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Decade in Review: A look back at what happened in 2019 | UK News



It was a year in which Boris Johnson became the UK’s prime minister, and Donald Trump became the third US president to be impeached.

The Royal Family celebrated the birth of Harry and Meghan’s first child in May, while the Duke of York faced a grilling over his links to a convicted a sex offender months later.

The people of Earth saw a photograph of a black hole for the first time, and British high street favourite Thomas Cook collapsed into administration.

Decade in Review: Read about the biggest stories in 2010, 2011, 2012, 2013, 2014, 2015, 2016, 2017 and 2018.

Argentinian footballer Emiliano Sala dies in a plane crash – 21 January

Emiliano Sala's plave crashed on the way to Wales
Emiliano Sala’s plane crashed on the way to Wales

The 28-year-old footballer had signed for Cardiff City for £15m just three days before the plane he was travelling in came down into the English Channel off the coast of Guernsey.

An official search for the private plane, which had been travelling to Cardiff from Nantes, had requested to descend before it lost contact with Jersey air traffic control.

The search operation was called off three days later.

Wreckage from the accident was located the following month.

Shamima Begum told she can never return to the UK – 19 February

Shamima Begum talking to Sky News
Shamima Begum fled the UK in 2015 and is unable to return

The 19-year-old Islamic State bride, from Bethnal Green, London, fled to Syria with two school friends in 2015.

In an interview with Sky News, Begum said “a lot of people should have sympathy” for her as she spoke of her wish to return to the UK.

She also said UK authorities had no evidence of her “doing anything dangerous”, in response to concerns she could pose a security threat.

The teenager has begged to return to Britain for therapy after all three of her children died in Syria.

New Zealand terror attacks leave 51 dead – 15 March

Jacinda Ardern embraces a woman outside a mosque
New Zealand leader Jacinda Ardern embraces a woman outside a mosque

An attacker shot 42 people dead at the Al Noor mosque and seven at the Linwood mosque in Christchurch, New Zealand.

Two people died later in hospital.

The shootings were streamed live on Facebook and at least 47 people were treated in hospital for gunshot wounds.

Brenton Tarrant, an Australian, has pleaded not guilty to 51 murder charges, 40 attempted murder charges and a terrorism charge.

Black hole pictured for the first time – 10 April

First image released by the collaboration of scientists after a two-year project gathering data
The first-ever real image of a black hole was unveiled in 2019

The first-ever real picture of a black hole was revealed, in what was hailed as a historic moment for science.

The image, which was assembled by data from eight radio telescopes, depicts a fiery orange and black ring of gravity-twisted light swirling around the edge of the abyss.

The supermassive black hole contains 6.5 billion times more than mass than the sun and is located 54 million light years from Earth.

Fire breaks out at Notre-Dame cathedral – 15 April

Onlookers gasp in shock as the spire atop Notre-Dame cathedral collapses in fire.

Onlookers gasp as cathedral goes up in flames

The spire and roof of the Notre-Dame Cathedral were devastated by flames after a blaze broke out at the 12th-century building.

French President Emmanuel Macron said he was “so sad tonight to see this part of all of us burn” and declared a national emergency.

Speaking from the scene in Paris, he expressed sympathy with Catholics “around the world” following the “terrible tragedy” but added the worst had been avoided.

The cathedral’s structure was saved and fire did not spread to the northern belfry.

Harry and Meghan have their first child – 6 May

The Duke and Duchess of Sussex with their baby son Archie, shortly after he was born in May
The Duke and Duchess of Sussex with their baby son Archie, shortly after he was born in May

Archie Harrison Mountbatten-Windsor arrived at 5.26am weighing 7lbs 3oz.

He was introduced to the world by his parents the Duke and Duchess of Sussex at St George’s Hall, Windsor Castle, in front of a small group of waiting media.

Archie, wrapped in a white blanket and wearing a white knitted hat, slept through his first public appearance.

As he was held by his father Harry, his mother Meghan told reporters that he had the “sweetest temperament”.

The Jeremy Kyle Show is permanently cancelled after a guest took his own life – 16 May

The Jeremy Kyle Show has been taken off air
The Jeremy Kyle Show has been taken off air

Steve Dymond, 63, was found in Portsmouth a week after recording an episode of the show in which he failed a lie detector test.

The axing of the long-running daytime programme led to an independent review of the duty of care TV companies have to participants in reality TV shows.

ITV have said they are now looking for a new project for presenter Jeremy Kyle.

Theresa May’s tearful resignation – 24 May

Theresa May announcing her resignation outside No 10
Theresa May cried after announcing her resignation outside 10 Downing Street

The UK’s former prime minister emerged from Downing Street to announce she would resign as party leader on 7 June.

It came after a failed last-ditch effort to pass a key piece of Brexit legislation.

Mrs May said she had “done my best” to sort out Brexit, but acknowledged she had failed.

Fighting back tears, she said she was leaving “with no ill will”, adding that she was “the second female prime minister but certainly not the last”.

Over a million protest against the Hong Kong extradition bill – 9 June

Protests over the mask ban are growing in the centre of the city
Demonstrations have taken place in Hong Kong throughout this year

Anti-extradition protesters in Hong Kong marched to fight a proposed bill which would allow people to be sent to China for trial.

Organisers of the largely peaceful demonstration said it brought more than one million people onto the streets.

Protesters also called for the resignation of Hong Kong’s chief executive, Carrie Lam.

