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Here’s What Happened Around The World In May 2023

Take a look back at some of the biggest stories that happened around the world in May 2023.

Take a look back at some of the biggest stories that you may have missed in May 2023.

1. People in Thailand voted out the military government and elected a young, progressive party to lead

People in Thailand have voted out the military government and elected a young, progressive party to lead.

Thailand has been ruled by a military government since it ousted the democratically elected government in a coup in 2014.

But in a stunning moment on Sunday May 14, Move Forward, a young and progressive opposition party, secured 36.23% of the votes, the most out of any party in the general elections.

Frontrunner Pheu Thai, Thailand’s largest opposition party – founded by former prime minister Thaksin Shinawatra, who was ousted in another coup in 2006 – came second with 27.66% of the votes.

Former junta leader and incumbent prime minister Prayut Chan-o-cha’s military United Thai Nation party secured only 11.90% of the votes.

Voter turn out was a record 75.20%.

Move Forward, led by 42-year-old Pita Limjaroenrat, had run on a campaign of promoting democracy, removing the military’s influence on politics and revising the lèse-majest law, which jails people for criticizing the monarchy.

2. Serbia’s president started disarming the country after two mass shootings in less than two days

Serbia’s president, Aleksandar Vučić, vowed to “disarm” the country after two mass shootings that occurred in less than two days.

The announcement comes after a man opened fire from a moving car on Thursday evening and the early hours of Friday, killing eight people and injuring 14.

Authorities have since apprehended him.

Barely 48 hours prior, a 13-year-old boy had opened fire at his school in Serbia’s capital, Belgrade, killing eight of his classmates and a security guard.

The consecutive mass shootings have left a total of 19 people dead and 21 injured, according to AP.

Following the tragic events, Vučić proposed a “practical disarmament” that would prohibit the country from issuing firearm permits.

He promised to implement stricter gun controls including frequent psychological background checks and has tasked the interior ministry to draft a new gun ownership law.

The new measures are expected to reduce almost 90% of gun ownership in the country.

3. Charles and Camilla were officially crowned as the king and queen of the United Kingdom

King Charles and Queen Camilla have been officially crowned in a deeply grand and religious ceremony at Westminster Abbey in London.

The two-hour coronation on Saturday May 6 was the UK’s first in 70 years.

Charles assumed the throne in September 2022 after the death of his mother Queen Elizabeth II at the age of 96.

Following the coronation service, the King and Queen appeared from the Buckingham Palace balcony alongside members of the royal family and waved to the crowds.

The day was marked by celebratory events across the UK including a concert with Lionel Richie, Perry and Take That.

4.Uganda passed a law that jails people for life and even sentences them to death for having gay sex

Uganda passed a law that jails people for life – and in some cases, sentences them to death – for having gay sex.

Homosexuality is already illegal in Uganda, but the law further cracks down on being LGBTQ in the deeply conservative and religious country.

Under the law, people who have gay sex would face life imprisonment and just attempting same-sex relations could result in seven years in prison.

People who commit “aggravated homosexuality”, which involves having gay sex while being HIV positive or with people under the age of 18, could face the death penalty.

People under 18 who are found to be LGBTQ could be jailed for three years and have to undergo a period of “rehabilitation”.

Friends, family and members of the community also have a duty to report people in same-sex relationships to the authorities.

Not only that, people who “promote” homosexuality could be jailed for 20 years.

The law is one of the world’s harshest anti-LGBTQ laws.

5. This Saudi woman scientist made history as the first Arab woman to go to space

Rayyanah Barnawi has become the first Arab woman astronaut to go to space as part of a private Saudi mission that took off from Florida, USA, to the International Space Station (ISS) on Sunday May 21.

The 34-year-old scientist is on a 10-day mission as part of Axiom Space’s second private voyage to the ISS and is joined by three other crew members, including fellow Saudi Ali al-Qarni, a fighter pilot.

During the mission, the crew will conduct more than 20 science and technological experiments, including studying the repercussions of space on human health and rain-seeding technology, according to the BBC.

Barnawi, who has dedicated almost a decade to stem-cell research, will focus on studying stem cells and breast cancer during the mission.

