The year 2022 is coming to an end, and with it another eventful 365 days in the United States and Canada.
The political drama surrounding former US President Donald Trump continued as the Republican leader came under scrutiny Business transactionshandling of classified documents and unfounded allegations of fraud during the 2020 presidential election.
Those claims helped fuel an attack on the U.S. Capitol on January 6, 2021, when Trump supporters attempted to disrupt the certification of the election results.
During 2022, the United States Department of Justice legal action taken against hundreds of participants in the attack and a committee in the House of Representatives gathered to investigate the events lead to it.
In the north, Canada continued to struggle with a legacy of violence against indigenous peoples. Pope Francis visited the country in July in an effort to pay attention to the role of the Catholic Church at that violence.
Here are the stories that defined the past year in the US and Canada:
January 6 panel recommends criminal charges against Trump
Months of research and prime-time hearings culminated in a Democratic-led congressional committee formally recommend criminal charges — including for “inciting, assisting, or aiding insurrection” — against former President Trump.
While the recommendations are not binding, the announcement closed a difficult year for the ex-president, who was the subject of countless studies since leaving the White House.
In August, federal agents found more than a hundred documents marked as classified from Trump’s Mar-a-Lago estate in Florida, as part of an ongoing criminal investigation.
And in early December, a court in New York found The Trump Organization guilty of tax fraudalthough Trump himself was not charged in the case.
Meanwhile, an investigation into possible election interference in Georgia is reportedly reaching its endgame. Members of Trump’s inner circle, including attorney Rudy Giuliani, have been called to testify about allegations that the former president and his aides tried to sway the state’s vote.
Trump recently announced that he intends to do so run for president again in 2024.
Repeal of Roe v Wade
Recent US Supreme Court appointments have given the nine-member bench a solid conservative majority. And in May, a draft opinion was leaked indicating the court was willing to overturn Roe v Wade, the landmark 1973 ruling that established abortion as a constitutionally protected right.
Abortion rights advocates are bracing for the official decision, which finally came in June.
The ruling sparked a maelstrom of legal challenges and questions, as some states immediately attempted issue prohibitions and others took steps to include protection of access to abortion in their constitutions.
By December, according to an analysis by Reuters, 10 states had banned abortions outright and another eight had suspended bans pending legal proceedings. Several conservative-controlled state legislatures are expected to do so look for further restrictions in the new year.
Gun killings in Uvalde, Texas and Buffalo, New York
High rates of gun violence in the US continued into 2022, with the investigative non-profit Gun Violence Archive recording 636 mass shootings, defined as single incidents where four or more victims were shot.
One of the most prominent attacks occurred on May 14, when a gunman was motivated by racist hatred opened fire on a convenience store in a predominantly black neighborhood in Buffalo, New York, killing 10.
In both school shootings, as in the Buffalo attack, the shooter had used a semi-automatic weapon.
Public outcry supported the passage of the first substantial federal arms control package in decades, bolstering some background checks and closing a loophole in gun sales.
But the legislation fell short of bigger reforms advocates were calling for, including banning military-style “assault weapons” and raising the minimum age to purchase a firearm.
Midterms ‘red wave’ fails to materialise
were Republicans expect to succumb Democrats in the US midterm elections in November, buoyed by economic fears, a seemingly unpopular Democratic president and historic trends.
Instead, the “red wave” turned out to be little more than a ripple, with Democrats sticking to their stance majority in the Senate and Republicans take a narrower than expected majority in the Chamber of representatives.
Several tight gubernatorial races also tilted in favor of the Democrat, with Democrats flipping control of state executives in Maryland, Massachusetts and Arizona. However, the incumbent Democratic governor in the swing state of Nevada lost his re-election bid.
The interim results cast doubt on the viability of Trump-like politicians in the Republican Party moving forward, with the former president’s support for some conspiracy theorists and election deniers seen as detrimental to the party’s overall success.
