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Year In Review: What Happened From January-June 2014 That Got People Talking?

T.S Eliot wrote: "For last year's words belong to last year's language, And next year's words await another voice, And to make an end is to make a beginning."

Soon, these 12 months we know will pass so quickly in a blink of an eye and will become last year's language. As 2014 draws to a close, let’s take a look at the eventful first half of the year that was.

JANUARY

1 January: The first cases of Ebola emerged in a village Meliandou in Guinea with the death of a child, then his mother, followed by his sister, and, on New Year’s Day, his grandmother. All had shown the same terrible symptoms of fever, vomiting and black diarrhoea. Death began to stalk the region.

2 January: The Selangor Islamic Religious department (Jais) seized 16 boxes of materials containing 320 Malay Bibles (Al-Kitab) and Iban language Bibles (Bup Kudus) during a raid in the Bible Society of Malaysia in Damansara Kim, Petaling Jaya and has kept possession of the copies since then. Menteri Besar Tan Sri Abdul Khalid Ibrahim announces that investigations into the seizure of Malay version bibles from the premises were expected to be completed after Chinese New Year.

2 January: A bus driver lost control and plunges off a cliff, falls 400 ft and kills 30 people in Malshej Ghat, a hilly tourist spot about 160 kilometers (100 miles) northeast of Mumbai, India.

5 January: About 20 states in the United States face an Arctic blast with dropping temperatures to lows that is not seen in years.Nearly half the nation shivered in temperatures of zero or up to 30 degrees lower. Thousands were stuck at airports nationwide due to systemwide delays.

5 January: Sheikh Hasina wins absolute majority in the general election in Bangladesh. The Election Commission received the results of 139 out of the 147 seats for which polling was held.

7 January: After four and a half years after her death, Google doodle honours Yasmin Ahmad on her birthday. The much-loved film director and writer passed away June 25, 2009 due to a stroke and hemorrhaging in the brain.

8 January: The price of RON 97 petrol went up 5 sen to RM2.80 per litre while RON 95 petrol remains at RM2.10 per litre and diesel at RM2.00 per litre.

12 January: Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Razak was quoted saying in his speech in Kemaman, Terengganu addressing rural Malays, who were farmers and fishermen, when he made a remark about the leafy green spinach or ‘kangkung’. The recorded video instantly went viral on YouTube and was ridiculed by netizens, which also resulted to various parodies being created.

“When prices of things go up, everything goes up, including sawi and kangkung. There are times when the prices of vegetables go up and down.

“Today I read in the newspaper that the prices of some things whose prices have dropped. The price of kangkung increased before this and now it has gone down.

“When this happens, they don’t want to praise the government. But when it rises, they blame the government… This is not fair as it is due to weather conditions.”

26 January: Macklemore & Ryan Lewis, Lorde, and Daft Punk win the 56th Grammy Awards

31 January: All the four children of a Malaysian couple, Azizul Raheem Awalludin and Shalwati Norshal, were handed over by the Swedish authorities and have been placed under the care of a Swedish non-Muslim foster family because their parents are being held under remand in Sweden for alleged abuse of one of the children. The couple, who were detained in December 18 last year, were alleged to have committed the offences over a three-year period between September 15, 2010 and December 17, 2013.


FEBRUARY

1 February: Sixteen people, including four pupils on a school trip, have been killed after a series of huge eruptions thundered from Mount Sinabung, Indonesia

2 February: Ranau was shaken by a minor earthquake that hit the district, measuring 4.8 on the Richter scale.

2 February: Super Bowl XLVIII becomes the most viewed television event in the United States with over 111 million viewers

2 February: Protest in Ukraine turn violent after parliament passes legislation that outlaws protest

4 February: A bill, which allows same-sex weddings to take place in Scotland, has been passed by Member of the Scottish Parliament (MSPs). MSPs voted by 105 to 18 in favour of the Marriage and Civil Partnership (Scotland) Bill.

7 February: The XXII Olympic Winter Games (Sochi) 2014 began. There was controversy in the women’s figure skating event, where Russian Adelina Sotnikova unexpectedly triumphed over South Korea’s Yuna Kim. Russia finished top of the medal table with 33 overall, including 13 golds.

13 February: Tan Sri Adenan Satem was named Sarawak's fifth chief minister, replacing Tan Sri Abdul Taib Mahmud. He swore before Yang Dipertua Negeri Tun Abang Muhammad Salahuddin Abang Barieng on February 28 and started his tenure on March 1.

