10 Stories That Really Grabbed Your Attention in 2014
Policy + Politics

10 Stories That Really Grabbed Your Attention in 2014

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The year was flooded with dramatic events from around the world.

Several news outlets have already released their list of the top news stories of 2014, so we decided to compare them and rank the stories if they appeared on more than one list.

The Fiscal Times culled results from The Associated Press, Yahoo, Google, Bing and Twitter, all of which released their most popular topics of the year based on searches, reader interest and other data points.

The TFT “List of the Lists”—Top News Stories of 2014—shows how so many of us responded to a wide range of news stories that captured our attention during a year of domestic and global tension.

While the Malaysian Airlines plane crashes didn’t top anyone’s list, they were among the most cited events of 2014, which is why they topped our list. Some of the events that didn’t make our list but attracted widespread attention included the umbrella revolution in Hong Kong, the immigration crisis in the U.S., Obamacare, same-sex marriage, and two stories that came too late in the year to be included: The Cuba-U.S. initiative and the assassination of two police officers in New York City.

Malaysia Airlines
Two Malaysia Airlines planes mysteriously crashed within 131 days of each other. Flight 370 vanished in the Southern Indian Ocean in March, 26, while Flight 17 crashed near Donetsk in Ukraine in July after being shot down.

Ferguson Unrest
After police shot an unarmed black man, Michael Brown, in Ferguson, protests erupted in the small Missouri town and nationwide, intensifying after Eric Garner in died in New York City after a chokehold by a white police officer.  Grand juries opted not to indict the officers in both cases.

ISIS Terrorists
Fighters from the Islamic State group as ISIS brutally seized territory in Syria and Iraq, prompting the U.S. and allies to start airstrikes. Meanwhile, ISIS continued to release videos of beheadings of several Western hostages, including journalists.

Ebola Outbreak
The deadly virus spread early in 2014 and by summer became the worst epidemic on record with thousands of cases in West Africa. The outbreak intensified when several victims appeared in the U.S. and Europe, including a Liberian man who died at a Dallas hospital.

Ukraine Conflict
The country began a bloody revolt, pushing for stronger ties with the West. Russia’s Vladimir Putin annexed Crimea and backed an armed separatist insurgency in eastern regions of Ukraine, prompting the U.S. and allies to impose sanctions on Russia.

U.S. Midterm Elections
Republicans gained control of the Senate in the fall and strengthened their majority in the House of Representatives in a blow to the Democratic Party. The elections were also the most expensive midterms ever.

Robin Williams’ Death
The actor, who suffered from bipolar disorder, and had also ended two decades of sobriety following a divorce, committed suicide in August at age 63. Some of his best performances over the years were in Good Morning, Vietnam, Dead Poets Society and Good Will Hunting.

FIFA World Cup
Brazil, which hosted the 2014 FIFA World Cup, was hugely upset when it lost to Germany in the first semifinal. Germany went on to win the tournament against Argentina, while in the U.S., TV ratings and Twitter activity showed Americans went wild for soccer.

Ray Rice Controversy
Baltimore Ravens running back Ray Rice was arrested and charged with assaulting his fiancée in February after a video showed him dragging her out of an elevator into an Atlantic City casino lobby. The incident spotlighted the NFL’s poor disciplinary policies as well as domestic abuse issues.

VA Scandal
Veterans Affairs Secretary Eric Shinseki was forced to resign in the spring after VA hospitals were found to be systematically covering up excessively long wait times that left veterans languishing for months without needed care.

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