Review Category : Top Stories

Breaking Down the MH17 Crash Report’s Findings

(NEW YORK) — A formal investigation into last year’s deadly crash of a Malaysia Airlines plane revealed that officials believe it was shot down by a warhead mounted on a Russian-made BUK surface-to-air missile.

The theory that Russian fighters were to blame for the July 2014 crash, which killed all 298 people on board, has been the leading theory for months, but Tuesday’s announcement comes from an independent investigation led by Dutch officials.

The report did not say who is to blame for firing the missile and a separate Dutch-led criminal investigation is still ongoing. But the report provides many details about how the plane crashed and the chain of events leading up to it.

How Did the Plane Crash?

The Dutch Safety Board determined that the plane was hit on the left side of the cockpit, and the forward section of the airplane was hit by “hundreds of high-energy objects coming from the warhead,” according to its news release.

The three people in the cockpit at the time of impact were killed immediately, the investigation found. The impact caused the plane to break up in the air and spread over about 20 square miles on the ground.

While the Dutch Safety Board does not have evidence that passengers and crew “performed conscious actions” as the plane broke, “it cannot be ruled out that some occupants remained conscious for some time during the one to one and a half minutes for which the crash lasted,” investigators wrote in the report.

Investigators were able to rule out “other potential causes, such as an explosion inside the aeroplane or an air-to-air missile.”

How Did Fighting in Ukraine Affect the Flight Path?

There was fighting in the area on the ground near where the Kuala Lumpur-bound flight out of Amsterdam crashed. The fighting involved pro-Russia separatist groups that were in control of the area at the time.

As a result, lower levels of Ukrainian airspace were restricted but not the area where MH17 was flying at the time that it was struck, Dutch Safety Board chairman Tjibbe Joustra said on Tuesday.

Even though MH17 was hit that day, it was far from the only plane in the air: There were three other planes in the air close to MH17 when it was hit, and there were 160 flights that operated above eastern Ukraine that day.

By looking at the way in which the plane broke apart — after the missile hit the front left side of the plane — officials were able to determine that the BUK came from somewhere within a 120-square-mile area in eastern Ukraine, Joustra said.

Investigators also found that other planes had been shot down in eastern Ukraine in the weeks before the MH17 crash.

“Moreover, it is clear that Ukraine already had sufficient reason to close the airspace over the eastern part of Ukraine as a precaution before 17 July 2014,” the investigation’s news release states. “None of the parties involved recognised the risk posed to overflying civil aircraft by the armed conflict in the eastern part of Ukraine.”

How Do They Know It Was a Russian BUK Missile?

The investigators cited pieces of the missile they said they found in the wreckage and in the bodies of the victims as some of the evidence used to determine the kind of missile that was used.

The wreckage pattern, paint chips found on parts of the missile that match other parts found by investigators, and the sound peak recorded on the cockpit’s voice-data recorder support the theory that it was a Russian-made BUK missile.

Joustra said that for its part, Russia has stated it’s impossible to determine the missile used with certainty. Russian officials have claimed the missile was fired from Ukrainian-controlled territory.

Russian authorities have said the missile was fired from the village of Zaroshenske, which Russia says was under Ukrainian government control at the time.

Seven countries — the Netherlands, United States, United Kingdom, Ukraine, Malaysia, Austrialia and the Russian Federation — participated in the independent investigation.

How Will Other Countries Respond?

The White House released a statement from National Security Council spokesman Ned Price calling the report “an important milestone in the effort to hold accountable those responsible,” though he did not give specifics on what that punishment should be.

“We maintain our support for the work being conducted by the countries of the Joint Investigation Team, and reiterate that the United States will fully support all efforts to bring to justice those responsible,” Price said in the statement.

The board issued recommendations based on the findings, including the need for further transparency by flight operators on their chosen routes and the need for countries in armed conflict to reassess the safety of their airspace.

Malaysian Prime Minister Najim Razak released a statement calling for action based on the findings.

“While this has long been speculated about, the fact that these chain of events have now been proven conclusively by the Dutch Safety Board mean that we must move forward towards ensuring that those responsible are held accountable for this murderous act,” Razak said in a statement.

How Did the Victims’ Families React?

The relatives of the victims on board MH17 were briefed by investigators before the report was released to the public and before Joustra made his statements.

