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2014's Most Notable Events

As 2014 comes to an end, it’s time to remember the most notable events of that year. From January to December, it has been a turbulent year with many significant events. These are my 24 most noteworthy events of the year:

January: West Africa Ebola Outbreak

2014 in Pictures
Daniel Berehulak

During 2013, there were very few isolated cases in Guinea, but at the beginning of 2014 Ebola rapidly spread to Liberia and Sierra Leone. This has been the worst known outbreak in the disease’ history. The World Health Organization (WHO) estimated that by November, there were 16,000 cases of infection and over 7,000 fatalities.

Everything you need to know about Ebola

February 7: 2014 Winter Olympics in Sochi

2014 in Pictures
Barbara Walton

The 2014 Sochi Winter Olympics began despite a global condemnation of Russia’s harsh crackdown on its gay community. There were significant concerns about Russia being ready to host such a large-scale event, and indeed – the opening ceremony had a few embarrassing mishaps, along with many images of the city of Sochi’s poor state of preparedness, including half-built hotels, open manholes, etc.

The Winter Olypics are Off to a Bad Start

February 24: The beginning of the Ukrainian revolution

2014 in Pictures
Source

When the Pro-Russian president of Ukraine, Viktor Yanukovych, decided to backtrack on Ukraine’s integration into the European Union in favor of closer ties with Russia, the public wouldn’t have it and a violent protest began in November 2013. By February 2014, the protests reached a fever-pitch and became a full revolution, when the president fled the country. (The image shows Kiev’s Independence Square before and during the riots)

March 8: Malaysia Airlines Flight 370 disappears

2014 in Pictures
Reuters

On a routine commercial flight from Kuala Lumpur to Beijing, MH370 disappeared from the radar. Relatives of the 239 passengers were left confused and angry when no answers as to the whereabouts of their family members came from the airline and Malaysian government. An international search was conducted along the flight’s path from the South China Sea to the Indian Ocean and was the largest search in aviation history. Experts claim that it may take years until we discovered what truly happened to MH370…

March 21: Russia annexes Crimea

2014 in Pictures
Reuters

In lieu of the February revolution, Russia refused to accept the political change in Ukraine and moved to secure its military installation in the Crimean Peninsula. A Pro-Russian politician by the name of Sergey Aksyonov seized the local government with the help of armed soldiers and declared himself the new prime minister of the “Autonomous Republic of Crimea”. The Russian-backed move was followed by Russian military forces deploying throughout Crimea and a full annexation of Crimea in March 21.

Crimea - Undisputed Beauty in a Disputed Land

April 2: The beginning of India’s biggest general election

2014 in Pictures
Kevin Frayer

Beginning in April 2, India’s elections took over a month, with 9 phases of voting and over 815 million registered voters. The final phase ended on May 12 and on May 16 the winner was announced to be Narendra Modi, the leader of the Indian nationalist opposition party (Bharatiya Janata Party), with over sixty percent of the seats in the Indian Parliament.

April 14: Abduction of the Nigerian Schoolgirls

2014 in Pictures

Armed terrorists from the Islamic organization Boko Haram attacked an all-girl school in the Nigerian village of Chibok. They gathered 276 teenagers and loaded them onto trucks and drove away to the rural and remote hills on the border with Cameroon. The kidnapping caused a wave of international outrage, with many countries promising to save the kidnaped girls and destroy Boko Haram. Until the end of 2014, only a few of the girls managed to return home, and only because they managed to escape their captors. BringBackOurGirls

April 16: The MV Sewol ferry disaster in Korea

2014 in Pictures
AP

On the morning of April 16, a ferry carrying 476 passengers traveling from the Korean mainland to the island of Jeju sank. 304 of the passengers died, the majority of them were schoolchildren who were ordered to remain in their cabins. At the same time, the captain and crew escaped in the lifeboats. The captain of the ferry, Lee Jun-Seuk was later charged with gross negligence and sentenced to 36 years in prison.

May 13: Coal mine disaster in Soma, Turkey

2014 in Pictures
Emre Tazegul

In the worst mining accident in Turkey’s history, 301 miners lost their lives in an explosion (and subsequent fires) in a coal mine in the Turkish city of Manisa.

May 22: Military Coup d’état in Thailand

2014 in Pictures
Reuters

Following several years of political unrest and instability, Thailand’s government was overthrown by the head of Thailand’s military - Chief General Prayuth Chan-ocha. Following a short period of imposed martial law, Chan-ocha received the blessing of Thailand’s king to be the head of the military council that will temporarily run the country.

June 4: The 25th anniversary of the Tiananmen Massacre

2014 in Pictures
Vincent Yu

Tens of thousands of people attended the candlelight vigil held in Hong Kong’s Victoria Park, in commemoration of the 25th anniversary of the Tiananmen Square Massacre of 2,500 pro-democracy activists by China’s military on June 4, 1989.

June 29: The rise of ISIS (“Islamic State”)

2014 in Pictures
PBS

The Fundamentalist Islamic terrorist organization called ISIL (Islamic State from Iraq to the Levant), an offshoot of Al-Qaeda, gained its initial global infamy by capturing vast territories in Iraq and Syria. On June 29, they renamed themselves to “Islamic State” and proclaimed their captured territory to be an Islamic caliphate. Since then, the brutality of this group has been shown on many occasions, and includes executions of children, decapitation of journalists & rape of “slave wives”, amongst other things, with the acts purposefully videotaped and broadcast to international media.

