News in English

Plane crash bodies flown to Netherlands / Gaza mediation efforts continue / 31 killed in Iraq blast / Costa Concordia heads for scrapyard / The weather


Plane crash bodies flown to Netherlands

The first bodies recovered from the Malaysia Airlines plane that came down in eastern Ukraine last week are being flown to the Netherlands for identification. The country is holding a day of mourning for the 298 people killed in the crash, most of whom were Dutch citizens. The Australian Prime Minister Tony Abbott, whose country lost 27 of its citizens in the disaster, says it's still unclear how many bodies are still at the crash site: "we just don't know how many bodies we have. It's quite possible that many bodies are still out there in the open, subject to interference and subject to the ravages of heat and animals." In another development, US intelligence officials say the aircraft was probably shot down by mistake by pro-Russia separatists. They said Russia had been arming the rebels, but that they had no evidence as yet of direct Russian involvement. In another development, the aircraft's black boxes have arrived in the UK for analysis.

Gaza mediation efforts continue

The US Secretary of State John Kerry has arrived in Israel as efforts to arrange a ceasefire between Israel and Hamas continue. He says some progress has been made in trying to bring an end to over two weeks of conflict, but that there was still work to be done. In another development, the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights Navi Pillay has said that there was a "strong possibility” that Israel may have committed war crimes in its operations in Gaza. Speaking at an emergency session of the Human Rights Council, she also condemned the firing of rockets by Hamas into Israel. She stressed the toll the conflict has had on children across the region: "147 children have been killed in Gaza over the past 16 days. They had a right to life - just like children in any other country. Israeli children and their parents and other civilians also have a right to live without the constant fear that a rocket fired from Gaza may land on their homes or their schools. "

31 killed in Iraq blast

Iraqi officials say the death toll from a suicide attack in Baghdad last night has risen to 31. The attacker drove a car packed with explosives into a police checkpoint in the city. Nearly 60 people were wounded.

Costa Concordia heads for scrapyard

Operations are underway to transport the wreck of the Costa Concordia cruise ship from the Italian island where it capsized two years ago to a port near Genoa where it will be scrapped. The ship's owners say the cost of the salvage operation is being put at over 1.5 billion Euros. 32 people died in the disaster.

The weather

Showers and thunderstorms, especially in the mountain areas. Elsewhere there’ll be frequent sunshine with just isolated thundery showers. A lively wind in the east and highs ranging between 18 and 26 degrees, in the northeast up to 29.