President Obama
Associated Press/Photo by Carolyn Kaster
President Obama

2013 timeline

2013 News of the Year

Issue: "2013 News of the Year," Jan. 11, 2014


Jan. 1: Congress approves a fiscal cliff deal, with President Obama signing the American Taxpayer Relief Act of 2012 into law the next day. 

Jan. 4: The Church of England says gay priests in civil partnerships can become bishops if they remain celibate.

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Jan. 6: The National Hockey League and its Players Association reach a collective bargaining agreement, which league owners and players then ratify, ending a 113-day lockout.

Jan. 8: An Open Doors report states that during 2012, Christians in North Korea suffered the most persecution in the world for the 11th straight year.

Jan. 9: The Department of Agriculture declares 597 counties in 14 states disaster areas due to ongoing drought and heat.

Jan. 14: Lance Armstrong, during an Oprah Winfrey interview, admits to doping.

Jan. 15: Inspectors discover horse meat in frozen beef burgers sold in Irish and British supermarkets, and later find it in Ikea meatballs, sparking massive recalls.

Jan. 15: Two explosions rock a university in Aleppo, Syria, killing more than 80 students.

Jan. 16: Al Qaeda–linked terrorists attack and take control of a natural gas field in southern Algeria. At least 37 civilians die during the four-day siege.

Jan. 16: LeBron James, 28, becomes the youngest player in NBA history to score 20,000 points.

Jan. 17: The United States officially recognizes Somalia for the first time in more than 20 years.

Jan. 20: President Obama takes the oath of office for his second term.

Jan. 24: North Korea warns it will conduct a third nuclear test and aim more rocket launches at the United States. 

Jan. 24: The U.S. military lifts its ban on women serving in front-line combat.


Feb. 1: The Dow closes above 14,000 for the first time since October 2007.

Feb. 3: In a Super Bowl set in New Orleans that included a midgame power outage, the Baltimore Ravens beat the San Francisco 49ers, 34-31.

Feb. 8: Terrorists (probably Boko Haram) murder nine female polio vaccinators at health centers in northern Nigeria. 

Feb 8: Officials from Christian World Adoption say the agency is closing immediately. Another agency, Adoption ARK, also closes in February. 

Feb. 9: A record blizzard buries the Northeast.

Feb. 10: The arrest of four Christian foreigners for proselytizing in Benghazi marks the beginning of another wave of oppression and violence against Christians in Libya.

Feb. 12: North Korea conducts a third nuclear test.

Feb. 15: A meteorite explodes over Russia, raining down fireballs and causing a shock wave that damages buildings and injures more than 1,000 people.

Feb. 21: A massive car bomb explodes in Damascus, killing dozens of people. Three more attacks make this one of the deadliest days of the Syrian civil war.

Feb. 24: Argo wins the best picture award at the Oscars.

Feb. 25: South Korea's first female president, Park Geun-hye, takes the oath of office.

Feb. 28: A sinkhole swallows a Florida man and much of his house. 

Feb. 28: Pope Benedict XVI resigns, marking the first time a pope has resigned since Gregory XII in 1415. 


March 3: Scientists announce that early drug intervention appears to have cured a Mississippi baby born with HIV.

March 6: Arkansas lawmakers, overriding Gov. Mike Beebe's veto, pass a law prohibiting most abortions after 12 weeks' gestation. (A judge later issues an injunction against the law.) A federal judge rules Idaho's fetal pain law unconstitutional.

March 7: The UN approves new sanctions against North Korea, which once again threatens to attack the United States.

March 8: A mob sets fire to the Christian community of Joseph Colony in Lahore, Pakistan, burning 100 homes and forcing residents to flee.

March 11: A state judge blocks New York City from instituting a ban on selling large sugary drinks.

March 13: The papal conclave elects Argentina's Jorge Bergoglio as the new pope. Pope Francis is the first Latin American pope.

March 15: A federal judge strikes down portions of a Missouri law that give employers and employees with religious objections exemptions from Obamacare's contraceptive mandate.

March 20-22: President Obama makes his first presidential visit to Israel.

March 22: North Dakota lawmakers become the first in the nation to approve a personhood amendment. The state's voters will have their say in November 2014.

March 24: Rebels overthrow the French-backed Central African Republic. 

March 26: North Dakota Gov. Jack Dalrymple signs into law a measure that bans abortions once a fetal heartbeat is "detectable." (A judge later delays the law from taking effect.)


April 2: Flash flooding in Argentina leaves at least 54 people dead and destroys thousands of homes.


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