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Obama and Rutte welcome more sanctions over Ukraine

President Obama, in a call with the Dutch Prime Minister Mark Rutte, has welcomed EU preparations over additional sanctions against "those destabilising Ukraine", a White House spokesperson said.

The White House spokesperson added that the leaders both agreed that once the remains of victims from the plane crash were repatriated, their priority would be to secure the crash site and allow an international investigation to proceed.

The president welcomed the action taken today by the European Union's Foreign Affairs Council strongly condemning the actions leading to this tragedy and preparing additional sanctions against those destabilizing Ukraine.

The president and prime minister noted their concerns about further evidence that Russia is continuing to send weapons and fighters across the border to support the separatists, while continuing to mass its own forces.

– White House

Veteran MP Frank Dobson to step down at election

Former Health Secretary Frank Dobson
Former Health Secretary Frank Dobson Credit: PA

Veteran Labour MP Frank Dobson has confirmed that he will step down at the 2015 general election. The former cabinet minister formally announced his decision not to seek a ninth straight general election win at a meeting of party members.

"I have decided to pack in when people are stopping me in the street to say they hope I am not going - rather than waiting until they ask why the hell I am still around," he said.

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'Rocket' tweet by Lib Dem MP 'vile and desperate'

Labour has called remarks made by Liberal Democrat MP David Ward over the Israel-Gaza conflict "vile and desperate", urging Nick Clegg to disassociate from the comment:

At a time when all sides should be working for a ceasefire and a peaceful settlement, it defies belief that a Liberal Democrat MP should tweet something so vile and irresponsible.

Nick Clegg must act immediately to disassociate his party from this comment.

– Labour spokesman
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“@davidwardmp: The big question is - if I lived in #Gaza would I fire a rocket? - probably yes” Vile comment from desperate Lib Dem MP.

Tory chairman condemns 'appalling rocket tweet'

Conservative Party chairman Grant Shapps
Conservative Party chairman Grant Shapps Credit: PA

Conservative Party chairman Grant Shapps has called on Liberal Democrat MP David Ward to withdraw remarks made over the Israel-Gaza conflict, which Labour said was a "vile" comment by a "desperate" MP.

"Appalling: No MP should Tweet what's essentially incitement to violence," Mr Shapps said. "Mr Ward must withdraw now. Completely irresponsible."

Read: Lib Dem MP: If I lived in Gaza would I fire a rocket? Probably.

Lib Dem MP faces disciplinary action over 'rocket' tweet

The Liberal Democrats has said it "utterly condemned" remarks made by MP David Ward, who had posted a tweet saying if he lived in Gaza, he would "probably" fire a rocket.

The party said the comments were "not representative of the Liberal Democrats". In a statement, a spokesman said:

Nick Clegg has been at the forefront of calling for peace in Israel and Gaza. The party takes this matter very seriously and will treat it as a disciplinary issue.

– Liberal Democrats spokesman

Read: Lib Dem MP: If I lived in Gaza would I fire a rocket?

Lib Dem MP: If I lived in Gaza would I fire a rocket?

A Liberal Democrat MP was accused of inciting violence and faces a fresh disciplinary investigation after backing Hamas rocket attacks on Israel.

David Ward was suspended by the party for several weeks last year after making a string of controversial comments about Israel and Jews. His future is once again is in doubt after he used social media to give his verdict on the current Israel-Gaza conflict.

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The big question is - if I lived in #Gaza would I fire a rocket? - probably yes

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Ich bin ein #palestinian - the West must make up its mind - which side is it on?

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Airlines halt flights to Tel Aviv as violence continues

American and European airlines have cancelled flights to Tel Aviv as clashes between Israel and Hamas continued to escalate in Gaza.

The death toll in the conflict has risen to over 600, despite increased diplomatic efforts by US Secretary of State John Kerry and UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon for a ceasefire.

Airlines were strongly advised to avoid Tel Aviv following a rocket strike near the Ben Gurion Airport.

ITV News Senior International Correspondent John Irvine reports:

Read: Which airlines have suspended flights to Tel Aviv?

Vladimir Putin: West bullying Russia over Ukraine crisis

Russian President Vladimir Putin has accused the West of bullying him over the Ukraine crisis - an approach he called both "strange and unacceptable".

European foreign ministers in Brussels have drawn up new sanctions against Russia but not the economic measures supported by Britain and the US.

ITV News Diplomatic Correspondent John Ray reports from Moscow:

Watch: Cameron calls on Russia to release MH17 information

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