The Eurasian Economic Union comes into effect, creating a political and economic union between Russia,Belarus, Armenia, Kazakhstan and Kyrgyzstan.
Lithuania officially adopts the euro as its currency, replacing the litas, and becomes the nineteenth Eurozone country.
January 3–7 – A series of massacres in Baga, Nigeria and surrounding villages by Boko Haram kills more than 2,000 people.
January 15 – The Swiss National Bank abandons the cap on the franc's value relative to the euro, causing turmoil in international financial markets.
January 22 – After Houthi forces seize the presidential palace, Yemeni President Abd Rabbuh Mansur Hadiresigns after months of unrest.
The 2015 Baga massacre was a series of mass killings carried out by the jihadist group Boko Haram in the Nigeriantown of Baga and its environs, in the state of Borno, between 3 January and 7 January 2015.
The attack began on 3 January when Boko Haram overran a military base that was the headquarters of the Multinational Joint Task Force containing troops from Chad, Niger, and Nigeria. The militants then forced thousands of locals from the region and committed mass killings that culminated on the 7th.
Fatalities have been reported to be "heavy" but their extent is unclear. Several western media reported that "over 2,000" people are thought to have been killed or "unaccounted for", but local media reported "at least a hundred" fatalities, while the Nigerian Ministry of Defence said that no more than 150 people in total had been killed, including militants. Several government officials denied that the fatalities were as extensive as reported, with some even claiming that the massacre had never taken place or that the Nigerian military had repelled the militants from the region, a claim that was refuted by local officials, survivors, and the international media.
Boko Haram's Abubakar Shekau said his fighters had carried out the attack on Baga
February 12 Leaders from Russia, Ukraine, Germany and France reach an agreement on the conflict in eastern Ukrainethat includes a ceasefire and withdrawal of heavy weapons. However, several days later, the Ukrainian government and pro-Russian rebels claim that, within its first day, the ceasefire was broken 139 times, as both sides failed to withdraw their heavy weapons and fighting had continued.
The United Nations Security Council adopts Resolution 2199 to combat terrorism.
February 16 – The Egyptian military begins conducting airstrikes against a branch of the Islamic militant group ISIL in Libya in retaliation for the group's beheading of over a dozen Egyptian Christians.
United Nations Security Council
The United Nations Security Council (UNSC) is one of the six principal organs of the United Nations and is charged with the maintenance of international peace and security as well as accepting new members to the United Nations and approving any changes to its United Nations Charter. Its powers include the establishment of peacekeeping operations, the establishment of international sanctions, and the authorization of military action through Security Council resolutions; it is the only UN body with the authority to issue binding resolutions to member states. The Security Council held its first session on 17 January 1946.
Like the UN as a whole, the Security Council was created following World War II to address the failings of another international organization, the League of Nations, in maintaining world peace. In its early decades, the body was largely paralyzed by the Cold War division between the US and USSR and their respective allies, though it authorized interventions in the Korean War and the Congo Crisis and peacekeeping missions in the Suez Crisis, Cyprus, and West New Guinea. With the collapse of the Soviet Union, UN peacekeeping efforts increased dramatically in scale, and the Security Council authorized major military and peacekeeping missions in Kuwait, Namibia, Cambodia, Bosnia, Rwanda,Somalia, Sudan, and the Democratic Republic of Congo.
The Security Council consists of fifteen members. The great powers that were the victors of World War II—Russia, theUnited Kingdom, France, China, and the United States—serve as the body's five permanent members. These permanent members can veto any substantive Security Council resolution, including those on the admission of new member states or candidates for Secretary-General. The Security Council also has 10 non-permanent members, elected on a regional basis to serve two-year terms. The body's presidency rotates monthly among its members. Critics of the council often describe it as an undemocratic international body, and argue it fails its principal task, mainly because of the veto power of the permanent members.
Security Council resolutions are typically enforced by UN peacekeepers, military forces voluntarily provided by member states and funded independently of the main UN budget. As of 2013, 116,837 peacekeeping soldiers and other personnel are deployed on 15 missions around the world. Evaluations of the Security Council's effectiveness are mixed, and calls for its reform predate the body's first meeting; however, little consensus exists on how its structure should be changed.
