18/07/2014 World News Today


18/07/2014

The latest national and international news, exploring the day's events from a global perspective.


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This is BBC World News Today with me Kasia Madera.

:00:00.:00:00.

US President Barack Obama says the Malaysia Airlines plane was

:00:07.:00:10.

shot down from an area controlled by pro-Russia

:00:11.:00:13.

People from at least ten countries were among

:00:14.:00:17.

the 298 who died when the plane came down near the Russian border.

:00:18.:00:22.

President Obama called it a global tragedy and calls for a ceasefire.

:00:23.:00:25.

A team of international investigators have arrived

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And Asian airliner was destroyed in European skies filled with citizens

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from many countries, so there has to be a credible international

:00:45.:00:45.

investigation into what happened. A team of international

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investigators have arrived at the crash site but separatists

:00:47.:00:48.

only give them limited access. I am Clive Myrie at Schipol Airport

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in the Netherlands where that flight, MH 17, took off yesterday.

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Two thirds of those who died are Dutch. This is a nation in mourning

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after one of its worst aircraft disasters.

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And in other news, 24 Palestinians and one Israeli

:01:12.:01:13.

soldier are killed as Israel's troops move further into Gaza.

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A global tragedy and an a grade one speakable proportions. That is how

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the US President Barack Obama described the shooting down of the

:01:40.:01:44.

Boeing 77 over Ukraine. 298 people died when flight MH 17

:01:45.:01:50.

from Amsterdam to Kuala Lumpur came down in an area controlled by

:01:51.:01:54.

pro-Russian separatists. Ten of the dead are British, and authorities in

:01:55.:01:58.

Kiev say they have evidence of -- Russian missal system was used to

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carry out the attack. We can go live now to Schipol

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Airport to speak to Clive Myrie. Hello from Schipol Airport. This is

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of course a very busy hub, usually, for hundreds, thousands of

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travellers every day, every week, wanting to get away from Europe. It

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is a very busy airport in deed and yesterday was no exception. In the

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morning, this flight, MH 17, was fully loaded and taking off on its

:02:28.:02:32.

way to Kuala Lumpur. Then all of a sudden it disappeared from radar

:02:33.:02:36.

screens. There was no distress signal or maybe, then the full

:02:37.:02:42.

horror of what happened became apparent. We know that many of those

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who died were Dutch nationals. This is a country in mourning and through

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the day there has been a steady stream of people leaving floral

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tributes in memory of those who died. Now, of course, the questions

:02:56.:03:02.

are being asked. Why was this plane flown over a war zone in eastern

:03:03.:03:07.

Ukraine? Why was that the route it took? And how did this plane

:03:08.:03:11.

actually followed of the sky? Was it the result of a missile attack?

:03:12.:03:18.

Let's eat the latest -- let's get the latest from the scene from

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Daniel Sandford, who has been to the area where the plane came down in

:03:22.:03:23.

eastern Ukraine. Hello and welcome.

:03:24.:03:26.

The stark horror of the field of debris were Flight MH17 crashed

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to earth. The place where the bitter war

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in eastern Ukraine suddenly ended the lives of people from

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around the world was this evening There was a very strong plane

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rumble, then there was a sort of explosion, and then people

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started falling from the sky. People were appearing right

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from the clouds. When we ran out, we saw part

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of a plane falling over our house. There were more parts of the plane

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in the yard and papers there, too. We also found this piece of a

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credit card from an American bank. And in the nearby summer fields

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of tall sunflowers, off-duty mine rs searching for the bodies

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of the passengers and crew who fell from the sky - almost 300 of them,

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their dreams and their futures The hopelessly inexperienced

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rescuers have found two thirds of the bodies but

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around 100 are still missing. The bodies, body parts and debris

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are spread over almost ten miles. It is a tragic

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and devastating scene, people's clothes and belongings and

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their life jackets are scattered You can still smell the death

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and the burning in the air. It is going to be a huge challenge

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for international investigators to With the rebel checkpoints

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and the closed airspace, it has taken us around 24 hours to

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get here from Moscow. There is confusion

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at the moment about who has the black box flight recorders, so it is

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hard for an investigation to start. The best theory is still that

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the plane was shot down by a sophisticated anti-aircraft

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missile fired by someone targeting a Ukrainian military plane,

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but it is not clear who. The Kiev government believes it was

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the rebels, or even the Russians. It claims these are pictures of a

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Buk launch a system being taken back We ask all respective governments to

