21st Century is the current century according to the Gregorian calendar. The 21st Century started on 1st January 2001 while the starting time of the next century (22nd Century) is 1st January 2101.
World at the Start of 21st Century
In the last decade of the 20th Century, the Communism declined in whole of Europe and most of the world with the fall of USSR and Yugoslavia which made the USA as the sole superpower in the 21st Century. On the other hand, the Asian power China emerged as the new economic and military superpower.
On the side of science & technology, the world experienced advancement in the fields of medicine, computer & internet, mobile phones etc.
On 13th January 2001, a 7.6 magnitude earthquake killed around 1000 people and injured more than 5565 people in El Salvador (a country in Central America).
On 20th January 2001, George W. Bush became the president of USA. He is the son of former US President George H. Bush.
On 26th January 2001, an earthquake in Indian state of Gujarat with magnitude of 7.7 killed around 20,000 people while around 166,800 were injured.
On 11th September 2001, 19 terrorists hijacked 4 passenger airlines in USA and burst two of them in to the World Trade Center (New York) while the 3rd one hit the Pentagon (US military HQ, Virginia). The last plane crashed to the ground in Pennsylvania. Allegedly, this plane was heading towards the White House but could not accomplish its task due to some reason. Around 3000 people died and more than 6000 injured during these suicide attacks. It is believed that Muslim militant organization al-Qaeda (designated as terrorist organization by many) was behind these attacks.
On 7th October 2001, USA launched military action along NATO and its other allies against the Taliban regime of Afghanistan as a part of its War on Terrorism after Taliban refused to hand over al-Qaeda’s chief Osama bin Laden to USA on suspicion of his involvement in the WTC Terror Attacks on 11th September 2001. The Taliban Govt. fell within months but the armed resistance against the occupational forces and their supportive Afghan Govt. is still going on.
On 20th May 2002, East Timor gained independence from Indonesia.
On 1st July 2002, the International Criminal Court (ICC) was established in order to prosecute individual persons for international crimes including war crimes, genocide and crimes against humanity. Headquarter of ICC is in The Hague (Netherlands).
On 27th July 2002, a Ukrainian Air Force Sukhoi Su-27 was crashed during an air show at Sknyliv airfield near Lviv (Ukraine). At least 77 people died (including 19 children) and more than 500 injured which makes it the deadliest air show accident in human history.
On 10th September 2002, Switzerland became a member of United Nations (UN).
On 1st February 2003, Space Shuttle Columbia destroyed over the US states of Louisiana and Texas in the earth’s atmosphere while returning from a mission. All the seven crew members lost their lives. These include 5 US citizens while 1 person each from Israel and India.
On 15th February 2003, a global anti-war protest was held in more than 600 cities against the forthcoming Iraq War. According to estimates, millions of people around the world gathered to record protest against the upcoming war and it is known as the largest protest in the history of mankind.
On 26th February 2003, War in Darfur started between the Sudanese government and the rebels in the western Darfur area. The conflict, mainly a racial one between the Arab government and non-Arab people of Darfur, is still going on with large number of people killed and millions displaced according to UN estimates.
On 20th March 2003, U.S. and its allies (Britain, Australia etc) attacked Iraq over the allegations of Weapons of Mass Destruction (WMD). These allegations later proved baseless but the invaders overthrew the regime of Saddam Hussain in less than two months. Later the insurgency against the occupation that started lasted for around a decade which also caused the rise of al-Qaeda in Iraq (now Islamic State of Iraq and Levant or ISIL). On 18th August 2010, US combat troops left Iraq completely.
From June 2003 to August 2003, the record high temperatures in Europe (especially Western Europe) killed more than 30,000 people. France was the most affected country with deaths around 15,000 people.
On 15th October 2003, China launched Shenzou 5, its first manned space flight, and became the third country to do so.
On 3rd November 2003, Rose Revolution started in Georgia against the disputed elections of 2003. The revolution proved successful and the 2004 elections paved the way for Mikhail Saakashvili in place of Eduard Shevardnadze who won the 2003 elections.
On 27th December 2003, an earthquake with 6.6 magnitude killed more than 26,000 people and wounded around 30,000 in Bam (Iran).
In 2004, ten countries (mostly former communist countries) joined European Union. These include: Cyprus, Czech Republic, Estonia, Hungary, Latvia, Lithuania, Malta, Poland, Slovakia and Slovenia.
In September 2004, Hurricane Jeanne killed more than 3000 people in Haiti.
On 22nd November 2004, Orange Revolution started in Ukraine against the Ukrainian government and its policies. The revolution succeeded after peaceful protests of two months with the change of government through revote on the orders of Supreme Court.
