News headlines in 2022

  1. Pan-African Approach to Tackle Food Insecurity Arising from Conflict and Climate ShocksTuesday, November 22, 2022 – Inter Press ServiceNairobi, Nov 22 (IPS) – Upheaval on the global stage, the war in Ukraine, conflict in the Horn of Africa, severe climatic shocks, high international inflation, increasing global commodity prices, high prices of agricultural inputs and low intra-continental trade are fuelling food insecurity across Africa.
  2. COP27: Landmark Win on Loss and Damage FundTuesday, November 22, 2022 – Inter Press ServiceSHARM EL-SHEIKH, Egypt, Nov 22 (IPS) – COP 27 delivered on what was the ‘litmus test’ for its success – consensus on the establishment of a fund on loss and damage. What seemed impossible was made possible, largely due to the unity of the G77 and China and the role of the Egyptian Presidency. Also important were efforts by civil society groups who put pressure on the United States, the main blocker to having the fund.
  3. Open Veins of Africa Bleeding HeavilyTuesday, November 22, 2022 – Inter Press ServiceDAKAR and KUALA LUMPUR, Nov 22 (IPS) – The ongoing plunder of Africa’s natural resources drained by capital flight is holding it back yet again. More African nations face protracted recessions amid mounting debt distress, rubbing salt into deep wounds from the past.With much less foreign exchange, tax revenue, and policy space to face external shocks, many African governments believe they have little choice but to spend less, or borrow more in foreign currencies.
  4. Iran: 40 people killed in protests over past week – OHCHRTuesday, November 22, 2022 – UN NewsMore than 40 people have been killed in Iran during the past week, including two teenagers, the UN human rights office, OHCHR, said on Tuesday. 
  5. Saudi Arabia: Resumption of executions for drug offences ‘deeply regrettable’, UN rights office saysTuesday, November 22, 2022 – UN NewsSaudi Arabia must adopt a moratorium on executions for drug-related offenses, the UN human rights office, OHCHR, said on Tuesday, responding to the recent resumption of capital punishment for these crimes. 
  6. Crimes Against ChildrenMonday, November 21, 2022 – Inter Press ServiceMADRID, Nov 21 (IPS) – An indisputable truth is that no child has ever chosen where to be born, which colour of skin to have, which ethnic community to belong to, what religion to practice and language to speak, or how safe or dangerous the context to grow up in. A child is the most innocent and defenceless human being.
  7. Arbitrary Arrests in El Salvador Hit the LGBTI CommunityMonday, November 21, 2022 – Inter Press ServiceSAN SALVADOR, Nov 21 (IPS) – Police raids against gang members in El Salvador, under a state of emergency in which some civil rights have been suspended, have also affected members of the LGBTI community, and everything points to arrests motivated by hatred of their sexual identity.
  8. A Looming Debt Crisis is Threatening Global Health Security. It is time to Drop the DebtMonday, November 21, 2022 – Inter Press ServiceGENEVA, Nov 21 (IPS) – In this moment of profound challenge in international relations, it was understandable that the conclusion of the G20 meeting left leaders feeling relieved that the meeting took place without a breakdown. Leaders were justifiably proud too of important steps forward they made including the launch of the new pandemics fund.
  9. US to Fight Sexual Abuse in International OrganizationsMonday, November 21, 2022 – Inter Press ServiceUNITED NATIONS, Nov 21 (IPS) – The United States, which recently laid down a set of guidelines to monitor sexual exploitation and abuse (SEA) by US citizens in international organizations, including the United Nations and its agencies worldwide, has implicitly accused the UN of faltering on a high-profile case last month.
  10. Peaceful coexistence is not ‘utopia’ but reality, says UN official fostering intercultural dialogueMonday, November 21, 2022 – UN NewsAt this transitional moment for humanity, it is important to uphold mutual respect, unity, and solidarity, the senior UN official promoting cross-cultural understanding and cooperation has stated. 

Best new French TV Shows in 2020 & 2019 (Netflix, Prime, Hulu & TV List)

List of the latest French TV series in 2020 on tv and the best French TV series of 2019 & the 2010’s. Top French TV series to watch on Netflix, Hulu, Amazon Prime, Disney+ & other Streaming services, out on DVD/Blu-ray or on tv right now.

New French TV series in 2020

Top series up for release in 2020

Best French TV series on Netflix, Amazon Prime, Hulu, Disney+ or DVD in 2020

2019, 2018, 2017 & the 2010’s best rated French TV series out on DVD, Bluray or streaming on VOD (Netflix, Amazon Prime & Hulu).

  • Le Bazar de la CharitéCREATOR: Catherine Ramberg
    CAST: Audrey Fleurot, Camille Lou & Josiane Balasko
    In 1897 Paris, a devastating fire at the Bazar de la Charité killed 126 people. After the tragic event, the upper class Adrienne de Lenverpré (Audrey Fleurot) hopes to flee from her marriage presidency-seeking husband, Marc-Antoine de Lenverpré (Gilbert Melki). Also followed after the fire are Adrienne’s niece, Alice de Jeansin, and her close maidservant, Rose Rivière. The series revolves around the dramatic aftermath of the fire and how these three women proceed with their lives. Watch the trailer of Le Bazar de la Charité

    Stream Le Bazar de la Charité via: 
     Netflix |  Amazon All Release dates
  • MortelCREATOR: Frédéric Bélier-Garcia
    CAST: Manon Bresch, Corentin Fila, Fabien Giameluca, Carl Malapa
    High school students Sofiane and Victor find themselves desperate enough to solve the murder of Sofiane’s brother, Reda, that they dip into the supernatural. They form a pact with the voodoo god Obé in hopes of learning the truth. Obé grants them the ability to both manipulate people and read their minds. They must remain close, however, for these powers to work. But when they need to be rid of Obé, they enlist the help of the voodoo-practicing Luisa to free them. Watch the trailer of Mortel

    Stream Mortel via: 
     Netflix |  Amazon All Release dates
  • MarianneCREATOR: Samuel Bodin
    CAST: Victoire Du Bois, Lucie Boujenah, Tiphaine Daviot, Ralph Amoussou
    Emma Larsimon (Victoire Du Bois) is a young novelist who specializes in writing horror stories. Fiction meets reality, however, when she discovers the characters she writes in her books end up becoming real. Though she has decided to stop writing horror, she finds herself returning to her hometown when the evil spirit Marianne that haunts her nightmares takes shape in reality to bring terror and horror to the residents. An investigation is soon under way to get to the bottom of this supernatural horror. Watch the trailer of Marianne

    Stream Marianne via: 
     Netflix |  Amazon All Release dates
  • Twice Upon a TimeCREATOR: Nathalie Leuthreau
    CAST: Gaspard Ulliel, Freya Mavor & Patrick d’Assumçao
    french Read more

    Watch the trailer of Twice Upon a Time

    Stream Twice Upon a Time via: 
     Netflix |  Amazon All Release dates
  • The Crimson RiversCREATOR: Mathieu Kassovitz
    CAST: Olivier Marchal, Erika Sainte &
    Les rivières pourpres created by Jean-Christophe Grangé is yet another succesfull French detective series. It’s about a bizarre series of murders, a stubborn investigator duo and a lot of bodies. Watch the trailer of The Crimson Rivers

    Stream The Crimson Rivers via: 
    RELEASE DATE: July 22nd, 2020

     Netflix |  Amazon All Release dates
  • MaroniCREATOR: Aurélien Molas
    CAST: Stéphane Caillard, Adama Niane, Issaka Sawadogo, Jérémie Laheurte
    Stéphane Caillard, the Marseilles star, is a police offer investigating a murder and a kidnapping in the heart of French Guinea. A thriller set in the jungle, including… Watch the trailer of Maroni

    RELEASE DATE: July 22nd, 2020

     Netflix |  Amazon All Release dates
  • Glacé: The Frozen DeadCREATOR: Gérard Carré, Pascal Chaumeil, Caroline Van Ruymbeke
    CAST: Charles Berling, Julia Piaton & Nina Meurisse
    A small town in the French town in the French Pyrenees is the topic of investigation after a horrific discovery of a hidden for years mystery.

    Watch the trailer of Glacé: The Frozen Dead

    Stream Glacé: The Frozen Dead via:     
    RATING: 61/100

    RELEASE DATE: January 10th, 2017

     Netflix |  Amazon All Release dates
  • La ForêtCREATOR: Delinda Jacobs
    CAST: Samuel Labarthe, Suzanne Clément & Alexia Barlier
    A French Netflix thriller production about a teen who disappears in her small village in the Ardennes. Two detectives lead the investigation. They are helped by Eve, the girl’s lonely and mysterious teacher.

    Watch the trailer of La Forêt

    Stream La Forêt via: 
    RELEASE DATE: July 22nd, 2020

     Netflix |  Amazon All Release dates
  • La ManteCREATOR: Alice Chegaray-Breugnot
    CAST: Frédérique Bel, Carole Bouquet & Fred Testot
    There are not many shows about female serial killers, so that is always a treat. In La Mante, the nickname of the female imprisoned serial killer, she decides to collaborate with the police when a copycat appears killing in her style.

    Watch the trailer of La Mante

    Stream La Mante via: 
    RELEASE DATE: July 22nd, 2020

     Netflix |  Amazon All Release dates
  • 19-2CREATOR: Réal Bossé, Claude Legault
    CAST: Adrian Holmes, Jared Keeso & Benz Antoine
    The Story revolves around two beat cops who are incompatible with each other but have to work together as a patrol unit in district 19 downtown in cruiser no.2.

    Watch the trailer of 19-2

    Stream 19-2 via:    
    RATING: 87/100

    RELEASE DATE: February 2nd, 2011

     Netflix |  Amazon All Release dates
  • EngrenagesCREATOR: Alexandra Clert, Guy-Patrick Sainderichin
    CAST: Caroline Proust, Audrey Fleurot, Thierry Godard, Philippe Duclos
    One of Europe’s top television series. It was already released in 2005, but it remains incredibly popular. Engrenages (‘Spiral’) is about the judicial and law-enforcement system of France. The viewer follows follows the day-to-day activities of police detectives, lawyers, public prosecutors and judges. In a sense it is like Law & Order, with the exception that it is actually any good.

    Watch the trailer of Engrenages

    Stream Engrenages via:     
    RATING: 85/100

    RELEASE DATE: December 13th, 2005

     Netflix |  Amazon All Release dates
  • Le Bureau des LégendesCREATOR: Eric Rochant
    CAST: Mathieu Kassovitz, Sara Giraudeau & Pauline Étienne
    After having worked in Syria for six year, an intelligence officer can’t seem to switch his secret identity off – not even when he’s back in France. Very good show!

    Watch the trailer of Le Bureau des Légendes

    Stream Le Bureau des Légendes via:      
    RATING: 82/100

    RELEASE DATE: April 27th, 2015

     Netflix |  Amazon All Release dates
  • BraquoCREATOR: Olivier Marchal
    CAST: Jean-Hugues Anglade, Joseph Malerba & Karole Rocher
    Most often described as the French ‘The Wire’ (HBO), Braquo is indeed remarkably dark and violent, but like the other French police show on this list, Engrenages, also goes into the specifics of law-enforcement. It follows a unit of Parisian detectives who without hesitating circumvent the law, and let nobody get in their way to achieve justice. The series starts when one of their colleagues commits suicide because of something to do with a case. They sink their teeth into it and do not let go. It is definitely one of the better European television series out there.

    Watch the trailer of Braquo

    Stream Braquo via:   
    RATING: 81/100

    RELEASE DATE: October 12th, 2009

     Netflix |  Amazon All Release dates
  • Unité 9CREATOR: Danielle Trottier
    CAST: Ève Landry, Guylaine Tremblay, François Papineau, Émilie Bibeau
    Follows a French Canadian woman going to jail for 7 years for pushing her father down the stairs. As the story unfolds we get to see how this all came about and the reasons behind it. The story follows the woman in jail as well as her family on the outside.

    Watch the trailer of Unité 9

    RATING: 78/100

    RELEASE DATE: September 11th, 2012

     Netflix |  Amazon All Release dates

n France, people no longer look down on television. The French have created a few great series like Spiral, for instance, but since The Returned they have really kicked off. Below, our pick of France’s finest.


Protests break out in Michigan over state’s stay-at-home order


UPDATED ON: APRIL 15, 2020 / 8:08 PM / CBS NEWS

Michigan residents who oppose Governor Gretchen Whitmer’s stay-at-home order blocked traffic Wednesday by descending on the state’s Capitol in Lansing. Protesters in cars honked their horns and decorated their vehicles with flags in support of President Trump, and signs reading “let us work.” 

Last week Whitmer, a Democrat, extended the state’s “stay home, stay safe” order through April 30. As of Wednesday, the state had 28,059 confirmed COVID-19 cases and 1,921 people had died from the coronavirus, according to the state’s health department. 

In response to the extended order, a Facebook event titled “Operation Gridlock” called for people to drive around the Capitol building.

“Come prepared for a traffic jam in Lansing! We WANT gridlock. Do not park and walk – stay in your vehicles!” reads the Facebook event page, created by the Michigan Conservative Coalition and Freedom Fund.  

“This arbitrary blanket spread of shutting down businesses, about putting all of these workers out of business, is just a disaster. It’s an economic disaster for Michigan,” coalition member Meshawn Maddock said, The Associated Press reported. “And people are sick and tired of it.” 

Virus Outbreak Michigan
Jonah Verway walks between gridlocked vehicles during a protest in Lansing, Michigan, Wednesday, April 15, 2020. PAUL SANCYA/AP

The AP reports that the protest had a big impact, with traffic hardly moving in some areas of Lansing. 

Coronavirus Crisis

More WNBA says 99% of its players are fully vaccinated against COVID-19Health workers report being threatened during pandemicPuerto Rico to receive $4B in federal education COVID reliefGottlieb warns of “very dense outbreaks” in parts of U.S. as variant spreads

Whitmer said earlier this week, in response to the planned protest, that she understands people’s frustration, but asked protesters to remain safe.   

“It’s OK to be angry, and … if it makes you better to direct it at me that’s OK, too. I’ve got thick skin. And I’m always going to defend your right to free speech,” she said. 

“I just ask that those who are protesting these orders do so in a safe manner so that you don’t get sick and you don’t subject our first responders to risk, either. Or prey on other people’s anxieties.”

As snow fell, others got out of their vehicles and raised signs, one of which read, “Gov. Whitmer We Are Not Prisoners.” Another said, “Michigander Against Gretchens Abuses.”

First published on April 15, 2020 / 3:38 PM


December 16, 2019

Lee Child’s The Hero tops e-book ranking

First TLS Books launch tops e-book charts The title is Child’s non-fiction debut Lee Child has reached the top spot in the e-book ranking with his latest title, The Hero, the first fruit of TLS’s publishing…

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December 3, 2019

Rachel Shields named Assistant Editor, The Sun (Fabulous)

New role overseeing all aspects of the UK’s biggest women’s lifestyle brand Rachel Shields (pictured), currently Assistant Editor of Sun Online, has been appointed to the new role of Assistant Editor, The Sun with overall responsibility…

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December 3, 2019

Jessica Diamond joins News UK in cross-title luxury role

Jessica Diamond has been appointed a unique cross-title luxury role at News UK. She joins as watch and jewellery director on The Sunday Times Style and jewellery director at The Times LUXX. An established journalist with…

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November 25, 2019

News UK launches The Sun Social Studio with The Perfume Shop as First Client

New social video offering targeted at brands who want to reach The Sun’s large off-platform audience The Bridge, News UK’s commercial division, today announces the launch of its new branded social video product – The Sun…

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November 22, 2019

2019’s winners: The Sunday Times Sportswoman of the Year Awards in association with Vitality’

Dina Asher-Smith named 2019 Sportswoman of the Year England’s netball team voted Team of the Year by Sunday Times readers Khadijah Mellah named Young Sportswoman of the Year Alice Tai named Disability Sportswoman of the Year…

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November 22, 2019

The Sun reveals Top 50 retailers and takes over The Telegraph News Store on 50th Birthday

To mark The Sun’s 50th birthday, the newspaper has today announced its Retail Top 50 list of independent retailers who have all gone above and beyond, championing The Sun brand and launching charitable initiatives to improve the lives of people in their communities.

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November 18, 2019

The Sun says ‘Thanks a Million!’ with Charity Reader Fund to celebrate 50th birthday

The UK’s most popular newsbrand creates £1m fund for readers to nominate the good causes closest to their heart The people’s paper launches a year-long Sun 50 celebration of ordinary people doing extraordinary things The Sun…

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November 14, 2019

The Scottish Sun Online launches new campaign, Endo Period Stigma

  The Scottish Sun Online has launched an ambitious new campaign, Endo Period Stigma. It has teamed up with Endometriosis UK to raise awareness of endometriosis, a chronic and debilitating condition that causes painful periods and affects an estimated…

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November 14, 2019

TLS relaunches with new visual identity

  The magazine has a new layout, and will roll out a new website and its first online shop The publication has chosen a design that mirrors the beauty of its written content It will henceforth…

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November 6, 2019

Get the best job under The Sun: join The Sun’s trainee scheme

The Sun is on the hunt for hard-working trainee journalists with a passion for news It is looking for applicants with or without degrees from diverse backgrounds across the UK  Successful candidates will be paid to…

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November 5, 2019

Virgin Radio UK and Sky Cinema 12 Schools of Christmas Competition

Christmas is coming to Sky Cinema, and The Chris Evans Breakfast Show on Virgin Radio could be coming to your school for a very special live broadcast on 20th December, the last Friday before Christmas! Virgin…

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November 4, 2019

News UK names Simon Collins MD, Betting & Gaming

Cashcade and Gaming Realms co-founder to drive growth across Dream Team, Sun Bingo and Sun Racing News UK has appointed Cashcade and Gaming Realms plc founder Simon Collins to the new role of MD, Betting &…

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November 1, 2019

Two million free books up for grabs for primary schools in The Sun’s new Books for Schools campaign

The campaign is open to all primary schools across England, Wales and Northern Ireland Schools can sign up to benefit from November 2nd, until November 22nd Books will be awarded in exchange for tokens, which can…

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October 28, 2019

Up to £950k worth of new books up for grabs by thousands of Scottish nursery schools

Nurseries the length and breadth of Scotland will be able to claim up to £950k worth  of new books for free, in a major new literacy initiative launching this week (Monday October 28). Following the success…

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October 24, 2019

The Sun removes plastic polybagging

This weekend The Sun TV Mag will remove its inner plastic polybagging across the UK and Irish editions, removing 350 tonnes of single-use plastic per year from the Saturday issue.

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October 24, 2019

Wireless speech network delivers RAJAR growth

The latest round of RAJAR results – covering July to September 2019 – saw a strong year-on-year performance for all three Wireless national brands: Virgin Radio UK, talkSPORT and talkRADIO.

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October 24, 2019

News UK reorganises senior leadership team to drive continued growth

News UK today announces changes in its senior leadership team as it continues to focus on driving long term sustainable growth.

