Monthly Archives: March 2014

Victim’s wife ‘sickened’ by Malaysia Airlines text


The wife of missing MH370 passenger Paul Weeks has spoken about the “sickening” text message Malaysia Airlines sent her, saying that no one on board the doomed flight had survived.

“I didn’t handle it,” Danica Weeks told 60 Minutes in an interview from her Perth home, broadcast last night.

“(I was) just sickened, sickened that someone would actually send me a text message to say that my loved one was dead.

“This is my husband, my loving husband, father of my children, and you send me a text message?”

Malaysia Airlines has been accused of lacking sensitivity over the manner in which it informed family members of the 229 passengers presumed killed on Malaysia Airlines Flight 370.

“We have to assume beyond reasonable doubt that MH370 has been lost and that none of those aboard survived,” read the airline’s text message, sent on March 24.

Ms Weeks said she was out shopping in Perth around the time the plane is believed to have crashed into the southern Indian Ocean off the West Australian coastline on March 8.

“I was in Perth merrily going along our family way while he was crashing into the ocean,” she said.

Paul Weeks, a mining engineer, was en route to Mongolia to start a new job.

“This was his dream job,” Ms Weeks said. “I would never stop him from doing his dream job.”

Ms Weeks said she is now struggling to know what to tell her three-year-old boy Lincoln, who asks: “I’m missing Daddy, I’m missing Daddy. When’s Daddy coming home? Is Daddy still missing?”

But she said she was consoled by the thought her husband would have been thinking about her and his children at the end.


Liverpool back to the top after destroying Tottenham 4-0


Liverpool moved to the top of the Premier League as they humiliated a woeful Tottenham side at Anfield.

A second-minute Younes Kaboul own goal, following Glen Johnson’s low cross, put the Reds on course for an eighth successive league victory.

Luis Suarez made it 2-0 after Michael Dawson’s error, and the Uruguayan then had a header pushed onto the post.

Philippe Coutinho added a third goal from 25 yards and Jordan Henderson’s low free-kick sealed the rout.

Victory moved the Reds two points ahead of Chelsea and four in front of Manchester City, though Manuel Pellegrini’s side have played two games fewer than their title rivals.

However, with both Chelsea and City still to visit Anfield, Brendan Rodgers’s team have their destiny in their own hands. Six wins from their last six matches will see them win the league title for the first time since 1989-90.

This game was expected to present a tough challenge, but the hosts – who last topped the table on Boxing Day, before a 2-1 defeat at Manchester City – dominated from the off and should have won by a wider margin.

As well as underlining the Reds’ place at the heart of the title fight, the match also served as another reality check for a Tottenham side that face a battle to hang on to sixth place and Europa League qualification.

The Londoners remain well short of the quality needed for a Champions League spot, and have only taken one point from eight league games against the top four this season.

Defeat also increases the pressure on boss Tim Sherwood, with Netherlands manager Louis van Gaal linked with a move to White Hart Lane after this summer’s World Cup.

Liverpool were always comfortable in front of a noisy and passionate Anfield crowd, who only had to wait two minutes before they were celebrating a goal.

An excellent diagonal ball from Coutinho found Raheem Sterling, who released the overlapping Johnson. The England right-back pulled the ball across the six-yard box and, after going through Jan Vertonghen’s legs, it bounced off Kaboul’s heel into his own net.

Suarez’s cross was then narrowly missed by Daniel Sturridge and Coutinho fired just wide as the hosts pushed for a second goal.

It came after 25 minutes when Dawson, who had just replaced the injured Vertonghen, gifted the ball to Suarez and he arrowed a low shot past Spurs goalkeeper Hugo Lloris for his 29th goal of the season.

Two rare Tottenham attacks saw Nabil Bentaleb’s 30-yard drive well dealt with by Simon Mignolet, and Roberto Soldado’s curling effort punched clear by the home goalkeeper.

Spurs had fought back from 2-0 down to beat Southampton 3-2 last Sunday, but a repeat never looked likely and Coutinho confirmed the victory with a powerful low shot from outside the area for Liverpool’s third.

A miserable day for Tottenham got worse when Henderson’s low free-kick went through a crowded penalty area and into the far corner of the net to seal a convincing win.


