DIDN'T SEE THAT COMING: The world was shocked when Donald Trump beat Hillary Clinton in the race to the White House in this year's US election.
DIDN'T SEE THAT COMING: The world was shocked when Donald Trump beat Hillary Clinton in the race to the White House in this year's US election. OLIVIER DOULIERY / POOL

Terrorism and Trump dominate 2016 world headlines

Clinton, and rest of the world, stumped as Trump wins US election

ON January 20, 2017, polarising TV personality Donald Trump will become the most powerful man in the world.

When The Apprentice star steps into America's iconic Oval Office, he'll be bringing with him a truckload of controversy that started the moment he threw his hat into the election ring and that ramped up once the world realised he had beaten Hillary Clinton to the US's top job.

While Mrs Clinton won the people's vote 61,047,207 to 60,375,961 in the November election, it was America's electoral college process that gave the man many call sexist and racist the win. Mr Trump has revealed he won't follow through with all of his election promises such as repealing the Obamacare health plan and rolling back gay marriage.

However he has indicated he will push for abortions to be decided at state levels. He hopes to essentially override the 1973 United States Supreme Court Roe v Wade legal decision and that could again make it extremely hard for women to access abortions.

And he still plans to build a wall - or maybe a cheaper and easier to erect "fence" - between Mexico and the US.

With widespread #notmypresident protests across the country and reports of violence and bigotry being committed in his name, Mr Trump will have his work cut out trying to unify a country that many commentators say is on the brink of chaos.


Protesters hold banners during a rally outside the CNN studios, in opposition to President-elect Donald Trump, in the Hollywood section of Los Angeles on Sunday.
Protesters hold banners during a rally outside the CNN studios, in opposition to President-elect Donald Trump, in the Hollywood section of Los Angeles. Damian Dovarganes

Terrorists kill more that 12,000 people in past 12 months

IN 2016, no one and nowhere was safe from the murderous scourge of relentless terrorism.

From Orlando in America to Nice in France, terrorists killed about 12,000 people and injured 15,000 others in at least 1270 attacks across 50 countries in the past 12 months, www.thereligionofpeace.com reports.

On January 1,, Islamic State extremists killed 300 West African migrants in Tripoli. Three days later, a grave containing 40 IS execution victims was found in Ramadi, Iraq. On January 7, a suicide truck bomb killed 65 police recruits and injured 200 others in Libya during a graduation ceremony.

On January 16, 300 people were murdered and 400 hurt during an IS suicide bombing and beheading rampage through Baghaliyeh in Syria.

On March 22, 14 people died when two suicide bombers detonated nail-packed explosives at crowded airline counters in Brussels.

On the same day and in the same city, a Religion of Peace suicide blast killed 21 train passengers. On June 12, Omar Mateen, an Islamic extremist, killed 49 people at the gay night club Pulse in Orlando Florida. Meanwhile, 81 people died over two weeks during attacks on farming communities in Nigeria in early June.

On July 3 in Iraq, a Fedayeen suicide bomber targeted a Karrada shopping mall popular with Shiites. The bomber killed 308 people. Barely two weeks later, on July 14, a Muslim man killed 84 people and injured 202 others when he drove a truck into Bastille Day crowds in Nice, France.

Just days earlier, 46 Sunnis were burned alive by Shiite militia in the city of Fallujah, Iraq. Also in Iraq during July, 56 people died when a suicide bomber targeted a shrine in the city of Balad and IS slaughtered 40 women, men and children in Syria on July 5.


Wounded people are evacuated from the scene where a truck crashed into the crowd during the Bastille Day celebrations in Nice, France, 14 July 2016. According to reports, at least 70 people died and many were wounded after a truck drove into the crowd on the famous Promenade des Anglais during celebrations of Bastille Day. Anti-terrorism police took over the investigation in the incident, media added.  EPA/OLIVIER ANRIGO
The wounded are evacuated from the scene where a truck crashed into the crowd during the Bastille Day celebrations in Nice, France on July 14. OLIVIER ANRIGO

Britain Brexits the EU

ON JUNE 23, 52% of more than 30 million British Brexit referendum voters decided the UK needed to leave the European Union.

The decision cost Prime Minister David Cameron his job. His replacement Theresa May is working on the EU withdrawal process with formal negotiations planned to get under way by March, 2017.


Britain makes an impressive Brexit from the EU. Kaname Muto

Panama paper trail exposes tax dodgers

ON APRIL 3, The International Consortium of Investigative Journalists and the German newspaper Suddeutsche Zeitung published 11.5 million confidential documents from legal and trust services firm Mossack Fonseca.

The Panama Papers contained information on more than 214,000 offshore companies, including their shareholders and directors, while providing an unprecedented glimpse into tax havens and dodging.

Big names caught out in the scandal included Ukraine's President Petro Poroshenko; soccer star Lionel Messi; actor Jackie Chan; Saudi Arabian king Salman bin Abdulaziz bin Abdulrahman Al Saud; China Power Investment Corporation vice-president Li Xiaoli who is known as China's Power Queen; Sergei Roldugin, artistic director of the St Petersburg House of Music and godfather of Vladimir Putin's daughter; Putin's other friends Arkady and Boris Rotenberg; Ian Cameron, father of British Prime Minister David Cameron; FIFA ethics committee member Juan Pedro Damiani and Iceland's PM Sigmundur David Gunnlaugsson.


epa05242948 Photo shows the building where the office of Panamanian law firm Mossack Fonseca is located in Panama City, Panama, 03 April 2016. 11 million documents from Mossack Fonseca database were leaked allegedly exposing high profile tax evasion and money laundering among the world's elite.  EPA/Alejandro Bolivar
Panamanian law firm Mossack Fonseca in Panama City, Panama. Alejandro Bolivar

Heartbreaking footage turns our eyes to Aleppo

IN AUGUST, a heartbreaking video of a little boy being pulled from rubble and placed in an orange ambulance chair appeared in our social media and news feeds.

