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Beltway Insider: Ebola; Race; Immigration; Russia/Ukraine; ISIS; Cuba; Malaysian Air Top 2014 News

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The fast moving, tumultuous, volatile and ever changing global dynamics create a combustible stream of shocking, brutal and graphic news. The difficulty was determining what constitutes the most challenging and how 2014 will be remembered.


Topping every news organizations list would be the racial tensions sparked over Ferguson and Eric Garner culminating with the senseless assassination of two NYPD officers.

The Ebola crisis breaking ground in the United States; Border Kids, traveling alone hoping for a better life are the Beltway Insider's top domestic stories. Internationally, we've chosen Russia's invasion of neighboring Ukraine, Malaysian Air and the rise of ISIS and a new era of terror.

President Obama and Family on Hawaiian Retreat

President Obama and First Lady Michelle Obama, after sending holiday wishes to the nation have left Washington for the annual holiday vacation in Hawaii, accompanied by the first daughters the President is briefed daily on foreign and domestic agendas.

According to Gallup, President Obama's job approval, over the past week, decreased one percentage point to 46% of those polled who approve of his effectiveness as President and those who disapprove of his effectiveness as President remained consistent at 49%. 

Race Relations: Ferguson, Eric Garner and Two NYPD Officers

The recent assassination of two New York City Police Officers, seen by some as outgrowth of the volatile race relations which has produced an acceptable segregation and ever widening racial divide has left jaded New Yorkers stunned and the world silent.

The first funeral for Officer Ramos, drew more than 25,000 police officers from New York and around the country as well as local dignitaries and the

The murders of the Rafael Ramos and Wenjian Liu, punctuated two months of civil unrest in New York and around the nation as the people reacted to the stunning seemingly irrefutable evidence that proved police actions were intentional and excessive.

President Obama said, "I unconditionally condemn today's murder of two police officers in New York City." Vice President Biden attended the funeral service and said, "I speak for the whole nation when I say our hearts ache for you."

Triggered by what was believed to be failure in the judicial system, Race tensions in America sparked an outrage that erupted and overflowed into the streets marching across the country touching off protests in more than 90 cities.

Michael Brown, a Ferguson Missouri African America teenager, was shot and killed in broad daylight by Ferguson Police Officer Michael Wilson. Prepared for violence, Missouri Governor Jay Nixon announced the verdict would be read at a designated time. Local business understanding the warning boarded shops and the National Guard was called in to protect.

President Obama was carried live by national news utilizing a split screen Obama urged calm as explosive violence raged on the streets. The President's words failed to calm, to quiet, to end the Ferguson violence that moved to points east and west.

Less than two weeks later, a Staten Island grand jury shocked even the most jaded New Yorkers by failing to return any indictments in the chokehold death of Eric Garner, 43, that was videotaped and clearly depicted a concerned Garner asking repeatedly what the cops wanted and finally vividly showed a group of four officers cornering the man, jumping on his back, putting him in a chokehold, riding him to the ground, the three others cuffed him.

He stated "I can't breathe, I can't breathe" which he repeated four times and died at the scene.

The evidence appeared so overwhelming that a movement born of the words spoken by a dying man, "I can't breathe" resonated throughout the world's population and crossed all racial boundaries.

Injustice finally had characteristics, stifling, suffocating causing the inability to breathe, to fathom, to understand.

Russia's Global Gamble for Ukraine Ownership

Russian President Vladimir Putin's gutsy move violating the territorial sovereignty of neighboring Ukraine after his nation staged a carefully crafted and seamlessly executed hosting of the worlds athletics in Sochi lands the beleaguered leader in the top 2014 news stories.

Marching on the Crimea Peninsula, on the day the XXII Winter Olympiad held its closing ceremony, pro-Russian protest began to pave the way for Putin to invade the 10,000square mile bridge between Sochi Russia and mainland Ukraine.

Three days later on February 26, Russia Troops rolled across the Ukraine border in an aggressive act of war, invading the Crimean peninsula of which they have never relinquished.

Within days, and simultaneously Ukraine is completing the requirements for entrance into the European Union, Putin staged an election to which the people of Crimea succeeded and the Russian Federation raised its flag.

In an unprecedented move Putin's act of aggression was met with swift and permanent global condemnation. Immediate sanctions which initially rested solely on the expulsion of Russia from the G8 leaving the member nation of the world top eight leading industrialized nations out in the cold.

Additionally, as Putin refused to relinquish the territorial boundaries of Ukraine sectorial sanctions have incrementally began to take place plunging the ailing nation further into a recession.

Putin began his second phase of his vision of the future which included all or part of the Ukraine with massive troops build up along the eastern border. The tactic of course, was meant to intimidate the struggling Ukraine, a mental power game, as the people of the Ukraine were headed to the polls to vote on their future.

As the vote neared Petro Poroshenko, a Ukraine Confections business man, faced a fixed election, a concerned and intimidated people, a Russian machine ready to roll and like any good underdog story when the ballots were counted Poroshenko was declared the winner and the Ukraine on the way to becoming a free and democratic member nation of the European Union.

Russia has yet to back down, and to date, as maintained a military funded presence inside the Ukraine's Eastern border.

The Russian Separatists, lead by Denis Pushilin, have claimed a small parcel of land with the borders of Ukraine.

A Russian funded group, the Separatists, attempted to escalate border skirmishes and initiate a global response and with it the delineation of support with egregious acts of violence against innocent nations with little concern over the outcome of the conflicts.

