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NASA: Earth was nearly destroyed

Written By kom limapulan on Kamis, 24 Juli 2014 | 21.13

This ball of fire almost gave Earth a bashing back in 2012. You wouldn't believe how close we came to a catastrophic solar flare. Source: AP

NASA has released rare footage of a coronal mass ejection (CME) showing a huge amount of solar material surging off the sun. Courtesy NASA

TWO years ago we were all going about our daily business blissfully unaware that our planet almost plunged into global catastrophe.

A recent revelation by NASA explains how on July 23, 2012 Earth had a near miss with a solar flare, or Coronal Mass Ejection (CME), from the most powerful solar storm on the sun in over 150 years, but nobody decided to mention it.

Err, what? Well that's a sobering bit of news.

"If it had hit, we would still be picking up the pieces," says Daniel Baker of the University of Colorado.

COULD A GIANT SOLAR FLARE CAUSE A CATASTROPHE ON EARTH?

We managed to just avoid the event through lucky timing as the sun's aim narrowly turned away from Earth. Had it occurred a week earlier when it WAS pointing at us the result could have been frighteningly different.

That purple arc billowing north west in this model shows how big the CME was and how we just dodged it. Source: NASA Source: Supplied

"I have come away from our recent studies more convinced than ever that Earth and its inhabitants were incredibly fortunate that the 2012 eruption happened when it did," says Baker. "If the eruption had occurred only one week earlier, Earth would have been in the line of fire.

The power of this ejection would have raced across space to knock us back to the dark ages. It's believed a direct CME hit would have the potential to wipe out communication networks, GPS, and electrical grids to cause widespread blackout. The article goes on to say it would disable "everything that plugs into a wall socket. Most people wouldn't even be able to flush their toilet because urban water supplies largely rely on electric pumps."

Just ten minutes without electricity, internet or communication across the globe is a scary thought and the effects of this event could last years. It would be chaos and disaster on an epic scale.

"According to a study by the National Academy of Sciences, the total economic impact could exceed $2 trillion or 20 times greater than the costs of a Hurricane Katrina. Multi-ton transformers damaged by such a storm might take years to repair."

So can all breathe a worldwide sigh of relief? Well, not quite. Physicist Pete Riley, who published a paper entitled "On the probability of occurrence of extreme space weather events" has calculated the odds of a solar storm strong enough to disrupt our lives in the next ten years is 12 per cent.

"Initially, I was quite surprised that the odds were so high, but the statistics appear to be correct," says Riley. "It is a sobering figure."

However, the CME that almost battered us was a bit of a freak occurrence as it was actually two ejections within 10 minutes of each other, plus a previous CME had happened four days earlier to effectively clear the path.

Sleep well, everyone.


21.13 | 0 komentar | Read More

‘Traces of rain, bodies torn apart’

The wreck of an Air Algerie plane that went missing with 116 people on board has been found in Mali.

Ill-fated flight ... an Air Algerie plane carrying 116 passengers and crew crashed in a rainstorm. Source: AFP

THE wreckage of an Air Algerie plane missing with 116 people on board has been found in Mali's Gossi region, the French president's office said today.

The jet was clearly identified even though it had "disintegrated".

A Burkina Faso official said investigators saw no survivors in the wreckage, Reuters reports.

A "French military unit has been sent to (the area) to secure the site and gather evidence", the French president's office said.

Malian President Ibrahim Boubacar Keita is due to visit the crash site today.

The jetliner crashed on Thursday in a rainstorm — the third major international aviation disaster in a week.

The plane, owned by Spanish company Swiftair and leased by Algeria's flagship carrier, disappeared from radar screens less than an hour after takeoff, en route from Burkina Faso's capital of Ouagadougou to Algiers.

RECOVERY MISSION: Latest updates on the MH17 disaster

Grim news ... Algerian Transport Minister Amar Ghoul announces that the wreckage of the Air Algerie plane had been sighted in Mali. Source: AFP

PASSENGERS FROM AFRICA, EUROPE, CANADA AND LEBANON

A Canadian family of four were among the victims of the Air Algerie plane crash, local media said.

Four members of the same Longueuil family, Winmalo Somda, his wife Angelique and their children Nathanael and Arielle all died, as did the children's uncle Wilfred (the brother of Winmalo), CTV News reports.

Wilfred Somda had been living in Longueuil for two years but is not a Canadian citizen. His wife did not accompany him because she is expecting her second child.

They were returning home from another couple's 50th wedding anniversary celebrations in Burkina Faso, said French-language broadcaster LCN.

The fifth Canadian victim was Isabelle Prevost, a mother of three from Sherbrooke, who had planned her trip for years and reportedly had never been on a plane before the trip.

Prevost was travelling to Burkina Faso for 10 days. She spoke to her stepmother before leaving.

"At one point, she told us: "I love you all," her stepmother Lucie Morel-Frappier told TVA, the Calgary Sun reports.

"I'll bring pictures. You'll have beautiful pictures."

"It is confirmed that Canadians are among the victims," Prime Minister Stephen Harper said in a statement the Toronto Sun reports.

"Our thoughts and prayers are with the families and friends of the passengers and crew who lost their lives in this tragedy."

Air Algerie said it had 50 French, 24 from Burkina Faso, eight Lebanese, six Algerians, six Spanish, five Canadians, four Germans and two Luxembourg nationals on board.

It said the passenger manifest also included one person each from Belgium, Cameroon, Egypt, Mali, Nigeria, Romania, Switzerland and Ukraine as well as "three nationalities yet to be determined".

France's Transport Minister Frederic Cuvillier said after a government meeting that top civil aviation officials were holding an emergency meeting and a crisis cell had been set up.

CRASH IN NO-MAN'S LAND

French fighter jets, UN peacekeepers and others hunted for signs of wreckage of the MD-83 plane in the remote region, where scattered separatist violence may hamper an eventual investigation into what happened.

The wreckage was found about 50km from the border of Burkina Faso near the village of Boulikessi in Mali, a Burkina Faso presidential aide said.

''We sent men with the agreement of the Mali government to the site and they found the wreckage of the plane with the help of the inhabitants of the area," said Gen. Gilbert Diendere, a close aide to Burkina Faso President Blaise Compaore and head of the crisis committee set up to investigate the flight.

''They found human remains and the wreckage of the plane totally burnt and scattered," he said.

Conflict zone ... French soldiers taking position in the vast deserts of northern Mali which has fallen under control of ethnic Tuareg separatists. Source: AFP

He told The Associated Press that rescuers went to the area after they had heard from a resident that he saw the plane "falling" 80km southwest of the Malian town of Gossi.

"A witness informed us they had seen the plane falling at 0150 GMT (11:50am AEST)," said General Diendiere at the time.

"We are in contact with the witness and we intend to survey the site" to verify the information, he added.

"We believe this information is accurate as we have compared it to radar images showing the flight path until the plane disappeared."

Burkina Faso's government spokesman said the country will observe 48 hours of mourning.

Malian state television also said the wreckage was found in the village of Boulikessi and was found by a helicopter from Burkina Faso.

Takeoff point ... the Ouagadougou airport in Burkina Faso. Source: AFP

Algeria's transport minister also said the plane's remains had apparently been found.

"We found the plane by accident" near Boulikessi, said Sidi Ould Brahim, a Tuareg separatist who travelled Thursday from Mali to a refugee camp for Malians in Burkina Faso.

"The plane was burned, there were traces of rain on the plane, and bodies were torn apart," he told The Associated Press.

Families from France to Canada and beyond had been waiting anxiously for signs of Flight 5017 and their loved ones aboard. Nearly half of the passengers were French, many en route home from Africa.

"Everything allows us to believe this plane crashed in Mali," French President Francois Hollande said Thursday night after an emergency meeting in Paris.

He said the crew changed its flight path about 21 minutes after takeoff because of "particularly difficult weather conditions."

Emergency meeting ... an Algerian crisis unit, chaired by Minister of Transport Amar Ghoul (R), meets at the Houari-Boumediene International Airport in Algiers. Source: AFP

French Foreign Minister Laurent Fabius, his face drawn and voice sombre, told reporters, "If this catastrophe is confirmed, it would be a major tragedy that hits our entire nation, and many others."

Before vanishing, the pilots sent a final message to ask Niger air control to change its route because of heavy rain, Burkina Faso Transport Minister Jean Bertin Ouedraogo said.

French forces, who have been in Mali since January 2013 to rout al-Qaeda-linked extremists who had controlled the north, searched for the plane, alongside the UN peacekeeping mission in Mali, known as MINUSMA.

No sign ... an arrival information screen shows the delayed Air Algerie flight 5017 (top) at the Houari Boumediene airport near Algiers, Algeria. Source: AP

Algerian Transport Minister Omar Ghoul, whose country's planes were also searching for wreckage, described it as a "serious and delicate affair."

Flight AH5017 took off at 1.17am local time (11.15am AEST) but vanished not long afterwards when after it left Ouagadougou, the capital of Burkina Faso on its way to Algiers, Algeria.

The plane was due to land in the Algerian capital at 5.10am local time (2.10pm AEST), but the flight was missing for hours before the news was made public.

Political response ... French Prime Minister Manuel Valls leaves the Elysee Palace in Paris after meeting with the French president and his cabinet regarding an Air Algerie plane. Source: AFP

FIFTH CRASH FOR SWIFTAIR

Swiftair said the plane was built in 1996 and has two Pratt & Whitney JT8D-219 PW engines.

Swiftair took ownership of the plane on October 24, 2012, after it spent nearly 10 months unused in storage, according to Flightglobal's Ascend Online Fleets, which sells and tracks information about aircraft.

It has more than 37,800 hours of flight time and has made more than 32,100 takeoffs and landings.

If confirmed as a crash, this would be the fifth one — and the second with fatalities — for Swiftair since its founding in 1986, according to the Flight Safety Foundation.

The MD-83 is part of a series of jets built since the early 1980s by McDonnell Douglas, a US company now owned by Boeing Co.

The MD-80s are single-aisle planes that were a workhorse of the airline industry for short- and medium-range flights for nearly two decades.

As jet fuel prices spiked in recent years, airlines have rapidly being replacing the jets with newer, fuel-efficient models such as Boeing 737s and Airbus A320s.

