World

Business
7:47 am
Mon December 22, 2014

The 5 Business Stories That Made 2014 A Memorable Year

James Franco (left) and Seth Rogen, stars of The Interview, arrive for the film's Los Angeles premiere on Dec. 11. The comedy about a CIA plot to assassinate North Korean leader Kim Jong Un was pulled from theaters after a cyberattack on Sony Pictures, the studio behind the film. The FBI said the attack was traced to the North Korean government.
Jim Ruymen UPI/Landov

As the year's end approaches, economists are looking back and assessing the news stories that shaped 2014.

Though their lists may vary, most analysts are pointing to five developments that had very big impacts on the U.S. economy. These were the biggies for 2014:

Oil Prices Plunge

No one saw this one coming. When 2014 began, a barrel of crude oil was selling for about $110. It hovered there until late spring, when the price ticked up to nearly $115.

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The Two-Way
7:03 am
Mon December 22, 2014

Calling U.S. A 'Cesspool,' North Korea Warns Against Escalation

Workers remove a poster for The Interview from a billboard in Hollywood, Calif., after Sony canceled the movie's Christmas release due to a terrorist threat. The hacking of Sony's networks has sparked a war of words between the U.S. and North Korea.
ROBYN BECK AFP/Getty Images

"The "whole U.S. mainland" would be under threat of attack if America seeks vengeance for last month's Sony hacking, North Korea says. An official at its defense commission called the U.S. a "cesspool of terrorism" after President Obama called the hack "cyber-vandalism."

North Korea's National Defense Commission, which is headed by the country's leader, Kim Jong Un, said its military was ready to fight America "in all war spaces including cyber warfare space," issuing a wide threat that specified targets in the U.S.

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Middle East
5:24 am
Mon December 22, 2014

Jordan Hangs 11 After 8-Year Execution Moratorium

Copyright 2014 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

Europe
4:33 am
Mon December 22, 2014

Stars Shine Bright In Ireland's Dark-Sky Reserve

Copyright 2014 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

Africa
4:17 am
Mon December 22, 2014

Results Being Tallied In Tunisia's Presidential Election

Copyright 2014 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

Asia
4:15 am
Mon December 22, 2014

U.S Turns To China For Help With North Korea Cyberattack

Copyright 2014 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

Latin America
4:05 am
Mon December 22, 2014

Cuba's Religious Groups View Diplomatic Thaw With U.S. Differently

Copyright 2014 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

Latin America
4:05 pm
Sun December 21, 2014

For Cuban-Americans, A Mixture Of Hope, Betrayal

Originally published on Sun December 21, 2014 4:24 pm

Copyright 2014 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

Europe
4:05 pm
Sun December 21, 2014

Russia Continues To Cope With Sliding Economy

Originally published on Sun December 21, 2014 4:24 pm

Copyright 2014 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

Parallels
4:05 pm
Sun December 21, 2014

Celebrating Hanukkah In A Palestinian City

Wolf celebrated Hannukah in the Palestinian city of Ramallah in the West Bank last year. As the holiday approached, she felt lonely, until her Palestinian host mother and a few neighbors came to watch her light candles on her portable tin menorah and hear her explain the holiday story.
Courtesy of Amelia Wolf

Originally published on Sun December 21, 2014 4:24 pm

Amelia Wolf, an American Jewish college student, was living in the Palestinian city of Ramallah when the holiday of Hanukkah rolled around last year.

She liked the Palestinian family that was hosting her in the West Bank, but she felt a little lonely. She wasn't going to celebrate in Israel, where she had friends and relatives, as she had other Jewish holidays.

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