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The year began with a continuing civil war in Syria, the Islamic State (ISIS) in a pitched battle to gain ground in Iraq, a rebel war in Eastern Ukraine in an attempt by the rebels to move toward Russia rather than become a member of the EU.

At the beginning of the year the world economy was showing signs of improvement except in the job sector. Unemployment and underemployment by youth in Western nations remained extremely high, even as high as 50% in places like Spain. But in the East, China's reported that its economy is likely to miss Beijing's growth target for the first time since the Asian financial crisis at the end of the last century, after official figures showed the country's seismic manufacturing sector barely grew in December. While employment numbers in the United States appear that unemployment is at a long time low, people like Gallup's CEO argue that the numbers are "a big lie."

In France, a terrorist attack against a satirical magazine galvanized world response with an "I am Charlie" response or people holding a pencil as a sign of solidarity. It will have deep repercussions on how radical Muslim beliefs are viewed around the World. In November, Paris was attacked by ISIS terrorists. This was amid a major emigration of Syrian refugees into Europe. While some tried to distance the two matters, others called for a limit on accepting Syrian refugees into Europe.

§Of World Interest

April 29 - Improved vaccine campaigns have led to the elimination of rubella from North, Central and South America, global health authorities announced. The virus, sometimes known as German measles, was formally declared eradicated after five consecutive years without an endemic case of the virus in the Americas.

In mid-year Greece's financial woes created a pall over the world financial community. There were doubts whether Greece would remain a member of the Euro Zone and default on billions of Euros in debt.

June 2015 was the Warmest June Ever Recorded.


§Burkina Faso

September 16 - Presidential guard officers in Burkina Faso seized power in a coup. July 21- Pierre Nkurunziza’s bid for a third term as president brought Burundi to the brink of civil war.


April 2 - Gunmen from the Islamist militant group al Shabaab stormed a university in Kenya and killed at least 147 people in the worst attack on Kenyan soil since the U.S. embassy was bombed in 1998 CE.


April 19 - As many as 700 migrants were feared dead after their boat capsized in the Mediterranean. This brings the total number of people dead to 1,500 for the year of people attempting to reach Europe.


January 3 - Boko Haram insurgents attacked a military base around Baga, a town on the border with Chad.

January 7 - Boko Haram insurgents attacked the area near Baga killing as many as 2,000, their deadliest attack to date according to Amnesty International. Most victims were children, women and elderly people who could not run fast enough when insurgents drove into Baga, firing rocket-propelled grenades and assault rifles on town residents.

March 31 - Muhammdu Buhari defeated Goodluck Jonathan in the country's presidential election.

May 29 - Muhammadu Buhari takes over a nation in crisis with an Islamic uprising that has made 1.5 million people homeless and coffers emptied by massive corruption.



May 4 - The head of Taiwan's ruling party has met with Chinese President Xi Jinping as part of the continuing rapprochement between the former bitter enemies.

Nationalist chairman Eric Chu reaffirmed his party's support for the goal of eventual unification between the communist-ruled mainland and the self-governing island democracy. The two leaders met in Beijing.

October 31 - China abandons the one child policy and now allows people to have two children.

§Central Asia


May - More than 120,000 critically endangered saiga antelopes — more than one-third of the worldwide population — have died in Kazakhstan since mid-May, and the cause of the “catastrophic collapse” is unclear.

§Eastern Europe


May - 60,000 antelope die mysteriously. nearly half of all the saigas, a critically endangered antelope that roams the steppe of Kazakhstan, died off. Exactly why is still a mystery.


February 15 - A newly declared cease-fire in eastern Ukraine appeared to mostly hold through the night, though both Ukrainian troops and pro-Russian rebels had traded accusations of violations by the morning.

February 16 - Intense artillery exchanges between Ukrainian government forces and Russian-backed separatists persisted around a strategic town in eastern Ukraine - fighting that threatens to dash a cease-fire deal brokered by European leaders

February 24 - Pro-Russia separatists said they had begun pulling heavy weapons from the front line in east Ukraine under a ceasefire deal, but Ukraine said the rebels were using the cover of the truce to reinforce for another advance.


