FLIGHT 17 SHOT DOWN

On July 17th, 298 passengers and crew were killed when Malaysian Airlines Flight 17 was shot down over Ukrainian soil. Eastern Ukraine, which remains in control of Russian-backed separatists, remains in turmoil to this day. Putin's military has been supporting the rebels with weaponry and financing since the start of the Ukrainian conflict. Flight 17 was shot down by a surface-to-air missile, and although we don't know whether the triggerman was a pro-Russian rebel, Russian officer, or the Ukrainian military, one thing we do know is that Russia has their fingerprints all over the disaster.

Mainstream media has, for the most part, quit reporting on this story. Not only did we never obtain a final answer on who shot down the plane, we also have not been able to keep anyone liable for the catastrophe. Putin and the pro-Russian rebels continue to control Eastern Ukraine and apparently have gotten away with murder. No motivation has been identified, which is one reason why it has been so hard to convict a responsible party. It was most likely a mistake, but a terrible one at that.


MALAYSIAN FLIGHT 370

The disappearance of Malaysian Flight 370 is another story that seems to have been forgotten. It's not only a terrible tragedy, but also one of the most mysterious stories of 2014, and perhaps the most mysterious aviation account of all time. On March 8th, Malaysian Airlines Flight 370 left from Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia en-route to Beijing, China. The plane veered off course and headed south into the Indian Ocean before it went off radar and disappeared forever. No distress calls, no signs of engine failure, and no suspicious behavior at all. One of the largest sea rescue missions was launched from the eastern coast of Australia. Dozens of planes and ships searched thousands of square miles of the open Indian Ocean, yet no signs of plane wreckage were found.

To this day we still do not know what happened to Flight 370 and the 239 people on board. Many conspiracy theories have surfaced as a result, some blaming the Malaysian government for covering up the true facts, and even others accusing the US government for playing some role in the disappearance. However, no strong evidence has been found for a true motivation behind the vanishing of the aircraft. We may never know what really happened to Flight 370.


MASSIVE INFLUX OF YOUNG IMMIGRANTS

One of the most alarming stories for Americans is the enormous increase of illegal immigrants crossing our southern border. Mainstream media has altogether quit reporting on this story. In the last 12 months, 52,000 unaccompanied children have been apprehended by border patrol agents on the U.S.-Mexico border. This number is up significantly from approximately 24,000 in 2012 and 16,000 in 2011. Although a large number of children continue to come from Mexico, the considerable increase in numbers is due to the majority of children coming from Guatemala, Honduras and El Salvador.

This issue is one that has become extremely political due to the moral and ethical implications of deporting children back to their home countries, which in most cases involves sending them back into impoverished communities and sometimes into the arms of drug lords and human trafficking organizers. However, letting the children stay in the United States has huge repercussions by overcrowding schools and putting an increased strain on our already overloaded social programs. Perhaps the most serious consequence of not securing our border with Mexico lies with the high likelihood of terrorists entering our country undetected. At a time where ISIS is looking for any way to cause harm to Americans, we should be most fearful of their presence in our country.