The death of George Floyd, a black man, at the hands of police in Minneapolis sparked the worst unrest across America for decades. Floyd’s cry that he couldn’t breathe to the officer kneeling on his neck reverberated around the world. The incident led to a surge in global support for Black Lives Matter and a reckoning with the legacy of slavery and colonialism. Toppling statues of white men was de rigueur for woke activists in many cities. America endured a summer of protest; notable flashpoints included Kenosha and Portland.
Britain officially left the European Union on January 31st, entering a transition period that ends on December 31st. Talks about a trade deal dragged on. Whatever the outcome, Britons were told to expect delays when visiting the continent from now on.
Venezuelan troops intercepted two small boatloads of men who wanted to overthrow the country’s dictator, Nicolás Maduro. “Operation Gideon” was led by two former members of America’s special forces. Six of the invaders, a group of deserters and Maduro opponents, were executed.
Western intelligence fingered the Kremlin for trying to assassinate Alexei Navalny, Russia’s main opposition leader. Poisoned by novichok, a nerve agent, Mr Navalny fell ill on a plane and was airlifted to Germany for treatment. He eventually recovered and later called on the eu to impose sanctions on high-ranking Russian oligarchs.
King of pain
Belarus was thrown into crisis when Alexander Lukashenko won a sixth term as president in another rigged election. Widespread protests were brutally suppressed by state goons, forcing opposition leaders to flee the country.
Israel’s third election in less than a year led to a power-sharing agreement, with Binyamin Netanyahu remaining as prime minister until November 2021. Israel also signed peace deals, brokered by the Trump administration, with the United Arab Emirates, Bahrain, Morocco and Sudan. Other Arab countries may follow.