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Airlines scrap Israel flights over missile fear

Tue, 22 Jul 2014 19:42:13 -0400

When U.S. and European airlines quickly canceled flights to Israel Tuesday, they showed both a skittishness and a new sense of urgency in dealing with global trouble spots following last week's downing of a passenger plane over Ukraine.

Airlines ban flights to Israel after rocket strike

Tue, 22 Jul 2014 19:36:52 -0400

Israeli police officers secure a destroyed house that was hit by a rocket fired by Palestinians militants from Gaza, in Yahud, a Tel Aviv suburb near the airport, central Israel, Tuesday, July 22, 2014. As a result, Delta Air Lines and U.S. Airlines decided to cancel their scheduled flights to Israel.(AP Photo/Dan Balilty)JERUSALEM (AP) — A Hamas rocket exploded Tuesday near Israel's main airport, prompting a ban on flights from the U.S. and many from Europe and Canada as aviation authorities responded to the shock of seeing a civilian jetliner shot down over Ukraine.


Airlines suspend flights to Tel Aviv on security concerns

Tue, 22 Jul 2014 18:41:38 -0400

(Reuters) - Airlines canceled flights into Tel Aviv on Tuesday after the U.S. Federal Aviation Administration and Europe's aviation regulator advised carriers not to fly to Ben Gurion International Airport following a nearby rocket strike. The following is a rundown of carriers that have so far canceled flights to Israel: * Delta Air Lines suspended service "until further notice" to and from Ben Gurion and its New York hub at John F. Kennedy airport. Delta Flight 468, a Boeing 747 from JFK with 273 passengers and 17 crew, diverted to Paris-Charles de Gaulle Tuesday after reports of rocket debris near the Tel Aviv airport. * American Airlines Group canceled US Airways flights between Tel Aviv and Philadelphia.

France backs 30 percent energy efficiency goal: letter

Tue, 22 Jul 2014 18:22:41 -0400

French minister for Ecology, Sustainable Development and Energy Segolene Royal and Justice minister Christiane Taubira attend the questions to the government session at the National Assembly in ParisBy Barbara Lewis BRUSSELS (Reuters) - France's energy minister threw her weight behind an energy savings goal of at least 30 percent for 2030 ahead of talks in Brussels on Wednesday to thrash out a target. Energy efficiency has gained popularity in the context of the Ukraine crisis as EU member states seek to do all they can to reduce the need for imported Russian energy. "It (France) supports a reduction of energy use of at least 30 percent and will help to define over the coming weeks how to enforce that," French Energy Minister Segolene Royal wrote in a letter seen by Reuters. The letter, dated July 17, is addressed to European Climate Commissioner Connie Hedegaard and European Energy Commissioner Guenther Oettinger, who will discuss an EU energy efficiency goal with all the other commissioners on Wednesday.


Plane crash bodies removed from war zone

Tue, 22 Jul 2014 17:49:36 -0400

Banners are held up by protesters during a protest in front of Ukraine embassy in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia, Tuesday, July 22, 2014. Protesters marched on the Russian embassy and Ukraine embassy in Kuala Lumpur on Tuesday, waving placards and demanding justice for the victims of the Malaysia Airlines flight that was shot down over Ukraine last week. (AP Photo/Vincent Thian)A train bearing the dead from the downed Malaysian airliner reached Ukrainian government-held territory at long last Tuesday, but the pro-Russian separatists in control of the crash site showed little willingness to allow the full-scale investigation demanded by world leaders.


Fiat, Renault strike deal on new light vehicle

Tue, 22 Jul 2014 17:04:15 -0400

MILAN (AP) — Italian carmaker Fiat has reached a deal with Renault on development of a new light commercial vehicle.

Lax security at crash site hampers investigations

Tue, 22 Jul 2014 16:55:52 -0400

A pro-Russian fighter walks past a piece of the crashed Malaysia Airlines Flight 17 near the village of Hrabove, eastern Ukraine Monday, July 21, 2014. Four days after Flight 17 was shot out of the sky, international investigators still have had only limited access to the crash site, hindered by pro-Russia fighters who control the verdant territory in eastern Ukraine. Outrage over the delays and the possible tampering of evidence at the site was building worldwide, especially in the Netherlands, where most of the victims were from. (AP Photo/Dmitry Lovetsky)HRABOVE, Ukraine (AP) — When international monitors and Malaysian aviation experts arrived Tuesday at the two main sites where the wreckage of Malaysia Airlines Flight 17 smashed into the undulating countryside of eastern Ukraine, there was almost no perimeter tape.


