23/07/2014

Iran talks extension agreed

Posted by MereNews On July - 21 - 2014 ADD COMMENTS


U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry, with Iranian Foreign Minister Javad Zarif in November, said

(CNN) — Iran and the group known as the P5+1 have agreed to a four-month extension of negotiations toward a final comprehensive nuclear deal, two Western diplomats told CNN.

The P5+1 includes Germany and the permanent members of the U.N. Security Council: the United States, Russia, China, France and Britain.

Talks between world powers and Iran over that country’s nuclear program are “a historic opportunity for all of us to end a rather prolonged chapter,” Iranian Foreign Minister Javad Zarif told CNN’s Christiane Amanpour in Vienna.

A Sunday deadline was looming for negotiators to reach agreement on a comprehensive solution on Iran’s nuclear program; Iran, in return, was seeking broad sanctions relief and access to international markets.

The objective, Zarif said, “is to ensure that Iran’s nuclear program will always remain peaceful. I think that is scientifically possible. It doesn’t require arbitrary red lines, arbitrary numbers. You just need to find scientific ways of making sure that Iran’s nuclear program addresses a practical need. And that is what we have put on the table.”

U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry lauded the progress that both sides have made in negotiations but said that “very real gaps” still exist in some areas.

“Diplomacy takes time, and persistence is needed to determine whether we can achieve our objectives peacefully,” Kerry said Friday. “To turn our back prematurely on diplomatic efforts when significant progress has been made would deny ourselves the ability to achieve our objectives peacefully.”

Some analysts say, however, that a speech by Iranian Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei last week may have set just the kind of red lines that Zarif says should have no part in negotiations.

Khamenei reiterated that he had faith in Zarif and his negotiating team but also said Iran must boost its enrichment capacity, according to Reuters.

In Iran, residents had a mixed reaction to the extension.

Fariba Gholizadeh, a graphic artist in Tehran, blamed Western powers for the failure to reach an agreement.

“It’s the West that’s trying to impose it’s will on us,” she said. “Our position is clear. Why should we give up something that’s our right, something other countries can have, according to international law.”

Engineering student Mohamad Bagherzadeh said he still hopes the two sides can work out their differences in four months.

“Just the fact that they’re talking and exchanging ideas is a good thing and it has people much more hopeful for a better future,” he said. “I think some extra time gives them the opportunity to come to an agreement.”

‘Tsunami of tourists’ head for Iran

Sanctions on Iran ‘cost West billions’

CNN’s Reza Sayah contributed to this article.


Article source: http://rss.cnn.com/~r/rss/edition_world/~3/mlSm4PzflAA/index.html


Smoke billows near Tripoli international airport as militias continued to battle for control on July 20, 2014.

(CNN) — Fierce fighting raged on the outskirts of Tripoli on Sunday as militias continued to battle for control of the airport in what’s being called the worst fighting in Libya since the 2011 revolution.

Clashes were concentrated around the airport, the airport road and a number of residential areas where militias have fought over the past week, residents said.

At least five people have been killed, one local official said.

The latest assaults were launched by militias from the city of Misrata and an Islamist militia umbrella group in the capital known as the “Libyan Revolutionaries Operations Room.”


Militias battle for Tripoli airport


Murdered Libyan activist’s family speaks


LIbya’s political power struggle

The airport has been under the control of militia from the Western Mountains city of Zintan for the past three years.

According to residents in different parts of Tripoli, thick plumes of black smoke rose from the direction of the airport and large blasts and gunfire echoed across the city.

Speaking by phone to Libyan television on Sunday, a spokesman for the municipal council of Qasr Bin Ghasheer, the area around the airport, said at least five people from the area had been killed in the fighting so far.

‘Libya’s future cannot be left to one renegade general’

The spokesman, Mohammed Abdul Rahman, said it was hard to get an accurate casualty figure because of the intensity of fighting and limited movement in the area.

“Shells are falling on houses, children are terrified and most people have evacuated. … Our area is suffering,” he told the privately run al-Nabaa TV.

There was no official overall casualty figure for the fighting in other areas impacted over the last seven days.

At the airport, the Libyan government said 90% of planes parked there were damaged and images on social media showed various parts of the facility destroyed.

The United Nations and other international organizations and businesses have temporarily evacuated staff from Libya.

The U.S. Embassy in Tripoli said in a statement that some rounds from the fighting have hit near the compound, but all personnel “are safe and accounted for.” It called for an end to the violence.

Addressing the U.N. Security Council on Thursday, Tarek Mitri, head of its mission in Libya, issued a stark warning.

“As the number of military actors mobilizing and consolidating their presence within the capital continues to grow, there is a mounting sense of a probable imminent and significant escalation in the conflict. The stakes are high for all sides,” Mitri said.

“We are in the middle of an all-out confrontation between two major rival groups in the Libyan capital. That confrontation, born out of the deep political polarization, is playing itself out at the country’s international airport.” Mitri said.

Libya’s Foreign Minister Mohamed Abdulaziz also addressed the Security Council. He warned of Libya heading toward becoming a “failed state.”

Abdulaziz said Libya needed more international support and asked the United Nations to consider a “stabilization and institution-building mission.”

He insisted that his country was not requesting foreign military intervention.

The Libyan Interim Government said earlier in the week it was discussing the possibility of requesting international forces.

Three years after the revolution and NATO military intervention that overthrew the Gadhafi regime, a weak central government has been outgunned by increasingly powerful militias.

The militia fighting for control of the airport from the city of Zintan and Misrata are among the most heavily armed in the country.

READ: How Libya can be pulled back from the brink

READ: Amid new fighting, Libyan government considers requesting international troops

READ: How did this happen? Iraq, Syria, Gaza and Libya all in flames


Article source: http://rss.cnn.com/~r/rss/edition_world/~3/8l0iPHxgyTk/index.html

Editor’s note: Aaron L. Connelly is a research fellow in the East Asia Program at the Lowy Institute for International Policy in Sydney, Australia.

(CNN) — Earlier this month, Jakarta governor Joko Widodo, who is universally known by his nickname Jokowi, claimed victory in Indonesia’s presidential election — though official results have yet to come out.

Jokowi is a transformative figure — often referred to as Indonesia’s Barack Obama. He’ll be Indonesia’s first president from outside of Jakarta’s traditional elite, and has already shaken up the routine of Indonesian politics by refusing to promise cabinet seats to other parties in exchange for their support in his election.

If he is confirmed as the winner then he’ll have received a mandate from the people of Indonesia to deliver both greater and more inclusive economic growth by transforming the country’s unwieldy bureaucracy.

