Video: Snakes on plane? Snake on field

Written By komlim puldel on Senin, 31 Maret 2014 | 20.02

A 3ft brown snake has shocked crowds and commentators at the Titans and Cowboys clash at Cbus Super Stadium tonight.

Brown snake on the field. Source: FoxSports

THERE was something more lethal than a Johnathan Thurston show-and-go at the football on Monday with a brown snake appearing at Cbus Super Stadium.

On a warm Gold Coast night, fans shot to their feet early in the first half of the Titans and Cowboys clash after a snake appeared on the field.

Three feet long, the snake slithered across the turf of the south-eastern corner of the ground before heading into the crowd.

While security did their best to corner the snake, it shot underneath the grandstand and into a water pipe.

TITANS BEAT COWBOYS

Almost as soon as the uninvited reptile had made his appearance a Twitter account with the handle CbusSnake was already up and running, posting updates such as ``just hanging at cbus... looking for rats''.

The match continued without interruption with the snake never appearing to actually go near the field of play.


20.02 | 0 komentar | Read More

Aust wins whaling case against Japan

The UN's top court has ruled that Japan's whaling hunt in the Southern Ocean is not a scientific program.

UN ruling ... Japan's whaling hunt in the Southern Ocean is not a scientific program. Source: AFP

AUSTRALIA has won an international lawsuit against Japan's Southern Ocean whaling program and the International Court of Justice has ordered Tokyo to cease the killing immediately.

Presiding Judge Peter Tomka of Slovakia said Japan had not justified the large number of minke whales it takes under its program, while failing to meet much smaller targets for fin and humpback whales.

Japan has said it will abide by the decision, but it does not necessarily mean a permananet end to whaling.

The United Nation's court ordered a halt to the issuing of whaling permits until the program has been revamped.

The ICJ, by 12 votes to four, said Japan had not acted in compliance with its obligations under the international whaling convention.

Four years ago former environment minister Peter Garrett helped launch legal action against Japan in the International Court of Justice to try and put a stop to its controversial Antarctic whaling program.

It was the first time any country had used an international court to try to stop whaling.

Mr Garrett said he felt vindicated by the decision Labor made in 2010 to pursue the case against so-called "scientific whaling'' in The Hague.

"I'm absolutely over the moon, for all those people who wanted to see the charade of scientific whaling cease once and for all,'' the former Midnight Oil singer told ABC Radio this evening.

Ruthless ... Greenpeace ship MY Esperanza witness the killing of whales in the Southern Ocean by the Yushin Maru and the Kyo Maru No1 ships of the Japanese whaling fleet in 2005. Source: News Limited

"I think (this) means without any shadow of a doubt that we won't see the taking of whales in the Southern Ocean in the name of science."

He wasn't the only one celebrating the outcome, with many taking to Twitter to share the news and pay tribute to the anti-whaling activist group Sea Shepherd.

Sea Shepherd Australia chairman and former Australian Greens leader Bob Brown congratulated the captain of the fleet that made its name in daring clashes with Japanese whalers in Antarctica.

"A whale of a win! Paul Watson is a global hero and Australians can all feel proud. Sea Shepherd Australia chairman,'' Mr Brown posted.

Current Greens leader Christine Milne also paid tribute to the "champions" at Sea Shepherd, calling the ICJ verdict "justice at last".

Australia had asked the court to ban Japan's annual hunt on the basis it was not "for purposes of scientific research'' as allowed under Article 8 of the 1946 International Convention for the Regulation of Whaling.

Canberra argued Tokyo was cloaking a commercial whaling operation "in the labcoat of science'' despite agreeing to a 1980s ban on harpooning.

Japan, however, countered during a three-week hearing in mid-2013 that the ICJ didn't have the authority to decide what was, or wasn't, science.

It insisted lethal research was both lawful and necessary.

But in UN court last dismissed Tokyo's argument.

The court didn't accept Australia's argument that "scientific research'' needed to have defined and achievable objectives, use appropriate methods, be properly peer reviewed, and avoid adverse events on the stocks being studied.

Annual hunt ... the Nisshin Maru, the factory ship of Japanese whaling fleet, exits the ice floes in the Southern Ocean, in 2011. Picture courtesy of Shepherd Conservation Society, Barbara Veiga. Source: AP

Instead it focused on whether Tokyo's program was "for purposes of'' scientific research, however that was defined.

Judge Tomka said the key was whether "the elements of the program's design and implementation are reasonable in relation to its stated scientific objectives''.

Killing whales could be science and wasn't "unreasonable per se'', Judge Tomka said.

Furthermore, the fact whale meat was sold afterwards to fund future hunts did not, on its own, mean the program was illegal.

But the court found there could be a greater reliance on non-lethal methods.

The court president said Tokyo should have analysed the feasibility of non-lethal methods when setting the quota size for taking whales.

"There is no evidence that Japan has examined whether it would be feasible to combine a smaller lethal take, in particular of minke whales, and an increase in non-lethal sampling as a means to achieve ... research objectives,'' he said.

Tokyo was criticised for doubling its target to 850 minke whales each year after 2005 without first assessing the research effectiveness of its earlier program, which had a much smaller sample size.

Japan hunts around a thousand mostly minke whales annually in the icy waters of the Southern Ocean.

Australia and environmental groups say the hunt serves no scientific purpose and is just a way for Japan to get around the moratorium on commercial whaling imposed by the International Whaling Commission in 1986.

Although the popularity of whale meat is declining in Japan, it is considered a delicacy by some, and meat from the hunt is sold commercially.

Japan has said it will abide by the ruling of the court, known as the World Court, which is the United Nations' court for disputes between countries.

At the start of last night's judgment hearing, Judge Tomka said that "research objectives alone must be sufficient to justify the program''.

###


20.02 | 0 komentar | Read More

NRL shattered by McKinnon diagnosis

Matty Johns says everyone in sport not just rugby league is in shock to hear the tragic news Newcastle Knights' Alex McKinnon may never walk again.

Alex McKinnon has been diagnosed as a quadriplegic. Source: News Limited

FORMER Newcastle great Matthew Johns said on Monday night that all of sport and not just rugby league will be in total shock today at the news young Knights forward Alex McKinnon is facing life as a quadriplegic.

The 22 year backrower, still in a critical condition in a Melbourne hospital, has only limited feeling in his left arm and faces the heartbreaking likelihood of never being able to walk again.

Alex McKinnon is tackled by Trent Merrin, Beau Scott and Nathan Fien. Source: News Limited

Johns told Fox Sports last night the tragic news, reported on Channel Nine last night, will reverberate through all sport in Australia.

BENNETT: ALEX IS LIKE A SON TO ME

A CITY STOPS FOR WOUNDED HERO

"Everyone in sport, not just rugby league are in total shock," Johns said.

"It was always a chance it was going to be this type of terrible news but everyone was praying that it wouldn't be.

Wayne Bennett has urged Newcastle to continue to support Alex McKinnon after the Knights recorded an emotional 30-0 win over the Sharks at Hunter Stadium.

"Then you get the news come through of this young boy who is so universally liked and respected in rugby league may not walk again."

The NRL, caught by complete surprise by the report, responded cautiously in a statement:

"I understand this has been reported on Channel 9 but we've not received this advice by the Knights or Alex's family in regards to these reports," NRL spokeperson Sandy Olsen said.

"Out of regard for Alex and his family, it is not appropriate to comment at this time.

"Our thoughts continue to be with Alex for his recovery. The NRL and the Knights are providing all the support we possibly can at this time."

The Newcastle team in a huddle before the clash with the Sharks in a tribute to Alex McKinnon. Source: Getty Images

Newcastle fans show their support for Alex McKinnon. Source: News Corp Australia

The Newcastle Knights were also left largely in the dark by the news.

"The club will continue to liaise with Alex's family and issue the appropriate update. At this stage, we have no further update," their spokesperson said.

McKinnon was brought out of an induced coma on Sunday and hopes of a recovery were raised when it was revealed he was breathing on his own without the assistance of a ventilator and communicating with his family.

The Newcastle Knights have taken home their first win of the season, paying homage to teammate Alex McKinnon who remains in hospital after injuring his spine last week.

But according to Channel Nine, the prognosis for McKinnon is grim.

"McKinnon and his family have been told he is a quadriplegic," the report stated.

"He is in rehab and care and will hopefully recover. His spinal cord is not severed.

"Not surprisingly, he is struggling with the news."

McKinnon was due to get a visit today by Knights teammates including captain Kurt Gidley but only coach Wayne Bennett made the trip down to Melbourne.

Alex McKinnon has touched plenty of hearts at the Knights. Source: News Corp Australia

Bennett did not want to comment on the report when asked by The Daily Telegraph.

Director of St Vincents Hospital Emergency Department Professor Gordian Fulde would not comment on the McKinnon case last night but described the diagnosis of quadriplegia as "a life sentence".

He said the injury would renew the tackle debate.

"I think this is going to stimulate the whole matter of how people are tackled because the neck vertebrae in a human are very fragile, "he said.

He said the outlook for McKinnon wouldn't be able to be known for at least a year.

"You don't give the final ability until at least twelve months because of the ability of a young body to compensate and there are also a whole lot of scientific advances," he said.


20.02 | 0 komentar | Read More

Real Housewives, episode 6: Everybody Hates Gina

Written By komlim puldel on Minggu, 30 Maret 2014 | 20.02

Real Housewives of Melbourne cast. Source: Supplied

AS episode six of The Real Housewives of Melbourne opens, we're treated to a glimpse of scholastic life for Lydia, who studies Interior Design at RMIT.

While she may major in Design, it appears she's doing a minor in Patronising Linguistics, given the way she refers to her tutor and classmates:

"[Tutor] Kieron has this very sweet little personality. Because he knows I've been in the field for a long time, he does admire my opinion — and he questions himself. I do tease him."

Just look at sweet little Kieron, admiring Lydia's opinion and questioning everything he ever thought he knew about Interior Design:

Lydia: "You're such a sweet, simple little man." Kieron: "I cannot wait to fail you." Source: Foxtel

Of her classmates, this textbook IMAS (Insufferable Mature Age Student) says:

"I have made some very sweet little friends. It's a gorgeous learning for me, understanding their simple, naive style versus mine."

Lydia goes on to describe her design style as "classical, contemporary and egg-leg-dick." We can add that inventive attempt at 'eclectic' to the ever-growing Lydia Dictionary, where it'll join her pronunciation of tranquil as "TRAWN-KEEL" last week.

Next, we join cougar Janet at her weekender in Red Hill. She's meeting with interior designer Andrew who, like Janet, is not bad for an old chook:

"Janet, I've gone $1.5 million dollars over budget, but you have to admit my hair is fabulous." Source: Foxtel

It's a good thing Andrew's got the whole silver fox thing going on, because Janet informs us that her original renovation budget was $125,000. Andrew's current quote is $1.7 million. Janet, no judgment: if an immaculately groomed Anderson Cooper lookalike asked us for $1.7 million, we too would FIND THE CASH.

