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Newsmakers of 2018: People Who Shaped the News This Year

World | Reuters | December 31, 2018, 8:25 am
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1/ 20
 South Korean President Moon Jae-in and North Korean leader Kim Jong Un met for a historic summit on April 27. Not since the 1950-53 Korean War had a North Korean leader set foot on South Korean soil. The meeting between Kim and Moon produced a day of dramatic images and a sweeping declaration of goodwill. But it was short on specific commitments and failed to clear up the question of whether Pyongyang is really willing to give up nuclear missiles that now threaten the United States. They also promised to pursue phased arms reduction, cease hostile acts, transform their fortified border into a peace zone and seek talks involving other countries, including the United States.

South Korean President Moon Jae-in and North Korean leader Kim Jong Un met for a historic summit on April 27. Not since the 1950-53 Korean War had a North Korean leader set foot on South Korean soil. The meeting between Kim and Moon produced a day of dramatic images and a sweeping declaration of goodwill. But it was short on specific commitments and failed to clear up the question of whether Pyongyang is really willing to give up nuclear missiles that now threaten the United States. They also promised to pursue phased arms reduction, cease hostile acts, transform their fortified border into a peace zone and seek talks involving other countries, including the United States. "The two leaders declare before our people of 80 million and the entire world there will be no more war on the Korean peninsula and a new age of peace has begun," the two sides said. (Image: Reuters)

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2/ 20
 Christine Blasey Ford began her testimony in front of a Senate committee on September 27 by saying she was 'terrified,' and at times she looked it. But by the time she finished detailing her allegation that Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh sexually assaulted her when they were teenagers, Ford was being widely praised as credible and brave. Before the Senate hearing, Ford had never appeared on camera and was only depicted in news media reports with a grainy photo lifted from the internet. She emerged in the eyes of many American women as a compelling figure in the #MeToo movement that is usually associated less with the names of victims and more with a list of high-profile men accused of misconduct. Thousands of conservatives took to social media to accuse Ford of lying to bring down Kavanaugh, who angrily and tearfully denied her accusations in a day of dramatic, high-stakes testimony from both the accused and the accuser. (Image: Reuters)

Christine Blasey Ford began her testimony in front of a Senate committee on September 27 by saying she was 'terrified,' and at times she looked it. But by the time she finished detailing her allegation that Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh sexually assaulted her when they were teenagers, Ford was being widely praised as credible and brave. Before the Senate hearing, Ford had never appeared on camera and was only depicted in news media reports with a grainy photo lifted from the internet. She emerged in the eyes of many American women as a compelling figure in the #MeToo movement that is usually associated less with the names of victims and more with a list of high-profile men accused of misconduct. Thousands of conservatives took to social media to accuse Ford of lying to bring down Kavanaugh, who angrily and tearfully denied her accusations in a day of dramatic, high-stakes testimony from both the accused and the accuser. (Image: Reuters)

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3/ 20
 A global audience estimated to be in the hundreds of millions watched live as Meghan Markle married Britain's Prince Harry in a fairytale wedding that injected Hollywood glamor into the British royal family. Markle, whose father is white and mother is African-American, has been heralded as demonstrating how Britain has become more egalitarian and racially mixed. In October, Prince Harry and Meghan announced they are expecting their first child in the spring of 2019. (Image: Reuters)

A global audience estimated to be in the hundreds of millions watched live as Meghan Markle married Britain's Prince Harry in a fairytale wedding that injected Hollywood glamor into the British royal family. Markle, whose father is white and mother is African-American, has been heralded as demonstrating how Britain has become more egalitarian and racially mixed. In October, Prince Harry and Meghan announced they are expecting their first child in the spring of 2019. (Image: Reuters)