There are 496 other MD-80s being flown, according to Ascend.

Boeing spokesman Wilson Chow said the company was aware of the reports on the plane and was "gathering more information."

CASTRO'S DAUGHTER ALIVE AND WELL

The daughter of Cuban President Raul Castro assured journalists that she is alive and well, contradicting reports that she had been on-board the Air Algerie plane that went missing in Mali.

Mariela Castro, a sexologist and gay-rights activist, said she had been told there was another passenger of the same name aboard flight AH5017, which disappeared 50 minutes after takeoff from Burkina Faso and is feared to have crashed.

"From what I learned from a journalist friend, it seems there was a Mariela Castro on the (passenger) list, but with a Spanish passport," she said in Havana.

"I've found other Mariela Castros on the internet. But one of them has the second last name Espin, which is me," said Castro.

"Unfortunately there was a passenger by that name and it seems that, without confirming the objectivity of the news, (some journalists) rushed to create a media spectacle over something that wasn't so important. The most important thing is the number of victims of these recent air accidents."

The 51-year-old spoke at Havana's National Hotel, where she was attending a scientific seminar organised by the National Center for Sex Education, which she directs.

Alive and well ... Mariela Castro, daughter of Cuban president Raul Castro, talks to the press at the National Hotel in Havana after report she was on the Air Algeria flight that crashed in Mali. Source: AFP

Castro, who is also the niece of Cuban Revolution leader Fidel, said she had received calls from "many people" worried by the reports," which were widespread in Latin American media.

"It seems horrible to me that truly important, troubling news for international public opinion doesn't travel around the world as quickly as this false report. I don't think my death is as important as those of so many people who are dying in so many parts of the world with violent conflicts and other unjust situations," she said.

Castro, who is married to an Italian photographer and has three children, is the second of Raul Castro's four children with Vilma Espin, who died in 2007.

UNSTABLE SITUATION IN MALI

Despite an international military intervention still under way, the situation remains unstable in northern Mali.

The vast deserts and mountains of northern Mali fell under control of ethnic Tuareg separatists and then al-Qai'da-linked Islamic extremists after a military coup in 2012.

The French-led intervention scattered the extremists, but the Tuaregs have pushed back against the authority of the Bamako-based government.

On July 17, the Bamako government and armed groups from northern Mali launched tough talks in Algiers aimed at securing an elusive peace deal.

Meanwhile, the threat from Islamic militants hasn't disappeared, and France is giving its troops a new and larger anti-terrorist mission across the region.

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

While al-Qai'da's North Africa branch is believed to have an SA-7 surface-to-air missile, also known as MANPADS, most airliners would normally fly out of range of these shoulder-fired weapons.

They can hit targets flying up to roughly 12,000-15,000 feet.

ANOTHER AIR DISASTER FOR ALGERIA?

One of Algeria's worst air disasters occurred in February this year, when a C-130 military aircraft carrying 78 people crashed in poor weather in the mountainous northeast, killing more than 70 people.

The plane was flying from the desert garrison town of Tamanrasset in Algeria's deep south to Constantine, 320 kilometres east of Algiers.

Tamanrasset was the site of the country's worst-ever civilian air disaster, in March 2003.

In that accident, all but one of 103 people on board were killed when an Air Algerie passenger plane crashed on takeoff after one of its engines caught fire.

Passers-by walk past the Air Algerie company office, on the Opera Avenue in Paris. The French transport minister said there may have been 50 French nationals on the plane. Picture: Remy de la Mauviniere Source: AP

The sole survivor, a young Algerian soldier, was critically injured.

In December 2012, two Algerian military jets on a routine training mission collided in midair near Tlemcen in the northwest, killing both pilots.

A month earlier, a twin-turboprop CASA C-295 military transport aircraft, which was carrying a cargo of paper for the printing of banknotes in Algeria, crashed in southern France.

The five soldiers and one central bank representative on board were all killed.


21.13 | 0 komentar | Read More

MH17 compensation could hit $1b

Written By kom limapulan on Rabu, 23 Juli 2014 | 21.14

A WA couple who lost their three children in the MH17 disaster say they are living in 'a hell beyond hell'.

A man looks at the debris scattered at the crash site of the downed Malaysia Airlines flight MH17, in a field near the village of Grabove, in the Donetsk region. Picture: AFP Photo/Bulent Kilic Source: AFP

GRIEVING families could be eligible for potentially millions of dollars in compensation over the latest disaster to hit Malaysia Airlines.

A top aviation lawyer says the carrier's liability over the MH17 disaster could reach $1 billion and victims' families have strong legal grounds to seek damages.

The tragedy was the latest incident in a horror year for the troubled airline, after MH370 dramatically disappeared on March 8 with 227 passengers and 12 crew members on-board.

International aviation accident attorney Floyd Wisner told news.com.au that Malaysia Airlines would struggle to prove it wasn't negligent over MH17, which was shot down over rebel-held Ukraine last Thursday with 298 people on board.

He said the families of the 38 Australian victims could seek financial compensation from Malaysia Airlines under the 1999 Montreal Convention.

Mr Wisner, who has represented passengers and families in major aviation incidents for more than two decades, including the September 11 terror attacks, warned claims could take years to resolve.

"Malaysia Airlines will be liable unless it can prove it took all necessary measures to avoid this loss," he told news.com.au.

"I do not believe Malaysia Airlines can meet this burden since it flew over a dangerous area.

The MH17 crash site. Picture: AFP Photo/Bulent Kilic Source: AFP

"The families also may be able to obtain justice from the criminals who committed these acts through an action in the International Court of Justice, but this is largely a political solution which may take years."

Mr Wisner earlier told The Chicago Tribune that each of the 298 passengers' families would receive an estimated $750,000.

Combined with the loss of the plane, the liability bill could hit $1 billion.

The Montreal Convention, which Australia and Malaysia are signatories to, sets out two tiers of legal recourse.

Shane Wallace of Sydney-based Carneys Lawyers said the first tier of the convention made carriers automatically liable for any injury passengers sustain on their flights, without having to prove negligence.

Victims and their families can seek damages up to a cap of $185,000 and Mr Wallace said this would be easy to prove.

People march in memory of the victims of the downed Malaysia Airlines flight MH17 in Amsterdam. Picture: AFP Photo/John Thys Source: AFP

The second tier allows families to seek unlimited damages, but hinges whether or not the airline can prove that it wasn't negligent.

Malaysia Airlines has said that its flight path was approved by Eurocontrol, which ticks off on European flight paths under International Civil Aviation Organisation rules.

"They will argue they weren't negligent because it was declared a safe place to fly," said Mr Wallace, who is an associate in the firm's aviation team.

Malaysia Airlines has cited Eurocontrol figures that show 75 different airlines flew the same route as MH17 in the two days before the incident.

"MH17's flight path was a busy major airway, like a highway in the sky," the company said in a statement.

Lawyers representing the family, however, are likely to seek to prove the airline's negligence because the airline chose to fly over a known war zone.

"It is a million-dollar question and, the more I think about it, that will be the big fight," Mr Wallace said.

He said it was possible other parties, such as Russia or the pro-Russian separatists in eastern Ukraine, could also be found liable, but it was too early in the crash investigation to know.

Lawyers would need to prove that the rebels were responsible for the attack and that Russia provided missiles to them, in order to show their liability.

A masked armed separatist militant poses for a photographer near the site of the crash of a Malaysia Airlines crash. Picture: AFP/Dominique Faget Source: AFP

There is a legal precedent for this, with the Libya Government paying $1.5 billion in compensation to the families of victims of the 1988 Lockerbie bombing.

The other possible outcome is that Malaysia Airlines will seek to provide compensation to the victims' families outside of court to avoid a costly battle.

"Malaysia Airlines and its insurer may agree to set up a compensation scheme, which would reduce costs for everyone and it takes the hassle out having to sue for the loss of a loved one, which is very distressing," Mr Wallace said.

He said compensation for each victims could range anywhere from $185,000 to more than $1 million, based on different jurisdictions' determination of how much financial loss families might endure.

"Different courts around the world assess loss differently. Australia is fairly conservative when assessing loss and damages as opposed to the United States where there are large payouts," Mr Wallace said.

In a statement released by Malaysia Airlines earlier this week, it said its primary focus was to care for the family members affected by MH17.

People attend a service in memory of the 298 victims of the the downed Malaysia Airlines flight MH17 on July 23, 2014 at the Joriskerk church in Amersfoort. The first bodies from flight MH17 arrived in the Netherlands on Wednesday almost a week after it was shot down over Ukraine, as the conflict flared yet again near the Malaysian airliner's crash site. Source: AFP

The airline is supporting the families by providing hotel accommodation, meals, and transport assistance as well as assigning them individual caregivers.

"As goodwill, to ease the immediate families of the passengers with their economic needs, the airline is also offering a financial assistance of $US5000 to the families of each passenger," the statement reads.

"Funds have already been made available for this purpose.

"Citibank has supported Malaysia Airlines with the logistic arrangements for the fund transfer."

It added that this financial assistance will not be offset against the final compensation or affect the families' legal rights to claim.

People release white balloons in the air during a silent march in memory of the victims of the downed Malaysia Airlines flight MH17. Picture: AFP Photo/Olaf Kraak. Source: AFP


21.14 | 0 komentar | Read More

Latest updates: MH17 disaster

A motorcade of 40 heares containing the remains of victims of the Malaysia Airlines MH17 disaster en route to a military base in nearby Hilversum. Courtesy LiveLeak

An aerial view shows mourners looking over a bridge the convoy of hearses carrying the bodies of victims of the downed Malaysia Airlines flight MH17 on their way to Hilversum where the bodies will be examined. Picture: Jerry Lampen Source: AFP

Relatives call the mobile phones of MH17 victims — and they've been answered

Poignant pictures of Queen Maxima of Netherlands captures global grief

Mourners pay tribute to victims of MH17 during Melbourne memorial service

 The heartbreaking pictures that brings home the tragic reality of the MH17 disaster

 Tony Abbott fears that some Australian bodies of MH17 may never be returned home

 The Perth parents of the Maslin children have released a devastating public statement

Foreign Minister Julie Bishop en route to Kiev

At least 42 people killed in a plane crash in Taiwan

Commonwealth Games marks respect for MH17 victims

Updates on black box, investigation in hands of British

LIVE UPDATES:

1:40pm

Air crash investigators are unlikely to safely gain extended access to the MH17 crash site as Ukraine's parliament approves the call-up of all men under the age of 50 for a military assault on the separatist stronghold in Donetsk, where the crash site sits.