Real Housewives is just a Suzie-Wilks-high-ponytail away from being Changing Rooms this week, because next we visit Andrea, who's supervising the renovations of her Liberty Belle skin care clinic. As a client, she seems a little more ... high maintenance than Janet.

"Green carpet would be an enormous disaster," is an actual real thing she tells her building supervisor, Adam.

Andrea's opening is both huge and important, viewers. Source: Foxtel

With renovations running behind schedule, Andrea makes continued reference to the importance of her Huge Opening. We think we see her architect smirk at one point — OH GROW UP ADAM.

Real Housewives, episode 5: Meeting in the ladies room

Real Housewives, episode 4: One-night stands and drunk ski trips

Real Housewives, episode 3: Girls gone wild

Real Housewives, episode 2: Angels and demons

Real Housewives, episode 1: In their own (ridiculous) words

Enough renovations! Time for fun. The ladies head down to Andrea's weekender on the Mornington Peninsula for an afternoon of champagne, tennis, champagne and champagne.

Lydia gives Jackie a lift, leading to this amazing moment from Jackie:

"It's tennis day! Lydia picked me up in her amazing Porsche — I'VE GOT A PORSCHE TOO."

Subtle, Jackie, subtle.

As the Housewives arrive, Andrea takes them on an oh-so-humble tour of the beach house: "The tennis surface alone is worth $40,000," she boasts, at which point her dog emerges from the shrubbery carrying a dead rosella in its mouth.

Here is a picture of Andrea on the aforementioned $40,000 tennis court, carrying a partially eaten dead bird.

"We have all our partially eaten rosellas imported from Tuscany." Source: Foxtel

"As I was driving down I was thinking to myself, 'If we could have no drama today, it would be sensational,'" Janet says on arrival at the house.

Trouble is, Gina's running behind schedule, so two minutes later, Janet changes her tune.

"I'm just getting so sick of the fact that Gina is always late. Making us all wait like that, it's just the height of arrogance and rudeness."

Janet, the wise philosopher Mary J Blige said it best: No More Drama.

As the girls wait and wait for Queen G, tension mounts. Just look at the unimaginable turmoil they're all experiencing:

WOW much turmoil very sadness such waiting Source: Foxtel

FINALLY, Gina swans in, luggage in tow, looking like she's about to board an international flight.

"Hey plebs, which way to the first class lounge?" Source: Foxtel

As Gina changes into her tennis outfit, the rest of the girls start playing. While it's just a bit of light cardio between drinks for most of them, Lydia and Andrea take it VERY SERIOUSLY. Here's some exclusive footage:

"Lydia was very bossy to me during the tennis. She kept telling me to keep my eye on the ball. But if she kept saying it to me, SHE was going to have to keep her eye on the ball," says Chyka, who hasn't quite mastered the art of delivering pithy tennis-related bon mots.

While they all wait for Gina to get changed, an impatient Jackie tests out yet another iteration of her #SHINESHINESHINE catchphrase: "Come on Gina G, let's shine this up." The other ladies wisely ignore her latest attempt to make 'Fetch' happen.

Suddenly, Gina emerges from a cloud of hairspray, resplendent in a hot pink minidress and stilettos. She looks a hundred bucks, but Janet seems to suffer some sort of an allergic reaction:

"As she walked out, my heart just hit the ground. Why did I ever think she was going to participate? I was so angry, I was just churning up inside. I thought, I am going to kill you, I am going to kill you," she seethes.

Here is Gina, not caring:

"Haterz gonna hate." Source: Foxtel

"I decided to wear high heels for a bit of comedy, a bit of Kath and Kim," Gina says of her decision to ruin Andrea's $40,000 tennis court.

"Really, at the end of the day, who wants to watch five bloated women running around a tennis court?" She's got you there, Janet.

After a strenuous 90 seconds on the court, Gina once again retires to the bathroom to reapply her makeup and make sure her hair-helmet is still fresh n' crispy.

At lunch, the others try to confront Gina about her rude behaviour. She's too busy checking her phone — presumably finalising her deal for a Judge Judy-esque spin-off show.

"Mmm-hmm, yep, keep detailing your problems with me. TOTALLY listening. SO not on Tinder right now." Source: Foxtel

Having downed several bottles of champagne, the ladies all get back in their cars for the drive home. SAFETY FIRST GIRLS!

Back in Melbourne, Jackie and Gina catch up for a coffee. Last time they did so, someone got accused of demonic possession. This time it's a much more laid-back meeting, and the pair agree to let bygones be bygones.

Jackie ends with "I think we need to do this more often, and that way, we can shine off together."

Gina, we don't know what 'shining off together' entails, but we've got one word of advice for you: RUN.

Everyone: "AAAAAAAY Macarena" Source: Foxtel

The ladies round out the episode with a salsa lesson at up-market club Silk Road. They all shake their hips and scream random Spanish words like "Hola!" and "Arriba!", suggesting their understanding of Latin culture has laregly been gleaned from Old El Paso ads.

It's not a total bust, though, as Janet does swap numbers with dreamy salsa instructor Jai. Given that he announces during the lesson that "everybody should share everybody's partners," we think Janet's in for a good time.

Janet's salsa instructor: not actually three feet tall. Source: Foxtel

Remember, until next week: Shine Shine Shine! DAMMIT JACKIE

Catch The Real Housewives of Melbourne, 8:30pm Sundays on Foxtel's Arena channel.


20.02 | 0 komentar | Read More

Shock on The Block: Lysandra’s fall

Can't stand the heat ... Lysandra collapses on The Block: Fans v Faves. Source: Supplied

The Block: Fans v Faves was hit by the sudden collapse of contestant Lysandra Fraser on tonight's show.

Lysandra nearly passed out after all the contestants endured blistering 50 degree temperatures during filming of the scoring of their exterior rooms on Nine's reality show.

Tonight's show ended with filming halting after Lysandra complained of feeling woozy and suddenly dropping to her knees.

Contestants had spent the week battling heatwave temperatures in Melbourne as they completed their rooftop decks and first-floor balconies and reworked other rooms.

"I'm gonna pass out," Lysandra told sister Alisa as scoring by host Scott Cam in his workshop proceeded.

Lysandra eventually buckled.

Cause for concern ... Lysandra collapses on The Block: Fans v Faves. Picture: Supplied Source: Supplied

"It was probably one of the longest 'winner-announced' (segments) that we had done," Lysandra explains.

"We had the upstairs terrace and downstairs terrace to go through and then our redo rooms as well.

"It was pretty long in 50 degree heat. I felt my legs start to fall a little bit and tried to talk myself out of it. I needed to sit down. It was pretty bad."

Lysandra wasn't the only one feeling the heat.

All of the other contestants — Kyal and Kara, Brad and Dale, and Steve and Chantelle, were sweating buckets.

"The day of 'winner announced' was an absolute scorcher," Kyal says. "I reckon it would have been 55 degrees in there (Block headquarters)."

Scoring for the final room reveal week on The Block: Fans v Faves will be revealed on Monday night.

What did you think of tonight's episode? Comment below.


20.02 | 0 komentar | Read More

‘Hand us the MH370 murderer’

Ten ships and as many aircraft search a swathe of the Indian Ocean west of Perth on Sunday for some trace of missing Malaysia Airlines Flight MH370, with some objects being spotted. Sarah Toms reports.

Lonely wait ... a woman, one of the relatives of Chinese passengers aboard the missing Malaysia Airlines flight MH370 sits alone after attending a briefing by Malaysian officials at a hotel in Beijing. Source: AP

THE frustrating riddle of Malaysian Airlines Flight MH370 has further deepened, with planes and ships working the new search zone 1800km west of Perth failing so far to turn up any signs of the wreckage.

Hopes that numerous coloured objects spotted from the air might be debris from the crashed plane were dashed after objects hauled aboard the Chinese vessel Haixun 01 and Australia's HMAS Success turned out to be sea junk.

The search has shifted 1100km north after calculations by international aviation experts working in Malaysia, who estimate based on radar data that MH370 flew faster and burned more fuel than previously thought.

In the absence of any other significant leads, the search not only presses on, it has intensified.

The naval support vessel Ocean Shield was expected to steam from Garden Island off Perth on Monday morning for the search area, loaded with a towable pinger locator which is hoped may locate the plane's black box before its batteries expire in around seven days.

The ship also took aboard an autonomous underwater vehicle, or AUV, which will be programmed to search in patterns at depths between 2000m and 4000m.

Search aid ... an underwater search-surveying vehicle sits on the wharf in Perth ready to be fitted to the defence ship Ocean Shield to aid in her roll in the search for missing Malaysia Airlines plane. Source: AP

Captain Mark Matthews from the US Navy warned it took two years to locate the wreckage from the 2009 Air France disaster, even though they knew the approximate location where it went down.

As eight ships and 10 planes were tasked to work the new search zone yesterday, about 30 Chinese family members of passengers on board MH370 arrived in Kuala Lumpur yesterday, unfurling red and white banners in protest at what they claim is a lack of transparency and the truth from Malaysia.

"We want evidence, we want the truth, we want our family back," angry Chinese relatives chanted at an impromptu protest in Kuala Lumpur yesterday.

"Hand us the murderer. Tell us the truth. Give us our relatives back," one banner read. "You must return relatives of MH370. No strings attached."

The group's spokesman, who gave his name as Mr Kong, said the briefings in Beijing provided by Government officials were insufficient and they wanted to meet with Malaysian officials, Boeing, the airline and the Inmarsat satellite company.

"The announcement that the plane crashed into the southern Indian Ocean was just based on speculation," Mr Kong said.

Demanding answers ... newly arrived Chinese relatives of passengers on board the missing Malaysia Airlines flight MH370 arrange banners before speaking to reporters at a hotel in Subang Jaya, Malaysia. Source: AP

Malaysia Airlines said would make arrangements to fly family members to Perth, once wreckage was confirmed. It said a assistance centre would be established and families would be taken to view any of the plane's remains.

Prime Minister Tony Abbott has appointed former Defence chief Angus Houston to co-ordinate Australia's search, which now involves ships and planes from seven nations after Malaysia finally joined the search.

"Should our responsibilities increase as time goes by, there is no one better placed than Angus to co-ordinate and liaise given the quite significant number of countries that have a stake in this search," Mr Abbott said.

"This government won't rest to give those families and the wider community of the world a little more peace and insight into exactly what happened," he said.

Grieving mother Danica Weeks was "sickened" from the text message from Malaysian Airlines saying that her husband, Paul, a New Zealand resident of Perth, was dead.

"Sickened that someone would actually send me a text message to say that my loved one was dead," she told 60 Minutes. "It's my husband, my loving husband, the father of my children and you send me a text message."

Ms Weeks said she felt for her children, Lincoln, 3 and Jack, 11 months, who would grow up without the father they reminded her so much of. "Lincoln, it's just his personality and Jack is just the splitting image of him."

