January – There was the 7.0-Magnitude Earthquake Devastates Port-au-Prince, Haiti. It is the region’s worst earthquake in 200 years. Experts estimate a staggering death toll of 200,000 people.
Kraft Foods has reached a deal to takeover Cadbury for $19 billion in cash and stock. The negotiations between the two companies has lasted for months. Together, Kraft and Cadbury will have about $50 billion in revenue.
February – The Taliban‘s top military commander, Mullah Abdul Ghani Baradar, is captured in Karachi, Pakistan in a secret joint operation by the American and Pakistani intelligence forces. American officials claim that Barader is the most significant human capture since the in Afghanistan began in 2001.
In a Super Bowl match-up, the New Orleans Saints beat the Indianapolis Colts 31–17. It was the first-ever appearance for the NFL team. Quarterback Drew Brees is named M.V.P. of the game.
March – The United States and Russia report a breakthrough in arms control negotiations. Both countries agree to lower the limit on deployed strategic warheads and launchers by 25% and 50%, respectively, and will also implement a new inspection regime.
April – A 7.1-magnitude earthquake strikes China‘s Qinghai Province, killing at least 400 people and injuring another 10,000.
An explosion in the Eyjafjallajokull volcano in Iceland — which had erupted in late March and produced minimal seismic activity—resulted in a volcanic ash plume in the atmosphere over northern and central Europe. Air travel in the region was halted for several days, causing the cancellation of several thousand flights.
An explosion on a BP oil drilling rig off the coast of Louisiana kills 11 people and injures 17. The oil slick from the rig explosion reaches the Gulf Coast of Louisiana.
The federal government approves the building of the nation’s first wind farm, dubbed Cape Wind, which will be located off the coast of Cape Cod, Mass. Developers claim that Cape Wind will produce 75% of the energy needed for Cape Cod, Nantucket, and Martha’s Vineyard, reduce carbon emissions, and provide 1,000 construction jobs.
The governor of Arizona, Jan Brewer (Rep.), signs into law the country’s toughest immigration bill. It is designed to identify and deport illegal immigrants. Law enforcement officials are now allowed to ask those people suspected of being illegal immigrants for their proof of citizenship or visas. Critics are already deriding the law for its “Nazism.”
May – A Picasso painting sells for a record-breaking $106.5 million at a Christie’s auction. The painting, “Nude, Green Leaves and Bust,” depicts Picasso’s mistress and was painted in just one day in 1932.
The top financial chief and co-founder of Al Qaeda in Afghanistan, Mustafa Abu al-Yazid, is killed in an American drone attack in Pakistan. American intelligence officials say he was the third highest leader in the organization, behind Osama Bin Laden and his deputy, Ayman al-Zawahri.
In a stunning turnaround over the last decade, Apple passes Microsoft as the world’s top technology company. Apple, the maker of the ubiquitous iPods, iPhones, and now iPads is headed by co-founder Steve Jobs; Microsoft, founded by Bill Gates, the creator of Windows and Office software, has dominated the technology industry for over 20 years.
After discovering a bomb in a smoking vehicle parked in Times Square , in New York City, police evacuated several blocks around the popular tourist spot. The bomb did not explode. A T-shirt vendor in the area saw the smoking car and alerted the authorities. The F.B.I. takes three Pakistani men into custody for their alleged role in the Times Square bomb plot. The men are under suspicion for providing money to Faisal Shazhad so he could carry out the plot.
June – The United States finds more than $1 trillion in mineral resources in the mountains of Afghanistan, far more than expected or previously estimated. The findings, which include previously unknown deposits of iron, copper, gold, and lithium, could drastically improve the country’s economy and fundamentally change the outcome of the war there.
In a surprising move, the Chinese government announces it will untie the exchange rate of its currency, the yuan, to the U.S. dollar. U.S. Treasury Secretary Tim Geithner cautiously supports the move, in hopes that it will increase consumption. The Chinese yuan has been pegged to the dollar since China incurred a financial crisis in July 2008.
July – After four weeks and 64 games, the 32 countries who entered the 2010 FIFA World Cup in South Africa were whittled down to Spain and the Netherlands, went into overtime after a scoreless game. Spain finally scored in the 129th minute, winning the World Cup title.
After 86 days of leaking oil into the Gulf of Mexico and several previous attempts to contain the flow, BP caps its leaking oil well.
August – After two weeks of catastrophic flooding in the country of Pakistan, the UN now estimates that at least 1,600 people have been killed and 14 million displaced from their homes.
After growing rapidly for many years, China’s economy officially becomes the second-largest in the world, passing Japan’s and approaching that of the United States. In the second quarter of 2010, China estimated its economy’s value at $1.33 trillion; Japan’s was estimated at $1.28 trillion. The GDP of the United States in 2009 was $14 trillion.
September – The virus in monkeys that predated H.I.V. in humans has been affecting monkeys for over 32,000 thousand years, scientific researchers discover. Scientists previously believed that the monkey virus S.I.V (simian immunodeficiency virus) had only been in existence for a few hundred years.
October – A sludge reservoir bursts in Hungary, sending 200 million gallons of toxic mud into the roads of three villages, killing 8 people and injuring scores of others. The toxic sludge, a byproduct of the conversion of bauxite to alumina, for aluminum, burns on contact. Hundreds of people are forced from their homes.
In South America, after spending 68 days trapped in a mine half a mile underground, all 33 Chilean miners trapped underground are pulled to safety in what is being hailed as a brilliant rescue mission.
November – The military of North Korea unexpectedly attacks the island of Yeonpyeong in South Korea, killing two civilians and two marines. Eighteen others are wounded. This is the first time North Korea has fired on a civilian target since the suspension of the Korean War in 1953.
December – Russia wins its bid as host for the 2018 World Cup, while Qatar secures the host duties for the international soccer tournament in 2022. Qatar will be the first Middle Eastern country to the tournament; Russia has never had the privilege either.