Pro-Russian rebels in eastern Ukraine have said that they will grant access to an international team of investigators to look into the crash of Malaysian Airlines Flight 17, carrying 298 people on board, which is suspected to have been shot down by a missile on Thursday.
"Should this be confirmed, it will contravene international law and be an outrage against human decency," Malaysian Transport Minister Liow Tiong Lai told reporters in Kuala Lumpur, Reuters reported on Friday.
American and Ukrainian officials said the Malaysia Airlines Boeing 777 that exploded and crashed Thursday in a conflict-torn section of eastern Ukraine controlled by pro-Russia separatists, was shot down with a Russian-made anti-aircraft missile and new data suggests the incident could have been an awful mistake.
A report from The New York Times said U.S. intelligence and military officials confirmed Thursday that the Malaysian Airlines aircraft with 298 people aboard, including three infants, was destroyed by a Russian SA-series missile.
A senior U.S. official told CNN that a radar system saw a surface-to-air missile system turn on and track an aircraft right before the plane went down while a second system saw a heat signature at the time the airliner was hit. The official said they are now analyzing the trajectory of the missile to determine where the attack originated. more >>
Famed Cambridge scientist Stephen Hawking, 72, recently confessed that he "briefly tried to commit suicide" and said denying an individual who is in great pain and facing imminent death the right to commit suicide is "discrimination."
His comments come on the heels of church leaders in Britain who warned this week that legalizing assisted suicide would be a "grave error" as members of the House of Lords in Parliament prepare to debate a controversial Assisted Dying Bill on Friday.
"If you have a terminal illness and you're in great pain, I think you have the right to choose to end your life. We don't let animals suffer, so why should your pain be prolonged against your wishes," said Hawking in a BBC interview Wednesday. more >>
Roman Catholic Church leaders have criticized the Church of England's historic vote to allow women to serve as bishops earlier this week, arguing that such a move is an "obstacle" to Christian unity.
"The decision of the Church of England to admit women to the episcopate therefore sadly places a further obstacle on the path to this unity between us. Nevertheless we are committed to continuing our ecumenical dialogue, seeking deeper mutual understanding and practical cooperation wherever possible," read a statement by Archbishop Bernard Longley, Chairman of the Department for Dialogue and Unity, Catholic Bishops' Conference of England and Wales.
The statement was echoed by the editor of Vatican newspaper L'Osservatore Romano. Giovanni Maria Vian said on Tuesday that the ordination of women bishops will have "an extremely negative impact" on steps to bring together the Catholic Church and the Anglican Communion. more >>
A prominent Church of England member and conservative politician who voted in support of traditional marriage has been promoted to the U.K.'s Education Secretary position, and has been kept in charge as minister for women and equalities.
"I am delighted to become education secretary and continue as minister for women and equalities," Nicky Morgan, a Conservative MP for Loughborough, said in a statement.
"I know that education can be the single greatest transformer of lives. It is also a crucial part of this government's long-term plan. more >>
Former Pope Benedict XVI is reportedly pleased with the outcome of FIFA's 2014 World Cup that saw Germany as the victor, although the ex-pontiff said he hopes Argentina recovers from its loss soon.
Archbishop Georg Gaenswein, the secretary for Pope emeritus Benedict XVI, confirmed Monday that the former pope had been pleased with the outcome of the final World Cup game, as some of the players on Germany's national team hailed from Bavaria, the same region Benedict calls his hometown.
Gaenswein told Vatican Radio that although Benedict did applaud the German victory, he did not in fact watch the game that aired internationally on Sunday. Rather, Benedict was asleep during the game, although his staff "all supported Germany." more >>