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Year in Review: A digest of all key global news developments in 2019

As the decade comes to a close and 2019 passes by, here is looking at the top international events of the year

PTI & Agencies 

Protest
Anti-government demonstrators throw rocks at a police water canon trying to disperse them in Santiago, Chile. AP

Here is wrap of top global events that rattled the world in 2019.

Jan 1: US President signed into law a legislation Monday aimed at enhancing America's leadership in the Indo-Pacific region, strengthening multifaced ties with India and calls out Chinese actions that "undermine" the rules-based system.

Jan 3: The US would pull out its troops from Syria slowly over a period of time and will protect its Kurdish allies, President has said, summing up the situation in the war-torn country as "sand and death".

Jan 4: Dhaka:The Jatiya Party, a key partner in the Awami League-led Grand Alliance of Bangladesh Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina, Friday decided to occupy the opposition benches in Parliament after the main opposition BNP rejected the results of the general election in which the party was routed.

Jan 5: Chinese President orders the army to enhance its combat readiness to make sure it is always ready for a battle, saying risks and challenges are on the rise as the world is facing a period of major changes never seen in a century, state media reported Saturday.

Jan 7: China and the US hold their first face-to-face negotiations to ease a bitter trade war between the world's two largest economies amid growing concerns about China's slowing economy and its impact on American businesses.

Jan 9: The extended US-China talks to resolve the trade war between the world's two largest economies concluded on a positive note Wednesday with a senior American official describing the dialogue as "good one" for the US.

Jan 11: Pakistan's jailed former premier Nawaz Sharif's health deteriorates, daughter claims that authorities not letting his cardiologists examine him in the jail here.

Jan 13: India said it was committed to the economic reconstruction of Afghanistan and to promote an inclusive "Afghan-led, Afghan-owned and Afghan-controlled" peace and reconciliation process in the war-torn country.

Jan 16: In a humiliating defeat for embattled British Prime Minister Theresa May, her divisive divorce deal with the European Union was overwhelmingly rejected by MPs, triggering a no-confidence motion against her government.

Jan 18: The US and North Korea begin highly anticipated talks aimed at resuming stalled efforts to end the North's nuclear weapons program by arranging a second summit between President and North Korean leader Kim Jong Un.

Jan 19: The US military said it had carried out its deadliest airstrike in Somalia in months, killing 52 al-Shabab extremists after a "large group" mounted an attack on Somali forces.

Jan 22: Israel said it carried out a successful test with the United States of ballistic missile interceptors jointly developed by the allies, in the face of growing tensions with Iran.

Jan 23: German Chancellor Angela Merkel said countries like India and China have begun affecting the world economy much more and that needs to be taken into account for having a relook at the global trade and financial systems.

Jan 29: Heavily armed suicide bombers attacked the Deputy Inspector General's office in Pakistan's restive southwestern Balochistan province Tuesday, killing nine people, including eight policemen.

FEBRUARY

Feb 2: Iran announced the "successful test" of a new cruise missile with a range of over 1,350 kilometres on Saturday, coinciding with celebrations for the country's 1979 Islamic revolution.

Feb 3: Venezuela's opposition leader called on more members of the military to abandon the country's socialist government following the defection of a high-ranking general, while President Nicolas Maduro proposed holding early National Assembly elections that could potentially oust his challenger.

Feb 4: The extradition of Vijay Mallya, accused of conspiracy to defraud banks and money laundering offences pproved by UK Home Secretary, the British government said, in a major blow to the liquor baron and boosting India's efforts to bring back the fugitive businessman.

Feb 6: President Donald Trump made yet another strong pitch for merit-based immigration in his annual State of the Union address, saying legal immigrants enrich the US in countless ways, raising hopes of hundreds of thousands of Indian IT professionals who are the worst sufferers of the current per country quota system.

Feb 9: Thai Princess Ubolratana's unprecedented attempt to become the country's next prime minister was abruptly nixed Saturday after her party agreed to comply with a command from the king opposing the plan.

Feb 10: IMF chief Christine Lagarde said that the global lender stands ready to support Pakistan as she met the cash-strapped country's Prime Minister Imran Khan in Dubai on Sunday.

Feb 11: The Saudi authorities does not know what happened to the corpse of Jamal Khashoggi, a senior minister said, amid reports that the dismembered body of the dissident journalist was "dissolved" after his brutal murder inside the Kingdom's consulate in Turkey.

Feb 13: Iran's supreme leader says that any negotiations with the US would "bring nothing but material and spiritual harm" in remarks before an American-led meeting on the Mideast in Warsaw.

Feb 15: President Donald Trump decalres national emergency, a move that would unlock billions of dollars of federal money to construct a wall along the US-Mexico border, saying the move was essential to prevent the country from "invasion" of illegal immigrants.

Feb 16: India to ask the UN's top court Monday to order Pakistan to take Kulbhushan Jadhav off death row, in a case that could stoke fresh tensions after a deadly attack in Kashmir.

Feb 17: Pakistan and Saudi Arabia sign a slew of investment agreements worth USD 20 billion which will provide a welcome relief to the teetering economy of the cash-strapped South Asian country.

Feb 19: Pakistan Prime Minister Imran Khan on assures India that he would act against the perpetrators of the deadly Pulwama terror attack if it shares "actionable intelligence" with Islamabad, but warned New Delhi against launching any "revenge" retaliatory action.

Feb 20: The UK government is "reflecting" on demands for a formal apology for the Jallianwala Bagh massacre in April 1919 during the British Raj, a minister told the House of Lords during a debate to mark the centenary of the attack.

