The Year As We Saw It

The Daily has been sent every day at 7:30am since February 2016, with a few planned exceptions for holidays and maintenance. Some of you just got here a week ago, some have been with us for over 12 months. Thank you for reading and I hope our review does a good job of showing off what we've done, and keeping you abreast of anything you missed last year.


Half Way - June

Firefighters welcoming residents back to Fort McMurray.

Firefighters welcoming residents back to Fort McMurray.

We start June with the story of residents who evacuated Fort McMurray during the fire which swept Canada in May. Many returned home, although they faced a massive cleanup and safety concerns as they began to repair the damage. Officials designated a two-week staged re-entry plan, with 15,000 returning in the first week of June. The fire had destroyed 10% of the city's homes, and limited the area's crude oil production by more than a million barrels a day.

Protests in Japan

Protests in Japan

Tens of thousands of people gathered in sweltering heat on Japan's Okinawa island in one of the biggest demonstrations in two decades against US military bases, following the arrest of an American suspected of murdering a local woman. The protest marked a new low for the United States and Japan in their relations with the island, and further threatens the plan to move the US Marine Futenma airbase to a less populous part of the island. Organisers said over 65,000 people attended the rally at a park in central Naha. "Okinawa is part of Japan and when you hurt your little finger the whole body feels pain. I want Abe to feel Okinawa's pain," said Shigenori Tsuhako.

At the end of June three suicide bombers blew themselves up at the entrance to the main international airport in Istanbul, killing 36 people and wounding many more. Police retaliated to stop two of the attackers just before they reached a security checkpoint at the arrivals hall at Ataturk airport, but they blew themselves up. In the hours after the attack, workers replaced ceiling panels and scrubbed pavements in preparation for passengers to reenter the departure halls. In a testament to resilience in the face of such attacks, Turkish Airlines resumed services in and out of the airport within 12 hours, although many flights were rescheduled.


Pulse Nightclub Attack

Fourty-nine people were killed, and 53 wounded in the Pulse nightclub in Orlando, Florida.  The shooter, Omar S. Mateen, was killed by police at the nightclub. Islamic State's Amaq news agency quickly claimed responsibility for the shooting. "The armed attack that targeted a gay night club in the city of Orlando in the American state of Florida which left over 100 people dead or injured was carried out by an Islamic State fighter," Amaq said.

“Pulse is like a family. Everybody who works there is treated equally. Treated like brothers and sisters. When somebody is hurting or in need, we always look out for each other,” said Benjamin Di’Costa, a former Pulse dancer. “This is one of the No. 1 destinations for LGBT people to attend in the summertime,” he said. 

Brexit Began

David Cameron and his opponents made final pitches for wavering voters on the eve of the fateful referendum on European Union membership with the outcome too close to call. "It's very close; nobody knows what's going to happen," Cameron told reporters on June 22nd, with opinion polls showing the rival camps neck and neck.

As we now know, Britain voted to leave the European Union, an outcome that set the country on an uncertain path. World financial markets dived as results trickled through the night, with the sterling suffering its biggest one-day fall of 9.4% against the dollar on market fears the decision will hit investment in the world's 5th largest economy, raise questions over London's role as a global financial capital, and usher in months of political limbo.

In the aftermath of the vote, Prime Minister David Cameron announced his resignation would come over the next few months. Cameron said during his resignation announcement, "The British people have made the very clear decision to take a different path and as such I think the country requires fresh leadership to take it in this direction. I do not think it would be right for me to be the captain that steers our country to its next destination."

The Fight Against Islamic State

US-backed Syrian fighters vowed to cut off the last remaining access route to the outside world for Islamic State, in a major new offensive, and won vital backing from Turkey. The assault around the Syrian city of Manbij, backed by US-led coalition air strikes, planned to cut off Islamic State's last stretch of the Syrian-Turkish border.

This advance came as Iraqi forces separately began an assault on the Iraqi city of Falluja, 500 miles down the Euphrates at the opposite end of Islamic State's sprawling caliphate. The Iraqi troops poured into the besieged city's southern outskirts at the start of June. Elsewhere, the Syrian army has pushed into Raqqa province, home to the self-declared capital of Islamic State, after a major Russian-backed offensive against the militants. Together, this trio of offensives are some of the most aggressive campaigns against Islamic State since it declared its aim to rule over all Muslims from parts of Iraq and Syria three years ago.

As June progressed, international forces continued their advances on multiple fronts to keep putting pressure on Islamic State. A spokesperson for a US-backed alliance announced their intent to enter the city of Manbij in northern Syria, only a week after beginning the assault. Iraqi government forces simultaneously succeeded in fighting their way into the developed areas around the second largest city in Iraq, Falluja. By the end of the month, Iraqi forces recaptured the last district held by Islamic State militants in Falluja and the general commanding the operation declared the battle over after nearly five weeks of fighting.

Most Read Long Reads

  • This one isn't a long read, just a wonderful piece of art. Inspired by the Twitter logo, which is made from a basic form of 13 circles, this gallery is of thirteen animals, each one also made from thirteen circles.
  • Muhammad Ali was an athlete and personality who, in recent years, came to represent the immense shift in perspective over the past 75 years. His life has been memorialised with humour and grace by The New Yorker.

  • "Beautiful" is not a word most people would use to describe Brutalist architecture. Whereas the blocky concrete buildings of the '60s and '70s are often scorned, Barnabas Calder makes the unusual case for the brilliance and beauty of Brutalist buildings.

  • Along the Silk Road in Gansu Province, China, a modern ghost town has arisen in the past 10 years. In 2006, the area near the Lanzhou airport was mostly rural and agricultural. Now, a 315-square-mile area houses empty high rise apartment buildings, deserted streets, and an empty "free trade" area. The "ghost town in the making" has been recognised as a symbol of China's economic troubles.