March 5–8 – The ancient city sites of Nimrud, Hatra and Dur-Sharrukin in Iraq are demolished by the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant.
March 6 – NASA's Dawn probe enters orbit around Ceres, becoming the first spacecraft to visit a dwarf planet.
March 12 – The Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant becomes allies with fellow jihadist group Boko Haram, effectively annexing the group.
March 24 – An Airbus A320-211 operated by Germanwings crashes in the French Alps, killing all 150 on board.
March 25 – A Saudi Arabia-led coalition of Arab countries starts a military intervention in Yemen in order to uphold the Yemeni government in its fight against the Houthis' southern offensive.
Saudi Arabian-led intervention in Yemen
Iran and Russia have called on Saudi Arabia to halt airstrikes on Yemen as supporters of Yemen’s ruling Houthi militants stage demonstrations throughout the country, protesting against the Saudi-led military intervention
The Saudi Arabian-led intervention in Yemen began in 2015 to influence the outcome of the Yemeni Civil War. Saudi Arabia, spearheading a coalition of nine Arab states, began carrying out airstrikes in neighbouring Yemen and imposing an aerial and naval blockade on 26 March, heralding a military intervention codenamed Operation Decisive Storm (Arabic: عملية عاصفة الحزم `Amaliyyat `Āṣifat al-Ḥazm).
The intervention began in response to requests for assistance from the internationally recognized but domestically contested Yemeni government of President Abd Rabbuh Mansur Hadi. The request was due to a Houthi tribal offensive aimed at its provisional capital of Aden. President Hadi fled Aden, left the country and went to Saudi Arabia as the coalition launched airstrikes against the Houthis and forces loyal to former President Ali Abdullah Saleh, who was deposed in the 2011 Arab Spring uprisings.
Fighter jets from Egypt, Morocco, Jordan, Sudan, the United Arab Emirates, Kuwait, Qatar and Bahrain also took part in the operation. Somalia made its airspace, territorial waters and military bases available to the coalition. The United States provided intelligence and logistical support, including search-and-rescue for downed coalition pilots. It also accelerated the sale of weapons to coalition states.Pakistan was called on by Saudi Arabia to join the coalition, but its parliament voted to maintain neutrality.
The intervention has received wide-scale criticism and resulted in a "humanitarian disaster" and a "catastrophe", with the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights declaring that almost two-thirds of all civilian casualties have been a direct result of airstrikes.The blockade left 78% (20 million) of the Yemeni population in urgent need of food, water and medical aid. Aid ships are allowed, but the bulk of commercial shipping, on which the country relies, is blocked.In one occasion, coalition jets prevented an Iranian Red Crescent plane from landing by bombing Sana'a International Airport's (SIA) runway, which blocked aid delivery via air. As of 28 April, 300,000 people had been displaced by the fighting. Many countries, such as China,Malaysia, Pakistan, Philippines, Somalia and India evacuated or planned to evacuate foreign citizens.Many groups fled Yemen for Somalia and Djibouti.
On 21 April, Saudi Arabia announced an end to Operation Decisive Storm, saying the intervention's focus would "shift from military operations to the political process".The kingdom and its coalition partners said they would be launching political and peace efforts, which they called Operation Restoring Hope (Arabic:عملية إعادة الأمل `Amaliyyat 'I`ādat al-'Amal). However, the coalition did not rule out using force, saying it would respond to threats and prevent Houthi militants from operating within Yemen.Airstrikes and shelling continued under Restoring Hope, including air attacks destroying the main runway at SIA and several buildings in the UNESCO World Heritage Site Sana'a Old City.
April 2 – 148 people are killed, the majority students, in a mass shooting at the Garissa University College in Kenya, perpetrated by the militant terrorist organization Al-Shabaab.
April 25 – A magnitude 7.8 earthquake strikes Nepal and causes 8,857 deaths in Nepal, 130 in India,27 in China and 4 in Bangladesh with a total of 9,018 deaths.
April 29 – The World Health Organization (WHO) declares that rubella has been eradicated from the Americas.
