How was the year 2019

Review of the year 2019: These events gave us hope and courage

2019 - that wasn't just news of war, violence and the climate crisis. The year also had a lot of positive headlines that gave us hope and courage. A selection.

The year begins with good news for socially disadvantaged families. At the beginning of January, the federal government is launching the "Strong Family Act", which aims to support low-wage earners and combat child poverty. Among other things, the child allowance will be increased. At the same time, the amounts for school supplies and extracurricular activities such as membership in sports clubs are increasing. The law has been in force since July 1st.

What's on the dark side of the moon?

There are numerous myths about the "dark side" of the moon. Some believe that the Nazis secretly set up UFO bases on the side of the celestial body that is not visible from Earth. Unimpressed by the horror stories, China sent a probe to the moon, which touched down on January 3rd at exactly 3:26 am on the "dark side". Since then, "Chang'e 4" has been sending measurement data and images to earth - but Nazi UFOs have not been seen on it for a long time.

Police confiscate hundreds of Nazi weapons

In mid-January, the German security authorities hit a big blow against a criminal network of avowed National Socialists. In raids in eight federal states, officials confiscate several hundred weapons such as swords and machetes. The aim of the large-scale operation was the German offshoot of the racist US secret society Ku Klux Klan. According to the investigators' findings, members of the group sought further armament and harbored "violent fantasies".

In the future, the Brandenburg state parliament will have equal representation

The politics in Brandenburg want to exemplify equality. At the end of January, the state parliament in Potsdam decides that the parties must in future have equal numbers of women and men on their electoral lists for state elections. The red-red government votes together with the Greens for a corresponding law. CDU and AfD are against it. Because the regulation will only come into force in summer 2022, it did not apply to the state elections in September.

Fridays For Future mobilizes millions - for the climate

A Swedish schoolgirl's call to civil disobedience turns into a worldwide movement. Millions of children and young people around the world go on school strikes on Fridays to protect the climate. Their protest puts the dangers of the climate crisis at the center of public awareness and puts political decision-makers under pressure. In Germany, too, "Fridays For Future" is mobilizing hundreds of thousands. On March 15, more than 300,000 mainly young demonstrators took to the streets in over 200 cities. On September 20 there were well over a million, probably around four million worldwide.

The "Islamic State" is defeated territorially

At the end of March, the so-called "caliphate" of the so-called "Islamic State" ceases to exist. With the small town of Baghus on the Syrian-Iraqi border, the terrorist militia is losing its last bastion. The group, which accounts for tens of thousands of deaths, millions of displaced persons and the destruction of valuable cultural assets, is now territorially defeated. But their ideology lives on. IS supporters regularly carry out attacks in northern Syria. In late November, a man stabbed several passers-by in London and killed two of them. The IS claims the act for itself.

Sudan is being transformed into a democracy

Omar al-Bashir was considered one of the most brutal rulers in Africa. In April the Sudanese military drove him out of office. The coup was preceded by months of protests in which women played a major role. In July, the army leadership and the protest movement agree to form a transitional government and begin converting the country into a democracy.

The results of the European elections show that politics are interested

The euro crisis, refugee policy and currently climate change have made people more interested in politics again. That was reflected in numbers in the European elections in May. The voter turnout, at over 50 percent across Europe, was the highest it has been in 20 years. Compared to the last vote in 2014, it rose by a full eight percentage points. The biggest winners of the election were the Liberal, Green and Nationalist blocs.

India: The number of tigers is increasing

Because of the destruction of their habitats, many animal and plant species around the world are threatened with extinction. News from India in July gives a little hope. The number of tigers rose to almost 3,000 last year. That is an increase of over 700 compared to the last count in 2014. Compared to the turn of the millennium, the population has even more than doubled.

Panda twins discover the light of day in Berlin

At the end of August, the joy at the Berlin Zoo is huge: the female panda Meng Meng gives birth to twins. Earlier attempts with other panda pairs in Berlin had failed. With Meng Meng and the male Jiao Qing it finally worked out. The little bears have had names since December: They are called "Meng Xian" and "Meng Yuan", which translates into German as "dream of longing" and "dream come true", respectively.

The number of car thefts is falling

In September the Federal Criminal Police Office was able to announce positive figures: In 2018 the number of car thefts fell again - and significantly. While a little over 19,000 cars were stolen in 2017, the figure was just over 16,600 in 2018. This corresponds to a decrease of almost 13 percent. For comparison: in 1994 the authorities registered over 100,000 vehicle thefts.

Dortmund fire brigade saves 300 sheep

Accompanied by heavy rainfall, storm Mortimer hit Germany in September. In Dortmund, the heavy rain puts a willow under water. More than 300 sheep are trapped in the water and threatened to drown. The fire brigade comes to the rescue. She builds jetties and uses a lifeboat. 330 sheep are saved in this way, for 20 any help comes too late. The animal welfare organization Peta named the Dortmund rescuers "heroes of the animals".

Nobel Prize for Peace between Ethiopia and Eritrea

"This is a prize that is awarded to Africa, which is awarded to Ethiopia," said Ethiopia's Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed when he received news from Oslo in October. The Norwegian Nobel Committee decided to honor the 43-year-old for his work for peace and international cooperation with the Nobel Peace Prize. Ahmed has been head of government since April 2018 and has turned his country upside down with reforms. Under his leadership, Ethiopia and Eritrea made peace - after around 20 years of bloody enmity.

After the territory, ISIS is also losing its leader

After the end of the "caliphate", the "Islamic State" also loses its leader in October. US special forces track down Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi in a homestead in northwest Syria. When attacked, the terror leader detonates an explosive vest and dies. IS confirms Baghdadi's death and names Abi Ibrahim al-Hashimi al-Qurashi as his successor. Under Baghdadi's reign of terror, people were beheaded, crucified, drowned and burned alive.

Sanna Marin becomes the youngest head of government in the world

At the beginning of December, Prime Minister Antti Rinne resigns after a dispute in the Finnish government. The coalition partners then decide to take a bold step: They choose the 34-year-old Social Democrat Sanna Marin as the new and thus youngest head of government in the world. In general, the entire government is inspired by the spirit of rejuvenation and equality. Because the heads of their three coalition partners are also young women between 32 and 34 years of age.

The EU resolves the "Green Deal" - Europe should become climate neutral

The EU Commission and its new boss Ursula von der Leyen are committed to an ambitious climate protection program. Around one trillion euros are to be invested in technological research and the expansion of renewable energies by 2030. The money for this should come from the EU budget, the member states and the private sector. Much of the Leyen's "Green Deal" is still unclear. But the target has already been set: Europe is to become the first climate-neutral continent by 2050.

2019 was a year of protest. The rallies of Fridays For Future, the democracy movement in Hong Kong, the uprising in Iraq. All over the world, people took to the streets against state-sanctioned injustice, against social grievances, or against the inaction of their governments against the background of the climate crisis. Some of the demonstrators suffered considerable casualties: several hundred people have died in the protests in Iraq and a few dozen in Chile. But the determination of the demonstrators could not break the brutal crackdown. In Hong Kong, the protest culminated in a landslide victory for the democracy camp in the local elections. In Chile, the movement pushed through a constitutional referendum. Elsewhere, such as Iraq, the political elite have so far only approached the demonstrators hesitantly. The protests there continued towards the end of the year.