His opponent, retired General Prabowo Subianto, has refused to concede. Prabowo has every right to wait for the official tally, due by July 22, and to challenge the result in the Constitutional Court, which must rule on any challenges by August 24. But Jokowi’s lead in the quick counts — a representative sample of the initial tabulations conducted on polling day at 2,000 polling stations around Indonesia — seems unassailable. Barring any subterfuge in the counting or subversion of the judicial process, Jokowi will be sworn in as the seventh president of the Republic of Indonesia on October 20.

Lacking experience

Indonesian presidential candidate Joko Widodo greets his supporters as he declares victory in the election. But official election results are expected July 22. Indonesian presidential candidate Joko Widodo greets his supporters as he declares victory in the election. But official election results are expected July 22.

Indonesian presidential candidate Prabowo Subianto greets supporters as the vote count continues.Indonesian presidential candidate Prabowo Subianto greets supporters as the vote count continues.

A man tallies the vote count at a Jakarta polling station after the presidential election.A man tallies the vote count at a Jakarta polling station after the presidential election.

Supporters of Indonesian presidential candidate Prabowo Subianto gather inside a convention center in Jakarta on July 9.Supporters of Indonesian presidential candidate Prabowo Subianto gather inside a convention center in Jakarta on July 9.

Indonesian presidential candidate Prabowo Subianto casts his ballot at a Bojong Koneng polling station on July 9. Indonesian presidential candidate Prabowo Subianto casts his ballot at a Bojong Koneng polling station on July 9.

Indonesian presidential candidate Joko Widodo, at left, and his wife Iriana, show their inked fingers after casting their ballots during the presidential election in Jakarta on July 9.Indonesian presidential candidate Joko Widodo, at left, and his wife Iriana, show their inked fingers after casting their ballots during the presidential election in Jakarta on July 9.

A Balinese woman inks her finger after voting in the presidential election in Bali on July 9.A Balinese woman inks her finger after voting in the presidential election in Bali on July 9.

Children wait for their parents who vote in the presidential election in Bali on July 9. As the world's third-largest democracy held an election for a new president.Children wait for their parents who vote in the presidential election in Bali on July 9. As the world’s third-largest democracy held an election for a new president.

An Indonesian woman gets ink on her finger to indicate she has cast her ballot in Jakarta.An Indonesian woman gets ink on her finger to indicate she has cast her ballot in Jakarta.

Presidential candidate Joko Jokowi Widodo visits a traditional market during his campaign in Jakarta on June 30. Known for his folksy and humble demeanor, Widodo symbolizes a new breed of leadership to his admirers.Presidential candidate Joko “Jokowi” Widodo visits a traditional market during his campaign in Jakarta on June 30. Known for his folksy and humble demeanor, Widodo symbolizes a new breed of leadership to his admirers.

Presidential candidate Prabowo Subianto, at left, and running mate Hatta Rajasa wave to supporters during a campaign rally on June 22. Prabowo was a special forces commander under the regime of his former father-in-law Suharto. Presidential candidate Prabowo Subianto, at left, and running mate Hatta Rajasa wave to supporters during a campaign rally on June 22. Prabowo was a special forces commander under the regime of his former father-in-law Suharto.

Members of an Islamic party supporting presidential candidate Prabowo Subianto attend a campaign rally in Jakarta on June 22. For his supporters, Prabowo has the qualities of a firm and decisive leader.Members of an Islamic party supporting presidential candidate Prabowo Subianto attend a campaign rally in Jakarta on June 22. For his supporters, Prabowo has the qualities of a firm and decisive leader.


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Gallery: Indonesian Presidential ElectionGallery: Indonesian Presidential Election


Challenges await next Indonesian president


Indonesian candidates use social media

But while Jokowi’s rise could transform Indonesian politics, his agenda when it comes to foreign affairs is much more modest. As a former furniture exporter, he has no prior experience in foreign or security affairs. Perhaps because of that, he has promised to continue many of the policies of incumbent President Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono, who came into office with far more experience as an army general educated in the United States.

In Yudhoyono’s first term, Indonesia cemented its position in the G-20 and led important climate change negotiations in Bali. In his second term, it chaired two important regional meetings, the East Asia Summit and the APEC Forum, at a time of increased friction between China and Southeast Asian states. Yet despite Indonesia’s de facto role as a leader of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN), Yudhoyono left much of the heavy lifting to his talented foreign ministers, Hasan Wirajuda and Marty Natalegawa. Look for Jokowi to do the same by appointing a protégé of Wirajuda to the post.

One area where we may see greater emphasis under the Jokowi administration is Indonesian advocacy of global Islamic causes. During a presidential debate on foreign policy in June, Jokowi announced that he would seek to establish an Indonesian embassy in “Palestinian-controlled territory,” and seek greater recognition for its government abroad.

Smear campaign

Jokowi made this promise against the backdrop of an alleged smear campaign against him by shadowy forces connected to his opponent that portrayed him as a Christian of Chinese descent, a description unlikely to help a bid to become the head of state in the world’s most populous Muslim-majority nation. For the same reason, Jokowi spent the three-day quiet period between the end of the campaign and voting on election day on a pilgrimage to Mecca, which the Indonesian press covered extensively.

No one should interpret Jokowi’s interest in Palestinian statehood as an indication that Indonesia will aggressively push Islamic causes, or that Jokowi will make the kind of perorations on these issues that made former Malaysian Prime Minister Mahathir Mohammed infamous in the West. Indonesia has always quietly advocated for the Palestinian cause. Establishing an embassy would take that advocacy to a new level, and is in line with a broader global trend toward acceptance of Palestinian statehood before a peace agreement can be concluded with Israel.

Jokowi’s interest in the Middle East could prove useful, however, to confronting a growing security challenge as Indonesian jihadists return from fighting in Syria and Iraq, radicalized by their experience and interested in continuing the fight back home. Indonesia’s foreign ministry estimates at least 50 Indonesian jihadists have gone to fight in Syria, leading many analysts to conclude the number is likely much higher.

If Jokowi can use his greater exertions on behalf of the Palestinian cause to lobby Arab governments to help intercept Indonesian fighters returning to the archipelago, and to demonstrate that his government has not ignored the plight of their coreligionists in the Middle East, he could diminish the risk of violence back home.

READ: Indonesia at a crossroads


Article source: http://rss.cnn.com/~r/rss/edition_world/~3/vzhTcGNLLm0/index.html

Gaza death toll passes 500 mark

Posted by MereNews On July - 21 - 2014 ADD COMMENTS

Gaza City (CNN) — As the bloodshed continued Monday on both sides of the Gaza battle, the United States announced a push for the hostilities to end immediately. And Hamas, speaking to CNN, indicated that cease-fire talks may already be progressing.

U.S. President Barack Obama, speaking at the White House, announced that he has instructed Secretary of State John Kerry, who was headed to Egypt, to “push for an immediate cessation of hostilities.”

