KRISTV.com http://www.kristv.com/ KRISTV.com World News World News en-us Copyright 2014, KRISTV.com. All Rights Reserved. Feed content is not avaialble for commercial use. () () Fri, 25 Jul 2014 14:07:50 GMT Synapse CMS 10 KRISTV.com http://www.kristv.com/ 144 25 France Sends Soldiers to Guard Air Algeria Wreck http://www.kristv.com/news/france-sends-soldiers-to-guard-air-algeria-wreck/ http://www.kristv.com/news/france-sends-soldiers-to-guard-air-algeria-wreck/ World News Fri, 25 Jul 2014 4:26:49 AM France Sends Soldiers to Guard Air Algeria Wreck

PARIS (AP) - French President Francois Hollande says there are no survivors in the Air Algerie crash in Mali.

Hollande announced on Friday that one black box has been found in the debris after French troops reached the site in the Gossi region near the border with Burkina Faso.

Speaking after a crisis meeting, he said no hypothesis is to be excluded in the investigation.

(Copyright 2014 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.)

 


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Official: Air Algerie Flight 'Probably Crashed' http://www.kristv.com/news/official-air-algerie-flight-probably-crashed-/ http://www.kristv.com/news/official-air-algerie-flight-probably-crashed-/ World News Thu, 24 Jul 2014 10:41:48 AM Associated Press Official: Air Algerie Flight 'Probably Crashed'

ALGIERS, Algeria (AP) - An Air Algerie flight carrying 116 people from Burkina Faso to Algeria's capital disappeared from radar early Thursday over northern Mali, officials said. France's foreign minister said no wreckage had been found, but that the plane "probably crashed."

Air navigation services lost track of the MD-83 about 50 minutes after takeoff from Ouagadougou, the capital of Burkina Faso, at 0155 GMT (9:55 p.m. EDT Wednesday), the official Algerian news agency APS said.

"Despite an intensive search, at the moment I speak no trace of the aircraft has been found," French Foreign Minister Laurent Fabius told reporters in Paris. "The plane has probably crashed."

Two French fighter jets are among aircraft scouring the rugged north of Mali for the plane, which was traveling from Burkina Faso's capital, Ouagadougou, to Algiers, the Algerian capital.

More than 50 French were onboard the plane along with 27 Burkina Faso nationals and passengers from a dozen other countries. The flight crew was Spanish.

The flight was being operated by Spanish airline Swiftair, the company said in a statement, and the plane belonged to Swiftair.

The plane sent its last message around 0130 GMT (9:30 p.m. EDT), asking Niger air control to change its route because of heavy rains in the area, Burkina Faso Transport Minister Jean Bertin Ouedraogo said.

The disappearance of the Air Algerie plane comes after a spate of aviation disasters. Fliers around the globe have been on edge ever since Malaysia Airlines Flight 370 disappeared in March on its way to Beijing. Searchers have yet to find a single piece of wreckage from the jet with 239 people on board.

Last week, a Malaysia Airlines flight was shot down by a surface-to-air missile while flying over a war-torn section of Ukraine. The back-to-back disasters involving Boeing 777s flown by the same airline were too much of a coincidence for many fliers.

Then this week, U.S. and European airlines started canceling flights to Tel Aviv after a rocket landed near the city's airport. Finally, on Wednesday, a Taiwanese plane crashed during a storm, killing 48 people.

It's easy to see why fliers are jittery, but air travel is relatively safe.

There have been two deaths for every 100 million passengers on commercial flights in the last decade, excluding acts of terrorism. Travelers are much more likely to die driving to the airport than stepping on a plane. There are more than 30,000 motor-vehicle deaths in the U.S. each year, a mortality rate eight times greater than that in planes.

French Transport Minister Frederic Cuvillier said the Air Algerie flight vanished over northern Mali. He spoke Thursday from a crisis center set up in the French Foreign Ministry. Cuvillier didn't specify exactly where the plane disappeared over Mali, or whether it was in an area controlled by rebels.

But Algerian Prime Minister Abdelmalek Sellal said on Algerian state television said that 10 minutes before disappearing, it was in contact with air traffic controllers in Gao, a city essentially under the control of the Malian government, though it has seen lingering separatist violence.

The plane had been missing for hours before the news was made public. It wasn't immediately clear why airline or government officials didn't make it public earlier.

The flight path of the plane from Ouagadougou to Algiers wasn't immediately clear. Ouagadougou is in a nearly straight line south of Algiers, passing over Mali where unrest continues in the north.

Northern Mali fell under control of ethnic Tuareg separatists and then al-Qaida-linked Islamic extremists following a military coup in 2012. A French-led intervention last year scattered the extremists, but the Tuaregs have pushed back against the authority of the Bamako-based government.

A senior French official said it seems unlikely that fighters in Mali had the kind of weaponry that could shoot down a plane.

The official, not authorized to speak publicly, said on condition of anonymity that they primarily have shoulder-fired weapons - not enough to hit a passenger plane flying at cruising altitude.

Swiftair, a private Spanish airline, said the plane was carrying 110 passengers and six crew, and left Burkina Faso for Algiers at 0117 GMT Thursday (9:17 p.m. EDT Wednesday), but had not arrived at the scheduled time of 0510 GMT (1:10 a.m. EDT Thursday).

Swiftair said it has not been possible to make contact with the plane and was trying to ascertain what had happened. It said the crew included two pilots and four cabin staff.

Later, Swiftair said the plane was built in 1996 and has two Pratt & Whitney JT8D-219 PW engines. It can carry 165 passengers.

Swiftair took ownership of the plane on Oct. 24, 2012, after it spent nearly 10 months unused in storage, according to Flightglobal's Ascend Online Fleets, which sells and tracks information about aircraft. It has more than 37,800 hours of flight time and has made more than 32,100 takeoffs and landings. The plane has had several owners over the years, including Avianca and Austral Lineas Aereas.

