World News

John Kerry Arrives in Cairo to Broker Ceasefire as Israel/Gaza Fighting Rages On


US Department of State(CAIRO) -- As fighting in between neighboring Israel and Gaza rages on, Secretary of State John Kerry arrived in Cairo with a mission to try to stop the bloodshed, but his first task is to get the many stakeholders in the region to agree on what would even constitute a ceasefire.Kerry came to Cairo because Egypt has been a key mediator between Israel and Hamas, the governing body of Gaza, which the United States and Israel consider a terrorist group. Egypt also released a proposal for an immediate ceasefire without conditions on either side, something Israel accepted but Hamas rejected.Kerry is in Cairo now, rather than earlier in the conflict, partly because of the mounting civilian casualties on both sides of the Israel/Gaza border, but especially since Israel began its ground invasion of Gaza on Thursday."We are deeply concerned about the consequences of Israel's appropriate and legitimate effort to defend itself," Kerry said just before a meeting with United Nations Secretary General Ban Ki-Moon late Monday night."But always in any kind of conflict, there is a concern about civilians," he added.Ban was more vehement in laying blame on the Israelis, also urging them to let up on trade and travel restrictions in Gaza so that Hamas, he said, won’t have to resort to violence."I understand that Israel has to respond militarily, but there is a proportionality and most of the death toll is Palestinian people," Ban said.Sunday was the bloodiest day so far in the Israel/Gaza crisis, with the Gaza Health Ministry reporting hundreds of deaths, many of which the U.N. said were civilians, and the Israel Defense Forces announcing the highest number of Israeli soldiers killed in the conflict thus far.Earlier Monday as Kerry was en route to Cairo, a senior State Department official said that the U.S. had very few expectations for the next few days and that the primary objective was about getting the various players in the ceasefire negotiations on the same page, including Egypt, Qatar and Turkey, where Hamas' exiled leadership is based, and Israel."It's very complicated and it may very well take several days to get this done," the official said. Hamas has previously called for preconditions for a ceasefire agreement, including the release of prisoners in Israel and a re-opening of Israel-Gaza border crossings.Kerry is scheduled to meet with Egyptian officials on Tuesday, including President Abdel Fattah al-Sisi, Foreign Minister Sameh Shoukry, and Arab League Secretary General Nabil Elaraby.A second official said Kerry was best equipped to meet with parties on the ground at this time, versus continuing to communicate via phone, because the United States is the only stakeholder that shares good relationships with all the governments involved, except Hamas."It's really only the Secretary of State who can come in and have close relationships with all the parties and who can get them all on the same page," the official said.Kerry is expected to stay in Cairo through Wednesday morning, but officials said he would make changes to his schedule, and add additional stops in the region as warranted.Follow @ABCNewsRadio !function(d,s,id){var js,fjs=d.getElementsByTagName(s)[0];if(!d.getElementById(id)){js=d.createElement(s);js.id=id;js.src="http://platform.twitter.com/widgets.js";fjs.parentNode.insertBefore(js,fjs);}}(document,"script","twitter-wjs");Copyright 2014 ABC News Radio

US Warns Americans in Yemen to Leave Now


Brent Stirton/Reportage by Getty Images(WASHINGTON) -- The United States government is warning Americans in Yemen they should leave the country in response to an "extremely high" security threat, "due to terrorist activity and civil unrest.""Terrorist organizations, including al Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula (AQAP), continue to be active throughout Yemen. The U.S. government remains highly concerned about the possible attacks on U.S. citizens (whether visiting or residing in Yemen), and U.S. facilities, businesses, and perceived U.S. and Western interests," the travel warning says. "An ongoing risk of kidnapping exists throughout Yemen."In addition to the terror threat, the State Department warning said, "Demonstrations continue to take place in various parts of the country and may quickly escalate and turn violent.""U.S. citizens are urged to avoid areas of demonstrations, and to exercise extreme caution if within the vicinity of a demonstration," the warning says.A U.S. intelligence official did not immediately respond to requests for more information from ABC News, but one person briefed on intelligence in the region said the terror aspect of the warning could be related to perceived threats against Westerners at potential targets including shopping malls in Yemen and other Gulf nations.Top U.S. officials have said that of al Qaeda's affiliates, AQAP is among the greatest threats to the U.S. homeland. One of its members, Ibrahim al-Asiri, is believed to be a master bomb maker, implicated in several bomb plots. Last week the State Department announced it had added a Norwegian-born bomb maker and member of AQAP to its designated terror list.Last September another al Qaeda affiliate, al-Shabab based in Somalia, attacked neighboring Kenya's Westgate Mall, killing dozens.Follow @ABCNewsRadio !function(d,s,id){var js,fjs=d.getElementsByTagName(s)[0];if(!d.getElementById(id)){js=d.createElement(s);js.id=id;js.src="http://platform.twitter.com/widgets.js";fjs.parentNode.insertBefore(js,fjs);}}(document,"script","twitter-wjs");Copyright 2014 ABC News Radio

Malaysia Airlines' Black Boxes Handed Over to Investigators


Courtesy of ABC’s Tanya Stukalova(KUALA LUMPUR, Malaysia) -- The two black boxes from the downed Malaysia Airlines plane that left 298 people dead were handed over Monday to Malaysian officials.News media looked on as the transfer of the boxes was made late Monday. Earlier, Malaysian Prime Minister Najib Razak said independent investigators will be given safe access to the debris site."In recent days, we have been working behind the scenes to establish contact with those in charge of the MH17 crash site," Razak said. "That contact has now been made. Under difficult and fluid circumstances, we have been discussing the problems that have occupied us all: Securing vital evidence from the aircraft, launching an independent investigation and above all recovering the remains of those who lost their lives."In a statement, Razak said he had spoken "to Alexander Borodai, who is in command of the region where the tragedy occurred."Razak said that the bodies of the 282 people recovered, currently in the Ukrainian city of Torez, will "be moved" by train to Kiev, where Dutch officials will take them."The train will depart this evening...and will be accompanied by six Malaysian members of the recovery team," he added. "The remains will then be flown to Amsterdam on board a Dutch C130 Hercules, together with the Malaysian team. Following any necessary forensic work, the remains of Malaysian citizens will then be flown home to Malaysia.""I must stress that although agreement has been reached, there remain a number of steps required before it is completed," Razak added. "There is work still to be done, work which relies on continued communication in good faith. Mr Borodai and his people have so far given their co-operation."Moments before Razak's announcement, President Obama had called on Russian President Vladimir Putin "to compel" Russian-backed separatists to stop interfering with the probe.Obama, speaking from the South Lawn of the White House, said Russian-backed separatists needed to allow investigators to recover bodies. He said they had previously fired their weapons in the air when investigators approached the scene and have tampered with evidence."Russia, and President Putin in particular, has a direct responsibility to compel them to cooperate with the investigation," Obama said.The president also said that if Russia continued to support violence against the Ukrainian people, it would face further isolation from the international community. He said he hopes to see the dispute settled diplomatically.Follow @ABCNewsRadio !function(d,s,id){var js,fjs=d.getElementsByTagName(s)[0];if(!d.getElementById(id)){js=d.createElement(s);js.id=id;js.src="http://platform.twitter.com/widgets.js";fjs.parentNode.insertBefore(js,fjs);}}(document,"script","twitter-wjs");Copyright 2014 ABC News Radio