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October 22, 2019

The Times and The Sunday Times transform Westminster Station into a jungle

The second iteration of the Politics. Tamed. campaign sees Westminster Station renamed Westminster Jungle The campaign reflects the increasingly raucous state of politics, breaking out of the confines of a zoo, into the wilderness of


8) The Beast from the East

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Our readers really love a weather story, and it was no different in early March, as the so-called Beast from the East brought heavy snow across much of the UK. Transport suffered disruption for three days as parts of the country received up to 50cm (20ins) of snow.

7) Prince Louis is born

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On 23 April, the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge welcomed the arrival of their third child, who would go on to be named Louis.

6) Harry and Meghan get married

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Prince Louis’ arrival was not the best-read royal story of 2018, however: that honour went to Louis’ uncle and aunt, Harry and Meghan, who were married on 19 May in Windsor Castle. Memes were born and a certain bishop became a bit of a celebrity.

5) The death of Avicii

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On 20 April, Swedish DJ Avicii, one of the world’s biggest dance music stars, was found dead in a hotel in Oman. He was 28.

4) The Thai cave rescue

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Twelve boys and their football coach were trapped in a flooded cave in Thailand. Against what seemed like unlikely odds, they were all rescued after more than two weeks – although their rescue came at a cost. Our page following the live events from Thailand was the fourth most popular item on the BBC news website this year.

3) The death of Stephen Hawking

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Stephen Hawking, the world-renowned physicist, known for his work on black holes and relativity, died at home in Cambridge on 14 March. He was 76.

2) The Leicester City helicopter crash

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On 27 October, a helicopter carrying five people, including the billionaire owner of Leicester City football club, crashed outside the club’s stadium, killing all those on board.

1) Theresa May strikes a Brexit deal

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Our best-read story of the year, overwhelmingly, was the live coverage that ran over five days in November, looking at the fallout after Theresa May struck a Brexit deal with EU members. Much of her party went into open revolt.


2017 Year in Review: Here are the top 10 biggest news stories

From increased tensions with North Korea, to a hurricane season unlike any other, to the #MeToo movement, NBC News reflects on the key moments from 2017.

White nationalists, neo-Nazis and members of the "alt-right" exchange insults with counter-protesters as they attempt to guard the entrance to Lee Park during the "Unite the Right" rally on Aug. 12, 2017 in Charlottesville, Virginia.

White nationalists, neo-Nazis and members of the “alt-right” exchange insults with counter-protesters as they attempt to guard the entrance to Lee Park during the “Unite the Right” rally on Aug. 12, 2017 in Charlottesville, Virginia.Chip Somodevilla / Getty Images fileDec. 26, 2017, 6:07 PM GMT / Updated Dec. 26, 2017, 6:07 PM GMTBy Dan Corey

As the New Year approaches, it seems like every year is dubbed “a year like no other.” But 2017 truly was more dramatic than many other years in recent memory.

In the last 12 months, we faced a renewed threat of nuclear war, debated whether to take a knee during the national anthem and resisted the temptation to look at the sun during the total solar eclipse.

From increased tensions with North Korea, to a hurricane season unlike any other, to the bombshell allegations of sexual misconduct in Hollywood and beyond, take a look back at the key moments of 2017, as they were reported by NBC News.

Year in review: The 10 news stories that defined 2017

DEC. 20, 201701:56The New President

Image: Donald Trump is sworn in as the 45th president of the United States
Donald Trump is sworn in as the 45th president of the United States by Chief Justice John Roberts on Jan. 20, 2017.Patrick Semansky / AP

Donald Trump was sworn in as the 45th president of the United States on Jan. 20, outlining his vision of a new national populism and reiterating the same “America First” mantra that delivered the White House to him during the 2016 election.

In his first address as leader of the free world, Trump said his inauguration would signify a historic moment when “the forgotten men and women of our country will be forgotten no longer.”

After months on the campaign trail marked by partisan division and deep skepticism from his critics, Trump told thousands in the nation’s capital that his agenda was for every American — even as protesters demonstrated against him elsewhere in Washington, D.C., including some who clashed with police hours later.

Photos: President Trump: Scenes from the Inauguration

The next day, half a million marchers demonstrated for gender equality and against the new president during the Women’s March on Washington, brandishing pink hats and homemade signs in the streets near the National Mall.

Now more than a year since his election, Trump is enjoying a healthy economy marked by lower unemployment numbers and strong stock market performance.

But he has struggled to fulfill his many campaign promises with major legislation. Since his inauguration, the push to repeal and replace Obamacare has failed three times, and his plans to build a border wall and invest billions in infrastructure have been put on hold.The Mueller Investigation

Image: Michael Flynn leaves federal court following his plea hearing
Michael Flynn leaves federal court following his plea hearing on Dec. 1, 2017 in Washington.Chip Somodevilla / Getty Images

Bowing to public and congressional pressure, Deputy U.S. Attorney General Rod Rosenstein appointed former FBI Director Robert Mueller in May as a special counsel to conduct the investigation into Russian interference in the 2016 presidential campaign.

More than five months later, Mueller’s office indicted President Donald Trump’s former campaign manager, Paul Manafort, and his longtime business associate Rick Gates on 12 charges, including money laundering, being an unregistered foreign agent and seven counts of failure to file reports of foreign bank and financial accounts.

The special counsel’s office also announced that day that it had struck a cooperation agreement with former Trump adviser George Papadopoulos, who secretly pleaded guilty to lying to federal agents about his contacts with Kremlin-connected Russians.

In early December, former National Security Adviser Michael Flynn pleaded guilty in federal court to making false statements to the FBI about his contacts with Russia, and agreed to cooperate with Mueller’s probe.

The special counsel’s investigation is still ongoing.Greater Tensions with North Korea

Image: North Korean leader Kim Jong Un watches the launch of a Hwasong-12 missile
North Korean leader Kim Jong Un watches the launch of a Hwasong-12 missile in a photo released on Sept. 16, 2017.KCNA via Reuters

American tensions with North Korea intensified rapidly since President Donald Trump was inaugurated in late January, as leader Kim Jong Un made no secret that his scientists are working on a nuclear-tipped missile capable of reaching the U.S.

Kim Im Ryong, North Korea’s ambassador to the United Nations, bluntly warned that the Trump administration’s tough talk was creating “a dangerous situation in which thermonuclear war may break out at any moment.”

The situation has become so dire that Secretary of State Rex Tillerson asked China — Pyongyang’s neighbor and most powerful ally — to “use their influence to convince or compel North Korea to rethink its strategic calculus.”

Tensions escalated in June when Otto Warmbier, a 22-year-old American student, died days after being released from a North Korean prison in an unconscious state.

The regime’s actions has led Trump and his administration to ratchet up the rhetoric, with the president in August promising “fire and fury like the world has never seen” if North Korea continues to threaten the U.S. Trump also disparaged the North Korean leader as a “rocket man” during his first address to the United Nations.The #MeToo Movement

Image: NOW Protests Manhattan DA's Decision Not To Prosecute Harvey Weinstein
Members of the National Organization for Women (NOW) outside of Manhattan Criminal Court on Oct. 13, 2017, in New York City. Spencer Platt / Getty Images

In early October, back-to-back bombshell reports in The New York Times and The New Yorker revealed that film mogul Harvey Weinstein allegedly lured women into hotel rooms and bars, and sexually harassed or assaulted them in what some have described as an open secret known for years in Hollywood.

Later that month, after a tweet from actress Alyssa Milano, who was one of Weinstein’s accusers, social media was inundated with personal stories of being the victims of sexual harassment or assault, all using the hashtag #MeToo.

Weinstein’s downfall has seemingly emboldened others to come forward with allegations of sexual misconduct against prominent men. In recent months alone, at least 30 powerful men in entertainment, business, politics and the news media have been publicly condemned for their alleged sexual misconduct and many have lost their jobs as a result, including Weinstein.

“The Silence Breakers” of the #MeToo movement, who gave a voice to sexual assault and harassment survivors, have since been named Time magazine’s 2017 Person of the Year.The Massacres in Las Vegas and Texas

Image: Reported Shooting In Las Vegas
Las Vegas police stand guard along the streets outside the festival grounds of the Route 91 Harvest.David Becker / Getty Images

On Oct. 1, a lone gunman unleashed a rapid-fire barrage of bullets down on a crowd of concertgoers from the 32nd floor of the Mandalay Bay Resort and Casino in Las Vegas, killing 59 people and injuring more than 500 others. It was the deadliest mass shooting in modern American history.

The shooter — 64-year-old Stephen Paddock of Mesquite, Nevada — acted alone, police said. Investigators found 23 firearms in his room at the Mandalay Bay, and 19 more at his home. He was found after killing himself with a self-inflicted gunshot to the head.

Photos: Las Vegas Shooting: Photos Capture Chaos of Concert Massacre

On Nov. 5, an armor-clad shooter entered a church in rural Texas and opened fire, killing 26 parishioners and injuring at least 19 others.

The gunman, Devin Kelley, fired the first shots outside of the church before unleashing more bullets inside the church. His victims’ ages ranged from 5 to 72 years old, police said. Kelley was later found dead inside his vehicle after a Good Samaritan stepped in.Terrorism in Popular Tourist Destinations

Image: damaged home depot truck in downtown new york
Authorities stand near a damaged Home Depot truck after a motorist drove onto a bike path near the World Trade Center memorial, striking and killing several people on Oct. 31, 2017, in New York.Bebeto Matthews / AP

Vehicular and suicide terrorist attacks hit some of Europe’s most popular tourist destinations, as well as the America’s most populous city this year.


U.S. NEWSResidents were told building was safe, despite ‘major structural damage’; death toll rises to 11

U.S. NEWSTropical Storm Danny targets South Carolina coast

In late March, three people were killed and about 40 were injured when an attacker rammed into pedestrians on London’s Westminster Bridge and attempted to enter Parliament wielding a knife. About two weeks later, an attacker killed four and injured 15 after intentionally driving into a department store in Stockholm, Sweden.

Photos: Terrorist Truck Attack Shocks New York City

In May, children were among the 22 killed in a suicide bombing after an Ariana Grande concert at Britain’s Manchester Area. It was the deadliest terrorist attack in Britain since 2005. Almost two weeks later, seven people died and nearly 50 were injured when a vehicle rammed into pedestrians on London Bridge, and three attackers embarked on a stabbing spree at nearby Borough Market.

During August, 13 people were killed and more than 100 were wounded in Spain when a van plowed into Barcelona’s La Rambla tourist destination, before another car hit several people and killed one woman in a resort further down the Spanish coast.

Terrorism again hit the U.S. on Oct. 31, when Sayfullo Saipov rented a pickup truck and deliberately mowed down pedestrians on a bike path in Lower Manhattan, killing eight and injuring about a dozen more, before crashing into a school bus. Officials said the terrorist attack was the deadliest in New York City since Sept. 11, 2001.The Opioid Epidemic

Image: A heroin user displays a needle in a South Bronx neighborhood
A heroin user displays a needle in a South Bronx neighborhood which has the highest rate of heroin-involved overdose deaths in the city on Oct. 6, 2017 in New York.Spencer Platt / Getty Images

In August, President Trump declared America’s opioid epidemic a national emergency two days after vowing the U.S. would “win” the fight against it.

About a month earlier, the Department of Justice charged more than 400 people who officials said were preying on addicts to shell out money for unnecessary treatments that only worsened their condition, and doctors who were allegedly prescribing unnecessary opioids.

The White House Council of Economic Advisers recently reported that the epidemic’s true cost in 2015 was $504 billion — more than six times the most recent estimate.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention announced in late October that illegal, lab-made fentanyl contributed to the death of at least half of fatal opioid overdoses in 2016, underscoring how deadly the epidemic has become in recent years.The Devastating Hurricane Season

Image: A woman walks on road covered in debris from Hurricane Maria
A woman walks on road covered in debris from Hurricane Maria in Frederiksted, St. Croix, U.S. Virgin Islands on Sept. 26. Jonathan Drake / Reuters

A hurricane season unlike any other came to a close in December after causing billions of dollars in damages, devastating those who were impacted by Hurricanes Harvey, Irma and Maria when they plowed through southeast Texas, Florida and the Caribbean.

Harvey, a Category 3 storm, drenched southeast Texas in late August with 1 million gallons of water per person in the region, according to The Associated Press. The storm caused historic flooding in Houston, where some downtown areas were knee-deep in water and portions of highways were shut down with 10 feet of water.

Less than two weeks later, Hurricane Irma ravaged Florida, devastating the Florida Keys as a Category 4 storm before weakening. The storm also lead to the deaths of 12 patients at a Hollywood, Florida, nursing home. Those fatalities have since been ruled a homicide, officials said.

And at the end of September, the Category 4 Hurricane Maria, the strongest storm to hit Puerto Rico in almost a century, steamrolled through the island, annihilating homes, knocking out the entire power grid and leaving many without electricity for months.

Maria’s aftermath also raised concerns about the relationship between Interior Secretary Ryan Zinke and the small Montana energy firm that was helping Puerto Rico to rebuild its power grid, Whitefish Energy Holdings.

The island canceled its $300 million contract with the company in October after The Washington Post reported, among other things, that the company only had only two full-time employees when the storm made landfall.The Total Solar Eclipse

Image: Solar Eclipse Visible Across Swath Of U.S.
People view the solar eclipse at the “Top of the Rock” observatory at Rockefeller Center. Drew Angerer / Getty Images

The astronomical phenomenon of the century lived up to the hype.

The total solar eclipse shifted across the U.S. in late August, enchanting Americans in small towns and large stadiums from coast to coast. The nation was captivated by the first total solar eclipse to cross the U.S. since 1918.

Photos: Americans Look to the Skies (With Glasses!) for Solar Eclipse

Viewers gazed at the eclipse as it carved a narrow “path of totality” from Salem, Oregon, to Charleston, South Carolina. The one rule was to look only through special glasses or projected reflections, but some — including the president — disregarded that sound advice.The Culture Wars

Image: Violent Clashes Erupt at "Unite The Right" Rally In Charlottesville
White nationalists, neo-Nazis and members of the “alt-right” exchange insults with counter-protesters at Lee Park during the “Unite the Right” rally August 12, 2017 in Charlottesville, Virginia.Chip Somodevilla / Getty Images file

Since President Trump took office, the partisan division that evidenced on the campaign trail translated into national culture wars, including debates over the merits of removing statues and building names that honor Confederate soldiers, as well as kneeling at football games to protest racial inequality.

On Aug. 12, white nationalists gathered in Emancipation Park in Charlottesville, Virginia, before a rally organized by a group known as “Unite the Right.” The rally’s purpose was to protest the removal of a statue honoring Confederate Gen. Robert E. Lee.

Later that day, a 32-year-old woman was killed and more than 19 others were injured after a car rammed into a group of counter-protesters who were demonstrating against the alt-right.

Photos: State of Emergency in Charlottesville, Virginia

Trump denounced the series of events that unfolded in Charlottesville, but was criticized by the public and lawmakers on both sides of the aisle for not fully condemning the protests’ white nationalist elements, which included appearances by former Ku Klux Klan Imperial Wizard David Duke and white nationalist leader Richard Spencer.

In early October, Vice President Mike Pence attended a San Francisco 49ers game in Indianapolis only to walk out after some of the team’s players knelt during “The Star-Spangled Banner.”

After the fallout, Trump said days later that the NFL should have suspended former San Francisco 49ers quarterback Colin Kaepernick, who was the first to “take a knee” during the National Anthem to protest racial injustice in the U.S.


16 stories that defined 2016


DECEMBER 22, 2016 / 8:00 PM / CBS NEWS

It’s nearly impossible to sum up the year 2016 with a single word, phrase, or story. Dominated by political coverage and consumed with tragedy, there’s little doubt that events of this year will go down in history for having a lasting impact on millions of people.

Here are 16 stories that unfolded in 2016 which will surely reverberate into 2017 and far beyond. 

1. U.S. presidential election

The narrative of the 2016 election seemed to set the tone for the entire year. Donald Trump’s surprising win came at the end of a long, bitter campaign where both sides flung accusations of sexism, racism, lies, cover-ups, illegal activity, and even sexual assault. 

Wildest moments of the 2016 election, ranked
Wildest moments of the 2016 election, ranked21 PHOTOS

The country saw for the first time a political candidate who could change the entire conversation with a tap of his thumb and a tweet. And we saw our first female nominee of a major political party, Hillary Clinton.

But it was the “October surprises” that ultimately came to dominate the story of the 2016 election. Trump’s came in the form of a leaked “Access Hollywood” tape, more than a decade old, in which he described groping women in offensive detail. Clinton’s was a letter from FBI director James Comey to Congress updating the status of an investigation into her email server that didn’t result in charges but never quite disappeared. Both story lines exemplify the dark clouds that hovered over each candidate throughout the race.

Now, Americans are buckling up for the political roller-coaster ride that’s likely to last for the next four years.

2. Russian hacking

The hacking of the Democratic National Committee before the convention in July was a game-changer that rocked the presidential race. The following email leaks exposed damaging and embarrassing information on the Democrats, creating a major headache for the Clinton campaign. 

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But it increasingly became clear that the larger story was that the hack revealed America’s vulnerabilities to countries like Russia. U.S. intelligence officials said the attack had Russian “fingerprints,” and as the investigation progressed their confidence grew that Russia was directly involved with the intent of influencing the election. Most recently, officials said they believe Russian President Vladimir Putin himself ordered the hack. Although Donald Trump disputed Russia’s role, senators from both parties have called for an investigation that will keep making headlines in the new year.

3. Syrian civil war

The brutal war in Syria is nearing its six-year mark, with no end in sight for the violence that has already killed more than 400,000 people and driven nearly five million from their homes. 

Aleppo: Before and after
Aleppo: Before and after20 PHOTOS

Several cease-fire deals were made this year, including one agreed to in mid-December just after Syrian government forces claimed the hard-hit city of Aleppo, but in many cases they failed to protect vulnerable civilians.

The realities of war were exposed through heartbreaking photos, videos, and even a Twitter account belonging to a 7-year-old girl and her mother. Among the most searing images of the year was one of a 5-year-old boy just after an airstrike, bloodied and ashen-faced with a blank stare in the back of an ambulance. He is just one of many innocent children who have known nothing but war their entire lives.

4. Brexit

The U.S. election wasn’t the first shocking vote of 2016. In June, the United Kingdom voted to leave the European Union in a move nicknamed “Brexit.” After months of bitter campaigning, the result sent Britain’s prime minister packing and caused economic panic across the globe. The leaders of the “Leave” movement campaigned on the idea that, among other things, the U.K. could have tighter control of its borders without the E.U., while “Remain” supporters mostly argued that leaving would be an economic disaster for Britain. Now the country’s new prime minister plans to move forward with Brexit negotiations, and the official break could happen as early as 2019.