News Corp's Charles Miranda reports Ukraine ordered a mass mobilisation against the two remaining separatist stronghold cities of Donetsk and Luhansk late yesterday, the latter of which is expected to be conquered by government troops by this weekend.

For the past three days outlaying towns and villages and satellite suburbs of the large cities have been seized back by Ukrainian troops with mixed reports on the number of casualties.

Vladimir Putin yesterday vowed Russia would do "everything in its power" to ensure the investigation can take place — with the Kiev Government interpreting the remark as a sign Russia would further aid the separatists.

1:25pm

British experts analysing the black box recorder on flight MH17 will be able to send details of their findings to the Dutch within 24 hours - giving the experts in the Netherlands further information of the last moments of the doomed Boeing 777 as it fell to earth in eastern Ukraine.

Delivered to the UK for expert analysis, the Air Accidents Investigation Branch headquarters in Farnborough, southwest of London, will now go through the information from the cockpit voice recorder which will give them two hours of pilots' conversations as well as studying the contents of the flight data recorder (FDR).

Malaysian Transport Minister Liow Tiong Lai said in a statement late on Tuesday that it was normal procedure to send the boxes, which record cockpit activity and flight data, to the nearest laboratory approved by the United Nations aviation agency, the International Civil Aviation Organisation (ICAO).

"The international investigation team, led by the Netherlands, has decided to pass the black boxes to the UK Air Accidents Investigation Branch for forensic analysis," he said.

12:15pm

As Australia grieves for our 37 victims today, a simple yet compelling series of pictures of Queen Maxima of The Netherlands have captured the overwhelming sense of grief felt by all of us across the globe.

The pictures were snapped as she watched the arrival of the first bodies of flight MH17 to Netherlands. A ceremony was held for the victims in which the queen accompanied her husband King Willem-Alexander and the Dutch Prime Minister Mark Rutte.

The Queen became increasingly emotional as the coffins were loaded into hearses to be driven under police escort to a military base at Hilversum, southeast of Amsterdam. Forensics experts will then identify them.

(From L) Prince Laurent of Belgium, Dutch Labor Minister Lodewijk Asscher, King Willem-Alexander and Queen Maxima of The Netherlands, and Dutch Prime minister Mark Rutte attend a ceremony for the victims at Eindhoven Airbase. Picture: Robin van Lonkhuijsen Source: AFP

King Willem-Alexander (L) of the Netherlands stands with Queen Maxima (centre) of the Netherlands and Dutch Prime Minister Mark Rutte (R). Picture: Peter Macdiarmid Source: Getty Images

Dutch military men carry a coffin containing the remains of a victim of downed flight MH17. Picture: Robin van Lonkhuijsen Source: AFP

Picture: John Thys Source: AFP

Picture: Robin van Lonkhuijsen Source: AFP

Picture: Robin van Lonkhuijsen Source: AFP

11:35am

More heartbreaking images from Melbourne's public memorial service honouring the victims of MH17 today.

Picture: Jake Nowakowski Source: News Corp Australia

Picture: Alex Coppel. Source: News Corp Australia

Picture: Nathan Dyer Source: News Corp Australia

11:25am

Hundreds of mourners in the Top End have flocked to Darwin for a memorial to honour those killed in the downing of flight MH17, including Wayne and Theresa Baker, and college teacher Emma Bell, who all resided in the Northern Territory.

People joined in song and prayer, including Dutch visitors to the Outback, who had come to honour and remember their lost countrymen, reports the NT News .

A Service was held at St Marys of the Sea Catholic Cathedral in Darwin to honour the victims and their families of the MH17 Tragedy. The congregation pays its respects. Source: News Corp Australia

A Service was held at St Marys of the Sea Catholic Cathedral in Darwin to honour the victims and their families of the MH17 Tragedy. The congregation pays its respects. Source: News Corp Australia

11:15am

Meet Australia's ambassador to The Netherlands, Neil Mules. Turns out he is quite experienced when it comes to disaster management.

Ex-Chief Of Defence, General Peter Cosgrove pictured arrivng in Baghdad meeting former Head of Mission Australian Representative Office Mr Neil Mules, now Australia's ambassador to The Netherlands. Source: Supplied

11:05am

Relatives of MH17 victims have begun the heartbreaking journey to bring them home.

10:35am

Captured footage of MH17 bodies on the long journey home.

10:25am

Prayers have been said for those lost in the MH17 disaster as hundreds gathered in Melbourne to pay their respects.

A multi-faith service at St Paul's Cathedral has brought together religious leaders from across the city to lead the crowd in prayers for the victims and their families, reports AAP.

"Today we come together to commemorate those whose lives were lost, and to seek assurance and comfort," Reverend Andreas Loewe told the crowd during the hour-long service.

Victorian Premier Denis Napthine read a poem by Henry van Dyke, an American of Dutch descent, while candles were lit for those who died.

Catholic, Anglican, Muslim, Buddhist and Jewish leaders are among those who took part.

Picture: Alex Coppel. Source: News Corp Australia

Picture: Alex Coppel. Source: News Corp Australia

10:15am

Monitors from the European security body OSCE and Malaysian inspectors say they have found parts of the fuselage of downed Malaysia Airlines flight 17 with "significant puncture marks".

"Some of the materials we saw and have photographed feature significant puncture marks to the fuselage, almost a piercing mark," said Michael Bociurkiw, spokesman for the Organisation for Security and Cooperation in Europe's special mission to Ukraine.

Reporters near the crash site also saw what appeared to be part of the fuselage with puncture marks, resembling the damage left by shrapnel, reports AFP.

10:00am

Two Ukrainian fighter jets have been shot down as violence continues in the contested eastern region of the country.

The Ukrainian Government said it appeared that missiles fired from Russia had brought the aircraft down.

A spokesman for the self-proclaimed Donetsk People's Republic has claimed responsibility for the attack and tweeted a video that appears to show one of the plane's flaming wreckage.

Both pilots managed to parachute out of the Su-25 jets, which came down about 45km southeast of the MH17 crash site.

Rebels inspect the scene of the crash. Source: YouTube

A soldier steps of the wing on the plane. Source: YouTube

The wreckage goes up in flames. Source: YouTube

9:45am

Governor-General Peter Cosgrove has made some stirring comments from The Netherlands as he fulfils his solemn duty of guiding home the remains of Australia's MH17 victims.

Sir Peter joined Foreign Minister Julie Bishop, the king and queen of Holland and thousands of mourners at a solemn ceremony at Eindhoven Airbase, where the first of the 298 bodies were sent from Ukraine overnight.

Sir Peter summed up the mood of the gathering under a clear sky.

"Why is it that such sad occasions often occur on beautiful days?" he said.

He remarked that the dead were nationals of a united humanity.

"So today they were all Australians. And they were all Dutch. And they were all the other nations," he said.

Australian Governor General Sir Peter Cosgrove joins Julie Bishop. Source: News Corp Australia

Australian Foreign Minister Julie Bishop gives a press conference following the bodies of the victims of MH17 arriving at Eindhoven Airport. Source: News Corp Australia

9:05am

Yesterday, US officials said they had no evidence that Russians were directly involved in the MH17 crash, but overnight they have released new intelligence that tells a different story.

The Obama Administration has detailed what it calls evidence of Russian involvement in the downing of the Malaysian passenger jet, The Washington Post reports.

It has shared satellite images that officials say prove Moscow had trained and equipped the pro-Russian separatists in eastern Ukraine who are accused of carrying out the attack.

Here's the story in a nutshell: Pictures of a Russian military base at Rostov, a Russian city north of Moscow, in the month preceeding attack shows there was more activity on the site. The US say this proves the Russians were training rebels and giving them weapons.

Russia continues to deny its involvement.

Satellite images of a Russian military base near Rostov, showing an increase in vehicular activity since June. They identified the base as being a main conduit of Russian support to separatists in Ukraine. Source: Supplied

9:00am

Insight into the long journey home for the recovered MH17 bodies from journalists at the scene.

Australian relatives have met the first arrival of MH17 bodies at a solemn ceremony in the Netherlands.

8:50am

The Commonwealth Games Malaysian team have worn black armbands to mark the recent crash of MH17 during the opening ceremony.

Meanwhile, The Queen and more than 40,000 spectators paid a moving tribute to victims of the MH17 tragedy by taking part in a minute of silence at the ceremony in Glasgow.

"Almost one-third of the 298 victims were citizens of the Comonwealth," Scottish First Minister Alex Salmond told the crowd and athletes packed into Celtic Park.

Picture: Kirsty Wigglesworth Source: AP

Malaysia's flag bearer Muhammad Imaadi Aba Aziz . Picture: Scott Heppell Source: AP

8:30am

Distressed relatives have called the mobile phones of MH17 victims — and they've been answered.

The reports appear to confirm that the belongings of people who went down with the doomed Malaysia Airlines flight have been looted.

Several grieving family members dialled the phones in desperation and they were answered by strangers with "Eastern European-sounding voices", Dutch newspaper De Telegraaf reports.

An onlooker uses his phone to photograph the scene of the Air Malaysia plane crash. Picture: Brendan Hoffman Source: Getty Images

8:20am

At least 42 people have been killed in a plane crash in Taiwan, officials said, with witnesses and local media reporting the flight came down in a storm after an aborted landing.

Eleven people were reported to have survived, while two French nationals had been confirmed as being on board.

TransAsia Airways flight GE222 was carrying 58 people on a domestic flight when it crashed into houses near Magong airport on the Penghu island chain after requesting a second attempt to land there, local media reported. It had been delayed due to bad weather as Typhoon Matmo pounded Taiwan, according to the authorities.