Garissa University College attack
On 2 April 2015, gunmen stormed the Garissa University College in Garissa, Kenya, killing 148 people, and injuring 79 or more. The militant group and Al-Qaeda offshoot, Al-Shabaab, which the gunmen claimed to be from, took responsibility for the attack. The gunmen took over 700 students hostage, freeing Muslims and killing those who identified as Christians. The siege ended the same day, when all four of the attackers were killed. Five men were later arrested in connection with the attack, and a bounty was placed for the arrest of a suspected organizer.
The attack was the deadliest in Kenya since the 1998 United States embassy bombings, and is the second deadliest overall, with more casualties than the 2002 Mombasa attacks, the 2013 Westgate shopping mall attack,the 2014 Nairobi bus bombings, the 2014 Gikomba bombings, the 2014 Mpeketoni attacks and the 2014 Lamu attacks.
The April 2015 Nepal earthquake (Nepali: विसं २०७२ को महाभूकम्प) (also known as the Gorkha earthquake)killed over 9,000 people and injured more than 23,000. It occurred at on 25 April, with a magnitude of 7.8Mw or 8.1Ms and a maximum Mercalli Intensity of IX (Violent). Its epicenter was east of the district of Lamjung, and its hypocenter was at a depth of approximately 8.2 km (5.1 mi).It was the worst natural disaster to strike Nepal since the 1934 Nepal–Bihar earthquake.
The earthquake triggered an avalanche on Mount Everest, killing at least 19,making April 25, 2015 the deadliest day on the mountain in history.The earthquake triggered another huge avalanche in the Langtang valley, where 250 people were reported missing.
Hundreds of thousands of people were made homeless with entire villages flattened,across many districts of the country. Centuries-old buildings were destroyed at UNESCO World Heritage sites in the Kathmandu Valley, including some at the Kathmandu Durbar Square, the Patan Durbar Square, the Bhaktapur Durbar Square, the Changu Narayan Temple and the Swayambhunath Stupa. Geophysicists and other experts had warned for decades that Nepal was vulnerable to a deadly earthquake, particularly because of its geology, urbanization, and architecture.
Continued aftershocks occurred throughout Nepal at the intervals of 15–20 minutes, with one shock reaching a magnitude of 6.7 on 26 April at NST. The country also had a continued risk of landslides.
A major aftershock occurred on 12 May 2015 at with a moment magnitude (Mw) of 7.3.The epicenter was near the Chinese border between the capital of Kathmandu and Mt. Everest.More than 200 people were killed and more than 2,500 were injured by this aftershock.
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May 1–October 31 – Expo 2015 is held in Milan, Italy.
May 11–12 – Version O of Les Femmes d'Alger by Pablo Picasso sells for US$179.3 million at Christie's auction in New York, while the sculpture L'Homme au doigt by Alberto Giacometti sells for US$141.3 million, setting a new world record for a painting and for a sculpture, respectively.
May 12 – A second major earthquake in Nepal, measuring 7.3 on the moment magnitude scale, results in 153 deaths in Nepal,62 in India,1 in China and 2 in Bangladesh with a total of 218 deaths.
May 23 – Ireland votes to legalize same-sex marriage, becoming the first country to legalize same-sex marriage by popular vote.
Same-sex marriage in the Republic of Ireland
Same-sex marriage has been legal in Ireland since 16 November 2015.A referendum on 22 May 2015 amended theConstitution of Ireland to provide that marriage is recognised irrespective of the sex of the partners.The measure was signed into law by the President of Ireland as the Thirty-fourth Amendment of the Constitution of Ireland on 29 August 2015.
The Marriage Act 2015, passed by the Oireachtas on 22 October 2015 and signed into law by thePresidential Commission on 29 October 2015, gave legislative effect to the amendment. Marriages of same-sex couples in the Republic of Ireland began being recognized from 16 November 2015 and the first marriage ceremonies of same-sex couples in Ireland occurred on 17 November 2015.
June 2 – FIFA President Sepp Blatter announces his intention to resign amidst an FBI-led corruption investigation, and calls for an extraordinary congress to elect a new president as soon as possible.
