Temperatures in July 2019 were the hottest ever recorded globally at an average of 16.75 degrees Celsius (more than 62 Fahrenheit) for the planet, the US National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration announced.
A heatwave in Europe the same month reset several record highs: 42.6 degrees for Paris; 41.5 degrees for Germany; and 38.7 degrees in Britain.
In December, it was Australia’s turn to set a record for its hottest day ever, with an average national maximum temperature of 41.9 degrees Celsius (107.4 Fahrenheit) on December 19, while a scorching heatwave intensified bushfires.
Facebook was in July slapped with the largest ever fine – US$5 billion – imposed on any company for violating consumers’ privacy. Announcing the penalty, the Federal Trade Commission said it was also one of the largest-ever issued by the US government for any violation.
ART AUCTION HIGHS
Amid furious Brexit wrangling, Banksy’s Devolved Parliament painting depicting lawmakers as chimps was sold at auction in October for 11.1 million euros, a record for the British artist. A new auction record for a work by a living artist was set in May when Jeff Koons’ stainless steel Rabbit fetched US$91.1 million.
UNDER TWO HOURS
Kenyan Eliud Kipchoge became the first man to run a marathon distance in under two hours in October when he set a time of 1hr 59min 40.2sec at an unofficial event in Vienna.
Around the weight of a large apple when she was born, Saybie was announced in May by a California hospital to be the world’s smallest baby ever to survive. After discharging her following months of intensive care, the San Diego hospital disclosed that she had been born prematurely in December 2018 weighing a mere 245 grams (8.6 ounces)