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World-shaping events we’ll be watching in 2019

Here are just some of the expected events and happenings around the world in the new year that we're keeping our eyes on.

As we look toward 2019, Thomson Reuters will stay focused on combining information, innovation and authoritative insight to unravel complex situations. Our worldwide network of experts and journalists will keep legal, tax, corporate and media professionals up to speed on global developments across industries and borders.

Below is an incomplete list of just some of the expected events around the world in the new year that we’ll keep our eyes on.


January 1: #MeToo-inspired employment laws take effect in California
These include the STAND (Stand Together Against Non-Disclosure) Act, which prohibits non-disclosure clauses in settlement agreements involving sexual assault, sexual harassment, or sex discrimination.

January 2: The new U.S. Congress convenes
The 116th Congress convenes with Democrats in control of the House of Representatives and Republicans in control of the Senate.

January 6: Defense to begin in trial of two women charged with murder of the N. Korean leader’s half-brother
Indonesian Siti Aisyah, one of two women charged with murdering Kim Jong Nam, the estranged half-brother of North Korea’s leader, will begin her defense.

January 20: Philippines holds plebiscite for new autonomy law for Muslim regions of Mindanao
A predominantly Muslim region in the southern Philippines holds a referendum on a new law towards self-rule, the result of a peace agreement with Muslim separatists that all sides hope will curtail the rise of extremism and support for the Islamic State group.

A general view shows the Swiss mountain resort of Davos January 16, 2012
A general view shows the Swiss mountain resort of Davos. REUTERS/Arnd Wiegmann

January 22-25: Annual meeting of World Economic Forum in Davos
The world’s business and political elite gather for the WEF annual meeting in the Swiss resort town of Davos.

January 22: Canadian to be sentenced for killing six in 2017 mosque shooting
A former Canadian university student could be sentenced to life in prison after pleading guilty to killing six men who were praying in a Quebec City mosque in January 2017, in one of the country’s rare mass shootings.

February 2: El Salvador heads to the polls to elect a new president
Citizens of El Salvador head to the polls to pick a new president. Nayib Bukele, former mayor of El Salvador’s capital, is the frontrunner expected to win the presidential election, according to a recent poll. It marks the first time in three decades that a candidate from an outsider party has a real shot of winning the five-year term as president.

February 11: 2019 European Youth Olympic Winter Festival opens in Sarajevo
The European Youth Olympic Festival, the largest sport festival for young athletes between 14 and 18 years old, opens in Sarajevo and East Sarajevo as the first major sporting event organized in Bosnia after the 1984 Winter Olympic games.

February 21: Kenyan landmark case to legalize gay sex continues
Kenyan court to rule in case seeking to decriminalize consensual sex between same sex adults. The law against gay sex in Kenya was introduced more during British rule.

Participants hold a British Union flag and an EU flag during a pro-EU referendum event at Parliament Square in London
Participants hold a British Union flag and an EU flag during a pro-EU referendum event at Parliament Square in London. REUTERS/Neil Hall

March 7: Fifth anniversary of the disappearance of Malaysia Airlines MH370
Flight MH370, carrying 239 people, vanished en route from Kuala Lumpur to Beijing on March 8, 2014, becoming one of the world’s greatest aviation mysteries.

March 29: Brexit Day?
Britain to leave the European Union at 2300 GMT on March 29.

March 30: Turkish local elections test Erdogan’s support
Turkey’s municipal elections will test support for President Tayyip Erdogan’s AK Party in the country’s main cities as his government grapples with the impact of a slowing economy.


April 15: The Shanghai Auto Show showcases the latest vehicles for the world’s largest auto market
The Shanghai auto show press days begin April 16. Global and Chinese domestic automakers will try to reignite growth in the world’s largest car market with new models, and previews of electric and autonomous vehicles. Trade tensions with the U.S. could hang over the gathering.

April 25-28: NRA annual meeting starts in Indianapolis
The National Rifle Association annual meeting gets under way in Indianapolis with the world’s most powerful gun lobby under pressure from Democrats in Congress to regulate guns in the wake of mass shootings and the future of the group’s leadership uncertain.

April 26: White House Correspondents’ Association Dinner
American biographer of U.S. presidents Ron Chernow delivers keynote address at 2019 White House Correspondents Association Dinner.

April 29: Japanese Emperor Akihito abdicates, Crown Prince Naruhito ascends to the throne the following day
Japanese Crown Prince Naruhito assumes the throne in a ceremony involving the Imperial Regalia of Japan also known as the Three Sacred Treasures, after his father Akihito abdicates the day before. This is one of three official inaugural ceremonies. He is also expected to meet with representatives of the people.

U.S. Supreme Court justices pose for group portrait at the Supreme Court in Washington
U.S. Supreme Court justices pose for their group portrait at the Supreme Court in Washington, U.S., November 30, 2018. REUTERS/Jim Young

May/June: United States Supreme Court cases
Cases will be issued on Mondays and throughout the last week of the 2018-19 term in June. These will include anti-trust case Apple v. Pepper, the Timbs v. Indiana case on whether the excessive fines clause applies to states, and the death penalty case Madison v. Alabama.

May 14-18: Tel Aviv gears up for Eurovision Song Contest
Eurovision Song Contest expected to take place in Tel Aviv May 14-18

June 3: 30th anniversary of Tiananmen Square crackdown
Hong Kong marks the 30th anniversary of the 1989 Tiananmen square crackdown with its annual candle vigil.

June 27: New York observes 50th anniversary of Stonewall riot, birth of modern LGBT movement
LGBTQ+ activists from New York and around the world will mark the 50th anniversary of the modern LGBTQ+ movement, born on June 28, 1969, in what is known as the Stonewall uprising.


August 27: 76th Venice International Film Festival opens – Venice Lido
The 76th Venice International Film Festival opens in Venice Lido, Italy.

August 28: G7 summit takes place in Biarritz in South West France
Group of Seven summit takes place in France in the town of Biarritz situated in the Basque country in south west France from August 25th to 27th.

September 3: Opioid manufacturers, distributors to face trial over drug epidemic
The first trial is scheduled in the federal litigation by local U.S. governments seeking to hold drug manufacturers and distributors responsible for their roles in the U.S. opioid epidemic. The trial is scheduled before U.S. District Judge Dan Polster in Cleveland, Ohio.

Visitors sit in an installation visualizing Opel's OnStar communication system at the Frankfurt Motor Show (IAA) in Frankfurt
Visitors sit in an installation visualizing Opel’s OnStar communication system at the Frankfurt Motor Show (IAA) in Frankfurt. REUTERS/Ralph Orlowski

September 8-12: 73rd Congress of the International Fiscal Association (IFA)
IFA 2019 in London will bring together leading tax experts from governments, corporations, academia, and advisors from across the globe. The discussions will focus on both technical issues and practical matters faced by all those involved in making the international tax system work.

September 9: Auto industry executives gather for the Frankfurt Auto Show
Auto industry executives will gather in Frankfurt for what has traditionally been Europe’s premier auto show. This year, Germany’s automakers could gather under a cloud of a growing anti-diesel, anti-petrol backlash, and possibly continued trade tensions with the Trump administration. The costs of electrification and automated vehicles could spur more alliance talks.


October 11: 2019 Nobel Peace Prize is announced
The laureate of the 2019 Nobel Peace Prize is announced at the Norwegian Nobel Institute in Oslo.

November 10: Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) Leaders week in Santiago
Heads of state from participants in the year-long Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) forum gather for final meeting. CEO Summit also Nov. 14-16.

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What events would you have added to the list? Drop a comment below, or tweet us @thomsonreuters, and we might just add it to the list.

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