August - September - European countries are overrun by Syrian refugees. Countries like Hungary struggle with the flow of refugees, trying to document them as they traverse their country heading for countries like Germany.


January 7 - Shots were fired at the offices of French satirical magazine Charlie Hebdo in Paris 12 people were killed. Three radical Muslim terrorists attacked the magazine in reprisal for publishing cartoons showing the prophet Mohammad. A massive manhunt took place. The youngest suspect, Hamyd Mourad, gave himself up to police. Said and Cherif Kouachi remained at large.

January 8 - A second shooting by Coulibaly in South Paris critically wounded one and killed a female police officer. The two suspects are spotted at a petrol station in the suburb of Longpont. A massive manhunt in the area was undertaken.

While the Kouachi brothers holed up in a printing plant near Charles de Gaulle airport, Coulibaly seized hostages inside a kosher market.

January 9 - A hostage was taken in Dammartin en Goele. The suspects were hiding in a warehouse. The hostage is then held inside of a printing business. A second hostage was held inside of a kosher market.

It all ended at dusk Friday with near-simultaneous raids at the printing plant and the market that left all three gunmen dead. Four hostages at the market were also killed.

Note: The facts of what happened are still unclear and will be updated. 17 people were killed.

January 11 - Posthumous video emerged of Coulibaly, who prosecutors said was newly linked by ballistics tests to a third shooting — the Wednesday attack on a jogger in a Paris suburb that left the 32-year-old man gravely injured. In the video, Coulibaly speaks fluent French and broken Arabic, pledging allegiance to ISIS and detailing the terror operation he said was about to unfold.

Coulibaly's widow, who has been named as an accomplice, is believed to have traveled to a Turkish city near the Syrian border and then all traces of her were lost.

January 11 - 40 world leaders marched through Paris to show unity in the face of terrorism. French President Francois Hollande said turned the city into "the capital of the world." Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu stood near Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas. Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko and Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov also marched.

March 25 - German jetliner crashed in the French Alps. The crash is believed to have been caused by Andreas Lubitz.

November 13 - Simultaneous terror attacks rocked Paris suburbs.

9:20 p.m. The first of three bombs detonateed during a friendly France-Germany soccer match at Stade de France. More explosions occured at 9:30 p.m. and 9:53 p.m. Suicide bombers carried out all three attacks. The bombs were targeted at spectators, but the bombers were late to the game. After French President François Hollande was informed of the explosions, he was quickly evacuated from the venue.

9:25 p.m.: Gunmen armed with high-powered Kalashnikov rifles opened fire at two restaurants in the city's 10th arrondissement, Le Carillon and Le Petit Cambodge. Fifteen people were killed.

9:32 p.m.: Five people were killed when a gunman attacked La Bonne Bière, a bar in the 11th arrondissement.

9:36 p.m.: Near La Bonne Bière, another gunman opened fire at La Belle Equipe, killing 19 people.

9:40 p.m.: A suicide bomber detonated a bomb at Comptoir Voltaire, a cafe, seriously injuring one person.

9:40 p.m.: At Bataclan, a concert venue, three attackers opened fire during a crowded Eagles of Death Metal concert. They rounded up audience members and held them hostage, then methodically shot them. Eighty-nine people were killed. Later that evening, French police raided the venue, killing one of the terrorists. The other two killed themselves with suicide bombs.

11:55 p.m.: French President Hollande shuts down the French borders, declares a state of emergency and institutes the first mandatory curfew since World War II.

The world rose up in solidarity with France, particularly through social media. France increased its attacks on ISIS in Syria, as ISIS took responsibility for the attacks in Paris.

§Great Britain

May 8 - British Prime Minister David Cameron won a stunning election victory, confounding forecasts that the vote would be the closest in decades and winning a clear majority that left his Labour opponents in tatters.