Immeasurable loss ... Danica Weeks said she felt for her children, Lincoln, 3 and Jack, 11 months, who would grow up without the father they reminded her so much of. Source: News Corp Australia

Flight 370 left course in the early hours of March 8 in the Gulf of Thailand en route to Beijing with 239 passengers and crew.

It is believed based on Malaysian radar data and from calculations made by British satellite provider Inmarsat that the flight turned south and flew for between six to eight hours into the Indian Ocean.

It now appears the Indian Ocean is strewn with garbage, misleading analysts who thought they were studying satellite images of possible debris fields from the jet.

One of Australia's RAAF Orion P3s was diverted to fly 648km north of the Antarctic mainland to investigate an emergency distress beacon activated by a fishing vessel.

The Australian Maritime Safety Authority, which also sent a civilian jet out of Melbourne to assist, said it had been unable to establish communications with the vessel, which was in a location of extreme bad weather.

AMSA was unable to establish the nature of its distress and gave no suggestion its emergency related to MH370.

False lead ... an object floats in the southern Indian Ocean in this picture taken from a Royal New Zealand Air Force P-3K2 Orion aircraft. Source: AP


20.02 | 0 komentar | Read More

‘Gay marriage reforms necessary’

Written By komlim puldel on Sabtu, 29 Maret 2014 | 20.02

British Prime Minister David Cameron has hailed the first same-sex marriages in England and Wales.

British Prime Minister David Cameron has hailed the first same-sex marriages in England and Wales Picture: Sean Gallup Source: AFP

BRITISH Prime Minister David Cameron has hailed the first same-sex marriages in England and Wales as sending a "powerful message" about equality.

The law changed on Saturday after midnight, with a number of gay couples vying to claim the title of being the first to be married in Britain by trying to time it perfectly so their vows were said just seconds after the clock struck 12.

The prime minister said the reform was necessary because "when people's love is divided by law, it is that law that needs to change".

Writing in the gay news service, Pink News , he said "this weekend is an important moment for our country" because "we will at last have equal marriage in our country".

Mr Cameron, who has faced opposition from some in the Conservative Party about his backing for the change, said: "This is something that has been very important to me.

The prime minister said he had been extremely lucky "the most incredible lifelong partner" in his wife Samantha.

"Of course any marriage takes work, requires patience and understanding, give and take - but what it gives back in terms of love, support, stability and happiness is immeasurable.

"That is not something that the state should ever deny someone on the basis of their sexuality. When people's love is divided by law, it is the law that needs to change.

"The introduction of same-sex civil marriage says something about the sort of country we are.

"It says we are a country that will continue to honour its proud traditions of respect, tolerance and equal worth." The Marriage (Same Sex Couples) Act came into force in July last year but it was not until March 13 this year when couples were able to register their intention to marry under the Act.

Sean Adl-Tabatabai, centre, and Sinclair Treadway, right, pose for photographers after they were announced officially married. Picture: Matt Dunham Source: AP

Andrew Wale (L) and Neil Allard (R) hold an envelope containing their marriage certificate following their wedding ceremony. Picture: Leon Neal Source: AFP

The wedding rings of Sean Adl-Tabatabai and Sinclair Treadway are seen on their fingers after saying "I do". Picture: Matt Dunham Source: AP

While whoever says the words "I do" first can claim the title of first gay couple to be wed in the UK, other couples who previously married abroad have already had their unions recognised.

On March 13, the law in England and Wales changed to recognise same-sex marriages performed overseas.

Rainbow flags will be hung all over the country to celebrate the occasion, with one flying at the heart of Westminster.

Scotland has also legislated to allow same-sex marriages, with the first ceremonies expected to take place later this year.


20.02 | 0 komentar | Read More

FBI: Nothing sinister on simulator

A Chinese aircraft has spotted three objects floating in a search area for the missing Malaysia Airlines jet

Cleared ... the FBI says MH370 pilot Zaharie Ahmad Shah's homemade simulator had 'nothing sinister'. Source: Supplied

POLICE and the FBI have found "nothing sinister" on the MH370 pilot's homemade flight simulator, Malaysia's Defence and acting Transport Minister said.

Hishammuddin Hussein said full details would come from the country's police chief.

RECAP: HOW DAY 21 OF THE SEARCH UNFOLDED

"As far as I know there is nothing sinister on the simulator but of course that will have to be confirmed by the chief of police," Mr Hussein said at a briefing after meeting family members of the plane's passenger in Kuala Lumpur.

He said the Malaysian police had been working with the FBI since day one on analysing the data on the simulator.

The homemade simulator, which pilot Zaharie Ahmad Shah built himself and was passionate about, was taken from his home in the wake of the plane's disappearance.

It was reassembled at police headquarters and examined. Police have said that the simulator logs were deleted on February 3 and the hard drive was sent to the FBI for further analysis about what was deleted.

Speculation has been rife about Captain Zaharie and the simulator amid unsubstantiated and unsourced reports about the simulator's contents.

A pilot and a father ... Captain Zaharie Ahmad Shah with his daughter Aishah Zaharie. Source: Facebook

Mr Hussein said the issue would be further clarified by the police chief.

He said Malaysian police, along with international agencies, were continuing to investigate all aspects of the Boeing 777-200's disappearance on March 8.

SEARCH CONTINUES

The shift north to a new search zone 1800km west of Perth in shallower and more temperate waters has given searchers their best hope yet of locating the Malaysian Airlines black box before its batteries expire in nine days.

The Australian Maritime Safety Authority expected that the Chinese patrol Haixun 01, which was in the new search box from first light, could be in a position to begin hauling objects, which might be wreckage, onto its decks by late yesterday.

On Friday, five aircraft working the intensive multinational operation made promising sightings of multiple coloured objects in the new search area.

The search shifted north based on new calculations by international aviation investigators working in Malaysia that the jet flew faster and burned fuel more quickly than earlier presumed, causing it to crash 1000km north of the first search zone.

As the armed missile frigate HMAS Toowoomba prepared to join HMAS Success in the search area, the Haixun 01 was first at the site yesterday.

It will be joined by compatriot naval vessel Jinggangshan, which carries two helicopters and will give the searchers their best mobility to scour the area.

Two other ships were expected to arrive in the area at sundown, but would not begin their search until this morning – though weather conditions could deteriorate as a southern front approaches, potentially setting back the operation.

Yesterday's search saw seven military aircraft and one civilian jet operating out of Perth International Airport and RAAF Pearce, located in Bullsbrook north of the city.

DANICA WEEKS: GRIEVING MUM FACES HER TOUGHEST TALK

MASSIVE TASK: MH370 SEARCH ZONE SIZE OF VICTORIA

The search has moved closer to Perth, meaning search planes can stay longer in the air over the site, and the vessels descending on the area can work in less chaotic seas, but the operation nevertheless remains daunting.

"We should not underestimate the difficulty of this work, it is an extraordinarily remote location," Prime Minister Tony Abbott said yesterday.

"We are trying to find small bits of wreckage in a vast ocean. While we're throwing everything we have at it, the task goes on."

Australian navy in action ... the HMAS Toowoomba has joined the search for MH370 debris. Picture: Stewart Allen Source: News Corp Australia

WHALE NOISE: SOUNDS OF THE DEEP MIGHT HINDER SEARCH

Planes and ships today combed the newly targeted area with Mr Abbott saying authorities were transporting a black box locator to the search zone.

Flight 370 disappeared on March 8 after veering sharply off course while heading from Kuala Lumpur to Beijing with 239 passengers, including six Australians, and crew.

Investigators believed the Boeing 777 crashed in the southern Indian Ocean off the coast of Western Australia, where planes and ships have been looking for more than two weeks in the hope of recovering debris.

A black box locator is about to be sent out on an Australian navy ship in search of the missing MH370 plane.

The Australian Navy's HMAS Toowoomba left Fleet Base West near Perth tonight to join the search. It will be carrying a Seahawk helicopter. The 1800km trip will take about three days, the Australian Maritime Safety Authority says.

Another Australian navy ship, the Ocean Shield, is due to leave Perth tomorrow to join the search.

INDIAN OCEAN: WHY MH370 IS SO HARD TO FIND

RELATIVES HOLD OUT HOPE OF SURVIVORS

The plane and its passengers have been missing for three weeks, but Malaysia's transport minister has vowed to continue the search for "possible survivors".

"No matter how remote the odds, we will pray, hope against hope, and continue to search for possible survivors,'' Mr Hussein said after meeting yesterday with relatives of Malaysian passengers and crew.

The hardest part was seeing the hope in their eyes, he said.

"Miracles do happen, remote or otherwise," said Mr Hussein.

He said the families needed assurances that the search to find the plane would continue.

"They said that no matter how remote, hope against hope, please continue looking for survivors," he said. "I gave them that assurance."

Selamat Omar, whose son, flight engineer Mohd Khairul Amri Selamat, was aboard, said he would not believe, until it was certain, that all the passengers had perished.

The emotions of the families have been severely tested for the last 22 days.

Desperate for answers ... relatives of passengers on board MH370 after a meeting with a government official at a hotel in Putrajaya, Malaysia on Saturday. Source: AP

nvestigators are no longer convinced that satellite images that were thought to depict a "debris field" of 122 objects close to the original search area, 2,500km south-west of Perth, were bits of floating metal or bits of plane fuselage.

They also dismissed did not regard as credible reports that a Thai satellite had spied a separate debris field of some 300 objects.

This has also thrown into confusion the earlier view that "pings" emanating from the plane's satellite reporting system had been detected near the original search area, some eight hours after the plane departed Kuala Lumpur.

A silence has now fallen over the reasons why the plane so radically departed its course.

The numerous theories ranging from hijack to pilot suicide to rapid depressurisation have been talked over so thoroughly that now nothing less than a decisive reason will suffice.

The US is desperate that the plane be located because it is a US-made Boeing, and it needs urgent definitive answers as to whether a malfunction caused the plane to go down.

Under pressure ... Malaysia's acting Transport Minister Hishammuddin Hussein gestures as he listens to a question after meeting with relatives of passengers on board flight MH370. Source: AP

Most of the 239 passengers on MH370 were Chinese, and China is likewise pressing for a fast resolution in order to provide answers to hundreds of distraught relatives, who maintain their fury at Malaysia for what they see as its lame response to the crisis.

Discussions are underway as to where the wreckage will be taken, if and when it is located. The Chinese are believed to be anxious not to surrender material to Malaysia, who through convention have automatic control of the investigation but lack the necessary skills.

Perth is the obvious place to conduct a forensic investigation, and China will need to be persuaded UK and US investigators have the skills to assess the cause of the crash, if the black box does not yield its secrets first.

The navy's Ocean Shield is expected in Perth shortly to collect a black box locator and a submersible vehicle with arms and lights that could collect the box from its ocean grave.

