It is hard to believe that 2014 is coming to an end, but as we look at our year in review, and look at the top headlines that made this year a memorable one, we realize that we saw the good, the bad, and the ugly.
The nation was gripped in what came to be known as the Polar Vortex. A mass of unusually cold air that seemed to stay around for a very long time, and affected states that normally don’t suffer from the harsh winters that those in the northern part of the country are accustomed to. Subzero temperatures and massive amounts of the white stuff made life miserable for millions.
The term stuck and news outlets began using it as synonyms of the incredibly harsh conditions. The photos below paints the picture perfectly.
One of the biggest international headlines of 2014 were the protests in the Ukraine, which resulted in the toppling of the government. However, the stunning images coming from the conflict resulted in the deaths of at least 70 people in a particularly violent clash with police. The world watched in horror as photos of the events surfaced.
Amid the turmoil, the Winter Olympic Games in Sochi, Russia were attracting millions of viewers everyday, despite fears of terrorism. They also brought controversy, as the Russian president, Vladimir Putin, was accused of meddling in Ukrainian affairs and suppressing basic human rights.
And who could forget Bob Costas’ eyes?
Perhaps the most riveting headline of the entire year came in March when Malaysia Airlines Flight 370 (MH370) vanished without a trace over the South China Sea, while en route from Kuala Lumpur to Beijing, China. In what can only be described as incredible, any trace of the massive jet has yet to be found.
According to investigators, the transponder — which transmits the location of the plane to air traffic controllers — was turned off by someone in the cockpit. The mystery surrounding MH370’s disappearance is one of the most perplexing aviation disasters in history and has not been solved to this date.
Terrorism and a tragic accidents made headline news in April of 2014. The radical Islamic group Boko Haram kidnapped 300 school girls from the Government Secondary School in Chibok, Nigeria. Even though the attack went viral on social media with the hashtag #Bringbackourgirls, the children are still missing.
In South Korea, an overcrowded ferry carrying hundreds of passengers sank, killing 300 people, most of them high school students on a day trip. The captain and 14 crew members were charged with homicide, abandoning ship, and negligence in the MV Sewol sinking.
Comparatively, May, 2014 was a relatively quiet month as far as major headline news. The most notable development was the presidential elections in India, Ukaraine, and Egypt. Ukraine and Egypt elections were the result of popular revolutions which deposed the incumbents.
The biggest single sporting event on Earth, the World Cup kicked off in Brazil to much excitement. The host nation was hoping to avenge the loss they suffered on their soil in 1950 — known as The Maracanazo. However, it was not to be, and after a humiliating defeat of the home nation, Germany took the title. The tournament was full of surprises including Costa Rica, Colombia and their superstar James Rodriguez, and the poor performance of teams such as Spain, — the defending champs — Italy, and Brazil.
In a truly unbelievable development, Malaysia Airlines was hit with another major aviation catastrophe when Flight 17 crashed in the Ukraine. It was later determined that a missile shot down the plane, which carried 298 passengers and crew, out of the sky, killing all on board.
Pro-Russian rebels were accused of carrying out the attack on the civilian plane. These developments resulted in an escalation of tensions and additional U.S. and European sanctions against Russia.
The ALS Ice Bucket Challenge also took the world by storm in July of 2014, and became one of the biggest headlines of the year. Started by a sufferer of the incurable disease, the challenge called on people to dump a bucket of ice in order to bring awareness to ALS and challenge three others to do the same. The ALS foundation received millions as a result and the charity touched famous and regular people alike.
In this month, millions were shocked when news of Robin Williams’ death broke. The 63-year-old comedian took his own life by hanging himself, leaving his family and fans in total shock. The autopsy later determined that Williams didn’t have any illegal substances in his body at the time of his death.
The world was shocked in August of 2014 when a video showing American journalist James Foley being beheaded by an ISIS terrorist was posted to Youtube. Five westerners in all have been brutally murdered in the same manner.
Headline news of the international kind prevailed in September of 2014. In a historic vote, Scotland chose to stay as part of the United Kingdom. Meanwhile, in Hong Kong, thousands took to the streets to protest for democracy. The protests lasted 75 days as scores of people disrupted traffic while police used tear gas to disburse the crowd, who shielded themselves with umbrellas, which in turn became a symbol for protesters.
The headline news in October of 2014 were all about the Ebola epidemic in Africa, and a few cases in the U.S. sent people and health authorities into a panic. During this month, Bill Cosby’s first accuser came forward saying she was sexually assaulted by the comedian, who now faces several similar charges. October also saw the murder in cold blood of a Canadian soldier, in an apparent terrorist attack on Parliament Hall, Ottawa.
The Ferguson grand jury decided not to indict police officer Darren Wilson, who shot and killed 18-year-old Michael Brown. Violent demonstrations ensued and extended all across the country, from Oakland to New York City.
Sony Studios systems were hacked revealing private emails and personal employee information. Authorities later blamed North Korea, which launched the attack in retaliation for the release of the comedy The Interview, about the assassination of dictator Kim Jong-un. Sony was ultimately forced to pull the movie’s release.
December headline news was grim for New York City in 2014. First a grand jury refused to indict a white police officer in the chokehold killing of Eric Garner, a black man who was selling illegal cigarettes in Staten Island. Similarly to Ferguson, large crowds took to the streets to protest the decision.
Overseas in Sydney, Australia, a gunman with Islamic ties took 17 hostages in a cafe near the business district. Police stormed the building killing the gunman and two of the hostages.
On December 20, two NYPD officers were shot, execution style, in Brooklyn, sparking heated debates in an already tense atmosphere. The perpetrator killed himself on a subway platform.
These events remind us that 2014 had plenty of headline news to keep us riveted to our television sets. Good and bad, it was a memorable year.