US President Donald Trump cancelled a state visit to Denmark after it refused point-blank to ‘sell him Greenland’. File picture: Andrew Harnik/AP
US President Donald Trump cancelled a state visit to Denmark after it refused point-blank to ‘sell him Greenland’. File picture: Andrew Harnik/AP

2019: The year that Brexit beckoned, protests proliferated and Greenland was not for sale

By DPA Time of article published Dec 30, 2019

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Berlin - A look at the year that was 2019.


January 3: China's "Chang'e 4" is the first space probe to land on the far side of the moon.

January 11: Macedonia is now North Macedonia, ending a row with Greece and paving the way for NATO membership and EU accession talks. The Greek parliament ratifies the historic name agreement on January 25.

January 13: The mayor of the Polish city of Gdansk, Pawel Adamowicz, 53, is stabbed to death by a previously convicted bank robber during a fundraiser.

China's lunar rover leaves wheel marks after leaving the lander that touched down on the surface of the far side of the moon. File picture: China National Space Administration/Xinhua News Agency via AP

January 15: Attackers claimed by the Somalia-based group al-Shabaab storm the upmarket Dusit hotel in the Kenyan capital Nairobi, killing more than 20.

January 18: After four months of political deadlock in Sweden, Social Democratic leader Stefan Lofven wins a vote in parliament to form a government.

January 18: At least 109 people are killed when a fuel pipeline explodes in the Mexican city of Tlahuelilpan.

January 22: The EU Commission imposes a fine of 570 million euros on the credit card company Mastercard for artificially pushing up the cost of card payments.

January 23: Juan Guaido, the head of Venezuela's opposition-dominated National Assembly, declares himself the country's interim president.

January 24: Felix Tshisekedi is sworn in as Congo's new president, marking the first peaceful transfer of power in the troubled country's history.

People are evacuated by a member of security forces at the scene where explosions and gunshots were heard at the Dusit hotel compound, in Nairobi. File picture: Baz Ratner/Reuters

January 25: More than 240 people are killed when a mining dam bursts in Brumadinho in south-eastern Brazil, unleashing 12 million cubic metres of sludge.

January 25: US President Donald Trump signs a bill ending the longest government shutdown in US history.

January 27: Islamic State claims responsibility after at least 20 people are killed and dozens are injured in two bomb attacks on a Catholic church in Jolo, in the southern Philippines.


February 3: Political outsider Nayib Bukele wins elections in El Salvador, breaking the 30-year hold of two parties on the Central American country's presidency.

El Salvador's President Nayib Bukele speaks during the signing of an agreement to create the International Commission against Impunity in El Salvador (CICIES).File picture: Jose Cabezas/Reuters

February 6: The European Commission blocks a planned railway merger between Siemens and Alstom due to "serious" competition concerns.

February 10: At least 60 people die in shootings involving farmers and nomads in the state of Kaduna, Nigeria.

February 13: US space agency NASA announces the end of operations for Mars rover "Opportunity" after months without a signal.

February 13: A bomb targets a military bus near Iran's border with Pakistan, killing at least 27 soldiers.

February 14: European aircraft manufacturer Airbus announces it will stop making its A380 superjumbo jet in 2021.

An Airbus A380 takes off for its demonstration flight at the Paris Air Show in Le Bourget airport, north of Paris. File picture: Francois Mori/AP

February 14: A suicide bombing by a Pakistan-based militant group kills 40 troops in Kashmir, prompting retaliatory attacks from India into Pakistan.

February 16: Pope Francis dismisses Theodore McCarrick, former cardinal and archbishop of Washington, accused of sexually abusing minors and young candidates to priesthood.

February 20: A fire breaks out in an illegal chemical factory in Dhaka, Bangladesh, killing 70.

February 24: Cubans approve a new constitution in a referendum. The new constitution recognizes the right to private property, but maintains the country's one-party system.

February 27: Trump's former lawyer calls him a "liar" during a public hearing in the House of Representatives.