June 7–8 – The 41st G7 summit is held in Schloss Elmau, Bavaria.
June 25–26 – ISIL claim responsibility for four attacks around the world during the Ramadan:
Kobanî massacre: ISIL fighters detonate three car bombs, enter Kobanî, Syria, and open fire at civilians, killing more than 220.
Sousse attacks: 22-year-old Seifeddine Rezgui opens fire at a tourist resort at Port El Kantaoui, Tunisia, killing 40 people.
Kuwait mosque bombing: A suicide bomber attacks the Shia Mosque Imam Ja'far as-Sadiq at Kuwait City,Kuwait, killing 27 people and injuring 227 others.
June 30 Cuba becomes the first country in the world to eradicate mother-to-child transmission of HIV and syphilis.
A Lockheed C-130 Hercules operated by the Indonesian Air Force crashed into a crowded residential neighborhood in Medan shortly after take-off from Soewondo Air Force Base, killing 143 people including 22 others on the ground, marking the second-deadliest air disaster to ever occur in Medan and the deadliest crash in Indonesian Air Force peacetime history.
FIFA President Sepp Blatter announces his intention to resign amidst an FBI-led corruption investigation, and calls for an extraordinary congress to elect a new president as soon as possible.
Joseph "Sepp" Blatter (born 10 March 1936) is a Swiss football administrator who is the suspended eighth president of FIFA (Fédération Internationale de Football Association), an office he entered in June 1998.
From a background in business, public relations, and sports administration, Blatter became general secretary of FIFA in 1981 and was then elected president at the 51st FIFA Congress on 8 June 1998, succeeding João Havelange, who had headed the organization since 1974. Blatter was re-elected in 2002, 2007, 2011, and 2015.
Like his predecessor Havelange, Blatter sought to increase the influence of African and Asian countries in world football through the expansion of participating teams in various FIFA tournaments.
He has persistently been dogged by claims of corruption and financial mismanagement. Blatter's reign has overseen a vast expansion in revenues generated by the FIFA World Cup accompanied by the collapse of the marketing company International Sport and Leisure and numerous allegations of corruption in the bidding processes for the awarding of FIFA tournaments.
On 2 June 2015, six days after the United States government indicted several current and former FIFA officials and sports marketing companies for bribery and money laundering,Blatter announced that he would call for elections to choose a new president of FIFA and that he would not stand in these elections, but he also said he would remain in his position until an extraordinary FIFA Congress could be held for his successor to be elected.
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Criminal proceedings were announced against Blatter by the Swiss Attorney General's office on 25 September 2015, regarding "criminal mismanagement... and misappropriation".In October 2015, Blatter and other top FIFA officials were suspended amid the investigation,and in December the independent ethics committee of FIFA banned Blatter from taking part in any FIFA activities over the following eight years. Issa Hayatou is currently the acting President of FIFA until an extraordinary FIFA Congress can be held.
July 1 – Greek government-debt crisis: Greece becomes the first advanced economy to miss a payment to theInternational Monetary Fund in the 71-year history of the IMF.
On July 14, 2015
Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action
The Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA)[is an international agreement on the nuclear program of Iran reached in Vienna on 14 July 2015 between Iran, the P5+1(the five permanent members of the United Nations Security Council—China, France, Russia, United Kingdom, United States—plus Germany),and the European Union.
Nuclear weapon test explosion
Formal negotiations toward the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action on Iran's nuclear program began with the adoption of the Joint Plan of Action—an interim agreement on the Iranian nuclear program signed between Iran and the P5+1 countries—in November 2013. For the next twenty months, Iran and the P5+1 countries engaged in negotiations, and in April 2015 agreed on a framework agreement for the final agreement. In July 2015, Iran and the P5+1 agreed on the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action.
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Under the agreement, Iran agreed to eliminate its stockpile of medium-enriched uranium, cut its stockpile of low-enriched uranium by 98%, and reduce by about two-thirds the number of its centrifuges for 13 years. For the next 15 years, Iran will only enrich uranium up to 3.67%. Iran also agreed not to build any new heavy-water facilities for the same period of time. Uranium-enrichment activities will be limited to a single facility using first-generation centrifuges for 10 years. Other facilities will be converted to avoid proliferation risks.