January 26 - The leader of the left-wing Syriza party, Alexis Tsipras, was sworn in as Greece's new Prime Minister. He is known as the anti-austerity leader calling into question Greece's future as a member of the EU.

February 21 - Greek Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras declared victory after agreeing to a conditional financial rescue deal with Europe and despite making big concessions to avert a banking collapse within days.

July 2 - Greece has managed to continue its negotiations with creditors while it considers whether to remain part of the Eurozone. The country has asked for deep concessions in its negotiations, but the alternative is mass unrest from the Greek people who do not want to live under an austerity regime.


May 25 - Andrzej Duda won the runoff election to become President of Poland along with this Law and Justice party.


January 1 - The Indian government has blocked access to web sites like Pastebin, Github and Sourceforge claiming they will be used for anti-Indian purposes. Editor comment: This might be the most stupid act a government has ever committed.


April 25 - A 7.8 earthquake shook Nepal near its capital, Katmandu, killing more than 9,000 people, flattening sections of the city’s historic center, and trapping dozens of sightseers in a 200-foot watchtower that came crashing down into a pile of bricks.

April 28 - The death toll passes 4400 from the earthquake and all its major aftershocks.

April 30 - The death toll passes 5400 from the earthquake. A magnitude 7.8 quake has left many in Nepal homeless, forcing them to live in camps that still have meager supplies.

May 1 - Nepal quake toll passes 6100, $2 billion is needed for reconstruction. The Nepalese government announced that it would give $1000 to each family that lost family members in the quake and $400 for funeral costs.

§Middle East


October 31 - A Russian passenger plane flying from Sharm el-Sheikh, Egypt, to St. Petersburg, Russia, crashed in Egypt's Sinai Peninsula, less than 30 minutes after take-off. All passengers and crew members on board were killed. An investigation revealed in mid-November that the crash was due to a terrorist bomb.


March 2 - Iraq's armed forces, backed by Shi'ite militia, attacked Islamic State strongholds north of Baghdad as they launched an offensive to retake the city of Tikrit and the surrounding Sunni Muslim province of Salahuddin

March 5 - ISIS fanatics went on a rampage in the Assyrian city of Nimrud in northern Iraq, destroying the 3,000 year-old winged statues placed at the gates of the Palace of Ashurnasirpal.

March 7 - Officials confirmed that ISIS militants began destroying the archaeologically-significant site of Hatra in northern Iraq. Hatra was probably built in the 3rd or 2nd century BC by the Seleucid Empire. After its capture by the Parthian Empire, it flourished during the 1st and 2nd centuries AD as a religious and trading center. Later on, the city became the capital of possibly the first Arab Kingdom in the chain of Arab cities running from Hatra, in the northeast, via Palmyra, Baalbek and Petra, in the southwest. The region controlled from Hatra was the Kingdom of Araba, a semi-autonomous buffer kingdom on the western limits of the Parthian Empire, governed by Arabian princes.


April 2 - A breakthrough nuclear deal is reached with the United States and other world powers that promises to end Iran's international isolation under years of crippling sanctions.


February 16 - Egypt carried out airstrikes in Libya in retaliation for the beheading of more than a dozen Egyptian Christians by a branch of the Islamic State extremist group there.

§Saudi Arabia

January 23 - Saudi King Salman succeeded King Abdullah.

April 29 - King Salman of Saudi Arabia changed the line of royal succession by naming security-focused leaders in the line of succession.

The changes will reshape not only the kingdom and its place in the region, but its relations with its ally, the United States.

The 79-year-old king promoted the two princes he believed most responsible for the kingdom’s security.

Prince Mohammed bin Nayef, 55, the interior minister who has headed the kingdom’s counterterrorism efforts, was named as crown prince, with Salman pushing aside his youngest half-brother, Prince Muqrin bin Abdulaziz, 69.

The defense minister, Prince Mohammed bin Salman, is one of the king’s youngest sons, was named as deputy crown prince.