February 28: Trump and North Korean leader Kim Jong Un end a summit in Hanoi early. Kim had demanded that all sanctions against his country be lifted.


March 7: Trump's former campaign manager Paul Manafort is sentenced to 47 months imprisonment, guilty of tax and banking offences. On March 13, he receives a further sentence of 43 months due to pro-Russian lobbying in Ukraine.

March 10: An Ethiopian Airlines flight crashes on its way from Addis Ababa to Nairobi, killing all 157 people on board. It is the second crash within six months involving Boeing 737 MAX planes, leading to the worldwide grounding of the jet series. A production suspension is announced in December.

Ethiopian Federal policemen stand at the scene of the Ethiopian Airlines Flight ET 302 plane crash, near the town of Bishoftu. File picture: Tiksa Negeri/Reuters

March 11: In Tehran, Iranian lawyer and women's rights activist Nasrin Sotudeh is sentenced to 33 years imprisonment and 148 lashes.

March 13: Twenty people, mostly children, die when a school building collapses in Nigeria's commercial capital, Lagos.

March 13: Cardinal George Pell is sentenced to six years in prison for assaults on choirboys dating back to the 1990s.

March 14-15: Cyclone Idai makes landfall in Mozambique. Hundreds of people die there and in nearby Zimbabwe and Malawi.

Flooded homes are seen after Cyclone Idai in Buzi district outside Beira. File picture: Siphiwe Sibeko/Reuters

March 15: The "Fridays for Future" movement, inspired by Swedish pupil Greta Thunberg, organizes worldwide student strikes.

March 15: A suspected white supremacist storms into two mosques in Christchurch, New Zealand, and kills 51, injuring another 50. He streams the 17-minutes massacre live on Facebook.

March 19: After almost three decades in power, Kazakh President Nursultan Nazarbayev resigns from office and names Kassym-Jomart Tokayev as his successor.

March 20: The European People's Party suspends the membership of Hungarian ruling party Fidesz due to its refugee policy and a poster campaign attacking EU Commission President Jean-Claude Juncker.

March 20: The European Commission slaps Google with a 1.49-billion-euro (1.7-billion-dollar) fine for breaching EU competition rules with its advertising practices.

March 21: Haiti's Prime Minister Jean-Henry Ceant resigns, three days after parliament votes to censure his government following massive protests accusing the government of corruption.

March 21: A fire causes an explosion at a pesticide plant in Yancheng, in the east of China, leaving 78 dead.

March 21: After an overloaded ferry capsizes near Mosul in North Iraq, at least 110 passengers drown in the Tigris River.

March 23: More than 100 people, many of them children, die in an attack on a village in central Mali.

March 23: Former Bosnian Serb leader Radovan Karadzic gets a life sentence for the Srebrenica genocide and other atrocities after an appeal to the UN war crimes tribunal for the former Yugoslavia.

March 24: The Mueller report is made public. The White House calls it an "exoneration." Mueller says that is not the case.

March 25: Trump signs a proclamation formally recognizing the Golan Heights as part of Israel's national territory.

US President Donald Trump embraces Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, as Vice President Mike Pence looks on, in the Diplomatic Reception Room of the White House in Washington. File picture: Susan Walsh/AP

March 26: The EU Parliament votes in favour of abolishing daylight savings time.

March 27: About 100 refugees seize control of a tanker which had rescued them from the sea off Libya. They force the captain to head for Malta.

March 30: After a run-off election, liberal civil rights campaigner Zuzana Caputova becomes the first female president of Slovakia. She takes office on June 15.

March 31: Turkey votes in municipal elections, seen as a test for President Recep Tayyip Erdogan. On May 6, the Supreme Electoral Council invalidates the result of Istanbul's mayoral election, but opposition candidate Ekrem Imamoglu wins a landslide in a June 23 rerun.


