Important events around the world

Important events around the world

January

20 United States President Barack Obama is sworn in for four more years in a simple ceremony at the White House.

February

04 Britain More than 500 years after his death, scientists say they have found the skeleton of Richard III, a 15th century king and the last English monarch to die in battle. He was found under a local government parking lot.

14 South Africa Paralympic superstar Oscar Pistorius is charged with the murder of his girlfriend. Model Reeva Steenkamp was shot inside Pistorius' home. It is a shocking twist in the life of a national hero known as the "Blade Runner" for his hi-tech artificial legs. He later tells a court that he mistakenly shot Steenkamp because he thought she was an intruder.


15 Russia With a blinding flash and a booming shock wave, a meteor blazes across the western Siberian sky and explodes with the force of 20 atomic bombs. More than 1,000 people are injured as it blasts out windows and spreads panic in Chelyabinsk, a city of one million people.

28 The Vatican Benedict XVI becomes the first pope in 600 years to resign. He spent eight years struggling to deal with sex abuse scandals within the Catholic Church and trying to make Christianity appeal to people in the modern world.

March

03United States An American baby born with the Aids virus appears to have been cured, scientists announce. They describe the case of a child who is now two-and-a-half years old and has been off medication for about a year with no signs of infection. The development offers hope for efforts to eliminate HIV in children.

13 The Vatican Jorge Bergoglio of Argentina is elected pope and chooses the name Francis, becoming the first pope from the Americas and the first from outside Europe in more than a thousand years.

14 China Xi Jinping, previously named general secretary of the Communist Party, officially becomes president of China. His main challenge is to control corruption.


April

10 Puerto Rico Scientists report that many types of amphibians, especially frogs, are dying out. They say the decline is caused by the destruction of their homes, climate change, pollution and disease. Frogs in the Caribbean are most affected.

15 United States Two bombs packed with nails explode at the Boston Marathon finishing line, killing three and injuring more than 140 people. Chechen brothers Dzhokhar and Tamerlan Tsarnaev are the chief suspects. Four days later police confront the brothers, killing Tamerlan. Boston is locked down for the day as they hunt Dzhokhar. He is later found severely wounded and is arrested. He awaits trial.

20 China A 6.6 magnitude earthquake strikes in Sichuan province, leaving at least 160 people dead and more than 6,700 injured. Residents huddle together outside as they wait for help to arrive. It comes just five years after an even bigger quake in Sichuan had killed almost 70,000 people.

24 Bangladesh An eight-story building that housed clothing factories collapses in Bangladesh, killing at least 1,127 people and injuring thousands more.

May

08 United States Ariel Castro is arrested in Cleveland, Ohio, after three women missing for a decade were found alive at his home. He is charged with kidnapping and raping them.

10 United States Government scientists say worldwide levels of carbon dioxide, the main greenhouse gas that causes global warming, have hit their highest ever level. There is now an amount of carbon dioxide in the air never before experienced by humans.

22 Britain In a brutal daylight attack, two men kill a British solider with knives. The murder is committed in front of shocked onlookers. The victim, Lee Rigby, was walking near an army barracks in London. Michael Adebolajo and Michael Adebowale are later found guilty of murder, saying they did it to avenge Muslims killed by British armed forces.

June

04 Syria France says that nerve gas is being used in the Syrian conflict. It is the first specific claim by any Western power about a chemical weapons attack in the conflict, which has been raging for more than two years.

15 Iran Hassan Rowhani wins elections to become Iran's new president. Wild celebrations break out in Tehran and other cities, with people hoping the victory will mark a fresh start for the country. Previously Iran had been ruled by Mahmoud Ahmadinejad who was hostile to the West.


26 Australia In a dramatic comeback, Kevin Rudd is sworn in as Australia's prime minister just three years and three days after he was kicked out by his own party. However, his second term will last only three months.

July

03 Egypt The country's first democratically elected president, Mohamed Morsi, is ousted following massive protests against his rule, after just a year in power. Protesters were worried that under Morsi, the country was becoming too influenced by Islam. A few days later more than 50 Morsi supporters are killed in violence. Throughout the month the two sides continue to fight, with giant rallies in support of Morsi throughout the country. Egypt's new government vows to bring stability to the country.

06 Canada A runaway train carrying crude oil derails in eastern Quebec, starting fires and explosions that destroy a town's busy downtown district. The crash kills more than 40 people and is Canada's worst rail disaster in 150 years.

16 India At least 23 children die and more than a dozen sickened in the state of Bihar after eating food containing dangerous chemicals. The incident shows how India's school lunch programme is failing the millions of poor students who rely on the meals every day.