Pope apologizes to Canada’s Indigenous communities
It was an apology decades in the making: In July, Pope Francis arrived in Canada to denounce the “evil” of Church-run residential schools that served as institutions of forced assimilation for First Nations, Inuit, and Metis children from the late 1800s .
“I am here because the first step of my penitential pilgrimage among you is to ask for forgiveness again, to tell you once again that I am deeply sorry,” Pope Francis said after visiting the former site of the Ermineskin Indian Residential School . in Maskwacis, Alberta.
More than 150,000 First Nations, Metis and Inuit children were separated from their families and forced into residential schools, where they were subjected to widespread physical, psychological and sexual abuse. They were also not allowed to speak indigenous languages and practice cultural traditions.
Thousands of children are said to have died while attending the schools. In remarks to reporters, Pope Francis affirmed that he felt the residential schools were part of a “genocide” against indigenous peoples.
Elon Musk buys Twitter
As part of a $44 billion purchase, he has couldn’t get outtech billionaire Elon Musk took control of social media giant Twitter in October.
His first months as CEO were chaotic. Musk oversaw a mass layoff at the company and enacted controversial policies, including changes to content moderation and a paid service for accounts to received blue-check verification.
Facing backlash to his leadership, Musk posted a Twitter poll in December asking users if he should resign. After 57.5 percent of respondents voted in favor, he announced would resign once he “found someone foolish enough to take the job”.
Brittney Griner released from Russian detention
American basketball star Brittney Griner was arrested at a Moscow airport on February 17, just days before Russia invaded Ukraine. straining relations between the US and Russia.
Russian authorities arrested Griner, a star of the Women’s National Basketball Association (WNBA) and two-time Olympic gold medalist, after they said they found cannabis oil in her luggage. She was sentenced to nine years in one Russian penal colony on drug charges.
The US State Department denounced her detention as “unlawful” and promised to make Griner’s return to the US a “priority”.
Months of negotiations culminated in December, with Griner released in a prisoner exchange for Russian arms dealer Viktor Bout who was serving a 25-year prison sentence in the US for “aiding terrorism”.
Critics said the trade was unevenwith the US failing to secure the release of former US Marine Paul Whelan, who was accused by Russia of espionage, although the US State Department said he was “convicted on trumped-up charges”.
Hurricane Ian is raging across the southeastern United States
Hurricane Ian, a category four storm, ripped across parts of the southern US, made landfall in Florida in late September before moving on to the Carolinas.
The Florida Medical Examiners Commission 144 deaths attributed to the hurricane from Dec. 9, making it the deadliest storm to hit the state since 1935.
With its high winds and flooding, the storm is estimated to have caused at least $50 billion in damage. Experts warn that hurricanes will increase in intensity and duration due to climate change.
Asylum seekers die in locked tractor trailer in Texas
In a poignant reminder of the desperate journeys of migrants and asylum seekers trying to enter the US, 53 people died after being abandoned in a sweltering tractor trailer in San Antonio, Texas, in June.
The incident was one of deadliest human trafficking tragedies along the US-Mexico border in recent history. It came as Democratic President Biden’s administration struggled with an increase in border crossings.
Earlier this year, the Biden administration announced it would revoke title 42a controversial policy that allowed border agents to refuse asylum seekers as a health measure – against COVID-19.
Title 42, invoked in 2020, under then-President Trump, has nonetheless remained in effect, with some lawmakers are suing to enforce the policy.
In November, a U.S. District Court judge ruled that the Biden administration had five weeks to end Title 42. provisional order issued to keep it.
NASA DART spacecraft successfully alters path of asteroid
It was a historic test of humanity’s ability to avert doom and the US space agency.
NASA sent in the Double Asteroid Redirection Test (DART) on Sept. 26 on the asteroid Dimorphos, causing the massive cosmic object to change orbit.
While that space rock posed no threat, the test was hailed as a proof of concept that, in the event that an asteroid came on a collision course with Earth, humanity would have a fighting chance.