April 2: Algeria's long-serving ruler, Abdelaziz Bouteflika, resigns under pressure from street protests and the powerful military. Former prime minister Abdelmadjid Tebboune wins the job in December elections.

People hold placards reading "Get out" as they protest against the country's leadership in Algiers. File picture: Thibault Camus/AP

April 4: Chief of the self-styled Libyan National Army, General Khalifa Haftar, announces an offensive to seize Tripoli from a rival government backed by the United Nations. Fighting persists throughout the year. A July air raid on a refugee camp leaves 53 dead.

April 9: In Israel's legislative elections, both President Benjamin Netanyahu's Likud party and the Blue and White alliance of former military leader Benny Gantz gain 35 of the 120 seats in the Knesset. A second election is also inconclusive and a third round is now expected in 2020.

April 10: Scientists publish the first telescopic image of a black hole. The extremely massive specimen is located at the centre of a galaxy 55 million light years away.

The first black hole image. Picture: Event Horizon Telescope

April 11: Sudanese leader Omar al-Bashir is ousted after months of anti-government protests. A new transitional government is sworn in in August.

April 11: Wikileaks founder Julian Assange is arrested by British police in the Ecuadorian embassy in London, seven years after he sought asylum there. The US demands his extradition for leaking secrets.

April 15: A fire destroys the roof and spire of Notre Dame in Paris, but firefighters save the Gothic cathedral's towers and main structure.

Flames and smoke rise from Notre Dame cathedral in Paris as firefighters tackle the blaze on April 15, 2019. File picture: Michel Euler/AP

April 17: Former Peruvian president Alan Garcia commits suicide when police come to arrest him in connection with a corruption investigation.

April 21: Multiple suicide bombings by Islamic extremists in six locations - three churches and three luxury tourist hotels - leave 268 dead in Sri Lanka on Easter Sunday.

April 21: Ukrainian comedian-turned-politician Volodymyr Zelensky, who plays a fictional president on a popular television show, wins the actual presidential election in a landslide. A month later he calls snap parliamentary elections, which his party wins.

April 22: Egyptian President Abdel Fattah al-Sisi can remain in office until 2030 after 90 per cent of Egyptians support constitutional amendments.

April 22: At least 18 people die during a magnitude-6.1 earthquake on the Philippine island of Luzon. More than 200 are injured.

April 25: Cyclone Kenneth hits northern Mozambique and parts of the island state of the Comoros with sustained winds of more than 200 kilometres per hour (km/h). About 50 people die.

April 25: Former US vice president Joe Biden announces his candidacy for the Democratic Party's nomination for the 2020 presidential elections, expanding an ever-growing field of challengers to Trump.

April 28: Spain fails to form a new government after inconclusive elections. A follow-up election in November also fails to create a clear majority.


May 1: New Japanese Emperor Naruhito takes the Chrysanthemum Throne a day after his father, Akihito, stepped down, Japan's first abdication in 202 years.

May 3: Cyclone Fani strikes India's state of Odisha with sustained winds of more than 200 km/h. More than 80 people die before it moves on to Bangladesh.

May 4: Maha Vajiralongkorn is formally crowned king of Thailand. The festivities last for three days. The 66-year-old has already been king for two and a half years and now bears the name Rama X.

May 5: During an emergency landing at Moscow's Sheremetyevo Airport, 41 of 78 passengers on an Aeroflot plane die in a fire.

May 6: Archie Harrison, the first child of Duchess Meghan and Prince Harry is born. He is seventh in line in the British succession.

This is the official christening photo released by the Duke and Duchess of Sussex, showing Britain's Prince Harry, front row, second left and Meghan, the Duchess of Sussex with their son, Archie. Camilla, the Duchess of Cornwall sits at left. Back row from left, Prince Charles, Doria Ragland, Lady Jane Fellowes, Lady Sarah McCorquodale, Prince William and Kate, the Duchess of Cambridge, in the Green Drawing Room at Windsor Castle, Windsor, England. Picture: Chris Allerton/©SussexRoyal via AP

May 6: The Global Assessment Report on Biodiversity alerts to a massive extinction of species. About 1 million of an estimated 8 million animal and plant species are threatened.

