2000-2010: Ten Years That Changed the World
On 9/11, 2,974 people died as a result of terrorist acts in New York and Washington. The US government accused al Qaeda leader Osama bin Laden of the attacks.
Americans invaded Afghanistan and Iran, overthrew Saddam Hussein and failed to find Osama bin Laden. Explosions occurred in Madrid, London, Mumbai, and Riyadh. Passenger transportation rules and customs control became more rigorous. The USA created the National Security Agency; governments introduce restrictions of rights and freedoms of their citizens.
It began with the collapse of the US mortgage system. By September 2008, the crisis spread all over the world. Within the last year, thousands of companies declared bankruptcy, unemployment reached unprecedented levels, and the number of suicides linked to unemployment and collapsed businesses has greatly increased.
Most of the countries are saving their economies using their money. The world crisis-related spending exceeded 11 trillion dollars. Russia spent 480 billion dollars to fight off the crisis. So far China is the only country whose GDP is experiencing a steady growth.
In 2002–2003, the human race was frightened with SARS (8,437 infected, 813 dead), in 2003–2008 bird flu was the main scare (361 infected, 227 dead), and since April 2009 the world has been struggling with swine flu epidemic (over 250,000 infected, 11,500 dead).
Pharmaceutical companies have greatly benefited from the epidemic. Seven billion Euro worth of medication was purchased all over the world (in Russia, the creation of a vaccine cost 4 billion dollars). Sales of anti-virus medication Tummy Flu have increased more than four-fold up to 2.6 billion dollars.
On November 4, 2008, for the first time in the US history, a black Senator Barack Obama was elected the president of the United States. His slogan “Yes We Can” became a symbol of hope for Americans. Yet, the healthcare reform initiated by the new President attracted a great deal of criticism.
He promised to withdraw the troops from Iraq in 2010 and sent more troops to Afghanistan. He reset the relations with Russian and Islamic world. He shut down Guantanamo prison. He considered the Nobel Price he received this year an advance.
In 2001, after the first screening of the novel about a boy-wizard Harry Potter written by an English housewife J. K. Rowling, the world plunged into Potter-mania. Books and movies about the adventures of the young wizard are read and watched by both children and adults.
Since 2004, J. K. Rowling remains the richest woman in Britain whose wealth is estimated at 545 million pounds (400 million books have been sold). The box office of Harry Potter movies (six in total) exceeded 4 trillion dollars, and the Harry Potter brand is estimated at 14.6 trillion dollars.
Mapping of the Human Genome
In 2003, a group of scientists headed by the Nobel Laureate James Watson announced that human genome (sequence of 25,000 nucleotides in chromosomes explaining the structure of human body) has been completely decoded.
The project was commenced in 1990; however, the interpretation of certain parts of the genome is at the initial stage. It is now possible to determine disposition for genetic illnesses. Using the genome information, scientists are hoping to win the battle against cancer and AIDS.
The princess of pop-music is the image of the decade. She is talented, scandalous, sexy and successful. After the 1990s that belonged to Madonna, it is time for “the naughty girl” to shine.
In 1999, her début album “Baby One More Time” received platinum status 15 times, and its title song topped the Billboard. She is the idol of the millennial generation. Millions of her albums have been sold, numerous Britney clones appeared on stage, her name became a brand, and scandals just increased her popularity.
Gazprom Gas Giant
Annual “gas wars” with Ukraine left Gazprom consumers in Europe without gas. Fights with Kiev forced Russia to seek other ways. By the middle of the second decade of this century, with the help of the Nord Stream and South Stream, Nabucco West and Russia will be able to continue power cooperation with the EU without mediators. “Gas wars” caused transition of the Russian gas to market prices for everyone, and Europe began spending more on alternative power.
The decade was marked with the development of mobile devices. In 2000, cell phones were equipped with cameras and MP3-players, in 2002 they were equipped with applications, and since 2003 cell phones are capable of providing access to high speed internet and making video calls.
The iPhone that hit retail stores in 2007 made mobile devices universal. Now they can assist with time management and other numerous functions, which make life much easier.
The search engine is the symbol of the internet technology for the Millennials. By the end of the 2000s, approximately 2/3 of the users in the world used Google for their search needs. Having created the best search engine ever, the company did not stop there.