- Title: VARIOUS: News Yearender 2009 - Review of the Year Part Two - (July to December)
- Date: 1st January 2010
- Summary: VARANASI, UTTAR PRADESH, INDIA (JULY 22,2009) (REUTERS) A MAN LOOKING AT THE SUN WITH A FILTER TOTAL SOLAR ECLIPSE, WITH SUN HIDING BEHIND THE MOON IN THE FORM OF A RING HINDU DEVOTEES TAKING A DIP IN THE RIVER GANGES CROWDS OF DEVOTEES ON THE BANKS OF RIVER GANGES WITH BOATS FLOATING IN THE BACKDROP
- Reuters ID: LVA7R747IB4I5C12E3SWZTVGJKGW
- Duration: 00:00:20
- Aspect Ratio:
- Topics: General
- Story Text: JULY
In July, China called a riot that shook the capital of the restive western Xinjiang region a plot by exiled members of the Uighur people, after at least three people died in an eruption of ethnic unrest there.
Locals took to the streets of Xinjiang's regional capital, Urumqi, burning and smashing vehicles and confronting security forces.
It followed a protest there to denounce the government's handling of a clash between Han Chinese and Uighur factory workers in the far south of China in late June when two Uighurs died.
A Russian built Tupolev passenger aircraft crashed in northwestern Iran, 168 people on board were killed. The Caspian Airlines aircraft was carrying 153 passengers and 15 crew.
Bomb blasts at two hotels in Jakarta's business district killed 9 people and injured 42. The two bombs were at the JW Marriott and the Ritz-Carlton hotel in Kuningan, Jakarta.
Pope Benedict was in good health and celebrated mass as usual after breaking his right wrist while on holiday in northern Italy.
The pontiff underwent minor surgery to fix the fracture, which the Vatican said was caused by an accidental fall in his residence overnight.
A total solar eclipse darkened the skies for millions of people across Asia, for more than six minutes in some places.
Eclipses allow earth-bound scientists a rare glimpse at the sun's corona, the gases surrounding the sun.
Starting on India's west coast north of financial capital Mumbai, it took in the ancient Hindu holy city of Varanasi on the Ganges river where thousands of people gathered for a dip.
Amid chanting of Hindu hymns, men, women and children waded into the river with folded hands and prayed to the sun as it emerged in an overcast sky.
In August, former U.S. President Bill Clinton's arrived in North Korea's capital Pyongyang.
Clinton visited the reclusive state to secure the release of two U.S. journalists convicted of "grave crimes,"
The journalists were sentenced to 12 years' hard labour by the North after they were arrested at the border with China in March, accused of illegal entry and being "bent on slander".
The rapid improvement in ties was short lived as George W. Bush became U.S. president and declared the North part of an "axis of evil."
A six-storey high hotel collapsed into a flooded river while more bridges and highways were broken in southern Taiwan due to torrential rain brought by typhoon Morakot.
The hotel was evacuated before it fell.
Typoon Morakat continued to cause damage across southern Asia, striking the coastal areas of Taiwan where two fishing boats were run aground by the strong tide.
Scotland released a former Libyan agent jailed for life for the 1988 Lockerbie bombing that killed 270 people, most of them Americans, because he is dying of cancer.
Abdel Basset al-Megrahi who, it was believed, had less than three months to live, was allowed to return to Libya on compassionate grounds, a decision strongly criticised by the United States, which had campaigned to keep him in prison.
Police searched the home of Philip Garrido in Anitoch, California following the arrest of Garrido and his wife Nancy on suspicion of kidnapping Jaycee Lee Dugard, 18 years ago when she was 11 years old.
Authorities said they were searching for evidence that would link Garrido to several unsolved murders of prostitutes in the 1990s.
Thousands of mourners lined the steps of the U.S. Capitol to bid their final farewells and pay their last respects to Senator Edward Kennedy who died of brain cancer aged 77.
Kennedy was a senator under 10 presidents over 47 years, championing causes from civil rights, immigration and healthcare to the end of apartheid in South Africa, opposition to the war in Iraq and peace in Northern Ireland.
