As a New Year is about to be born, here are my top 15 news stories for 2014:
ISIS – Islamist terror group beheads prisoners, sparks new war.
Ebola epidemic – West Africa epidemic fought heroically by SIM and Samaritan’s Purse missionaries Kent Brantly and Nancy Writebol and others; virus comes to America, and administration response widely criticized.
Ferguson and police aftermath – Shooting of unarmed but aggressive 18-year-old black man by white officer followed by protests, which erupt after grand jury decides not to indict. Police officers become targets.
Ukraine – Putin continues annexation, troops shoot down Malaysian plane.
Boko Haram – Name means “Western education is sin”; abductions at school in Chibok last spring remain unsolved.
2014 Election – Republicans trounce Democrats, take control of Senate.
MH370 – Malaysia jet disappears while flying over Indian Ocean.
VA scandal – long waits, bureaucratic incompetence, poor care for vets spark outrage and reorganization.
Immigration – Obama responds to election blowout with executive order legalizing 5 million parents of US citizens, others.
Cuba – President, pope put America on pathway to normalize relations with Cuba.
NFL scandals – Ray Rice and Adrian Peterson cause new scrutiny to come to professional football and its players.
Donald Sterling – barred from NBA over private comments deemed to be racist.
“Same-sex marriage” – 35 states and DC now allow SSM, which is restricting the rights of Christian bakers, florists, etc.
Religious freedom cases – In a 5-4 decision, the Supreme Court rules that two closely held companies — Hobby Lobby and Conestoga — can claim religious objections to the contraceptive mandate in Affordable Care Act.
“Year of the Bible” in Hollywood – God Is Not Dead, Exodus, Son of God, Left Behind show continuing appetite of Americans for films about Bible and religious themes.
Honorable mention: The Sony hack attack and the movie The Interview.