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U.S.-Russia 'chessgame'
March 23rd, 2014
09:13 AM ET

U.S.-Russia 'chessgame'

By Michelle Koepp

With Friday’s formal annexation of the Crimea to Russia, some are saying that much more than Ukraine’s sovereignty has been lost. Aaron David Miller, a veteran of Middle East diplomacy and vice president of the Woodrow Wilson International Center for Scholars, says in a CNN op-ed that the loss of Crimea to Putin’s grasp will have far-reaching implications for US foreign policy in the Middle East. One CNN foreign affairs reporter compared the situation to a chessgame with vast geopolitical consequences.

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Filed under: SOTU Extra • State of the Union
March 22nd, 2014
07:48 PM ET

Why "modern" plane technology fails

By Michelle Koepp

Now entering its third week, the eerie vanishing of Malaysia Airlines 370 severely undermines confidence in airline security, and raises suspicions that all the post-9/11 security “reforms”–everything from dumping out bottles of water, to lines of travelers padding into full-body scanners in socks or bare feet–seem to create only the illusion of safer travel. Curiously, in today’s digital age, the mode of transport itself–the jetliner–is still sustained by technology from the radio era. While airline passengers can text on board, answer emails and surf the net, even stream movies through in-cabin wifi, the technology powering the plane itself is resigned to pre-dial-up internet connection speeds. And while today billions of devices, including the personal gadgets that can be used in-flight, are connected to the Internet, jetliners such as the missing Malaysia flight are not among them.

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Filed under: MH370 • SOTU Extra • State of the Union
Mystery, now misery for victims' families
March 22nd, 2014
07:32 PM ET

Mystery, now misery for victims' families

By Paige Hymson

“Sometimes there are no immediate answers. There will always be questions.”

Rev. Earl Johnson, who served as the national spiritual care manager for the American Red Cross, reminds the public not to forget about the families of passengers on board Malaysia Airline Flight 370. As we eagerly watch as the mystery unfolds, those who truly need answers, are families of the victims. The 239 passengers on board this flight are all unique people, with individual stories, and families who struggle to hold on to hope.

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Filed under: MH370 • SOTU Extra • State of the Union
SOTU EXTRA: GOP’s lessons learned
March 16th, 2014
07:35 AM ET

SOTU EXTRA: GOP’s lessons learned

By Michelle Koepp

In the year since the Republican National Committee (RNC) Chairman Reince Priebus commissioned a team of experts to produce the RNC “Growth and Opportunity Project”, a comprehensive examination of lessons learned from the GOP’s 2012 electoral defeats, it appears that the project, colloquially called the RNC “autopsy”, may be requiring its own post-mortem.

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Filed under: Reince Priebus • Republicans • SOTU Extra • State of the Union
SOTU EXTRA: What is the black box?
March 16th, 2014
06:42 AM ET

SOTU EXTRA: What is the black box?

By Paige Hymson

Amid the mystery of missing Malaysia Airlines flight 370, analysts and investigators often point to the need to find the “black box” to help determine what happened to the missing airliner. Monday marks the 61st anniversary of the invention of the black box by Australian researcher David Warren, a device that has provided critical in finding clues from former crashes.

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Filed under: Aviation • SOTU Extra • State of the Union
SOTU Extra: Ukraine aid divides Republicans
March 15th, 2014
08:06 PM ET

SOTU Extra: Ukraine aid divides Republicans

By Paige Hymson

United States foreign policy measures are being put to question during the crisis in Ukraine. Since Russia’s intervention into Crimea, President Obama has made various efforts for an appropriate course of action. Much of the international community condemns Russian intervention and feels that Ukraine is in need of immediate aid and support.

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Filed under: SOTU Extra • State of the Union
SOTU EXTRA: Crisis in Ukraine
March 9th, 2014
08:36 AM ET

SOTU EXTRA: Crisis in Ukraine

By Michelle Koepp

Hostilities intensified in Crimea Saturday as Ukrainian officials accused pro-Russian forces of armed aggression, and with an announcement by regional pro-Moscow authorities of a March 16 referendum to confirm the Crimea’s annexation to Russia.

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Filed under: SOTU Extra • State of the Union • Ukraine
SOTU EXTRA: The Baltics and Russia's next move
March 8th, 2014
07:19 PM ET

SOTU EXTRA: The Baltics and Russia's next move

By Paige Hymson

Amidst the crisis in Ukraine, many former Soviet nations fear Russia’s next moves. Lithuania, Estonia and Latvia are feeling anxious about possible Russian expansionism. The three Baltic countries hope to reduce their dependency on Russia’s energy and natural gas supply. The nations worry that their current reliance on Russia for all of their natural gas will be corrupted because of the situation in Ukraine. They all also have strong trade ties to Russia.

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Filed under: SOTU Extra • State of the Union
SOTU EXTRA: Obamacare uncertainty
March 8th, 2014
06:54 PM ET

SOTU EXTRA: Obamacare uncertainty

By Paige Hymson

As March 31st quickly approaches, the Obamacare enrollment deadline has some people worried, and others simply confused. In short, the Affordable Care Act (ACA) is a set of health reforms that guarantees all Americans have access to affordable health insurance. By March 31st, the Obamacare program mandates that all Americans sign up for health care, or face a penalty. The fee for not having health insurance is $95 per individual, or 1% of your taxable income, whichever is greater. If Americans do not sign up by the open enrollment deadline at the end of March, not only will they have to pay the penalty fee, but they will have to wait until November when the open enrollment marketplace reopens.

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Filed under: Obamacare • SOTU Extra • State of the Union
SOTU EXTRA: Charlie Crist's political comeback
March 8th, 2014
06:46 PM ET

SOTU EXTRA: Charlie Crist's political comeback

By Michelle Koepp

“Winners have more friends than losers do” Charlie Crist writes in his recently-released book, “The Party’s Over: How the Extreme Right Hijacked the GOP and I Became a Democrat.” The former Republican politician, who governed Florida from 2007 to 2011, is running for his old job again, but this time as a Democrat. Supporters argue that Crist’s shift in allegiances is the sign of a rational politician who is unafraid to make a dramatic, albeit risky, political evolution. Detractors argue that Crist will play any card just in the hopes of coming out the winner.

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Filed under: Charlie Crist • SOTU Extra • State of the Union
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