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participate in this investigation, and to support the Ukrainian

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government to bring to justice to all these bustards who committed

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this international crime. But in Moscow, the man Kiev accuses

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of supplying the rebels with their sophisticated weaponry was

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keen to spread the blame. I express my condolences on

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behalf of the Russian Federation. I want to underline that this

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tragedy would not have happened if this land was at peace,

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or at least combat operations had It is obvious that the state

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on whose territory this happened But the US president said Vladimir

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Putin was not doing enough. There has to be

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a credible international The UN Security Council has endorsed

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this investigation and we will help all its members,

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including Russia, to do their work. and we will hold all its members,

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including Russia to their word. In order to facilitate that

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investigation, Russia, pro-Russian separatists and Ukraine must

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adhere to immediate cease-fire. Ukraine and Russia have been

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at daggers drawn since Russia took Things have only got worse

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since then and now almost 300 people - none

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of them Ukrainian or Russian - have 289 people died in all, 80 of them

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were children. The Australians, the Malaysians, the British, the ten

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Britons who died, the Dutch, of course. They all have stories to

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tell and their lives are interesting. Danny Savage now has

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some of the stories of those who perished on board MH 17.

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These pictures show passengers settling down on board Flight MH17

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yesterday, a familiar routine. But four hours later everyone

:07:36.:07:43.

on board this plane was dead, their lives cut short

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in an instant over Ukraine. In a back garden in Newcastle today,

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the father of one of the victims told me about his 28-year-old son he

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will never see again. Liam Sweeney grew

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from a schoolboy who loved Newcastle United to a young man who

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was on his way to watch them in New Ringing people on the emergency

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lines and whatever, hoping, to be honest with you, that one of

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those nine Britons was not my son. Horrible towards someone else,

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but you do think of your own I'd probably rather it was me

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sitting on the plane and not him. Liam was travelling with fellow

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lifeling fan John Alder. Friends today left tributes to him

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at the club. You turn around at Newcastle United,

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wherever we were playing, John was there in his suit, cheering

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his team on, showing his passion. The club has now set aside this

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dedicated area for the fans who they say were known to thousands

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of supporters, and in a statement Newcastle United say the loss of

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John and Liam is truly devastating. Also on board was 49-year-old

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Glenn Thomas from Blackpool, a press officer for the

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World Health Organisation. He was travelling to an AIDS

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conference in Australia. Other British people on

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the plane included Ben Pocock from Bristol, a student at Loughborough,

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and Richard Mayne, also a student, But it is the Dutch who bear

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the brunt of the death toll. Cor Schilder and Neeljte Tol were

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heading off on their holidays. She ran a flower shop

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in a small town north of Amsterdam. We can do nothing,

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that is the problem. All we can do is lay

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down flowers and think about them. It is a tragedy,

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I don't know what to say. Little shrines are popping up

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around the world now to remember This is the grief of family

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and friends which will last Let's get the perspective now from

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Moscow and Washington. Our diplomatic correspondent, Bridget

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Kendall con is in the Russian capital and Tom Esselmont is in

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Washington. Tom Palmer President Obama and his

:10:12.:10:15.

representative to the UN at that meeting of the Security Council

:10:16.:10:18.

today, have both made it clear that the Americans believe it was

:10:19.:10:23.

pro-Russian separatists who fired that missile undershot down this

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plane. What is there evidence? -- and shot down.

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That is a good question, because whatever evidence they are using we

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have not seen it. President Obama did say that he

:10:35.:10:40.

understands it was a surface-to-air missile that brought down the plane

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and that it was fired from eastern Ukraine, territory controlled by

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pro-Russian separatists. And that's those separatists have received over

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the last few months heavy weaponry across the from Russia, so therefore

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the American President Lee and responsibility for the downing of

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this plane at Russia's door. As you mentioned, the comments from the

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American president came hot on the heels of the statement read out at

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the UN Security Council by the American ambassador to the council,

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Samantha Power, in which she said that America could not rule out that

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the separatists had been receiving technical assistance from Russia in

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order to be able to fire such a missile. But, as yet, we have not

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seen the piece of evidence they are using to bring about these

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assertions. Let's go to you, Bridget, in Moscow.

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The Russians throughout the day have been making it clear that those

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separatists on the ground in eastern Ukraine do not have access to that

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kind of heavy sophisticated weaponry that can shoot down a commercial

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airliner at 33,000 feet. Do they have a point?