Germany, France, Italy condemn anti-Semitism in anti-Israel protests

Tue, 22 Jul 2014 16:49:54 -0400

The foreign ministers of Germany, France and Italy on Tuesday condemned anti-Semitism that has marred protests against Israel's conflict with Hamas in the Gaza Strip. On Sunday, French media showed the burnt-out front of a kosher grocery shop in the Parisian suburb of Sarcelles, which is home to a large Jewish community, and clashes between pro-Palestinian marchers and riot police outside two synagogues. "Anti-Semitic incitement and hostility against Jews, attacks on people of Jewish faith and synagogues have no place in our societies," the three foreign ministers said in a joint statement issued in Brussels. France's Laurent Fabius, Italy's Federica Mogherini and Germany's Frank-Walter Steinmeier said: "Nothing, including the dramatic military confrontation in Gaza, justifies such actions here in Europe." About 600 Palestinians, mostly civilians, have died in the fighting in Gaza.

Amid sanctions, France in warship sale to Russia

Tue, 22 Jul 2014 15:51:57 -0400

France says it will go ahead with the sale of a warship to Russia despite calls for an arms embargo against the country, highlighting how Europe's strong business ties are hindering its ability to punish Moscow over the crisis in Ukraine.

European agency urges airlines to avoid Tel Aviv

Tue, 22 Jul 2014 15:18:25 -0400

BERLIN (AP) — The European Aviation Safety Agency says it "strongly recommends" that airlines refrain from operating flights to and from Tel Aviv.

Bulgaria calls for more NATO troops in southeastern Europe

Tue, 22 Jul 2014 15:03:06 -0400

Bulgaria called for more NATO troops in southeastern Europe and the Black Sea, as well as more joint military exercises, to improve security in the region after Russia's annexation of Ukraine's Crimea. An ex-communist state on the Black Sea, Bulgaria was a close Cold War ally of Moscow but joined NATO in 2004 and the European Union three years later.

Evidence mounts of MH17 missile strike, but proof elusive

Tue, 22 Jul 2014 15:01:13 -0400

A Malaysian youth shouts slogans during a rally outside the Russian embassy in Kuala Lumpur on July 22, 2014With evidence mounting that a surface-to-air missile brought down flight MH17 in Ukraine, experts warned Tuesday that proof remains a long way off and only satellite images can identify who pushed the button. Recently published photographs show a piece of fuselage from the Malaysian Airlines plane peppered with "a fairly dense but also widespread shrapnel pattern” typical for the blast from an SA-11 surface-to-air missile, said defence analyst Justin Bronk. Evidence already points to an SA-11 surface-to-air missile having shot down the Boeing 777 over rebel-held Ukrainian territory. “The shrapnel damage on the airframe parts that's been seen so far is consistent with what you would expect to see from an SA-11 warhead exploding in close proximity," said Bronk, analyst in Military Science at the Royal United Services Institute in London.


Dutch prepare to mourn as task of identifying bodies begins

Tue, 22 Jul 2014 14:53:43 -0400

The remains of the victims of last week's downing of a Malaysian airliner will begin to arrive in the Netherlands on Wednesday, but the intricate and harrowing process of giving names to the bodies could take weeks or months, Dutch officials said. Two military transport aircraft will touch down at 1400 GMT (10 a.m. ET) at the airport in Eindhoven in the southern Netherlands on Wednesday, which has been declared the country's first day of mourning in more than half a century. At Eindhoven, the first bodies will be unloaded to a solemn trumpet salute as dignitaries including the Dutch King and Queen and representatives of other countries that lost citizens look on, the Dutch governement said. The Netherlands is taking the lead in identifying the 298 victims of Thursday's crash, 193 of whom were Dutch.

EU readies possible capital, tech sanctions on Russia

Tue, 22 Jul 2014 14:46:16 -0400

Germany's Foreign Minister Frank-Walter Steinmeier attends a meeting with BMW executives in Mexico CityBy Justyna Pawlak and Adrian Croft BRUSSELS (Reuters) - The European Union threatened Russia on Tuesday with harsher sanctions over Ukraine that could inflict wider damage on its economy following the downing of a Malaysian airliner, but it delayed action for a few days. Efforts to forge a united front were hampered by a French announcement that the planned delivery of a warship to Moscow would go ahead despite U.S. and British pleas to halt it. At a meeting in Brussels, EU foreign ministers for the first time raised the possibility of restricting Russian access to European capital markets, defence and energy technology, asking the executive European Commission to draft proposals this week. Such sanctions would require the approval of all EU governments and would apply only if Moscow does not cooperate with an international investigation into the Malaysia Airlines plane crash in an area of eastern Ukraine controlled by Russian-backed separatists, and if it fails to stop weapons flowing into the country.


