A series of phone intercepts released by a team investigating the 2014 downing of Malaysia Airlines flight MH17 over Ukraine show ties between Moscow and the pro-Russian rebels accused of shooting down the aircraft were “much closer” than originally believed, investigators said. “There was almost daily telephone contact between the leadership of the DPR and their contacts in the Russian Federation,” the Dutch-lead Joint Investigation Team (JIT) said in a statement on Thursday.
At least two students have been killed and three more injured after a 16-year-old suspect opened fire at a southern California high school, the latest deadly school shooting to hit the US. Six injured students, including the suspect, were recovered at the scene. The fatalities include a 16-year-old girl and a 14-year-old boy. Two girls, ages 14 and 15, and a 14-year-old boy remain hospitalized, officials said.
Exceptionally high tidal waters returned to Venice on Friday, prompting the mayor to close the iconic St. Mark’s Square and call for donations to repair the Italian lagoon city just three days after it experienced its worst flooding in 50 years. The high tide peaked at 1.54 meters (5 feet) above sea level just before noon on Friday, flooding most of the historic center.
A man has died in Hong Kong after being hit on the head during clashes between government supporters and protesters. The government said the 70-year-old cleaner was on a lunch break on Wednesday when he was struck by “hard objects hurled by masked rioters”. In London, Hong Kong’s Justice Secretary Teresa Cheng was hurt after being jostled by anti-government protesters, the Chinese embassy said.
In a social media post, musician Taylor Swift said she has been blocked from performing her own older songs by Swift’s former record label head Scott Borchetta and his partner Scooter Braun. Swift contends that decision will affect not only her appearance at the American Music Awards (AMA), where she is expected to be named Artist of the Decade, but a Netflix documentary chronicling the past few years of Swift’s life.