Phil Spector, who revolutionized 1960s pop music with his “Wall of Sound” but who was jailed for murder in 2009, dies on Jan. 16, aged 81.
A week later, Larry King, the braces-sporting American talk host who interviewed everyone who was anyone, dies at 87.
Veteran Canadian actor Christopher Plummer, star of The Sound of Music, dies on Feb. 5 aged 91.
George Shultz, Ronald Reagan’s secretary of state who helped end the Cold War but contributed to conflict by advocating pre-emptive strikes, passes the next day at 100.
Argentina’s former president Carlos Menem dies at 90 on Feb. 14.
Lawrence Ferlinghetti, the last great poet of the Beat Generation, passes eight days later aged 101.
Papua New Guinea’s “father of the nation” Sir Michael Somare, its first prime minister, dies aged 84 on Feb. 26.
Reggae legend Bunny Wailer passes away on March 2 aged 73.
South African Zulu king Goodwill Zwelithini, 72, dies on March 12.
Madagascar’s former leader Didier Ratsiraka, instigator of a socialist revolution on the Indian Ocean island, dies aged 84 on March 28.
Prince Philip, the Duke of Edinburgh, the 99-year-old husband of Britain’s Queen Elizabeth II, dies on April 9.
American rapper DMX, 50, dies the same day. Bernie Madoff, mastermind of the largest financial scam in history, dies in jail in North Carolina on April 14 aged 82.
Two days later British actress Helen McCrory — who starred in Peaky Blinders, Harry Potter and The Queen — dies of cancer aged 52.
Chad’s President Idriss Deby, 68, dies from battle wounds the day after his election for a sixth term on April 20.
Legendary German soprano Christa Ludwig, 93, passes away on April 24.
Fashion designer Alber Elbaz, of Lanvin fame, dies in Paris aged 59 from Covid-19 the same day.
Nigeria’s Boko Haram leader Abubakar Shekau, of unknown age, is killed during infighting between rival factions of the extremist group on May 19.
“Africa’s Gandhi” Kenneth Kaunda, 97, Zambia’s founding president, dies on June 17.
Former US defense secretary Donald Rumsfeld, the architect of the invasions of Iraq and Afghanistan after the World Trade Center attack of 2001, dies aged 88.
Richard Donner, director of the first Superman movie and as well The Goonies, dies on July 5 aged 91.
Two days later much-loved Bollywood veteran Dilip Kumar passes away at 98.
The leader of the Islamic State in the Greater Sahara (ISGS), Adnan Abu Walid al-Sahrawi, 48, is killed by French forces on Aug. 17.
Former Chadian president Hissene Habre dies a week later from COVID-19 at 79. He was serving a life sentence in Senegal for crimes against humanity.
Charlie Watts, the drummer of the Rolling Stones, dies aged 80 on Aug. 24.
Jacques Rogge, president of the International Olympic Committee, dies on Aug. 29. The Belgian was 79.
The same day Lee “Scratch” Perry, the wildly influential Jamaican singer and producer of Bob Marley, dies aged 85.
Renowned Greek composer Mikis Theodorakis, 96, who scored the 1964 film Zorba the Greek and resisted military dictatorship in Greece, dies on Sept. 2. Actor Jean-Paul Belmondo, star of Breathless and one of postwar French cinema’s biggest names, dies aged 88 on Sept. 6.
Michael Williams, who played Omar in the cult US television series The Wire, dies the same day of an accidental overdose aged 54 in New York.
The founder of Peru’s Maoist Shining Path rebel group, Abimael Guzman, 86, dies in prison on Sept. 11.
Algeria’s longest-serving president Abdelaziz Bouteflika dies on Sept. 17 aged 84.
Kenya’s world record-holding runner Agnes Tirop, 25, is stabbed to death at her home on Oct. 13. Her husband is later charged with her murder.
Colin Powell, a US war hero and the first Black secretary of state whose reputation was sullied by the invasion of Iraq, dies from complications from COVID-19 aged 84 on Oct. 18.
FW de Klerk, the last president of apartheid South Africa, dies aged 85 on Nov. 11. He freed Nelson Mandela from prison and later shared a Nobel Peace Prize with him.
Zambia-born bestselling novelist Wilbur Smith, 88, who chronicled dramatic adventures on the African continent, passes away two days later.
The advent of the Omicron variant of COVID-19 has spawned a new genre of fantasy and science fiction in which males (invariably white) argue that it is an “opportunity” or that the government should open up and let the virus run its course. After all, Omicron is “mild,” as numerous studies are now showing, and even more so among the previously infected and/or vaccinated population. It’s time, they argue, to accept that COVID-19 will be with us forever and re-open the country. The government must face reality, must “move from denial to acceptance” as one recent poster on LinkedIn put
Lin Yu-ju (林于如) pushed her mother down the stairs of her own home, causing head trauma that led to her death. She poisoned her mother-in-law, first at home, later administering a second deadly dose in hospital via IV drip. She killed her husband, too, the same way she dispatched her mother-in-law, though this time it took more than one attempt. That Lin Yu-ju murdered three people is not in dispute. The fact that two of Lin’s convictions were based largely on confession? That she had long suffered physical abuse at the hands of her husband, with whom she had
The first time I traveled to Pingtung County’s Tjuvecekadan (老七佳 “Old Cijia”), I was greeted by a locked gate and a sign written in old, peeling paint forbidding entry to unescorted outsiders. Behind the gate, the road to the village disappeared around a curve. After the long drive out, not being able to even catch a glimpse of the old slate houses, let alone walk among them, was a major disappointment. What lay behind that gate remained a mystery for years, until the right contact finally helped me arrange a visit last year. After visiting the village, the locked gate
The first Monday of this year was also the first day of the twelfth month on the traditional lunisolar calendar. As they do at the start of every lunar month — and again on the fifteenth day — countless people across Taiwan positioned circular braziers in front of their homes, and set about burning sheaves of joss paper. The ritual burning of incense and joss paper (which English speakers sometimes call ghost money, spirit money or votive currency) is central to local religious and ancestor-worshipping traditions. Unfortunately, it has a noticeably detrimental effect on air quality, especially in urban areas. Because some