China’s Worst Plane Crash Since 2010
On Monday, a China Eastern Airlines plane carrying 132 people crashed. Everyone on the plane is believed to have died. The cause of the crash is a mystery.
The plane was making a 675-mile (1,085-kilometer) flight from Kunming in southwest China, to Guangzhou in the southeast. After traveling normally for an hour, the plane suddenly dove. It rose briefly before diving again, crashing into a hilly area in the countryside. It’s unusual for a plane to crash in this way.
Flight experts are working hard to figure out what caused the crash. Because the crash happened in a remote area, investigating the site has been hard. People investigating the crash have found one “black box” recorder which could help explain what happened. But it could be months before experts have a good idea of what caused the plane to go down.
Taliban Breaks Promise to Allow High School for Afghan Girls
When the Taliban took control of Afghanistan in August, 2021, the group said that it had moved away from the harsh attitudes it held when it ruled the country 20 years ago. The Taliban promised that girls would be able to go to school. That promise was repeated just last week.
On Wednesday, schools in Afghanistan re-opened after winter break. But when girls in grades seven to 12 showed up, they were sent home in tears. At the last minute, the Taliban had changed its decision.
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The government now says high schools for girls will remain closed until the Taliban comes up with a new plan. The UN and many outside countries have criticized the decision.
When the Taliban ruled Afghanistan before, it had very strict rules for girls and women, and allowed them very few opportunities.
Many people think there are now disagreements between two groups inside the Taliban. One group wants to keep the rules as they were long ago. The other group wants to relax the rules to give girls and women more opportunities, hoping that this will bring in more support from outside countries.
Polish Tree Wins European Tree of the Year Award
A 400-year-old oak tree in Poland has won this year’s European Tree of the Year contest. The goal of the contest is to encourage people to appreciate and protect trees. But after Russia invaded Ukraine, even this tree contest became political.
The European Tree of the Year (ETY) contest has been running since 2011. The organizers say the contest isn’t just about beauty, size, or age, but about “the tree’s story and its connection to people”. This year, the contest became about even more than that.
After Russia invaded Ukraine, governments and companies cut many ties with Russia to show that they didn’t approve of Russia’s war. The ETY contest decided that it also had to cut ties with Russia. It banned the tree that Russia had entered into this year’s contest.
Poland’s tree, known as the “Guardian of the Białowieża Primeval Forest” was by far the most popular tree in the contest this year. It got 179,317 votes. ETY organizers say that Poland’s strong actions in welcoming refugees from the war on Ukraine gave a new meaning to the tree’s name of “Guardian”.
Did You Know…?
If you’d like to see some of the other trees in the European Tree of the Year contest, you can view them on the Tree of the Year site.