On May 27, 2005, Schapelle Corby entered Kerobokan Prison convicted of trying to smuggle 4.2kg of marijuana into Bali.
Today, 11 years earlier than her original sentence intended, she’s a free woman again.
While it’s not as though she’s been entirely shut off from the world in her cell, enough has gone on outside to make anyone realise that nine years is a long time in news.
For starters, the end of slavery, the birth of Twitter, the death of Michael Jackson and the discovery of inhabitable planets.
So welcome back, Schapelle – here’s what you missed:
Cyclone Nargis, Burma (133,000 dead), Wenchuan quake, China (87,000), Haiti quake (158,000 dead), Kashmir quake (100,000 dead), and a Russian heatwave (70,000).
The Japan tsunami
2011 – Killing more than 15,000 and crippling the nuclear power plant at Fukushima.
And the Black Saturday bushfires.
2009, in which 173 Victorians lost their lives
Most notably, the London Underground bombing (2005), coming just a day after the city was awarded the right to host the 2012 Olympics, and the 2013 Boston Marathon bombing.
The Cronulla riots (2005)
An entire Pope was elected and retired.
Goodbye Pope John Paul II, hello Pope Benedict XVI.
Goodbye Pope Benedict XVI, hello Pope Francis.
The birth of Twitter (July, 2006).
The iPhone goes on sale (June, 2007)
The Large Hadron Collider.
The most celebrated science experiment of our time fires up in 2008, breaks down almost immediately and takes more than a year to fix. It then unlocks the universe’s greatest secret by virtually finding the Higgs Boson, is responsible for a couple of Nobel Prizes, then goes into hibernation until 2015.
Printers now print 3D shapes, including houses and human ears.
Sadly, on a personal level, the death of her father Michael from bowel cancer in 2008 and the imprisonment of her half-brother James Kisina on drug and assault charges in 2006.
The deaths of despots and terrorists.
The capture, trial and execution of Saddam Hussein in 2006. The capture and execution of Muammar Gaddafi in 2011. The raid in Pakistan, discovery and execution of Osama bin Laden by US Navy SEALs in 2011.
The official end of slavery
After Mauritania officially criminalises the practice (2007).
Heath Ledger (2008), Michael Jackson (2009), Patrick Swayze (2009), Corey Haim (2010), Elizabeth Taylor (2011), Amy Winehouse (2011), Whitney Houston (2012).
Also, Steve Irwin and Peter Brock.
From earwax eater to his rise to Labor leadership, election to PM, apology to the Stolen Generations, fall to Julia Gillard, rise to Labor leadership and annihilation by Tony Abbot followed by retirement from politics.
The Global Financial Crisis and Barack Obama’s rise to US President (2008).
NASA launches its planet-hunting satellite Kepler in 2009. As a result, since Corby’s imprisonment, the confirmation of potentially habitable planets has risen from zero to 43 – with an estimated 11-40 billion waiting to be confirmed.
Three of the four Golden Girls died.
But at 92, Betty White’s in career-best form.
Website Wikileaks storms into the limelight in 2010 by publishing the infamous leaked “Collateral Murder” video purporting to show footage from US helicopters opening fire on apparently unarmed targets in Baghdad.
Former CIA employee Edward Snowden flees the US in 2013 and begins leaking documents detailing US Government global surveillance activity to major media outlets. He’s currently under Russian protection with up to 1.7 million documents reportedly in his possession.
The Arab Spring
Starting in 2010, a period of huge unrest in the Middle East which has so far seen rulers forced from power in Tunisia, Egypt, Libya and Yemen.
A Royal wedding
In 2011, two billion people watched Prince William marry Catherine Middleton.
The worst massacre
Anders Behring Breivik bombs a government centre in Oslo in 2011, killing eight people, then heads for an island political youth camp where he guns down another 69.
And the worst beatings
While Corby was in jail, England won the Ashes four times, Australia twice.
Corby’s home state Queensland lost the NRL State of Origin as she was starting her prison term. They’ve smashed the Blues eight times in a row since, and she’s missed them all.
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