To monitor and verify Iran's compliance with the agreement, the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) will have regular access to all Iranian nuclear facilities. The agreement provides that in return for verifiably abiding by its commitments, Iran will receive relief from U.S., European Union, and United Nations Security Council nuclear-related sanctions.
July 24 – Turkey begins a series of airstrikes against PKK and ISIL targets after the 2015 Suruç bombing.
August 5 – Debris found on Réunion Island is confirmed to be that of Malaysian Airlines Flight 370, missing since March 2014.
August 17 – A bombing takes place inside the Erawan Shrine at the Ratchaprasong intersection in Pathum Wan District, Bangkok, Thailand, killing 20 people and injuring 125.
On 17 August 2015, at 18:55 ICT (11:55 UTC), a bomb exploded inside the grounds of the Erawan Shrine, near the busy Ratchaprasong Intersection in Bangkok's city centre.The Royal Thai Police said that 3 kilograms (6.6 lb) of TNT had been stuffed in a pipe and left under a bench near the outer rim of the grounds surrounding the shrine, and that an electronic circuit suspected to have been used in the attack was found 30 metres (98 ft) from the scene.
No one has yet claimed responsibility for the attack.The attacks are thought to have targeted Thailand's tourism and economy,but there has been a range of inconsistencies in the statements of Thai authorities about those arrested and the reasons for the attack. The Thai government has at times suggested the bombers acted to avenge a crackdown on their human trafficking network, to take revenge for Thailand's deportation of a group of Uighurs back to China in July 2015, to strike a blow for the insurgents fighting the Thai government in the deep south, or for reasons related to Thailand's domestic politics. The government has implicated a range of other suspects in the bombing, mostly Thai opponents of the military regime.
The site of the bombing had been cleaned, and the crater paved over with cement, by 19 August.
September 10 – Scientists announce the discovery of Homo naledi, a previously unknown species of early human in South Africa.
September 18 – Automaker Volkswagen is alleged to have been involved in worldwide rigging of diesel emissions tests, affecting an estimated 11 million vehicles globally.
September 24 – A stampede during the Hajj pilgrimage in Mecca, Saudi Arabia, kills at least 2,200 people and injures more than 900 others, with more than 650 missing.
September 28 – NASA announces that liquid water has been found on Mars.
September 30 – Russia begins air strikes against ISIL and anti-government forces in Syria in support of the Syrian government.
The Russian military intervention in the Syrian Civil War began on 30 September 2015, following a formal request by the Syrian government for military help against rebel andjihadist groups. The activities consisted of air strikes primarily in north-western Syria against militant groups opposed to the Syrian government, including al-Nusra Front (al-Qaeda in the Levant), the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL) and the Army of Conquest.The Russian Air Force had significant ground support from the Syrian military, Iranian Revolutionary Guards, and allied militias.
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Prior to these operations,Russian involvement in the Syrian Civil War had mainly consisted of supplying the Syrian Army.Russian officials have acknowledged their objective is to help the Syrian government retake territory from various opposition groups, including ISIL.
In mid-November 2015, Russia responded to the ISIL-claimed Metrojet Flight 9268 bombing by increasing its own bombing operations within Syria, using the Tu-160 and Tu-95 strategic bombers for the first time.
On 24 November 2015, a Russian Sukhoi Su-24 aircraft was shot down by a Turkish Air Force F-16 fighter jet in an incident thought to be the first time a NATO country shot down a Russian plane in half a century. The incident triggered a confrontation between Russia and Turkey prompting Russia to further bolster its military posture throughout the wider region of Near East.
October 10 – A suicide bomb kills at least 100 people at a peace rally in Ankara, Turkey, and injures more than 400 others.
October 23 – Hurricane Patricia becomes the most intense hurricane ever recorded in the Western Hemisphere, with winds of 200 mph and a pressure of 879 mbar.
October 26 – A magnitude 7.5 earthquake strikes the Hindu Kush region and causes 398 deaths,with 279 in Pakistan, 115 in Afghanistan and 4 in India.
