While We Were Out

The big events from June through December of this year, while the site was on sabbatical.
Malaysia Airlines Flt 357 Still Not located. The plane originally went missing on 8 March 2014.
Apple introduced a new programming language for iOS and OSX called SWIFT.
Pro-Russian Militants fight with Ukrainian military.
KKR(Kohlberg, Kravis, Roberts) buys new media company Internet Brands for $1.1Billion.
Donald Sterling drops his lawsuit against the NBA and allows the sale of the team to Steve Ballmer to go through (Clippers)
Beastie Boys win a $1.7 million copyright violation lawsuit against Monster Energy for authorized use of their music in advertising
Vodaphone announces that the governments of six countries have a permanent link to monitor communications throughout Vodaphone’s networks.
Comedian Tracy Morgan injured in late night highway accident that also killed friend and fellow comedian James McNair. Their limosine was hit by a Wal-Mart tractor trailor rig.
Maria Sharapova won her second French Open title.
Russian warns Finland about joining NATO, increasing (again) tension on the Scandanavian peninsula
Merck & Co agrees to buy Indenix Pharmaceuticals for $3.85 billion.
Tyson Foods agrees to buy Hillshire Brands for $7.7 billion.
Tesla Motors announces it will allow competitors to use its patents without paying royalties, thus becoming the first “open source” car company.
Martin Kaymer of Germany wins the U.S. Open at Pinehurst.
Audi wins the 24 Hours of Le Mans (again).
The San Antonio Spurs beat the Miami Heat to win the NBA finals. After the season,
LeBron James opts to return to the Cleveland Cavaliers, his former team before joining the Heat.
Ex- F1 Champion Michael Schumacher is taken out of an induced coma and moved from a Hospital in Grenoble to another location for further rehabilitation. Schumacher was injured in a skiing accident in December of 2013.
The U.S. Patent Office cancel’s several trademarks of the NFL’s Washington Redskins because they were “disparaging to Native Americans”, thus politicizing an IP process that should not be politicized. The case is on appeal. It will take several years before a final decision will be made.
Prince Felipe, eldest son of King Juan Carlos of Spain, takes over the Spanish throne at King Felipe VI and thus begins his reign in Spain.
ISIS continues to wage war and take territories in Iraq; more importantly, the force continues to grow in size (recruits stream in); wealth (through oil field seizures and bank takeovers) and operations (one U.S. commander said they have a very sophisticated command and control system).
A water break—the first ever—takes place in a World Cup match between Portugal and the USA, due to the extreme heat during the match.
One of Claude Monet’s “Water Lilies” series paintings sells for US$54 milllion at auction in London. Dead artists continue to bring high prices while living artists continue to struggle.
Rebecca Brooks, former editor of the News International tabloid, acquitted of charges of conspiracy to hack mobile phones. Editor Andy Coulson was not sol lucky and was found guilty.
Notable passings: Actor Eli Wallach (“The Magnificent 7), dies in New York at age 98; baseball icon Don Zimmer (83);  Steelers football Coach Chuck Noll (82), winner of 4 Superbowls:  Richard Rockefeller (65), physician and philanthropist; Paul Mazursky (82), film writer and director (“An Unmarried Woman”, “Harry and Tonto”).
Malaysia Airlines Flight 370 still missing ; the company continues to display an incredible insensitivity to the families of victims and massive incompetence in dealing with the search for the plane.
Hurricane Season opens.
Ebola Virus epidemic in West Africa begins to spread rapidly throughout the region.
US intervenes against ISIS in Syria with highly target airstrikes. The action slows, but not stop, ISIS.
The U.S. fines BNP Paribas $9 billion for assisting clients in bypassing sanctions against CUBA, Iran and Sudan.
Former French President Nicolas Sarkozy is charged with corruption and influence peddling by France
Malaysia Airlines Flt 17 crashes after being shot down over Ukraine by a anti-aircraft missle. Investigators and emergency crews are not allowed early access to the plane, creating yet another source of tension between the West and Russia.
Notable deaths in July included Richard Mellon Scaife, publisher of The Pittsburgh Tribune-Review; Robert Newhouse, former running back for Dallas Cowboys; Alan  C. “Ace” Greenberg, former Chairman of the Board of investment bank Bear Stearns; Tommy Ramone, rock musician (The Ramones) and producer.
West African Ebola Outbreak characterized as an “International Concern” by the World Health Organization/
US Military begins an air campaign in Northern Iraq against ISIS.
