Chronology of news events in 2014
— Thailand’s ruling generals deploy thousands of security forces on the streets of Bangkok to thwart another round of protests denouncing last month’s military coup.
— Spain’s King Juan Carlos, who led the transition from dictatorship to democracy but faced damaging scandals amid a financial meltdown, announces he will abdicate in favor of his more popular son Felipe.
—Tens of thousands of Syrians in government-controlled cities vote to give President Bashar Assad a new seven-year mandate; Egypt’s former army chief, Abdel Fattah el-Sisi, is officially declared winner of a presidential election.
—Russian President Vladimir Putin is kept out of a summit meeting of world leaders but dominates the meeting as President Barack Obama and his counterparts seeks the Kremlin chief’s cooperation in ending the crisis in Ukraine.
— Royal Canadian Mounted Police comb the streets of normally tranquil Moncton, New Brunswick, in a search of a man suspected of killing three officers in the deadliest attack on their ranks in nearly a decade and later capture him.
— Historic film footage and modern interpretive dance recreate images of World War II at D-Day’s 70th anniversary, a blend of old and new that bridged seven decades and depicted a once riven Europe as a newly unified whole.
— Ukraine’s new president calls for pro-Russian rebels in the country’s east to lay down their arms and welcomes dialogue with insurgents, but says he will not negotiate with those he calls “gangsters and killers” and strikes a defiant tone on the Russian-annexed Crimea.
— Gunmen storm an airport terminal used for VIP flights and cargo in Karachi, an attack that left at least 29 people dead, including the assailants, in an attack that bore the hallmarks of the Pakistan Taliban.
— A string of sexual assaults on women during celebrations of Egypt’s presidential inauguration — including a mass attack on a student who was stripped naked in Cairo’s Tahrir Square — prompts outrage.
— Al-Qaida-inspired Islamic State militants overrun much of Mosul in a stunning assault that exposes Iraq’s eroding central authority.
— Islamic State group militants that seized a huge chunk of northern Iraq command as many as 10,000 fighters and are steadily consolidating their hold on much of northeastern Syria across the border.
— Ukraine’s new president rallies support for his plan to end fighting in the country’s east in phone calls with German and Russian leaders as he condemns what Ukrainian officials call an incursion of armored vehicles from Russia.
— Iraq’s Shiite clerical leadership calls on all Iraqis to defend their country from Sunni militants who have seized large swaths of the country; a U.N. official expresses “extreme alarm” at reprisal killings, citing reports of hundreds dead and wounded.
— Afghans brave threats of violence and searing heat to vote in a presidential runoff that likely will mark the country’s first peaceful transfer of authority, an important step toward democracy as foreign combat troops leave.
—The Islamic militants who overran cities and towns in Iraq post graphic photos that appear to show their gunmen massacring scores of captured soldiers while Iraq’s prime minister vows to “liberate every inch” of captured territory.
—The U.S. signals a new willingness to work with Iran to help Iraq stave off an insurgency after years of trying to limit Tehran’s influence in Baghdad, a dramatic shift.
— U.S. special forces seize a “key leader” in the deadly Benghazi, Libya, attack of 2012; he faces trial in the U.S for the fiery assault that killed the U.S. ambassador and three other Americans.
— Iraqi forces and Sunni militants battle fiercely for control of the country’s largest oil refinery as Prime Minister Nouri al-Malaki goes on a diplomatic offensive, reaching out in a television address to try to regain the support of Sunnis and Kurds.
- President Barack Obama cautions the U.S. and Europe against complacency brought on by peace and pledges to reduce America’s deployed nuclear weapons by one-third if Cold War foe Russia does the same.
— The U.N. refugee agency says the 50 million people displaced worldwide at the end of last year reflect an ever-expanding web of conflicts and the largest population of displaced persons since the end of World War II.
— Sunni insurgents led by a breakaway al-Qaida group expand their offensive in a volatile western province, capturing two strategic towns and the first border crossing with Syria to fall on the Iraqi side.
— Russian President Vladimir Putin expresses support for Ukraine’s declaration of a cease-fire in its battle with pro-Russian separatists and calls on both sides to negotiate a compromise.
— An Egyptian court convicts three al-Jazeera journalists and sentences them to seven years in prison on terrorism-related charges, a verdict that brings international condemnation.
— Two powerful British insiders meet starkly different fates as former News of the World editor Andy Coulson is convicted of phone hacking but fellow editor Rebekah Brooks is cleared of all charges after a monthslong trial centering on illegal acts at the heart of Rupert Murdoch’s newspaper empire.
— Syrian warplanes bomb Sunni militants’ positions inside Iraq, deepening concerns that the extremist insurgency that spans the two neighboring countries could morph into a wider regional conflict.
— President Barack Obama moves to ratchet up U.S. efforts to strengthen more moderate Syrian rebels proposing a $500 million plan to train and arm them as the civil war they are fighting becomes increasingly intertwined with the conflict in neighboring Iraq.
— Over Russian objections, Ukraine’s new president signs a free-trade agreement binding his country more closely to Western Europe, sealing the very agreement that triggered the bloodshed and political convulsions of the past seven months.
— The Iraq government launches its biggest push yet to wrest back ground lost to Sunni militant, as soldiers backed by tan tanks and helicopters begin an offensive to retake Takrit.
— The al-Qaida breakaway group that has seized much of northeast Syria and huge tracts in neighboring Iraq formally declares the establishment of a new Islamic state and demands allegiance from Muslims worldwide.
— The Israeli military finds the bodies of three missing teenagers just over two weeks after they were abducted in the occupied West Bank, allegedly by Hamas militants, raising fears of new fighting with them.