“I’m just going to have to go away and think, ‘Yes, Liam died instantly’ as did 297 other people because if you think otherwise it will hurt forever,” passenger Liam Sweeney’s relative Barry Sweeney told the BBC.

Copyright © 2015, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.

Read More →

Missile Brought Down Malaysia Airlines Plane in Ukraine, Investigators Conclude

EMMANUEL DUNAND/AFP/Getty Images(NEW YORK) — A Buk missile brought down a Malaysia Airlines plane over Eastern Ukraine last year, according to a report released by Dutch investigators Tuesday.

The Dutch Safety Board’s final report comes nearly 15 months after Malaysia Airlines Flight 17 plunged out of the sky over pro-Russian, rebel-held territory, killing all 298 people on board.

Investigators unveiled a reconstruction of the front section of the downed plane at Tuesday’s press conference. Parts of the nose, cockpit and business class were rebuilt from fragments of the aircraft recovered from the crash scene.

Prior to the official presentation of the investigation’s final report, the Dutch Safety Board announced the conclusions to relatives of the victims.

Tuesday’s report focuses on the accident’s cause, and seeks to explain why the plane was flying over the region, as well as delays in notifying victims’ relatives. The report does not directly address who was responsible, but a separate international criminal investigation aims to address those concerns.

A preliminary report issued last year stated that the plane was likely struck by multiple “high-energy objects from outside the aircraft.” In the preliminary report, the Dutch Safety Board stopped short of saying the plane was shot down by a missile, but its findings appeared to point to that conclusion.

The Boeing 777 was flying from Amsterdam to Kuala Lumpur.

ABC Breaking News | Latest News Videos

Copyright © 2015, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.

Read More →

Findlay Business Robbed Monday Evening

10/13/15 – 4:56 A.M.

Findlay police are continuing their investigation into an armed robbery that happened early Monday evening. A report from the police department says a man entered Wolfies Roasted Nuts and Deli at 340 Glessner Avenue just before 6 p.m. and brandished a handgun. The man demanded money and was given an undisclosed amount of cash before fleeing on foot to the northwest.

The suspect was described as a white man between 20 and 30-years-old. He had a thin build and stood around 5’8″ tall. The man was described as having blond or reddish hair and a full beard. He was wearing dark clothing and a red bandana over his face.

Read More →

Vatican Blocks Gay French Ambassador, France Reportedly Dropping Bid

iStock/Thinkstock(ROME) — The Vatican may be denying a gay diplomat from France an ambassador position as Pope Francis continues to say he doesn’t judge gays or lesbians.

In January, France had pushed forward Laurent Stefanini, an openly gay man and senior diplomat, to become the French embassay’s ambassador to the Holy See. So far, the Holy See has not confirmed France’s decision.

Stefanini would seem like the perfect choice for the position. He had already had two postings at the French embassy to the Vatican, and a French cardinal agreed with the decision to make him the ambassador.

Normally, when countries propose ambassadors, the Vatican only takes a month or so to work through and accept the credentials. The Vatican has said nothing in this case, and critics say it means rejection.

France is now reportedly dropping the bid for Stefanini, with sources telling France’s Libération, that French President François Hollande had given up the attempt.

The news comes nearly a week after a Vatican doctrine official came out as gay and was fired from his position when he called the Vatican homophobic.

Copyright © 2015, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.

Read More →

US Airdrops Ammunition to Syrian Rebels

izustun/iStock/ThinkStock(WASHINGTON) — U.S. military aircraft airdropped 50 tons of small arms ammunition to vetted Syrian rebel groups Sunday, marking the start of the Obama administration’s shift away from the stalled effort to train moderate Syrian rebels to fight ISIS and instead support existing rebel groups directly with supplies and weapons.

“Coalition forces conducted an airdrop Sunday in northern Syria to resupply local counter-ISIL ground forces as they conduct operations against ISIL,” said Col. Steve Warren, the spokesman for Operation Inherent Resolve in Baghdad, using the acronym preferred by the U.S. government for ISIS.

“This successful airdrop provided ammunition to Syrian Arab groups whose leaders were appropriately vetted by the United States and have been fighting to remove ISIL from northern Syria,” Warren said. “Due to operational security we will not have any further details about the groups that received these supplies, their location, or the type of equipment in the airdrop.”

A U.S. official said four C-17 aircraft were involved in the airdrop of 50 tons of small arms ammunition.
The airdrops mark the shift in the training and equipping program for moderate Syrian rebels that was announced by the Obama administration Friday.

