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Russia vetoes UN tribunal into downing of MH17

Flowers and mementos left by local residents at the crash site of Malaysia Airlines Flight MH17 last year Credit: Reuters

A UN Security Council draft resolution to set up an international tribunal to prosecute those suspected of downing Malaysia Airlines MH17 was vetoed by Russia today.

Eleven countries on the 15-member council voted in favour of the proposal by Malaysia, Australia, the Netherlands and Ukraine while China, Angola and Venezuela abstained.

Flight MH17 was shot down and crashed in Ukrainian territory held by Russian-backed separatists in July 2014. All 298 passengers on board, two-thirds of them Dutch, were killed.

The U.S. ambassador to the United Nations, Samantha Power, told the council that "no veto will stand in the way of this heinous crime being investigated and prosecuted."

Efforts to deny justice only intensify the pain of the victims' families, who have already endured more than any of us can fathom. It is the effect of Russia's veto today.

– US ambassador to the United Nations, Samantha Power

This in our view indicates the fact that political purposes were more important for them than practical objectives. This of course is regrettable.

Russia stands ready to cooperate in the conduct of a full, independent and objective investigation of the reasons and circumstances of the crash.

– Russian UN Ambassador, Vitaly Churkin


Lorry drivers allowed to drive for longer during Calais delays

Lorry drivers will be allowed to drive for longer stretches of time with a shorter beak between shifts during the Calais delays, the government has confirmed.

Lorries queue along the north and southbound carriageways of the M20 in Kent on Wednesday Credit: PA

EU rules which specify drivers can only drive nine hours a day will temporarily be relaxed so drivers can drive for 11 hours as they contend with delays caused by the migrant crisis in Calais.

The Department for Transport said changes will come into force from 12:01am on Thursday.

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