The Year in Pictures: 2014

See the most powerful images of the year.

. People run for shelter during a hailstorm on the beach at Ob River in the Siberian city of Novosibirsk, Russia, on July 12.

VIDEO: Hailstorm Pelts Russians on the Beach

Nikita Dudnik / AP

. A man is doused with milk and sprayed with mist during demonstrations in Ferguson, Missouri, in August. The protests followed the killing of an unarmed black 18-year-old, Michael Brown, by a white police officer on Aug. 9.

GALLERY: Powerful Scenes from Two Weeks of Unrest in Ferguson

Adrees Latif / Reuters

. Israel pounded the Gaza Strip with airstrikes, including this one on July 29 in the Tuffah neighborhood, during a 50-day conflict with Palestinian militants from Hamas in July and August. Israel sought to cripple Hamas’s ability to fire rockets and use tunnels to stage attacks.

GALLERY: Israel Renews Intense Airstrikes on Gaza After Brief Ceasefire

Mohammed Saber / EPA

. North Korean spectators watch from the stands of Kim Il Sung Stadium as runners line up at the start of the Mangyongdae Prize International Marathon in Pyongyang, North Korea on April 13. The annual race, which includes a full marathon, a half marathon, and a 10-kilometer run, was open to foreign tourists for the first time this year.

GALLERY: North Korea Marathon Opens Pyongyang Streets to Foreign Tourists

David Guttenfelder / AP

. A mother holds her children as their house burns during a fire in a residential slum in Manila, Philippines, on April 29. The fire left more than 30 families homeless and three residents injured, according to the Manila Fire Department.

Dennis M. Sabangan / EPA

. Deadly twin twisters slammed their way through Pilger, Neb., splintering trees, flattening houses and ripping their way across farmland on June 16. More than three-quarters of Pilger was damaged or destroyed by the tornadoes, which also killed two people and injured at least 19.

GALLERY: Village Flattened by Deadly Twin Twisters

Dustin Wilcox / TwisterChasers via Reuters

. Marina owner Mitzi Richards carries her granddaughter as they walk on their boat dock on the dried-up Huntington Lake in California on Sept. 23. The lake was only at 30 percent capacity. California experienced its third year of severe drought, the worst in decades, threatening to drain underground aquifers and let the taps run dry for some 40 million people.

Mark Ralston / AFP - Getty Images

. Thousands of walruses gather on the northwest coast of Alaska on Sept. 23. Pacific walruses looking for places to rest in the absence of sea ice are coming to shore in large numbers, according to NOAA. An estimated 35,000 total walruses were spotted about 5 miles north of Point Lay, Alaska.

Corey Accardo / NOAA via AP

. A scaffold carrying two workers is stuck 68 floors above ground at 1 World Trade Center on Nov. 12 in New York City. Two window washers were left dangling from the nation's tallest skyscraper when a cable suddenly developed slack. The workers held on to the teetering platform for two agonizing hours until firefighters used diamond cutters to saw through a double-layered window and pull the men to safety.

Spencer Platt / Getty Images

. A priest holds a cross and shield during clashes between anti-government protesters and riot police in central Kiev on Feb. 20. Ukraine was the scene of fierce clashes between baton-wielding protesters demanding the ouster of President Viktor Yanukovych and riot police.

Sergey Gapon / AFP - Getty Images

. Residents wait to receive food aid distributed by the U.N. Relief and Works Agency at the besieged Yarmouk refugee camp in Damascus, Syria on Jan. 31. Yarmouk, the largest of nine Palestinian camps in Syria with 18,000 civilians, has been under a tight government blockade since mid-2013.

More than 100 people have died there from starvation and illnesses exacerbated by hunger or lack of medical aid, according to U.N. figures. Since January, the United Nations Relief and Works Agency has provided intermittent food shipments to civilians caught inside Yarmouk, although fighting often cuts the deliveries for days at time.

UNRWA via Reuters

. Fernandinho of Brazil reacts after a goal was scored by Toni Kroos of Germany during the FIFA World Cup 2014 semifinal match between Brazil and Germany at the Estadio Mineirao in Belo Horizonte, Brazil, on July 8.

Host country Brazil’s dreams were cut short by a shocking 7-1 defeat at the hands of Germany.