The Australian Transport Safety Bureau has accepted the advice of international investigators which it says further refined the likely location of MH370, based on the new data analysis that the plane was travelling faster than first thought.

Weather was against the searchers today with a cold front bringing rain, low clouds and reduced visibility to the southern part of the search area, while moderate winds and swells of up to two meters were predicted by the Bureau of Meteorology.

Conditions are expected to improve by Sunday but rain, drizzle and low clouds are still likely.

###


20.02 | 0 komentar | Read More

‘Alex is more like my son’

Newcastle Knights skipper Kurt Gidley says the club is grateful for the short turnaround between games with the players looking forward to getting on the field following the tragic injury to Knights forward Alex McKinnon.

Newcastle Knights training - coach Wayne Bennett, centre, with the team. Source: News Corp Australia

"I WANT to tell you about Alex McKinnon, one of the best kids you've never met.

Because the hardest thing right now is busting to do something for Alex and his family, and the realisation you can't … this lonely feeling of helplessness.

So I thought the best I could do was share my insights to a wonderful young man, to our relationship and trust."

ALEX McKinnon remains in an induced coma with lung complications likely to keep the Newcastle Knights forward in a Melbourne hospital until the end of this week.

A second operation last Thursday was required to assist his breathing and recovery from fractured C4 and C5 vertabrae's, suffered in a tackle last Monday night against the Melbourne Storm.

In an emotional column, written for The Sunday Telegraph, Knights coach Wayne Bennett spoke about his endearing relationship with the 22-year-old he affectionately he calls his 'son'.

"All my players are important to me, but we just have a special chemistry,'' Bennett writes.

"That's the price you pay in relationships – the greater the relationship, the greater the pain.''

On Sunday afternoon, McKinnon's team-mates will take the field at what is expected to be a near sold-out Hunter Stadium.

McKinnon's Newcastle team-mate, Jeremy Smith, says emotion will play its part when the side runs out against the Cronulla Sharks, but admits it is something that is hard to define until the moment it hits.

"Everyone controls that a bit differently,''he said.

"I'm not sure what's going to happen. We'll have to sort of play it as it comes and if there is, they are going to have to handle it and get their emotions in check.

"We've still got a job to do but with Alex in the back of our minds, it's going to be a bit of a driving force there. But it's a game that we have to win for ourselves to get our season off and going.

"Definitely after the game, I dare say there will be a fair bit of emotion floating around."

Newcastle Knights forward Alex McKinnon was taken to a Melbourne hospital at half-time after getting his neck caught in this awkward Jordan McLean tackle.

READ WAYNE BENNETT'S EXCLUSIVE COLUMN IN TOMORROW'S SUNDAY TELEGRAPH OR ONLINE.


20.02 | 0 komentar | Read More

Qantas flight forced to turn back

Written By komlim puldel on Jumat, 28 Maret 2014 | 20.02

A QANTAS flight that left Melbourne bound for London via Dubai was forced to return to Dubai today with engine problems, delaying travel plans for 347 passengers.

QF9 from Dubai to London turned around Friday morning because of a problem with one of the A380 aircraft's four engines.

It landed in Dubai about 9am Melbourne time, 2am Dubai time.

A Qantas spokesman said engineers were tonight inspecting the engine to determine the cause of the problem.

A replacement aircraft had been organised so the passengers could be able to resume their flight departing for London again overnight, after about 13 hours of unscheduled stopover.


20.02 | 0 komentar | Read More

Ships speed to new crash site

Thailand has spotted 300 floating objects in the southern Indian Ocean during a search for flight MH370.

A Thaichote satellite image shows some of the 300 objects seen floating in the Indian Ocean near the search area for the missing Malaysia Airlines jetliner, about 2700 kilometres from Perth. Picture: AP Source: AP

AMSA says the RNZAF Orion spotted objects in the MH370 search area but the identity of the objects is yet to be established.

The RNZAF Orion is due to land at Pearce RAAF base soon, but the sightings need to be confirmed by ship which is not expected to happen until tomorrow.

Also tonight, Japanese authorities have announced that they have satellite images which show a number of floating objects about 2500 kilometres southwest of Perth.

This comes as Malaysian authorities today received satellite imagery from Thailand.

"Early this morning we received separate satellite imagery from the Thai authorities which also showed potential objects," Acting Transport Minister Hishammuddin Hussein said.

"These new satellite images join those released by Australia, China, France, and Malaysia, all of which are with RCC Australia.

"The range of potential objects, and the difficulty in re-identifying them shows just how complex this investigation is. We remain grateful to all our partners for continuing to assist in the search operations."

Authorities said the location of the search area is the reason why some countries have withdrawn from the search effort.

Meanwhile, relatives of the Chinese passengers aboard missing Malaysia Airlines flight MH370 have demanded China mount its own inquiry into the disappearance, a letter shows.

The letter, sent to Beijing's special envoy in Kuala Lumpur, denounced Malaysia's handling of the search and asked the Chinese government to set up its own "investigation office''.

A committee set up by relatives of the 153 Chinese passengers has begun discussions with lawyers about a potential lawsuit against Malaysia Airlines, a move that the family members have hotly debated among themselves.

"We question Malaysia's motivations in misleading and delaying so as to miss the best moment to find MH370,'' the relatives wrote in the letter to special envoy Zhang Yesui on Thursday, blasting Kuala Lumpur's behaviour as "irresponsible'' and "inhumane''.

"We earnestly request that China establish an investigation office into MH370,'' the letter states, also urging "an effective communication system between the relatives and the government''.

Asked about the request, foreign ministry spokesman Hong Lei told reporters today: "We have repeatedly pointed out that under the current circumstances what is pressing now is the search.''

There were 153 Chinese citizens on board the flight and the letter came days after frustrated family members staged a protest in front of the Malaysian embassy in Beijing.

Malaysia Airlines CEO Ahmad Jauhari Yahya said it was not yet clear whether Malaysia and China would continue a co-share arrangement on the flight route between Kuala Lumpur and Beijing.

"We obviously will be in discussion with China Southern on this because that flight is a co-share," he said.

"So far Boeing has not provided any form of funding but they are in full cooperation with the investigation team, and ourselves as well, trying to find out what happened to MH370."

When asked about compensation for the relatives of victims, Mr Yahya said that what families wanted most was evidence of the aircraft.

"We are obviously talking to the various legal parties and the families on this," he said.

"So far what we have been requested is actually, certainly by the family members, is to identify the evidence affirmatively which means they want to see evidence in terms of the aircraft.

"They are still looking for the evidence of the aircraft. That's why the search has actually intensified to make sure we can locate the aircraft."

PLANE FLEW FASTER, CRASHED SOONER THAN THOUGHT

New analysis of radar data from Malaysia Airlines' flight MH370's initial hour in the air indicates the plane flew faster and crashed sooner than previously thought.

The search off Perth has today shifted dramatically, more than 1000km northeast and closer to the Australian coast, after Malaysian authorities shared "a new credible lead".

Australia is no longer convinced the satellite images that supposedly depicted debris fields in the southern Indian Ocean are bits of floating plane fuselage or flotsam associated with the wreck of Malaysia Airlines flight MH370.

A senior source close to the search said it had cooled on its belief that a debris field of 122 objects was related to plane wreckage. The source also said that reports a Thai satellite had located a separate debris field of some 300 objects were not being treated as credible by the Australian Maritime Safety Authority or the Australian Transport Safety Bureau.

SOUTHERN INDIAN OCEAN: WHY FLIGHT MH370 IS SO HARD TO FIND

The Australian authorities had not received any formal information from Thailand and have now dismissed the reports, which they first heard via the media.

It is not clear what the white specks seen on satellite — some reported to be as large as 20m — did in fact show.

But Australia is of the view that it has thoroughly combed the area where 122 objects were supposedly seen, and despite unconfirmed aerial sightings of three objects in the area, ships had found nothing.

On day 21 of the search John Young, manager of the Australian Maritime Safety Authority's emergency response division, said this afternoon that four planes were in the area, and that six ships were on the way to the new zone, which was "now our best place to go".

"We have moved on from (previous) search areas,'' said Mr Young.

"The search we've had to date is what we had at the time. New information will emerge.

"I don't count the original work a waste of time.''

MEMORIAL IN PERTH PLANNED FOR MH370 VICTIMS

Latest development ... The new search zone for Malaysia Airlines Flight MH370. Source: Supplied

Martin Dolan, chief commissioner of the Australian Transport Safety Bureau (ATSB), Australia's investigation agency, said this is the best estimate of the area where the aircraft is likely to have crashed into the ocean.

"We have taken into account drift information as well as the likely entry point of the aircraft into the water," he said.

The key pieces of information being analysed relate to early positional information from the aircraft and its later polling of the satellite through its aircraft systems, he said.

"The new information is based on continuing analysis of radar data about the aircraft's movement between the South China Sea and the Straits of Malacca before contact was lost.

"This continuing analysis indicated the plane was travelling faster than previously estimated, resulting in increased fuel usage and reducing the possible distance the aircraft travelled south into the Indian Ocean.

"Radar and satellite polling data has been combined with information about the likely performance of the aircraft, speed and fuel consumption in particular, to arrive at the best assessment of the area at which the aircraft is likely to have entered the water.

"The information provided by the international investigation team is the most credible lead that we currently have in the search for aircraft wreckage."

FLIGHT MH370: SOUNDS OF THE DEEP MAY HINDER SEARCH

Mr Dolan said the information needed to be continually adjusted for the length of time elapsed since the aircraft went missing and the likelihood of any drift of any wreckage floating on the ocean surface.

"Finally we stress that under the international convention Malaysia has investigative responsibility for Malaysia Airlines flight MH370. At this stage ATSB's main task is to assist in the search for the aircraft."

FLIGHT MH370: MEET THE AUSTRALIAN WHO SHOULD BE DEAD

Organisers arrange black ribbons during a ceremony in memory of passengers on board the missing Malaysia Airlines Flight MH370 in Kuala Lumpur. Source: AP

The new search area is approximately 319,000 square kilometres and around 1,850 kilometres west of Perth. AMSA resumed today's search with a total of 10 aircraft and six ships.

My Young said the search area remains large: about 319,000 square kilometres with sea depths in the new area range from 2000 metres to 4000 metres.

Planes and ships had spent a week searching about 2500 kilometres southwest of Perth, whereas now they are searching about 1850 kilometres west of the city.

Mr Young said that as the new search zone is closer to Perth, where planes are being flown from, spotters have longer time on the scene than before. Until now, they only had one to two hours before having to return to RAAF air base Pearce.

"We're now doing much better than that,'' Mr Young said.

He added the "best information" about where to search related to the aircraft's flight path, rather than satellite imagery of possible debris.

"Anything we can have about movement of aircraft creates the greatest degree of confidence," he said.

"We've also had satellite imagery. Satellite imagery has been followed up but actually had not produced any sightings for us but that might change in the future.

"We also use sophisticated oceanographic modelling to determine where objects will move. In terms of keeping the search area confined, knowing what happens to the water is very important."