Dutch Cyclist Who Missed Both Doomed Malaysia Flights Feels 'Lucky to Be Alive'


iStock/Thinkstock(TERENGGANU, Malaysia) -- A Dutch cyclist who escaped tragedy twice after missing flights on both doomed Malaysia Airlines flights, is shaken over the coincidences, but feels "lucky to be alive."Maarten de Jonge, 29, had planned to be on both Malaysia Airlines Flight MH 17, which appears to have been shot down over eastern Ukraine last week, and Flight MH 370, which disappeared over the Indian Ocean in March. But in both instances, he changed his travel plans before the flights took off."I was so scared when I heard the news [about Flight 17]. I still cannot think about it," de Jonge told ABC's David Wright after landing at the airport in Terengganu, Malaysia on Monday. "A lot of people died in the crash and I feel very, very sorry for the passengers and their families. But I am very lucky to be alive."De Jonge had just arrived after an 18-hour journey-- from Amsterdam to Frankfort to Kuala Lumpur to Terengganu. Flying from the Netherlands, where he was born, to Malaysia, where he now lives and competes as a professional cyclist, de Jonge said he had originally planned to take the direct flight from Amsterdam to Kuala Lumpur and had bought a ticket on Malaysia Airlines Flight 17.But the plane ticket was expensive, more than $1,300 US. Then, he said he saw another flight that was roughly $400 cheaper."There was one place left so I decided to buy another ticket," de Jonge said. "Unbelievable, but yeah, that's how it is."Even more unbelievable is the fact that he has been through this before."Yes, a couple of months ago, with MH370, it was the same story," de Jonge said. "I was very, very close to be[ing] on that flight too."De Jonge said in March he and his cycling teammates were booking flights to compete in the Tour de Taiwan. They decided at the last minute not to take Malaysia Airways Flight 370 so they could avoid a lengthy layover. Instead they took a different flight half an hour later than Flight 370's takeoff time from Kuala Lumpur.Their flight arrived at its destination safely. Flight 370 vanished without a trace, and remains missing."I realize how in a split second a decision will decide how your life is going to be," de Jonge said. "These things don't happen twice."Follow @ABCNewsRadio !function(d,s,id){var js,fjs=d.getElementsByTagName(s)[0];if(!d.getElementById(id)){js=d.createElement(s);js.id=id;js.src="http://platform.twitter.com/widgets.js";fjs.parentNode.insertBefore(js,fjs);}}(document,"script","twitter-wjs");Copyright 2014 ABC News Radio

Malaysia Airlines' Black Boxes 'to Be Handed Over' to Investigators


iStock Editorial/Thinkstock(KUALA LUMPUR, Malaysia) -- The two black boxes of the downed Malaysia Airlines plane that left 298 people dead will be "handed over" on Monday to Malaysian officials, and independent investigators will be given safe access to the debris site, according to Malaysian Prime Minister Najib Razak."In recent days, we have been working behind the scenes to establish contact with those in charge of the MH17 crash site," Razak said. "That contact has now been made. Under difficult and fluid circumstances, we have been discussing the problems that have occupied us all: Securing vital evidence from the aircraft, launching an independent investigation and above all recovering the remains of those who lost their lives."In a statement, Razak said he had spoken "to Alexander Borodai, who is in command of the region where the tragedy occurred."Razak said that the bodies of the 282 people recovered, currently in the Ukrainian city of Torez, will "be moved" by train to Kiev, where Dutch officials will take them."The train will depart this evening...and will be accompanied by six Malaysian members of the recovery team," he added. "The remains will then be flown to Amsterdam on board a Dutch C130 Hercules, together with the Malaysian team. Following any necessary forensic work, the remains of Malaysian citizens will then be flown home to Malaysia.""I must stress that although agreement has been reached, there remain a number of steps required before it is completed," Razak added. "There is work still to be done, work which relies on continued communication in good faith. Mr Borodai and his people have so far given their co-operation."Moments before Razak's announcement, President Obama had called on Russian President Vladimir Putin "to compel" Russian-backed separatists to stop interfering with the probe.Obama, speaking from the South Lawn of the White House, said Russian-backed separatists needed to allow investigators to recover bodies. He said they had previously fired their weapons in the air when investigators approached the scene and have tampered with evidence."Russia, and President Putin in particular, has a direct responsibility to compel them to cooperate with the investigation," Obama said.The president also said that if Russia continued to support violence against the Ukrainian people, it would face further isolation from the international community. He said he hopes to see the dispute settled diplomatically.Follow @ABCNewsRadio !function(d,s,id){var js,fjs=d.getElementsByTagName(s)[0];if(!d.getElementById(id)){js=d.createElement(s);js.id=id;js.src="http://platform.twitter.com/widgets.js";fjs.parentNode.insertBefore(js,fjs);}}(document,"script","twitter-wjs");Copyright 2014 ABC News Radio