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Well, their argument all along has been that Russia has not been

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supplying heavy weaponry across the border, they do not control these

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rebel fighters in the East. All they wanted to do is to try and bring

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about a peaceful full ocean to a conflict that is in Ukraine.

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about a peaceful full ocean to a conflict that is -- peaceful

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solution to a conflict. They are saying, look at the Ukrainian

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government, they claim it is the Ukrainian government's campaign that

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includes strikes and the use of fighter jets that has caused a lot

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of civilian deaths already in eastern Ukraine and one should not

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rule out the possibility that the culpability for this incident could

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come from the other side. There is a sense, I feel, as though the

:12:40.:12:44.

Russians are being a bit defensive. They are not actually a great

:12:45.:12:47.

accusing Kiev of shooting down the plane, they are just making a more

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general point that it is supposed to control this territory and it is the

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one that has launched a campaign, so it should bear responsibility for

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what happens there, and it should have closed the air space if it was

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not to say. It feels a bit like there is uncertainty in Russia about

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what to do next, because if you think about it the eyes of the world

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are now on this little bit of territory again and exactly what is

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happening on that border. President Obama again today said to President

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Putin come as he and other leaders have been saying repeatedly. Close

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that border, make sure no fighters come across to make sure the

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conflict is not fuelled. It is difficult for President Putin as to

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how he might respond. Remember, the eyes of the world are on this. There

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were many other passengers on that plane, not just western citizens but

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Malaysians from other parts of the world, and they too will want to

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know what happened in this part of the world. Moscow has to be careful

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how it plays this. Back to you, Thomas in Washington.

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The call from much of the world has been for an independent,

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verifiable, transparent inquiry into what happened. That is very much the

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point the US representative to the UN made before the Security Council

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today. Are the Americans confident they will get that?

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Yes, it is interesting, because all sides, Russia included, have called

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for an independent and impartial investigation, but of course at some

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point they will have to be a conclusion to that investigation,

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one which cannot possibly satisfy one would think, all sides. America

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for its part has said it is sending its own experts to Ukraine, they are

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on their way now. As one would imagine, are those from other

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countries, as well, and people from the FBI and all sport -- also from

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the transport safety board who will fly there. Key question is...

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In Washington. But thank you anyway. Many thanks.

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What about the investigation itself, when it begins? We know that they

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view monitors have been allowed into the area by some of the separatists

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on the ground, but they had limited access to the crash site. As you

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were hearing there, the call from around the world is really for

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independent investigators to be able to get in there and find out exactly

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what happened. But it is, of course, in the middle of a war zone. This

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plane came down in rebel held territory in the east of Ukraine.

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Richard Wescott has been looking at the main focus of the investigation.

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Investigators will be desperate to secure the crash scene as soon as

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possible. Right now, there is no guarantee evidence has not been

:15:52.:15:54.

moved or even taken away by the people there. It won't be an easy

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investigation. The Ukrainians would normally take charge, but the crash

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site is in an area controlled by the people they are fighting. However,

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one former investigator who worked on the Lockerbie bombing says that

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once experts arrive, it should be full of clues. If you have a missile

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warhead explosion or an explosion of a bomb on board a neck raft, the

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services that get washed by the blast tend to have traces of the

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explosive left on them. So it is possible then to swab the surface,

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send that off to a laboratory, and it is relatively easy to identify

:16:35.:16:39.

the actual explosive. It's a missile from a launcher like this one that

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they will be looking for, a Russian-made Buk. It is radar guided

:16:44.:16:47.

and easily able to reach the aircraft. The maximum range is more

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than double the altitude of the airliner. Expert operators, like

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state armies, are trained to identify what they are aiming at

:16:57.:17:00.

before firing. But in the wrong hands, it is easy to make a mistake.

:17:01.:17:05.

They may well have had enough training to get a lock on the target

:17:06.:17:09.

and scan for targets, but maybe not enough to understand the full

:17:10.:17:11.

intricacies of the system, so, for example, turning between different

:17:12.:17:16.

transponder codes which would indicate a civilian rather than

:17:17.:17:20.

military aircraft. There are now questions about why airliner were

:17:21.:17:23.

flying over a conflict zone. These radar tracks show that the same

:17:24.:17:30.

route has been used for some time, because it had been officially

:17:31.:17:34.

declared safe above 32,000 feet. Malaysia Airlines were not alone.

:17:35.:17:38.

Love plans are also used it, along with dozens of other airlines. Look

:17:39.:17:44.

at this. British Airways decided to avoid Ukraine altogether.