He was buried in Arlington National Cemetery near his brothers, former President John F. Kennedy and Senator Robert Kennedy, who were assassinated in the 1960s.
Wildfires raged in the mountains north of Los Angeles, sending up huge plumes of grey smoke and prompting the evacuation of more than 3,000 homes on the northeastern edge of the city.
The fire scorched nearly 20,000 acres (8,000 hectares), and threatened key telecommunications facilities, including TV and radio transmission towers.
In September, North Atlantic Treaty Organisation (NATO) aircraft opened fire on hijacked fuel trucks in Afghanistan, killing up to 90 people in an incident that could trigger a backlash against Western troops.
NATO initially said it believed the casualties were all Taliban fighters, but later acknowledged that large numbers of civilians were being treated in hospitals in the area.
Villagers said their relatives were siphoning fuel from the hijacked trucks when the strikes hit and were burned alive in a giant fireball.
At least four people were killed in Istanbul as some suburbs of the city were partially submerged as heavy rains triggered flooding in northwestern Turkey.
Violence continued across Iraq as a car bomb in Kirkuk killed at least eight people from the same family.
Kirkuk, home to a volatile mix of ethnic Kurds, Arabs and Turkmen, is the scene of a bitter showdown between the Arab-led government in Baghdad and leaders in the largely autonomous Kurdistan region in northern Iraq.
After months of suspense - the board of General Motors decided to sell its European arm Opel to the Canadian-Austrian auto parts group Magna.
Opel employs 50 000 people in Europe - half of those in Germany, Berlin promised 4.5 billion euros - around $6.6 billion - in government guarantees if GM chose Magna.
It took little more than a few minutes to flatten what had been home to thousands of migrants over the last few years -- a mass of wooden pallets, cardboard boxes and fencing covered with tarpaulin, that had become known as the Calais Jungle.
Riot police moved on the migrants as bulldozers moved in to demolish their makeshift dwellings.
Generations of migrants had stayed at the makeshift camp since it sprang up following the 2002 closure of an official refugee camp in nearby Sangatte. First the Albanians, Kosovars and then the Iraqis and the Afghans. All had made it their staging post in their quest for a better life in the United Kingdom.
Thousands of people in the Philippine capital and nearby towns were marooned by flashfloods after a strong typhoon struck the island nation.
Guinean security forces killed at least 58 people when they fired live rounds to disperse thousands of protesters who were wanting to hold a rally in a sports stadium.
Witnesses said several prominent opposition leaders were arrested and protesters were injured in violence that began when thousands of people took to the streets and met in the stadium, despite a massive security operation by the authorities.
Dramatic new CCTV footage was released of the moment when a powerful earthquake struck the Ambacang Hotel in Indonesia's West Sumatra Province.
Indonesia's official toll from the quake is 704 dead and 295 missing, but the health minister has said the figure could reach 3,000.
According to data from Indonesia's disaster agency, about 180,000 homes and 20,000 buildings in West Sumatra were damaged in the quake, the death toll exceeded 700.
Bad weather continued across South East Asia, as a typhoon cut a destructive path through Vietnam killing 85 people following extensive flooding.
In October, Irish voters gave resounding approval to the European Union's Lisbon reform treaty.
The treaty needed the approval of all member states to go into force, and Europe was counting on Ireland to ratify the treaty after the country, accounting for less than 1 percent of the EU's nearly half a billion population, held up the reform charter's introduction in a "No" vote last year.
A week after a devastating 7.6-magnitude earthquake killed almost 1,000 people and destroyed homes in towns and villages in and near the Indonesian city of Padang, rescue workers began to scale down their efforts to find the bodies of those buried by the massive landslides.
Three villages in the Kepalo Koto area were completely buried by landslides and more than a hundred bodies have still not been found, only 16 people survived the landslide in this area.
U.S. President Barack Obama was announced the winner of the Nobel Peace Prize for giving the world "hope for a better future" and striving for nuclear disarmament.
