World

The top overseas news stories of 2017

The Japan Times newsroom selected these international news stories as the most important of 2017.

1. Trump takes power: Donald Trump was inaugurated U.S. president on Jan. 20, ushering in a tumultuous period for the United States. Trump attempted to shake up much of what his predecessor, Barack Obama, had done during his term in office. Stoking controversy at nearly every turn, Trump still manages to maintain a firm bedrock of support despite an ongoing investigation into Russian vote-meddling that may have played a role in his election.


Getting tense: North Korean leader Kim Jong Un is pictured on a visit to inspect the Strategic Force of the Korean People
Getting tense: North Korean leader Kim Jong Un is pictured on a visit to inspect the Strategic Force of the Korean People’s Army in a photo published Aug. 15 by Rodong Sinmun. | KYODO

2. Pyongyang’s nuclear drive: North Korea conducted its largest nuclear test to date and lobbed a series of missiles — including advanced long-range weapons — in its bid to master a nuclear-tipped missile capable of striking most of the continental United States. The regime sees such a weapon as a deterrent from invasion by the U.S. and its allies Japan and South Korea.


The hard escape: An exhausted Rohingya refugee woman touches the shore of Bangladesh after crossing the Bangladesh-Myanmar border by boat through the Bay of Bengal in September.
The hard escape: An exhausted Rohingya refugee woman touches the shore of Bangladesh after crossing the Bangladesh-Myanmar border by boat through the Bay of Bengal in September. | REUTERS

3. Rohingya refugees: Hundreds of thousands of Rohingya Muslim-minority refugees fled violence in Myanmar to neighboring countries in what the U.N. and U.S. say amounts to ethnic cleansing. Survivors fleeing to Bangladesh gave consistent accounts of mass executions, gang rapes and razed villages.


On trial: Vietnamese Doan Thi Huong is escorted by police as she leaves a court hearing in Shah Alam, outside Kuala Lumpur, in October.
On trial: Vietnamese Doan Thi Huong is escorted by police as she leaves a court hearing in Shah Alam, outside Kuala Lumpur, in October. | AP

4. Kim Jong Nam assassination: Kim Jong Nam, the half brother of North Korean leader Kim Jong Un, was killed by the VX nerve agent in an assassination carried out by two apparent dupes at the main airport in the Malaysian capital. Authorities blame the regime in Pyongyang for orchestrating the murder.


#metoo: Arlene Rios, 40, who said she was sexually assaulted twice while in the U.S. Navy, participates in a march of survivors of sexual assault and their supporters in Hollywood in November.
#metoo: Arlene Rios, 40, who said she was sexually assaulted twice while in the U.S. Navy, participates in a march of survivors of sexual assault and their supporters in Hollywood in November. | REUTERS

5. Sexual misconduct: The #MeToo campaign and multiple accusations of sexual assault against prominent Hollywood figures sparked fresh debate about public attitudes toward sexual misconduct.


Time for sorrow: Children in Las Vegas mourn the victims of a mass shooting in the city on Oct. 1 that left 58 dead.
Time for sorrow: Children in Las Vegas mourn the victims of a mass shooting in the city on Oct. 1 that left 58 dead. | KYODO

6. Las Vegas massacre: A retired auditor and real-estate businessman sprayed gunfire onto concertgoers in Las Vegas in the deadliest mass shooting in modern U.S. history, leaving 58 people dead and more than 500 injured.


A man cries as he carries his daughter while walking from an Islamic State-controlled part of Mosul towards Iraqi special forces soldiers during a battle in Mosul, Iraq, in March. Goran Tomasevic:
Fleeing danger: A man cries as he carries his daughter while walking from an Islamic State-controlled part of Mosul towards Iraqi special forces soldiers during a battle in Mosul, Iraq, in March. | REUTERS

7. Expelling the Islamic State: Iraqi forces retook control of the country’s second-largest city, Mosul, after more than three years of brutal occupation by the extremist Islamic State group in a major victory for the country and its U.S. ally in the battle against the militants, but as the cost of thousands of civilian lives.


Candles of remembrance: A woman places a candle in front of a crowd that has gathered in Manchester, England, to honor the victims of a suicide bombing.
Candles of remembrance: A woman places a candle in front of a crowd that has gathered in Manchester, England, to honor the victims of a suicide bombing. | KYODO

8. Manchester attack: A suicide bomber detonated a shrapnel-laden device inside a stadium at an Ariana Grande concert as fans were leaving the venue. The blast left 23 dead, including the attacker, and over 500 injured in the deadliest attack in Britain since the 2005 mass transport blasts.


Hold the line: An anti-Brexit protestor speaks on his phone near the Houses of Parliament in London in December.
Hold the line: An anti-Brexit protestor speaks on his phone near the Houses of Parliament in London in December. | REUTERS

9. Brexit bye-bye: The United Kingdom officially initiated its withdrawal from the EU, becoming the first and, thus far, only country to invoke Article 50 of the Treaty of the European Union.


Deep thoughts: Attendees sing China
Deep thoughts: Attendees sing China’s national anthem at Beijing’s Great Hall of the People to open the Communist Party congress in October. | KYODO

10. Xi increases power: China’s Communist Party reappointed President Xi Jinping as general secretary and wrote him into the party constitution alongside Mao Zedong and Deng Xiaoping, cementing his status as China’s most powerful leader since Mao.