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Authorities are looking into the possibility that a terror attack was behind the disappearance of the Boeing 777 jet used for Malaysia Airlines flight MH370.
LATEST: The Malaysian authorities held a press conference on missing flight MH370, but didn't reveal much to the gathered media.
By Alissa de Carbonnel SIMFEROPOL, Ukraine (Reuters) - Russian forces tightened their grip on Crimea on Sunday despite a U.S. warning to Moscow that annexing the southern Ukrainian region would close the door to diplomacy in a tense East-West standoff. Russian forces' seizure of the Black Sea peninsula has been bloodless but tensions are mounting following the decision by pro-Russian groups that have taken over the regional parliament to make Crimea part of Russia. The operation to seize Crimea began within days of Ukraine's pro-Russian President Viktor Yanukovich's flight from the country last month.
The most dangerous parts of a flight are takeoff and landing. Rarely do incidents happen when a plane is cruising seven miles above the earth. So the disappearance of a Malaysia Airlines jet well into ...
Malaysia Airlines said on Sunday it now feared the worst for its missing plane carrying 239 people, more than a day after it went missing, and was working with a U.S. company that specialises in disaster recovery. "In fearing for the worst, a disaster recovery management specialist from Atlanta, USA will be assisting Malaysia Airlines in this crucial time," the airline said in a statement.
By Anuradha Raghu and Nguyen Phuong Linh KUALA LUMPUR/HO CHI MINH CITY (Reuters) - A Malaysia Airlines flight carrying 227 passengers and 12 crew was presumed to have crashed off the Vietnamese coast on Saturday, and European officials said two people on board were using false identities. There were no reports of bad weather and no sign why the Boeing 777-200ER would have vanished from radar screens about an hour after it took off from Kuala Lumpur for Beijing. "We are not ruling out any possibilities," Malaysia Airlines CEO Ahmad Jauhari Yahya told a news conference. But the passenger manifest issued by the airline included the names of two Europeans - Austrian Christian Kozel and Italian Luigi Maraldi - who, according to their foreign ministries, were not in fact on the plane.
Two large oil slicks spotted by the Vietnamese air force offered the first sign that a jetliner carrying 239 people had crashed into the ocean after vanishing from radar without sending a single distress ...
By Niluksi Koswanage KUALA LUMPUR (Reuters) - Malaysian officials are poring over CCTV footage and questioning immigration officers and guards at Kuala Lumpur's international airport, concerned that a security breach may be connected to the disappearance of Malaysia Airlines flight MH370. Suspicions that the Beijing-bound Boeing jet, which vanished on Saturday with 239 people on board, may have been hijacked or bombed have risen after at least two passengers were found to be using stolen passports, though Malaysia's government stressed it was considering all possibilities. Malaysian investigators, assisted by the FBI, are probing the identities of four passengers in particular, two Malaysian officials with knowledge of the investigation told Reuters. The four comprise two travellers with European passports, possibly Ukrainian, in addition to two travelling on stolen Austrian and Italian passports, the sources said.
Victims of Stalin's mass deportations in 1944, Crimea's Tatar Muslim minority look warily on next week's referendum on joining Russia, which could well bring the crisis on the tense peninsula to new heights. At the Great Mosque in Bakhchysaray, near the southern tip of the Black Sea region, the local Tatar representative Akhtem Chiygoz describes the March 16 vote as "illegal". The referendum is meant to confirm Thursday's decision by Crimea's pro-Moscow parliament to become part of the Russian Federation, but the authorities in Kiev have deemed it "illegitimate". While the move has been greeted by Crimea's Russian-speaking majority, it has drawn a less than enthusiastic response from the minority Tatars.
International police agency Interpol on Sunday confirmed "at least" two passports recorded as lost or stolen in its database were used by passengers on board a missing Malaysia Airlines flight and said it was checking for other suspect passports. Interpol said no checks of its database had been made by any country on an Austrian and an Italian passport between the time that they were stolen and the departure of the flight. "Whilst it is too soon to speculate about any connection between these stolen passports and the missing plane, it is clearly of great concern that any passenger was able to board an international flight using a stolen passport listed in Interpol's databases," Interpol Secretary General Ronald Noble said in a statement. Noble expressed frustration that few of Interpol's 190 member countries "systematically" search the database to determine whether documents being used to board a plane are registered as lost or stolen.
Fighters loyal to the Shi'ite Houthi tribe, who have repeatedly fought government forces since 2004, are trying to tighten their grip on the north as Yemen - home to one of al Qaeda's most active branches - moves towards a federal system that gives more power to regional authorities. Gulf Arab states and the United States are particularly concerned about violence in the Western-allied country as it shares a long border with top oil exporter Saudi Arabia and its coast runs alongside Red Sea and Gulf of Aden shipping lanes. Fighting on Friday and Saturday in al-Jawf province, about 140 kms (90 miles) north-east of Sanaa, claimed more than 30 lives before government mediators managed to broker a truce. And clashes on Sunday in Hamdan, an area some 30 km north-west of Sanaa has killed more than 10, officials on both sides said.
