Although failing to match up to the dizzying heights of a U.S. presidential election year, 2017 has been another eventful year for world politics.
From President Donald Trump’s inauguration to the escalating nuclear crisis in North Korea, to the ousting of Zimbabwean dictator Robert Mugabe, 2017 has brought many extraordinary moments.
However, some other moments have left many lost for words. Here are some of them:
Donald Trump Implies Kim Jong-Un Is ‘Short and Fat’
In November, President Donald Trump implied North Korean dictator Kim Jong-un was “short and fat” in a tweet that sent the internet into a tailspin.
Trump was responding to North Korea’s foreign ministry statement on his tour of Asia said that his “current trip to our surrounding region is a warmonger’s visit for confrontation to rid the [Democratic People’s Republic of Korea] of its self-defensive nuclear deterrence.”
Why would Kim Jong-un insult me by calling me "old," when I would NEVER call him "short and fat?" Oh well, I try so hard to be his friend – and maybe someday that will happen!
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) November 12, 2017
During a speech to the United Nations, Trump also described Kim Jong-Un as a “little rocket man” who is on a “suicide mission for himself and his regime.”
The Trump Orb
Donald Trump “broke the Internet” during the inauguration of the Global Center for Combating Extremist Ideology Sunday in Riyadh in May after touching a brightly lit globe with Saudi King Salman bin Abdulaziz and Egyptian president Abdel Fatah al-Sisi.
Images of the ceremony quickly went viral, with the Internet quickly dubbing the object “the Trump orb.”
— TruNews™ (@TruNews) May 22, 2017
Rodrigo Duterte Admits He Nearly Became Bisexual
Philipino President Rodrigo Duterte is known for his outlandish and aggressive remarks, causing jitters amongst human rights campaigners across the world. Yet the Filipino strongman surprised people when he admitted he was a supporter of LGBT rights and had even considered becoming bisexual himself.
“I am for (same) sex marriage if that is the trend of modern times,” Duterte said. “If that will add to your happiness, I am for it.” According to the Telegraph, Duterte also confirmed “he had gay family members” and admitted, “that he once toyed with the idea of being bisexual.”
A presidential spokesperson later confirmed Duterte’s views.
“President Duterte is the president of all Filipinos. This administration has long espoused inclusivity and sensitivity. We make no distinction,” he declared. “We are all Filipinos enjoying our rights, freedom, and equality before the law.”
Nicolás Maduro’s ‘Civilian Boot Camp” to Prepare for War with U.S.
In a year in which the formerly thriving country of Venezuela formalized its dictatorship, the country’s socialist leader Nicolás Maduro continued to deliver his predecessor Hugo Chávez’s threatening rhetoric against the United States.
Days after the White House announced additional sanctions against Venezuelan government officials and their families, Maduro declared that his troops needed to “prepare” for any potential attack during a military parade in the city of Maracay.
“We have been shamelessly threatened by the most criminal empire that ever existed and we have the obligation to prepare ourselves to guarantee peace,” said Maduro, wearing an olive green uniform and a military hat. “We need to have rifles, missiles, and well-oiled tanks at the ready to defend every inch of the territory if need be.”
In August, Maduro also ordered civilians to join in “civic-military exercises” at government-run boot camps to prepare for an invasion of the country by the United States, after Trump said he was considering military action against the regime.
Saudi Arabia Arrests Teenager for Dancing the Macarena
A 14-year-old boy in Saudi Arabia was arrested by authorities for “improper public behavior” after a year-old video emerged of him dancing the classic moves to the Spanish-language song “Macarena” in the port city of Jeddah.
In a statement, authorities confirmed they had arrested the teenager on grounds of “improper public behavior” and for disrupting traffic.
The teen was later released without charge, but only after his parents signed a written pledge that the boy would “not engage in behavior that could endanger his life and the life of others again.”
Jeddah boy dancing in the middle of Tahlia Street is the hero we need pic.twitter.com/fui9v2UuDF
— Ahmed Al Omran (@ahmed) August 19, 2017
Donald Trump ‘Sentenced to Death’ by North Korea
In November, North Korean state media declared that President Donald Trump had been “sentenced to death by the Korean people” after Trump’s lambasted the country’s dictator Kim Jong-un on Twitter.
“The worst crime for which he can never be pardoned is that he dared malignantly hurt the dignity of the supreme leadership of the DPRK,” an editorial by North Korea’s state-run newspaper Rodong Sinmun read. “Trump, who is no more than an old slave of money, dared point an accusing finger at the sun. He should know that he is just a hideous criminal sentenced to death by the Korean people.”
Rumors of a Vampire Attack Trigger Riots and ‘Utter Chaos’ in Mozambique
Riots broke out in the town of Gile in Mozambique amid fears that blood-sucking vampires were active in the area, aided by government officials.
Local media reported that fears of vampires had been growing for months following an incident in which a mob attacked a local business owner in the locality of Muiane, who they believed was a vampire.
