This list has been compiled through an analysis of Google’s top global search terms in general “search” and “news” categories, supplemented with a review of the international news outlets’ coverage over the course of 2018. Events are listed in alphabetical order.
British Prime Minister Theresa May has faced political challenges during her continued negotiations with leaders of the European Union to establish a trade framework to follow the United Kingdom’s exit from the union. The negotiations include politically sensitive issues such as the once conflict-laden border between the Republic of Ireland, which will remain in the union, and Northern Ireland, which is part of the United Kingdom.
Cave Rescue in Thailand
Between June and July, 12 members and the coach of a youth soccer team were trapped inside an underground cave in Thailand’s Chiang Rai Province due to flooding. A former Navy SEAL died during a rescue attempt. Eventually, the entire group was extracted without life-threatening injuries.
Climate Agreement in Katowice
Despite President Trump’s 2017 announcement that the U.S. would step back from the Paris climate accord, in December 2018 a U.S. delegation signed onto an agreement establishing enforcement guidelines for rules set in the Paris agreement.
Elections in Mexico And Brazil
Presidential elections in Mexico and Brazil have sent the two countries into vastly different directions this year, as left-wing candidate Andrés Manuel López Obrador took over the reins from the long-established Institutional Revolutionary Party, while Brazil elected far-right hardliner Jair Bolsonaro.
Gilets Jaunes Protests in France
Riots erupted in the streets of France after President Emmanuel Macron announced his government’s plans for a gas tax hike, which he later abandoned as a result of violent protests.
Death of Jamal Khashoggi
Exiled Saudi journalist Jamal Khashoggi disappeared during a visit to the country’s consulate in Istanbul. After initial denials, the Saudi government admitted that Khashoggi had died inside the consulate; the details of his suspected murder remain under investigation.
North Korea Nuclear Deal
In an unprecedented meeting between a sitting U.S. president and the leader of the authoritarian regime of North Korea, President Trump and Supreme Leader Kim Jong Un signed an agreement aimed at the denuclearization of North Korea and its re-integration into the global economy.
U.S. athletes won nine gold, eight silver and six bronze medals at the 2018 Winter Olympics in PyeongChang, South Korea, while the Russian Olympic Committee was suspended for continued and systematic doping from 2011 to 2015.
American actress Meghan Markle’s wedding to Prince Harry, Duke of Sussex, marked the first recorded instance of a biracial woman marrying into the British monarchy. Markle is the child of an African-American mother and a white father.
The French national team took home the trophy at the 2018 World Cup, which was hosted by Russia and garnered high interest in North America, despite the U.S. and Canada selections’ failure to qualify for the tournament.