Experts examining Ukraine crash bodies

News4u-News Desk-Dutch forensic experts on Monday began examining the bodies from the MH17 plane disaster, as world leaders denounced the “shambolic” state of the crash site left in the hands of pro-Russian rebels.

Kiev’s prime minister said the remains of some 250 victims of the 298 killed when the flight went down last week, apparently shot by a surface-to-air missile, had been recovered and moved to train cars, and could be transferred to the Netherlands.

But the bodies are in rebel-held territory where Kiev holds no sway, near the city of Donetsk where intense shelling broke out again on Monday.

The UN Security Council is expected today to adopt an Australia-backed resolution demanding that pro-Russian separatists grant unrestricted access to the crash site for international experts.

Patience was wearing thin over Moscow’s stance, even as President Vladimir Putin pledged Russia would do “everything in its power” to resolve the Ukrainian conflict and to open access to the site.

The under-fire Russian leader appeared to seek to temper world fury after Washington said it had overwhelming evidence the missile system used to shoot down the Malaysia Airlines jet was transferred from Russia to the rebels.

After speaking with Putin, Australian Prime Minister Tony Abbott noted he had “said all the right things” but that he would “hold the president to his word”.

“That is certainly my intention, and it should be the intention of the family of nations to hold the president to his word,” Abbott said, as concerns rose over tampering with evidence including the victims’ remains and the plane’s black boxes.

wenty-eight Australian nationals and nine residents were among the passengers from a dozen countries on the doomed flight.

At the Torez station, close to Donetsk, Dutch investigators, wearing masks and headlights, open each of the train wagons holding the remains of recovered bodies, amid an overpowering stench.

Experts examining Ukraine crash bodies

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Typhoon kills 11 in Vietnam; China deaths up to 26

News4u-News Desk-A typhoon that barrelled into northern Vietnam has killed at least 11 people, while in China the death toll from the strongest storm to strike the country’s south in four decades rose to 26.

Typhoon Rammasun made landfall in Vietnam over the weekend, triggering heavy floods, destroying homes and crops, and blocking roads with landslides.

The state-run Vietnam News says at least 11 people died in the storm.

The paper’s website carried photos that showed streets and local markets in the city of Lang Son and elsewhere submerged in water.

Rammasun had earlier battered southern China, killing 26 people and destroying tens of thousands of homes, according to China’s official Xinhua News Agency.

The typhoon wreaked havoc in the northern Philippines last week, leaving 94 people dead.

Typhoon kills 11 in Vietnam; China deaths up to 26

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‘Sanctions’ threat for Russia over MH17 crash site access

News4u-News Desk-France, Britain and Germany warned Russia it could face further EU sanctions if it did not press pro-Kremlin separatists in Ukraine to allow unfettered access to the crash site of flight MH17.

Francois Hollande, Angela Merkel and David Cameron held separate phone talks to discuss the situation in eastern Ukraine days after a Malaysia Airlines jet crashed, killing 298 people on board after what is believed to have been a strike by a surface-to-air missile.

Concerns have been mounting that the separatists are blocking access to key evidence and to the bodies of the passengers, scores of which were moved from the crash site to a train on Sunday.

“They… agreed that the EU must reconsider its approach to Russia and that foreign ministers should be ready to impose further sanctions on Russia when they meet on Tuesday,” a Downing Street spokesman said in a statement, adding that Cameron was due to speak to his Russian counterpart Vladimir Putin later.

A French presidency statement after the calls similarly warned that “consequences” would be drawn at Tuesday’s meeting “if Russia does not immediately take the necessary measures”. It said the three leaders had agreed to call on Putin to pressure the rebels into allowing rescuers and investigators “free and total access to the site of the MH17 flight disaster to accomplish their mission”. “Russia must understand that resolving the Ukrainian crisis is more than ever an imperative after this tragedy which has outraged the entire world,” it added.

Cameron had already raised the prospect of fresh EU sanctions against Russia, warning in the Sunday Times that Moscow should be held accountable if it was confirmed that MH17 was downed by a missile fired from an area held by pro-Russian separatists in Ukraine.

The European Union has so far hit 72 Ukraine and Russian figures with travel bans and asset freezes over the crisis, but divisions over how far to go given some member states’ close economic ties with Russia has left Brussels trailing Washington.

These individual sanctions are referred to as Phase 2 measures, and preparatory work has been done on next-level Phase 3 sanctions, which would target economic sectors.