Gaza Hospitals Caught in Crossfire, Four Dead


iStockphoto/Thinkstock(DEIR EL-BALAH, Gaza Strip) -- A dozen Israeli tank shells struck a hospital in Gaza Monday, killing four people and injuring 60, witnesses and Gaza health officials said.ABC News was present when one of the shells struck Al Aqsa Martyrs hospital on Monday and witnessed a traffic jam of ambulances as the hospital tried to evacuate patients and other ambulances tried to bring wounded patients to the emergency room."The hospital is coming down over our heads. They bombed fourth floor, the second floor, the third floor, the medical ward the surgical ward, ICU," Jabul Abu Miri, emergency room nursing supervisor, told ABC News."The medical team is a target, the nurses is a target, the doctors is a target," Abu Miri said. "How we can do our work? We are soldiers in the army? No, we are not soldiers.... We are doctors and nurses treating the patients. We are not doing anything."The hospital tried to evacuate its patients."We don’t know what to do now, really we don’t know what to do... Now many patients injured, people injured from the street coming here... How we can do this, what we can do for them?" Abu Miri said.Abu Miri said he was unaware of a reason for Israel to target Al Aqsa hospital."I don't know, I don't know really... Why? Why the hospital?" he asked.Al Aqsa is the second hospital that has been hit by Israel in its Gaza offensive. The al Wafa rehabilitation hospital was evacuated late last week following numerous phone call warnings from the Israel Defense Forces.The rehab facility had gained attention earlier in the conflict when a group of foreign activists moved in to be alongside the 17 patients who remained there because their conditions prevented them from being evacuated. Nevertheless, they were moved last Thursday to a nearby hospital as Israel struck targets that rattled the facility.The Israel Defense Forces released aerial photos on Monday that they claim show the locations of Hamas rocket launch sites placed dangerously close to civilian sites. The photos claim to show rocket launchers inside the grounds of a mosque and a playground as well as a rocket launcher that appears to be adjacent to al-Wafa hospital.Joe Catron, an American who spent hours at al Wafa in the hopes of deterring Israel from shelling the facility, said he was never aware that a Hamas rocket launcher was next to the hospital.“If it was there I never heard it used. I know what a rocket launch sounds like and the loudest noise I’ve heard was shelling from the Israeli side,” Catron told ABC.The casualty toll in the Gaza battle has now claimed 550 Palestinian deaths as well as 3,350 wounded, along with 27 Israeli deaths.Follow @ABCNewsRadio !function(d,s,id){var js,fjs=d.getElementsByTagName(s)[0];if(!d.getElementById(id)){js=d.createElement(s);js.id=id;js.src="http://platform.twitter.com/widgets.js";fjs.parentNode.insertBefore(js,fjs);}}(document,"script","twitter-wjs"); Copyright 2014 ABC News Radio

Tensions Continue to Rage in Gaza, Death Tolls Climb


iStockphoto/Thinkstock(JERUSALEM) -- Bloodshed continued Monday in Gaza, as at least four people were killed in an Israeli attack on a Gaza hospital.The Palestinian Health Ministry says that the attack on the Al Aqsa Martyrs Hospital left at least four dead, after Sunday marked the deadliest day of the ongoing conflict. Through Sunday night, the death toll had reached over 500 Palestinians and 18 Israeli soldiers.As Israel expanded its ground operations last week, it said that destroying Hamas-controlled tunnels was among the main objectives. On Monday, a pair of five-man militant cells snuck into Israel through such tunnels, engaging Israeli soldiers in a firefight. The Israel Defense Forces released video of the attack, and said that all 10 militants were killed. The did not say whether any Israeli soldiers were injured in the attack.On Monday, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said that his country's ground operation in Gaza has exceeded expectations and will continue."The IDF is making progress in the field according to plan and the operation will be expanded until the goal is achieved -- restoring quiet to the citizens of Israel for a long period," Netanyahu said.Follow @ABCNewsRadio !function(d,s,id){var js,fjs=d.getElementsByTagName(s)[0];if(!d.getElementById(id)){js=d.createElement(s);js.id=id;js.src="http://platform.twitter.com/widgets.js";fjs.parentNode.insertBefore(js,fjs);}}(document,"script","twitter-wjs"); Copyright 2014 ABC News Radio

China's Extra-Wide, Women-Only Parking Spots Spark Controversy


moodboard/Thinkstock(BEIJING) -- A shopping mall in northeastern China has sparked accusations of sexism after it created 10 pink, extra-wide parking spots for women only.Painted in hot pink, the spots at the World Metropolis Center in Dalian say, "respectfully reserved for ladies," and are about 11 inches wider than usual parking spots.While some female drivers appreciated the tailored design, others called the parking spots sexist and disrespectful.On the Chinese social media site Weibo, a microblogger wrote in Mandarin, “Is this for real? Don’t discriminate against women drivers.”Another microblogger asked, “Is this implying that women are bad at parking?”Yang Hongjun, a female manager at the mall, said officials just wanted to make parking easier for women.“Women make up most of our customers,” she said.Nevertheless, others disagreed.“Why do women get all these advantages?” one male commentator asked on Weibo. “If you can’t drive, don’t drive. It doesn’t matter what gender you are. This is precisely reverse discrimination.”In Seoul, South Korea, nearly 5,000 parking spaces near entrances of malls and other buildings were painted pink in 2009. They were designed to minimize the distance from cars to shopping for women wearing high heels.Follow @ABCNewsRadio !function(d,s,id){var js,fjs=d.getElementsByTagName(s)[0];if(!d.getElementById(id)){js=d.createElement(s);js.id=id;js.src="http://platform.twitter.com/widgets.js";fjs.parentNode.insertBefore(js,fjs);}}(document,"script","twitter-wjs");Copyright 2014 ABC News Radio

Afghan Election Audit Stalled by 'Misunderstanding'


iStockphoto/Thinkstock(KABUL, Afghanistan) -- An audit into the recently completed Afghan Presidential Election has been halted, the Afghan Independent Election Commission said Sunday. Without providing further detail, the AIEC blamed the suspension on a "misunderstanding."Over the weekend, officials on each side staged walkouts in response to disputes over the audit process.Both candidates, Dr. Abdullah Abdullah and Dr. Ashraf Ghani have accused each other of electoral fraud following the June 14 run-off election. Abdullah won the initial round of voting, but failed to secure the 50 percent of the vote needed to void a runoff. In the second round of voting, Ghani finished on top.U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry said earlier this month that all votes in the election would be audited, a process that was always expected to take weeks to complete.Follow @ABCNewsRadio !function(d,s,id){var js,fjs=d.getElementsByTagName(s)[0];if(!d.getElementById(id)){js=d.createElement(s);js.id=id;js.src="http://platform.twitter.com/widgets.js";fjs.parentNode.insertBefore(js,fjs);}}(document,"script","twitter-wjs"); Copyright 2014 ABC News Radio