5. Zika outbreak

Mosquitoes were public enemy number one in many parts of the world this year due to their role in spreading the Zika virus

20 alarming facts about the Zika virus
20 alarming facts about the Zika virus21 PHOTOS

Brazil was the epicenter of the outbreak, where thousands of babies were born with Zika-related microcephaly, or a small head and under-developed brain. That’s just one terrifying result linked to the virus, and it seemed researchers learned more each day throughout the year. The virus has also been linked to miscarriages and a neurological condition called Guillain-Barré syndrome, which can cause paralysis. Although the World Health Organization said in November the virus is no longer a “global health emergency,” Zika continues to spread, with locally transmitted cases reported in Florida and Texas for the first time in recent months.

6. Flint, Michigan water crisis

President Obama declared a state of emergency in response to the Flint water disaster on January 16, 2016. That was a little less than two years after the local government switched the city’s water source to the Flint River, causing an unprecedented public health crisis which officials were slow to recognize. The resulting corrosion of the water pipes meant the residents of Flint, many of them poor and a majority black, were drinking lead-contaminated water day after day. When Obama approved FEMA aid, at least 100 children had already tested with high lead levels in Flint, and many more cases were feared. Lead poisoning can permanently and severely affect mental and physical development, according to the Mayo Clinic, and is especially harmful to children and pregnant women.

7. Terror attacks around the world

The year was punctuated by horrific attacks like the January siege by al Qaeda-linked militants on a popular tourist hotel in Burkina Faso, in West Africa, that left nearly 30 people dead, and a deadly bombing at the Brussels airport in Belgium that killed 32 in March. A terror cell involved in 2015’s Paris attack was found to be behind the Brussels plot. 

Brussels attacks: Tributes and solidarity
Brussels attacks: Tributes and solidarity41 PHOTOS

Suicide bombers linked to ISIS targeted the Istanbul airport in a similar attack just three months later, killing more than 40. Then in July, an attacker killed 86 people when he drove a large truck through a crowd celebrating France’s Bastille Day in Nice. And in December, at least 12 died when a hijacked truck slammed into a popular Christmas market in Berlin. The suspect, a migrant believed to have ties to ISIS, fled, sparking a manhunt across Europe.

8. Pulse nightclub shooting

In the midst of pride celebrations across the country, the worst mass shooting in modern U.S. history targeted the very group that should have been celebrating. A lone gunman entered Pulse, a gay nightclub in Orlando, just after last call on Latin night on June 12, 2016. For several hours, he terrorized club-goers as he gunned down 49 of them while holding off police just outside. The attack left the LGBTQ community feeling raw and unsafe in a space that was meant to be their haven. 

Click to learn the personal stories of those lost in the Pulse nightclub shootingCBS NEWS

Americans from all walks of life responded by donating blood, offering shelter, and providing comfort and support for those devastated by the massacre.

9. Deaths of iconic figures

2016 felt especially cruel as the losses of major cultural icons built up in a steady stream throughout the year — so many that it would be daunting to list them all here. 

From musical game-changers like David Bowie and Prince, to beloved actors Alan Rickman and Gene Wilder, to The Greatest, Muhammad Ali, America seemed to be in a constant state of mourning over our treasured figures. 

Notable deaths in 2016
Notable deaths in 2016150 PHOTOS

The deaths of political giants like Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia and former first lady Nancy Reagan left no facet of American culture untouched by a devastating loss this year.

10. America’s opioid crisis

Prince’s death was a high-profile chapter in the opioid addiction epidemic plaguing the U.S. that has dramatically increased in recent years. According to the Department of Health and Human services, 78 people die every day in this country from an opioid-related overdose, whether it be prescription drugs or heroin. Several gut-wrenching videos and photos went viral this year of users near death in public places, sometimes with children involved. In March, President Obama called the crisis is as great a threat as terrorism.

11. Police shootings caught on video

Two black men were shot and killed by police in two days in early July, and in both cases video of the incidents went viral, escalating tensions between the black community and law enforcement.

Alton Sterling was killed in Baton Rouge after an altercation with officers outside of a liquor store, and the very next day Philando Castile was shot 7 times in his car after a Minnesota officer pulled him over for a busted taillight. His girlfriend, who was in the car along with her 4-year-old daughter, broadcast the aftermath on Facebook Live. The raw, emotional content of her video was widely shared on social media as many people questioned how the shooting could have happened. The officer has since been charged with manslaughter

The shootings re-ignited a national conversation about race, policing, and how to bridge the deep divide often exposed between the two.

12. Police officers ambushed in Dallas and Baton Rouge

Just days after the deaths of Sterling and Castile, a sniper angry over their shootings targeted and shot 12 Dallas police officers who were protecting a peaceful protest. Five officers were killed, and the country struggled with grief over such senseless violence. 

“We ask police to do too much and we ask too little of ourselves,” President Obama said at the funeral for the Dallas officers, imploring Americans to come together in unity. 

Police ambushed in Dallas
Police ambushed in Dallas25 PHOTOS

But just 10 days later, it happened again: an attacker gunned down three officers in Baton Rouge. In both cases, the gunmen were killed by police and were believed to have acted alone.

13. Sexual assault sentencing outrage

When convicted rapist and ex-Stanford swimmer Brock Turner was sentenced to just six months in jail, the nationwide outcry was loud and clear. But it was his victim’s impassioned letter to the court, published in full online, that opened up the conversation on sexual assault and the nature of consent in America, especially on college campuses. Many pointed to Turner’s light sentencing, and the judge’s reasoning that he did not want jail to have a negative impact on Turner’s future, as a reason why victims often are afraid to come forward. The woman’s letter also called out Turner’s lawyers for citing her drinking as part of their defense. Critics say this kind of narrative suggests victims “ask for it” or should be held partly responsible when an assault takes place. 

14. Ryan Lochte’s lie heard ’round the world

Olympic swimmer Ryan Lochte found himself in hot water after fibbing about being robbed at gunpoint during the 2016 Rio Games. Turned out, he and some younger teammates had actually just been asked to pay for damage they caused while drunk at a gas station. While some people shrugged them off as “drunk kids” who “made a mistake,” others pointed to the larger issue of privilege, saying the 32-year-old Lochte felt it was OK to lie on a national stage. His story infuriated Brazil because the country had already gone to great lengths to prove it was prepared to safely host the Olympics, and the unwelcome distraction wasted time and resources. Lochte ultimately bounced back with a spot on ABC’s “Dancing with the Stars.” Meanwhile, U.S. women’s soccer star Hope Solo had her contract terminated after she said her Swedish opponents played like “cowards” in an Olympic match. 

15. Major sports milestones

It was the year of the underdog in the baseball and basketball worlds. First, the Cleveland Cavaliers came back from a 3-1 deficit in the NBA finals against the Golden State Warriors to win their city’s first professional sports championship in more than 50 years. Even more unbelievable was who they beat — the Warriors were being lauded as the best team in history after winning a record 73 games in a single season. 

Then in November, the Chicago Cubs broke a 108-year curse by winning the World Series against the Cleveland Indians in heart-stopping fashion. Their victory in extra innings in Game 7 kept millions of fans on the edge of their seats. 

Cubs banish curse with historic World Series win
Cubs banish curse with historic World Series win39 PHOTOS

It was the first time the Cubs had even made it to the World Series since 1945.

16. Fake news and post-truth

Fake news ran rampant on social media throughout the presidential election, and was sometimes even shared by political candidates. But it wasn’t until after the election that Facebook made the decision to crack down on it.

Fake news sites often masquerade as legitimate sources, and they target the ultra-conservative and liberal corners of the internet. People tend to read and share stories that confirm their own biases, but don’t always fact-check the information

Such stories have already proven to have dangerous consequences in real life. The outlandish “Pizzagate” conspiracy theory spread among users on Reddit and ended with a gunman opening fire in a D.C. pizza restaurant. 

So it should come as no surprise that Oxford Dictionaries named “post-truth” the word of the year for 2016. It’s defined as “circumstances in which objective facts are less influential in shaping public opinion than appeals to emotion and personal belief.”


2015 news review: the biggest stories of the year from London, the UK, and the rest of the world in pictures


Hooded gunmen Saïd and Chérif Kouachi aim Kalashnikov rifles at a police officer before shooting him dead, moments after leaving the office of the satirical magazine Charlie Hebdo, where they killed 11 people
A vigil in Paris that attracted hundreds of thousands of people, including more than 40 world leaders, in the wake of the city's three days of terror - which claimed 17 lives, including 11 at the Charlie Hebdo offices
People at the Marche Republicaine unity rally at Paris's Place de la Republique, in tribute to the 17 victims of a three-day killing spree by homegrown Islamists
The Reverend Libby Lane smiles as she stands next to Archbishop of Canterbury Justin Welby outside York Minster after being consecrated as the eighth Bishop of Stockport
Actor Eddie Redmayne accepts the 'best actor in a leading role' Oscar for his portrayal of Steven Hawking in The Theory of Everything during the 87th Annual Academy Awards in Hollywood

By Hannah Al-Othman01 January 2016T

he Paris terror attacks, the Calais Migrant Crisis, and the surprise election of Jeremy Corbyn were among the events that defined 2015.

From the politics, to crime, to entertainment the year saw some dramatic – and in some cases sobering – events.

2015 got off to a sad start with the Charlie Hebdo massacre in January, which saw gunmen kill 11 at the French satirical magazine.

The world mourned, with a vigil in Paris attracting hundreds of thousands of people, including more than 40 world leaders.

January also saw the ordination of the UK’s first female bishop, Libby Lane, who was consecrated as the eigth Bishop of Stockport.

In March Jeremy Clarkson was suspended by the BBC after he attacked producer Oisin Tymon over a steak sandwich.

A petition to the BBC calling for his reinstatement was signed by a million people, but his contract was not renewed – but he was snapped up by Amazon in July.

In April the Hatton Garden heist gripped the nation, when a gang carried out what is thought to be the largest burglary in English legal history.


May saw the birth of Princess Charlotte, who is fourth in line to the throne, at St Mary’s Hospital in Paddington.

Days later the UK went to the polls in the first general election in five years, and returned Prime Minister David Cameron for a second term – this time with an outright Conservative majority.

May also showcased the best of London, when bystanders lifted a double-decker bus off a trapped unicyclist in Walthamstow.

The man lived to tell the tale and praised the heroic Londoners who helped to free him.

June saw terrorists strike again, this time in Tunisia, where they killed 38 people – 30 of them Britons on holiday.

Gunmen opened fire on Maraba beach in Sousse, in the deadliest attack in the African country’s history.

Alton Towers also hit the headlines in June, when the Smiler rollercoaster crashed seriously injuring five people.

While in America Donald Trump announced his intention to stand for president in June – and dominated the headlines for the rest of the year.

It was better news in July, when London enjoyed a heatwave, with record-breaking temperatures recorded at Heathrow.

July also saw American dentist Walter Palmer kill beloved lion Cecil in Zimbabwe – an act that caused outrage the world over.

The Greek economic crisis reached a head in July, when a referendum was held on introducing tough new austerity measures.

2015 also saw a general election in the country, whose economy has struggled throughout the year.

The Calais migrant crisis also caused concern during the summer, and the refugee crisis was the main topic of conversation among world leaders in September, after the body of young Syrian Aylan Kurdi washed up on a Turkish beach.

September also saw the election of veteren left-winger and Islington MP Jeremy Corbyn as leader of the Labour Party.


He had been considered an outsider when he entered the race, but his campaign gained huge momentum and he soared to an easy victory.

The Paris terror atrocities in November shocked the world, when armed militants killed 130 people in a series of attacks across the capitals.

The events cast a shadow over the rest of the year, with the world on high alert, and New Year celebrations cancelled in Brussels and Russia due to an increased terror threat.

For more of the year’s biggest news storiesclick on the gallery above and recall some of the funny, sad and dramatic moments in 2015.

Pictures chosen by Gareth Richman


December 19, 2014

Shard lights up the festive season

Starting this evening until New Year’s Eve, the spire of The Shard will come alive with a dynamic piece of public art designed to reflect and evoke the spirit, energy and dynamism of London.Visible across London,…

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December 2, 2014

Growth across the board for The Times and The Sunday Times

  Times Newspapers Ltd posts operating profit of £1.7m for year ended 30 June 2014, its first since 2001 Total membership across both titles over 390,000 – up 10% year-on-year The Times posts total paid sales…

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November 24, 2014

The Sun celebrates 225,000 milestone in digital subscribers

Figure more than doubled in a year Total paid sales of print and digital editions more than 2.2 million (Mon-Sat) Sun Goals, Dream Team, perks and its inimitable journalism are proving an attractive digital “bundle” Britain’s…

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November 20, 2014

At Home with pioneering ad campaign

The Times and Sunday Times have partnered with Channel 4 for a TV advertising campaign with a difference – an exclusive Homeland ad break takeover. The Times has announced a brand new partnership with Channel 4…

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November 20, 2014

Winners announced for the 2014 Sportswomen of the Year Awards

THE WINNERS of the 2014 Sunday Times and Sky Sports Sportswomen of the Year Awards have been announced at a star-studded ceremony in London – the event was broadcast live on Sky Sports 1 HD between…

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November 20, 2014

FIFA Files

– Unquiet Film Series shines spotlight on Qatar 2022 investigation – The latest instalment of the Unquiet Film Series uncovers the timely truth behind June’s ‘FIFA Files’ investigation by The Sunday Times – unearthing the secret payments…

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November 17, 2014

Siemens select The Sunday Times as Exclusive Print Media Partner for Native Campaign

News UK Commercial and Mediacom create the Ultimate Dinner Party Siemens has partnered with The Sunday Times Magazine for a native ad campaign to raise awareness of its range of intelligent cookware in the run up…

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November 17, 2014

News UK Commercial launches ‘The Newsroom’ with Iceland as first client

Real-Time Brand Journalism Campaign supporting Iceland’s sponsorship of ITV’s I’m A Celebrity Get Me Out Of Here! On Saturday 15th November, News UK Commercial is launching a ground breaking real-time brand journalism unit with a native advertising…

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November 12, 2014

Tablet content and ads as memorable as print

Neuroscience Study by News UK Challenges Industry View that Platform Defines Behaviour A major neuroscience-based research study from News UK Commercial focused on The Times reveals today how print and tablet advertising and content deliver the…

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November 7, 2014

Off the press, on the road and through the door

News UK launches unique print, logistics and consultancy service for newspaper and magazine publishers News UK has today launched a new division for the company called Newssolutions. Offering the newspaper and magazine industry an unrivalled and world-class production…

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November 5, 2014

The Pen is Mightier than the Sword

Sun on Sun Editor Victoria Newton (pictured above) spoke today about her passion and commitment to journalism at the annual service of commemoration for fallen journalists at St Brides Church in Fleet Street, reminding the congregation that…

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October 31, 2014

The Sunday Times Sportswomen Of The Year Awards 2014 Shortlist Announced

Public voting open for prestigious Team of the Year award THE SHORTLIST of finalists for The Sunday Times and Sky Sports Sportswomen of the Year Awards 2014 has been confirmed – and the British public has…

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October 31, 2014

Pukka! Celebrity Chef Jamie Oliver joins The Sunday Times

The Sunday Times has today announced that Jamie Oliver will join the Sunday Times Magazine starting this Sunday, November 2nd. To launch this exciting new partnership The Sunday Times is running a special food-only 72-page edition…

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October 29, 2014

The Art Of Satire

The Times has released a new short film documenting the work of multi-award winning political cartoonist Peter Brookes, following its exclusive screening at the Cheltenham Literature Festival this month.  The Art of Satire is the latest…

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October 24, 2014

The Sunday Times wins at The Campaign Big Awards

The Sunday Times has won two golds at an awards ceremony recognising the best in British advertising. The Campaign Big Awards were staged at Grosvenor House Hotel on Park Lane. The annual awards ceremony is one of the…

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October 16, 2014

Survey reveals voters turn to newspapers for information on Scottish Independence

Newspapers central to healthy political debate News UK CEO tells Press Gazette conference A new survey suggests that newspapers played a greater role in determining how people voted in the Scottish Independence referendum last month than either…

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October 15, 2014

The Sun voted National Newspaper of the Year

The Sun has been voted the 2014 National Newspaper of the Year by independent newsagents at the National Federation of Retail Newsagents (NFRN) Awards.  The NFRN Awards recognise excellence in the news industry and The Sun…

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October 14, 2014

News UK awarded ultimate accolade by The Carbon Trust

News UK has today been awarded The Carbon Trust Triple Standard certification for reducing its carbon footprint by 20 per cent over the past two years. The Carbon Trust also confirmed that News UK is the…

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The super-shared stories of 2013

Published1 January 2014Share

Wine, Thatcher, cat, Chavez & walkie talkie skyscraper

It was a year which saw a number of notable deaths, including Margaret Thatcher, Nelson Mandela and Hugo Chavez, the Pope’s resignation and a meteorite crash in Russia.

But 2013 also saw other issues engaging BBC News website readers. The prospect of a global wine shortage, the rescue of a dolphin from a fishing line and the skyscraper which melted parts of a car were all more unusual stories that captured the imagination. And there was a host of major news events as well.

Here is a selection of the stories on the BBC News website that were either widely shared on social media or received large amounts of readers from social media.


The year started with a helicopter crashing into a crane on a foggy morning in London, killing the pilot and a person on the ground. The Metropolitan Police said it was “miraculous” more people were not killed but safety experts later claimed the crash was “preventable”.

A woman captured the moment a dolphin was rescued from a fishing line in Hawaii. She told the BBC that the dolphin “communicated” with the diver to request help. captionCamera operator Martina Wing described the rescue as “mind-blowing”


Pope Benedict XVI unexpectedly announced his resignation on grounds of poor health, making him the first pope to do so in nearly 600 years. Cardinal Jorge Mario Bergoglio from Argentina was subsequently elected as Pope Francis.

Scientists confirmed a skeleton buried under a car park in Leicester was that of English king Richard III. The lead archaeologist said it was “beyond reasonable doubt” the bones were those of the monarch, who was killed in battle in 1485. A battle of a different sort, over where his remains will be buried, continues at the High Court.

Nearly 1,000 people were injured by a meteorite which crashed in central Russia. One Russian politician reportedly blamed American weapons testing for the incident although it’s thought to have been caused by the partial burning of a large meteor in the lower atmosphere. captionThe BBC’s Daniel Sandford says people described a ball of fire in the sky


Millions of Venezuelans mourned the death of president Hugo Chavez, aged 58. The controversial leader of 14 years had been ill with cancer for more than a year and many queued for hours to see his body lying in state.

Also in March, a man dressed as Batman marched into a Bradford police station to hand over somebody wanted by authorities. The man behind the outfit, takeaway delivery driver Stan Worby later revealed he did so for a joke after watching his team’s cup final in London.

However, the next month, the 39-year-old was himself charged for burglary. captionWho is the Bradford batman?


The death of Margaret Thatcher, Britain’s first female prime minister, was announced. The 87-year-old died “peacefully” following a stroke whilst staying at the Ritz hotel in central London. Crowds of supporters and some protesters lined the streets of London for the ceremonial funeral which followed at St Paul’s Cathedral.

