OK, more Christmas week fun. A little 2014 news quiz for you. I kept it pretty easy, I think.
1. The year opened inauspiciously—and ominously—in Iraq. What happened on January 4?
a. Eight U.N. workers were killed in a bombing in Mosul
b. ISIS took Fallujah
c. Furious Baghdad crowds pulled down the memorial to George W. Bush
2. Freedom Industries made the news in January. What did it do?
a. Spilled about 7,500 gallons of contaminant MCHM into the Elk River in West Virginia
b. Finally and completely plugged the hole at the BP spill
c. Ignored a State Department directive and delivered military aid to anti-Putin fighters in Crimea
3. What U.S. governor said in February that he “unequivocally” didn’t know about what?
a. Bobby Jindal/that Jerry Lee Lewis and Jimmy Swaggart were cousins
b. Paul LePage/that Martin Luther King Day was a national holiday
c. Chris Christie/about the lane closures on the George Washington Bridge
4. What happy couple was arrested on February 15?
a. Miley Cyrus and Patrick Schwarzenegger
b. Ray Rice and Janay Palmer
c. Bob and Maureen McDonnell
5. What and who won the major Oscars last March?
a. Gravity, Christian Bale, Amy Adams
b. American Hustle, Leonardo DiCaprio, Meryl Streep
c. 12 Years a Slave, Matthew McConaughey, Cate Blanchett
6. The Boko Haram kidnapping happened in April. How many schoolgirls did the group take?
7. Who was elected president of what country in May in an election that much of the country refused to take part in?
a. Ilham Aliyev, Azerbaijan
b. Petro Poroshenko, Ukraine
c. Moncef Marzouki, Tunisia
8. ISIS took control of Mosul in June. About how much did the group allegedly steal from Mosul banks?
a. $425 million
b. $1.2 billion
c. $2.1 billion
9. What ritual did some celebrities start engaging in over the summer?
a. Pricking needles in voodoo dolls of Kim Jong Un
b. Gaining weight to protest body-image stereotypes
c. Taking the ALS ice-bucket challenge
10. About how many Gazans and Israelis died in this summer’s war, respectively?
a. 2,100; 75
b. 1,400; 130
c. 2,750; 25
11. An August report on what included this sentence: “As the report explains, tragically it is probably an underestimate of the real total number of people killed during the first three years of this murderous conflict.”
a. A NATO report on the violence in Crimea and Ukraine
b. An Arab League report on Sudan
c. A U.N. report on Syria
12. Name the five most violent countries in the world as ranked by the Global Peace Index in September:
a. Syria, Afghanistan, South Sudan, Iraq, Somalia
b. Syria, Somalia, Central African Republic, Iraq, Sudan
c. Syria, Iraq, Somalia, Democratic Republic of Congo, Afghanistan
13. What got leaked to the St. Louis Post-Dispatch on October 22?
a. The video of Michael Brown in the convenience store
b. Darren Wilson’s grand jury testimony
c. Prosecutor McCulloch’s instructions to the grand jury
14. Who said on the campaign trail: “My concern is with our unprotected border, where people with Ebola and other infectious diseases can enter the country without being challenged”?
a. Thom Tillis, North Carolina Senate race
b. Mitch McConnell, Kentucky Senate race
c. Scott Brown, New Hampshire Senate race
15. On December 23, the Dow closed at 18,084. Match the percentage change in the DJIA during his term to the president:
George H.W. Bush
George W. Bush
Answers: 1-b, 2-a, 3-c, 4-b, 5-c, 6-c, 7-b, 8-a, 9-c, 10-a, 11-c, 12-a, 13-b, 14-c. As for 15, Clinton was +227, Dubya was -25, Poppy Bush was +45, Reagan was +135, and Obama is +127 so far. Now obviously, a president can’t be fully credited or blamed for what a number happens to be the day he took and left office, but even so, it seems apparent that with two years to go, Obama’s Dow number will overtake Reagan’s.