Charlie Hebdo shooting, Nepal quakes, water on Mars, Bankok bombing ... 2015 in review

Charlie Hebdo shooting, Nepal quakes, water on Mars, Bankok bombing ... 2015 in review

In 2015, terror attacks, plane crashes and earthquakes made headlines around the world. Here are some of the most important events of a troubled year

January

Massacre

On January 7, brothers Said and Cherif Kouachi stormed the offices of the satirical newspaper Charlie Hebdo in Paris and attacked the staff with rifles and other weapons. Twelve people died in the massacre, including a police officer outside the building, while another 12 were injured. It was seen as an attack on freedom of speech and the press.

The gunmen were identified as members of al-Qaeda and the attack was apparently in revenge for the newspaper's mocking illustrations of Prophet Mohammed.


February
Net neutrality

Net neutrality is the concept that internet service providers (ISPs) should treat all internet traffic the same, regardless of origin, and should neither control nor give preference to certain content.

Examples include blocking data from peer-to-peer file sharing, or the streaming website Netflix reaching agreement with ISPs for preferential services.

On February 26, the Federal Communications Commission of the United States ruled in favour of net neutrality, thus prohibiting discrimination of services.


March
Plane crash 'deliberate'

On March 24, Germanwings Flight 9525 crashed into the French alps, killing 150 people aboard. The black box showed the co-pilot, Andreas Lubitz, had crashed the plane deliberately. An investigation revealed Lubitz was mentally unstable.


April
Garissa University killings

On April 2, four assailants claiming to be from Al-Shabaab - a branch of al-Qaeda - attacked Garissa University in Kenya. They killed 148 people before being shot dead by local authorities. The attack had religious overtones. The attackers took students hostage, releasing Muslims and killing Christians.


May
Deadly Nepal earthquake

On May 12, at 12.50pm local time, a magnitude 7.3 tremor, thought to be an aftershock from the massive April 25 earthquake, struck Nepal. More than 200 people were killed, and more than 3,000 injured. The April 25 quake killed more than 9, 000 people, while some 23,000 were injured.


June
Tunisia beach shooting

On June 26, an armed gunman attacked holidaymakers at a seaside resort near the city of Sousse, Tunisia, which left 38 people dead and 39 others injured. The 23-year-old gunman, Seifeddine Rezgui, was later killed by security forces. IS claimed responsibility for the attack, which dealt a huge blow to the country's tourism industry.


July
Greek debt crisis

On July 5, Greek voters rejected a bailout plan offered by the European Union that would have led to more cost-cutting measures by their government. The crisis arose after Greece missed a deadline to make a loan repayment. The country owes billions of dollars, with Germany its biggest lender.

At the time, it was feared that Greece would leave the EU. In the end, the Greek government and EU members reached an agreement for more loans to head off a possible financial meltdown.


August
Bangkok bombing

On August 17, a bomb exploded in a temple in Bangkok, Thailand, killing 20 and injuring 125, most of them tourists, including two from Hong Kong. Thai police have arrested two suspects linked to the bombing. Nobody has claimed responsibility for the attack.


September
Water on Mars

On September 28, Nasa announced the discovery of liquid water on Mars. Scientists found dark streaks on Martian soil, indicating the presence of flowing water. This discovery is a step forward in our quest to find out if life exists on other planets.


October
Air tragedy

On October 31, a Russian plane crashed shortly after take-off from Sinai, in Egypt. The plane was brought down by a bomb planted in the main cabin. IS claimed responsibility for the attack, in which all 224 people on board were killed.


November
Paris terror attacks

On November 13, a series of gun and suicide bomb attacks by Islamic State militants killed 130 people in Paris and left 368 injured. They targeted several crowded venues, including cafes, restaurants, a stadium and a concert hall in the French capital. IS claimed the attacks were in retaliation for French airstrikes on IS targets in Syria and Iraq. France responded by launching a bombing campaign on the IS "capital" of Raqqa, in Syria.


December
Saving the planet

The United Nations climate change conference was held in Paris from November 30 to December 12.

In a landmark deal, the 195 participating states agreed to reduce greenhouse gas emissions and to limit global warming to below 2 degrees Celsius.

This article appeared in the Young Post print edition as
Few highs, many lows

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