London

In pictures: London in 2014

London has had an eventful 2014, with everything from poppies at the Tower of London, Tube strikes and the closure of an iconic venue grabbing the public's attention.

BBC News takes a look at some of this year's most memorable events.

The Tower of London marked 100 years since World War One with 888,246 ceramic poppies planted there to represent the British and colonial soldiers who died.

The artwork by Paul Cummins captured the public's imagination, and queues to see the hand-made poppies became a daily occurrence.

The title of the work, Blood-Swept Lands and Seas of Red, was inspired by a line from the will of a Derbyshire serviceman who died in Flanders.

He described "the blood-swept lands and seas of red, where angels fear to tread".

Much of 2014 was marked by the ongoing tension between Transport for London and the transport unions RMT and Aslef.

In February, much of London came to a standstill when Tube drivers staged a 48-hour strike over plans to close all ticket offices and cut 960 jobs. A further two-day strike was suspended a week later.

The same thing happened again in April, when a two-day strike was held, only for a further three-day strike the following week to be cancelled.

In between these disputes, the main cheerleader for the drivers, RMT leader Bob Crow, died from a heart attack in March. He was replaced by Mick Cash.

Finally in October, another 48-hour strike was cancelled following more talks at conciliation service Acas.

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The disappearance of 14-year-old Alice Gross shocked many across the country, none more so than in her home town of Hanwell, west London.

The search to find the missing schoolgirl was the biggest the Met Police had carried out since the 7/7 terrorist bombings in 2005, involving 600 officers from eight forces.

Her body was found about a month later in the River Brent.

The main suspect in her disappearance, 41-year-old Latvian builder Arnis Zalkalns, was found dead several days later.

London has always been a focal point for protests, and 2014 was no exception.

In December, a so-called "die-in" demonstration was held at Westfield in Shepherds Bush in west London. An estimated 600 people held the protest in solidarity with rallies in the US prompted by the death of Eric Garner, a black man who died during an arrest in New York in July.

November saw thousands of students protest against education cuts, tuition fees and student debt while an austerity protest organised by the People's Assembly campaign group was held in June, as was a taxi driver demonstration against Uber, a mobile phone taxi app.

The family of Mark Duggan, who was shot dead by the police in 2011, were outraged in January when an inquest ruled he was lawfully killed.

There were angry scenes outside court, with their supporters chanting "murderers" at Metropolitan Police Assistant Commissioner Mark Rowley as he read a statement.

The inquest, led by Judge Keith Cutler (bottom right), lasted several months before a jury came to the conclusion Mr Duggan did not have a gun when he was shot by officers who surrounded a minicab he was travelling in but it was more likely than not he had thrown a gun on to some nearby grass just before he was killed.

The death of an 82-year-old woman at her home in Edmonton, north London, stunned many. Palmira Silva was stabbed in the heart before being beheaded.

Hundreds paid their respects as her funeral cortege went through the town, pausing outside her business, Silva's Cafe.

Nicholas Salvador, 25, from Enfield, has been charged with her murder.

Once a prominent venue for entertainment, Earls Court exhibition centre finally closed its doors after it was sold to be turned into thousands of homes as part of an £8bn scheme.

Since it opened in 1887, it has hosted many big shows and events such as the Brit Awards and the Ideal Home exhibition, volleyball in the London 2012 Olympics, and in World War One it acted as a camp for refugees.

Indie rock band the Bombay Bicycle Club was the last band to play the venue, on 13 December.

In sport, the Tour de France returned to London while Prince Harry hosted the first Invictus Games for wounded servicemen and women.

Although Saracens were beaten to the Premiership title by Northampton Saints in May, some Londoners were crowned champions in 2014 - Arsenal women retained the FA Cup when they beat Everton 2-0 and double Olympic champion Charlotte Dujardin broke her second world record at Olympia 2014.

Although one iconic entertainment venue - Earls Court - closed this year, Wembley Stadium went from strength to strength.

This year saw the home of the England football team taken over by the American game as three NFL games were held there. The games have been so successful there are now calls for a team to be based permanently at Wembley.

Meanwhile in English football at the north London stadium, Arsenal won the FA Cup, Queens Park Rangers were promoted but Leyton Orient lost out in their play-off final on penalties.

East London has always been known for its quirky businesses, and this year was no exception.

A cat cafe, Lady Dinah's Cat Emporium, opened with a two month waiting list in March while December saw the opening of a cereal cafe.

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