Here are the main developments of the year month by month, and day by day:
– A total of 59 people are affected by the “mysterious disease” COVID-19 that breaks out in China’s central city of Wuhan.
– Interpol sends Beirut an arrest warrant and a red notice regarding ex-Nissan CEO Carlos Ghosn, who fled from Japan to Lebanon.
– A US airstrike kills Qasem Soleimani, the commander of Iran’s Revolutionary Guards’ Quds Forces. and Abu Mahdi al-Muhandis, vice-president of the Hashd al-Shaabi group.
– Iran announces that it will no longer comply with any commitments under the 2015 nuclear deal signed with several world powers.
– At least 56 mourners are killed and 213 others injured in a stampede during the funeral for Gen. Soleimani in Iran.
– Socialist politician Pedro Sanchez forms a progressive government, Spain’s first-ever coalition government.
– Iran targets Ain al-Asad airbase housing the US and coalition troops with dozens of missiles; while Iranian authorities claim at least 80 US soldiers were killed, US authorities deny any casualties.
– A Boeing 737-type passenger plane belonging to Ukraine International Airport crashes near Iran’s capital Tehran, killing all 167 passengers and nine crew members on board.
– The duke and duchess of Sussex, Prince Harry and his wife Meghan Markle, say they will step back as senior members of the British Royal family and work to become financially independent while continuing to fully support Queen Elizabeth II.
– The UK House of Commons approves the EU Withdrawal Bill, also known as Brexit, paving the way for full legislation.
– A total of 89 people are killed in a rocket attack on a UN military base near the Niger-Mali border.
– Oman’s Sultan Qaboos bin Said dies at age 79 after ruling the country for 50 years.
– Egyptian police raid Cairo office of Anadolu Agency and detain four employees, including Turkish citizen Hilmi Balci.
– The International Court of Justice delivers verdict on Rohingya Muslims, urging Myanmar to take preventive measures and ensure that Rohingya in the country are not harmed.
– NBA legend Kobe Bryant (41) and his daughter Gianna (13) along with seven more die in a helicopter crash outside Los Angeles due to foggy weather.
– US President Donald Trump explains his so-called peace plan for the Middle East to end Israel-Palestine conflict in White House press conference with Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu.
– The UK leaves the European Union after 47 years of membership.
– The US Senate passes a resolution seeking to curtail President Donald Trump’s ability to wage war on Iran.
– Afghan President Ashraf Thani is declared the winner of elections held in September 2019.
– Nine people are killed and five wounded in a xenophobic terrorist act on two cafés in Hanau, western Germany. The suspected mass shooter Tobias R. (43) and his 72-year-old mother are later found dead in an apartment.
– A total of 53 civilians die in four days in Indian capital New Delhi in protests against citizenship law meant to welcome six religious groups from Pakistan, Afghanistan, and Bangladesh while excluding Muslims in the same conditions.
– Egypt’s former President Mohamed Hosni Mubarak dies following years of illness at age 91.
– The UK takes steps in parliament to make membership in TAK and HPG terrorist groups illegal, both of them offshoots from the terrorist PKK.
– The US signs a deal with the Taliban laying out a timetable for a full troop withdrawal from Afghanistan.
– UN peace envoy to Libya Ghassan Salame resigns due to failed efforts to “restrain foreign interference” in the war-torn country.
– The last patient receiving treatment for the Ebola outbreak, which killed 2,264 people since August 2018, is discharged from hospital in the Democratic Republic of Congo.
– A total of 728 people in Iran lose their lives in March and April due to consumption of toxic alcohol after rumors spread that alcohol prevents from contracting COVID-19.
– The State Duma, Russia’s lower chamber of parliament, passes constitutional change allowing one person to serve as president for more than two consecutive terms.
– World Health Organization declares coronavirus a global pandemic.
– Dead bodies of 64 people believed to be migrants from Ethiopia are found in a container attached to a truck in the southern African state of Mozambique.
– A total of 92 Chadian soldiers are killed in an attack by members of the Boko Haram terrorist group on an army base in Chad.
– North Macedonia becomes the 30th member of NATO.
– Former Libyan Prime Minister Mahmoud Jibril dies from coronavirus.
– UK Prime Minister Boris Johnson is admitted to hospital for tests, 10 days after testing positive for coronavirus. Johnson is discharged on April 12.
– China for the first time did not announce deaths due to coronavirus. Quarantine is lifted in Wuhan, where the virus first occurred.
