This festive period has been very colourful rather than white in Kenya, due to geographical reasons. After a great first term drew to a close, the Christmas and New Year preparations started. Time flew by and I had a great Christmas break. However, during this, I feel that we did not get the time to look back at 2014 and how the roller coaster ride actually was. There were highs and lows, but in this blog I wish to outline the major talking points of the year passed. I have ranked them in my view, as per their importance:
1. Ebola- After a major Ebola outbreak in parts of West Africa, the dreaded and often fatal disease arrives in the U.S. Though it’s just a handful of cases, misunderstanding ignites fear in some quarters.
2. MH370 – The March disappearance of a Malaysian airliner becomes an intriguing mystery when not a trace of the plane can be found and there are few clues as to why it vanished.
3. ISIS – Not the International Student Immigration Service offered at the LSE! A new terrorist threat – the militant Islamic State in Iraq and Syria, or ISIS – gains power and land in the Middle East and provokes indignation with its videos of violence and hostage beheadings.
4. Ferguson – The shooting death of Michael Brown, a black teenager, by Ferguson, Missouri, police officer Darren Wilson ignites protests. After a grand jury rules not to indict Wilson, the city is hit by further unrest.
5. Ukraine – A passenger airliner is shot down in the midst of the conflict in Ukraine. The West points fingers at pro-Russian separatists while Russian leader Vladimir Putin points right back.
6. Celebrity Deaths – Philip Seymour Hoffman dies of a drug overdose. Robin Williams commits suicide. Joan Rivers dies after an operation. Their deaths shake the entertainment world, which remembers their powerful contributions.
7. Ice Bucket Challenge – In August, a social media campaign for ALS goes viral, prompting many to dump buckets of ice-cold water on their heads and post the results. The campaign far exceeds expectations, raising more than $100 million.
8. SONY Cyber Hack – This was one of the most shocking stories. The Sony Pictures hack was a release of confidential data belonging to Sony Pictures Entertainment. The data included personal information about Sony Pictures employees and their families, e-mails between employees, information about executive salaries at the company, copies of unreleased Sony films, and other information. The Interview was a highly controversial film about North Korea’s leader Kim Jong Un.
9. Sport – Despite concerns about readiness, the 2014 FIFA World Cup goes off in cities across Brazil without a hitch. Perhaps the only downside for the host country was its failure to win the tournament.
10. The Pistorius Trial – The trial of South African Olympic runner Oscar Pistorius over the death of his girlfriend consumes seven months and ends in a verdict of culpable homicide
11. Market Fluctuations – very unstable period in the market with a major story being the interest rate rise by the Russian government that backfired.
12. iPhone 6 – the greatest phone on Earth?
HAPPY NEW YEAR AND WISHING YOU A SUCCESSFUL 2015!
Please do not hesitate to leave comments to discuss what you thought made 2014!