It is normal for us to think every New Year ’s Day that the year that went by was amazing. But 2014 has been one of the most eventful years in quite some time, and there were a wide variety of events that made us sit up and take notice. Here is a list of a few such events.
Many people fear that in future, 2014 will be known as the year World War III started, with many believing the ongoing spat between Russia and the rest of the world the start of a silent war. It all started when President Viktor Yanukovych was removed from office after he chose to continue associating with Russia rather than the European Union, with hundreds of people protesting against him. It quickly escalated into a short war, with Crimea declaring itself independent from Ukraine and then officially becoming a part of Russia. Predictably, Europe and the US imposed sanctions on Russia, but Vladimir Putin hasn’t budged even a little.
Malaysia Airlines and Air Asia disasters
2014 was not a good year for air travel as first Malaysia Airlines disappeared in March, and then an Indonesia’s Air Asia flight crashed in December. The Malaysian Airline crash has still not been explained and even the bodies haven’t been recovered. As many as 239 people were on board that plane. The Air Asia flight wreckage is at least recoverable, and at the time of writing, bodies are being recovered and the search is on for the black box recorders that will explain what happened to the flight. There was another Air Algerie flight that also crashed in Mali, killing more than a 100 people.
2014 saw a lot of terror unleashed by Boko Haram in Nigeria, starting with the abduction of 276 female students. A few of the girls escaped and told authorities that they were held in a camp in Cameroon and subjected to rape every day. The Nigerian government claimed a couple of times that they had reached an agreement of the terrorist group, but nothing came off it. In a separate attack in May, the same terrorist group was responsible for killing close to 300 people in the twin towns of Gamboru and Ngala in Nigeria.
Another terrorist group that wreaked havoc in 2014 was ISIS, a sunni group that was bent on taking over the Iraqi capital of Baghdad and overthrow Shiite Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki’s government. It has sent the entire middle east in chaos, with Syria, Egypt, Iran, Libya all getting affected by the assault. The United States even started an air assault to try and stop the flow of insurgents into Iraq. The battle is still being waged by both sides.
The Israel Palestine crisis went up another notch last year, after 3 Israeli teenagers were murdered and a Palestinian teenager was murdered in retaliation. Israel launched Operation Protective Edge, resulting in missile bombings and a ground invasion that killed approximately 2100 Palestinians and 75 Israelis. A temporary ceasefire was also agreed on, but Israel’s offensive left Europe in bad taste, with quite a few countries passing resolutions that recognizes the state of Palestine, in the process angering US and Israel.
The Ebola virus struck in February, with West Africa particularly affected by it. It infected 20,000 people and killed more than 7,000 people. This has been the most deadly attack of the virus, and even a few of the nurses and doctors that went from Western countries got affected by it, with at least one death reported.
Peshawar school massacre
In one of the most sickening attacks in some time, terrorist group Tehrik-i-Taliban Pakistan attacked a school and killed 132 children, all of them between the age of 8 an 18 years. The total number of deaths was 145, including the staff. It finally came to an end when the army conducted a rescue operation that killed the terrorists and rescued the remaining 960 people in the school.
ISRO Mars Mission
In rare good news, India’s ISRO successfully launched a spacecraft to orbit Mars, and by doing so became the 4th agency to accomplish the mission. It was also the cheapest mission, completed in a budget of 75 million dollars and ISRO was also the first agency to be successful in its very first attempt. With this achievement, India also became the first Asian country to launch a spacecraft to orbit Mars.
Were there any other events you think were big enough to make the list? Let us know in the comments.