UEFA shuts PSG stands over abuse of disabled Chelsea fans

Tue, 22 Jul 2014 14:13:49 -0400

A general view of the Parc des Princes stadium, home of the Paris Saint-Germain (PSG) football team, in Paris on May 2, 2014French club Paris Saint-German were ordered by UEFA to close part of their stadium as punishment for their supporters' abuse of disabled Chelsea fans during their Champions League quarter-final match in April. UEFA said that it had ordered a one-match closure of sectors 104 and 105 of the Parc des Princes, the club's home stadium in the French capital. "The sanction has been imposed for the discriminatory conduct of some Paris Saint-Germain supporters towards disabled fans of Chelsea," UEFA said. "We welcome the determined decision taken by UEFA which sends a clear message to all clubs that abuse of disabled fans will not be tolerated," Joyce Cook, head of the Centre for Access to Football in Europe said in a statement emailed to AFP.


OSCE says body parts still on site of Malaysian plane crash in Ukraine

Tue, 22 Jul 2014 14:04:34 -0400

There are still human remains on the site where a Malaysian passenger plane hit the ground in eastern Ukraine after being downed, a representative of the Organisation for Security and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE) watchdog said on Tuesday. "We observed the presence of smaller body parts at the site," an OSCE spokesman, Michael Bociurkiw, told a briefing in Ukraine's eastern city of Donetsk after his group inspected the site earlier in the day.

Obama sends top aides to Germany amid spying flap

Tue, 22 Jul 2014 13:07:37 -0400

WASHINGTON (AP) — Working to stem the fraying of ties with a key European ally, President Barack Obama dispatched his chief of staff to Berlin, a diplomatic gesture reflecting Germany's growing indignation about allegations of American spying on its soil.

Germany, France, Italy condemn anti-Semitic demos

Tue, 22 Jul 2014 12:57:49 -0400

Children shout slogans during a demonstration, most of them women and children, against Israel's military offensive in Gaza, Tuesday, July 22, 2014, in Berlin, Germany. Several hundred pro-Palestinian protesters demanded a halt to military action in Gaza. (AP Photo/Markus Schreiber)BERLIN (AP) — The foreign ministers of Germany, France and Italy on Tuesday condemned the rise in anti-Semitic protests and violence over the conflict in Gaza, saying they will do everything possible to combat it in their countries.


Global stocks recover as plane tensions ease

Tue, 22 Jul 2014 12:20:27 -0400

People walk past an electronic stock indicator in Tokyo, Tuesday, July 22, 2014. Asian shares rose Tuesday as tensions over the downing of a passenger jet in Ukraine eased after pro-Moscow separatists released a train packed with bodies and handed over the aircraft's black boxes. Japan's Nikkei 225 stock index added 0.8 percent to 15,343.28 as trading resumed after Monday's public holiday. (AP Photo/Shizuo Kambayashi)LONDON (AP) — Global stocks rallied Tuesday amid more solid U.S. earnings reports and as the bodies of those killed in the Malaysia Airlines crash reached Ukrainian government-controlled territory.


Additional sanctions on Russia still an option: White House

Tue, 22 Jul 2014 11:59:55 -0400

The United States is continuing to review its sanctions on Russia amid the conflict in Ukraine, including the downed Malaysian airliner shot down last week, and is willing to consider additional costs, the White House said on Tuesday. The United States also would welcome additional steps to impose costs on Russia, particularly from Europe, White House spokesman Josh Earnest told reporters.

Ukraine tensions see euro come off boil

Tue, 22 Jul 2014 11:55:48 -0400

A man watches an electronic stock indicator in Tokyo, Tuesday, July 22, 2014. Asian shares rose Tuesday as tensions over the downing of a passenger jet in Ukraine eased after pro-Moscow separatists released a train packed with bodies and handed over the aircraft's black boxes. Japan's Nikkei 225 stock index added 0.8 percent to 15,343.28 as trading resumed after Monday's public holiday. (AP Photo/Shizuo Kambayashi)LONDON (AP) — The euro fell Tuesday to its lowest level against the dollar this year amid concerns that the downing of Malaysia Airlines Flight 17 will prompt a bigger freeze in relations between the European Union and Russia.