"We have found 42 bodies and some body parts so far," an official surnamed Tsai at the Penghu county fire department told AFP early on Thursday

Rescue workers search for survivors after the crash of the TransAsia Airways flight GE222. Source: AFP

A relative of a passenger on the Taiwan domestic TransAsia Airways flight GE222 reacts at the flight's departure airport in Kaohsiung, southern Taiwan. Source: AP

8:00am

Foreign Minister Julie Bishop will travel with the Foreign Minister of the Netherlands Frans Timmermans this morning to Kiev, to discuss with the Ukrainian Government and the Organisation for Security and Co-operation Europe, the most effective way of securing the rebel-controlled region near Donetsk.

AAP reports they will then continue on to Kharkiv — where bodies are being transported by military planes to the Netherlands — as part of the joint mission.

"I will be travelling to the Ukraine to meet with the Ukrainian leadership to build on the discussions Prime Minister Abbott has had overnight including with the Ukrainians, Dutch and others," Ms Bishop told media following her attendance at a ceremony for the first 40 bodies of victims arriving back in the Netherlands on Wednesday.

"We must ensure the investigators and those who have the gruesome task of identifying body remains are able to do that in safety. Unfettered, without any tampering from anyone.

"The work that must be undertaken (is) painstaking, long, difficult work. But we will not rest until we have counted every body, every Australian aboard that flight."

Julie Bishop swith Dutch Foreign Minister Frans Timmermans. Picture: Spencer Platt Source: AFP

7.35am

Confusion still surrounds the number of bodies recovered from the crash site as contradictory reports filter through officials at the scene.

"During the identification process (in the Netherlands), it will gradually become clear how many people we can identify," said Esther Naber, spokeswoman for the Dutch forensic investigators, told AAP.

"We feel confident that we have at least 200 bodies. But we don't know the exact amount because at this stage the (original) bags have not been opened."

According to Australia's special envoy in Ukraine, Angus Houston, Malaysian experts failed to locate any bodies or body parts at the crash site on Tuesday.

Yet the European security body OSCE says remains are still being found.

"There were human remains that had not been picked up," Ukraine mission spokesman Michael Bociurkiw said following a site visit.

An official number of retrieved remains is yet to be announced.

A convoy carrying the bodies of the flight MH17 victims arrives at Korporaal van Oudheusdenkazerne, a military establishment where the bodies will be examined and identified. Source: AFP

Dutch military personnel carry a coffin containing an unidentified body from the crash of MH17 from a Royal Australian Air Force C47 to a waiting hearse at Eindhoven airport, Netherlands. Picture: Peter Macdiarmid Source: Getty Images

7.20am

"Our pain is intense and relentless. We live in a hell beyond hell."

This is the devastating message the parents of three Australian children lost on MH17 have shared.

The three children of Anthony Maslin and Rin Norris of Perth — Mo, 12, Evie, 10, and Otis, 8 — perished on the plane when they were returning from a holiday from Amsterdam with their grandfather.

They released a heartbreaking public statement about the incident yesterday afternoon that expressed their grief.

"Our babies are not here with us — we need to live with this act of horror, every day and every moment for the rest of our lives," they said.

Read the full statement here.

A WA couple who lost their three children in the MH17 disaster say they are living in 'a hell beyond hell'.

7.15am

Dutch experts investigating the shooting down of flight MH17 over Ukraine say data from the cockpit voice recorder is intact and has not been tampered with.

"The cockpit voice recorder was damaged but the memory module was intact. Furthermore, no evidence or indications of manipulation of the cockpit voice recorder was found," the Dutch Safety Board said, as the black boxes were being analysed in Britain.

"Tomorrow (Thursday) the team will start the examination of the Flight Data Recorder. This will show whether this recorder also contains relevant information, in which case the data from both recorders will be combined."

7am

Prime Minister Tony Abbott has expressed fears that some of the Australian bodies of MH17 may never be returned home.

He has also canvassed the possibility of sending Australian Federal Police and military personnel to Ukraine to help secure the MH17 crash site, as part of an international task force.

"My fear is that unless we do more, unless we prepare for further possible measures, some of them will never come home," Mr Abbott said.

PM Tony Abbott says two of the Australian victims of the MH17 disaster will be transported to the Netherlands this afternoon, but many bodies are still unaccounted for.

6.35am

These are the heartbreaking pictures that brings home the tragic reality of Malaysia Airlines flight MH17.

Thousands of mourners have flocked to a motorway in the Netherlands to view the convoy and pay their final respects to the hearses carrying bodies of victims of the downed plane to Hilversum, where the remains will be examined.

The country has declared a national day of mourning to remember the 193 Dutch who lost their lives when the Boeing 777 was shot down over Ukraine last week.

Flowers are dropped onto the hearses of the victims of MH17 from onlookers paying their respects. Picture: Remko De Waal Source: AFP

Mourners gather to pay their respects to the convoy of hearses carrying the bodies of victims MH17 in the Netherlands. Picture: Jerry Lampen Source: AFP

A convoy of hearses drives near Boxtel from the Eindhoven Airbase to Hilversum. Source: AFP

Crowds flock to see the convoy. Picture: AFP Photo/ANP/Jerry Lampen Source: AFP

The convoy of hearses carries the bodies of victims of the downed Malaysia Airlines flight MH17. Picture: AFP Photo/ANP/Jerry Lampen Source: AFP

Mourners look over a bridge at the convoy of hearses carrying the bodies of victims MH17 in the Netherlands. Picture: Jerry Lampen Source: AFP

6.30am

Stay up to date with the latest developments in the MH17 disaster with our live blog, which will be updated throughout the morning.


21.14 | 0 komentar | Read More

Protest banner fail in front of Clinton

Written By kom limapulan on Selasa, 22 Juli 2014 | 21.13

Protesters storm the International Aids Conference in Melbourne as former US president Bill Clinton makes his speech. Courtesy: Sky News

THEY had former US president Bill Clinton listening and the eyes of the world looking on. But these protesters at the 20th International AIDS Conference were missing one thing – a banner people could read.

A group of protesters disrupted Mr Clinton's speech as he began to speak in Melbourne today, by chanting "Clinton end AIDS with the Robin Hood tax" and "End AIDS with the Robin Hood tax."

They continued to shout as they brought down a large sign to the front of the stage in the auditorium.

Members of the Robin Hood Tax coalition believe a small tax on bankers could make a huge difference to the lives of people in the world's poorest countries. They were calling for Mr Clinton to support their push for this tax.

As they made their way to the front of the stage, the banner could not be read in full by anyone watching the live stream of the event around the world. All TV viewers could read was "Bill: Say yes to ..." but the next line was obscured by the heads of delegates.

Despite this, Mr Clinton smiled, and let them finish.

Clinton was quiet during the five-minute protest and then thanked them for letting him have the stage.

"The last time I spoke here I gave them a platform and I was glad to do it and I thank them for letting me have one now." Later in his speech he added: "This is called a conference but I think it's really a movement. That's why it's OK if someone stands up and has their say."

He then went on after they finished to pay tribute to those lost in the MH17 disaster who were meant to be at the global conference this week.

"I was very proud yesterday to be in this country when the Australian foreign minister spoke at the UN," Mr Clinton told an AIDS conference in Melbourne on Wednesday.

Mr Clinton said he had also been "overwhelmed" by the comments of the Dutch foreign minister Frans Timmermans, whose country lost almost 200 people on the downed Malaysia Airlines flight.

"He took my breath away when he speculated what the last moments of those people must have been like," Mr Clinton said.

"I hope that all of our countries who value freedom and honour will look at the statement ... before they give in to the temptation to say: 'Well, maybe we should weaken our resolve to take a strong stand because after all they didn't mean to shoot this plane down'."

He also went on to share his message about the state of research into HIV/AIDS.


21.13 | 0 komentar | Read More

Latest updates: MH17 disaster

UK air accident investigators will examine data from the black boxes of Malaysia Airlines flight MH17.

The Grabove main crash site of flight MH17. Picture: Ella Pellegrini Source: News Corp Australia

A GROUND steward at Amsterdam airport who reportedly checked-in all the passengers on flight MH17 has shared her final farewells with the crew and passengers.

Renuka Manisha Virangna Birbal posted on her Facebook page overnight and has since been shared more than 8,000 times.

In her story, she describes her conversations and interactions with the passengers and crew in devastating detail, reports Dutch's largest daily morning newspaper, De Telegraaf.

Translated from Dutch, here's snippets of what she said:

A smile, a greeting, a happy face ..

At the transfer desk, I get two football fanatics, one is checked in and the other not.

"Can you check me in, love"?

They were not seated next to each other in the business compartment.

"Would you like to sit together, sir?"

"Any doubt, I want a few hours of r est," joked the other one. "Cheers".

A loving family of six with their 10 pieces luggage.

"After long time we're returning home".

A child smiling and waving at me.

The crew running towards me, waving and signalling.

A man who is about to start a new life in Malaysia.

A family get dropped off by their grandparents, kids first holiday far away.

Grandma takes photos of her children and grandchildren checking in. This time I do not mind that I am in the picture.

Arriving at gate G03 a young man asked if he has time to buy something quickly.

"Of course, sir, if only you ensure that you are back here at 1130".

My colleague helps an elderly woman inside, all the way to her seat in row 21, she had difficulty walking and travelling alone.

A newly married couple, on the way to their honeymoon.

A beautiful little girl held by her mother, her father behind them pushing the stroller. She is beautiful; a half Dutch, half Malaysian with beautiful big eyes. She kindly smiled at me.

A man who joined the flight to be on time for the funeral of his mother.

Grandchildren travelling with their grandparents.

Suddenly I see a familiar face, it is our colleague from the MH ticket counter.

He proudly shows me his son, wife and daughter. With a big smile he waved "See you soon".

A woman wants to go out of the gate to go to the toilet. Unfortunately, we have already begun boarding and nobody can go out. "May I board first then?"

"Of course."

A final farewell to the crew, till next time!

And then we removed the bridge.

Passengers travelling for business, on the way home, on the way to family, on the way to their holiday, on the way to a new beginning ...

Families, couples, individuals, infants, children, grandmothers, grandfathers, mothers, fathers, sons, daughters, partners, uncles, aunts, colleagues, friends, neighbours, acquaintances.

The last time I saw them, talked to them and wished them a pleasant flight, the passengers of flight MH017 on 17Jul14.

One last smile, one last salute, a happy face ...

