What made the news headlines in 2013?

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IOL pic yearender nelson mandela death

Reuters

Nelson Mandela died at his home in Houghton, Johannesburg, on December 5. File picture: Mike Hutchings

London - Newspapers around the world had their work cut out for them in 2013. Here are some key events from the year...

JANUARY

11 - MALI: President Francois Hollande sends French forces to Mali to support that country's army and rout Islamists who are pushing south towards the capital Bamako.

16 - ALGERIA: Islamists take hundreds of Algerian and foreign workers hostage at a gas site in Algeria's remote south-eastern desert. On the 19th, Algerian special forces storm the gas complex. Thirty-seven foreign hostages die in the siege and rescue operation.

17 - US: Cyclist Lance Armstrong, reversing years of denials, admits his seven Tour de France titles were fuelled by an array of drugs.

IOL pic yearender prince george close up baptism

Britain's Prince William carries his son, Prince George, as they arrive at St James' Palace in London for the young royal's baptism. File picture: John Stillwell

Reuters

MARCH

13 - VATICAN: Jorge Mario Bergoglio, an Argentinian Jesuit, becomes the first pope from Latin America, choosing the name of Francis. His election follows the resignation of pope Benedict XVI, the first papal resignation in modern times.

14: CHINA: Chinese lawmakers name Xi Jinping as president four months after he takes charge of the Communist Party.

APRIL

15 - UNITED STATES: Two blasts near the finish line of the Boston Marathon kill three people and wound more than 100. They are believed to have been the work of two brothers of Chechen origin, Dzhokhar and Tamerlan Tsarnaev. Tamerlan dies later in a shootout with police. Dzhokhar is arrested.

IOL pic yearender boston marathon bombing

Slain Boston Marathon bombing suspect Tamerlan Tsarnaev. File picture: AP / The Lowell Sun

Associated Press

24 - BANGLADESH: The collapse of the Rana Plaza garment factory complex in the Dhaka suburbs kills 1 129 people and injures thousands. The disaster focuses attention on conditions in the industry.

JUNE

15 - IRAN: With 50.68 percent of the vote, moderate cleric Hassan Rouhani is elected president of Iran, ending eight years in power by hardliner Mahmoud Ahmadinejad marked by strong tensions with the West.

23 - RUSSIA: Rogue US intelligence technician Edward Snowden, who leaked information on spying by the United States, arrives in Moscow from Hong Kong, and is given temporary asylum despite a US arrest warrant after being confined to the airport for weeks.

JULY

3 - EGYPT: The army ousts Islamist president Mohamed Morsi, Egypt's first democratically-elected president, amid a wave of mass protests. A political crisis ensues, marked on August 14 by an assault on Morsi supporters in which several hundred are killed.

22 - BRITAIN: Prince William's wife Kate gives birth to a baby boy, providing the world's most famous royal family with a future king, George.

24 - SPAIN: An eight-carriage high-speed train flies off the tracks near the north-western city of Santiago de Compostela, killing 79 people.

AUGUST

21 - SYRIA: Thirty months into a civil war which has killed 120 000 people, Syrian troops are accused of chemical weapons strikes around the capital. On September 14 the United States and Russia agree on a plan to eliminate Syria's chemical weapons, averting the threat of a US military strike.

SEPTEMBER

21 - KENYA: A four-day siege of the Nairobi Westgate shopping mall by Somalian al-Qaeda-linked militants leaves at least 67 people dead and around 20 missing.

OCTOBER

1 - UNITED STATES: The US government shuts down for the first time in 17 years and 800 000 federal workers stay home amid a budget impasse in the US Congress. The shut-down lasts 16 days.

3 - ITALY: 366 African asylum-seekers die off the Italian island of Lampedusa in a migrant boat disaster as they seek to reach Europe.

NOVEMBER

12 - PHILIPPINES: Super Typhoon Haiyan - one of the strongest storms on record - sweeps through the Philippines' central islands, leaving more than 5 200 dead, and 1 600 missing.

24 - SWITZERLAND: World powers reach what is hailed as an historic agreement with Iran to limit its controversial nuclear programme.

27 - ITALY: Former Italian premier Silvio Berlusconi is stripped of his mandate as senator after being sentenced to a one-year prison term for tax fraud.

DECEMBER

5 - SOUTH AFRICA: Nelson Mandela, icon of the anti-apartheid struggle in South Africa and a towering political figure of the 20th century, dies in Johannesburg at the age of 95.

9 - UKRAINE: More than 100 000 pro-European demonstrators press demands that President Viktor Yanukovych resign after he refused to sign an association agreement with the European Union. It is the biggest mobilisation since the Orange Revolution in 2004, and the situation grew tense as Yanukovych sent troops and riot police into central Kiev.

9 - THAILAND: Premier Yingluck Shinawatra calls a snap election to try to defuse the kingdom's political crisis, but protesters vow to keep up their “people's revolution” which started in late October after a bill was drafted to allow his Shinawatra's brother Thaksin to return from exile. - AFP


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