A host of images from Japanese, Thai and French satellites had given searchers hope — now apparently false — that a debris field from the plane was in the earlier search area. Collectively they detected hundreds of objects ranging from 1 metre to about 20 metres in length.

Mike Coffin, the executive director of the Institute for Marine and Antarctic Studies at Australia's University of Tasmania, said the frequency of the apparent false alarms raised questions about the quality of the satellite data, though it's also possible that the satellites detected real objects that were simply unrelated to the plane. Mr Coffin has sailed in that part of the ocean.

"There is all kinds of debris in the ocean,'' he said. "When you are out there, you see stuff all the time.''

Mr Young said a "significant amount of random dispersion of objects" would have occurred in the 21 days since the plane crashed, steadily increasing the size of the search area.

Weather conditions in the new search area will also be more favourable, he said.

As the search continues, Malaysia Airlines is struggling to control the backlash from China and took a swipe at the media over its irresponsible reporting.

"Malaysia Airlines wishes to thank media publications that have been responsible in their reporting of MH370," it said in a statement.

"We shall continue to cooperate in providing such information as we can but independent investigations are now underway and we do operate under strict constraints in this regard.

"In the meantime our top priority remains to provide any and all assistance to the families of the passengers and crew."

Remembered ... Motor racing driver Lewis Hamilton prepares to drive with a sticker on his helmet in memory of Malaysian Airlines flight MH370 during practice for the Malaysia F1 Grand Prix. Source: Getty Images

Prime Minister Tony Abbott said he has been briefed about the new radar data analysis of the flight path.

"This is a credible new lead and will be thoroughly investigated today," Mr Abbott said.

"This is an extraordinarily difficult search, and an agonising wait for family and friends of the passengers and crew," he added.

"As I have said from the start, we owe it to them to follow every credible lead and to keep the public informed of significant new developments. That is what we are doing."

The Prime Minister said leading experts from around the world are working to solve this "baffling mystery".

"It has been a truly remarkable international effort."

"We will continue to work closely with the Malaysian and Chinese governments and with all our international partners to locate MH370 and find answers to what happened to it."

New search directions ... Flight Lt. Jayson Nichols looks at a map as he flies aboard a RAAF AP-3C Orion. Picture: Michael Martina Source: AP

It was announced yesterday that Thai and Japanese satellites had spotted other floating objects ranging from two to 16 metres in length, about 2700 kilometres southwest of Perth.

"But we cannot — dare not — confirm they are debris from the plane," said Anond Snidvongs, director of Thailand's space technology development agency.

Japan's Cabinet Satellite Intelligence Centre said their analysis showed 10 objects in the search area, suggesting a debris field.

The objects were up to eight metres in length and four metres wide.

Jiji Press cited an official at the office as saying they were "highly likely'' to be from the plane.

Family ... a woman breaks into tears as she places a paper crane as a symbol for hope and healing during a ceremony in memory of passengers on board the missing Malaysia Airlines Flight. Picture: AP Source: AP

SEARCH ZONE: Understanding the Indian Ocean

But relatives of the 239 people aboard Malaysia Airlines Flight 370 expressed their frustration at yet more satellite discoveries that have not been backed up by the recovery of any actual debris.

"Until something is picked up and analysed to make sure it's from MH370 we can't believe it, but without anything found it's just clues,'' Steve Wang, whose 57-year-old mother was aboard the flight, said in Beijing.

"Without that, it's useless."

Wang Zhen, whose parents were aboard the missing plane, said in a telephone interview in Beijing that he was becoming exasperated.

"There is nothing I can do but to wait, and wait,'' he said. "I'm also furious, but what is the use of getting furious?''

The families' anger has not diminished this week; the Straits Times reported that Malaysian authorities infuriated passengers' loved ones by telling them at a briefing this week that there was "sealed evidence that cannot be made public" in relation to the missing flight.

"The sealed evidence included air traffic control radio transcript, radar data and airport security recordings," the paper reported.

The remarks by Malaysian authorities — made at the Metropark Lido Hotel in Beijing — have not been reported by other major newspapers, despite being widely shared on social media.

Mission control ... a navigation screen aboard an AP-3C Orion aircraft shows their current location represented by a white circle during their mission to the (former) search area. Source: AFP

THE LATEST SATELLITE IMAGES

The new pictures were taken by Thailand's only earth observation satellite on Monday but took several days to process and were relayed to Malaysian authorities on Wednesday.

The discovery was reported less than 24 hours after the Malaysian government revealed 122 objects had been seen about 2557 kilometres from Perth, ranging in length from one metre to 23 metres.

It's unknown whether the satellites detected the same objects; currents in the ocean can run a meter per second and wind also could move material.

Thailand faced criticism after announcing more than a week after the jet's disappearance on March 8 that its radar had picked up an "unknown aircraft" minutes after flight MH370 last transmitted its location.

The Thai air force said it did not report the findings earlier as the plane was not considered a threat.

The Malaysia Airlines plane is presumed to have crashed in the Indian Ocean with 239 people on board after mysteriously diverting from its Kuala Lumpur-Beijing path and apparently flying for hours in the opposite direction.

Blue skies but fading hopes ... RAAF Flight Lieutenant Russell Adams looks out from the cockpit. Picture: Paul Kane Source: AFP

CHALLENGES OF THE SEARCH

Thunderstorms and gale-force winds grounded the international air search for wreckage on Thursday.

Meanwhile, the specialist visual spotters who have spent countless hours searching the vast Indian Ocean for signs of the missing plane are battling fatigue and tricks of the mind.

For all the fancy technology on board the planes and vessels scouring the swirling waters, the best tool searchers have are their own eyes — but they can play tricks or blink at the wrong moment.

Fighting fatigue ... a RAAF crew member looks out of his observation window while searching for the missing Malaysia Airlines Flight MH370 over the Indian Ocean. Picture: AP Source: AP

RELATED: How MH370 saga will impact on Malaysia

"Thinking about that is what keeps you going over what can be really, really long and quite dull missions at times,'' says one searcher. "Is it going to be behind this next wave?''

"You might be looking for a single canoe in the vastness of the Pacific and we do find them.

"So there is always hope.''

Remembered ... a woman takes a photo of a screen showing candles lit for relatives of passengers on the missing Malaysia Airlines Flight MH370 in the Metro Park Lido Hotel in Beijing. Picture: AFP Source: AFP


20.02 | 0 komentar | Read More

Ships speed to new crash site

Thailand has spotted 300 floating objects in the southern Indian Ocean during a search for flight MH370.

A Thaichote satellite image shows some of the 300 objects seen floating in the Indian Ocean near the search area for the missing Malaysia Airlines jetliner, about 2700 kilometres from Perth. Picture: AP Source: AP

AMSA says the RNZAF Orion spotted objects in the MH370 search area but the identity of the objects is yet to be established.

The RNZAF Orion is due to land at Pearce RAAF base soon, but the sightings need to be confirmed by ship which is not expected to happen until tomorrow.

Also tonight, Japanese authorities have announced that they have satellite images which show a number of floating objects about 2500 kilometres southwest of Perth.

This comes as Malaysian authorities today received satellite imagery from Thailand.

"Early this morning we received separate satellite imagery from the Thai authorities which also showed potential objects," Acting Transport Minister Hishammuddin Hussein said.

"These new satellite images join those released by Australia, China, France, and Malaysia, all of which are with RCC Australia.

"The range of potential objects, and the difficulty in re-identifying them shows just how complex this investigation is. We remain grateful to all our partners for continuing to assist in the search operations."

Authorities said the location of the search area is the reason why some countries have withdrawn from the search effort.

Meanwhile, relatives of the Chinese passengers aboard missing Malaysia Airlines flight MH370 have demanded China mount its own inquiry into the disappearance, a letter shows.

The letter, sent to Beijing's special envoy in Kuala Lumpur, denounced Malaysia's handling of the search and asked the Chinese government to set up its own "investigation office''.

A committee set up by relatives of the 153 Chinese passengers has begun discussions with lawyers about a potential lawsuit against Malaysia Airlines, a move that the family members have hotly debated among themselves.

"We question Malaysia's motivations in misleading and delaying so as to miss the best moment to find MH370,'' the relatives wrote in the letter to special envoy Zhang Yesui on Thursday, blasting Kuala Lumpur's behaviour as "irresponsible'' and "inhumane''.

"We earnestly request that China establish an investigation office into MH370,'' the letter states, also urging "an effective communication system between the relatives and the government''.

Asked about the request, foreign ministry spokesman Hong Lei told reporters today: "We have repeatedly pointed out that under the current circumstances what is pressing now is the search.''

There were 153 Chinese citizens on board the flight and the letter came days after frustrated family members staged a protest in front of the Malaysian embassy in Beijing.

Malaysia Airlines CEO Ahmad Jauhari Yahya said it was not yet clear whether Malaysia and China would continue a co-share arrangement on the flight route between Kuala Lumpur and Beijing.

"We obviously will be in discussion with China Southern on this because that flight is a co-share," he said.

"So far Boeing has not provided any form of funding but they are in full cooperation with the investigation team, and ourselves as well, trying to find out what happened to MH370."

When asked about compensation for the relatives of victims, Mr Yahya said that what families wanted most was evidence of the aircraft.

"We are obviously talking to the various legal parties and the families on this," he said.

"So far what we have been requested is actually, certainly by the family members, is to identify the evidence affirmatively which means they want to see evidence in terms of the aircraft.

"They are still looking for the evidence of the aircraft. That's why the search has actually intensified to make sure we can locate the aircraft."

PLANE FLEW FASTER, CRASHED SOONER THAN THOUGHT

New analysis of radar data from Malaysia Airlines' flight MH370's initial hour in the air indicates the plane flew faster and crashed sooner than previously thought.

The search off Perth has today shifted dramatically, more than 1000km northeast and closer to the Australian coast, after Malaysian authorities shared "a new credible lead".

Australia is no longer convinced the satellite images that supposedly depicted debris fields in the southern Indian Ocean are bits of floating plane fuselage or flotsam associated with the wreck of Malaysia Airlines flight MH370.

A senior source close to the search said it had cooled on its belief that a debris field of 122 objects was related to plane wreckage. The source also said that reports a Thai satellite had located a separate debris field of some 300 objects were not being treated as credible by the Australian Maritime Safety Authority or the Australian Transport Safety Bureau.

SOUTHERN INDIAN OCEAN: WHY FLIGHT MH370 IS SO HARD TO FIND

The Australian authorities had not received any formal information from Thailand and have now dismissed the reports, which they first heard via the media.

It is not clear what the white specks seen on satellite — some reported to be as large as 20m — did in fact show.

But Australia is of the view that it has thoroughly combed the area where 122 objects were supposedly seen, and despite unconfirmed aerial sightings of three objects in the area, ships had found nothing.