Danish scientists find a genetic variant among Greenlanders that dramatically increases their risk of developing Type 2 diabetes.
San Antonio Spurs hire the first full- time female professional coach, Becky Hammon.
Apple and Samsung agree to end patent litigation outside the US.
A U.S. District Court judge rules that the NCAA violated antitrust laws by restricting the compensation that college athletes can receive for publicity rights. The ruling will ultimately creative massive and perhaps terminal issues for the NCAA.
NASCAR driver Tony Stewart runs over a 20 year old sprint car driver in a nighttime race in upstate New York. The driver had exited car and was walking down the track to confront Stewart, who was still racing. Stewart was later exonerated of   blame and will not face charges over the incident.
The shooting of teenager Michael Brown in Ferguson, Missouri, a small city on the suburbs of St. Louis, Sets off several nights of protests, looting, fires, and violence.
Rory McIlroy (Northern Ireland) wins the PGA championship. He also won the British Open in July of this year.
Texas Governor Rick Perry indicted on abuse of power charges. Perry characterizes the charges as politically motivated.
Sale of the Los Angeles Clippers to former Microsoft C.E.O. Steve Ballmer is finally concluded after months of legal maneuvering and drama on the part of the Clipper’s former owner.
Wikileaks founder Julian Assange says that he will leave his asylum in the Ecuadorean embassy in London “soon”. As of this post, Assange is still in the embassy.
Goldman Sachs agrees to buy back $3.15 billion in low quality mortgage bonds that it had dumped on Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac preceding the financial crisis of 2007-2008.
Hoffman-L Roche agrees to acquire American drug maker InterMune for $8.3 million
South Korea beats Illinois to win the 2014 Little League World Series.
Burger King announces plans to acquire Canadian firm Tim Horton’s for $11.4 Billion and move its headquarters to Canada in a “tax inversion” corporate maneuver. The U.S. Congress immediately takes up legislation to restrict such tax moves.
Joan Rivers rushed to hospital after complications during a throat procedure. In a comma, she is  placed on life support.
Christine Lagarde, the head of the IMF, is placed under investigation in France for “alleged negligence” dating back to her time as Minister of Finance.
Notable passings: British director Sir. Richard Attenborough dies at age 90; Robin Williams is found dead at age 63, shocking generations of fans and entertainers who considered him one of the most talented comedians of all time:  Don Pardo, announcer for Saturday Night Live.
Scotland votes no on a referendum to leave the United Kingdom and become an independent state.
Joan Rivers dies in a New York City hospital after a supposedly minor throat operation goes horribly wrong. Expect lawsuits.
An Apple iCloud leak results in exposing nude photos of Jennifer Lawrence, Kate Upton and Ariana Grande. The leaked photos go viral on sites all across the internet.
Serena Williams wins her third straight U.S. Open tennis title.
The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge announce they are expecting their second child. This announcement is known in the U.K as “an heir and a spare”.
Swedish company Electrolux buys GE’s electric appliances business for $3.3 billion.
Baltimore Ravens professional football team terminates the contract of running back Ray Rice after a domestic dispute video is leaked onto the TMZ website and then shown (repeatedly) on the TMZ television show.
Former F1 World Champion Michael Schumacher leaves a hospital in Switzerland to go home after skiing accident in December of 2013. Schumacher faces an uncertain and long rehabilitation from the accident.
Microsoft buys the maker of the video game MINECRAFT for $2.2 billion.
Russian Billionaire Vladimir Yevtushenkov is placed under house arrest for alleged money laundering.
SNL cast member Darrell Hammond is selected to be new announcer following the death of Don Pardo, in Augus
Two time Chinese Grand Slam winner Li Na announces her retirement from competitive tennis due to chronic knee problems. Li Na won the Australian and French Opens during her professional career.
Siemens AG agrees to buy oilfield equipment maker Dresser-Rand Group for $7.6 Billion
Eric Holder resigns as Attorney General of the United States. He will remain in office until a successor is appointed.
Arson at an air traffic control facility in Illinois grounds 2000 flights.
Blackberry posts first (adjusted) profit in 5 quarters.
In professional golf, the European team beat American team in the bi-annual Ryder Cup competition for the 3rd straight time, thus setting off a massive debate among America’s top golf professionals and sanctioning bodies about what went wrong.
A patient who traveled from West Afrida with the Ebola Virus is admitted for treatment to a Dallast, Texas hospital.
Notable passings: Comedian Joan Rivers,; jazz piano virtuoso Joe Sample, one of the original members of the Jazz Crusaders and later a significant and productive soloist ;  Oleg Ivanosky (Russian spacecraft designer); Emmy winning actress Polly Bergen.