Putin Refuses to Order Rebels Away from MH17 Crash Site


MIKHAIL KLIMENTYEV/AFP/Getty Images(MOSCOW) -- Russian Prime Minister Vladimir Putin issued a statement Monday that fell short of calling for separatist rebels from eastern Ukraine to turn over control of the crash site of Malaysia Airlines Flight MH17 to international teams.Instead, the Russian leader only says that the safety and security of monitors trying to reach the scene must be guaranteed.Putin also used his statement to assign partial blame to the central government in Kiev for creating what he charges are the conditions that have led to the ongoing conflict in eastern Ukraine.No one yet has taken responsibility for shooting down the plane with 298 people on board, nearly 200 of them from the Netherlands on their way to Malaysia. However, all signs point to the rebels, especially after Ukrainian intelligence claims to have intercepted a call between the separatists and the Russian military that discussed the shoot-down of Flight 17.Meanwhile, Putin promises Russia will “do all that we can to move the conflict in eastern Ukraine from Monday’s military phase to" a negotiated solution.Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko on Monday ordered all Ukrainian forces to cease military operations within 40 kilometers of the crash site, according to Russian news service Interfax.Four days later, nearly all of the bodies of those onboard the plane have been recovered.Dutch investigators and crews from the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe arrived at the scene on Monday, after the Malaysian Transport Minister said Sunday that a team of 133 Malaysian experts and officials were denied access to the site.ABC News | ABC Sports NewsFollow @ABCNewsRadio !function(d,s,id){var js,fjs=d.getElementsByTagName(s)[0];if(!d.getElementById(id)){js=d.createElement(s);js.id=id;js.src="http://platform.twitter.com/widgets.js";fjs.parentNode.insertBefore(js,fjs);}}(document,"script","twitter-wjs"); Copyright 2014 ABC News Radio

IDF Opens Field Hospital for Palestinians at Border Crossing


iStockphoto/Thinkstock(JERUSALEM) -- The Israel Defense Forces announced on Sunday that it would open a field hospital for Palestinians at the Erez border crossing.The hospital began operating at 8 p.m. on Sunday, according to an IDF statement. The hospital was established to provide medical assistance and humanitarian care to Palestinians from Gaza amidst the ongoing tensions.Among other services, the hospital will offer an emergency clinic, pediatric and gynecologic services and a delivery room. Staff will include doctors, nurses, X-ray technicians and lab technicians.The establishment of such a hospital was approved by the IDF Chief of the General Staff, Lt. Gen. Benjamin Gantz.Follow @ABCNewsRadio !function(d,s,id){var js,fjs=d.getElementsByTagName(s)[0];if(!d.getElementById(id)){js=d.createElement(s);js.id=id;js.src="http://platform.twitter.com/widgets.js";fjs.parentNode.insertBefore(js,fjs);}}(document,"script","twitter-wjs"); Copyright 2014 ABC News Radio

UN Security Council Calls for End to Gaza Violence, Two Americans Killed in Figh


iStockphoto/Thinkstock(GENEVA) -- The United Nations Security Council called for an immediate end to fighting in Gaza, expressing concerns over the rising civilian death toll.The death toll from the two-week conflict continues to rise. In all, more than 500 Palestinians -- many of them civilians, including children -- were killed and more than 3,100 wounded in the past two weeks, according to the Palestinian Health Ministry. The overall death toll on the Israeli side rose to 20, including 18 soldiers, along with dozens of wounded troops. The U.N. Security Council held an emergency session on Sunday night, which ended in a call for a return to a November 2012 ceasefire agreement. The U.S. State Department confirmed that two American citizens were killed in Gaza. The deceased were identified as Max Steinberg and Sean Carmeli. State Department Spokesperson Jen Psaki said in a statement that the agency would not comment further on the matter, "out of respect for those affected by this."On Sunday, Hamas claimed that it had captured an Israeli soldier, a claim that Israel denies. “There is no kidnapped Israeli soldier -- those rumors are untrue,” said Israel’s UN Ambassador Ron Prosor prior to the U.N. Security Council meeting Sunday night.Follow @ABCNewsRadio !function(d,s,id){var js,fjs=d.getElementsByTagName(s)[0];if(!d.getElementById(id)){js=d.createElement(s);js.id=id;js.src="http://platform.twitter.com/widgets.js";fjs.parentNode.insertBefore(js,fjs);}}(document,"script","twitter-wjs"); Copyright 2014 ABC News Radio

Malaysia Airlines to Retire MH17 Flight Number


iStock Editorial/Thinkstock(KUALA LUMPUR) -- Malaysia Airlines announced on Sunday that it would retire the flight number MH17 after the flight was tragically shot down over eastern Ukraine last week.In a statement, Malaysia Airlines said the decision was made "out of respect for our crew and passengers of the mentioned flight code." The change will take effect on Friday, July 25. The airline insists that there will be no changes to the route aside from the flight number, with the same flight frequency between Amsterdam and Kuala Lumpur. The route will take on a new flight number, MH19, on Friday.Follow @ABCNewsRadio !function(d,s,id){var js,fjs=d.getElementsByTagName(s)[0];if(!d.getElementById(id)){js=d.createElement(s);js.id=id;js.src="http://platform.twitter.com/widgets.js";fjs.parentNode.insertBefore(js,fjs);}}(document,"script","twitter-wjs"); Copyright 2014 ABC News Radio

Pro-Russian Rebel Leader: We Want to Give Crash Victims' Bodies to Families


DOMINIQUE FAGET/AFP/Getty Images(KIEV, Ukraine) -- It may be some time before the bodies of the victims of Malaysia Airlines flight MH 17 are returned to their families.In an exclusive interview with ABC News Sunday, the leader of the self-declared Donetsk People's Republic said they would not be turned over until international inspectors come here to inspect them."We can and we want to give bodies to the relatives but experts have to examine the bodies here. That is international practice," Alexander Borodai said.He feared that if the remains are turned over to the Ukrainian government they will be used as evidence to blame his fighters for shooting down the plane, something he again denied.The problem is that the team of international investigators remains in Kiev. Despite what has been described as a "preliminary" agreement on their travel to the crash site, there has been no announcement about when they might finally arrive."We guarantee their safety and their ability to work. After that the bodies can be transported wherever," Borodai said. He insisted that he placed no conditions on their travel to the crash site and wants an "open and independent" investigation.Borodai said he was willing to provide the remains unconditionally to the Russian government because he trusted them. Given Western accusations about Russia's backing for the rebels, however, it remains to be seen if that will be an acceptable offer.For now, the remains of nearly 200 passengers remain under rebel control and are being stored in refrigerated rail cars, not far from the crash site. Borodai said they would remain there until they are transported following the examination.At a press conference, Borodai defended the decision to remove the bodies from the wreckage on Saturday, two days after the crash, saying it was "inhumane" to leave them there. The State Department had criticized that decision, saying it was compromising the crime scene.The United States has also voiced concerns about the crash site being compromised under rebel control."We do our best not to do it," Borodai said in response.He dismissed growing concern about the crash site, which is essentially unguarded. Anywhere else in the world, such a scene would be roped off and crawling with investigators.Yet here, only a handful of guards patrol the access roads and the wreckage. When ABC News departed the scene late Saturday evening, the rebels had retreated to their tents and left the site unmonitored.Borodai said he has increased the number of guards but could not spare enough men from the front lines of their battle with the Ukrainian military."That is why we are inviting and waiting for the experts to come as soon as possible," he said.Even so, few expect the rebels to be neutral guards in the first place. The U.S. has expressed concerns that key evidence may have been carried off or disturbed in the days since the crash.In response to reports that the site may have been looted, Borodai insisted it was done only by a handful of locals and promised to prosecute them according to the "laws of war."International monitors from the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe, who are not investigators but have been observing the conflict, have so far been unsatisfied with the access they have received at the crash site. On Saturday, rebel guards would not let them approach the wreckage.Borodai said the OSCE team wanted him to cut off journalist access to the site, but he declined to do so, claiming his interest in "freedom of the press."Earlier, the U.S. Embassy in Kiev provided the most detailed evidence thus far to prove the rebels shot the passenger plane down with a surface to air missile.Borodai confirmed that his forces had recently refurbished what he described as a Strela-10, an old Soviet-era mobile surface-to-air missile system, which he said was a war trophy taken from the Ukrainian military. He said the weapon did not have enough power or range to shoot down a passenger jet at cruising altitude.ABC News | ABC Sports NewsFollow @ABCNewsRadio !function(d,s,id){var js,fjs=d.getElementsByTagName(s)[0];if(!d.getElementById(id)){js=d.createElement(s);js.id=id;js.src="http://platform.twitter.com/widgets.js";fjs.parentNode.insertBefore(js,fjs);}}(document,"script","twitter-wjs");Copyright 2014 ABC News Radio

