Investigators say Russian-owned missile downed MH17 flight

first_img“The JIT has concluded that the BUK-TELAR which was used to shoot down flight MH17 originated from the 53rd Anti-Aircraft Missile Brigade of the Russian armed forces,” said Fred Westerbeke, the National Public Prosecution Service’s chief public prosecutor. “This observation raises questions, such as the question whether the Brigade itself was actively involved in the downing of flight MH17 on 17 July 2014. An important question, which the JIT is still investigating,” he said.JIT — which includes officials from the Netherlands, Australia, Belgium, Malaysia and Ukraine — said its conclusion confirms the previous findings of investigation collective Bellingcat.Russia, which has repeatedly denied responsibility for the MH17 crash, on Thursday reiterated it was not involved in the incident.”Within the framework of cooperation with Dutch law enforcement agencies, the Russian side presented exhaustive evidence, confirmed, including by field tests, which clearly indicate the involvement of the Ukrainian calculations of the Buk SAM to destroy the passenger Boeing from the Netherlands in the sky of Ukraine,” Russia’s defense ministry said in a statement, according to Russian news agencies.”So far, the Russian authorities have not yet reported to the JIT that a BUK of the 53rd Brigade was deployed in Eastern Ukraine and that it was used to shoot down flight MH17,” JIT’s chief public prosecutor told reporters.Westerbeke also called members of the public with knowledge about “control and use” of the missile to help the investigation, saying JIT “no longer wants to turn exclusively to the Russian authorities to obtain information on this subject.” A Dutch-led team of international investigators has concluded that a Russian-owned missile was responsible for the 2014 Malaysian Airlines crash that killed 298 passengers.The investigators’ findings showed the missile that downed flight MH17 came from a Russian anti-aircraft missile brigade and was fired from an area of eastern Ukraine that was controlled by pro-Russian separatists, members of the Joint Investigation Team (JIT) told reporters at a press conference Thursday.The Malaysian Airlines aircraft was en route from Amsterdam to Kuala Lumpur when it broke apart in mid-air over eastern Ukraine, killing all passengers on board. The investigation is “still of the highest priority” but will take more time, given the difficulty of obtaining the necessary foreign military information and a lack of access to the investigation area in eastern Ukraine, he added.NATO chief Jens Stoltenberg commended the investigators’ work in a tweet Thursday, saying: “As the UN Security Council concluded, those responsible must be held to account. Almost four years since this global tragedy, it is important that justice is served.”Kurt Volker, the U.S. special representative for Ukraine, also said Thursday that the Dutch investigation has conclusively established Russia’s culpability for the downing of the civilian airliner.“The Dutch have very clearly established the facts of the matter, Russia’s responsibility,” Volker said in a telephone briefing with reporters from London.“That is very significant,” he said. “What the Dutch investigation shows is again underlining the lack of ambiguity when it comes to the responsibility of Russia.”David Herszenhorn contributed reported.center_img Also On POLITICO Missile that downed MH17 originated in Russia By Cynthia Kroet Victims’ families of downed MH17 flight sue Vladimir Putin By Ali Walkerlast_img read more

Tyler Reddick happy to be in top echelon of Xfinity Series

first_imgDOVER, Del. – Even though Tyler Reddick won the NASCAR Xfinity Series Championship on the strength of his final-race performance at Homestead-Miami Speedway last year, he concedes that Christopher Bell, driving the No. 20 Joe Gibbs Racing Toyota, was the class of the Xfinity field.“Last year, I thought he was just in another zip code whenever we were racing together,” Reddick said Friday at Dover International Speedway, site of Saturday’s Allied Steel Buildings 200 (1:30 p.m. ET on FS1, MRN and SiriusXM NASCAR Radio).RELATED: Four drivers get set to compete in Dash 4 Cash finaleAfter a switch from JR Motorsports to Richard Childress Racing and a new pairing with crew chief Randall Burnett, Reddick feels more competitive with the top cars in the series this year. And well, he should.With last Saturday’s victory at Talladega, Reddick leads the series standings by 32 points over Bell. In the first nine races of the season, he has seven top fives and has finished no worse than fourth in the six events since Las Vegas in March. That translates to a series-best average result of 4.9.“We enjoy being in the points lead right now,” Reddick said of the No. 1 ranking. “I know the 18 and the 20 (Joe Gibbs Racing Toyotas) really like having that spot. It’s cool to be in their spot, and we’re trying to make the case that it’s our spot.“We want to keep that points lead going. We want to keep scoring stage points. But we want to try and learn some things that are going to help us over the summer stretch — and definitely in the playoffs.”last_img read more