Putin says will use influence on Ukraine rebels, denounces West

Tue, 22 Jul 2014 11:44:01 -0400

By Darya Korsunskaya MOSCOW (Reuters) - President Vladimir Putin said on Tuesday Russia would try to ensure Ukrainian separatists cooperate with an investigation into the downing of a Malaysian airliner, but said the West must do more to persuade Kiev to end hostilities. Putin came out fighting in his most detailed comments since the plane was brought down on Thursday, dismissing criticism of Russia's role in events in rebel-held east Ukraine and describing the West's position as "strange and unacceptable". Accusing the United States indirectly of pulling the strings in Kiev, trying to bully Russia and meddling in Russia's domestic affairs, the president said in televised remarks: "Such methods will not work on Russia." Reading from notes at the head of a long table flanked by his top government, parliament, security and defense officials, Putin spoke much more forcefully than during brief televised remarks on the plane's downing first released in the early hours of Monday, when he looked tired and less assured than usual.

Polish leader wants NATO to beef up eastern flank

Tue, 22 Jul 2014 11:29:30 -0400

Presidents, left to right, Milosz Zeman of the Czech Republic, Rosen Plevneliev of Bulgaria, Dalia Grybauskaite of Lithuania, Traian Basescu of Romania, Bronislaw Komorowski of Poland, Toomas Hendrik of Estonia, Andris Berzins of Latvia, Janos Ader of Hungary and Andrej Kiska of Slovakia pose for the family photo during their meeting in in Warsaw, Poland, Tuesday, July 22, 2014. Presidents of the Baltic States, the Visegrad Group, Romania and Bulgaria attend the regional summit to discuss the September NATO Summit in Newport. (AP Photo/Czarek Sokolowski)WARSAW, Poland (AP) — Poland's president says the downing of a passenger plane in rebel-controlled eastern Ukraine reinforces the need for NATO to strengthen its defenses on its eastern flank.


EU imposes new sanctions against Russian officials

Tue, 22 Jul 2014 11:27:07 -0400

A refrigerated train loaded with bodies of the passengers of Malaysian Airlines flight MH17 departs Kharkiv railway station, Ukraine, Tuesday, July 22, 2014. The train carrying the remains of people killed in the Malaysia Airlines crash arrived in the eastern Ukrainian city of Kharkiv on Tuesday on their way to the Netherlands, a journey which has been agonizingly slow for relatives of the victims. (AP Photo/ Sergei Chizavkov)BRUSSELS (AP) — The European Union agreed Tuesday to impose new sanctions against officials deemed responsible for Russia's actions in Ukraine, amid mounting international anger after a Malaysia Airlines plane was shot down over rebel-held territory.


Russians fed conspiracy theories on Ukraine crash

Tue, 22 Jul 2014 11:14:53 -0400

MOSCOW (AP) — An assassination attempt against Russian President Vladimir Putin. A desperate ploy to draw the West into the battle for Ukraine's east. A botched mission to commit mass murder against Russian citizens.

Defying allies, France to deliver first warship to Russia

Tue, 22 Jul 2014 11:07:03 -0400

By Yann Le Guernigou and Guillaume Frouin PARIS/ST NAZAIRE (Reuters) - President Francois Hollande won broad domestic applause on Tuesday for defying allies Britain and the United States by confirming plans to deliver a helicopter carrier to Russia, with one backer dismissing the objections as hypocritical. Speaking on the eve of an EU meeting to discuss sanctions on Moscow over the downing of a civilian airliner over Ukraine, Hollande said late on Monday that a first Mistral warship would be handed over on schedule in October but a decision on a second would depend on Russia's attitude. It was the clearest signal yet that Paris will go through with the controversial deal despite the Ukraine crisis and came only hours after British Prime Minister David Cameron said it would be "unthinkable" for his country to fulfil such an order. The United States has also said it opposes the sale, which has exposed France to criticism that it is putting its own interests ahead of Western solidarity over Ukraine.