Victims of Malaysia Airlines Flight MH 17 Stuck in Limbo


Rob Stothard/Getty Images(KIEV, Ukraine) -- Rebels in Eastern Ukraine Sunday moved the bodies of 196 victims of Malaysia Airlines flight MH 17 into refrigerated trains that will stay in the rebel-held town of Torez, nine miles away from the debris field, until the arrival of an international aviation delegation, rebel leader Alexander Borodai told ABC News.Armed rebels are limiting the access of rescue workers to the debris field, only allowing them to work for up to 75 minutes at a time, said Col. Andriy Lyenskol, spokesman for Ukraine's National Security Council.Evidence suggests that Russia had previously provided support to the rebels accused of shooting down flight MH 17, Secretary of State John Kerry told ABC News' George Stephanopoulos Sunday morning."There are an enormous array of facts that point at Russia's support for and involvement in this effort," Kerry said. "Drunken separatists are stacking bodies into the backs of trucks, removing materials from the site ... This is an insult to everybody. It's really a moment of truth for Russia to step up and be part of the solution, not part of the problem."Kerry's comments come as the United States Embassy in Kiev issued a statement detailing how Russia aided the rebels."Over the past month, we have detected an increasing amount of heavy weaponry to separatist fighters crossing the border from Russia into Ukraine," read the statement. "We also have information indicating that Russia is providing training to separatist fighters at a facility in southwest Russia, and this effort included training on air defense systems."The embassy added that the surface-to-air missile that downed MH 17, a SA-11, was likely fired by rebels as there were no Ukrainian missile systems in the range of the debris field at the time of the strike.The embassy also said that Ukraine has not fired any surface-to-air missiles in the conflict with separatists.Borodai told ABC News that the rebels believe they have recovered the black boxes from flight MH 17 but that they are unsure of the finding and are waiting for the arrival of experts to verify the black boxes.The items believed to be the black boxes will be protected and secured until investigators arrive, Borodai said.Borodai also guaranteed the safety of international investigators and journalists at the MH 17 debris field. He questioned why experts had not yet arrived, suggesting that Ukraine was stalling investigations.The international community has come together to mourn the 298 victims of flight MH 17.In the Netherlands, families came together at Sunday morning church services to grieve and mourn.In Rome, Pope Francis led a prayer in St. Peter's Square for peace in Ukraine."I invite you to remember and to keep praying for tensions and conflicts which are going on in different parts of the world, especially in the Middle East and in Ukraine," he said.In Australia, the 20th International AIDS Conference in Melbourne opened with a tribute to several delegates who were killed in the MH 17 disaster."It's a really important time for what we think everyone needs, which is a space to grieve and to respect the six members of our community that died on MH 17," conference co-chair Sharon Lewin said.Among the victims who were en route to the conference was Dr. Joep Lange, a leading expert in the field of HIV/AIDS.There were nearly 100 HIV/AIDS researchers and scientists on flight MH 17 when it was shot down over Ukraine.Follow @ABCNewsRadio !function(d,s,id){var js,fjs=d.getElementsByTagName(s)[0];if(!d.getElementById(id)){js=d.createElement(s);js.id=id;js.src="http://platform.twitter.com/widgets.js";fjs.parentNode.insertBefore(js,fjs);}}(document,"script","twitter-wjs");Copyright 2014 ABC News Radio

Typhoon Rammasun Destroys Homes in Southern China


ChinaFotoPress/ChinaFotoPress via Getty Images(BEIJING) -- A strong storm that wreaked havoc in the Philippines last week has now hit China.The strongest typhoon to hit southern China in four decades has killed 18 people and destroyed tens of thousands of homes, the government and state media said Sunday.In the Philippines, the death toll from the storm's earlier destruction rose to 94.Typhoon Rammasun destroyed 37,000 homes and ravaged 1.2 million acres, according China's official news agency. The typhoon is the strongest to hit southern China in 41 years.Follow @ABCNewsRadio !function(d,s,id){var js,fjs=d.getElementsByTagName(s)[0];if(!d.getElementById(id)){js=d.createElement(s);js.id=id;js.src="http://platform.twitter.com/widgets.js";fjs.parentNode.insertBefore(js,fjs);}}(document,"script","twitter-wjs");Copyright 2014 ABC News Radio

