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    The News Stories That Defined 2014, As Told By UK Newspaper Front Pages

    Floods, war, a referendum...and black-eyed ghost children. It's been quite a year in British news.

    At the start of the year, details were still emerging of the sheer scale of alleged sexual abuse carried out by Jimmy Savile.

    The papers were full of warnings about what would happen if Scotland voted for independence.

    Twitter: @BBCNews

    Bank of England governor Mark Carney said an independent Scotland would have to give up some powers if it wanted to keep the pound.

    And there was some winter weather, because it was winter.

    February was dominated by turmoil and bloodshed in Ukraine. In three hours on one day, 60 protesters were shot dead.

    Michael Adebolajo was handed a life sentence for killing Lee Rigby, a soldier.

    From late January to late February the UK was hit by severe weather, causing flooding in the south and west of England.

    Met Office called it the: "The stormiest period of weather the UK has experienced for at least 20 year."

    And Philip Seymour Hoffman, widely regarded as one of the best actors of his generation, was found dead at his New York home.

    Hopes were fading for Formula One hero Michael Schumacher, who remained in a coma after a skiing accident.

    Twitter: @BBCNews

    He would later be released from hospital after his agent confirmed he was out of a coma.

    Veteran socialist politician Tony Benn died, leading to an avalanche of commentary – and he also got the front-page treatment from The Independent.

    Ukraine and Russia moved closer to full-scale armed conflict.

    Malaysia Airlines Flight MH370 fell out of the sky and crashed into the sea, killing 239 crew and passengers.

    The Daily Star warned that the UK was about to be visited by a CANNIBAL RAT GHOST SHIP.

    Twitter: @hendopolis

    Although thankfully it turned out that it actually wasn't.

    April saw the sudden death of Peaches Geldof, the columnist and daughter of Bob Geldof, at the age of 25.

    Teacher Anne Maguire was stabbed to death in her classroom – thought to be the first time a pupil has killed a teacher in a UK school.

    David Moyes was sacked as Manchester United manager after less than a year in charge – prompting The Sun to publish this memorable front page.

    The Sun / News UK

    The campaign continued to save Meriam Ibrahim, the Sudanese woman who was sentenced to death for marrying a Christian man.

    Twitter: @hendopolis

    She was freed in June after 18 months and returned to New Hampshire.

    Millions were moved by the story of Stephen Sutton, who died after spending the final months of his life raising more than £3.5 million for teenage cancer charities.

    The Sunday Times uncovered evidence of corruption in the decision to award the right to host the 2022 FIFA World Cup to Qatar.

    June saw the culmination of the long-running phone-hacking trial, as Rebekah Brooks, the former editor of The Sun and News of the World, was found not guilty.

    The Sun / News UK

    News continued to arrive of the atrocities carried out by the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria militant group in those countries, including beheadings and mass executions.

    There was an outpouring of affection for comedy star Rik Mayall, who died aged 56.

    Brilliant but temperamental Uruguay star footballer Luis Suarez got that (teeth-) sinking feeling again at the World Cup in Brazil.

    And the England team crashed out of the tournament in humiliating fashion, with one draw and two losses to their name.

    Another Malaysia Airlines plane, Flight MH17, fell from the sky in July, crashing in Ukraine and killing 298. Many newspapers were in no doubt who was ultimately responsible.

    The Sun / News UK

    Hundreds died in a bitter and bloody conflict between Israel and Hamas fighters in Gaza.

    The Tour de France came to Yorkshire – allowing picture editors to use some stunning photography.

    As the Ebola outbreak in western Africa worsened, a British nurse, William Pooley, was flown back to the UK for treatment having contracted the disease.

    Twitter: @BBCNews

    He was later given a clean bill of health and returned to Sierra Leone.

    The Tower of London continued to be covered in ceramic poppies in the months leading up to 11 November.

    Then we faced this entirely serious question: If a monkey takes a selfie, does it own the copyright? (Probably not.)

    There was only one story in town come September, as Scots went to the polls to decide the fate of a nation.

    The Guardian / Guardian News & Media

    This was the Sunday Herald's front page the day before polling – made-up of selfies of Yes voters.

    But there was more than a hint of relief to much reporting of the result, which most newspapers had hoped would be No.

    The Scotsman
    The Herald
    The Scottish Sun

    The flag was finally lowered at the UK's military base, Camp Bastion, in Afghanistan.

    There was far too much serious news over the summer, so this kind of thing found its way on to the front pages in October.

    The Times marked Armistice Day with one of its trademark wraparound colour front pages.

    Radio talkshow host and former Conservative minister David Mellor was recorded giving some abuse to a cab driver.

    The Sun / News UK

    He later said sorry.

    The Senate Intelligence Committee released redacted files showing that the CIA tortured terrorism suspects for years at foreign sites.

    The future of the BBC came under new scrutiny after a reporter compared the effects of the Autumn Statement to economic strife in 1930s Britain, much to chancellor George Osborne's displeasure.

    And the Daily Express warned that more bad weather is on the way...because it's winter again.

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