The talks should focus on a return to the Gaza-Israel cease-fire agreement of November 2012, he said. “We don’t want to see any more” civilian deaths in Gaza or Israel, he said.

More than 500 Palestinians have been killed. It’s unknown how many were militants, but the United Nations has estimated that 70% are civilians. Israel has reported dozens of terrorists killed.

Seven more Israeli soldiers were killed Monday, bringing the total to 25, the Israel Defense Forces said. Two Israeli civilians have been killed as well.

Three of the 25 soldiers are believed to have been killed by friendly fire. Local media reported two soldiers killed through friendly fire Monday; last week, Israel reported one soldier killed by friendly fire.

Israeli soldiers weep at the grave of Israeli Sgt. Adar Barsano during his funeral on Sunday, July 20, in Nahariya, Israel.Israeli soldiers weep at the grave of Israeli Sgt. Adar Barsano during his funeral on Sunday, July 20, in Nahariya, Israel.

Palestinian medics evacuate a body from Gaza's Shaja'ia district on July 20, 2014.Palestinian medics evacuate a body from Gaza’s Shaja’ia district on July 20, 2014.

Israeli soldiers give medical care to soldiers who where wounded during an offensive in Gaza on July 20, 2014, at the Israeli-Gaza border. Israeli soldiers give medical care to soldiers who where wounded during an offensive in Gaza on July 20, 2014, at the Israeli-Gaza border.

A Palestinian boy injured during an Israeli airstrike is taken to the hospital by his father in Gaza City on July 20.A Palestinian boy injured during an Israeli airstrike is taken to the hospital by his father in Gaza City on July 20.

Palestinians flee their homes as Israeli troops focus their firepower on the Gaza town of Shaja'ia on Sunday, July 20. The shelling and bombing killed at least 60 people and wounded 300, according to the Gaza Health Ministry.Palestinians flee their homes as Israeli troops focus their firepower on the Gaza town of Shaja’ia on Sunday, July 20. The shelling and bombing killed at least 60 people and wounded 300, according to the Gaza Health Ministry.

Smoke rises after an Israeli missile hits the town of Shaja'ia on July 20. Smoke rises after an Israeli missile hits the town of Shaja’ia on July 20.

A Palestinian child walks on debris from a destroyed house following an overnight Israeli strike in Beit Lahiya in northern Gaza, Saturday, July 19, 2014. Israel launched a ground operation late Thursday after a 10-day campaign of more than 2,000 airstrikes against Gaza that had failed to halt relentless Hamas rocket fire on Israeli cities.A Palestinian child walks on debris from a destroyed house following an overnight Israeli strike in Beit Lahiya in northern Gaza, Saturday, July 19, 2014. Israel launched a ground operation late Thursday after a 10-day campaign of more than 2,000 airstrikes against Gaza that had failed to halt relentless Hamas rocket fire on Israeli cities.

An explosion rocks a street in Gaza City on July 18.An explosion rocks a street in Gaza City on July 18.

Israeli ground forces move to the Gaza border on Friday, July 18, as part of Operation Protective Edge.Israeli ground forces move to the Gaza border on Friday, July 18, as part of Operation Protective Edge.

Israeli soldiers patrol near the Israel and Gaza border on July 18. Israeli troops pushed deeper into Gaza on Friday to destroy rocket launching sites and tunnels, firing volleys of tank shells and clashing with Palestinian fighters in a high-stakes ground offensive meant to weaken the enclave's Hamas rulers. Israeli soldiers patrol near the Israel and Gaza border on July 18. Israeli troops pushed deeper into Gaza on Friday to destroy rocket launching sites and tunnels, firing volleys of tank shells and clashing with Palestinian fighters in a high-stakes ground offensive meant to weaken the enclave’s Hamas rulers.

A relative mourns during the funeral of Rani Abu Tawila, a Palestinian who was killed in an Israeli attack, on July 18, in Gaza City. A relative mourns during the funeral of Rani Abu Tawila, a Palestinian who was killed in an Israeli attack, on July 18, in Gaza City.

A Palestinian demonstrator runs through smoke during clashes with Israeli soldiers at the entrance of Israeli-run Ofer prison in the West Bank village of Betunia, on July 18, after a protest against Israel's military operation in Gaza. Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu spoke of bolstering the ground assault on Gaza in what commentators said was part of a strategy to pressure Hamas into a truce. A Palestinian demonstrator runs through smoke during clashes with Israeli soldiers at the entrance of Israeli-run Ofer prison in the West Bank village of Betunia, on July 18, after a protest against Israel’s military operation in Gaza. Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu spoke of bolstering the ground assault on Gaza in what commentators said was part of a strategy to pressure Hamas into a truce.

This image made from video shot through a night vision scope was released by the Israeli military on July 18. It shows troops moving through the opening in a wall during the early hours of a ground offensive in Gaza. This image made from video shot through a night vision scope was released by the Israeli military on July 18. It shows troops moving through the opening in a wall during the early hours of a ground offensive in Gaza.

Children stare as Palestinians flee Khan Yunis to safe areas July 18 because of the ongoing Israeli campaign in Gaza. Children stare as Palestinians flee Khan Yunis to safe areas July 18 because of the ongoing Israeli campaign in Gaza.

An Israeli tank fires a shell into Gaza on July 18.An Israeli tank fires a shell into Gaza on July 18.

A Palestinian carries a gas cylinder salvaged from the rubble of an apartment building after it was hit by Israeli fire in Gaza on July 18.A Palestinian carries a gas cylinder salvaged from the rubble of an apartment building after it was hit by Israeli fire in Gaza on July 18.

An Israeli reservist prays near the Gaza border on July 18 near Sderot, Israel.An Israeli reservist prays near the Gaza border on July 18 near Sderot, Israel.

Smoke from flares rises into the sky in Gaza City on Thursday, July 17. Smoke from flares rises into the sky in Gaza City on Thursday, July 17.


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Israel's ground offensive in Gaza Israel’s ground offensive in Gaza


U.N. calls for immediate end to violence


Citizens run for their lives in Gaza


U.N. calls for immediate end to violence

Thirteen soldiers were killed Sunday by Hamas. Two were dual Israeli-American citizens: California native Max Steinberg and Sean Carmeli, from South Padre Island, Texas, the U.S. State Department said. Five other Israeli soldiers were killed earlier in the conflict. Israel’s Iron Dome defense system helps protect its residents from missile attacks every day.

Hamas said Monday it had killed soldiers in an ambush and that the Hamas fighters were uninjured. It also said it successfully targeted Israeli troops in several places.

Israel killed more than 10 Hamas terrorists who entered the country through tunnels “to attack two different kibbutzim,” or communal areas, “where farmers are trying to conduct their daily lives,” government spokesman Mark Regev told CNN.