A day earlier, two explosions at the finish line of the Boston Marathon killed three people and left hundreds injured. One of those suspected of being behind the attack was shot dead, while the other survived being shot through the face, legs and left hand. captionThe moment of the first explosion

The BBC’s Great British class calculator, which suggested there are seven identifiable social groupings in the UK, really got readers talking. New affluent workers, emergent service workers and precariat – the poor, precarious proletariat – were among the new classes to emerge from the study of 161,458 people.

It also revealed 20th Century middle-class and working-class stereotypes are out of date with only 39% of participants fitting into the established middle class and traditional working class categories.


A deadly machete attack in Woolwich, south-east London grabbed the nation’s attention. It was later confirmed that Drummer Lee Rigby of the 2nd Battalion the Royal Regiment of Fusiliers was the victim.


Sharers were smitten by the secret life of the cat, a study which tracked the movements of 10 cats over a number of weeks. The felines featured were found to have squabbled with their fellow furry friends over territory, visited other homes and roamed for up to eight acres a day.

Baby asleep in one of the maternity boxes

There was also a fair degree of fascination with Finnish babies, who sleep in cardboard boxes. The boxes are a gift from the state, and contain a mattress and heaps of other goodies, to give all new mothers a more equal start in life.


As we entered the second half of the year, readers jumped at the chance to find out “where can I afford to live?” The house price calculator encouraged plenty of discussion and compared the cost of renting and buying across the UK. The results revealed a geographical divide with prices in northern regions flatlining or falling, whereas in London and the south east prices are on the rise.


An entrepreneur in Leeds turned the tables on cold callers by setting up his own premium rate number. Lee Beaumont installed a personal 0871 line, which means telephoning him costs 10p per minute, of which he receives 7p. “I want cold calls” he said after revealing he had increased his revenue by keeping those who had previously been bothering him talking.

Alfredo Moser with one of his bottle lights
image captionAlfredo Moser with his lamp, which was inspired by an electricity blackout

Further afield, there was intrigue at the Brazilian man who illuminated rooms using nothing more than plastic bottles filled with water and a bit of bleach. The lamp he created is now widely used across the world and although he’s not financially well off as a result, his invention has given him an enormous sense of pride. Did Moser believe that his creation would have such an impact? “I’d have never imagined it, no,” he says. “It gives you goose-bumps to think about it.”


Light grabbed readers’ attention for a different reason in September after a skyscraper melted parts of a car. The City of London came under siege from rays of light reflected by a building dubbed the “Walkie-Talkie”. “You can’t believe something like this would happen,” said Martin Lindsay, who saw parts of his Jaguar buckle. “They’ve got to do something about it.” captionThe BBC’s Andrew Verity surveys the damage caused by the skyscraper


There was alarm for wine drinkers after a report warned the world faced a wine shortage with global demand outstripping supply. “The deepest shortfall in over 40 years of records” was caused by a combination of vines being deliberately pulled up to reduce production and poor weather, and could lead to higher prices in the short term. But critics dismissed the story.


Lostprophets lead singer Ian Watkins pleaded guilty to a series of “depraved” child sex offences, including the attempted rape of a baby. The Welsh rock band’s front-man accepted he was a “determined and committed paedophile” after evidence was found on computers, laptops and mobile phones. The 36-year-old was subsequently handed a 35 year sentence.


Nelson Mandela

Tributes from across the globe poured in for South Africa’s first black president Nelson Mandela, who died aged 95. The anti-apartheid icon had been receiving intensive medical care at home for a lung infection after spending three months in hospital. His funeral took place 10 days later following more than a week of national mourning.

Fast & Furious star Paul Walker was killed in a car crash in California. The 40-year-old American actor was a passenger in a Porsche sports car driven by a friend, who also died, when it crashed north of Los Angeles.

Icelandic police shot dead a man who was firing a shotgun in an armed operation, something which had never previously happened there.

British diver Tom Daley used YouTube to announce he has a boyfriend. “Of course I still fancy girls but right now I’m dating a guy and I couldn’t be happier,” the 19-year-old said.


The super-shared stories of 2012

Published31 December 2012Share

Clockwise from top left: Jessica Ennis, driving dog, Barack Obama, marijuana plant, Queen Elizabeth II, tape meausre around waistline

It was the year that the Queen celebrated 60 years on the throne, the UK basked in the reflected glory of its Olympic and Paralympic athletes and the US re-elected Barack Obama as president.

But 2012 also saw other issues capture the attention of BBC News website readers. From a toddler’s encounter with a hungry lion to amateur attempts to restore a fresco of Christ, here are some of the most-shared stories of the past 12 months.


Giraffe bread
image captionGiraffe, not tiger, bread

The year started with a three-year-old girl’s victory over supermarket giant Sainsbury’s.

In a letter, she wrote: Sainsbury’s rebrands tiger bread It should be called giraffe bread. Love from Lily Robinson age 3 and 1/2.”

After her missive went viral, Sainsbury’s duly renamed its loaves and conceded its original decision may have been “a bit silly”.

January was also the month when former Blockbusters host Bob Holness died at the age of 83, following a series of strokes.

In a broadcasting career spanning six decades, we learned, he had become the second actor to play James Bond when he starred in a 1956 adaptation of Moonraker.

And footage emerged of a young Australian woman plunging into the crocodile-infested Zambezi River, when her bungee rope snapped in two.

“I actually had to swim down and yank the bungee cord out of whatever it was caught in to,” recalled a remarkably sanguine Erin Langworthy. captionErin Langworthy: “It went black straight away and I felt liked I had been slapped all over” – Footage courtesy of Australia’s Channel 9


The death of singer Whitney Houston at a Los Angeles hotel shocked stars who had gathered there for a party ahead of the Grammy Awards.

“It’s difficult not to be sad about it because it’s a great loss. Her soul, her spirit, lives within all of us,” said jazz legend Herbie Hancock.

One of the most celebrated female singers of all time, the latter part of her career had been overshadowed by substance abuse. A coroner later ruled that Ms Houston drowned after cocaine use.

Tribute to Whitney Houston on sandwich board outside diner in her hometown of Newark, New Jersey

Suggestions that the need for an need for an eight-hour sleep could be a myth captured the attention of readers.

Although many people worry about lying awake in the middle of the night, it could in fact be good to have two four-hour naps punctuated by wakefulness – and time to reflect on our dreams.

“Today we spend less time doing those things,” said sleep psychologist Gregg Jacobs. “It’s not a coincidence that, in modern life, the number of people who report anxiety, stress, depression, alcoholism and drug abuse has gone up.”


image captionCould eating chocolate make you thin?

Research suggesting chocolate ‘may keep people slim’ was widely considered as deserving of further investigation – and sharing.

American academics said that people who eat chocolate regularly tend to be thinner, possibly because it contains ingredients that favour weight loss.

Somewhat frustratingly, however, experts advised caution “in the absence of conclusive evidence”.

In Kuwait, the Kazakh shooting team were stunned when a comedy national anthem from the film Borat was played at a medal ceremony.

Organisers had mistakenly downloaded the parody from the internet and, as Kazakhstan’s coach pointed out, had also got the Serbian anthem wrong.

In the US it was Batman who was causing trouble, when police pulled over a Lamborghini driven by a man dressed as The Caped Crusader.

“You can send me Robin if you wish”, said the officer responsible for investigating the car’s invalid number plates.

The opportunity to investigate where you are on the global pay scale also generated great interest.

Based on figures for 72 countries, omitting some of the poorest, readers who entered their monthly salary were able to check whether they earned more or less than the world average.


Plans to allow the government to monitor the calls, emails, texts and website visits of everyone in the UK emerged at the start of April.

The proposals, which would require internet firms to give GCHQ access to communications in real time, were described by Tory MP David Davis as “an unnecessary extension of the ability of the state to snoop”. The draft Communications Data Bill remains controversial.

Footage from an airport in Bilbao, Spain, showed planes struggling to remain stable as extremely high winds blew them across the runway. Some pilots had second thoughts and decided not to land. captionFootage shows planes attempting to land at Bilbao’s Loiu airport in high winds


As the Diamond Jubilee celebrations began readers of the BBC News website were asked Have you been where the Queen’s been?

The answer was almost certainly “no” – the monarch is probably the best-travelled in history and, by May, had been to 116 countries excluding the UK.

May also saw the epic journey of a stray dog who completed a thousand-mile (1,700km) journey across China.

Nicknamed Xiaosa, the dog joined cyclists on a 24-day trip from Sichuan province to Tibet after one of them gave him food.

In the US, a hungry lioness called Kya was filmed desperately trying to reach a toddler on the other side of safety glass. The youngster, Jack, remained entirely unfazed. captionJack was dressed in an almost zebra-like striped top


An investigation into why British people are, on average, nearly three stone (19kg) heavier than they were 50 years ago led to a closer look at one of the country’s biggest fried breakfasts.

Called the Challenge Kidz Breakfast because, at 9lb (4kg), it weighs the same as a small child, the dish features eight eggs, 12 rashers of bacon, 12 sausages, potatoes, mushrooms, hash browns, black pudding, beans and 12 slices of bread.

“Obviously that’s not something that you should eat every day. It is a challenge,” the BBC was advised. captionThe Jester Challenge Kids’ Breakfast


Continuing with weighty issues, July offered the chance to see where you are on the global fat scale.

The results included a calculation of how much heavier (or lighter) the world’s population would be if everyone weighed the same as you.

As the Olympics approached, torrential rain gave way to clear skies and armchair athletes limbered up for a festival of sport.

Many chose to investigate their Olympic athlete body match, although no records were kept as to the number who found they were more shot putter than long-distance runner.

The tale of an 18-month tour of Africa that turned into a 23-year, 500,000-mile drive saw a former German airline executive recount his extraordinary journey around the world.


The remarkable work of an elderly parishioner who took it upon herself to repair a damaged but prized Jesus Christ fresco alarmed cultural officials near Zaragoza, Spain.

Cecilia Gimenez, who is in her 80s, was reportedly upset at the way the fresco had deteriorated and took it on herself to “restore” it.

She has since demanded royalties after the botched image became a hit with tourists. captionCecilia Gimenez’ attempt to restore the prized Ecce Homo fresco stunned Spanish cultural officials

More than 40 years after he became the first man to set foot on the Moon, US astronaut Neil Armstrong died at the age of 82.

He was remembered by US President Barack Obama as “among the greatest of American heroes – not just of his time, but of all time”.

And in a field in Essex, a lion hunt involving armed police and helicopters began after a sighting near a caravan park.

“We believe we saw a large cat looking at a tree… it just sat there looking at us,” said holidaymaker Bob Martin.

No lion was found.


Terry Nutkins beside a bust of himself in 2010
image captionNutkins was known for his ebullience and his unruly hair

The death of wildlife presenter Terry Nutkins at the age of 66 prompted tributes for his work on wildlife programmes including Animal Magic and The Really Wild Show.

Presenter Ben Fogle described Nutkins, a father of eight, as one of his “childhood inspirations”, while comedian Ricky Gervais said he was a “thoroughly nice chap”.

Meanwhile, the Britishisation of American English stirred debate about the spread in the US of terms like “spot on”, “ginger”, “will do” and “chattering classes”.

“In the UK, the use of Americanisms is seen as a sign that culture is going to hell,” said Jesse Sheidlower, American editor at large of the Oxford English Dictionary.

“But Americans think all British people are posh, so – aside from things that are fairly pretentious – no-one would mind.”


Barack Obama with victory confetti

As the US prepared to vote and pollsters struggled to separate Barack Obama and Mitt Romney, many of you took the chance to eliminate uncertainty and predict the president.

While some of the experts the BBC consulted suggested a narrow win for Obama, others opted for Romney, or even a dead heat. Obama went on to win 332 seats, against Romney’s 206.

In the UK there was a victory of sorts for an elderly couple who, police said, had unwittingly grown Couple unwittingly grow cannabis they had ever seen.

The couple had carefully tended the plant since buying it at a car boot sale. Police said it would be destroyed.


Jose Mujica and his dogs outside his home
image captionUruguay’s leader Jose Mujica gets his water from a well

The story of the world’s poorest president provided a sharp contrast to the scenes in Washington.

Uruguayan leader Jose Mujica lives on a ramshackle farm owned by his wife and gives away 90% of his $12,000 (£7,500) monthly salary. His water comes from a well.

“If you don’t have many possessions, then you don’t need to work all your life like a slave to sustain them, and therefore you have more time for yourself,” he said.


A giant schnauzer and his canine friends learning to drive cars in New Zealand grabbed the attention of many readers in December.

The driving school was set up by a charity keen to prove how intelligent its charges are.

After months of practising gear changes, controlling the brakes and using the steering wheel, graduates are rewarded with a spin round a field. It is hoped that many of them will also find new homes. captionMonty the giant schnauzer has mastered the use of brakes, steering wheel and gearstick


Your top 10 stories of 2011

From revolutions to riots and deaths to disasters, there was no room for the minor or quirky story in your selections

A tsunami breaches the flood barriers of Miyako city after north-east Japan is hit by an earthquake
The earthquake and tsunami in Japan was chosen by Guardian readers as the most important story of 2011. Photograph: Tomohiko Kano/AP

Kirsten BroomhallTue 3 Jan 2012 16.45 GMT


In an exceptional year of news, the hardest question for anyone to answer when trying to select the top stories of 2011 was what to leave out.

This rang true even when trying to select each day’s story for our interactive of the year in review. With such significant and long-running events as the Arab spring, eurozone crisis and phone-hacking scandal; the deaths of key world figures, and devastating natural disasters around the globe, there was little room for the medium, let alone quirky story to make an appearance.

And this was reflected in your own choices from the interactive. The collective top 10 stories cover the big events of the Japanese earthquake, the Arab spring and the English riots, as well as four deaths and a wedding.

Here are the top 10 stories as chosen by you:

1. A series of massive earthquakes hit north-east Japan, unleashing a 10-metre tsunami

2. US forces kill the al-Qaida leader, Osama bin Laden, in a raid on a house in Abbottabad, Pakistan

3. The Egyptian president, Hosni Mubarak, quits and the army pledges to oversee a transition to democracy

4. President Zine al-Abidine Ben Ali flees Tunisia, sparking copycat protests that become the Arab spring

5. Libya’s former leader Muammar Gaddafi is killed by rebels in the wake of a Nato air strike

6. Prince William marries Catherine Middleton at Westminster Abbey

7. The English riots hit their peak in London and spread to Birmingham, Bristol and Liverpool

8. Apple co-founder Steve Jobs dies, aged 56

9. The English riots begin on the back of a peaceful protest over the police shooting of Mark Duggan in London

10. The death is announced of the North Korean leader, Kim Jong-il, one of the most condemned leaders of recent history

The news year was in fact so big that some events that would probably have made the cut in a “normal” year, didn’t reach the top 10 – the crisis in Greece, the occupy protests, the Murdochs’ appearance before a hearing on phone hacking, to name just a few.

What do you think – did you or your fellow readers get it right? Should other more significant stories have been chosen instead? If so, which ones? Let us know below, or go to the interactive and enter your own top 10 to change the course of (Guardian readers’) history.

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Key images from the most-read news stories of 2010

Freezing weather and a volcano left air passengers fuming, Cameron and Clegg sent Brown packing, and student protests left Westminster – and a royal couple – reeling.

But other moments among the year’s most-read stories struck a different tone: the UK’s biggest lottery win, two royal engagements and exultant scenes as 33 Chilean miners emerged after two months underground.


Satellite image of Britain under snow (Picture: University of Dundee)
image captionSatellite images showing Britain under snow would return in December

Snow and ice dominated the headlines for more than a week at the start of the year, as Britain shivered in the longest cold spell for almost 30 years.

Thousands of schools closed, buses, trains and planes were delayed, and power supplies failed as winter chaos reigned.

On 12 January, a devastating earthquake struck Haiti, claiming 230,000 lives and leaving more than one million people homeless.

In the UK, Jonathan Ross announced he was leaving the BBC after 13 years. The corporation’s highest paid star insisted his decision was not financially motivated.

Attention turned to England football captain John Terry and his private life after a court lifted an injunction stopping the media reporting allegations of an affair.

And another leader, at least formerly, Tony Blair, gave evidence to the Iraq inquiry saying he had “no regrets” about removing Saddam Hussein.

Apple launched its iPad in San Francisco at the end of the month.


Alexander McQueen and model Kate Moss
image captionKate Moss was said to be devastated by the death of her “dear friend”

Showbiz relationships led February’s most-read stories as model Katie Price married her boyfriend Alex Reid and Cheryl Cole split from her footballer husband Ashley Cole.

The fashion world was in shock after designer Alexander McQueen was found dead at his London home.

And Newsnight presenter Jeremy Paxman himself made the news for swearing on air – and apologising afterwards.

There was tragedy in central Chile, as a massive earthquake killed more than 200 people and affected two million more. And in Orlando, Florida, when a trainer died after a killer whale attack at the SeaWorld park.

But it was all smiles in Gloucestershire as a self-confessed “white van man” scooped £56m in the Euromillions – Britain’s biggest ever lottery jackpot, for now at least.


Chancellor Alistair Darling’s Budget was the most popular story this month as he set out battle lines for the general election.

He cut stamp duty for first-time buyers and raised taxes for the better-off, amongst a series of other measures.

Away from politics, there was a sombre tone to many of the stories.

Memories of toddler James Bulger’s shocking murder on Merseyside in 1993 were re-ignited when one of his killers – Jon Venables – breached the terms of his release.

TV presenter Kristian Digby, who worked on BBC One’s To Buy or Not To Buy, was found dead in his London flat, aged 32.

Then Hollywood actor Dennis Hopper was revealed to be terminally ill with prostate cancer. He would die two months later.

But the glitz of the Oscars lightened the tone as Kathryn Bigelow became the first woman to win best director, for The Hurt Locker, which took six prizes including best film.


Ash from a volcanic eruption in Iceland dominated the most-read list in April as all flights in and out of the UK were suspended.

The cloud triggered the UK’s worst airspace restriction in living memory and brought much of Europe to a standstill.

Thousands of Britons were stranded as the UK remained a virtual no-fly zone for several days.

An explosion on the Deepwater Horizon platform in the Gulf of Mexico killed 11 oil workers and caused one of the worst oil spills in history, and a PR disaster for BP.

Gordon Brown’s gaffe on the election campaign trail in Rochdale also proved a popular read. The former prime minister said he was “mortified” after being caught on microphone describing a pensioner he had just spoken to as “bigoted”.

Elsewhere, The One Show presenter Adrian Chiles quit the BBC to join ITV and GMTV in a four-year deal.

Finally, in a twist on April Fools hoax stories, the BBC News Magazine produced a round-up of 10 seemingly fake newspaper stories which were actually true.


General Election month, and readers were captivated by every twist and turn in a genuine political drama.

