Rise of Isis and religious attacks

The jihadist rebel group Isis seized large swathes of Iraq and Syria, forming the Islamic State, a self-declared caliphate.

Mass killings and beheadings of soldiers and journalists have shocked the world, but radicalised Muslims have also flocked to join the cause.

A terrorist attack by the Taliban on a school in Peshawar, Pakistan, claimed the lives of 145 people, including 132 school children.

Whilst in Nigeria, 276 schoolgirls were captured by Islamic jihadist group Boko Haram.

Conflict erupted in Palestine as Israel launched a military operation in the Hamas-ruled Gaza Strip.

The fighting killed more than 2,200 people, the vast majority of them Gazans.

Russia kicks off a new cold war?

A revolution in Ukraine saw the ousting of President Viktor Yanukovych.

Russia refused to recognize the new interim government and launched a covert invasion and annexation of the Crimean Peninsula in Ukraine.

Conflict along the Ukraine-Russia border resulted in the Malaysia Airlines MH17 Plane being shot down, killing all 238 passengers and 15 crew on board.

American and German intelligence sources say the plane was shot down by pro-Russian separatists. Russia blames the Ukrainian government.

Falling oil prices and western sanctions triggered a financial crisis in Russia, leaving the future uncertain for President Vladimir Putin.

And US President Barack Obama and Cuban President Raul Castro announced the beginning of a process of normalizing relations between former cold war enemies Cuba and the United States.

Natural disasters and national tragedies

The ebola virus epidemic in West Africa has so far claimed the lives of over 7,000 people.

Liberia, Sierra Leone and Guinea have so far been the most affected.

Malaysia Airlines flight MH370 disappeared whilst flying over the South China Sea.

Despite a multinational search effort, the whereabouts of the plane and the 239 people on board remains unknown.

In South Korea the Sewol Ferry capsized whilst en route from Incheon to Jeju.

304 passengers died in the disaster, most of them secondary school students.

Protests across the globe

In Hong Kong, more than 100,000 protestors campaigned for more democracy by occupying several areas across the city.

Occupy Central was eventually broken up by police after 79 days, but protestors say the fight for democracy will go on.

Unrest erupted in Ferguson, United States after the fatal shooting of African American Michael Brown by white police officer Darren Wilson.

After Wilson was not indicted for his actions, a second wave of protests broke out in Ferguson and across the United States.

Important elections

The 2014 European Elections saw far-left, Eurosceptic and nationalist parties gain ground.

Nigel Farage's UK Independence Party secured the most British votes, the first time in over a 100 years a political party other that Labour and the Conservatives had won the popular vote in a national election.

In September, the people of Scotland went to the polls to vote on whether to remain part of the UK or become independent.

After intense campaigning from both sides, the 'No' option prevailed, achieving 55.3% of the votes.

Scientific wonders and technology scares

More than 10 years after departing Earth, the European Space Agency managed to land a spacecraft on a comet, the first in history to do so.

After landing, Philae managed to transmit all science data gathered before losing power. It might potentially reawaken in the future...

In November, a huge cyber-attack on Sony Pictures Entertainment saw unreleased films, confidential emails and other sensitive information leaked online.

The hacker group, 'Guardians of Peace' has been attributed to North Korea by the United States government, whilst Sony initially cancelled the release of The Interview, a comedy film that mocks the county's leader, Kim Jong-un.