Key world events in 2014

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Here is a panorama of world events in 2014:

– February –

– 18: UKRAINE: Security forces crack down on pro-European protestors in Kiev’s central Independence Square, or Maidan. More than 100 people die.

On May 25 a pro-Western billionaire, Petro Poroshenko, is elected president.

– March –

– 8: MALAYSIA: Malaysia Airlines flight MH370, flying from Kuala Lumpur to Beijing with 239 people aboard, disappears.

– 16: UKRAINE: The Ukrainian peninsula of Crimea votes to join Russia. Days later Russia annexes the region.

– April –

In April, a separatist insurrection erupts in eastern Ukraine. Since then more than 4,700 people have been killed, according to UN figures, and peace efforts have stalled.

– 14: NIGERIA: Two hundred and seventy-six schoolgirls are kidnapped by the Islamist group Boko Haram in the northeast. Two hundred and nineteen remain missing.

– 16: SOUTH KOREA: The Sewol ferry sinks, carrying 476 people. Of the 304 killed, 250 are students from the same high school.

– 27: THE VATICAN: In a first for the Roman Catholic Church, Pope Francis proclaims ex-popes John Paul II and John XXIII the faith’s newest saints.

– May –

– 24: BELGIUM: A gunman kills four people at the Brussels Jewish Museum. Police arrest Frenchman Mehdi Nemmouche, 29, on May 30 in connection with the crime.

– 26-28: EGYPT: Ex-army chief Abdel Fattah al-Sisi is elected president, 11 months after the military’s overthrow of Mohamed Morsi.

– June –

– 19: SPAIN: King Felipe VI, 46, succeeds his father Juan Carlos, who abdicated after a 38-year-reign.

– 29: IRAQ-SYRIA: Sunni Arab militants from the newly-named Islamic State declare an “Islamic caliphate” in parts of Iraq and Syria.

In August, US-led airstrikes begin targeting IS positions and the militants behead five Westerners.

– July –

– 8: ISRAEL-PALESTINIANS: Israel launches Operation Protective Edge on the Gaza Strip. Seven weeks of clashes and bombing kill nearly 2,200 Palestinians and more than 70 Israelis.

– 15: EUROPEAN UNION: Jean-Claude Juncker is named head of the EU’s executive Commission.

– 17: MALAYSIA-UKRAINE: Malaysia Airlines flight MH17 flying from Amsterdam to Kuala Lumpur is shot down over eastern Ukraine, killing 298 people.

– August –

– 8: WEST AFRICA: The World Health Organization declares a west Africa epidemic of the haemorrhagic fever Ebola a “public health emergency of international concern”. By late December more than 7,500 people die from the virus, WHO says.

– 9: US: Violent protests erupt in Ferguson, Missouri, after a white police officer kills an unarmed black teenager. Fresh violence explodes in late November after a grand jury declines to charge the policeman with wrongdoing.

– September –

– 18: BRITAIN: Scottish voters reject independence by 55.3 percent.

– 26: MEXICO: A presumed massacre of 43 students by a drug gang allied with police in the southern state of Guerrero sparks a political crisis.

– 28: HONG KONG: The start of more than two months of pro-democracy protests seeking free elections for the semi-autonomous Chinese city by 2017. Police tear down their campsites on December 15.

– 29: AFGHANISTAN: Ashraf Ghani is sworn in as new president after three months of political crisis.

– October –

– 10: NOBEL: Pakistani Malala Yousafzai, 17, becomes the youngest winner of the Nobel Peace Prize, sharing the award with Indian Kailash Satyarthi, 60, for championing children’s rights.

– 21: SOUTH AFRICA: Amputee sprinting star Oscar Pistorius is sentenced to five years in prison for killing his model girlfriend Reeva Steenkamp in 2013.

– 22: CANADA: A gunman kills a soldier and attempts to storm the parliament in Ottawa before being shot by the body’s sergeant-at-arms.

– 31: BURKINA FASO: Blaise Compaore is ousted after 27 years in power when he tries to amend the constitution to stay in office.

– November –

– 12: SPACE: European spacecraft Philae makes world’s first landing on a comet, which is more than 510 million kilometres (320 million miles) from Earth.

– 23: TUNISIA: Tunisians vote in their first presidential election since the 2011 revolution that sparked the Arab Spring.

Beji Caid Essebsi, 88, wins the second-round vote on December 21.

– December –

– 1: Opening in Lima of the UN’s 20th conference on climate change, after China, the United States and Europe accept a general framework agreement.

– 15: An Iranian-born Islamist takes 17 people hostage in a Sydney cafe. Three people are left dead, including the hostage taker, and six are wounded after police storm the business.

– 16: Gunmen assault a school run by the army in Peshawar, northwestern Pakistan, leaving 150 people dead, including 134 school children. Tehreek-e-Taliban Pakistan (TTP) claims responsibility for the attack.

On December 17, Pakistan announced it will end its moratorium on the death penalty in terror-related cases.

– 17: Cuba and the United States announce improved economic ties and the re-establishment of diplomatic relations after a freeze of more than 50 years.

– 17: Colombian Marxist guerilla group FARC declares a unilateral ceasefire in its fight against the government.

– 17: Sony Pictures abruptly cancels the release of “The Interview,” a comedy about a fictional plot to kill leader Kim Jong-Un that outraged North Korea and triggered threats from hackers.

On December 24 the company does a U-turn and decides to show the film in some US cinemas on Christmas Day.

– 28: Malaysian-based AirAsia says flight QZ8501 carrying 162 people has gone missing en route from Indonesia to Singapore after the crew requested a change of flight plan due to stormy weather.