“We will see Hamas come out of this substantially weakened, their arsenal of dangerous weapons diminished,” Regev vowed Monday in an interview with CNN’s Wolf Blitzer. “They will understand they can’t shoot at our people with impunity.”

Hamas speaking with other countries, not Egypt

Israel has slammed Hamas for refusing to consider a cease-fire proposal made by Egypt last week.

Senior Hamas political figure Izzat Risheq in Qatar told CNN on Monday that Hamas is not speaking directly with Egypt, but several other nations are involved: Turkey, Qatar, and Kuwait. Hamas political leader Khaled Meshaal traveled from Qatar to Kuwait on Sunday, Risheq said.

Hamas postponed a scheduled news conference, at which Meshaal was going to speak, due to ongoing talks, Risheq said.

Kerry told CNN on Sunday the United States has “shown our willingness to try to deal with the underlying issues,” but Hamas “must step up and show a level of reasonableness.”

“No country, no human being, is comfortable with children being killed, with people being killed, but we’re not comfortable with Israeli soldiers being killed either, or with people being rocketed in Israel,” he said.


Map of the Middle East Map of the Middle East


Map of the Middle EastMap of the Middle East


Netanyahu: Hamas targets civilians


Intensified attacks in Gaza


CNN camera captures airstrike in Gaza

While steadfastly supportive of Israel in public comments, Kerry appeared to let slip some frustration when caught on an open microphone between television interviews Sunday. After one of his deputies mentioned the latest number of Palestinian casualties, Kerry was heard to say, “It’s a hell of a pinpoint operation.”

Obama spoke Sunday with Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, the second call in three days. Obama reiterated U.S. condemnation of Hamas attacks against Israel “and reaffirmed Israel’s right to defend itself,” the White House said in a statement. Obama also “raised serious concern about the growing number of casualties, including increasing Palestinian civilian deaths in Gaza and the loss of Israeli soldiers.”

Militants killed, hospital shelled

Israel said it killed Hamas militants who entered the country Monday, while officials in Gaza said Israel shelled a hospital, killing several people.

The Shuhada Al-Aqsa hospital in central Gaza was hit by shelling, leaving five people dead — one patient and four relatives, the Gaza Health Ministry said. Hamas TV showed upper floors damaged.

The Israel Defense Forces had no immediate comment. Israel has said militants use homes, schools, hospitals and mosques to launch attacks.

Israeli Justice Minister Tzipi Livni told CNN that the reports of hospital shelling are being questioned, “and we will make all the facts found public.”

Israel blames Hamas for civilian deaths in Gaza, noting that the group has encouraged people to stay in their homes despite repeated warnings from Israel in advance of airstrikes. But some Palestinians have said they feared that even if they left they could face the same violence anywhere in Gaza. More than 83,000 Palestinians have taken refuge in U.N. facilities.

“Nobody is safe and nobody can flee anywhere because everywhere is targeted,” said Enas Sisisalem, a mother of two who lives in the al-Remal neighborhood of Gaza City. “When we hear the shelling my kids will cry.”

In a meeting late Sunday, U.N. Security Council members expressed “serious concern about the growing number of casualties,” according to the body’s president, Ambassador Eugene-Richard Gasana of Rwanda.

The members urged “an immediate cessation of hostilities” based on the cease-fire that stopped the 2012 conflict between Israel and Hamas, he said.

UN: ‘Massive’ airlift under way

The United Nations is sending supplies into Gaza in what Chris Gunness, spokesman for the U.N. agency for Palestinian refugees, described as a “massive humanitarian airlift.”

“In the coming days, more airlifts are scheduled to arrive in Amman, from where UNRWA will truck the aid into Gaza for distribution,” he said on Twitter.

The IDF, meanwhile, tweeted, “While Hamas continues its attacks, tons of goods are reaching Palestinians in Gaza from Israel,” including 148 trucks of food and medical supplies.

Israeli soldier captured?

Hamas said Sunday it had captured an Israeli soldier. “He is a prisoner, and if Zionists lie about the dead and wounded, then the fate of this soldier is their responsibility,” Hamas spokesman Abu Obeida said.

Gunfire and cheers erupted in Gaza in apparent celebration of the soldier’s capture.

Israel’s ambassador to the United Nations later disputed that claim. “There’s no kidnapped Israeli soldier, and those rumors are untrue,” Ron Prosor said.

But Monday morning, the Israeli government said it was unsure.

“It could just be Hamas bravado. We’re looking into it,” Regev said. “We don’t underestimate Hamas. Hamas has built a formidable military machine. We see that with these rockets that they can shoot at the center of our country — at Jerusalem and Tel Aviv. That network of tunnels under the Gaza Strip, there’s a whole subterranean terror world there in Gaza. Some of those can go into Israel and pop up on our side of the frontier with arms, with explosives and can cause murder and mayhem on our side. So we take the Hamas threat very seriously.”

If the claim is true, it will be “a game changer immediately because it’s going to change what the Israelis are doing on the ground in that sector. They’re going to be looking for him,” said CNN military analyst Lt. Col. Rick Francona. But, he added, “overall, the Israeli strategy is not going to change. They’re committed to this mission.”

In 2006, Israeli soldier Gilad Shalit was captured. He was released some five years later in exchange for more than 1,000 Palestinian prisoners.

Hezbollah reaches out to Hamas

The Lebanese militant group Hezbollah reached out to Hamas to express its support Monday.

Hassan Nasrallah, the group’s secretary-general, spoke with Hamas political chief Khaled Meshaal, who lives in Qatar.

Nasrallah “praised the steadfastness of the resisters and their creativeness in the battlefield, the enormous patience of the wronged people of Gaza and their stand behind their resistance,” according to a CNN translation of a Hezbollah statement.

Nasrallah also spoke with Ramadan Shallah, head of Islamic Jihad, another Palestinian militant group, the statement said. Shallah is one of the FBI’s most wanted terrorists.

READ: Gaza crisis: Who’s who in Hamas

READ: Israeli military’s ‘knock on roof’ warnings criticized by rights groups

READ: War-scarred Gaza medical crews also in harm’s way

CNN’s Karl Penhaul and Ian Lee reported from Gaza City, Josh Levs and Ali Younes from Atlanta and Jethro Mullen from Hong Kong. CNN’s Kareem Khadder, Ben Wedeman, Atika Shubert, Ben Brumfield, Tim Lister, Michael Martinez, Mohammed Tawfeeq and Yon Pomrenze contributed to this report.


Article source: http://rss.cnn.com/~r/rss/edition_world/~3/r7Sbkfe-DYw/index.html


Smoke rises near the airport traffic control tower in Donetsk, eastern Ukraine on Monday.

