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International investigators
2014.07.23 05:05:09

International investigators still need "immediate and full access" to the site of the Malaysian Airlines plane crash in eastern Ukraine, the White House said on Tuesday.

White House spokesman Josh Earnest said the United States welcomed news that victims' remains were being transferred to the Netherlands but said, "I don't think we've seen yet the level of cooperation with international investigators that we'd like to see."

The United States is continuing to review its sanctions on Russia and would welcome additional steps to impose costs on Russia, particularly from Europe, Earnest told reporters.

[Reuters]



Tags: Ukraine | Russia

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Another Israeli soldier killed in Gaza
2014.07.23 05:03:30

Another Israeli soldier was killed in Gaza this morning, the army confirmed a few minutes ago, bringing the total military death toll to 28.



Tags: Gaza | Israel

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Ukrainian armed forces
2014.07.23 05:02:35

Armored personnel carriers and tanks belonging to the Ukrainian armed forces were seen moving in an undisclosed location in the Donetsk Region, 40 km away from its capital, on Monday.

Fighting broke out near the railway station at the heart of the rebel stronghold of Donetsk the same day in what separatists said was an attempt by government forces to seize back the east Ukrainian city.

The government in Kiev denied sending the regular army into the center of Donetsk, which the separatists captured in April, but said small "self-organized" pro-Ukrainian groups were fighting the pro-Russian rebels in the city.

Five people were killed and 12 wounded in clashes near the railway station and close to the airport outside Donetsk, local officials said in the industrial city that was home to about 1 million people before many fled the fighting in the region.

[Reuters]



Tags: Ukraine | Russia

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Israeli cable and satellite providers to stop airing Al Jazeera
2014.07.23 05:01:22

Communications minister Gilad Erdan has asked Israeli cable and satellite providers to stop airing Al Jazeera, calling it an "enemy" broadcaster, according to Israeli media reports. The request is not mandatory.



Tags: Gaza | Israel | Al Jazeera

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Russia will do everything it can to influence Ukraine separatists
2014.07.23 04:58:05

Putin says Russia will do everything it can to influence Ukraine separatists to allow for a full investigation into shot down plane, Reuters reports.



Tags: Ukraine | Russia

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Turkish Prime Minister Tayyip Erdogan
2014.07.23 04:57:09

Turkey observes three days of national mourning to stand in solidarity with Palestinian people

Turkish Prime Minister Tayyip Erdogan said:

As you are aware, we declared three days of national mourning for the massacre taking place in Palestine and it has started this morning because we consider the people who were killed there as our brothers and sisters. That is our stance. Do not forget that if we keep silent it will be a loss not only for Gaza but it will also be a blow for Turkey's independence.



Tags: Gaza | Israel | Turkey

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Bodies from the MH17 crash in Ukraine
2014.07.23 04:55:37

The first bodies from the MH17 crash in Ukraine will be flown to the Netherlands on Wednesday, Prime Minister Mark  Rutte said on Tuesday.

"Tomorrow the first plane (with bodies) will leave for Eindhoven," in the  southern Netherlands, Rutte told journalists after the bodies arrived in  Ukraine's Kharkiv from rebel-held territory.

"Preparations will be made in Kharkiv so that identification can be done in the Netherlands as well as possible," Rutte said.

"As soon as a victim is identified first and foremost the family will be informed and no one else. That can take weeks or months."

[AFP]



Tags: Ukraine | Russia | Netherlands

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Al Jazeera’s bureau in the Gaza
2014.07.23 04:50:54

Al Jazeera considers Foreign Minister Avigdor Lierberman's comments as a very serious matter. Israel is accountable for the safety of Al Jazeera teams working in Israel and the Palestinian territories.

Gunshots have been fired into Al Jazeera’s bureau in the Gaza Strip a day after Lieberman was quoted by local media as saying his country will work to close down Al Jazeera in Israel.



Tags: Gaza | Israel | Al Jazeera

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Malaysia Airlines Flight MH17
2014.07.23 04:48:18

Malaysia said on Tuesday it will keep hold of the black boxes voice and data recorders from downed Malaysia Airlines Flight MH17 until an international team is formed and will then hand them over.

"The Malaysian team has taken custody of the black boxes, which appear to be in good condition.

They will be held securely in Malaysian custody while the international investigation team is being formalized," Malaysian Prime Minister Najib Razak said in a statement, Reuters reported.

"At that time, we will pass the black boxes to the international investigation team for further analysis."