On 26th December 2004, the Indian Ocean earthquake and Tsunami with a magnitude of 9.1 killed around 230,000 people. The epicenter off the tsunami was Sumatra (Indonesia). This tsunami affected many coastal areas of Asia and Africa. Casualties were mainly suffered by Indonesia, Sri Lanka, India and Thailand.
On 14th February 2005, former Lebanese Prime Minister Rafic Hariri was assassinated along with number of his bodyguards and friends by using 1000 kg of TNT. His death triggered the Cedar Revolution which forced the complete withdrawal of Syrian troops from Lebanon on 27th April 2005.
On 27th October 2005, riots started in the suburbs of Paris (France) after the death of two youngsters in a power station who were running from police interrogation. These riots lasted for 3 weeks and mostly unemployed youth were among the rioters. Total 3 people were killed and around 3,000 arrested by the police during this unrest.
In August 2005, Hurricane Katrina killed more than 1,800 people in USA (mostly in southern state of Louisiana). With damage of $108 billion, it is known as the costliest natural disaster while it is also one of the deadliest hurricanes in the US history.
On 8th October 2005, an earthquake in Kashmir with magnitude of 7.6 killed more than 86,000 people (mostly in Pakistan).
On 3rd June 2006, Montenegro gained independence from Serbia and Montenegro (formerly Yugoslavia). Serbia became Republic of Serbia.
On 12th July 2006, Lebanese Shia militant organization Hezbollah killed 3 Israeli soldiers and kidnapped two soldiers on the Lebanon-Israel border area. Hezbollah demanded the release of Lebanese prisoners in exchange for Israeli soldiers. Israel launched air strikes and ground invasion in southern Lebanon (stronghold of Hezbollah). The conflict lasted for a month and ended on 14th August 2006 after a UN resolution. 121 Israeli soldiers, 44 Israeli civilians, around 500 Hezbollah members and total 1100 Lebanese citizens lost their lives during the 2006 Lebanon War.
On 9th October 2006, North Korea conducted its first nuclear test. The explosive force of the blast was less than 1 kiloton.
On 13th September 2006, Pluto was reclassified from 9th planet of Sun to a minor planet which reduced the number of planets around the sun to eight.
In June 2007, Palestinian organization Hamas took over the Gaza Strip after a short military battle (10 to 15 June 2007) against the Fatah party. In response, Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas dismissed Hamas Prime Minister Ismail Haniya and dissolved Palestinian Parliament, with majority of Hamas members.
On 15th August 2007, Saffron Revolution started in Burma (Myanmar) against the military dictatorship government of Senior General Than Shwe. The name saffron was given due to the saffron color of clothes by Theravada Buddhist monks who were leading these protests. The uprising was suppressed by the military government within few months.
On 17th February 2008, Kosovo declared independence from Serbia and became Republic of Kosovo. Kosovo’s declaration of independence has been recognized by all its neighbors except Serbia. Several Asian, African and South American countries haven’t recognized the independence of Kosovo yet.
On 14th March 2008, violence erupted in Chinese Tibet Autonomous Region when the local people attacked on the businesses of Chinese Han and Hui people. These riots later spread to other areas with Tibetan population. The violence continued for around a month which took the lives of nearly 100 people while many more were injured during this violence.
On 2nd May 2008, Cyclone Nargis killed more than 138,000 people in Burma (Myanmar). It is the worst natural disaster in the history of Burma.
On 12th May 2008, an earthquake with magnitude of 8 hit the Sichuan province of China. Around 70,000 people died and 375,000 injured due to this earthquake. The earthquake also caused the missing of more than 18,000 people.
On 7th August 2008, Russo-Georgian War broke out due to the conflicts of Georgia with its disputed areas of South Ossetia and Abkhazia. The war lasted for a week and ended on 12th August with military victory for Russia, Abkhazia and South Ossetia.
On 26th August 2008, both South Ossetia and Abkhazia declared independence from Georgia. Only Russia and few other countries recognized the independence of both these countries.
In January 2009, Barack Obama became the first African-American President of USA.
On 7th February 2009, severe bushfires burned a vast area in the Australian state of Victoria. These bushfires lasted for over a month which caused the burning of over 4,500 km2 area. 173 people died and 414 were injured due to these bushfires. Extreme hot weather was the reason of these bushfires. These bushfires are known as Black Saturday bushfires.
On 6th April 2009, the L’Aquila earthquake with magnitude of 6.3 in the central area of Italy killed more than 300 people and injured over 1,500 people.
In April 2009, swine flu (H1N1) pandemic start spreading from North America. According to World Health Organization (WHO), more than 214 countries confirmed laboratory cases of swine flu with more than 18,000 deaths till 30th May 2010.