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4/ 20
 Elon Musk, a founder of Tesla and CEO of SpaceX, was charged by the SEC with misleading investors with tweets on August 7 that said he was considering taking Tesla private at $420 a share and had secured funding. The tweets had no basis in fact, and the ensuing market chaos hurt investors, regulators claimed. Tesla and Musk agreed to pay $20 million each to financial regulators, and the billionaire stepped down as the company's chairman but remained as chief executive, under a settlement that capped a tumultuous two months for the carmaker. Musk's compulsive tweeting and erratic behavior, which included smoking marijuana during a video interview, raised concerns about his leadership. (Image: Reuters)

Elon Musk, a founder of Tesla and CEO of SpaceX, was charged by the SEC with misleading investors with tweets on August 7 that said he was considering taking Tesla private at $420 a share and had secured funding. The tweets had no basis in fact, and the ensuing market chaos hurt investors, regulators claimed. Tesla and Musk agreed to pay $20 million each to financial regulators, and the billionaire stepped down as the company's chairman but remained as chief executive, under a settlement that capped a tumultuous two months for the carmaker. Musk's compulsive tweeting and erratic behavior, which included smoking marijuana during a video interview, raised concerns about his leadership. (Image: Reuters)

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5/ 20
 Former double agent Sergei Skripal and his daughter Yulia (pictured) were found slumped on a public bench in the English city of Salisbury in March. Britain says they were poisoned with a nerve agent administered by Russian intelligence officers. They were in a coma for weeks. Russia denies any involvement in the affair, which has deepened its international isolation. British officials said they had been poisoned with the Russian-developed 'Novichok' nerve agent. (Image: Reuters)

Former double agent Sergei Skripal and his daughter Yulia (pictured) were found slumped on a public bench in the English city of Salisbury in March. Britain says they were poisoned with a nerve agent administered by Russian intelligence officers. They were in a coma for weeks. Russia denies any involvement in the affair, which has deepened its international isolation. British officials said they had been poisoned with the Russian-developed 'Novichok' nerve agent. (Image: Reuters)

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6/ 20
 Bill Cosby was the first celebrity convicted of sexual abuse since the #MeToo movement began. A jury found Cosby guilty in April of three counts of aggravated indecent assault for the drugging and sexual assault of his one-time friend Andrea Constand. Judge Steven O'Neill on Sept. 25 branded him a 'predator' and sentenced him to three to 10 years in prison. The once-beloved comedian, known as 'America's Dad' in the 1980s and 1990s during the run of his hit television sitcom, was marched out of court in shackles and began serving his sentence immediately. (Image: Reuters)

Bill Cosby was the first celebrity convicted of sexual abuse since the #MeToo movement began. A jury found Cosby guilty in April of three counts of aggravated indecent assault for the drugging and sexual assault of his one-time friend Andrea Constand. Judge Steven O'Neill on Sept. 25 branded him a 'predator' and sentenced him to three to 10 years in prison. The once-beloved comedian, known as 'America's Dad' in the 1980s and 1990s during the run of his hit television sitcom, was marched out of court in shackles and began serving his sentence immediately. (Image: Reuters)

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7/ 20
 Serena Williams's 2018 season was marked by a tumultuous loss to Naomi Osaka at the US Open in New York. She called chair umpire Carlos Ramos a 'liar' and a 'thief' after she was handed a warning for a coaching violation before being deducted a point for smashing her racquet. The incident and the ensuing row resulted in a game penalty and a $17,000 fine for Williams and divided tennis by triggering a debate about sexism in the sport. The debate was fueled by Williams's and others assertions that an umpire would not have dealt with a male player in the same way. Earlier in the season, her skin-tight black catsuit, which she said made her feel like a superhero and dedicated it to new mothers, prompted the French Open to introduce a dress code. (Image: Reuters)