CNN’s Christiane Amanpour will interview Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko live on TV at 11am ET/1700 CET

(CNN) — Ukrainian forces have taken full control of Donetsk airport as they continue to fight pro-Russian rebels in the eastern Ukraine city, a Ukrainian military spokesman says.

“The active stage of the counter-terrorist operation continues. The government is now at full control of the airport and the road leading to it,” Vladislav Seleznev told CNN.

Meantime, two people were killed in fighting in the city, the Donetsk City Council said in an online statement.

The council warned residents not to leave their homes.

“The bus station is closed. Car movement is limited. A nine-story residential building at the train station area has been damaged. A market outside the train station caught on fire as the result of artillery fire. Still, the train station is working,” it said.


Rebel leader: I invite international help


Military makes gains in eastern Ukraine

Donetsk is west of the area where Malaysia Airlines Flight 17 crashed Thursday, with the loss of 298 lives. The United States says a Russian-made surface-to-air missile fired from pro-Russian rebel territory took down the Boeing 777.

Russia has blamed Kiev’s resumption of military operations against the rebels at the end of June for the tragedy, while the U.S. has accused Russia of supporting the rebels that Washington believes fired the missile.

Since the crash, Ukraine’s government and rebels have traded bitter accusations over who was responsible.

The Ukraine government says “terrorists” fired on the plane. Ukrainian officials have distributed recordings of what they say are intercepted communications between pro-Russian rebels discussing shooting it down.

Alexander Borodai, the rebel leader who calls himself the Prime Minister of the self-styled Donetsk People’s Republic, has conceded that the plane was shot down but says his forces did not do it. He told CNN on Sunday that his forces lack the firepower to hit an airplane so high up.

The Ukraine crisis has its roots in former Ukrainian President Viktor Yanukovych’s decision to shun a European Union association agreement last year and work with Russia instead. The move unleashed deadly strife that led to Yanukovych’s ouster, Russia’s annexation of Crimea and a pro-Russian rebellion.

READ: How rebels in Ukraine built up an arsenal capable of reaching the skies

READ: Malaysia Airlines Flight 17: Eight unanswered questions

READ: Athlete, soccer fans, vacationing family among Malaysia Airlines crash victims


Article source: http://rss.cnn.com/~r/rss/edition_world/~3/kmZlxvV6rkg/index.html

Mysterious crater forms in Siberia

Posted by MereNews On July - 21 - 2014 ADD COMMENTS

A huge crater that has popped up in remote Siberia has scientists baffled. CNN’s Ralitsa Vassileva reports.

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U.N.: End Gaza violence now

Posted by MereNews On July - 21 - 2014 ADD COMMENTS

U.N. Security Council members expressed “serious concern about the growing number of casualties,” an official said.

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Flight MH17: 8 unanswered questions

Posted by MereNews On July - 21 - 2014 ADD COMMENTS

(CNN) — Amid the chaos and the grief, the politics and the finger pointing, we are no closer to answering some key questions about the downing of Malaysia Airlines Flight 17. The crash, which killed all 298 aboard, has turned a volatile Ukrainian region into a global problem.

Here are eight questions we don’t yet have the answers to.

1. Who shot down the plane?

Only a full investigation can settle that. This much we know: Flight MH17 was shot down using a surface-to-air missile in Ukrainian territory that’s controlled by pro-Russian rebels.

Ukraine’s government says it has “compelling evidence” that a Russian-supplied battery, manned by Russian operatives, fired the missile. The United States has also pointed the finger at the Russian-trained rebels.

A man covers his face with a rag as members of the Organization for Security and Co-operation in Europe and the Dutch National Forensic Investigations Team inspect bodies in a refrigerated train near the crash site of Malaysia Airlines Flight 17 in eastern Ukraine on Monday, July 21. The United States says a surface-to-air missile took down the Boeing 777 on Thursday, July 17, as it was flying from Amsterdam, Netherlands, to Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia, killing all 298 people aboard. Ukrainian officials have accused pro-Russian rebels of downing the jet, but Russia blames Ukraine's recent military operations against the rebels.A man covers his face with a rag as members of the Organization for Security and Co-operation in Europe and the Dutch National Forensic Investigations Team inspect bodies in a refrigerated train near the crash site of Malaysia Airlines Flight 17 in eastern Ukraine on Monday, July 21. The United States says a surface-to-air missile took down the Boeing 777 on Thursday, July 17, as it was flying from Amsterdam, Netherlands, to Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia, killing all 298 people aboard. Ukrainian officials have accused pro-Russian rebels of downing the jet, but Russia blames Ukraine’s recent military operations against the rebels.

Emergency workers carry a victim's body in a bag at the crash site on July 21. Search teams have recovered more than 270 bodies, officials say.Emergency workers carry a victim’s body in a bag at the crash site on July 21. Search teams have recovered more than 270 bodies, officials say.

A piece of the Boeing 777 lies in the grass in eastern Ukraine's Donetsk region on July 21.A piece of the Boeing 777 lies in the grass in eastern Ukraine’s Donetsk region on July 21.

An armed pro-Russia rebel stands guard next to a refrigerated train loaded with bodies in Torez, Ukraine, on Sunday, July 20.An armed pro-Russia rebel stands guard next to a refrigerated train loaded with bodies in Torez, Ukraine, on Sunday, July 20.

Ukrainian State Emergency Service employees sort through debris on July 20 as they work to locate the deceased.Ukrainian State Emergency Service employees sort through debris on July 20 as they work to locate the deceased.

A woman covers her mouth with a piece of fabric July 20 to ward off smells from railway cars that reportedly contain passengers' bodies.A woman covers her mouth with a piece of fabric July 20 to ward off smells from railway cars that reportedly contain passengers’ bodies.

Toys and flowers sit on the charred fuselage of the jet as a memorial on July 20.Toys and flowers sit on the charred fuselage of the jet as a memorial on July 20.

People search a wheat field for remains in the area of the crash site on July 20. People search a wheat field for remains in the area of the crash site on July 20.

A woman walks among charred debris at the crash site on Sunday, July 20.A woman walks among charred debris at the crash site on Sunday, July 20.

Emergency workers load the body of a victim onto a truck at the crash site on Saturday, July 19. Emergency workers load the body of a victim onto a truck at the crash site on Saturday, July 19.

Emergency workers carry the body of a victim at the crash site of Malaysia Airlines Flight 17 in eastern Ukraine on Saturday, July 19. Emergency workers carry the body of a victim at the crash site of Malaysia Airlines Flight 17 in eastern Ukraine on Saturday, July 19.

A large piece of the main cabin is under guard at the crash site on July 19. A large piece of the main cabin is under guard at the crash site on July 19.

Victims' bodies are placed by the side of the road on July 19 as recovery efforts continue at the crash site. International officials lament the lack of a secured perimeter.Victims’ bodies are placed by the side of the road on July 19 as recovery efforts continue at the crash site. International officials lament the lack of a secured perimeter.