A Look Inside ISIS

July 8: The Israel/Gaza Conflict

2014 in Pictures
EPA

Following months of sporadic rocket attacks aimed at the southern cities of Israel, and prompted by the kidnapping and murder of 3 teenage Israelis, the Israeli Defense Force (IDF) launched a massive aerial campaign against the Islamic Terrorist organization Hamas, which is the current governing body in the Gaza Strip. Hamas then increased the amount of rocket attacks into Israeli population centers, as well as attempted to launch several guerrilla attacks into Israel via tunnels dug for this purpose in the preceding years. The operation ended on August 26.

July 13: Germany Wins the 2014 FIFA World Cup

2014 in Pictures
FIFA

In an intense final match that saw a lot of incredible plays but no goals for over 90 minutes, Germany managed to beat Argentina 1-0 in the 113th minute, and becoming the first team to ever win three World Cup championships.

The 2014 World Cup in 240 Seconds

July 17: Malaysia Airlines flight 17 is shot down in Ukraine

2014 in Pictures
Pierre Crom

On July 17, MH17 crashed near the Ukrainian town of Torez on its way from Amsterdam to Kuala Lumpur, killing all 298 passengers and crew. Later investigation uncovered that the flight was shot down after being mistaken for a military transport. At this time, the responsible party has not yet been confirmed.

August 9: The shooting of Michael Brown and the Ferguson riots

2014 in Pictures
Reuters

A shooting of the African-American teenager Michael Brown by Caucasian police officer Darren Wilson sparked racial tension in the town of Ferguson, Missouri, where the event took place. The unrest eventually evolved into full-scale riots, looting and violence. After an investigation of the case, a grand jury acquitted Officer Wilson of all charges, triggering riots and protests in 170 other cities across the U.S.

September 18: Scotland votes to remain part of the UK

2014 in Pictures
Peter Macdiarmid

On September 18, the citizens of Scotland decided via a national poll to remain part of the United Kingdom, despite a well-publicized campaign. In the middle of the picture you can see Scotland’s First Minister Alex Salmon, who was the leader of the separatist camp, among a crowd of pro-unionists.

Things You'll Only See in Scotland

September 26: Pro-democracy protests sweep Hong Kong

2014 in Pictures

On September 2014, tens of thousands of demonstrators took to the streets of Hong Kong, demanding democratic reforms. The movement has been dubbed “The Umbrella Revolution”, and the demonstrators generally prefer to protest by acts of peaceful civil disobedience. Even clashes with Chinese police have been rare and relatively peaceful.

October 5: Mt. Sinabung volcano erupts in Indonesia

2014 in Pictures
Anthony Sagliani

The latest of a series of eruptions starting in 2013, the October eruptions spewed hot, toxic ash to a height of 2Km (1.25 miles) in the air and a lava flow of 4.5Km (2.8 miles) to the south. Eruptions occurred several times during October 5-26.

See the Violent Sianbung Volcano Eruption

October 10: Malala and Satyarthi win the Nobel Peace Prize

2014 in Pictures
Reuters

The Pakistani teenager Malala Yousafzai was shot in the head by Taliban terrorists for advocating women’s right to education. Indian campaigner Kailash Satyarthi fights against child trafficking in India. Both won the 2014 Nobel Peace Prize.

October 22: Canada Parliament attack

2014 in Pictures
AP

Canadian Michael Zehaf-Bibeau murdered the soldier Nathan Cirillo, then proceeded to open fire in the Canadian parliament building. The gunman’s would-be killing spree was stopped when he was shot dead by Sergeant-at-Arm Kevin Vickers (seen here receiving a standing ovation from members of parliament the next day).

Some Things You'll Only See in Canada

November 3: Reopening of the World Trade Center

2014 in Pictures
AP

13 years after the most devastating terrorist attack the United States has ever experience on September 11, 2001, in which both of the World Trade Center towers were destroyed, the new, 104 stories One World Trade Center was officially opened. Construction cost $3.9 billion and the building is already at over 60% occupancy.

You Won't Believe What Was Discovered Under the WTC!

November 12: First landing on a comet

2014 in Pictures
Reuters

On November 12, 2014, the Rosetta Probe made history by being the first human-made device to land and deploy on a comet. The incredible occasion is made even more spectacular when one realizes that the comet was travelling at speeds of 135,000Km/h (84,000 mph). The European Space Agency stated that the mission felt like “landing a washing machine on a speeding bullet”.

November 20: Anti-Crime protests sweep Mexico

2014 in Pictures
Miguel Tovar

Following the September 26 mass kidnapping of 43 students from the Raúl Isidro Burgos Rural Teachers' College of Ayotzinapa by local police and subsequent execution by local crime syndicate, thousands of protestors converged in Mexico City, demanding the resignation of the president (Enrique Pena Nieto). Sadly, political analysts are not predicting a dramatic change in Mexico anytime soon.

H/T: 9gag.com
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