It's crunch time for the Ryder Cup

Tue, 22 Jul 2014 11:02:41 -0400

Tiger Woods of the US plays a shot off the 13th tee during the final round of the British Open Golf championship at the Royal Liverpool golf club, Hoylake, England, Sunday July 20, 2014. (AP Photo/Jon Super)HOYLAKE, England (AP) — The end of the British Open means the Ryder Cup is getting closer, and there are a couple of regulars still not in the team.


Crash victims' remains reach Ukraine-held city

Tue, 22 Jul 2014 10:48:49 -0400

KHARKIV, Ukraine (AP) — Bodies of those killed in the Malaysia Airlines crash reached Ukrainian government-controlled territory Tuesday, leaving a war zone en route to the Netherlands after delays and haphazard treatment that put pressure on European foreign ministers to impose tougher economic sanctions on Russia.

UK council rejects Celtique Energie's fracking proposal

Tue, 22 Jul 2014 10:05:41 -0400

Demonstrators hold placards during an anti-fracking protest in central LondonBy Nina Chestney LONDON (Reuters) - A plan by London-based oil and gas exploration firm Celtique Energie to drill for shale gas in southern England failed to win county government approval on Tuesday, the latest in a series of setbacks to Britain's fledgling shale industry. Citing concerns about noise and the impact on the environment, West Sussex County Council's planning committee rejected the firm's application for permission to explore for oil and gas in Wisborough Green for three years. "There were simply too many highways issues and other issues of concern for any decision other than refusal in this instance," Councilor Heidi Brunsdon, chairman of the committee, said in a statement. Celtique Energie could not immediately be reached for comment.


Oil gains further on concerns over Ukraine, Gaza

Tue, 22 Jul 2014 08:55:46 -0400

CORRECTS BYLINE - Israeli soldiers march during a drill near the Israel and Gaza border, Tuesday, July 22, 2014. Israeli airstrikes pummeled a wide range of locations in the Gaza Strip on Tuesday as the U.N. chief and the U.S. secretary of state began an intensive effort to end more than two weeks of fighting that has killed hundreds of Palestinians and dozens of Israelis.(AP Photo/Dusan Vranic)The price of oil rose above $103 a barrel Tuesday on persisting jitters over the situation in Gaza, the standoff over the shooting down of a Malaysian airliner in Ukraine and expectations of a fall in U.S. crude inventories.


Putin: Russia will facilitate plane investigation

Tue, 22 Jul 2014 08:36:13 -0400

Russian President Vladimir Putin listens during a meeting in Samara, Russia, Monday, July 21, 2014. Putin has lambasted those who use the downing of a passenger jet in eastern Ukraine for "mercenary objectives," the Kremlin said Monday. In a statement posted on the Kremlin website, Putin again lashed out at Ukraine for ongoing violence with pro-Russian rebels in the eastern part of the country. (AP Photo/RIA-Novosti, Alexei Nikolsky, Presidential Press Service)MOSCOW (AP) — President Vladimir Putin says Russia will do "everything in its power" to facilitate an investigation into the Malaysia Airlines passenger jet crash, but accused Kiev and the West of escalating the conflict in the region.


Airlines body says governments should lead review of airspace risks

Tue, 22 Jul 2014 08:20:08 -0400

By Victoria Bryan BERLIN (Reuters) - Governments should take the lead in reviewing how risk assessments for airspace are made, the head of the International Air Transport Association said, sidestepping calls for a conference of global airlines on the matter. The issue of flying over conflict zones is in focus after Malaysia Airlines flight MH17 was shot down over rebel-held territory in eastern Ukraine on Thursday. The head of Emirates [EMIRA.UL], one of the world's largest airlines, called on Sunday for an international meeting of airlines to discuss the industry's response to the downing and suggested IATA could call a conference. "No effort should be spared in ensuring that this outrage is not repeated," IATA Director General Tony Tyler said in a statement.

Germany, France, Italy condemn anti-Semitic, violent protests in Europe against Gaza conflict

Tue, 22 Jul 2014 06:11:02 -0400

BERLIN (AP) — Germany, France, Italy condemn anti-Semitic, violent protests in Europe against Gaza conflict.