A man looks through the debris at the crash site on July 19. A man looks through the debris at the crash site on July 19.

An envelope bearing the Malaysia Airlines logo at the crash site on July 19. An envelope bearing the Malaysia Airlines logo at the crash site on July 19.

Armed rebels walk past large pieces of the Boeing 777 on July 19. Armed rebels walk past large pieces of the Boeing 777 on July 19.

Ukrainian rescue workers walk through a wheat field with a stretcher as they collect the bodies of victims on July 19.Ukrainian rescue workers walk through a wheat field with a stretcher as they collect the bodies of victims on July 19.

A woman looks at wreckage at the Malaysia Airlines Flight 17 crash site on July 19.A woman looks at wreckage at the Malaysia Airlines Flight 17 crash site on July 19.

Pro-Russian fighters stand guard as the Organization for Security and Co-operation in Europe delegation arrives at the crash site of Malaysia Airlines Flight 17 in eastern Ukraine on Friday, July 18. Pro-Russian fighters stand guard as the Organization for Security and Co-operation in Europe delegation arrives at the crash site of Malaysia Airlines Flight 17 in eastern Ukraine on Friday, July 18.

A woman walks through the debris field on July 18. A woman walks through the debris field on July 18.

Pro-Russia rebels stand guard at the crash site.Pro-Russia rebels stand guard at the crash site.

Wreckage from Flight 17 lies in a field in Shaktarsk, Urkaine on July 18. International inspectors are headed to the crash site to search for the plane's flight data recorders.Wreckage from Flight 17 lies in a field in Shaktarsk, Urkaine on July 18. International inspectors are headed to the crash site to search for the plane’s flight data recorders.

A man covers a body with a plastic sheet near the crash site July 18. The passengers and crew hailed from all over the world, including Australia, Indonesia, Malaysia, Germany and Canada. A man covers a body with a plastic sheet near the crash site July 18. The passengers and crew hailed from all over the world, including Australia, Indonesia, Malaysia, Germany and Canada.

A diver searches for the jet's flight data recorders on July 18.A diver searches for the jet’s flight data recorders on July 18.

Coal miners search the crash site.Coal miners search the crash site.

Wreckage from the Boeing 777 lies on the ground July 18 in rebel-held eastern Ukraine. Wreckage from the Boeing 777 lies on the ground July 18 in rebel-held eastern Ukraine.

People search for bodies of passengers on July 18. People search for bodies of passengers on July 18.

A woman walks past a body covered with a plastic sheet near the crash site July 18. The diversity of the victims' nationalities has turned the crash into a global tragedy. A woman walks past a body covered with a plastic sheet near the crash site July 18. The diversity of the victims’ nationalities has turned the crash into a global tragedy.

Belongings of passengers lie in the grass on July 18.Belongings of passengers lie in the grass on July 18.

People inspect the crash site on Thursday, July 17.People inspect the crash site on Thursday, July 17.

People walk amid the debris at the site of the crash.People walk amid the debris at the site of the crash.

 Debris smoulders in a field near the Russian border. Debris smoulders in a field near the Russian border.

Fire engines arrive at the crash site.Fire engines arrive at the crash site.

A man stands next to wreckage.A man stands next to wreckage.

Debris from the crashed jet lies in a field in Ukraine.Debris from the crashed jet lies in a field in Ukraine.

Family members of those aboard Flight 17 leave Schiphol Airport near Amsterdam, Netherlands.Family members of those aboard Flight 17 leave Schiphol Airport near Amsterdam, Netherlands.

A large piece of the plane lies on the ground.A large piece of the plane lies on the ground.

Luggage from the flight sits in a field at the crash site.Luggage from the flight sits in a field at the crash site.

A couple walks to the location at Schiphol Airport near Amsterdam where more information will be given regarding the flight.A couple walks to the location at Schiphol Airport near Amsterdam where more information will be given regarding the flight.

Flight arrivals are listed at the Kuala Lumpur International Airport in Sepang, Malaysia.Flight arrivals are listed at the Kuala Lumpur International Airport in Sepang, Malaysia.

Debris from the Boeing 777, pictured on July 17.Debris from the Boeing 777, pictured on July 17.

A man inspects debris from the plane.A man inspects debris from the plane.

Wreckage from the plane is seen on July 17.Wreckage from the plane is seen on July 17.

A man talks with security at Schiphol airport in Amsterdam, Netherlands, on July 17.A man talks with security at Schiphol airport in Amsterdam, Netherlands, on July 17.

Wreckage burns in Ukraine.Wreckage burns in Ukraine.

A man stands next to the wreckage of the airliner that crashed July 17 in Ukraine.A man stands next to the wreckage of the airliner that crashed July 17 in Ukraine.

People inspect a piece of wreckage believed to be from Malaysia Airlines Flight 17 in Ukraine. This image was posted to Twitter.People inspect a piece of wreckage believed to be from Malaysia Airlines Flight 17 in Ukraine. This image was posted to Twitter.

People inspect a piece of wreckage believed to be from Malaysia Airlines Flight 17. This image was posted to Twitter.People inspect a piece of wreckage believed to be from Malaysia Airlines Flight 17. This image was posted to Twitter.

A piece of wreckage believed to be from Malaysia Airlines Flight 17. This image was posted to Twitter.A piece of wreckage believed to be from Malaysia Airlines Flight 17. This image was posted to Twitter.

A piece of wreckage believed to be from MH17. This image was posted to Twitter.A piece of wreckage believed to be from MH17. This image was posted to Twitter.

An airsickness bag believed to be from MH17. This image was posted to Twitter.An airsickness bag believed to be from MH17. This image was posted to Twitter.

A piece of wreckage believed to be from MH17. This image was posted to Twitter.A piece of wreckage believed to be from MH17. This image was posted to Twitter.


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Malaysia Airlines jet crashes in UkraineMalaysia Airlines jet crashes in Ukraine


Gunfire near MH17 crash site


Access to MH17 crash site limited


Brother of MH17 victim won’t place blame

“We have a video showing a launcher moving back through a particular area there, out into Russia, with at least one missing missile on it,” Secretary of State John Kerry said on CNN’s State of the Union on Sunday.

But Russia has denied any involvement. So have the rebels, who accuse the Ukrainians of downing the plane — without offering proof.

2. Why would anyone target a passenger plane?

If indeed the rebels are behind the attack, they may have mistaken the plane for a Ukrainian military craft. In the past few months, the rebels have used surface-to-air missiles to bring down more than a dozen planes, including two transport aircraft, the U.S. Embassy in Kiev said.

Shortly after the crash, Igor Strelkov, the self-proclaimed defense minister of the Donetsk People’s Republic, claimed on social media that the rebels had shot down a military transport plane. Those posts were later deleted once it turned out the plane was a civilian aircraft.

