- Title: VARIOUS FILE: Review of the Decade Part 2 - Climate change dominates world events
- Date: 24th December 2009
- Summary: ISRAEL-GAZA BORDER, ISRAEL (JANUARY 10, 2009) (REUTERS) ISRAELI TANKS SHELLING IN DIRECTION OF GAZA STRIP SMOKE BILLOWING OVER GAZA CITY AFTER ISRAELI STRIKE GAZA CITY, GAZA (JANUARY 14, 2009) (REUTERS) RESIDENTS STANDING AROUND MISSILE MAN SITTING ON TOP OF RUBBLE, SMOKING A CIGARETTE HEBRON, WEST BANK (JANUARY 16, 2009) (REUTERS) ISRAELI TROOPS FIRING TEAR GAS AT PALESTINIANS AT FAR END OF STREET PROTESTERS CARRYING WOUNDED MAN TO AMBULANCE
- Reuters ID: LVA2IW5AZ08NQ17HKVKNN9T5WI65
- Duration: 00:00:22
- Aspect Ratio:
- Topics: General
- Usage Terms/Restrictions: None
- Story Text: 2005 really began the day after Christmas 2004 with the Asian tsunami. One of the most powerful earthquakes ever recorded, measuring 8.9 on the Richter scale and centred off Sumatra, it triggered a series of waves that devastated the coastal regions of countries across south east Asia.
The raging waters dragged villagers out to sea, flung others inland and tore children from their parents arms.
In all, more than a quarter of a million people died.
The scale and reach of the devastation was enormous, from Indonesia to Africa, 4000 miles away.
Later on in the year, in August, Hurricane Katrina blazed a trial of destruction across the southern American city of New Orleans.
Katrina's storm breached the levee system, wreaking havoc.
More than one million people were left homeless - around 1300 died. The humanitarian crisis was on a scale unseen in the U.S. since the Great Depression of the 1930's.
The Bush administration was criticised for its slow response.
And in October, a major earthquake struck in northern Pakistan and parts of India-controlled Kashmir, measuring 7.9 on the Richter scale. Almost 90,000 people died and the inaccessibility of the mountainous regions hampered rescue efforts.
Britain was hit by a series of bomb attacks aimed at London's public transport system. Fifty-two people were killed as three suicide bombs were detonated within 50 seconds of each other.
In an emotional response, the city's Mayor Ken Livingstone described London as the greatest city in the world and said Londoners would not be divided by "this cowardly attack."
In Iraq, another type of rebuilding was taking place. The first multi-part elections for half a century were taking place.
Voters braved the threats of violence to cast their ballots. But the violence continued with suicide bombings a regular occurrence.
And British and American troops came under constant attack.
The former Iraqi President Saddam Hussein was in court charged with crimes against humanity.
On Valentine's Day in 2006 - February 14 - former Lebanese premier Rafik al Hariri was assassinated - a massive car bomb killed Hariri and 19 others in an attack that would leave its mark on Lebanon's political landscape throughout the following months.
At least 150,000 people attended his funeral.
Double that number crammed into the Vatican City two months later for the funeral of Pope John Paul II after a 26-year papacy.
The conservative German Cardinal Ratzinger was chosen as his successor.
A crushing victory by Hamas in the Palestinian elections brought the group dedicated to the destruction of Israel into the democratic fold but simultaneously paralysed the peace process.
Israel refused to negotiate with the new government.
When Hezbollah militia in Lebanon captured two Israeli soldiers in a cross-border raid in July 2006, Israel responded with a 34-day military offensive and an air, sea and land blockade.
Israeli aircraft bombed runways at Beirut airport and blew up oil storage tanks.
Back in Baghdad, Saddam Hussein was found guilty for crimes against humanity and sentenced to hang.
Many Iraqis took to the streets to celebrate.
The former Liberian President Charles Taylor was arrested to face war crimes charges, while former Serb leader Slobodan Milosevic, on trial at the Hague, never saw out the case and died in custody.
So too, Chile's former hardman Augusto Pinochet, at the age of 91. He continued to divide the country up until his death. His supporters say he saved the country from communism and chaos, while detractors call him a shameless murderer.
Anti-Pinochet demonstrators staged a mock funeral, throwing a burning coffin into a river.
The world had to contend with a new threat - that of bird flu. Panic spread quickly, and thousands of birds were killed to ensure the virus wasn't passed on.
Thousands of monks marched peacefully in Myanmar, initially to protest at a hike in fuel prices, but the protest came to symbolise a movement against the ruling junta.
A military order to crackdown on the protests was blamed for the death of a Japanese journalist.
Former Pakistan prime minister Benazir Bhutto returned home after eight years in exile to challenge the leadership. But just over two months later she was assassinated after being shot by a suicide bomber who then blew himself up.
2007 ended with the death of one of the political world's most colourful characters, former Russian President Boris Yeltsin.
A New Year brought independence for Kosovo after years of struggle against Serbia.
And 2008 also brought us a new American president - Barack Obama. He promised to reach out to all nations - enemies as well as friends.
He didn't have long to wait before his country was plunged into one of the biggest financial crisis ever with the collapse of the banking sector.
In India, a small group of militants, heavily armed with automatic weapons, burst into luxury hotels, a hospital and a railway station in Mumbai, firing indiscriminately and tossing grenades.
At least 100 people died.
The Middle East conflict dominated news throughout January, as Israeli military operations from air, land and sea battered Gaza.
The Israeli offensive provoked mass protests around the world.
The U.N.'s new Secretary General Ban ki-Moon visited a UN compound hit by Israeli fire. He said it was "heartbreaking."
Barack Obama, the first black U.S. president, chose Egypt for his first major foreign speech since being elected. He spoke of a new beginning between America and the Muslim world, one based on mutual trust and respect.
There were also hopes of a thaw in relations between the United States and Iran. But Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad remains defiant over Iran's nuclear ambitions, despite calls from the West to stop uranium enrichment.
Protests followed his re-election after claims the vote had been rigged.
Scotland became the centre of world attention when the man convicted of the Lockerbie bombing in 1988 was released back to Libya.
Abdel Basset al-Megrahi was said to be dying of cancer and only had a short time to live. He'd always maintained his innocence. A bomb blew apart Pan Am Flight 103 over the Scottish border town of Lockerbie killing 270 in total, including 11 on the ground.
Nobody could have expected the the King of Pop, Michael Jackson, would die suddenly. But he did, sparking a new wave of speculation about his private life and the pills he popped.
The decade ended with a warning that time was running out for the world to tackle climate change. At a conference in Copenhagen there were great expectations that the world's leading countries and those developing nations would cooperate on a new agreement. But the conference largely fizzled out with critics saying little had been achieved.
- Copyright Holder: REUTERS
- Copyright Notice: (c) Copyright Thomson Reuters 2016. Open For Restrictions - http://about.reuters.com/fulllegal.asp
- Embargoed:8th January 2010 12:00