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2021 in pictures: From the Capitol to Cop26, the Euros to Indiana Jones

Thousands take to the streets of Glasgow for Cop26 demonstrations
Thousands take to the streets of Glasgow for Cop26 demonstrations

2021 was another year of ups and downs across the world as the pandemic continued to change the way we live our lives.

Covid vaccines, the slow easing of restrictions and even the simple return of hugging loved ones led to a summer of hope that the worst was over after a bleak winter.

But by the end of the year, rising cases and the Omicron variant meant curtailed festive celebrations again – albeit in much better shape than last year.

Outwith the pandemic, the aftermath of Donald Trump’s presidency rumbled on, a ship blocked the Suez Canal and Afghanistan fell once again to the Taliban.

It was another year, too, of people taking to the streets and making their voices heard in support of refugees, women’s safety and action on climate change.

That final issue put Scotland at the centre of the world in November when the Cop26 environmental summit came to Glasgow with tens of thousands of demonstrators, delegates and world leaders in attendance.

In the world of sport, there were historic moments and the sad loss of legends. There was Scottish sporting success at the Olympics and the Tartan Army got to enjoy the Euro 2020 atmosphere, if not so much the results.

Here, we take a look back on some of the defining images across news, sport and entertainment from the past year.

© Carol Guzy/ZUMA Wire/Shutterstock
Supporters of Donald Trump storm the Capitol, Washington DC, in January in a bid to overturn his election defeat (Pic: Carol Guzy/ZUMA Wire/Shutterstock)
© Lev Radin/Pacific Press/Shutterstock
Rioters clash with police trying to enter Capitol building through the front doors. The insurrection came as Congress formalised Joe Biden’s victory. The building was occupied, vandalised and looted before Trump was eventually forced to tell rioters to go home and police cleared them out (Pic: Lev Radin/Pacific Press/Shutterstock)
© PA
Prince Harry and Meghan Markle are interviewed by Oprah Winfrey in a TV special. The couple revealed all about their decision to step down as working royals, mental health struggles and their relationship with the rest of the royal family. (Pic: Joe Pugliese/Harpo Productions/PA Wire)
© PA
A vigil is held for Sarah Everard in Clapham Common after she was murdered by police officer Wayne Couzens. The Metropolitan Police were criticised for their handling of the gathering after officers clashed with crowds and made several arrests when trying to disperse people (Pic: Victoria Jones/PA Wire)
© MAXAR TECHNOLOGIES HANDOUT/EPA-E
The cargo ship Ever Given blocks the Suez Canal for several days in March, preventing hundreds of ships from passing through and causing delays in supply chains across the world
© PA
The Queen sits alone at the funeral of her husband, Prince Philip, due to Covid restrictions. The Duke of Edinburgh died on April 9 at the age of 99 (Pic: Yui Mok/PA Wire)
The SSE Hydro is being used as a mass vaccination centre © NHS Louisa Jordan / Twitter
The Hydro arena in Glasgow is transformed into a mass vaccination centre. Appointments at the giant hub began in April and thousands would get their jabs there across spring and summer (Pic: NHS Louisa Jordan / Twitter)
© SNS Group
St Johnstone lift the Scottish Cup in May, their second trophy of a historic season having already triumphed in the Betfred Cup (Pic: Craig Williamson / SNS Group)
© Andrew Cawley
First Minister Nicola Sturgeon congratulates new Glasgow Kelvin MSP Kaukab Stewart after May’s election. She was the first woman of colour to be elected to Holyrood, followed later in the day by Pam Gosal of the Scottish Conservatives (Pic: Andrew Cawley)
© PA
Demonstrators block a Home Office immigration enforcement van from removing two men from their residence on Kenmure Street in Glasgow. As activists grew in numbers, and after an eight-hour stand-off, the men were released at the request of Police Scotland (Pic: PA)
© AP
Former Minneapolis police officer Derek Chauvin listens as the verdict is read in his trial for the 2020 murder of George Floyd. He was sentenced to 22 and a half years in prison (Pic: Court TV via AP, Pool)
© Andrew Cawley
