From the election of Pope Francis to the ouster of Egyptian president Mohammed Morsi, NY1's Cheryl Wills takes a look back at some of the biggest international stories that made headlines this year and filed the following report.
A little known humble archbishop from Argentina ascends to the height of the papacy. On March 13th, white smoke billowed from the Vatican as a signal to the world that Pope Francis had been elected by his fellow cardinals to take over from Pope Benedict XVI who abruptly resigned due to old age. The world's 1.2 billion Catholics welcomed Pope Francis with open arms in Rome as he took over a church rocked by child abuse scandals. He spent his first several months in office rocking the boat, talking about homosexuality and giving women a bigger role in the church.
As Americans were preparing to celebrate Independence Day in July, Egyptians were celebrating the ouster of their embattled leader, Mohammad Morsi. The Egyptian military removed the democratically elected president after massive protests that were broadcast around the globe. But thousands of Morsi's supporters fought back, leading to violent clashes with police and leaving scores dead during throughout the bloody summer.
And there was bloodshed in Syria this summer as the international community condemned Syrian President Bashar Assad who was accused of a Sarin gas attack on his own people, reportedly killing more than 1,400 people. The escalating civil war has sparked the largest refugee crisis in decades. World leaders, including President Barack Obama, threatened swift action if Assad used chemical warfare again.