Key events in 2016
Here are some of the main events that marked the past 12 months.
– January –
– 8: MEXICO – Crime boss Joaquin “El Chapo” Guzman is arrested six months after a spectacular prison escape.
– 10: MUSIC – Death of David Bowie.
– 15: BURKINA FASO – 30 people, mainly westerners, are killed during a raid claimed by the Al-Qaeda-linked Al-Murabitoun group on a hotel and restaurant in Ouagadougou.
– 16: IRAN – Iran’s historic nuclear deal with global powers comes into force. Under the deal, all nuclear-related sanctions against Iran are lifted. In return, Tehran accepts curbs on a programme that Western powers feared would pave the way for atomic weapons.
– 16: TAIWAN – Tsai Ing-wen of Taiwan’s main opposition party is voted the island’s first female president, winning a landslide victory over the ruling Kuomintang, as voters reject closer China ties.
– February –
– 11: SCIENCE – Scientists say they have glimpsed gravitational waves predicted by Albert Einstein.
– 12: VATICAN – In Cuba, Pope Francis meets Russian Orthodox Patriarch Kirill — the first such meeting between the heads of their two branches of the Church in nearly 1,000 years.
– March –
– 13: IVORY COAST – An attack claimed by Al-Qaeda in the Islamic Maghreb (AQIM) leaves 19 dead in a seaside resort near Abidjan.
– 18: TURKEY/EU – Turkish and EU leaders agree a deal to curb the huge flow of asylum-seekers to Europe, aimed at easing the biggest migration crisis since World War II.
– 20-22: US/CUBA – US President Barack Obama holds talks with Cuban counterpart Raul Castro in Havana, setting aside a bitter standoff between the United States and the communist island that had lasted more than 50 years.
– 22: BELGIUM – Suicide bombings at Brussels airport and a metro station blamed on a cell linked to the jihadist Islamic State group kill 32 people.
– 27: PAKISTAN – A Taliban suicide bomber attacks a Pakistani park crowded with families on Easter Sunday, killing 75 including many children.
– 30: MYANMAR – Aung San Suu Kyi’s democracy movement takes power after 50 years of military rule in Myanmar, with a close aide of the Nobel Peace Laureate sworn in as president.
– 30: LIBYA – A UN-backed Government of National Accord (GNA) takes up office in Tripoli headed by prime minister designate Fayez al-Sarraj, three months after a power-sharing agreement was signed.
– April –
– 3: PANAMA PAPERS – A massive leak of 11.5 million documents allegedly exposes the secret offshore dealings of aides to Russian President Vladimir Putin, world leaders and celebrities including Barcelona’s Lionel Messi.
– 16: ECUADOR – A devastating 7.8-magnitude quake in Ecuador kills more than 670 people and leaves almost 6,300 injured.
– May –
– 9: PHILIPPINES – Firebrand Philippine politician Rodrigo Duterte secures a landslide presidential victory built on foul-mouthed populist tirades.
– 21: AFGHANISTAN – Taliban chief Mullah Akhtar Mansour is killed in a US air strike, in a blow to the resurgent militant movement.
– 27: US/JAPAN – Obama pays tribute to victims of the world’s first atomic bomb and calls for an end to nuclear weapons as he makes a historic visit to the Japanese city of Hiroshima.
– 30: CHAD – Former president Hissene Habre is sentenced to life in prison for war crimes by a special African court in Dakar.
– June –
– 4: BOXING – Death of triple world champion Muhammad Ali.
– 12: UNITED STATES – Forty-nine people are killed when a gunman, who pledged allegiance to the Islamic State group, opens fire and seizes hostages at a popular gay nightclub in Orlando, Florida. The gunman is killed in a shootout with police.
– 23: BRITAIN – Britain votes by almost 52 percent to leave the European Union in a shock referendum result. Prime Minister David Cameron steps down and is replaced in July by Theresa May.
– 28: TURKEY – Forty-seven people are killed and more than 200 injured in a triple suicide bombing and gun attack at Istanbul’s main airport, one of a series of bloody attacks in the country blamed on IS or Kurdish guerrillas.
– July –
– 3: IRAQ – More than 300 people are killed when a suicide car bomber attacks a busy shopping area in Baghdad. The blast is claimed by IS.
– 8-11: SOUTH SUDAN – At least 300 people die in clashes between forces backing President Salva Kiir and rival Riek Machar.
– 14: FRANCE – A Tunisian national rams a truck into people celebrating Bastille Day in Nice, killing 86. IS claims the attack.
– 15: TURKEY – A rogue military faction tries unsuccessfully to oust President Recep Tayyip Erdogan.
– 23: AFGHANISTAN – IS jihadists claim responsibility for twin explosions that rip through crowds of Shiite Hazaras in Kabul, killing 85 people in the deadliest attack in the Afghan capital since 2001.
– 26: AVIATION – Solar Impulse 2 becomes the first aircraft to circle the globe powered only by the sun.
– August –
– 5: OLYMPIC GAMES – The Rio summer Olympic Games open in Brazil, the first time they are held in Latin America.