Serena Williams's 2018 season was marked by a tumultuous loss to Naomi Osaka at the US Open in New York. She called chair umpire Carlos Ramos a 'liar' and a 'thief' after she was handed a warning for a coaching violation before being deducted a point for smashing her racquet. The incident and the ensuing row resulted in a game penalty and a $17,000 fine for Williams and divided tennis by triggering a debate about sexism in the sport. The debate was fueled by Williams's and others assertions that an umpire would not have dealt with a male player in the same way. Earlier in the season, her skin-tight black catsuit, which she said made her feel like a superhero and dedicated it to new mothers, prompted the French Open to introduce a dress code. (Image: Reuters)

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8/ 20
 Adult film actress Stormy Daniels claimed during a 60 Minutes interview aired in March that she had a sexual encounter with US President Donald Trump at a 2006 celebrity golf tournament in Lake Tahoe. In November, Trump's longtime personal lawyer Michael Cohen pleaded guilty to violating federal election law by paying Daniels $130,000 in hush money shortly before the 2016 presidential election. (Image: Reuters)

Adult film actress Stormy Daniels claimed during a 60 Minutes interview aired in March that she had a sexual encounter with US President Donald Trump at a 2006 celebrity golf tournament in Lake Tahoe. In November, Trump's longtime personal lawyer Michael Cohen pleaded guilty to violating federal election law by paying Daniels $130,000 in hush money shortly before the 2016 presidential election. (Image: Reuters)

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9/ 20
 The death of US celebrity chef Anthony Bourdain, who killed himself in a French hotel room in June, left millions of fans asking why. His death came just days after the suicide of fashion designer Kate Spade, leading to a national conversation about treating depression. Brash and opinionated, Bourdain had spoken openly about his use of drugs and addiction to heroin earlier in his life. His career catapulted him from washing dishes at New York restaurants to dining in Vietnam with President Barack Obama as part of his CNN TV series. (Image: Reuters)

The death of US celebrity chef Anthony Bourdain, who killed himself in a French hotel room in June, left millions of fans asking why. His death came just days after the suicide of fashion designer Kate Spade, leading to a national conversation about treating depression. Brash and opinionated, Bourdain had spoken openly about his use of drugs and addiction to heroin earlier in his life. His career catapulted him from washing dishes at New York restaurants to dining in Vietnam with President Barack Obama as part of his CNN TV series. (Image: Reuters)

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10/ 20
 New Zealand's Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern became one of the few elected leaders to give birth while in the office this June. Congratulations quickly flooded in from around the world and across the political spectrum. Ardern found out she was pregnant in October 2017, just six days before she was propelled into the job. In September, with Arden breastfeeding and unable to be away from her baby for extended periods, she brought 3-month-old Neve to the United Nations General Assembly. (Image: Reuters)

New Zealand's Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern became one of the few elected leaders to give birth while in the office this June. Congratulations quickly flooded in from around the world and across the political spectrum. Ardern found out she was pregnant in October 2017, just six days before she was propelled into the job. In September, with Arden breastfeeding and unable to be away from her baby for extended periods, she brought 3-month-old Neve to the United Nations General Assembly. (Image: Reuters)

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11/ 20
 As the youngest president in French history and the youngest French head of state since Napoleon, Emmanuel Macron came to power promising to increase French economic competitiveness while preserving 'a collective solidarity'. Eighteen months into his administration, Macron faced a wave of protests over planned fuel tax increases that he defended as critical to combating climate change. The sometimes violent 'yellow vest' protests led to the worst riots in Paris since 1968. In response to the roiling anger, Macron scrapped the planned taxes, the first major U-turn of his time in office. During a November ceremony marking a century since the end of the World War One, Macron denounced the nationalism that fanned the flames of war and now shows signs of resurgence. 'Patriotism is the exact opposite of nationalism: nationalism is a betrayal of patriotism,' he said. (Image: Reuters)

