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Jul 23, 2014

Rebels likely downed Malaysian jet ‘by mistake’ -U.S. officials

WASHINGTON, July 22 (Reuters) – The U.S. government believes
that pro-Russian separatists most likely shot down a Malaysia
Airlines jet “by mistake,” not realizing it was a civilian
passenger flight, U.S. intelligence officials said on Tuesday.

The officials, who spoke on condition of anonymity, said the
“most plausible explanation” for the destruction of the plane
was that the separatists fired a Russian-made SA-11 missile at
it after mistaking it for another kind of aircraft.

Jul 20, 2014

Kerry strengthens U.S. case against Russia over Malaysia jet downing

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – Secretary of State John Kerry on Sunday laid out what he said was overwhelming evidence of Russian complicity in the downing of a Malaysian airliner in eastern Ukraine as he made the U.S. case against Moscow in the most emphatic and explicit terms yet.

Delivering his points in a blitz of U.S. morning news shows, Kerry demanded that Russia take responsibility for actions of allied separatists suspected of shooting down the passenger plane and he expressed disgust over the rebels’ “grotesque” mishandling of victims’ bodies at the crash site.

Jul 19, 2014

U.S. scrambles to determine who fired Russian-made missile at jet

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – Satellite images show a plume of smoke left by the ground-to-air missile that brought down Malaysia Airlines flight 17. Infrared sensors recorded the moment when the airliner exploded.

As U.S. analysts sift through fragments of intelligence to try to pin down who fired the missile and why, and where it came from, they are running into difficult questions.

Jul 18, 2014

U.S. orders American aircraft to avoid eastern Ukraine airspace

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – The U.S. Federal Aviation Administration issued an order on Thursday night prohibiting American aircraft from flying over eastern Ukraine following the downing of a Malaysia Airlines flight in that region.

Citing “recent events and the potential for continued hazardous activities,” the FAA said the restricted area included the entire Simferopol and Dnepropetrovsk flight information regions. “This action expands a prohibition of U.S. flight operations issued by the FAA in April, over the Crimean region of Ukraine and adjacent areas of the Black Sea and the Sea of Azov,” the agency said.

Jul 17, 2014

U.S. air carriers to avoid Russia-Ukraine border airspace

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – American air carriers have agreed to avoid flying through airspace near Russia’s border with Ukraine after a Malaysia Airlines plane carrying 295 people crashed in the area on Thursday, the U.S. Federal Aviation Administration said.

Announcing the voluntary flight restrictions, the FAA said it had been in contact with U.S. airlines after Malaysia Airlines Flight 17 crashed in an area racked by civil war.

Jul 7, 2014

CIA had role in Germany spy affair

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – The Central Intelligence Agency was involved in a spying operation against Germany that led to the alleged recruitment of a German intelligence official and has prompted renewed outrage in Berlin, two U.S. officials familiar with the matter said on Monday.

CIA Director John Brennan has asked to brief key members of the U.S. Congress on the matter, which threatens a new rupture between Washington and a close European ally, one of the officials said.

Jul 7, 2014

Exclusive: CIA had role in Germany spy affair

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – The Central Intelligence Agency was involved in a spying operation against Germany that led to the alleged recruitment of a German intelligence official and has prompted renewed outrage in Berlin, two U.S. officials familiar with the matter said on Monday.

CIA Director John Brennan has asked to brief key members of the U.S. Congress on the matter, which threatens a new rupture between Washington and a close European ally, one of the officials said.

Jul 3, 2014

Phones, shoes to face scrutiny as airport security tightened -U.S.

WASHINGTON, July 3 (Reuters) – Airlines with direct flights
to the United States have been told to tighten screening of
mobile phones and shoes in response to intelligence reports of
increased threats from al Qaeda affiliated militant groups, U.S.
officials said.

The officials singled out smartphones including iPhones made
by Apple Inc and Galaxy phones made by Samsung
Electronics for extra security checks on U.S.-bound
direct flights from Europe, the Middle East and Africa.

Jul 2, 2014

U.S. increases security at overseas airports amid bomb concerns

WASHINGTON, July 2 (Reuters) – The United States said on
Wednesday it would increase security at overseas airports with
direct flights into the country and U.S. officials cited
concerns al Qaeda operatives in Syria and Yemen were developing
bombs that could be smuggled onto planes.

European airports would be taking the extra precautions, the
U.S. officials told Reuters on condition of anonymity.

Jul 2, 2014

U.S. pushes for tighter European airport security amid bomb concerns

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – The Obama administration is pushing for increased security precautions at European airports because of concerns that al Qaeda operatives in Syria and Yemen have teamed up to develop bombs that can be smuggled onto planes, U.S. officials said on Wednesday.

The U.S. government is in discussions with European authorities on measures that could include extra scrutiny of U.S.-bound passengers’ electronics and footwear, and installation of additional bomb-detection machines, according to law-enforcement and security officials. An announcement is expected within days.