Retrospecticus: What Happened in '06 - Part III

Thursday, December 14, 2006

Written by Gonzalo Moreno

Local News:

Aug. 15 - Local brewery Sleeman’s, popular among students for its beer-loaded tour of its facilities, is sold to Japanese brewing giant Sapporo. Sapporo commits to keep Sleeman’s brewery in Guelph, at least on the short run.
Aug. 31 - The Stanley Cup is displayed in Gryph’s sports lounge.
Sep. 22 - Guelph’s Member of Parliament, Liberal Brenda Chamberlain, announces that she will not seek re-election in the next federal election.
Sep. 22 - A physical assault in South Residence heralds in a school year that is sadly turning out to be profusely populated with hate crimes and incidents of a similar nature on campus.

National News:

Jul 15-30 - The messy evacuation of thousands of Canadian citizens from Lebanon, many of which hold dual Canadian-Lebanese citizenship, sparks a vivid debate on both the Government’s insufficient efforts to get its citizens out of the war-torn country and the issue of dual citizenship as a whole.
Jul. 26 - Tens of thousands flock to Montreal for the International Conference on LGBT (lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender) Rights and the ensuing first edition of the World Outgames, the first ever LGBT sports event of its magnitude. Stephen Harper declines to attend either event.
Aug. 13-18 - The XVI Aids Conference takes place in Toronto, focusing on care and treatment for those affected by the illness. Once again, Stephen Harper declines to attend the event.
Sep. 3, Sep. 18 - Incidents each involving the deaths of 4 Canadian soldiers in the NATO mission in Afghanistan scale up the debate about Canada’s involvement in that Central Asian country.
Sep. 13 - One student dies and 19 are injured after a man goes in a shooting rampage in Montreal's Dawson College. The shooter commits suicide before being apprehended by the police.
Sep. 18 - A report of the federal enquiry on the treatment of Canadian citizen Maher Arar is released. Arar is exonerated of any terrorism charge and the RCMP is squarely blamed for his ordeal. Arar was detained in the U.S. based on fictional Canadian intelligence data and deported to Syria, where he endured prison and torture for a year.

International News:

Jul. 3 - A virtual electoral tie between centre-right candidate Felipe Calderón and left-winger Andrés Manuel López Obrador casts a shadow over Mexico’s future. Calderón wins by less than 1 per cent of the vote, a result that is confirmed by Mexico’s electoral institutions and the Supreme Court. López Obrador refused, and today continues to refuse, to recognize the results of the election.
Jul. 11 - A terrorist bomb blast in commuter trains in Mumbai, India, kills 174. Islamic militants, and the Pakistani secret services, are suspected of being behind the attack.
Jul. 12 - Aug. 14 - Israel pounds Lebanon through air strikes and later a partial ground invasion until a France-U.S.-sponsored ceasefire. The offensive spawns a myriad of infamous incidents, such as the killing of 10 U.N. observers on Jul 25, the butchering of 27 schoolchildren on Jul 30, and the killing of 8 members of a Canadian-Lebanese family on July 15. The attacks create a humanitarian crisis and an exodus from Lebanon.
Aug. 1 - Cuba’s leader Fidel Castro falls gravely ill. Although he recovers somewhat, the island's communist dictatorship begins to contemplate a near future without Fidel.
Aug. 10 - The British police foils a terrorist plot to detonate liquid explosive in airplanes in mid-flight. The incident ushers in the era of even tighter security controls and restrictions for air travellers.
Sep. 12 - Pope Benedict XVI makes a speech in Regensburg where he quotes a criticism of Islam made by a Byzantine emperor. The Muslim world is outraged.

Science and Technology:

Aug. 22 - Russian mathematician Grigori Perelman receives the Field Medal for solving the Poincaré Conjecture, one of the seven most difficult mathematical problems that remain unsolved. Perelman refuses to accept the award.
Aug. 24 - Pluto is demoted to the status of dwarf planet by the International Astronomical Union. The Solar System now has only 8 planets.

The Arts:

Jul. 7 - Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Man’s Chest opens in Canada. The film is an unprecedented commercial success, beating Revenge of the Sith for the best opening day and weekend ever and becoming the biggest hit of 2006 in Canada and worldwide. Critics slam it mercilessly, but this reporter enjoys it immensely.
Jul. 30 - The original Top of the Pops, the longest running music show in world television broadcasting, airs for the last time on BBC Two.
Aug. 11 - German Nobel Prize-winning writer Guenther Grass admits that he was a member of the Nazi Waffen SS in his youth during World War II. Grass, the author of the anti-Nazi opus The Tin Drum, was accused of making the public statement in order to push his new autobiography.
Aug. 31 - Norwegian police recovers Edvard Munch's masterpiece The Scream, which had been stolen from an Oslo museum two years earlier.
Sep. 26 - Mozart’s opera Idomeneo is cancelled in Berlin for fear of Muslim backlash against a scene where Buddha, Neptune, Jesus Christ and Muhammad are beheaded.


Jul. 1 - Toronto Raptors sign Italian center Andrea Bargnani, their first ever No. 1 NBA draft pick, to a multi-year contract.
Jul. 9 - Italy wins the soccer World Cup by edging out France on a penalty shootout after their overtime game ends 1-1. French midfielder and all-time great Zinedine Zidane tarnishes his career by being sent off in what was to be his last professional game after headbutting Italian defender Marco Materazzi in the chest in the last minutes of overtime.
Jul. 23 - U.S. cyclist Floyd Landis wins the 93rd Tour de France, but four days later it is revealed that he failed a drug test during the race. Landis is, to this day, fighting in court against being stripped of the title.
Sep. 3 - Spain, led by Toronto Raptors José Calderón and Jorge Garbajosa, overcomes the injury of NBA All-Star Pau Gasol to win the FIBA Basketball World Championship after demolishing Greece 70-47 in the final.
Sep. 3 - Veteran tennis legend Andre Agassi retires after being eliminated in the early rounds of the U.S. Open.


Jul. 10 - Overnight, professional lip-readers from every continent receive gainful employment in the media as the world tries to figure out what Materazzi said to Zidane a few seconds before the infamous headbutting incident (see sports section).
Jul. 14 - Polish President Lech Kaczynski swears his twin brother Jaroslaw in as Prime Minister. This creates endless opportunities to play practical jokes on cabinet ministers and foreign dignitaries.

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