On day 21 of the search John Young, manager of the Australian Maritime Safety Authority's emergency response division, said this afternoon that four planes were in the area, and that six ships were on the way to the new zone, which was "now our best place to go".

"We have moved on from (previous) search areas,'' said Mr Young.

"The search we've had to date is what we had at the time. New information will emerge.

"I don't count the original work a waste of time.''

MEMORIAL IN PERTH PLANNED FOR MH370 VICTIMS

Latest development ... The new search zone for Malaysia Airlines Flight MH370. Source: Supplied

Martin Dolan, chief commissioner of the Australian Transport Safety Bureau (ATSB), Australia's investigation agency, said this is the best estimate of the area where the aircraft is likely to have crashed into the ocean.

"We have taken into account drift information as well as the likely entry point of the aircraft into the water," he said.

The key pieces of information being analysed relate to early positional information from the aircraft and its later polling of the satellite through its aircraft systems, he said.

"The new information is based on continuing analysis of radar data about the aircraft's movement between the South China Sea and the Straits of Malacca before contact was lost.

"This continuing analysis indicated the plane was travelling faster than previously estimated, resulting in increased fuel usage and reducing the possible distance the aircraft travelled south into the Indian Ocean.

"Radar and satellite polling data has been combined with information about the likely performance of the aircraft, speed and fuel consumption in particular, to arrive at the best assessment of the area at which the aircraft is likely to have entered the water.

"The information provided by the international investigation team is the most credible lead that we currently have in the search for aircraft wreckage."

FLIGHT MH370: SOUNDS OF THE DEEP MAY HINDER SEARCH

Mr Dolan said the information needed to be continually adjusted for the length of time elapsed since the aircraft went missing and the likelihood of any drift of any wreckage floating on the ocean surface.

"Finally we stress that under the international convention Malaysia has investigative responsibility for Malaysia Airlines flight MH370. At this stage ATSB's main task is to assist in the search for the aircraft."

FLIGHT MH370: MEET THE AUSTRALIAN WHO SHOULD BE DEAD

Organisers arrange black ribbons during a ceremony in memory of passengers on board the missing Malaysia Airlines Flight MH370 in Kuala Lumpur. Source: AP

The new search area is approximately 319,000 square kilometres and around 1,850 kilometres west of Perth. AMSA resumed today's search with a total of 10 aircraft and six ships.

My Young said the search area remains large: about 319,000 square kilometres with sea depths in the new area range from 2000 metres to 4000 metres.

Planes and ships had spent a week searching about 2500 kilometres southwest of Perth, whereas now they are searching about 1850 kilometres west of the city.

Mr Young said that as the new search zone is closer to Perth, where planes are being flown from, spotters have longer time on the scene than before. Until now, they only had one to two hours before having to return to RAAF air base Pearce.

"We're now doing much better than that,'' Mr Young said.

He added the "best information" about where to search related to the aircraft's flight path, rather than satellite imagery of possible debris.

"Anything we can have about movement of aircraft creates the greatest degree of confidence," he said.

"We've also had satellite imagery. Satellite imagery has been followed up but actually had not produced any sightings for us but that might change in the future.

"We also use sophisticated oceanographic modelling to determine where objects will move. In terms of keeping the search area confined, knowing what happens to the water is very important."

A host of images from Japanese, Thai and French satellites had given searchers hope — now apparently false — that a debris field from the plane was in the earlier search area. Collectively they detected hundreds of objects ranging from 1 metre to about 20 metres in length.

Mike Coffin, the executive director of the Institute for Marine and Antarctic Studies at Australia's University of Tasmania, said the frequency of the apparent false alarms raised questions about the quality of the satellite data, though it's also possible that the satellites detected real objects that were simply unrelated to the plane. Mr Coffin has sailed in that part of the ocean.

"There is all kinds of debris in the ocean,'' he said. "When you are out there, you see stuff all the time.''

Mr Young said a "significant amount of random dispersion of objects" would have occurred in the 21 days since the plane crashed, steadily increasing the size of the search area.

Weather conditions in the new search area will also be more favourable, he said.

As the search continues, Malaysia Airlines is struggling to control the backlash from China and took a swipe at the media over its irresponsible reporting.

"Malaysia Airlines wishes to thank media publications that have been responsible in their reporting of MH370," it said in a statement.

"We shall continue to cooperate in providing such information as we can but independent investigations are now underway and we do operate under strict constraints in this regard.

"In the meantime our top priority remains to provide any and all assistance to the families of the passengers and crew."

Remembered ... Motor racing driver Lewis Hamilton prepares to drive with a sticker on his helmet in memory of Malaysian Airlines flight MH370 during practice for the Malaysia F1 Grand Prix. Source: Getty Images

Prime Minister Tony Abbott said he has been briefed about the new radar data analysis of the flight path.

"This is a credible new lead and will be thoroughly investigated today," Mr Abbott said.

"This is an extraordinarily difficult search, and an agonising wait for family and friends of the passengers and crew," he added.

"As I have said from the start, we owe it to them to follow every credible lead and to keep the public informed of significant new developments. That is what we are doing."

The Prime Minister said leading experts from around the world are working to solve this "baffling mystery".

"It has been a truly remarkable international effort."

"We will continue to work closely with the Malaysian and Chinese governments and with all our international partners to locate MH370 and find answers to what happened to it."

New search directions ... Flight Lt. Jayson Nichols looks at a map as he flies aboard a RAAF AP-3C Orion. Picture: Michael Martina Source: AP

It was announced yesterday that Thai and Japanese satellites had spotted other floating objects ranging from two to 16 metres in length, about 2700 kilometres southwest of Perth.

"But we cannot — dare not — confirm they are debris from the plane," said Anond Snidvongs, director of Thailand's space technology development agency.

Japan's Cabinet Satellite Intelligence Centre said their analysis showed 10 objects in the search area, suggesting a debris field.

The objects were up to eight metres in length and four metres wide.

Jiji Press cited an official at the office as saying they were "highly likely'' to be from the plane.

Family ... a woman breaks into tears as she places a paper crane as a symbol for hope and healing during a ceremony in memory of passengers on board the missing Malaysia Airlines Flight. Picture: AP Source: AP

SEARCH ZONE: Understanding the Indian Ocean

But relatives of the 239 people aboard Malaysia Airlines Flight 370 expressed their frustration at yet more satellite discoveries that have not been backed up by the recovery of any actual debris.

"Until something is picked up and analysed to make sure it's from MH370 we can't believe it, but without anything found it's just clues,'' Steve Wang, whose 57-year-old mother was aboard the flight, said in Beijing.

"Without that, it's useless."

Wang Zhen, whose parents were aboard the missing plane, said in a telephone interview in Beijing that he was becoming exasperated.

"There is nothing I can do but to wait, and wait,'' he said. "I'm also furious, but what is the use of getting furious?''

The families' anger has not diminished this week; the Straits Times reported that Malaysian authorities infuriated passengers' loved ones by telling them at a briefing this week that there was "sealed evidence that cannot be made public" in relation to the missing flight.

"The sealed evidence included air traffic control radio transcript, radar data and airport security recordings," the paper reported.

The remarks by Malaysian authorities — made at the Metropark Lido Hotel in Beijing — have not been reported by other major newspapers, despite being widely shared on social media.

Mission control ... a navigation screen aboard an AP-3C Orion aircraft shows their current location represented by a white circle during their mission to the (former) search area. Source: AFP

THE LATEST SATELLITE IMAGES

The new pictures were taken by Thailand's only earth observation satellite on Monday but took several days to process and were relayed to Malaysian authorities on Wednesday.

The discovery was reported less than 24 hours after the Malaysian government revealed 122 objects had been seen about 2557 kilometres from Perth, ranging in length from one metre to 23 metres.

It's unknown whether the satellites detected the same objects; currents in the ocean can run a meter per second and wind also could move material.

Thailand faced criticism after announcing more than a week after the jet's disappearance on March 8 that its radar had picked up an "unknown aircraft" minutes after flight MH370 last transmitted its location.

The Thai air force said it did not report the findings earlier as the plane was not considered a threat.

The Malaysia Airlines plane is presumed to have crashed in the Indian Ocean with 239 people on board after mysteriously diverting from its Kuala Lumpur-Beijing path and apparently flying for hours in the opposite direction.

Blue skies but fading hopes ... RAAF Flight Lieutenant Russell Adams looks out from the cockpit. Picture: Paul Kane Source: AFP

CHALLENGES OF THE SEARCH

Thunderstorms and gale-force winds grounded the international air search for wreckage on Thursday.

Meanwhile, the specialist visual spotters who have spent countless hours searching the vast Indian Ocean for signs of the missing plane are battling fatigue and tricks of the mind.

For all the fancy technology on board the planes and vessels scouring the swirling waters, the best tool searchers have are their own eyes — but they can play tricks or blink at the wrong moment.

Fighting fatigue ... a RAAF crew member looks out of his observation window while searching for the missing Malaysia Airlines Flight MH370 over the Indian Ocean. Picture: AP Source: AP

RELATED: How MH370 saga will impact on Malaysia

"Thinking about that is what keeps you going over what can be really, really long and quite dull missions at times,'' says one searcher. "Is it going to be behind this next wave?''

"You might be looking for a single canoe in the vastness of the Pacific and we do find them.

"So there is always hope.''

Remembered ... a woman takes a photo of a screen showing candles lit for relatives of passengers on the missing Malaysia Airlines Flight MH370 in the Metro Park Lido Hotel in Beijing. Picture: AFP Source: AFP


20.02 | 0 komentar | Read More

Being racist is getting very easy

Written By komlim puldel on Kamis, 27 Maret 2014 | 20.01

He's has a long and distinguished career as one of Australia's top Indigenous athletes, but it is Adam Goodes' tireless work in the wider community tackling racism and inequality that has seen him named 2014 Australian of the Year.

The moment a teenager yells out "ape" to Sydney Swans footballer Adam Goodes. Source: Supplied

AUSTRALIAN of the Year Adam Goodes would have had no cause to point out the fan who called him an ape under the proposed changes to the Racial Discrimination Act.

According to Amnesty International Australia's legal spokeswoman Katie Wood, the Sydney Swans star "wouldn't be able to make a complaint under the new proposal" if he was racially vilified like he was during the AFL's Indigenous round last year.

"It would be a bit tricky," Ms Wood told news.com.au.

"An ordinary person sitting on a bus who is racially vilified by somebody random wouldn't have that spotlight available to them. That's why it's important that they have the opportunity to make a complaint through the Racial Discrimination Act."

At the time, a shattered Goodes, of Indigenous descent, said his superb performance meant "nothing" after the racist taunt by a 13-year-old girl in the crowd.

"To come to the boundary line and hear a 13-year-old girl call me an ape is absolutely shattering," an emotional Goodes said.

"How can that happen? This week is a celebration of our people and our culture.

"To play such a pivotal role in such a huge game sort of means nothing to me now."