As the youngest president in French history and the youngest French head of state since Napoleon, Emmanuel Macron came to power promising to increase French economic competitiveness while preserving 'a collective solidarity'. Eighteen months into his administration, Macron faced a wave of protests over planned fuel tax increases that he defended as critical to combating climate change. The sometimes violent 'yellow vest' protests led to the worst riots in Paris since 1968. In response to the roiling anger, Macron scrapped the planned taxes, the first major U-turn of his time in office. During a November ceremony marking a century since the end of the World War One, Macron denounced the nationalism that fanned the flames of war and now shows signs of resurgence. 'Patriotism is the exact opposite of nationalism: nationalism is a betrayal of patriotism,' he said. (Image: Reuters)

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12/ 20
 Emma Gonzalez, who survived the February 14 mass shooting at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland Florida, became a leader in the youth movement against gun violence. At the March For Our Lives protest in Washington a month after the shooting, Gonzalez read the names of the 17 victims and then stood in silence. Tears ran down her cheeks as she stared out over the crowd for the rest of a speech that lasted six minutes and 20 seconds, the time it took for the gunman to slaughter them. The massive March For Our Lives rallies aimed to break legislative gridlock that has long stymied efforts to increase restrictions on firearms sales in a nation where mass shootings like the one in Parkland have become frighteningly common. (Image: Reuters)

Emma Gonzalez, who survived the February 14 mass shooting at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland Florida, became a leader in the youth movement against gun violence. At the March For Our Lives protest in Washington a month after the shooting, Gonzalez read the names of the 17 victims and then stood in silence. Tears ran down her cheeks as she stared out over the crowd for the rest of a speech that lasted six minutes and 20 seconds, the time it took for the gunman to slaughter them. The massive March For Our Lives rallies aimed to break legislative gridlock that has long stymied efforts to increase restrictions on firearms sales in a nation where mass shootings like the one in Parkland have become frighteningly common. (Image: Reuters)

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13/ 20
 Embattled Facebook Chairman and Chief Executive Mark Zuckerberg appeared before Congress in April. He was under fire for failing to protect Facebook users' personal information and its inability to prevent Russia from using the social network to influence the 2016 presidential election. In November, Zuckerberg issued a new plan aimed at stifling misbehavior while maintaining a vibrant hub for online speech. Shares of Facebook had a rocky year, under pressure from revelations about the privacy and operational issues as well as concerns over slowing revenue growth. (Image: Reuters)

Embattled Facebook Chairman and Chief Executive Mark Zuckerberg appeared before Congress in April. He was under fire for failing to protect Facebook users' personal information and its inability to prevent Russia from using the social network to influence the 2016 presidential election. In November, Zuckerberg issued a new plan aimed at stifling misbehavior while maintaining a vibrant hub for online speech. Shares of Facebook had a rocky year, under pressure from revelations about the privacy and operational issues as well as concerns over slowing revenue growth. (Image: Reuters)

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14/ 20
 In the November midterm elections, Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez of New York became the youngest woman elected to Congress at age 29. Her take-down of senior Democratic leader and 10-term incumbent Congressman Joe Crowley in the June primary rocked Washington. Yet Ocasio-Cortez was only the most visible symbol of a grassroots insurgency that had sprung up across the country, including in spots far from deep-blue Democratic strongholds. Most embracing the progressive label share a disdain for corporate money in politics and favor more government-run healthcare, subsidies for college tuition and wage hikes for laborers. (Image: Reuters)

In the November midterm elections, Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez of New York became the youngest woman elected to Congress at age 29. Her take-down of senior Democratic leader and 10-term incumbent Congressman Joe Crowley in the June primary rocked Washington. Yet Ocasio-Cortez was only the most visible symbol of a grassroots insurgency that had sprung up across the country, including in spots far from deep-blue Democratic strongholds. Most embracing the progressive label share a disdain for corporate money in politics and favor more government-run healthcare, subsidies for college tuition and wage hikes for laborers. (Image: Reuters)