  • 22 Mignolet
  • 02 Johnson
  • 38 Flanagan
  • 08 Gerrard (Lucas – 70′ )
  • 37 Skrtel
  • 05 Agger
  • 14 Henderson
  • 10 Coutinho (Allen – 64′ )
  • 15 Sturridge
  • 31 Sterling (Moses – 83′ )
  • 07 Suarez


  • 01 Jones
  • 09 Iago Aspas
  • 12 Moses
  • 17 Sakho
  • 20 Cissokho
  • 21 Lucas
  • 24 Allen

Tottenham Hotspur

  • 25 Lloris
  • 16 Naughton
  • 03 Rose
  • 22 Sigurdsson Booked
  • 04 Kaboul Booked
  • 05 Vertonghen (Dawson – 24′ )
  • 07 Lennon (Townsend – 60′ )
  • 42 Bentaleb (Dembélé – 60′ )
  • 09 Soldado
  • 21 Chadli
  • 23 Eriksen


  • 17 Townsend
  • 19 Dembélé
  • 20 Dawson
  • 24 Friedel
  • 30 Sandro
  • 37 Kane
  • 62 Winks
Ref: Phil Dowd
Att: 44,762
1 Liverpool 32 49 71
Moving down 2 Chelsea 32 38 69
No Movement 3 Man City 30 52 67
No Movement 4 Arsenal 32 19 64
No Movement 5 Everton 31 18 60
No Movement 6 Tottenham 32 -4 56
No Movement 7 Man Utd 32 14 54
No Movement 8 Southampton 32 9 48
No Movement 9 Newcastle 32 -9 46
No Movement 10 Stoke 32 -8 40
No Movement 11 West Ham 31 -7 34
No Movement 12 Aston Villa 31 -12 34
No Movement 13 Swansea 32 -3 33
No Movement 14 Hull 32 -7 33
No Movement 15 Norwich 32 -25 32
No Movement 16 Crystal Palace 31 -19 31
No Movement 17 West Brom 31 -12 29
No Movement 18 Cardiff 32 -32 26
No Movement 19 Sunderland 29 -19 25
No Movement 20 Fulham 32 -42 24


Undersea drone, black box detector head to join missing MH370 search


Wing Commander Rob Shearer looks through binoculars on the flight deck of a Royal New Zealand Air Force P-3K2 Orion aircraft during a search for the missing MH370 jet over the southern Indian Ocean. (Reuters photo)


Ten ships and as many aircraft will search a swathe of the Indian Ocean west of Perth on Sunday, trying again to find some trace of missing Malaysia Airlines Flight MH370 after more than three weeks of fruitless and frustrating hunting.

Numerous objects have been spotted in the two days since Australian authorities moved the search 1,100 km (685 miles) after new analysis of radar and satellite data concluded the Boeing 777 travelled faster and for a shorter distance after vanishing from civilian radar screens on March 8.

However, none has been confirmed as coming from Flight MH370 and time is running out to find any debris, work out a likely crash zone and recover the aircraft’s “black box” voice and data recorders before batteries pinging their location die.

An Australian navy ship fitted with a sophisticated US black box locater and an unmanned underwater drone is due to leave later on Sunday. But the ADV Ocean Shield will take days to reach the search zone, an area the size of New Mexico some 1,850 km (1,150 miles) to the west of Perth.

Malaysia says the plane, which disappeared less than an hour into a flight from Kuala Lumpur to Beijing, was likely diverted deliberately. Investigators have determined no apparent motive or other red flags among the 227 passengers or the 12 crew.

Weather threatens expanded search
The Australian Maritime Safety Authority (AMSA) said aircraft from China, Australia, Japan, South Korea, Malaysia and the United States would be searching on Sunday.

“Weather in the search area is forecast to worsen today with light showers and low cloud, though search operations are expected to continue,” AMSA said in a statement.

Both a Chinese ship and an Australian navy vessel picked up objects yesterday but nothing has been linked to Flight MH370. The Chinese navy vessel Jinggangshan, which carries two helicopters, reached the new search area early on Saturday where it was expected to focus on searching for plane surfaces, oil slicks and life jackets in a sea area of some 6,900 sq km, state news agency Xinhua reported.

The search, being coordinated by Australia, has involved unprecedented cooperation between more than two dozen countries and 60 aircraft and ships but has also been bedevilled by regional rivalries and an apparent reluctance to share potentially crucial information due to security concerns.

Family protests
The Malaysian government has come under strong criticism from China, home to more than 150 of the passengers, where relatives of the missing have accused the government of “delays and deception”.

More than 20 Chinese relatives staged a brief protest on Saturday outside the Lido hotel in Beijing where families have been staying for the past three weeks, demanding evidence of the plane’s fate.

The peaceful protest came just days after dozens of angry relatives clashed with police after trying to storm the Malaysian embassy.

Many of Saturday’s protesters carried slogans demanding the “truth” about their lost loved ones.

“They don’t have any direct evidence,” said Steve Wang, who had a relative on the flight. “(Their conclusion) is only based on mathematical (analysis) and they used an uncertain mathematical model. Then they come to the conclusion that our relatives are all gone.”

Malaysia’s acting transport minister Hishammuddin Hussein said his country was committed to seeing the investigation through to its final conclusion.