GALLERY - ‘Humiliation’: Brazil’s Loss to Germany Lands on Front Pages

Robert Ghement / EPA

. Medical staff carry James Dorbor, 8, suspected of having Ebola, into a treatment facility in Monrovia, Liberia, on Sept. 5.

More than 18,100 people have been infected and more than 6,500 have died in West Africa since the initial case in Guinea a year ago, in an area bordering Sierra Leone and Liberia. Unlike previous Ebola outbreaks, which had been confined to faraway villages in the rain forests of Central Africa, this one quickly spread to capital cities in all three West African nations and has become the worst in history.

GALLERY - Look Inside Village Where Ebola Outbreak First Appeared

Daniel Berehulak / The New York Times via Redux

. Central American migrants sleep on a moving freight train as it heads north from Arriaga toward Chahuites, Mexico, on Aug. 26. A Mexican crackdown seems to be keeping women and children off the deadly train, known as "The Beast," that has traditionally helped thousands of migrants head north. The once-open route to the United States has become so difficult that trains now carry a small fraction of the migrants they used to, and almost exclusively adult men.

Rebecca Blackwell / AP

. Smoke rises from a house deliberately set on fire on June 13, days after part of the ground it was resting on collapsed into Lake Whitney, Texas. According to the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, burning was one of three options the homeowner had for removing the home from the site before it fell into the lake. The house was evacuated two weeks earlier after cracks were discovered in the walls and chunks of the cliff and the house began falling into the lake.

Brandon Wade / Reuters

. A golfer hits a tee shot as African migrants sit on a border fence during an attempt to cross from Morocco into Spain's north African enclave of Melilla on Oct. 22.

Tens of thousands of migrants try to force their way into Europe every year, but nowhere is this constant struggle more dramatic than the two Spanish enclaves of Melilla and Ceuta, which offer the only land route between the world's richest and poorest continents.

GALLERY: African Migrants Scale Barbed Wire to Reach Europe

Stringer / Reuters

. Corbin Crawford, 12, left, holds his brother, Dylan Crawford, 7, as the pair await rescue from shifting ice above a hydroelectric dam on the Des Moines River near Fort Dodge, Iowa, on March 20. The boys were stuck adrift on a sheet of ice about 75 feet from the west bank of the river for nearly an hour before firefighters saved them. Fort Dodge Police officer Tim Breon talks to them at left.

Hans Madsen / The Messenger via AP

. Newborn giant panda triplets rest in an incubator at the Chimelong Safari Park in China’s Guangzhou province on Aug. 9. According to local media, this is the fourth set of giant panda triplets born with the help of artificial insemination procedures in China, and the birth was seen as a miracle due to the low reproduction rate of giant pandas.


. Police try to remove a man from a fence guarded by pro-democracy demonstrators in an occupied area of Hong Kong on Oct. 3. Thousands of protesters occupied Hong Kong's busy financial and shopping districts for over 2 months. The student-led protesters rejected Beijing's plan to screen all candidates in the first-ever elections for Hong Kong's top leader, but failed to win significant concessions from the government.

GALLERY - Hong Kong Protesters Challenge Beijing

Philippe Lopez / AFP - Getty Images

. An ISIS militant remains standing following an airstrike on Tilsehir hill near the Syrian town of Kobani on Oct. 23, as seen from Yumurtalik, a village on the Turkish side of the border.

The Kurdish fighters of Kobani have been aided by U.S. airstrikes hitting militants in and around the town — more than 310 since mid-September — and a group of Kurdish peshmerga forces from Iraq who came to Kobani with more advanced weapons.

GALLERY: In the Crosshairs: Airstrike Targets ISIS Fighters

Bulent Kilic / AFP - Getty Images

. Michael Brown Sr. cries out as his son’s casket is lowered to the ground on Aug. 25 in St. Louis, Missouri . An autopsy found that Brown was shot six times, the last a fatal bullet to the head.

Richard Perry / Pool via Reuters

. Huang Xiaohui of China competes in the Women's Platform Final during the FINA Diving World Cup at the Oriental Sports Center on July 18 in Shanghai, China.

Lintao Zhang / Getty Images

. Waves break against a Spanish cargo ship that was torn in half off the beach in Anglet, France,on Feb. 5. The Spanish cargo ship carrying fertilizer was split in two after hitting a sea wall during high winds and leaked fuel into the water. Two helicopters lifted a dozen crew members to safety, said Jean Espilondo, the mayor of Anglet.