Barnawi has called the opportunity an incredible honor.

“Being the first Saudi woman astronaut, representing the region, it’s a great pleasure and honour that I’m very happy to carry,” she said in a press conference before the takeoff. 

6. Devastating floods hit the Democratic Republic of Congo, killing more than 400 people

More than 400 people are dead and thousands more missing after catastrophic flooding in the Democratic Republic of the Congo.

The floods, which started on Thursday May 4 from heavy rain, hit the eastern province of South Kivu, destroying and damaging homes and agricultural fields.

Authorities have been pulling survivors from the mud, but more than 5,500 people are still missing.

At least 3,000 families have been left homeless and 12,000 homes were swept by floods and landslides, according to the UN humanitarian office.

“There are some places that had houses, but you look at them now and can’t imagine that there was anything there before,” emergency personnel said, according to the Guardian.

Congo’s government spokesperson called it “an unprecedented humanitarian disaster” and issued a national mourning day for victims on Monday May 8.

7. China banned comedian Uncle Roger on social media after he joked about Xi Jinping and surveillance

Comedian Uncle Roger has been banned on Chinese social media after he made a series of jokes about the Chinese government in his stand-up show.

The British-Malaysian stand-up comedian, whose real name is Nigel Ng, posted a trailer of his new show on Twitter last Tuesday May 16, with the caption “Uncle Roger about to get canceled”.

In the clip, Ng asks an audience member where they are from.

When the man says he is from Guangzhou in China, Ng made a face before saying “China. Good country. Good country.”

“We have to say that now, correct? All the phones listening. All our phones tap into it. Long live President Xi.,” Ng said.

He then asks if there are people from Taiwan in the crowd, which prompted some cheers from Taiwanese members of the audience.

“Not a real country. I hope one day you rejoin the motherland. One China,” Ng then said as he continued the surveillance gag.

The clip went viral on Western social media.

Soon after, Ng’s accounts on Chinese social media Bilibili and Weibo, where he had more than 400,000 followers were suspended due to a “violation of relevant laws and regulations”.

8. Top Indian women wrestlers spoke up about being sexually harassed by the head of India’s Wrestling Federation and demanded justice

Top Indian women wrestlers who have been camping out on the streets of New Delhi to protest against sexual harassment have been forcibly dragged and detained by police.

The wrestlers have been camping on the streets of New Delhi since April 22 to demand an investigation into the president of the Wrestling Federation of India for sexual harassment.

The women wrestlers say Brij Bhushan Sharan Singh sexually harassed seven women wrestlers over more than 10 years.

Singh, who is also a member of parliament for the ruling Bharatiya Janata party (BJP), has denied the allegations.

In late April, the women decided to forgo their rigorous training regimes with just a few months to go until the World Championships and the Asian Games.

The wrestlers say they will not move until Singh is arrested.

9. This Black Brazilian soccer player was racially abused at a match in Spain and people demanded justice

People around the world were left outraged after Black Brazilian soccer player Vinícius Júnior was repeatedly racially abused during a game in Spain.

22-year-old Vinicius Jr, who plays for Real Madrid, was racially abused by Valencia fans during the match at Mestalla Stadium in Valencia on Sunday May 22.

At around the 68 minute mark of the game, Vinicius Jr, who had the ball, was knocked over by a second ball on the pitch, which appeared to have been deliberately kicked towards him by Valencia player Eray Comert.

Right after the referee gave Comert a yellow card, Vinicius Jr suddenly starts calling the referee over and pointing to Valencia supporters in the stands.

Visibly upset, Vinicius Jr walks up and confronts the fans, who are shown shouting and pulling the middle finger at him in another video of the incident.

The referee’s official report from the game said that a fan had shouted “monkey, monkey” at Vinicius, according to CNN.

He was then ushered away by his teammates and Valencia players, before speaking to the referee and Real Madrid manager Carlo Ancelotti.

Later on in the match, a mass altercation breaks out between the players on both teams, and Valencia’s Hugo Duro is seen placing Vinicius in a chokehold.

Vinicius eventually breaks free and pushes Duro off him, hitting Duro’s face with his arm as he does so.

