Year in review: A look at news events in February 2020


A look at news events in February 2020:

01 - The new coronavirus global emergency sent markets tumbling as major airlines announced the suspension of flights to China. Tour companies and hotels in Western Canada reported seeing an increase in cancellations from Chinese tourists. A number of countries announced they were moving to bar entry to most people who may have visited China in the past two weeks. A World Health Organization official noted that while most cases reported so far had been people who visited China, human-to-human transmission was becoming more prevalent in cases abroad.

01 - Ontario's Saugeen Ojibway Nation overwhelmingly rejected a proposed underground storage facility for nuclear waste near Lake Huron, likely bringing an end to the multibillion-dollar, politically fraught project that had been years in the making.

01 - Mary Higgins Clark, the tireless and long-reigning "Queen of Suspense,'' died of natural causes in Naples, Fla. She was 92.

02 - Philippine officials reported the first death outside of China linked to the novel coronavirus. The Philippines joined the U.S., Japan, Singapore, New Zealand and Australia in placing a temporary ban on all travellers from China. Many countries also reported seeing rising anti-Chinese sentiment.

02 - Parts of Kenya reported their worst outbreak of locusts in 70 years, as billions of the insects descended on communities.

02 - Mathematicians and geeks everywhere celebrated a rare occurrence: 02/02/2020. This kind of eight-digit palindrome hasn't occurred for more than 900 years — since Nov. 11, 1111. The date is considered a "universal palindrome" because it reads the same whether you write the date as "Month/Day/Year" or "Day/Month/Year." The next one won't come until Dec. 12, 2121.

02 - ''1917'' was the big winner at the British Academy Film Awards. The gut-wrenching First World War epic won seven prizes, including best picture and best director.

03 - The Kansas City Chiefs won their first Super Bowl in 50 years, beating the San Francisco 49ers 31-20 in Miami. Shakira and Jennifer Lopez performed together at the halftime show.

03 - Chinese scientists published two papers outlining growing evidence that the new coronavirus likely originated in bats.

03 - Iran's civilian government said it didn't know for days that the Revolutionary Guard had shot down a Ukrainian airliner. Iranian civil aviation authorities for days insisted it wasn't a missile that brought down the plane, even after Prime Minister Justin Trudeau and U.S. officials began saying they believed it had been shot down.  All 176 people on board Ukraine International Airlines Flight PS752 were killed, including 55 Canadian citizens, 30 permanent residents and dozens of others with connections to Canada.

03 - The federal government chartered two aircraft to get Canadians out of Wuhan, China.

03 - Calgary city councillors unanimously voted to ban conversion therapy, which aims to change someone's sexual orientation through counselling or religion.

04 - The leadership race for the Green Party of Canada announced its official opening. It was the party's first leadership contest since 2006, when Elizabeth May won on the first ballot. May stepped down following the October 2019 election.

04 - The European Union rejected U.S. President Donald Trump's Middle East peace proposal, stating it breaks with internationally agreed parameters. The Palestinians and Arab Gulf states also rejected Trump's plan.

04 - Four B.C. First Nations lost their court challenge of the Trans Mountain pipeline expansion. The Federal Court of Appeal dismissed their challenge of the federal government's second approval of the project.

04 - Dr. Francis Plummer, the former scientific director of Canada's National Microbiology Laboratory, died after a battle with alcoholism. Plummer, 67, was cited in particular for his research into HIV.

04 - In his third state of the union address, U.S. President Donald Trump took credit for the new United States-Mexico-Canada trade agreement, insisting his use of tariffs against trade partners had worked. But the president of the Canadian Chamber of Commerce said the negotiations saw the U.S. treat partners as enemies, resulting in Canada — and other countries — focusing on diversifying away from the U.S.

05 - Japan quarantined the Diamond Princess cruise ship, which was carrying more than 3,700 people — including 251 Canadians — after several people on board tested positive for the new coronavirus. The ship was ordered to remain under quarantine for 14 days in Yokohama.