Gordon Brown leaves 10 Downing Street with his wife Sarah and young children
image captionA family leaves Downing Street

The tension built as millions cast their vote and Britain headed for a hung Parliament – but it was not until four days after polling day that Gordon Brown announced he was stepping down as Labour leader.

Defeat closed in on Labour then voters finally awoke to a new Conservative-led coalition government with the Liberal Democrats.

Prime Minister David Cameron and his deputy Nick Clegg unveiled their policy programme, before Chancellor George Osborne outlined plans to cut £6.2bn of “wasteful spending”.

In other news, a man charged with murdering three Bradford prostitutes referred to himself in court as the “crossbow cannibal”.

The volcanic ash cloud reappeared in the most-read list as new rules allowing planes to fly at higher ash densities were agreed.


Most read this month was the shooting rampage by taxi driver Derrick Bird which left a dozen people dead and 25 injured in Cumbria.

England fan
image captionEngland football fans were inconsolable

The first fatality was his twin brother, David, in Lamplugh. He then shot two others he knew before driving south, apparently shooting people at random. His body was found in the Boot area.

Chancellor George Osborne’s Budget came next as he increased VAT and cut welfare spending to tackle Britain’s record debts.

Child benefit and public sector pay were frozen and public service spending cut by 25%.

The mauling of nine-month-old twins, reportedly by a fox, also grabbed headlines. The girls were sleeping in their cots when the animal apparently entered the house in east London through a ground-floor door.

And normal service resumed in England’s World Cup campaign as the team returned home from South Africa after a 4-1 second-round defeat at the hands of Germany.


Another month, another shooting rampage. This time, all eyes were on the town of Rothbury in Northumberland after gunman Raoul Moat shot three people and went on the run.

After shooting his ex-girlfriend and killing her new partner, the former bouncer shot policeman David Rathband in his patrol car, before eventually killing himself after a six-hour stand-off with armed officers.

A mishmash of other stories made it on to the most-read list. A five-year-old Irish boy wrongly accused of stealing a bag of crisps won his damages case against supermarket chain Lidl.

BNP leader Nick Griffin was denied entry to a Buckingham Palace garden party over claims he “overtly” used his invitation for political purposes.

And pictures of a luxury car – worth £1.2m – clamped outside Harrods in central London also attracted widespread attention.


A meteor streaks past stars in the night sky over Stonehenge in Salisbury Plain
image captionThe annual display, seen here over Stonehenge, is caused by debris from the comet Swift-Tuttle

August threw up a mixed bag of news in keeping with its traditional “silly season” tag.

Skywatchers enjoyed “fantastic views” of the annual Perseid meteor shower and a US man taken to hospital for a collapsed lung was told he had a pea plant growing in his lung.

Comedian Tim Vine won a prize for the funniest joke of the Edinburgh Fringe. His gag: “I’ve just been on a once-in-a-lifetime holiday. I’ll tell you what, never again.”

The BBC also made headlines. Chris Evans’ Radio 2 breakfast show lost a million listeners in three months. Weatherman Tomasz Schafernaker made rude on-air gestures, and the corporation became embroiled in a court battle over the identity of Top Gear’s The Stig.

There was interest, too, in an MI6 worker whose body was found in a hold-all in the bath at his London flat.

And model Naomi Campbell attracted attention at the war crimes trial of ex-Liberian President Charles Taylor, with her testimony that she was given “dirty-looking stones” after a dinner he attended.


The Pope visits the UK
image captionThe Pope’s visit took in Glasgow, Edinburgh, London and Birmingham

Sibling rivalry topped the most-read list in September as Ed Miliband was narrowly elected Labour leader over his brother David.

Their political rival David Cameron’s father Ian died, then it was revealed his daughter Florence, who was born last month, slept in a box rather than a cot.

Despite some arrests by counter-terrorism officers, Pope Benedict XVI’s four-day state visit went without a major hitch, although there were protests. It was the first official trip by a serving pontiff since 1982.

Two deaths at the end of the month made the list: Segway boss Jimi Heselden fell from cliffs riding one of his firm’s motorised scooters, then Hollywood star Tony Curtis had a cardiac arrest at his home in the US.

And at just 70cm (27ins) tall, a Colombian was confirmed as the world’s shortest living man.


There was huge interest in the conclusion of a drama in Chile as 33 miners were successfully rescued after two months trapped deep underground. captionThe miners were trapped 700m (2,300 ft) underground

That only just beat George Osborne’s Spending Review to the top slot, as the chancellor unveiled the biggest UK cuts for decades and axed child benefit for higher-rate taxpayers.

The scrapping of 192 quangos – public bodies like the Film Council – was also well read.

As were plans to ditch Harrier jump jets, the Navy’s flagship HMS Ark Royal and cut thousands of jobs in the strategic defence review.

Showbiz again proved popular as X Factor singer Gamu fought her expulsion from the UK and Take That fans crashed sites selling tickets for a tour with Robbie Williams.

But the ticket everybody really wanted was the one which scooped first prize in the Euromillions draw – it was the biggest single lottery win in UK history and worth £113m.


Freezing weather returned to the UK, as forecasters warned of the earliest significant snowfalls since 1993.

William and Kate meet the press
image captionWilliam gave Kate his mother’s diamond engagement ring

Hundreds of schools closed and motorists and air passengers faced long delays. In Cornwall, meanwhile, floods and gales caused travel chaos across the county.

There were heated scenes in Westminster as protests against plans to treble tuition fees turned violent. Demonstrators stormed buildings and smashed windows, overshadowing the planned day of action.

News that Prince William was to marry long-term girlfriend Kate Middleton in 2011 also drew strong interest. Clarence House announced the date and venue a week later.

Elsewhere, comedian Jason Manford quit The One Show and Nigel Havers walked out of I’m A Celebrity… Get Me Out Of Here!


The Prince of Wales and Duchess of Cornwall's car was attacked during student protests in London
image captionThe royal couple were unharmed in the attack as they headed to the London Palladium

Freezing temperatures and heavy snow returned with a vengeance as one of the coldest starts to December for 20 years took its toll.

Schools shut again and there was more travel chaos, which left thousands of people’s Christmas plans in disarray.

The Prince of Wales and Duchess of Cornwall were caught up in violent student protests and the Queen’s oldest granddaughter, Zara Phillips, got engaged to her long-term boyfriend – England rugby star Mike Tindall.

The publication of thousands of US embassy cables by the Wikileaks website continued, but the focus of the story shifted later in the month to its founder, Julian Assange, who is fighting extradition to Sweden over sex assault allegations.

Showbiz again proved popular as some of the most watched TV shows reached a climax. Matt Cardle won The X Factor,Stella English became The Apprentice, and actress Kara Tointon took the Strictly Come Dancing title.


The most-read stories of 2009
Clockwise from top left: A duck house hat on expenses, Michael Jackson tributes, Amanda Knox, Tamiflu, Jade and Jack
From the king of pop to the queen of reality TV, from swine flu to MPs’ expenses, these are among the year’s most-read stories.There are goodbyes and near-misses, extremes in the weather, and a few light-hearted moments alongside more serious tales.JANUARYTwo near misses and a certain Time Lord grabbed the headlines in January.It was new year, new Doctor, as Matt Smith was named as the actor to take over from David Tennant in Doctor Who. At 27, he will be the youngest to take on the role when he appears on TV in 2010.A plane crash-lands in New York. Photo: Nigel BakerA pilot ditched an Airbus A320 in the Hudson River after a double bird strikeAttention turned to Manchester United winger Cristiano Ronaldo, who wrote off his Ferrari in a crash near Manchester Airport but walked away unscathed.Another lucky escape attracted plenty of attention when a pilot crash-landed an airliner in New York’s Hudson River after birds disabled its engines. All 155 passengers and crew were rescued.Two technology stories also made headlines this month. The first told how a Windows “worm” infected millions of computers, and the second revealed plans for broadband to be in every UK home by 2012.And the Bank of England cut interest rates to 1.5% – the lowest level in its 315-year history.FEBRUARYOne story dominated the most-read list in February – the UK’s worst snowfall for almost 20 years and ensuing winter chaos.Road, rail and air transport was badly affected, hundreds of schools were closed and a shortage of road salt created what the AA called “a safety crisis”.Heavy snow falls in London early in FebruaryLondon was covered in 4in (10cm) of snow – the most recorded in 18 yearsThree separate tragic tales provided the focus for the rest of the month.Terminally ill reality TV star Jade Goody, who had cervical cancer, married her fiance Jack Tweed in Essex. She died, aged 27, a month later.Conservative leader David Cameron’s “beautiful” six-year-old son Ivan, who had cerebral palsy and epilepsy, died at a hospital in London.And nine people were killed and 84 injured when a Turkish Airlines plane crashed on landing at Amsterdam’s Schiphol international airport.MARCHMarch offered little in light relief, until the end of the month at least. First, gunmen attacked a bus carrying the Sri Lankan cricket team near the Pakistani city of Lahore, killing six police escorts and a driver.Chelsea and England footballer Ashley Cole was arrested for being drunk and disorderly after swearing at police officers.Natasha RichardsonVanessa Redgrave’s daughter was injured during a skiing lessonA teenage gunman killed 15 people on a rampage at a school in south-west Germany, including nine pupils and three teachers.Then, actress Natasha Richardson died from head injuries sustained in a skiing accident in Canada.But the mood was lifted by the most clicked on story of the month, which raised smiles and possibly a few pilots’ eyebrows.An 18-year-old secretly painted a 60ft penis on the roof of his parents’ £1m Berkshire mansion. It was there for a year before they found out.APRILApril saw swine flu emerge from Mexico and spread to Britain. But these were early days. The number of UK cases was still in single figures and a pandemic imminent, not yet a reality.Clare Balding and Liam TreadwellThe BBC said Balding “had no intention” of upsetting the jockeyChancellor Alistair Darling’s budget drew widespread attention. He tore up a New Labour election pledge by unveiling a new tax rate for earnings over £150,000.Memories of February’s snow faded, as Met Office forecasters predicted a “barbecue summer” for the UK with no repeat of recent washouts.Almost. Summer temperatures were warmer than the previous two years, but average rainfall was up 40%.It was a month to forget for BBC presenter Clare Balding who apologised to Grand National winning jockey Liam Treadwell for making fun of his teeth on air.After urging him to show his pearly whites, she told him he could now afford to “get them done” with his prize money.MAYThe rumblings, uproar and recriminations in Westminster over MPs’ expenses hogged this month’s headlines.Health minister Phil Hope said he would repay £41,709 in second home allowances, then Labour MP Shahid Malik stepped down as justice minister.Peter Andre and Katie PriceThe couple met while on reality show I’m a Celebrity…Get Me Out of Here!”Appalled” Conservative leader David Cameron, meanwhile, said he would lead senior Tories in repaying “excessive” claims.But it did not end there. Under-fire Commons Speaker Michael Martin was next to quit – making him the first in that role to be effectively forced out of office for 300 years.Away from politics, it was all over for Peter Andre and Katie Price too. The celebrity couple announced they were separating after three-and-a-half years of marriage.Then there was the competition to land the “best job in the world”. Hampshire man Ben Southall beat 34,000 applicants to become the new caretaker of an Australian tropical island.JUNEAnother month, another round of political stories.Communities Secretary Hazel Blears quit the cabinet on the eve of two sets of elections, increasing pressure on the prime minister.The Conservatives triumphed in the English local elections, and two days later, Labour slumped to an historic defeat in the European polls.Debris from an Air France crashDivers recover a large section of the rudder of Flight 447There was huge interest in the Air France plane which vanished over the Atlantic in a storm carrying 228 people from Brazil to France.Within a week rescuers were recovering debris and, inevitably, bodies from the ocean.Then Michael Jackson died. The 50-year-old pop legend was pronounced dead at his home in Beverly Hills, Los Angeles, after he stopped breathing.On a lighter note, the Stig, a mystery driver who tests cars on BBC’s Top Gear, was “revealed” as Michael Schumacher – although many feel sure the whole thing was a stunt.JULYOne of the most popular stories this month concerned a new directory service for people to find mobile phone numbers.Elsewhere, Michael Jackson’s family and fans said farewell to the superstar at an emotional memorial service.A memorial service to Michael JacksonJackson’s daughter Paris, 11, said he was “the best father” imaginableLiverpool footballer Steven Gerrard was in court on an affray charge after a row over music at a bar in Southport.Former Wales, Arsenal and Celtic striker John Hartson was in a critical condition after brain surgery following a cancer diagnosis.Swine flu reared its head again after an estimated 100,000 new cases in a week. Earlier in the month a GP and a six-year-old girl died after contracting the virus.Finally, in Scotland, an off-duty police dog handler took a video of what he claimed was a panther-sized big cat on a railway line.AUGUSTFootball got some high-profile coverage in August – for the wrong reasons. A man was stabbed in the chest during “large-scale trouble” involving hundreds of fans at a West Ham v Millwall match.Jaycee Lee Dugard Jaycee Lee Dugard disappeared in 1991, aged 11West Ham centre-back Calum Davenport’s career was threatened when he was stabbed in the legs at his mother’s home in Bedfordshire.And a British teenager found dead in Crete was revealed to be the younger brother of Aston Villa and England footballer Luke Young.Also drawing plenty of attention was the case of a US woman in California found 18 years after she was abducted as a girl in 1991.Jaycee Lee Dugard was kept in a “hidden backyard within a backyard” and bore two children by her alleged kidnapper Phillip Garrido.And finally, the funniest joke of this year’s Edinburgh Fringe, as voted by viewers of TV channel Dave.Comedian Dan Antopolski won the prize for this one-liner: “Hedgehogs. Why can’t they just share the hedge?” Here is the list of gags he beat.SEPTEMBERTwo celebrity deaths on the same day – celebrity chef Keith Floyd died following a heart attack, and Dirty Dancing actor Patrick Swayze lost his two-year battle against pancreatic cancer.A gold "pommel cap" for a sword handleThis gold cap for the end of a sword handle is one of 1,500 items foundElsewhere, private school teacher Helen Goddard, 26, was jailed for having sex with a 15-year-old female pupil.Sir Terry Wogan announced he was stepping down as presenter of BBC Radio 2’s breakfast show.And Sugababe Keisha Buchanan left the pop group, claiming it was not her decision.Then there was a story that was pure gold – the UK’s largest haul of Anglo-Saxon treasure discovered by a metal detectorist in Staffordshire.OCTOBERShowbiz figures dominated the most-read list in October, led by the sudden death of Boyzone singer Stephen Gately on holiday in Majorca.Friends, fans and stars paid tribute to the 33-year-old ahead of a post-mortem examination which found he died of natural causes.Nick GriffinEight million people watched Mr Griffin’s Question Time appearanceMeanwhile, Little Britain star Matt Lucas pulled out of a West End play after his former partner Kevin McGee was found hanged.Actress Barbara Windsor announced she was quitting EastEnders.Meanwhile, BNP leader Nick Griffin said he would complain to the BBC for facing a “lynch mob” on Question Time.And finally, when it came to relationship age gaps, Somalian man Ahmed Muhamed Dore took some beating. He claimed he was 112 when he married 17-year-old Safia Abdulleh.NOVEMBERWeather stories led the way as parts of southern England were flooded in the middle of the month, with worse to come.A week later about 200 people were rescued from the town of Cockermouth as Cumbria was hit by the worst floods in its history. RAF helicopters airlifted at least 50 to safety.A flooded street in CockermouthDozens of people spent the night in rescue centres in CumbriaThere was disappointment for millions of bank customers hoping to be refunded overdraft charges. The Supreme Court overturned earlier rulings allowing the Office of Fair Trading to investigate the fairness of charges.Veteran actor Edward Woodward died at 79, after suffering pneumonia and various other illnesses.And there was tragedy in Liverpool when a four-year-old boy was mauled to death by a dog at a family home.But it was not all doom and gloom – for some at least.I’m A Celebrity… Get Me Out Of Here! produced two of the month’s popular stories as first ex-Strictly Come Dancing star Camilla Dallerup then model Katie Price quit the show.DECEMBERA cold snap, and heavy snow and ice meant travel was thrown into chaos, schools closed and power supplies were cut.Christmas holiday plans were disrupted as many airports cancelled flights.Chancellor Alistair Darling’s pre-Budget report was also keenly observed. He said National Insurance would rise, and announced a bank bonus tax scheme.Rage Against the Machine's Zack de la RochaThe Rage song was originally released in 1992 when it reached number 25The Italian trial of Amanda Knox and her ex-boyfriend ended with their conviction. Knox cried as she was jailed for 26 years for the murder and sexual violence of British student Meredith Kercher.Golfer Tiger Woods’ private life attracted much speculation. A week after he apologised to his family for letting them down, his mother-in-law was suddenly admitted to hospital while staying at his Florida home.The most competitive battle in years for the Christmas number one also proved very popular.Rage Against the Machine’s single, Killing In The Name, beat X Factor winner Joe McElderry’s The Climb after an internet spoiler campaign.Finally, underwater footage of an octopus surprised scientists when it revealed the creatures carried halved coconut shells with them to use later as shelters.