– Organization for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons holds Assad regime responsible for 2017 chemical attack in Syrian town of Ltamenah.
– Chad neutralizes 1,000 terrorists in operation against terrorist organization Boko Haram.
– 100 Taliban Islamist militants are released from prison after peace deal reached between the US and Taliban.
– Libya’s UN-recognized Government of National Accord (GNA) regains control of 3,000 km (1,864 miles) of land west of the capital Tripoli from militias loyal to warlord Khalifa Haftar.
– President Donald Trump halts US funding of the World Health Organization (WHO), alleging it has failed to do its basic duty against the pandemic.
– Mass shooter in Nova Scotia, Canada province kills 23 people.
– Trump instructs US Navy to shoot down and destroy Iranian gunboats that harass US ships.
– Hossein Salami, commander-in-chief of the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps, orders the shooting down of US warships in the Persian Gulf if the security of Iranian civil or military vessels are threatened.
– All coronavirus patients have been discharged from hospitals in Wuhan, China, where the virus was first detected last December.
– Warlord Khalifa Haftar unilaterally declares himself the ruler of Libya, saying agreement signed by warring sides in Libya under UN auspices has “lost its rule.”
– 20 civilians in Afrin, Syria lose their lives in terrorist attack with a bomb-laden fuel tanker.
– Death toll from floods due to torrential rains in Kenya reaches at least 285.
– US President Donald Trump claims he saw evidence that COVID-19 came out of a laboratory in Wuhan, but declines to share it.
– The World Health Organization (WHO) announces that no evidence has been provided to support claims that the source of the COVID-19 outbreak is from a laboratory in Wuhan, China.
– Syrian Network for Human Rights reports 855 medical personnel were killed in the civil war in Syria, 669 of them by Assad regime forces.
– Felicien Kabuga, accused by the International Criminal Court (ICC) of involvement in the deaths of thousands of people in the Rwandan genocide, is caught in Paris.
– The family of journalist Jamal Khashoggi, who was murdered in the Saudi Consulate in Istanbul, Turkey, announces that they forgive those responsible.
– Pakistan International Airlines (PIA) flight PK-8303, traveling from Lahore, crashes into a residential area near Jinnah International Airport while landing with 99 passengers and crew on board.
– George Floyd dies after Minneapolis police officer Derek Chauvin pins his neck to the ground for nearly nine minutes, despite Floyd’s repeated pleas that he could not breathe.
– China passes a new national security law for Hong Kong set to rein in the semi-autonomous region after months of protests last year.
– The EU decides to extend sanctions on the Assad regime for another year.
– Minneapolis, Minnesota Mayor Jacob Frey imposes mandatory curfew due to ongoing protests over the death of George Floyd. Officer Derek Chauvin was taken into custody by the Bureau of Criminal Apprehension four days after Floyd’s death.
– The US is ending its relationship with the World Health Organization (WHO), President Donald Trump announces, following months-long review, alleging they have failed to make requested and greatly needed reforms.
– Israeli forces shot dead a mentally disabled Palestinian man in East Jerusalem.
– East Jerusalem’s Al-Aqsa Mosque reopened after more than two months of closure due to coronavirus pandemic.
– Two-day curfew goes into effect as Washington continues to face nightly demonstrations that sometimes involve violence and looting.
– Libyan army liberates Tripoli airport from militia loyal to warlord Khalifa Haftar.
– Spanish government extends pandemic state of alarm, for the sixth time, until June 21.
– New Zealand Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern announces recovery of all COVID-19 patients in the country.
– Hundreds of mourners gather in Houston, Texas for George Floyd’s final public viewing, two weeks after he was killed in police custody.
– Norwegian court sentences Philip Manshaus, who attacked a mosque in 2019, up to 21 years in prison.
– North Korea attacks and blows up inter-Korean liaison office along the border with South Korea.
– Twenty Indian soldiers die in border clashes with Chinese troops in the northern Himalayan region of Ladakh.
– UN General Assembly elects former Turkish Ambassador Volkan Bozkir to be its president ahead of 75th General Assembly in September.
– Malawi opposition leader Lazarus Chakwera wins presidential election.
– Following car bomb explosion, 23 civilians are killed in rocket attack on marketplace in southern Afghanistan.
– Libyan army says 208 corpses have been found in mass graves over the past 23 days south of the capital Tripoli and in the city of Tarhuna.
