JANUARY * South African troops drove back SWAPO guerrillas during a major offensive into Angola Dec. 6-Jan. 5. The UN Security Council condemned the drive Jan. 6. Two days later, South Africa began a partial withdrawal of its troops.
* Labor unrest swept across France Jan. 1-31 as auto workers, farmers, and shipbuilders struck to protest government austerity measures.
* Tamil terrorists and hunger strikers demanded Tamil autonomy in Sri Lanka as Sinhalese-Tamil amity talks opened Jan. 10.
* Chad's warring factions fought on. The Organization of African Unity abandoned efforts to hold peace talks between the factions Jan. 13. But French Foreign Minister Claude Cheysson began a peace mission to North Africa Jan. 31 after Chad's Libyan-backed insurgents downed a French jet Jan. 25. FEBRUARY
* The Lebanese government almost collapsed Feb. 5-15 as Muslim militiamen expanded their control over Beirut and Lebanese President Amin Gemayel's Cabinet resigned. Britain withdrew its peace-keeping forces and US warships began shelling Syrian-held positions Feb. 8. President Gemayel agreed Feb. 15 to a Saudi Arabian peace plan that included the renunciation of Lebanon's 1983 troop withdrawal accord with Israel. The US marines began their withdrawal to ships offshore Feb. 17 and Italy removed its troops Feb. 20.
* Sikh-Hindu violence erupted anew Feb. 8-22 in India's Punjab.
* Soviet leader Yuri Andropov died Feb. 9.
* Iran launched a ground offensive and Iraq stepped up attacks on ships in the Persian Gulf Feb. 11-16.
* Konstantin Chernenko became general secretary of the USSR Feb. 13. He became president of the Presidium of the Supreme Soviet April 14.
* French labor unrest grew Feb. 16-22 as coal miners protested job cuts and protesting truckers blockaded roadways.
* Roman Catholicism lost its status as Italy's state religion when Italy and the Vatican signed a concordat Feb. 18.
* Pierre Trudeau announced Feb 29 that he would resign after more than 15 years as Canada's prime minister. He was replaced as prime minister June 30 by John Turner. MARCH
* The removal of crucifixes from their classrooms prompted Polish college students to stage a sit-in March 7. A compromise that allowed crucifixes to be displayed in school dormitories and libraries was reached April 6.
* British coal miners started March 12 what has become the longest strike in the history of British industrial relations. The strike was called to protest the National Coal Board's plan to close 20 unprofitable mines and to lay off 20, 000 of Britain's 180,000 miners.
* Leaders of Lebanon's warring factions met in Lausanne, Switzerland, for reconciliation talks March 12-20. They called a nationwide cease-fire March 13 but did not reach an accord.
* Mozambique and South Africa signed a nonaggression pact on March 16 after a month of talks. APRIL
* The Punjab was declared ''dangerously disturbed'' by the Indian government April 3. Two days later, the government announced a security measure that provided for detention without trial.
* Mikhail Gorbachev rose April 14 to a key Soviet foreign affairs post once held by Chernenko.
* A British policewoman was killed April 17 by an unknown gunman who fired from the Libyan embassy in London. Britain broke diplomatic relations with Libya and British police began searching the evacuated embassy April 30.
* Britain would give up its role in Hong Kong when its lease on most of the territory expires in 1997, British Foreign Secretary Geoffrey Howe announced April 20.
* Massive demonstrations against US missile deployments occurred throughout Western Europe April 20-23. Some 200,000 West Germans participated. A week earlier, 250,000 Australians held demonstrations for nuclear disarmament.
* 30,000 Soviet troops failed to rout Afghan guerrillas in an offensive launched April 21. The rebels remained active throughout Afghanistan, not least in the valleys surrounding the Panjshair Valley.
* South Africa said its troops would stay in Angola April 25 when Cuba refused to withdraw its troops and Angola refused to bar SWAPO from using Angola as a base for incursions into Namibia.
* Former Prime Minister Rashid Karami accepted Lebanese President Gemayel's April 26 invitation to form a ''unity'' cabinet, which met for the first time on May 10. MAY
* Soviet physicist Andrei Sakharov began a hunger strike May 2 to demand medical treatment abroad for his wife, Yelena Bonner.
* Ulster's ''troubles'' were addressed by the New Ireland Forum report issued May 2. The report assessed three options for solving the Ulster problem - a unitary Irish state, a federation, or joint Irish-British sovereignty.
* Jose Napoleon Duarte won the runoff elections May 6 for El Salvador's presidency.