Regis Duvignau / Reuters

. A Kurdish woman runs away from a water cannon near the Syrian border after Turkish authorities temporarily closed the border in the southeastern town of Suruc in Turkey's Sanliurfa province on Sept. 22. Turkey said that some 130,000 people had flooded across its border from Syria as Kurdish fighters battled ISIS militants trying to capture a strategic town.

Bulent Kilic / AFP - Getty Images

. The bathroom door through which Reeva Steenkamp was shot is displayed during Oscar Pistorius's murder trial in Pretoria, South Africa on April 14. The double-amputee Olympic runner was given a five-year prison sentence by Judge Thokozile Masipa for shooting Steenkamp multiple times through a toilet cubicle door in his home.

GALLERY: Pistorius Heads to Jail as Steenkamps Head Home

Antoine de Ras / Pool via Reuters

. Ukrainian riot police stand in front of a ring of fire around Kiev's Independence Square during the ongoing protests in Ukraine, on Feb. 19. Ukrainian riot police launched a massive assault on thousands of anti-government protesters in central Kiev.

Sergey Dolzhenko / EPA

. Protesters catch fire as they stand behind burning barricades during clashes with police on Feb. 20 in Kiev.

Bulent Kilic / AFP - Getty Images

. A mother is embraced by a pro-Russian rebel as she grieves over the body of her daughter, who died next to two other people after reported shelling by Ukrainian troops near a railway in Makiivka, about 10 miles east of Donetsk, in eastern Ukraine, Aug. 19. Civilians have increasingly become trapped in the midst of fighting between the pro-Russian rebels and the Ukrainian military.

Mauricio Lima / Redux Pictures

. An Indian Muslim voter waits in line to vote at a polling station in Varanasi, India on May 12.

India held the largest democratic election in history with 814 million eligible participating over six weeks.

Hindu nationalist leader Narendra Modi became India's prime minister after a sweeping election victory that ended two terms of rule by the Nehru-Gandhi dynasty.

Kevin Frayer / Getty Images

. Men rescue a boy from under rubble after what activists said was explosive barrels dropped by forces loyal to Syria's President Bashar Al-Assad in Aleppo on April 6.

Hosam Katan / Reuters

. An egret preens itself as it stands on a branch along the River Brahmaputra on the eve of World Environment Day in Gauhati, India, June 4. World Environment Day is celebrated every year on June 5 by the United Nations to stimulate global awareness on environmental issues.

Anupam Nath / AP

. Ten-year-old Macy Friday looks back at her family after meeting Hillary Clinton during a campaign event for Sen. Mark Udall in Denver's Union Station on Oct. 13.

David Zalubowski / AP

. A Russian Space Training Center employee hangs space suits out to dry belonging to Russian cosmonaut Anatoly Ivanishin, NASA's Kathleen Rubins, and Japan's Takuya Onishi, after training for a mission to the International Space Station in Noginsk, Russia, on July 2. The training was intended to simulate a capsule landing in water.

Alexander Zemlianichenko / AP

. Odell Beckham of the New York Giants scores a one-handed touchdown in the second quarter against the Dallas Cowboys aon Nov. 23, in East Rutherford, N.J. "Hold on to the ball," Beckham said when asked what he was thinking as he went to haul in the 43-yard heave from Eli Manning.

Al Bello / Getty Images

. A protester stands in front of police vehicles during a demonstration on Nov. 24 in Ferguson, Missouri. Protests broke out in Ferguson and across the country in November, after a grand jury declined to indict the officer, Darren Wilson. Wilson disputed the account of some witnesses that Brown had his hands up when he was fired on.

GALLERY: Ferguson Reacts to Michael Brown Grand Jury Decision

Justin Sullivan / Getty Images

. Michael Brown’s mother, Lesley McSpadden, and other protesters react after the grand jury decision in Ferguson, Missouri on Nov. 24. Protesters took to the streets across the country to decry the deaths of unarmed blacks at the hands of police officers.

GALLERY - National Outrage: U.S. Protests Ferguson Decision

Jewel Samad / AFP - Getty Images

. Mount Sinabung spews hot lava and volcanic ash in North Sumatra, Indonesia, on Oct. 9. The 8,069-foot volcano had been dormant for 400 years before it erupted in August 2010.

