Images from the year 2003
Iraq dominated world politics, from the highest government levels to sidewalk cafes, in the year 2003. In many nations closely allied to the United States, millions took to the streets to oppose the war in some of the largest demonstrations in history. Much public anger subsided after the fall of Saddam Hussein.
In Europe hopes that the continent would emerge as a great power to rival the United States were dented as angry governments squabbled.
Asia heads into 2004 with two of its bitterest enemies dancing delicately around a novel concept: peace. But while India and Pakistan reach out tentatively to one another, issues ranging from terrorism to SARS to sluggish economies remain the driving concerns across much of the continent.
It was a year that saw peace deals signed in some of Africa's worst wars, and South Africa finally promising to treat AIDS. One of the continent's pariahs -- Liberia's Charles Taylor, the warlord-president behind conflicts that killed a quarter of a million people -- fled. Another, Robert Mugabe of Zimbabwe, made clear he was staying put.
Here are a few images of the world's major events of the year.