EducationScience & EnvironmentTechnologyEntertainmentAlso in the news—————–Video and Audio—————–Have Your SayMagazineIn PicturesCountry ProfilesSpecial ReportsRelated BBC sitesSportWeatherDemocracy LiveRadio 1 NewsbeatCBBC NewsroundOn This DayEditors’ Blog
Page last updated at 13:00 GMT, Wednesday, 31 December 2008E-mail this to a friendPrintable versionThe most-read stories of 2008Clockwise from top left: A car in snow, Barack Obama, Russell Brand, a Mumbai attacker and closing down sales
A look back at the stories that proved the most popular of the year, from the serious to the quirky.A few were momentous, some were tragic and many were uplifting, but all were read by thousands.JANUARYJanuary was dominated by tragic tales and gales.BBC children’s presenter Mark Speight was quizzed by police over the death of his fiancee, Natasha Collins. She was found dead in his flat after an apparent drug overdose, leaving him “absolutely distraught” by his loss.Attention turned to Britney Spears who was carried out of her home on a stretcher and taken into custody after police were called in a dispute involving her children.And then there was the death of Heath Ledger. The Australian actor was found dead in his Manhattan apartment, prompting a global outpouring of emotion among his many fans.Heath Ledger as The JokerHeath Ledger died of an accidental overdose of prescription drugsJust before leaving the show business theme, January was also the month when Jeremy Clarkson lost money after publishing his bank details in his newspaper column.January was also a big weather month, with stories about flooding, snow and storms.And the first signs of the coming recession started to become apparent.The year’s bizarre story offerings started with the incredible tale of allegations that twins adopted by separate families as babies had married without knowing they were brother and sister.FEBRUARYIn February a number of our most-read stories were about the US election campaign, setting the scene for what was undoubtedly one of the biggest stories of the year.The ugly side of sport and politics took centre stage when Avram Grant received anti-Semitic death threats at Chelsea. Also in February, Manchester United clawed its way up Deloitte’s Football Money League to second place behind Real Madrid.Prince Harry’s stint in Afghanistan came to an abrupt end after news of his secret deployment leaked out. He spent 10 weeks serving in Helmand Province, before flying back to the UK amid concerns for his safety when a news blackout deal over his tour of duty was broken by foreign media.Prince Harry in AfghanistanPrince Harry was rumbled in the media while on active serviceShowbiz is never far from the headlines, and February is synonymous with Oscars. But you were more interested in who wore what than in who won what.Also in February, a story about the Bank of England’s rate-setting committee cutting interest rates to what now seems like a positively stratospheric 5.25% from 5.5% attracted a lot of interest amid signs of the slowdown in the UK economy.No month is complete without its quirky favourite, and a tale of an Argentinean girl who gave birth to female triplets for the second time caught your eye. The girl had her first set of female triplets aged 15, having first given birth to a son when she was just 14.MARCHMarch was money month with the budgetmarkets being rattled by worries about the banking system and Heather Mills’ £24.3m divorce settlement with estranged husband Sir Paul McCartney.A trader in the New York Stock ExchangeWorries about the banking system started to appear in MarchA story that Mills gave evidence that was “inconsistent, inaccurate” and “less than candid” attracted more readers than one about her settlement.Also much read was the tale of a small Cessna plane that crashed on a house in Kent, killing the two pilots and three passengers.On a lighter note, the story about BBC Radio 4 news reader Charlotte Green suffering a fit giggles was very popular, and prompted a flurry of calls asking for the clip to be played again.Staying with newsreaders, and the sad story of Carol Barnes taking seriously ill with a stroke generated interest and concern among readers. She died in hospital a few days later.APRILSome of the most-read stories were around the arrest of Karen Matthews over the disappearance of her daughter Shannon, the arrest of Shannon’s stepfather on porn charges and the announcement that Karen Matthews would face trial on kidnap charges.Also making news was the disturbing case of Josef Fritzl, the 73-year-old Austrian man who confessed to imprisoning his daughter in a cellar for 24 years and fathering her seven children. He also admitted burning the body of a baby that died at the house in Amstetten, Lower Austria.Josef FritzlJosef Fritzl locked his daughter in a cellar for 24 yearsFollowing on from January’s stories about the death of actress Natasha Collins, her fiance Mark Speight was found dead after writing suicide notes.April was true to form with showbiz stories being among the most-read. Perennial favourite Kylie Minogue attracted a lot of eyeballs by discussing the misdiagnosis of her breast cancer.And the obligatory quirky story was supplied by Brazilian football star Ronaldo. He was alleged to have picked up three prostitutes, only to find they were in fact transvestites.MAYThe most-read stories this month had a serious feel, with British politics dominating the agenda.The poor showing by Labour in local elections prompted an admission from Gordon Brown that he was disappointed in the party’s performance. David Cameron, on the other hand, hailed the end of the New Labour era.Boris Johnson made headlines around the world by by becoming the London Mayor. Also adding to Labour’s woes was a protest by truck drivers over the level of tax imposed on fuel.Ken Livingstone and Boris JohnsonBoris Johnson became the Mayor LondonMay also saw violence, with Rangers fans rioting in Manchester and Harry Potter actor Rob Knox killed in a street fight in London.Also well read in May was the jailing of Premier League footballer Joey Barton for assault and affray.Then there was a tale of space travel, about a Nasa spacecraft sending back historic first pictures of an unexplored region of Mars.JUNEAnother month, another political row in the headlines. Tory MP David Davis resigned as an MP, promising to fight to regain his seat on a platform of defending “British liberties”. There was much less interest in him winning his seat back .The other dominant issue of the month – as far readers were concerned – was the quality of broadband services in Britain. A story that included a test to establish the speed of your broadband connection rated through the roof. As did the follow-up giving a breakdown of the results of all those speed tests.Wayne Rooney and Colleen McLoughlinColleen McLoughlin became Mrs Wayne RooneyThe traditional, summer silly season struck early in June with a rash of unusual stories grabbing your attention. There was the story of a baby put up for auction in Germany, a man with 13 people in his Volvo car and the 50 management speak expressions you love to hate.It was a month of mixed fortunes for footballers. Wayne Rooney got married, but Gazza was sectioned for a second time. Professional footballer Luke McCormick was arrested after two boys were killed in a crash on the M6 in Staffordshire.JULYJuly’s most-read story appeared late in the month, when a huge fire destroyed the historic Grand Pier at Weston-super-Mare.The fire on the pier - picture by Penny BroomhallThe fire on the pier – picture by Penny BroomhallA table we prepared on changes to car tax and how much they will cost you also proved exceptionally popular, along with its corresponding story that the changes will affect many millions.There was a run of tragic stories in July about violent crime. A newly married British doctor was killed and her husband critically injured after they were shot in their Caribbean honeymoon hotel cottage.And earlier in the month two French research students were found stabbed to death following a flat fire had been tied up and suffered what the police called horrific injuries.But there was a lucky escape for several hundred people on board a Qantas 747 which made an emergency landing in the Philippines after a large hole appeared in its fuselage.In offbeat news, back-from-the-dead canoeist John Darwin and his wife Anne were jailed for more than six years each for fraudulently claiming £250,000, and a teenager apparently found a bat asleep in her bra.AUGUSTMost read this month was news that convicted paedophile Gary Glitter was ordered to sign the sex offenders’ register after arriving back in the UK.There was an undeniably sombre tone to the other stories that dominated the headlines: Many dead in Madrid plane crash,Big Brother star Goody has cancer and teenager shot dead in supermarket.Then there was the fire that gutted the family home of millionaire businessman Christopher Foster in Shropshire. Police searched the burnt-out wreck of their home and eventually found the bodies of the family.Yang Peiyi (L) had the perfect voice, but Lin Miaoke had the perfect faceYang Peiyi (L) had the perfect voice, but Lin Miaoke had the perfect faceThe Olympics also loomed large, notably the spectacular opening ceremony and the revelation that the star of the show mimed her way through her performance.It was also the month that Barry George was found not guilty of murdering BBC television presenter Jill Dando outside her London home. He was first convicted in 2001 but an Old Bailey retrial was ordered after doubt was cast on the reliability of gunshot residue evidence.SEPTEMBERFears were high the world was going to end, with the start of the Big Bang experiment.The Large Hadron Collider might not have caused the earth to disappear into a black hole, but there were definitely plenty of black holes elsewhere as the global economy started to unravel.The Large Hadron Collider The Large Hadron Collider hasn’t yet caused a black holeLehman Brothers bank filed for bankruptcy in the US, and in the UK HBOS entered into merger talks with Lloyds to prevent its collapse.Banks were bailed out, but still their shares fell. Stamp duty was axed on houses below £175,000 in an effort to resuscitate the faltering property market. And there was stock market volatility amid the uncertainty.Fuel prices were still high in September, which was blamed as a factor in the collapse of the airline XL, which left thousands of people stranded.The high fuel prices also contributed to the utter chaos at a north London service station which gave away £20k of petrol in a publicity stunt.Another major story was the case of a gunman who killed 10 people at a college in Finland before shooting himself.OCTOBERThe BBC hit the headlines this month, with the suspension of Jonathan Ross and Russell Brand over a prank phone call.And then the BBC apologised to actor Andrew Sachs for the “unacceptable and offensive” content of the calls made during a pre-recorded radio show.Russell Brand and Jonathan Ross Russell Brand and Jonathan Ross sparked a row over taste and decencyUnsurprisingly the financial collapse which dominated the news in September continued in October, with a number of stories among the most read of the month.Central banks cut interest ratesbank shares took a poundingUS stocks slid to a five year low and UK banks received a £37bn bailout.The US election started to make its way back up the list of most read stories.Also getting high-profile coverage was the jailing of death crash footballer Luke McCormick, concern over Kerry Katona’s behaviour on television and a plane wreck found that was confirmed as that of adventurer Steve Fossett’s.NOVEMBERThis month was all about votes – Barack Obama winning the US Presidential election and John Sergeant quitting Strictly Come Dancing despite strong public support.John Sergeant and  Kristina RihanoffJohn Sergeant’s departure from Strictly caused a stirThe financial situation continued to attract attention, with the chancellor unveiling his public borrowing plansUK interest rates being slashed to 3% and a blow-by-blow account of the Pre-Budget Report.Also avidly read was the tragic unfolding of events in the Mumbai attacks.As ever, a weather story was also very popular with icy conditions and snowfalls prompting many clicks.And the maxim that sex sells was borne-out by the popularity of a story about model Karolina Kurkova and her missing belly button. Needless to say, it was illustrated with pictures of said model strutting the catwalk in her undies.The year also drew to a close with a familiar theme – Jeremy Clarkson in trouble. Details of a joke he made about truck drivers murdering prostitutes did brisk business on the site.DECEMBERWith all the talk of recession and job losses, a story about a Glasgow family where no-one works struck a nerve. As did news that interest rates were being cut to a 57-year low.Karen MatthewsKaren Matthews was convicted over the kidnap of her daughter ShannonA bizarre and tragic story about a drink-driver who killed a father and son in a motorway crash while performing a sex act on himself attracted a lot of attention.Odd stories about an actor cutting his throat on stage (he survived), and a young Chinese woman left partially deaf following a passionate kiss from her boyfriend proved very popular, and were e-mailed all over the world.The conclusion of the Shannon Matthews saga drew a large number of readers, with her mother Karen being found guilty of kidnap.And finally, a challenge we posed and which many of you rose to – could you pass the 11-plus exam?


A year is a long time in news – with many thousands of stories written for our readers in the UK and around the world.As our list of the most read stories of 2007 reveals, the articles you choose are not always the ones that lead on the front page. So take a look back at the year, from the serious to the quirky.JANUARYStormy seas in BlackpoolA wet and windy winter in BlackpoolThe new year blew in with storms and gales across the UK. Many were affected by the strong winds and heavy downpours which left behind a trail of destruction. Eleven people died in the storms. When a container ship ran aground off the coast of Devon, scavengers swarmed to a nearby beach to help themselves to the washed-up booty, which included gearboxes, nappies, foreign language bibles and BMW motorbikes.Dark clouds looming over the economy have kept business in the headlines for much of this year, starting with a surprise bank rate rise to 5.25%.A media storm erupted over racist comments made against the winner of Celebrity Big Brother. Shilpa Shetty proved that the Channel 4 reality show was still a ratings-winner.But the discovery of a wild Cambodian jungle girl raised more questions than it answered.FEBRUARYAfter January’s storms, came the February snows. Up to 10cm (4in) of snow fell in parts of the UK, enough to bring disruption to schools and travellers.But the snow didn’t last and was quickly knocked off the most-read spot by the death of US playmate Anna Nicole Smith. The flamboyant former model died at the age of 39, just a year after winning a share of her dead husband’s billion-dollar Texan oil fortune.Colossal squidBiggest squid found so farDid you see the one that didn’t get away? New Zealand fishermen caught a colossal squid, measuring about 10m (33ft) long and weighing 450kg (990lb).The month drew to a close with news that “contaminated fuel” had damaged thousands of cars. Tesco and Morrisons had to withdraw supplies after silicon was detected in unleaded petrol.MARCHThe first total lunar eclipse in more than three years brought skywatchers across the UK out of their homes to watch as the Earth’s shadow covered the moon, giving it a red appearance.It was back to business with Gordon Brown’s final budget as chancellor. The news of a surprise 2p cut in the basic rate of income tax provided some welcome cheer – although the cut won’t take effect until April 2008.Eurovision TV host Sir Terry Wogan provoked a brief storm of controversy when he announced the wrong winner of the contest for the UK song. In fact, it was Scooch – not Cyndi – who went on to represent the nation’s (inevitably doomed) hopes.HMS Cornwall crew membersThe crew after two weeks in captivityBut perhaps the most dramatic headline of the month was the capture at gunpoint of 15 British Royal Navy personnel.The HMS Cornwall crew members were on routine patrol in the Shatt al-Arab waterway when they were taken. Just under two weeks later they returned home, unharmed, but immediately walked into a row over selling their stories to the media.APRILTribute to Virginia Tech shooting victimsWorst shooting spree in US historyThe deaths of 33 students, during a US university shooting – provoked feelings of grief and outrage and plunged the country into mourning.As details emerged about how the Virginia Tech tragedy unfolded the nation questioned whether Cho Seung-hui, a 23-year-old South Korean, should have been identified as a danger.Back in the UK, one of the longest and most expensive trials in British history finally came to an end with the jailing of five men linked to al-Qaeda, over a bomb plot that could have killed hundreds. The trial lasted 13 months and the jury was out for a record 27 days.The discovery of kryptonite excited scientists and readers alike. The stuff of Superman legend turned out to be white, not green, and it didn’t glow, but otherwise its chemical makeup – sodium, lithium, boron, silicate and hydroxide – matched the fictitious mineral.MAYMcCann rag outFour-year-old Madeleine McCann disappeared in early May.Her distraught parents mounted a high-profile campaign to ensure she was rarely out of the news in the weeks and months that followed.Tony Blair’s final election day as prime minister brought defeat for Labour in the Scottish poll. SNP leader Alex Salmond declared a “wind of change” was blowing through the country. Just days later the PM announced he’d be standing down on 27 June – after 10 years at Number 10.In Sudan, one of the site’s most intriguing stories – the man who had been forced to marry a goat – concluded on a sad note when Rose the goat died.JUNEGlasgow airportPolice averted car bomb attacks in central London with a series of controlled explosions. Only a day later, there was a suspected terror attack on Glasgow airport. A blazing vehicle packed with gas canisters was driven into the front of the airport’s Terminal One building.The failed terror attacks were to prove a serious first test for new Prime Minister Gordon Brown, who had taken over at Number 10 and unveiled his first Cabinet revamp only the day before.The year 2007 might prove to be the last gasp for reality TV shows, but Channel 4’s Big Brother still managed to make the headlines when Emily was thrown out for using a racially-offensive word.But what really provoked a furore was the London 2012 Olympics logo. The design took a year to create but was instantly mauled by the public.JULYAlan JohnstonAlan Johnston freed at lastBBC correspondent Alan Johnston was kidnapped in Gaza on 12 March. He had been the only international journalist still working in the region and there were great fears for his safety.Up to 200,000 people signed the BBC’s online petition for his release and after 114 days in captivity he was freed, aided by a shift of power in Gaza.It never rains but it pours… and this summer was one of the wettest on record. Several days before Mr Brown begun his premiership Hull was under water, but the flooding spread around the UK with Warwickshire, Worcestershire and Gloucestershire, some of the counties worst affected.A week after the downpours, many areas were still under water and when the waters finally did recede the insurance claims began to flood in.The BBC stumbled into trouble with a film clip of the Queen which appeared to show her storming out of a photo session. The corporation apologised when it was revealed the film had been shown out of sequence.AUGUSTMississippi road bridge falling into river 40-year-old bridge collapsesDisaster struck in the US state of Minnesota when a road bridge over the Mississippi collapsed, during the evening rush-hour, killing 13 people. About 50 vehicles were thrown into the water when the bridge suddenly gave way.The southern hemisphere was treated to a spectacular light show of shooting stars known as the Perseid meteor shower. Astronomy Professor David Hughes told readers it was a “laid back form of astronomy” – which you could sit back and enjoy without any special equipment.August drew to a close with a cautionary tale about exotic animals after news that a pet camel killed an Australian woman. The creature was a 60th birthday present, but the 152kg (336lbs) mammal proved too much for its new owner when it crushed her in an overly-friendly moment.SEPTEMBERNorthern Rock rag outHow many UK readers had heard the term “sub-prime” before the collapse of Northern Rock bank? The bank was besieged by savers, desperate to take out their money after Northern Rock admitted it was in financial difficulty.Four months after Madeleine McCann’s disappearance, public sympathy for parents Gerry and Kate began to ebb as they were formally declared suspects by the Portuguese police. Later in the month, parts of the UK were hit by tornadoes which damaged homes and vehicles and uprooted trees. In one incident, a woman in Luton reported her daughter’s trampoline lifted 15ft (4.52m) into the air by a “funnel of wind”.OCTOBERFinancial news of a better kind – a cut in inheritance tax for couples, announced in the new chancellor, Alistair Darling’s, pre-Budget report, grabbed readers’ attention in October. For anyone who believes in a negotiated settlement the next year should be seen as an opportunity – at least they are talking to each other now
Jeremy BowenAnd there was promising news on the Middle East with US Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice pledging to address substantive issues and push for a Palestinian state.In the event, the Annapolis summit agreed to work towards a Palestinian state alongside Israel by the end of 2008. In the words of our Middle East editor Jeremy Bowen “At least the sides are talking to each other now”.But the question we all wanted answered by the Magazine was why do “normal” people get tattoos?NOVEMBERUK families were put on fraud alert after the Government admitted two computer discs containing the personal details of 25 million people had disappeared.The missing data included bank details, national insurance numbers, as well as names and addresses. The good news, Chancellor Alistair Darling assured us, was there was “no evidence” it had fallen into the wrong hands.Explorer on side in iceIcy cruisers land in cold waterMore than 150 people had to be rescued from a stricken Antarctic ship after it hit ice and began sinking during a cruise off Antarctica. The group were taking part in a “Spirit of Shackleton” voyage through the Drake Passage.The discovery of a giant sea scorpion claw, got researchers in Germany thinking. They said the 390-million-year-old specimen came from a 2.5m-tall (8ft) creature – and indicated that other creepy crawlies may have been much bigger in the past than we’d previously thought.DECEMBERNews that a UK teacher had been freed from a Sudanese jail following a row over the naming of a teddy bear was greeted with relief by British officials. Gillian Gibbons received a 15-day jail term for calling the bear Muhammad – but was released after serving only eight and allowed to return home.A very relieved – if little overawed – Mrs Gibbons later spoke of her ordeal saying it had all been a huge shock but she wanted to continue teaching.Jerboa Desert jerboa is rarely seenA report containing film of the mysterious desert jerboa – a tiny mouse-like creature never before captured by camera – attracted many readers, probably drawn by the fact the animal has one of the largest ear-to-body ratios on Earth.Then, just as it seemed the year’s biggest stories had gone, the assasination of Pakistan’s opposition leader, Benazir Bhutto, prompted despair from her followers followed by widespread disorder across Pakistan. There was condemnation from the international community.

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MOST POPULAR STORIES NOWMOST SHAREDMOST READBBC NewsBBC NewsBBC NewsBBC NewsBBC NewsBBC NewsChurch ‘colluded’ with sex abuse bishopUK rail ticket machines hit by IT glitchBBC NewsBBC NewsMost popular now, in detail
Has China’s housing bubble burst?The guerilla plant
How the world’s oldest clove tree defied an empireWalking away
Why Royal Ballet principal Sergei Polunin quit


The death of Saddam HusseinNews, analysis and features in the aftermath of the ex-Iraqi leader’s execution.