May 7: Reuters reporters Wa Lone and Kyaw Soe Oo are released from a Myanmar prison after more than 500 days for exposing a massacre of Rohingya civilians.

May 8: Cyril Ramaphosa of the African National Congress (ANC) is elected president in South African general elections, even though the party's support declines significantly amid massive corruption scandals.

Cyril Ramaphosa takes the oath of office at his inauguration. Picture: Siphiwe Sibeko/Reuters

May 9: Pope Francis implements worldwide mandatory reporting of sexual abuse cases within the Catholic Church. There is no obligation to report to state authorities.

May 10: Uber begins selling shares in New York. Investors are less interested than expected.

May 12: Four commercial vessels, including two Saudi oil tankers, are attacked off the United Arab Emirates amid growing tensions between Iran and the United States.

May 14: French Impressionist Claude Monet's painting "Meules" is sold for 110.7 million dollars at a Sotheby's auction in New York. The next day, Christie's in New York sells a rabbit sculpture by US artist Jeff Koons for 91.1 million dollars, the highest price ever paid for a work by a living artist.

May 14: A California court orders Bayer to pay more than 2 billion dollars to a retired couple, its third major defeat in the battle about the weed killer glyphosate.

May 15: Trump declares a national emergency in a move aimed at keeping the Chinese company Huawei out of the US market.

May 15: Austria's legislature approves a headscarf ban for girls in primary schools.

May 16: The EU commission penalizes five major banks - JPMorgan, Barclays, RBS, Citigroup and Mitsubishi UFG - for coordinating exchange transactions on the internet. The overall fine amounts to 1.07 billion euros (1.2 billion dollars).

May 18: The Australian conservative coalition retains power in a surprise victory in federal elections.

May 20: A prison revolt involving Islamic State members leaves several dozen people dead in Tajikistan.

May 20: Austria's right-wing coalition government collapses after the publication of a video showing then vice chancellor Heinz-Christian Strache discussing infrastructure and media deals with a woman posing as a Russian political donor. Chancellor Sebastian Kurz forms a new government without Strache's far-right Freedom Party after September elections.

May 23: India's Narendra Modi scores a massive win and a second term in general elections.

May 24: Taiwan's marriage equality law takes effect, making the island the first Asian country to approve same-sex marriage.

May 25: Sex addiction and addictive digital gaming are recognized as medical disorders by the World Health Organization.

May 26: Voters turn away from the dominant centrist parties in European Parliament elections. Eventually, EU leaders compromise on a new team led by European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen and European Council President Charles Michel.


June 2: German pro-immigration politician Walter Luebcke, 65, is shot in the head and killed in front of his house.

June 3: Andrea Nahles, the leader of Germany's Social Democrats - a vital partner in Chancellor Angela Merkel's coalition - announces her resignation. She is replaced in December by Norbert Walter-Borjans and Saskia Esken, who demand reforms, but say they will keep the party in the governing coalition.

June 5: Left-leaning parties make gains in Denmark's general election. Mette Frederiksen's Social Democrats remain the main force.

June 6: Serial murderer Niels Hoegel is convicted of 85 murders and sentenced to life imprisonment for injecting patients with lethal overdoses from 2000 to 2005 in the German cities of Oldenburg and Delmenhorst.

June 7: Theresa May resigns as head of the British conservative party, following multiple legislative defeats of her Brexit package. Boris Johnson succeeds her.

British Prime Minister Theresa May announces her resignation outside 10 Downing Street in London. File picture: Alastair Grant/AP

June 7: The US and Mexico reach a deal on stemming migration, ending a threat by Trump to impose punitive tariffs on Mexican imports.

