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Timeline 2010-2019: United States&Canada, Latin America, Europe, Africa&Asia

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2019 *Longest government shutdown in US history (35 days) ends January 25, 2019, over Trump's demand for wall on Mexican border. Supreme Court ruled 5-4 to give President Trump $2.5 billion to fund Mexico wall.

*Trump withdraws from 1987 Intermediate-Range Nuclear Forces (INF) treaty with Russia, claiming that Russia was in violation of its INF Treaty obligations, and wanting to include China in any treaty.

*Trump refuses to extend 2010 New START, reducing the number of strategic nuclear missile launchers, claiming it was "one of several bad deals negotiated by the Obama administration".

*1973 War Powers Act Resolution is invoked to end US military assistance in Saudi Arabia in its bombing of Yemen. Trump vetoes 5 bills ordering an end to arms sales to Saudi Arabia (plus one declaring a state of emergency to build the Mexico wall).

*Despite Trump's loathing for the foppish Trudeau Jr, Trudeau followed most of Harper/ Trump's agenda, and just manages to hold on to a minority government.

*September 27 witnessed worldwide Climate Strike, marking a global awareness of climate dangers.

*The first image of a black hole is taken.

Upshot:The bank bailout of 2008 would ripple through the world for the entire decade, reminding us of just how the US economy really is the world economy.

America's love affair with the planets and outer space revived and provides its one great contribution to the world. So far Trump hasn't ripped up the Outer Space Treaty, the basic legal framework of international space law. Among its principles, it bars states party to the treaty from placing weapons of mass destruction in Earth orbit, installing them on the Moon or any other celestial body, or otherwise stationing them in outer space.

The US continued to retain its global superpower status, though it was eclipsed in the Middle East by Russia, and an assertive China launched vast economic initiatives, and sought to expand its influence in the South China Sea and in Africa. The decade ending with a kind of containment effort and a trade war.

Wireless networking devices, mobile telephones, and cloud computing moved us towards a virtual world, social media replaced face-to-face contact while the Me Too movement, online call-out culture and a tyrannical Politically Correct insurgency disrupted civil society, and slacktivism* reduced protest movements to feel-good selfies. WikiLeaks and its editor Julian Assange, Chelsea Manning and Edward Snowden became icons for those fighting totalitarian state control.

The gay liberation movement became the 'gay international' in its ambitious agenda of transforming family relations, with gay marriage the most divisive change, still opposed by the Catholic church and Islam.

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Eric writes for Al-Ahram Weekly and PressTV. He specializes in Russian and Eurasian affairs. His "Postmodern Imperialism: Geopolitics and the Great Games", "From Postmodernism to Postsecularism: Re-emerging Islamic Civilization" and "Canada (more...)

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