The Year in Cartoons

© 2016 The New York Times
Distributed by The New York Times Syndicate

OCTOBER

TRUMP MAKES LEWD REMARKS ABOUT WOMEN

Leaked audio of the Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump boasting about kissing and groping women without first obtaining their consent caused deep divisions within the party in the U.S. presidential race’s final phase. Trump made the remarks in 2005, while preparing for a TV appearance with Billy Bush, a TV host and a relative of the former President George W. Bush. The Washington Post obtained and published the recording on Oct. 8. Trump dismissed the comments as “locker-room banter,” but the media soon published testimonies by women that matched his description of his actions. Polls showed the Democratic nominee Hillary Clinton’s lead increasing.

 

JANUARY

EL CHAPO RECAPTURED (AGAIN)

Authorities recaptured Joaquín Guzmán Loera, the drug cartel leader known as El Chapo, on Jan. 8 in Sinaloa, Mexico. Mexican marines had been searching for Guzmán since his carefully planned escape from the country’s highest-security prison in July 2015 — his second since 2001. Guzmán caused his own downfall: Authorities were able to trace him after he arranged a meeting with Kate del Castillo, a Mexican telenovela star whom he admired, and the American actor Sean Penn, ostensibly to plan a biopic. To ensure that Guzmán doesn’t escape again, his jailers move him from cell to cell, and have installed motion sensors and hundreds of cameras.

 

FEBRUARY

STEPS TOWARD DEMOCRACY IN MYANMAR

On Feb. 1, after more than 50 years of military rule, Myanmar opened its first freely elected parliament. Aung San Suu Kyi, the leader of the country’s democracy movement, was soon assigned the post of “state counselor,” which gives her more power than Myanmar’s president. She also controls several ministries. The reforms that her party has promised — mainly, making the country a full democracy — may come slowly, since the military still holds three key ministries and a quarter of the parliamentary seats, which is enough to block amendments to the constitution.

 

MARCH

TERROR IN BRUSSELS

On March 22, three explosions rocked Brussels, the headquarters of the European Union, in a coordinated attack claimed by the Islamic State group. The first two suicide bombings targeted Brussels Airport and the third a central subway station blocks from the European Parliament. Thirty-two people were killed. In the aftermath, investigators found strong links between the Brussels bombers and the assailants who committed the Paris attacks in November 2015. Mohamed Abrini, who authorities believe was involved in both terrorist acts, was arrested in April.

 

APRIL

PANAMA PAPERS RELEASED

On April 3, media organizations around the globe began to publish news stories based on a leak of more than 11 million files from one of the world’s largest fourth-largest law firms, Mossack Fonseca, headquartered in Panama. The so-called Panama Papers, posted online by the International Consortium of Investigative Journalists in May, revealed how some of the world’s richest people have evaded taxes by investing their wealth overseas. The exposé prompted public outrage and several criminal investigations. Icelandic Prime Minister Sigmundur Davíd Gunnlaugsson, unable to defend his and his wife’s attempts to hide millions in an offshore account, resigned on April 5.

 

MAY

ROUSSEFF FACES IMPEACHMENT TRIAL

On May 12, after the Petrobras scandal led to a series of mass protests against corruption in government, the Brazilian Senate voted to hold an impeachment trial for President Dilma Rousseff. The vice president, Michel Temer, stepped in as acting president while Rousseff faced charges alleging that she borrowed from state-owned banks in order to conceal a fiscal deficit before her re-election in 2014. She denied that she’d done anything wrong, calling the impeachment process “fraudulent” and a coup, but in August, the Senate voted to convict her, removing her from office.

 

JUNE

AN UNEXPECTED BREXIT

In a June 23 referendum that galvanized the world’s attention, “Leave” toppled “Remain” and 51.9% of Britons voted to exit the European Union — an unprecedented event in the union’s 23-year history. Global financial markets reeled, Prime Minister David Cameron resigned, other European nationalists called for similar referendums, and British and European Union leaders began to negotiate next steps. Cameron had promised the referendum during his campaign for re-election in 2013, responding to pressure from the right-wing and populist U.K. Independence Party. “Leave” gained momentum when advocates argued that Brexit would give the country greater control over immigration and freedom from the European Union’s tariffs and regulations.

 

 

JULY

A COUP IN TURKEY

A faction of the Turkish military drove tanks onto the streets of Istanbul and Ankara on the evening of July 15 and announced a takeover of the government. Civilians and soldiers loyal to President Recep Tayyip Erdogan clashed with the defecting faction throughout the night, resulting in more than 290 deaths and at least 1,400 injured. The next morning, Erdogan declared that the coup attempt had been quashed and ascribed blame to the exiled Islamic cleric Fethullah Gulen and his followers. The Turkish administration commenced a massive “cleanup” affecting public employees, using alleged Gulenist sympathies as grounds to suspend or imprison thousands of judges, teachers and soldiers.

 

AUGUST

RUSSIAN ATHLETES BARRED FROM OLYMPICS AND PARALYMPICS

After the World Anti-Doping Agency found that the Russian officials were running a state-run doping system and manipulating drug test results in order to help athletes to qualify for the London and Sochi Games, the International Olympic Committee barred more than 110 Russian athletes from competing in the Rio de Janeiro Games in August. Many of those disqualified were members of the weightlifting, rowing, and track and field teams. The IOC also barred Russia from taking part in the Paralympic Games altogether, which were held two weeks later.

 

SEPTEMBER

CONFLICT IN THE SOUTH CHINA SEA

Tension between the Philippines and China grew in early September when at least 10 Chinese ships arrived near Scarborough Shoal, a strategic reef that both countries claim. In a landmark ruling in July, an international tribunal in The Hague admonished China for its island-building activity in the South China Sea and denied its assertion of sovereignty. Vietnam, Taiwan, Malaysia and Brunei have also claimed parts of the territory, which holds vast fishing grounds and reserves of natural resources. Over the past several years, China has constructed a slew of artificial islets in the contested waters and built military facilities and airstrips on them — a display of power that has sent ripples of concern around the world.

 

OCTOBER

TRUMP MAKES LEWD REMARKS ABOUT WOMEN

Leaked audio of the Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump boasting about kissing and groping women without first obtaining their consent caused deep divisions within the party in the U.S. presidential race’s final phase. Trump made the remarks in 2005, while preparing for a TV appearance with Billy Bush, a TV host and a relative of the former President George W. Bush. The Washington Post obtained and published the recording on Oct. 8. Trump dismissed the comments as “locker-room banter,” but the media soon published testimonies by women that matched his description of his actions. Polls showed the Democratic nominee Hillary Clinton’s lead increasing.