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December 5, 2019

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Hot, fast and wild records of 2019

The hottest month, the fastest marathon, the wildest auction prices... here is a look back at 10 records set in 2019:

Temperatures in July 2019 were the hottest ever recorded globally at an average of 16.75 degrees Celsius for the planet, the US National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration announced.

A heatwave in Europe the same month set several record highs: 42.6 degrees for Paris; 41.5 degrees for Germany; and 38.7 degrees in Britain.

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.

Chinese consumers spent a record US$38.3 billion on Alibaba platforms in the annual 24-hour Singles Day buying spree on November 11. It was a jump of 26 percent from the previous record a year earlier

Amid furious Brexit wrangling, Banksy’s “Devolved Parliament” painting of lawmakers as chimps was sold at auction in October for 11.1 million euros (US$12.3 million), 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.

Kenyan Eliud Kipchoge became the first man to run the marathon in under two hours in October setting a time of 1hr 59min 40.2sec at an unofficial event in Vienna.

US gymnastics star Simone Biles scooped five gold medals in October to take her World Championship medal haul to a record 25, topping the 23 won by men’s star Vitaly Scherbo of Belarus in the 1990s.

Nepali mountaineer Nirmal Purj summited all of the world’s 14 highest peaks in just six months and six days over April to October.

That smashed the previous record for the feat of almost eight years.

Qantas completed the longest non-stop passenger flight in October, taking 19 hours and 16 minutes to test a direct route from New York to Sydney.

Just 49 people traveled on the Boeing 787-9 to minimize the weight to allow the plane to travel more than 16,000 kilometers without refueling.

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.

A parking space in Hong Kong’s The Center skyscraper sold in October for a whopping HK$7.6 million (US$970,000), about the price of a one-bedroom apartment in London’s plush Chelsea.


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