The Biggest News Stories of 2014, in Photos

From Ferguson to Kiev to Monrovia, vivid images from a tumultuous 12 months.


It’s been a tumultuous year marked by civil war in Syria and Ukraine, the spread of the Islamic State in the Middle East, massive protests against police violence in the United States, air disasters for Southeast Asian airlines, a spirited campaign for control of Congress, and major policy announcements via executive order by President Obama. Here a look back at some of the best images from the year’s major news stories.

January 25: A protester hurls a Molotov cocktail during a clash with police in Kiev, Ukraine. Sergei Grits/AP
 

January 31: Palestinians line up for food in Yarmouk, a refugee camp in Damascus, Syria. UNRWA/AP
 

March 22: Relatives of passengers on Malaysia Airlines flight MH370 shouted their demands at reporters after Malaysian government representatives left a briefing in Beijing. The airplane has still not been found. Ng Han Guan/AP
 

April 3: A Spanish officer assists a migrant who fainted atop a fence that divides Morocco from the Spanish enclave of Melilla. Thousands of sub-Saharan migrants live illegally in Morocco, and regularly try to enter Melilla in the hope of later making it to the Spanish mainland. Santi Palacios/AP
 

April 12: Supporters of rancher Cliven Bundy fly the American flag in celebration after the US Bureau of Land Management released the family’s cattle onto public land near Bunkerville, Nevada. Armed backers of rancher Bundy lived along a state highway in southern Nevada for almost three weeks following an armed standoff with the BLM, which had rounded up the cattle saying Bundy owed $1.1 million in grazing fees and penalties. Jason Bean/Las Vegas Review-Journal/AP
 

April 16: A South Korean rescue team and fishing boats try to rescue passengers of the sinking ferry Sewol off the country’s southern coast. The ferry capsized with 476 people aboard, many of them students—and 307 died.   South Korea Coast Guard/Yonhap/AP
 

May 9: Russian President Vladimir Putin attends a parade marking Russia’s forcible annexation, two months earlier, of much of Crimea, previously Ukrainian territory. Ukraine and NATO quickly condemned the victory lap.  Ivan Sekretarev/AP
 

May 12: This image from a video by Nigeria’s Boko Haram terrorist network shows missing girls the group abducted from the northeastern town of Chibok. More than 200 schoolgirls were kidnapped by Boko Haran in April. They were forced to convert to Islam and married off to the group’s members. AP

 

May 16: Supporters write congratulatory messages for India’s Prime Minister-elect Narendra Modi at his party’s headquarters in New Delhi. Modi’s victory, the most decisive in more than a quarter century, swept the long-dominant Congress party from power. Manish Swarup/AP
 

May 24: Richard Martinez, whose son Christopher was killed in a mass shooting in Isla Vista, California, lashed out at the NRA and politicians who support the group. The previous day, 22-year-old Elliot Rodger killed six people and wounded 13 before killing himself. Jae C. Hong/AP
 

June 15: A helicopter circles over the Shirley Fire near Lake Isabella, California. The fire ultimately burned 2,645 acres and caused more than $12 million in damage. It was just one of 5,597 wildfires that altogether burned more than 90,000 acres, according to Cal FireStuart Palley/ZUMA
 

June 18: Immigrant children who crossed the US/Mexico border without a parent sleep in a holding cell at a Customs and Border Protection processing facility in Brownsville, Texas. Eric Gay, Pool/AP
 

July 8: Brazil midfielder Fernandinho reacts after Germany scores its third goal during the World Cup semifinals. Germany humiliated the host nation with a 7-1 victory before eliminating Argentina in the final to win its fourth World Cup title. Natacha Pisarenko/AP
 

July 14: Palestinians who fled their homes under heavy bombardment by Israel take refuge at a UN-run school in Gaza City. Many such schools came under attack during the seven weeks of fighting between Israel and Hamas. Majdi Fathi/NurPhoto/ZUMA
 

July 17: NYPD officer Daniel Pantaleo restrains Eric Garner with a chokehold in this still from an eyewitness video. Garner died shortly afterward, and a grand jury decision not to indict the officer sparked massive protests across the nation. YouTube
 

July 19: Emergency workers carry a body bag from the site of a Malaysia Airlines crash near the eastern Ukrainian village of Hrabove. Ukraine accused Russian separatist rebels of shooting down the plane, a charge the rebels deny. Evgeniy Maloletka/AP
 

July 29: Israeli soldiers, family, and friends mourn Sgt. Sagi Erez, killed in combat after militants used a tunnel to sneak into Israel from Gaza. Ariel Schalit/AP
 

August 13: A demonstrator throws a teargas container back at riot police in Ferguson, Missouri, where the killing of an unarmed black man by a police officer set off weeks of street protests. Robert Cohen/St Louis Post-Dispatch/TNS/ZUMA
 

August 14: US servicemen discuss the deconstruction of a command operation center in Afghanistan’s Helmand Province. On October 26, after 13 years, America, Britain, and Australia formerly ended Afghan combat operations. Cpl. John A. Martinez Jr./U.S. Marine Corps
 

August 26: A pro-Russian rebel patrols through the rubble of a market damaged by shelling in Donetsk, eastern Ukraine. Mstislav Chernov/AP
 

August 28: A worker prepares to remove the corpse of an Ebola victim in Unification Town, Liberia, part of the most severe outbreak since the virus was discovered. Kieran Kesner/Rex /ZUMA
 

Mid-September: Businessman Jon Gamble near Dunblane on the eve of a Scottish independence referendum. On September 18, a majority of the voters chose to remain part of the United Kingdom. Andrew Milligan/PA Wire/AP
 

September 23: Air Force Maj. Gena Fedoruk and 1st Lt. Marcel Trott take off in a KC-135 Stratotanker as part of a mission to conduct airstrikes on Islamic State positions in Syria. Senior Airman Matthew Bruch/U.S. Air Force
 

September 27: Riot police use pepper spray on pro-democracy activists who forced their way into Hong Kong government headquarters, challenging Beijing’s decision to backpedal on promised democratic reforms. Apple Daily/AP
 

October 20: An airstrike by a US-led coalition in Kobani, Syria, as seen from a hilltop near the Turkey-Syria border. Kobani and the surrounding areas has been under assault by Islamic State extremists since mid-September. Lefteris Pitarakis/AP
 

November 4: Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell casts his ballot at Bellarmine University in Louisville, Kentucky. He easily won a sixth term. J. Scott Applewhite/AP
 

December 8: Protesters rallying against police violence and the deaths of Michael Brown and Eric Garner at the hands of police, stop traffic on Interstate 80 in Berkeley, California. Noah Berger/AP
 

December 20: In Havana, members of the so-called Cuban Five celebrate a recent exchange of imprisoned spies, part of a historic agreement to restore relations between the United States and Cuba. Ramon Espinosa/AP

December 26: A protester in Mexico City displays painted hands and the number 43, signifying the number of students taken from a rural teachers college and handed over to a drug gang to be killed, according to an investigation by Mexican government authorities. Marce Ugarte/AP
 

December 27: The casket of NYPD officer Rafael Ramos is carried from a church in Queens after funeral services. Ramos and his partner, Officer Wenjian Liu, were shot to death in Brooklyn on December 20 by a man, Ismaaiyl Brinsley, who said it was in retaliation for the deaths of Michael Brown and Eric Garner. Brinsley later killed himself. Julio Cortez/AP
 

December 29: Indonesian Air Force officials study a map during search and rescue efforts for the missing AirAsia flight QZ8501. Wreckage from the plane, along with dozens of floating bodies, were found in the Java Sea on December 30.  Sijori Images/ZUMA