Chronology of news events in 2014
— The United States sharply criticizes Israel over a housing project in east Jerusalem.
— Hong Kong’s embattled leader refuses demands by pro-democracy protesters to step down and instead offers talks to defuse a week of massive demonstrations that have grown into the biggest challenge to Beijing’s authority since China took control of the former British colony in 1997.
— An Internet video purports to show an Islamic State group militant beheading British hostage Alan Henning, the fourth such killing carried out by the extremist group now targeted by U.S.-led airstrikes.
— North Korea’s presumptive No. 2 leader and other members of Pyongyang’s inner circle meet with South Korean officials in the rivals’ highest level face-to-face talks in five years.
— A suicide bomber blows himself up in Grozny, killing five policemen and wounding 12 others as the Chechen capital celebrates the birthday of its pro-Russian leader.
— A Spanish nurse tests who treated a missionary for Ebola tests positive for the virus, its first known transmission outside of West Africa.
— Two Japanese scientists and a Japanese-born American win the Nobel Prize for physics for inventing a new kind of light-emitting diode or LED that promises to revolutionize the way the world lights its offices and homes.
— A Liberian man who was the first person diagnosed with Ebola in the United States dies despite intense but delayed treatment, and the U.S. government announces it is expanding airport screening to guard against the spread of the deadly disease that has killed thousands in West Africa.
— Six U.S. military planes arrive in the Ebola hot zone with more Marines as West African leaders plead for the world’s help in dealing with a tragedy “unforeseen in modern times.”
— A 17-year-old Pakistani girl, Malala Yousafzai, and a 60-year-old Indian, Kailash Satyarthi, are co-winners of the Nobel Peace Prize, honored for risking their lives for the rights of children to education and to live lives free of abuse.
— World finance leaders promise “bold and ambitious” action to boost a global economic recovery that has shown recent disturbing signs of weakness.
— A donor conference in Cairo to raise money for Gaza after this year’s war between Hamas and Israel ends with pledges of $5.4 billion, half of which will be dedicated to the reconstruction of the coastal strip.
— North Korea’s official news agency says leader Kim Jong Un has made his first public appearance in 40 days, ending an absence that fueled speculation about his health and control over the country.
— Conservative Roman Catholic bishops at a Vatican conference on family values distance themselves from a document that contains an unprecedented opening toward gays and divorced Catholics and vow to make changes to the final version.
— Fresh signs of slow global economic growth and the Ebola crisis send stocks on Wall Street tumbling as much as 460 points in the most turbulent day since 2011 before partially recovering. European shares slide as well.
— Riot police move in on a Hong Kong pro-democracy protest zone in a dawn raid, taking down barricades, tents and canopies that have blocked key streets for more than two weeks.
— The World Health Organization acknowledges it botched attempts to stop the now-spiraling Ebola outbreak in West Africa, blaming factors including incompetent staff, lack of information and budget cuts.
— Roman Catholic bishops scrap their landmark welcome to gays and cannot agree on another contentious issue —communion for divorced and remarried Catholics — at a two-week meeting called by Pope Francis to chart a more merciful approach to ministering to the family.
— An Associated Press investigation finds that dozens of Nazis war criminals and SS guards collected millions in U.S. Social Security pension payments after being forced out of the United States.
— New York’s Metropolitan Opera opens “The Death of Klinghoffer” amid protests outside and inside the theater that the work glorifies Palestinian terrorists.
— North Korea’s reclusive regime abruptly frees an American man nearly six months after he was arrested for leaving a Bible in a nightclub.
—A gunman shoots to death a soldier standing guard at a war memorial, then storms Canada’s Parliament in the heart of downtown Ottawa before he is shot and killed by the usually ceremonial sergeant-at-arms.
— Jerusalem’s mayor calls for an end to a wave of Palestinian unrest and police strengthen security after a Palestinian with a history of anti-Israel violence rams his car into a light rail train station, killing a baby girl.
— A coordinated assault on an army checkpoint in the Sinai Peninsula kills 30 Egyptian troops, making it the deadliest single attack on the military, which has been trying to stem a wave of violence by Islamic extremists.
— The World Health Organization says more than 10,000 have been infected with Ebola and nearly half of them have died as the outbreak continues to spread.
— Left-leaning Dilma Roussef is narrowly re-elected in Brazil’s tightest presidential election since its return to democracy three decades ago.
— A river of molten lava from Kilauea, one of the world’s most active volcanos, threatens residents of a Hawaiian village who may have to leave their homes.
— Thousands of flag-waving, cheering people give a noisy send-off to a group of Iraqi Kurdish peshmerga troops who leave for Turkey on their way to help their Syrian brethren fight Islamic extremists in the embattled border town of Kobani.
— Egypt demolishes dozens of homes along its border with the Gaza Strip after the military ordered residents out to make way for a buffer zone meant to keep out militants and smugglers.
— Israel closes all access to Jerusalem’s most sensitive religious site, a rare moved that ratcheted up tensions after the attempted assassination of a Jewish religious activist and the killing of a Palestinian suspect in the case by security forces.
— The president of Burkina Faso steps down after protesters storm parliament and set the building ablaze, ending the 27-year reign of one of Africa’s longest serving rulers who had survived previous attempts to topple him.