Feb 21: Pakistan on Thursday banned the 2008 Mumbai attack mastermind Hafiz Saeed-led Jamat-ud-Dawa and its charity wing Falah-e-Insaniat Foundation, amid intense global pressure to rein in the militant groups following the Pulwama terror attack that killed 40 CRPF soldiers.

Feb 22: The Pakistan Army on Friday says the country does not wish for war, but warns India of "surprise" in case it takes any aggressive military measures, amidst heightened tensions between the two sides following the Pulwama terror attack that killed 40 CRPF soldiers.

Feb 23: Taking a complete U-turn, the Pakistan government on Saturday dismissed its own claim of taking over the control of the Jaish-e-Mohammad (JeM) headquarters in Bahawalpur and said the complex has no link with the terror outfit, which claimed responsibility for the deadly Pulwama suicide attack that killed 40 CRPF personnel in Jammu and Kashmir.

Feb 25: US special envoy Zalmay Khalilzad meets with the Taliban's top political leader in Doha, in what is believed to be the highest level engagement between the US and the Taliban since the months-long peace push began.

Feb 26: Pakistan strongly rejected India's claim of targeting terrorist camp in the country and causing heavy casualties even as it vowed to respond "at the time and place of its choosing" and raise the issue at the United Nations and other forums.

Feb 27: Pakistan on Wednesday claims that it shot down two Indian fighter jets over Pakistani air space and arrested a pilot, as it closed its airspace amid escalating tensions between the two nuclear-armed neighbours.

Feb 28: Pakistan is ready for talks with India on all issues including terrorism, Prime Minister Imran Khan said, maintaining that dialogue is the "only way" for peace and stability in the region.

MARCH

Mar 2: The UN Security Council has designated Hamza bin Laden, the son of slain Al Qaida chief Osama bin Laden, under its sanctions list, describing the terrorist, thought to be based near the Pakistan-Afghanistan border, as the "most probable successor" of the group's current leader Aiman al-Zawahiri.

Mar 5: President Donald Trump has announced plans to scrap the preferential trade treatment for India, claiming that New Delhi has failed to assure the US of "equitable and reasonable" access to its markets, a move India said will not have a "significant impact" on its exports to America.

Mar 6: akistan on Wednesday intensified its crackdown against the banned organisations and took control of several seminaries and assets belonging to Mumbai terror attack mastermind Hafiz Saeed-led Jamaat-ud-Dawa (JuD) and its wing Falah-e-Insaniat Foundation (FIF).

Mar 9: UK Home Secretary Sajid Javid has certified India's extradition request for fugitive diamantaire Nirav Modi, wanted in the Rs 13,500 crore Punjab National Bank (PNB) fraud case, officials involved with the proceedings in the UK confirmed on Saturday, even as he was tracked living openly in a swanky 8-million pound apartment in London's West End and running a new diamond business.

Mar 11: Amid reports that the resolution to declare Pakistan-based JeM chief Masood Azhar as a global terrorist would come up in the UN Security Council on March 13, China on Monday said "a responsible solution" can only come through discussions.

Mar 13: Cardinal George Pell, the most senior Vatican official to be convicted of sex abuse to date, has been sentenced to six years in prison by an Australian court for the "callous" assault of two choirboys in the late 1990s.

Mar 15: Mass shootings at two mosques full of worshippers attending Friday prayers killed 49 people in New Zealand as authorities charged one person, detained three others and defused explosive devices in what appeared to be a carefully planned racist attack.

Mar 17: New Zealand Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern has reiterated her promise that there will be changes to the country's gun laws in the wake of a terrorist attack on two mosques and said her Cabinet will discuss the policy details on Monday.

Mar 18: More than a thousand people are feared to have died in a cyclone that smashed into Mozambique last week, while scores have been killed and more than 150 are missing in neighbouring Zimbabwe.

Mar 19: In a fresh blow to embattled Prime Minister Theresa May on Brexit, House of Commons Speaker John Bercow, in a surprise move, disallowed any attempt to hold a third vote on her withdrawal deal with the EU which has already been rejected by MPs twice.

Mar 21: New Zealand imposed an immediate ban on assault weapons on Thursday, taking swift action in response to the Christchurch massacre and triggering renewed calls from leading American politicians for curbs in the United States.

Mar 22: The death toll in the powerful explosion at a chemical plant in eastern China climbed to 64 on Friday as a number of people succumbed to their injuries.

Mar 26: China's President on Tuesday attempted to dispel concern about his country's growing presence in Europe at a meeting with French, German and EU leaders who stressed their desire for a more balanced relationship.

Mar 28: Stepping up the pressure to designate Jaish-e-Mohammed chief Masood Azhar as a global terrorist, the US, supported by France and the UK, has directly moved a draft resolution in the UN Security Council to blacklist the Pakistan-based terror group's chief.

Mar 29: British lawmakers on Friday rejected the Brexit deal proposed by embattled Prime Minister Theresa May in Parliament for the third time, throwing the UK's divorce plans with the EU into further chaos.

Mar 30: Fugitive diamond merchant Nirav Modi failed in his second attempt to get bail in his extradition case at the Westminster Magistrates' Court here despite his defence team trying hard to establish his close ties to the UK, including having to care for a pet dog.

Mar 31: Pakistan's High Commissioner to India and seasoned diplomat Sohail Mahmood will be the country's new foreign secretary, Foreign Minister Shah Mahmood Qureshi announced Sunday.

