The UN chief and the US top diplomat were to meet leaders of Egypt -- lead player in Gaza truce efforts -- Tuesday, as the death toll from a blistering Israeli offensive soared. Fresh air strikes early Tuesday killed seven people in Gaza, at least four of them women, taking the Palestinian death toll to 583, many of them civilians. US Secretary of State John Kerry put the onus firmly on the Islamist Hamas movement, which dominates Gaza, to forge a truce with its Israeli foe as he flew in to Cairo late on Monday. UN chief Ban Ki-moon appealed for the violence to "stop now".
Dutch experts on Tuesday prepared to take custody of some 280 bodies recovered from downed Malaysian flight MH17, as a train carrying the remains arrived in the government-held Ukrainian city of Kharkiv. Rebels controlling the crash site released the morgue train under intense international pressure, finally allowing a great majority of the 298 crash victims to begin the long journey home. Their remains are now to be flown to the Netherlands, which had 193 citizens on board the doomed flight and is taking the lead in investigating a disaster that has brought Ukraine's bloody three-month conflict to the doorstep of countries as far away as Australia. Pro-Russian separatists -- who stand accused of bringing down the aircraft, possibly with a missile supplied by Moscow -- bowed to a furious clamour for the bodies and black boxes to be handed to investigators five days after the crash.