January 2014 Current Events: World News
Here are the key events in world news for the month of January 2014.
Protests in Ukraine Continue (Jan.): Massive protests in Ukraine continue throughout January 2014. (Jan. 16): Parliament hastily passes sweeping measures that stifle protesters and demonstrations. The protests then turn violent, with demonstrators attacking police. Five protesters are killed in the battles with police. Yanukovich agrees to meet with opposition leaders, but the negotiations only produce threats. As the protests spread to cities across the country, Yanukovich offers to install opposition leader Arseniy Yatsenyuk as prime minster. He heads the Fatherland Party, which is also the party of jailed former prime minister Yulia Tymoshenko. Yanukovich offers the post of vice prime minister to another opposition leader, Vitaly Klitschko. Both refuse the offer, saying the moves only further entrenched Yankovich. (Jan. 28): Yanukovich reverses the ban on protests.
Sunni Militants Claim Falluja, parts of Ramadi (Jan. 3): The Islamic State in Iraq and Syria take control of Falluja and most of Ramadi, both cities in Anbar Province that are Sunni strongholds and were major battlegrounds during the U.S.-led war in Iraq.
Another Bombing and Suspicious Deaths Heighten Fears Ahead of Olympics (Jan. 8): Another bomb explodes and suspicious deaths occur in Russia's Stavropol territory, which borders the province where the Winter Olympics will be held next month. A bomb inside a vehicle explodes. One person is in the car at the time of the explosion. Two other bodies are found nearby. (Jan. 9): Explosive material is found in another vehicle along with the bodies of three men. Russian authorities are investigating all six deaths.
Former Israeli Prime Minister Ariel Sharon Dies (Jan. 11): Israel's former Prime Minister Ariel Sharon dies. The official cause of death is heart failure, although Sharon had been in a coma since suffering a stroke on January 4, 2006.
UN-Led Negotiations Begin in Geneva (Jan. 22): Much-anticipated negotiations brokered by the UN between the Syrian government, members of the opposition, the U.S., Turkey, Saudi Arabia, and Russia begin in Switzerland. UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon invites Iran at the last minute but then quickly uninvites Syria's closest ally when it refuses to accept terms of the talks requiring Assad to step aside and allow for the formation of a transition government. While there is little hope for a peace agreement, just getting the parties to the table is considered progress.
Li, Wawrinka Win the Australian Open (Jan. 25–26): Li Na of China beats Slovakia's Dominika Cibulkova, 7–6, 6–0 to win her first Australian Open Women's Singles Championship. Switzerland's Stanislas Wawrinka beats Rafael Nadal of Spain, 6-3, 6-2, 3-6, 6-3 to take his first Men's Singles Championship. This Australian Open has been memorable for its severe temperatures and several upsets.