APRIL

Apr 1: A freak storm battered several places in Southern Nepal on Sunday, killing 31 people and injuring 600 others as high speed winds tore down houses, flipped vehicles and toppled trees and electricity poles.

Apr 2: India shooting down of one of its own satellites was a "terrible thing" as it created about 400 pieces of orbital debris, the chief of NASA has said, warning that the risk of debris colliding with the International Space Station has risen by 44 per cent since the Indian anti-satellite weapon test.

Apr 3: The US has approved the sale of 24 multi-role MH-60R Seahawk maritime helicopters to India at an estimated cost of USD 2.6 billion, the State Department has announced, boosting the Indian Navy's anti-surface and anti-submarine warfare operations as China expands its presence in the Indian Ocean.

Apr 4: The UAE Thursday announced it will honour Prime Minister with the prestigious Zayed Medal for playing a "pivotal role" in giving a "big boost" to the bilateral strategic ties.

Apr 5: David Malpass, a top US Treasury official in Trump administration, was Friday unanimously selected as the new president of the World Bank.

Apr 7: India charges America over 100 per cent tariffs on a large number of products while the US imposes nothing on the similar or same items, President Donald Trump has said, urging his administration to work on the "stupid trade".

Apr 8: The US on Monday designated Iran's Revolutionary Guard Corps a foreign terrorist organisation, an unprecedented declaration against a foreign government that may prompt retaliation and make it harder for American diplomats and military officers to work with allies in the region.

Apr 9: Pakistan cabinet on Tuesday approved the construction of a railway station at the Sikh holy city of Nankana Sahib in Punjab and decided to name it after the faith's founder Guru Nanak Dev.

Apr 10: Theresa May on Wednesday described the Jallianwala Bagh massacre in Amritsar as a "shameful scar" on British Indian history but stopped short of a formal apology sought by a cross-section of Parliament in previous debates.

Apr 11: A UK court on Thursday found Julian Assange guilty on the charge of breaching his bail conditions after the Wikileaks co-founder was arrested by Scotland Yard officers from his Ecuador Embassy hideout in London as the South American country withdrew the asylum granted to him.

Apr 15: A colossal fire swept through the famed Notre-Dame Cathedral in central Paris on Monday, causing a spire to collapse and threatening to destroy the entire masterpiece and its precious artworks.

Apr 18: Russia tried to interfere in the 2016 US presidential polls, according to Special Counsel Robert Mueller's probe which did not find any evidence that members of the Trump campaign "conspired or coordinated" with Moscow, Attorney General William Barr said on Thursday.

Apr 21: A string of eight powerful blasts, including suicide attacks, struck churches and luxury hotels frequented by foreigners in Sri Lanka on Easter Sunday, killing 215 people, including three Indians, and shattering a decade of peace in the island nation since the end of the brutal civil war with the LTTE.

Apr 22: In a move that could have implications on India's energy security, US President Donald Trump on Monday decided not to grant sanctions exemptions to any oil customers of Iran, further squeezing Tehran's top export commodity.

Apr 27: China's high-profile 2nd Belt and Road Forum ended Saturday with the signing of deals worth USD 64 billion and affirming respect for sovereignty and territorial integrity towards Beijing's trillion-dollar BRI projects, a key demand of India.

Apr 28: China and Pakistan firmed up their cooperation under the USD 60 billion CPEC by signing a host of agreements on Sunday, including upgradation of a Karachi-Peshawar railway line, launching of second phase of the Free Trade Agreement and establishment of a dry port.

Apr 29: Pakistan on Monday released 55 Indian fishermen and five civilians as a "goodwill gesture" amidst tension between the two countries after the Pulwama terror attack, according to a media report.

MAY

May 1: In a huge diplomatic win for India, the United Nations on Wednesday designated Masood Azhar as a "global terrorist" after China lifted its hold on a proposal to blacklist the Pakistan-based Jaish-e-Mohammed chief, a decade after New Delhi approached the world body for the first time on the issue.

May 3: Pakistan has issued an official order to freeze the assets of and impose a travel ban on JeM chief Masood Azhar after the UN declared him a "global terrorist".

May 5: Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu vowed Sunday to continue "massive strikes" in response to rocket fire from the Gaza Strip as a deadly escalation entered a second day, sparking fears of wider violence.

May 6: Russian emergency workers have recovered 41 bodies and two flight recorders from the wreckage of a plane that caught fire during an emergency landing in Moscow, officials said Monday as they sought to discover the cause of the disaster.

May 8: Fugitive diamond merchant Nirav Modi was denied bail by a UK court on Wednesday for the third time in his extradition case to India to face charges in the Punjab National Bank fraud and money laundering case amounting to up to USD 2 billion and will continue to be lodged in a London jail described by his lawyers as "unliveable".

May 11: US President Donald Trump ordered a tariff hike on almost all imports from China after the latest round of talks to end the trade war between the world's two largest economies ended on Friday without a deal even as Beijing said the negotiations have not broken down and it is cautiously optimistic to reach an agreement.

May 12: Pakistan reached an agreement with the IMF on a bailout package under which the cash-strapped country will receive USD 6 billion over three years, according to a top official.

May 13: The Sri Lankan government on Monday enforced a countrywide curfew and blocked social media platforms to stop people inciting violence as communal violence spread to new areas in the island nation in the worst unrest since Easter Sunday bombings which killed nearly 260 people.

May 14: Sri Lanka Tuesday imposed a nationwide curfew for a second straight night and arrested several people after Sinhalese mob attacks on Muslim-owned shops, vehicles and mosques left one person dead, as communal violence worsened following the deadly Easter terror attacks.

