Happy New Year

Today is the last day of 2004. I would like to take this moment to do a yearly recap. Here is a list of major events occurred internationally during this year:

-War in Iraq continues.Terrorists in Iraq used car, suicide and roadside bombings to chip away at U.S. and coalition efforts to reconstruct the country and institute the nation’s first government since the fall of Saddam Hussein’s regime. Terrorist groups took up the grisly practice of kidnapping and beheading foreign hostages, bidding to compel countries to leave the U.S.-led coalition.

-2004 Presidential election. An intense race for the presidency led to there-election of President Bush over Democratic challenger John Kerry. As in 2000, the election came down to one state. This time, it was Ohio’s 20 electoral votes that put Bush over the top. Unlike 2000, Bush also won the popular vote with 51 percent to Kerry’s 48 percent. Nationwide,voters turned out in droves, with a turnout rate approaching 60 percent, the highest since 1968.

-Yasser Arafat passed away. For decades, he was the symbol of the Palestinian cause. Arafat died in a Paris hospital on November 11, after months of health problems. While many mourned his passing, others saw his death as an opportunity for Palestinians and Israelis to start anew their attempts to forge a lasting peace.

-Former President Ronald Reagan died at his California home on June 5, nearly10 years after announcing that he was suffering from Alzheimer’s disease. The nation spent a week saying farewell to the former president, who led a conservative revolution and helped bring about the end of the Cold War during his two terms in office. He was laid to rest at his presidential library in California after a state funeral in Washington, D.C.

-Taiwan’s presidential election in March. The assassination attempt on President Chen Shui-bian days before the election and the close margin led many people to suspect the validity of this election. Thousands marched on streets to protest for recounts and further investigation on the assassination attempt.

-The XXVIII Olympic was held at Athens, Greece in 2004. Being held at the original birth place of Olympics, this year’s event was marked with many special meanings,as well as many exciting stories of world’s top athletes. US won the most medals counts among all the participating countries.

-The 9.0 earthquake led to disastrous Tsunami in South Asia. Death tolls mounts to 130,000 and still rising. Indonesia, Sri Lanka, Thailand and India are the 4 countries with the most casualties. Thousands are left home less and grieving for loss of family members. This is considered one of the biggest natural disasters in recent years.

Personally 2004 has been a great year for me. After what I went through in 2003, I can only be thankful for having a job I enjoy and a great relationship. This year I also went to many different places and did a lot of different things, including trip to Taiwan for Homer’s brother’s engagement, went to a NBA game, Wango Tango concert, House of Blues, Hollywood Bowl, saw the first fireworks in San Diego and ski trip at Mammoth. Life is great. Really nothing more I can ask for.

But of course there was one tragedy stood out this year, which was my best friend Cindy’s death. This incident helped me realize how precious life is and how much friends meant to me. I wish every one of my friends enjoy their life as much as possible and appreciate everything they have. Most important, HAPPY NEW YEAR to EVERYONE~ WISH EVERYONE HAVE A GREAT 2005!

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