2020 was dominated by the coronavirus pandemic. However, other news stories made a big impact this year, most notably the Black Lives Matter protests in the wake of the death of George Floyd in Minneapolis, US. Britain left the EU in January and the transition period ends on December 31 with a trade deal agreed at the eleventh hour. Beirut was devastated by a massive explosion in August, Belarus was rocked by protests in the wake of the undemocratic re-election of President Alexander Lukashenko and Joe Biden was elected president of the US. Here is a selection of the most striking images from this year.
Nancy and Brian Allen stand outside their home as high winds push smoke and ash from the Currowan fire towards Nowra, New South Wales, Australia, on January 4. Australia experienced one of its most severe wildfire seasons in 2020.
Actress Rose McGowan speaks to the media after Harvey Weinstein’s arrival at the State Supreme Court in New York on January 6 on the first day of his criminal trial on charges of rape and sexual assault. Weinstein was found guilty on February 24 of sex crimes, including rape.
A man waves Union flags from a BMW Isetta in Parliament Square, central London, on January 31, the day that the UK formally left the EU.
Employees eat lunch at a social distance at a Dongfeng Honda car plant in Wuhan in China’s central Hubei province on March 23. Wuhan was the city where the Covid-19 coronavirus was first detected.
The empty streets of the City of London on March 17, a week before the UK government imposed a nationwide lockdown.
People stand on their balconies during a nationwide confinement to counter the coronavirus in Barcelona, Spain, on March 29.
Medical staff put a patient infected with Covid-19 on board a specialised TGV high-speed train at the Gare d’Austerlitz station, Paris, on April 1 to be evacuated to another hospital in the western region of Brittany, where the outbreak was more limited.
A volunteer worker disinfects a public bus station in Curitiba, Brazil, on April 1. Brazil’s president, Jair Bolsonaro, dismissed the danger of the coronavirus, causing controversy by claiming that it was no more than a “little flu”.
A women is tested by a healthcare professional during a local government mass-testing deployment in the high-density Alexandra township on day 32 of the national lockdown in Johannesburg, South Africa, on April 27.
Neonatal nurse Kirsty Hartley carries newborn Theo Anderson, who was born prematurely, to his mother Kirsty Anderson, at Burnley hospital in Lancashire, UK, on May 15.
Protesters in Minneapolis, US, demonstrate over the death of African-American George Floyd, who died in police custody in May.
A couple kneels and raises their hands at a memorial for George Floyd following a day of demonstrations in Minneapolis on June 13.
A protester carries an injured counter-protester to safety near Waterloo station during a Black Lives Matter protest in London, UK, on June 13.
Aerial view showing the burial of a victim of Covid-19 at the general cemetery in Santiago, Chile, on June 23.
Karina Sukkar, an architect and designer, stands on the balcony of her damaged flat overlooking the ravaged port of Beirut, Lebanon’s capital. A huge explosion on August 4 was caused by a stock of ammonium nitrate that had languished for years at a port warehouse.
People pass a giant television screen as Japan’s prime minister, Shinzo Abe, announces his resignation in Tokyo on August 28.
A woman argues with a policeman during a protest in Minsk, Belarus, on September 1. Several hundred students marched through the city centre, demanding the resignation of the country’s authoritarian leader, Alexander Lukashenko, after an election that the opposition denounced as rigged.
Migrants pack on to a small inflatable boat in an attempt to cross the English Channel off the coast of Dover, UK, on September 7.
The shadow of President Donald Trump is cast on Air Force One as he arrives for a campaign rally at Duluth International Airport in Duluth, Minnesota, US, on September 30. Mr Trump tested positive for Covid-19 two days later.
A family has lunch in the town of Martuni, the separatist region of Nagorno-Karabakh, on October 14. In 2020, the conflict between Armenia and Azerbaijan escalated, with both sides exchanging accusations and claims over the territory.
Democratic presidential nominee Joe Biden and his wife Jill, and vice-presidential nominee Kamala Harris and her husband Doug, at an election rally in Wilmington, Delaware, after the media announced that Mr Biden had won the US election on November 7.
Dominic Cummings, who quit as special adviser to the UK prime minister, Boris Johnson, waits with a box of possessions in Whitehall after departing from 10 Downing Street, London, on November 13.
A pro-democracy protester during an anti-government rally outside the headquarters of Siam Commercial Bank in Bangkok, Thailand, on November 25. The ducks have become a symbol of the pro-democracy movement.
Refugees from Tigray who fled the conflict in Ethiopia on board a bus going to the Village 8 temporary shelter, near the Sudan-Ethiopia border, in Hamdayet, eastern Sudan, on December 1.
Margaret Keenan, aged 90, is applauded by staff as she returns to her ward after becoming the first person to receive the BioNTech/Pfizer Covid-19 vaccine at University Hospital in Coventry, UK, on December 8.
UK chief trade negotiator David Frost looks on as Britain’s Prime Minister Boris Johnson signs the EU-UK Trade and Cooperation Agreement at 10 Downing Street in London on December 30.