But so far, EU leaders have only agreed to widen the scope of current Phase 2 sanctions, including punishing Russian firms, and the new list of targets is expected to be ready by the end of the month.

MH17 crash site

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UN chief in Cairo tomorrow to discuss Egypt’s Gaza plan

News4u-News Desk-UN chief Ban Ki-moon will meet President Abdel Fattah al-Sisi in Cairo on Monday to discuss Egyptian proposal to end the deadly conflict in Gaza, the foreign ministry said.

More than 400 Palestinians, most of them civilians, have been killed in the Gaza Strip since July 8 as Israel presses its biggest offensive in the coastal strip in five years.

Talks between Ban, Sisi and other senior officials will “focus on the deteriorating situation in Gaza and the Egyptian initiative for a ceasefire,” the Egyptian foreign ministry said.

Egypt, which has been a mediator in previous Israel-Hamas conflicts, had proposed a halt to the fighting but Hamas rejected the initiative saying it had not been consulted.

Israel initially accepted Cairo’s plan. Hamas has laid out a set of conditions, including the lifting of Israel’s eight-year blockade on Gaza, the opening of the Rafah border crossing with Egypt and the release of scores of prisoners Israel re-arrested in recent weeks.

Hamas also wants its Turkish and Qatari allies to be involved in any truce negotiations.

After Hamas rejected the Cairo plan, Israel intensified its assault on Gaza and on Thursday launched a ground offensive to stamp out militant rocket attacks.

Ban’s visit to Egypt is part of a regional tour to express “solidarity” with Israelis and Palestinians, his office said.

UN chief in Cairo tomorrow to discuss Egypt’s Gaza plan

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Jihadists claim blasts as Iraq rallies behind Christians

News4u-News Desk-The Islamic State claimed responsibility for deadly Baghdad bombings, as the Christians they drove out of Mosul grieved for their lost homes and uncertain future in Iraq.

The flight of the centuries-old Christian community from Iraq’s jihadist-held second city drew messages of solidarity and pledges of aid, both from former Sunni neighbours and Shiite leaders.

In a statement posted on jihadist websites, the Islamic State (IS) praised two of its fighters — a German and a Syrian — for two of a spate of blasts that killed 24 people in Baghdad on Saturday.

“Two knights of the knights of Islam and heroes of the caliphate were launched, Abu Qaqa al-Almani and Abu Abdulrahman al-Shami, to destroy checkpoints” manned by soldiers, police and allied Shiite militiamen, it said.

The near-simultaneous blasts were among the deadliest attacks in Baghdad since IS conquered large swathes of territory last month, exacerbating sectarian tension and pushing Iraq to the brink of breakup.

The Christian’s eviction from Mosul was just the latest mass displacement in years of violence that have redrawn Iraq’s ethno-sectarian map. “We don’t know what we’re going to do or what will happen to us. Will we ever to return to our homes? Will the government rid the city of terrorists?” asked Umm Ziyad, 35.

She fled Mosul on Friday with her four children and now shares a house still under construction with several other displaced families in the Christian town of Qaraqosh, 32 kilometres (20 miles) east of Mosul.

According to clergy leaders, several thousand Christians fled Mosul on Friday and Saturday following an ultimatum by the city’s new rulers to convert, pay a special tax, leave or face execution.

Chaldean patriarch Louis Sako said there were still around 35,000 Christians in the city before the IS launched a sweeping offensive on June 9, proclaimed a caliphate and made Mosul their main Iraqi hub.

He said all had left the city by the time the noon ultimatum expired on Saturday. A rare Christian who decided to stay was fatalistic: “I already feel dead,” he told reporters.

Many residents of Mosul are afraid to speak and press access is almost impossible, but Sunnis in the city have voiced sympathy for their former Christian neighbours.

“We consider it unfair and against the principles of Islam,” a Mosul resident told reporters.

Jihadists claim blasts as Iraq rallies behind Christians

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Naked sleepers most content in relationships: Survey

News4u-Features Desk- New York: Wearing nothing between the sheets is the key to have a happy and robust relationship, a research reveals.

In a survey done on 1,000 Britons, 57 percent of the people who sleep naked reported feeling “happy” in love.

While less than half of the people who wear pyjamas or nighties said they were “extremely happy”.

According to New Hampshire-based Cotton USA, the export promotion programme of the US Cotton Council International (CCI), sleeping habits can have a lasting impact on relationships.

While satin bed clothing gives the impression of wealth but also sleaze, cotton is associated with cleanliness while polyester is “cheap”.