– 9: RUSSIA/TURKEY/SYRIA – Russia’s Putin and Turkish counterpart Erdogan hold their first meeting since a bitter feud erupted over Ankara’s downing of a Russian warplane over the Turkey-Syria border. At the meeting in Saint Petersburg they pledge to reinvigorate ties.
– 24: ITALY – A powerful quake hits mountain villages in a remote area straddling the Italian regions of Umbria, Marche and Lazio. The small mountain town of Amatrice bears the brunt of the earthquake that kills 297 people and injures hundreds more.
– 24: SYRIA/TURKEY – Turkey launches an offensive in Syria aimed at Kurdish rebels and IS fighters.
– 31: BRAZIL – President Dilma Rousseff is impeached for illegally manipulating the national budget. She is replaced by bitter rival Michel Temer.
– September –
– 1: VENEZUELA – Mass street protests take place in Venezuela, with the opposition seeking a recall referendum against socialist President Nicolas Maduro.
– 4: VATICAN – Pope Francis declares Mother Teresa of Kolkata a saint.
– 9: NORTH KOREA – Pyongyang carries out its fifth and most powerful nuclear test to date.
– 28: ISRAEL – Death of former president and Nobel laureate Shimon Peres.
– 30: SPACE – Europe’s Rosetta spacecraft concludes a 12-year odyssey with a controlled crash-landing onto the comet it orbited and probed for two years in a quest to demystify the Solar System’s origins.
– October –
– 4: HAITI – Hurricane Matthew leaves more than 540 dead in Haiti, devastating the south-west of the country.
– 8: YEMEN – More than 140 people are killed when air strikes by the Saudi-led coalition supporting Yemeni President Abedrabbo Mansour Hadi against Huthi rebels hit a funeral ceremony.
– 13: MUSIC – The Nobel Literature Prize is awarded to US singer/songwriter Bob Dylan.
– 17: IRAQ – Iraqi forces launch an offensive aimed at retaking Mosul, IS’s last stronghold in the country. Since the launch of the assault, more than 100,000 people have fled the fighting.
– November –
– 8: UNITED STATES – Republican billionaire Donald Trump defeats Hillary Clinton to take the US presidency, stunning America and the world in an explosive upset fuelled by a wave of grassroots anger.
– 24: COLOMBIA – President Juan Manuel Santos, the 2016 Nobel Peace Prize laureate, and FARC guerrilla leader Rodrigo “Timochenko” Londono sign a new peace deal to end their half-century conflict.
– 25: CUBA – Death of revolutionary leader Fidel Castro.
– December –
– 1: THAILAND – Maha Vajiralongkorn is crowned king following the death in October of his father, Bhumibol Adulyadej, who had reigned for 70 years.
– 1: GAMBIA – Adama Barrow wins the presidential election. Incumbent Yahya Jammeh initially accepts defeat before challenging the vote a week later.
– 1: FRANCE – Socialist President Francois Hollande announces he will not seek re-election next year.
– 4: ITALY – Italian voters overwhelmingly reject constitutional reform proposals in a referendum. Prime Minister Matteo Renzi resigns and is replaced by Paolo Gentiloni.
– 4: AUSTRIA – At a re-run presidential election Greens-backed independent Alexander Van der Bellen beats Norbert Hofer, who had sought to become Europe’s first far-right president.
– 7: GHANA – Opposition leader Nana Akufo-Addo wins the presidential election.
– 9: SOUTH KOREA – Lawmakers impeach President Park Geun-Hye over a corruption scandal.
– 11: TURKEY – Twin bombings kill 44 people near an Istanbul football stadium in an attack claimed by a Kurdish militant group.
– 12: UN – Portugal’s Antonio Guterres is sworn in as the ninth UN secretary general.
– 19: GERMANY – A commandeered lorry smashes into the crowd in Berlin’s Christmas market, killing at least 12 people. The main suspect is shot dead by police in Milan, northern Italy four days later.
– 19: TURKEY/RUSSIA – Russian ambassador Andrei Karlov is killed in Ankara by an off-duty policeman to avenge victims of Aleppo in Syria. The policeman is shot dead as well.
– 22: SYRIA – Regime forces recapture the entire northern city of Aleppo, in their biggest victory against rebels. Since March 2011, the country’s civil war has killed more than 310,000 people.
– 23: UN – The Security Council demands that Israel halt settlement activities in Palestinian territory, as the US refrains from using its veto.
– 25: RUSSIA/SYRIA – A Russian military plane on its way to Syria crashes into the Black Sea near Sochi with 92 people on board.
– 27: JAPAN/US: Obama and Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe make a joint pilgrimage to Pearl Harbor, where a Japanese attack dragged the United States into World War II.
– 28: ISRAEL/PALESTINIANS/US: US Secretary of State John Kerry says the only way to secure a lasting peace between Israel and Palestinians is to negotiate a two-state solution to their conflict. Israel slams the speech as “biased”.
– 29: SYRIA/RUSSIA – Putin announces a nationwide ceasefire deal to come into effect across Syria from midnight and that the warring parties have agreed to sit down for peace talks.