- Title: VARIOUS: NEWS Review of the Year 2008 - YEARENDER PART 2
- Date: 21st December 2008
- Summary: NAQOURA , LEBANON (JULY 16, 2008) (REUTERS) LEBANESE PRISONER SAMIR QANTAR STANDING WITH OTHER LEBANESE PRISONERS RELEASED FROM ISRAEL
- Embargoed: 5th January 2009 19:11
- Topics: International Relations,Disasters / Accidents / Natural catastrophes
- Reuters ID: LVA8CDVTOLBFMG84QYSCB2NBNCGQ
- Aspect Ratio: 4:3
- Story Text: The news year 2008 will be remembered for its political developments, natural disasters and other remarkable images from around the world.
JULY - Thousands of Mongolian voters attacked ruling party headquarters in Ulan Bator, claiming election fraud.
A Palestinian construction worker rammed a bulldozer into buses and cars on one of west Jerusalem's busiest streets, killing three Israelis and wounding more than 40 before he was shot dead.
French-Colombian politician Ingrid Betancourt was freed from Colombian guerrillas, along with fourteen others who were held hostage. She was welcomed back to France by President Nicolas Sarkozy and his wife in an emotional red-carpet ceremony.
At least 41 people were killed or hurt in a suicide bomb that struck two diplomatic vehicles entering the Indian Embassy in Kabul.
Five Lebanese freed from captivity in Israel, including Israel's longest-serving Lebanese prisoner Samir Qantar, were flown to a heroes' welcome in Beirut as part of an exchange as Hezbollah returned the bodies of two Israeli soldiers seized in a cross-border raid in 2006. Under the deal arranged by a U.N.-appointed German mediator, Israel also returned the bodies of eight Hezbollah fighters slain in the 2006 war and those of four Palestinians, including Dalal Mughrabi, a woman guerrilla who led a 1978 raid on Israel.
Former South African president Nelson Mandela marked his 90th birthday on July 18, though celebrations were held for days before and after.
Pope Benedict XVI said he is deeply sorry for pain and suffering caused by the Catholic Church to sexual abuse victims n Australia.
Hundreds of thousands of supporters greeted U.S. presidential candidate Barack Obama in Berlin as he urged Europe to stand by the United States in bringing stability to Afghanistan and confronting other threats, ranging from climate change to nuclear proliferation.
A Qantas Airways plane made an emergency landing in Manila after part of its hull blew off, triggering a loss in cabin pressure during a flight from Hong Kong to Melbourne.
Rival sectarian factions clashed in Lebanon's northern city of Tripoli.
War crimes suspect Radovan Karadzic was captured under an assumed identity and taken to the Netherlands to face trial on charges of genocide for his actions in the 1992-95 Bosnia war.
AUGUST - Hundreds of firefighters tried to extinguish a fire covering 10,000 hectares of land in the southern Turkish city of Antalya.
At least 145 people, mostly women and children, died in a stampede at a Hindu temple in northern India.
The world watched as Beijing celebrates the opening of the Summer Games with fireworks and much flag-waving.
On the same day, Russian military vehicles travelled towards South Ossetia, as Georgian President Mikheil Saakashvili declares the separatist region under the control of Georgian security forces.
President Pervez Musharraf walked his last military parade after announcing his resignation to avoid impeachment charges, nearly nine years after the key U.S. ally took power in a coup.
A Spanair jet carrying holidaymakers to the Canary Islands from Madrid crashed killing at least 145 people on board.
International activists travelled by boat from Cyprus to Gaza to break an Israeli sea blockade and raise awareness for the rights of Palestinians.
New Orleans residents, fearing another repeat of the Hurricane Katrina disaster, fled the city ahead of Hurricane Gustav their mayor Ray Nagin ordered an evacuation of the city.
SEPTEMBER - Republicans welcomed Sarah Palin as their vice-presidential nominee at their convention in Minnesota.
Tropical Storm Hanna caused havoc in Haiti, where more than 135 people died, and the city of Gonaives struggled to recover from a deluge of rain.
Top U.S. diplomat Condoleezza Rice arrived in Tripoli on the first trip by a U.S. secretary of state to Libya since 1953, saying it was proof that Washington had no "permanent enemies".
A car bomb in Peshawar killed at least 16, five of whom were policemen, as members of parliament and the country's four provincial assemblies voted for a new president to replace Pervez Musharraf. Asif Ali Zardari, the widower of former Pakistani prime minister Benazir Bhutto, swept to victory in the presidential poll.
Scientists at the European Organisation for Nuclear Research, (CERN), celebrated after starting the world's biggest physics experiment.
A fire in the Eurotunnel caused commuter chaos on both sides of the English Channel.