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15/ 20
 Amazon.com selected New York and Northern Virginia for its second headquarters in November, ending a more than year-long contest that has seen frenzied bidding from locales across North America. Founder Jeff Bezos, the world's richest person, also made a deeper foray into philanthropy in September when he launched Bezos Day One Fund with an initial commitment of $2 billion to help homeless families and create preschools for low-income communities. Through his rocket company Blue Origin, he plans to charge passengers about $200,000 to $300,000 for its first trips into space next year. President Donald Trump has repeatedly slammed Amazon over the online retail giant's collection of sales taxes and shipping rates via the US Postal Service. His private ownership of The Washington Post, which has published articles critical of the White House, has also put him at odds with Trump. (Image: Reuters)

Amazon.com selected New York and Northern Virginia for its second headquarters in November, ending a more than year-long contest that has seen frenzied bidding from locales across North America. Founder Jeff Bezos, the world's richest person, also made a deeper foray into philanthropy in September when he launched Bezos Day One Fund with an initial commitment of $2 billion to help homeless families and create preschools for low-income communities. Through his rocket company Blue Origin, he plans to charge passengers about $200,000 to $300,000 for its first trips into space next year. President Donald Trump has repeatedly slammed Amazon over the online retail giant's collection of sales taxes and shipping rates via the US Postal Service. His private ownership of The Washington Post, which has published articles critical of the White House, has also put him at odds with Trump. (Image: Reuters)

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16/ 20
 Marvel superhero movie 'Black Panther' received widespread critical acclaim after years of criticism about the under-representation of black people in Hollywood. The movie, which features a predominantly black cast, is set in the fictional African nation of Wakanda and tells the story of the new king, T'Challa/Black Panther (Chadwick Boseman), who is challenged by rival factions. 'Something like Marvel has a way of really affecting popular culture, and to have that popular culture informed with things that are of African origin and people knowing they are of African origin ... is powerful,' co-star Lupita Nyong'o, who plays warrior Nakia, told Reuters. 'Hopefully, it changes the general idea of what being an African is. Too often times we see Africa as a place that is wanting and here it's a place that you want to go,' she said. (Image: AP)

Marvel superhero movie 'Black Panther' received widespread critical acclaim after years of criticism about the under-representation of black people in Hollywood. The movie, which features a predominantly black cast, is set in the fictional African nation of Wakanda and tells the story of the new king, T'Challa/Black Panther (Chadwick Boseman), who is challenged by rival factions. 'Something like Marvel has a way of really affecting popular culture, and to have that popular culture informed with things that are of African origin and people knowing they are of African origin ... is powerful,' co-star Lupita Nyong'o, who plays warrior Nakia, told Reuters. 'Hopefully, it changes the general idea of what being an African is. Too often times we see Africa as a place that is wanting and here it's a place that you want to go,' she said. (Image: AP)

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17/ 20
 More than 150 women, including Olympians, testified about decades of abuse at the hands of USA Gymnastics doctor Larry Nassar at two sentencing hearings. His victims, at least 250 in all, led each other out of the shadows, as their emotionally wrenching testimony encouraged others to come forward. The case likely helped convince more abuse victims to come forward as their stories were viewed as credible, according to several experts in sexual trauma. Nassar was sentenced to up to 300 years in prison. The revelations sparked investigations into other possible abuse at U.S. athletic federations and schools by Congress and the U.S. Department of Education and led to the resignation of the entire USA Gymnastics board. The head of the U.S. Olympic Committee also resigned, citing medical reasons. Michigan State University, Nassar's former employer, agreed in May to a $500 million settlement with the victims. (Image: Reuters)

