2010 was announced as The International Year of Biodiversity by The United Nations Organization (UNO); it was proclaimed The Year of Frédéric Chopin in Poland. In Italy the year 2010 was designated as The Year of Michelangelo Merisi da Caravaggio, the most notable Italian Baroque artist, and Lithuania celebrated the 600 anniversary of the Battle of Grunwald 1410.
In 2010, the Burj Khalifa – the biggest structure in the world – was opened in Dubai; the Swedish Crown Princess Victoria married Prince Daniel, Duke of Västergötland, and the radioactive chemical element with the atomic number 112 was named Copernicium after the astronomer Nicolaus Copernicus.
Definitely it was a year of new faces on the political scene; in January, Sebastián Piñera won the second round of the presidential election in Chile; Ivo Josipović became the president of Croatia; Viktor Fedorovych Yanukovych became the president of Ukraine; in May David Cameron became Prime Minister of the UK; in June, Juan Manuel Santos won the presidential election in Columbia, Benigno Aquino III became the president of the Philippines and Julia Gillard became the first Australian woman Prime Minister. Also, in November, a political science professor, Alpha Condé, won presidential elections in Guinea.
It was a year of natural disasters; in January Haiti suffered from a 7.0 magnitude earthquake while 230,000 people died; February brought floods on the Portuguese island Madeira and an earthquake in Chile rated a magnitude of 8.8. In March there was an earthquake in Elazığ, Turkey and in April there was an earthquake in China’s Qinghai province and one of the smaller ice caps in Iceland – Eyjafjallajökull – erupted. In May and June there were floods in Central European countries (Poland, Austria, Germany, Czech Republic, Slovakia, Hungary, Serbia and Ukraine) and in Brazil. In July Pakistan floods affected above 15 million people and in July and August Russia suffered from forest fires.
Many famous people died in 2010, including 41-year-old British fashion designer, Alexander McQueen, whose clients among others were Charles, Prince of Wales and Mikhail Gorbachev. A Winter Olympics competition in Vancouver, Canada was marked by the death of a 21-year-old Georgian luger, Nodar Kumaritashvili, who died of injuries after his fatal crash during the training. On April 10 the president of Poland, Lech Kaczyński, his wife and 94 others were killed in a plane crash on the Tupolev Tu-154M near Smoleńsk, Russia. Also, in April John Forsythe died, the star of an American prime time television soap opera – Dynasty, and singer and bassist Peter Steele, the member of the gothic metal band from Brooklyn – Type O Negative. In May the Nigerian President, Umaru Yar’Adua died and Kama Chinen, a Japanese super centenarian also died, 8 days before her 115th birthday. In October the King of Rock and Soul, American singer Solomon Burke,who was famous for his hit Everybody Needs Somebody To Love, passed away. In November one of the most outstanding Polish contemporary classical composers, Henryk Mikołaj Górecki, best known for his Symphony of Sorrowful Songs, died. Also, a few weeks before Christmas Canadian actor and comedian, Leslie Nielsen died.
2010 was also the year of brave decisions: Ecuador’s police rose in revolt against its President Rafael Correa, the Netherlands Antilles were dissolved into 5 constituent countries, Iceland refused to pay for the UK and Netherlands debts and in their national referendum, the Swiss rejected a proposition of law according to which animals would be represented at court by state-funded lawyers.