Photos: The Non-Pandemic Events That Helped Shape 2020 Around The World

Photos: The Non-Pandemic Events That Helped Shape 2020 Around The World

12:15pm Dec 31, 2020
Juan Guaidó, accompanied by legislators of the opposition parties, fights a military blockade to the National Assembly in January in Caracas. Guaidó and opposition legislators were prevented from joining the sessions.
Juan Guaidó, accompanied by legislators of the opposition parties, fights a military blockade to the National Assembly in January in Caracas. Guaidó and opposition legislators were prevented from joining the sessions.
Rafael Briceno Sierralta / NurPhoto via Getty Images
  • Juan Guaidó, accompanied by legislators of the opposition parties, fights a military blockade to the National Assembly in January in Caracas. Guaidó and opposition legislators were prevented from joining the sessions.

    Juan Guaidó, accompanied by legislators of the opposition parties, fights a military blockade to the National Assembly in January in Caracas. Guaidó and opposition legislators were prevented from joining the sessions.

    Rafael Briceno Sierralta / NurPhoto via Getty Images

  • Riot police detain a man as they clear protesters demonstrating against a new national security law in Hong Kong on July 1, the 23rd anniversary of the city's handover from Great Britain to China.

    Riot police detain a man as they clear protesters demonstrating against a new national security law in Hong Kong on July 1, the 23rd anniversary of the city's handover from Great Britain to China.

    Dale De La Rey / AFP via Getty Images

  • Newly arrived Ethiopian refugees who fled the Tigray conflict wait to receive aid at Um Raquba refugee camp in Gedaref, eastern Sudan, on Dec. 6.

    Newly arrived Ethiopian refugees who fled the Tigray conflict wait to receive aid at Um Raquba refugee camp in Gedaref, eastern Sudan, on Dec. 6.

    Yasuyoshi Chiba / AFP via Getty Images

  • Protesters demonstrate on Jan. 4 in Tehran over the U.S. airstrike in Iraq that killed Iranian Revolutionary Guard Gen. Qassem Soleimani a day earlier.

    Protesters demonstrate on Jan. 4 in Tehran over the U.S. airstrike in Iraq that killed Iranian Revolutionary Guard Gen. Qassem Soleimani a day earlier.

    Ebrahim Noroozi / AP

  • A kangaroo jumps in a field amid smoke from a bush fire in Snowy Valley on the outskirts of Cooma, Australia, on Jan. 4. Up to 3,000 military reservists were called up to tackle Australia's bush fire crisis as tens of thousands of residents fled their hom

    A kangaroo jumps in a field amid smoke from a bush fire in Snowy Valley on the outskirts of Cooma, Australia, on Jan. 4. Up to 3,000 military reservists were called up to tackle Australia's bush fire crisis as tens of thousands of residents fled their hom

    Saeed Khan / AFP via Getty Images

  • Opposition leader Juan Guaidó at Maiquetía Airport in February in Caracas. Guaidó returned to Venezuela after traveling to Colombia, Europe, Canada and the United States to try to gain support for his effort to oust President Nicolás Maduro. By year's

    Opposition leader Juan Guaidó at Maiquetía Airport in February in Caracas. Guaidó returned to Venezuela after traveling to Colombia, Europe, Canada and the United States to try to gain support for his effort to oust President Nicolás Maduro. By year's

    Carolina Cabral / Getty Images

  • The killing of George Floyd in Minnesota resonated and led to huge demonstrations for racial justice around the world. Top: Protesters hold Portuguese signs reading "Black Lives Matter" in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. Left: Residents of Nairobi's Kibera slum w

    The killing of George Floyd in Minnesota resonated and led to huge demonstrations for racial justice around the world. Top: Protesters hold Portuguese signs reading "Black Lives Matter" in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. Left: Residents of Nairobi's Kibera slum w

    Buda Mendes/Getty Images; Chung Sung-Jun/Getty Images; Donwilson Odhiambo/SOPA Images/LightRocket via Getty Images

  • Following a U.S.-Taliban agreement in February, a Taliban delegation attends the opening session of peace talks with Afghan government representatives in Doha, Qatar, on Sept. 12.

    Following a U.S.-Taliban agreement in February, a Taliban delegation attends the opening session of peace talks with Afghan government representatives in Doha, Qatar, on Sept. 12.

    Karim Jaafar / AFP via Getty Images

  • In the worst swarms in decades, tens of billions of locusts descended on Kenya, Somalia and Ethiopia, destroying livelihoods and food supplies. A man chases away a swarm of desert locusts early in the morning on May 21 in Samburu County, Kenya.

    In the worst swarms in decades, tens of billions of locusts descended on Kenya, Somalia and Ethiopia, destroying livelihoods and food supplies. A man chases away a swarm of desert locusts early in the morning on May 21 in Samburu County, Kenya.