US mid-terms 2006
Full coverage of the elections that saw a major shift in the US political landscape.
Brown takes over
All the news as the UK prime minister reveals he will step down in 2007.QUICK GUIDES
Iran stand-off
Background to the nuclear row
Violence in Iraq
Why the fighting is so widespread
Human trafficking
The UK’s role in a modern slavery
                                                                                                                      Act of Union                                                                                                    Afghanistan                                                                                                    Ageism at work                                                                                                    Al-Qaeda                                                                                                    Animal testing                                                                                                    Biofuels                                                                                                    Bird flu                                                                                                    Blogging                                                                                                    Broadband                                                                                                    Cannes                                                                                                    Chechnya                                                                                                    China economy                                                                                                    Colombia                                                                                                    Cloning                                                                                                    Darfur                                                                                                    Digital switch                                                                                                    DR Congo                                                                                                    EU Constitution                                                                                                    GM Food                                                                                                    Guantanamo                                                                                                    Hezbollah                                                                                                    Hospital bugs                                                                                                    Iraq violence                                                                                                    Iran stand-off                                                                                                    Islam                                                                                                    Kashmir dispute                                                                                                    MRSA                                                                                                    NICE                                                                                                    Northern Ireland                                                                                                    Private equity                                                                                                    Sex trafficking                                                                                                    Somali Islamists                                                                                                    Sri Lanka                                                                                                    Stock scandal                                                                                                    Sunnis and Shias                                                                                                    Sustainable food                                                                                                    Taleban                                                                                                    US elections                                                                               
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Brits Abroad
A comprehensive guide to where the 5.5m ex-patriot Britons live around the world.

Housing UK
A special series looking at the finances, facts, figures and experiences of housing.

Future of TV
How TV watching may change in 10 years, with technology guide and features.
Tornadoes in detail
Calculate your water usage
Background guides: Country history, politics and economics


Listed below are In Depth reports on major news stories and key issues.
Each report contains a combination of news, background information and expert analysis.

News, features and key guides about the continued impact of the tsunami – one year after it struck.In-depth report
Muslims in Europe
News and features on the continent’s fastest growing religion
London attacks
News and background on the bombs that killed 52 people
Bird flu fears
The spread of the H5N1 virus – news, features and facts


UKCharles and Camilla
In depth: Britain’s drugs habit
Born Abroad
Ageing Revolution
Battersea Power Station
Countryside Matters
Deepcut deaths
Destination UK
Faith in the UK
The future of hunting
Nuclear debate
Safety on the railways
Trafalgar In Depth
UK on terror alert
POLITICSBudget 2005
Conservative leadership
David Blunkett resigns
Election 2005
G8 Summit 2005
Party conferences 2005
Queen’s speech 2005
Inside Europe
BUSINESSBreadline Britain
The future of pensions
Pre-Budget Report
Small business, big ideas
World trade
World Economic Forum 2005
WORLDAfghanistan’s Future
Africa 2005: Time for change?
Bird flu
Changing China
Death of Arafat
Hurricane Katrina
India week
Inside Europe
Iraq in transition
Islam and the West
Israel and the Palestinians
Kashmir flashpoint
Milosevic on trial
One Day in Afghanistan
One day in Iraq
Pope Benedict XVI
Pope John Paul II
Slavery in the 21st Century
Somalia: Emerging from ruins?
Surviving Iraq
World War II: Sixty years on
Young in the Middle East
Festivals 2005
Future of UK broadcasting
Harry Potter
Oscars 2005
The Michael Jackson trial
EDUCATION‘Modest’ rise in A-level passes
14-19 learning in England
Current school league tables
Higher education strategy
HEALTHThe Aids crisis
Choosing Health White Paper
SCIENCE/NATUREThe race to Mars
Global warning?
The nuclear debate
Planet Under Pressure
MISC.Review 2004
Military fact files


4 January, 2004
Nasas Mars rover lands safely on the red planet.
After a sevenmonth voyage from Earth the US space agency’s probe Spirit landed safely on the surface of Mars. Within hours of arriving it sent back its first images of the red planet’s barren rockstrewn landscape.
27 January, 2004
The government introduces plans for English universities to charge variable fees.
There was intense wrangling in parliament when the government announced plans for fulltime undergraduates at English universities to pay fees of up to £3000 a year. In what was seen as a test of Tony Blair’s authority the controversial bill was won in the House of Commons by just 5 votes after days of intense campaigning by ministers and rebel MPs.
28 January, 2004
Lord Huttons report into the events surrounding Dr David Kellys death is released.
Lord Hutton’s report into the circumstances surrounding the death of UK weapons scientist Dr David Kelly was highly critical of the BBC. He said that BBC reports of claims that Downing Street “sexed up” a dossier on Iraq’s illegal weapons were “unfounded”. In its wake the BBC chairman and director general both resigned.
5 March, 2004
US lifestyle guru Martha Stewart is convicted for lying to investigators over a suspicious shares deal.
Martha Stewart who earned millions from a business empire based on selling domestic items and lifestyle advice was found guilty of lying to federal investigators about a suspicious sale of shares in the drug company ImClone. She was subsequently sentenced to five months’ imprisonment.
11 March, 2004
Bomb attacks on four Madrid commuter trains kill 191 and injure hundreds more.
An Islamic group with links to alQaeda carried out a series of near simultaneous bomb attacks on three stations in the Spanish capital Madrid. The powerful explosions occurred just days before the country’s elections. The poll went ahead as planned and in a shock result Spaniards voted out incumbent Prime Minister Aznar replacing him with Jose Luis Rodriguez Zapatero.
22 March, 2004
Hamas spiritual leader Sheikh Yassin is killed in an Israeli air strike.
Sheikh Ahmed Yassin spiritual head of Palestinian militant group Hamas was killed in an Israeli air strike as he returned from a mosque in Gaza City at daybreak. The killing triggered unrest and calls for revenge from Palestinians as tens of thousands took part in a funeral.
31 March, 2004
Four US civilian contractors are killed and mutilated by a mob in Falluja Iraq.
Four contractors working for the US army were ambushed and killed as they drove through Falluja. The city in Iraq’s socalled Sunni Triangle had been a hotbed of insurgent activity. However footage of the contractors’ bodies being dismembered and strung up on the main bridge in Falluja caused widespread revulsion.
22 April, 2004
160 people die and 1300 are injured when two fuel trains collide in North Korea.
The devastation caused when two fuel trains collided in the town of Ryongchon North Korea caused the secretive Stalinist state make a rare appeal for international aid. Many were burned or blinded in the blast.
29 April, 2004
Photos of US soldiers allegedly abusing Iraqi detainees in Abu Ghraib prison emerge.
In late April a series of photos emerged showing US forces allegedly abusing Iraqi detainees at the Abu Ghraib prison near Baghdad. The graphic images showed naked prisoners being terrorised with dogs and forced to simulate sex acts. The guards involved with the alleged abuse face prosecution but some have questioned whether personnel further up the chain of command also knew what was happening.
1 May, 2004
10 new countries join the European Union bringing its membership to 25.
At midnight on 1 May the 15 old European Union members welcomed Cyprus the Czech Republic Estonia Hungary Latvia Lithuania Malta Poland Slovakia and Slovenia to the bloc. The historic expansion was marked with celebrations across member states.
6 June, 2004
Heads of state and thousands of war veterans gather in France to mark 60 years since DDay.
Arromanches in Normandy was the focus of international attention once more as it played host to the main ceremony marking the anniversary of DDay. Queen Elizabeth II and 16 other leaders joined surviving veterans in the small seaside town to pay tribute to those who died spearheading the reinvasion of Nazi Europe 60 years before.
11 June, 2004
The funeral of former US President Ronald Reagan takes place in Washington.
After a long battle with Alzheimer’s Disease former US President Ronald Reagan died in June. Joining current President George W Bush at the funeral service in Washington’s National Cathedral were expresidents and leading figures from abroad including former UK Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher.
22 June, 2004
Belgian paedophile child killer Marc Dutroux is sentenced to life in prison.
Marc Dutroux dubbed Belgium’s “most hated” man was convicted for kidnapping and repeatedly raping six girls in the 1990s and killing four of them. The case centred on the killing of two eightyearolds Melissa Russo and Julie Lejeune who died while held captive in Dutroux’s house.
28 June, 2004
The US formally hands back Iraqi sovereignty.
At a lowkey ceremony in Baghdad which took place two days ahead of schedule to wrongfoot any possible insurgency US administrator Paul Bremer transferred sovereignty to an Iraqi judge. Iraq’s interim Prime Minister Iyad Allawi and his cabinet ministers were officially sworn in later that day but even this oathtaking was held in secret.
3 July, 2004
Hollywood screen legend Marlon Brando dies.
Marlon Brando famous for his roles in On the Waterfront and The Godfather died aged 80 in a Los Angeles hospital. Brando was regarded as one of the pivotal actors of the postwar period revolutionising the way actors performed on screen.
8 July, 2004
High street store Marks and Spencer rejects a takeover bid by retail tycoon Philip Green.
In July the board of Marks amp Spencer rejected a £9.1bn 17bn proposed offer from Philip Green the owner of BHS and Arcadia. It was the latest bid from Mr Green to take control of the high street icon.
14 July, 2004
The Butler report on UK intelligence used to justify the war against Iraq is published.
The inquiry chaired by Lord Butler was set up to examine discrepancies between UK intelligence detrmation given ahead of the Iraq war and what has been discovered since the country’s occupation. The report said the intelligence used to justify the war was now in doubt. Months later on 7 October 2004 the Iraq Survey Group concluded there had been no stockpiles of WMDs in Iraq.
22 July, 2004
The US commission investigating the 11 September attacks publishes its report.
The US commission investigating the 11 September attacks in Washington and New York in which nearly 3000 people died blamed US leaders for failing to comprehend the gravity of the threat posed by alQaeda. The commission charted how alQaeda was allowed to develop into a real danger to the US and recommended a wideranging overhaul of US intelligence services.
23 July, 2004
Peter Mandelson set to become Britains new European comissioner.
Tony Blair nominated longtime ally Peter Mandelson as Britain’s next European commissioner. His appointment as Trade Commissioner represented a remarkable political comeback for Mr Mandelson who has twice resigned from the UK cabinet in controversial circumstances. Mr Mandelson was confirmed in the post in October.
12 August, 2004
Militants loyal to Shia cleric Moqtada Sadr stage an uprising in the Iraqi city Najaf.
In August militants loyal to radical Shia cleric Moqtada Sadr laid siege to the Iraqi holy city of Najaf. The Mehdi Army as the band of insurgents is known were engaged in fierce fighting with USled coalition forces for three weeks until a truce was finally struck.
13 August, 2004
The Olympics get under way in the city of Athens Greece.
Athens welcomed the world on 13 August 2004 with a spectacular opening ceremony. For Greeks the Games were overshadowed by the drugs controversy surrounding local sprinters Kostas Kenteris and Katerina Thanou. But despite this cloud and preGames fears about the Greeks being underprepared the Games proved a huge success.
22 August, 2004
Edvard Munchs iconic painting The Scream is stolen from the Munch Museum in Norway.
Stunned visitors at the Munch Museum in Norway watched as armed robbers pulled The Scream and another painting Madonna off the wall and escaped in a waiting car. The museum said the two stolen paintings were among its most valuable worth an estimated 19m £10.4m together.
2 September, 2004
Malaysias former Deputy Prime Minister Anwar Ibrahim is freed from jail after his sodomy conviction is overturned.
Anwar Ibrahim was jailed for six years for corruption in 1999 and in 2000 he received a further nine years for sodomy. But he always argued that the charges against him were politically motivated. He was sacked from his post as deputy in 1998 following a rift with former leader Mahathir Mohammed.
3 September, 2004
Over 300 people more than half of them children die as the Beslan school siege ends in violence.
For three days Chechen militants held more than 1000 parents and children hostage in the gymnasium at School Number One in Beslan. Then suddenly on the morning of 3 September the school was rocked by a series of explosions and gunfire. In the carnage that followed hundreds of people most of them children died.
13 September, 2004
A Fathers 4 Justice campaigner dressed as Batman breaches Buckingham Palace security.
A campaigner for Fathers 4 Justice scaled the fence at Buckingham Palace and climbed up to a ledge near the palace balcony where he staged a fivehour protest. It was the latest in a series of highprofile stunts by the group who are fighting for fathers to be given increased access to their children. The security slip shocked many and provoked a debate on the use of armed response to security breaches.
15 September, 2004
Parliament is suspended as prohunt campaigners invade the House of Commons.
Just two days after the Batman security breach at Buckingham Palace the House of Commons was invaded by five prohunt campaigners. The five included Otis Ferry son of rock star Bryan Ferry. They entered the Commons as MPs debated whether to ban hunting with dogs. The ban was later approved when Parliament resumed.
1 October, 2004
Tony Blair announces that if he wins the next election he will quit before a possible fourth term.
In a BBC interview Tony Blair announced that he intends to serve a full third term in office if elected but that he will not run for a fourth. Commentators described the announcement as extraordinary and clearly designed to curtail the leadership speculation that had gripped Westminster for months.
4 October, 2004
The SpaceShipOne rocket plane claims the 10m Ansari XPrize.
SpaceShipOne rocketed into the history books when it became the first private manned spacecraft to fly to the edge of space and back twice in less than a week. The stubby rocket plane shot to an altitude of more than 100km to claim the 10m Ansari XPrize.
7 October, 2004
UK hostage Ken Bigley is beheaded by militants in Iraq.
After three weeks of captivity British hostage Ken Bigley was beheaded by Islamic militants in Iraq. Mr Bigley had been abducted by the Tawhid and Jihad group led by Abu Musab alZarqawi. The abduction and murder of foreigners became a common terror tactic in Iraq in 2004. However in November the practice took a new twist with the murder of Margaret Hassan an aid worker there for 30 years.
9 October, 2004
Afghanistan holds its firstever presidential election.
Hamid Karzai the man who had been leading Afghanistan since the fall of the Taleban won Afghanistan’s first presidential election. Analysts say Mr Karzai will try to use his new mandate to unite a country still riven by ethnic religious regional and tribal rivalries.
11 October, 2004
Film star Christopher Reeve dies.
Superman star Christopher Reeve died at the age of 52. nine years after being paralysed in a fall from his horse. Following the accident in which Reeve broke his neck the actor lobbied hard for more medical research spinal cord injuries.
12 October, 2004
The UK Pensions Commission warns of a future pensions crisis.
A study from the UK pensions commission warned that more than 12 million British workers are not saving enough for their retirement. The report said that without drastic changes many are headed towards poverty in old age.
26 October, 2004
UK broadcaster John Peel dies.
Broadcaster John Peel died suddenly from a heart attack whilst holidaying in Peru. For more than 40 years his latenight Radio 1 show had led the way in promoting new acts from David Bowie to the White Stripes.
27 October, 2004
Scientists discover a new tiny species of human that lived in Indonesia.
Scientists announced the discovery of a new species of human that lived in Indonesia at the same time our own ancestors were colonising the world. The onemetre 3ft tall species dubbed “the Hobbit” lived on Flores Island until at least 12000 years ago. Experts say the finding the remains of LB1 or IHomo floresiensis I will likely alter current thinking about human evolution.
2 November, 2004
US President George W Bush wins a second term in office.
After an election campaign that was too close to call George W Bush defeated challenger John Kerry in US presidential elections to win a second term. Mr Bush secured a strong mandate from the American people by winning not only the Electoral College vote but the popular vote too.
6 November, 2004
Seven die when a train is derailed by a car at a level crossing in Berkshire.
The train from London Paddington to Plymouth was travelling at about 100 mph when it struck a car on the line near the village of Ufton Nervet Berkshire. An offduty police officer who witnessed the crash said the car had been driven onto the track while the level crossing barriers were up and had remained in place as the train approached and the barriers lowered.
8 November, 2004
A fullscale USled assault on the insurgentheld Iraqi city of Falluja begins.
After weeks of preparation up to 15000 US and Iraqi government troops began their assault on the insurgentheld Iraqi city of Falluja. Backed by aircraft tanks and artillery the troops fought their way across the city. The majority of Falluja’s 250000 residents had fled but a spokesman from the Iraqi Red Cross said it feared more than 6000 civilians had died in the offensive.
11 November, 2004
Palestinian leader Yasser Arafat dies in Paris.
After days of speculation Palestinian leader Yasser Arafat died at the age of 75 in the Paris hospital where he had been receiving treatment for a blood disorder. The body of the man who had led the Palestinian people for more than 40 years was flown to Egypt for a funeral service and then returned to his com£ in Ramallah for burial.
14 November, 2004
More than 40 music stars record the Band Aid 20 charity
Twenty years after Bob Geldof and Midge Ure gathered a group of pop stars to make the first Band Aid single a new generation of musicians came together in London to record Band Aid 20. Proceeds from sales of Do They Know It’s Christmas will go towards relief for the Darfur region of Sudan and to combat HIV and Aids across Africa.
16 November, 2004
The UK government unveils plans to ban smoking in most enclosed public areas.
Acting on warnings that the nation needs to get fitter to curb NHS costs ministers announced a range of proposals to improve public health. The government’s White Paper on Public Health aims to tackle smoking obesity drinking and sexual and mental health. A key recommendation is a ban on smoking in restaurants cafes offices and pubs which serve food.
22 November, 2004
Tens of thousands of Ukrainians protest against the presidential election result saying it was rigged.
Opposition supporters rallied in Ukraine’s cities to protest against the result of the country’s presidential elections. Officials had handed victory to Prime Minister Viktor Yanukovych but many believed that the true winner was his challenger Viktor Yushchenko. After a two week campaign of civil disobedience involving thousands Ukraine’s Supreme Court ordered a new round of voting by 26 December 2004.
8 December, 2004
A muchhoped for devolution deal for Northern Ireland is rejected.
Hopes for a return to powersharing in Northern Ireland failed to materialise when Ian Paisley’s DUP persisted with a demand for photographic evidence of IRA decommissioning. Sinn Fein’s leadership said it had been to see the IRA but that the organisation had refused to comply saying there could be “no humiliation” in the process.
15 December, 2004
UK Home Secretary David Blunkett resigns.
Mr Blunkett resigned as home secretary amid allegations that a visa application for his exlover’s nanny had been fasttracked. He decided to go after an inquiry into the allegations established there had been an exchange of emails about the visa application between Mr Blunkett’s office and immigration officials.
26 December, 2004
Yushchenko wins Ukraine presidential election rerun.
After weeks of protest against alleged election fraud by Ukraine’s opposition supporters a new presidential election was held. This time election officials declared Viktor Yushchenko the winner saying he had beaten Prime Minister Viktor Yanukovych by a clear margin. However the country remains deeply divided by the bitter regional divisions created by the sixmonth election saga.


