TODAY | March 09, 2014
>>> family members of the 239 people on board that plane are dealing with an unbearable amount of anguish this morning. many of them over come with the pain of not knowing exactly what happened to their loved ones. we're learning more about some of the victims. eunice yun is in beijing with that part of the story.
>> reporter: around 100 relatives have signed a petition demanding malaysian airlines give more frequent updates. people here are very, very frustrated. they say every minute, every second that goes by, they lose hope. every person you see in this room fears someone they care about is gone. this is malaysia airlines makeshift crisis center in china. at a beijing hotel where families and friends of the flight were told to find the latest news of missing mothers, grandparents and children. the last time i heard from my son he called from the flight saying he would be home around 9:00 a.m . he came here from a nearby village to get word of his son. he's traveling with those close to him, his wife crying the other way. the brother of another passenger philip wood was working as an executive in malaysia. he just visited the family last week.
>> just shock, you know. this kind of thing doesn't happen. he was my hero, my friend, and we were very close. it's tough. it's tough times.
>> reporter: for relatives here, the tough times are sometimes too much to bear. my grandparents were on the plane and they're nearly 80 years old she says. we don't have much hope. a grief shared here in china and halfway around the world .
>> though our hearts are hurting, we know so many families around the world are affected just as much as us by this terrible tragedy.
>> reporter: malaysia airlines says it plans to bring more staffers and volunteers here to assist on the ground. the airline says it's preparing to fly relatives to kuala lumpur as soon as possible and eventually take them to the location of the aircraft. erica?
>> eunice, thank you.
>>> turning to politics and the future of the republican party . the three-day cpac, conservative political