WASHINGTON - The United States began building a case Friday that would pin the blame for the downing of the passenger jet over Ukraine on separatist forces supported by Russia. President Barack Obama said one American was among the nearly 300 killed in an disaster that could dramatically escalate the crisis in Ukraine.
Obama said evidence so far indicates that Malaysia Airlines Flight 17 was shot down by a surface-to-air missile from an area controlled by Russian-backed separatists. He noted it wasn't the first time the separatists had shot down planes in the region, adding that a "steady flow of support from Russia" had included heavy weapons and anti-aircraft weapons.
He called for an immediate cease-fire to allow for a full investigation
"This was a global tragedy," Obama said. "An Asian airliner was destroyed in European skies filled with citizens from many countries, so there has to be a credible international investigation into what happened."
Officials from the FBI and the National Transportation Safety Board were on their way to Ukraine to help determine what happened, Obama said. He warned that evidence must not be tampered with as a United Nations-backed investigation goes forward, and he said, "We will hold all its members, including Russia, to their word" in allowing access to the crash.
"This should snap everybody's heads to attention," Obama said.
Rice wins appeal, 'suspension vacated'
Ray Rice has won the appeal of his indefinite suspension by the NFL, which has been "vacated immediately," the players' union said Friday.
Nepal hosts world's biggest animal sacrifice
The Gadhimai festival is underway in Nepal, despite protests from animal rights groups.
Cops: BF who ate holiday meal early gets stabbed
Police say a Pennsylvania woman chased her boyfriend around a dining room and stabbed him in the chest because he started eating Thanksgiving…
Ferguson protests move to retail stores
Demonstrators sought to catch the attention of shoppers looking for good deals on Friday, going to major retailers around the St. Louis area…
Pope Francis visits Turkey
Pope Francis is in Turkey to discuss religious tolerance and serve as a counterweight to ISIS brutality in the region.
Mexico's president plans police overhaul
Following months of protests over the disappearance of 43 students, Mexican President Enrique Pena Nieto calls for federal control of local police.