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Investigation into MH17 crash which killed Newcastle fans

John Alder and Liam Sweeney

A report compiled by Dutch crash investigators on flight MH17 has found the plane was punctured by a "large number of high-energy objects" which lead to it falling apart in the air. 298 people were killed in the disaster. Newcastle United fans John Alder and Liam Sweeney were travelling to support their team at the time. They were killed alongside eight other Britons.


  1. National

Flight MH17 'broke up while still in the air'

Map of MH17 wreckage. Credit: Google earth

Investigators believe that MH17 broke up while still in the air due to the large area covered by wreckage.

The Dutch Safety Board said: "The fact that there were many pieces of aircraft structure distributed over a large area indicated that the aircraft broke up in the air."

A total of 298 people, including 10 Britons, died in the incident in July, which came only weeks after another Malaysia Airlines Boeing 777 disappeared over the Indian Ocean.

Wreckage from the plane covered an area of approximately 10km by 5km (6 by 3 miles)

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'No crew or technical error' in MH17 crash

Holes in the MH17 plane. Credit: DCA

Pictures released as part of the first report into the MH17 crash show holes in the skin of the aircraft which is what investigators believed cause the plane to crash.

Dutch investigators have found no evidence of pilot or technical errors.

Holes in the MH17 plane. Credit: DCA
  1. National

'Large number of high-energy objects' brought down MH17

The first report on the downing of flight MH17 found that the plane was punctured by a 'large number of high-energy objects' which lead to the plane falling apart in the air, Dutch investigators found.

Members of a group of international experts inspect wreckage at the site where the downed Malaysia Airlines flight MH17 crashed. Credit: Reuters

Based on the preliminary findings to date, no indications of any technical or operational issues were found with the aircraft or crew...

The damage observed in the forward section of the aircraft appears to indicate that the aircraft was penetrated by a large number of high-energy objects from outside the aircraft. It is likely that this damage resulted in a loss of structural integrity of the aircraft, leading to an in-flight break up.

– MH17 report

North East Muslim group condemns beheading

A group representing Muslims in the North East has condemned the killing of an American journalist.

The Ahmadiyya Muslim Community North East has spoken out after Islamic State released video footage claiming to show the murder of American journalist Steven Sotloff.

“The AMC completely denounces the shocking, barbaric and un-Islamic murder of the innocent journalist Steven Sotloff. The extremists involved say they are acting in the name of Islam, but in reality have betrayed the religion they claim to follow and the Holy Qur'an, which clearly equates the killing of one innocent person to the killing of the whole of mankind.''

– Wadood Daud, Ahmadiyya Muslim Community


South Shields dancer crowned Mr Gay World

A dance teacher from South Shields has been crowned Mr Gay World at the competition in Rome. Stuart Hatton competed after winning Mr Gay UK. He is the first UK contestant to win Mr Gay World. Before flying out, Stuart said it would be hugely important to him to take the title. Now, he leaves Italy a winner.

Stuart Hatton Credit: Terry George

"I am overwhelmed to be Mr Gay World and the first ever winner to be from the UK. I am now able to use my voice to help those in countries around the world who have no voice or equality rights such as people in Malaysia and Iran. My plans are to show the world that it doesn't matter if you are gay or if you are straight, if you have brown eyes or if you have green eyes, we are all the same. We are all human and all gay people around the world deserve the same human rights as each other. This is just the beginning."

– Stuart Hatton, Mr Gay World

Newcastle United memorial for fans killed on MH17

The families of John and Liam were joined by Rev Canon Glyn Evans

Newcastle United Football Club has unveiled a permanent memorial to supporters John Alder and Liam Sweeney, who were among the 298 passengers killed when the Malaysia Airlines flight MH17 crashed in eastern Ukraine.

The Alder Sweeney Memorial Garden, which has been constructed in front of the main Milburn Stand at St. James’ Park, will stand as a lasting tribute to John, Liam and all Newcastle United supporters who have sadly passed away.

Club officials including former captain Bob Moncur were joined by the families of John and Liam for a private ceremony with a blessing of the memorial garden made by Newcastle United’s club chaplain, Rev Canon Glyn Evans.

Barry Sweeney, father of Liam, blesses the garden
Bob Moncur joined the families

John and Liam were on their way to watch the team’s pre-season fixtures in New Zealand when they lost their lives.

The two, who were well known to many of the club’s staff, players and supporters, were remembered at Newcastle United’s first home fixture of the 2014/15 season against Manchester City, with wreathes laid by their families, captains Fabricio Coloccini and Vincent Kompany and representatives of Sunderland AFC prior to a minute’s silence.

Read More: Newcastle holds minute's silence in memory of MH17 victims

Families of John and Liam gave readings at the memorial

As well as forming a focal point for remembrance, families and friends of supporters who have passed away will also be able to lay flowers and spread ashes at the Alder Sweeney Memorial Garden.

Police appeal after North Tyneside pub robbery

Police are appealing for witnesses after a public house was robbed on North Tyneside.

It happened at the Salutation Hotel, on Front Street, Tynemouth, at around 4am on Monday. Three men wearing masks forced their way into the premises and demanded that the occupant opened the safe. The offenders then left with a quantity of cash.

The occupant, a woman in her 40s, was uninjured but left shaken by the incident.

Anyone with information is asked to contact Northumbria Police on 101.

Masked robbers forced their way into the Salutation Hotel in Tynemouth Credit: Bing
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