A group of Chinese Christians protecting a church cross from demolition has said that they are ready to die for the cause, even as they are beaten severely by police officers seeking to break their month-long vigil.
"We will continue to guard our church cross to the end," a local worker of Pingyang County said, according to International Christian Concern. "We divide people into two groups and take turns to guard the church through the night."
Government officials have been trying to forcibly remove the church cross of ShuiTou Salvation Church in Pingyang, Wenzhou City for over a month now, though Christians have been protecting it by holding overnight vigils. more >>
A Taiwan plane crash killed 47 people and injured 11 after the airplane botched an emergency landing in bad weather Wednesday, according to reports. Flight GE 222 was going from Kaohsiung, Taiwan to Magong, but the 35-minute flight ended in disaster.
The Taiwan plane crash occurred at about 7 p.m. local time right outside Magong airport, slamming into residential buildings in the Penghu islands. The ATR 72, a twin-engine turboprop plane, was attempting to make an emergency landing because weather conditions were bad after Typhoon Matmo, according to The Telegraph. The storm brutalized mainland China Tuesday, but heavy rains followed the next day, forcing the pilot to attempt the landing.
The pilot first requested a go-around when it first tried to land, but then "lost contact" with the flight tower, Civil Aeronautics Administration Director-General Jean Shen told Focus Taiwan. more >>
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 >>