More than 150 women, including Olympians, testified about decades of abuse at the hands of USA Gymnastics doctor Larry Nassar at two sentencing hearings. His victims, at least 250 in all, led each other out of the shadows, as their emotionally wrenching testimony encouraged others to come forward. The case likely helped convince more abuse victims to come forward as their stories were viewed as credible, according to several experts in sexual trauma. Nassar was sentenced to up to 300 years in prison. The revelations sparked investigations into other possible abuse at U.S. athletic federations and schools by Congress and the U.S. Department of Education and led to the resignation of the entire USA Gymnastics board. The head of the U.S. Olympic Committee also resigned, citing medical reasons. Michigan State University, Nassar's former employer, agreed in May to a $500 million settlement with the victims. (Image: Reuters)

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18/ 20
 Since mid-October, thousands of Central Americans, mostly from Honduras, have traveled north through Mexico in a caravan, some walking much of the long trek. US President Donald Trump has vowed to stop the migrants, sending troops to reinforce the border and attempting a procedural change, so far denied by the courts, to require asylum-seekers to remain in Mexico while their cases are heard. Frustrated and exhausted after weeks of uncertainty, many migrants have become desperate since getting stuck in squalid camps in the Mexican border city of Tijuana. Some migrants are likely to be economic refugees without a strong asylum claim, but others tell stories of receiving politically motivated death threats in a region troubled by decades of instability and violence. (Image: Reuters)

Since mid-October, thousands of Central Americans, mostly from Honduras, have traveled north through Mexico in a caravan, some walking much of the long trek. US President Donald Trump has vowed to stop the migrants, sending troops to reinforce the border and attempting a procedural change, so far denied by the courts, to require asylum-seekers to remain in Mexico while their cases are heard. Frustrated and exhausted after weeks of uncertainty, many migrants have become desperate since getting stuck in squalid camps in the Mexican border city of Tijuana. Some migrants are likely to be economic refugees without a strong asylum claim, but others tell stories of receiving politically motivated death threats in a region troubled by decades of instability and violence. (Image: Reuters)

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19/ 20
 US Senator John McCain, a former prisoner of war in Vietnam who ran for president in 2008 as a maverick Republican and became a prominent critic of President Donald Trump, died on August 25 at age 81. He rebuked President Donald Trump in a memoir published in May, accusing his fellow Republican of failing to uphold US values by showering praise on international 'tyrants,' discrediting the media, ignoring human rights and demeaning refugees. McCain remained one of the strongest voices in his party on foreign policy, despite a battle with brain cancer. He had been credited with championing civility and compromise in Congress during an era of acrid partisanship in US politics. (Image: Reuters)

US Senator John McCain, a former prisoner of war in Vietnam who ran for president in 2008 as a maverick Republican and became a prominent critic of President Donald Trump, died on August 25 at age 81. He rebuked President Donald Trump in a memoir published in May, accusing his fellow Republican of failing to uphold US values by showering praise on international 'tyrants,' discrediting the media, ignoring human rights and demeaning refugees. McCain remained one of the strongest voices in his party on foreign policy, despite a battle with brain cancer. He had been credited with championing civility and compromise in Congress during an era of acrid partisanship in US politics. (Image: Reuters)

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20/ 20
 Twelve boys, aged 11 to 16, and their 25-year-old coach went missing on June 23 while exploring a cave complex in the northern province of Chiang Rai in Thailand. The Wild Boars team had planned to explore the cavern complex for only about an hour before treacherous flood waters rose to trap them. They were rescued more than two weeks later during a perilous three-day mission by foreign and Thai divers that gripped audiences around the world. Samarn Kunan, 38, a former Thai navy diver, died while he worked underwater died during the dramatic cave rescue. (Image: Reuters)

Twelve boys, aged 11 to 16, and their 25-year-old coach went missing on June 23 while exploring a cave complex in the northern province of Chiang Rai in Thailand. The Wild Boars team had planned to explore the cavern complex for only about an hour before treacherous flood waters rose to trap them. They were rescued more than two weeks later during a perilous three-day mission by foreign and Thai divers that gripped audiences around the world. Samarn Kunan, 38, a former Thai navy diver, died while he worked underwater died during the dramatic cave rescue. (Image: Reuters)

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