+ Rest in peace dear passengers & crew +

On behalf of the ground handling agents of flight MH017 on Thursday 17-07-2014

TODAY:

• Australian families offered to travel home with the bodies of victims

'Woe is me': Gabi Grecko in MH17 catfight

• Operation Bring Them Home swings into action

• Where are the rest of the bodies?

• Was Putin right all along? MH17 'shot down by mistake'

• Black boxes handed to British investigators

LIVE UPDATES:

1:40pm

Malaysian Prime Minister Najib Razak has given a late-night speech in Kuala Lumpur.

1:30pm

Former US President Bill Clinton has paid tribute to the six AIDS researchers lost on flight MH17 while en route to the Melbourne AIDS 2014 conference.

"The loss of our colleagues and 290 others in what appears to have been a deliberate act is a stark reflection of the negative forces of our interdependence. People who don't want a future of inclusive economics, inclusive governments, inclusive communities," he said.

"Those who shot them down represent the other side in our struggle to define interdependence. The open hand against the clenched fist. Cooperation against control. Life against death. It matters not that the murder was meant to be committed against other people."

1:15pm

12.50pm

UK Prime Minister David Cameron has had a lot to say about Russia's handling of the MH17 disaster and lashed France for selling weapons to Russia, who is accused of supplying the deadly MH17 missile to separatists in eastern Ukraine.

But a just-released parliamentary report reveals Britain is still exporting arms and military equipment to Moscow - despite promising to stop in March.

12:20pm

It will be cold comfort to family and friends of MH17 passengers but Australian forensic experts believe they wouldn't have suffered during their final moments in the air.

University of Canberra adjunct professor David Royds said if the initial blast did not kill the passengers, a rapid decompression and freezing temperatures at 33,000 feet would have caused instant death.

"Flying at more than 10km above the ground, the midair explosion would have caused the cabin temperature to drop to minus 50C with a sudden drop of air pressure and loss of oxygen," he said. "That extremely cold environment would have rendered the passengers unconscious within seconds ... It's very unlikely the passengers would have suffered, there would have been no time to worry."

11:30am

11:15am

If you're a regular on Twitter, you might be wondering why Tony Abbott has been noticeably quiet on the social media platform?

While the Australian Prime Minister hasn't posted for six days on Twitter, it's a different story on Facebook. This came just two hours ago ...

Twitter, though? Different story.

Call on our Prime Minister. Hello? Source: Twitter

11:05am

Australian families affected by the MH17 tragedy will be offered the opportunity to go to the Netherlands to travel home with the bodies of victims, Prime Minister Tony Abbott said today.

At least 37 of those who died when the Malaysia Airlines jet was apparently shot down over Ukraine last week — killing all 298 on-board — called Australia home.

"By its very nature, it may take some weeks before we can honour the dead by returning them to those they loved and those that loved them. But we will bring them home," Abbott said in a statement.

"Once the Australian victims of MH17 have been identified, the government will transport their families to the Netherlands, should they wish, so they can accompany their loved ones home."

A woman awaits passengers of a plane from Amsterdam at Boryspil International Airport, some 30km east of Kiev. Picture: Anatolii Stepanov Source: AFP

11:00am

10:55am

10:30am

A woman weeps after visiting the crash site of MH17 yesterday. So sad ...

Picture: Rob Stothard Source: Getty Images

9.55am

Tony Abbott has sent Governor-General Peter Cosgrove to the Netherlands to receive the bodies of the Australians killed in the MH17 disaster.

A train carrying the remains of the victims recovered from the downed Malaysia Airlines plane reached the Ukrainian city of Kharkiv overnight.

The bodies will soon be transferred to the Netherlands for identification and eventual repatriation.

"It is important for the families and for our nation that our people be received by one of our own," Mr Abbott said in a statement.

A grim-looking PM Tony Abbott with Governor-General Sir Peter Cosgrove after signing an MH17 condolence book in Canberra yesterday. Source: News Corp Australia

9:25am

Poor Gabi Grecko is at it again.

The on-again, off-again girlfriend of eccentric millionaire Geoffrey Edelsten felt compelled to do some good for the world yesterday.

And by good, she meant dressing in clothing that didn't reveal her cleavage (lesson learned?) and releasing balloons in honour the 37 Australian victims of the MH17 tragedy.

But backlash against the "model" for using the tragedy as an apparent "PR stunt" left Grecko compelled to take to Twitter.

Our advice? Keep it classy, Grecko.

Gabi Grecko releases a small amount of red balloons at Federation Square in Melbourne, to honour the victims of the MH17 disaster. Source: Splash News Australia

For once, Grecko dressed the part. Source: Splash News Australia

9.15am

Kremlin-backed news channel Russia Today has accused the US and UK mainstream media of biased reporting of the MH17 disaster.

Upon learning that it could be investigated for breaching broadcasting rules of accuracy and impartiality over the its MH17 reports, the channel hit back at the "impartiality and factuality of the mainstream media", BuzzFeed reports.

"It is sad that the news media of the US and the UK, which has always prided itself on its commitment to asking hard questions of its own government when it comes to domestic politics, in this particular situation is readily swallowing up the party line of the Department of State and the Foreign Office, demanding no proof of their claims," channel spokeswoman Anna Belinka said.

The comments follow the resignation of Russia Today reporter Sara Firth last week, who said the channel had "total disregard to the facts" over MH17.

9am

Russia has always denied its involvement in the downing of MH17 and now a senior US official has confirmed that the most likely explanation for the MH17 disaster is that it was shot down by mistake.

The official said the US had no evidence that the Russian Government was directly involved with shooting the plane down, Associated Press reports.

"The most plausible explanation … was that it was a mistake," and that the missile was fired by "an ill-trained crew" using a system that requires some skill and training, the official said.

Evidence gathered so far suggests separatists launched the SA-11 surface-to-air missile that blew up the Malaysian airliner, but it remains unclear "who pulled the trigger" and why, said a senior intelligence official who spoke on condition of anonymity.

US satellite and other "technical" intelligence confirmed the airliner with 298 people on board was hit by an SA-11 surface-to-air missile from an area controlled by the pro-Russian rebels.

"It's a solid case that it's a SA-11 that was fired from eastern Ukraine under conditions the Russians helped create," the senior official said.

Was Russian President Vladimir Putin right all along? Source: Supplied

It appeared those who fired the SA-11 missile were relying on a lone radar that is part of a missile battery and not a larger network of radar that would give a more complete picture of air traffic, officials said.

The SA-11 is designed to be used in an "integrated air defence system" but with only one narrow radar beam, the missile launchers have "a much more fuzzy picture," said a second intelligence official.

Russian operatives have been spotted on the ground in eastern Ukraine but the US intelligence community had no explicit proof that Russians were with the SA-11 unit that fired on the airliner, officials said.

8:50am

The Wall Street Journal have published this comprehensive infograph, well worth a look.

8.40am

8.30am

Australian Foreign Minister Julie Bishop says Australia's resolution to the United Nations Security Council is already taking effect, with investigators finally gaining full access to the MH17 crash site.

Speaking to Sky News this morning, Ms Bishop said Russia had "gravely misread the international furore about the way this matter has been handled", but that there was a change in the country's attitude once Australia's resolution gained support.

"This is what President Putin should have done from the outset," she said.

8:25am

A Boeing C-17 of the Australian air force stands at the Eindhoven Airbase in The Netherlands. The aircraft will, together with aircraft of the Dutch air force, repatriate from Kharkiv to Eindhoven the bodies of those killed in the crash of MH17.

Picture: Jerry Lampen Source: AFP

8:20am

A group of elderly women from a nearby village shelter from the rain after visiting the crash site of Malaysia Airlines flight MH17 in Grabove yesterday. Picture: Rob Stothard Source: Getty Images

8:10am

8:00am

"Mo, you will always be my friend."

These touching words, etched across a bear, were just one of a number of heartfelt notes left by Scotch College classmates of Mo Maslin, who was on flight MH17 with his siblings Evie and Otis and grandfather Nick Norris when it was shot down.

Tributes to Scotch College student Mo Maslin, who was a victim of the MH17 tragedy. Source: News Corp Australia

Sitting among the dozens of flowers at the makeshift memorial at the Swanbourne school in Perth is another. This time on a packet of Starburst — a sign of a gesture in return.

"Your favourite," it says. "Thank you for sharing Mo."

SOB.

"Your favourite." Source: News Corp Australia

7.55am

7.45am

One of MH17's two black boxes. Picture: AFP Photo/AFPTV/Damien Simonart Source: AFP

MH17's black boxes will be handed to British experts for analysis.

Britain's Prime Minster, David Cameron, announced overnight that its Air Accidents Investigation Branch would take charge of retrieving data from the flight recorders, after a request from the Dutch.

Pro-Russian separatists from eastern Ukraine handed the two black boxes to Malaysian investigators in Donetsk yesterday.

7:25am

7:15am

7.10am

There is confusion about the location of all 298 bodies of MH17 victims, with Dutch investigators saying not all of the remains have been removed from the crash site.

Jan Tuinder is leading the team of international experts that is preparing the bodies to be transported to Holland from today.

"As far as we know at this moment we are talking about 200 victims, which means there are probably remains left in the area where this disaster took place," he said.

"I know that we do have to go back to sweep the (crash) area."

7am

A priority air corridor between Kharkiv in Ukraine and Eindhoven in The Netherlands will begin today as Operation Bring Them Home swings into action, reports Jacquelin Magnay in Amsterdam.

The remains of Australia's 37 victims and the remaining passengers and crew of Malaysia Airlines flight MH17 were prepared in Kharkiv overnight as Dutch investigators led the process of organising transport into the Dutch military base near Eindhoven.

The first of the bodies will be flown into Holland sometime around lunchtime AEST.

"Recovery of our people remains our first priority,'' Mr Rutte said. "We will continue until all the victims are at home."

The bodies will be transported using an Australian plane, a Boeing C-17 as well as a Dutch C-130.

6.50am

An Australian expert in Russian foreign policy and security says justice for the victims of MH17 may prove elusive.

Matthew Sussex from the University of Tasmania said the inter­national investigation into the downing plane would be unlikely to get a satisfying result, he told the Mercury .

Even if an individual perpetrator could be discovered, responsibility would be diff­icult to prove.

"(The USA) may go as far as arming Ukraine but personally I think the conflict will sputter along because both states will go on blaming one another," Dr Sussex said.