After seven months of unrest, demonstrations look set to continue into the New Year.

Travel firm Thomas Cook collapses – 23 September

Thomas Cook
Thomas Cook collapsed earlier this year

More than 150,000 British holidaymakers were left stranded abroad after the 178-year-old firm collapsed.

“Operation Matterhorn” – the UK’s biggest-ever peacetime reparation effort – was put in place at an estimated cost of £100m to bring passengers home.

According to its website, the group employed 21,000 people in 16 countries operating 105 aircraft and 200 own-brand hotels and resorts.

Workers at the 550 offices around the UK lost their jobs, at what had once been one of the world’s oldest and largest travel companies.

Extinction Rebellion ends two-week “international rebellion” – 20 October

Who are Extinction Rebellion?

Who are Extinction Rebellion?

Protesters from the global environmental movement appeared in cities across the world to “rebel against governments for their criminal action on the climate and ecological crisis”.

Angry commuters pulled protesters from the top of a Tube carriage in some of the most dramatic scenes in London.

Hundreds of protesters were arrested as demonstrators blocked roads and caused disruption during the two weeks of action in the capital.

39 migrants found dead inside lorry in Essex – 23 October

Pham Thi Tra My, from Vietnam, is one of the suspected victims
Pham Thi Tra My, from Vietnam, is one of the migrants who died

All of the victims, made up of 31 males and eight females, were identified as being from Vietnam.

Lorry driver Maurice Robinson has pleaded guilty to plotting to assist illegal immigration.

The 25-year-old, known as Mo, was allegedly part of a global smuggling ring and was charged with the manslaughter of a group of men, women and children found dead at the site in Grays.

Islamic State confirms death of its leader – 31 October

Abu Bakr al Baghdadi  was hundted down by US special forces
Abu Bakr al Baghdadi was hunted down by US special forces

The terror group confirmed the death of Abu Bakr al Baghdadi and announced his successor as being Abu Ibrahim al Hashemi al Quraishi.

Al Baghdadi, 48, fled into a tunnel and killed himself and two children in October after being tracked down by US special forces in northern Syria.

He became leader of IS in 2014 when the extremist group took control of huge areas of Iraq and Syria and imposed its rule over the civilian population.

Prince Andrew grilled about links with sex offender – 16 November

Prince Andrew has spoken publicly for the first time about his relationship with convicted sex offender Jeffrey Epstein, saying he "let the side down" as a member of the Royal Family.

Prince Andrew: ‘My honour coloured my judgement’

The Duke of York was interviewed on BBC Newsnight about his links with Jeffrey Epstein and allegations he has sex with a 17-year-old girl.

The prince claimed he was in a Pizza Express restaurant in Woking on a night when he is accused of having sex with Virginia Roberts Giuffre.

The interview was described as “disastrous” and “excruciating”.

London Bridge stabbing attack – 29 November

Saskia Jones and Jack Merritt were killed in the London Bridge attack
Saskia Jones and Jack Merritt were killed in the London Bridge attack

Terror returned to the streets of London as two members of the public and were killed several others were injured in a knife attack.

Convicted terrorist Usman Khan, who carried out the deadly rampage, was shot dead by officers after civilians bravely intervened to tackle him on London Bridge.

Darryn Frost, who works in the Ministry of Justice’s communications department, fought the terrorist with a narwhal tusk.

Those who died were named as Saskia Jones, 23, and Jack Merritt, 25.

Boris Johnson wins general election with a huge majority – 13 December

Prime Minister Boris Johnson after making a statement in Downing Street, London as the Conservative Party was returned to power in the General Election with an increased majority
The Conservatives won a huge majority in the 2019 general election

The prime minister claimed he had “ended the gridlock” in British politics after delivering the Conservatives’ best general election result since 1987.

The Conservatives won seats in Labour heartlands and secured a huge House of Commons majority of 80.

It is the largest majority of any government since 2001 and the Conservatives’ highest number of seats since Margaret Thatcher was their leader.

Donald Trump becomes third president to be impeached – 19 December

Donald Trump
Donald Trump is the third US president to have been impeached

The House of Representatives voted to impeach Mr Trump on both charges of abuse of power and obstruction of Congress after hours of debate.

Two Democrats voted against the charges – Rep Jeff Van Drew of New Jersey and Rep Collin Peterson of Minnesota.

No Republicans voted to impeach Mr Trump.

Only two presidents had been impeached before – Andrew Johnson in 1868 and Bill Clinton in 1998.

Richard Nixon resigned over the Watergate scandal.

Celebrity deaths

Rhodes was awarded an OBE for services to the hospitality industry in 2006
TV chef Gary Rhodes died in 2019

We said goodbye to several famous faces over 2019.

Prodigy star Keith Flint – instantly recognisable for his dyed hair and nose ring – killed himself at his home in Essex aged 49 in March.

Hollywood icon Doris Day, famous for her roles in films including Calamity Jane and Pillow Talk, died of pneumonia aged 97 in May.

Gary Rhodes, who was one of the first big TV chefs and known around the world for his culinary skills, died suddenly at the age of 59 after collapsing at his home in November.

Other stars we lost include critic and broadcaster Clive James, German fashion designer Karl Lagerfeld and children’s author Judith Kerr.

Decade in Review: Read about the biggest stories in 2010, 2011, 2012, 2013, 2014, 2015, 2016, 2017 and 2018.

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