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Year in Review: The Dark Side of 2014

Another year finally draws to its end when it seems that it had just started a few blinks ago. Looking back at our achieved milestones, the worst and the best incidents, the great and the horrid issues, a throwback list for review purposes is surely a healthy way to review where we as humanity did wrong or did well, in hopes for a better year to come.

With a challenging 2014, not short of deaths, natural disasters, man made disasters and also the return of a deadly disease, this year is just as harrowing as the previous years, if not worst. Not many would be disheartened to leave the year behind, especially Malaysians who've had to deal with the nation's worst disaster we've ever faced in the form of an airplane crisis, not once, not twice, but thrice.

As you've guessed; just like how many would first prefer the bad news over the good news; in this two part series, we first traverse upon the dark side of 2014 where many unwanted happenings made the news headlines.

Major Airplane Disasters
Photo Source: StraitsTimes.com
Over the years, many could count on flying to be one of the safest modes of travelling, but this year really shocked the world with as many as 111 airplane accidents worldwide that claimed 1,158 lives. This is according to the Bureau of Aircraft Accidents Archives as published on CNN.com, which states the last time the world had 111 crashes was in 1927.

The country affected worst by this is Malaysia, whose nation unbelievably faced its third major airplane crisis just a few days ago when AirAsia flight QZ8501 went missing with its 155 passengers en route from Surabaya to Singapore. As of 30 December 2014 the flight has reportedly been found at Kalimantan. The first airplane crisis Malaysia faced was in March when Malaysia Airlines Flight 370 disappeared with 239 passengers heading to Beijing from Kuala Lumpur. Nine months later and the flight has still not been found to this day. The second crisis occurred in July when Malaysia Airlines Flight 17 flying over Ukrainian air space was shot by rebels, killing all of its 298 passengers.

Major Floods Sweep Malaysia
Photo Source: TheStar.com.my
Photo Source: TheStar.com.my
From being scorching hot, now Malaysians have been facing endless drizzles and pouring of rain for the past week in December with chilled temperatures that hardly reach above 30 degree Celsius. The rain has brought major floods to the east and south of Peninsular Malaysia where almost 200,000 have been displaced from their homes in Kedah, Kelantan, Terengganu and Johor. To make way for relief efforts, the government have declared that the start of the school year will be a week later than scheduled for 11 and 12 January 2015.

Notable Deaths 

Every year sees a list of famous names that have departed the world, and this year is no different. We said goodbye to those in showbiz; Robin Williams, Philip Seymour Hoffman, Shirley Temple, Datuk Sharifah Aini, Aziz Sattar, Sir Run Run Shaw those involved in the visual and literary arts; Maya Angelou, Sue Townsend, Gabriel Gael Marquez, H.R. Giger and Prominent Malaysians; Sultan Azlan Shah and Datuk Karpal Singh amongst many.

Barely-There Fashion
Photo Source: Ibtimes.co.uk
To be honest it seems to be a bit shallow to include this amongst all the other bigger issues at hand, but we feel its important to highlight this to document the trending turn in the fashion world that suddenly promotes public nudity and in turn, affecting the way how society is starting to bases their judgement to accept almost everything what the media world is deeming to say is OK. A sudden trend emerged early in the year showing celebrities on the red carpet or on stage with barely there clothing or just pasties covering their naughty bits. For instance, take the see-through Swarovski crystal dress Rihanna wore at the CFDA Awards' red carpet and Miley Cyrus' bondage-esque Tom Ford dress at the amfAR Gala.

Photo Source: TheDailyBeast.com
Don't even get us started with Kim Kardashian who tried to 'break the Internet'  and her buttocks on Paper magazine. No matter where we tried to hide from looking at it, there it was! While we're on the subject of celebrity indecencies, let us also  mention what the Internet loons called 'The Fappening', an event the result of a new low of declining morals when hackers invaded the privacy of celebrities like Jennifer Lawrence, Kate Upton and more to reveal their personal nude selfies to the world.

Return of Ebola
Photo Source: NBCnews.com
What was once only heard of in movies, "the deadly airborne virus Ebola", now has become a reality with the return of the much feared disease. In March, a major Ebola outbreak had occurred in the western African nation, Guinea eventually spreading to Liberia and Sierra Leone. As of 26 December 2014, around 7,793 deaths have been reported along with a few cases that eventually struck in U.S. and Spain. The latest Ebola update states that on 29 December 2014 Scotland is dealing with its first Ebola case after an aid worker returned from West Africa. Patients suffering from Ebola die from severe dehydration and multiple organ failure, only few managed to recover.

Acts of Terrorism
Photo Source: Reuters.com
The Israel-Palestine conflict has escalated to its worst this year on the Gaza Strip where relentless Israeli attacks have reportedly killed over 2,160 Palestinians from July and August in the 50-day war with some casualties still being reported every other odd day.

Photo Source: Time.com
Meanwhile in Sydney, a sudden siege of a cafe at the central business district early this man led to a 16-hour hostage situation when a gunman held cafe staff and customers at gunpoint, which only ended up with three people dead.

Photo Source: Mirror.co.uk
When Sony got hacked over the controversial James Franco and Seth Rogen movie "The Interview", North Korea was said to be behind the cyber attack as confirmed by the F.B.I. as they did not appreciate the satire comedy making light of assassinating their 'great leader' Kim Jong-Un on screen. Over the hacked messages send by the 'Guardians Of Peace' (the group behind the attack), Sony were warned to not release the film and threatened a September 11 scale of attack.

Civil Unrest
Photo Source: KoreaHerald.com
After the South Korean Sewol Ferry disaster that claimed 300 lives, most of which were mostly students, South Koreans rallied to bring justice and the incident sparked political motives. With constant berating from the public, the crew and ferry operator were sentenced to prison ranging from five to 36 years.

Photo Source: Newsweek.com
The 79-day Hong Kong Occupy Central protest grabbed headlines for being the biggest political protest in the region since 1989. The protest began on 26 September 2014 when over 100,000 students took over government headquarters in Hong Kong. The objective of the protest was to demand genuine choice among candidates for the city's 2017 elections.

Look out for Part 2 in this special feature series tomorrow for 'Year in Review: The Bright Side of 2014'.

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