It was a year filled with news stories that shaped the conversation on terrorism, war, horrific accidents, politics, privacy and much more. TNN takes a look back at the most important days of 2014.
It started with the death of a toddler in Guinea on 6 December 2013, then spiralled out of control to become the deadliest outbreak of Ebola on record. The largest outbreak to date is the ongoing epidemic in West Africa, which is centred in Guinea, Sierra Leone and Liberia. On 8 August the WHO declared the epidemic to be an international public health emergency. As of 18 December Ebola had infected 19,078 people, resulting in 7,413 deaths.
Ebola brought death to thousands of people (photo: independent)
Malaysia Airlines Flight 370 was a scheduled international passenger flight that disappeared while flying from Kuala Lumpur to Beijing. Flight 370 was carrying 227 passengers from 15 nations and 12 Malaysian crew members and. Despite a massive search, neither the plane nor those on board were ever found. By tragic coincidence, another Malaysian flight crashed on 17 July, killing all 283 passengers and 15 crew on board. But this time the crash, 40 km from the Ukraine-Russia border, was clearly explained: the plane was shot down by pro-Russian separatists using surface-to-air missiles fired from the territory which they controlled.
A distraught relative of a passenger aboard Malaysian Flight 370 (photo: Reuters)
A woman wipes her tears after walking out of the reception centre and holding area for family and friends of passengers aboard the missing Malaysia Airlines commercial jet, at Kuala Lumpur International Airport in Sepang, outside Kuala Lumpur (photo: Reuters)
Russia effectively annexed and administered Crimea after the military intervention and forcible acquisition of most of the Crimean Peninsula, internationally recognised as part of the Ukraine, into the Russian Federation.
Fire and smoke engulf a workers union building in Odessa in the Ukraine (photo: Reuters)
Police officers detain a protester in central Manezhnaya Square in Moscow during an unsanctioned rally against Russia’s military invasion of Crimea (photo: mvoanews)
Russia invades the Crimean Peninsula (photo: Reuters)
In a bold night-time raid, 276 female students were kidnapped from the Government Secondary School in the town of Chibok in Borno State in Nigeria. Responsibility for the kidnappings was claimed by Boko Haram, an Islamist Jihadist and terrorist organisation based in northeast Nigeria, to worldwide condemnation.
Demonstrations in Lagos and beyond protested the kidnapping of hundreds of girls by the extremist Nigerian group Boko Haram (photo: Reuters)
The sinking of the South Korean Sewol ferry occurred en route from Incheon to Jeju. It capsised while carrying 476 people, mostly secondary school students. In all, 304 passengers died in the disaster. The captain, Lee Joon-Seok, was acquitted of murder, avoiding a death sentence, but was sentenced to 36 years in jail on 11 November for his role in the maritime disaster.
A South Korea Coast Guard helicopter flies over the capsised South Korean ferry Sewol (photo: japantimes)
An army doctor attends to one of the parents whose children were aboard the Sewol (photo: johnib)
Narendra Damodardas Modi became the 15th prime minister of India, the country’s first prime minister born after the country’s independence.
India’s new Prime Minister Narendra Modi (photo: thebusinessrank)
The highly festive and exceptionally successful 2014 World Cup in Brazil, the 20th edition, was won by German on 13 July after it defeated Argentina 1-0 in the final in overtime.
Germany scored the winning goal against Argentina in the final of the 2014 World Cup played in Brazil (photo: sevenpillarsinstitute)
The Islamic State, which claims religious, political and military authority over all Muslims worldwide, and which became widely known for its violent propaganda, including Internet videos of beheadings, proclaimed itself a caliphate and Abu Bakr Al-Baghdadi was named its caliph. IS captured large parts of Iraq and Syria, killing thousands along the way. On 8 August the United States started to bomb IS targets in Iraq. Starting on 23 September the US, Bahrain, Jordan, Qatar, Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates began airstrikes against IS targets in Syria.
Islamic State captured large swathes of territory in Iraq and Syria (photo: cfr)
Israel’s seven-week military operation which it designated Operation Protective Edge in the Hamas-ruled Gaza Strip killed more than 2,200 people, the vast majority of them Palestinians, including 519 children. Sixty-six Israeli soldiers and five Israeli civilians died.
Israel’s summer assault on Gaza wrought death and destruction on a mammoth scale (photo: rebloggy)
A series of protests and civil disorder began after the fatal shooting of unarmed teenager Michael Brown in Ferguson, Missouri. After a grand jury decided on 24 November not to indict the police officer who shot Brown the unrest spread to several US cities as demonstrators decried a string of black unarmed men gunned down by white policemen.
Demonstrators protest the killing of teenager Michael Brown outside Greater St Marks Family Church in St Louis (photo: time)
Police begin arresting dozens of protesters on West Florissant Avenue after they refused to leave the area in Ferguson after a white police officer fatally shot Brown, an unarmed black 18-year old, in the St Louis suburb (AP Photo/Atlanta Journal-Constitution, Curtis Compton) (photo: japantimes)
Internationally acclaimed American actor and comedian Robin Williams, who for decades brought so much joy to people the world over, committed suicide at his home in California at the age of 63. Williams had hanged himself with a belt and died from asphyxiation. His doctors reportedly believed that dementia was the critical factor that led to the star’s death. Williams had battled depression and substance abuse throughout his life.
Robin Williams’ suicide shocked the world (photo: fyitelevision)
The Internet was abuzz after a collection of almost 500 private pictures of various celebrities, mostly women, and with many containing nudity, had been stolen and posted on various websites. Jennifer Lawrence and Kate Upton were among those who confirmed the photos’ authenticity. Hackers are believed to have conducted a sophisticated and targeted attack on Apple’s iCloud service to obtain the material.
Stolen personal photos of Jennifer Lawrence (L) and Kate Upton (R) created an Internet storm and heated debate on the invasion of privacy (photo: beautyworldnews)
Oscar Pistorius, the South African double leg amputee who ran in the 2012 Summer Olympics, received a five-year prison sentence for culpable homicide after he fatally shot his girlfriend, Reeva Steenkamp, in his Pretoria home in February 2013. He said he had mistaken Steenkamp for an intruder.
Oscar Pistorius weeps in court (photo: nytimes)
The Taliban attacked an army-run school, killing 141 people, including 132 children.