18/07/2014 World News Today


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This is BBC World News Today with me Kasia Madera.


US President Barack Obama says the Malaysia Airlines plane was


shot down from an area controlled by pro-Russia


People from at least ten countries were among


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


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


A team of international investigators have arrived


And Asian airliner was destroyed in European skies filled with citizens


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


investigation into what happened. A team of international


investigators have arrived at the crash site but separatists


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


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


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


after one of its worst aircraft disasters.


And in other news, 24 Palestinians and one Israeli


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


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


the US President Barack Obama described the shooting down of the


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


eastern Ukraine. Hello and welcome.


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


to earth. The place where the bitter war


in eastern Ukraine suddenly ended the lives of people from


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


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


started falling from the sky. People were appearing right


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


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


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


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


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


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


their dreams and their futures The hopelessly inexperienced


rescuers have found two thirds of the bodies but


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


are spread over almost ten miles. It is a tragic


and devastating scene, people's clothes and belongings and


their life jackets are scattered You can still smell the death


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


for international investigators to With the rebel checkpoints


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


get here from Moscow. There is confusion


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


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


the plane was shot down by a sophisticated anti-aircraft


missile fired by someone targeting a Ukrainian military plane,


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


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


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


participate in this investigation, and to support the Ukrainian


government to bring to justice to all these bustards who committed


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


of supplying the rebels with their sophisticated weaponry was


keen to spread the blame. I express my condolences on


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


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


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


on whose territory this happened But the US president said Vladimir


Putin was not doing enough. There has to be


a credible international The UN Security Council has endorsed


this investigation and we will help all its members,


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


including Russia to their word. In order to facilitate that


investigation, Russia, pro-Russian separatists and Ukraine must


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


at daggers drawn since Russia took Things have only got worse


since then and now almost 300 people - none


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


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


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


tell and their lives are interesting. Danny Savage now has


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


These pictures show passengers settling down on board Flight MH17


yesterday, a familiar routine. But four hours later everyone


on board this plane was dead, their lives cut short


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


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


will never see again. Liam Sweeney grew


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


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


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


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


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


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


lifeling fan John Alder. Friends today left tributes to him


at the club. You turn around at Newcastle United,


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


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


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


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


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


Glenn Thomas from Blackpool, a press officer for the


World Health Organisation. He was travelling to an AIDS


conference in Australia. Other British people on


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


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


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


heading off on their holidays. She ran a flower shop


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


that is the problem. All we can do is lay


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


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


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


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


Moscow and Washington. Our diplomatic correspondent, Bridget


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


Washington. Tom Palmer President Obama and his


representative to the UN at that meeting of the Security Council


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


pro-Russian separatists who fired that missile undershot down this


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


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


have not seen it. President Obama did say that he


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


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


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


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


the American President Lee and responsibility for the downing of


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


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


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


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


the separatists had been receiving technical assistance from Russia in


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


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


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


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


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


kind of heavy sophisticated weaponry that can shoot down a commercial


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


of civilian deaths already in eastern Ukraine and one should not


rule out the possibility that the culpability for this incident could


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


today. Are the Americans confident they will get that?


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


In Washington. But thank you anyway. Many thanks.


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


one former investigator who worked on the Lockerbie bombing says that


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


transponder codes which would indicate a civilian rather than


military aircraft. There are now questions about why airliner were


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


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


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


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


at this. British Airways decided to avoid Ukraine altogether.


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


to you. Thank you very much. We will


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


story of the day. Israeli troops have pushed deeper


into Gaza on the second day Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu


said he had told his military to prepare for


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


and rocket launchers. The United Nations says the number


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


international correspondent reports. Late last night, Israeli soldiers


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


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


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


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


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


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


its forces are searching for tunnels used by Palestinian militants for


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


safety. In Israel this morning, the Prime


Minister convened his security cabinet. TRANSLATION: We chose to


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


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


could be much higher. Israel is already warning it could


significantly widen its military operations. More reservists have


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


controls Gaza, but today, we witnessed another air strike


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


Israelis expanded their operation, hoping that maybe that would


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


encircled and besieged by both Israel and Egypt, and this


particular siege sees Israel starving in bleeding Hamas. It


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


especially under the new Egyptian government, is likely to access


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


This is why the Palestinian president is basically now flying to


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


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


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


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


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


and dash-macro from the team. Goodbye.


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


torrential downpour through Saturday. They are scattered across


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


right will not


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