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July 31st, 2014
05:28 AM ET

Ukraine Declares 1-Day Cease-Fire in MH17 Crash Site Area

Ukraine's military announced a one-day cease-fire on Thursday to allow international experts full access to the site where Malaysia Airlines Flight 17 crashed two weeks ago, officials said.

Fighting between the military and pro-Russia rebels in the area of the crash site has repeatedly prevented international monitors and investigators reaching the debris field where human remains and victims' belongings still lie scattered.

World leaders, including U.N. Secretary General Ban Ki-moon have appealed to all parties in the conflict in eastern Ukraine to halt the fighting so that the international teams can do their job.

The statement issued Thursday by Ukraine's Counter-Terrorist Operation's press center said the military would not take offensive action but will "respond to direct attacks."

The statement also accused the rebels of continued violence, including firing Grad rocket systems.

"The Russian militants do not adhere to the international agreements and demands. At 9 a.m. they used two Grad systems to shot in the village of Peremozhne. This demonstrates their attitude towards Ukraine and the international community."

The United States and others say Russia has provided arms to rebels in eastern Ukraine, including heavy weapons such as a missile system like the one believed used to down the Malaysian airliner two weeks ago.

Russia and the rebel fighters deny involvement in the shootdown of MH17.

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April 29th, 2014
10:08 AM ET

MH370: Plane Audio Recording Played in Public for First Time to Chinese Families

It sounds like standard radio chatter between an airplane and ground control, mostly repeating the identifying number of the flight.

But the recording that Malaysian officials played for the first time in public in a Beijing conference room on Tuesday is purportedly the last known words of Malaysia Airlines Flight 370 before it disappeared on March 8.

"Malaysia three-seven-zero contact Ho Chi Minh 120.9, good night," says a voice identified by Malaysian officials as that of a radar controller in Kuala Lumpur, the Malaysian capital.

"Good night Malaysian three-seven-zero," answers a male voice believed to be a crew member on the plane.

Malaysian officials released the audio recording more than 50 days after the plane disappeared, in a long-awaited briefing before scores of relatives of the flight's Chinese passengers.

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November 12th, 2013
05:47 AM ET

Typhoon Haiyan Leaves 1,774 Dead, Aid Efforts Mobilize

Typhoon Haiyan has killed too many people to count so far and pushed to the brink of survival thousands more, who have lost everything, have no food or medical care and are drinking filthy water to survive.

By Tuesday, officials had counted 1,774 of the bodies, but say that number may just be scratching the surface. They fear Haiyan may have taken as many as 10,000 lives.

The storm has injured 2,487 more, and displaced 660,000 people from their homes, the government said.

As authorities rush to save the lives of survivors four days after Haiyan ripped the Philippines apart, a new tropical depression, Zoraida, blew in Tuesday delivering more rain, the Philippine national weather agency PAGASA reported.

Zoraida is not a strong storm, but it is holding up desperately needed aid in at least one province, Iloilo, where Gov. Arthur Defensor Sr. has grounded relief flights, until it has passed.

Boats and trucks will still operate, but like in many areas, whole houses, vehicles, trees and debris piled high cover miles of roadways in affected areas.

It will take heavy machinery and much time to clear them, and although international supplies that have begun to arrive by at airports, much of it is still not getting through to people who need it most.