In less than 15 hours, I shall enter a new year- 2015. It's awesome, nerve-wracking, scary, and exciting at the same time. Awesome because I am one year closer to graduation. Nerve-wracking because I am also one year closer to moving away from my family and living on my own. Scary because one can never know what a new year will hold. Exciting because a new year brings endless possibilities! In order to give 2014 a proper send-off, I've decided that I will highlight 10 key events that happened this year. These events have been gathered from various sites, including CNN and BBC. So here goes.
- EBOLA- there have been about 20,000 deaths due to the spread of this virus, which originated in Africa. Guinea, Sierra Leone, and Liberia were the hardest hit countries due to their poor health systems, but are slowly recovering. The virus has been isolated, and a few have been cured, but a proper treatment is still in development. Watch this video for more details.
- MH370- considered the biggest aviation mystery ever, the Malaysia Airlines flight MH370 disappeared en route from Kuala Lumpur to Beijing on March 8. In the last few months, Australian authorities have been carrying out underwater depth searches, but authorities have still found no trace of the missing flight. There were 239 members and crew onboard. Watch this video to explore a possible theory about what may have happened to MH370.
- ISIS- The Islamic State in Iraq and Syria is a terrorist group that aims to create an Islamic state over Sunni areas in Iraq and Syria. It is known for killing dozens of civilians at once, carrying out massacres, public executions, and various other violent acts. Their threat came to public light when they posted videos of them beheading their hostages, among which included journalists and health workers. The situation has become so gruesome that the United States and Iran are considering working together to fight against ISIS. Watch this video for more details.
- FERGUSON- Michael Brown, an 18-year-old African-American, was shot to death after a confrontation with Darren Wilson, a white Ferguson police officer. After several months, the grand jury decided not to charge Officer Wilson for any criminal charges. This prompted nationwide protests and demonstrations, which were initially peaceful, but eventually turned violent. Officer Wilson has been suspended until further notice.
- UKRAINE- There have been nationwide protests about presidential leadership in Ukraine. The president then fled the country, and Russia asked Ukraine if it wanted to join Russia to create one state. After a poll, 96% of Ukrainians voted to join Russia, but this was vetoed. Currently, Crimea is temporarily occupied by Russia. Watch this video for a quick explanation.
- CELEBRITY DEATHS- Many famous individuals passed away this year, including Robin Williams, Joe Crocker, Maya Angelou, Joan Rivers, and Phillip Hughes.
- ICE BUCKET CHALLENGE- This was an activity involving the dumping of a bucket of ice water on someone's head to promote awareness of the disease amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS), as well as encourage individuals to donate money for further research. Watch this compilation of famous ALS Ice Bucket challenges.
- IMMIGRATION- President Barack Obama has created a controversial policy to prevent the deportation for up to 4.6 million undocumented immigrants, which has strengthened relations between the United States and various Latin American countries.
- GAZA- Gaza is a densely populated area covered with refugee camps, mainly occupied by families displaced from towns and villages in other parts of the Holy Land. Before, Gaza used to be occupied by Israel, but Israel controls most of Gaza's borders and coastal territory. In order to regain control of this region, individuals in Gaza have been firing rockets at Israel. A temporary truce has been established.
- BOKO HARAM- Boko Haram is a militant Islamic group based in Nigeria, whose purpose is to institute Sharia or Islamic law. They gained international recognition this year when they kidnaped 276 teenage girls from a boarding school. A video was later released saying that the girls were sold in the market for marriage. Over the course of 2014, hundreds of people were killed in raids, and many more were abducted. In October, the Nigerian government announced that they reached a ceasefire agreement with the terror group, including the promised release of more than 200 kidnapped school girls. In November, however, Boko Haram's leader denied any such claims.
That wraps up the ten most significant events of this year. It's been a pretty eventful, exciting year, here's to 2015!