Chronology of news events in 2014
The Associated Press
Dec. 25, 2014
— The leader of the Islamic State extremist group that has overrun parts of Iraq and Syria calls on Muslims around the world to flock to territories under his control to fight and build an Islamic state.
— Palestinians accuse Israeli extremists of abducting and killing an Arab teenager and burning his body, sparking hours of clashes in east Jerusalem and drawing charges that the youth was slain to avenge the killing of three Israeli teens.
— A top Kurdish leader, in view of militants taking control of large parts of Iraq, calls on regional lawmakers to lay the groundwork for a referendum on independence, a vote that would likely spell the end of a unified Iraq.
— Germany summons the U.S. ambassador in Berlin after the arrest of a man reported to have spied for the United States, heightening friction between the two countries over alleged U.S. eavesdropping in Germany.
— Ukrainian troops force pro-Russian insurgents out of a key stronghold in Ukraine's embattled east, a significant success that suggests the government may finally be making gains in a monthslong battle against a spreading insurgency.
— Israel arrests six Jewish suspects in the slaying of a Palestinian teenager who was abducted and burned alive, a crime that set off a wave of protests in Arab sections of the country.
— Pope Francis begs forgiveness in his first meeting with Catholics sexually abused by members of the clergy and vows to hold bishops responsible for their handling of pedophile priests.
— Afghanistan presidential candidate Abdullah Abdullah defiantly tells thousands of his supporters he will declare victory in the country's election, claiming massive fraud was responsible for preliminary results that put his rival Ashraf Ghani in the lead.
— Israel steps up its offensive on the Hamas-run Gaza Strip, pummeling scores of targets and killing at least 22 people in response to rocket attacks on its territory.
— Germany demands Washington's top spy leave the country as a new round of allegations over US. espionage worsens friction between the two allies.
— Kurdish security forces take over two major oil fields outside the disputed northern city of Kirkuk and say they will use some of the production for domestic purposes, further widening a split with the central government of Prime Minister Nouri al-Malaki.
— Afghanistan's two rival candidates reach a breakthrough agreement to allow a complete audit of their contested presidential election.
— Thousands of Palestinian residents flee their homes and seek safety in U.N. shelters, heeding warnings from the Israeli military about impending plans to bomb the area in the sixth day of an offensive against Hamas that has killed more than 160 people.
— Egypt presents a cease-fire plan to end heavy fighting between Israel and Hamas militants that has left at least 185 people dead.
— Israel resumes heavy bombing of Gaza and warns that Hamas "would pay the price" after the Islamic militant group rejects an Egyptian truce plan and instead unleashes more rocket barrages at the Jewish state.
— The U.S. and the European Union impose new economic sanctions on Russia, as President Barack Obama declares that Moscow must see that its actions supporting Ukrainian rebels "have consequences."
— A Malaysian Airlines passenger plane carrying 295 people is shot down over war-torn eastern Ukraine; both Ukraine's government and pro-Russian separatists deny responsibility for downing the aircraft.
— World leaders demand that pro-Russian rebels at the eastern Ukrainian crash site of Malaysia Airlines Flight 17 give immediate, unfettered access to independent investigators to determine who shot down the plane.
— Israeli bulldozers demolish more than a dozen tunnels in the Gaza Strip; Palestinian authorities report intensified air strikes and shelling as the death toll from Israel's ground offensive rises to at least 352.
—The U.S. presents what it calls "powerful" evidence that rebels in eastern Ukraine shot down a Malaysian jetliner with a Russian surface-to-air missile.
— Pro-Moscow separatists bow to international pressure and agree to turn over flight data recorders from the downed Malaysia Airlines plane, four days after it plunged into eastern Ukraine.
— A Hamas rocket explodes near Israel's main airport, prompting a ban on flights from the U.S. and many from Europe and Canada.
— Victims of the Malaysian jetliner shot down over Ukraine return to Dutch soil in a solemn ceremony as pro-Russian rebels shoot down two Ukraine government fighter jets.
-An Air Algerie jetliner carrying 116 people crashes in restive northern Mali — the third major international aviation disaster in a week.
— The U.S. and Ukraine charge Russia with launching artillery attacks from its soil on Ukrainian troops and preparing to move heavier weaponry across the border in what appears to be an escalation of the crisis.
— Hamas resumes rocket fire on Israel after rejecting its offer to extend a humanitarian cease-fire — the latest setback in international efforts to negotiate an end to the Gaza war.
— One of Liberia's most high-profile doctors has died of Ebola and an American physician was being treated for the deadly virus — highlighting the risks facing health workers trying to combat an outbreak that has killed more than 670 people in West Africa.
— Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu tells Israelis to be ready for a "prolonged" conflict with Hamas in Gaza as both sides hold out for bigger gains and a cease-fire in the three week conflict remains elusive.
— One of Europe's last banking dynasties, Portugal's Banco Espirito Sancto, is being stripped of its wealth and influence amid accounting irregularities, huge unreported debts, record losses at the family bank and a police investigation.
— Talks aimed at averting Argentina's second default in 13 years end with bitter recriminations as the South American country says it cannot not accept a deal with U.S. hedge fund creditors it describes as "vultures."
—The death toll from the worst recorded Ebola outbreak in history surpasses 700 in West Africa as security forces go from house to house in Sierra Leone looking for infected people in an effort to combat the disease.