According to local law enforcement, the riots descended into “utter chaos” as angry mobs attacked the houses of local politicians, forcing them to flee the area.
Brazilian President Claims ‘Ghosts’ Forced Him Out of Presidential Palace
Brazilian President Michel Temer confessed in an interview that he and his family moved out of the nation’s Alvorada Palace, the official presidential residence, over bad energy and “ghosts” that kept him and his wife Marcela from sleeping well at night.
“I felt something strange there. I wasn’t able to sleep right from the first night. The energy wasn’t good,” Temer told Veja, noting that his wife agreed with him on the issue.
ISIS Terrorists Killed by Herd of Stampeding Wild Boars
A herd of stampeding wild boars killed three Islamic State terrorists in a fiercely contested area of Northern Iraq in April, The Times of London revealed at the time.
A local tribesman organizing anti-ISIS forces told the outlet that the militants disturbed the boars in a nearby field, who consequently stampeded over them leaving three dead and five others seriously injured.
“It is likely their movement disturbed a herd of wild pigs, which inhabit the area as well as the nearby cornfields,” he said. “The area is dense with reeds, which are good for hiding in.”
Surviving militants reportedly avenged their fallen comrades by going on a killing spree of the area’s wild boars.
Egyptian Singer Jailed for ‘Inciting Debauchery’ by Eating a Banana
An Egyptian singer has been jailed for two years for “inciting debauchery” after she appeared in a video in her underwear suggestively eating a banana.
Shaimaa Ahmed, a 25-year-old singer commonly known as Shyma, was charged by authorities following the release of the music video for her song “I Have Issues,” which triggered outrage amongst Egypt’s Islamic population for its sexually suggestive content.
In the video, which has over one million views on YouTube, Shyma can be seen dancing in a bra in front of a group of enchanted men suggestively eating a banana and pouring milk over herself. There is also a chalkboard behind her that reads “Class 69.”
Kenyan Vice-Presidential Candidate Debates Himself
A vice-presidential candidate in Kenya ended up debating himself after his opponents boycotted the televised event.
Eliud Muthiora Kariara, who was the running mate of independent presidential candidate Japheth Kavinga Kaluyu, stood surrounded by five empty podiums, two moderators and a live television audience after the five other candidates in the race refused to take part.
As a result, Kariara had the entire 90 broadcast minutes all to himself, in a live broadcast from the Catholic University of East Africa in Nairobi.
Despite his debate performance, Kariara did not become vice-president, after Kaluyu polled just 8,261 votes, equivalent to 0.11 percent.
Malaysia Bans ‘Despacito’ over ‘un-Islamic’ Lyrics
Public radio stations in Malaysia banned the record-breaking hit single “Despacito” over concerns that its lyrical content was not suitable for Islamic listeners.
“The song was filled with numerous sexual references and innuendos and thus wholly inappropriate to be aired by our national media outlets for our general public, especially children,” said Senator Salleh Said Keruak. “‘Despacito’ will not be aired by the government-owned broadcast stations because we received public complaints. The lyrics are not suitable to be heard.”
Atriza Umar, the Chairwoman of Malaysia’s opposition Islamic party, Parti Amanah Negara, also compared the song to “porn,” claiming it could have a negative impact on the nation’s youth.
“I regret that these problematic songs are not censored by the ministries,” she said. “I urge the authorities to ban this song and other songs that contain sexy and violent lyrics which are not suitable in accordance with Islam and our eastern culture.”
Saudi Arabia Hosts Women’s Forum – Without Any Women
An initiative to start a ‘Women’s Council’ in the repressive Muslim state of Saudi Arabia has become the target of criticism and mockery after a photo emerged of the first meeting online, confirming the council does not have any women on it.
The meeting took place on Saturday in al-Qassim province. Photos appearing online of the inaugural event featured a panel of thirteen men sitting on stage, but no women.
Saudi Arabia's Qassim Women's Council…
Wait a second. pic.twitter.com/MocKjWlxWC
— Kareem Chehayeb (@chehayebk) March 14, 2017
The council was organized by Prince Faisal bin Mishal bin Saud, the province’s monarchical governor, who organized the panel with the help of his wife Princess Abir bint Salman. While the princess officially chairs the council, she was not present at the inaugural meeting.
“In the Qassim region, we look at women as sisters to men, and we feel a responsibility to open up more and more opportunities that will serve the work of women and girls,” the Prince said.
China Claims Young Soldiers Are Overweight and ‘Masturbate Too Much’
A report published in the Chinese state-run military newspaper People’s Liberation Army (PLA) in August argued that many young people are failing the tests due to a poor diet of fast food and fizzy drinks, as well as excessive masturbation.
According to a report, the standard of health “is related to sitting too long on computer games, excessive masturbation, and too little physical activity.” It also claims that, as a result of too much sitting down, young men are developing abnormally large testicular veins and a consequent fall in fitness.