Monday 26 September 2016

Top ten most read world news stories on Independent.ie in 2015

Published 31/12/2015 | 00:00

Screengrab from reconstruction
Screengrab from reconstruction
Experts comb the debris of the Germanwings jet at the crash site near Seyne-les-Alpes, France. (AP)
Madeleine McCann, who disappeared aged three.
Woman hangs by her fingertips during the terror attack at the Bataclan in Paris Photo: Le Monde

We take a look at the year that was in world news, and what grabbed Independent.ie readers' attention during 2015.

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10. Germanwings crash: Investigators make 'significant discovery' in co-pilot Andreas Lubitz's home

In what was one of the most read stories of the year, the revelation that pilot Andreas Lubitz suffered from depression was what got readers most interested in March.

Matthias Gebauer, chief correspondent for the online edition of German newspaper Der Spiegel, newspaper, tweeted: "Schoolmates of co-pilot who crashed tell German reporters he took six-months break from flight training in 2009 due to burnout-syndrome."

READ MORE: Germanwings pilot Andreas Lubitz 'suffered from depression' before he deliberately destroyed the plane  

 

9. 'Irish' tourist takes on angry mob of Turkish shopkeepers

An action-packed video of a man described as an 'Irish tourist' street-fighting a mob of angry shopkeepers surfaced in Turkey.

In the video the man, wearing a t-shirt with an Irish flag, can be seen entering a convenience shop in Istanbul, and accidentally knocking several bottles of water from their display.

READ MORE: WATCH: 'Irish' tourist takes on angry mob of Turkish shopkeepers  

 

8. Married father-of-three caught on CCTV sexually assaulting horse in hour-long attack jailed

A married father of three caught on CCTV sexually assaulting a horse in an attack lasting more than an hour was jailed.

Former removals worker Alan Blackman, 31, of no fixed address, pleaded guilty to trespass with the intent to commit a sexual offence and attempted intercourse with a horse after the animal was found injured at farm stables in Redenhall, Norfolk, on August 6.

Blackman was sentenced at Norwich Crown Court as his wife, Sarah, 25, sat in the public gallery.

7. Madeleine McCann: UK Police contact Australia Police over body of child found in suitcase

Police officers investigating missing Madeleine McCann contacted Australian authorities over their discovery of a young girl's remains in a suitcase, Scotland Yard said.

The decomposed body of a young, fair-haired girl aged between two and four, who was killed in at least 2007, was discovered in a suitcase next to a remote motorway in Wynarka near Adelaide in South Australia, local police said.

READ MORE: Madeleine McCann: UK Police contact Australia Police over body of child found in suitcase  

 

6. Paris terror attacks: What we know about the seven separate incidents so far

There have been six shooting incidents in Paris in what appears to be a co-ordinated terrorist attack by up to 12 gunmen. At least three terrorists took more than 100 people hostage in a hall where a music concert was being held. Some 118 people were killed at the Bataclan concert hall. Three terrorists were killed in that assault, and police took control of the hall.

In total, some five attackers who were responsible for unleashing horror on Paris, have been killed tonight.

READ MORE: Paris terror attacks: What we know about the seven separate incidents so far  

 

5. Toddler found cuddled up to his mother's body 24 hours after she died in car

A toddler was discovered cuddled up to his dead mother’s body in her car, almost 24 hours after she is believed to have died.

The young boy spent the entire day alone in the parked car with his pregnant mother after she died suddenly at the wheel.

Primary school teacher Alina Roberts (33) collapsed while returning from a trip to a pet farm with her son Benjamin (2) in the back seat, media outlets report.

Alina’s husband raised the alarm when the pair had failed to return home from their day out at the farm.

READ MORE: Toddler found cuddled up to his mother's body 24 hours after she died in car  

 

4. Missing 24-year-old found alive and well 30 years after man confessed to her murder

A 24-year-old woman who went missing from her home in 1984, sparking a 31-year-long murder mystery, was found alive and well.

Computer science student Petra Pazsitka vanished without a trace from her home in Germany three decades ago and was officially declared dead in 1989.

Her disappearance led to an extensive investigation, with nationwide appeals, searches and video reconstructions of her last known actions.

READ MORE: Missing 24-year-old found alive and well 30 years after man confessed to her murder  

 

3.  Child abuser has sentence halved as judges rule six-year-old victim 'was gay'

Two Argentine judges were under fire after cutting the sentence of a paedophile in half on the grounds that his six-year-old victim was gay.

Describing the now 11-year-old as having a “homosexual orientation”, appeal court judges Horacio Piombo and Benjamín Sal Llargués decided to cut the prison sentence for Mario Tolosa from six years to three, as they felt his victim was “accustomed to sexual behaviour” following years of abuse by his father.

“It cannot be considered abuse when a boy is used to being abused in his home and is accustomed to sexual behaviour and has a homosexual orientation,” they said in their ruling.

READ MORE: Child abuser has sentence halved as judges rule six-year-old victim 'was gay'

 

2.  Almost 500 cases of female genital mutilation identified in just one month in English hospitals

Almost 500 newly identified cases of female genital mutilation (FGM) were reported by hospitals across England in one month, according to figures released back in January of this year.

An average of 15 cases were discovered each day in November 2014, according to data published by the Health and Social Care Information Centre (HSCIC).

In November 2014 466 cases of FGM were identified; while in October 2014, the first month such figures were compiled, 455 cases were reported. The figures for December are expected this week.

Despite the apparently high number of FGM cases, no one has yet been convicted for the practice, which has been illegal in the UK since 1985.

READ MORE: Almost 500 cases of female genital mutilation identified in just one month in English hospitals  

 

1.  Paedophile teacher immortalised in school memorial with the words 'He touched us all'

An elite boys' school in Sydney paid tribute to a teacher dubbed a "notorious molester" with an inscription on its memorial gates that read "he touched us all".

Knox Grammar School in Wahroonga, Sydney, paid tribute to its former art teacher Bruce Barrett with the inappropriate memorial despite his convictions for sexually assaulting students during his time at the school.

Former Knox Grammar School student Scott Ashton told an Australia's royal commission he was deeply confused by the memorial at the school, which is subject of an investigation into its response to sexual abuse allegations.

The memorial inscription pays tribute to the predatory teacher who was convicted of five counts of indecent assault and two accounts of sexual assault in 2009.

READ MORE: Paedophile teacher immortalised in school memorial with the words 'He touched us all'  

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