June 9: Thousands of Hong Kong residents march to protest a proposed extradition bill that would allow criminal suspects to stand trial in mainland China. The protests persist, amplify, and at times turn violent during the following months.

June 21: The chairman of Georgia's parliament, Irakli Kobakhidze, quits his job after overnight protests calling for his resignation left 240 people injured.

June 29: Carola Rackete, German captain of the Sea Watch charity rescue ship, is placed under arrest after forcing her way into the port of Italy's Lampedusa island, colliding with a customs police vessel in the process, to bring ashore 40 migrants. She is released on July 2.

June 30: Trump and Kim meet at the border between North and South Korea. Trump becomes the first US president to step onto North Korean territory.

US President Donald Trump meets with North Korean leader Kim Jong Un at the border village of Panmunjom in the Demilitarized Zone, South Korea. File picture: Susan Walsh/AP


July 1: Officials estimate that 50 die when a tank truck explodes, setting a bus on fire in south-east Nigeria.

July 1: A fire breaks out on a Russian submarine, leaving 14 dead and five injured during an expedition in the polar sea. The ship's nuclear reactor remains intact.

July 4: The British Royal Marines stop the tanker "Grace 1" off Gibraltar, accusing it of transporting oil to Syria. In return, the Iranian Revolutionary Guards capture the British tanker "Stena Impero" on July 19. The British ship is released on August 15: "Grace 1" on September 27.

In this image taken from aboard a Royal Navy Wildcat helicopter patrolling the Gulf as part of the International Maritime Security Construct, shows the MV Stena Impero as it sails from the port at Bandar Abbas, Iran, after being released by Iranian officials. File picture: Dan Rosenbaum/British Royal Navy via AP

July 7: Conservative Kyriakos Mitsotakis and his New Democracy party defeat leftist Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras in early Greek parliamentary elections.

July 11: The launch of a European Vega rocket carrying a satellite for the United Arab Emirates fails, causing record insurance losses of 400 million euros.

July 12: Turkey receives the first shipment of Russia's S-400 surface-to-air missile defence system despite US threats of sanctions.

July 12: Fighters of the al-Shabaab terror militia attack a hotel in the southern Somalian city of Kismayo, killing at least 29 people.

July 17: Mexican drug boss Joaquin 'El Chapo' Guzman is sentenced to life imprisonment after a trial in New York.

Joaquin "El Chapo" Guzman, the head of Mexico's Sinaloa Cartel, is escorted to a helicopter in Mexico City following his capture in the beach resort town of Mazatlan, Mexico, in 2014. File picture: Eduardo Verdugo/AP

July 18: An arson attack on an anime production studio in Kyoto, Japan, leaves 36 dead.

July 25: Approximately 150 drown after a boat carrying refugees capsizes off the coast of Libya, the worst shipwreck in the Mediterranean so far this year.

July 29: Hours of fighting between gangs leave 58 people dead in a prison in Altamira, Brazil. Sixteen of the victims are beheaded.

July 31: Russian president Vladmir Putin sends the military to combat a Siberian fire covering an area the size of Belgium.


August 1: Saudi women are allowed to travel without chaperones thanks to a royal decree.

August 2: The bilateral Intermediate-Range Nuclear Forces Treaty between Russia and the United States ends after the US initiates a withdrawal from the deal, alleging Russian violations.

August 3: An El Paso shooting at a shopping complex leaves 20 dead. One day later, nine people are shot in Dayton, Ohio.

August 4: A car bomb kills 20 people and the suicide bomber in Cairo. Authorities blame the Islamist terror organization Hasm.

August 5: India revokes the special constitutional status of Kashmir and splits the Muslim-majority region into two federally administered territories.

August 10: Typhoon Lekima hits eastern China and brings heavy rainfall after wreaking havoc in Japan and Taiwan. Tidal waves kill at least 45 people.