Adel al-Jubeir, the Saudi ambassador to the United States and not of royal blood, replaced Prince Saud al-Faisal, who had served as foreign minister for 40 years.

Ahmed al Sweilam, was appointed as head of the royal court. He is also not of royal blood.


February 24 - The group known as the Islamic State or ISIS has abducted at least 90 Christians in Northeastern Syria.


February 23 - Hundreds of Turkish troops entered Syria to recover the 800 year old remains of Suleyman Shah in order to prevent their destruction by ISIS. The remains were moved into Turkey.


April 19 - The U.S. Navy sent the carrier USS Theodore Roosevelt and its escort cruiser, USS Normandy, from the Gulf into the Arabian Sea to strengthen military presence near Yemen where the ships will join seven other U.S. warships in the waters near Yemen, which is torn by civil strife as Iranian-backed Houthi rebels battle forces loyal to the U.S.-backed president.

§North America


January 12 - Cuba has freed 53 prisoners according to a US plan to achieve normalization between the two countries.

February - A variant of HIV that is much more aggressive than other known forms of the virus has been documented. Patients infected with this new variant progress to AIDS so rapidly that they may not even know they are infected, with AIDS symptoms occurring within 3 years of infection.

July 1 - The US and Cuba will further normalize relations as the two countries announce the opening of embassies in the US and Cuba.


May 22 - Government security forces killed 42 suspected drug cartel henchmen and suffered one fatality in a firefight in western Mexico.

§United States

Life expectancy for Americans was shorter in 2015 than it was the year before.

February 15 - Thousands of businesses could receive clearance to fly drones two years from now under proposed rules that the Federal Aviation Administration unveiled Sunday, a landmark step that will make automated flight more commonplace in the nation's skies.

April 3 - The governor of California imposed mandatory water restrictions due to the long drought.

April 14 - President Obama dropped Cuba from the state terrorism list.

April 14 - The U.S. Senate unanimously approved legislation granting Congress a voice in negotiations on the Iran nuclear accord, sending the once-controversial legislation to the full Senate after President Obama withdrew his opposition rather than face a bipartisan rebuke.

Republican opponents of the nuclear agreement on the committee sided with Mr. Obama’s strongest Democratic supporters in demanding a congressional role as international negotiators work to turn this month’s nuclear framework into a final deal by June 30. The bill would mandate that the administration send the text of a final accord, along with classified material, to Congress as soon as it it completed. It also halts any lifting of sanctions during a congressional review and culminates in a possible vote to allow or forbid the lifting of congressionally imposed sanctions in exchange for the dismantling of much of Iran’s nuclear infrastructure. It passed 19 to 0.

April 27 - Rioting in Baltimore after Freddie Gray's funeral.

May 4 - Officials estimate that Lake Mead will drop to the unprecedented low elevation of 1,073 feet during the summer months.

July 10 - The massacre of nine black churchgoers in Charleston was a catalyst for the permanent removal of the Confederate flag from South Carolina’s state house.

July 27 - The Boy Scouts of America announced that the group is lifting its ban on gay adults as employees and Scout leaders.

August 29 - Marriage of Ted Coombs to Thijs van den Berg

November 22 - A northern white rhinoceros, one of just four left on Earth, died at the San Diego Zoo Safari Park after suffering from a bacterial infection and age-related health issues.

December - Pew reported that a clear majority of American adults no longer live in the middle class, a demographic reality shaped by decades of widening inequality, declining industry and the erosion of financial stability and family-wage jobs.

§U.S. Law

June 26 - The Supreme Court ruled that gay marriage is now legal in all 50 States and that States must recognize marriages performed in other States. This is a historic decision that follows the trend of other Western countries to legalize gay marriage starting with the Netherlands over a decade prior.

§U.S, Technology

April 17 - It was announced by Scientists with the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE)'s Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory (Berkeley Lab) and the University of California (UC) Berkeley that there has been a potentially game-changing breakthrough in artificial photosynthesis has been achieved with the development of a system that can capture carbon dioxide emissions before they are vented into the atmosphere and then, powered by solar energy, convert that carbon dioxide into valuable chemical products, including biodegradable plastics, pharmaceutical drugs and even liquid fuels.


