2019: A look back at a year of global turmoil
A look back at the explosion of demonstrations across the world as people demanded change, as well as other events that marked the year.
PARIS - The year 2019 saw an explosion of demonstrations across the world as people demanded an overhaul of entrenched political systems and action on climate change.
Here is a look back at these and other events that marked the year.
PROTESTS SWEEP LATIN AMERICA
On 23 January, Venezuela's opposition chief Juan Guaido declares himself interim president, escalating a long-running political and economic crisis.
Members of the Bolivarian National Guard who joined Venezuelan opposition leader and self-proclaimed acting president Juan Guaido fire into the air to repel forces loyal to President Nicolas Maduro who arrived to disperse a demonstration near La Carlota military base in Caracas on 30 April 2019. Picture: AFP
He is recognised by more than 50 countries, including the United States. But the army backs President Nicolas Maduro and he remains in his post.
Major demonstrations erupt in Haiti in mid-September, after fuel shortages, and demand the resignation of President Jovenel Moise. Violence claims more than 40 lives.
A metro ticket hike in Chile's capital mid-October is the trigger for protests which claim more than 20 lives before a referendum on reforms is agreed.
Bolivia is gripped by three weeks of demonstrations after President Evo Morales claims to win a fourth term on 20 October. Dozens are killed. Morales resigns on 10 November and flees into exile as the government works on new elections.
Ecuador is paralysed by nearly two weeks of protests in October and in Colombia strikes and demonstrations against the right-wing government begin mid-November.
Ecuadorian protesters march against President Lenin Moreno's decision to slash fuel subsidies, in Quito on 9 October 2019. Picture: AFP
MIDDLE EAST FURY
On 22 February, unprecedented protests break out in Algeria against a fifth term for frail President Abdelaziz Bouteflika, in power for 20 years.
He loses the army's backing and resigns on 2 April. But demonstrations continue, demanding an overhaul of the entire political establishment and rejecting elections under the current system.
In Sudan, the military on 11 April ends Omar al-Bashir's three decades in power, a key demand in four months of nationwide protests.
Demonstrations continue until a hard-won agreement in August sets up a joint governing council to oversee a transition to civilian rule. More than 250 people are killed, demonstrators say.
Sudan's deposed military ruler Omar al-Bashir sits in a defendant's cage during his corruption trial in Khartoum on 24 August 2019. Picture: AFP
In Iraq, mass demonstrations erupt on 1 October against unemployment, corruption and poor public services, degenerating into violence that claims more than 420 lives.
On 1 December, parliament accepts the government's resignation.
In Lebanon, rolling mass demonstrations start on 17 October, triggered by plans for a messaging app tax and turning against the political elite. They continue even after Prime Minister Saad Hariri resigns on 29 October.
Lebanese protesters gather next to burning tyres to block the southern entrance of the capital of north Lebanon Tripoli, as anti-government demonstrations continued on 12 November 2019 across the country. Picture: AFP
Iran sees an explosion of riots on 15 November after a fuel price hike. Authorities crush the unrest but Amnesty International says more than 200 people were killed, most shot by security forces.
BOEING MAX GROUNDED
A March 10 Ethiopian Airlines crash leads to the global grounding of Boeing 737 MAX planes. It follows a Lion Air crash involving the same model six months earlier, with 346 lives lost in the two incidents.
Rescue team members carry bodies in bags at the crash site of an Ethiopian Airlines Boeing 737 MAX near Bishoftu, some 60 kilometres southeast of Addis Ababa, Ethiopia, on 10 March 2019. Picture: AFP
Boeing faces investigations and lawsuits, and is made to upgrade its systems, in a crisis that costs it billions of dollars.
Britain misses its 29 March deadline for leaving the European Union, as another year of Brexit turmoil leads Prime Minister Theresa May to leave office on 7 June.
Britain's Prime Minister Theresa May announces her resignation outside 10 Downing Street in central London. Picture: AFP.
Her successor Boris Johnson is forced to ask the EU to again push back the deadline, now the end of January, and calls elections on 12 December in a bid to break the deadlock.
FIRST BLACK HOLE PHOTO
On 10 April, astronomers unveil the first photo of a black hole, a phenomenon they were convinced existed even if it had never been seen before.
Drawn from mountains of data captured two years earlier by telescopes across the world, it shows a supermassive black hole 50 million light years away.
