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Top Events of 2014

Top Events of 2014


–  Islamic militants belonging to a group called Islamic State in Iraq and Syria (ISIS) took control of Falluja, Iraq.


– The XXII Winter Olympics took place in Sochi, Russia.

 Talks aimed at ending the three-year-old civil war in Syria take place in Geneva, Switzerland. No agreement is reached between President Bashar al-Assad and opposition groups.

The United Nations Commission of Inquiry on Human Rights published a report on widespread human rights abuses in North Korea.

After months of protests in Ukraine, a gun fight broke out between protesters and security forces, leaving around 100 people dead.


 – Malaysian Airlines Flight 370, traveling from Kuala Lumpur to Beijing, disappeared from radar in airspace over the Gulf of Thailand.

 In Crimea, 96.7% vote in favor of leaving Ukraine and being annexed by Russia.

 The CDC issued its initial announcement on an Ebola outbreak in Guinea.


 Boko Haram militants kidnap more than 270 teenage girls from a boarding school in Chibok in Northeastern Nigeria. Officials there say some of the girls were able to escape.

 The South Korean ferry Sewol capsizes, killing approximately 294 people. Hundreds of high school students on a field trip are among the dead.

– Iraqis vote in parliamentary elections to elect members of the Council of Representatives. Prime Minister Nuri Al-Maliki’s party wins 92 seats in parliamentary elections, short of the 165 seats needed for a majority.


– In Thailand, the Constitutional Court removes Prime Minister Yingluck Shinawatra from office, on charges of abuse of power.

 The president of India names Narendra Modi as the country’s new prime minister.

 – Petro Poroshenko declares victory in Ukraine’s presidential election.


 – Hamas and Fatah swear in a unity government with Rami Hamdallah as prime minister.

 Abdel Fattah el-Sisi officially wins Egypt’s presidential election with more than 96% of the vote. Elections were held May 26-28.

 – ISIS takes control of Mosul, Iraq’s second largest city.

– The World Cup takes place in Brazil. Germany is the winner.

 In Afghanistan, election officials hold a presidential run-off between candidates Abdullah Abdullah and Ashraf Ghani.


 Malaysia Airlines Flight 17 crashes in eastern Ukraine after being shot down by a surface-to-air missile, according to the United States. All 298 people aboard are killed.

– Indonesia’s National Election Commission announces that Joko Widodo is the winner of the country’s presidential election, held July 9.

 Air Algerie Flight 5017 crashes in Mali, killing 116 people.


– Two U.S. F/A-18 jet fighters bomb ISIS extremists in Iraq. President Barack Obama has authorized “targeted airstrikes” if needed to protect U.S. personnel from ISIS militants. The U.S. military says they’ll use airstrikes to prevent what officials warn could be a genocide of minority groups by the ISIS fighters.

– Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan wins the first ever direct presidential election in Turkey.

– Iraqi President Nuri al-Maliki resigns.

 In a video posted on YouTube, U.S. journalist James Foley, missing in Syria since 2012, is decapitated by ISIS militants. The militants then threaten the life of another captured U.S. journalist, believed to be Steven Sotloff.


– ISIS released videos showing the beheading of U.S. journalist Steven Sotloff and British aid worker David Haines

– Haider al-Abadi was sworn in as the new prime minister of Iraq.

– Scottish voters vote against independence from the United Kingdom.

– A coalition of military forces from the United States, Bahrain, Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates and Jordan launch air strikes against ISIS targets in Syria. The U.S. , on its own, also launches airstrikes against a terrorist organization known as the Khorasan Group, saying that the al Qaeda affiliated group was planning attacks in the United States.

– Pro-democracy protests begin in Hong Kong.

– Ashraf Ghani is sworn in as the new president of Afghanistan.

– The United States and Afghanistan sign a joint security agreement that will allow U.S. troops to stay in Afghanistan beyond the previous December deadline to withdraw.


– ISIS releases a video showing the beheading of hostage Alan Henning.

– A nurse’s assistant in Spain becomes the first person known to have contracted Ebola outside Africa in the current outbreak. The woman helped treat two Spanish missionaries, both of whom had contracted Ebola in West Africa, one in Liberia and the other in Sierra Leone. Both died after returning to Spain.

– Olympic sprinter Oscar Pistorius is sentenced to five years in prison, after being convicted of culpable homicide in the death of girlfriend Reeva Steenkamp.

 Brazilian President Dilma Rousseff wins a run-off election with 51.59% of the vote, according to official results. Opposition candidate Aecio Neves garners 48.41%.

 Great Britain ends its combat mission in Afghanistan and hands over its last remaining base to Afghan forces.


– The European Space Agency successfully lands a probe named Philae on a comet 310 million miles from Earth.

 ISIS militants claim to have beheaded American hostage Peter Kassig in a video published to the Internet. Peter Kassig, also known as Abdul-Rahman Kassig, is the fifth Westerner whom ISIS claims to have beheaded via video messages.

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