Political rivals John McCain and Barack Obama appeared together to discuss their views of the September 11 attacks.
Russian troops withdrew from the region around Georgia's Black Sea port of Poti, within a Sept. 15 deadline brokered by France.
Zimbabwe's rival political parties signed a landmark power-sharing deal in which President Robert Mugabe will cede some of his powers for the first time in nearly three decades of iron rule.
The impact of the global credit crunch cut more deeply as Merrill Lynch agreed to be taken over by Bank of America, the fourth-largest investment bank in the U.S. - Lehman Brothers - filed for bankruptcy protection leaving employees around the world without jobs. In Italy, Alitalia pilots and flight attendants rejected a framework agreement to save the airline.
A milk powder scandal linked to the death of at least two children and the ill health of 1,200 infants triggered a recall and product investigation in China. Hundreds of fraught parents queued outside the company demanding explanations and compensation.
Israel's Foreign Minister Tzipi Livni won Kadima party elections, setting the stage for her to become the nation's next Prime Minister.
Violent riots continued in Nepal's capital after the government banned religious animal sacrifices.
South African President Thabo Mbeki tendered his resignation, plunging the country into political uncertainty.
Israeli police investigated the scene of a crime in central Jerusalem where a car slammed into a group of Israeli soldiers.
Student gunman, 22-year old student Matti Saari, shot and killed 10 people at a vocational school in western Finland, in the country's second such attack in less than a year. Saari died later of a head wound in Tampere University Hospital.
Stocks around the world dived as the House of Representatives voted 228-to-205 against a compromise bailout plan that would allow the Treasury Department to buy toxic assets from struggling banks.
OCTOBER - Following its rejection by U.S. lawmakers, President George W. Bush called the $700 billion economic rescue plan the best chance to restore the economy and urged representatives to find a way to get it passed.
Iceland's financial crisis deepened, forcing Prime Minister Geir Haarde to tell citizens emergency legislation was being drafted to avoid a financial chaos as the country's banking system faltered and Iceland's currency, the crown, plunged 30 percent against the euro.
Floods caused by heavy rain killed a number of people in the province of Hadramout in southeast Yemen.
Russia test-launched a strategic missile to the equatorial part of the Pacific Ocean for the first time, as Moscow's growing assertiveness fuelled tension with the West.
Heavy rains have also caused flooding in the Algerian oasis town of Ghardaia, killing at least 30 people.
The U.N. refugee agency UNHCR estimated up to 45,000 displaced people had left temporary camps and returned to Goma, after a four-day offensive by rebel leader Laurent Nkunda's rebels which raised fears of a repeat of a 1998-2003 war in the African state.
NOVEMBER - Barack Obama won the U.S. presidency, after one of the most eagerly anticipated elections in U.S. history.
A school building collapsed on the outskirts of Haiti's capital, while at least 500 primary and secondary school students attended classes inside.
Thousands of people, including family and villagers, bury Bali bomber Imam Samudra in his Serang hometown in West Java under heavy police watch, hours after he was executed by firing squad for killing 202 people in the 2002 resort island nightclub bombings.
Twenty people died and more than 20 injured in an accident aboard a Russian nuclear submarine in the Pacific Ocean, in the worst submarine disaster since the Kursk sank eight years ago.
Witnesses were shocked to see images of Armenian and Greek Orthodox clergy clashing in Jerusalem's Church of Holy Sepulchre.
Iraq and the United States signed a pact that will let U.S. troops stay in the country until 2011, setting a final date to end a military presence that began with the 2003 invasion that toppled Saddam Hussein.
A Saudi supertanker hijacked by pirates with a $100 million oil cargo became the largest ever such seizure.
Flights at Thailand's main international airport were cancelled as thousands of anti-government protesters stormed into the terminal building.
A small group of militants heavily armed with automatic weapons and grenades burst into luxury hotels, a hospital and a railway station in Mumbai, as well as an iconic cafe popular with foreign tourists, firing indiscriminately and tossing grenades. The Indian Army battled with the militants at several locations, after attacks killed at least 100 people and injured more than 280 people.
Religious clashes between Muslim and Christian gangs in Nigeria's central city of Jos left houses and belongings burned to the ground, hundreds dead and tens of thousands displaced.
DECEMBER - Former Finnish president and veteran diplomat Martti Ahtisaari received the 2008 peace prize at Oslo's city hall, in recognition of his decades of peace-brokering around the globe.
Protesters in Greece threw fire bombs at police outside parliament during a general strike which paralysed the nations and piled pressure on its government reeling from the worst riots in decades. Protesters were furious over the shooting of a teenager by police the previous weekend.
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