If confirmed as a crash, this would be the fifth one - and the second with fatalities - for Swiftair since its founding in 1986, according to the Flight Safety Foundation. The only other fatal crash for the airline came on July 28, 1998, when the two pilots died on a cargo flight to Barcelona.

Algerian aircraft were overflying the region around Gao to try to locate wreckage, said Houaoui Zoheir, spokesman for the Algerian crisis center. He provided no details on the type or number of aircraft.

"As long as we haven't found the wreckage, we can't talk of a crash," he said. "We talk of loss of contact."

The passengers include 51 French, 27 Burkina Faso nationals, eight Lebanese, six Algerians, five Canadians, four Germans, two Luxemburg nationals, one Swiss, one Belgium, one Egyptian, one Ukrainian, one Nigerian, one Cameroonian and one Malian, Ouedraogo said. The six crew members are Spanish, according to the Spanish pilots' union.

The MD-83 is part of a series of jets built since the early 1980s by McDonnell Douglas, a U.S. plane maker now owned by Boeing Co. The MD-80s are single-aisle planes that were a workhorse of the airline industry for short and medium-range flights for nearly two decades. As jet fuel prices spiked in recent years, airlines have rapidly being replacing the jets with newer, fuel-efficient models such as Boeing 737s and Airbus A320s.

There are 496 other MD-80s being flown by airlines around the world, according to Ascend.

"We're aware of reports on Air Algerie Flight AH5017," Boeing spokesman Wilson Chow said. "Our team is gathering more information."

___

Brahima Ouedraogo reported from Ouagadougou, Burkina Faso. AP journalists Ciaran Giles in Madrid, Spain, and Elaine Ganley, Thomas Adamson and Sylvie Corbet in Paris, contributed to this report.

(Copyright 2014 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.)

 


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Air Algerie Plane Disappears From Radar http://www.kristv.com/news/air-algerie-plane-disappears-from-radar/ http://www.kristv.com/news/air-algerie-plane-disappears-from-radar/ World News Thu, 24 Jul 2014 5:40:09 AM Air Algerie Plane Disappears From Radar

ALGIERS, Algeria (AP) - An Air Algerie flight from Burkina Faso to Algiers disappeared from radar early Thursday, the official Algerian news agency said.

Owner of missing plane operated by Air Algerie says 110 passengers and 6 crew were aboard.

Air navigation services lost track of the plane after 0155 GMT, or 50 minutes after takeoff, the agency said. That means that Flight AH5017 had been missing for hours before the news was made public.

"In keeping with procedures, Air Algerie has launched its emergency plan," the agency quoted the airline as saying.

The flight path of the plane from Ouagadougou, the capital of the west African nation of Burkina Faso, to Algiers was not immediately clear.

Ougadougou is in a nearly straight line south of Algiers, passing over Mali where unrest continues in the north.

However, a senior French official said it was unlikely that fighters in Mali had weaponry that could shoot down a plane. The official, who spoke on condition of anonymity because she was not authorized to speak for attribution, said the fights have shoulder-fired weapons which could not hit an aircraft at cruising altitude.

(Copyright 2014 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.)

 


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Australia Readies 50 Police to Send to Ukraine http://www.kristv.com/news/australia-readies-50-police-to-send-to-ukraine/ http://www.kristv.com/news/australia-readies-50-police-to-send-to-ukraine/ World News Thu, 24 Jul 2014 3:27:30 AM Australia Readies 50 Police to Send to Ukraine

AUSTRALIA (AP) - Australia has sent 50 police to London in anticipation of deploying them to the Ukraine to secure the Malaysian plane crash site as part of a United Nations team.

Prime Minister Tony Abbott announced the police pre-deployment on Thursday. He says foreign ministers of Australia and Netherlands are going to Kiev to seek a memorandum of understanding that will allow international police to secure the crash site in rebel-held east Ukraine.

He said: "We are ready to deploy Australian police to Ukraine to help secure the site as part of an international team under United Nations authority."

(Copyright 2014 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.)

 


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9 Injured in Refinery Fire http://www.kristv.com/news/9-injured-in-refinery-fire/ http://www.kristv.com/news/9-injured-in-refinery-fire/ World News Thu, 24 Jul 2014 3:24:03 AM 9 Injured in Refinery Fire

MEXICO - Emergency teams battled a fire at an oil refinery in northern Mexico on Wednesday.

Pemex, the National Oil Company, said the blaze erupted overnight.

The fire reportedly began at a gasoline storage tank.

Local TV footage showed a large column of black smoke and out-of-control flames at the refinery early on Wednesday.

Pemex said nine people were injured, two with minor burns.

Local media reported that the area around the refinery has been cordoned off and authorities have begun to evacuate people living nearby.

 


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Parts of Chinese City Sealed for Bubonic Plague http://www.kristv.com/news/parts-of-chinese-city-sealed-for-bubonic-plague/ http://www.kristv.com/news/parts-of-chinese-city-sealed-for-bubonic-plague/ World News Wed, 23 Jul 2014 4:50:58 PM Associated Press Parts of Chinese City Sealed for Bubonic Plague

BEIJING (AP) - Parts of a northern Chinese city have been quarantined after state media said a man there died of bubonic plague.

China's official Xinhua News Agency said Tuesday that 151 people were under observation in the city of Yumen in Gansu province after authorities determined they had come in contact with a man who died of the plague July 16.

Investigators believe the man contracted the bacterial infection after contact with a marmot, Xinhua said.

The report said all the people under quarantine were in good health, but that 10 checkpoints were still blocking off parts of the city of about 180,000.

Bubonic plague killed millions of people in Europe in the 14th century and tens of thousands in China in the 19th century. It remains endemic in northwest China and is spread largely through flea bites. The bacteria can cause gangrene, seizures and fever.

(Copyright 2014 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.)

 


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Plane Crashes in Taiwan, Killing 51 People http://www.kristv.com/news/plane-crashes-in-taiwan-killing-51-people/ http://www.kristv.com/news/plane-crashes-in-taiwan-killing-51-people/ World News Wed, 23 Jul 2014 8:32:31 AM Plane Crashes in Taiwan, Killing 51 People

TAIPEI, Taiwan (AP) - Taiwan's Central News Agency says a plane has crashed in a failed emergency landing, killing 51 people.