6.31am

A pro-Russian rebel touches the MH17 wreckage at the crash site of Malaysia Airlines fight 17, near the village of Grabove, eastern Ukraine. Picture: AP Photo/Vadim Ghirda Source: AP

There is more evidence that the wreckage of MH17 in eastern Ukraine has been tampered with.

International investigators finally received full access to the crash site of the Malaysia Airlines flight overnight, but discovered that the Boeing 777's cockpit has been inexplicably sawn in half while under the control of pro-Russian separatists, USA Today reports.

The monitors said large parts of the cockpit and every part of the fuselage had been tampered with.

"The rear part of the aircraft, one of the biggest intact pieces, has definitely been hacked into," said Michael Bociurkiw, spokesman for the group of international monitors from the Organisation for Security and Cooperation in Europe.

6.30am

Stay up to date with the latest developments in the MH17 disaster with our live blog, which will be updated throughout the morning.


21.13 | 0 komentar | Read More

The book billionaires can’t get enough of

Written By kom limapulan on Senin, 21 Juli 2014 | 21.13

Sorry Warren. Bill Gates admitted he is yet to return Buffett's favourite book more than 20 years after he borrowed it. Source: AFP

The book dubbed a 'billionaire's bible.' Source: Supplied

IT'S more than 40 years old and is looking a little rough around the edges.

But this isn't just any old paperback: It's a business bible beloved by two of the world's richest men.

Bill Gates recently revealed his favourite book is Business Adventures, a series of essays written by journalist John Brooks which covers major turning points at some of the world's biggest companies, from Xerox to General Electric.

He told The Wall Street Journal fellow billionaire Warren Buffett loaned him a copy more than 20 years ago which he still hasn't given back and describes as "the best business book I've ever read" for its nuanced descriptions and fundamental lessons.

"Unlike a lot of today's business writers, Brooks didn't boil his work down into pat how-to lessons or simplistic explanations for success. (How many times have you read that some company is taking off because they give their employees free lunch?) You won't find any listicles in his work. Brooks wrote long articles that frame an issue, explore it in depth, introduce a few compelling characters and show how things went for them," Gates said.

Warren Buffett is renowned for his old school approach to investing. Pic: Scott Olson/Getty Images. Source: AFP

So what could a book written more than 40 years ago possibly have for one of the world's richest software moguls?

It's all about the fundamentals, according to Gates, who said that while business particulars have changed over time, the basic rules remain the same.

"Business Adventures is as much about the strengths and weaknesses of leaders in challenging circumstances as it is about the particulars of one business or another. In that sense, it is still relevant not despite its age but because of it. John Brooks's work is really about human nature, which is why it has stood the test of time," he said.

It's not just billionaires who appreciate Brooks' turn of phrase either.

Slate's Seth Stevenson said the book transforms "potentially eye-glazing topics (e.g., price-fixing scandals in the industrial electronics market) into rollicking narratives" and includes richly drawn characters as well as lessons that still apply today."

Interested? Check out a full synopsis here.


21.13 | 0 komentar | Read More

Latest updates: MH17 disaster

The UN has voted in favour of an Australian resolution for MH17 crash site access.

She achieved a major win for Australia at the UN this morning, but that doesn't mean Julie Bishop is a household name internationally just yet. Picture: Gary Ramage Source: News Corp Australia

• Bodies of MH17 victims transported to the Netherlands

• UN backs Australian Foreign Minister Julie Bishop

• IN PICS: Violence erupts in Donetsk

• Local's lucky escape during intense shelling

• Incredible footage shows family fleeing for their lives

• Poor Julie Bishop can't catch a break with UN counterparts

• Black boxes finally handed over

• Pro-Russian rebels announce ceasefire within 10km of crash site

• Malaysia Airlines resumes flights from Australia

• Heartbreaking treatment of what little is left of passengers' belongings

• A message of condolence from Prime Minister Tony Abbott

• Dutch military plane to transport the bodies of those who died lands in Kharkiv

• Russian Ambassador to Malaysia said WHAT?

LIVE UPDATES

1.45pm

The impact of the MH370 and MH17 disasters is taking its toll on Malaysia Airlines staff, many of whom are reportedly too scared to fly now.

Counselling has been offered to all staff but their union say some are too unstable too fly at the moment.

1.30pm

In a bizarre interview, the self styled President of the Donetsk People's Republic rolled his eyes and sighed when discussing the MH17 tragedy with CNN.

He even compared the disaster zone to "black humour".

12:50pm

12:45pm

The Russian Ambassador to Malaysia, Lyudmila G. Vorobyeva, has spoken to media with some real corkers. Here are the best quotes:

"The situation is quite unique, it's happened in a war zone so the international community should be flexible and act in a way that's acceptable to all the sides."

12:40pm

A grief-stricken Dutch man who lost his only child on Malaysia Airlines flight MH17 has sent a scathing letter to Russian President Vladimir Putin, saying his life has been ruined.

Hans de Borst's daughter Elsemiek, 17, was killed along with her mother on the doomed plane when it was shot down over eastern Ukraine on Thursday.

Mr de Borst explained how the tragic incident had robbed his daughter of her bright future.

"I hope you are proud to have turned her young life upside down and that you can look in the mirror!" he wrote.

12:10pm

Analyst at the Royal United Services Institute in London, Justin Bronk, has tweeted what he says is photographic evidence that MH17 was brought down by a missile strike.

12:05pm

11:55am

Malaysia Airlines has diverted flights from one war zone to another.

A tweet from real-time air traffic monitor Flightradar24 yesterday revealed that the airline changed the flight path of its Kuala Lumpur-to-London flight from a route over Ukraine to a route over Syria.

And here's what the airline had to say in response.

Makes you feel real safe, doesn't it?

11:50am

The Dutch military plane that will transport the bodies of those who died on MH17 has landed in the Ukraine city of Kharkiv.

Members of the Netherlands forensic investigation team LTFO arrived at the government-controlled city's airport around 3am (1000 AEST) local time.

They'll work with other experts in the difficult task of transferring the remains of almost 300 victims from a Soviet-era refrigerated train to the their C130 Hercules, reports AAP.

They will repackage the bodies if necessary and take them as soon as possible to the Netherlands for identification.

The refrigerated train carrying those who perished aboard Malaysia Airlines flight 17 left the rebel town of Torez in eastern Ukraine at 7pm local time on Monday.

It was initially hoped the train could make it to Kharkiv in around six hours but it has reportedly been delayed in Donetsk which has experienced sporadic military conflict.

It's now expected to arrive later on Tuesday.

Alexander Hug (R), Deputy Chief Monitor of the Organisation for Security and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE) Special Monitoring Mission to Ukraine, visits a train containing the bodies of victims. Picture: Brendan Hoffman Source: Getty Images

11:30am

Former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton has just finished a live QandA at Twitter's headquarters in San Francisco to discuss her new book, Hard Choices, and her thoughts on MH17.

According to Clinton, the proof is "in the pudding" as to Russia's involvement in MH17.

She warned Putin's goal was to have the ultimate veto over eastern Ukraine and we need to be "clever" to outsmart Putin. She added the only way to stop Putin was by "talking and opening dialogue and sanctions".

11:15am

The Wall Street Journal's Jason Bellini with The Short Answer ...

11:00am

A message of condolence from Prime Minister Tony Abbott.

Condolence message written by the PM to open a new national condolence book for MH17 victims. Source: Supplied

10:40am

Vladimir Putin has no soul.

Well, that's what U.S. Vice President Joe Biden concluded after meeting with the Russian leader at the Kremlin in 2011, according to an article in the New Yorker published online Monday.

Biden told the magazine about his 2011 visit with Putin, who at the time was prime minister, and said he found himself just inches away from the Russian leader.

"I said, 'Mr. Prime Minister, I'm looking into your eyes, and I don't think you have a soul,'" Biden told the magazine.

"He looked back at me, and he smiled, and he said, 'We understand one another.'"

*Shudder*

Vladimir Putin motions to blow a kiss to journalists as he leaves the Itamaraty Palace after the BRICK Summit in Brasilia, Brazil. Picture: Felipe Dana Source: AP

10.20am

9:55am

As the bodies of MH17 victims make their long journey towards the Netherlands, the luggage — rifled and rummaged through — has stayed behind, apparently bound for the same destination on a later train. Heartbreaking to see the treatment of what little is left of passengers' belongings.

Pic Ella Pellegrini Source: News Corp Australia

9.50am

Nobel prize winner Françoise Barré-Sinoussi addresses loss of AIDS researchers on flight MH17 on ABC1's Q & A last night.

"For us it's very hard, as you can imagine. We have lost colleagues and friends. To us it was really difficult for us to decide whether to go on and the answer came very easily after we were thinking about our friends and colleagues. We said to ourselves, it's really what they would like us to do. So we have to go on. We have to move forward for them," she said.

The 20th International AIDS Conference, being held in Melbourne this week, was struck with tragedy when it was revealed that six of its delegates perished when MH17 was shot down over Ukraine.

9:45am

Malaysia Airlines has resumed all of its scheduled flights from Australia as normal.

The beleaguered company released a statement this morning thanking travel agents and passengers for their support since the MH17 disaster.

"The company reiterates that the Malaysian Government, the majority shareholder in Malaysia Airlines, is committed to ensuring the airline's long term future as its national carrier," the statement read.

9:30am

9:25am

Reports pro-Russian rebels have announced a 10km ceasefire around MH17 crash site, so investigators can begin work at the scene.

9:20am

Clues are beginning to emerge about exactly how the attack on Malaysia Airlines flight MH17 unfolded.

Aviation and defence experts believe bodies may contain missile shrapnel, chemical residue on the plane's wreckage could confirm definitively what type of weapon was used to shoot it down, and the crash location will illuminate the timing of the incident.

Read more about the latest theories to explain exactly what happened here.

9:05am

9am

More footage of yesterday's deadly fighting in Donetsk, close to where the bodies of MH17 victims were being held, shows the devastating affects of random shelling attacks and the difficulty international investigators face in reaching the crash site.

Smoke is still billowing from where the shell landed. Source: YouTube

Cars lay in tatters close to the scene. Source: YouTube

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8:45am

It's been a long day ...

