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 >>
The high-profile trial of Singapore megachurch pastor Kong Hee and five other City Harvest Church officials for misusing millions of church funds to pay for his wife's popstar career, resumed on Monday. Kong's wife, singer Sun Ho, is expected to take the witness stand this week.
Channel NewsAsia pointed out that the trial, which began in May 2012, is turning out to be one of the longest-running criminal trials in the country. Kong and the five other officials are accused of musing 24 million SGD ($19.2 million) in donated money. The defense has argued that City Harvest's church board never passed a resolution that indicated who exactly has the power to make decisions regarding the funds.
Sun Ho has not been charged herself in the case, though was temporarily removed from her position as executive director of the 30,000 member City Harvest, which was founded by Kong in 1989. The singer is expected to be one of the witnesses called to the stand this week, along with the first of the six church officials on trial. more >>