May 15: Pakistan on Wednesday decided not to lift its airspace ban for Indian flights till May 30, as Islamabad is awaiting the outcome of the Lok Sabha polls in India.

May 16: An anti-terrorism court in Pakistan on Thursday upheld death sentences for three men but acquitted two others including a cleric who had incited people to burn alive a Christian couple accused of blasphemy on the outskirts of Lahore in 2014.

May 17: US President Donald Trump has unveiled a new merit and points-based immigration policy that replaces the existing green cards with 'Build America' visa and substantially hikes the quota for young and highly-skilled workers from 12 to 57 per cent, a move likely to benefit thousands of Indian professionals.

May 18: Australia's ruling conservative coalition led by Prime Minister Scott Morrison on Saturday made a "miraculous" comeback and is set to form the next government after winning most number of seats in the elections, defying exit polls which predicted a victory for the opposition Labor Party.

May 20: Ukrainian Prime Minister Volodymyr Groysman on Monday said he was resigning after comedian Volodymyr Zelensky was sworn in as president.

May 22: South African lawmakers on Wednesday re-elected Cyril Ramaphosa as the nation's president, two weeks after the ruling ANC party returned to power in legislative elections.

May 23: The United States and China hardened their stances over Huawei Thursday as Washington brushed aside claims of "bullying" and accused the Chinese tech giant of misrepresenting its ties to the Beijing government.

May 24: An emotional British Prime Minister Theresa May on Friday announced that she would resign as the Conservative leader on June 7 "in the best interests of the country" after she failed to win support from party lawmakers for her strategy for the UK's divorce from the European Union.

May 26: Breaking the ice in bilateral ties, Pakistan Prime Minister Imran Khan on Sunday spoke to his Indian counterpart and expressed his desire to work together for the betterment of their peoples, the Foreign Office said here.

May 27: Austria's Chancellor Sebastian Kurz on Monday became the first chancellor in the country's post-war history to be removed from office by a no-confidence vote over a corruption scandal that had already brought down his coalition with the far-right.

May 28: India and China will have several ministerial-level engagements this year, including a foreign ministers' meeting, to prepare the ground for the second informal summit between Prime Minister and Chinese President Xi Jinping, a senior Indian diplomat said here on Monday.

May 30: The US on Tuesday removed India from its currency monitoring list of major trading partners, citing steps being taken by New Delhi which addressed some of the Trump administration's major concerns.

JUNE

Jun 1: President Donald Trump has terminated India's designation as a beneficiary developing nation from June 5, ending the country's USD 5.6 billion trade concessions under the key GSP programme after determining that it has not assured the US that it will provide "equitable and reasonable access" to its markets.

Jun 2: The presidential elections in Sri Lanka would be held between November 15 and December 7, Election Commission Chairman Mahinda Deshapriya has said, clarifying that according to constitutional provisions the polls must be held one month before the end of the current president's term.

Jun 3: Nine Muslim ministers holding top positions in the Sri Lankan government resigned on Monday to allow authorities to investigate allegations against some of them on links to an Islamic extremist group which was blamed for the deadly Easter suicide bombings.

Jun 4: China and the US Tuesday exchanged barbs over the 1989 Tiananmen Square massacre after Secretary of State Mike Pompeo criticised Beijing's human rights record and asked it to publicly reveal how many pro-democracy protesters died in the brutal military crackdown.

Jun 6: China Thursday granted commercial licences to four state-owned telecom giants to start rolling out 5G services, signalling Beijing's determination to be the global leader in setting up superfast wireless networks amid tensions with the US over technology and trade.

Jun 7: British Prime Minister Theresa May Friday formally resigned as the leader of the ruling Conservative Party, paving the way for a keen contest to decide a new premier who will take charge of the UK's tough divorce negotiations with the European Union.

Jun 8: The Trump administration has approved the sale of armed drones to India and has offered integrated air and missile defence systems aimed at helping the country boost its military capabilities and protect shared security interests in the strategically important Indo-Pacific region.

Jun 10: Iran's foreign minister warned Monday of the consequences of waging "economic war" against the Islamic republic through US sanctions, saying those conducting and supporting it could not expect to "remain safe".

Jun 11: Pakistan on Tuesday announced that its defence budget for the next fiscal year (2019-20) will remain the the same as the last year's Rs 1,150 billion amid an austerity drive by the government to solve the cash-strapped nation's financial woes.

Jun 13: Chinese President told Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Thursday that India and China "do not pose threats" to each other as he expressed Beijing's willingness to join New Delhi in pushing forward a closer development partnership between the two sides.

Jun 14: US President Donald Trump on Friday rejected Tehran's denial it was behind mysterious explosions on two oil tankers in the Gulf of Oman, saying the incident had Iran "written all over it".

Jun 16: Pakistan will get a loan of USD 3.4 billion from the Asian Development Bank for budgetary support, Prime Minister Imran Khan's adviser on finance has said as the cash-strapped country tries to overcome a ballooning balance-of-payments crisis that threatens to cripple its economy.

Jun 18: Boeing is selling its 737 Max planes again. The company announced at the Paris Air Show on Tuesday that International Airlines Group, the parent company of British Airways and other carriers, signed a letter of intent for 200 Boeing 737 aircraft.

Jun 19: There is "credible evidence" linking Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman to the murder of journalist Jamal Khashoggi, a UN expert said Wednesday, calling for sanctions on the prince's personal foreign assets.

