A timeline of international events that shaped the world in 2019

Lloyd Jones, AAP World Bureau Chief
(Australian Associated Press)




3 – A Chinese spacecraft with a lunar rover aboard makes the first-ever landing on the far side of the moon.

23 – Photographers flock to Niagara Falls in Canada after a cold snap freezes the iconic waterfall. The falls have only ever frozen over once before – in 1948.

25 – A dam collapse at a Vale mine in Brazil kills more than 300 people as mining waste spills into a nearby town.


14 – An Islamist militant suicide bomber kills 44 paramilitary policemen in Indian-controlled Kashmir, escalating tensions between India and Pakistan.

24 – Rami Malek takes out the Oscar for Best Actor for his role as Freddy Mercury in Bohemian Rhapsody, while Olivia Coleman is awarded a Best Actress gong for The Favourite. Green Book wins Best Picture.


10 – An Ethiopian Airlines Boeing 737 crashes at Addis Ababa, killing all 157 people on board, prompting the grounding of MAX 8 and 9 Boeings worldwide.

14 – British MPs vote to delay leaving the EU beyond March 29 after rejecting Prime Minister Theresa May’s withdrawal agreement.

15 – Cyclone Idai kills more than 1000 people as it lashes Mozambique, Zimbabwe and Malawi.

15 – A gunman opens fire at two mosques in Christchurch, killing 50 people, with Australian white supremacist Brent Tarrant charged with murder.

24 – US Special Counsel Robert Mueller’s report on Russian interference in the 2016 election finds no evidence Donald Trump committed a crime but doesn’t exonerate him.


11 – WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange is arrested at the Ecuadorian embassy in London after his South American hosts abruptly revoke his seven-year asylum.

15 – France’s famed Notre-Dame Cathedral is engulfed by fire, which destroys large parts of the 850-year-old Parisian landmark.

21 – Bombings at churches and hotels in Sri Lanka on Easter Sunday kill nearly 300 people.

30 – Former Minneapolis police officer Mohamed Noor is found guilty of murder for shooting dead Australian life coach Justine Ruszczyk Damond.


6 – The Duke and Duchess of Sussex welcome a healthy baby boy in London.

14 – American explorer Victor Vescovo dives almost 11km down the Pacific Ocean’s Mariana Trench, where he finds a plastic bag and lolly wrappers and at least three new sea animals.


9 – Hundreds of thousands of people protest in Hong Kong to oppose a proposed extradition law allowing suspects to be sent to mainland China to face trial.

30 – Donald Trump becomes the first sitting US president to set foot in North Korea as he meets Kim Jong-un for denuclearisation talks.


20 – The world marks 50 years since the first man walked on the moon.

23 – Brexiteer Boris Johnson wins the leadership of the Conservative Party to replace Theresa May as prime minister.


7 – Canadian police find the bodies of two 19-year-old fugitives suspected of killing Australian tourist Lucas Fowler and his American girlfriend Chynna Deese.

10 – US financier Jeffrey Epstein is found dead in his prison cell while awaiting trial on sex trafficking charges in New York.

16 – US President Donald Trump expresses an interest in acquiring Greenland, but Greenlanders point out their home is not for sale.

20 – Wildfires ravaging the world’s largest tropical rainforest cause the skies to darken in Sao Paulo, almost 2800km from the Amazon basin.


1 – Hurricane Dorian hammers the Bahamas, eventually killing over 50 people.

15 – Drone attacks claimed by Yemen’s Houthi rebels knock out half of Saudi Arabia’s oil production, with the US blaming Iran.

23 – Teenage climate change activist Greta Thunberg tells world leaders at a UN summit “how dare you” for failing to strongly combat climate change.


9 – Turkey launches an offensive against Kurdish fighters in northeast Syria after US troops pull back on Donald Trump’s orders.

24 – The bodies of 39 Vietnamese migrants are found inside a truck near London.

27 – Fugitive Islamic State leader Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi dies during a raid by US special forces in Syria.


10 – Bolivian President Evo Morales blames a “civic coup” as he resigns following weeks of protests over a disputed election.

17 – Prince Andrew’s attempt in a BBC interview to defend his reputation following the Jeffrey Epstein sex scandal is branded “disastrous” after he expresses no regrets for befriending the convicted pedophile.

21 – Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu is indicted on corruption charges, heightening uncertainty over who will lead a country in political disarray after two inconclusive elections.

25 – Hong Kong’s democrats romp to a landslide majority in district council elections following months of anti-government protests.

26 – A Malaysian court overturns the drug trafficking conviction of Sydney grandmother Maria Elvira Pinto Exposto, who faced the death penalty.

26 – A 6.4-magnitude earthquake rocks Albania, killing more than 50 people.

29 – Iraqi Prime Minister Adel Abdul Mahdi announces his resignation following weeks of anti-corruption protests in which more than 400 people are killed by security forces.

29 – A man previously jailed for terrorism offences dons a fake suicide vest and fatally stabs two people in London before being shot dead by police.


9 – New Zealand’s White Island volcano erupts as tour groups are visiting, leading to the deaths of more than a dozen people, with others suffering severe burns.

10 – US House Democrats announce articles of impeachment against Donald Trump, declaring he “betrayed the nation” by seeking Ukraine’s help to smear political rival Joe Biden.

11 – In a non-binding referendum the people of Bougainville vote overwhelmingly to become the world’s newest nation by seceding from Papua New Guinea.

12 – Britain’s Conservatives win a resounding majority in the general election, prompting Prime Minister Boris Johnson to claim a powerful mandate to forge ahead with Brexit.

13 – The US and China announce a “Phase one” trade agreement that reduces some US tariffs in exchange for a jump in Chinese purchases of American farm products.


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Categories: World