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Highlights from the first half of the year, Jan – June 2020

The year 2020 is one of the remarkable years and will be remembered forever by everyone. Till now, it has been a roller-coaster year with a lot of highs and lows from different categories. Here’s a quick recap we take through to all of you.

News

The USA President Donald Trump in a tweet referred to as on the Senate not maintain an impeachment trial and to dismiss the articles of impeachment towards him. He went on from demanding an impeachment trial with witnesses to now wanting no impeachment trial in any respect. Trump needs Mitch McConnell to make all of it go away.

The highlight of March and April was the national lockdown in India. Prime Minister Narendra Modi, while addressing the nation, imposed a national lockdown to control the outbreak of coronavirus. It was on 22nd March when the country observed Janata Curfew after which the PM announced a 21-days lockdown.

A relief fund called PM-CARES was set up where people could donate and support the relief work amid this pandemic.

Amid the pandemic, religious issues also started cropping up as several people questioned Tablighi Jamaat held in Delhi. A person was found positive with coronavirus, after which everyone who attended the jamaat was tested. Many of them were found infected with the virus. This led to huge political debates across the nation, bringing up once again religious issues in the country.

Another horrific incident happened in India in the wee hours of May 7th where tons of gas leaked from LG Polymer plant in Vishakhapatnam. The tragedy resulted in the death of 12 people and around 350 hospitalized. Over 2,000 people were evacuated within a radius of 3 km from the plant.

Hollywood

Jonas Brothers made the headlines with their announcement of Las Vegas Residency. Kevin Jonas, Joe Jonas, and Nick Jonas, who reunited after six years of hiatus, launched an album titled ‘Happiness Begins’ final yr. And then, they introduced their Las Vegas Residency. The trio launched ‘What A Man Gotta Do’ music video on January 17, 2020, that was a homage to Dangerous Enterprise, Grease and Say Something. The music video featured Danielle Jonas, Sophie Turner, and Priyanka Chopra Jonas.

In February, Taylor Swift released her much-awaited and most important music video of her career ‘The Man’. She appears in the video which shows how society treats women through portrayals of different sexual orientation pietism for what it’s worth about explicit minutes from Swift’s own life. In the video’s last minutes, Swift comes to a meaningful conclusion, through title cards, to express that this music video was directed, written and owned by her.

It came as a huge shock to everyone when the popular actor Tom Hanks was found infected with the novel coronavirus. Not just him, but his wife Rita Wilson too was found positive. Fortunately, both the stars recovered from the virus soon.

Due to the pandemic, one of the biggest events of the year in the entertainment world, the Cannes Film Festival also got cancelled. Stars like Priyanka Chopra amongst others recalled their prior appearances in the festival.

As good news for the audiences, Disney Plus released two much-awaited films a little early on the OTT platform. Frozen and Star Wars came to OTT screens earlier than expected and entertained people in this lockdown.

Just like a lot of other films, the release date of Ryan Reynolds and Samuel L Jackson’s 2 The Hitman’s Bodyguard 2 got pushed. After receiving a huge response from fans for the first part in 2017, the sequel was supposed to release this year in August 2020. However, due to the ongoing pandemic, the film will now release in August 2021.

READ MORE: News Highlights From Jan – Feb 2020

Bollywood

Superstar Salman Khan treated his fans in the first week of January by announcing his film ‘Kabhi Eid Kabhi Diwali’ on Eid 2021. The film will be directed by Farhad Samji. Interestingly, after the announcement of the film, Akshay Kumar congratulated Salman and even suggested a sequel to the film’s name. In a sweet Twitter banter, Akki stated that the sequel of the film should be titled Kabhi Eid Kabhi Christmas.

The month of February saw Kartik Aaryan and Sara Ali Khan in the news for the release of their film ‘Love Aaj Kal’. Directed by Imtiaz Ali, the two stars were seen promoting the film on almost every platform. Released on February 14, the film garnered mixed reviews. However, their on-screen chemistry and the film’s music left everyone impressed.

The month of March and April saw many developments in the Bollywood film industry. Owing to the national lockdown, all the celebs stayed indoors and motivated others to do the same through their social media pages. We also saw the stars donating in large numbers to fight COVID-19.

From Akshay Kumar to Deepika Padukone and Ranveer Singh, these celebs extended their support to multiple relief funds. Shah Rukh Khan himself donated to seven different organisations and won people’s hearts. Salman Khan, who has been living in Panvel in this lockdown, had reportedly been transferring money directly to the accounts of people who were working on his film.