The news agency cited the head of the fire department in the Taiwanese county of Penghu as saying that seven people were also injured in the crash.

The report cites the Civil Aviation Administration as saying the flight crashed Wednesday with 54 passengers and four flight crew and was operated by a Taiwanese airline, TransAsia Airways.

The report says the plane likely crashed when an attempt to make an emergency landing in the city of Magong.

(Copyright 2014 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.)

 


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2 Ukrainian Military Fighter Jets Shot Down http://www.kristv.com/news/2-ukrainian-military-fighter-jets-shot-down/ http://www.kristv.com/news/2-ukrainian-military-fighter-jets-shot-down/ World News Wed, 23 Jul 2014 6:41:31 AM 2 Ukrainian Military Fighter Jets Shot Down

KIEV, Ukraine (AP) - Two Ukrainian military fighter jets have been shot down in the east, according to the country's Defense Ministry.

The Sukhoi-25 fighters were shot down 1:30 p.m. local time Wednesday over an area called Savur Mogila.

Defense Ministry spokesman Oleksiy Dmitrashkovsky says the planes may have been carrying up to two crew members each.

(Copyright 2014 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.)

 


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Bodies of Malaysia Jet Victims to Leave Ukraine http://www.kristv.com/news/bodies-of-malaysia-jet-victims-to-leave-ukraine/ http://www.kristv.com/news/bodies-of-malaysia-jet-victims-to-leave-ukraine/ World News Wed, 23 Jul 2014 3:50:24 AM Bodies of Malaysia Jet Victims to Leave Ukraine

KHARKIV, Ukraine (AP) - Ukraine is preparing a departure ceremony for the bodies of victims of the Malaysia Airlines disaster, which are being flown to the Netherlands.

Deputy Prime Minister Volodymyr Groysman said Wednesday's ceremony was set for 11 a.m. local time (0800 GMT) at the airport in Kharkiv. Dutch officials say at least 200 bodies had arrived there in refrigerated railroad cars a day earlier.

U.S. officials say Malaysia Airlines Flight 17 was probably shot down by a missile on Thursday, and fell on territory controlled by pro-Russian separatists who have been battling the Kiev government since April. The crash killed all 298 people on board, most of them Dutch citizens.

(Copyright 2014 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.)

 


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John Kerry Flies to Tel Aviv Despite FAA Ban http://www.kristv.com/news/john-kerry-flies-to-tel-aviv-despite-faa-ban/ http://www.kristv.com/news/john-kerry-flies-to-tel-aviv-despite-faa-ban/ World News Wed, 23 Jul 2014 3:37:54 AM John Kerry Flies to Tel Aviv Despite FAA Ban

TEL AVIV, Israel (AP) - U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry has flown into Israel's main airport despite a Federal Aviation Administration ban as he continues to push a cease-fire between Israel and Hamas.

Kerry was planning to meet Wednesday with Israel's prime minster, the Palestinian Authority's president and the United Nations chief in a daylong visit to Jerusalem and Ramallah.

Kerry flew into Tel Aviv on a military jet a day after the FAA banned commercial flights into Ben-Gurion Airport. The FAA imposed the restriction after a Hamas rocket landed within a mile of the airport on Tuesday.

State Department spokeswoman Jen Psaki said Wednesday's meetings would continue Kerry's efforts to get Hamas and Israel to declare a truce after more than two weeks of fighting in the Gaza Strip.

(Copyright 2014 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.)

 


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Airlines Halt Flights to Israel Over Missile Concerns http://www.kristv.com/news/airlines-halt-flights-to-israel-over-missile-concerns/ http://www.kristv.com/news/airlines-halt-flights-to-israel-over-missile-concerns/ World News Tue, 22 Jul 2014 1:50:04 PM Associated Press Airlines Halt Flights to Israel Over Missile Concerns

In a sign of increased caution about flying near combat zones, U.S. and European airlines halted flights to Israel Tuesday after a rocket landed near Tel Aviv's Ben Gurion Airport.

Delta Air Lines and United Airlines suspended service between the U.S. and Israel indefinitely. US Airways scrapped its one flight to Tel Aviv Tuesday. Germany's Lufthansa and Air France also suspended flights. The actions come days after a Malaysia Airlines jet was shot down over eastern Ukraine with 298 people on board.

Following the action by the U.S. airlines, the Federal Aviation Administration prohibited U.S. airlines from flying to the Tel Aviv airport for 24 hours.

The Israelis are fighting Hamas militants in the Gaza Strip in the third war in just over 5 years. Israeli police confirmed that a rocket from Gaza landed in an area near the airport. Police spokeswomen Luba Samri said Tuesday's rocket landing was the closest to the airport since fighting began on July 8.

Malaysia Airlines Flight 17 was shot down over eastern Ukraine Thursday while flying at 33,000 feet. Some experts have second-guessed the airline's decision to fly over an area where pro-Russian separatists are battling the Ukrainian army. But Malaysian officials have countered that the plane's path from Amsterdam to Kuala Lumpur was approved by international regulators.

Aviation and legal experts said Tuesday that airlines are now taking risk assessment into their own hands, both for the safety of passengers and to avoid claims of negligence.

Aviation consultant Robert Mann said airlines are becoming more proactive in the wake of the Fligth 17 disaster.

"It's really forcing every carrier, every business jet operator to do their own due diligence, do their own risk assessment, given the geopolitical situation," Mann said.

Jonathan Reiter, a prominent New York aviation-accident attorney, said flying into an airport after a near-miss by a rocket could be used to show that the airline was negligent. That explains why airlines are suspending service to Israel.

"I'm sure it is human concern as well," Reiter said, "but I think (the airlines) feel it is wise to err on the side of caution because it is their burden to prove they are doing everything possible to avoid injuries and deaths."