Pacific walruses cannot find sea ice to rest on in the Arctic, come ashore in record numbers in Alaska.
Unemployment in US Drops from 6.1 to 5.9%.
JP Morgan Chase (along with other financial institutions) suffers a cyber attack that compromises 83 million accounts.
Hilton agrees to sell Manhattan’s Waldorf Astoria to a Chinese insurance company for $1.95 billion.
HP announces restructuring into two groups along with the elimination on 5000 jobs.
Thomas Eric Duncan, a Liberian man, dies of Ebola in Dallas, Tx.,
French Novelist Patrick Modiano wins the Nobel Prize for literature.
A snowstorm and avalanche in the Himalayas of Nepal kills 17 and leaves 100 stranded
Second health worker in Dallas tests positive for Ebola.
Dow Jones average drops more than 450 points on 15 October, then bounces back up.
After a male Northern White Rhino dies on a reservation in Kenya, there are only 7 Northern White   male rhinos left in the entire world. This is so not good.
Pope Francis presides over the beatification of Pope Paul VI.
The Giants win the World Series vs. Kansas City, with a 3 -2 win in Game 7. Madison Baumgartner won 3 games for the Gants in the 7 game series.
John Tory is elected mayor of Toronto, replacing Rob Ford, whose time in office was marked by some rather outrageous behavior.
An unmanned Antares rocket blows up on liftoff. The rocket was operated by a commercial space firm and used surplus Russian rocket engines. The rocket was was headed to the ISS to deliver 5000 pounds of supplies .
Oscar Pistorius was found guilt of culpable homicide in the death of his girlfriend in South Africa and sentenced to 5 years in prison, ending a dramatic trial and destroying one of the world’s great sports stories.
Notable Passings: Fashion designer Oscar De La Renta: former  Saturday Night Live cast member Jan Hooks;  race horse Cigar (Hall of Fame) who won 16 races in a row; tennis personality and coach Vic Braden;  and the brilliant and courageous editor of the Washington Post, Ben Bradlee.
Missing college students in Mexico spark huge protests with thousands of activists taking the streets in Mexico City.
An Egyptian court dropped all pending charges against former Egyptian President Hosni Mubarek.
The Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) released the final part of it’s Fifth Assessment Report, warning that the world faces “severe, pervasive, and irreversible” damage from the global emissions of CO2
One World Trade Center, built on the same site in lower Manhattan of the 9/11 attacks  opened approximately 13 years after the Twin Towers.
Republicans took control of the U.S. Senate in the mid-term elections.
Oregon, Alaska, and Washington D.C. voted to legalize marijuana.
Minnesota Vikings running back Adrian Peterson entered a no-contest please to a misdemeanor charge of reckless assault on a child. Peterson was banned for the remained of the 2014 NFL season. Former Baltimore Ravens running back Ray Rice had had won an appeal and was eligible for reinstatement to the league. He has not yet been signed by an NFL team.
U.S. Supreme Court allows same-sex marriage in South Carolina.
President Barack Obama issued an executive action to change amend and change current U.S. Immigration laws. As expected, his policy initiative on the complicated issue developed immediate resistance in Congress, mostly along political lines.
Chuck Hagel resigns as Secretary of Defense.
A Missouri Grand Jury decided not to charge Officer Darren Wilson in the shooting of Michael Brown. Protests immediately erupt in Ferguson, Missouri, scene of the incident, and in other U.S.Cities.
The Rosetta spacecraft’s Philae probe completes a successful landing on Comet 67P. It is the first time a space craft has ever landed on a comet.
Ole Miss (The University of Mississippi) beats former Number 1 team, Mississippi 31-21 at Vaught-Hemingway Stadium at Hollingsworth Field in Oxford, Miss. In doing so, Ole Miss becomes the only team in college football in 2014 to beat two Number 1 teams in the same season (they previously beat Alabama 23-17 ) in October.
Notable passings:  Prolific English Writer P.D. James; Film and Stage Director Mike Nichols, who is one of a very few directors to win an Oscar, A Tony, an Emmy, and a Grammy for creative achievement; Italian Catholic Cardinal Fiorenzo Angelini;   Cayetana Fitz-James Stuart, better known as the Duchess of Alba;   American television producer and writer Glen Larson (“Quincy”, “Battlestar Galactica” “Magnum P.I.”),  and British clarinetist Acker Bilk, best known for the hit song “Stranger on the Shore”.

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