Rescuers search for victims of a landslide triggered by Typhoon Lekima in Yongjia county in eastern China's Zhejiang province on Saturday, August 10, 2019. File picture: Chinatopix via AP

August 10: Tens of thousands protest in Moscow against the exclusion of candidates in the city council elections. The ruling United Russia party obtains 25 of 45 seats, while the Communists take 13 in the September elections.

August 10: Almost 10,000 hectares burn after wildfires break out on the Spanish island of Gran Canaria. It takes 11 days to gain control of the fire.

August 10: Disgraced financier and convicted sex offender Jeffrey Epstein commits suicide in prison.

August 11: Conservative candidate Alejandro Giammattei wins the second round of Guatemala's presidential elections.

August 17: A suicide bombing claimed by Islamic State during a wedding in Kabul leaves at least 90 people dead.

August 19: Clouds of smoke gathering above Sao Paulo draw attention to the wildfires raging in Brazil's Amazon rainforest.

A fire in the Alvorada da Amazonia region, in Novo Progresso, Para state, Brazil. File picture: Leo Correa/AP

August 20: Italy's populist government collapses after far-right League party leader Matteo Salvini breaks the alliance with the anti-establishment Five Star Movement (M5S). The M5S forms a new allience with the centre-left Democratic Party.

August 20: Trump cancels a September 2-3 state visit to Denmark after the premiers of Greenland and Denmark rebuff his interest in buying Greenland.

August 29: Several ex-commanders of the former Colombian guerrilla group FARC announce they are taking up arms again, accusing the government of not implementing the 2016 peace agreement.

August 31: Germany's first two panda cubs are born in the Berlin zoo.


September 1: Hurricane Dorian hits the north of the Bahamas with sustained winds of about 300 km/h. It wreaks havoc for days before moving north: 65 people die and about 280 are missing.

September 10: Trump ousts national security adviser John Bolton after internal disagreements. He is succeeded by diplomat Robert O'Brien.

September 11: British scientists detect water vapour on the planet K2-18b, which is some 110 million light years away. It has eight times the mass of the earth and twice its diameter.

This artist's rendering provided by University College London Centre for Space Exochemistry Data researchers shows Exoplanet K2-18b, foreground, its host star and an accompanying planet in this system. In September 2019 the scientists announced they discovered water on the planet outside our solar system that has temperatures suitable for life. Picture: M. Kornmesser/ESA/Hubble via AP

September 13: Paris is paralysed by the biggest public transport strike in years, amid a protest about pension reforms.

September 14: Major facilities of Saudi oil giant Aramco are attacked by drones. Saudi Arabia and the US blame the attack on Iran.

September 19: A car bomb explodes in front of a hospital in Kalat in southern Afghanistan, killing 39. 

September 23: British tour operator Thomas Cook declares bankruptcy, leaving 150,000 British tourists stranded.

September 24: Britain's Supreme Court nullifies a suspension of Parliament, which Johnson had requested in a bid to ensure Brexit by October 31. Eventually a deal is struck to push Brexit to January 31.

September 24: An earthquake in northern Pakistan leaves 40 dead.

September 26: A 6.5-magnitude earthquake leaves 41 dead on Indonesia's Makulu islands.

September 27: Police rescue almost 400 children held captive in "dehumanizing" conditions in an Islamic school in northern Nigeria.


October 1: Peruvian President Martin Vizcarra dissolves Congress and promises to call fresh elections amid a power struggle with the legislature.

October 2: The World Trade Organization allows the United States to slap tariffs on 7.5 billion dollars' worth of EU imports as part of the spat over subsidies for aircraft rivals Boeing and Airbus. It is the largest punitive measure that the trade body has ever granted.

October 3: Protests erupt in Ecuador against the government's decision to lift 40-year-old fuel subsidies. Ten days later, President Lenin Moreno cancels the measure after the unrest claims several lives.

October 3: Four Paris police headquarters staff are killed in a knife rampage by a colleague, who is then shot dead by a sentry. Investigators suspect a terrorist motive.

