Chronology of news events in 2015

AP News
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Posted: Dec 25, 2015 5:01 PM

MARCH

March 1

— Tens of thousands march through Moscow in honor of slain opposition leader Boris Nemtsov.

March 2

— Iraqi forces launch a large-scale offensive to take Saddam Hussein's hometown of Tikrit from the Islamic State group, the first step in a campaign to reclaim parts of northern Iraq from the Sunni extremists.

March 3

— Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu stands before the U.S. Congress and bluntly warns that an emerging nuclear deal with Tehran "paves Iran's path to the bomb." President Barack Obama disagrees, says Netanyahu offered no alternative.

March 4

— China announces its official military budget will grow by 10.1 percent in the coming year, amid unease among Beijing's neighbors about its growing might and territorial ambitions.

March 5

— The U.S. ambassador to South Korea recovers from a knife attack by an anti-American activist screaming demands for Korean reunification.

March 6

— The former wife of a prosecutor whose mysterious death has rocked Argentina says a team of experts she hired concluded that he was killed and his body moved to the bathroom floor where he was found dead.

March 7

— Nigeria's home-grown Boko Haram Islamic extremists pledge formal allegiance to the Islamic State group as they battle a multinational force that has dislodged them from a number of towns in the north.

March 8

— Five men are behind bars in Russia either charged or suspected in the killing of Kremlin critic Boris Nemtsov.

March 9

— Soldiers from Chad and Niger launch the largest international push to defeat Nigeria's Islamic extremist Boko Haram in a conflict that has spilled over into neighboring countries.

March 10

— Two helicopters carrying French sports stars filming a popular European reality show crash in a remote part of Argentina, killing 10 people including two Olympic medal winners and a sailing champion.

March 11

— Iraqi soldiers and allied Shiite militiamen seep into the Islamic State-held city of Tikrit, launching a two-front offensive to squeeze the extremists out of Saddam Hussein's hometown.

March 12

— European allies join mounting criticism of 47 Republican U.S. senators who sent a letter to Iranian leaders warning them about making an agreement with President Barack Obama, saying it was counterproductive and came at a sensitive time in nuclear negotiations with Tehran.

March 13

— Winds from an extremely powerful cyclone that flew through the Pacific's Vanuatu archipelago begin to subside, revealing widespread destruction that displaced thousands and left 24 confirmed dead. .

March 14

— China protests Myanmar border air raid that kills four Chinese, sends warplanes on patrol.

March 15

— Millions demonstrate in cities across Brazil, including Sao Paulo, against President Dilma Rousseff, some calling for her impeachment while others say she has mismanaged the economy.

March 16

— Russian President Vladimir Putin resurfaces, looking healthy after a 10-day absence from public view during which rumors swirled about his condition or whereabouts.

March 17

— Final results show a resounding victory for Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu in parliamentary elections after an acrimonious campaign, giving him a mandate to form the next government.

March 18

— Gunmen open fire on a museum in the heart of Tunisia's capital, killing 21 people, including 19 foreign tourists.

March 19

— Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu backtracks from hardline campaign statement against the establishment of a Palestinian state in the face of a diplomatic backlash.

March 20

— Suicide bombers attack a pair of mosques in the Yemeni capital, unleashing blasts that kill 137 people in the deadliest assault yet targeting Shiite rebels who have taken over large parts of the rapidly fragmenting nation.

March 21

— A super tide turns France's famed Mount Saint-Michel into an island and then retreats out of sight, delighting thousands of visitors who came to see the rare phenomenon.

March 22

— Singapore's Lee Kwan Yew, who was both feared for his authoritarian tactics and admired worldwide for turning the city-state into one of the world's richest nations during 31 years in power, dies at 91.

March 23

— Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu apologizes to Israel's Arab citizens for remarks he made during last week's parliamentary election that offended members of the minority community.

March 24

— President Barack Obama agrees to slow the U.S military pullout from Afghanistan at the request of its new government but insists the delay will not jeopardize his commitment to end America's longest war before he leaves office.

March 25

— Saudi Arabia and other Gulf nations launch airstrikes in Yemen against Shiite rebels, known as Houthis, who are pushing south from their power base in the north and threatening to take over Aden, the country's main southern port.

March 26

— French authorities say a 27-year-old German co-pilot deliberately smashed a Germanwings Airbus 320 carrying 150 people into an Alpine mountainside as the pilot pounded frantically on the locked cockpit door and passengers with moments to live screamed in terror.

March 27

Italy's highest court overturns the murder conviction against American Amanda Knox and her ex-boyfriend in the 2007 slaying of Knox's roommate, bringing to a definitive end the high-profile case that captivated trial-watchers on both sides of the Atlantic.

March 28

— Afghanistan 's highest court has ruled that the police officer convicted of murdering Associated Press photographer Anja Niedringhaus and wounding AP correspondent Kathy Gannon should serve 20 years in prison.

March 29

— A two-day Arab summit ends with a vow to defeat Iranian-backed Shiite rebels in Yemen and the formal unveiling of plans to form a joint Arab intervention force.

March 30

— German officials confirm that Germanwings co-pilot Andreas Lubitz was once diagnosed with suicidal tendencies and received lengthy psychotherapy before receiving his pilot's license. They believe he deliberately smashed his Airbus A320 into the French Alps last week, killing 150 people.

March 31

— Muhammadu Buhari, a former general who once rose to power in a military coup, wins Nigeria's presidential election, defeating President Goodluck Jonathan and paving the way for a peaceful transfer of power through the ballot box in Africa's most populous nation.