:17:45.:17:46.

Incidentally, this is the radar picture from earlier today. You can

:17:47.:17:50.

see the column of aircraft now skirting around the danger zone. So

:17:51.:17:56.

where does the investigation go from here? As ever, recovering the black

:17:57.:18:01.

boxes is vital. One records and sounds in the cockpit. Anyone with a

:18:02.:18:08.

stake in the flight will want to be involved. It is a Malaysia Airlines,

:18:09.:18:12.

an American aircraft with British engines made by Rolls-Royce, and

:18:13.:18:15.

there were at least ten nationalities on board. It is going

:18:16.:18:19.

to be one of the most controversial aircraft investigations ever made,

:18:20.:18:30.

and one of the most closely watched. Back now to those who died, whose

:18:31.:18:34.

lives were lost. This is an international tragedy, there is no

:18:35.:18:38.

doubt. But people in the Netherlands have paid the highest price, and

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there is not just sadness and grief at the loss of life, there is also a

:18:42.:18:46.

sense that it was unavoidable, that it was not a technical fault or bad

:18:47.:18:50.

weather that caused this plane to come down. It was a missile that

:18:51.:18:55.

shot down this aircraft. Those are the indications from the analysis so

:18:56.:19:01.

far. Basically, it was human being intervention, man-made

:19:02.:19:04.

intervention, that caused this tragedy. And with that, it is back

:19:05.:19:19.

to you. Thank you very much. We will

:19:20.:19:22.

continue to monitor that, but here is the main bellwether of the main

:19:23.:19:24.

story of the day. Israeli troops have pushed deeper

:19:25.:19:26.

into Gaza on the second day Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu

:19:27.:19:28.

said he had told his military to prepare for

:19:29.:19:31.

a possible "significant'' expansion of the operation to destroy tunnels

:19:32.:19:33.

and rocket launchers. The United Nations says the number

:19:34.:19:44.

of displaced Palestinians has almost doubled to 40,000 today. Our chief

:19:45.:19:49.

international correspondent reports. Late last night, Israeli soldiers

:19:50.:19:57.

crossed into Gaza on foot. Backed up by tanks and artillery, a major

:19:58.:20:05.

escalation in its military campaign. This morning, families are on the

:20:06.:20:10.

run. They can move and sits next to the Israeli border. Taking as much

:20:11.:20:18.

as they can carry, they are fleeing. They go as fast as they can. We were

:20:19.:20:27.

sitting in our houses, this woman cries. They started shelling us. We

:20:28.:20:32.

went to a relative's has, and they started shelling there. Israel says

:20:33.:20:38.

its forces are searching for tunnels used by Palestinian militants for

:20:39.:20:42.

cross-border raids. Barnett tunnels here? Why is this area targeted?

:20:43.:20:51.

TRANSLATION: There are no tunnels. There is nothing in our area here.

:20:52.:20:59.

That is just what they want to tell other countries to justify this.

:21:00.:21:03.

This is one of the key areas they are targeting. We have heard shells

:21:04.:21:07.

being fired and artillery in the last hour. We have seen families on

:21:08.:21:12.

the run, running in every possible direction, not sure where this

:21:13.:21:15.

military operation is going. Not sure where they should go for

:21:16.:21:23.

safety. In Israel this morning, the Prime

:21:24.:21:26.

Minister convened his security cabinet. TRANSLATION: We chose to

:21:27.:21:33.

start this operation after we exhausted other options, and out of

:21:34.:21:36.

an understanding that without the operation, the price we may pay

:21:37.:21:42.

could be much higher. Israel is already warning it could

:21:43.:21:46.

significantly widen its military operations. More reservists have

:21:47.:21:54.

been called up. Israel says it is not seeking to topple Hamas, which

:21:55.:21:59.

controls Gaza, but today, we witnessed another air strike

:22:00.:22:07.

targeting its leaders. Hamas says it will not destroy them.

:22:08.:22:12.

To discuss this further we're joined by Fawaz Gerges,

:22:13.:22:14.

Professor of Middle Eastern politics at the London School of Economics,

:22:15.:22:17.

and from Washington by David Pollock, a fellow at the Washington

:22:18.:22:19.

Gentlemen, thank you very much for coming in. We have obviously been

:22:20.:22:34.

here before. David, let me ask you first, what is Israel hoping to

:22:35.:22:38.

achieve by this? Are they hoping to topple Hamas? I don't think so.

:22:39.:22:45.

