Top Ten In­ter­na­tional Sto­ries

The Star (St. Lucia) - - INTERNATIONAL -

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

ev­i­dence.

6. U.S. and Cuba

Pres­i­dent Obama an­nounced on De­cem­ber 19 that the U.S. was mov­ing to “nor­mal­ize re­la­tions” with Cuba.

7. ISS

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)

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