In collaboration with our partners at the NW Academy Pigeon Press in the final days of 2014 WANT will be featuring a year in review looking at topics ranging from world events to culture. To see the full edition of this article written by Pigeon Press staff, click here.
Ebola: In 2014, numerous African countries experienced an outbreak of the deadly Ebola virus. The outbreak is linked to a two-year old child, who passed away from the disease in Guinea in 2013. The disease then spread to the neighboring countries of Liberia and Sierra Leone. As of October 15th, 2014 there have been 17 cases treated outside of Africa, thus far only two Americans have died from Ebola. However, an estimated 7,000 people in Africa have died so far. TIME Magazine named the doctors who fought against Ebola its Person of the Year.
Malaysia Airlines: In 2014, Malaysia Airlines lost two Boeing 777s. Flight 370, carrying 239 passengers, disappeared on March 8th over the Southern Indian Ocean, while traveling from Kuala Lumpur to Beijing. No debris or wreckage have been found from the flight and the search is the largest and most expensive search for a downed airliner in history. Flight 17, traveling from Amsterdam to Kuala Lumpur, crashed on July 17th, 2014, killing all 238 passengers and 15 crew members. The flight is presumed to have been shot down by Ukrainian rebels.
ISIS: Ever since the civil war inside Syria erupted in 2011, moderate rebels have worked alongside extremist parts of the Islamic movement. In 2014, the extremists broke away from their moderate counterparts and created their own movement and message. These extremists named themselves The Islamic State In Syria (ISIS) The movement changed from fighting just inside Syria to working within Iraq as well. They have made many videos executing western journalists to show their anti-Christian message. ISIS caused problems within the Syrian rebellion because now moderate rebels are tasked with not only defending themselves from the current government, but from other rebels as well. Within Iraq the threat of ISIS only emphasized tension between the Sunni and Shiite Muslims.
Russia Invades Crimea: In 2014, after months of public protest over the corrupt Ukrainian government, and its refusal to join the European Union; Ukrainian President, Viktor Yanukovych, was finally ousted. Following this, international intelligence agencies observed unmarked troops and military equipment, believed to be Russian, crossing the Ukrainian-Russian border. The forces congregated in the Southeast pro-Russian province of Crimea. The unidentified insurgents, who Russia claimed were not members of their armed forces, alongside local citizens closed the border between Ukraine and Crimea. In the following weeks, forces from Russia continued to supply the rebel groups with weapons.
Scotland: Leading up to the elections on September 24, 2014 in Scotland, Scottish citizens were perplexed by a referendum to secede from the United Kingdom. The final vote was 55% no and 44% yes. Even though it did not pass, the reverberations of the event shook the world. Never before did a province of a major world power try to succeed with almost no resistance. The UK government was prepared to accept the vote no matter the outcome, despite the large economic and socials problems that would had happened if the referendum passed. The vote was very close and could lead way for other provinces to seceded in the future.