2019 in images: A look back at some of the year’s biggest stories

The Notre-Dame Cathedral fire was one of a number of major news stories that made the headlines in 2019.
The Notre-Dame Cathedral fire was one of a number of major news stories that made the headlines in 2019. FRANCE 24

From the blaze that tore through France’s Notre-Dame Cathedral, to Donald Trump becoming just the third US president in history to be impeached, FRANCE 24 looks back at some of the stories that made the headlines over the past year.


Political upheaval was a major theme of many of the biggest stories of 2019, with the Yellow Vest movement continuing in France and the eruption of mass demonstrations in Hong Kong in the summer that have provoked often violent confrontations with security forces.

In Sudan, the 30-year-long rule of Omar al-Bashir came to an end amid popular discontent, while in Venezuela Nicolas Maduro managed to cling to power despite an attempts to overthrow him.

Climate change also took centre stage during 2019, with global protests, led by teenage Swedish activist Greta Thunberg, seeing millions take to the streets to demand governments take action on global warming.

In the Middle East, the last territory held by the Islamic State group in Syria was liberated, before the group’s long-time leader Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi was killed in a raid by US special forces.

However, Trump’s decision to withdraw US troops from northern Syria saw Turkey launch an offensive against the US’s Kurdish former allies, threatening to bring new instability to the region.

And in France, there was shock and sorrow as Notre-Dame Cathedral came close to destruction after a major fire in April destroyed its roof and central spire, in damage likely to cost hundreds of millions of euros to repair.

The year ended with US House Democrats voting to impeach Trump, a story whose conclusion is set to play out in the New Year.

Terror attacks in New Zealand and Sri Lanka and the ongoing Brexit saga were among the other major news headlines of 2019.

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