* Philippine elections for a National Assembly May 14 left President Ferdinand Marcos in power, but the opposition made deep inroads into his party's majority.
* One of West Germany's longest strikes began when some 13,000 metal workers failed to win a 35-hour workweek through negotiations. The strike ended in early July, when the workers settled for a 38.5-hour week. JUNE
* The Indian Army stormed the Golden Temple, the holiest shrine in the Sikh religion, June 5-6. Four days earlier, the Indian government had cordoned off the temple and declared the Punjab off limits to all foreigners. The temple was reopened June 25.
* The European Community resolved its dispute over the size of Britain's contribution to the EC's budget June 26.
* West German Economics Minister Otto Lambsdorff resigned June 26 after a Bonn court confirmed he would be tried on corruption charges. He was the first of several public officers accused of receiving illegal party funds from Flick, a West German corporation. JULY
* Peace returned to Beirut temporarily as units of the Lebanese Army began to take control of the city's dividing ''green line'' July 4. The Army began July 28 to dismantle the barricade of burned-out cars that had marked the line.
* The Iran-Iraq war on ships in the Persian Gulf stopped temporarily July 10. A month-long lull ensued.
* David Lange led New Zealand's Labor Party to victory in July 14 general elections. Lange had pledged to ban nuclear warships from New Zealand and to renegotiate the ANZUS military alliance with the US and Australia.
* The Polish government declared an amnesty July 21 that led to the release of 652 political prisoners.
* Israel's elections produced a stalemate June 23 when neither of the two major parties won a clear majority. On Aug. 5, Israeli President Chaim Herzog invited Labor Party leader Shimon Peres to form a government. AUGUST
* Minesweepers converged on the Red Sea Aug. 6-31, when the US, Britain, France, Italy, and the USSR sent ships and helicopters there to find mines that had damaged some 15 ships during July. A Libyan ship was suspected of laying the mines.
* Iraq resumed raids on commercial vessels in the Persian Gulf Aug. 7, ending a month-long lull.
* Libya and Morocco formed a loose political union Aug. 13 when Libya's Col. Muammar Qaddafi and King Hassan II of Morocco signed the Treaty of Qudja. The union stirred concern among some Western nations, especially the US, which has close ties to Morocco.
* Indian and Colored South Africans voted Aug. 22 and 28 for a new tri-racial South African Parliament, which gives people of mixed race (''Coloreds'') and Indians a limited role in government for the first time. The elections were boycotted, however, and only about 18 percent of the Indian and Colored electorate cast votes.
* Fighting returned to Beirut Aug. 26. It was the first fighting between Army troops and Muslim militiamen since a security plan took effect July 4. SEPTEMBER
* The Vatican criticized liberation theology Sept. 3. The theology, which stresses social and economic justice for the world's poor, is expounded by some priests and nuns in the third world. The Vatican condemned Marxist elements in the theology.
* Riots erupted in four South African black townships Sept. 2, one day before the new South African Constitution came into effect.
* Canadians turned conservative ending nearly 15 years of Liberal rule Sept. 4 when they voted overwhelmingly for the Progressive Conservatives led by Brian Mulroney, ousting John Turner.
* East tried to meet West in proposed visits to West Germany planned by East German leader Erich Honecker and Bulgarian leader Todor Zhivkov. The proposed visits were harshly criticized by the Soviet press and were canceled on Sept. 4 and 9, respectively.
* Soviet leader Chernenko reappeared Sept. 5 after a seven-week absence from public view, quieting rumors that he was ill.
* Israel's Labor and Likud, with some smaller parties, formed a coalition government that won parliament's approval Sept. 14. Under a power-sharing agreement, Labor leader Peres became prime minister for the first 25 months of the government's 50-month term, while Likud leader Yitzhak Shamir became deputy prime minister and foreign minister. The leaders were scheduled to switch roles for the second 25 months.
* Jewish West Bank settlers accused of terrorism went on trial Sept. 16.
* South African Bishop Desmond Tutu won the Nobel Peace Prize Sept. 17.
* A vehicle laden with explosives destroyed most of the US Embassy annex in east Beirut Sept. 20, killing at least 14 people. A terrorist group, Islamic Jihad, claimed responsibility for the suicide attack.
* France began withdrawing troops from Chad Sept. 25 after reaching an agreement with Libya Sept. 17 for a simultaneous military pullout.
* Jordan restored diplomatic relations with Egypt Sept. 25.
* Hong Kong after 1997 will retain a measure of autonomy, according to an agreement initialed by China and Britain Sept. 25.
