The 2018 Winter Olympics commenced this week in PyeongChang, South Korea. Among the many notable leaders in attendance is Kim Jong Un’s sister and close adviser, Kim Yo-Jong. According to the Washington Post, this will be the first time a member of the family has been in South Korea. The Games should prove interesting, if a little frigid, as temperatures (with wind chill) are predicted to be -25 to -30C.
In December, the International Olympic Committee banned Russia from going to the Winter Games in South Korea on the basis of widespread doping. Now, athletes that are deemed to be clean can partake only in a neutral team and to be known as the Olympic Athletes from Russia.
Two British jihadis, Alexanda Kotey and El Shafee Elsheikh, were captured by Kurdish forces this week. The London-raised IS fighters are notorious for their participation in the murders of several Western hostages, among them James Foley and Steven Sotloff. Their ringleader, the so-called “Jihadi John,” was killed by airstrike in 2015. These two comprise the remainder of the all-British terror cell.
Sahin Alpay, an imprisoned Turkish journalist facing three life sentences on terrorism charges, was set to be released by Turkey’s constitutional court. A lower court rejected the conclusion and as such, 73-year-old Alpay was not released. President Recep Tayyip Erdogan’s government appoves the move to block his release.
On February 11, a Russian airliner crashed moments after departing from Moscow’s Domodedovo airport. Russian authorities have reported that the fatal crash claimed all 65 passengers and six crew on board. Saratov Airlines’ small domestic plane, an Antonov An-148, was en route to Orsk, in the Urals, when merely four minutes passed and contact was lost. A minute later, it was tracked that the plane was descending at a rate of 3300 feet per minute. Wreckage was in fact found only 40 kilometers from the airport near the south-east village of Argunovo. Currently, the cause of the crash remains unknown. However, the company has said they would set up a special commission to conduct an investigation in the cause of the crash.