The Headlines That Captivated the World in 2014

ABC's David Muir names the year's biggest stories, from Ferguson, Missouri, to the Ebola outbreak.
7:54 | 12/24/14

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Transcript for The Headlines That Captivated the World in 2014
Announcer: "The year" continues with David Muir. Reporter: It was the worst ebola outbreak in history -- more than 16,000 infected in west Africa, and more than 7,000 dead. Our Dr. Richard Besser on the streets of Liberia. There's a body here. The burial team has come. They're going to wrap him in plastic. Reporter: When villagers recognize that that man is still alive. He's not dead. They were wrapping him up to take him away, but he's alive. Reporter: The moment going viral. And that first case diagnosed here in the U.S., 42-year-old Thomas Eric Duncan with family in Texas, visiting from Liberia. He goes to the hospital, but is still sent home with a fever of 103 degrees. He returned two days later and was diagnosed with ebola. He would later die. Others would contract the virus as well. And good evening tonight from Atlanta, just as we learn the other nurse infected is now being rushed out of Dallas too. Those two nurses caring for Duncan quarantined, treated, and eventually cured. Reporter: Ferguson, Missouri --- 18-year-old, unarmed Michael brown is shot and killed. Shot six times by police officer, Darren Wilson. The shooting sparking violent demonstrations, stand-offs with police. You must leave immediately. No justice, no curfew. Reporter: His family outraged and heartbroken. Michael also stated to the family that one day the world would know his name. He did not know how his name would be remembered. No probable cause exists. Reporter: The grand jury deciding officer Darren Wilson would not be charged. Wilson telling George stephanopolous he was acting in self-defense. That brown had attacked him in his patrol car. And after leaving the car, the officer says suddenly brown turned around to charge him. I again yell, you know, stop, get on the ground. He just kept running. He gets to about eight feet to ten feet, and as he does that, he kind of leans forward like he's going to tackle me. And I looked down my barrel of my gun and I fired and what I saw was his head and that's where it went. Reporter: The decision not to indict incites protests across the country. And in Ferguson, fires burning into the night. I think Ferguson was the culmination of frustration that has been festering for many, many years, because young african-american males are far more likely to be killed by a police officer than anyone else. There's something wrong there. For all the strides that we've made in this country, racism has got to be the saddest, most pathetic. I'm minding my business, officer. Reporter: And then the case of Eric garner in New York. Put into a chokehold caught on tape. Garner, a father and husband said 11 times, "I can't breathe." Another grand jury deciding not to indict and another wave of protests. Reporter: The world would watch the threat of Isis grow. Spreading their message of hate for America. With the barbaric beheadings of several American journalists, including 40- year-old James Foley. And those who make the mistake of harming Americans will learn that we will not forget, and that our reach is long, and that justice will be served. Reporter: U.s.-led air strikes now aim to strike back at Isis in Iraq and in Syria. Where the war rages on there, too. The youngest victims. The Syrian children, some of them refugees for three years now, ripped from their schools, and their towns. This is the new Normal for the children here just over the border from Syria in Lebanon. And many of them, instead of going to school in the morning, come here to the fields. Just one of the many tractors unearthing another row of potatoes. And you can see before the dust settles, the children gathering here with their bags to fill them with potatoes. In many cases, they're now the sole bread winners. Those Syrian children still dream of returning to school. Then the schoolgirls in Nigeria stolen from their families -- held captive by the islamic radical group, boko harm -- which translated means "Western education is a sin." Nearly 300 girls in all, kidnapped from their boarding school, loaded into trucks all in the middle of the night. The leader of that terror group smiling delivering that chilling message -- "I took your girls, they are our slaves." There were millions of tweets with the #bringbackourgirls. From Mrs. Obama to Hillary Clinton. From actress Emma Watson to Malala. So many of the girls still gone. Reporter: And to one of the biggest mysteries of the year -- what happened to Malaysian airlines flight 370? The plane leaving Kuala Lumpur heading to beijing, carrying 251 people, it suddenly goes off the radar. Setting off a frantic search, racing to find those crucial black boxes with batteries running out, they are never found. Going off the grid is one of the hardest things you can do these days. And yet somehow a jumbo jet filled with hundreds of people managed to vanish into thin air. It's absolutely baffling. Reporter: Just four months later, another Malaysian airlines tragedy. Flight mh-17 traveling from Amsterdam to Kuala Lumpur, believed to be shot down by a missile over the Ukraine by pro-russian rebels. The belongings of its passengers -- passports, a Disney backpack, a Bali guidebook -- some of the heartbreaking traces left behind. Reporter: Back in America, a comedian best known for his one time hit TV family, the huxtables, now under fire. Allegations of drugging. Some even accusing him of sexual assault. Several women coming forward, including groundbreaking supermodel Beverly Johnson breaking her silence here first to say she too was drugged. And from the first sip and then the second sip, I knew I had been drugged, I knew that I was in danger. Reporter: Many of Cosby's onstage shows cancelled almost daily. A proposed netflix series cancelled, and reruns of "The Cosby show" pulled off the air. Even withdrawing from the board of his beloved alma mater, temple university. Throughout it all, his wife, Camille standing by him. Cosby's attorney saying that, "Accusers are coming out of the woodwork with fabricated or unsubstantiated stories." He was a beloved character and a beloved father figure. Regardless of where these allegations end up, that is forever changed. Reporter: Soon Americans would turn to something else. The history just made -- president Obama and Cuba's Raul Castro announcing at the same time that the U.S. Is restoring full diplomatic relations with Cuba. Opening of an embassy there for the first time since the height of the cold war, since JFK was president. And an American contractor released after five years in prison. And president Obama sitting down exclusively with us on that historic day, revealing even the pope involved in those secret talks. Will you visit Cuba in your final two years as president? I don't have any current plans to visit Cuba. Reporter: Not ruling it out? Well, let's see, let's see how things evolve. Reporter: Time will tell. Reporter: The clock is ticking, especially if you have your eye on an apple watch. Perhaps the biggest tech moment of the year, the first new product from apple since Steve jobs, and we were the only ones allowed backstage. Can I see yours? You can see it. It's unbelievable. Reporter: Tracking your vital signs, your blood pressure, even your heartbeat. Wow. Nice to get to know you, Rhonda. The next big thing, the next big

This transcript has been automatically generated and may not be 100% accurate.

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