Court: Netherlands liable for 300 Bosnian Muslim deaths

The Hague : A court on Wednesday ordered the Netherlands to compensate the families of more than 300 Bosnian Muslims killed after Dutch peacekeeping troops handed them over to Bosnian Serb forces in 1995.

Top AIDS experts among Malaysian flight crash victims

Sydney: Some of the world's top AIDS experts, bound for an international conference in Melbourne, Australia, were among those killed in Malaysian Airlines MH17 crash, authorities said Friday.

The International AIDS Society (IAS) in a statement on its web site said the loss of so many lives was a deep tragedy, reported Xinhua.


154 Dutch citizens killed in Malaysian air crash: official

Amsterdam: At least 154 Dutch citizens have been killed in the Malaysian passenger crash in the eastern part of Ukraine Thursday, the airlines' European head said.

Huib Gorte said that the victims include 154 Dutch passengers, 27 Australians, 23 Malaysians, 11 Indonesians, 6 Britons, 4 Germans, 4 Belgians, 3 Philippines, one Canadian and 47 of yet unknown identities, Xinhua reported.

The Malaysia Airlines MH17 passenger plane crashed Thursday in Ukraine near the Russian border, with all the 280 passengers and 15 crew members on board reportedly having been killed.


US urges Israel to avoid civilians' deaths

Washington: The US Thursday urged Israel to do more to protect civilians in its conflict with Hamas militants.

"What we're asking for is a redoubling of efforts moving forward to prevent civilian casualties, given the events of the last couple of days," Xinhua quoted State Department spokeswoman Jen Psaki as saying in a press briefing.

Psaki said that US Secretary of State John Kerry has raised concerns directly with Israel, adding that "we believe that certainly there is more that can be done".

Israeli military launches ground operation in Gaza

Jerusalem: Israeli troops launched a ground offensive in the Hamas-controlled Gaza Strip Thursday night following days of heavy bombardment, the military said.

"Following 10 days of Hamas attacks by land, air and sea, and after repeated rejections of offers to de-escalate the situation, the Israel Defence Forces (IDF) has initiated a ground operation within the Gaza Strip," Xinhua quoted the IDF as saying in a statement.

Obama, Putin discussed downed Malaysian plane: White House

Washington: US President Barack Obama and Russian President Vladimir Putin Thursday talked about the reports of a downed Malaysian passenger jet near the Russia-Ukraine border, the White House said.

White House spokesman Josh Earnest said that Obama and Putin spoke at Moscow's request about the new sanctions against Russia and near the end of the call, the leaders noted the early reports about the plane crash in Ukraine, Xinhua reported.

Earnest said Obama had instructed his staff to keep him updated and to contact senior Ukrainian officials about the incident.


Malaysian plane down in Ukraine, 295 aboard feared killed

Kuala Lumpur/Kiev/Moscow : A Malaysian Airlines flight crashed Thursday in Ukraine near the Russian border, with all the 280 passengers and 15 crew members on board feared to have been killed. There were conflicting reports on how the plane went down, with some suggesting it might have been shot down.

"A Malaysia Airlines Boeing 777, which was flying from Amsterdam to Kuala Lumpur, started descending 50 km before entering Russian airspace, and was subsequently found burning on the ground in Ukrainian territory," Xinhua quoted an Interfax news agency aviation source as saying.


Major crackdown on paedophiles across Britain; over 600 arrested

London : Police arrested 660 people, including several doctors, teachers, scout leaders, care workers and former police officers during a nationwide crackdown on paedophile networks in Britain, Asian Lite, a newspaper for the British-Asian communities, reported.

The unprecedented six-month operation, coordinated by the National Crime Agency (NCA) and involving 45 police forces across England, Wales, Scotland and Northern Ireland, exposed the highly organised paedophile network. More than 400 children across the Britain have been safeguarded, the agency said.


Court declares Netherlands liable for 300 Bosnian Muslim deaths

The Hague : A court in The Hague has found the Netherlands (Holland) liable over the 1995 deportation and deaths of 300 Bosnian Muslim men who were under the protection of Dutch UN peacekeeping Blue Helmets in the enclave of Srebrenica in Bosnia.

The verdict Wednesday came in response to a lawsuit filed last April by the Mothers of Srebrenica Foundation against the Dutch state for its alleged role in the genocide of 7,000 Muslim men and boys in Bosnia in 1995.

China's yuan weakens

Beijing: The value of the Chinese currency renminbi, or the yuan, weakened by 29 basis points to 6.1564 against the US dollar in its central parity Thursday, authorities said.

In China's foreign exchange spot market, the yuan is allowed to rise or fall by two percent from the central parity rate each trading day, reports Xinhua.

The central parity rate of the yuan against the US dollar is based on a weighted average of prices offered by market makers before the opening of the interbank market each business day.