14 February: Italian Prime Minister Enrico Letta resigns after less than a year in office after the leadership of his centre-left party deserted him for Matteo Renzi, a telegenic and smooth-talking rival who cites Tony Blair as a role model and now looks likely to become the country's youngest premier in modern history.

19 February: In a play to dominate messaging on phones and the Internet, Facebook has acquired WhatsApp for $19 billion. Facebook Chief Executive Officer Mark Zuckerberg called WhatsApp “an extremely high-quality product with incredibly strong engagement and rapid growth. It doesn’t get as much attention in the U.S. as it deserves because it started out growing in Europe, India, and Latin America.” He added: “It’s the only widely used app we’ve ever seen that has a higher rate of engagement than Facebook itself.”

21 February: Local Film 'The Journey' Rakes In RM10.7 Million, making it one of the highest grossing Malaysian movies to date. The Malaysian Chinese film was specifically released on January 30 to coincide with the Chinese Lunar New Year. It is directed by Chiu Keng Guan and tells the story of conservative Uncle Chuan who is forced to accept an English son-in-law.

22 February: Fulfilling his promises, Datuk Seri Najib Razak gave assurance that with economic growth, the government would implement development programmes and channel aid to the people. He announced that the government had allocated RM4.6 billion for BR1M 2014 which would benefit 7.9 million recipients with hope to ease the people’s burden, especially the urban residents. The BR1M allowance to households with monthly income of RM3,000 and below was increased from RM500 to RM700, including RM50 for contribution to the Group Takaful Rakyat 1 Malaysia (i-BR1M) insurance which provides protection of up to RM30,000 in the event of death or permanent disability. 

22 February: Matteo Renzi becomes Prime Minister of Italy

24 February: Scientists have confirmed that a tiny zircon, a mineral belonging to the group of neosilicates, from Western Australia’s Jack Hills region is the oldest fragment of Earth’s crust, dating back 4.4 billion years.

25 February: In the early hours of Tuesday 25 February, about 50 gunmen from the Islamist extremist group Boko Haram stormed a co-educational, federal government boarding school in Buni Yadi, Yobe State, about 65km from the state capital, Damaturu. The attackers locked a dormitory and set it on fire, killing many students inside. Students who tried to escape were shot or knifed to death. In all, there were 59 fatalities; all killed were males; some female students were abducted, others ordered to quit school and go get married or be killed in future attacks. The school’s 24 buildings were completely burned down.

25 February: The Klang Gates and Sungai Selangor dams continued to experience a drop in water levels causing water rationing crisis. Water levels at Sungai Selangor, which provided water supply to 60 per cent of the population in the Klang Valley, dropped to 49.95 per cent. While the water at Klang Gates dam, which caters to 30,000 households, dropped to 54.4 per cent. Several places in Selangor, including Balakong, Cheras and Pandan have gone without water for the past week.


MARCH

1 March: 29 people are killed & 130 are injured by a group of knife-wielding terrorists at Kunming Railway Station, China

1 March: US President Obama spoke for 90 minutes with Russian President Vladimir Putin in what appeared to have been a testy exchange reflecting an escalating battle of wills and growing international tension over Ukraine. He called on Putin to pull Russian forces, reportedly spread across Crimea, back to their bases in the autonomous Ukrainian region and made clear that Russian refusal would lead to suspension of U.S. participation in planning for the upcoming Group of Eight summit in Sochi, Russia, scheduled for June, and “greater political and economic isolation.”

2 March: Besides Matthew McConaughey and Cate Blanchett winning the 86th Academy Awards, 'The Oscars Selfie' became the most tweeted moment around the world. Ellen DeGeneres' infamous Oscars selfie featured the likes of Jennifer Lawrence, Meryl Streep, Julia Roberts, Brad Pitt, Angelina Jolie, Lupita N'yongo and not forgetting the man who held the camera - Bradley Cooper.

2 March: President Putin receives unanimous approval from Russia's parliament to send troops to the Ukraine

4 March: US President Obama released a nearly $4 trillion budget proposal for 2015 that includes more generous tax breaks for working families while scaling back breaks for the rich.

7 March: Anwar Found Guilty -The Court of Appeal had reversed the High Court’s acquittal ruling on the 66-year-old Anwar, which was decided after a lengthy three-year trial where he was charged with sodomising a former male aide, Mohd Saiful Bukhari Azlan in 2009. The Court of Appeal has found opposition leader guilty of sodomising Mohd Saiful and an hour later he was sentenced to five years imprisonment.

