PARIS - Here is a panorama of world events in 2014:
CENTRAL AFRICAN REPUBLIC: Bangui mayor Catherine Samba-Panza, is elected interim president.
UKRAINE: Security forces crack down on pro-European protestors in Kiev's central Independence Square, or Maidan. More than 100 people die. President Viktor Yanukovych flees to Russia. On May 25 a pro-western billionaire, Petro Poroshenko, is elected to replace him.
ITALY: Matteo Renzi, 39, becomes the European Union's youngest prime minister.
MALAYSIA: Malaysia Airlines flight MH370, flying from Kuala Lumpur to Beijing with 239 people aboard, disappears. Despite extensive searches it has not been found.
UKRAINE: Ukraine's Black Sea peninsula of Crimea votes to join Russia in a referendum. Four days later Russia annexes the region, fuelling the worst crisis between Moscow and the West since the Cold War.
In April, another separatist insurrection explodes in the Russian-speaking east of Ukraine. Since then, more than 4,600 people have been killed according to UN figures.
The latest relative ceasefire takes effect on December 9, but peace talks have stalled.
NIGERIA: Two hundred seventy six schoolgirls are kidnapped in the northeast, prompting an international rescue effort. Fifty-seven of the girls manage to escape, but 219 remain missing. Islamist group Boko Haram claimed responsibility.
SOUTH KOREA: The Sewol ferry, carrying 476 people, sinks. Of the 304 who died, 250 were students from the same high school. In November the captain of the ship is jailed for 36 years.
THE VATICAN: In a first for the Roman Catholic Church, Pope Francis proclaims ex-popes John Paul II and John XXIII the newest saints.
BELGIUM: A gunman kills four people at the Brussels Jewish Museum. A 29-year-old Frenchman named Mehdi Nemmouche is arrested on May 30 in the French city of Marseille in connection with the shooting.
EUROPEAN UNION: France's far-right National Front and Britain's UK Independence Party (UKIP) lead a eurosceptic "earthquake" in EU parliamentary polls. Centre-right candidate Jean-Claude Juncker is named head of the EU's executive Commission on July 15.
EGYPT: Ex-army chief Abdel Fattah al-Sisi is elected president, 11 months after the military's overthrow of Mohamed Morsi.
SPAIN: New King Felipe VI, 46, succeeds his father Juan Carlos, who abdicated after a 38-year-reign.
IRAQ-SYRIA: Sunni Arab militants from the newly-named Islamic State launch an "Islamic caliphate" in territory they have seized in Iraq and Syria.
In August, US-led airstrikes begin targeting IS positions in northern Iraq, and Syria. The Islamic State goes on to behead five westerners.
The Syrian town of Kobane, on the border with Turkey, is the scene of fierce clashes between Kurdish fighters and jihadists.
ISRAEL-PALESTINIANS: Israel launches Operation Protective Edge on the Gaza Strip, to counter rocket fire from Palestinian militants. Seven weeks of clashes kill nearly 2,200 Palestinians and more than 70 Israelis.
MALAYSIA-UKRAINE: Malaysia Airlines flight MH17 flying from Amsterdam to Kuala Lumpur is shot down over rebel-held territory in Ukraine, killing 298 people. Kiev and Ukrainian separatists blame each other.
WEST AFRICA: The World Health Organisation (WHO) declares an epidemic of the haemorrhagic fever Ebola in West Africa a "public health emergency of international concern". By December 1 more than 6,500 people had died from the virus, mainly in Liberia, Sierra Leone and Guinea, WHO says.
Ten days of violent protests erupt in Ferguson, Missouri, after a white police officer kills an unarmed black teenager. Fresh violence explodes in late November after a grand jury declines to press charges against the officer.
BRITAIN: Scottish voters reject independence by 55.3 per cent in a referendum that leaves the United Kingdom intact but paves the way for a major transfer of powers away from London.
MEXICO: The presumed massacre of 43 college students by a drug gang allied with crooked police in the southern state of Guerrero provokes a major political crisis.
HONG KONG: The start of more than two months of rallies punctuated by violence by pro-democracy protesters demanding fully free leadership elections for the semi-autonomous Chinese city in 2017.
Police finish dismantling their campsites on December 15.
AFGHANISTAN: Ashraf Ghani is sworn in as new president after three months of political crisis.
Kabul signs two agreements with the US and NATO allowing about 12,500 foreign troops to remain in the country next year.
NOBEL: Pakistan's Malala Yousafzai, 17, becomes the youngest ever winner of the Nobel Peace Prize, sharing the award with India's Kailash Satyarthi, 60, for championing children's rights.
SOUTH AFRICA: Amputee sprinting star Oscar Pistorius is sentenced to five years in prison for killing his model girlfriend Reeva Steenkamp in 2013.
His sentence is to be reexamined on appeal and could be lengthened.
NEPAL: A massive snowstorm and avalanche in Nepal's central Annapurna region kills at least 43 trekkers and guides, in the worst trekking disaster in Nepal.
CANADA: A gunman kills a soldier and attempts to storm the parliament in Ottawa before being shot by the body's sergeant-at-arms.
BURKINA FASO: Veteran leader Blaise Compaore is ousted after 27 years in power after he tries to amend the constitution to stay in power.
US: Republicans cruise to victory in US midterm elections, gaining control of both houses of Congress in a stinging setback for President Barack Obama.
SPACE: A European spacecraft named Philae lands on a comet for the first time, more than 510 million kilometres (320 million miles) from Earth, after a 10-year trek.
TUNISIA: Tunisians vote in their first presidential election since the 2011 revolution that sparked the Arab Spring. A second round on December 21 is to be held between President Moncef Marzouki and 88-year-old political veteran Beji Caid Essebsi.
Opening in Lima of the UN's 20th conference on climate change, after China, the United States and Europe agree a general framework ahead of a key meeting in Paris a year later.
An Iranian Islamist takes 17 people hostage in a Sydney cafe. Police storm the site after a 16-hour standoff. Three people die, including the hostage taker, and six are wounded.