International Trending News Monday

This weekend, the world had its eyes set on two drastically different stories: the good (The Sochi Paralympics) and the bad (Missing Flight MH370). This Trending News Monday, we’re giving you up-to-date coverage of both stories.

Malaysia Airlines Flight 370

Early Saturday morning, Malaysia Airline Flight 370 en route from Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia to Beijing, China mysteriously appeared from the radar over Vietnam airspace. The aircraft was carrying 239 people on board, and elements (like an absent cockpit voice recorder and flight data) add to growing questions as to what happened to the plane and how.

About two hours into the flight, the plane went missing. Several aspects of the instance have baffled authorities. The Boeing jetliner, model 777-200, is among the safest of aircrafts, and a flight encountering trouble mid-flight is a rarity. The plane’s pilots did not send a distress signal, which is also suspicious. Military radar picked up that the plane might have turned around, but no communication from the plane to air traffic control corroborates the direction change.

Two passengers aboard the plane were traveling with stolen passports, which is causing speculation of terrorism. The passports belong to an Austrian and an Italian, who reported their passports stolen in isolated instances; however, both were stolen in Phuket, Thailand.

Malaysia Airlines is caring for the families of the flight’s passengers and crew with updates, travel accommodations, food and medical support. Tomorrow, the airline will deploy an aircraft to bring the families from Beijing to Kuala Lumpur. This tragedy affects multiple continents. Two thirds of those on board are Chinese. Passengers are also from other parts of Asia, Australia, Europe and North America. All are presumed dead.

Search teams traveled by boat to investigate oil slicks in the South China Sea. Samples revealed the oil did not come from MH370. Ships and aircrafts from other countries, including a U.S. Navy guided missile destroyer, have joined the search, and an international team is investigating the incident.

With no debris found, experts are inferring the plane may have disintegrated at about 35,000 feet.


The 2014 Sochi Winter Paralympics

Friday’s opening ceremonies marked the beginning of the Sochi Winter Paralympics, which celebrate people with an impairment and promotes social inclusion. This year’s Paralympic Winter Games include 72 medal events like Alpine Skiing, Cross Country Skiing, Biathlon, Ice Sledge Hockey and Wheelchair Curling. The competition spans nine days (March 7-16) and includes nearly 700 athletes.

The 2014 Winter Paralympics taking place in Sochi, Russia is monumental due to the country’s past intolerance of the disabled. In 1980, the Soviet Union would not hold the Paralympics citing it did not have any citizens with disabilities.

Now, the Russian Paralympic team has doubled from the 2010 Winter Games. In 2011, Russia began a four-year plan to fund more public services for those with disabilities. A year later, Russia ratified a treaty that assures those with disabilities the same rights as others. Then, in 2013, a new law ensured disabled students the right to attend mainstream schools.

Team USA has experienced success in Sochi already, taking home three medals in the first day of competition. Allison Jones won a bronze in the women’s standing downhill. In the sitting downhill race, Alana Nichols took home the silver, while Laurie Stephens joined her on the podium to claim her bronze medal.

The U.S. Paralympic team is comprised of More than 20 percent of military veterans. Team USA also includes Amy Purdy, Paralympic snowboarder. Purdy is a new contestant on Dancing with the Stars, which premiers on March 17 and the only double amputee in her snowboard cross event.

Keep an eye out for more news from Sochi.

Cover Photo Source: Tutti Frutti / Shutterstock.com

Kristi is a Junior Executive at SJG. She graduated with a BS in Advertising and Public Relations from Northern Arizona University. She bleeds blue and orange, or red, or blue and red, depending on the season. Kristi spends her free time cheering on her Chicago teams, volunteering and exploring different neighborhoods. She also enjoys snowboarding, mixology and writing, but avoids doing them all at once (snow patrol tends to frown on that).