Delta's one daily flight was already in the air. A Delta Boeing 747 from New York was flying over the Mediterranean headed for Tel Aviv when it turned around and flew to Paris instead. Flight 468 had 273 passengers and 17 crew on board. US Airways and United flights that were scheduled to take off later in the day. A Delta spokesman declined to go beyond the details released in a statement.

Israel's Transportation Ministry called on the airlines to reverse their decision and said it was trying to explain that the airport was "safe for landings and departures."

"Ben-Gurion Airport is safe and completely guarded and there is no reason whatsoever that American companies would stop their flights and hand terror a prize," it said in a statement.

Casey Norton, a spokesman for US Airways' parent company American Airlines, said the airline is "in constant contact with the FAA and are monitoring the situation closely." The airline has not yet made a decision about flights to Israel scheduled for Wednesday and beyond, he said.

(Copyright 2014 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.)

 


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Train Carrying Remains of MH17 Bodies Arrives In Ukraine http://www.kristv.com/news/train-carrying-remains-of-mh17-bodies-arrives-in-ukraine/ http://www.kristv.com/news/train-carrying-remains-of-mh17-bodies-arrives-in-ukraine/ World News Tue, 22 Jul 2014 6:52:43 AM Train Carrying Remains of MH17 Bodies Arrives In Ukraine

UKRAINE - A train carrying the remains of victims of Malaysia Airlines Flight 17 has arrived in Ukrainian government territory.

Around 200 body bags were on the train, which arrived in the city of Kharkiv today.

The bodies will be taken to the Netherlands for identification.

The train left a town near the crash site yesterday after Malaysia's Prime Minister agreed with the separatists for the recovered bodies to be handed over to authorities in the Netherlands.

That's where two-thirds of the victims came from.

Also in eastern Ukraine today, a separatist leader handed over the plane's black boxes to Malaysian officials in Donetsk.

Experts have called for a full forensic sweep of the crash site amid suggestions some of the evidence may have been tampered with.

A Malaysian investigator said the black boxes were in good condition.

 


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Suicide Bomber Kills 4 Foreign Guards in Kabul http://www.kristv.com/news/suicide-bomber-kills-4-foreign-guards-in-kabul/ http://www.kristv.com/news/suicide-bomber-kills-4-foreign-guards-in-kabul/ World News Tue, 22 Jul 2014 4:03:28 AM Suicide Bomber Kills 4 Foreign Guards in Kabul

KABUL, Afghanistan (AP) - A suicide bomber on a motorcycle targeted a police compound housing foreign advisers in Kabul on Tuesday, killing four foreign security guards and wounding six, Afghan officials said.

The attacker struck at the gates of the compound, which houses foreign advisers to the Afghan government as well as the office of the deputy minister for counter-narcotics in the heart of the country's capital, said deputy interior minister, Gen. Mohammad Ayoub Salangi.

The nationality of the killed guards was not immediately disclosed.

Taliban spokesman Zabihullah Mujahid claimed responsibility for the attack in a statement sent to media.

A police spokesman, Sayed Mahdi Kazimi, said the attacker managed to reach the entrance gate of the compound and detonated his motorbike packed with explosives in the morning hours.

The Taliban frequently use roadside bombs and suicide attacks against Afghan and NATO forces and government offices in the country.

Half an hour after the motorcycle bombing, another explosion wounded an Afghan civilian, said Hashmat Stanikzai, a spokesman for the Kabul police chief.

The attacks and the violence are shaping up as a major test of the Afghan government's ability to maintain security in volatile areas after foreign combat troops leave by the end of 2014.

(Copyright 2014 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.)

 


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Syria Girl Rescued After Airstrike http://www.kristv.com/news/syria-girl-rescued-after-airstrike/ http://www.kristv.com/news/syria-girl-rescued-after-airstrike/ World News Tue, 22 Jul 2014 3:53:12 AM Syria Girl Rescued After Airstrike

SYRIA - Video uploaded online purports to show the aftermath of airstrikes on the Syrian city of Aleppo, including a rescue attempt for a girl trapped under rubble.

Syrian emergency service workers worked to rescue the small girl, who was trapped underneath a table after an airstrike in what was claimed to be Aleppo.

Civil defense workers said the trapped girl and her mother were both rescued.

Another video said to be shot in Aleppo over the weekend showed firefighters tackling a blazing building, again said to be in the aftermath of airstrikes.

Purported rebels were also seen targeting locations said to be held by forces loyal to Syrian President Bashar Al-Assad in both Deraa and Reef Idlib.

NBC cannot independently verify the content of these videos.

Earlier this month, Syrian armed forces took strategic ground around Aleppo, according to residents and state media, squeezing the main rebel supply line into the city after months of battlefield gains by Damascus.

Syria's war has killed 160-thousand people.

 


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Rebels Release Train With Bodies From Downed Jet http://www.kristv.com/news/rebels-release-train-with-bodies-from-downed-jet-371554/ http://www.kristv.com/news/rebels-release-train-with-bodies-from-downed-jet-371554/ World News Mon, 21 Jul 2014 9:54:40 PM Associated Press Rebels Release Train With Bodies From Downed Jet

UKRAINE (AP) - Bowing to international pressure, pro-Moscow separatists released a train packed with bodies and handed over the black boxes from the downed Malaysia Airlines plane, four days after it plunged into rebel-held eastern Ukraine.

With body parts decaying in sweltering heat and signs that evidence at the crash site was mishandled, anger in Western capitals has mounted at the rebels and their allies in Moscow. Their reluctant cooperation will soothe mourning families and help investigators, but may do little to reconcile the East-West powers struggling over Ukraine's future.

Russia's Defense Ministry said Monday it saw no evidence a missile was fired and denied involvement in the downing of Flight 17 - and suggested the Ukrainian military was at fault. President Vladimir Putin spoke out but showed no sign of abandoning the separatists as fighting flared anew near the site of the crash.

President Barack Obama accused the rebels of tampering with evidence and insulting victims' families, warning of new sanctions. Europeans will consider their own sanctions Tuesday.