22 Britain The Duchess of Cambridge, Kate Middleton, gives birth to a son who becomes third in line to the British throne after Prince Charles and Prince William. He is named Prince George.


30 United States Bradley Manning, the soldier who leaked sensitive information to WikiLeaks, is found guilty of spying and theft. He may spend the rest of his life in prison, despite protests from his supporters. He later changes his name to Chelsea.

August

07 Syria Satellite images show hundreds of damaged buildings in Aleppo where Syria's civil war still rages. Rebels continue to try to topple President Bashar Assad as tens of thousands of people die. Later in the month, the British government votes to not intervene in the conflict.

16 Philippines A ferry collides with a cargo ship and sinks near the port of Cebu in the Philippines. Passengers jump into the ocean but many others are trapped. Although hundreds are rescued, at least 55 are killed.

22 China Bo Xilai, the former secretary of the Communist Party in Chongqing, is put on trial in Jinan. Bo is accused of corruption and receiving money illegally to buy a villa in France. He's found guilty the following month and sentenced to life in prison.


26 United States Secretary of State John Kerry says that the US should take military action against the Syrian government. He says there is "undeniable" evidence that the government is using chemical weapons to attack civilians, which he calls a "moral obscenity".

September

19 The Vatican Despite only being in the job for a few months, Pope Francis (pictured) dramatically changes the attitude of the Catholic Church, saying it has become too obsessed by "small-minded rule". He says Christians should focus on love and acceptance, instead of criticising people over issues such as abortion and homosexuality. The move eventually leads him to be named "Person of the Year" by Time magazine.


21 Kenya Islamic militants attack an expensive shopping centre in Nairobi, killing 68 people in the deadliest terrorist attack in Kenya in 15 years. The attack lasted for four days, until Kenyan police and military could rescue any survivors. The attackers are said to be associated with al-Qaeda.

22 Germany Chancellor Angela Merkel leads her party to a stunning victory in Germany's election, with the biggest majority since the country's reunification in 1990. Many view the victory as a personal triumph, which confirms Merkel's position as Europe's most powerful leader.

October

03 Italy A rickety fishing boat overloaded with African migrants seeking a better life in Europe catches fire and capsizes near the Italian island of Lampedusa. Hundreds of men, women and children are thrown into the Mediterranean. More than 350 die. The European Union called for more rescue boats to patrol the area in future.

07 United States Three US-based scientists win the Nobel Prize in medicine for showing how tiny bubbles inside cells move substances around the body like a fleet of vans, delivering cargo to the right place at the right time.

14 Belgium A Somali pirate is tricked into coming to Brussels to work on a film about his life. As soon as he touches down at the airport, he's arrested.

16 United States Congress finally reaches an agreement on the budget following 16 days of government shutdown. Many government workers are unable to do their jobs until politicians agree on how much debt the country can maintain.

26 Saudi Arabia Women in Saudi Arabia drive cars to protest against a ban on women behind the wheel. Police in the country do little to stop them, encouraging those fighting for women's rights.

November

05 Canada The mayor of Toronto, Rob Ford, admits that he smoked drugs while drunk a year ago. However, he refuses to resign as leader of Canada's biggest city. He later was stripped of his office anyway.

08 Philippines One of the strongest storms ever hits the central Philippines. Thousands are killed and others are forced to leave their homes. Typhoon Haiyan devastates the region and a massive international rescue effort begins to help survivors rebuild their lives.

15 China Leaders say that the one child policy will be relaxed and the controversial labour camp system will be abolished. Commentators say the moves show the Communist Party is modernising and trying to become more popular with the public.

29 Ukraine Around 10,000 protestors crowd into the centre of Ukraine's capital, Kiev, to demand the president resigns. Viktor Yanukovych had abandoned plans to sign a deal that would build strong relations between Ukraine and the European Union. Instead, he preferred to focus on closer ties with Russia.

December

09 Mars Nasa's Curiosity rover uncovers signs of an ancient freshwater lake on Mars. Scientists say it could have been a perfect spot for tiny, primitive life to flourish if it ever existed on the red planet.

12 North Korea The country announces the execution of Jang Song-thaek, who was Kim Jong-un's uncle, calling him a traitor who tried to overthrow the state.

16 United States A judge declares the National Security Agency (NSA) was wrong to spy on Americans' phone calls and text messages. A panel says the NSA's powers should be limited and they should no longer be allowed to store data on people who have done nothing wrong.

29 France Former F1 world champion Michael Schumacher is in critical condition after being injured in a skiing accident. Schumacher hit his head against a rock and had to be airlifted to hospital. He has undergone several surgeries and continues to fight for his life.


Other top moments of 2013

- A wolf, a whistle-blower

- Best to watch in 2013

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