Key events around the world in 2017

US President Donald Trump waves after signing an order recognising Jerusalem as the capital of Israel on Dec 6, 2017.
US President Donald Trump waves after signing an order recognising Jerusalem as the capital of Israel on Dec 6, 2017.PHOTO: EPA-EFE

PARIS (AFP) - From the inauguration of US President Donald Trump to the exodus of Rohingyas from Myanmar, here are 12 events that marked 2017.

A YEAR OF TRUMP

On January 20, Republican billionaire Donald Trump, 70, is inaugurated as US president, vowing: "America first." Suspicions of collusion between his election campaign and Russia dog the start of his term.

Trump progressively unpicks the achievements of his Democrat predecessor, Barack Obama. He pulls out of international agreements on climate, free trade, immigration and Unesco.

On December 6, in another break with the previous administration, Trump creates shockwaves when he recognises Jerusalem as Israel's capital, a move largely rejected in a UN vote.

On December 20, he seals his first major reform, signing long-awaited tax cuts into law.

BREXIT UNDER WAY


Pro-European Union and anti-Brexit demonstrators outside the Houses of Parliament in London on Dec 21, 2017. PHOTO: AFP

On March 29, London launches the process to quit the European Union, as voted in a referendum nine months earlier.

In a snap general election on June 8, Prime Minister Theresa May's Conservatives suffer a major setback and lose their majority.

Brussels and London agree on divorce terms on December 8.

FRANCE: POLITICAL EARTHQUAKE


French President-elect Emmanuel Macron celebrates on the stage at his victory rally near the Louvre in Paris on May 7, 2017. PHOTO: REUTERS

Pro-EU centrist Emmanuel Macron, 39, wins a resounding victory over far-right rival Marine Le Pen in France's presidential election on May 7.

His new En Marche (On the Move) movement drives the two biggest parties - the Socialists and Republicans - from the Elysee Palace for the first time.

MIDDLE EAST: BOILING POINT


Yemenis gather around the coffins of victims of alleged Saudi-led airstrikes, during a funeral in Sana'a on Dec 26, 2017. PHOTO: EPA-EFE

Saudi Arabia and its allies sever diplomatic ties with Qatar on June 5, accusing it supporting "terrorists" and of being too close to Iran.

Then on November 4, Lebanese Prime Minister Saad Hariri announces from the Saudi capital that he is resigning, citing Iran's "grip" on his country. He later backtracks.

Saudi Arabia also accuses rebels in Yemen of receiving support from Iran, which denies the accusation.

The UN describes Yemen's humanitarian situation as the worst in the world in 2017.

VENEZUELA: ECONOMIC DISASTER


Venezuelans take part in a protest against the shortage of food in Caracas on Dec 28, 2017. PHOTO: AFP

On July 30, Venezuela's Constituent Assembly - whose legitimacy is disputed by the opposition and abroad - is elected after four months of deadly protests against socialist President Nicolas Maduro.

With wide-ranging powers, it dismisses in early August Attorney General Luisa Ortega, one of Maduro's top critics.

It then takes over the opposition-dominated Congress.

Crippled by plummeting oil prices, the country is considered to be in "selective default" by ratings agencies.

NORTH KOREA: ESCALATION


North Korean leader Kim Jong Un inspecting a launching drill of the medium-and-long range strategic ballistic rocket Hwasong-12 at an undisclosed location in this photo released from North Korea's official Korean Central News Agency (KCNA) on Sept 16, 2017. PHOTO: AFP

The reclusive regime conducts its sixth and largest nuclear test on September 3.

On November 29, leader Kim Jong Un says a "state nuclear force" has been completed with the test of a long-range missile able to deliver a nuclear warhead anywhere in the United States.

Washington threatens to "utterly destroy" the regime "if war comes".

On December 22, the UN Security Council imposes new sanctions against North Korea that restrict vital oil supplies.

MYANMAR'S ROHINGYAS: 'GENOCIDE'


A man tells Rohingya migrants queueing to receive aid that the delivery has been cancelled at the Kutupalong refugee camp in Cox's Bazar, Bangladesh, on Nov 30, 2017. PHOTO: AFP

On August 25, the military in Buddhist-majority Myanmar launches a crackdown on Rohingyas after militants from the stateless Muslim minority ambush security forces.

Nearly 655,000 Rohingyas find refuge in Bangladesh.

The United States denounces "ethnic cleansing" while the UN speaks of "elements of genocide".

CATALONIA: AUTONOMY SUSPENDED


People holding candles and a Catalan pro-independence flag during a demonstration in Barcelona on Oct 17, 2017, against the arrest of two Catalan separatist leaders. PHOTO: AFP

Spain's wealthy northeastern Catalonia region holds a referendum for independence on October 1 that is deemed illegal by the central government.

Madrid moves to assert control but Catalan lawmakers vote on October 27 to declare independence.

Madrid dismisses Catalonia's government and suspends its autonomy, also calling regional elections. Deposed regional president Carles Puigdemont, charged with sedition and rebellion, takes refuge in Belgium.

On December 21 three pro-independence parties defeat the central government in the elections. However, the centrist, anti-independence Ciudadanos party gets the best individual result.

THE WEINSTEIN SCANDAL


Famed movie mogul Harvey Weinstein has fallen from grace over sexual harassment allegations. PHOTO: REUTERS

On October 5 the New York Times publishes a bombshell investigative report accusing Hollywood mogul Harvey Weinstein, 65, of sexual harassment over decades.

Similar allegations have since been levelled at a long list of personalities in film, television, journalism and politics around the world.

ZIMBABWE: MUGABE FALLS


Robert Mugabe had clung on for a week after an army takeover, before resigning as Zimbabwe’s president on Nov 21, 2017. PHOTO: REUTERS

Zimbabwe's veteran President Robert Mugabe, 93, resigns on November 21 following 37 years of rule and after being abandoned by the military and his own party.

ISIS DEFEATED, NOT WIPED OUT


A man holds an Iraqi flag as he celebrates the final victory over the  Islamic State in Iraq and Syria at Tahrir Square in Baghdad on Dec 10, 2017. PHOTO: REUTERS

Iraq on December 9 declares victory in its war to expel the Islamic State in Iraq and Syria (ISIS) group but experts warn that Islamist militants remain a threat. They have also lost most of their territory in Syria.

Numerous deadly attacks around the world over the year, including in Afghanistan, Britain, Egypt and Somalia, are claimed by or blamed on the group or others linked to Al-Qaeda.

CLIMATE: RECORD DISASTERS


A car lies abandoned after heavy damage when Hurricane Harvey hit Rockport, Texas, on Aug 26, 2017. PHOTO: AFP

The year in which Trump decides, on June 1, to leave the landmark 2015 Paris climate accord is marked by a series of natural disasters, including record-breaking hurricanes, earthquakes and devastating fires that affect several countries.

It is set to be one of the three warmest years ever recorded.