– In referendum, nearly 78% of Russian voters approve of constitutional changes that allow President Vladimir Putin to hold his post until 2036.
– Brazil’s President Jair Bolsonaro tests positive for coronavirus.
– Mayor of Seoul, South Korea is found dead in forest area in the city’s north after his family reports him missing.
– US bars senior officials in China from entering the country over oppression and violence against Uighur community in its northwestern region of Xinjiang and other Muslim minorities.
– Seven Azerbaijani soldiers, including one major general, are martyred in border clashes with Armenian troops.
– US President Donald Trump signs executive order stripping Hong Kong of its special status under US law, and mandating sanctions on Chinese administrators amid China’s decision to apply a controversial security law to Hong Kong.
– Armenian army attempts to attack Azerbaijani positions on the border, opens fire on residential areas.
– Thousands of people hold demonstration in Thai capital Bangkok against government led by Prime Minister Prayut Chan-o-cha to demand elections, a new constitution, and abolition of repressive laws.
– US Commerce Department restricts 11 Chinese entities’ access to US technologies over their involvement in human rights abuses against Uighur minority in Xinjiang, northwestern China.
– US asks China to evacuate its consulate in Houston, Texas, accusing diplomats of involvement in economic espionage.
– As part of its first mission to Mars, called Tianwen-1, China launches exploration spacecraft, including orbiter and rover robots, to the Red Planet.
– China orders the US to close its consulate in Chengdu in the Sichuan Province in retaliation after US decision to close Chinese Consulate in Houston, Texas.
– Under the Caesar Syria Civilian Protection Act, the US sanctions some Syrians, including Bashar al-Assad’s adult son Hafez al-Assad.
– NASA launches its Perseverance rover into space, beginning its roughly seven-month journey to Mars.
– US blacklists two Chinese government officials and a paramilitary group accused of being instrumental in Beijing’s crackdown on Turkic-Muslim Uighurs in Xinjiang, northwestern China.
– US President Donald Trump gives prospective buyers of Chinese-owned video app TikTok’s US operations until Sept. 15 to forge a deal, threatening to otherwise ban the video app in the country.
– Explosion of tanker loaded with ammonium nitrate in Lebanon’s Port of Beirut kills hundreds while causing severe damage to the environment.
– Students and democracy advocates in Thailand protest for reform of the monarchy and limiting the powers of King Maha Vajiralongkorn.
– Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi attends groundbreaking ceremony of controversial Hindu temple to be built in place of historic Babri Mosque.
– US imposes sanctions on Hong Kong Chief Executive Carrie Lam and 10 other current and former officials for allegedly “undermining Hong Kong’s autonomy.”
– US Health Secretary Alex Azar visits Taiwan, which is in dispute with China. The visit is the highest official visit to Taiwan since 1979, when Washington established diplomatic relations with Beijing.
– Over 2,000 people are arrested in Belarus as protests continue for a second day after incumbent Alexander Lukashenko was declared winner of presidential election.
– In West African country of Mali, putschist soldiers detain President Ibrahim Boubacar Keita and some government ministers.
– Keita announces his resignation.
– US imposes new restrictions on certain Chinese state-owned enterprises and executives for “malign activities” in the South China Sea.
– Terrorist Brenton Tarrant, 29, who in 2019 killed 51 Muslim worshippers and injured 49 others in New Zealand’s deadliest shooting, is sentenced to life in prison without the possibility of parole in the first such ruling ever handed down in the country.
– Japan’s Prime Minister Shinzo Abe steps down from post he held for 12 years due to health concerns.
– Assimi Goita, head of the military junta in Mali, is declared president by putschists.
– The number of daily COVID-19 cases in China reaches 85,146 since its emergence in December 2019.
– Saudi Public Prosecution convicts eight people for the murder of journalist Jamal Khashoggi, who was killed in the Saudi Consulate in Istanbul in 2018. Five were sentenced to 20 years in prison, while three others received jail sentences between seven and 10 years.
– Former Serbian commander Ratko Djurkovic, wanted for war crimes against Bosniak civilians during the 1992-1995 Bosnian War, is captured in the town of Ugljevik in northeastern Bosnia and Herzegovina.
– The World Wildlife Fund (WWF) reports that the world’s wildlife population has declined by an average of 68% over the past 46 years.
