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Top newsmakers of 2014

It was arguably the darkest-ever year for the world’s aviation industry with Malaysia Airlines bearing brunt of the calamity.

One Malaysian flight MH370 en route to Beijing with 239 passengers aboard went missing hours after taking off and its whereabouts is still unknown, making it one of history’s biggest aviation mysteries. The other plane MH17 was presumed to be downed in Ukraine by, according to American and German intelligence agencies, pro-Russian separatists, with 298 deaths making it the deadliest airliner shootdown in history. Besides, an AirAsia flight from Indonesia to Singapore crashed into the Java Sea with 162 people on board on December 28. Another two plane crashes later in Mali and Taiwan agonizingly kept people asking “what’s wrong with the world, mama?”

The Year of Horse saw China’s annual growth slow down to a 24-year low but the rising dragon managed to surpass US to become the world’s No.1 economy in December. China is still vying to transform its growth pattern from investment into a sustainable model driven by domestic consumption.

APEC is interpreted as Air Pollution Eventually Controlled in Beijing. After massive emission control drives were mandated during the leaders’ gathering, the authorities amazingly contrived APEC Blue, a privileged but ephemeral air condition.

On the 35th anniversary of diplomatic relations between China and the US, Beijing and Washington maintained constructive relations despite rifts on cyber security. New trade and visa deals are a boon for Chinese investors and tourists.

The Ice Bucket Challenge faded away slowly. The Hong Kong Occupy protests petered out. But the anti-corruption drive didn’t. Following Bo Xilai’s downfall, Zhou Yongkang became the highest-ranking “tiger” netted in the sweeping campaign. Who is the next?

Here are the top ten news picks of 2014:

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