MORE: ADAM GOODES 'HEARTBROKEN' OVER TAUNT

MORE: GOVT'S MEDIA RELEASE RE: DISCRIMINATION ACT

Goodes points security to the teenager who called him an "ape". Source: Supplied

The moment Goodes is called an "ape". Source: Supplied

Security remove the teenager from the stadium upon erquest by Adam Goodes. Source: Supplied

Earlier this week the Attorney-General George Brandis released a draft proposal to the Racial Discrimination Act, first imposed by the Whitlam government in 1975.

The Act hasn't been updated since 1995 and the Abbott government feel like its time to spruce it up.

Mr Brandis argues the current laws amount to "political censorship", while the proposed laws "are the strongest protections against racism that have ever appeared in any Commonwealth Act".

"It is not, in the Government's view, the role of the State to ban conduct merely because it might hurt the feelings of others," he said.

Problem is, the proposed changes are causing quite a stir, sparking a heated national debate that has us questioning what it means to be a bigot.

MORE: BRANDIS SAYS 'PEOPLE HAVE A RIGHT TO BE BIGOTS'

MORE: INDIGENOUS ADVISORY URGES ABBOTT TO DROP CHANGES

MORE: VIEW GOVERNMENT'S PROPOSED CHANGES

'Racism has a face. It's a 13-yo girl,' Swans champ Adam Goodes tells of the shattering moment he heard a racial slur from the boundary line.

Here's how it works.

The draft proposes to repeal Section 18C of the Act, which makes it unlawful for someone to "offend, insult, humiliate or intimidate" a person based on the colour of their skin or their cultural background.

Within that section, the government wants to remove the words "offend, insult and humiliate", while retaining "intimidate" and adding "vilify".

Along with removing Section 18C, other sections are out to get cut, including 18D, which protects freedom of speech.

Section 18B, which allows race or colour as cause for hate speech, and 18E are also in the firing line.

MORE: THIS IS ABBOTT'S WORST WEEK

Political editor Tory Shepherd and Liberal Senator Cory Bernardi discuss whether the government's decision to change section 18C of the Racial Discrimination Act is the right move.

But a sneaky passage has critics concerned.

The draft excuses "words, sounds, images or writing" in "the public discussion of any political, social, cultural, religious, artistic, academic or scientific matter".

The issue with this, according to Ms Wood, is the difficulty the public could face proving a person was racially vilified.

"It's protecting people who have the biggest mouthpiece, but not the ordinary person who gets insulted on a bus.

"What it is seeking to do is to deprive the ordinary person of an opportunity to hold to account the person who uttered the language in a way that's accessible, that doesn't place a burden on the courts and captures what it means to be racially vilified.

"[The [victim] would have to say the person who used the language was trying to incite racial hatred against you and that you felt intimidated, but you're more likely to feel humiliated.

"The ordinary racist language that people regrettably indulge in would have the effect of humiliate, insult and offend and that is equally unacceptable as feeling intimidated."

The Attorney-General Senator George Brandis has been highly criticised regarding the reforms to the Racial Discrimination Act 1995. Source: News Corp Australia

It's important to note the changes haven't been approved by the Senate yet.

Mr Brandis has to convince the floor the proposed changes are a good idea, considering the Greens and Labor deeply oppose.

Independent MP Nick Xenophon also joins that list, so it looks like the swing vote may very well end up in the hands of the Palmer United Party.

"First of all we will determine what our position is,'' Clive Palmer said.

"We will be strategic about determining the right time to reveal our position."

The government is calling for submissions on the exposure draft before April 30, before the Senate will vote on the changes after it reconvenes on May 13 after a six-week hiatus.

But with many, including Ms Wood, arguing the Act is "not what Australia is about", Mr Brandis has a tough gig ahead of him.

Critics of Tony Abbott are saying this has been the PM's worst week in office. Source: News Corp Australia


20.01 | 0 komentar | Read More

Spy dolphins to be more lethal under Russia

Control of the combat dolphin program is another of Russia's gains. Source: News Corp Australia

UKRAINE'S combat dolphins will have their "operational efficiency" boosted after being transferred into Russian hands.

Control of the combat dolphin program is another of the gains Russia has made since taking over Crimea. Based in Sevastopol, it sees dolphins trained to patrol open water and engage scuba divers, also called frogmen, in underwater combat.

The program, dating back to the 1960s, was due to be disbanded by the Ukrainian navy in April but Russia has decided instead to develop new equipment to boost the dolphin's "operational efficiency".

"The oceanarium's engineers are developing new instruments for new applications to boost the operational efficiency of the dolphins underwater," an employee, who requested anonymity, told Russian news agency RIA Novosti.

The employee said the animals, which can also attack or attach buoys to items of military interest such as mines on the sea floor, were currently using extremely outdated equipment.

"Our experts have developed new devices, which convert the detection of objects by the dolphins' underwater sonar to a signal on an operator's monitor.

"But the Ukrainian Navy lacked the funds for such know-how, and some projects had to be shuttered."

The source said he hoped the Russian navy would support the combat program, which also trains sea lions.

After the breakup of the Soviet Union, the dolphin program was handed to the Ukrainian navy. The dolphins were initially retrained to work with disabled children and for other civilian uses. Military training was restarted in 2011.

The United States is the only other country to have a combat dolphin training centre, run by the US Navy in San Diego.


20.01 | 0 komentar | Read More

Search called off due to bad weather

Officials say new satellite images have revealed 122 potential pieces of debris from missing flight MH370.

Speculation ... Captain Zaharie Shah's son says his father is innocent. Source: Supplied

A THAI satellite has reportedly spotted at least 300 floating objects in the southern Indian Ocean, its space agency says.

The discovery was reported less than 24 hours after the Malaysian government revealed 122 objects had been seen about 2557 kilometres from Perth, ranging in length from one metre to 23 metres.

Geo-Informatics and Space Technology Development Agency executive director Anond Snidvongs told AFP the objects, ranging from two to 15 metres in size, were scattered over an area about 2700 kilometres southwest of Perth.

"But we cannot — dare not — confirm they are debris from the plane," he said.

The pictures were taken by Thailand's only earth observation satellite on Monday but took several days to process.

He said the information had been given to Malaysia.

Scattered ... imagery acquired on March 24, 2014 in the Indian Ocean showing about 300 objects ranging from two to 15 metres in size. Source: Supplied

Thailand faced criticism after announcing more than a week after the jet's disappearance on March 8 that its radar had picked up an "unknown aircraft" minutes after flight MH370 last transmitted its location.

The Thai air force said it did not report the findings earlier as the plane was not considered a threat.

The Malaysia Airlines plane is presumed to have crashed in the Indian Ocean with 239 people on board after mysteriously diverting from its Kuala Lumpur-Beijing path and apparently flying for hours in the opposite direction.

Thunderstorms and gale-force winds grounded the international air search for wreckage on Thursday.

The images spotted by the French satellite on March 23 — the 122 floating objects — were 2557km south west of Perth — the Thai one is 2700km southwest of Perth — so within the same zone

More than 300 objects ... another satellite image showing scattered objects possibly a part of MH370. Source: Supplied

BAD WEATHER THWARTS SEARCH

The news came as the last search plane returned to Perth for the day after efforts were largely thwarted by bad weather, the second time this week.

However, five vessels including the HMAS Success and four Chinese ships continued to visually scour the waves.

Captain Mike MacSween, a Royal Canadian Air Force pilot on exchange with the RAAF, piloted the only Australian P3 Orion to make it to the search area before the weather closed in.

Capt MacSween said the plane's crew searched the area for about two and a half hours, mainly at a height of around 500 feet, but didn't see anything of note.

"It was definitely not ideal for visual search conditions,'' he said.

"The visibility was anywhere between five miles and basically zero.''

He said the plane flew as low as 200ft (61m) in an attempt to keep sight of the surface.

Malaysian authorities are sending a team - comprised of the DCA, MAS, the Royal Malaysian Navy and the Royal Malaysian Air Force - to Perth to assist with the search operation, authorities said tonight.

The Malaysian government cancelled its daily press briefing but the Ministry of Transport tonight released a statement providing an update on the search operation off Perth and meetings held in Kuala Lumpur today.

As Malaysia struggles to deal with the relatives of Chinese passengers on board MH370, the Chinese Vice Minister of Foreign Affairs and Special Envoy Zhang Yesui met with those relatives in the Malaysian capital today.

"Today, the high-level team met relatives again, at 3.25pm Malaysia time. The meeting is still underway," the statement said.

"Malaysia is working hard to try and make the briefings to the Chinese relatives in Beijing more productive.

"Malaysian officials met with His Excellency Huang Huikang, China's Ambassador to Malaysia, to request the Government of China to engage and clarify the actual situation to the affected families in particular and the Chinese public in general."

Some of the relatives of the Chinese passengers have expressed outrage that Malaysia essentially declared their loved ones dead without recovering a single piece of wreckage.

Some questioned how investigators could have concluded the direction and speed of the plane.

One man said he wanted to pummel everyone in the delegation.

Meanwhile, a US-based law firm filed court documents that often precede a lawsuit on behalf of a relative of an Indonesian-born passenger.

The filing in Chicago asked a judge to order Malaysia Airlines and Boeing to turn over documents related to the possibility that "negligence'' caused the plane to crash, including any papers about the chances of "fatal depressurisation'' in the cockpit.

And in Washington, FBI chief James Comey told lawmakers that experts were working "literally round the clock'' to finish their analysis, in the hopes that the data could provide clues to what happened.

DEBRIS TOO SMALL TO PICK UP

The captain of the Australian Navy vessel leading the on-water hunt for the missing Malaysia Airlines flight has revealed the pieces of debris being sought are so small they cannot be picked on the ship's radar.

HMAS Success has been posted in the southern Indian Ocean for days, searching for any sign of the wreckage of Malaysia Airlines flight MH370, which went missing on March 8 with 239 people on board.

After confirmation by Malaysia Airlines and the Malaysian government earlier this week that the flight was lost with no chance of survival for any passengers or crew, Captain Allison Norris and her crew were one of the first ships to arrive in the area to follow any leads supplied from the air.

"We would adjust our search pattern to maximise the possibility of finding something in the water," Captain Norris said.

"But we have not sighted anything related to the missing flight.''

Debris too small to detect on radar ... Commanding Officer of HMAS Success, Captain Allison Norris, scans the southern Indian Ocean from the ship's bridge. Source: AFP

Malaysian authorities revealed late yesterday that satellites had picked up 122 potential pieces of debris in the search zone.

But Capt Norris said the ship's spotters had found no concrete evidence of a crash site yet.

She also reiterated the massive task was still ahead of the search teams.

"The type of wreckage or object we are looking for is so close to the water line that our radars would not be able to pick it up,'' Capt Norris said.

"We are very reliant on lookouts who use binoculars and night vision devices to scan the horizon and scan the area around our ship.

"It is very cold so we rotate the lookouts through every hour.''

HMAS Success and other ships remain searching for any debris from the missing plane despite bad weather forcing all planes to postpone the hunt for debris.