Scientists have obtained the first image of a black hole using Event Horizon Telescope observations of the centre of the galaxy M87. Picture: eventhorizontelescope.org
On 15 April, flames destroy the spire and roof of Paris's beloved Notre-Dame cathedral but firefighters manage to save the gothic building, while many of its arts, relics and other treasures are rescued.
Amid a global outpouring of emotion, nearly one billion euros is pledged for its reconstruction.
Smoke and flames rise during a fire at the landmark Notre-Dame Cathedral. Picture: AFP
On 8 May, Tehran announces its first step back from the 2015 nuclear accord - exactly a year after the United States quit the deal and reimposed sanctions.
Over the next months Iran re-engages components of its nuclear programme that it had halted, including uranium enrichment.
Tensions mount when Washington blames Tehran for a series of attacks on oil tankers in the Gulf from mid-May.
On 14 September, Iran is again blamed when major Saudi oil facilities are attacked by Yemen's Huthi rebels, which it supports. It denies involvement.
Smoke billows from an Aramco oil facility in Abqaiq about 60km southwest of Dhahran in Saudi Arabia's eastern province on 14 September 2019. Picture: AFP.
HONG KONG ERUPTS
On 9 June, anger in Hong Kong over a bill that would allow extradition to China erupts into violence for the first time.
Over the next weeks pro-democracy protests harden into major street battles in the former British colony that returned to Chinese rule in 1997.
China reacts furiously on 28 November when US President Donald Trump signs a law supporting the protesters.
A man holds a placard as protesters wave US national flags while they march from Chater Garden to the US consulate in Hong Kong on 8 September 2019, to call on the US to pressure Beijing to meet their demands and for Congress to pass a recently proposed bill that expresses support for the protest movement. Picture: AFP
HOTTEST MONTH EVER
July temperatures were the hottest ever recorded, US and European Union authorities announce in August.
Temperature records rise in Europe and the North Pole, and in August, Iceland loses its first glacier to climate change.
Fires ravage Brazil's Amazon and Australia, while Venice is swamped by flooding not seen in decades.
Flames from an out-of-control bushfire seen from a nearby residential area in Harrington, some 335 kilometers northeast of Sydney. Picture: AFP
The extreme weather feeds climate concerns, and rallies for action, initiated by Swedish teen activist Greta Thunberg, spread across the planet.
BIG TECH TACKLED
On 24 July, US regulators fine Facebook a record $5 billion for data protection violations amid mounting concerns about the dominance of it and other internet giants Apple, Amazon and Google.
Criticised for failing to protect consumers and over tax and advertising issues, the tech titans come under pressure to reform, with threats of investigation, fines and even dismantlement.
On 2 August, the United States officially quits the Cold War-era Intermediate-Range Nuclear Forces treaty (INF) with Russia.
Trump's "America First" regime also strikes out alone by pursuing trade wars with China and the European Union and withdrawing from the Paris accord on climate change.
TRUMP IMPEACHMENT BID
On 24 September, the Democratic Party launches an impeachment inquiry into Trump after claims he pressured Ukraine to investigate Joe Biden, a rival in his 2020 re-election bid.
The hearings by a Democratic-controlled committee call in White House officials and diplomats as witnesses, although any conviction would be unlikely to pass the Republican-controlled Senate.
Top US diplomat in Ukraine William Taylor (R) and George Kent (L), the deputy assistant secretary of state for European and Eurasian Affairs testify during the House Intelligence Committee on Capitol Hill in Washington, DC on 13 November 2019. Picture: AFP
TURKEY MOVES IN SYRIA
On 9 October, Turkey launches an offensive into northern Syria to push back from the border Kurdish fighters it considers "terrorists".
Two days earlier Trump had announced the withdrawal of US troops in the area, leading to charges that Washington had abandoned Kurdish allies who were vital in the battle against Islamic State (IS) jihadists.
Turkey halts its operation on 23 October after the United States and Russia agree in separate deals to ensure the fighters leave the border region.
Tanks lined up as Turkish soldiers and Turkey-backed Syrian fighters deploy near the Turkish village of Akcakale along the border with Syria on 11 October 2019, as they prepare to take part in the Turkish-led assault on northeastern Syria. Picture: AFP
IS LEADER KILLED
On 27 October, Trump announces that IS leader Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi was killed in a US special forces raid in Syria, blowing himself up as he was pursued.
After a five-year offensive to seize territory in Iraq and Syria, the jihadists were driven out of their last bastion in March by Kurdish-led forces.
This file image grab taken on 5 July 2014 from a propaganda video released by al-Furqan Media allegedly shows the leader of the Islamic State jihadist group, Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi. Picture: AFP