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Malaysia: MH17 took no undue risk
2014.07.19 05:11:44

Malaysian Transport Minister Liow Tiong Lai said on Friday that the national airline took no undue risk in flying over Ukraine, a route he stressed was approved by the UN International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO) and widely used by other airlines.

"We've flown this route for many years, it's safe and that's the reason why we are taking this route," Liow said.

ICAO closed the route after a Malaysia Airlines airliner was brought down in eastern Ukraine on Thursday, killing all 298 people aboard.

[Reuters]



Tags: Ukraine | Russia | Malaysia

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Pro-Russia separatists said they had found 'black box'
2014.07.19 04:48:43

A Reuters cameraman on the scene of the crash said rescue workers recovered a second flight recorder on Friday.

On Thursday pro-Russia separatists said they had found one of the "black box" recorders.



Tags: Ukraine | Russia

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Aviation experts
2014.07.19 04:46:51

According to some aviation experts, bringing down a commercial airliner cruising at altitude, like MH17 when it was shot down, would require advanced anti-air missile systems ruling out MANPADS - man-portable air-defense systems.

A former Marine Special Operations member trained in air defense systems who spoke to the Washington Post on condition of anonymity said: “A MANPADS original purpose is for low-flying aircraft with high-heat signatures.”

“Like helicopters,” he added.



Tags: Ukraine | Russia

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Israel says it may broaden a ground assault
2014.07.19 04:44:40

Israel says it may broaden a ground assault that is says is aimed at destroying Hamas' network of cross-border tunnels, amid a land, sea and air offensive that has killed at least 274 Palestinians in the Gaza Strip.

Read the full report here.



Tags: Gaza | Israel | Hamas

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Ukrainian security service
2014.07.19 04:42:48

The Ukrainian security service, the SBU, released what it claimed to be intercepted telephone conversations between pro-Russian separatists, in which they admit to shooting down a civilian plane. The audio recording, published by the SBU to its YouTube account captures three separate conversations regarding the airliner.

The video has English subtitles.



Tags: Ukraine | Russia

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US support for Israel to defend itself
2014.07.19 04:35:47

US President Barack Obama said he spoke to Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu about the conflict in Gaza, underscoring the US support for Israel to defend itself.

Obama, speaking to reporters at the White House, also said the United States and its allies are concerned about the risk of escalation in the conflict and that he is hopeful that Israel will continue to act in a way that minimizes civilian casualties.

[Reuters]



Tags: Gaza | Israel | Benjamin Netanyahu | Barack Obama | United States

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List of number of MH17 passengers and crew
2014.07.19 04:34:13

List of number of MH17 passengers and crew according to nationality:

  • Netherlands - 173
  • Malaysia - 44 (Including 15 crew and 2 infants)
  • Australia - 27
  • Indonesia - 12 (Including 1 infants)
  • United Kingdom - 9
  • Germany - 4
  • Belgium - 4
  • Philippines - 3
  • Canada - 1
  • New Zealand - 1
  • Unverified - 20
  • Total = 298


Source: Malaysia Airlines.



Tags: Ukraine | Russia

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Soldiers Prepare for Ground Operation in Gaza
2014.07.19 04:32:11

The Israeli military has posted this video on YouTube, showing its soldiers preparing for a ground operation in the Gaza Strip:



Tags: Gaza | Israel

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Video shows the moment of impact of the Malaysian airliner
2014.07.19 04:30:39

This video was posted online yesterday. Its creator says it shows the moment of impact of the Malaysian airliner. MWC cannot verify the footage, however.



Tags: Ukraine | Russia | Malaysia

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Israeli army tanks shelled Rafah
2014.07.19 04:19:36

The Palestinian Ma'an News Agency is reporting that five Palestinians have been killed, including a five-month old baby, after Israeli army tanks shelled Rafah, in the southern Gaza Strip.

The deaths were reported before Israel launched its ground operation in Gaza, Ma'an found.



Tags: Gaza | Israel

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AIDS researchers and activists were on board
2014.07.19 04:18:15

Several world-renowned AIDS researchers and activists heading to an international AIDS conference in Australia were on board the Malaysian jetliner that was shot down over Ukraine, officials said Friday.

Among the passengers was former president of the International AIDS Society Joep Lange, a well-known HIV researcher from the Netherlands, Australian opposition leader Bill Shorten said in parliament.

Chris Beyrer, president-elect of the International AIDS Society, said if reports of Lange's death were true, "then the HIV/AIDS movement has truly lost a giant."

[AP]



Tags: Ukraine | Russia | Australia

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Australia's Foreign Minister Julie Bishop
2014.07.19 04:16:43

Australia's Foreign Minister Julie Bishop has called for an immediate ceasefire to put an end to the violence in Gaza.

"Hamas have consistently and persistently refused to be part of a ceasefire. I condemn Hamas for refusing to put the interests of the Palestinian people above their own political ideology and we call for a ceasefire immediately," Bishop said.