Tags: Ukraine | Russia | Malaysia

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Delivery of a helicopter carrier to Russia
2014.07.23 04:18:48

French officials have defended President Francois Hollande's decision to push ahead with delivery of a helicopter carrier to Russia in defiance of calls by key allies Britain and the United States.

Speaking on the eve of the EU meeting, Hollande said late on Monday the first Mistral warship would be delivered as planned in October but a decision on a second would depend on Russia's attitude.

It was the clearest signal yet from Paris that it intends to go through with the controversial deal despite the Ukraine crisis and came only hours after British Prime Minister David Cameron said it would be "unthinkable" for his country to fulfill such an order.

"Hollande is not backing down. He is delivering the first (ship) despite the fact he is being asked not to," Jean-Christophe Cambadelis, head of Hollande's ruling Socialist Party, told i>Tele television on Tuesday.

"This is a false debate led by hypocrites ... When you see how many (Russian) oligarchs have sought refuge in London, David Cameron should start by cleaning up his own backyard."

The 1.2-billion-euro ($1.62bn) contract for the two warships, signed by ex-president Nicolas Sarkozy's conservative government in 2011, was the first by a NATO member country to supply Russia with military equipment.

Some 400 Russian sailors arrived in France on June 30 to begin training on the first Mistral.

They are being housed aboard a Russian ship docked in the port of Saint Nazaire.

"Just because the Americans say 'jump' we shouldn't jump," Xavier Bertrand, a former minister under Sarkozy and senior member of his conservative opposition UMP party, told France Inter radio.

"France's word, its signature, must be respected."

[Reuters]



Tags: Ukraine | Russia | France

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News briefing in Geneva- OCHA
2014.07.23 04:17:23

Palestinian civilians in densely-populated Gaza have no place to hide from Israel's military offensive and children are paying the heaviest price, the United Nations said on Tuesday.

Jens Laerke, spokesman of the UN Office for Humanitarian Assistance (OCHA), told a news briefing in Geneva:

There is literally no safe place for civilians

More than 500 people have been killed in the coastal enclave which has an estimated 4,500 people per square kilometer, Laerke said. The priority for aid agencies was protecting civilians and evacuating and treating the wounded.

Nearly 500 homes have been destroyed by Israeli air strikes and 100,000 people have sought shelter in schools of the UN Relief and Works Agency (UNRWA), where they need food, water and mattresses, he said.

Israel began air strikes on the coastal strip on July 8, saying it wanted to halt missile fire out of Gaza by Hamas fighters, and launched a ground offensive last Thursday.


Israel pounded targets across the Gaza Strip on Tuesday, dashing hopes of a pause in the fighting. Hamas rejected an Egyptian ceasefire proposal last week.

Twenty-nine Israelis, 27 of them soldiers, have died.

But the overwhelming majority of people killed so far in the conflict are Palestinians, including 121 Gaza children under age 18 who make up one-third of the total civilian casualties, Juliette Touma of the UN Children's Fund (UNICEF) said.

More than 900 Palestinian children are also reported to have been injured, according to UNICEF. "According to an assessment by aid workers on ground at least 107,000 children need psycho-social support for the trauma they are experiencing such as death, injury or loss of their homes," Laerke said.

More than 1.2 million people in the enclave have no water or only limited access to water as power networks have been damaged or lack fuel for generators, he said.

"In addition, we do have reports of sewage flooding which is a threat to public health," he said.

[Reuters]



Tags: Gaza | Israel

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Risk assessments for airspace
2014.07.23 04:15:07

Governments should take the lead in reviewing how risk assessments for airspace are made, the head of the International Air Transport Association said, after airlines called for a summit following the downing of an airliner over Ukraine.

"No effort should be spared in ensuring that this outrage is not repeated," IATA Director General Tony Tyler said in a statement on Tuesday.

"And the industry will do all that it can to support governments, through ICAO, in the difficult work that lies ahead," he said, referring to the United Nations' air safety agency.

[Reuters]



Tags: Ukraine | Russia

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A pregnant woman and a child killed
2014.07.23 04:14:06

A child and three women, one of them pregnant, were killed in two separate Israeli air strikes in the Gaza Strip on Tuesday, medics said.

Two women were killed in air strikes in the eastern Gaza district of  Zaitun, along with a pregnant woman and a child killed in a second strike in northern Beit Hanun, emergency services spokesman Ashraf al-Qudra said.

