In Pictures: One Month Into 2020
JNU students during a protest march from Mandi House to HRD Ministry, demanding removal of the university vice-chancellor, in New Delhi, Thursday, Jan. 9, 2020. (PTI Photo/Ravi Choudhary)  

In Pictures: One Month Into 2020

January isn’t over yet and 2020 has already seen protests in India, Iran and Lebanon and Australia battle with wildfires.

Here are the biggest events of the month—in pictures.

U.S.-Iran Standoff

The U.S. and Iran have lived in the state of hostility for years. But the killing of the Middle East nation’s top general Qasem Soleimani in an airstrike ordered by U.S. President Donald Trump further complicated the already tensed relations.

Iran vowed a “severe retaliation”, leading to #WWIII trending within days of entering the new decade. On Jan. 8, Iran launched 10 missiles towards two U.S. military bases in Iraq—a country that voted to remove the U.S. troops from its soil. Trump and Iranian Foreign Minister Javad Zarif soon tweeted, saying they didn’t wish to escalate the situation into war. There, however, was some collateral damage.

Hezbollah supporters hold pictures of Qassem Soleimani, an Iranian commander, as Hassan Nasrallah, leader of Hezbollah, delivers a televised speech, in Beirut. (Photographer: Hasan Shaaban/Bloomberg)
Hezbollah supporters hold pictures of Qassem Soleimani, an Iranian commander, as Hassan Nasrallah, leader of Hezbollah, delivers a televised speech, in Beirut. (Photographer: Hasan Shaaban/Bloomberg)
A demonstrators carries a sign reading “No War With Iran” during an anti-war protest in Toledo, Ohio. (Photographer: Matthew Hatcher/Bloomberg)
A demonstrators carries a sign reading “No War With Iran” during an anti-war protest in Toledo, Ohio. (Photographer: Matthew Hatcher/Bloomberg)

Plane Shot Down

A Ukraine-bound Boeing 737-800 aircraft crashed into a field shortly after taking off from Tehran, killing all 176 people on board. Iran admitted that the plane was accidentally shot down by a military missile fired by it at the U.S. military bases in Iraq. The attack on the bases were in retaliation for Soleimani’s targeted killing.

A page from a magazine lies amongst the wreckage from a Boeing Co. 737-800 aircraft, operated by Ukraine International Airlines, which crashed shortly after takeoff near Shahedshahr, Iran. (Photographer: Ali Mohammadi/Bloomberg)
A page from a magazine lies amongst the wreckage from a Boeing Co. 737-800 aircraft, operated by Ukraine International Airlines, which crashed shortly after takeoff near Shahedshahr, Iran. (Photographer: Ali Mohammadi/Bloomberg)

Iranians gathered in vigils against the state’s accidental shooting of the passenger plan. Ukraine and Canada joined in.

Mourners gather during a vigil for the victims of the Ukraine International Airlines flight PS752 in North Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada. (Photographer: Taehoon Kim/Bloomberg)
Mourners gather during a vigil for the victims of the Ukraine International Airlines flight PS752 in North Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada. (Photographer: Taehoon Kim/Bloomberg)

Also, a wave of demonstration swept Iran following a spike in gasoline prices. That led to mass detainment and shootings by security forces.

Also read: Fury at Air Crash Cover-Up Puts Iran’s Leaders Back on Defensive

Protests Intensify

India is currently gripped with protests over the Citizenship Amendment Act, the National Register of Citizens and the National Population Register. These three when banded together, according to protesters, have the power to rob the minority Muslim community in India of their citizenship.

The law seeks to provide citizenship to non-Muslims from Pakistan, Bangladesh and Afghanistan. The cut-off date to qualify is Dec. 31, 2014. The NRC will be prepared according to the rules prescribed under the Citizenship Act, 1955.

While these protests have cropped up across all major cities and most of Northeast, the women of Shaheen Bagh — a neighborhood in South Delhi— have grabbed special attention.

The women of Shaheen Bagh have become a symbol of strength for many across the country as they participate in a non-violent protest against the Citizenship Amendment Act, National Register of Citizens and the National Population Register. This is all Delhi recorded its coldest December day in over 100 years on Dec. 30. (Source: PTI)
The women of Shaheen Bagh have become a symbol of strength for many across the country as they participate in a non-violent protest against the Citizenship Amendment Act, National Register of Citizens and the National Population Register. This is all Delhi recorded its coldest December day in over 100 years on Dec. 30. (Source: PTI)

Students too have been protesting against the CAA-NRC threat. On Jan. 5, a mob of masked men and women entered the Jawaharlal Nehru University, India’s premier university, and attacked students and teachers while they were protesting a more-than-double hike in annual hostel fees.