However, Vinicius is the one who is sent off with a red card.

Vinicius Jr has been repeatedly subject to racist abuse by fans since the season began in August.

In January, Atletico Madrid fans hung an effigy of him from a bridge in Madrid.

Following the match on Sunday, Vinicius took to social media to condemn La Liga for normalizing racism.

10. A court rejected this Argentine actress’ historic #MeToo case against a famous actor

A court in Brazil has rejected a historic #MeToo case by an Argentine actress against her co-star.

29-year-old Thelma Fardin said in 2018 she was raped by her co-star Juan Darthés in 2009 when she was 16 and he was 45.

Fardin’s story went viral and sparked a #MeToo movement in Argentina.

Darthés denied the allegations and moved back to his home in Brazil, where Fardin then sued him.

On Sunday May 14, the court acquitted Darthes over “insufficient evidence”.

The acquittal does not mean that the event did not happen, but that the judge simply did not find enough evidence to prove the rape, according to Amnesty International.

Fardin said she will appeal.

11. Japan finally approved the abortion pill

Japan has finally approved the abortion pill.

Surgical abortions up to 22 weeks of a pregnancy are legal in Japan but have always required partner consent, unless certain circumstances were met, such as unidentifiable partner, death of partner, rape or when the mother’s life is in danger.

Despite meeting requirements, local media have reported doctors denying the procedure to women.

If women underwent abortion procedures without a partner’s consent or faked their signature, they could face up to one year in prison.

Now, the government has approved a pill that can help terminate pregnancies up to nine weeks.

12. The grandma from the iconic Taiwanese couple who dressed up in clothing at their laundry shop died

The grandma from the elderly Taiwanese couple who became Instagram icons for dressing up in outfits assembled from the clothing customers forgot to pick up from their laundry store, has died.

87-year-old Sho-er died on the morning of Tuesday May 23, according to a post shared on the couple’s Instagram @wantshowasyoung, which is run by their 34-year-old grandson, Reef Chang.

“Our dearest and loveliest grandma had left us in the morning of May 23. As the closest family, even though my heart feels all kinds of broken, but knowing from now on she has no disease and pain, we will accompany her to walk though the last section of her life journey, to return her life dedication for us,” Chang wrote.

86-year-old Wan-ji and 87-year-old Sho-er, shot to fame in 2020 when their Instagram went viral.

The couple were married for 64 years and were operating the Wan-Sho Laundry Shop for almost 70 years, Chang told Almost in July 2020.

@wantshowasyoung now has more than 626,000 followers, and his grandparents often made suggestions on the outfit colors and combinations, even saying things like “This is how I used to wear it,” he said.

Chang said none of them expected the Instagram account to take off internationally.

“For my grandparents, they would have never thought in their entire lives that so many people would fall in love with them,” he said.

“A special thank to everyone who has accompanied us on this amazing journey over the years,” he wrote in the latest post. ”Because of you, my family and grandmother have left many unforgettable memories. I believe that people who have had the opportunity to get along with grandma will always remember her cheerful smile.”

13. And this Norwegian artist created a statue of Freya the walrus after she was killed because people couldn’t stay away from her

A Norwegian artist has created a life-size statue of Freya the walrus after she was killed by authorities because people wouldn’t stay away from her.

Freya had become a social media celebrity in the summer of 2022 when she toured the shores of Norway, lying around and sinking boats.

Authorities had warned the public that they would take further action and euthanize Freya if people continued to stress her out and disregard safety measures.

However, a few days later, Norway’s Directorate of General Fisheries put down the 700-kilogram walrus during the early hours of Aug. 14, 2022, for “becoming a threat to human safety.”

A man named Erik Holm then launched an online campaign to build a statue of Freya, raising more than US$25,000.

“I started this because I’m furious about the way the [Norwegian] Fisheries Directorate and the state handled this situation,” Holm told AFP.

The bronze statue was unveiled on Saturday April 29 in Oslo’s Kongen marina, close to where Freya had basked over summer.

“This is how humans treat wild nature, but it is also how humans treat humans. This is how we treated Freya. And so, I will call the statue For Our Sins,” the artist, Astri Tonoian, said, according to the BBC.

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