8 March: Malaysia Airlines lost contact with flight MH370 carrying 239 people, which was destined for Beijing from Kuala Lumpur – two hours after takeoff. Despite being the largest and most expensive search in aviation history, there has been no confirmation of any flight debris, resulting in many unofficial theories about its disappearance. On 24 March, the Malaysian government, noting that the final location determined by the satellite communication was far from any possible landing sites, concluded that flight MH370 ended in the southern Indian Ocean.

16 March: Voters in Crimea voted overwhelmingly to leave Ukraine and rejoin Russia amid international condemnation of its design. The following day, the Republic of Crimea was declared.

22 March: 251 people were killed after a boat capsized in Lake Albert, between the Democratic Republic of Congo (DR Congo) and Uganda. The boat was taking Congolese refugees in Uganda back to their home country. The disaster happened just days after DR Congo launched a campaign to enforce the wearing of life jackets on all boats on its many waterways.

22 March: The Ministry of Health (MoH) of Guinea has notified WHO of a rapidly evolving outbreak of Ebola virus disease in forested areas southeastern Guinea. A total of 49 cases including 29 deaths were reported. The cases had been reported in Guekedou, Macenta, Nzerekore and Kissidougou districts.


APRIL

1 April: A meeting of NATO foreign ministers had agreed to halt all cooperation with Russia and to consider further deployments of troops to eastern Europe. The decision was made in response to Russia's annexation of Crimea. The alliance would formally end practical defense and civilian cooperation with Russia.

8 April: Malaysia and Singapore agreed to build a "Friendship Bridge” to enhance and improve existing bilateral ties, from leaders in both countries. "The project serves to improve connectivity between Malaysia and Singapore, and aims to accommodate the overwhelming traffic between the countries," Najib said.

10 April: Civilians were killed by barrel bombs from Syrian war planes in Aleppo, Syria.

12 April: The new drug, ABT-450, with a 90-95% success rate for treating Hepatitis C, was announced.

17 April: Abdelaziz Bouteflika wins a fourth term as President of Algeria

17 April: The nation was left in shock as Bukit Gelugor MP and veteran DAP leader Karpal Singh dies in a car accident. He was travelling on his way to Penang to attend a court case later in the day and collided with a five-tonne lorry near Gua Tempurung on the North South Expressway at about 1am. Along with him were his assistant, C Michael who also passed away, while his son, Ramkarpal, and the car's driver, C Selvam, were injured.

18 April: A high-altitude avalanche killed 12 Sherpa guides and seriously wounded three in the single deadliest accident on Mount Everest. A group of about 50 people, mostly Nepali Sherpas, were hit by the avalanche at more than 20,000 feet, which took place just above base camp in the Khumbu Ice Fall

22 April: Manchester United sacked David Moyes after just 10 months in charge. The move came after the former Everton manager lost the support of United's owners, the Glazer family despite having been personally selected by Ferguson and been handed a six-year contract. The list of unwanted records broken during Moyes' time at the helm is as embarrassing as it is long. United concluded the season with their lowest points total in Premier League history, they failed to qualify for the Champions League for the first time in almost two decades and their home record this season is the worst since 1978.

30 April: Masked gunmen and pro-Russian separatists take control of more buildings in eastern Ukraine


MAY

1 May: Hundreds march through Nigerian capital calling for the release of schoolgirls abducted by Islamic militants, Boko Haram, who oppose Western education.

6 May: Well known as ‘Ajis’ in the legendary Tan Sri P. Ramlee’s movies, Malaysian screen legend Datuk Abdul Aziz Sattar died of a heart attack at the age of 89. He was most famous for his roles in the trio ‘Bujang Lapuk’ alongside P. Ramlee and the late S. Shamsuddin in the 1950's.

6 May: Seputeh MP Teresa Kok was charged with sedition in the Jalan Duta Sessions Court over her Chinese New Year ‘Onederful Malaysia CNY 2014′ video. She was charged under Section 4 (1) (c) of Sedition act 1948 for her 11-minute video for allegedly insulting the nation’s top leaders and Muslims.

7 May: Fighting between pro-Russian and Kiev forces continue amid fears internationally of a civil war in the Ukraine.

21 May:The arrival of two giant pandas named Xing Xing and Liang Liang in Zoo Negara have led visitors to flock the zoo once again. The Giant Panda Conservation Centre was officially opened on June 28.