The bodies of the 298 victims, most from the Netherlands, have become a part of the conflict in Ukraine because they could hold evidence of what brought the plane down on July 17 as it was flying from Amsterdam to Kuala Lumpur.

Grief turned to anger as families begged to get the bodies of their loved ones back, while the separatists held on to the remains.

"Bodies are just lying there for three days in the hot sun. There are people who have this on their conscience," said Silene Fredriksz-Hoogzand, whose son, Bryce, and his girlfriend Daisy Oehlers died on their way to a vacation in Bali, in an interview with The Associated Press in the Netherlands. "When I am in my bed at night, I see my son lying on the ground. ... They have to come home, not only those two. Everybody has to come home."

International forensics experts finally gained access to the crash site Monday - an emotional experience for the head of the Dutch National Forensic Investigations Team, Peter Van Vliet. Seeing the wreckage gave him goosebumps, he said.

The team stumbled across remains that had not yet been removed and inspected the perished passengers' luggage.

In Torez, a rebel-held town 15 kilometers (9 miles) from the crash site, inspectors bowed heads and clasped hands before climbing aboard refrigerated train cars holding the collected bodies. Armed rebels surrounded them, while commuters boarded other trains nearby.

The smell of decay was overwhelming. Workers wore masks, while passersby twisted their faces in horror at the odor. Temperatures hit 84 degrees F (29 degrees C), and a train engineer told the AP that a power outage had hit the refrigeration system temporarily overnight.

The rebels in Torez did not appear too conciliatory as the tense day wore on. They repeatedly tried to block reporters from access to the visiting experts, growing more aggressive throughout.

Late Monday, trucks arrived at the Torez station with plastic bags apparently filled with body parts, as well as piles of luggage - suitcases, backpacks, a purse with a Louis Vuitton label.

Ukrainian authorities said the total number of bodies recovered was 282.

Dutch investigators demanded the separatists transfer the bodies immediately, and the rebels complied after several hours.

With a long whistle and puff of smoke, the train bearing the bodies pulled slowly out of the station. Rebels holding automatic rifles walked alongside as it chugged away, a cluster of children on bicycles looking on.

It was headed through troubled territory, its destination not 100 percent clear.

Dutch Prime Minister Mark Rutte said the train was heading for the rebel-held city of Donetsk, 50 kilometers (30 miles) west of the crash site, and then on to Kharkiv, site of a crisis center controlled by the Ukrainian government. He said Ukrainian authorities have agreed to let the bodies be transferred from there to the Netherlands for identification, but gave no time frame.

Early Tuesday, the rebels handed over both black boxes from Flight 17 to Malaysian investigators in Donetsk. A rebel leader, Alexander Borodai, said the orange-colored flight recorders were being handed over to Malaysian officials on the condition that they would be delivered to experts at the International Civil Aviation Organization.

"I can see that the black box is intact even though a little bit damaged, but in a good condition," Col. Mohamad Sakri of the Malaysian National Security Council. He added that the number one priority was for the bodies of the victims to be delivered to Amsterdam.

Earlier Monday, a team of international observers at the sprawling crash site described strange behavior by workers.

"When we were leaving, we observed workers there hacking into the fuselage with gas-powered equipment," OSCE spokesman Michael Bociurkiw told reporters in Donetsk.

He said there was no security perimeter Monday at one of the bigger debris fields, and monitors saw that one of the largest pieces of the plane "had somewhat been split or moved apart."

In Washington, Obama asked, "What exactly are they trying to hide?"

"This is an insult to those who have lost loved ones. This is the kind of behavior that has no place in the community of nations," he said.

On Sunday, the U.S. said there was "powerful" evidence that the rebels had shot down the plane with a Russian surface-to-air missile, including video of a rocket launcher, one surface-to-air missile missing, being driven away from the likely launch site; imagery showing the firing; phone calls claiming credit for the missile strike and phone recordings said to reveal a cover-up at the crash site.

The Russian Defense Ministry offered its own evidence Monday, showing photos it said proved that Ukrainian surface-to-air systems were operating in the area before the crash - nine times alone the day the plane was brought down.

Russian officials also said they had evidence a Ukrainian Su-25 fighter jet had flown "between 3 to 5 kilometers (2 to 3 miles)" from the Malaysia Airlines jet.

"(The plane) is armed with air-to-air R-60 rockets, which can hit a target from a distance of up to 12 kilometers (7 miles) and guaranteed within 5 kilometers (3 miles)," said the chief of Russia's General staff, Lt. Gen. Andrei Kartopolov.

Defense Ministry officials insisted Russia had not given the rebels any surface-to-air missiles - and said they have no evidence that any missiles were launched at all. They asked the U.S. to share any satellite images of the launch.

Putin accused others of exploiting the downing of the plane for "mercenary objectives." He said Kiev authorities had reignited the fighting after a unilateral cease-fire expired without progress on peace talks.

At the U.N., the Security Council unanimously adopted a resolution demanding international access to the crash site and an end to military activities around the area, following intense pressure on a reluctant Russia to support the measure.

Fighting in eastern Ukraine began in mid-April after Russia annexed Ukraine's southern Crimean Peninsula a month earlier.

Battles erupted again Monday between the separatists and government troops in Donetsk, according to city authorities. An AP reporter heard several explosions and saw smoke rising from the direction of the city airport.


(Copyright 2014 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.)

 


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Pressure Mounts for Rebels to Assist in Crash Investigation http://www.kristv.com/news/pressure-mounts-for-rebels-to-assist-in-crash-investigation/ http://www.kristv.com/news/pressure-mounts-for-rebels-to-assist-in-crash-investigation/ World News Mon, 21 Jul 2014 1:14:24 PM Associated Press Pressure Mounts for Rebels to Assist in Crash Investigation

HRABOVE, Ukraine (AP) - A refrigerated train carrying Malaysia Airlines victims' bodies pulled away Monday from a rebel-held town in eastern Ukraine, one small step forward in easing the agony of their grieving families.