October 6: Prime minster Antonio Costa's Socialists win Portugal's general elections. He forms a minority government.

October 6: Tunisia's moderate Islamist Ennahda movement wins legislative elections.

October 7: Trump orders US troops to withdraw from the Syrian Turkish border region. Two days later, Turkey launches a long-threatened military offensive there.

October 9: A heavily armed man fails to enter a synagogue in the German town of Halle on Yom Kippur, but goes on to kill two people.

October 10: Fires break out near Los Angeles, destroying 35 square kilometres of land and more than 100 houses. About 100,000 people have to flee.

October 12: Typhoon Hagibis hits Honshu, Japan's main island, killing 100 people.

Japan's Self-Defense Forces' members work to remove piled driftwood at a bridge after Typhoon Hagibis hits the town in Marumori, Miyagi prefecture. File picture: Kyodo News via AP

October 13: Polish legislative elections see a landslide victory of the ruling national conservative PiS party.

October 14: Spain's Supreme Court sentences nine Catalonian separatist leaders to prison for civil commotion, prompting protests.

October 14: Protests erupt in Chile against metro fare hikes. More than 20 people die during several weeks of demonstrations. President Sebastian Pinera cancels the fare hikes on October 19 and says on November 11 that he will support a constitutional reform.

October 18: A bomb explodes in a mosque during Friday prayers in eastern Afghanistan. The roof collapses and 73 are killed.

October 19: North Macedonian Prime Minister Zoran Zaev calls for early elections after EU leaders snub his country and Albania regarding accession talks.

October 20: Bolivians vote in presidential elections. President Evo Morales later claims to have won a fourth term in office, but resigns November 10 and flees after allegations of fraud unleash nationwide protests.

October 21: Despite multiple scandals, Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau's Liberal Party manages to hang on to power and form a minority government.

Police forensic officers attend the scene after a truck was found to contain a large number of dead bodies in Thurrock, South England. File picture: UK Pool via AP

October 23: A group of 39 Vietnamese nationals are found dead in a refrigerated lorry container close to London.

October 24: The remains of former Spanish dictator Francisco Franco are relocated from his opulent mausoleum north-west of Madrid.

October 26: Islamic State leader Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi takes his own life during a raid in north-east Syria.

October 27: Centre-left candidate Alberto Fernandez wins Argentina's presidential elections as voters punish conservative incumbent Mauricio Macri for the country's economic crisis.

October 29: Lebanon's Prime Minister Saad Hariri resigns, bowing to a key demand for nationwide anti-government protests.

October 31: A fire on the Japanese island of Okinawa destroys a major part of the historical castle Shuri, a world heritage site.

Investigators work at the site of a fire on historic Shuri Castle in Naha, Okinawa, southern Japan. File picture: Kyodo News via AP


November 4: The US officially submits its withdrawal from the Paris Agreement.

November 4: Liberal Ludovic Orban is elected new prime minister of Romania. His predecessor, social democrat Viorica Dancila, had been ousted in a no-confidence vote.

November 5: President Hassan Rowhani declares Iran's far-reaching withdrawal from the nuclear treaty of 2015.

November 5: Yemen's internationally recognized government and southern separatists sign in Riyadh a Saudi-brokered deal aimed at ending fighting between the two sides.

November 6: A group of 37 people are killed in Burkina Faso in an attack on a Canadian mining convoy.

November 7: The International Criminal Court convicts former Congolese rebel leader Bosco Ntaganda of war crimes. He is sentenced to 30 years in prison.

Congolese militia commander Bosco Ntaganda enters the courtroom of the International Criminal Court, or ICC, to hear the sentence in his trial in The Hague, Netherlands. The ICC delivered the sentence on Ntaganda, accused of overseeing the slaughter of civilians by his soldiers in the Democratic Republic of Congo in 2002 and 2003. File picture: Peter Dejong/AP

November 8: Former Brazilian president Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva is released from prison after serving 19 months on corruption charges.