Rangers fans gather in George Square, Glasgow, after Steven Gerrard’s side lifted the league title. Fans congregated at Ibrox before marching into the city centre after the trophy presentation. The procession was condemned for breaching Covid restrictions and the disorder and damage that followed later in the day (Pic: Andrew Cawley)
© Kieran Cleeves/PA Wire
More crowded scenes as the Tartan Army takes over London as Scotland play England at Wembley in Euro 2020. It was Scotland’s first appearance at a major tournament since 1998 (Pic: Kieran Cleeves/PA Wire)
© Facundo Arrizabalaga/AP/Shutterstock
Billy Gilmour waves to the fans after being named man of the match against England. The 0-0 draw was to be the tournament highlight for Steve Clarke’s side, who lost to the Czech Republic and Croatia (Pic: Facundo Arrizabalaga/AP/Shutterstock)
© PA
A digital mural of England players Marcus Rashford, Jadon Sancho and Bukayo Saka in Manchester, which appeared after the trio faced racist abuse following defeat in the Euro 2020 final (Pic: PA)
© Ross Crae
Azamara Quest, one of three cruise ships laid-up in Glasgow during the pandemic, leaves the Clyde in July. The giant liners had become part of the city skyline (Pic: Ross Crae)
© PA
Glasgow is transformed as filming begins on the new Indiana Jones movie. The city centre appears to be doubling as 1960s New York for the blockbuster (Pic: PA)
© PA
Scots swimmer Duncan Scott becomes the first British athlete to win four medals in a single Olympics. The games in Tokyo were held without fans due to the pandemic (Pic: Joe Giddens/PA Wire)
© PA
First Minister Nicola Sturgeon (centre) and Scottish Green Party co-leaders Patrick Harvie (left) and Lorna Slater (right) at Bute House after agreeing a co-operation deal that saw Harvie and Slater become government ministers (Pic: Jeff J Mitchell / PA)
© U S Air Force/UPI/Shutterstock
A military plane full of refugees at Kabul airport after the withdrawal of troops from the US, UK and other nations in August. Thousands of Afghans attempted to flee as the Taliban swiftly took over the country again (Pic: US Air Force/UPI/Shutterstock)
© Corey Sipkin/UPI/Shutterstock
Emma Raducanu wins the US Open aged just 18. She was the first qualifier to make it all the way to a Grand Slam Title and the first British woman to win a major since Virginia Wade at Wimbledon in 1977 (Pic: Corey Sipkin/UPI/Shutterstock)
© AP
Scotland’s T20 cricket team make history by beating Bangladesh at the World Cup, the first time they’d progressed past the first round (Pic: AP Photo/Kamran Jebreili)
Greta Thunberg arrives at Glasgow Central train station ahead of the Cop26 summit in November. The Swedish climate activist drew huge crowds as demonstrators and delegates descended on Scotland (Pic: Andrew Milligan/PA Wire)
© Supplied by Nicola Sturgeon/ Twi
Nicola Sturgeon presents Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez with a can of Irn Bru at Cop26 after the US congresswoman tweeted about wanting to try the drink
© PA
As Cop26 delegates met at the SEC in Glasgow, tens of thousands of people made their voices heard across numerous marches (Pic: PA)
Police escort Cop26 demonstrators dressed as Pikachu. Security was tight around the conference venue, with officers drafted in from across the UK (Pic: Jane Barlow/PA Wire)
© PA
Alok Sharma raises his hands as an agreement is reached at Cop26. Nearly 200 countries agreed to keep the aim of 1.5C of warming alive after two weeks of talks but many believe it didn’t go far enough (Pic: PA)
© NEWSLINE MEDIA LIMITED
A reminder of the damage that the climate crisis can bring as Storm Arwen hits Scotland in November (Pic: Derek Ironside / NEWSLINE MEDIA)
A minute’s silence is held in memory of Walter Smith and Bertie Auld ahead of Scotland’s match against Denmark in November. Former Rangers and Scotland boss Smith died in October aged 73, while Celtic legend and Lisbon Lion Auld passed away in November aged 83  (Pic: Craig Williamson / SNS Group)
© ITV News / YouTube
In footage leaked to ITV News, Boris Johnson’s spokeswoman Allegra Stratton laughs and jokes about a staff Christmas party held in Downing Street last year when the UK was in lockdown. She later resigned. The gatherings were among a number of scandals surrounding Boris Johnson’s government as 2021 drew to a close
© PA
Actress Rose Ayling-Ellis and dance partner Giovanni Pernice triumph in the Strictly Come Dancing final. The final made history with Ayling-Ellis the first deaf winner, defeating the show’s first ever all-male pairing (Pic: PA)