In an emotional inspection hours earlier, Dutch experts had called for a full forensic sweep of the Flight 17 crash site and told the armed separatists controlling the area that the train must be allowed to leave as soon as possible.

Four days after someone shot the Boeing 777 out of the sky, killing 298 people, pressure was growing on Russian President Vladimir Putin to rein in the insurgents and allow a full-scale investigation into the downing of the plane. The U.S., Ukraine and others say Moscow has armed the rebels, a charge Russia denies.

In Washington, President Barack Obama demanded that international investigators get full access to the crash site and accused the separatists of removing evidence and blocking investigators.

"What exactly are they trying to hide?" Obama asked, a day after the U.S. presented what it called "powerful" evidence that the rebels had shot down the plane with a Russian surface-to-air missile.

At the U.N. in New York, the Security Council was voting later Monday on an Australia-proposed resolution demanding international access to the crash site and a cease-fire around the area. Australian Prime Minister Tony Abbott said his country would view a Russian veto of the resolution "very badly," adding that "no reasonable person" could object to its wording.

Fighting flared again between the separatists and government troops in the eastern rebel-held city of Donetsk, just 50 kilometers (30 miles) to the west of the crash site. City authorities said battles took place Monday near the town's airport. An AP reporter heard several explosions and saw smoke rising from that direction.

After the train with the bodies left the town of Torez, two military jets also flew overhead and black smoke was seen rising in the distance.

Fighting began in mid-April in eastern Ukraine after Russia annexed Ukraine's southern Crimean Peninsula a month earlier.

There is great concern in the Netherlands about the bodies, since 192 of the plane's 298 victims were Dutch and another was Dutch-American. Dutch Prime Minister Mark Rutte said Monday that repatriating the bodies was his "No. 1 priority."

An Associated Press reporter saw the train with the bodies leaving Torez, a rebel-held town 15 kilometers (9 miles) from the plane crash site, and overheard rebels saying it was heading for the rebel-held town of Ilovaysk. The Ukrainian government later said the train was eventually heading to a crisis center in the government-controlled eastern city of Kharkiv.

In farm fields near the eastern village of Hrabove, Peter van Vliet, leader of the group from the Dutch National Forensic Investigations Team visiting Ukraine, said seeing the crash site gave him goose bumps despite the heat. Workers recovered 21 more bodies from the site Monday, bringing the total to 272 bodies, Ukrainian Prime Minister Arseniy Yatsenyuk said.

The Dutch team - which specializes in victim recovery and identification - saw some victims' remains that had not yet been removed from the crash site. They also inspected piles of passenger luggage, suggesting that they be put in a container and shipped out.

At the Torez train station, the Dutch investigators stood for a moment with their heads bowed and their hands clasped before climbing aboard to inspect the train cars, surrounded by armed rebels.

AP journalists said the smell of decay was overwhelming at the Torez train station and many with the inspectors wore masks or pressed cloths to their faces on the sunny, 84 degree Fahrenheit (29 degrees Celsius) day. A Ukrainian train engineer told The Associated Press that a power outage had hit the rail cars' refrigeration system for several hours overnight.

In Kharkiv, another team of international experts arrived, including 23 Dutch, three Australians, two Germans, two Americans, and one person from the U.K.

In Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia's prime minister said the rebels agreed to hand over both black boxes from Flight 17 to Malaysian investigators in Ukraine later Monday.

The U.S. evidence that the rebels were involved in downing the plan included video of a rocket launcher, one surface-to-air missile missing, leaving the likely launch site; imagery showing the firing; phone calls claiming credit for the missile strike and phone recordings said to reveal a cover-up at the crash site.

"A buildup of extraordinary circumstantial evidence ... it's powerful here," said U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry. "Russia is supporting these separatists. Russia is arming these separatists. Russia is training these separatists."

Putin lashed out against the criticism Monday, accusing others of exploiting the downing of the plane for "mercenary objectives."

Putin said Russia was doing everything possible to allow a team of experts from the International Civil Aviation Organization, a U.N. agency, to investigate the scene. He again criticized Ukrainian government authorities in Kiev, saying they had reignited the fighting with the rebels after a unilateral cease-fire expired without progress on peace talks.

"If fighting in eastern Ukraine had not been renewed on June 28, this tragedy would not have happened," Putin said. "Nobody should or does have a right to use this tragedy for such mercenary objectives."

The head of counterintelligence for Ukraine's SBU security service, Vitaliy Najda, has said the Buk missile launchers came from Russia and called on Russia to supply the names of the service personnel "who brought about the launch of the missile" so they could be questioned. He said the rebels could not have operated the sophisticated weapon without Russian help but did not provide specific evidence for his claim.

In Moscow, Russian officials offered evidence Monday to counter U.S. claims that the rebels were responsible for shooting down the jet. The Defense Ministry showed photos they said proved that Ukrainian surface-to-air systems were operating in the area before the crash - nine times alone on Thursday, the day the plane was brought down.

Russian officials also said they had evidence that a Ukrainian Su-25 fighter jet had flown "between 3 to 5 kilometers (2 to 3 miles)" from the Malaysia Airlines jet.

"(The plane) is armed with air-to-air R-60 rockets, which can hit a target from a distance of up to 12 kilometers (7 miles) and guaranteed within 5 kilometers (3 miles)," said the chief of Russia's General staff, Andrei Kartopolov.

The defense ministry officials also insisted that Russia had not given the rebels any surface-to-air missiles and added they have no evidence that any missiles were launched at all. They asked the U.S. to share any satellite images of the launch.

In the Netherlands, victims' families were being consoled Monday by the Dutch royals.

___

McHugh contributed from Kiev. AP staff writers Laura Mills and Nataliya Vasilyeva reported from Moscow and Mike Corder contributed from The Hague, Netherlands.

(Copyright 2014 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.)