“It has the earmarks of a mistaken identification of an aircraft that they may have believed was Ukrainian,” Arizona Sen. John McCain told MSNBC.

3. Why was the plane flying over a war zone?

Most airlines follow rules set by national civil aviation authorities and take the most direct route available, said Mary Schiavo, a former inspector general of the U.S. Department of Transportation.

The Malaysia Airlines flight left Amsterdam for Kuala Lumpur. It flew over eastern Ukraine, which is a common route for international carriers.

Last week, Eurocontrol, the agency responsible for coordinating European airspace, said Ukrainian authorities had closed airspace in the region below 32,000 feet, but it was open at the level Flight 17 was flying (33,000 feet).

“There’s a lot of questions to be asked in a lot of different places,” CNN aviation analyst Miles O’Brien said. “Why didn’t government officials close off that airspace completely? 32,000 feet, that’s a completely arbitrary number.”

4. When will international investigators get access to the crash site?

No one knows.

A U.N. Security Council meeting ended early Monday morning, with Australia introducing a resolution that called for a swift international investigation.

“There’s no doubt that at the moment the site is under the control of the Russian-backed rebels. And given the almost certain culpability of the Russian-backed rebels in the downing of the aircraft, having those people in control of the site is a little like leaving criminals in control of a crime scene,” Australia’s Prime Minister Tony Abbott said Monday.

But Russia, which has veto power as permanent member of the council, wants a modified resolution — one that leaves out Ukraine from any investigation.


Scattered evidence of MH17 catastrophe

The passengers and crew aboard Malaysia Airlines Flight 17 came from around the world and held a wide range of hopes and dreams. While the identities of the 298 people aboard have not been release by the airline, CNN has been able to confirm some of them via family, friends and social media. The passengers and crew aboard Malaysia Airlines Flight 17 came from around the world and held a wide range of hopes and dreams. While the identities of the 298 people aboard have not been release by the airline, CNN has been able to confirm some of them via family, friends and social media.

Karlijn Keijzer, 25, was a champion rower from Amsterdam who showed much passion and leadership in the United States as a member of the team at Indiana University in Bloomington, Indiana. Karlijn Keijzer, 25, was a champion rower from Amsterdam who showed much passion and leadership in the United States as a member of the team at Indiana University in Bloomington, Indiana.

A 77-year-old teacher and Roman Catholic nun, Sister Philomene Tiernan, was on the flight, according to Australia's Kincoppal - Rose Bay School of the Sacred Heart. The school principal described Tiernan as wonderfully wise and compassionate.A 77-year-old teacher and Roman Catholic nun, Sister Philomene Tiernan, was on the flight, according to Australia’s Kincoppal – Rose Bay School of the Sacred Heart. The school principal described Tiernan as “wonderfully wise and compassionate.”

On Friday, President Barack Obama told reporters that an American, Quinn Lucas Schansman, was aboard. His Facebook page said he was a student at International Business School Hogeschool van Amsterdam. On Friday, President Barack Obama told reporters that an American, Quinn Lucas Schansman, was aboard. His Facebook page said he was a student at International Business School Hogeschool van Amsterdam.

The World Health Organization was able to confirm to CNN that their employee Glenneth Thomas was on board and heading to the International AIDS Conference scheduled to begin this weekend in Melbourne, Australia.The World Health Organization was able to confirm to CNN that their employee Glenneth Thomas was on board and heading to the International AIDS Conference scheduled to begin this weekend in Melbourne, Australia.

Shazana Salleh, a Malaysian national, was one of 15 crew members aboard.Shazana Salleh, a Malaysian national, was one of 15 crew members aboard.

Prominent Dutch scientist Joep Lange was a pioneer in HIV research and a former president of the International AIDS Society, which organizes the International AIDS Conference.Prominent Dutch scientist Joep Lange was a pioneer in HIV research and a former president of the International AIDS Society, which organizes the International AIDS Conference.

Jacqueline van Tongeren, partner of HIV researcher Joep Lange, was on the flight with him. Jacqueline van Tongeren, partner of HIV researcher Joep Lange, was on the flight with him.

Medical student Andrei Anghel, 24, boarded Flight 17 on his way to vacation in Bali. Medical student Andrei Anghel, 24, boarded Flight 17 on his way to vacation in Bali.

Darryl Dwight Gunawan, 20, was traveling home to the Philippines after a summer vacation with his family. His mother, Irene Gunawan, 54, and sister Sheryl Shania Gunawan, 15, were also aboard. Darryl Dwight Gunawan, 20, was traveling home to the Philippines after a summer vacation with his family. His mother, Irene Gunawan, 54, and sister Sheryl Shania Gunawan, 15, were also aboard.

John Paulissen, his wife Yuli Hastini and their two children, Martin Arjuna and Sri were all aboard the flight. John Paulissen, his wife Yuli Hastini and their two children, Martin Arjuna and Sri were all aboard the flight.

Tessa van der Sande, an Amnesty International employee, was on the flight. Tessa van der Sande, an Amnesty International employee, was on the flight.

Angeline Premila Rajandaran was a flight attendant, one of the 15 crew on board. Angeline Premila Rajandaran was a flight attendant, one of the 15 crew on board.

A lover of French literature, Adi Soetjipto, 73, was returning home to Jakarta, Indonesia, after her annual visit to her mother in the Netherlands, nephew Joss Wibisono said.A lover of French literature, Adi Soetjipto, 73, was returning home to Jakarta, Indonesia, after her annual visit to her mother in the Netherlands, nephew Joss Wibisono said.

Nick Norris and his three grandchildren, Otis, 8, Evie,10 and Mo, 12, were all aboard the flight. Nick Norris and his three grandchildren, Otis, 8, Evie,10 and Mo, 12, were all aboard the flight.

Pim de Kuijer was also on his way to the International AIDS Conference.Pim de Kuijer was also on his way to the International AIDS Conference.

Husband and wife Albert and Maree Rizk were among the passengers on board. Husband and wife Albert and Maree Rizk were among the passengers on board.

Musician Cor Schilfder was on vacation with girlfriend NeeltjeTol, a florist. Musician Cor Schilfder was on vacation with girlfriend NeeltjeTol, a florist.

Shun Poh Fan and wife Jenny Loh were restaraunt owners in the Netherlands. Shun Poh Fan and wife Jenny Loh were restaraunt owners in the Netherlands.

Fatima Dycynski was an engineer and the founder and CEO of Xoterra Space. Fatima Dycynski was an engineer and the founder and CEO of Xoterra Space.