The 38 seconds of footage showing five-year-old Omran Daqneesh looking stunned and covered in blood and dirt brought the war in Syria home to all of us.

Videographer Mustafa al-Sarout filmed Omran as he was rescued after an alleged Russian air strike on Aleppo.

"I've photographed a lot of air strikes in Aleppo, but there was so much there in his face, the blood and the dust mixed, at that age," the Aleppo-based journalist told The Guardian.

Omran's 10-year-old brother died from injuries he sustained during the same air strike.


FILE - In this frame grab taken from video provided by the Syrian anti-government activist group Aleppo Media Center (AMC), 5-year-old Omran Daqneesh sits in an ambulance after being pulled out or a building hit by an airstirke, in Aleppo, Syria, Wednesday, Aug. 17, 2016. The White Helmets, were among the crowd of first responders who pulled Daqneesh and his family from the rubble of their apartment building Wednesday night.  (Aleppo Media Center via AP)
Five-year-old Omran Daqneesh sits in an ambulance after being pulled out of a building hit by an airstirke, in Aleppo, Syria.

Australian highs and lows at Olympics and Paralympics

THIS year was an Olympic and Paralympic year. Both events were held in Rio.

Well over 11,000 athletes from 207 countries participated in the Olympics in August.

The US once again ruled the medal tally, with its sporting stars collecting 46 gold and 121 medals in total.

Australia limped into 10th position with a miserly eight gold medals and 29 medals overall.

The Paralympics attracted 4342 athletes from 159 countries.

China topped the medal tally with 107 gold and a total of 239 medals, Great Britain scored 64 gold and 147 medals overall and the Ukraine was third on the medal count with 41 gold and 117 medals overall.

Australian Paralympians easily out-performed the country's Olympians, as we scored fifth spot with 22 gold and 81 medals overall.


GREAT EFFORT: Alana Boyd competes in the women's pole vault final at Rio, where she finished fourth.
Alana Boyd competes in the women's pole vault final at Rio, where she finished fourth. Matt Dunham/


Good news for our environment

ON SEPTEMBER 3, the US and China, which together are responsible for 40% of the world's carbon emissions, both ratified the Paris global climate agreement.

The European Union, Canada, Nepal and India all ratified the deal that commits them to ensuring the average global temperature does not exceed 2 degrees above pre-industrial levels.

The UN says 72 countries out of 195 have ratified the agreement.

Australia was not one of them, with the Turnbull government tabling the agreement in Parliament in its first week back after the July 2 election.

"No nation, not even one as powerful as ours, can solve this on its own - we have to do this together," US President Barack Obama said at the time.

"Even if we meet every target, we will only get to part of where we need to go. But this will help delay or avoid the worst consequences of climate change. It'll help set bolder targets."

Serious turbulence for airlines

IT WAS a particularly tough year for EgyptAir.

On March 28, hijacker Seif Eldin Mustafa donned a belt of fake explosives before forcing the pilots to redirect the plane to Cyprus so he "could see" his estranged wife and children.

Then on May 19, EgyptAir Flight 804 crashed over the Mediterranean en route from Paris to Cairo. All 66 people aboard were killed.

On September 28, investigators revealed a Russian-made Buk missile was responsible for downing Malaysia Airlines Flight MH17 in July of 2014.

The flight was en route from Amsterdam to Kuala Lumpur. All 298 people aboard were killed.  


epa04324585 A man inspects the empennage tail debris at the main crash site of the Boeing 777 Malaysia Airlines flight MH17, which crashed over the eastern Ukraine region, near Grabovo, some 100 km east of Donetsk, Ukraine, 20 July 2014. A Malaysia Airlines Boeing 777 with more than 280 passengers on board crashed in eastern Ukraine on 17 July. The plane went down between the city of Donetsk and the Russian border, an area that has seen heavy fighting between separatists and Ukrainian government forces.  EPA/IGOR KOVALENKO
Downed Boeing 777 Malaysia Airlines flight MH17. IGOR KOVALENKO

China's kerfuffle over the South China Sea

ON JULY 12, the Philippines won a case before the Permanent Court of Arbitration regarding the legality of China's claim over the South China Sea under the United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea.

The court ruled China did not have any historic title over the disputed waters and it had breached the sovereign rights of the Philippines with its actions.

China rejected the decision, describing it as a "farce" and telling the world its relationship with the region went back more than 2000 years.

China said it would ignore the ruling and have armed forces ready to defend its sovereignty and maritime interests.


FILE - In this July 8, 2016, file photo released by Xinhua News Agency, Chinese missile frigate Yuncheng launches an anti-ship missile during a military exercise in the waters near south China's Hainan Island and Paracel Islands. China said Monday, July 18, 2016, that it is closing off a part of the South China Sea for military exercises this week, days after an international tribunal ruled against Beijing's claim to ownership of virtually the entire strategic waterway. Hainan's maritime administration said an area southeast of the island province would be closed from Monday to Thursday, but gave no details about the nature of the exercises. (Zha Chunming/Xinhua via AP, File)
It was ruled China did not have any historic title over the South China Sea in July. Zha Chunming

Countries and people behaving badly

ON FEBRUARY 7, North Korea launched a long-range rocket into space.

The move violated a raft of UN treaties and prompted widespread global condemnation.

A month later, in March, Bosnian Serb leader Radovan Karadzic was convicted of genocide and war crimes committed during the 1992-1995 Bosnian war. Karadzic was sentenced to 40 years in jail.