That $500 million program had sought to train as many as 5,400 rebels to fight ISIS. But in four months, only 125 trained rebels had been returned to Syria to fight ISIS but were quickly targeted by other extremist rebel groups inside Syria. The latest estimate by U.S. Central Command is that about 80 rebels remain in the fight against ISIS.

The administration will no longer train large groups of rebels, focusing instead on providing equipment and weapons to vetted Syrian groups that have already been fighting ISIS in northern Syria.

To speed up the process, the United States will only vet the leaders of these established groups instead of individual potential recruits that had dramatically slowed the original training and equipping program.
Vetted leaders would receive a small amount of training in human rights conducts and on how to provide information for coalition airstrikes inside Syria.

The airdrops on Sunday provided ammunition to Syrian Arab rebel groups in northern Syria that have been fighting ISIS.

Defense officials said the groups would originally receive shipments of ammunition in their fight against ISIS, and will receive additional equipment and more weapons as they prove their reliability.

Copyright © 2015, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.

Read More →

Inside North Korea’s Miniature City: Folklore Park

ABC News(NEW YORK) — At the foot of Mount Taesong in North Korea, lies Folklore Park, a miniature city complete with scaled-down replicas of Pyongyang’s most iconic sites. ABC News’ Bob Woodruff was granted a tour of the park, where he towered over some of Pyongyang’s greatest tourist locations.

Watch the video below to get a look inside one of North Korea’s strangest sites.


Copyright © 2015, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.

Read More →

Ancient Rocks Unlock Mystery of When Earth’s Core Formed

Mark Harris/Getty Images(NEW YORK) — Earth is a magnificent, mysterious place that continues to surprise scientists.

Scientists have long disagreed on when Earth’s solid iron inner core was formed, but a new study has zeroed in on its approximate age thanks to clues left in the magnetic signature of ancient igneous rocks.

While previous estimates have put the inner core at 500 million to 2 billion years old, a new study from an international team of scientists published in the journal Nature has found the Earth’s interior is somewhere around one to 1.5 billion years old.

Scientists made the determination by examining igneous rocks and determining there was an increase in Earth’s magnetic field between one to 1.5 billion years, corresponding with the time they believe the inner core began to freeze due to cooling from the molten outer core.

“This finding could change our understanding of the Earth’s interior and its history,” Andy Biggin, the lead author of the study who works at the University of Liverpool’s School of Environmental Sciences, said in a statement.

“The results suggest that the Earth’s core is cooling down less quickly than previously thought which has implications for the whole of Earth Sciences,” he said. “It also suggests an average growth rate of the solid inner core of approximately 1 millimeter per year which affects our understanding of the Earth’s magnetic field.”

Scientists were also able to create a model with their data, showing that the flow of energy from Earth’s inner core should keep our planet’s magnetic field strong for at lease another one billion years or more.

“This contrasts sharply with Mars which had a strong magnetic field early in its history which then appears to have died after half a billion years,” Biggin said.

Copyright © 2015, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.

Read More →

Montreal Plans to Dump Sewage Into St. Lawrence River

Vladone/iStock/ThinkStock(TORONTO) — The Canadian city of Montreal is planning to dump more than two-billion gallons of raw sewage into the St. Lawrence River – a plan that is outraging critics.

Protester Antoine Bonicalzi and dozens of others took kayaks and paddle boards out on the St. Lawrence river demanding that the city abandon its plans to dump raw sewage.

Mayor Denis Coderre says there is no other practical alternative.

He calls the temporary measure a necessary step in plans to demolish a local expressway. But 90,000 people, including famous American environmentalist Erin Brockovich, have signed a petition agains the plan.

Copyright © 2015, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.

Read More →

Rome’s Mayor Ignazio Marino Resigns

Christian Minelli/Pacific Press/LightRocket via Getty Images(ROME) — Italy’s capital just lost its leader.

Rome’s Mayor Ignazio Marino has announced his resignation, accusing his detractors of doing everything they could to smear his reputation.

Shortly after his election two years ago, he helped purge Rome’s City Hall of several dozen corrupt politicians with alleged links to the Mafia, some of whom are now in jail. His popularity, however, took a nosedive as complaints about the decaying state of Rome grew.

Even Pope Francis didn’t view Marino favorably, telling reporters that the mayor was not invited on his recent U.S. trip.

Copyright © 2015, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.

Read More →