Watching This Hummingbird Mama With Her Newborns is Just What We Needed on Mother’s Day

first_imgAddThis Sharing ButtonsShare to FacebookFacebookFacebookShare to TwitterTwitterTwitterShare to EmailEmailEmailShare to RedditRedditRedditShare to MoreAddThisMoreJust as the quarantine was starting to drag down Angela Elsey, she noticed a hummingbird nest right outside her kitchen window and was able to watch the babies grow from eggs to hatchlings—being fed by their mom—and then leave the nest as fledglings.Normally, the San Jose, California woman enjoys interacting with human newborns—as a volunteer in the neo-natal intensive care unit at Good Samaritan hospital. Her “cuddlers group” has not been able to volunteer for a couple of months now, so Angela began eagerly sending periodic video updates of the cute and teeny baby hummingbirds so they could get their “tiny baby fix”.“We were all missing the preemies—and a lot of the cuddlers wrote to say how much they enjoyed seeing the hummingbird babies. One woman wrote, ‘Can we come to your house to cuddle your baby birds?’ and it was hard to resist the temptation!”In this video, the mama is feeding hatchlings that are a few weeks old. The nest opening is about the size of a quarter.– Angela ElseyAngela referred to the hatchlings as “the twins”—and even named them.“I named the babies after the characters Anne Elliot and Frederick Wentworth in the Jane Austen novel Persuasion.”“Watching them was a break from worrying about the current situation, since they were oblivious to the pandemic raging around them. And it was such a joy to see those little eggs, then those tiny babies and watch them grow.”(WATCH the video below…)SEND These Hummingbirds to Fly From One Social Media Friend to Another…AddThis Sharing ButtonsShare to FacebookFacebookFacebookShare to TwitterTwitterTwitterShare to EmailEmailEmailShare to RedditRedditRedditShare to MoreAddThisMorelast_img read more

Pre-Ranger Course pushes Soldiers beyond limits

first_imgBy Sgt. ASHLEYM. MORRIS3rd BCT, 10th Mtn DivFORT POLK, La. This week marked the beginning of the 10th Mountain Division Light Fighter School Pre-Ranger Course hosted by 3rd Brigade Combat Team, 10th Mountain Division (Light) at Fort Polk. Forty-two Soldiers from across the installation reported to Honor Field for the first day of the course to begin initial assessments Feb. 5.The Pre-Ranger Course is a prerequiste for those that want to attend Ranger School at Fort Benning, Georgia. A mobile training team from 10th Mountain Division at Fort Drum, New York, is visiting Fort Polk to teach the course .The first assessment of the day was the PRC physical fitness test, which included push ups, sit ups, a 5-mile run and pull ups. Then the physical and mental resolve of the remaining 26 Soldiers were tested as they continued to the next challenge a comprehensive swim assessment.The Soldiers were instructed to complete a series of exercises in between events during the swim assessment. The exercises were meant to push the Soldiers, mentally and physically, to see how they perform under pressure.“Every day down at the line and in the units, these Soldiers are not being pushed to the limits and beyond to see how they can perform,” said Staff Sgt. Dino Rosas, the PRC noncommissioned officer in charge. “We want to see how these Soldiers act when they are pushed passed their limits.”During the swim assessment, Soldiers had tocomplete wo tasks: Tread water for two minutes and remove their fighting load underwater then swim to the other end of the pool. The swim assessment helps the instructors determine whether or not a Soldier is a strong enough swimmer to attend Ranger School.Spc. Alden Mayotte, an infantryman assigned to 2nd Battalion, 2nd Infantry Regiment, 3rd BCT, 10th Mtn Div, who also earned the Expert Infantry Badge in October, said prior to attending this course he had been conducting weekly intensive training with his platoon and on his own to prepare him for the course.“Army Rangers are an elite group of people and to join them you have to go through some pretty hard challenges,” Mayotte said. “To be part of that elite club would be a pretty high honor.”Over the next two weeks, PRC candidates will be tested on various advanced Soldier tasks that must be successfully executed to graduate the course. Although Soldiers are given two tries for some, certain tasks have to be performed correctly the first time.As challenging as the course can be for Soldiers wanting to attend Ranger School, Rosas said seeing Soldiers succeed is his favorite part of the course.“I love absolutely love building Rangers,” Rosas said. “Not only am I helping the Army by sending back dudes that are working at 80 percent of their potential versus leaders that are working currently at 60 percent of their potential, but it’s combat multiplier. They go back to their units and help Soldiers push past their limits more than a normal leader would.”Graduation for the Pre-Ranger Course is set to take place at 1 p.m. Feb. 20 at the Bayou Theater.last_img read more