Australian Newlyweds Escape MH17 Tragedy


Paul Jeffers/Getty Images(KUALA LUMPUR, Malaysia) -- Australian newlyweds booked to fly on Malaysia Airlines Flight MH17 are part of a small group who narrowly escaped tragedy by changing their travel plans at the last minute.Simone La Posta and Juan Jovel were booked to fly on MH17 for the return trip from their honeymoon, but decided to fly a day earlier."We are feeling lucky but at the same time our hearts bleed for these families that are expecting their loved ones to come back," Jovel told ABC News.Posta and Jovel are among the few travelers who were scheduled to fly on Malaysian Airlines flight MH17, which was shot down on Thursday while flying above eastern Ukraine, but for one reason or another changed their plans.The crash claimed the lives of 298 passengers from 11 different countries, including Karlijn Keijzer, a Dutch national at Indiana University.Barry and Izzy Sim, along with their baby son, were also scheduled to fly on MH17 but had to change flights due to a shortage of seats.Barry Sim described the feeling of learning about the fate of MH17 as "just shock.""You get this sick feeling in the pit of your stomach," he said. "So yes, just... we started getting butterflies. Your heartbeat starts going."Also supposed to be on the flight was Dutch cyclist Maarten de Jonge, who remarkably escaped death on a Malyasia Airlines jet not once buy twice.Not only was de Jonge scheduled to fly on Malaysia flight MH17, he was also scheduled to fly on Flight 370, which went missing in March.Follow @ABCNewsRadio !function(d,s,id){var js,fjs=d.getElementsByTagName(s)[0];if(!d.getElementById(id)){js=d.createElement(s);js.id=id;js.src="http://platform.twitter.com/widgets.js";fjs.parentNode.insertBefore(js,fjs);}}(document,"script","twitter-wjs");Copyright 2014 ABC News Radio

UN Figures Estimate 2,417 Killed in Iraq in June


iStockphoto/Thinkstock(BAGHDAD) -- The United Nations Assistance Mission in Iraq released casualty figures for the month of June on Friday, in which the mission noted the highest number of civilian casualties this year.In the month of June, a staggering 1,531 civilians were reportedly killed, including 270 civilian police. An additional 1,763 civilians were injured, according to the UNAMI. Further, 886 members of the Iraqi Security Forces were killed in June, and 524 more were injured."The staggering number of civilian casualties in one month points to the urgent need for all to ensure that civilians are protected," the Special Representative of the United Nations Secretary General for Iraq Nickolay Mladenov said. While large swaths of the country remain under the control of the militant group the Islamic State of  Iraq and Syria, Mladenov insisted that "it is imperative that national leaders work together to foil attempts to destroy the social fabric of Iraqi society."Baghdad was the worse affected Governorate with 375 civilians killed and 715 injured. UNAMI casualty figures exclude the province of Anbar.Follow @ABCNewsRadio!function(d,s,id){var js,fjs=d.getElementsByTagName(s)[0];if(!d.getElementById(id)){js=d.createElement(s);js.id=id;js.src="http://platform.twitter.com/widgets.js";fjs.parentNode.insertBefore(js,fjs);}}(document,"script","twitter-wjs");Copyright 2014 ABC News Radio

Iran Nuclear Talks Deadline Extended to November


Hemera/Thinkstock(VIENNA) -- In a statement, European Union High Representative Catherine Ashton and Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif announced an extension in the Iran nuclear talks.Citing progress made in recent talks between all of the P5+1 foreign ministers, the statement said that talks will continue through a new deadline of November 24. Still, the statement said, "there are...significant gaps on some core issues which will require more time and effort."U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry noted that the new deadline date is significant in that it is exactly one year to the day after the original plan of action was agreed to. Until the new deadline date, the terms agreed to in the interim deal remain in place, with the freezing of the Iranian nuclear program and suspension of some U.S. sanctions.Kerry said that a "draft text" exists with many of the main issues, but that "brackets and blank spaces" still exist, including a disagreement over the enrichment capacity of the Natanz enrichment facility. Kerry calls that issue "an absolutely critical component of any potential comprehensive agreement."Follow @ABCNewsRadio!function(d,s,id){var js,fjs=d.getElementsByTagName(s)[0];if(!d.getElementById(id)){js=d.createElement(s);js.id=id;js.src="http://platform.twitter.com/widgets.js";fjs.parentNode.insertBefore(js,fjs);}}(document,"script","twitter-wjs");Copyright 2014 ABC News Radio

What Israel's 'Significant Expansion' in Gaza Could Mean


iStockphoto/Thinkstock(JERUSALEM) -- Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu warned that one of his options in his Gaza ground offensive is a "significant expansion," but experts said Friday there are a few likely moves.Netanyahu sent thousands of troops, accompanied by tanks, into Gaza Thursday night and the offensive showed no signs of easing Friday.Israel Defense Forces first announced that they would target lengthy tunnels that members of Hamas use to reach rocket launching sites and to infiltrate Israel. Hamas' rocket launchers have also been targeted. The IDF said they have taken control of 10 tunnels so far."Hamas' underground tunnels are made for kidnapping and murdering Israelis. That's why we are destroying them," the IDF spokesman said on their official Twitter account.Israel said on Friday that their troops have moved 3 kilometers into Gaza."An expansion of that would involve pushing forces deeper into Gaza, but probably not entering into the major civilian areas and population centers," Jeffrey White, a defense fellow at The Washington Institute, told ABC News.The IDF has been bolstering their forces, calling up more than 53,000 reservists over the past week.Bruce Hoffman, the director of Georgetown University's Center for Security Studies, said the IDF is likely focused on specific targets that will serve as a stopgap to halt the rocket attacks that Israel has faced recently."They're going to engage in what they call 'mowing the grass,' meaning they want to make sure that after two weeks of rocket barrages, Hamas' ability to fire missiles into Israel is negated - not just in the immediate future, but for an extended period of time," Hoffman told ABC. "Israel is under no illusion that they are solving the problem, but they're just trying to buy time."White, who specializes in Middle Eastern studies after retiring from the U.S. Defense Intelligence Service, said that if the operation is escalated, there are two likely paths that it would follow. The first would be an order to send more troops into Gaza and effectively divide the strip in two by marching down the center and cutting off Hamas’ movement throughout the territory. The second and more extreme option would be a full-scale offensive, effectively leading to a re-occupation of the area. Israel occupied Gaza from 1967 to 2005.Many, including White, do not see a re-occupation of Gaza as a likely option because of the manpower that would require and the international outcry it would trigger.“The Israeli government understands the downsides internationally,” said Robert Danin, a senior fellow at the Council on Foreign Relations.He said that a massive offensive “shifts attention from the rocket attacks that led to the ground operation and onto their [Israeli] continued presence in Gaza.”"No army in the world likes to control civilian population for an extended period of time. The Israelis don’t want to escalate. That’s what so frustrating to them. They wanted to press Hamas hard enough that Hamas would say 'Okay, uncle.'"Follow @ABCNewsRadio !function(d,s,id){var js,fjs=d.getElementsByTagName(s)[0];if(!d.getElementById(id)){js=d.createElement(s);js.id=id;js.src="http://platform.twitter.com/widgets.js";fjs.parentNode.insertBefore(js,fjs);}}(document,"script","twitter-wjs"); Copyright 2014 ABC News Radio

