MH17 case: Suspect denies involvement
THE HAGUE • One of four suspects on trial for the 2014 downing of Malaysia Airlines Flight 17 has denied any involvement with firing or supplying the missile allegedly used in the jet's destruction.
Oleg Pulatov "did not contribute and he was not involved" in the incident, his lawyer Sabine ten Doesschate told The Hague District Court yesterday. "He did not and does not have any knowledge of how and why MH17 was downed."
MH17 was flying from Amsterdam to Kuala Lumpur when it was shot down by a missile fired from territory held by pro-Russian rebels during fighting in eastern Ukraine, international investigators say. All 298 people on board were killed.
After an investigation lasting nearly six years, four defendants went on trial in March. The men are all still at large and three are being tried in absentia.
China aims for 95% pork self-sufficiency
BEIJING • China, the top pork consumer, has set a long-term goal to be almost completely self-sufficient in the staple as it seeks to reduce its dependency on food imports.
China is targeting 95 per cent self-sufficiency in pork, according to a State Council document on developing the livestock industry. It will also expand imports of safe meat products from more nations to supplement output. The growth in hog herds will boost overseas purchases of soya beans and feed grains.
With millions of small pig farms breeding fewer than 500 pigs a year, China has now set a target that 70 per cent of all hog farms should be large-scale by 2025, rising to 85 per cent by 2030. Treatment and usage of animal waste are to reach goals of 80 per cent and 85 per cent, respectively, according to the plan.
Chinese military exercises in 4 seas
BEIJING • China began five military exercises simultaneously along different parts of its coast yesterday, the second time in two months it will have such concurrent drills against a backdrop of rising regional tension.
Two are being held near the Paracel Islands in the disputed South China Sea, one in the East China Sea, and one farther north in the Bohai Sea, the Maritime Safety Administration said in notices on its website.
In the southern part of the Yellow Sea, drills, including live-fire exercises, will be held until tomorrow. All ships are prohibited from entering the area.
In an effort to train a combat-ready military force, China holds military drills periodically, but rarely do multiple exercises happen at the same time.