[Reuters]



Tags: Gaza | Israel | Australia

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Former US secretary of state Hillary Clinton
2014.07.19 04:15:39

Former US secretary of state Hillary Clinton said on Thursday: "There should be outrage in European capitals" if Russia had a role in downing Malaysian airliner.

"The questions I'd be asking is, number one, "Who could have shot it down? Who had the equipment?" It's obviously an antiaircraft missile. "Who could have had the expertise to do that?" because commercial airlines are big targets, but by the time they got over that part of Ukraine they should have been high, so it takes some - you know, some planning.

And the Ukrainian government has been quick to blame it on terrorists, which is, you know, their name for the Russian insurgents. And there does seem to be some growing awareness that it probably had to be Russian insurgents. Now, how we determine that will require some forensics, but then if there is evidence pointing in that direction, the equipment had to have come from Russia. What more the Russians may or may not have done, we don't know."

[Reuters]



Tags: Ukraine | Russia | Hillary Clinton

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UN shelters need in the Gaza
2014.07.19 04:02:48

According to figures from the United Nations Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA), 22,900 Palestinians hosted at UN shelters are currently in need of emergency food assistance in the Gaza Strip.

An estimated 1,780 families (totaling 10,600 people) in Gaza have had their homes completely destroyed, the UN found.



Tags: Gaza | Israel

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Barrel bombs carrying chlorine gas
2014.07.19 04:00:13

Activists say 40 people in the rebel-controlled town of Kafr Zita have sustained breathing difficulties after government forces hit the town with barrel bombs carrying chlorine gas at midnight. The video below purports to be filmed in a local hospital following the attack.

Kafr Zita, in Hama province, has been targeted with chlorine gas several times in recent months, according to activists.



Tags: Syria

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Malaysia Airlines
2014.07.19 03:57:33

The UN Security Council will hold an emergency meeting Friday morning on Ukraine.

Britain's UN Mission said on Thursday it requested the meeting and later tweeted that it is set for 10 am on Friday.

The request follows Wednesday's downing of a Ukrainian air force fighter and Thursday's downing of a Malaysia Airlines passenger plane carrying 298 people over eastern Ukraine.

Britain proposed a Security Council press statement calling for "a full, thorough and independent international investigation into the incident.''

The statement was circulated to all 15 council members, who must approve it before it can be issued.

The White House in a statement released late Thursday also called for a "full, credible, and unimpeded international investigation'' as soon as possible.

Earlier, UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-noon said "there is clearly a need for a full and transparent international investigation'' into the plane crash in Ukraine."

[AP]



Tags: Ukraine | Russia | Malaysia

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Anti-tank missile hit an army bulldozer
2014.07.19 03:45:35

The Israeli military says an anti-tank missile hit an army bulldozer in the southern Gaza Strip. The strike caused damage, but no injuries were reported, the army said.



Tags: Gaza | Israel

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UN special envoy to Syria
2014.07.19 03:43:58

The United Nations chief says the new UN special envoy to Syria will be traveling to the country, regional countries and other relevant countries "in the near future.''

Ban Ki-moon introduced Staffan de Mistura and his deputy, Ramzy Ezzeldin Ramzy, on Thursday.

De Mistura is now the third special envoy tasked with helping to end the conflict in Syria that has killed at least 170,000 people and displaced some 9 million, a third of the country's pre-war population.

The Swedish-Italian diplomat was named to the post a week ago.

[AP]



Tags: Syria

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Abbott blamed Russia
2014.07.19 03:42:17

Australian Prime Minister Tony Abbott blamed Russia on Friday over the  shooting down of a Malaysia Airlines passenger jetliner over eastern Ukraine that killed all 298 people on board.

Abbott appeared to go further than other Western leaders in apportioning blame over the crash, demanding that Moscow answer questions about the "Russian-backed rebels" that he said were behind the disaster.

He also said the Russian ambassador to Australia has been officially summoned to discuss the issue.

Australia is due to host Russian President Vladimir Putin and other world leaders at the G20 Leaders Summit in November.

Asked if he would still welcome Putin if Russia was proved to be behind the accident, Abbott hinted there may be repercussions.

"That's a fair question, let's just wait and see exactly what turns out to have happened here," Abbott said in an interview with Melbourne-based 3AW Radio.

[Reuters]



Tags: Ukraine | Russia | Australia

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Ahmed Davutoglu, Turkey's foreign minister
2014.07.19 03:03:07

Ahmed Davutoglu, Turkey's foreign minister, has called for an "open extraordinary meeting" of the United Nations Security Council to discuss Israel's military offensive in Gaza.

He earlier tweeted:

"We vehemently condemn the ground operation launched by Israel into Gaza tonight following its inhuman murders by air strikes."



Tags: Gaza | Israel | Hamas | Turkey

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