“Bedding can feel extremely soft against the skin, encouraging openness and intimacy between couples and ultimately increasing happiness,” said the survey.

Also, dirty washing on the bedroom floor, left-over food and cluttered beds are among the biggest turn-offs. IANS


Naked sleepers most content in relationships

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Indian boy stars in Chinese movies

News4u-Entertainment Desk- An 11-year old Indian boy is a star in a Singapore movie, singing Peking opera tunes and speaking most of his lines in Mandarin.

Denzyl Dharma, who studies Mandarin as a second language here, plays Raja in the film, a boy from India who tries to fit into his new home in Singapore and stumbles on to a foreign art form Chinese opera.

The Mandarin-English movie, ‘Wayang Boy’, will be shown in Singapore later this year. Dharma was trained for about three months before shooting the movie last month.

This is not the first time that the talented lad has done Chinese opera. ‘Wayang Boy’ is the feature-length extension of the 40-minute film ‘Wa Is For Wayang’ which was screened at the Singapore Discovery Centre from October 2011 to earlier this month.

Wayang is a Javanese word for theatre performance and is widely used in Singapore and Malaysia for dramas and cinemas. The movie, made on a budget of SGD 1 million, is to raise awareness about the fading traditional art in Singapore.

Movie director Raymond Tan said of Dharma’s audition, “He recited a few verses of Martin Luther King’s famed speech, I Have A Dream. He not only memorised the speech, but also put in emotions. He tried to emote as King did in a YouTube clip he had watched.”

Tan, 41, noted that the young Dharma has patience to shoot long hours. He never says he is tired or wants to stop even after 12 hours of shooting.

This is unlike other child actors who have quite limited patients and would want to stop shooting and go home. Hong Kong’s veteran film star, Law Kar Ying, who plays a teacher fighting to keep the school’s Chinese opera troupe from shutting down, is impressed with Dharma’s acting.

Speaking in Cantonese-accented Mandarin, the 67-year old Law said.

“Denzyl’s advantage is that he knows how to speak Mandarin. His command of Chinese is about the same as mine, which isn’t great. So the two of us can communicate really well.” Yashasvi Joseph Dharma, 43, said of his only child, “Denzyl is pretty animated at home, so I thought he could try out acting.

When he went for a photo shoot at a talent agency in 2009, the photographer told me that my son was a professional none of the other kids were so patient during the shoot.

“Studies are important, but I don’t expect him to get fantastic scores of 90 or 100. To me, I want my son to do what hes interested in. I think he can carve out a good career in acting,” said the father who is a software company’s vice president in Singapore.

The talented Dharma is well known among his peers at the Gan Eng Seng School in Singapore.

His schoolmates never asked for his autograph but request him to get one of popular Chinese actors like Kym Ng. Dharma hopes to enroll in the School of the Arts after completing his Primary School Leaving Examination. And the talented lad will be in Beijing later this year to shoot for another Chinese movie.


Denzyl Dharma

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Jenny McCarthy gives sex education to son

News4u-Entertainment Desk-Los Angeles: Actress Jenny McCarthy went ahead to have a “heart-to-heart talk” with her 11-year-old son about sex as she was worried he would develop a foot fetish.

The 41-year-old beauty decided to give her boy some information about sex after accidentally giving him a confusing message in the past.

She shared: “I just had the birds and the bees talk…I kind of knew it was time because I accidentally told him that sex was like feet rubs. And I looked on his iPad and there were 2,000 pics of foot rubs and I`m like, `Oh my god, he`s going to have a foot fetish for the rest of his life!`

“So I just sat down and had the real heart-to-heart talk with him.”

McCarthy, who is engaged to Donnie Wahlberg, said that it was “difficult” having the chat with her son, but she stuck to the basic facts and was happy to leave him horrified afterwards.

“It was difficult … but being the kind of single mom I`ve been, I`ve had to wear two hats and I`m proud to say that Evan will never be having sex for the rest of his life after my conversation,” she added to US Weekly magazine. IANS


Jenny McCarthy

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Kerry: Missile system used to down MH17 came from Russia

News4u-News Desk- The sophisticated missile system used to shoot down a Malaysian jet was given to pro-Russian Ukraine rebels by Russia, Secretary of State John Kerry said on Sunday, citing “extraordinary circumstantial evidence” the US had on the tragic incident that killed 298 people.