Tony Winner John Logan, Moulin Rouge! & Superhero Scribe, Wins 2019 Monte Cristo Award

first_imgThe Eugene O’Neill Theater Center has named Tony-winning playwright John Logan as the recipient of the 19th Monte Cristo Award. An alum of the O’Neill, Logan developed the musical Superhero, soon to open off-Broadway, at the Center’s 2017 National Music Theater Conference. His Moulin Rouge! musical bows on Broadway this summer. A gala evening in celebration of Logan’s achievements will be held at the Edison Ballroom in New York City on April 22.”I’m honored to accept the O’Neill’s Monte Cristo Award,” said Logan. “Creating a new work of theater is a treacherous, exciting, nerve-wracking experience. All dramatists need support and encouragement; and most of all they need a safe place to experiment, to fail grandly sometimes and to occasionally take flight. The O’Neill was that safe space for me. My experience developing our show Superhero as part of the 2017 National Musical Theater Conference was nothing short of miraculous. I am forever thankful.”The O’Neill annually bestows its Monte Cristo Award on a prominent artist whose work has had an extraordinary impact on American theater, in memory of its namesake. The gala event supports the Center’s commitment to developing new work and new artists for the stage.Logan received Tony and Drama League Awards for his play Red, which premiered at the Donmar Warehouse in London and appeared at the Golden Theatre on Broadway in 2010. In 2013, his play Peter and Alice premiered in London and I’ll Eat You Last: A Chat with Sue Mengers, starring Bette Midler, opened on Broadway. Logan’s other works include the musical The Last Ship—featuring a libretto by Logan with Brian Yorkey and an original score by Sting—as well as Never the Sinner and Hauptmann.Superhero, featuring a book by Logan and a score by Tom Kitt, opens off-Broadway at Second Stage’s Tony Kiser Theatre on February 28; Moulin Rouge!, with a book by Logan, opens at Broadway’s Al Hirschfeld Theatre on July 25. View Commentslast_img read more

Danny Aiello, Oscar-Nominated Screen Star & Award-Winning Stage Alum, Dies at 86

first_imgDanny Aiello in his final Broadway appearance, 2017’s “Home for the Holidays”(Photo by Carol Rosegg) Danny Aiello, a veteran actor of major motion pictures who made several notable appearances on the New York stage, died on December 12 at a New Jersey medical facility where he was receiving care for a sudden illness, according to People. He was 86.Known in Hollywood for his Oscar- and Golden Globe-nominated turn in Do the Right Thing (1989) and memorable appearances in Moonstruck (1987), Jacob’s Ladder (1990) and Hudson Hawk (1991), Aiello accrued eight Broadway credits throughout his career, beginning with a Theatre World Award win for his debut turn in Lamppost Reunion (1975).He followed up that performance with roles in Broadway stagings of Wheelbarrow Closers (1976), Knockout (1979), The Floating Light Bulb (1981), Hurlyburly (1984) and The House of Blue Leaves (1986).Off-Broadway, Aiello received an Obie Award for his performance in Gemini (1977), which he reprised on Broadway shortly after. Years later, he appeared off-Broadway in Adult Entertainment (2002) and The Shoemaker (2011).Aiello’s screen résumé also includes a Daytime Emmy Award win for his performance in the afterschool special A Family of Strangers (1981) and a Chicago Film Critics Association Award for his turn in Once Around (1991).After a three-decade absence from Broadway, Aiello returned in 2017 as a cast member of the revue Home for the Holidays, marking his final main-stem credit.Aiello is survived by his wife, Sandy Cohen, and three children. His son Danny Aiello III passed away of cancer in 2010. View Commentslast_img read more

New Insurance Division deputy commissioner is a returning Vermonter

first_imgSusan L Donegan, commissioner of the Vermont Department of Financial Regulation, announced today that Crosby Sherman will join the DFR team as deputy commissioner of the Insurance Division. Sherman grew up in St. Johnsbury and graduated from St. Johnsbury Academy and the University of Vermont. He began his career here at DFR in the 1980s, where he worked as an insurance examiner of property and casualty, life and captive insurance companies. He also oversaw domestic and captive examinations and played a key regulatory role during the initial stages of Vermont’s captive insurance market. He leaves his post as chief of Captive Insurance for the New Jersey Department of Banking and Insurance. Donegan said she is pleased to welcome Sherman back to his roots and to the department. ‘We are excited to welcome Crosby back home to DFR and look forward to utilizing his vast expertise in the insurance field,’she said, ‘He has extensive experience in all aspects of the insurance regulatory process particularly solvency regulation which is DFR’s highest priority for consumer protection.’ Sherman begins working at the department July 8.last_img read more