 


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Clashes Between Rival Militias in Libya Kill 47 http://www.kristv.com/news/clashes-between-rival-militias-in-libya-kill-47/ http://www.kristv.com/news/clashes-between-rival-militias-in-libya-kill-47/ World News Mon, 21 Jul 2014 12:39:39 PM Associated Press Clashes Between Rival Militias in Libya Kill 47

CAIRO (AP) - Clashes between rival Libyan militias fighting for control of the capital's international airport killed 47 people over the last week, Libya's Health Ministry said, as violence in an eastern city killed five.

The weeklong battle in Tripoli began when Islamist-led militias - mostly from the western city of Misrata - launched a surprise assault on the airport, under control of rival militias from the western mountain town of Zintan.

The clashes resumed Sunday after cease-fire efforts failed. On Monday, the burned-out shell of an Airbus A330 sat on the tarmac, a $113 million passenger jet for Libya's state-owned Afriqiyah Airways destroyed in the fighting.

"This was the pride of the Libyan fleet," Abdelkader Mohammed Ahmed, Libya's transportation minister, told journalists at the airport. "This airplane used to fly to South Africa, Bangladesh and China."

Inside the airport, closed since last Monday, the fighting left holes in the ceiling and scattered bits of its roof strewn across the floor.

The ministry said on its website late Sunday that the fighting killed 47 people and wounded 120. It also said it had not yet received the full casualty report.

Libya is witnessing one of its worst spasms of violence since the ouster of longtime dictator Moammar Gadhafi in 2011. All the militias fighting around the airport are on the government's payroll since successive transitional authorities have depended on them to restore order.

The rival militias, made up largely of former rebels, have forced a weeklong closure of gas stations and government offices.

In recent days, armed men have attacked vehicles carrying money from the Central Bank to local banks, forcing their closure.

Libyan government officials and activists have increasingly been targeted in the violence. Gunmen kidnapped two lawmakers in the western suburbs of Tripoli on Sunday, a parliament statement said.

In Libya's second-largest city of Benghazi, five troops were killed in an attack by Islamist militias on a barrack occupied by forces allied with Gen. Khalifa Hifter, a renegade general who has vowed to crush Islamic militias, a security official said. The assault early Monday wounded 29, the official said.

The official spoke on condition of anonymity because he was not authorized to speak to journalists.

In the past two days in Benghazi, the birthplace of anti-Gadhafi uprising, gunmen killed an army officer while he was driving home and a former special forces officer.

Meanwhile, a helicopter crashed in Benghazi while transporting cash to the eastern city of Bayda because of technical failure, according to a Joint Security Committee of Benghazi statement, posted on its official website. One person killed in the crash, it said, offering no other details.

The deteriorating security conditions prompted the U.N. Support Mission in Libya last week to say it was temporarily withdrawing its staff. On Monday, Libya's official news agency reported that the International Committee of the Red Cross announced its withdrawal from Libya as well.

(Copyright 2014 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.)

 


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Hamas Seeks End to 7-Year Blockade by Israel http://www.kristv.com/news/hamas-seeks-end-to-7-year-blockade-by-israel/ http://www.kristv.com/news/hamas-seeks-end-to-7-year-blockade-by-israel/ World News Mon, 21 Jul 2014 11:27:20 AM Associated Press Hamas Seeks End to 7-Year Blockade by Israel

GAZA CITY, Gaza Strip (AP) - The top Hamas leader in the Gaza Strip signaled Monday that the Islamic militant group will not agree to an unconditional cease-fire with Israel, saying that the aim of the current battle is to break a 7-year-old blockade of the Palestinian territory.

Ismail Haniyeh's comments came as U.N. chief Ban Ki-moon and U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry headed to Cairo for the highest-level cease-fire efforts since Israel-Hamas fighting erupted July 8.

More than 540 Palestinians and 20 Israelis have been killed in the past two weeks of fighting.

Last week, Egypt called for an unconditional cease-fire, to be followed by talks on easing the closure of Gaza. Israel accepted the proposal at the time, but Hamas rejected it, saying it wants guarantees first on lifting the closure.

The blockade was imposed by Israel and Egypt after Hamas overran Gaza in 2007. Over the past year, Egypt has further tightened restrictions, driving Hamas into a deep financial crisis.

Haniyeh said in a televised speech Monday that "we cannot go back, we cannot go back to the silent death" of the blockade.

He said all of Gaza's 1.7 million residents shared this demand.

"Gaza has decided to end the blockade by its blood and by its courage," he said. "This siege, this unjust siege, must be lifted."

(Copyright 2014 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.)

 


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Dutch: Plane Crash Site in Ukraine Needs Full Forensics Sweep http://www.kristv.com/news/dutch-plane-crash-site-in-ukraine-needs-full-forensics-sweep/ http://www.kristv.com/news/dutch-plane-crash-site-in-ukraine-needs-full-forensics-sweep/ World News Mon, 21 Jul 2014 11:18:44 AM Associated Press Dutch: Plane Crash Site in Ukraine Needs Full Forensics Sweep

HRABOVE, Ukraine (AP) - Dutch experts called Monday for a full forensic sweep of the site where Malaysia Airlines Flight 17 went down and told armed separatists guarding rail cars full of victims' bodies the train must be allowed to leave as soon as possible.

An Associated Press reporter witnessed the train carrying the victims leaving town today, but the destination is unknown.

Four days after the Boeing 777 was shot out of the sky, international investigators still had only limited access to the crash site, hindered by the pro-Russia fighters who control the verdant territory. Pressure was growing on Russian President Vladimir Putin - who the U.S., Ukraine and others say has armed the Russian-speaking rebels - to rein in the insurgents and allow a full-scale investigation into the downing of the plane.

Russia has denied backing the separatists.

In Washington, President Barack Obama demanded that international investigators get full access to the crash site and accused the separatists of removing evidence.

"What exactly are they trying to hide?" he asked, a day after the U.S. presented what it called "powerful" evidence that the rebels shot down the plane with a Russian surface-to-air Buk missile.

In farm fields near the eastern village of Hrabove, Peter Van Vilet, leader of the Dutch National Forensic Investigations Team visiting Ukraine, said seeing the crash site was an emotional experience that gave him goose bumps despite the heat.