    Fredrik Lerneryd / Getty Images

  • After Hong Kong's huge pro-democracy demonstrations in 2019, the Chinese government imposed a new security law this year. Still, protests continued. At a June 4 vigil for victims of the 1989 Tiananmen Square massacre, demonstrators gesture with five finge

    After Hong Kong's huge pro-democracy demonstrations in 2019, the Chinese government imposed a new security law this year. Still, protests continued. At a June 4 vigil for victims of the 1989 Tiananmen Square massacre, demonstrators gesture with five finge

    Kin Cheung / AP

  • An Indian army convoy moves on the Srinagar-Ladakh highway at Gagangeer, northeast of Srinagar, India, on June 17. China said it was seeking a peaceful resolution with India following the death of 20 Indian soldiers in the most violent confrontation betwe

    An Indian army convoy moves on the Srinagar-Ladakh highway at Gagangeer, northeast of Srinagar, India, on June 17. China said it was seeking a peaceful resolution with India following the death of 20 Indian soldiers in the most violent confrontation betwe

    Mukhtar Khan / AP

  • Smoke rises after a massive blast at the Beirut port on Aug. 4. The explosion killed nearly 200 people, wounded thousands and caused destruction across half the city. The blast was caused by a fire that ignited nearly 3,000 tons of ammonium nitrate stored

    Smoke rises after a massive blast at the Beirut port on Aug. 4. The explosion killed nearly 200 people, wounded thousands and caused destruction across half the city. The blast was caused by a fire that ignited nearly 3,000 tons of ammonium nitrate stored

    Houssam Shbaro / Andalou Agency via Getty Images

  • In Minsk, opposition supporters protest the Belarus presidential election results on Oct. 18. Protests began after longtime President Alexander Lukashenko claimed victory in a disputed Aug. 9 election, and continued through the rest of the year. Lukashenk

    In Minsk, opposition supporters protest the Belarus presidential election results on Oct. 18. Protests began after longtime President Alexander Lukashenko claimed victory in a disputed Aug. 9 election, and continued through the rest of the year. Lukashenk

    AFP via Getty Images

  • The flags of the U.S., Israel, United Arab Emirates and Bahrain are projected on the ramparts of Jerusalem's Old City on Sept. 15, in a show of support for Israel's normalization deals with the United Arab Emirates and Bahrain.

    The flags of the U.S., Israel, United Arab Emirates and Bahrain are projected on the ramparts of Jerusalem's Old City on Sept. 15, in a show of support for Israel's normalization deals with the United Arab Emirates and Bahrain.

    Menahem Kahana / AFP via Getty Images

  • Mourners in Yerevan, Armenia, visit the graves of relatives killed during the Nagorno-Karabakh conflict between Azerbaijan and Armenia, Dec. 12. Fierce fighting erupted in the fall, a continuation of a war that started 30 years ago. A Russian-backed cease

    Mourners in Yerevan, Armenia, visit the graves of relatives killed during the Nagorno-Karabakh conflict between Azerbaijan and Armenia, Dec. 12. Fierce fighting erupted in the fall, a continuation of a war that started 30 years ago. A Russian-backed cease

    Karen Minasyan / AFP via Getty Images

  • In November, Ethiopian government forces began fighting a powerful regional government in the country's northern Tigray region, displacing thousands. Members of the Afar Special Forces prepare their weapons on the outskirts of the village of Bisober in th

    In November, Ethiopian government forces began fighting a powerful regional government in the country's northern Tigray region, displacing thousands. Members of the Afar Special Forces prepare their weapons on the outskirts of the village of Bisober in th

    Eduardo Soteras / AFP via Getty Images

  • Saudi women's rights activist Loujain al-Hathloul, 31, seen in an undated picture, was sentenced in December to nearly six years in prison. She has already been in prison for more than two years, since her arrest in 2018, just weeks before Saudi Arabia li

    Saudi women's rights activist Loujain al-Hathloul, 31, seen in an undated picture, was sentenced in December to nearly six years in prison. She has already been in prison for more than two years, since her arrest in 2018, just weeks before Saudi Arabia li

    Marieke Wijntjes / Reuters

  • Trucks backed up for miles as they waited to enter the Eurotunnel complex on Dec. 16, in Calais, France. Great Britain and the European Union reached a last-minute post-Brexit trade agreement on Dec. 24.

    Trucks backed up for miles as they waited to enter the Eurotunnel complex on Dec. 16, in Calais, France. Great Britain and the European Union reached a last-minute post-Brexit trade agreement on Dec. 24.

    Pete Kiehart for NPR

In a year dominated by the global COVID-19 pandemic, the virus' massive disruptions did not signal an end to other major events. Conflicts continued, resumed and broke out. Natural disasters upended lives. Attempts at peace bore some fruit. The Brexit transition continued. And around the world, protesters came into the streets to demand greater freedoms and an end to racial injustice.

Here is a look back at some of the key events that took place outside the United States and helped define this tumultuous year.

Iraq

Australia

Venezuela

Black Lives Matter

Afghanistan

Kenya

Hong Kong

India

Lebanon

Belarus

Israel

Nagorno-Karabakh conflict

Ethiopia's conflict

Saudi Arabia

Brexit

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