Jun 20: India has told the UN that militant groups enjoying "support and safe havens" to carry out terrorist activities in Afghanistan from across the borders cannot be allowed to negotiate from a "place of advantage" as the US and the Taliban are planning to meet for the next round of crucial peace talks in Qatar.

Jun 26: In a major diplomatic win and testament to its global stature, India's candidature for a non-permanent seat at the powerful UN Security Council for a two-year term has been unanimously endorsed by the 55-member Asia-Pacific grouping, including China and Pakistan.

Jun 29: Nineteen members of the G20, except the US, on Saturday reaffirmed their commitment to the "full implementation" of the Paris climate deal, agreeing to look into a wide range of clean technologies and approaches.

Jun 30: Panmunjom: Donald Trump stepped onto North Korean soil in a historic first Sunday as he met Pyongyang's leader Kim Jong Un in a moment of high diplomatic drama on the world's last Cold War frontier.

JULY

Jul 1: Iran said Monday it had exceeded a limit on its enriched uranium reserves under a 2015 nuclear deal that has edged towards collapse under Washington's "maximum pressure" campaign.

Jul 2: London: In a reprieve for Vijay Mallya, the UK High Court on Tuesday granted the embattled liquor tycoon permission to appeal against the extradition order of a lower court to face alleged fraud and money laundering charges amounting to Rs 9,000 crores in India.

Jul 3: Lahore: Mumbai attacks mastermind Hafiz Saeed and 12 of his close associates were "booked" by Pakistani authorities on Wednesday for "terrorism financing" in 23 cases, amidst growing global pressure on Islamabad to act against militant groups launching deadly attacks in India.

Jul 5: London: Britain's Conservative Party members started to vote on Friday to elect a new leader as Boris Johnson and Jeremy Hunt continue to make their pitches for the top job after Theresa May resigned last month.

Jul 8: Tehran: Iran on Monday breached a uranium enrichment cap set by a troubled 2015 nuclear deal and warned Europe against taking retaliatory measures.

Jul 9: Beijing: China demanded Tuesday that the United States "immediately cancel" a potential sale of USD 2.2 billion in arms to self-ruled Taiwan, including battle tanks and anti-aircraft missiles, adding fuel to tensions between the two powers.

Jul 10: United Nations: Pakistan-based underworld don Dawood Ibrahim's criminal syndicate has mutated into a terrorist network, India has said as it sought the US Security Council's "focussed attention" to address the real threats posed by the D-Company, the JeM and the LeT.

Jul 17: Lahore: Mumbai terror attack mastermind and JuD chief Hafiz Saeed was arrested Wednesday on terror financing charges by the Counter-Terrorism Department (CTD) of Punjab Province, just days ahead of Pakistan Prime Minister Imran Khan's maiden visit to the US.

Jul 21: Tokyo: Prime Minister Shinzo Abe's ruling coalition secured a majority in Japan's upper house of parliament in elections Sunday, according to vote counts by public television and other media.

Exit polls indicated Abe could even close in on the super-majority needed to propose constitutional revisions.

Jul 23: London: Boris Johnson on Tuesday comfortably won the Conservative Party's leadership race to become the UK's next Prime Minister and vowed to "get Brexit done" by the October 31 deadline, amid the political uncertainty over the country's divorce deal with the European Union that cost his predecessor her job.

Jul 24: London: Boris Johnson officially became Britain's new Prime Minister on Wednesday and promised to leave the European Union on October 31 "no ifs, no buts" under a "new deal" with the 28-member economic bloc.

Jul 25: Islamabad/Doha: The Afghan Taliban on Thursday expressed willingness to travel to Pakistan and meet Prime Minister Imran Khan if he invites them for negotiations to end the 18-year conflict in Afghanistan, according to a media report.

Jul 27: Mosco: Police in Moscow said they arrested more than 1,000 people Saturday at a banned opposition protest calling for city authorities to reverse decisions to exclude key opposition candidates from the ballot paper.

Jul 28: Vienna: Diplomats from Iran and five world powers recommitted Sunday to salvaging a major nuclear deal amid mounting tensions between the West and Tehran since the U. S. withdrew from the accord and reimposed sanctions.

Jul 31: Beijing/Washington: Chinese and US officials held "frank" and "constructive" talks in Shanghai on Wednesday and agreed to meet again in September to negotiate a trade deal to end the ongoing trade war between the world's two largest economies even as their meeting was eclipsed by President Donald Trump's Twitter tirade against Beijing.

AUGUST

Aug 1: President Donald Trump on Thursday announced that the US will impose an additional 10 per cent tariff on USD 300 billion in Chinese imports, as he accused China of not being serious in arriving at the trade deal and failing to keep its promise to buy more American agricultural products.

Aug 2: Pakistan and the US held crucial talks here on the Afghan peace process and the "positive steps" Islamabad can play in achieving the goal, amid reports that the Trump administration is close to signing an MoU with the Taliban during the upcoming parleys in Doha.

Aug 17: Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Saturday inaugurated the Mangdechhu hydroelectric power plant, one of the major projects under Bhutan's initiative to generate 10,000 MW hydropower by 2020 with the Indian government's support.

Aug 18: oy and celebration turned into horror and carnage when an Islamic State suicide bomber targeted a packed Afghan wedding hall, killing at least 63 people in the deadliest attack to rock Kabul in months, officials and witnesses said Sunday.

Aug 19: A controversial Sri Lankan army general accused of grave human rights abuses during the country's 26-year brutal civil war with the LTTE was on Monday appointed the new Army Commander, evoking strong criticism from the US and the minority Tamils.

