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The best and worst in international news in 2016

Our 2016 Newsmakers: The people, events, and moments that reflect the best and worst of the year that was, in world news


 
Joaquin "El Chapo" Guzman is escorted by soldiers during a presentation in Mexico City, January 8, 2016. (Tomas Bravo/Reuters)

Joaquin “El Chapo” Guzman is escorted by soldiers during a presentation in Mexico City, January 8, 2016. (Tomas Bravo/Reuters)

Our annual Newsmakers issue highlights the year’s highlights, lowlights, major moments and most important people. Read our Newsmakers 2016 stories here, and read on to see which people, events and moments Maclean’s named as the best and worst of 2016 in international news.

THE BEST

The arrest of ‘El Chapo’

Mexican Marines finally nabbed the world’s most wanted drug trafficker, Joaquín “El Chapo” Guzmán, in January, six months after he’d escaped through a well-lit, vented one-mile tunnel. His next trip: possibly to a U.S. court.

Juan Manuel Santos

The Colombian government and FARC rebels agree on a peace deal ending 52 years of conflict, and winning Santos the Nobel Peace Prize (Though the first deal was rejected in a close referendum, the ceasefire has held as they negotiated a second deal.)

Kevin Vickers

As Canada’s sergeant-at-arms in 2014, Vickers helped take down Parliament Hill terrorist Michael Zehaf-Bibeau. As ambassador to Ireland in May, Vickers tackled a protester at an Easter Rising ceremony.

Taiwan's President Tsai Ing-Wen waves before addressing attendees during an inauguration ceremony in Taipei, Taiwan, on May 20, 2016. (Tyrone Siu/Reuters)

Taiwan’s President Tsai Ing-Wen waves before addressing attendees during an inauguration ceremony in Taipei, Taiwan, on May 20, 2016. (Tyrone Siu/Reuters)

Tsai Ing-wen

Voters in Taiwan ditched the party that had ruled them for seven decades and elected their first woman as president. She’s irked China with her strong pro-autonomy stance.

Theresa May

After Brexit, enter May, the U.K.’s second female prime minister, whose job it now is to negotiate her nation’s exit from the European Union.

The Chibok schoolgirls

When close to 300 Nigerian schoolgirls were kidnapped by Boko Haram two years ago, it horrified the world. Then in October militants released 21 of the girls to the government—a rare spot of good news in a troubled region.

Britain's Prime Minister David Cameron arrives at the EU Summit in Brussels, Belgium, on June 28, 2016. (Phil Noble/Reuters)

Britain’s Prime Minister David Cameron arrives at the EU Summit in Brussels, Belgium, on June 28, 2016. (Phil Noble/Reuters)

THE WORST

David Cameron

The leaked Panama Papers revealed that the then-U.K. prime minister had a stake in a secretive offshore investment fund. Then his call for a Brexit referendum backfired horribly. Resigning as prime minister was his best move all year.

Melania Trump

She made plagiarism great again in her speech at the Republican National Convention by lifting paragraphs almost verbatim from an earlier speech by first lady Michelle Obama.

 

James Comey

With his letter to Congress about reopening Hillary Clinton’s email server investigation, the FBI director thrust the agency into the presidential campaign—and, in the eyes of some, delivered the White House to Trump.

People celebrate as they start the Float Down at Lighthouse Beach in Port Huron, Mich., Sunday, Aug. 21, 2016. Thousands of people gathered for the event and floated down the St. Clair River. (Mark R. Rummel/The Times Herald via AP)

People celebrate as they start the Float Down at Lighthouse Beach in Port Huron, Mich., Sunday, Aug. 21, 2016. Thousands of people gathered for the event and floated down the St. Clair River. (Mark R. Rummel/The Times Herald via AP)

Drunk Yanks

Port Huron Float Down: 1,500 dumb Americans + inner tubes + alcohol = the closure of a major Great Lakes shipping corridor in August and a $280,000 bill to save everyone who accidentally floated into Canada.

Scary clowns

As if regular clowns weren’t spooky enough, rumours of clowns luring children into the woods in South Carolina touched off creepy clown sightings—some real, some imagined—across the U.S.

Dilma Rousseff

No sooner had the Olympic flame gone out in Rio that Brazil’s then-president faced an impeachment trial for faking the country’s finances. The outcome: Rousseff was booted from office.


WORLD NEWS IN 2016, BY THE NUMBERS

1 in 10

Number of Syrians killed or wounded in the civil war, according to estimates. In August, Omran Daqneesh, 5, was wounded in a government attack in Aleppo; his brother, Ali, age 10, later died.

32

Number of polio cases reported this year, mostly in Afghanistan, Pakistan and Nigeria. Two decades ago, there were 350,000 cases in the world.

170,000

Former Auschwitz guard Reinhold Hanning, 94, was convicted in Germany of being an accessory to the murder of some 170,000 people in the concentration camp.


 

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