Year In Photos 2013: From Brazil Nightclub Fire To China Moon Landing, 12 Events That Won’t Be Forgotten

on December 28 2013 7:19 PM
  • year1
    Nightclub fire in Brazil. Relatives mourn the loss of loved ones who perished in the Jan. 28 fire at Kiss nightclub in the southern city of Santa Maria, 187 miles west of the state capital Porto Alegre. The nightclub fire killed at least 242 people and injured over 150 more when a band's pyrotechnics show set the building ablaze. Fleeing partygoers stampeded toward blocked and overcrowded exits in the ensuing panic. It was the second most deadly fire in Brazil’s history. The tragedy highlighted the need for better safety features in Brazilian nightclub and prompted an investigation into whether city leaders and inspectors were negligent in allowing the club to operate. Reuters
  • year2
    Pope Benedict XVI resigned. On Feb. 11, the Vatican announced that Pope Benedict XVI would step down as leader of the Catholic Church, even though popes are expected to hold the position until they die. Benedict XVI was the first pope to resign in nearly 600 years, a move that could set a new precedent for future Catholic Church leaders. Reuters
  • year3
    The Rise Of Bitcoin. In the beginning of 2013, little was known about Bitcoin, the digital currency based on a network of peer-to-peer payments. But according to Bloomberg, by the end of the year, half of people polled in the U.S. had heard about it, and Bitcoin’s value on trading exchanges soared to $1,200 in December. Is Bitcoin the currency of the future, or will it be a failed experiment in monetary privatization? Reuters
  • year4
    Boston Marathon Bombing. Blood is seen on the sidewalk as men in bomb-disposal suits investigate the site of an explosion on Boylston Street during the 117th Boston Marathon in Boston, Mass. April 15. Two explosions hit the Boston Marathon as runners crossed the finish line, killing three people and injuring 264 others on a day when tens of thousands of people packed the streets to watch one of the world's largest marathons. Reuters
  • year5
    Scientists cloned human stem cells. In May, Shoukhrat Mitalipov, pictured, a professor at Oregon Health and Science University, and his team successfully cloned human stem cells. Mitalipov had previously cloned monkeys and used the resulting embryos to get embryonic stem cells, an important step towards being able to do the same thing in humans. This year, they were able to do the same with human skin cells. The stem cells can be used to grow human tissue like muscles, nerves and other cells. Reuters
  • year6
    Egypt ousts President Morsi. Just one year after being elected to office, Egypt's first democratically elected Islamist President Mohamed Morsi was booted from office following mass protests. Tens of thousands of demonstrators called for his resignation despite him having been the country’s first president to assume his duties after an election, as oppose to a coup or as a choice of his predecessor. The ousting came just a few years after another uprising that resulted in the overthrow of then-President Hosni Mubarak, who ruled Egypt for three decades. Reuters
  • year7
    Spain train crash. A fireman carries a wounded victim from the wreckage of a train crash near Santiago de Compostela in northwestern Spain on July 24. A train derailed outside the ancient northwestern Spanish city, killing at least 77 people and injuring up to 131 in one of Europe's worst rail disasters in history. Reuters
  • year8
    NASDAQ shut down for three hours. On Aug. 22, the NASDAQ, the second largest U.S. market operator, froze. Transactions came to a grinding halt, brokers were unable to process customers’ orders, and thousands of securities were disrupted. The NASDAQ freeze reignited concerns over the instability of global exchanges. Reuters
  • year9
    Mall attack in Kenya. This still frame taken from security camera video footage shows a gunman points his rifle near an injured man as he walks around during an attack inside the Westgate shopping center in Nairobi. The chilling video footage shows the moment gunmen entered the Nairobi Westgate mall on Sept. 21 and randomly shot down customers in the supermarket. In the four-day siege that followed, about 67 people died, hundreds more were injured and even more went missing. Al-Shabab, a radical Islamist group with links to al Qaeda, claimed responsibility for the siege. Reuters
  • year10
    U.S. government shutdown. Federal workers demonstrate for an end to the U.S. government shutdown in front of the U.S. Capitol in Washington, DC on Oct. 13. Following months of political gridlock, Congress eventually agreed to a new budget, but not before several branches of the federal government, including national parks, shut down. Reuters
  • year11
    Iran nuclear deal reached. World leaders, including U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry, speak during a United Nations conference in Geneva on Nov. 24 after Iran and six world powers reached a breakthrough agreement to curb Tehran's nuclear program. In a first step towards resolving a dangerous decade-old standoff, Tehran will get limited sanctions relief in exchange for halting its nuclear development program. Reuters
  • year12
    China rover lands on the Moon. The Long March-3B rocket carrying the Chang'e-3 lunar probe blasts off from the launch pad at Xichang Satellite Launch Center, Sichuan province on Dec. 2. The spacecraft carried a lander and a moon rover called "Yu Tu,” or “Jade Rabbit,” which was deployed to explore the surface of the moon. It landed on the moon on Dec. 15, marking China’s first contact with the lunar surface. Some people have called attention to China’s rising influence in the realm of space exploration as a sign of a new global space race. Reuters
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From the Brazil nightclub fire in January that claimed hundreds of lives to China’s first landing of a lunar rover on the moon just a few weeks ago, 2013 was marked by great tragedy as well as great achievement.

Among many things, this year saw the rise of Bitcoin, the digital currency that some have argued might be the future of global commerce. For the first time, scientists were able to clone human stem cells, giving rise to the idea that stem cell research could lead to the growing of human tissue like muscles and nerves. The year 2013 also witnessed the first resignation by a pope in nearly 600 years.

Here’s a look back at 2013 in photos and a few of the events that shaped the past 12 months.

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