The decision to award one of the world's top accolades to a president less than nine months into his first term, who has yet to score a major foreign policy success, came as a big surprise and provoked strong international criticism as well as praise.
In the U.S. state of Colorado, authorities said they would conduct a new round of interviews with the parents of a boy thought to have been carried away in a helium balloon. Six-year old Falcon Heele was later found, hiding in the attic at home.
Suspicion rose that the incident may have been staged, but the boy's father rejected suggestions that the fear his son had floated away was a hoax.
In The Hague at the International Criminal Tribunal for the former Yugoslavia (ICTY), prosecutors launched their case against Radovan Karadzic for perpetrating war crimes during the 1992-95 Bosnian war, even though the former Bosnian Serb leader shunned the U.N. tribunal and refused to appear at his trial.
Judge O-Gon Kwon issued a warning to Karadzic, to appear in the courtroom or risk having counsel assigned to him and being tried in absentia.
Karadzic is the court's highest profile defendant since the trial of ex-Yugoslav President Slobodan Milosevic, whose trial ended with his death in custody in 2006.
Afghan forces exchanged gunfire with a group of militants holed up inside an international guest house in the centre of Kabul.
Intense automatic weapons fire and an explosion resounded in the capital, and plumes of black smoke rose above buildings.
In November, the Czech Constitutional Court threw out a complaint against the EU's Lisbon Treaty, removing the last obstacle to its ratification.
The ruling allows eurosceptic President Vaclav Klaus to sign the treaty, which will give the EU its first long-term president and streamline decision-making in the bloc of 27 states and nearly half a billion people.
German Chancellor Angela Merkel and other leaders hailed the human courage that toppled the Berlin Wall, saying the historic events of 20 years ago showed the world could tackle new challenges, from poverty to climate change.
Merkel and fellow leaders from Britain, France and Russia spoke to tens of thousands gathered at the Brandenburg Gate to celebrate the anniversary of the collapse of the Wall, which ended the Cold War and paved the way for German reunification.
Kosovo went to the polls for the first time since declaring independence from Serbia last year, with parties pledging to tackle unemployment, corruption, poor infrastructure and weak foreign investment.
Kosovo declared independence from Serbia in 2008, nine years after NATO bombing drove out Serb forces to stop the killing of ethnic Albanians in a two-year counter-insurgency war.
More than 60 countries, mainly western, have recognised Kosovo's independence, but not Serbia, its former ruler, or Russia.
European Union leaders named Belgian Prime Minister Herman Van Rompuy and Britain's Catherine Ashton as EU president and foreign policy chief.
As he was sworn into office for a second term, Afghan President Hamid Karzai pledged to tackle corruption and ensure peace in Afghanistan.
U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton joined foreign ministers of Britain, France and Turkey at the ceremony.
Pakistan's President Asif Ali Zardari was also in attendance.
A U.N.-backed probe found that nearly a third of votes for Karzai in the August 20 election were fake.
While Karzai had been expected to win, the extent of the fraud in his favour severely damaged his credibility at home and among Western and other nations with troops fighting to support his government.
He has since faced tough pressure from Western leaders to clamp down on widespread corruption and replace former guerrilla leaders and cronies with able technocrats in his new government.
Patriarch Pavle, who headed the Serbian Orthodox Church during the bloody breakup of Yugoslavia during the 1990s as Serbs warred with neighbours of other faiths, died in November.
Half a million people lined the streets of Belgrade as a memorial service was held.
A Spanish vessel was released after being taken hostage by Somali pirates who said that a a 3.5 million US dollar ransom had been paid.
The crew on the Alkakrana trawler consists of 16 Spaniards and others from Ghana, Ivory Coast, Madagascar, Senegal and the Seychelles. The boat was seized as it was fishing for tuna, 400 miles northwest of the Seychelles.
Philippine President Gloria Macapagal Arroyo placed two southern provinces and a city under emergency rule after 24 people were killed in the worst-ever election related violence in the country.