12 JanMaurice Gibb dies after stomach op
29 JanSolicitor cleared of killing sons

30 Jan‘Shoe bomber’ jailed for life
01 FebColumbia shuttle disintegrates killing seven
20 MarUS launches missiles against Saddam
09 AprSaddam statue topples with regime
08 JulConjoined twins die in separation op
18 JulMissing Iraq expert – body found
20 JulBBC admits Kelly was ‘main source’
22 JulSaddam’s sons killed in gun battle
27 JulComic legend Bob Hope dies
01 AugHutton inquiry begins
03 AugAnglican church approves gay bishop
07 AugBali bomber smiles at guilty verdict
10 AugBritain swelters in record heat
12 AugGilligan: language ‘wasn’t perfect’
14 AugLights go out across NE America
16 Aug‘War criminal’ Idi Amin dies
19 AugUN envoy dies in Baghdad bombing
25 AugBombay rocked by twin car bombs
28 AugBlair gives evidence to Hutton
01 SepWidow tells Hutton Kelly felt ‘betrayed’
11 SepAnna Lindh dies of stab injuries
12 SepJohnny Cash dies
19 SepWashington DC swept by hurricane
25 SepHutton Inquiry hears final arguments
08 OctThe Terminator takes on California
15 OctChina sends first man into space
19 OctDavid Blaine ends glass box stunt
24 OctEnd of an era for Concorde
29 OctTory Party leader resigns
31 OctEnd of Mahathir era in Malaysia
08 NovRoyal baby born prematurely
17 NovWashington sniper convicted
18 NovHigh security as Bush visits UK
20 NovBritish targets bombed in Istanbul
22 NovEngland win Rugby World Cup
04 DecUS pulls back from steel trade war
08 DecGreek terrorists convicted
10 DecMother cleared of murdering babies
14 DecSaddam Hussein captured
17 DecIan Huntley guilty of Soham murders
19 DecLibya gives up chemical weapons
22 DecHostages freed by Colombian rebels
25 DecMars space probe disappears
28 DecBritain gives go-ahead for ‘sky marshals’


A look back at the major UK stories of 2002. In the Queen’s Golden Jubilee year, the Royal Family suffers two bereavements. Two UK government ministers quit and the prime minister’s wife is forced to explain her dealings with a convicted fraudster.

Princess Margaret

Princess MargaretThe princess had been suffering ill-health in recent years

On 9 February, Princess Margaret dies “peacefully in her sleep” at the age of 71 after suffering a stroke. A funeral service is held in Windsor on 15 February, attended by 450 members of family and close friends.

Jennie Bond reports from Windsor
Prince Charles’ tribute to his aunt

Queen Mother

The Queen Mother's coffin is carried out of Westminster HallThe Queen said the outpouring of affection for her mother had been ‘overwhelming’

Just six weeks later on 30 March, the Royal Family suffers another bereavement with the death of the Queen Mother at the age of 101. A funeral service is held on April 9, led by the Archbishop of Canterbury and attended by dignitaries from around the world.

BBC coverage of the funeral

Potters Bar train crash

Scene of the Potters Bar rail crashAn HSE report blamed faulty points for the derailment

On 10 May, a train ploughs off the tracks at Potters Bar station, Hertfordshire, killing seven people and injuring 70 more on the train and the platform. A decision on a public inquiry into the crash is not due to be made before spring 2003.

Gavin Hewitt reports from Potters Bar

Stephen Byers quits

Former Transport Secretary Stephen ByersByers said his resignation was ‘the right thing to do’

On 28 May, the transport secretary quits his job after months in the media spotlight. His troubles began after he stood by spin doctor Jo Moore, who sent an email on 11 September saying it was a good day “to bury” bad news.

Andrew Marr reports

Queen’s Golden Jubilee

Queen Elizabeth II The Golden Jubilee celebrations were hailed a success

On June 4, the Queen watches from the balcony at Buckingham Palace as one million people join a spectacular climax to the Jubilee weekend. A three-hour-long parade followed the previous night’s pop concert at the palace.

Jennie Bond reports from Buckingham Palace
Pop stars’ tributes

Holly and Jessica

Holly Wells and Jessica ChapmanHolly Wells and Jessica Chapman disappeared on 4 August

On 30 August, a service is held to celebrate the lives of schoolgirls Holly Wells and Jessica Chapman. Their bodies were found dumped in a woods almost two weeks after they went missing from their Cambridgeshire homes.

Gavin Hewitt reports from Ely Cathedral

Estelle Morris resigns

Former Education Secretary Estelle MorrisMorris ‘didn’t always enjoy the job’

On 23 October, the education secretary quits saying the job was too important to have “second best”. Estelle Morris’ resignation follows controversy over A-level marking and delays in vetting teachers for the new school year.

Mike Baker reports
Estelle Morris explains her decision

Butler trial collapses

Princess Diana's former butler Paul BurrellMr Burrell ‘never realised’ what he told the Queen could clear him

On 1 November, Diana’s former butler Paul Burrell is cleared of stealing from the princess’ estate after it was revealed that he had told the Queen that he was keeping some of her possessions. He is later paid a reported £300,000 for his account of his ordeal.

Nicholas Witchell reports

Firefighter strikes

Firefighters on a picket lineThe Army was poised to cover for striking firefighters

On 13 November, the first national firefighters’ strike for 25 years begins with troops attending hundreds of call-outs within hours. The 48-day strike over pay is followed by another eight day walkout, before the industrial action is halted ahead of renewed negotiations.

Rory Cellan-Jones reports

Cherie apologises

Cherie BlairCherie Blair’s statement lasted eight minutes

On 10 December, a tearful Cherie Blair apologises for the embarrassment she caused in buying flats with the help of convicted fraudster Peter Foster. The statement fails to halt the media storm surrounding the controversy.


05 JanShipman ‘may have killed hundreds’
08 JanBulger killers win anonymity for life
12 JanSwedish ‘Iceman’ starts England job
12 JanClimbie carers guilty of murder
13 JanEarthquake devastates Salvador
16 JanDR Congo President Kabila shot
16 JanOil tanker endangers eco-paradise
19 Jan‘Internet twins’ taken into care
22 JanMMR triple vaccine declared safe
24 JanMandelson resigns – again
26 JanThousands die in Gujarat quake
06 FebSharon sweeps to power
13 FebLandmark Aids case begins in Scotland
16 FebSerbs killed in Kosovo pilgrimage
19 FebFoot-and-mouth scare at UK abbatoir
28 FebAt least 10 die in Selby rail crash
08 MarDonald Campbell’s speedboat recovered
11 MarBig rise in new cases of foot-and-mouth
16 MarTeenage woman guilty of rape
01 AprEx-Yugoslav leader arrested after siege
05 AprDriver jailed for immigrant deaths
19 AprDrugs firms withdraw from Aids case
23 AprRoyal aide on trial for murder
28 AprFirst space tourist blasts off
02 MaySotheby’s and Christies chiefs charged
05 MaySun shines on foot-and-mouth crisis
07 MayHealthy cattle to die to save Exmoor
07 MayThousands greet Pope in Syrian visit
14 MayScientists warn of more CJD cases
15 MayUK supermarkets slash price of drugs
16 MayPrescott punches protester
24 MayIsrael wedding party tragedy
30 MayFrench ex-minister jailed over sleaze
01 JunNepal royal family massacred
17 JunCatholic leader Cardinal Winning dies
22 JunBulger killers to be released
25 JunRace violence erupts in Burnley
29 JunDiana fountain given go-ahead
02 JulDando killer jailed for life
07 JulTwo stabbed in Bradford race riots
09 JulScientists discover why we are here
13 JulFamily demand inquiry into police shooting
14 JulNI agreement stalls in Staffordshire
16 JulRebel MPs defeat the government
07 AugNHS buys private hospital
08 AugHollywood’s ‘golden couple’ divorce
10 AugHamiltons condemn ‘sex assault’ arrest
14 AugSetback for NI peace process
16 AugDiana butler charged with theft
30 AugMilosevic to face genocide charge
11 SepUS rocked by day of terror
12 SepUS declares war on terror
13 SepDuncan Smith is new Tory leader
17 SepWorkers return to Wall Street
22 SepSimpson smuggled into Afghanistan
27 SepSwiss man kills 14
07 OctUS launches air strikes against Taleban
19 OctInquiries into BSE brain blunder
21 OctAnthrax claims third victim in US
22 OctUK braced for more flooding
23 OctIRA begins decommissioning weapons
24 OctSwiss tunnel ablaze after head-on crash
25 OctCrime rates lowest for 20 years
28 OctChristians killed in Pakistan massacre
07 NovBillionaire mayor for New York
12 NovGreece holds plane-spotting ‘spies’
07 DecTaleban surrender Kandahar
11 Dec30,000 postal jobs ‘to be cut’
13 DecSuicide attack on Indian parliament
16 DecThousands rally for Scots countryside
21 DecTerror alert as police seize cargo ship


01 JanWorld celebrates New Millennium
03 JanArt theft was ‘professional’ job
04 JanFirst British women reach South Pole
07 JanAitken freed from prison early
11 JanSeven missing in Irish Sea
31 JanLife for serial killer Shipman
28 FebNuclear chief quits over safety scandal
02 MarPinochet escapes torture trial charges
25 MarTrimble narrowly wins leadership challenge
26 MarPope prays for Holocaust forgiveness
01 AprWartime coding machine stolen
03 AprAsylum voucher scheme enforced
04 AprSpring freeze brings chaos
10 AprDamages for sacked HIV manager
12 AprQueen honours NI police
14 AprM25 killer gets life
15 AprWhite farmer shot dead in Zimbabwe
22 AprSwat team grabs tug-of-love Cuban boy
26 AprMinister sees immigrants captured
01 MayMay Day violence on London streets
03 MayLeading stock exchanges plan merger
08 MaySneak preview of new Tate Modern
12 MayFord quits Dagenham after 70 years
17 MayFirst Britons reach North Pole unaided
20 MayBlairs’ delight at birth of fourth child
22 MayHezbollah makes gains in Lebanon
26 MayHezbollah celebrates Israeli retreat
27 MayGM blunder leaves farmers in uproar
07 JunBlair ‘handbagged’ by the WI
10 JunSwaying Millennium Bridge closed
15 JunBritish marines leave Sierra Leone
26 JunIRA weapons dump inspected
01 JulEx-Blair ally attacks prime minister
03 JulLivingstone to take on government
04 JulLitter louts escape the law
05 JulRecord-breaking penguin rescue
06 JulPrime Minister’s son arrested for drunkenness
08 JulNew Harry Potter most magical yet
10 JulUK tidal wave of web users
11 JulBritain pioneers HIV vaccine
12 JulBritish-backed dam threatens ancient lifestyle
15 JulPolice camera action violates human rights
17 JulTesco bows to imperial pressure
18 JulSarah Payne’s body found
25 JulConcorde crash kills 113
27 JulLabour publishes plans to revolutionise NHS
28 JulLast prisoners leave the Maze
04 AugQueen Mother celebrates centenary
14 AugRescuers race to save stricken Kursk
17 AugPrince William makes the grade
08 SepFrench fuel protests spread to UK
18 SepCrash survivors attack Railtrack
10 SepDaring rescue frees jungle hostages
15 SepUK fuel protesters go back home
23 SepRedgrave wins fifth Olympic gold
28 Sep‘Provocative’ mosque visit sparks riots
05 OctProtesters storm Yugoslav parliament
06 OctMilosevic quits, street celebrations continue
12 OctSuicide bombers attack USS Cole
17 OctFour dead in Hatfield rail crash
18 OctHurley mocked at premiere
20 OctBritish activist freed from Burma
26 OctMinisters ‘misled’ public on BSE
02 NovSchools watchdog Woodhead resigns
08 NovBush and Gore fight to the finish
11 NovSkiers die in train tunnel inferno
14 NovFuel protesters rally for tax cut
18 NovHollywood meets Wales in ‘wedding of year’
27 NovSchoolboy Damilola Taylor dies in stabbing
22 DecMadonna weds her Guy
29 DecFreezing Britain grinds to a halt


iven the 20th century’s reputation for conflict, it is perhaps not surprising that its final year saw the biggest European war since 1945, and closed with bloodshed as Russian troops marched into Chechnya.

There were other types of tragedy.

Earthquakes killed thousands in Colombia, Taiwan and particularly Turkey – the latter notable for the way the Web helped the victims and their relatives communicate.

On an individual level, the death of TV presenter Jill Dando struck home in the UK.

Not all the news was bad, of course. There were the usual sporting triumphs, with Australia winning world cups in both rugby union and cricket. And admirers of the UK royal family were cheered by the marriage of Prince Edward to Sophie Rhys-Jones.

You can find all these stories and many more on these pages, plus video and audio clips, and comments from the many thousands of you who have sent us your views over the final year of the millennium.

Click on one of the months at the top of the page to begin.


More Historical Events
1998 in Film & TV

1998 in Music

  • Aug 25 “The Miseducation of Lauryn Hill” debut album by Lauryn Hill is released (5 Grammy Awards including Album of the Year, Billboard Album of the Year 1998)

1998 in Sport

  • Jul 1 NBA commences a player lockout after no agreement with players about salary issues – lasts 204 days with the season shortened by 50 games
  • Jul 12 FIFA World Cup Final, Stade de France, Saint-Denis: Zinedine Zidane scores twice as France wins first World Cup beating Brazil, 3-0

Do you know this fact about today?Did You Know?


For those who missed Baz Luhrmann’s Romeo and Juliet some months earlier, this was the cinematic moment that made Leonardo DiCaprio (who played Jack) a bonafide Hollywood heartthrob. Directed by James Cameron and co-starring Kate Winslet (who took on the role of Rose), it was the release of the year and went on to be nominated for 14 Academy Awards. It also made Celine Dion’s ‘My Heart Will Go On’, the film’s main theme song, the second best-selling single by a female artist in history.REX FEATURES

See the highlights and the low points – as well as some things you may have forgotten – from the year that packed in a lot.

  • The World Was Shocked By Diana's DeathGETTY IMAGES1/12On August 31, news came that Diana, Princess of Wales, had been killed in a high-speed crash in Paris. The princess was travelling with her boyfriend, Dodi Fayed, her bodyguard, Trevor Rees, and driver, Henri Paul when the Mercedes S280 they were travelling in crashed into a pillar in the Pont de l’Alma. Only Rees survived the impact. Floral tributes around the world quickly built up in key locations, including the largest at Kensington Palace (above).
  • Titanic Was ReleasedREX FEATURES2/12For those who missed Baz Luhrmann’s Romeo and Juliet some months earlier, this was the cinematic moment that made Leonardo DiCaprio (who played Jack) a bonafide Hollywood heartthrob. Directed by James Cameron and co-starring Kate Winslet (who took on the role of Rose), it was the release of the year and went on to be nominated for 14 Academy Awards. It also made Celine Dion’s ‘My Heart Will Go On’, the film’s main theme song, the second best-selling single by a female artist in history.
  • The First Harry Potter Book Was PublishedREX FEATURES3/12It seems unbelievable that Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone was JK Rowling’s debut novel. Published by Bloomsbury on June 26, it propelled the unknown author into everyone’s conscience as children and adults alike went mad for the wizardry of Potter and co. Initially, only 500 hardback copies were released in hardback, three hundred of which were distributed to libraries. By 2001, five million hardback and 6.6 million paperback copies had been sold. The rest, as they say, is history.

WATCHFirst Acts: Eddie Redmayne & Felicity JonesMost Popular

  • Labour Ended 18 Years Of Tory RuleGETTY IMAGES4/12The Labour Party, with its mantra of New Labour, won the general election on May 2 with a landslide victory, winning the most seats the party has ever held and ending its 18 years in opposition. The party was led by Tony Blair, who remained prime minister for 10 years until he resigned in 2007. Also in 1997, Bill Clinton was sworn in as president of the US for the second time.
  • George Clooney Was The World's Sexiest Man AlivePEOPLE5/12In People magazine’s legendary annual declaration, George Clooney scooped the highly prized mantle, beating Brad Pitt, Tom Cruise, Will Smith and Harrison Ford. At the time, Clooney was still starring in ER as Doug Ross, but was also starting to notch up blockbuster hits too – think Batman and Robin (alongside Chris O’Donnell as Robin); One Fine Day (alongside Michelle Pfeiffer); and From Dusk ‘Til Dawn (with Quentin Tarantino, Harvey Keitel and Juliette Lewis).
  • The English Patient Won The Best Picture OscarREX FEATURES6/12It was the year that Kristin Scott Thomas, Ralph Fiennes and Juliet Binoche owned the silver screen in Anthony Minghella’s Oscar-winning motion picture. That year, it swept the board at the Academy Awards, winning nine out of the 11 accolades it was nominated for.
  • The UK Won Eurovision For The Last TimeGETTY IMAGES7/12Yes, it has been 20 years since the UK won the Eurovision Song Contest, and we have Katrina and the Waves’s hit ‘Walking On Sunshine’ to thank for that. The ceremony, which took place in Dublin on May 3, is the last time that the UK has won the contest.

Most Popular

  • The Teletubbies Were UnleashedREX FEATURES8/12Remember when everyone went around saying “Eh oh!”? The four multicoloured soft-toy protagonists – in case you need reminding: Tinky Winky, Dipsy, La La, Po – quickly became cult viewing, in spite of criticism from child behavioural experts who questioned the affect the gibberish language used would have on young viewers and their ability to form correct sentences. On the other side of the world, Pokemon was also launched in Tokyo.
  • Tyra Banks Broke A Glass CeilingSPORTS ILLUSTRATED9/12In 1997, supermodel Tyra Banks became the first black woman to have a solo Sports Illustrated cover. The magazine, which was first published in 1964, had previously featured Banks alongside a fellow model, but never on her own.
  • The Spice Girls Were The Biggest Girl Group In The WorldREX FEATURES10/12It was the year of world domination for Ginger, Sporty, Scary, Baby and Posh – not to mention that Brits performance. After starting the year with ‘Wannabe’ staying at number one in the US for four weeks (becoming the highest-ever debut by a non-American act, beating the previous record held by the Beatles), their album Spice became the biggest-selling album of the year in America; they had three UK number ones; wiped the board at every music-award ceremony they were nominated at; opened Channel 5; famously planted a kiss on Prince Charles’s cheek; met Nelson Mandela; and rounded up the year by releasing their second album, Spiceworld, which set a new record for the fastest-selling album when it shipped seven million copies over the course of two weeks. And breathe.
  • The Fashion World Mourned The Death Of Gianni VersaceSANTI VISALLI11/12The world was shocked as the Versace founder and already legendary fashion designer was murdered by Andrew Cunanan on the steps of his Miami home on July 15 after returning from a morning walk. Versace was the killer’s fifth victim, after he had embarked on a fatal killing spree that started in April (he committed suicide a week later). Versace’s funeral was held in Milan Cathedral, and was attended by his family and fashion colleagues, including Diana, Princess of Wales.

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  • Steve Jobs Returned To AppleGETTY IMAGES12/12After a 12-year hiatus from the brand he founded, Steve Jobs made his return to Apple in August when the company bought NeXT, the technology company Jobs had set up in the interim. Significant because of the tempestuous – and high-profile – relationship Jobs had with the company, but more so because, alongside designer Jonny Ive, the groundwork started to be laid for the invention of the iMac, iTunes, iPod, iPad and the iPhone.
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