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US believes separatists shot down MH17 'by mistake'

US intelligence officials said they believe pro-Russian separatists in eastern Ukraine probably shot down MH17 "by mistake".

However, the US admitted not knowing exactly who fired the surface-to-air missile that downed the Malaysian Airlines plane.

Russia is continuing to deliver more weapons, including rockets and tanks, to separatists, officials added.

The intelligence officials also said the US did not know separatists had Russian SA-11 missiles until after the plane was hit.

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Town threatens jail for wearing low slung trousers

Wearing low slung trousers that expose underwear or bare buttocks could lead to jail time under new laws passed by a town in central Florida.

Low slung trousers.
Pharrell Williams might face a fine for his low slung trousers. Credit: PA

Fed up with the low-cut look, council members in Ocala voted unanimously to approve a by-law that bans anyone on city property from wearing pants two inches below their natural waist.

So from now on anyone caught wearing sagging pants on roads, pavements, parks and a variety of other city owned property, could be charged.

Councilwoman Mary Rich, who proposed the law, told Florida's WFTV: "I just think it's disgraceful to show your underwear."

But City Attorney Patrick Gilligan told the Ocala Star Banner newspaper that Police are expected to issue warnings at first.

However, repeat offenders face a $500 fine or jail time.

US soldier mauled by bear while on exercise

A National Guard soldier has been mauled by a bear during a training exercise at a military base in Alaska, officials said.

The Alaska Army National Guard soldier, whose name has not been released, was said to be in a "stable" condition after the incident at Joint Base Elmendorf-Richardson.

The Alaska Dispatch News reported that the female brown bear was defending her cubs when it attacked the soldier, who was alone on what base officials described as a navigation exercise.

The attack was the second in about two months after Jessica Gamboa, a soldier's wife, was badly mauled in May as she jogged on a trail.

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Widow gets £14bn cigarette pay out over dead husband

The pay out is one of the largest ever.
The pay out from cigarette company R.J Reynolds is one of the largest ever. Credit: PA

A tobacco company has been ordered to pay a widow £14billion after her husband died of lung cancer, the Associated Press have reported.

Cynthia Robinson filed damages against US firm R.J Reynolds following the death of her longtime smoker husband Michael Johnson Snr in 1996.

The damages are on top of £9.8million in compensation she was awarded by Florida's Supreme Court.

The pay out is thought to be the biggest ever awarded in such a case.

Read more: Chain smoker's wife awarded $23 billion in damages from cigarette firm

US imposes most wide-ranging sanctions on Russia

The United States has imposed its most wide-ranging sanctions yet on Russia's economy over Moscow's "provocative" behavior in Ukraine.

The sanctions included Gazprombank and the Rosneft Oil Co, and other major banks and energy and defense companies.

Washington has steadily escalated its financial sanctions on Russia over what it views as Moscow's interference in its neighbour Ukraine.

President Obama is due to make a statement on sanctions the US might put on Russia over Ukraine.
President Obama is due to make a statement on sanctions the US might put on Russia over Ukraine. Credit: PA

A senior US administration official told reporters on a conference call that the sanctions were designed to avoid spillover risk for the global economy.

President Barrack Obama is due to shortly make a statement on the Russian sanctions, the White House said.

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