The Australian Maritime Safety Authority stated all planes are returning to Perth yet the ships will remain in the search zone, about 2500 kilometres southwest of Perth, and will try to continue looking for debris.

The bad weather that has hit the search area is expected to last for the next 24 hours.

Malaysia Airlines today ran a full-page condolence advertisement with a black background in a major newspaper.

"Our sincerest condolences go out to the loved ones of the 239 passengers, friends and colleagues. Words alone cannot express our enormous sorrow and pain,'' read the advertisement in the New Straits Times.

Formula One teams and officials are preparing to honour the victims of flight MH370 at this weekend's Malaysian Grand Prix.

The race on Sunday will be held at the Sepang circuit, next to Kuala Lumpur's main airport, where the flight took off on March 8.

A relative of passengers on the missing Malaysia Airlines flight yells at a security personnel at a protest outside the Malaysian embassy in Beijing. Source: AFP

The Mercedes team, which is sponsored by Malaysian oil company Petronas, will have messages of support on its cars and driver helmets.

Driver Lewis Hamilton said the tragedy is "just heartbreaking'' and "my heart and thoughts go out to the families and friends''.

F1 officials and Malaysian organisers will hold discussions today about how to best commemorate the loss.

The developments come after the youngest son of Malaysia Airlines pilot Captain Zaharie Shah broke his family's silence to defend his father.

MALAYSIA AIRLINES CAPTAIN ZAHARIE SHAH CALLED 'MYSTERY WOMAN'

CAPTAIN ZAHARIE SHAH'S DAUGHTER WAS IN AUSTRALIA

Ahmad Seth told the New Strait Times in Malaysia that he had read news reports and speculation about his father's role as the missing plane's pilot.

And he dismissed theories that his father may have had something to do with the plane's disappearance.

"I've read everything online. But I've ignored all the speculation. I know my father better," the newspaper quoted him as saying.

"We may not be as close as he travels so much. But I understand him," he said.

Seth, 26, is a language student and the youngest of pilot Zaharie Ahmad Shah's three children.

So far none of the rest of the family has spoken as wild theories and accusations have swirled about what happened to the plane and any role that Captain Zaharie may have played.

Family ... Ahmad Seth, the son of Captain Zaharie Shah, with his sister and mother. Source: Supplied

In Washington, FBI chief James Comey told lawmakers today (AEDT) that experts were working "literally round the clock'' to finish their analysis, in the hopes that the data could provide clues to what happened to Flight MH370.

Malaysia "took us up on our technical abilities, which involves the exploitation of certain computer forensic materials that they've given to us. That work is ongoing,'' Comey told a House subcommittee meeting to discuss the FBI's 2015 budget request.

"I don't want to say more about that in an open setting, but I expect it to be done fairly shortly, within a day or two.''

Malaysian police removed the simulator from Captain Zaharie Shah's home nearly two weeks ago.

HMAS TOOWOOMBA DIVERTED TO SEARCH FOR MISSING PLANE

His daughter, Aishah Zaharie lives in Melbourne and has returned to Kuala Lumpur to be with her mother and family members.

The oldest child Ahmad Idris has made several comments on social media, thanking everyone for their support.

Today's search and recovery operation for the Malaysia Airlines flight started off as race against time, with ships and planes attempting to locate debris.

Australia's Bureau of Meteorology had warned that the weather was expected to deteriorate.

Six military aircraft, five civil aircraft and five ships took part after new satellite images released yesterday found about 122 objects floating in the southern Indian Ocean.

HMAS Success remains in the search area about 2500 kilometres southwest of Perth and was joined by four Chinese ships — Xue Long, Kuulunshan, Haikon and Qiandaohu — in the search area.

MALAYSIA AIRLINES FLIGHT'S FINAL UNEXPLAINED 'SQUAWK'

Two Royal Australian Air Force P3 Orions, a Japanese Gulfstream jet, a US Navy P8 Poseidon and a Japanese P3 Orion took part throughout the day.

Five civil aircraft also took part.

"Potentially thunderstorms down there as well as winds picking up, and they could get to gale force conditions,'' said bureau spokesman Neil Bennett.

The objects detected by a French satellite, measuring from one metre to 23 metres long, were picked up four days ago and sent to the Australian search co-ordinators yesterday.

Some of the objects appeared to be bright in colour and possibly of solid material.

It is the biggest field of possible debris spotted so far in the multinational search for the Boeing 777-200 and is the "most credible lead" so far.

The Australian Maritime Safety Authority said three objects were sighted yesterday — two of them were spotted from a civilian aircraft in the search and were likely to be rope and the third, seen from a NZ P3 Orion, was a blue object.

Where they're looking ... this graphic released by the Malaysian Remote Sensing Agency shows the approximate position of objects seen floating in the southern Indian Ocean. Source: AP

BLACK BOXES MAY NOT REVEAL WHAT HAPPENED

Aviation experts have cautioned that even finding the black box flight recorder may not reveal what really happened on flight MH370 on its flight from Kuala Lumpur to Beijing on Saturday March 8.

New Zealand aviation commentator Peter Clark told News Corp Australia that the voice recorder, if found, may have nothing on it as it is erased every two hours.

"There are two black boxes ... a cockpit voice recorder and a flight data recorder," he said.

"The data recorder can operate for 18 to 25 hours before it starts to override so if they find the data recorder there could be information on it.

"But if they find the voice recorder and it's still working they will probably only hear the accident."

Flight MH370 made a sudden turn while flying over the Gulf of Thailand not long after take off and made other course and altitude changes. The plane's communications systems were also turned off, suggesting human action rather than a catastrophic mechanical failure was to blame.

Possible debris field ... Malaysian Defence Minister Hishammuddin Hussein said a satellite had captured images of 122 objects close to where three other satellites previously detected objects. Source: AP

THE SATELLITE IMAGES

Details of the French satellite images were revealed last night by Malaysia's Defence and acting Transport Minister Hishammuddin Hussein.

He said the images were taken by Airbus Defence and Space, in France, on March 23.

Mr Hussein said the images were analysed by the Malaysian Remote Sensing Agency on Tuesday. They found that in an area of ocean about 400 square kilometres there were 122 potential objects, about 2557km from Perth.

Cluster of objects ... this map released by Malaysian authorities appear to show objects in proximity to each other. Source: Supplied

It is the fourth set of satellite images showing potential debris since March 16 but so far none has been physically located or picked up from the ocean.

The latest images are not far from the objects seen on Australian and Chinese satellites on March 16 and 18.

Mr Hussein said it was now "imperative that we link the debris to MH370."

"This will enable us to further reduce the search area and locate more debris from the plane," he said, adding this would enable the search to move into the next phase of deep sea surveillance and salvage.

COMPENSATION: How much will families get?

Search continues ... a Pilatus PC-9/A comes in for a landing at RAAF Base Pearce in Perth. RAAF Pearce is accommodating six nations that have joined forces in Australia. Source: AP

SEA SURFACE POSES A CHALLENGE

Even if the search does find verifiable wreckage from MH370 on the surface, marine geologist Dr Robin Beaman said underwater volcanoes would probably hamper efforts to recover the black box flight recorder from the depths.

Mr Beaman said the Southeast Indian Ridge cut directly through the search area, meaning the sea bed was rugged and constantly being reshaped by magma flows.

He said the ridge was an "extremely active'' range of volcanoes sitting at an average depth of 3000 metres, which marked the point where the Antarctic and Australian tectonic plates are pulling apart.

RELATED: 'History will judge us well' says Transport Minister

SEARCH: Underwater volcanoes pose a challenge

Still no answers ... a relative of a passengers on the missing Malaysia Airlines flight MH370 speaks to the media. Source: AFP

TENSIONS WITH CHINA

Mr Hussein also defended his Government over growing Chinese criticism about the handling of the disaster.

He said until the debris is found the one question Chinese relatives are asking cannot be answered.

And in a veiled reference to the Chinese reaction, where there have been angry scenes and water bottles hurled at Malaysian officials and protest marches, Mr Hussein said many nations had lost loved ones.

Mr Hussein denied suggestions his country had taken a "bruising" over handling of the matter.

He said in a world full of divides, hate and death and in South-East Asia, where countries fight over rocks in the sea, the search for MH370 was a great achievement not a bruising.

"Speculation will go on and people will look to Malaysia but I think history will judge us well," he said.

However, frustrated relatives of Chinese passengers on board demanded answers from the Malaysian ambassador for a second consecutive day, with some openly insulting him at a Beijing hotel.

"All the things that were promised, we have received nothing. Was Mr Yahya talking out of the other end of his body — was he talking out of his arse?" one relative said, referring to Malaysia Airlines Group CEO Ahmad Jauhari Yahya.

TENSION: Souring relationship between China and Malaysia

'Situation handled appallingly' ... Danica Weeks, the wife of Paul Weeks who was on Malaysian Airlines flight MH370. Source: News Corp Australia

WIFE OF PASSENGER BLASTS POOR COMMUNICATION

The family of Paul Weeks, who was aboard the flight, have criticised Malaysia's handling of the information flow about the search operation.

His wife Danica Weeks found out in a text message from the airline that her husband had likely died when the plane crashed in the Indian Ocean and his sister, Sara, had to rely on a call from her mother to hear the news.

"The whole situation has been handled appallingly, incredibly insensitively,'' Ms Weeks told Radio Live in New Zealand on Thursday.

"Everyone is angry about it.

"The Malaysian government, the airline, it's just all been incredibly poor.

"Who's to say they couldn't have located the plane the day that it happened.''

A lot of information seemed to have been withheld and took a very long time to get through, Ms Weeks added.

Ms Weeks said she was called at 3.30am on Tuesday by her mother, who was worried she might hear the news of her brother's death from the media.

Malaysia Airlines said in a statement that where possible they had informed the almost 1000 family members either in person or by telephone, and only used text messages where necessary.

Paul Weeks, a 39-year-old mechanical engineer based in Perth, was travelling to Mongolia for his first shift in a fly-in-fly-out job.

Ms Weeks said it had been a nightmare not knowing and the family still didn't have any closure as so much was unexplained.

"The not knowing is awful and, to be honest, we still don't know. They haven't given us any tangible evidence on how they know that plane is there,'' she told More FM in New Zealand.

"To just ... say everyone's dead, that's where the plane is, without offering up any sort of evidence, it has been really difficult.''

Malaysia Airlines will fly Sara Weeks to Perth to be with Mrs Weeks and her two sons Lincoln, 3, and Jack, 11 months.

Mr Weeks left his wedding ring and watch at home before setting off, Mrs Weeks has said.

Ms Weeks hopes to meet some of the other families who've lost loved ones on the flight.

Danica and Paul Weeks, who was one of two New Zealanders on the plane, moved to Perth from Christchurch after the earthquakes of 2011.


20.01 | 0 komentar | Read More
techieblogger.com Techie Blogger Techie Blogger