Arjen and Yvonne RyderArjen and Yvonne Ryder

Flight attendant Sanjid Singh Sandu swapped flights at the last moment on Thursday and boarded MH17 in Amsterdam so he could get home early, his parents told CNN.Flight attendant Sanjid Singh Sandu swapped flights at the last moment on Thursday and boarded MH17 in Amsterdam so he could get home early, his parents told CNN.


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Photos: Malaysia Flight 17 victims remembered Photos: Malaysia Flight 17 victims remembered

A doll lies on the ground at the crash site of Malaysia Airlines Flight 17 near the village of Hrabove in eastern Ukraine on Saturday, July 19. The United States has said the Boeing 777 was brought down by a surface-to-air missile. All 298 people aboard were killed, yet so much of what they left behind is scattered relatively intact in this vast debris field in rural Ukraine.A doll lies on the ground at the crash site of Malaysia Airlines Flight 17 near the village of Hrabove in eastern Ukraine on Saturday, July 19. The United States has said the Boeing 777 was brought down by a surface-to-air missile. All 298 people aboard were killed, yet so much of what they left behind is scattered relatively intact in this vast debris field in rural Ukraine.

A single shoe is seen among the debris and wreckage on July 19. Concern is growing that the site has not been sealed off as it should have been and that vital evidence is being tampered with. A single shoe is seen among the debris and wreckage on July 19. Concern is growing that the site has not been sealed off as it should have been and that vital evidence is being tampered with.

Pieces of a wristwatch lie on a plastic cover at the crash site. Pieces of a wristwatch lie on a plastic cover at the crash site.

A toy monkey.A toy monkey.

Books, bags, a tourist T-shirt. Ukraine's government said it had received information of looting of valuables and money, and urged relatives to cancel the victims' credit cards. But a CNN crew at the scene on July 19 said it did not see any signs of looting.Books, bags, a tourist T-shirt. Ukraine’s government said it had received information of looting of valuables and money, and urged relatives to cancel the victims’ credit cards. But a CNN crew at the scene on July 19 said it did not see any signs of looting.

Passports were scattered across the large farm field.Passports were scattered across the large farm field.

Playing cards and euros are scattered.Playing cards and euros are scattered.

A travel guide and toiletries.A travel guide and toiletries.

An empty suitcase is cordoned off near the plane's impact site on July 17.An empty suitcase is cordoned off near the plane’s impact site on July 17.

Luggage, July 18.Luggage, July 18.


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MH17: What they left behindMH17: What they left behind


Confusion, hostility at MH17 crash site

5. Where are the so-called black boxes?

The rebels say they have recovered something, but can’t be certain those are the flight data and cockpit voice recorders.

“These are some technical objects. We cannot say for sure these are black boxes,” rebel leader Alex Borodai told CNN.

Finding the devices is crucial; they will offer vital clues to the plane’s last moments.

What happens to the black boxes is also unclear.

In audio intercepts released by the Ukrainian government, a rebel leader is heard saying that Moscow is very interested in the black boxes and urges his followers to look for them urgently. (CNN can’t vouch for the authenticity of the audio).

6. Have all the victims’ bodies been recovered?

There’s no way to tell.

Rebels are keeping most of the bodies in two refrigerated train cars about 10 miles away from the site. And while international observers confirmed they saw “dozens and dozens” of bodies in the train, there was no way to verify the total.

Who were the victims?

7. What will happen to the remains?

That, too, is mired in politics. No one yet knows when they will be identified or where they will end up.

Alex Borodai, the rebel leader, says he’d rather hand over the remains to relatives — but only after “experts” examine them. He says he fears if the remains are turned over to Ukraine, the government would use them as evidence to blame his fighters for shooting down the plane.

“I want the bodies,” Selena Fredriksz sobbed at a memorial at Amsterdam’s Schiphol Airport on Sunday. Her son, 23-year-old Bryce, was one of the passengers on the plane. “They can have anything, but the bodies have to come back. Take their iPhones, take their money, take everything.”

8. How will Russia respond?

If an investigation concludes the plane was shot down by rebels using a Russian-supplied missile — or, worse still, by Russians themselves — President Vladimir Putin will have two choices. And neither, says Professor Daniel Treisman, works to his advantage.

Putin could reject the conclusions and stand by the rebels. If he does so, he risks becoming an international pariah. The West might also hit Russia with even tougher economic sanctions, enough to cripple its economy and send it into a recession.

Or, Putin could sever ties with the rebels. But that could present problems too.

“A relentless barrage of propaganda has convinced many Russians that their co-ethnics in Donetsk and Luhansk are being massacred by troops commanded by a fascist regime in Kiev,” said Treisman, who teaches political science at the University of California, Los Angeles, and who authored the book, “The Return: Russia’s Journey from Gorbachev to Medvedev.”

“For Putin to bow to international pressure and abandon his former charges would look like cowardice.”

READ: How rebels in Ukraine built up an arsenal capable of reaching the skies

READ: Athlete, soccer fans, vacationing family among Malaysia Airlines crash victims

READ: Is this any way to secure a plane crash scene?


Article source: http://rss.cnn.com/~r/rss/edition_world/~3/0BKZYVjjE60/index.html

43 dead in China bus crash

Posted by MereNews On July - 21 - 2014 ADD COMMENTS

Beijing (CNN) — A van carrying flammable liquid rammed into a bus in China early Saturday, sparking an explosion that left 43 people dead, state media reported.

Both drivers were among the fatalities in the accident in Hunan Province, according to Xinhua news agency. Another person in the van was also killed.

Six people were injured, four seriously, according to state-run CCTV.

The fate of the other passengers is unclear. The bus had a capacity of 53 people, Xinhua said.

The accident destroyed five cars.

Authorities extinguished the fire, but a rescue effort is under way.

CCTV also reported that the bus operator was blacklisted by local authorities for violating safety rules.


Article source: http://rss.cnn.com/~r/rss/edition_world/~3/vluX9w1Czdc/index.html

21 killed in attack on Egyptian border guards

Posted by MereNews On July - 21 - 2014 ADD COMMENTS

(CNN) — Unidentified gunmen attacked border guards in southern Egypt on Saturday, killing 21 and injuring four, according to Egypt’s state-run news agency MENA.

The Egyptian army said a terrorist group fired a rocket-propelled grenade into an “ammunition store” at a checkpoint near Farfra.

In an exchange of gunfire, some militants were killed, the army said. Two cars with explosives were also confiscated.

“This incident will not discourage (guards) from carrying the national responsibility to protect and secure the country and hit the hotbeds of terrorism and extremism at all costs regardless of sacrifice,” read an army statement.

The checkpoint is in Al-Wadi Al-Gedid province, which borders Libya and Sudan.

It was not clear whether the guards were on their way to the border or were already on the border when they were attacked, according to MENA.


Article source: http://rss.cnn.com/~r/rss/edition_world/~3/Xib4RYb3iHw/index.html

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