GALLERY - Nature's Wrath: Incredible Photos of Indonesia Volcano

Dedy Sahputra / EPA

. Ebola burial team members take away the body of Mekie Nagbe, 28, for cremation on Oct. 10 in Monrovia, Liberia, as her sister crawls towards her. Nagbe, a market vendor, collapsed and died outside her home on her way to a treatment center earlier in the morning, according to her relatives. The burial of loved ones is an important tradition in Liberian culture, making the removal of infected bodies for cremation all the more traumatic for surviving family members.

GALLERY: Liberia Fights Deadly War Against Ebola Virus

John Moore / Getty Images

. Gilberto Haroldo Ramos Juarez, 11, brother of Gilberto Francisco, a Guatemalan boy whose decomposed body was found in the Rio Grande Valley of South Texas, stands in front of his home in San Jose Las Flores, in the northern Cuchumatanes mountains of Guatemala, on July 1.

GALLERY - Family Mourns Guatemalan Boy Who Died at Border

Luis Soto / AP

. A wildfire burns next to Half Dome in Yosemite National Park, Calif. on Sept. 7. About 120 firefighters and 11 aircraft fought the blaze, which may have erupted from embers of a fire sparked by lightning several weeks earlier, officials said.

GALLERY - Rescue on Half Dome: Hikers Escape Yosemite Wildfire

Michael Frye / AP

. A boy brandishes a knife as he stands in front of a barricade during a demonstration after French troops opened fire at protesters blocking a road in Bambari, Central African Republic, on May 22.

The former French colony has been gripped by violence since Michel Djotodia led Seleka, a coalition of mostly Muslim rebels and some fighters from neighboring Chad and Sudan, in an assault on the capital Bangui, seizing power in March 2013.

Goran Tomasevic / Reuters

. A massive mudslide swept a wall of debris through a small riverside neighborhood near Arlington, Wash., on March 22. The 1-square-mile mudslide killed 43 people and destroyed about 30 homes. Authorities believe the slide was caused by ground made unstable by recent heavy rainfall.

GALLERY - Mudslide Wipes Away Landscape, Leaving Only Memories

Ted S. Warren / AP

. A staff member examines a 14-year-old male orangutan found with air gun metal pellets embedded in his body at the Sumatran Orangutan Conservation Center in Indonesia on April 16. The center has cared for over 280 orangutans rescued from palm oil plantations, poachers and pet owners, and over 200 have been reintroduced into the wild. The critically-endangered primate population is dwindling rapidly due to poaching and destruction of their forest habitat as it is converted into palm oil plantations.

Sutanta Aditya / AFP - Getty Images

. Bullfighter Vicente Cabanes is tossed by a bull during a fight at Las Ventas bullring in Madrid on Aug. 10.

Daniel Ochoa De Olza / AP

. Molly Pederson, right, and her daughter Laura Patkotak take a selfie as a bowhead whale caught by Alaska Native subsistence hunters from their family is brought ashore in Barrow, Alaska, on Oct. 7. Whaling is a community event in Barrow, as family members and town residents race to the beach to congratulate the hunters and help butcher the catch.

Gregory Bull / AP

. An anti-government protester stands near Thai soldiers guarding a Defense Ministry compound serving as a temporary office for then Thai Prime Minister Yingluck Shinawatra, in north Bangkok on Feb. 19.

Yingluck was forced out of office when she was found guilty of abuse of power by Thailand’s Constitutional Court, shortly before the military seized power in a May 22 coup after months of protests.

Athit Perawongmetha / Reuters

. A man lies on the ground in pain after being attacked by a man with a machete and sticks in Bangui, Central African Republic, on April 18. Civil servants at the Work Inspection office accused the beaten man of theft. Foreign journalists intervened and stopped the beating, as a crowd shouted "he is a thief, he must die." Police arrived and took the man into custody. He was then taken to a local hospital for treatment under police surveillance before being brought before a prosecuting officer.

Jerome Delay / AP

. Israeli soldiers, family and friends mourn at the funeral of Sgt. Sagi Erez in Haifa, Israel, on July 29. The dead in the Gaza conflict included 67 Israeli soldiers, including Erez, an infantry member training to be a squad commander. He was killed in combat after Gaza militants used a tunnel to sneak into Israel. “A country’s got to do what a country’s got to do,” Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said. “We have to defend ourselves."