Although I think Hamas will be weakened as a result of this. I

:22:46.:22:51.

think Israel's primary goal is just to stop Hamas rocket fire into

:22:52.:22:56.

Israel, and that is why Israel accented the cease-fire a few days

:22:57.:23:01.

ago, and when Hamas didn't and kept shooting rockets into Israel, the

:23:02.:23:07.

Israelis expanded their operation, hoping that maybe that would

:23:08.:23:11.

convince Hamas to stop all fours it to stop. Why did Hamas not accept

:23:12.:23:19.

that truce? Hamas leaders say first of all they were not consulted on

:23:20.:23:22.

the Egyptian cease-fire initiative, and only found out about it from

:23:23.:23:25.

press reports. This tells you a good deal. We have many reports coming

:23:26.:23:29.

out from Israel that Egypt consulted Israel and the US, but did not

:23:30.:23:34.

consult Hamas. Hamas leaders also say that the cease-fire initiative

:23:35.:23:37.

presents Hamas with a stark choice. If you reject the cease-fire

:23:38.:23:40.

initiative, you will face all out war by Israel. And if you accept the

:23:41.:23:51.

initiative, practice where one, and square one for Hamas leaders means

:23:52.:23:54.

bleeding in a slow death, because remember, Hamas in Gaza are

:23:55.:23:59.

encircled and besieged by both Israel and Egypt, and this

:24:00.:24:07.

particular siege sees Israel starving in bleeding Hamas. It

:24:08.:24:11.

doesn't have the resources to govern in Gaza. The economic situation is

:24:12.:24:16.

horrible, and it is facing an accident predicament. That is why

:24:17.:24:20.

they want basically to change the terms of the cease-fire initiative

:24:21.:24:26.

into basically, stopping the eight year blockade imposed by Israel and

:24:27.:24:31.

Gaza and opening the crossing with Egypt in order to bring supplies and

:24:32.:24:35.

resources into Gaza. David, do you think that is something Israel will

:24:36.:24:40.

accept? First of all, I think it is really important to point out that

:24:41.:24:48.

Israel does not impose a siege or blockade on Gaza. In fact, Israel

:24:49.:24:53.

allows goods and people to go in and out of Gaza in a controlled

:24:54.:24:57.

fashion. Every single day, even during this conflict. Over 100

:24:58.:25:03.

trucks crossed into Gaza delivering food, medicine, and other supplies,

:25:04.:25:11.

and every single day, Israel's supplying Gaza with water and

:25:12.:25:13.

electricity, so this is not a blockade. I think the question

:25:14.:25:20.

really is more to Egypt than two Israel, will Egypt lift its blockade

:25:21.:25:28.

of Gaza by opening the crossing not just to a few emergency humanitarian

:25:29.:25:33.

cases or to evacuating foreigners, from Gaza, but for Palestinians to

:25:34.:25:38.

go in and out, and for goods to go in and out. I don't think Egypt,

:25:39.:25:42.

especially under the new Egyptian government, is likely to access

:25:43.:25:45.

that, and so there will be pressure on Israel to further relax any

:25:46.:25:50.

restrictions that it places on traffic in and out of Gaza. That is

:25:51.:25:55.

a point, isn't it? Hamas has lost one of its regional supporters. It

:25:56.:26:00.

clearly has. The Egyptian role shifted from an ally of Hamas to a

:26:01.:26:06.

bitter enemy. There is a regional rivalry now between Egypt on the one

:26:07.:26:09.

hand and basically, it does not really want Hamas to gain any

:26:10.:26:13.

political leverage, and Turkey, who basically have influence over Hamas.

:26:14.:26:20.

This is why the Palestinian president is basically now flying to

:26:21.:26:27.

Turkey, to talk to the leaders of Turkey and Qatar. The reality is,

:26:28.:26:33.

Gaza is the biggest prison in the world. Verratti million people in

:26:34.:26:37.

Gaza who have been suffering for the last eight years. I'm sure David

:26:38.:26:40.

would want to comment on that, but we are out of time. It seems we need

:26:41.:26:44.

an awful lot of time to discuss this topic. Thank you very much for me

:26:45.:26:50.

and dash-macro from the team. Goodbye.

:26:51.:26:56.

We ended the week with some thunderstorms, but be prepared as an

:26:57.:27:06.

torrential downpour through Saturday. They are scattered across

:27:07.:27:10.

various parts of the UK. Getting the detail, timing and distribution

:27:11.:27:12.

right will not

:27:13.:27:13.

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