Ferguson: Following the police shooting of 18-year-old African-American, Michael Brown by a white police officer on Aug. 9, racially-charged riots broke out in Ferguson, MI. Though the details of the event are still unclear, this event has fueled debates over the existence of racism in the U.S.
Journalist: American journalist James Foley was kidnapped in Syria on Nov. 22, 2012 while on assignment. Foley was considered missing for two years until a video was released entitled “A Message to America” on Aug. 19, 2014 showing his violent murder and beheading. Along with Foley, the terrorists group of the Islamic State claims that they are holding another American journalist Steven Sotloff captive and will proceed with his execution if the U.S. does not halt air strikes against them.
ISIS: Designated terrorist group, the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria (or ISIS) has seized control over parts of Iraq through violent bloodshed and even an attempt at genocide. The U.S. is currently weighing its options to intervene with military action.
Israel & Gaza: After seven weeks of fighting, a truce mediated by Egypt has been reached between Israel and Palestine. This conflict has left more than 2,200 people dead with the majority of those victims being Palestinians. Tensions are still high as the details and conditions of the treaty are being negotiated.
Flight MH17: Pro-Russian separatists shot down Malaysian Airline flight MH17 on July 17 killing 283 passengers and 15 crewmembers. The attack has resulted in international uproar as nations around the world attempt to collect the bodies of their nationals.
San Francisco Earthquake: The San Francisco Bay area was woken up on Aug. 24 by a magnitude 6.0 earthquake, the strongest one the area has experienced in 25 years. The natural disaster caused an estimated $1 billion in damage and aftershocks are still being felt. Dozens of people were injured however, no immediate deaths were reported.
Ebola Outbreak: The World Health Organization has traced the source of the recent Ebola epidemic which broke out in Central Africa. The virus was contracted by a pregnant woman from a slain bush animal. Due to the nature of international travel, the disease has spread to four West African countries and even to two American aid workers.
Beats by Dre: Apple Inc. acquired Beats Electronics for a record $3 billion deal making Dr. Dre the first billionaire hip-hop artist. As with anything Apple, the future of Beats headphones is clouded in secrecy.
ALS: The ALS ice bucket challenge gained momentum in the last month through social media raising roughly $94.3 million for the ALS Association for the research of what is commonly known as Lou Gehrig’s disease.
Robin Williams: After a struggle with depression, the beloved actor, comedian, film-maker and family-man Robin Williams committed suicide on Aug. 11 at the age of 63.