GALLERY: Israel Buries U.S. 'Lone Soldier' Killed in Gaza

Ariel Schalit / AP

. An Afghan refugee child chases bubbles released by other children on the outskirts of Islamabad, Pakistan, Aug. 8. For more than three decades, Pakistan has been home to one of the world’s largest refugee communities: hundreds of thousands of Afghans who have fled the repeated wars and fighting in their country.

Muhammed Muheisen / AP

. A sloth peeks out from behind a door on a floating house on Lake Janauari near Manaus, Brazil, on May 20.

Felipe Dana / AP

. Kim Jong Un watches lubricant ooze out of tubes at the Chonji Lubricant Factory in North Korea in an undated photo released Aug. 6 by the country’s Korean Central News Agency.

GALLERY: Kim Jong Un Closely Inspects Hello Kitty Set at Orphanage

KCNA via Reuters

. Ron Mcgee, bottom, and Shawn Williams, top, sunbathe on a rafts in a shallow tidal pool on Aug. 23, on the South Beach of Tybee Island, Ga.

Stephen B. Morton / AP

. Anti-government protesters take over the state TV podium in Ouagadougou, the capital of Burkina Faso, on Oct. 30. Thousands of protesters marched on Burkina Faso's presidential palace after burning the parliament building and ransacking state television offices, forcing President Blaise Compaore to scrap a plan to extend his 27-year rule.

Joe Penney / Reuters

. Protesters and student demonstrators hold up their cellphones in a display of solidarity outside the headquarters of the Legislative Council in Hong Kong on Sept. 29. Hong Kong was plunged into the worst political crisis since its 1997 handover as pro-democracy activists took over the streets following China's refusal to grant citizens full universal suffrage.

GALLERY - Then and Now: Protest Sites Cleared in Hong Kong

Xaume Olleros / AFP - Getty Images

. A young girl is wounded during protests in Istanbul on March 12 after the funeral of Berkin Elvan. Turkish police clashed with thousands of protesters following the death of the Turkish teenager, who had been in a coma for 9 months since being hit by a police tear-gas canister during anti-government protests.

Bulent Kilic / AFP - Getty Images

. A body sits in a plane seat at the crash site of a Malaysia Airlines jet near the village of Hrabove, eastern Ukraine, July 19. Flight MH17 was shot down over Ukrainian airspace killing everyone on board, including many of the world's leading AIDS researchers.

Evgeniy Maloletka / AP

. A girl reads a book on her balcony as smoke rises from the chimneys of a steel plant on a hazy day in Quzhou in China's Zhejiang province on April 3. China's Premier Li Keqiang said in March the country would "declare war" on pollution as part of efforts to upgrade the economy and shift the focus away from heavy industry.

William Hong / Reuters

. Palestinian medics treat a wounded girl at the emergency room of the Shifa hospital in Gaza City on July 18. More than 2,100 Palestinians were killed in the Gaza conflict, the overwhelming majority of them civilians, and Israel drew criticism for the intensity of its response.

GALLERY: Palestinians Mourn Four Children Killed on Gaza Beach

Khalil Hamra / AP

. A doctor cries while standing next to a table with the bodies of four dead children in an overflowing morgue of Shifa hospital in Gaza City on July 20. An open-ended cease-fire in late August stopped the fighting.

GALLERY: Gazans Mark Eid With Somber Tributes to Dead

Oliver Weiken / EPA

. A Palestinian boy looks up during a rain storm in Gaza City on Oct. 19 while walking through a neighborhood destroyed during the 50-day conflict between Israel and Hamas.

Mahmud Hams / AFP - Getty Images

. Dogs peek out from under a gate at the Cirillo family home in Hamilton, Ontario, on Oct. 23 near a memorial of flowers and flags. Canadians mourned the loss of Cpl. Nathan Cirillo, the army reservist who was shot dead as he stood guard before the Tomb of the Unknown soldier in Ottawa. The shooting began an attack that ended with a lone gunman storming into Parliament and opening fire before being shot dead himself.

GALLERY: Hometown Hero: Fallen Canadian Soldier Laid to Rest

Peter Power / AP

. Senior soloist of the Joburg Ballet Kitty Phetla performs in a classroom at the Nka-Thuto Primary School in Soweto, South Africa on Oct. 16. Using dance to promote healthy and positive choices, Joburg Ballet will perform at twenty schools in Soweto.

Marco Longari / AFP - Getty Images