As a calendar year winds down, many people like to reflect on the preceding 12 months. The end of the year can be a great time for personal reflection, but also an interesting time to look back on the more notable events that took place across the globe since the most recent turn of the calendar year. The following are some of the more notable world events to unfold in 2014.
· An outbreak of the Ebola virus begins in West Africa in February. The outbreak infects and even kills thousands of people, and remains a concern throughout the year, both in Africa and across the globe.
· The Seattle Seahawks dominate the Denver Broncos in Super Bowl XLVIII, which becomes the most viewed television event in the United States. More than 111 million viewers tuned in to watch the game, which took place on February 2 in East Rutherford, NJ. Despite concerns about weather-related events in the weeks leading up to the big game, the game was ultimately played in relatively mild conditions.
· The Olympic Winter Games begin in Sochi, Russia in February. Similar to the Super Bowl, the Sochi games are surrounded by weather concerns, as many speculate that Sochi’s climate is simply not cold enough to host the Olympic Winter Games. The weather does raise concerns once the Games commence, but the events go on with little interruption.
· Malaysia Airlines Flight 370 disappears over the Gulf of Thailand. The Boeing 777 airliner, which took off in March and was carrying 239 people, had yet to be found at press time.
· Boko Haram, an Islamist Jihadist and terrorist organization, claims responsibility for the April abduction of nearly 300 female students from a government school in Nigeria. Citing safety concerns, the government had closed the school in the weeks prior to the abduction, only reopening to allow students to take final exams. The students had yet to be released at press time.
· Felipe VI ascends to the Spanish throne in June after his father, King Juan Carlos I, abdicates. Juan Carlos I became the fourth European monarch to abdicate in a little over a year, following Pope Benedict XVI (February 2013), Queen Beatrix of the Netherlands (April 2013) and Belgium’s King Albert II (July 2013).
· In July, tensions between Israel and Palestine boil over once again after three Israeli teenagers are kidnapped and murdered and one Palestinian teenager is killed in retaliation. Many people are killed in the resulting conflict, which includes missile strikes and a ground invasion.
· By a 55 percent majority, the people of Scotland vote “No” to an independence referendum that would have separated the country from the United Kingdom. More than 3.6 million Scots voted in the September referendum, which would have ended a centuries-old union had the people of Scotland voted for independence.
· New York Yankees shortstop Derek Jeter plays the final game of his career on September 28. In an ironic twist, the game is played at Boston’s Fenway Park, home to the Boston Red Sox, the Yankees’ fiercest rival.