05 - The U.S. Senate acquitted President Donald Trump on both impeachment charges against him. The vote against impeachment was never in doubt, since Republicans controlled the chamber. Mitt Romney made history by becoming the first senator in U.S. history to vote in favour of removing a president from his own party.

05 - Legendary actor Kirk Douglas, star of "Spartacus" and "Lust for Life," died at 103.

06 - An International Space Station crew including NASA astronaut Christina Koch, who spent more time in space on a single mission than any other woman, landed safely in Kazakhstan. Koch wrapped up a 328-day mission on her first flight into space.

06 - The doctor who was reprimanded in late December by Chinese authorities for sounding an early warning about the coronavirus outbreak died of the illness. Dr. Li Wenliang was 34 years old. Meanwhile, a newborn discovered infected 36 hours after birth became the youngest known patient. Hospital officials in Wuhan said the mother had tested positive and the baby was separated from her immediately after birth.

07 - Two groups of Canadian evacuees from Wuhan, China, touched down on Canadian soil after severe weather and political meandering caused multiple delays. A flight carrying 176 passengers arrived at Ontario's Canadian Forces Base Trenton after refuelling in Vancouver. About 50 more Canadians who arrived in Vancouver on an American chartered flight were told to disembark and board another plane that would take them to Trenton for a mandatory 14-day quarantine. Officials said some permanent residents and Chinese nationals with Canadian visas were allowed to escort 34 Canadian minors returning home.

07 - The federally owned company in charge of building the Trans Mountain pipeline expansion said the project is now estimated to cost $12.6 billion — a 70 per cent jump from the estimate made three years ago by the previous owner, Kinder Morgan.

07 - Toronto Raptors president Masai Ujiri joined Justin Trudeau on a trip to Africa, as the prime minister tried to gain support for Canada's bid for a temporary seat on the United Nations Security Council. Ujiri said he was planning to travel to Africa to promote his foundation, which uses basketball to educate and enrich the lives of youth, and joined the trip on Trudeau's invitation.

08 - China said the death toll associated with the new virus surpassed SARS fatalities in the 2002-03 outbreak. China reported the death toll rose to 811. The outbreak of SARS, or severe acute respiratory syndrome, killed 774 people — including 44 in Canada.

08 - Efforts by hereditary chiefs of the Wet'suwet'en Nation to halt the Coastal GasLink LNG Canada pipeline prompted a national protest movement. The massive 670-kilometre project ran from Dawson Creek to Kitimat on B.C.'s northwest coast. Protesters in Ontario stopped railway traffic east of Toronto.

09 - The South Korean thriller "Parasite'' broke barriers at the Oscars and became the first non-English movie to win best picture in the academy's 92-year history. In total, the film won four Oscars, including best director for Bong Joon Ho, best original screenplay and best international feature film. Bong's historic win also highlighted that no women were nominated in the best director category for the 87th time.

09 - Thailand's prime minister said 27 people died, including the gunman, in the worst mass shooting in the country's history. Prime Minister Prayuth Chan-ocha said 57 people were wounded in the 16-hour rampage at a busy shopping mall.

10 - Researchers with the University of Calgary and Royal Tyrrell Museum said they'd identified the first new Canadian tyrannosaur species in 50 years. A paper published in the journal Cretaceous Research described the fearsome lizard — whose name means "reaper of death'" in Greek.

10 - Prime Minister Justin Trudeau visited Canadian military personnel in Kuwait. The Canadians were moved to Kuwait just hours before Iranian missiles were fired at two Iraqi airbases housing Canadian, American and some coalition soldiers.

10 - A U.S. sheriff's deputy filed a lawsuit against the president of the Toronto Raptors. Alan Strickland said Masai Ujiri injured him at Oakland's Oracle Arena when the two got into an alleged shoving match following the Raptors' championship win.

10 - Canadian epidemiologist Bruce Aylward led a team of World Health Organization experts in China to study the outbreak of the novel coronavirus.