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.
Chinese media critical of Obama's India visit
As American media focuses on the budding bromance between President Obama and Indian PM Narendra Modi, Chinese outlets are more critical of the visit.
2 small planes run out of fuel, crash-land
Two small planes ran out of fuel and crash-landed into the Pacific Ocean off Hawaii on the same day, with one briefly nose-diving before…
Georgia customer donates kidney to cashier
A Georgia woman received a lifesaving gift from a woman she met in a grocery store checkout line.
Marshals investigate military sex offenders
The United States Marshals Service says it is "actively" investigating military sex offenders for failing to put their names on public…
Locals see messy travels due to nor'easter
Airlines have canceled thousands of flights for Monday as a major blizzard takes aim at the Northeast, bringing as much as two feet or more…
Bodies found in search for 'Craigslist couple'
The car belonging to a Georgia couple who disappeared after traveling to meet a man claiming to sell a classic auto has been found in a lake…