France to deliver first warship to Russia despite allies, Ukraine

Tue, 22 Jul 2014 05:33:26 -0400

French officials defended President Francois Hollande's decision to push ahead with delivery of a helicopter carrier to Russia in defiance of calls by key allies Britain and the United States. Speaking on the eve of an EU meeting to discuss sanctions on Moscow over the downing of a civilian airliner over Ukraine, Hollande said late on Monday the first Mistral warship would be delivered as planned in October but a decision on a second would depend on Russia's attitude. It was the clearest signal yet from Paris that it intends to go through with the controversial deal despite the Ukraine crisis and came only hours after British Prime Minister David Cameron said it would be "unthinkable" for his country to fulfill such an order. He is delivering the first (ship) despite the fact he is being asked not to," Jean-Christophe Cambadelis, head of Hollande's ruling Socialist Party, told i Tele television on Tuesday.

World stocks rise as Ukraine plane tensions ease

Tue, 22 Jul 2014 04:05:59 -0400

People walk past an electronic stock indicator in Tokyo, Tuesday, July 22, 2014. Asian shares rose Tuesday as tensions over the downing of a passenger jet in Ukraine eased after pro-Moscow separatists released a train packed with bodies and handed over the aircraft's black boxes. Japan's Nikkei 225 stock index added 0.8 percent to 15,343.28 as trading resumed after Monday's public holiday. (AP Photo/Shizuo Kambayashi)TOKYO (AP) — World stock markets rose Tuesday as tensions over the downing of a passenger jet in Ukraine eased after pro-Moscow separatists released a train packed with bodies and handed over the aircraft's black boxes.


Malaysia Airlines plane diverts from Ukraine to Syria

Tue, 22 Jul 2014 01:42:27 -0400

Malaysia Airlines has defended itself after confirming that it diverted a London to Kuala Lumpur flight over Syrian airspace when its usual route over Ukraine was closed in the wake of Thursday's MH17 crash. The flag carrier said in a statement late Monday that MH4's flight path was in accordance with routes approved by the United Nations' aviation agency International Civil Aviation Organisation's (ICAO). "As per the notice to airmen (NOTAM) issued by the Syrian Civil Aviation Authority, the Syrian airspace was not subject to restrictions. At all times, MH004 was in airspace approved by ICAO," it said.

Asia shares rise as Ukraine plane tensions ease

Mon, 21 Jul 2014 23:31:02 -0400

Russian President Vladimir Putin steps down upon his arrival at the airport of Samara, Russia, Monday, July 21, 2014. Putin has lambasted those who use the downing of a passenger jet in eastern Ukraine for "mercenary objectives," the Kremlin said Monday. In a statement posted on the Kremlin website, Putin again lashed out at Ukraine for ongoing violence with pro-Russian rebels in the eastern part of the country. (AP Photo/RIA-Novosti, Alexei Nikolsky, Presidential Press Service)TOKYO (AP) — Asian shares rose Tuesday as tensions over the downing of a passenger jet in Ukraine eased after pro-Moscow separatists released a train packed with bodies and handed over the aircraft's black boxes.


Migration spotlights Mexican 'coyote' smugglers

Mon, 21 Jul 2014 22:26:24 -0400

In this July 12, 2014, photo, a young boy is helped down from a freight car, as Central American migrants board a northbound freight train in Ixtepec, Mexico. Many smugglers take their charges from the southern Chiapas or Oaxaca states to Mexico City on La Bestia, the decrepit freight train, and from there, they choose one of three main routes: to Reynosa in Tamaulipas, Ciudad Juarez in Chihuahua, or cross the Sonoran desert to the outskirts of Mexicali. (AP Photo/Eduardo Verdugo)TECUN UMAN, Guatemala (AP) — The man-in-the-know nursed a late-morning beer at a bar near the Suchiate River that separates Guatemala from Mexico, and answered a question about his human smuggling business with a question: "Do you think a coyote is going to say he's a coyote?"


Obama, Polish president discuss need for unity after downing of plane

Mon, 21 Jul 2014 21:06:02 -0400

U.S. President Barack Obama and Polish President Bronislaw Komorowski discussed on Monday the need for increased defense spending in Europe and for transatlantic unity after the downing of a Malaysian jetliner in Ukraine, the White House said. "President Obama and President Komorowski agreed on the importance of raising defense spending among European members of NATO, as well as on the importance of alliance-wide and credible contributions to NATO’s reassurance efforts in Central and Eastern Europe," the White House said in a statement about the call between the two men.

Obama urges immediate access to Ukraine crash site

Mon, 21 Jul 2014 21:02:14 -0400

WASHINGTON (AP) — President Barack Obama sternly called on Russian President Vladimir Putin to compel Kremlin-backed separatists to stop hampering the probe at the Ukraine site of a downed passenger jet and allow international investigators unfettered access.