October 14 - In Kunduz an American airstrike against a Doctors Without Borders hospital killed more than 40 staff members, patients and relatives of patients.



November 22 - The Crimea was thrust into darkness when power lines were blown up. The Russian government imposed a state of emergency. The four trunk lines running from Ukraine to Crimea were all damaged, and two districts in the Ukrainian region of Kherson were also without electricity.


February 14 - Danish police have shot dead a man they say was responsible for two fatal shootings in Copenhagen – one at a freedom of speech rally and one at a synagogue. Swedish cartoonist Lars Vilks may have been the target of the first attack.

§South America


An outbreak of Zika virus began in April 2015 in Brazil, and subsequently spread to other countries in South America, Central America, and the Caribbean. The outbreak is ongoing.


March 3 - The volcano, Villarrica, erupted, sending a lava fountain hundreds of meters over the volcano’s summit crater. The eruption spread ash over the neighboring region and an accompanying lava flow melted snow on the slopes of the volcano creating small volcanic mud and debris flows. Over 3,300 people were evacuated from the towns around Villarrica, including the vacation town of Pucón. A deluge of lava bombs rained down on the slopes during the peak of the eruption.

September 16 - An 8.3 earthquake hit the coast of Chile spawning tidal waves. 8 people died.


May 25 - The Wolf volcano, located on Isabela Island, Galapagos Islands, began erupting creating fear for the rosy iguana.

§Southeast Asia


May - Rohingya migrants fled on fishing boats as part of an exodus in which thousands of people took to the sea to flee ethnic persecution in Myanmar.


April 2 - Martial law was lifted when the Thai King Bhumibol Adulyadej approved a request from Prime Minister General Prayuth Chan-ocha. There is concern that this will move the country closer to a dictatorship with powerful military control.

August 17 - A bomb in Bangkok at a popular shrine killed 20 and wounded more than a hundred people.

§Southwest Asia


January 19 - Yemen's Houthi movement fought artillery battles with the army near the presidential palace in Sanaa, throwing the fragile Arab state deeper into turmoil and drawing accusations that the militia fighters were mounting a coup.

January 22 - President Abed Rabbo Hadi stepped down with his Cabinet over the pressures by Houthi rebels who demanded a bigger share of government power.

January 23 - Thousands of protesters demonstrated across Yemen, some supporting the Shiite rebels who seized the capital and others demanding the country's south secede after the nation's president and Cabinet resigned.

February 7 - The Gulf Cooperation Council has accused Shi'ite Houthi rebels of staging a coup in Yemen after they announced they were dissolving parliament and forming a new government.

February 21 - The President fled the capital. In a statement signed as "president of the republic" from the southern port city of Aden, Abed Rabbo Mansour Hadi called for a national dialogue there or in the city of Taiz, another area not under Houthi control, and demanded the rebels leave Sanaa.


  • Ebola continues killing people in Africa
  • Syrian civil war
  • Ukrainian separatists continue fighting in Eastern Ukraine. A February cease fire held.


  • January 1 - Mario Cuomo, former governor of New York, age 82
  • January 23 - King Abdullah of Saudi Arabia, age 90 of pneumonia.
  • February 27 - Leonard Nimoy, American actor, age 83. "Live long and prosper!"
  • March 22 - Lee Kuan Yew, Modern Singapore's founding father, age 91
  • April 13 - Sheila Kitzinger, anthropologist and childbirth expert whose books helped people about the globe begin new lives as parents, age 86.
  • May 14 - B.B. King, musician, nickname, King of the Blues, age 89
  • June 11 - Sir Christopher Lee, actor age 93.
  • June 23 - James Horner, the award-winning composer for such films as Titanic, Aliens and Avatar, died in a plane crash, age 61


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Page last modified on December 11, 2016, at 02:40 PM