Harvey Weinstein scandal

Hollywood actor and producer, Harvey Weinstein, was accused of sexual harassment, assault or rape by several women published in October by The New York Times and The New Yorker encouraging many more women to come forward, including many celebrities, who accused the Hollywood mogul of sexual misconduct.

Although Weinstein initially denied any reports of rape, he checked himself into a sex rehab clinic claiming he is a sex addict who needs help. He was fired from his own company, his wife left him and he now faces criminal investigations both in America and in Britain.

As a result, a social media campaign called #MeToo, originally launched in 2006, went viral with thousands of people using the hashtag to highlight how rampant sexual abuse is in society.

Pepsi & Kendall Jenner controversy

Pepsi released a new ad campaign starring model Kendall Jenner in April which prompted an immediate backlash on social media protesting the campaign exploited resistance movements such as black lives matter to sell their product.

The widely criticised advert featured her coming across a protest scene, joining the crowd and approaching a line of police officers and what would be would be a tense standoff in the real world turns into cheers and smiles when Jenner offers an officer a can of Pepsi.

The image of Jenner approaching the police clearly referenced the iconic photograph of Iesha Evans, a black woman who stood tall and proud in the face of heavily armed riot police during a Black Lives Matter protest following the fatal shooting of Alton Sterling by police in 2016.

Catalonia Independence referendum

An independence referendum was held in Spain's autonomous region of Catalonia on October 1 despite it being declared illegal by the Spanish government.

Brawls took place between the Spanish police forces and voters, with many polling stations being raided by officers. In spite of the unrest, 27% of the region's public turned out and voted overwhelmingly in favour of independence.

On October 27, the Parliament of Catalonia declared itself independent and within hours, the Spanish Senate approved actions for the Spanish government to assume direct control.

Catalan President Carles Puigdemont was removed and his cabinet was dissolved whilst Madrid temporarily stripped Catalonia of autonomy.

The Rohingya

Over 530,000 of Myanmar's 1 million Rohingya Muslims have fled the country's Northern Rakhine State this year amid systematic murders, rapes and burnings.

The government of Myanmar, predominately Buddhist country, claims the Rohingya people are illegal immigrants from neighbouring Bangladesh and has denied them citizenship despite them and their ancestors having lived in the region for generations.

They are often mistreated and historic discrimination has left them living in horrific conditions, often segregated from the rest of the population with limited access to schools, healthcare and job opportunities.

Tensions between the minority group and the mainly Buddhist Rakhine population erupted into rioting in 2012, driving thousands from their homes and into displacement camps, however, the latest wave of refugees began fleeing Myanmar in late August after an attack by Rohingya militants on more than 20 police posts that the government said left 12 members of the security forces dead.

Throughout the year, horrific stories have been emerging with reports of sexual violence against Rohingya women and entire villages being burned to the ground.

Aung San Suu Kyi, the country's de facto leader has also come under fire for failing to directly condemn violence by the country's security forces and has been stripped of many of the titles awarded to her despite being described as "one of the most extraordinary examples of civil courage in Asia in recent decades" when she won the Nobel Peace Prize in 1991.

This being after she became a champion of then-Burma's democratic opposition during years of military rule and house arrest.

The UN has described the latest mass exodus of Rohingya Muslims from Myanmar as "the world's fastest growing refugee crisis" and "a textbook example of ethnic cleansing".

Venezuela in crisis

Venezuela's inflation rate, which has been over 50% for the past three years reached 536.2% in 2017, mostly due to the rapid depreciation of the local currency in the black market, the opposition-controlled National Assembly said in October with The International Monetary Fund estimating that inflation will reach 2068.5% in the country in 2018,

As a result there has been severe food shortages, with the government controlling the price of basic necessities and the black market having a heavy influence on prices which can fluctuate massively within days.

Resulting in long lines both inside and outside the supermarkets as well as some people trying to cross the border into Colombia for basic food necessities.

The economic crisis is also hitting the country's public health system and public hospitals, medical equipment and medicine are becoming increasingly scarce.

Hurricanes in the Americas

Hurricane Harvey became the first major hurricane of the season and within as little as four days, the hurricane inflicted billions of dollars of damage across Texas, America. It was the wettest tropical cyclone on record in the US, with floods displacing more than 30,000 people.

It was soon followed by Hurricane Irma, which swept across the Caribbean and the Florida Keys killing over 100 people and causing mass damage to Barbuda, Saint Barthélemy, Saint Martin, Anguilla, and the Virgin Islands, in particular, and thus sparking an international aid appeal.

The Caribbean was then struck again the following month by Hurricane Maria, which became the worst natural disaster on record in Dominica and Puerto Rico where hundreds were killed and a major humanitarian crisis was declared.

South Asian floods

More than 1,200 people died across India, Bangladesh and Nepal as a result of flooding, with an additional 40 million affected by the devastation in August.

The devastating floods have also destroyed or damaged 18,000 schools, resulting in around 1.8 million children unable to attend classes across the three countries.

Heavy monsoon rains are expected at this time of year yet these have been the worst in recent years.

Portuguese wildfires

62 people were killed and at least 204 more injured on the afternoon of June 17 after a series of four initial wildfires erupted across central Portugal in the afternoon in what officials described as the "greatest wildfire tragedy of recent years."

The majority of deaths took place in the Pedrógão Grande municipality when a fire swept across a road filled with evacuees escaping in their cars.

Over 1,700 firefighters, some provided by France, Morocco and Italy alongside equipment, to help extinguish the fires were deployed nationwide to combat the blazes. The government declared three days of mourning.

Mexican earthquake

At least 61 people died after magnitude 8.1 quake struck Mexico this September in the strongest earthquake to hit the country in a century.

The quake struck off the Mexico's Southern Pacific coast, 100 miles (165km) west of the state of Chiapas.

The earthquake caused some buildings in capital, Mexico City, to shake and prompted people to evacuate the area.

It also caused a tsunami with waves of 1.75 metres (5 ft 9 in) above sea level causing tsunami alerts to be issued for the surrounding areas.

Californian wildfires

At least 44 people were killed in October when several wildfires broke out in Northern California’s wine country and were then spread roughly 245,000 acres by adverse weather conditions.

In the following December, another spate of wildfires struck Southern California with the largest blaze, Thomas Fire, alone spanning almost 37,000 acres.

This year's wildfires have been the most destructive and deadliest ever seen in the state of California.

Charlottesville clashes

The threat of white supremacist violence in America is at least as dangerous as that posed by Islamic extremist groups such as Daesh, the Head of the FBI revealed after it received renewed attention this year following neo-Nazi-led violence in the Virginia city of Charlottesville in August that left one young woman dead after a man drove a car into her and leaving 19 others injured.

The clashes between the far-right and the protesters were initially caused by the city council of Charlottesville voting to remove a statue of General Lee, a slave owner and slavery supporter which the right interpreted as an attack of the white race.

Donald Trump was slow to condemn the neo-Nazis and white supremacists behind the violence and sought to instead blame “all sides,” which was widely criticised.