Aug 20: British Prime Minister Boris Johnson has issued an ultimatum to the European Union (EU) over what he has branded an "anti-democratic" Irish border backstop, which must be scrapped to negotiate a new deal before the October 31 Brexit deadline.

Aug 23: Sri Lanka has ended the four-month-long state of emergency imposed in the country following the Easter Sunday attacks that claimed 258 lives.

Aug 24: Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Saturday was honoured with "The King Hamad Order of the Renaissance" as he held talks with King of Bahrain Hamad bin Isa Al Khalifa on various bilateral and regional issues.

Aug 25: President Donald Trump's only regret in hiking tariffs on China is that he didn't raise them higher, his press secretary said Sunday after the president had earlier signaled some remorse for an escalating trade war with China.

Aug 26: G7 leaders meeting in France on Monday backed Hong Kong's autonomy as laid out in a 1984 agreement between Britain and China and called for calm in the protest-hit city.

Aug 27: A livid China on Tuesday cried foul and expressed "strong dissatisfaction" with a joint statement issued by the G7 leaders reminding Beijing of its obligations laid out in a 1984 agreement between Britain and China, amid intensifying pro-democracy protests in Hong Kong.

Aug 29: Pakistan has successfully test-fired nuclear-capable surface-to-surface ballistic missile 'Ghaznavi' with a range of up to 290 kms, the Army said on Thursday, amid fresh Indo-Pak tensions after India revoked Jammu and Kashmir's special status.

Aug 30: Hong Kong activist Joshua Wong and another core member of a pro-democracy group were granted bail Friday after being charged with inciting people to join a protest in June, while authorities denied permission for a major march as they took what appears to be a harder line on this summer's protests.

Aug 31: Chaos engulfed the heart of Hong Kong late Saturday as police fired tear gas and water cannon at protesters who set large fires and threw petrol bombs, defying a ban on rallying -- and mounting threats from China -- to take to the streets for a 13th straight weekend.

SEPTEMBER

Sep 1: Pakistan on Sunday said it will grant consular access to Kulbhushan Jadhav, who is on death row in the country, on Monday "in line with the ICJ judgement".

Sep 2: Monster storm Dorian stalked across the Bahamas Monday as surging seawaters and ferocious winds sowed chaos in low-lying island communities, claiming at least one life and spurring mass evacuations on the US east coast.

Sep 3: Mumbai-born Salman Rushdie's tragicomic novel 'Quichotte' is among six titles from around the world to be named on the shortlist of the 2019 Booker Prize for Fiction released in London on Tuesday.

Sep 5: India on Thursday announced an "unprecedented" USD 1 billion line of credit for Russia's resource-rich Far East with Prime Minister Narendra Modi vowing to support President Vladimir Putin's "stupendous efforts" to develop the extremely harsh region.

Sep 6: Robert Mugabe, the former guerrilla hero turned despot who ruled Zimbabwe for 37 years until the military forced him out, has died aged 95.

Sep 7: Russia and Ukraine conducted a major prisoner exchange that freed 35 people detained in each country and flew them to the other, a deal that could help advance Russia-Ukraine relations and end five years of fighting in Ukraine's east.

Sep 9: President Donald Trump on Monday said that US peace talks with the Taliban are over and announced that the US military has dramatically scaled up attacks on the insurgents in Afghanistan.

Sep 12: India's economic growth is "much weaker" than expected, the IMF said on Thursday, attributing the reasons to corporate and environmental regulatory uncertainty and lingering weaknesses in some non-bank financial companies.

Sep 13: New Zealand unveiled new legislation Friday aimed at ensuring only "fit and proper" people can own guns in the wake of the Christchurch mosque attacks that killed 51 Muslim worshippers.

Sep 14: US President Donald Trump on Saturday confirmed that Hamza bin Laden, the son of slain al-Qaeda chief Osama bin Laden, was killed in an American counter-terrorism operation along the Afghanistan-Pakistan border.

Sep 16: Donald Trump will join Narendra Modi at the mega "Howdy, Modi!" diaspora event in Houston on Sunday to reaffirm the Indo-US strategic ties, the White House has announced, a decision hailed by the Prime Minister as a "special gesture" by the US President to underscore the special bond between the two countries.

Sep 17: Taliban suicide bombers killed at least 48 people and wounded dozens more in two blasts Tuesday -- one at a campaign rally for the president and the other in Kabul -- with the insurgents warning of more violence ahead of elections.

Sep 19: Benjamin Netanyahu's main challenger Benny Gantz on Thursday presented himself as the next prime minister, hours after the embattled Israeli premier urged the Blue and White leader to join him in forming a unity government to avoid a third election.

Sep 21: Any country that attacks Iran will become the "main battlefield", the Revolutionary Guards warned Saturday after Washington ordered reinforcements to the Gulf following attacks on Saudi oil installations it blames on Tehran.

Sep 23: Russia's prime minister on Monday gave formal support to the Paris climate agreement, just hours ahead of a key summit trying to tackle ever increasing gas emissions.

Sep 25: The International Monetary Fund on Wednesday formally selected Kristalina Georgieva of Bulgaria to be only the second woman ever to lead the 189-member institution.

Sep 26: Pakistan Foreign Minister Shah Mahmood Qureshi on Thursday boycotted External Affairs Minister S Jaishankar's opening statement at the meeting of the SAARC Council of Foreign Ministers, saying his country will not engage with India "until and unless" it lifts the "siege" in Kashmir.