* Italian police began arresting scores of Mafia leaders Sept. 29 in one of the most sweeping anti-Mafia operations ever conducted in Italy. OCTOBER
* Mozambique and South African-backed rebels called a cease-fire Oct. 3.
* British Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher was nearly assassinated Oct. 12 when a bomb planted by IRA terrorists exploded in the hotel where she was staying during a Conservative Party meeting.
* Salvadorean government and rebel leaders met in La Palma, El Salvador, Oct. 15 for talks on ending the country's five-year-old civil war.
* Argentina and Chile initialed a treaty Oct. 18 to end a border dispute over the Beagle Channel, a waterway located at the southern tip of South America. Settlement of the dispute, over which the two countries almost went to war in 1978, was preceded by a Jan. 23 declaration of peace and amity between the two countries.
* A version of freer enterprise caught on in China Oct. 20, when the People's Republic announced economic reforms that would introduce market forces into urban economies.
* Widespread famine in Ethiopia was brought to the Western world's attention when graphic BBC film footage of starving Ethiopians was broadcast in Britain and the US in mid-October.
* Philippine Chief of Staff Gen. Fabian Ver was implicated Oct. 23 in a majority report on the 1983 slaying of opposition leader Benigno S. Aquino Jr. General Ver began a leave of absense Oct. 24.
* Pro-Solidarity priest Jerzy Popieluszko was kidnapped Oct. 19 and killed. Three members of the Polish security police forces were later charged with the murder and a colonel was accused Nov. 30 of directing the conspiracy.
* Indian Prime Minister Indira Gandhi was assassinated Oct. 31 by two Sikh members of her bodyguard. Her son Rajiv was sworn in as her successor within hours. During the week of anti-Sikh violence that followed, at least 1,000 people died. NOVEMBER
* Stalin's daughter returned to the USSR, it was learned Nov. 2, 17 years after she defected to the West. Svetlana Alliluyeva was one of several Soviet defectors to the West who returned to the USSR during the autumn of 1984.
* Israel tried to cool an annual inflation rate that was soaring above 500 percent when the Cabinet approved a wage-price freeze Nov. 2.
* Antigovernment protests swelled in South Africa Nov. 5 as thousands of workers and students boycotted jobs and schools.
* The ruling Sandinistas won the first elections held in Nicaragua in 10 years. Several key opposition political groups refused to participate, charging harassment and lack of campaign freedoms.
* Chilean President Augusto Pinochet imposed a state of siege in Chile Nov. 6 for the first time in six years following a wave of national protests.
* Israeli and Lebanese negotiators began talks Nov. 8 on an Israeli withdrawal from southern Lebanon.
* Libyan troops remained in Chad, French intelligence reports said Nov. 19, confirming earlier US reports. Libya had promised to withdraw the troops in a Sept. 25 agreement. The report was a political embarrassment to French President Francois Mitterrand, who had met with Libya's Col. Qaddafi on Cyprus on Nov. 15.
* US-Soviet arms talks were set for 1985, the US and USSR announced on Nov. 22. The nations said they would meet early in the new year for talks on the whole range of nuclear and space-based arms.
* UNESCO will lose Britain, too, London announced Nov. 22, unless it starts getting ''value for money'' from the UN Educational, Scientific, and Cultural Organization. The US announced Dec. 19 that it was definitely going ahead with its withdrawal from UNESCO by the year's end.
* France sped up New Caledonian self-determination Nov. 24, attempting to halt a new wave of violence between French police forces and native Melanesians.
* Military-ruled Uruguay held popular elections Nov. 25, paving the way for a return to civilian rule. If Gen. Gregorio Alvarez Armellino steps down as planned on March 1, 1985, Uruguay will become the eighth Latin American nation since 1980 to move from military to civilian rule. DECEMBER
* The ''Ten'' made way for two more Dec. 2-4 when the 10 members of the European Community tentatively agreed to let Spain and Portugal enter the Community next year.
* Grenada steered to the middle of the road in elections held Dec. 3. Centrist Herbert Blaise's New National Party won the first elections held in Grenada for eight years.
* Toxic gas killed at least 2,000 Indians Dec. 3 when it leaked from a pesticide plant partly owned by Union Carbide in Bhopal, India. The incident was one of the largest industrial accidents in history.
* China diluted Marx Dec. 7 when a front-page editorial in the People's Daily stated that some of Karl Marx's ideas were ''no longer suited'' to China's present-day problems.
* India goes to the polls Dec. 24, 27, and 28 as Prime Minister Rajiv Gandhi seeks his first national mandate.