The Malta Independent 27 September 2023, Wednesday
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A year in pictures: the tears of joy and despair

Associated Press Saturday, 31 December 2016, 09:20 Last update: about 8 years ago

Across much of Europe and Africa, 2016 was a year of tumult. There were seismic shifts in politics, with the falls of prime ministers David Cameron of Britain and Matteo Renzi of Italy, both of whom stepped down after losing referendums. Iceland's prime minister resigned, triggering early elections, after protests over his offshore holdings, which were revealed in the Panama Papers leak. Europe itself often seemed to be falling apart amid disagreements about migration, money and sovereignty — an impression that was confirmed when Britons voted to leave the European Union.

Brussels (photo above), Istanbul and Nice in southern France were rattled by horrific attacks blamed on the Islamic State group. Earthquakes shook Italy, destroying churches and historic buildings and leaving nearly 300 people dead. Hundreds more died in a failed coup attempt in Turkey, the repercussions of which are still being felt five months later.

The flow of refugees into Europe from war-torn and poverty-stricken regions continued in much smaller numbers than 2015, but more people died trying to cross the Mediterranean from North Africa to Italy. In Calais, France, authorities finally dismantled the sprawling camp known as the jungle.

In Africa, a number of countries, notably Congo, simmered over corruption claims or leaders accused of clinging to power. In Kenya, police beat and tear gassed people during weeks of protests over electoral reforms. Witnesses said at least five were killed. In the Central African Republic, the U.N. World Food Program estimated that nearly half the country faced hunger as more than two years of violence has disrupted agriculture and health care.

Here is a selection of top 2016 photos from AP photographers.

In this Monday, Aug. 29, 2016 file photo, migrants, most of them from Eritrea, jumps onto the water from a crowded wooden boat as they are helped by members of an NGO during a rescue operation at the Mediterranean sea, about 13 miles north of Sabratha, Libya.(AP Photo/Emilio Morenatti, File)

In this Thursday, July 21, 2016 file photo pro-government supporters protest on the road leading to Istanbul's iconic Bosporus Bridge,background left. Turkish lawmakers approved a three-month state of emergency, endorsing new powers for Turkey's President Recep Tayyip Erdogan that would allow him to expand a crackdown in the wake of the July 15 failed coup. (AP Photo/Emrah Gurel, File)

In this Monday, July 18, 2016 file photo people gather at a makeshift memorial to observe a minute of silence to honor the victims of an attack near the area where a truck mowed through revelers on the famed Promenade des Anglais in Nice, southern France. France is holding a national moment of silence for 84 people killed by a truck rampage in Nice, and thousands of people are massed on the waterfront promenade where Bastille Day celebrations became a killing field.(AP Photo/Luca Bruno)

In this Monday, Dec. 12, 2016 file photo Italian outgoing Premier Matteo Renzi, right, waits for new Premier Paolo Gentiloni prior to the handover ceremony at Chigi Palace Premier's office, in Rome. Paolo Gentiloni, a Democrat serving as foreign minister, formed Italy's new government Monday, keeping several key ministers from the coalition of Matteo Renzi, who resigned last week. (AP Photo/Gregorio Borgia, File)

In this Thursday Feb. 11, 2016 file photo a young child lies in a bucket to be weighed by nurses in Bangui, Central African Republic. The U.N. World Food Program estimates that nearly half the country - 2.5 million people - are facing hunger as more than two years of violence has severely disrupted the country's agriculture and health care sectors. (AP Photo/Jerome Delay)

In this Wednesday, July 13, 2016 file photo Britain's Prime Minister David Cameron, his wife Samantha and their children Nancy, centre, Florence and Elwen, left, leave 10 Downing Street, in London. Cameron will formally resign during a meeting with Queen Elizabeth II at Buckingham Palace, then Theresa May, the Home Secretary, will take over. (AP Photo/Frank Augstein, File)

In this Monday, May 16, 2016 file photo a Kenyan riot policeman repeatedly kicks a protester as he lies in the street after tripping over while trying to flee from them, during a protest in downtown Nairobi, Kenya. Kenyan police have tear-gassed and beaten opposition supporters during a protest demanding the disbandment of the electoral authority over alleged bias and corruption. (AP Photo/Ben Curtis, File)

This aerial photo shows the damaged buildings in the historical part of the town of Amatrice, central Italy, after an earthquake on Aug. 24, 2016. The magnitude 6 quake struck at 3:36 a.m. (0136 GMT) and was felt across a broad swath of central Italy, including Rome where residents of the capital felt a long swaying followed by aftershocks. (AP Photo/Gregorio Borgia, File)

In this Sunday, Oct. 23, 2016 file photo shepherds lead their sheep through the centre of Madrid, Spain. Shepherds have guided a flock of 1,000 sheep through Madrid streets in defense of ancient grazing, droving and migration rights increasingly threatened by urban sprawl and modern agricultural practices. (AP Photo/Daniel Ochoa de Olza, File)

In this Saturday, July 2, 2016 file photo a woman looks across as a gay parade participant poses for pictures during Gay Pride parade in Madrid, Spain. (AP Photo/Daniel Ochoa de Olza, File)

A Friday, Oct. 28, 2016 file photo of the Thufa hill in Reykjavik. Parliamentary elections will be held in Iceland on Oct. 29, 2016, more than 250,000 voters are called to elect the new parliament, 63 members of the Althing parliament. (AP Photo/Frank Augstein)

In this Saturday June 18, 2016 file photo Congolese children play soccer on a dirt field in Goma, Democratic Republic of Congo. One goal was scored with the old deflated ball the children use to play with. (AP Photo/Jerome Delay, File)

In this Sunday, July 10, 2016 file photo Andy Murray of Britain celebrates after beating Milos Raonic of Canada in the men's singles final on day fourteen of the Wimbledon Tennis Championships in London. (AP Photo/Kirsty Wigglesworth, File)

In this Sunday, July 10, 2016 file photo Portugal's Eder, front right, celebrates after scoring the opening goal during the Euro 2016 final soccer match between Portugal and France at the Stade de France in Saint-Denis, north of Paris. (AP Photo/Michael Sohn, File)

FILE - In this Sunday, Nov. 27, 2016 file photo Mercedes F1 driver Nico Rosberg of Germany celebrates after finishing second to win the 2016 world championship during the Emirates Formula One Grand Prix at the Yas Marina racetrack in Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates. (AP Photo/Luca Bruno, File)



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