Sep 27: The US has asked Pakistan to prosecute terrorists like Hafiz Saeed and Masood Azhar, saying the reduction of the Indo-Pak tensions would depend on Islamabad's seriousness in taking action against those who engage in "cross-border infiltration".

Sep 28: Afghans voted in presidential elections amid tight security Saturday, as Taliban insurgents determined to disrupt the process unleashed a string of attacks on polling centres across the country that killed at least five people.

OCTOBER

Oct 2: British Prime Minister Boris Johnson intends to ask for parliament to be suspended from October 8 to 14, his Downing Street office said Wednesday, after a previous attempt was ruled unlawful.

Oct 3: Anti-government demonstrators defied an around-the-clock curfew in Baghdad and other cities Thursday as Iraqi security forces used live ammunition and tear gas during a third day of unrest that has left 31 people dead, most of them protesters.

Oct 4: The United Arab Emirates will invest a whopping USD 5 billion in an oil refinery project in cash-strapped Pakistan by the end of the year, the Gulf nation's envoy was quoted as saying by a media report on Friday.

Oct 5: At least 60 people have died over four days of bloody protest across Iraq, the Iraqi Human Rights Commission has said, in figures that include 18 deaths registered at a single hospital in the capital Baghdad.

Oct 6: Pakistan's former military ruler Pervez Musharraf is set to return to the by reviving his party after remaining inactive for over an year due to his deteriorating health, according to media reports on Sunday.

Oct 11: Alexei Leonov, a legendary Soviet cosmonaut who was the first man to perform a spacewalk in 1965, died in Moscow on Friday aged 85 after a long illness.

Oct 14: Indian-American innovative MIT economist Abhijit Banerjee, his wife Esther Duflo and Harvard professor Michael Kremer jointly won the 2019 Nobel Economics Prize on Monday "for their experimental approach to alleviating global poverty".

Oct 15: The IMF on Tuesday slashed India's GDP growth projection for the year 2019 to 6.1 per cent, which is 1.2 per cent down from its April projections.

Oct 16: The EU and Britain looked to be close to nailing down an elusive Brexit deal late Wednesday, just in time to be submitted to a key European summit.

Oct 18: Pakistan was again put on the Grey List of the international terror financing watchdog FATF, which on Friday warned Islamabad of action for its failure to combat money laundering and terror financing, officials said.

Oct 20: Pakistan will open the much-awaited Kartarpur Corridor on November 9, Prime Minister Imran Khan announced on Sunday.

Oct 21: British Prime Minister Boris Johnson was dealt a fresh blow Monday when the speaker of parliament denied him a second shot at getting his Brexit deal passed just 10 days before the deadline.

Oct 23: In an appalling tragedy, 39 people were found dead on Wednesday near London in a container of truck, which came from Bulgaria, and police have arrested the driver of the vehicle for questioning.

Oct 24: India and Pakistan on Thursday signed a historic agreement on the Kartarpur corridor that will allow Indian pilgrims to undertake visa-free visit to the shrine of the Sikh religion's founder Guru Nanak Dev in Pakistan, notwithstanding a chill in bilateral ties.

Oct 25: Chinese and Indian tourists would be exempted from visas to enter Brazil for tourism or business, Brazilian President Jair Bolsonaro has announced.

Oct 27: Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi "is dead" in a secret US special forces raid in northwest Syria, President Donald Trump announced on Sunday, saying the elusive leader of the "ruthless" Islamic State and the world's number one terrorist died "like a dog and like a coward".

Oct 30: The UK is all set to go to the polls on December 12 after British lawmakers overwhelmingly backed Prime Minister Boris Johnson's call for an election to break the Brexit deadlock that led to the country's worst political crisis in decades.

Oct 31: The Islamic State jihadist group confirmed the death of its leader Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi in a statement Thursday and named his replacement as Abu Ibrahim al-Hashimi al-Quraishi.

NOVEMBER

Nov 1: Pakistan Prime Minister Imran Khan on Friday announced that Sikh pilgrims from India would only need a valid ID and not a passport to travel to Kartarpur and are not required to register 10 days in advance to visit the Gurdwara Darbar Sahib, in a goodwill gesture ahead of Guru Nanak Dev's 550th birth anniversary.

Nov 2: Former Pakistan prime minister Nawaz Sharif's health condition remains critical as his platelet count has dropped again, a day after it rose to 51,000, his personal physician said on Saturday.

Nov 3: A court in Bangladesh's capital granted bail Sunday to micro-credit pioneer and Nobel laureate Muhammad Yunus over the firing of three employees by Grameen Communications, where he is chairman.

Nov 4: After years of negotiations, India on Monday pulled out of the China-backed mega Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership (RCEP) over unresolved "core concerns", with Prime Minister Narendra Modi saying the proposed deal would have adverse impact on the lives and livelihoods of all Indians.

Nov 5: Over 2,000 Sikh pilgrims from India arrived at Gurdwara Nankana Sahib in Pakistan's Punjab province to mark the 550th birth anniversary of Sikhism founder Guru Nanak Dev, ahead of the opening of the landmark Kartarpur Corridor this week.

Nov 7: Iran resumed uranium enrichment at its underground Fordow plant south of Tehran Thursday in a new step back from its commitments under a landmark 2015 nuclear deal, raising alarm from Western powers.

Nov 12: Pakistan Cabinet on Tuesday decided to allow former Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif to go abroad for medical treatment if he agrees to sign surety bonds making a commitment that he would return after the treatment and face corruption cases against him.

