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VOICE OVER: Rebecca Brayton
Between all that bass and trying to be fancy, we've barely had time to keep up with the news in 2014. But there were a lot of huge stories to track this year: from the ebola outbreak, to ISIS raising their global profile, to disastrous and sometimes mysterious air travel events, to violence and abuse against women, to scientists landing a spacecraft on a comet. In this instalment of WMNews, recaps the year that was: 2014. We count down the top 10 news stories of the year, so we've definitely left some stuff out – feel free to tell us what we missed.

#10: South Korean Ferry Disaster

This high school field trip turned into one of South Korea’s worst ever disasters. On April 16th, a ferry travelling between two South Korean cities capsized due to a sudden turn, killing 304 of the 476 people onboard – many of whom were students. In the days following the sinking of the MV Sewol, many blamed the ship’s captain and crew for their actions, as they had allegedly ordered the students to remain in the sinking ferry. Capt. Lee Joon-seok was ultimately sentenced to 36 years in prison for negligence and for abandoning ship.

#9: #BringBackOurGirls

On the night on April 15th, a terrorist group kidnapped 276 girls from their school in Nigeria. Boko Haram took responsibility for the crime, and they’ve been targeting schools and students for years. Their ultimate goal is for the Nigerian government to stop intervening in traditional Islamic education. This event sparked a social media campaign that spread across the globe; unfortunately, the kidnapped students remained hostages. Some girls escaped, some passed away; but those that remained with Boko Haram were forced into marriages with members of the group, and they continue to terrorize the region.

#8: 2014 Israel-Gaza Conflict

Though the events in the Middle East have been an ongoing news story for decade, new events in 2014 kept the story at the forefront of the news cycle. In June, a group of Israeli teens were taken from the West Bank, and later found dead. This, compounded by revenge killings and other violence, eventually led to an Israeli military operation called Operation Protective Edge to stop the rocket fire coming from Gaza. More than 2,200 people died in the conflict, mostly Gazans. Though a ceasefire was called in August, this conflict is far from over.

#7: Men Behaving Badly

Ask the Internet: even guys on the street behave badly. But, several 2014 news items saw men – allegedly – acting unconscionably. The NFL suffered a PR crisis when a video surfaced of Ray Rice knocking his girlfriend out. Famously, allegations of rape dogged Bill Cosby for years, and in 2014 they resurfaced stronger than ever. Across the pond, results of an inquiry found that deceased BBC personality Jimmy Savile had abused patients between the ages of 5-75 over decades. And in Canada, media personality Jian Ghomeshi was arrested in a media-circus-of-a-case for sexually assaulting several women and choking one. Not a great year for the guys.

#6: Scientists Land a Spacecraft on a Comet

Want some good news? Scientists are still trying new things, and in 2014, they managed to land a spacecraft on a comet nucleus – and this robot, called Philae, left Earth ten-years ago. Okay, it didn’t exactly go according to plan, but the landing did give them tons of info – before the machine ultimately went to sleep. What kind of info? Oh, only data that supports the possibility that comets brought important substances to Earth that might’ve prompted the beginning of all life. We’d say that’s a pretty big success. The little guy even has his own Twitter account!

#5: Sports to the Rescue

First to Russia and the Olympics: in possibly the priciest Games ever, the Sochi Olympics started with some problems – like unfinished buildings and rumors of stray dogs murders – but as an international sporting, they were largely a success. However, if you thought sports were free from political discussion, think again. Aside from concerns of terrorism, the Sochi Olympics caused a stir due to Russia’s anti-gay propaganda and safety worries for LGBT athletes. Politics also played a part at the World Cup, as the Brazilian government was criticized for spending billions to host the games as poverty ravages the country. But besides that, a good time was had by… most.

#4: Ukrainian Protests

In perhaps their worst confrontation since the Cold War, tensions between Russia and the Western world rose in 2014 – with Ukraine in the middle. Since leaving the USSR and removing their nuclear weapons in the ‘90s, Ukrainians have struggled to decide if they should keep closer ties with Russia or the West. When Ukrainian President Viktor Yanukovych reneged on an historic trade agreement with the EU – supposedly at Russia’s insistence – violent protests began in Kiev, spreading and continuing through the year, and leading to Yanukovych’s replacement. With the strategically important region of Crimea also in play, this conflict could get worse before it gets better.

#3: Ebola

By March of 2014, the Ebola virus had spread to several African countries, and soon enough it was an epidemic that required the assistance of healthcare professionals from around the world. Unfortunately, that meant the disease spread to distant nations like Spain and the United States, with one man in the U.S. dying from the disease in October – but not before he made the first know transmission of Ebola on American soil. Though containment of the virus was slow, the initial panic surrounding Ebola has largely passed – however the disease continues to rage, and Doctors Without Borders criticizes the international response.

#2: ISIS

Commonly called ISIS, the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria grew its public profile significantly in 2014, with high-profile actions and crimes – like the beheadings of several journalists. These jihadists have always been steadfast in their objective: to create a Sunni Muslim state, which adheres to a fundamentalist interpretation of Sharia Law. ISIS is skilled in propaganda, in raising enormous amounts of funding and in recruiting Westerners. President Barack Obama’s government has targeted ISIS as a threat, and in August 2014 an American-led coalition initiated airstrikes in key IS territory; whether this leads to a full-scale war, we’ve yet to see.

There were many other important stories in 2014; here are some of the other headlines:
- Soldier Shot in Ottawa
- Umbrella Revolution
- White House Intruder
- Democrats Trounced
- Mexican Teachers Kidnapped and Killed
- Malala Yousafzai Wins Nobel Peace Prize
- Gamergate
- Sony Hack
- Ferguson Unrest
- Eric Garner’s Death

#1: Air Travel Disasters

2014 saw some disastrous – and sometimes mysterious – air travel events. On March 8th, Malaysia Airlines Flight 370 disappeared between Kuala Lumpur and Beijing, with 239 onboard. The plane was never found, though it’s presumed to’ve crashed in the Indian Ocean. 131 days later, Malaysia Airlines Flight 17 was presumably shot down over the Ukraine, killing all 298 onboard – though it’s still unclear who downed the flight. Air Algérie Flight 5017 was another newsmaker in July, when it crashed in Mali, killing 116. Finally, the failure of Virgin Galactic in October and the resulting death of the copilot did little for Richard Branson’s dreams of spaceflight tourism. All in all, 2014 proved that maybe, you should just walk.

Did you remember these events? To vote for which news story is covered next, head over to, and be sure to hit that subscribe button for more newsworthy top 10s every week.

The Sony hack ought to be in the top 10, because it's caused the cancellation of the opening of "The Interview".