September 2014 Current Events: World News
Here are the key events in world news for the month of September 2014.
Fleeing ISIS, Refugees Pour into Turkey (Sept. 1): About 130,000 mostly Kurdish refugees from north-central Syria flood into Turkey as ISIS militants seize large swaths of territory in the region and unleash attacks on the population. The influx of refugees create a humanitarian crisis. More than 1 million refugees had already entered Turkey from Syria.
ISIS Members Kill Second American Journalist (Sept. 2): ISIS releases a video showing the beheading of American journalist Steven Sotloff, 31, who worked for Time and had been abducted in 2013 in Syria. Sotloff's execution comes two weeks after American journalist James Foley was beheaded by ISIS in reaction to the U.S. airstrikes against the terrorist group. Sotloff is executed even though his mother pleaded directly to ISIS's top leader to spare her son's life. Meanwhile, the day before, a coalition of Shiite militias delivers ISIS its first major setback in Iraq. ISIS had been surrounding and attacking Amerli, a town between Erbil and Baghdad that is home to Shiite Turkmens, for about three months before the militias, aided by U.S. airstrikes, beat back ISIS, ending the siege. (Sept. 10): President Obama authorizes airstrikes against ISIS in Syria. He also asks Congress to authorize money to fund and train moderate rebel groups in Syria to aid in the fight, which it does in late September. During a prime-time televised speech, Obama says, "ISIL poses a threat to the people of Iraq and Syria, and the broader Middle East-including American citizens, personnel and facilities. If left unchecked, these terrorists could pose a growing threat beyond that region, including to the United States." The White House uses the name Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL). (Sept. 13): ISIS beheads a third victim, 44-year-old British aid worker David Cawthorne Haines. (Sept. 23): Airstrikes begin in Syria, with Bahrain, Jordan, Qatar, Saudi Arabia, and the United Arab Emirates joining the U.S. in its campaign against ISIS bases and training camps in Raqqa, which is considered the group's capital, and four other provinces.
Houthis Take Advantage of Instability in Yemen (Sept. 2): After gaining wide support from both Shia and Sunnis, the Houthis enter Sana, Yemen's capital, and set up camp there. Yemen's president, Abdel Rabbo Mansour Hadi, agrees to form a new government, with the Houthis nominating the prime minister. Hadi also announces a 30% reduction in the price of fuel. The Houthis, however, reject the concessions as inadequate. Fighting breaks out between the rebels and security forces in Sana days later and continues until the Houthis take control of Sana, a stunning accomplishment for the rebels and an equally significant blow for Hadi. (Sept. 20): The UN brokers a peace deal between the Houthis and the government. (Sept. 21): Prime Minister Mohammed Basindwa announces his resignation. As part of the deal the Houthis agree to withdraw from Sana, and Hadi says he will reinstate the fuel subsidy, a "technocratic national government" will be established, the Houthis will select presidential advisers, and the provisions of the National Dialogue Conference will be implemented.
Ukraine Cease-Fire Begins (Sept. 5): Representatives from the Ukrainian government, the Russian-backed separatists, Russia, and the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe who had been meeting in Minsk, Belarus, announce that they have agreed on a cease-fire. The terms include an immediate end to fighting, the exchange of prisoners, amnesty for those who did not commit serious crimes, a 6-mile buffer zone along the Ukrainian-Russian border, decentralization of power in the Donbass region (the area dominated by the Russian-backed rebels), and the creation of a route to deliver humanitarian aid. "The whole world is striving for peace, the whole of Ukraine is striving for peace, including millions of citizens in Donbass," Poroshenko says in a statement. "The highest value is human life, and we must do everything possible to stop the bloodshed and put an end to suffering."
Scotland Votes to Remain with UK (Sept. 18): In an independence referendum, Scottish voters opt, 55% to 45%, to remain part of the United Kingdom. More than 4.2 million voters (86% turnout) take to the polls in record numbers to vote on the referendum question: "Should Scotland be an independent country?" When the votes are tallied, it is 2,001,926 (55.3%) for No to 1,617,989 (44.7%) for Yes. Moving forward, the Westminster powers that be will have to take a hard look at the very structure of the United Kingdom. A margin of victory of 10% is decisive; however, British leaders have promised to listen to the 1.6 million who voted for independence.
Police Attempt to Crack Down on Protests in Hong Kong (Sept. 28): Protests in Hong Kong intensify throughout September with tens of thousands of demonstrators shutting down the heart of the business district. Police in riot gear crack down on protesters, using tear gas and batons. Despite the violence, protesters return to the streets. The protests threaten the stability of the financial hub.