World View: Malaysia Accused of Coverup over Lost MH370 Airliner

This morning's key headlines from
  • Malaysia accused of coverup over lost MH370 airliner
  • Israel retaliates for barrage of 40 or more rockets fired from Gaza
  • Israel votes to draft ultra-orthodox Jews into the military

Malaysia accused of coverup over lost MH370 airliner

The apparent stonewalling and confusion from Malaysia's government and air force are creating outrage among almost everyone – the passengers' families, officials of Vietnam and other countries participating in the search, and the public in Malaysia, Vietnam, and China. Malaysian authorities have given conflicting information about things they should know, especially when and where was the plane at the last time it made contact with anyone. At different times, Malaysia has said that the last contact occurred one hour after takeoff or two hours, and the plane was east of Malaysia and then west of Malaysia. With huge sums of money being spent by numerous countries to search for the plane, these confusing reports have meant that valuable time has been lost searching in the wrong place. At one point, furious Vietnamese officials discontinued their navy's search efforts for a brief period.

Malaysia is a mostly Muslim country that has a reputation of being hospitable to jihadist groups so that they won't be angered and conduct terrorist attacks on Malaysia. (This is a strategy that's become a disaster for Pakistan.) So the theory is that Malaysian officials covered up any information they had because it suggested a terrorist act, and revealing that would anger whatever jihadist group perpetrated it.

In my opinion, what is most likely is that Malaysian officials were not being evil but that they were simply incompetent. Malaysia Chronicle and CBS and Night Watch

Israel retaliates for barrage of 40 or more rockets fired from Gaza

Islamic Jihad is taking responsibility for a barrage of up to 55-90 rockets fired from Gaza into Israel, some striking urban, civilian areas, although there were no reports of casualties in the largest attack since the brief Israel-Gaza war in 2012 (Operation Pillar of Defense). The rockets were fired simultaneously from northern and southern Gaza. Within hours, the Israel Defense Forces retaliated by striking 29 "terror locations" in Gaza with artillery fire. Jewish Telegraphic Agency

Israel votes to draft ultra-orthodox Jews into the military

For the first time in its history, Israel's Knesset on Tuesday voted to end the provisions of the controversial "Tal Law" that kept large numbers of ultra-orthodox men from being drafted into the military.

At Israel's founding in 1948, about 400 exemplary seminary students were exempted from military service to pursue full-time, subsidized biblical studies. Today that number has grown to about 100,000 full-time Torah learners of draft age, making up about 10% of Israel's eligible draftees in what many people are calling a welfare program. Ultra-orthodox Jews defend their exemptions, saying that they shouldn't have to serve, since they're already contributing to the state with their prayers. Arab Israelis have also been exempted, and they defend their exemptions by claiming that they are treated as second-class citizens in Israel. Israel's High Court triggered a political crisis in 2010 when it struck down the so-called Tal Law, which provides for national service exemptions for ultra-Orthodox Jews and Arab Israelis. Orthodox Jews will have to begin serving in 2017. Reports don't indicate the status of Arab Israelis. Jewish Telegraphic Agency and Independent (South Africa)

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