“It’s pretty clear that this is a system that was transferred from Russia in the hands of separatists,” Kerry told reporters, saying that the Buk M-1 anti-aircraft missile system had been used to hit MH17 over eastern Ukraine on Thursday.

“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 said the US had “extraordinary circumstantial evidence” of the incident that killed all 298 people on board the Malaysia Airlines plane from Amsterdam to Kuala Lumpur.

“We picked up the imagery of this launch. We know the trajectory,” he told reporters. “We know where it came from. We know the timing.” “And it was exactly at the time that this aircraft disappeared from the radar. We also know, from voice identification, that the separatists were bragging about shooting it down afterwards,” he said.

Earlier, reportedly, a US official said Russia gave at least three Buk missile launchers to Ukrainian rebels and attempts were made to move the sophisticated systems back into the country after the downing of MH17.

“We do believe they were trying to move back into Russia at least three Buk [missile launch] systems.”

US intelligence was “starting to get indications ….. a little more than a week ago,” that the Russian launchers had been moved into Ukraine, the official said as the blame game continued with Russia accusing the US and the West of pointing fingers at it to push their agenda on Ukraine.

The US official’s comments, made on condition of anonymity to speak about intelligence matters, came as a top Ukrainian counterintelligence official said his service has conclusive proof that Russia supplied the missile that shot down the plane over territory controlled by the separatists.

US President Barack Obama on Friday said that Russia likely bears some of the responsibility, noting rebel fighters could not have operated the missile “without sophisticated equipment and sophisticated training, and that is coming from Russia.”

Russia has denied any involvement, and President Vladimir Putin said Ukraine’s military campaign against the rebels was to blame. He also has called for a “thorough and objective investigation” of the crash.

The rebels have denied possessing the launchers.

But Vitaly Nayda, counterintelligence chief of Ukraine’s security service, offered photographs and said Ukraine has evidence of the movement of three Buk M-1 antiaircraft missile systems from rebel-held territory into Russian territory early Friday, hours after the Boeing 777 plane was downed.

Ukrainian officials have said that a missile from a Buk M-1 launcher was used to shoot down the aircraft.

Two of the anti-aircraft systems were spotted entering Russia from Ukraine at 2 am on Friday, he said. One had its full complement of four missiles, but the other was missing a missile, he said. Two hours later, he said, a convoy of three vehicles that included one of the launchers and a control truck crossed into Russia.

The US official said they could not confirm the exact time cited by the Ukrainians.

Nayda said that Ukrainian military services had not left any operational Buk M-1 launchers in territory where the rebels could have seized them when they took over bases and territory in eastern Ukraine this year.

He suggested they must have come from Russia and said Ukraine has evidence that at least one launcher system was on its territory on Monday.


Missile system used to down MH17 : BUK

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China appoints Sun as special envoy to Afghanistan

News4u-News Desk- China has appointed its former Ambassador to India Sun Yuxi as special envoy to Afghanistan amid efforts to bring about regional consensus to deal with the fragile situation arising due to the US’ plans to withdraw troops from the war-torn country.

The Chinese Foreign Ministry announced that Sun — a veteran diplomat who has successively held the posts of the Chinese Ambassador to Afghanistan, India, Italy and Poland — will be the special envoy of Afghanistan.

“China and Afghanistan are neighbours that enjoy long-standing friendship. China follows closely the development of the situation in Afghanistan and stays committed to deepening the strategic cooperative partnership between the two countries,” the announcement said.

“In this connection, we decide to establish a special envoy on Afghan Affairs, so as to step up the communication with Afghanistan and all parties concerned and safeguard lasting peace, stability and development of Afghanistan and the region,” it said.

The appointment of Sun, who highlighted China’s claims over Arunachal Pradesh in 2006 days before the visit of the then Chinese President Hu Jintao to New Delhi, came amid a political deadlock in Afghanistan after the recent presidential elections between Abdullah Abdullah and Ashraf Ghani.

Like India and other countries in the region, China too is concerned about US plans to withdraw its troops by the end of 2016 after a more than decade long engagement. China is concerned over a destabilised Afghanistan as the restive Xinjiang province, where the al-Qaeda backed East Turkistan Islamic Movement (ETIM) has carried out several attacks in the Muslim Uygur native province, borders Afghanistan and Pakistan Occupied Kashmir.

China, which has also invested in lucrative mining sector in Afghanistan has held talks with India, Pakistan and Russia in the last few months exploring possibility to forge a regional consensus to deal with the situation arising due to US and NATO troops withdrawal.


Sun Yuxi

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