Students alleged that miscreants belonged to the Akhil Bharatiya Vidyarthi Parishad, the student wing of the Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh, the ideological parent of Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s Bharatiya Janata Party. The attack came after the Delhi police cane-charged students and fired tear gas at the Jamia Millia Islamia University campus to clamp down on anti-CAA protesters who turned violent.

 Police personnel walk in front of JNU students’ protest march from Mandi House to HRD Ministry, demanding removal of the university vice-chancellor, at Ferozeshah Road in New Delhi, Thursday, Jan. 9, 2020. (PTI Photo/Ravi Choudhary)
Police personnel walk in front of JNU students’ protest march from Mandi House to HRD Ministry, demanding removal of the university vice-chancellor, at Ferozeshah Road in New Delhi, Thursday, Jan. 9, 2020. (PTI Photo/Ravi Choudhary)

On Jan. 30, a student of Jamia Millia Islamia University was injured after a man opened fire at a group of protesters, causing panic and chaos on the city’s streets. Later, he was taken into custody by the Delhi police.

A person (face blurred as his being an adult could not be ascertained), brandishes a gun towards people protesting against the Citizenship Amendment Act, near Jamia Millia Islamia University, in New Delhi, Thursday, Jan. 30, 2020. (Source: PTI)
A person (face blurred as his being an adult could not be ascertained), brandishes a gun towards people protesting against the Citizenship Amendment Act, near Jamia Millia Islamia University, in New Delhi, Thursday, Jan. 30, 2020. (Source: PTI)

Protests in Hong Kong seeking greater independence from China entered the eighth month.

Riot police detain a demonstrator at Des Voeux Road Central during a protest in the Central district of Hong Kong, China on Jan. 19, 2020. (Photographer: Kyle Lam/Bloomberg)
Riot police detain a demonstrator at Des Voeux Road Central during a protest in the Central district of Hong Kong, China on Jan. 19, 2020. (Photographer: Kyle Lam/Bloomberg)

Tens of thousands of people took to the streets in Lebanon over the last three months demanding an overhaul of the country’s power sectarian sharing system amid years of economic decline and threat of a sovereign default. On Jan. 22, the revolution against corruption led to the formation of a new government led by its former education minister Hassan Diab.

Anti-government protesters carry their friend who was injured by rubber bullet while clashing with the riot police, during ongoing protests against the political elites who have ruled the country since decades, in Beirut, Lebanon, Sunday, Jan. 19, 2020. (Source: AP Via PTI)
Anti-government protesters carry their friend who was injured by rubber bullet while clashing with the riot police, during ongoing protests against the political elites who have ruled the country since decades, in Beirut, Lebanon, Sunday, Jan. 19, 2020. (Source: AP Via PTI)

Australia’s Wildfires

Raging since months now, the wildfires in Australia intensified in January. That killed billions of animals and at least 28 human beings. The fires have burned across an area twice the size of Switzerland, destroying thousands of homes. They have also pumped out more than half of the country’s annual carbon-dioxide emissions, in an another setback for the fight against climate change. This, however, is just the beginning of wildfire season for the country.

A track runs through trees scorched in wildfires in this aerial photograph taken near Buchan, East Gippsland, Australia, on Thursday, Jan. 9, 2020. (Photographer: Carla Gottgens/Bloomberg)
A track runs through trees scorched in wildfires in this aerial photograph taken near Buchan, East Gippsland, Australia, on Thursday, Jan. 9, 2020. (Photographer: Carla Gottgens/Bloomberg)
A kangaroo stands on burned land in Lithgow, New South Wales, Australia, on Tuesday, Jan. 7, 2020. (Photographer: Brendon Thorne/Bloomberg)
A kangaroo stands on burned land in Lithgow, New South Wales, Australia, on Tuesday, Jan. 7, 2020. (Photographer: Brendon Thorne/Bloomberg)

Also read: Australia Fire Smoke Will Complete a Full Circuit of Earth, NASA Says

Coronavirus

Coronavirus — originating from a food market in Wuhan, China — has infected more than 6,000 people in mainland China and killed at least 132. It starts as a common cold, and can lead to pneumonia and finally organ failure, particularly in people with preconditions and infants.