8:25am

The pro-Russian separatists in eastern Ukraine have handed over the two black boxes from flight MH17.

Malaysian Prime Minister Najib Razak said earlier today that he had reached an agreement with separatist leader Aleksander Borodai, which will also allow independent international investigators safe access to the crash site.

8:15am

She may have achieved a significant win for Australia with the United Nations Security Council this morning, but that didn't stop social media from making a mockery of Julie Bishop. Or was that Judy?

The Dutch representative of the United Nations met with Australia's Foreign Minister, but made one important mistake. Awkward.

8:10am

Victims of the disaster have become embroiled in a global internet scam after fraudsters created fake Facebook tribute pages linked to dodgy pop-up ads.

Each page contains a single link to a blog site, allegedly containing a video and more information on the MH17 crash — deliberately built for the purpose of profit.

Once clicked on by Facebook users, they are served a variety of pop-up ads for online gambling, dating, get-rich-quick schemes, and other products and services.

Three of the fake pages set up have targeted Australian victims Otis, Evie and Mo Maslin, the young West Australian children who perished in the plane disaster in Ukraine.

A fake Facebook page set up in the name of one of MH17's victims. Source: Facebook

8:05am

More chaotic scenes from Donetsk where violence erupted overnight.

7:55am

A senior Russian official has implied that the presence of a Ukrainian military jet may be linked to the tragedy of MH17.

Lieutenant-General Andrei Kartopolov said the military aircraft was flying just a few kilometres away from the Malaysian Airlines plane minutes before it was downed, The Independent reports.

Talking to the media yesterday, he also denied allegations that Russia had provided the east Ukrainian separatists with BUK missile launchers.

Russia's Army General Staff Main Operative Department head, Lt.-Gen. Andrei Kartopolov. Source: AFP

7:50am

Ukraine forces shown on the move during yesterday's shelling attack in the suburban area of Donetsk.

7:40am

Incredible footage shows a family escape a shelling attack at a beach near Avdeevka, north from the city of Donetsk, on Sunday. Reports state Ukrainian forces are responsible for the attack.

Pretty scary stuff.

The family run for their lives as a shell is dropped on a local beach. Source: YouTube

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7:30am

Colourful London Mayor Boris Johnson has entered the debate of the MH17 disaster with some incendiary comments directed squarely at Russia.

7:25am

Actor Jason Biggs has apologised AGAIN for that appalling tweet he made last week.

Soon after news broke of the MH17 tragedy, the Orange is the New Black star took to Twitter to share this thought: "Anyone wanna buy my Malaysia Airlines frequent flyer miles?"

He initially defended his comments, saying they were a joke, but he eventually apologised for the tweet.

While he tweeted an apology on Saturday, he appeared on daytime talk show The View yesterday and said he was hoping to move on from the backlash he received.

"I certainly meant no harm, there was no malice behind it, but I was stupid ... It was offensive, it was poorly timed," Biggs explained.

7:05am

This local made a lucky escape during intense shelling in the suburban area of Donetsk.

6:55am

The tragedy of MH17 was compounded yesterday when intense fighting broke out in the Ukrainian region where Malaysia Airlines flight MH17 went down.

Shortly after 10am (5PM AEST) local time, suburban areas of Donetsk were hit by indiscriminate mortar shelling, sending residents fleeing for their lives.

A rebel fighter told AFP that Ukrainian Government troops had attacked their positions close to the Donetsk railway station.

News Corp Australia's journalist on the scene Charles Miranda saw at least four people killed in two separate mortar attacks including an elderly woman who had been walking through a courtyard park area.

Ukrainian Government officials refused to comment on the situation citing it as an "anti-terrorist" operation.

A firefighter attends extinguishes a fire of building annexes after combat between Ukrainian forces and the pro-Russian militants in Lugansk. Picture: Alex Inoy Source: AFP

6.45am

The president of Ukraine has compared the MH17 disaster to some of the worst terrorist atrocities in human history.

"I don't see any differences from the tragedy (of) 9/11, from the tragedy of Lockerbie, and the tragedy of Grabove, on Ukrainian side," Petro Poroshenko told CNN.

He insisted that the armed men in eastern Ukraine should not be referred to as "separatists". "There are no separatists there. They are terrorists," he said.

Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko. Source: AP

6.40am

Foreign Affairs Minister Julie Bishop addresses the United Nations Security Council. Picture: AP Photo/Seth Wenig Source: AP

With the backing of Russia, the UN Security Council has unanimously supported Australia for a full, independent international investigation of the Malaysia Airlines plane disaster.

Australia took the lead in drafting the strongly worded resolution, which was adopted after some changes were made to satisfy Moscow.

"We must have answers. We must have justice," Australian Foreign Minister Julie Bishop told the 15-member council.

"It is despicable that this access is not being provided

"It is an affront to the victims and their families ... everyone must co-operate with the investigation. We will not rest until this is done. We will not rest until we bring them home."

The resolution demands that all military activities, including by armed groups, be "immediately ceased in the immediate area surrounding the crash site to allow for security and safety of the international investigation".

Moscow sought to change the term "shooting down" of the plane for "downing", arguing that it amounted to prejudging the outcome of the investigation.

Organisation for Security and Cooperation in Europe deputy chief monitor Alexander Hug visits a train containing the bodies of victims of the Malaysia Airlines flight MH17 in Torez, Ukraine. Picture: Brendan Hoffman/Getty Image Source: Getty Images

6.15am

The journey home for those who perished in Malaysia Airlines flight MH17 has finally begun.

The remains of about 282 bodies recovered from the crash site are finally on their way to the Netherlands after a train left Torez overnight.

The bodies will be handed over to Dutch pathologists who will inspect the remains before they are returned home.

Read more here.

6am

Stay up to date with the latest developments in the MH17 disaster with our live blog, which will be updated throughout the morning.


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Putin breaks his silence on MH17

Written By kom limapulan on Minggu, 20 Juli 2014 | 21.13

SKY News reporter Colin Brazier has come under fire after being filmed going through the luggage of dead passengers on board MH17.

On guard ... A member of a local militia guards remnants of Malaysia Airlines flight MH17 during a visit by monitors from the Organisation for Security and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE). Source: Getty Images

Man for the job ... Former Air Chief Marshall Angus Houston has been diverted from his search for MH370 to 'seek justice' for MH17. Source: News Corp Australia

FORMER Air Chief Marshal Angus Houston has been sent to Ukraine as Prime Minister Tony Abbott's "personal envoy" at the head of a 45-man team to ensure "justice is done".

The former defence force official, who also led Australia's failed search for the wreckage of missing Malaysia Airlines MH370, is already in Kiev, the Prime Minister said today.

Mr Abbott described the investigation and crash scene as "shambolic", saying the site where the plane crashed looked more like a "garden clean up than a forensic investigation".

"This is still an absolutely shambolic situation." he said.

"It is imperative that we get a properly secured site, and a proper investigation. In order to bring them home, we have to first get them out. That is what all of our energies and efforts are directed to — getting them out and getting them home."

An Australian air force transport aircraft was on standby if needed for this purpose, he said.

Mr Abbott has also begun contacting the families of the 37 Australians killed in the MH17 disaster.

He said he spoke with two families who had lost loved ones in the disaster.

"My intention is to call all of the families of victims who would like a call from their Prime Minister. Some may want calls, some may not. I do not want to intrude on anyone's grief, but I want them to know their Prime Minister is available to them in a time like this."

FLIGHT REFUNDS: Malaysia Airlines waive fees until Thursday

TRIBUTE SCAMS: Facebook frauds hit MH17 victims

'Available' PM ... Tony Abbott speaking at press conference, at Parliament House in Canberra this morning. Picture: Kym Smith Source: News Corp Australia

Mr Abbott also repeated his concerns that Russia ensures "full and unfettered: access to the site.

"The mood of the leaders I have spoken to is firmer and sterner now than it was ... and frankly it is firmer and sterner as it should be as more and more facts emerge," he said.

Mr Abbott would not say whether Russian President Vladimir Putin had expressed any responsibility for the disaster during their recent phone conversation.

However, he described their talk as "wider ranging" and "more frank" than Australian discussions with the Russian ambassador and the minister for economic development, who was in Sydney for a G20 trade ministers' gathering.

FAMILIES PLEAD: Give our loved ones back

RUSSIA: Pointing the finger at everyone else

World leaders had firmed against Russia because of mounting evidence MH17 had been shot down by pro-Russian rebels, "quite possibly supplied by the backer".

"As for my conversation with Mr Putin, I'm not going to go into details ... To Mr Putin's credit, he did say all the right things. The challenge now is to hold the President to his word."

The government has sought advice on whether it can designate the disaster an act of terrorism, therefore allowing families of the victims to access federal compensation.

"I think what's compounded that is looking at what's happened to the wreckage, what has happened on the site," Mr Abbott said.

He demanded authority for the crash site be taken from the rebels, who he said were almost certainly culpable for the tragedy.

"Having those people in control of the site is a little like leaving criminals in control of a crime scene," he said.

"Every day that goes by the bodies are deteriorating ... (and) the site is further contaminated." As long as the bodies and the crash site remained under the rebels' control, there would be "interference after interference, impediment after impediment".

Silence ended ... Russia's President Vladimir Putin has addressed the MH17 tragedy for the first time when he spoke to media today He warned against 'narrowly selfish' political exploitation of the tragedy. Source: AP

Acting Opposition Leader Tanya Plibersek said Labor backed the decision to send Houston to Ukraine on behalf of Australia.

She also said it was "critical" for President Vladimir Putin to support the proposed UN Security Council resolution, and to use "every bit of its influence with rebels" to ensure investigators get full access to the crash site.

RUSSIA'S PRESIDENT BREAKS HIS SILENCE

In responding for the first time about the MH17 crash and investigation, Mr Putin said: "This task force is not enough."

"We need more, we need a fully representative group of experts to be working at the site under the guidance of ICAO, the relevant international commission."

"We must do everything to provide security for the international experts on the site of the tragedy ... In the meantime, nobody should and has no right to use this tragedy to achieve their 'narrowly selfish' political goals."