Unfortunately the group shot down Malaysian Air Flight 17 carrying 283 passengers and 15 crew members on the way to the 20th International AIDS Conference and with the single act destroyed collectively 30 years of AIDS research and bringing the contempt of ten additional nations.

Malaysian Air Disasters

Malaysian Air, with three Malaysian Air transportation disasters in 2014, makes it one of the worst years in Aviation history for the tiny Pacific island nation.

MH370, in March 2014, simply vanished and sparked an international search to which has never concluded.

By June, Malaysian Air officials put together a list of highly circumstantial pieces of evidence that indicated the pilot may have official downed the doomed jet. He was never officially named as the cause behind the disaster that killed all 239 passengers and crew members on board.

The international search was aided by up to eleven nations over the vast South China Sea with some of the deepest waters in the world. No fuselage or other debris ever surfaced.

The similarities between the initial Malaysian Air disasters and the current AirAsia QZ8150 disappearance are oddly similar.

As in both cases no debris field has surfaced allowing search and rescue the opportunity to assist families in closure. The absence of a debris field also hinders any investigation. In both cases mid air malfunctions, terror or other catastrophic in flight situations have been ruled out as no debris field is present.  Without mid-air breakage or impact separation the initial scenario of projectile force driving the airliners directly into the ocean remains the prominent theory.

ISIS: The Rise of New Terror Organization

ISIS/ISIL, The Islamic State of Iraq and Syria, announced itself to the world this year by reminding civilized citizens hatred of the west and westerners is still a motivator to kill and destroy those who voice opposition to tyranny and terror.

An extremely well funded Terror group, loyalists to Osama bin Laden, ISIS is considered the most dangerous off shoot in recent history by leading members of the intelligence community including exiting Secretary of Defense, Chuck Hagel.

Obama in his effort to combat the evil regime has garnered a global coalition with nearly 60 nations participating. ISIS has been designated a terror organization by The United Nations, all members of the G7 and nearly every industrialized nation in the world.

Concerned primarily for the safety of American and allied Citizens, ISIS with misplaced arrogance has murdered by beheading Seven Americans and British Citizens and nearly 2000 others.

The local Iraqi population remains deeply intimated and fearful of the resurgence of an Osama Bin Laden style terror group that they fled to the local mountains prepared to starve to death. The United States reentered the War in Iraq with limited Air Strikes and a continued promise from the commander in chief that there would be "no boots on the ground."

ISIS then challenged the United States and began beheading United States and British Citizens in retaliation for assisting the Iraqi people. The president honored his commitment and refused to send ground troops to annihilate the ISIS terrorists who raised a knife to our citizens.   

Syrian's President Bashar Al Assad, a sworn enemy of the United States, has been known to provide safety, funding and arms to ISIS. The northern territory of Syrian is also used to house ISIS members. 

Russia has been globally condemned for fulfilling weapons sales to Syria.

Commitment to destroy the terror organization and every government who is providing funding has become the number one priority of the Obama Administration in 2015.


Immigration became a call to arms for the Obama Administration has thousands of unoccupied children began to arrive daily throughout the summer hoping to find a better life.

President Obama, in an attempt to address the every changing dynamics of American culture and life, created immigration reform through executive order that drastically alters the fabric of American.

With many caveats to the immigration policy, the newest changes will allow those immigrants already living in the United States to remain. Obama's Identify and Deport Policy is abated for now, with certain circumstances. Law abiding immigrants will benefit from the Obama policy changes. Those actively involved in criminal activity will not be given the opportunity.

The debate rages if immigrants strengthen our nation with their skills and talents or if immigrants are a burden to our country taking jobs, housing and healthcare. Additionally, the argument on earned citizenship or permanent residents provided they meet all requirements or service is still unsettled.

The nation is as split on the benefits of the Presidents newest immigration policy as they are on the Affordable Care Act and other independent decision in place through Executive Order.

The final two years of the Obama Administration will shape American public's perception of the Immigration policy, its failure or successes.




Ebola, the most feared and highly contagious disease known to man today entered the United States through Thomas Eric Duncan, a Liberian native who lied on his pre-flight medical questionnaire and arrived in Dallas, Texas.

Ebola, still very much a pandemic in Western Africa has been limited in spread with no mortality rate among non-indigenous African peoples.

The initial fear of quick spread with 90% mortality rate quickly subsided as the two infected nurses who treated Duncan were quarantined, hospitalized and treated.

A New York doctor was diagnosed and following the same protocol also recovered.

The Obama administration has raised significant global concern and monies to assist in finding a cure that as affected other nations.


Cuba became the final major Foreign Policy story of 2014 as President Obama initialed Executive Order to change policy in effect and ineffective for nearly fifty years.

The isolation policy which had been the predominate and singular policy over the past five decades was worthy of revisiting as the world, our nearest neighbor in the western hemisphere, has also changed.

The changes brought forth by Executive Order include the United States establishing Free Trade allowing Cubans to do business in the United States and American companies can now begin to operate in Cuba.

Travel restrictions for U.S. citizens have been lifted allowing citizens to visit the island nation, 90 miles south of Miami, through origination points with the United States. 

Diplomatic relations have also been reestablished. President Obama indicated the United States would install diplomatic presence in Havana from this point forward.


For more information on President Barack Obama: www.whitehouse.gov

Sources: Whitehouse.org, Wikipedia.com, 


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