her own record and then went viral because of her voice

A Dutch athlete has gone viral after her voice during a post-race interview was compared to that of Mickey Mouse’s, drawing mixed reactions from people online.

On Saturday Mar. 2, track star Femke Bol broke the 400-meter world record at 2024 World Athletics Indoor Championships, smashing the previous world record she had set just two weeks ago.

The 24-year-old finished in 49.17 seconds, almost a second ahead of her teammate, who came second.

In a post-race interview with BBC sport, she said, “It was amazing. It was such a strong race. We are all running so fast, multiples running in the 50[seconds], so I knew I had to go out fast.”

A fan caught the change in the pitch of her voice and posted the clip on X, formerly known as Twitter, with the caption, “I swear if you close your eyes, you could convince yourself Mickey Mouse has just broken the 400m indoor world record for Netherlands.”

11. Women in Denmark will soon be called on to serve in the military for the first time

Women in Denmark will soon be called on to serve in the military for the first time.

Women have been able to volunteer for military service in Denmark since 1998.

But now prime minister Mette Frederiksen has proposed a plan that will allow the government to also conscript women for the military.

She said the plan will help to increase the number of young people doing military service and achieve “full equality between the sexes”.

The move comes as tensions in Europe have intensified since Russia’s full-scale invasion of Ukraine in February 2022.

Frederiksen said that the country is not rearming because it wants war, but it is rearming to avoid war.

12. An Italian ad went viral and shattered stereotypes about Down syndrome by exposing people’s implicit biases in a genius way

An Italian non-profit organization, CoorDown, has created a genius advertisement in honor of World Down Syndrome Day on March 21, to expose unspoken assumptions about Down syndrome.

The ad, named “Assume That I Can”, was led by CoorDown, an Italian non-profit organization that protects the rights of people with Down syndrome.

CoorDown said the ad was inspired by a speech given by Marta Sodano, an Italian woman with Down syndrome, at the World Down Syndrome Day Conference at the United Nations.

“I discovered that in psychology there is a concept called ‘self-fulfilling prophecy’, whereby a teacher who thinks that a student cannot understand would just act accordingly and therefore they would not teach the student,” Sodano said, when describing obstacle she had to overcome. “And there you go: the prophecy self-fulfills.”

The ad applies the concept into moments in everyday life, with the video starting with 22-year-old Madison Tevlin, a model and actress who has Down syndrome, talking to a bartender.

“Hey bartender, you assume that I can’t drink a margarita so you don’t serve me a margarita so I don’t drink a margarita,” she said in the video. “Your assumption becomes reality.”

Then from parents’ to teachers’ negative assumptions, the video highlights that the wants and needs of people with Down syndrome are the same as those of all other people.

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