October 31 – Flight KGL9268, an Airbus A321 airliner en route to Saint Petersburg from Sharm el-Sheikh, crashes near Al-Hasana in Sinai, killing all 217 passengers and 7 crew members on board.
November 7 – Chinese and Taiwanese presidents, Xi Jinping and Ma Ying-jeou, formally meet for the first time.
November 12 – Several suicide bombings occur in Beirut, Lebanon, killing 43 and injuring 239. The Islamic State in Iraq and the Levant claim responsibility.
November 13 – Multiple attacks claimed by Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL) in Paris, France, resulting in 130 fatalities.
November 2015 Paris attacks
On the evening of 13 November 2015, a series of coordinated terrorist attacks occurred in Paris, the capital of France, and its northern suburb, Saint-Denis. Beginning at 21:20 CET, three suicide bombers struck near the Stade de Francein Saint-Denis, followed by suicide bombings and mass shootings at cafés, restaurants, and a concert hall in Paris.
The attackers killed 130 people, including 89 at the Bataclan theatre,where they took hostages before engaging in a stand-off with police. There were 368 people who were wounded, 80–99 seriously so. Seven of the attackers also died, while authorities continued to search for accomplices.The attacks were the deadliest on France sinceWorld War II,and the deadliest in the European Union since the Madrid train bombings in 2004. France had been on high alert since the January 2015 attacks in Paris that killed 17 people, including civilians and police officers.
The Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL) claimed responsibility for the attacks, saying that it was in retaliation for the French airstrikes on ISIL targets in Syria and Iraq.The President of France, François Hollande, said that the attacks were an act of war by ISIL planned in Syria, organised in Belgium, and perpetrated with French complicity.
In response, a state of emergency was declared, and temporary border checks were introduced. On 15 November, France launched the biggest airstrike of Opération Chammal, its contribution to the anti-ISIL bombing campaign, striking ISIL targets in Al-Raqqah. On 18 November, the suspected lead operative of the attacks,Abdelhamid Abaaoud, was killed in a police raid in Saint-Denis, along with at least two other people.
November 24 – Syrian Civil War: Turkey shoots down a Russian fighter jet in the first case of a NATO member destroying a Russian aircraft since the 1950s.
November 30 – The 2015 United Nations Climate Change Conference (COP 21) is held in Paris, attended by leaders from 147 nations.
The 2015 United Nations Climate Change Conference, COP 21 or CMP 11 was held in Paris, France, from 30 November to 12 December 2015. It was the 21st yearly session of the Conference of the Parties (COP) to the 1992 United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) and the 11th session of the Meeting of the Parties to the 1997 Kyoto Protocol.
The conference negotiated the Paris Agreement, a global agreement on the reduction of climate change, the text of which represented a consensus of the representatives of the 196 parties attending it.The agreement will become legally binding if joined by at least 55 countries which together represent at least 55 percent of global greenhouse emissions.Such parties will need to sign the agreement in New York between 22 April 2016 and 21 April 2017, and also adopt it within their own legal systems (through ratification, acceptance, approval, or accession).
According to the organizing committee at the outset of the talks,the expected key result was an agreement to set a goal of limiting global warming to less than 2 degrees Celsius (°C) compared to pre-industrial levels. The agreement calls for zero net anthropogenic greenhouse gas emissions to be reached during the second half of the 21st century. In the adopted version of the Paris Agreement, the parties will also "pursue efforts to" limit the temperature increase to 1.5 °C. The 1.5 °C goal will require zero emissions sometime between 2030 and 2050, according to some scientists.
USA could be set for its worst drought in 1,000 years because of climate change. Numerous states have experienced severe water shortages, with 64 million people affected. Researchers say things could get worse.The 21st-century projections make the [previous] mega-droughts seem like quaint walks through the Garden of Eden,” said Jason Smerdon scientist at Columbia University’s Lamont-Doherty Earth Observatory.Mega Drought USA Free Video
December 12 – A global climate change pact is agreed at the COP 21 summit, committing all countries to reduce carbon emissions for the first time.
December 22 – SpaceX lands a Falcon 9 rocket, the first reusable rocket to successfully enter orbital space and return.