Towards the end of April, the industry was left saddened. We lost the actor Irrfan Khan on April 29th, who breathed his last in Kokilaben Hospital of Mumbai. He was battling with the neuroendocrine tumor for the past two years. The following day brought another sad news as we lost another gem, Rishi Kapoor on April 30th. The veteran actor was battling cancer and passed away in Sir HN Reliance Hospital in Mumbai.

READ MORE: News Highlights From March – April 2020

The starting of May saw several Bollywood celebs coming together to support Facebook’s I For India concert. Hosted by Karan Johar, the live concert saw performances of many biggies of B-town. While Shah Rukh Khan danced with his son AbRam, Alia Bhatt sang with her sister Shaheen Bhatt. Aamir Khan too narrated poetry with his wife Kiran Rao.

Stars like Vicky Kaushal, Madhuri Dixit, Anushka Sharma and Karan Johar celebrated their birthdays in lockdown. While KJo received a special surprise from Manish Malhotra in the form of a video, Madhuri surprised her fans by releasing her song ‘Candle’.

Meanwhile, the actor Sonu Sood has been winning hearts with his noble work. He has been helping the migrant workers to reach their hometown, facilitating their travel with buses, trains or even flights.

Television

From the telly world, actor Kushal Tandon made the headlines. This time not for a new TV show but for the launch of his own restaurant. Kushal opened his restaurant ‘Arbor28’ with Chef Himanil Khosla. A significant number of Kushal’s friends from the TV industry showed up to grace the night. The launch of the restaurant was attended by many celebrities including Sohail Khan, Hardik Pandya, Alvira Khan, Krystle D’Souza, Nia Sharma, Sidharth Shukla, Nikitin Dheer, Kritika Sengar, Karanvir Bohra, Teejay Sidhu, Ravi Dubey and Sargun Mehta among others.

There were a lot of changes in terms of TV shows. As shoots were stalled and new episodes were not ready, old shows from the 90s returned to the screens. Ramayana and Mahabharat broke all the TRP records and the internet was flooded with the memes on these shows. The leads Arun Govil and Dipika Chikhlia went all nostalgic and talked about the olden days on their social media handles.

On the other hand, there were reports around the break-up of the much popular couple Rithvik Dhanjani and Asha Negi. While both of them refrained from talking about it, the news left their fans saddened.

Technology

The technology category also had a lot of interesting news in these two months. SpaceX launched an in-flight test of Crew Dragon’s escape capabilities at NASA’s Kennedy Space Center, Florida on January 19 (Sunday). This launch demonstrated Crew Dragon’s ability to respond under emergency situation. Dragon and Falcon 9 rocket took off at 15:30 UTC. Eight SuperDraco engines of the Crew Dragon powered the spacecraft from Falcon 9 rocket at 644 km/h.

In a surprising turn of events, January 2020 showed how Facebook algorithms are biased. The tech big was sued by the US Division of Housing and City Improvement over the best way it let advertisers purposely goal their adverts by race, gender, and faith – all protected courses beneath US regulation. The corporate introduced that it will cease permitting this. However new proof exhibited that FB’s algorithm, which mechanically decided who’s proven an advert, carried out the identical discrimination anyway, serving up adverts to over two billion customers on the idea of their demographic data.

While the world had come to a standstill due to the outbreak of coronavirus, one industry which didn’t stop was that of technology. The video calling application Zoom went to its peak while people increase the usage during the lockdown. It became one of the most popular apps amongst the people working from home. However, due to the privacy issues, the shareholders sued the application.

There were also several new products launched in the world of technology. From LG Style 3 to LG Folder 2 and Samsung Galaxy Tab S6 Lite, companies came up with new products and attractive features for the customers. Apple too came up with its most affordable phone till date. Their new model iPhone SE has been priced at $399 for a 64GB model.

The Chinese video making app TikTok set a new record worldwide. The app has been downloaded over 2 Billion times by now from the App Store and Google Play Store. On the contrary, the app also saw a bad rating, as low as 2.0, after the controversy surrounding the app.

PUBG Mobile Game came up with its 0.18.0 update adding many new features to the game and fixing the previous bugs as well. Miramar map of PUBG mobile game has been updated, new locations and some new resources have also been added to the map. There have also been some changes in the UI, new currency, and the skin.

READ MORE: Tech Highlights From May – Jun 2020