Greetings from chilly Pakistan! News trickles through via this blog’s current wireless situation so the below has been added at various times — apologies for outdated information here and there. To wrap up 2014, it has been a year of incredible ups and downs — police killings of African American men finally attracted global attention, militant group Daesh/ISIS has risen to be an international terrorist killing machine, Ukraine saw dramatic clashes with Russia, protesters in Mexico and Hong Kong produced student-led riots, Ebola engulfed West Africa, the longest war for many of us finally ended in Afghanistan, a massacre of school children shook an exhausted Pakistan to the core, India saw the world’s largest ever democratic exercise resulting in the election of Narendra Modi, Israel and Gaza went to war in a tragic and futile clash, a Malaysian plane went mysteriously missing and has yet to be found, and a Thai coup briefly gripped the country. South Korea was hit with tragedy when a ferry boat sunk, killing predominately children, while terrorism carried out by Boko Haram in Nigeria led to brief interest in #BringBackOurGirls and a movement to locate hundreds of kidnapped school children.
That was hardly the end — Germany took a hard-won first place in the FIFA World Cup (controversially hosted in Brazil), feminism roared its head yet again on a global scale (and saw an endorsement from Beyoncé), North Korea and the United States clashed over the internet and a comedy, Turks protested their government en masse, Malala Yousafzai become the youngest winner of the Pulitzer Prize, and much of the Middle East appeared divided on its future following a series of uprisings in 2011. LGBTQ issues are more prevalent now than ever before, and the world’s transgender community is finally beginning to see representation in the media.
As we move into 2015, this blog wishes all of its readers a safe and happy new year! Regularly scheduled updates won’t return until mid-January, but in the mean time worry not — once your blogger returns from Asia so too will the news. A look back over the year:
all images from nbcnews unless indicated otherwise
Via WaPo’s Read In morning update:
The Associated Press’s top 10 news stories of the year, as voted by U.S. editors and news directors: 1. Police killings of African American men, from Michael Brown to Eric Garner. 2. The West African Ebola outbreak. 3. The shocking rise of the Islamic State. 4. Republicans sweep the midterm elections. 5. Millions of Americans sign up for ObamaCare. 6. The disappearance of Malaysia Airlines Flight 370. 7. President Obama takes executive action on immigration. 8. Unrest in Ukraine, from Viktor Yanukovych’s ouster in February to Russian annexation of Crimea and rebel control of the east. 9. Nineteen state bans on gay marriage fall after a wave of federal court rulings. 10. A scandal in the Department of Veterans Affairs cost Secretary Eric Shinseki his job. (Associated Press)
— Not on the list: The first legal pot was sold in Washington and Colorado. Israel’s 50-day incursion into Gaza after a barrage of Hamas rockets. Boko Haram kidnapped 276 girls in Nigeria. The South Korean ferry disaster. Malaysia Airlines Flight 17 shot down by pro-Russian separatists over Ukraine. The survey was conducted before President Obama announced the new U.S. attitude towards Cuba.