Here’s The Surprising News About Missing MH370 That Just Made Passenger Families Break Down

WCJ images 0370 fams

More than 10 months after Malaysia Airlines Flight MH370 vanished — after an exhaustive search in which 25 countries participated with equipment, supplies and financial support — Malaysian authorities have issued an official statement about the fate of the missing airliner.

The country’s Department of Civil Aviation says the disappearance of the Boeing 777 was an “accident,” all 239 people aboard MH370 are presumed dead, and the search for survivors has been called off.

Families of those aboard the ill-fated flight — many of them Chinese who watched the televised declaration of the “accident” conclusion — broke down in tears as they listened to the Malaysian official who made this morning’s announcement.

The cause of the crash is still unknown. NBC News says the search for wreckage in the Southern Indian Ocean will continue.

By clicking on the video above, you can watch the official announcement that was made on Thursday about MH370 and the process of compensating next of kin for the passengers’ loss of life.

This post originally appeared on Western Journalism – Informing And Equipping Americans Who Love Freedom

Senate To Vote On Keystone XL Pipeline Thursday

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The United States Senate will take the final vote on Keystone XL Thursday. Although it is unclear what the final vote tally will be, as many as nine Democrats could join the Republican majority to break the filibuster and send the bill to President Obama’s desk.

The Hill reported Thursday that as many as 63 Senators could vote to approve S.1, the $8 billion TransCanada Keystone Pipeline, including nine Democrats; three short of the number needed to override a veto from President Obama. The president has signaled he would veto the legislation if it were presented to him.

Votes on 35 amendments were held by the Senate for this bill. During the vote on the 15th amendment last week, Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Ky., pointed out an interesting milestone:

“We’ve actually reached a milestone here that I think’s noteworthy for the Senate, that we just cast our 15th roll call vote on an amendment on [the Keystone XL] bill which is more votes, more roll call votes on amendments than the entire United States Senate in all of 2014.”

“Constructing Keystone would pump billions into our economy. It would support thousands of good American jobs. And as the President’s own State Department has indicated, it would do this with minimal environmental impact,” McConnell said Thursday in a press release.

The House approved Keystone XL earlier this month, 266 to 153. In the previous Congress last November, the Senate attempted to pass Keystone XL, but fell short by only one vote.

h/t: The Washington Examiner

This post originally appeared on Western Journalism – Informing And Equipping Americans Who Love Freedom

Obama’s Plan To Play Nice With Cuba Just Backfired

castroobama

Cuban President Raul Castro recently demanded that the US return its property at Guantanamo Bay, lift the longstanding trade embargo, and pay damages for the embargo’s effects before US-Cuba relations can be normalized.

Cuba estimates that the embargo, which has existed since the Kennedy administration, has cost a whopping $1.1 trillion dollars. Now Castro is demanding not only an end to the embargo, but payment for all the subsequent damages.

Barack Obama has already loosened the trade embargo with the hopes of altering Cuba’s single-party system and centrally-planned economy. Castro and Obama also announced a plan to re-open embassies in Cuba and the United States.

Cuba has said that it welcomes the measures moving toward normalization of relations, but has no intent of changing its communist system.

Castro spoke at a summit of the Community of Latin American and Caribbean States and said that “if these problems [Guantanamo, trade embargo damages] aren’t resolved, this diplomatic rapprochement wouldn’t make any sense.”

He stated: “The reestablishment of diplomatic relations is the start of a process of normalizing bilateral relations, but this will not be possible while the blockade still exists, while they don’t give back the territory illegally occupied by the Guantánamo naval base.”

According to the US Navy, the Guantanamo Bay Naval Base still plays a key role in the region:

Naval Station Guantanamo Bay, Cuba is on the front lines for regional security in the Caribbean area. The base supports the ability of U.S. Navy and Coast Guard ships, along with allied nation ships to operate in the Caribbean area by providing contingency and quality logistical support with superior services and facilities.

In the past, Castro has also demanded an end to US support of Cuban dissidents and Cuba’s removal from the list of state sponsors of terrorism.

What do you think? Are these fair or outrageous demands by the leader of Cuba to the United States?

This post originally appeared on Western Journalism – Informing And Equipping Americans Who Love Freedom

Red States Pay A Big Price Financially Under Obama

Photo credit: defense.gov

Republican-leaning red states are paying a big price financially under Obama, as the Obama administration has chosen to allocate more money to blue and purple states compared to red states, according to an analysis done by Reuters.

Between 2009 and 2013, funding for a wide number of  discretionary grant programs fell by 40 percent in Republican-leaning states such as Texas. In contrast, blue Democratic-leaning states and purple swing states saw only a drop of 25 percent in such funding.

Republican Representative John Culberson from Texas says that he has been having difficulty getting the administration to pay for border control, harbor dredging, and even aid for a chemical plant explosion in his district. He stated: “The Obama administration approaches the federal government the same way the Chicago machine politicians approach the Chicago public treasury: it’s to be used for their own benefit.”

Congress does direct overall spending, but the administration decides where much of that money is spent. A 2011 bill banning earmarks further reduced Congressional control over grant money and gave more to the administration.

John Hudak of the Brookings Institution, who helped Reuters conduct the study, commented:

In the context of the Obama administration, swing states and blue states are doing better than red states. I would suggest these numbers would tell us there is politicization going on.

The White House Office of Management and Budget said in a statement to Reuters: “The administration supports allocating federal grants based on objecting criteria that will help protect taxpayer dollars and ensure that lawmakers are responsible and accountable to the American people.”

This post originally appeared on Western Journalism – Informing And Equipping Americans Who Love Freedom

Grand Canyon Covered By A Sea Of Clouds

National Park Service

A temperature inversion at the Grand Canyon National Park Wednesday caused a layer of clouds to settle below the rim, turning the canyon into a sea of clouds. This one minute time-lapse video recorded at Hopi Point on the South Rim represents thirty minutes of cloud movement. The cold air filling the canyon is trapped by warmer air that lies above it, trapping the fog in place.

h/t: Mashable

This post originally appeared on Western Journalism – Informing And Equipping Americans Who Love Freedom