The orders were issued as troops, using shovels and bare hands, dug up hastily covered graves on a grassy hillside in Maguindanao to recover the victims of the massacre.
They were part of a group of 40 people abducted by gunmen when on their way to file a candidate's nomination to contest the governorship in elections next May.
Dubai's debt problems shook European banking shares, despite the emirate's efforts to minimise the impact of a debt restructuring plan at two of its biggest companies that raised fears of default.
Banks shares, which had recovered over the last six months on hopes the worst of a global economic crisis was over, fell to lows not seen since May on fears of exposure to Dubai.
Dubai, whose extravagant building projects have been largely put on hold since the crisis said it would ask creditors at flagship firms Dubai World and property developer Nakheel, to delay repayment on billions of dollars of debt.
The trial of John Demjanjuk, an 89-year-old former guard at a Nazi camp during World War II began in the southern German town of Munich. Demjanjuk is charged with helping to force 27,900 Jews into gas chambers at Sobibor death camp in 1943.
Demjanjuk was wheeled into court on a stretcher at what is likely to be Germany's last big trial from the Nazi era.
In December, U.S. President Barack Obama said he would be sending 30,000 more U.S. troops to Afghanistan by next summer to speed the battle against the Taliban and plans to start bringing some home in 18 months.
An Italian court on Saturday (December 5) convicted American student Amanda Knox, 22, of murdering British student Meredith Kercher in a drunken sex game two years ago.
Knox's Italian ex-boyfriend Raffaele Sollecito was also convicted of the murder charges.
Speaking to the court just after midnight the judge Giancarlo Massei presiding over the case announced that Knox had been condemned to 26 years in prison and Sollecito to 25 years.
Kercher, 21, was found semi-naked with her throat cut in the bedroom of her house in Perugia.
DNA was found on her body from an Ivorian drifter, Rudy Guede, who was convicted in October 2008 to 30 years in prison for his role in her murder.
Video shot inside a Russian night club showed how a blaze sparked by an indoor firework spread through the club, starting from the ceiling as revellers stampede for exit. The fire killed at least 101 and injured 134 the Emergencies Ministry said.
The firework show went disastrously wrong at about 01.15 a.m. local time (2015 GMT) filling the Lame Horse nightclub in the centre of Perm, a city 1,150 km (720 miles) east of Moscow, with toxic smoke and sowing panic among clubbers.
At least four car bombs killed 112 people in Baghdad as the Iraqi government struggled to show it can defend the country from insurgents before U.S. troops withdraw in 2011.
Overall violence in Iraq has fallen sharply in the past two years. November's monthly civilian death toll of 88 was the lowest since the 2003 U.S. invasion.
U.S. President Barack Obama accepted the 2009 Nobel Peace Prize, acknowledging the controversy over the choice of a wartime president and saying he reserved the right to take action to protect the United States.
Obama said the use of force was sometimes justified, especially on humanitarian grounds, and in the case of al Qaeda, negotiations would not cause them to lay down their arms.
The biggest climate meeting in history with 15,000 opened in Copenhagen with hosts Denmark appealing for a "safer and greener planet."
Campaigners say politicians have two weeks to save the planet from catastrophic climate change in the talks, which end with a summit of 105 world leaders -- including U.S. President Barack Obama, on December 18.
The attendance of the leaders and pledges to curb emissions by all the top emitters -- led by China, the United States, Russia and India -- have raised hopes for an accord after sluggish negotiations in the past two years.
But the summit will have to overcome deep distrust between rich and poor nations about sharing the cost of emissions cuts.
Protesters clashed with police outside the climate conference as they took part in a day of action designed to send a strong message to world leaders, demanding that they agree a legally binding treaty to fight global warming.
Italian Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi was taken to hospital with blood smeared over his face after a man hurled a small model of Milan cathedral at him at a political rally.
Television footage showed the premier with blood splattered over his lips, teeth and chin being bundled into a car by aides and rushed away, minutes after finishing a lively speech to thousands of flag-waving supporters in a central Milan square.
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