– US President Trump announces that Israel and Bahrain controversially agreed to establish full diplomatic relations in a second breakthrough between Israel and its Arab neighbors after it normalized ties with the United Arab Emirates last month.
– Astronomers detect phosphine gas in Venus’ atmosphere in what could be a major scientific breakthrough in the search for extraterrestrial life.
– The US blocks imports from China of certain goods, including cotton, computer parts, apparel, and hair products, over allegations that they were manufactured using forced labor in Beijing’s Uighur “re-education camps.”
– Japan’s parliament elects Yoshihide Suga, a close confidante of outgoing Prime Minister Shinzo Abe, as the country’s new prime minister.
– Azerbaijani army launches counterattack after Armenian forces opened fire on civilian settlements near Nagorno-Karabakh.
– United Nations ratifies maritime border agreement reached last fall between Turkey and Libya.
– Saudi authorities re-open Muslim holy places for Umrah pilgrimage after six-month hiatus due to novel coronavirus.
– People in Kyrgyzstan hold mass protests against results of Oct. 4 parliamentary elections. Protestors break into presidential palace, parliament, and other buildings, freeing former President Almazbek Atambayev from prison. Kyrgyzstan’s election authority annuls the election results, and Prime Minister Kubatbek Boronov and Parliament Speaker Dastan Jumabekov step down.
– Abandoned town of Maras in the Turkish Cypriot city of Gazimagusa partially reopened for public use after 46 years.
– Nobel Peace Prize awarded this year to UN World Food Program for its efforts to combat hunger, the Norwegian Nobel Committee announces.
– Dutch government plans to allow the active termination of life, or euthanasia, for terminally ill children from age 1 to age 12.
– Prime Minister Ersin Tatar wins presidential runoff in the Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus (TRNC) with 51.69% of the vote.
– UN headquarters in Geneva announces reaching of permanent truce by two Libyan delegations to 5+5 Joint Military Commission talks.
– US President Donald Trump officially notifies Congress he intends to remove Sudan from US State Sponsor of Terrorism list.
– NASA announces that it has confirmed presence of water on the sunlit surface of the Moon, marking a historic discovery with potential implications for US plans to send a manned crew to Mars.
– UK announces second national lockdown in the country amid COVID-19 pandemic.
– Kosovo President Hashim Thaci announces resignation after a war crimes indictment in The Hague was accepted by the court. Thaci is arrested and transferred to detention facilities.
– European Union adds Belarusian President Alexander Lukashenko and 14 other officials on its sanction list for “ongoing repression.”
– Victory declared of Democrat Joe Biden in Nov. 3 US presidential elections, beating incumbent Donald Trump.
– Global COVID-19 cases cross 50 million mark.
– Bolivia’s former President Evo Morales returns to his homeland after being forced to resign in 2019.
– Peruvian Congress votes to impeach President Martin Vizcarra over corruption allegations.
– Pro-Western candidate Maia Sandu becomes first Moldovan female president, winning second round of the country’s presidential election.
– Thailand accepts majority of constitutional reform bills prepared to fulfill the demands of anti-government protestors.
– Australian authorities release probe details into at least 39 incidents of civilian killings by their special forces in Afghanistan.
– Hussein Ibrahim Taha from Chad elected next secretary general of the Organization of Islamic Cooperation (OIC).
– Two back-to-back suicide attacks in central Afghanistan kill at least 30 people, including both soldiers and civilians, also injuring 24.
– Terror group Boko Haram kills at least 79 farmers in northeastern Nigeria.
– UK becomes first country to allow the use of the Pfizer/BioNtech coronavirus vaccine, a vaccine developed by Turkish-German scientist Ugur Sahin’s company BioNTech.
– Number of deaths from Covid-19 worldwide crosses 1.5 million mark.
– US imposes visa sanctions on Chinese Communist Party (CCP) and its United Front Work Department officials over targeting academics, business leaders, civil society advocates, and Chinese diaspora groups who criticize Beijing’s actions in Xinjiang and Tibet.
– At least 23 workers die over carbon monoxide gas poisoning at an illegal coal mine in Chongqing, southwestern China.
– Venezuela’s President Nicolas Maduro regains control of the opposition-led National Assembly in elections as his party PSUV’s bloc (the United Socialist Party of Venezuela) got 67.6% of the vote.
– UN General Assembly adopts resolution calling on Russia to end its occupation of Crimea and to withdraw from Ukrainian lands.
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