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Airlines to discuss post-MH17 flight routes

Heads of global aviation firms will meet today to discuss potential changes to airspace plans following the downing of Malaysia Airlines flight MH17 over east Ukraine.

Aviation experts are likely to discuss plans for "neutral" advice on airspace.
Aviation experts are likely to discuss plans for "neutral" advice on airspace. Credit: Reuters

The meeting, hosted by the International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO), is likely to hear calls for wider international powers to intervene when a country fails to monitor threats to its airspace.

The Malaysia Airlines crash occurred after Ukraine left open air corridors that lay within the range of the missile blamed for destroying the jet.

Airlines, represented by International Air Transport Association, will tell the meeting they urgently need improved access to "neutral information" to help them make decisions on where to fly, an industry source said.

"Some countries will never, ever say there is a problem with their airspace even if there really is a problem with their airspace," the source added. "This does not make it easy for airlines."

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'At least 22 civilians killed by shelling in Ukraine'

At least 22 civilians have been killed by shelling in fighting in eastern Ukraine, local authorities said.

Five people were reportedly were killed in Luhansk when an old people's home was struck by artillery fire.

In Horlivka, the mayor's office reported 17 people, including three children, died as a result of shelling.

The fighting again prevented international investigators from visiting the site of the Malaysia Airlines jet which was shot down earlier this month.

The UN said that at least 1,129 people were killed in Ukraine between mid-April, when fighting began, and July 26.

Dutch mission cancels trip to MH17 site amid fighting

Dutch and Australian experts in eastern Ukraine says it has abandoned plans to go to the MH17 crash site today due to fighting along the route.

It is the third consecutive day experts were unable to do their work due to intense fighting between Ukrainian troops and pro-Russian rebels in the region.

Ukrainian forces have been pushing rebel units back towards their two main urban strongholds of Donetsk and Luhansk and have sought to encircle them in several places, including in the wider area where the Malaysian airliner crashed on July 17.

Tyne Tees

MH17 dad heads to Downing Street to demand action

The father of one of the two Newcastle United supporters killed in the Flight MH17 disaster is travelling to Downing Street to meet the Prime Minister.

Barry Sweeney caught a train at Newcastle Central station shortly after 9am today, for a pre-arranged meeting at Downing Street.

Mr Sweeney wants the government to do more to ensure that the bodies of all 298 victims are returned to their loved ones as soon as possible.

Barry's son Liam died alongside his friend John Alder.

They were onboard a plane which crashed after apparently being struck by a missile over Ukranian airspace. There were no survivors.

Speaking to ITV Tyne Tees as he waited to board a train this morning, Barry Sweeney spoke of his hope that today's meeting with David Cameron would result in concrete action.

Putin 'thuggish and dishonest', says top British diplomat

Sir Peter Westmacott is UK ambassador to the UK.
Sir Peter Westmacott is UK ambassador to the UK. Credit: Kevin Dietsch/Pool/DPA

Vladimir Putin is "thuggish, dishonest and wreckless", a top British envoy has told American television.

Sir Peter Westmactott, UK ambassador to the United States told US network MSNBC the Russian President's move to "steal" Crimea was beginning to "look like the wrong call" in light of the MH17 air disaster and anticipated EU sanctions.

He added that Russia had met none of the conditions required to avoid further sanctions and had in fact shown more cross-border interference in Ukraine since the airliner came down.

"The usual KGB playbook - a pack of lies - doesn't convince anybody," he added.

Read: US accuses Russia of violating nuclear treaty

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Cameron to meet families of British MH17 victims

David Cameron will meet relatives of British MH17 victims today.
David Cameron will meet relatives of British MH17 victims today. Credit: PA

David Cameron will meet the families of British victims of the downed Malaysia Airlines plane today as officials push for far-reaching economic sanctions against Russia.

The Prime Minister will meet the families at Downing Street to express his condolences and to discuss the international response to the plane's crash in eastern Ukraine earlier this month.

Families of Brits killed in MH17 disaster to meet PM

Families of the British victims of the Malaysian MH17 disaster will meet the Prime Minister tomorrow.

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@itvnews understands the families of British victims of the MH17 plane crash will meet David Cameron in Downing st tomorrow.

Ten Britons were killed when the MH17 flight crashed after being shot down over eastern Ukraine.

Read: MH17 black boxes show 'plane destroyed by shrapnel'

Aviation chiefs to discuss flying over conflict zones

The risk of passenger planes flying over war zones after MH17 downing will be discussed at a special meeting of international aviation chiefs tomorrow.

Radar pictures
Radars show a number of planes flying over conflict areas in Iraq. Credit: Flightradar24

The need for clarification on safe routes was emphasised when it emerged that some airlines were flying over war-torn areas that other carriers were avoiding -- such as Iraq.

Malaysia Airlines commercial director Hugh Dunleavy said: "Against the backdrop of increasingly volatile political situations around the world, such as Ukraine and Gaza, we as an industry must act now to create a system of approval that guarantees safe air passage for all commercial airlines."

Read: MH17 black boxes show 'plane destroyed by shrapnel'

MH17 black boxes show 'plane destroyed by shrapnel'

Black boxes from the downed Malaysian jet show it was destroyed by shrapnel coming from a rocket blast and went down because of "massive explosive decompression", a Ukrainian security official said.

Black boxes from MH17
A pro-Russian separatist handles a black box belonging to MH17. Credit: Reuters

The spokesman for Ukraine's Security Council, Andriy Lysenko said the information came from experts analysing the recorders.

Experts in Britain were tasked with downloading the data from two black boxes recovered from the crash site and handing that information over to international investigators for analysis.

Kiev and the West accuse pro-Russian rebels of shooting down the plane. Moscow says the Ukrainian government is responsible for the crash, which killed all 298 people on board.

Read: Experts cancel MH17 site visit over disputed security threat

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