In this Sunday, Jan. 26, 2020 photo, medical workers in protective gear help a patient get out of an ambulance in Wuhan in central Chinas Hubei Province. (Source: AP Via PTI)
In this Sunday, Jan. 26, 2020 photo, medical workers in protective gear help a patient get out of an ambulance in Wuhan in central Chinas Hubei Province. (Source: AP Via PTI)
A doctor attends to a patient in an isolation ward at a hospital in Wuhan in central China’s Hubei Province, Thursday, Jan. 30, 2020. (Source: PTI)
A doctor attends to a patient in an isolation ward at a hospital in Wuhan in central China’s Hubei Province, Thursday, Jan. 30, 2020. (Source: PTI)

At least six countries have confirmed transmission of the disease. On Jan. 30, India reported its first case of Coronavirus in Thrissur, Kerala. A student studying at a university in the Chinese city of Wuhan tested positive for the virus.

A central team visits the Special Isolation Ward set up to provide treatment to any suspected case of the coronavirus at a hospital, in Hyderabad, Tuesday, Jan. 28, 2020. (Source: PTI)
A central team visits the Special Isolation Ward set up to provide treatment to any suspected case of the coronavirus at a hospital, in Hyderabad, Tuesday, Jan. 28, 2020. (Source: PTI)

Also read: A $1.5 Trillion Wipeout and More: Virus Fallout Across Assets

Taal Volcano Eruption

Volcano Taal, in a small village around 65 kilometres from the capital city of Manila in the Philippines, started spewing smoke and ash followed by lava on Jan. 12. It hasn’t led to any casualties so far and eruptions have waned since, prompting authorities to reduce the alert level.

A time lapse video of Taal - one of the most active volcanos - erupting in the Philippines. The video was taken by I. Pamintuan, via the United Nations UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs, Asia Pacific. 
A time lapse video of Taal - one of the most active volcanos - erupting in the Philippines. The video was taken by I. Pamintuan, via the United Nations UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs, Asia Pacific. 
 In this Jan. 14, 2020, photo, a rescue volunteer walk on the Taal volcano island beside damaged structures men in Talisay, Batangas province, southern Philippines, as Taal volcano continues to spew ash. The volcano near the Philippine capital spewed lava into the sky and trembled constantly Tuesday, possibly portending a bigger and more dangerous eruption, as tens of thousands of people fled villages darkened and blanketed by heavy ash. (Source: AP Via PTI)
In this Jan. 14, 2020, photo, a rescue volunteer walk on the Taal volcano island beside damaged structures men in Talisay, Batangas province, southern Philippines, as Taal volcano continues to spew ash. The volcano near the Philippine capital spewed lava into the sky and trembled constantly Tuesday, possibly portending a bigger and more dangerous eruption, as tens of thousands of people fled villages darkened and blanketed by heavy ash. (Source: AP Via PTI)

Megxit

The Jan. 8 announcement from Harry and Meghan that they wished to back away from the royal family has thrown Britain’s monarchy into turmoil. On Jan. 13, Queen Elizabeth agreed to a period of transition after which they will spend time in Canada and the U.K., and later move to America.

The figures of Britain’s Prince Harry and Meghan, Duchess of Sussex, left, in their original positions next to Queen Elizabeth II, Prince Philip and Prince William and Kate, Duchess of Cambridge, at Madame Tussauds in London, Thursday Jan. 9, 2020. (AP Via PTI) 
The figures of Britain’s Prince Harry and Meghan, Duchess of Sussex, left, in their original positions next to Queen Elizabeth II, Prince Philip and Prince William and Kate, Duchess of Cambridge, at Madame Tussauds in London, Thursday Jan. 9, 2020. (AP Via PTI) 
The empty space after the figures of Britains Prince Harry and Meghan, Duchess of Sussex, were removed next to Queen Elizabeth II, Prince Philip and Prince William and Kate, Duchess of Cambridge, at Madame Tussauds in London, Thursday Jan. 9, 2020. Madame Tussauds moved its figures of Prince Harry and Meghan, Duchess of Sussex from its Royal Family set to elsewhere in the attraction. (AP Via PTI) 
The empty space after the figures of Britains Prince Harry and Meghan, Duchess of Sussex, were removed next to Queen Elizabeth II, Prince Philip and Prince William and Kate, Duchess of Cambridge, at Madame Tussauds in London, Thursday Jan. 9, 2020. Madame Tussauds moved its figures of Prince Harry and Meghan, Duchess of Sussex from its Royal Family set to elsewhere in the attraction. (AP Via PTI) 

Also read: Queen Elizabeth Agrees to ‘Period of Transition’ for Prince Harry, Meghan Markle

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