Later in his career and since leaving day-to-day operations at Microsoft in 2008, Gates has pursued a number of philanthropic endeavors. He has given sizable amounts of money to various charitable organizations and scientific research programs through the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, reported to be the world's largest private charity. In 2009, Gates and Warren Buffett founded The Giving Pledge, whereby they and other billionaires pledge to give at least half of their wealth to philanthropy.
On 3 April 2020, the families of the victims formed an association in Toronto, Ontario, Canada, to follow the case through legal avenue. The association's spokesman, Hamed Esmaeilion, said the association's aim is, "to bring the perpetrators of the crime to justice, including those who ordered it". In July 2020, Esmaeilion was outraged that the ICAO had yet to condemn the incident, and pointed out that the ICAO needed only three months to adopt a unanimous resolution condemning in the strongest terms the destruction and alleged murders of Malaysia Airlines Flight MH17.More Info
The head of the commission for accidents in the CAOI said they received no emergency message from the aircraft before the crash. It was reported that the aircraft's black boxes (the cockpit voice recorder (CVR) and flight data recorder (FDR)) had been recovered, but the CAOI said it was not clear to which country the recorders would be sent so the data could be analyzed. The association said it would not hand over the black boxes to Boeing or to U.S. authorities. On 9 January, the black boxes were reported, by Iranian investigators, to have been damaged and that some parts of their memory may have been lost. Mary Schiavo, a former U.S. Department of Transportation inspector general, said no automated distress messages had been sent from the aircraft or by its crew.More Info
President Zelensky expressed condolences to the relatives of the victims and cut short his diplomatic visit in Oman. He later added that several aircraft had been prepared in Kiev to travel to Tehran to transport the dead. He declared 9 January a national day of mourning, with Ukrainian flags flying at half-mast on government buildings. He also announced unscheduled inspections on every airliner in the country and asked Ukrainians to refrain from visiting Iran and Iraq for the time being. On 11 January Zelensky said, "Ukraine insists on a full admission of guilt. We expect Iran to bring those responsible to justice, return the bodies, pay compensation and issue an official apology. The investigation must be full, open and continue without delays or obstacles."More Info
According to Ukrainian foreign minister Vadym Prystaiko and a flight manifest released by UIA, out of the 167 passengers' citizenship, 82 were confirmed to be Iranian, 63 were Canadian, three were British, four were Afghan, 10 were Swedish, and three were German. Eleven Ukrainians were also onboard, nine of them being the crew. The German Foreign Ministry denied any Germans were aboard; the three people in question were Afghan nationals who lived in Germany as asylum seekers. According to Iranian nationality law, the Iranian government considers dual citizens as Iranian citizens only.More Info
Shortly before the U.S. Department of Defense announced the strike, President Trump posted a U.S. flag on Twitter. The next morning, he held a public statement saying he had authorized the strike because Soleimani was plotting "imminent and sinister attacks" on Americans. He added, "We took action last night to stop a war. We did not take action to start a war." He also said he did not seek a regime change in Iran. On 4 January, Trump tweeted that 52 Iranian targets (representing the 52 American hostages in the 1979–81 Iran hostage crisis) had been selected if Iran "strikes any Americans, or American assets". Iranian President Rouhani responded to Trump's warning: "Those who refer to the number 52 should also remember the number 290", referring to the 1988 shooting down of Iran Air Flight 655, by a U.S. warship in which 290 were killed. Among those targets were Iranian "cultural sites", and Trump subsequently insisted he would not hesitate to destroy such targets even after some said it could be considered a war crime.More Info
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