Top Ten International Stories
Via our television sets but mostly through our smart devices, phones, tablets etc, here are the stories that grabbed our attention the most in 2014.
1. I Can’t Breathe
Protesters flooded the streets of New York and elsewhere - chanting, blocking traffic and demanding change after the decision not to indict any of the officers involved in the chokehold death of a black male, Eric Garner. Garner died in July after a white officer put him in a chokehold on Staten Island.
2. Michael Brown’s Grand Jury
On November 24 it was announced that a white police officer would not face charges for fatally shooting an unarmed black teenager. The news of the grand jury’s decision - to not press charges against Darren Wilson in the death of Michael Brown in Ferguson, Mo. - drew outrage and sparked protests throughout the United States. Protests, which had somewhat quieted since the August 9 shooting, ignited with a new fury from coast to coast.
3. Ebola epidemic
It started with just a few cases in Guinea, and became the deadliest outbreak of Ebola on record. The virus spread throughout West Africa, claiming more than 5,000 lives. In September, the first case of the disease in the United States was diagnosed at Texas Presbyterian Hospital.
4. Bring Back Our Girls
On the night of 14 April, 2014 276 female students were kidnapped from the Government Secondary School in the town of Chibok in Borno State, Nigeria. Responsibility for the kidnappings was claimed by Boko Haram, an Islamic Jihadist and terrorist organization based in northeast Nigeria. This sparked a world-wide ‘bring back our girls’ campaign via social media, but to no avail.
5. The Interview
In November Sony Pictures was hacked with confidential data belonging to the company being stolen including movie scripts and the yet to be released comedy “The Interview.” The hackers called themselves the “Guardians of Peace” or “GOP” and demanded the cancellation of the planned release of the film, a comedy about a plot to assassinate North Korean leader Kim Jong-un. United States intelligence officials allege the hack was sponsored by North Korea but North Korea has denied all responsibility and some experts have cast doubt on the
6. U.S. and Cuba
President Obama announced on December 19 that the U.S. was moving to “normalize relations” with Cuba.
It was a brutal year in Iraq and Syria, as the terrorist group calling itself the Islamic State, or ISS, gained momentum and captured territory throughout the region, killing thousands along the way. The group posted online barbaric videos of beheadings. Two American journalists were among those executed. The United States continues to fight back through airstrikes on the group in Iraq and Syria.
8. Malaysia Airlines
The embattled airline made news for all the wrong reasons last year. In March, Flight 370, carrying 239 passengers and crew, vanished during a routine flight from Kuala Lumpur to Beijing. A months-long air and sea search has so far failed to turn up any sign of the missing aircraft. In July, another Malaysia Airlines plane, Flight 17, carrying 298 people, was shot down over eastern Ukraine, killing all on board. Ukraine and U.S. officials blame separatist fighters backed by Russia for downing the jetliner.
9. The Ice Bucket Challenge
This activity went viral in July and was an activity involving dumping a bucket of ice water on someone’s head to promote awareness of the disease amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS) and encourage donations to research.
10. The N Word and Sports
LA Clippers owner Donald Sterling was raked over the coals for racist statements he made. Those statements were recorded by his girlfriend and resulted in a ban on Sterling by the NBA commissioner. Photo: Protesters rallying against a grand jury’s decision not to indict the police officer involved in the death of Eric Garner in New York. (AP Photo)