(12:04 p.m. Friday) - Obama: Plane shot down by missile, 1 American dead
WASHINGTON (AP) - President Barack Obama says one American was killed on the plane over Ukraine. He says the airliner was shot down by a surface-to-air missile in an area controlled by Russian-backed separatists.
The president called it a global tragedy in remarks from the white house, one day after Malaysia Airline flight 17 crashed.
He is calling for a credible international investigation
The plane was shot down near the border between Ukraine and Russia. The incident occurred one day after Obama announced broader economic sanctions against Russia for its threatening moves in Ukraine.
(10:58 a.m. Friday) Power: Urgent investigation needed in plane case
UNITED NATIONS (AP) - U.S. Ambassador Samantha Power says the United States cannot rule out help from Russia in the launch of the surface-to-air missile that shot down a Malaysian Airlines jet killing all 298 people on board.
Power said the U.S. believes the sa-11 missile was fired from an area controlled by pro-Russian separatists who previously boasted about obtaining such missiles. She said Russia has provided sa-11s and other heavy weapons to the separatists.
“If indeed Russian-backed separatists were behind this attack on a civilian airliner, they and their backers would have good reason to cover up evidence of their crime,” Power told an emergency meeting of the U.N. security council. “Thus it is extremely important than an investigation be commenced immediately.”
The security council called for “a full, thorough and independent international investigation.”
(10:18 a.m. Friday) UN security council wants probe of Ukraine crash
UNITED NATIONS (AP) - The U.N. security council has approved a statement calling for ``a full, thorough and independent international investigation'' of a downed Malaysian Airlines plane in eastern Ukraine.
The press statement expresses the council's “deepest sympathies and condolences to the families of the victims, and to the people and governments of all those killed in the crash.”
Council members stood in a moment of silent tribute to the 298 victims at the start of an emergency council meeting Friday morning.
The council called for an investigation “in accordance with international civil aviation guidelines and for appropriate accountability.”
It stressed the need for “immediate access by investigators to the crash site to determine the cause of the incident.”
The jetliner was shot down Thursday as it flew high above separatist-held territory.
(4:31 a.m. Friday) Dutch flags at half-staff as nation mourns crash
THE HAGUE, Netherlands (AP) - Flags flew are flying half-staff across the Netherlands as the country mourns at least 154 of its citizens killed when a Malaysia Airlines passenger jet was shot down in eastern Ukraine.
Grieving relatives of the victims were gathering in a hotel at Amsterdam's Schiphol airport early Friday.
Prime Minister Mark Rutte called for a fully independent investigation into the crash Thursday that killed 298 passengers and crew, the majority of them Dutch.
Rutte says “the next of kin of the 154 Dutch victims and all the other nationalities have the right to know what happened.”
(4:14 a.m. Friday) Ukraine rebels say they have most plane recorders
KIEV, UKRAINE (AP) -Ukraine's separatist rebels say they have found “most” of the recording devices from the Malaysia Airlines plane that was shot down over rebel-held territory in eastern Ukraine.
An assistant to the insurgency's military commander, Igor Girkin, said Friday on condition of anonymity that eight out of the plane's 12 recording devices had been located. He did not elaborate.
He said Girkin was still considering whether to give international crash investigators access to the sprawling crash site. Any investigators would need specific permission from the rebel leadership before they could safely film or take photos at the scene.
(3:42 a.m. Friday) Australian PM lashes out at Russia over shot plan
CANBERRA, Australia (AP) - An angry Australian Prime Minister Tony Abbott is demanding an independent inquiry into the downing of a Malaysian jetliner and says Russia's response is “deeply, deeply unsatisfactory.''
Abbott criticized Russia's ambassador to Australia Vladimir Morozov, who met earlier Friday with Foreign Minister Julie Bishop.
According to Abbott, the ambassador's initial response was to blame Ukraine for Thursday's downing of the Malaysia airlines aircraft, which killed all 298 aboard, including 28 Australians.
Abbott told reporters that the idea that Russia can somehow say that none of this has anything to do with them because it happened in Ukrainian airspace “frankly does not stand up to any serious scrutiny.”
He added that because Russian-backed rebels appear to have used Russian-supplied heavy weaponry, Australia wants the fullest possible investigation.
(1:58 a.m. Friday) Malaysia airlines says changes route for planes
KUALA LUMPUR, Malaysia (AP) - Malaysia airlines says that in the wake of the shooting down of one of its passenger jets over Ukraine, it has changed the route it planes will take on flights to and from Europe.
The airline said in a statement Friday on its website that the flights “will be taking alternative routes avoiding the usual route.”
The plane, flying from Amsterdam to Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia, crashed Thursday with 298 people on board flight 17. American intelligence authorities believe a surface-to-air missile brought the aircraft down but it was not yet clear who fired it.
“The usual flight route was earlier declared safe by the international civil aviation organization. International Air Transportation Association has stated that the airspace the aircraft was traversing was not subject to restrictions,'' the airline said.
(10:08 p.m. Thursday) AP source: Missile took down jet in Ukraine but unclear who launched strike
WASHINGTON (AP) - A U.S. official says American intelligence authorities believe a surface-to-air missile took down a passenger jet carrying 298 people in eastern Ukraine on Thursday, but the Obama administration is still scrambling to confirm who launched the strike and whether there were American citizens killed in the crash.
Vice President Joe Biden says the incident was “not an accident,” describing the Malaysia airlines plane as having been “blown out of the sky.”
Among the unanswered questions is whether the missile was launched from the Russian or Ukrainian side of the border they share. The official says U.S. intelligence assessments suggest it is more likely that pro-Russian separatists or Russians shot down the plane than Ukrainian forces.
The U.S. has sophisticated technologies that can detect missile launches, including the identification of heat from a rocket engine.
Photo Credit DOMINIQUE FAGET/AFP/Getty Images