Jul 18, 2018

State Department fails to issue statement on anniversary of MH17 crash

Relatives attend the unveiling of the National Monument for the MH17 victims in Vijfhuizen, on July 17, 2017. Photo: REMKO DE WAAL/AFP/Getty Images

For the first time in the four years since a Russian missile downed Malaysia Airlines Flight 17 over Ukrainian airspace, killing all 298 passengers on board, the State Department did not release a statement acknowledging the anniversary or condemning Russia's silence, reports Foreign Policy.

Why it matters: The anniversary, July 17, came just one day after President Trump's highly criticized meeting with Russian President Vladimir Putin in Helsinki. Foreign Policy obtained a statement drafted by officials at the State Department denouncing Russia for its role in the attack, but it was never released for reasons that have not been publicly explained.

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The big picture: Nearly all executions in the U.S. are done by states. Even those have been steadily dropping for two decades, per the Bureau of Justice Statistics (BJS) — marking a downward trend for all executions in the country.

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President Trump at the Daytona 500. (Photo: Chris Graythen/Getty Images)

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Why it matters: Coates' working relationship with National Security Adviser Robert O'Brien, who elevated her to the deputy role only months ago, has strained amid an effort by some people inside the administration to tag her as "Anonymous" — a charge she has vehemently denied to colleagues.

Jeff Bezos commits $10 billion for climate change research

Bezos at Amazon Smbhav in New Delhi on Jan. 15. Photo: Sajjad Hussain/AFP via Getty Images

Amazon founder Jeff Bezos announced the launch of his "Earth Fund" on Monday via Instagram to fund climate change research and awareness.

What he's saying: Bezos says he's initially committing $10 billion to fund "scientists, activists, and NGOS" that are working on environmental preservation and protection efforts.