Israel Ready to Expand Ground Attack in Gaza


David Silverman/Getty Images(TEL AVIV, Israel) -- Israel has approved an expansion of its ground offensive into Gaza, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said Friday, as troops pushed deeper into Gaza to destroy rocket launching sites and tunnels."...Since there is no way to deal with the tunnels only from the air, our soldiers are doing it now from the ground," Netanyahu said before an emergency Cabinet meeting in Tel Aviv, according to The Jerusalem Post. "We decided to launch the action after we tried all the other ways, and with an understanding that without this operation the price we will have to pay later would be much higher,” he said.Israel launched the ground operation Thursday following a 10-day slugfest featuring rocket and mortar attacks.More than 270 people have died and 2,000 were injured since the ground invasion began, according to the Palestinian Health Ministry. Additionally, one Israeli soldier -- identified as Gt. Eitan Barak, 20 -- died while fighting Hamas in the northern Gaza Strip, the Israeli Defense Forces said. The casualty marks the first Israeli casualty among troops. One Israeli civilian was killed earlier this week.Israeli troops targeted the tunnels because they are viewed as an “utmost threat” by Israel, an IDF spokesman said, with Hamas previously using the tunnels to sneak across the Gaza-Israel border.The ground attack occurred following failed cease-fire efforts. Israel twice halted its attacks and has been negotiating with Hamas for a more permanent ceasefire in Cairo, Egypt. Hamas rejected the plans, demanding guarantees to ease the blockade on Gaza.The IDF said it sent troops into Gaza "following 10 days of Hamas attacks by land, air and sea, and after repeated rejections of offers to deescalate the situation."The invasion was punctuated by the thud of tank shells echoing across Gaza, often just a few seconds apart. Heavy plumes of black smoke were visible across Gaza City.The battle has broken a two-year lull in hostilities between Israel and Hamas and was triggered by the slaying of three Israeli teens and revenge burning death of a Palestinian teen. Angry protests escalated to rocket launches and retaliatory air strikes.ABC News | ABC Sports NewsFollow @ABCNewsRadio !function(d,s,id){var js,fjs=d.getElementsByTagName(s)[0];if(!d.getElementById(id)){js=d.createElement(s);js.id=id;js.src="http://platform.twitter.com/widgets.js";fjs.parentNode.insertBefore(js,fjs);}}(document,"script","twitter-wjs");Copyright 2014 ABC News Radio

Intel Shows Missile that Downed Jet Launched from Area Controlled by Russian Sep


iStock Editorial/Thinkstoc(WASHINGTON) -- Intelligence officials in the United States said Friday that the missile that brought down Malaysia Airlines Flight 17 on Thursday was launched from inside Ukraine in an area controlled by Russian Separatists.There is nothing that definitively links Russia to the training of those who launched the missile, U.S. officials told ABC News.The officials said that based on preliminary intelligence, they believe the missile was an SA-11 and that they have reports showing an explosion in the air following the missile launch.Investigators from around the world will descend on the crash site Friday to continue the probe into the missile launch and subsequent crash. The incident left 298 people dead.The pro-Russian separatists who control the area where the jetliner was brought down agreed to allow investigators safe access to the site in order to recover bodies and gather evidence, according to a statement from the Organization for Security and Co-operation in Europe.It was unclear how soon investigators would begin sifting through the wreckage, which went down Thursday in Ukraine near the Russian border. The plane had left Amsterdam at 12:15 p.m. Thursday (local time) and was estimated to arrive in Kuala Lumpur International Airport today at 6:10 a.m. (local time), according to Malaysia Airlines.FBI and NTSB officials will head to Ukraine in an "advisory role" in the investigation, a senior U.S. administration official told ABC News.Malaysia Transport Minister Liow Tiong Lai, speaking at a news conference Friday, called the initial indications that the plane was shot down "an outrage against human decency.""Malaysia condemns any such action in the strongest possible terms, and calls for those responsible to be swiftly brought to justice," he said.Malaysia officials are calling for an independent international investigation into the incident.At this point, no Americans have been verified among the passengers. Malaysia officials said that 173 passengers were Dutch. In addition, according to officials at a news conference Friday, 44 were Malaysian, 27 Australians, 12 Indonesians, nine British, four Belgians, four Germans, three Filipinos and one Canadian. Nationalities of 20 other passengers remain unknown at this time.Among the victims identified were the Gunawan family, relatives of an ABC News employee. Hadiono Gunawan, an employee of Malaysia Airlines, was headed to the Philippines for a family vacation. His wife, Irene, and their two children, Daryl and Sherryl, were traveling with him.Karlijn Keijzer, a Dutch student studying in the United States, was going on vacation with her boyfriend."I'm just in disbelief and expecting Karlijn to pop up on Facebook and tell everybody she's OK," Keijzer's friend, Rachel Weigler said in a phone interview with ABC News.One Dutch passenger, Cor Pan, posted a chilling picture of the plane right before takeoff on Facebook with the caption, “Should it disappear, this is what it looks like,” a reference to Malaysia Airlines Flight 370, which disappeared earlier this year.Amid the tragedy were unbelievable twists of fate. Sarah Moonen says her brother and a friend were bumped from the flight at the last minute, but two of their friends boarded the doomed jetliner."I felt bad for feeling good that my family hadn't been ruined and that my brother was alive," Moonen said in a telephone interview.The International AIDS Society said in a statement it was looking into reports that some of its members may have been on the flight en route to the International AIDS Conference taking place in Melbourne, Australia."At this incredibly sad and sensitive time the IAS stands with our international family and sends condolences to the loved ones of those who have been lost to this tragedy," the statement reads.The World Health Organization announced on its Twitter account that spokesman Glenn Thomas was on board the jetliner.John Wendle, a freelance reporter for ABC News, described seeing "bodies scattered everywhere" at the crash site."There's blood splattered everywhere, and pieces of remains," Wendle said. "It's a pretty grim sight...This is terrible."Among the debris were watches and smashed mobile phones, charred boarding passes, passports and guidebooks.Intelligence and analysis of the situation determined that it was a single surface-to-air missile that struck the Boeing 777-200 aircraft while at cruising altitude, a U.S. official told ABC News. It is unclear whether the missile was fired from inside Ukrainian or Russian territory and who fired it, the official added.The White House issued a statement calling it "vital that no evidence be tampered with in any way and that all potential evidence and remains at the crash site are undisturbed" until an investigation can begin."The role of international organizations -- such as the United Nations and the OSCE in Ukraine -- may be particularly relevant for this effort, and we will be in touch with affected nations and our partners in these organizations in the coming hours and days to determine the best path forward," the statement said."While we do not yet have all the facts, we do know that this incident occurred in the context of a crisis in Ukraine that is fueled by Russian support for the separatists, including through arms, materiel, and training," the White House statement said. "This incident only highlights the urgency with which we continue to urge Russia to immediately take concrete steps to de-escalate the situation in Ukraine and to support a sustainable cease-fire and path toward peace that the Ukrainian government has consistently put forward."Investigators will also be tasked with determining the series of events leading up to the crash.Ukrainian authorities told U.S. Embassy officials that debris was spread out over a 10-mile path near the town of Hrabove in the Donetsk region of eastern Ukraine.A statement from the Foreign Ministry in Kiev claimed the plane had been "shot down.""According to the General Staff of Ukrainian Armed Forces, the airplane was shot down by the Russian Buk missile system as the liner was flying at an altitude of 10,000 meters [33,000 feet]," the statement reads. "Ukraine has no long-range air defense missile systems in this area. The plane was shot down, because the Russian air defense systems was affording protection to Russian mercenaries and terrorists in this area. Ukraine will present the evidence of Russian military involvement into the Boeing crash."Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko later added, "We are not calling it an accident, or a disaster, but an act of terrorism."In a tweet soon after the plane went down, Russian President Vladimir Putin said, "Condolences to Malaysian Prime Minister Najib Razak in connection with the crash of a passenger aircraft in Ukraine."A Kremlin statement said Putin opened a meeting with his economic advisers by calling for a moment of silence over the crash."This tragedy would not have happened if there were peace on this land, if the military actions had not been renewed in southeast Ukraine," he said. "And, certainly, the state over whose territory this occurred bears responsibility for this awful tragedy."The plane did not make a distress call and the route had been deemed safe by the International Civil Aviation Organization despite the ongoing fighting in Ukraine, Malaysia's Prime Minister Najib Razak said.The FAA Thursday issued an order that U.S. flight operations avoid airspace over eastern Ukraine, expanding on a previous warning about flying over the contested Crimean region and additional portions adjacent to the Black Sea and the Sea of Azov.At Schiphol Airport in Amsterdam, grieving family members gathered as airline officials briefed them. Malaysia Airlines said a manifest of the passengers would not be released until all next of kin were notified.This is the second Malaysia Airlines plane to be involved in an air tragedy this year. On March 8, Malaysia Airlines Flight MH370 vanished with 239 people on board after it took off from Kuala Lampur bound for Beijing. Malaysian officials said the plane disappeared somewhere in the Southern Indian Ocean, but no wreckage has been recovered.ABC News | ABC Sports NewsABC News | ABC Sports NewsFollow @ABCNewsRadio !function(d,s,id){var js,fjs=d.getElementsByTagName(s)[0];if(!d.getElementById(id)){js=d.createElement(s);js.id=id;js.src="http://platform.twitter.com/widgets.js";fjs.parentNode.insertBefore(js,fjs);}}(document,"script","twitter-wjs");Copyright 2014 ABC News Radio

