NEWS: Crimea Is Over Ukraine, Might Join Up With Russia

Malaysia Airlines Flight 370 lost. The Beijing bound plane went missing on Saturday, when it lost contact with air traffic controllers shortly after leaving Kuala Lumpur. The plane is believed to have been off its intended flight path when contact was lost, having made a U-turn in the air. Searchers have been unable to find any trace of the plane or the 239 passengers on board, but are working on the assumption the plane crashed into the ocean.

Africans seeking asylum in U.S. due to anti-gay laws. African migrants and citizens fearing for their lives in the wake of Ugandan and Nigerian anti-gay legislation have turned to the United States, where they are filing political asylum requests in large numbers.

U.N. wants to investigate civilian drone deaths. The special rapporteur on human rights has called for independent inquiries into the number of civilians killed in countries such as Pakistan and Afghanistan. Most of those deaths were caused by U.S. drones.

Diplomats oppose Obama ambassador nominees. The 15 signatories on a letter sent to a number of senators urging them to reject Obama’s latest ambassadorial nominees are all former presidents of the American Foreign Service Association. They cited lack of knowledge and experience regarding the countries to which the nominees would be posted, specifically Norway, Hungary and Argentina.

Gitmo still sucks, stops using term “hunger strike.” Amidst a continued hunger strike by detainees, the military prison camp has decided to replace “hunger strike” with “long-term non-religious fasting.” This is the latest in a history of controversial name changes, including questionable terms used to describe those held on limited evidence. Basically words mean nothing at Gitmo and nothing the public says will make a difference.

U.S. is using public transportation again! Ridership on public transport has hit a 56-year high, signalling a possible shift away from the suburban-sprawl led trend of high car usage in the U.S. Possible factors for the uptick include higher migration to urban areas and the cost-effectiveness of public transport versus driving.

Hamlet is going to North Korea next year. A London theatre group will be performing the Shakespeare play in the Hermit Kingdom in 2015. My lingering question: How will they alter the play to include the Kim family’s dynastic glory?

Moderate military assault bill likely to pass after previous bill failed. Senator Gillibrand’s bill may have failed, but bipartisan efforts to combat sexual assault in the military are far from thwarted. Senator Claire McCaskill (D-MO) has brought a bill that has overwhelming support in the Senate, though milder reform than Sen Gillibrand’s proposal. Measures include considering past sexual offense charges during the promotion process and referral of cases to the civilian secretary for the Armed Forces branch under which the assault takes place.

What does Ray Giudice think of this? Nancy Grace libel suit moving forward. A judge ruled to move forward with the case brought against Grace by Michael Skakel, who brought the case after Grace claimed his DNA had been found at the scene of Martha Moxley’s 1975 murder. Nancy Grace has come under fire recently for her HLN TV show, where she uses horrible tragedy to drum up viewers.

Crimea to hold referendum on joining Russia. With Russian troops on the ground and protests swirling, Ukraine’s Crimean Peninsula is set to vote next week on whether to leave Ukraine and join Russian territory. The proposal enjoys support among the area’s large ethnically Russian population, but is strongly opposed by Muslim Tatars, who fear the rising and often violent Russian nationalist movement.

Are Mexican cartel leaders pulling some Lord of Light stuff? Knights Templar cartel leader Nazario Moreno was originally reportedly killed in 2010, but this week Mexican authorities claimed that they are totally sure he’s now actually dead after a shootout with authorities.

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