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2018 has already had 3 deadly commercial passenger plane crashes

Plane crash
Rescue workers at the scene of the crash in Kathmandu. Photo: Prakash Mathema / AFP via Getty Images

US-Bangla Flight 211 crashed in Kathmandu, Nepal on Monday, killing at least 40 of the 71 people on board. It's the third commercial airplane crash on record in 2018, after zero people died in such crashes in 2017.

Why it matters: Last year was the safest year on record for commercial air travel. But at least 177 people have already died in plane crashes this year, and it's only March.

The crashes:

  • Feb. 11: A Saratov Airlines plane crashes in Russia, southeast of Moscow, killing all 65 passengers and six crew members on board.
  • Feb. 19: An Iran Aseman Airlines crashes 14.500 above sea level on Mount Dena. All 66 people on the plane are killed.
  • March 12: Search and rescue for the Nepal crash is still ongoing as eight passengers are missing in the wreckage.
Khorri Atkinson 10 hours ago
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NYT: Mueller witness tried to influence White House on Gulf states

Interviews and previously undisclosed documents revealed that a witness in Robert Mueller's probe had worked for over a year to convert a Republican fundraiser into a White House influencer to help usher in deals on behalf of Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates, the New York Times reports.

The backdrop: George Nader, a political adviser of the U.A.E. and Elliott Broidy, the RNC's deputy finance chair, reportedly urged the White House to dismiss Secretary of State Rex Tillerson's support of combative approaches to Iran and Qatar. In another case, Nader promised Broidy over a $1 billion in contracts for his private security company in exchange for deals.

David Philips 12 hours ago
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Russian obstruction on Syria at UN Security Council demands response

United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights Zeid Ra'ad Al Hussein speaking during a press conference at the UN Offices in Geneva.
UN High Commissioner for Human Rights Zeid Ra'ad al-Hussein. Photo: Fabrice Coffrini / AFP via Getty Images

Russia used a procedural vote on Monday to prevent UN Human Rights Commissioner Zeid Ra’ad al-Hussein from presenting on human rights conditions in Syria to the UN Security Council (UNSC).

Why it matters: To date, Russia has vetoed nine resolutions aimed at intensifying pressure on Syria’s Bashar al-Assad, moves that not only counter U.S. interests but undermine the international system.