Born to Be Conned

first_imgThe New York Times:THERE’S an adage you hear most any time you mention con artists: You can’t cheat an honest man. It’s a comforting defense against vulnerability, but is it actually true?No, as it turns out; honesty has precious little to do with it. Equally blameless is greed, at least in the traditional sense. What matters instead is greed of a different sort: a deep need to believe in a version of the world where everything really is for the best — at least when it comes to us.Robin Lloyd wasn’t looking to get rich. She was just a poor college student who thought she’d finally caught a break. It was 1982, and Ms. Lloyd was making her first trip to New York City. On Day 1 she fell for what, to a hardened New Yorker, would seem impossible: a game of three-card monte. On a Broadway sidewalk, a loud man behind a cardboard box was doing something at lightning speed with three playing cards, telling the crowd to “follow the lady.” Guess where she went correctly, and you could easily double your cash.…Delroy L. Paulhus, a psychologist at the University of British Columbia who specializes in what have come to be known as the dark triad traits (narcissism, Machiavellianism and psychopathy), suggests that “Machiavellian” is a better descriptor for what con artists do than “psychopath.”Read the whole story: The New York Times More of our Members in the Media >last_img read more

News Scan for Oct 28, 2015

first_imgSaudi health ministry details 7-case hospital MERS cluster in HofufSaudi Arabia’s Ministry of Health (MOH) has confirmed that a seven-case MERS-CoV cluster in Hofuf involves Almana General Hospital and includes a nurse, according to a machine-translated statement posted today by Avian Flu Diary, a leading infectious disease blog.The cases involve a patient who was seen in the hospital’s emergency department, five patients who contracted MERS-CoV (Middle East respiratory syndrome coronavirus) in the hospital, and another patient who did not contract the disease at the hospital. One of the seven patients is a nurse, the MOH said.All patients have been transferred to King Fahad Hospital in the city for more specialized care, the statement said. Close contacts of the patients are being monitored.The MOH had reported in its daily updates seven cases in Hofuf since Oct 19 but has yet to provide many details. In today’s update, the agency did not list any new cases but said three previously reported patients in Riyadh have all recovered from the disease.The patients are a 65-year-old Saudi man who had preexisting disease and two foreign women, ages 29 and 39, who are likely part of a cluster among janitors living together east of Riyadh. All told 716 patients have recovered since the outbreak began in 2012 and 16 are still being treated. The country’s MERS total stands at 1,272 cases.Oct 28 Avian Flu Diary post Oct 28 MOH update WHO says two thirds of those under 50 have herpes simplex 1In its first global estimates of herpes simplex 1 (HSV-1), World Health Organization (WHO) researchers today estimated that 3.7 billion people younger than 50 are infected, about 67% of that population. The team published its estimates in PLoS One.Aside from documenting the scope of the virus, the report also shows that HSV-1 is an important cause of genital herpes, generally thought be mainly caused by HSV-2. Researchers found that about 140 million people ages 15 to 49 years are infected with genital HSV-1 infection, mainly in the Americas, Europe, and Western Pacific.In a press release on the study, the WHO said fewer people in developed countries are contracting HSV-1 infections as children because of improvements in hygiene and living conditions. Instead, people are at risk for infection genitally through oral sex.Marleen Temmerman, MD, director of the WHO’s department of reproductive health and research, said in the release, “Access to education and information on both types of herpes and sexually transmitted infections is critical to protect young people’s health before they become sexually active.”The HPV-1 prevalence estimates for 2012 varied by region and by gender. The authors also included estimates for new HSV-1 infections that occurred in 2012. The WHO’s numbers for HSV-1 follow a study published in January that estimated that 417 million people ages 15 to 49 are infected with HSV-2.In its statement, the WHO said it is working on a global strategy for addressing sexually transmitted infections, including HSV-1 and HSV-2, which will be considered at the World Health Assembly in May 2016.Oct 28 PLoS One abstractOct 28 WHO press release Greater drug resistance tied to poorer outcomes in MDR-TBGreater drug resistance was associated with poorer treatment outcomes among multidrug-resistant tuberculosis (MDR-TB) patients globally, and acquired resistance was worse than initial resistance to the same drugs, according to a study yesterday in Clinical Infectious Diseases.An international team led by researchers from the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention analyzed data on 973 MDR-TB patients in 10 countries who had started second-line drugs.They found that treatment success increased stepwise from 41.6% to 92.3% as the number of proven effective drugs increased from 0 or 1 to 5 or more (P < 0.0001 for trend), while acquired drug resistance decreased from 12% to 16%, depending on the drug, down to 0% to 2% (P < 0.0001 for trend).The investigators also found, through multivariable analysis and controlling for differences between programs and patients, that the adjusted odds of treatment success decreased 0.62-fold for each increment in drug resistance and increased 2.1-fold for each additional effective drug.They also noted that treatment succeeded in 85.8% of patients who had straightforward MDR-TB, 69.7% in those with initial resistance to either a fluoroquinolone or second-line injectable (SLI) drug, 37.5% with acquired resistance to a fluoroquinolone or SLI, 29.3% with initial extensively drug-resistant TB (XDR-TB), and 13.0% with acquired XDR-TB (P < 0.0001 for trend).Oct 27 Clin Infect Dis abstractlast_img read more

Sale and leasebacks still going strong, say CBRE

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