Nov 13: Controlled by Opposition Democratic party, the House of Representatives on Wednesday launched the first public hearing of Donald Trump's impeachment investigation with two career diplomats testifying before a key committee over allegations that the US President used his office to pressure Ukraine officials for personal political gain.

Nov 18: Pakistan on Monday successfully test-fired a nuclear-capable surface-to-surface ballistic missile which can strike targets up to 650 kilometres, bringing a number of Indian cities under its range.

Nov 21: Israel's attorney general indicted Benjamin Netanyahu on a range of corruption charges Thursday, the justice ministry announced, potentially spelling an end to the prime minister's decades-long political career.

Nov 25: In a major reshuffle, the Pakistan Army on Monday announced the appointment of Lt General Sahir Shamshad Mirza as the new Chief of Joint Staff

Nov 26: Pakistan's Supreme Court on Tuesday suspended the three-year extension given to the powerful Army chief Qamar Javed Bajwa till Wednesday and said the entire process was "upside down", in an embarrassment to Prime Minister Imran Khan who cited "regional security environment" for his decision to grant the top general another term in office.

Nov 28: Pakistan Army chief Gen Qamar Javed Bajwa on Thursday got a six-month conditional extension from the Supreme Court, ending an unprecedented legal wrangle that shook the government of Prime Minister Imran Khan and pitted the powerful military against the judiciary.

Nov 30: Lahore: Mumbai terror attack mastermind and chief of the banned JuD Hafiz Saeed will be prosecuted for terror financing charges by an anti-terrorism court here next month, an official said on Saturday.

DECEMBER

Dec 1: The Islamic State has claimed responsibility for the London Bridge terror attack in which two people were killed.

Dec 2: Donald Trump nor his attorney will take part in the impeachment hearing against the US President.

Dec 3: NASA has found India's Chandrayaan-2's Vikram lander, which crashed on the surface of the Moon in September, the US space agency said on Tuesday, crediting a Chennai-based mechanical engineer for helping it trace the debris of the ambitious lunar mission by painstakingly comparing before and after images of the landing site.

Dec 4: At least 18 Indians were among 23 people killed and over 130 injured in a horrific LPG tanker blast that destroyed a ceramic factory in Sudan, the Indian mission said here on Wednesday.

Dec 5: Donald Trump has abused power, undermined national security and jeopardised the integrity of the elections, Speaker of the House of Representatives Nancy Pelosi said on Thursday as she announced that the US president "leaves us no choice but to act" by going ahead with the process to impeach him.

Dec 6: The powerful OPEC group of oil producers and its allies reached a deal Friday to cut production by 500,000 barrels per day in a bid to stem prices which have been under pressure from abundant reserves and weak global economic growth.

Dec 8: Democracy protesters took part in the largest mass rally through Hong Kong's streets in months on Sunday in a forceful display of support for the movement, with a leading activist warning the city's pro-Beijing leaders they had a "last chance" to end the political crisis.

Dec 9: For the first time in Sri Lanka's history, a military officer has been appointed as the chief of the country's top intelligence agency, which was blamed for failing to prevent the devastating Easter terror attack that killed more than 250 people in April.

Dec 10: Democrats on Tuesday charged Donald Trump with two articles of impeachment, abuse of power and obstruction of Congress by pressing his Ukraine counterpart for help in attacking his rivals in the 2020 election, making him only the third president in American history to face the ignominy.

Dec 11: Hafiz Saeed, the Mumbai terror attack mastermind and chief of the banned JuD, was indicted on Wednesday by a Pakistani anti-terrorism court here on terror financing charges, amidst intense international pressure on Islamabad to bring him to justice.

Dec 13: Election-weary British voters gave Prime Minister Boris Johnson a "powerful new mandate" in the historic General Elections as his Conservative Party on Friday won a commanding majority in Parliament to allow him to finalise UK's divorce deal with the European Union next month.

Dec 14: An anti-terrorism court here on Saturday adjourned till December 16 the much-awaited trial of Mumbai attack mastermind and chief of the banned JuD Hafiz Saeed in the terror financing case due to a country-wide strike by the lawyers.

Dec 15: The longest UN climate talks ended here on Sunday with no deal on carbon markets as delegates from almost 200 countries failed to come up with more ambitious targets to cut greenhouse gases to fulfil the terms of the 2015 Paris agreement, prompting UN chief Antonio Guterres to lament a "lost opportunity" to fight global warming.

Dec 16: Britain's new political landscape began to take shape Monday as triumphant Prime Minister Boris Johnson talked trade with President Donald Trump and readied a pep talk for his new Conservative Party lawmakers.

Dec 17: Pakistan's former dictator General Pervez Musharraf was on Tuesday sentenced to death in absentia in the high treason case for subverting the Constitution in 2007, drawing a sharp reaction from the powerful military which has ruled the coup-prone country for nearly half its 72-year history.

Dec 18: The US and India on Wednesday discussed a range of strategic and security issues, including the use of terrorism as statecraft, as they held their second 2+2 dialogue here during which the two sides signed an industrial security agreement that will allow the transfer of defence technology.

Dec 19: Donald Trump was impeached by the House of Representatives on Wednesday, charging the unfazed US President with abuse of power and obstructing Congress, making him the third president to face the ignominy of a bruising Senate trial, months before he stands for re-election.

Dec 20: The much-awaited trial of Mumbai terror attack mastermind Hafiz Saeed began here on Friday with a witness testifying against him in the anti-terrorism court which also indicted the JuD chief in another case of terror financing, amidst intense international pressure on Pakistan to bring him to justice

First Published: Tue, December 31 2019. 19:50 IST
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