Looking back on 2015 with Maggie Cooper

AS IS my custom, here is the Girl Tuesday round-up of significant events of 2015.

January: Ratbags masquerading as devout followers of Islam stormed the offices of satirical magazine Charlie Hebdo in Paris. Twelve people died and five were critically injured.

France, and the world, responded with a great big "up yours" by launching the "Je suis Charlie" campaign.

Anyone from any religion that deems it acceptable to slaughter cartoonists and journalists should go home and re-read their Koran, Bible, Tanakh or whatever religious text and repeat after me: Thou shalt not kill.

King Abdullah of Saudi Arabia, Abdullah, died. The funeral of a man who led a country that routinely amputates the hands and feet of thieves and flogs gays and female victims of rape (after accusing them of adultery) was attended by the Governor General of Australia, Sir Peter Cosgrove. Go figure.

Roughly 40 people died in mass shootings in the US.

Then-prime minister, Tony Abbott, knighted Prince Phillip on Australia Day, leading many Australians to think it was actually April Fool's Day. This action is generally considered to be the straw that broke the camel's back for the most-unpopular Australian prime minister of all time.

February: A leadership spill that saw Our Tones retain his position with 61-39 votes resulted in Mr Abbott admitting it was a "shot across the bow" (among other nautical metaphors); he promised to consult his cabinet more. It was clear he was talking about his kitchen cabinet. South Australian Senator Cory Bernardi called for Malcolm Turnbull and other ministerial plotters to resign. Well, we all know how THAT turned out.

Roughly 44 people died in mass shootings in the US.

March: Boko Haram pledged allegiance to the Daesh ratbags trying to gain respect by calling themselves Islamic State. Boko Haram, a militant bunch also of the ratbag variety pretending to be devout Islamists, previously hit the headlines in 2014 when they kidnapped almost 300 schoolgirls from Nigeria. What a brave bunch they must be.

Roughly 31 people died in mass shootings in the US.

Australia lost former prime minister Malcolm Fraser. Paul Keating once described Fraser as looking like an Easter Island statue with an arse full of razor blades, but he went on to deliver a moving obituary after the elder statesman's passing.

April: The Nigerian Army freed more than 700 hostages held by the aforementioned Boko Haram. There is no truth to the rumour that the raids were funded by all those Bank of Nigeria email scams.

Roughly 17 people died in mass shootings in the US.

May: Famously conservative Ireland voted to approve same-sex marriage. All heterosexual marriages were declared null and void. No, wait. They weren't.

Roughly 46 people died in mass shootings in the US.

June: About 46 people died in US mass shootings.

July: About 50 people died in US mass shootings.

August: About 48 people died in US mass shootings.

September: The 28th prime minister of Australia, the onion-eating Tony Abbott, got the boot from his own party three days short of two years in the job.

Mr Abbott disappeared for almost a day, only to emerge and promise to not white ant the new leader, Malcolm Turnbull. So far he's failed to keep that promise. Surprise!

Martin Shkreli, CEO of Turing Pharmaceuticals, became the most hated man on the internet after increasing the cost of a life-saving drug recently acquired by the company by 5556%. This was a heads-up to many that perhaps big pharmaceutical companies don't have a great deal of regard for sick people. Who'd have thought?

Many people were thrilled to learn the meaning of "Schadenfreude" when he was arrested for allegedly indulging in securities fraud in December.

About 44 people died in US mass shootings.

October: Police accountant Curtis Cheng was shot dead on his way home from work in Parramatta, New South Wales, by a radicalised 15-year-old boy. This was the only act of terrorism on Australian soil in 2015.

Meanwhile, according to the chillingly named Counting Dead Women website, 78 women died as a result of violence in Australia in 2015, with an estimated 75% of those deaths being due to domestic violence. Makes you think … or it should.

Newly-elected Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau appointed a cabinet made up of equal numbers of men and women, "because it's 2015". Indeed.

About 26 people died in US mass shootings.

November: A busy month … Meeting in Paris days after the terrorist attacks that killed 130 people and wounded 368 others, 195 countries endorsed the Paris agreement to limit climate change. Australia rated third-last in emission control. You win some, you lose some.

Nobel Peace Prize holder, Aung San Suu Kyi, won the first free election to be held in 25 years in Myanmar.

Australia's very own Donald Trump, Liberal Democratic Senator David Leyonhjelm, appeared in a promotional video for the American NRA, stating that Australia is a nation of victims because of our strict gun laws and urging the US to not follow our example.

Leyonhjelm insisted that the gun laws introduced by John Howard after the Port Arthur massacre had made no difference to gun violence in Australia.

About 49 people died in US mass shootings.

December: In the first two days of this month, 15 people died in US mass shootings.

Federal junior minister Jamie Briggs resigned after behaving inappropriately toward a female public servant in a bar in Hong Kong.

Onward and upward.



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