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Chronology of news events in 2014

January 1, 2015

Chronology of news events in 2014

JANUARY

Jan. 1

— The Palestinian ambassador to the Czech Republic dies in an explosion that occurred when he opened an old safe that had been left untouched for more than 20 years.

Jan. 2

— An explosion tears through a crowded commercial street in a south Beirut neighborhood that is a bastion of support for the Shiite group Hezbollah, killing at least five.

Jan. 3

— Secretary of State John Kerry’s closed-door diplomacy to broker peace between Israel and the Palestinians bursts into a public spat with both sides trading bitter criticisms.

Jan. 4

— The city center of Iraq’s Fallujah falls completely into the hands of fighters from the al-Qaida-linked Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant.

Jan. 5

— Secretary of State John Kerry says the U.S. will support Iraq’s fight against al-Qaida-linked militants who have overrun two cities but will not send in U.S. troops.

Jan. 6

- Millions of Egyptian Christians throng churches across the mainly Muslim nation for Christmas Mass amid unusually tight security in response to fears Islamic militants loyal to ousted President Mohammed Morsi might attack.

Jan. 7

— The first batch of the most dangerous chemicals in Syria’s arsenal is loaded on a Danish ship and taken out of the country, an important milestone in an international operation to rid President Bashar Assad of the weapons.

Jan. 8

— President Nicolas Maduro hastily gathers state governors and mayors to talk about the country’s violent crime amid public outrage of the killing of a popular soap opera actress and former Miss Venezuela.

Jan. 9

— A senior police investigator known for hunting down Pakistani Taliban militants is killed in a car bombing in Karachi, a blow to security in the country’s biggest city.

Jan. 10

— The U.S. advises Americans planning to attend the Winter Olympics in Sochi, Russia, to be vigilant about their security due to potential terrorist threats.

Jan. 11

— Sub-Saharan Africa sees a violent start to 2014 with raging conflicts in South Sudan and the Central African Republic as well as continued violence in Congo and attacks in Kenya and Somalia.

Jan. 12

— Iran agrees to open the Islamic Republic’s nuclear program to daily inspection starting Jan.20, setting the clock running on a six-month deadline for a final agreement.

Jan. 13

— A new law in Nigeria, signed by the president without announcement, makes it illegal for gays to even hold a meeting. The Same Sex Marriage Prohibition Act also criminalizes homosexual organizations and clubs.

Jan. 14

— French President Francois Hollande concedes that he is going through “painful moments” with his companion who was hospitalized after a magazine reported he was secretly having an affair with a movie actress.

Jan. 15

— The future king of Bahrain meets with top Shiite opposition leaders for the first time in nearly three years.

Jan. 16

—The Vatican is called to account before an obscure U.N. human rights committee after decades of fending off accusations its culture of secrecy had contributed to the global priest sex abuse scandal.

Jan. 17

— A suicide bomber blows himself up outside a Kabul restaurant filled with foreigners and affluent Afghans while two gunmen sneak in through a back door and open fire in a brazen dinnertime attack that kills 21.

Jan. 18

— The main Western-backed Syrian opposition group votes in favor of attending a coming peace conference aimed at ending the country’s bloody civil war.

Jan. 19

— An Islamic militant group in Russia’s North Caucasus claims responsibility for the recent twin bombings in the southern city of Volgograd and posts a video threatening a strike at the 2014 Winter Olympics in Sochi.

Jan. 20

— Iran unplugs banks of centrifuges involved in its most sensitive nuclear enrichment program, prompting the U.S. and the European Union to partially lift economic sanctions as a landmark deal aimed at easing concerns over Iran’s nuclear program goes into effect.

Jan. 21

—Thousands of Egyptians urge the country’s powerful army chief, Abdel-Fattah el-Sissi, to run for president at a rally, angering pro-democracy advocates.

Jan. 22

— Representatives of Syrian President Bashar Assad and the rebellion against him threaten to collapse a peace conference in Switzerland intended to lead them out of civil war.

Jan. 23

— South Sudan’s government and rebels sign a cease-fire that leaders hope will end five weeks of warfare that has killed thousands of soldiers and civilians.

Jan. 24

— A truck bombing strikes the main security headquarters in Cairo, one of a string of bombings targeting police in a 10-hour period, killing 6 on the eve of the third anniversary of the revolt that overthrew President Hosni Mubarak and left the Arab nation deeply divided.

Jan. 25

— Syria’s government and opposition face each other for the first time in Switzerland, buffered by a U.N. mediator hoping to guide them to a resolution of the country’s devastating civil war.

Jan. 26

— Thousands of Ukrainians chant “hero” and sing the national anthem as the coffin of a protester who was killed in clashes with police is carried through the streets of Kiev, underscoring the rising tensions in the country’s two-month political crisis.

Jan. 27

— Suspected Islamic extremists used explosives and heavy guns to attack a village and worshippers during a Christian service in northern Nigeria, killing at least 99 and razing hundreds of homes.

Jan. 28

— Ukraine’s prime minister resigns and parliament repeals anti-protest laws in back-to-back moves designed to defuse the country’s political crisis.

Jan. 29

—Syrian President Bashar Assad’s adviser rejects the opposition’s call for a transitional government body and suggests for the first time that a presidential election scheduled to be held later this year may not take place amid raging violence.

Jan. 30

— An appeals court in Florence upholds the guilty verdict against U.S. student Amanda Knox and her ex-boyfriend for the 2007 murder of her British roommate, raising the prospect of a long legal battle over her extradition from Italy to serve a 28 1/2 year prison sentence if the conviction stands.

Jan. 31

— The long-delayed Keystone XL oil pipeline clears a major hurdle toward approval, a serious blow to environmentalists’ hopes that President Barrack Obama will block the controversial project running more than 1,000 miles (1,600 kilometers) from Canada through the heart of the U.S.

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