24 May: Led by the reigning FIFA Ballon d’Or World Player of The Year - Cristiano Ronaldo’s tournament-best 17 goals, Real Madrid finally claimed its 10th European crown, outclassing neighbour Atletico Madrid in the Champions League final.

26 May: Narendra Modi becomes President of India. There were three phases in the hugely successful election campaign of India's prime minister-elect Narendra Modi. The first focused on the underperformance and corruption of the outgoing Congress-led government that has been in power for the past 10 years. Modi asked voters to ensure a "Congress-free India". The second, which started taking shape midway through the campaign once it was apparent that Congress was losing the battle, asked voters to ensure a clear majority for Modi's Bharatiya Janata Party-led National Democratic Alliance. And the third, which ran concurrently with the plea for a clear mandate, centered on the theme song of the Modi campaign, "The good days are coming".

26 May: The World Health Organization (WHO) confirms that Ebola has reached Sierra Leone.

27 May: Briton Gareth David Huntley went missing and was found dead for more than three days before his body was discovered in the Mentawak River on June 4. Huntley, who had come to the island to volunteer at a turtle conservation project went missing after trekking alone to the Lubuk Teja waterfall.

28 May: Legendary author Maya Angelou dies at age 86. Angelou was an American author, poet, dancer, actress and singer. Angelou is best known for her series of seven autobiographies, which focus on her childhood and early adult experiences. The first, I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings (1969), tells of her life up to the age of 17 and brought her international recognition and acclaim.

28 May: Sultan of Perak, Sultan Azlan Muhibbuddin Shah passed away at the age of 86. His passing was announced by Perak Mentri Besar Datuk Seri Dr Zambry Abdul Kadir.

31 May: Psy's "Gangnam Style" became the first video to reach 2 billion views on YouTube. It eventually went on to clock a massive 2,147,483,647 views in December, the maximum number of views the system was capable of counting. As a result, YouTube had to upgrade from the current system of 32-bit integer to a 64-bit integer. What this means is that you could now, theoretically, view a YouTube video more than nine quintillion times. That’s 9,223,372,036,854,775,808 to be precise. Quintillion is what comes after billion, trillion and quadrillion.


JUNE

9 June: Ten gunmen disguised as police guards attacked a terminal at Karachi airport with machine guns and a rocket launcher, killing 13 people during a five-hour siege. The Pakistani Taliban have suggested their mission was to hijack a passenger plane from Pakistan's main hub.

11 June: ISIS swept across Iraq, seizing to control government offices and other important buildings, killing, raping, beheading and bombing in the name of the Caliphate. The rebels seized Iraq’s second city, Mosul, and established a regime of extreme Islamic law. According to the UN, more than 5,500 had been killed in the fighting by October.

12 June: The 20th FIFA World Cup kicked off in Brazil, for the second time since 1950 between 12 June and 13 July 2014. In an opening ceremony that was hosted by World Cup's most successful nation and five-time champs, both FIFA and the Brazilian government spent US$16 billion, making it the most expensive World Cup in history. Brazilian singer Claudia Leitte was also joined by Jennifer Lopez and Pitbull, performing in the opening ceremony at the Arena de Sao Paulo. The packed stadium witnessed their home nation in a first Group A match against Croatia.

18 June: A decision on whether to return the Bibles seized by the Selangor Islamic Religious Department (Jais) will be decided after Selangor Menteri Besar Tan Sri Abdul Khalid Ibrahim has an audience with the Sultan of Selangor. Mais had refused to allow Jais to return the 321 Bibles seized from BSM, as it went against the instruction issued by the Attorney-General Tan Sri Abdul Gani Patail. The following day, The Sultan of Selangor has instructed Jais to use the courts to settle the imbroglio stemming from its refusal to return over 300 copies of the bible seized from a Christian society in the state.

19 June:Twenty-six baby dumping cases were reported nationwide in the first quarter of this year, with Selangor recording the highest number of cases, according to the  Royal Malaysian Police.

25 June: The haze sent air quality to unhealthy levels in Malaysia. It was believed to be mainly caused by forest fires in Sumatra, Indonesia.

25 June: Luis Suárez is charged with biting at the 2014 FIFA World Cup and was expelled the following day from the 2014 FIFA World Cup following his biting incident.

 

For the wrap up of the entire year, stay tuned tomorrow for Year In Review: What Happened From July-December 2014 That Got People Talking?

 

 

-mD