[AFP]



Tags: Gaza | Israel

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Further sanctions against Russia
2014.07.23 04:12:21

European Union foreign ministers are meeting to consider further sanctions against Russia because of the downing of the Malaysian jetliner, with Britain and some other countries demanding much tougher measures.

Lithuanian Foreign Minister Linas Linkevicius blamed "terrorists supplied by Moscow" for the airliner's destruction and the deaths of all 298 people aboard, and said he hoped the Tuesday meeting will approve beefed-up sanctions against Russia.

He called for an arms embargo - a direct challenge to France, which is building two warships for the Russian navy.

So far, EU sanctions against Russia and its supporters in Ukraine have been relatively mild, though the EU was moving to broaden them before the downing of the Malaysia Airlines flight over eastern Ukraine.

British Prime Minister David Cameron said Monday the disaster has drastically changed the situation.

[AP]



Tags: Ukraine | Russia | European Union

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Israel rejects humanitarian ceasefire
2014.07.23 04:06:42

Breaking | Israel has rejected a five-hours humanitarian ceasefire requested by the UN, saying it did for security reasons.



Tags: Gaza | Israel

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Bodies of the victims had left Donetsk
2014.07.23 04:04:32

The bodies of some of the 298 people killed in the downing of flight MH17 in eastern Ukraine last week are in a part of the country controlled by the Ukraine government, the Dutch prime minister said on Tuesday.

Mark Rutte said in a statement that the train with the bodies of the victims had left Donetsk at 0200 GMT and would arrive in a sealed-off area near Kharkhiv at around 1000 GMT.

[Reuters]



Tags: Ukraine | Russia | Netherlands

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Fabius calls for an immediate ceasefire
2014.07.23 04:01:23

French Foreign Minister Laurent Fabius called for an immediate ceasefire between Israel and Hamas to end violence in Gaza.

"In Israel and in Gaza, the situation is very hard," Fabius said as he arrived for a meeting of European Union foreign ministers.

Nothing justifies continued attacks and massacres which do nothing but only claim more victims and stoke tensions, hatred.

[AFP]



Tags: Gaza | Israel | Hamas | France

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Russian embassy in Kuala Lumpur
2014.07.23 03:59:38

Protesters have marched on Russian embassy in Kuala Lumpur, waving placards and demanding justice for the victims of the Malaysia Airlines flight that was shot down over Ukraine last week.

About 100 demonstrators chanted "we want justice" and demanded that authorities catch whoever was responsible for downing the passenger jet in rebel-held eastern Ukraine, killing 298 people.

The rally was organized by the youth wing of UMNO, Malaysia's largest political party.

A Russian Embassy official earlier said that staff members had been ordered to stay inside the embassy compound. She did not want to give her name as she was not authorized to speak to the media.

Earlier on Tuesday, the Russian ambassador reiterated that Russia had nothing to do with the plane crash and pointed the finger at Ukraine.

[AP]



Tags: Ukraine | Russia | Malaysia

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Possibility of restarting stalled peace talks
2014.07.23 03:49:54

Egypt's foreign minister is raising the possibility of restarting stalled peace talks between Israelis and Palestinians as part of negotiating a cease-fire in the war that has broken out on the Gaza Strip.

Foreign Minister Sameh Shukri's comments Tuesday came at the start of a meeting with US Secretary of State John Kerry, who is in Cairo trying to help broker a truce after two weeks of fighting.

[AP]



Tags: Gaza | Israel | Hamas | Egypt

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Beijing welcomes UN resolution
2014.07.23 03:47:58

Beijing welcomes a recent UN resolution on downed flight MH17 demanding that those responsible be held to account, China's Foreign Minister Wang Yi said, and called for a ceasefire in Ukraine.

On its website, the foreign ministry said Wang made the comments in Caracas on Monday while accompanying Chinese President Xi Jinping on a Latin American tour.

Wang called for the International Civil Aviation Organization to be allowed to play a key role in the investigation and said international investigators should be given full access to the crash site.

"We urged all Ukrainian parties concerned to cease fire as soon as possible and conduct dialogue and consultation so as to seek a comprehensive, lasting and balanced political solution," the statement quoted Wang as saying.

In a statement, China's permanent mission to the UN said an impartial and fair investigation of the incident must be carried out to quickly determine the truth.

The parties involved must not rush to conclusions, make subjective extrapolations, or find fault with each other, it added.

[Reuters]



Tags: Ukraine | Russia | China

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