November 8: Disastrous bush fires break out in eastern Australia destroying 16,000 square kilometres in the state of New South Wales. At least six people die.

November 13: Venice is hit by its worst flooding in more than 50 years. The lagoon's famous St Mark's Square is inundated.

Cafè tables and chairs are partially covered in water during a high tide of 1.44 meters (4.72 feet), in St. Mark's Square, in Venice, Italy. Picture: Luigi Costantini/AP

November 14: The former Soviet republic of Moldova appoints a prime minister backed by the pro-Russian president, following the collapse of a pro-EU government.

November 15: A drastic increase in fuel prices sparks upheavals in south-west Iran. The death toll ranges from nine to 100.

November 16: Former Sri Lankan defence secretary Gotabhaya Rajapaksa, who spearheaded the military campaign against Tamil rebels in 2009, is elected the country's new president.

November 16: Britain's Prince Andrew denies having sexually abused an underage call girl. After the interview, the prince resigns from all royal duties.

November 17: Saudi Arabian company Aramco kicks of a long-awaited initial public offering on 1.5 per cent of its shares.

November 18: US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo declares Israel's settlements in the West Bank are no longer considered a violation of international law.

November 21: Israel's attorney general indicts Prime Minster Benjamin Netanyahu for corruption and breach of trust.

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu attends the weekly cabinet meeting at his office in Jerusalem, Israel. (Abir Sultan /Pool photo via AP)

November 24: Opposition pro-democracy forces claim Hong Kong's district council elections with a landslide victory.

November 24: Conservative Luis Lacalle Pou is elected president of Uruguay, ending 14 years of leftist rule.

November 25: Priceless jewels are stolen from the Green Vault museum in Dresden. Investigators suspect two robbers broke in through a window.

People walk in front of the Residenzschloss, Residence Palace, a day after thieves broke into the Green Vault at the building, one of the world’s oldest museums, in Dresden, Germany. Picture: Sebastian Kahnert/dpa via AP

November 25: A bible printed by the historical Johannes Gutenberg press in 1462 is sold at an auction in Hamburg, Germany. A Swiss collector pays 1.05 million euros for two volumes.

November 26: An earthquake strikes densely populated western Albania's Adriatic coast, killing 50 and injuring more than 700.

November 28: Talks between the US and Taliban, which began in February but were then called off in September by Trump after an attack in Kabul are apparently back on, Trump announces during a visit to Afghanistan.

November 29: Iraqi Prime Minister Adel Abdel-Mahdi, facing weeks-long street protests, announces his intention to step down a day after hundreds of anti-government demonstrators were killed.


December 9: The World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA) bans Russia from major sports events for four years, including the 2020 Olympics, 2022 Winter Games and 2022 football World Cup.

December 9: At least 16 die and dozens are badly burned when a marine volcano on New Zealand's White Island erupts.

December 10: Sanna Marin will be Finland's - and perhaps the world's - youngest premier at age 34. She takes office less than eight months after the last elections, which saw the Social Democrats briefly in power before losing a coalition partner.

Social democrats minister Sanna Marin speaks to the media after she was elected as Prime Minister of Finland. Picture: Heikki Saukkomaa/Lehtikuva via AP

December 11: The region of Bougainville votes for independence from Papua New Guinea.

December 12: Russia expels two German diplomats in a tit-for-tat measure amid German allegations that the Russian state was behind the broad daylight shooting of a Georgian man of Chechen origin in a central Berlin park.

December 13: Johnson leads his Conservatives to a decisive victory in British elections.

December 13: The US and China announce an agreement on cooling a trade dispute that has been threatening to upend the global economy.

December 18: Fiat-Chrysler and PSA (Peugeot-Citroen-Opel) agree to a merger that would create the world's fourth-largest carmaker.

December 19: The US House of Representatives votes to impeach Trump for telling Ukraine it would only get US aid if it opened an investigation into Joe Biden.


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