While a U.S. official said Malaysia Airlines flight MH 17 was shot down by a missile supplied by Russia to separatists in eastern Ukraine, Russian media reported that President Vladimir Putin and German Chancellor Angela Merkel discussed the need for an objective investigation.
It is confirmed that Russia supplied sophisticated missile launchers to separatists and then sought to move them back across to Russia after the Malaysian plane crashed Thursday, a U.S. official told The Washington Post Saturday.
"We do believe they were trying to move back into Russia at least three Buk [missile launch] systems," the anonymous official was quoted as saying. more >>
Malaysia Airlines Saturday released the nationalities of the passengers on its flight MH 17, which fell from the sky over eastern Ukraine after being hit by a missile Thursday. While the nationalities of 41 victims remain unverified, the list includes just one dual Dutch-American citizen.
There were 192 people from the Netherlands – including 1 dual Netherlands/USA citizen – on the flight, the airline said in a statement Saturday morning.
A Ukrainian official had earlier said 23 Americans were aboard the flight MH 17. more >>
Participants at an international AIDS conference set to begin in Australia Sunday plunged into mourning early Friday morning after learning that 100 AIDS medical researchers and workers including former International AIDS Society President Joep Lange, died en route to the conference on Malaysia Airlines Flight MH17 which crashed in eastern Ukraine Thursday.
Health researcher Clive Aspin told The Sydney Morning Herald that the news devastated participants who were attending a pre-conference session Friday as 16 years ago, AIDS research pioneer Jonathan Mann was also killed in a plane crash.
"Yet again, we're devastated by a similar tragedy," said Aspin. "It's going to be a very somber mood at the conference in Melbourne, especially for those of us who have been coming to these conferences for many years." more >>
Authorities in the Donetsk region of Ukraine confirmed that a Malaysia Airlines "Boeing 777" aircraft carrying nearly 300 people en route from Amsterdam, Netherlands, to Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia, crashed after it was shot down Thursday near the border between Russia and Ukraine.
Details on what happened were still emerging Thursday morning but an Interfax report said the Ministry of Internal Affairs of the Ukraine confirmed the incident. Minister of Internal Affairs of Ukraine Anton Gerashchenko said all 280 passengers and 15 crew members aboard had been killed. The flight was shot down at an altitude of about 10 kilometers.
"Malaysia Airlines has lost contact of MH17 from Amsterdam. The last known position was over Ukrainian airspace. More details to follow," noted the airline in a Tweet Thursday that was retweeted more than 50,000 times in less than an hour. more >>
A 3-year-old girl from the Philippines, who reportedly woke up during her funeral Saturday after being declared clinically dead on Friday, sparked claims of a miracle and inspired her family to abandon her empty coffin in a church.
According to a local blog, shocked mourners began taking pictures and video after Zamboanga del Sur, 3, from Aurora "woke up" as mourners prepared to bury her at about 1 p.m. Saturday.
Zamboanga was pronounced dead at about 9 a.m. Friday. more >>
Several family members of a prominent Chinese pastor who was sentenced to 12 years in prison last month have eluded state authorities and safely made their way to the United States, China Aid has confirmed.
Zhang Shaojie's daughter, Zhang Huixin, son-in-law, Sun Zhulei, and 1-year-old granddaughter, Sun Jiexi, were aided by Chinese Christian convert and activist Bob Fu's organization, reported the Associated Press. The family was originally based in Southeast China before arriving in Dallas, Texas, on Monday.
Zhang's controversial sentence blamed the pastor for gathering crowds to "disturb public order," a decision which ChinaAid argued constituted religious persecution and the Chinese government's attempt to hold back the growth of Christianity. more >>