One Indian worker was killed in an accident during construction of a nuclear submarine, a defence statement said Sunday, the latest in a string of deadly mishaps to hit the navy. Two others were injured and are under treatment," the organisation, which is charge of the construction project, said in the statement. The accident came just one day after a toxic gas leak on board the yet-to-be commissioned INS Kolkata naval ship killed an officer and injured two others during trials in Mumbai on Friday. The navy's chief resigned last month over another accident, a fire on board a submarine that killed two officers, during exercises off the Mumbai coast.
Afghan Vice-President Marshal Mohammad Qasim Fahim, formerly one of the country's most feared warlords, died of natural causes on Sunday after a turbulent life that reflected the country's recent past. Fahim, a leader of the Tajik ethnic minority, was senior vice-president under President Hamid Karzai, who will step down at elections next month as US-led combat forces pull out of Afghanistan after 13 years of fighting the Taliban. Aged 56, Fahim was accused of being a ruthless strongman who maintained his own militia forces, but he also received American support as Afghanistan struggled for stability following the fall of the Taliban regime in 2001. "With extreme sorrow, Marshal Mohammad Qasim Fahim, the first vice-president of Afghanistan, passed away due to an illness," the presidential palace said in a statement.
CAIRO (AP) — In a story March 8 about Egypt's military chief Abdel-Fattah el-Sissi, The Associated Press reported erroneously how much Egypt spends annually on fuel subsidies. The country spends nearly $20 billion a year, not $2 billion.
By Parisa Hafezi ANKARA (Reuters) - European Union foreign policy chief Catherine Ashton said on Sunday it would be "difficult and challenging" to reach a long-term nuclear deal with Iran, as diplomacy intensifies before talks between Tehran and world powers on March 18. Ashton arrived in Tehran on Saturday for a two-day visit -the first by an EU foreign policy chief since 2008 - during which she said a wide range of issues, including bilateral ties and regional conflicts, will be discussed. A long-lasting nuclear deal with Iran would help put an end to years of hostility between Iran and the West, ease the danger of a new war in the Middle East, and open up vast new possibilities for Western businesses. "The interim deal is really important but not as important as a comprehensive nuclear agreement ... which is difficult and challenging," Ashton told a joint news conference with Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif, broadcast on state TV.
Russia has deliberately sunk three of its own ships to block Ukrainian navy vessels into a lake off the Black Sea, officers say, highlighting Moscow's determination to wear down the morale of Kiev's forces in Crimea. The Ochakov -- a Soviet-era warship decommissioned in 2011 and set to be sold for scrap -- was towed to the entrance to Lake Donuzlav on Crimea's western coast from the Russian base at Sevastopol on Thursday and blown up. Ukraine's navy has limited resources and suffered a major blow last week when its chief Denis Berezovsky switched allegiance to the pro-Russian Crimean authorities and a new chief was appointed. "It is blocked so we cannot get out," said Captain Viktor Shmyganovsky, second-in-command at the base in Novoozerne, one of the four biggest in Crimea.
DAKAR, Senegal (AP) — Gambia's president said that he wants to implement a policy change that would shift the country's language from English to a local language.
TRIPOLI, Libya (AP) — Libya's Defense Ministry has ordered its naval and air forces for a second time to use force against a North Korean-flagged tanker loading oil from terminals seized by militias.
CAIRO (AP) — Egypt's powerful military chief is launching a housing initiative to build a million homes for the poor, in the first campaign-style move by Field Marshal Abdel-Fattah el-Sissi, who is widely expected to run for president.
With New York state about to take bids for its first non-Indian casinos, tribes looking to hold their ground have been upgrading their existing casinos and exploring new ones. The Seneca Indian Nation, ...
By Niluksi Koswanage KUALA LUMPUR (Reuters) - The pilot of a Malaysia Airlines jet that went missing on Saturday enjoyed flying the Boeing 777 so much that he spent his off days tinkering with a flight simulator of the plane that he had set up at home, current and former co-workers said. Zaharie Ahmad Shah, 53, captain of the airliner carrying 239 people bound for Beijing from the Malaysian capital, had always wanted to become a pilot and joined the national carrier in 1981. Airline staff who worked with the pilot said Zaharie knew the ins and outs of the Boeing 777 extremely well, as he was always practicing with the simulator. That is the kind of guy he is," said a Malaysia Airlines co-pilot who had flown with Zaharie in the past.