PUTIN'S MH17 STATEMENT: Read the full document here (Google translate)

FINAL ROLE: Last hours of MH17's 'flying mothers'

This morning pro-Russian rebels confirmed they had what they thought were the black boxes of the doomed Malaysian Airlines flight in their self-declared capital of Donetsk in Ukraine's east.

For days it had been rumoured the Pro-Russian separatists controlling swathes of east Ukraine had removed the vital flight recorder boxes from the MH17 aircraft wreckage.

Tangled web ... The war of words between Russia and the West over the remains of Malaysia Airlines Flight MH17 continues. Picture: Ella Pellegrini Source: News Corp Australia

Rebels also have confirmed a train containing 192 bodies and eight body parts in refrigerated carriages is to be transferred to the sea port of Mariupol in Ukraine's south east on the north coast of the Sea of Azoz.

AUSTRALIA SUBMITS UN RESOLUTION

Foreign Minister Julie Bishop has today circulated a draft United Nations Security Council resolution demanding "full and unfettered access" to the crash site.

A vote is set for Monday at 3pm in New York which is 5am Tuesday AEST.

"Decency and justice requires that this resolution be carried by acclamation,'' Mr Abbott told media this morning.

"But as we all know these are difficult and daunting times and it is wrong to be too certain about what the future might hold.''

HELL ON EARTH: Horror of MH17's final resting place

The document condemns the shooting down of MH17 "in the strongest terms" and demands that those responsible be held to account. It also expresses serious concerns that armed groups have "impeded immediate, safe, secure and unrestricted access to the crash site and surrounding area."

The draft resolution "demands that the armed groups in control of the crash site and the surrounding area refrain from any actions that may compromise the integrity of the crash site and immediately provide safe, secure, full and unfettered access to the site and surrounding area for the appropriate investigating authorities."

PICTURES: The world mourns MH17

It "calls on all states and actors in the region to cooperate fully in relation to the international investigation of the incident, including with respect to immediate access to the crash site ... in an effort to strengthen the safety of international civil aviation and to prevent any recurrence of such use of force against civilian aircraft."

Ms Bishop called for an urgent vote on the resultion by the United Nations Security Council — a process which could take place as soon as today.

Earlier this morning Ms Bishop told media it was "imperative" that the victims of MH17 be released.

"This is not a time to use bodies as hostages or pawns in a Ukrainian-Russian conflict,'' she told reporters in Washington.

Restricted access ... Alexander Hug, right, and Michael Bociurkiw from monitoring group Organisation for Security and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE) speak to journalists after inspecting part of the wreckage of Malaysia Airlines flight MH17. Source: Getty Images

On the ground ... Debris and objects found Malaysian Airlines flight MH17 fell from the sky in Rozsypne, Eastern Ukraine. Picture: Ella Pellegrini Source: News Corp Australia

The government was determined to secure an independent investigation that was ``impartial and thorough and competent and able to determine who is responsible for this so they can be brought to justice''.

"I would expect Russia to fully support any resolution that seeks to secure the site and establish an independent investigation," Ms Bishop said.

LOCALS SPEAK: 'Birds falling from the sky'

Russia, as a permanent member of the council, has the power to veto the resolution.

"Australia has a lot at stake here,'' she said.

"They have been murdered and the Australian government will not rest until we're able to bring the bodies home to the Australian families who are waiting for them.''

Ms Bishop also said she had been briefed by British and US intelligence officials.

Sifting the rubble ... Ukrainian State Emergency Service employees search for bodies among the wreckage at the crash site of Malaysia Airlines Flight MH17, near the village of Grabove, in the region of Donetsk, Ukraine. Source: AFP

MH17 PROBE COULD TAKE A YEAR

The head of Australia's transport safety body has warned there will be no quick answers to the downing of MH17, saying it could take up to a year to complete an investigation.

The Australian Transport Safety Bureau dispatched two senior investigators to Kiev to assist an international inquiry into the disaster.

But chief commissioner Martin Dolan dampened expectations of a speedy determination.

"We normally say as investigators it can take up to a year to get a firm result," he told reporters at Canberra airport.

"It's quite possible that there will be no quick response to this." Mr Dolan said it was "disappointing and upsetting" to see Russian-backed rebels tampering with evidence at the crash site in eastern Ukraine, which has been a target of international condemnation.

BODIES ON THE MOVE

Rebels have confirmed they have 192 bodies and eight body parts in refrigerated train carriages sitting in sidings at the city of Torez train station in Ukraine's east.

An official at Torez morgue confirmed the bodies were to be trained to the sea port of Mariupol in Ukraine's south east on the north coast of the Sea of Azoz.

HORROR: Victims moved into refrigerated trains

COVER UP: Bodies moved as Aussie death toll rises

The official from the morgue declined to say why the bodies were now being transported to the seaport.

"They will stay there for now, until the issue (of what to do with them) is resolved. We are waiting for the experts," said Sergei Kavtaradze, a senior official of the pro-Russian rebels' self-proclaimed Donetsk People's Republic that controls the region where the Boeing was downed.

Recovery ... The bodies of victims of the crash of Malaysia Airlines flight MH17 await collection by the side of the road near the crash site on July 20, 2014 in Grabovo, Ukraine. Source: Getty Images

Meanwhile, Australian experts are on the ground in Ukraine waiting to help identify victims of the MH17 crash. The bodies, however, are still yet to be released by rebels in the east of the country.

A team of international forensic experts is waiting for the refrigerated train to be released from the village of Torez near the crash site.

Dutch diplomat Kees van Baar said his country would lead the expert team which would identify the bodies.

"There are Australian experts in the team — they are part of the team,'' he confirmed.

"If these bodies are being released they will be met by a team of international experts and they are going to be identified.

Mr van Baar revealed no next of kin had yet arrived in Ukraine.

"There's no question as such right now of relatives arriving (because) we don't know where the bodies will go to right now.''

It's been suggested the train could travel to the Ukrainian-controlled city of Kharkiv.

According to the latest figures from the Donetsk authorities, 247 out of 298 bodies have been recovered from the crash site.

On the move ... The refrigerated train holding many bodies from MH17 is now being sent to the port of Mariupol. Source: Supplied

REBELS CALL THE SHOTS

Rebel leader Alexander Borodai had last week said he knew nothing of the flight recorders — which could detail the moment the aircraft crashed from an altitude of 10,000m — but now he has confirmed his movement had them.

"Jet parts resembling the black boxes were discovered at the crash site," said Alexander Borodai, prime minister of the self-proclaimed Donetsk People's Republic overnight.

"What we have is just some components of the plane. We are not experts; we think that they may be black boxes but we're not sure."

He didn't give specifics but said they would be handed over to the International Civil Aviation Organisation once they came to the region.

He also insisted his rebels had not interfered with the site despite clear evidence to the contrary.

Crowd control ... A member of a local militia guards remnants of Malaysia Airlines flight MH17 during a visit by monitors from the Organisation for Security and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE). Source: Getty Images

Evidence ... One of the aircraft's cockpit manuals laying unattended in Ukraine. Picture: Ella Pellegrini Source: News Corp Australia

Adding to growing claims that pro-Russian rebels had done just that, Ukraine's security services yesterday released purported intercepts of phone conversations between rebel militants discussing the location of the plane's black boxes.

In one exchange, a man identified as the leader of the rebel Vostok Battalion, Alexander Khodakovsky states that two recording devices are being held by the head of intelligence of the insurgency's military commander.

The commander is then heard to order the militiaman to ensure no outsiders, including an international observation team near the crash site at the reported time of the call, get hold of any material.

Answers? ... An image believed to show a black box flight recorder being removed from the crash site. Picture: Twitter Source: Supplied

The man identified as Khodakovsky says he is seeking information about the black boxes under instructions from "our high-placed friends ... in Moscow." The security service says all the recordings were made on Friday, but the authenticity of the recordings cannot be independently verified.

The rebel's admission came as US Secretary of State John Kerry accused them of being behind the outrage.

US President Obama had earlier said the rebels could not have carried out the attack without Moscow's support but, in an interview with CNN, Mr Kerry went further, accusing Russia directly of handing over the missile system that was used to shoot down the plane.

"We know with confidence, with confidence that the Ukrainians did not have such a system anywhere near the vicinity at that point in time. So it obviously points a very clear finger at the separatists,'' Kerry told CNN.

Video shows flight data recorder being recovered from crash site of flight MH17 in eastern Ukraine. Jillian Kitchener reports.

Open for inspection ... An opened piece of luggage at the MH17 crash site. Picture; Ella Pellegrini Source: News Corp Australia

He also slammed as "grotesque'' the manner in which "drunken separatist soldiers'' were allegedly "unceremoniously piling bodies into trucks, removing both bodies, as well as evidence, from the site''.

Pro-Russian rebels reject Mr Kerry's claims.

The rebel chief explained that fighters had moved scores of bodies "out of respect for the families''.

"We couldn't wait any longer because of the heat and also because there are many dogs and wild animals in the zone,'' Borodai said.

'RESPECT THE BODIES'

The Prime Minister says Australia will do everything in its power to ensure the bodies of 37 Australians killed on Flight MH17 are respected and justice is done.

Mr Abbott attended a national security committee of cabinet meeting on Sunday evening after images emerged of the crash site in eastern Ukraine being "absolutely trampled".

Local emergency workers have begun using angle grinders to cut up the Malaysian Airways flight MH17 aircraft as the crash scene remains littered with personal affects and important flight log books and passports of those aboard the doomed flight.

In a scene that highlights the chaotic state of the aviation investigation and the eastern Ukrainian region in general, local emergency workers are tearing at the wreckage to look for bodies, potentially unwittingly destroying vital evidence.

Mr Abbott earlier last night told 60 Minutes that a national security meeting yesterday had been dominated by concerns to ensure the bodies were treated with respect and taken to a place where a proper investigation could be carried out.

"We owe it to the dead, all the dead, we owe it to the families, all the families to do everything in our power to respect the bodies, to find the truth and to ensure justice is done," Mr Abbott told 60 Minutes.

Obstructive ... armed pro-Russian separatists block the way to the crash site of Malaysia Airlines Flight MH17. Picture: Bulent Kilic Source: AFP

Chaos ... clothing belonging to travellers on Malaysia Airlines flight MH17 is strewn in the grass at the crash site. Picture: Brendan Hoffman Source: Getty Images


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