The Free Press, Mankato, MN

State, national news

July 18, 2014

Malaysia defends flight path of downed jet

KIEV, Ukraine — A day after a Malaysia Airlines plane traveling from Amsterdam to Kuala Lumpur crashed near the Russian border in eastern Ukraine, the Malaysian transportation minister said he believed the crew bore no responsibility for the deadly flight plan.

“The flight path taken by MH17 was approved by the International Civil Aviation Organization and by the countries whose airspace the route passed through,” said Liow Tiong Lai at a news conference in Kuala Lumpur on Friday. “Fifteen out of 16 airlines in the Association of Asia Pacific Airlines fly this route over Ukraine.”

The crash, which U.S. officials believe was caused by a surface-to-air missile, spread wreckage over a wide area in the contested territory around Donetsk and is presumed to have resulted in the deaths of all 298 people on board. Ukrainian officials have blamed pro-Russia separatists who control large parts of the area; the rebels have denied any involvement.

Both Liow, who took over the minister job from interim predecessor Hishammuddin Hussein just several weeks ago, and Malaysia Airlines have come under fire for the pilots’ decision to fly that route. Critics note that they chose the path despite the recent danger faced by Ukrainian military transport planes at the hands of rebel fighters — and even though a number of European and other airlines had been choosing to circumvent the troubled airspace.

Liow — who said that Malaysia Airlines would send a team of 62 to Kiev to assist with the post-crash efforts — added that there had been “no last-minute instructions” to change the flight plan and called for an independent investigation into the incident.

But determining the circumstances that led to the downing of the plane won’t be simple. While aviation disasters tend to spur high levels of multinational cooperation, that’s far less likely here given the politically charged nature and geography of Thursday’s crash.

Text Only | Photo Reprints
State, national news
  • Congress racing to finish Congress races to finish veterans, highway bills

    July 31, 2014

  • Target New CEO [Duplicate] Target names Pepsi's Cornell as chairman, CEO MINNEAPOLIS (AP) — Target has hired Pepsi executive Brian Cornell as its new chairman and CEO as it looks to recover from a huge data breach and troubles in Canada. Cornell replaces interim CEO John Mulligan, who is chief financial officer for the M

    July 31, 2014 1 Photo

  • Brain wave monitoring is better gauge than using a focus group, study says To predict a large population’s likely response to something — a product, politician or policy — political consultants, marketing gurus and advertising execs have long favored the focus group. Ask a small segment of the target audience what it thinks

    July 31, 2014

  • Argentina slides into default as debt talks fail NEW YORK (AP) — The collapse of talks with U.S. creditors sent Argentina into its second debt default in 13 years and raised questions about what comes next for financial markets and the South American nation's staggering economy. A midnight Wednesd

    July 31, 2014

  • Exchange Bee Researcher [Duplicate] Bee researcher takes aim at central Minnesota park WAITE PARK — Crystal Boyd strained four bees, three flies and one leafhopper from a yellow pan trap, the third of 12 in a transect topping a granite outcrop in Quarry Park Scientific and Natural Area.She popped everything into a labeled, zip-top plas

    July 31, 2014 4 Photos

  • Cinema verite documentarian Robert Drew dies at 90 Filmmaker Robert Drew, a pioneer of the modern documentary who in "Primary" and other movies mastered the intimate, spontaneous style known as cinema verite and schooled a generation of influential directors that included D.A. Pennebaker and Albert M

    July 30, 2014

  • Homeowner killed, another injured in Vegas crime spree LAS VEGAS — A horrific carjacking and home invasion spree ended with two people dead and a woman in critical condition. One victim, Richard Ramos, a 59-year-old father of four, “fought to his death” to protect his wife and children from their attack

    July 30, 2014

  • Officer Shooting Minnesota-9 [Duplicate] UPDATE: Suspect in Minnesota officer killing in custody WEST ST. PAUL, Minn. (AP) — Police in Minnesota say a man wanted in the shooting death of an officer is in custody after being shot by police. St. Paul police spokesman Sgt. Paul Paulos says 39-year-old Brian Fitch Sr. got out of a minivan firing at

    July 30, 2014 4 Photos

  • Officer Shooting Minnesota-3 [Duplicate] Minnesota officer killed making traffic stop WEST ST. PAUL (AP) — A police officer in Minnesota was fatally shot Wednesday while making a traffic stop and authorities said they were searching for a suspect. Mendota Heights police officer Scott Patrick, 47, was shot about 12:20 p.m. after pulli

    July 30, 2014 2 Photos

  • Possible suspect caught in Minnesota cop shooting WEST ST. PAUL (AP) — A potential suspect in the shooting of a police officer in Minnesota has been captured. Minnesota Public Radio News reports that the officer was killed. Television news footage showed the man being pulled from his vehicle Wednes

    July 30, 2014