On 13th June 2009, protests in Iran started after the alleged irregularities and voting fraud during the 2009 Iranian presidential election after victory of President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad. The protests lasted for 8 months during which several dozen people were killed and 4,000 arrested.
On 12th January 2010, around 300,000 people died after an earthquake of 7.0 magnitude in Haiti (Caribbean).
On 27th February 2010, an earthquake with magnitude of 8.8 killed more than 525 people in central Chile.
On 10th April 2010, a Polish Air Force plane crashed in Russia. All the 96 people inside the plane died including Polish President Lech Kaczynski and many other official members.
On 14th April 2010, around 2700 people died in China due to an earthquake of 6.9 magnitude.
From 14th to 20th April 2010, the ash clouds due to the eruption of Eyjafjalla Glacier in Iceland disturbed air traffic in many areas of western and northern Europe.
In late July 2010, around 1,800 people died in Pakistan due to monsoon floods.
On 18th December 2010, protests started in Tunisia over unemployment and corruption of President Zine El Abidine Ben Ali and his family after the self-immolation by a street vendor Mohammad Bouazizi on 17th December due to mistreatment by authorities. This event not only brought the end of Tunisian Govt. on 14th January 2011 but it also initiated the Arab Spring which sparked protests, civil disobedience, civil wars in the whole Arab world.
On 11th February 2011, Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak resigned after Egyptian Revolution of 2011.
On 22nd February 2011, an earthquake in Christchurch (New Zealand) with magnitude 6.3 killed 185 people and injured around 2000 people. It was the second-deadliest natural disaster in New Zealand.
On 11th March 2011, Tohoku earthquake and tsunami killed around 16,000 people in Japan. The earthquake, with magnitude 9.0, was the most powerful earthquake in the recorded history of Japan while it was also the costliest earthquake in human history due to nuclear incidents and other damages.
On 15th March 2011, Syrian Civil War started between the Syrian Government and rebels. It is an ongoing conflict which has so far took the lives of more than 200,000 people.
During 25th to 28th April 2011, a tornado outbreak killed more than 300 people in USA.
On 2nd May 2011, al-Qaeda leader Osama bin Laden was killed by Special Forces of U.S. military in Abbottabad (Pakistan).
On 22nd May 2011, Joplin tornado killed over 150 people in Missouri (USA) and became the deadliest tornado in the history of USA.
On 9th July 2011, South Sudan gained independence from Sudan after a referendum.
On 22nd July 2011, twin terror attacks in Norway killed 77 people and injured 241. Government officials and supporters of ruling Labour Party were the targets of these terror attacks which were conducted by a Norwegian far-right terrorist Anders Behring Breivik.
On 20th October 2011, former Libyan dictator Muammar Gaddafi was killed by National Liberation Army of Libya after a civil war which ended his 42 year long rule.
On 17th December 2011, North Korean dictator Kim Jong-il died of heart attack during a train journey.
In December 2011, tropical storm Washi killed more than 2,000 people in Philippines.
In October 2012, Hurricane Sandy killed more than 200 people in USA, Canada, Bahamas and the Caribbean.
On 5th March 2013, Venezuelan president Hugo Chavez died due to prostate cancer.
On 21st March 2013, Turkish Kurdish leader Abdullah Ocalan declared ceasefire between its party PKK and the Turkish state.
On 3rd July 2013, Egyptian army chief Addul Fattah al-Sisi removed the elected Egyptian President Mohammad Morsi from power and suspended the constitution after widespread protests by opposition.
In November 2013, Typhoon Haiyan of category 5 killed more than 6,300 people in Philippines.
On 5th December 2013, former South African President and Nobel Peace Prize holder Nelson Mandela died.
In February 2014, the Ukrainian Revolution ousted the Russian-backed Ukrainian President Viktor Yanukovych. More than 100 people died during this revolution.
During February and March 2014, Russia occupied Crimea from Ukraine in response to the change of government in Ukraine.
In May 2014, more than 80 people died due to the Southeast Europe Floods. Serbia and Bosnia & Herzegovina were the most affected countries.
On 10th June 2014, militant organization Islamic State of Iraq and Levant (ISIL) captured Iraq’s second biggest city Mosul from Iraqi troops which helped ISIL to become a powerful organization through money and military equipment it acquired from the important city.
During July and August 2014, the Operation Protective Edge by Israel killed more than 2200 people in Gaza Strip. According to United Nations Human Rights Committee (UNHRC), 65% of the victims were civilians.
On 18th September 2014, Scottish Independence Referendum was held in Scotland. More than 55% people voted against the independence and Scotland remained a part of United Kingdom (UK).