The team - which specializes in victim recovery and identification - observed some victims' remains that had not yet been removed from the crash site and pressed the rebels to seal the refrigerated train cars parked in the rebel-held town of Torez, 15 kilometers (9 miles) away.

The Dutch team also inspected the plane luggage gathered at the crash site and suggested it be put in a container and shipped out.

At the U.N. in New York, the Security Council will vote later Monday on an Australia-proposed resolution demanding international access to the crash site and a cease-fire around the area. Australian Prime Minister Tony Abbott said his country would view a Russian veto of the resolution "very badly," adding that "no reasonable person" could object to its wording.

At the Torez train station, the Dutch investigators stood for a moment with their heads bowed and their hands clasped before climbing aboard to inspect the train cars, surrounded by armed rebels.

There is great concern in the Netherlands about the bodies, since 192 of the plane's 298 victims were Dutch and another was Dutch-American. Dutch Prime Minister Mark Rutte said Monday that repatriating the bodies was his "No. 1 priority."

AP journalists said the smell of decay was overwhelming at the Torez train station and many with the inspectors wore masks or pressed cloths to their faces on the sunny, 84 degree Fahrenheit (29 degrees Celsius) day. A Ukrainian train engineer told The Associated Press that a power outage had hit the rail cars' refrigeration system for several hours overnight but the power was back up Monday.

"I think the storage of the bodies is of good quality," Van Vilet said. "We got the promise the train is going."

It was not clear where the train would go. The Ukrainian government is hoping it will go to the government-controlled eastern city of Kharkiv, where it has set up a crash crisis center, but the rebels have not confirmed any movement yet.

In Kharkiv, another team of international experts arrived, including 23 Dutch, three Australians, two Germans, two Americans, and one person from the U.K.

At the charred crash site itself, emergency workers retrieved 21 more bodies Monday, bringing the total to 272 bodies, Ukrainian Prime Minister Arseniy Yatsenyuk said.

But fighting flared again between the separatists and government troops in the eastern rebel-held city of Donetsk, just 50 kilometers (30 miles) to the west of the crash site. City authorities said battles were taking place Monday near the town's airport. An AP reporter heard several explosions and saw smoke rising from that direction.

Fighting began in mid-April between the government and the Russian-speaking separatists in eastern Ukraine after Russia annexed Ukraine's Crimean Peninsula a month earlier.

The U.S. evidence that the rebels were involved in downing the plan included video of a rocket launcher, one surface-to-air missile missing, leaving the likely launch site; imagery showing the firing; phone calls claiming credit for the missile strike and phone recordings said to reveal a cover-up at the crash site.

"A buildup of extraordinary circumstantial evidence ... it's powerful here," said U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry. "Russia is supporting these separatists. Russia is arming these separatists. Russia is training these separatists."

Putin lashed out against the criticism Monday, accusing others of exploiting the downing of the plane for "mercenary objectives."

Putin said Russia was doing everything possible to allow a team of experts from the International Civil Aviation Organization, a U.N. agency, to investigate the scene. He again criticized Ukrainian government authorities in Kiev for reigniting the fighting with the rebels.

"If fighting in eastern Ukraine had not been renewed on June 28, this tragedy would not have happened," Putin said. "Nobody should or does have a right to use this tragedy for such mercenary objectives."

The head of counterintelligence for Ukraine's SBU security service, Vitaliy Najda, said the Buk missile launchers came from Russia and called on Russia to supply the names of the service personnel "who brought about the launch of the missile" so they could be questioned. He said the rebels could not have operated the sophisticated weapon without Russian help but did not provide specific evidence for his claim.

In Moscow, Russian officials offered evidence Monday to counter U.S. claims that the rebels were responsible for shooting down the jet. The Defense Ministry showed photos they said proved that Ukrainian surface-to-air systems were operating in the area before the crash - nine times alone on Thursday, the day the plane was brought down.

Russian officials also said they had evidence that a Ukrainian Sukhoi Su-25 fighter jet had flown "between 3 to 5 kilometers (2 to 3 miles)" from the Malaysia Airlines jet.

"(The plane) is armed with air-to-air R-60 rockets, which can hit a target from a distance of up to 12 kilometers (7 miles) and guaranteed within 5 kilometers (3 miles)," said the chief of Russia's General staff, Andrei Kartopolov.

The defense ministry officials also insisted that Russia had not given the rebels any surface-to-air missiles and added they have no evidence that any missiles were launched at all. They asked the U.S. to share any satellite images of the launch.

In the Netherlands, victims' families were being consoled by the Dutch royals on Monday.

___

McHugh contributed from Kiev. AP staff writers Laura Mills and Nataliya Vasilyeva reported from Moscow and Mike Corder contributed from The Hague, Netherlands.

(Copyright 2014 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.)

 


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Palestinian Death Toll in Gaza Fighting at 501 http://www.kristv.com/news/palestinian-death-toll-in-gaza-fighting-at-501/ http://www.kristv.com/news/palestinian-death-toll-in-gaza-fighting-at-501/ World News Mon, 21 Jul 2014 3:31:56 AM Palestinian Death Toll in Gaza Fighting at 501

GAZA CITY, Gaza Strip (AP) - Gaza health officials say the death toll among Palestinians from the Israeli offensive in the coastal strip has reached 501 as the two sides count their dead following the bloodiest day of fighting so far in the two-week campaign.

Ashraf al-Kidra, a Gaza health ministry official, says rescue workers near the city of Khan Younis were digging out bodies from a home flattened in an Israeli air strike early Monday.

He says 20 bodies were found at the site and two people were pulled alive from the rubble overnight.

Following an emergency session late Sunday, the U.N. Security Council Sunday expressed "serious concern" about Gaza's rising civilian death toll and demanded an immediate end to the fighting.

Twenty Israelis also have died, including 13 soldiers killed in heavy fighting Sunday.

(Copyright 2014 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.)

 


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