South Africa Celebrates First Nelson Mandela Day Since His Death


UN Photo(PRETORIA, South Africa) -- South Africa celebrated the first Mandela Day -- celebrated on the birthday of former President Nelson Mandela -- since the leader's death on Friday, spending time working on community projects.Mandela would have turned 96 on Friday. He died in December 2013 after spending months in the hospital receiving treatment for a recurring lung infection. Nelson Mandela International Day was declared five years ago by the United Nations, which urged people around the world to spend 67 minutes volunteering, in honor of Mandela's 67 years of activism for South Africa's freedom."This year, we have decided to honour Madiba's memory through a massive 'Operation Clean Up for Madiba' campaign," South African President Jacob Zuma said, using Mandela's clan name. "We should demonstrate our love for our beautiful country by cleaning our surroundings, together."Follow @ABCNewsRadio!function(d,s,id){var js,fjs=d.getElementsByTagName(s)[0];if(!d.getElementById(id)){js=d.createElement(s);js.id=id;js.src="http://platform.twitter.com/widgets.js";fjs.parentNode.insertBefore(js,fjs);}}(document,"script","twitter-wjs");Copyright 2014 ABC News Radio

Indiana Student, AIDS Workers Among Malaysia Airlines Victims


NICOLAS ASFOURI/AFP/Getty Images(KUALA LUMPUR, Malaysia) -- A graduate student from Indiana University is among the victims who died when a Malaysia Airlines jetliner carrying 298 people was shot down by a missile in eastern Ukraine on Thursday.Karlijn Keijzer, a 25-year-old pursuing her doctorate in chemistry, moved to the U.S. from Amsterdam and was a member of the school's rowing team during the 2011 season, the university said. She was on Flight 17 taking a vacation with her boyfriend.“I’m just in disbelief and expecting Karlijn to pop up on Facebook and tell everybody she’s OK,” Keijzer’s friend Rachel Weigler told ABC News Friday.At least one American, Quinn Lucas Schansman, was also on board, President Obama said Friday.Heartbreaking stories about passengers aboard the doomed Boeing 777 are emerging Friday as families and friends learn what happened when officials say a surface-to-air missile struck the Malaysia Airlines jetliner, months after another plane from the airline mysteriously disappeared.The World Health Organization confirmed that its spokesman Glenn Thomas was on the plane, and many AIDS activists, researchers and health workers heading to a major conference in Australia were also on board.In an eerie twist, Dutch passenger Cor Pan posted a Facebook photo of the plane before he boarded, with the caption, “Should it disappear, this is what it looks like.”Pan, who was on board with his girlfriend Neeltje Tol, was likely referencing Malaysia Airlines Flight 370, which vanished in March en route from Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia to Beijing.Devastated friends have taken to Pan’s Facebook page to express their shock.“I don’t want to believe this is true because this is too awful for words,” one woman wrote.An Australian family is experiencing twice the heartache -- having lost relatives in both Malaysia Airlines tragedies.Kaylene Mann's brother Rod Burrows and sister-in-law Mary Burrows were on board the disappeared Flight 370 earlier this year, and her stepdaughter was on the plane shot down over Ukraine.Follow @ABCNewsRadio !function(d,s,id){var js,fjs=d.getElementsByTagName(s)[0];if(!d.getElementById(id)){js=d.createElement(s);js.id=id;js.src="http://platform.twitter.com/widgets.js";fjs.parentNode.insertBefore(js,fjs);}}(document,"script","twitter-wjs");Copyright 2014 ABC News Radio




Archive

Listener Club


Register here to become a member of our Loyal Listener Club!

Listener Club Links


Register / Login
Archive