10 Major Happenings That Shook The World In 2014

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Photo Credit: iStock.com/Artist's PhotoTalk

An entire year has come to an end, and as the last sun of 2014 sets, the thoughts of what we did and what we still didn’t do started streaming my mind. This year saw a lot of ups and downs, but as always it was the mess of political affairs that took the crown. Wavering in the wake of the horrendous impacts of the Israel-Gaza conflict, the uncertainties with the Russia and China, the same old power struggles, one wonders whether we moved forward at all. Or does a new year merely mean the earth completing its rotation? Lets’ see what were the major issues of the year gone by…

• Mysterious Malaysian Airlines:

One of the biggest mind boggling mysteries, perhaps, is the abrupt disappearance of the Malaysian airplane flight MH370. Five hours after contact was lost, the aircraft was reported missing. As widening search efforts proved futile, the hopes of the families of the crew and passengers began to fade, and ‘Malaysian airlines’ became embroiled in the unexplained phenomena of losing an entire plane in the skies above or the seas below, nobody actually knows.

• The Ukrainian Crisis:

To put it baldly, the situation with Ukraine could have been improved if the United States played its part well, and early enough to stop the people of Ukraine from their unwarranted suffering. But as is custom when such crisis arises in a country, everybody is keen to wait and see how low they are willing to go before they give in, and let’s just say that Russia knows how to put up a fight and protect its borders from getting merged. Putin may very well be prepared to pay a hefty price if it comes to that before having to succumb to the pressure of giving up what they’ve got just because the U.S wants it! In the meantime, the sanctions that got approved aren’t helping the European economy and things just might go from bad to worse, especially, for the people of Ukraine.

• The Ongoing Conflict Of Gaza And Israel:

It’s an age old conflict, of that we are all well aware. But is there ever going to be solution that would be long lasting, a peace that would mean safety and security for people on both sides of the border equally? The most recent outbreak caused a lot of furor, not to mention grief as lives were rent apart by shootings and missiles and gun fires were opened at innocent civilians who had little or nothing to do with the political conflicts. But 2014 saw the loss of yet many more lives, all because the UN didn’t speak up when it should have or the ‘world powers’ were supporting the obliterators of humanity instead of supporting humanity itself…how many more tears and how much more blood can the soil of Gaza soak before there is some sort of solution brought about for this ongoing hostility? Let’s all hope that it doesn’t take too long…

• Europe’s Unstable Economy:

So, it seems that only a year ago, France was doddering on the verge of economic downfall, but now it seems that Germany (despite its world cup) may be joining her in the same boat. With the strict sanctions imposed on Russia, and Scotland’s status hovering uncertainly in the air, the European Jews going to Israel to stop the rise of anti-Semitism; it is becoming clear that Europe is finding it harder to maintain its sense of Unity, economic growth and sidestep the mine of geopolitical irrelevance!

• The Political Divide In America:

What may seem as a thing of no great importance to an unaware person, might just be one of the most worrisome trend in the drift of American politics in the last decade. Where the divide was a small gap between the two leading parties, the Democrats and the Republicans in 1994, it increased to a wider gaping space easily discernable in 2004, and now in 2014 it seems that the two parties have much increased ideological divide, openly felt by partisan animosity. While one may wonder what impact a party’s ideology could have on a common man, it is true that these influences are very much the factor behind where people who are politically aware and active may want to live and who they might want to socialize with! Not to mention the fact that whatever party is in the Office, their differences against the other will surely tell in country’s policies.

• The Ebola Virus:

The Ebola virus was one of the main crises to afflict us this year. The outbreak began in Guinea and spread through neighboring countries with a few isolated cases located in Spain and the U.S., which caused the real alarm. When the disease started to spread outside of Africa, people began to take notice, and searches revealed that this disease spread through direct body fluids, and through Ebola bats, which were the original carriers. In November, though, a new vaccine was declared by WHO for formal trial, a Canadian vaccine which had cured two US patients. This brought a fresh surge of hope that maybe WHO would be able to provide cure for this disease in the African regions too where this virus is at its peak.

• U.S. And The Wars Of The Past Decade:

The supposed wars on terror that America waged in Afghanistan and Iraq damaged its reputation badly in the earlier years of the decade, but when Barack Obama took the office, the impressions began to change. Although not much changed after the initial year, except for policies and a different approach ion tactics, the wars that the U.S. participated in the past decade have greatly resulted in a decline of popularity of the country, even the residents of the U.S. started to believe that the countries would have been better off if the U.S. hadn’t ‘helped’ them…so to speak. In view of the current crisis in the Middle East and Ukraine, people started to strongly believe that U.S. should mind its own business internationally!

• Iran-America Deadlock:

Many believe that if Barack Obama wants to leave the Oval office in good grace, with at least one tangible achievement under his belt, securing an agreement with Iran about its nuclear power is his one last sure bet. It would not only help in opening doors with good relationship with Tehran but also they would be able to better cooperate with their combined threat, the rising IS, or the ISIS. But the fact remains that there are hard liners on both ends and there are several political and ideological unresolved issues, which could prevent a hasty execution of this plan, and time is what the oval office currently can’t afford, because the clock is ticking on Obama…with their core strategic objectives at odds, here’s to optimism!

• The Threats Of Violent Extremism:

For the past 20 years with the emergence of Al-Qaeda, terrorism became not just a textbook word but a very real threat for the moderate people of the world. After the sufferings of the past decade, however, with the countless loss of lives in the 9/11 attack and then the wars on terror that resulted in nothing good, only more death and destruction which fueled more extremist groups; the question which now arises is whether the U.S and its allies will ever come up with a real solution to this multifaceted ever growing problem. Is every religious group an ‘extremist’? Should all threats be considered extremely violent, even before they take on the shape of threat? Could it be that by provoking harmless religious groups, the U.S. actually gave birth to more extremist terrorist groups? It’s high time that a new and better approach, a violence-free approach be taken towards eradication of this parasite from our society. The wars that wage inside demand that instead of sending in drones in every nook and corner of the world where there is even a remote possibility of extremism; it would be well for the U.S. and the allies to find out a better solution.

• East Asia On The Rise:

China’s rise has shifted the balance of power in East Asia, and Beijing continues to press various territorial claims in the East China and South China seas. There have been desultory efforts to resolve these disputes and no serious progress. In the absence of multilateral agreement, these disputes are just trouble waiting to happen, especially given U.S. treaty commitments to various regional allies and to freedom of navigation more broadly. America’s “rebalance” to Asia was supposed to help address these issues, but Washington keeps getting distracted by more dramatic, but, ultimately, less significant events elsewhere.

Alvin Toffler once said: “The illiterate of the 21st century will not be those who cannot read and write, but those, who cannot learn, unlearn and relearn.” Lets’ hope 2015 will see a better world with fewer issues and more solutions. There are just too many failure stories to learn from!

About The Author

Kelvin Stiles is a tech enthusiast and works as a marketing consultant at SurveyCrest – FREE online survey software and publishing tools for academic and business use. He is also an avid blogger and a comic book fanatic.