12:35 GMT26 January 2020
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    • Anti-war activists protest in front of the White House in Washington, DC, on 4 January 2020. Demonstrators are protesting the US drone attack that killed Iran's Major General Qasem Soleimani in Iraq on 3 January, a dramatic escalation in the spiralling tensions between Iran and the US, which has pledged to send thousands more troops to the region.
    • A destroyed car is seen next to burnt bushland in the village of Mogo, Australia on 8 January 2020.
    • A kangaroo jumps in a field amidst smoke from a bushfire in Snowy Valley on the outskirts of Cooma on 4 January 2020. Up to 3,000 military reservists were called up to tackle Australia's relentless bushfire crisis on 4 January as tens of thousands of residents fled their homes amid catastrophic conditions.
    • President Vladimir Putin and his Turkish counterpart Recep Tayyip Erdogan at the ceremony marking the official launch of TurkStream gas pipeline.
    • Carol singers in the Chelyabinsk region, Russia.
    • A Vietnamese woman collects dried incense sticks at a courtyard in Quang Phu Cau village on the outskirts of Hanoi on 9 January 2020 ahead of the upcoming Lunar New Year celebrations, referred to in Vietnam as Tet.
    • Elvis impersonators prepare to board the Elvis Express, bound for Parkes for the Elvis festival, at Central Station in Sydney, Australia, 9 January 2020.
    • People stand near the wreckage after a Ukrainian plane carrying 176 passengers that crashed near Imam Khomeini International Airport in Tehran on 8 January 2020.
    • German Chancellor Angela Merkel meets carol singers during a reception at the German Chancellery in Berlin, Germany, 7 January 2020.
    • Bulgarian Orthodox faithful dive into the icy winter water of a lake in Sofia, to catch a wooden crucifix during the Epiphany Day celebrations on 6 January 2020. It is believed that the one who retrieves the wooden crucifix will be healthy through the year.
    • Vietnamese women pose for photographs along a street in Hanoi on 7 January 2020.
    • Mourners surround a car carrying the coffin of Iraqi paramilitary chief Abu Mahdi al-Muhandis during a funeral procession for him and nine others in Baghdad's district of al-Jadriya, near the high-security Green Zone, on 4 January 2020.
    • Lightning lit the sky over the Mediterranean Sea in Lebanon's port district of al-Mina in the northern city of Tripoli on 8 January 2020.
    • Russian President Vladimir Putin and his Syrian counterpart Bashar al-Assad at a Damascus cathedral, 7 January 2020.
    • A worshipper during a Christmas service in Ekaterinburg, Russia.
    • A man visits ice sculptures ahead of the annual Harbin International Ice and Snow Sculpture Festival in the northern city of Harbin, Heilongjiang province, China on 4 January 2020.
    • Russian President at a Christmas service at Transfiguration Cathedral, Saint Petersburg.
    • Kamaz-Master team from Russia participating in the fourth round of the Dakar-2020 truck rally in Saudi Arabia.
    • Recording artist T-Pain performs at halftime of the AFC Wild Card NFL Playoff game between the Houston Texans and the Buffalo Bills at NRG Stadium.
    • People celebrate a rite called Kolyadki, a pagan winter holiday which over the centuries has merged with Orthodox Christmas celebrations in some parts of Belarus, in the village of Dubovka, Belarus on 7 January 2020.
    • French labour union members and workers on strike stand near a fire as they attend a meeting near the Gare de Lyon train station before a demonstration in Paris during the 36th consecutive day of striking against the French government's pension reform plans in France, 9 January 2020.
    • A vendor sells sugar candy on a street during snowfall in Murree, some 65 km north of Islamabad, on 7 January 2020.
    • Tierpark Zoo feeds camels with leftover Christmas trees in Berlin, Germany, 3 January 2020.
    • Supporters of the Communist Party of India-Marxist (CPI-M) block a passenger train during an anti-government protest rally organised as part of a nationwide strike by various trade unions in Kolkata, India, 8 January 2020.
    • The winners of the Kazan's sleighs festival in Russia.
    • Venezuelan opposition leader and self-proclaimed interim President Juan Guaido shouts while surrounded by journalists on his way to the National Assembly in Caracas on 7 January 2020.
    • People observe a protest against a new citizenship law from a bus in New Delhi, India, 3 January 2020.
    • Siberian husky dogs participating in sledge dog racing in Russia.
    • 77th Golden Globe Awards - Arrivals - Beverly Hills, California, US, 5 January 2020 - Scarlett Johansson.
    • Participants of Russian cultural events held at the premises of a church in Nikolskoye village, Russia.
    © AFP 2019 / Andrew Caballero-Reynolds
    Anti-war activists protest in front of the White House in Washington, DC, on 4 January 2020. Demonstrators are protesting the US drone attack that killed Iran's Major General Qasem Soleimani in Iraq on 3 January, a dramatic escalation in the spiralling tensions between Iran and the US, which has pledged to send thousands more troops to the region.

    It's been just slightly more than a week since the third decade of this millennium kicked off, but even in this short period of time a whole lot of events have occurred, albeit many of them quite tragic.

    Getting off to a good start is not something that comes to mind when you think of the beginning of the year 2020, which has been marked by a series of tragic events, including the killing of Iranian top general by US forces that stoked fears of a global war, followed by a plane crash in Iran that claimed the lives of 176 people. To make things worse, Australia is engulfed in deadly flames that show no sign of receding.

    However, there is always a ray of hope in even the most dire of situations and this year has had its merits, too.

    Want to know what they are? Check out Sputnik's photo gallery!

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    Golden Globe, Australia, Qasem Soleimani, crash, Iran
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