Home' Trinidad and Tobago Guardian : November 26th 2015 Contents A29
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A church nativity scene recieved a
sudden dose of realism when a crying
baby was found in its manger.
The abandoned boy---discovered with
his umbilical cord intact by a caretaker
at the New York place of worship---has
since been nicknamed "Baby Jesus."
Now the church's priest has dubbed
the tot a "Christmas miracle," and one
parish couple have even offered to
adopt the youngster.
Caretaker Jose Moran came across
the healthy baby swaddled in towels
after he returned from his lunch
break---just hours after he had set up
the nativity scene at the Holy Child
Jesus Church. I followed the cries. I
walked to the little nativity home we
had installed inside the church ... the
baby was wrapped in towels. Despite
hearing crying as he swept the church,
the 60-year-old was at first oblivious to
the tragic foundling lying just feet
Moran, who initially assumed "there
was somebody in the church with a
child," said: "I couldn't believe my eyes.
"I followed the cries. I walked to the
little nativity home we had installed
inside the church ---there he was."
Baby abandoned in nativity manger at Holy Child Jesus Church
The surviving pilot of a Russian
plane shot down by Turkey on the
Syrian border has said no warning
Capt Konstantin Murakhtin told
Russian television there was "no way"
the jet could have violated Turkish air-
space, as Turkey said it did.
Russia said Capt Murakhtin was res-
cued in a 12-hour operation involving
Turkey insists the pilots were warned
10 times before the plane was shot
down. It is not clear what happened
to the body of his co-pilot, who was
killed by gunfire as he parachuted from
the burning plane.
Capt Murakhtin was speaking from
the Hmeymim airbase, where Russia s
aircraft have been based in its Syrian
campaign, and where he was taken
after being rescued. He said he knew
the region he had been flying in "very
well" and that the jet had not been in
Turkish airspace "even for a second."
He added he wanted to go back to
duty and stay at the airbase, saying
"someone has to pay" for the death of
the other pilot, Lt Col Oleg Peshkov.
Russian President Vladimir Putin
announced that Lt Col Peshkov would
be posthumously awarded the Star of
the Hero of Russia.
There are also to be state awards too
for Capt Murakhtin and the marine
who died during his rescue, Alexander
Clearly furious, President Putin has
threatened "serious consequences" after
Turkey hit the Russian jet. But so far
concrete measures have been limited.
Russia has broken off military contacts
with Turkey but diplomatic channels
Turkey gave no warning---
downed Russian pilot
Children pass a police officer as they arrive for school in the centre of Brussels yesterday. AP PHOTO
Russia sent an advanced mis-
sile system to Syria yesterday to
protect its jets operating there
and pledged its air force would
keep flying missions near Turkish
air space, sounding a defiant note
after Turkey shot down a Russian
Underscoring the message,
Russian forces launched a heavy
bombardment against insurgent-
held areas in Latakia yesterday,
near where the jet was downed,
rebels and a monitoring group
The downing of the jet on Tues-
day was one of the most serious
publicly acknowledged clashes
between a NATO member and
Russia for half a century, and fur-
ther complicated international
efforts to battle Islamic State mil-
itants in Syria.
President Tayyip Erdogan made
no apology, saying his nation had
simply been defending its own
security and the "rights of our
brothers in Syria." He made clear
Turkish policy would not change.
Russian officials expressed fury
over Turkey s action and spoke of
retaliatory measures that were
likely to include curbing travel by
Russian tourists to Turkish resorts
and some restrictions on trade.
Russian Foreign Minister Sergei
Lavrov described it as a planned
act and said it would impact
efforts toward a political solution
in Syria. Moscow would "seriously
reconsider" its relations with
Ankara, he said.
Jets believed to be Russian also
hit a depot for trucks waiting to
go through a major rebel-con-
trolled border crossing with
Turkey, Bab al-Salam, the head
of the crossing said.
The Russian response was also
carefully calibrated, indicating
Moscow did not want to jeopardise
its main objective in the region:
to rally international support for
its view on how the conflict in
Syria should be resolved.
"We have no intention of fight-
ing a war with Turkey," Lavrov
said. Erdogan also said Ankara had
no intention of escalating tensions
Speaking on a trip to the Ural
mountains city of Nizhny Tagil,
Russian President Vladimir Putin
ordered the despatch of an
advanced weapons system to Rus-
sia s Khmeimim air base in Syria s
"I hope that this, along with
other measures that we are taking,
will be enough to ensure (the safe-
ty) of our flights," Putin told
reporters, in an apparent warning
to Turkey not to try to shoot down
any more Russian planes.
Kremlin spokesman Dmitry
Peskov said Russia was forced to
fly missions close to the Turkish
border because that was where
the militants tended to be located.
Russian operations would contin-
ue, he said. (Reuters)
No backing down
Russia and Turkey defiant in row over jet downing
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