Image courtesy of: CNN
Crimean Crisis and Russian Annexation of Crimea
The Crimean Crisis has been going on since before the end of February. After the Ukrainian revolution, the formerly Ukrainian region of Crimea declared itself as an independent nation and voted by a margin of over 93% to join Russia. As Russia annexes Crimea, President Obama and Russian President Putin trade sanctions. As President Obama has ruled out the use of US Military Force for this crisis, it is unlikely that this situation will escalate into a major war.
The map above shows the regions of Ukraine and the percentage of the population of those regions with Russian as their native language. This graphic shows that Russia is divided into three different regions based on the percentage of inhabitants who speak Russian as a native language: one with less than 5%, another between 5% and 24%, and another between 25% and 74%.
This Malaysia Airlines flight was scheduled to transport over two hundred and twenty passengers and twelve crew members from Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia to Beijing, China on March 8, 2014. The airliner was a Boeing 777, and contacted air traffic control an hour after takeoff before disappearing. Although an extensive search has been conducted, the remains of the plane have not yet been found and the fate of the occupants is still a mystery.
Image Courtesy of: The Wall Street Journal
The MV Cape Ray is an American ship that is equipped to degrade and neutralize chemical weapons, which is prepared to travel to a Syrian port, probably Latakia. There, it will await the transfer of chemical weapons from over ten storage areas. The Cape Ray, along with Norwegian and Danish Ships, will load up the weapons, travel out to sea, and neutralize them. Neutralizing all of the chemical weapons is projected to take about three months. The United States and Russia set a deadline of the middle of 2014 for Syria to eliminate all of its chemical weapons stockpiles after the chemical weapons attack last August.
Diplomatic Meetings between Japan and North Korea
Japan and North Korea have not had diplomatic discussions in over a year. On March 20, they agreed to resume official meetings between their diplomats. Topics for discussion include North Korean programs for weapons of mass destruction, and the Japanese citizens kidnapped several decades ago by North Korea. Japanese Leader Shinzo Abe intends to trade financial aid for promises made by North Korea on the discussion topics.
Image Courtesy of: Gallup
A Gallup Poll taken in early March showed that the economy, federal spending, and healthcare are at the top of the list of concerns of the American public, while climate change and the environment are at the bottom of the list. However, the American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS) is making an effort to change this view. The organization has created a report entitled “What We Know”, which intends to show the public the perception that scientists, at large, have of climate change. The report asserts that about 97% of climate scientists have concluded that humans are changing the climate. It shows evidence for global warming, the risks of climate change, and calls for action to reduce our environmental impact.