“What they want from us is a commitment to continue the search, and that I have given, not only on behalf of the Malaysian government but the so many nations involved,” he told reporters in Kuala Lumpur after speaking with families on Saturday.

For more than a week, the international effort had been scouring seas 2,500 km (1,550 miles) southwest of Perth, where satellite images had shown possible debris from Flight MH370.

That search zone has now been abandoned. In the first week of the search, Vietnamese, Chinese and Malaysian ships and planes concentrated their efforts in the South China Sea.

The shift north of the search was based on painstaking analysis of Malaysian military radar data and satellite readings from British company Inmarsat.


Search for Malaysia Airlines jet grows, Australia appoints oversight body


Ten ships and as many aircraft will search a swathe of the Indian Ocean west of Perth on Sunday, trying again to find some trace of missing Malaysia Airlines flight MH370. Photo: AFP


HMAS Stirling Naval Base, Australia: The search for missing Malaysia Airlines flight MH370 could take years, a US Naval officer suggested on Sunday, as search and rescue officials raced to locate the plane’s black box recorder days before its batteries are set to die.
Ten ships and as many aircraft are searching a massive area in the Indian Ocean west of Perth, trying again to find some trace of the aircraft, which went missing more than three weeks ago and is presumed to have crashed in one of the most remote areas on the planet.
An Australian navy ship, the Ocean Shield, was fitted with a sophisticated US black box locator and an underwater drone on Sunday, and is expected to leave port and join the search later in the day.
But US Navy Captain Mark Matthews, who is in charge of the US Towed Pinger Locator (TPL), told journalists at Stirling Naval Base near Perth that the lack of information about where the plane went down seriously hampers the ability to find it.
“Right now the search area is basically the size of the Indian Ocean, which would take an untenable amount of time to search,” he said.
“If you compare this to Air France flight 447, we had much better positional information of where that aircraft went into the water,” he said, referring to a plane that crashed in 2009 near Brazil and which took more than two years to find.
Numerous objects have been spotted in the two days since Australian authorities moved the search 1,100 km (685 miles) after new analysis of radar and satellite data concluded the Boeing 777 travelled faster and for a shorter distance after vanishing from civilian radar screens on 8 March. None has been confirmed as coming from flight MH370.
Australia, which is coordinating the search in the southern Indian Ocean, said it had established a new body to oversee the investigation and issued countries involved in the search a set of protocols to abide by should any wreckage be found.
Malaysia says the plane, which disappeared less than an hour into a flight from Kuala Lumpur to Beijing, was likely diverted deliberately. Investigators have determined no apparent motive or other red flags among the 227 passengers or the 12 crew.
Weather Threatens Expanded Search
The Australian Maritime Safety Authority (AMSA) said aircraft from China, Australia, Japan, South Korea, Malaysia and the US would be searching on Sunday.
Both a Chinese ship and an Australian navy vessel have picked up objects but nothing has been linked to flight MH370.
The search has involved unprecedented cooperation between more than two dozen countries and 60 aircraft and ships but has also been hampered by regional rivalries and an apparent reluctance to share potentially crucial information due to security concerns.
This week, Australia issued a set of rules and guidelines to all parties involved in the search, giving Malaysia authority over the investigation of any debris to be conducted on Australian soil, a spokeswoman at the department of foreign affairs and trade told Reuters.
“Australia intends to bring the wreckage ashore at Perth and hold it securely for the purposes of the Malaysian investigation,” the spokeswoman said.
Prime Minister Tony Abbott on Sunday appointed a former chief of its defence forces, Air Chief Marshal Angus Houston, to lead a new Joint Agency Coordination Centre (JACC).
The JACC will coordinate communication between all international partners as well as with the families of passengers, many of whom are expected to travel to Perth.
Family Protests
The Malaysian government has come under strong criticism from China, home to more than 150 of the passengers, where relatives of the missing have accused the government of “delays and deception”.
On Sunday, dozens of angry relatives of Chinese passengers from Beijing, met with Malaysian officials, piling more pressure on the government over its handling of the case.
“We arrived here this morning with sorrow and anxiety, because the special envoy from Malaysia, the so called high-level tech team, did not give us any effective information in meetings that took place in three consecutive days,” said Jiang Hui, a relative of one of the victims.
“We want the Malaysian government to apologise for giving out confusing information in the past week which caused the delay in the search and rescue effort.” Reuters

MH370 Lost in Indian Ocean: Black box detector joins search


PERTH, Australia: A warship with an aircraft black box detector was set to depart Australia to search for the missing Malaysian jetliner, a day after ships plucked objects from the Indian Ocean to determine whether they were related to the missing plane.

None were confirmed to be from the plane, leaving searchers with no sign of the jet three weeks after it disappeared.

Twenty-nine Chinese family members, seeking answers from Malaysia’s government as to what happened to their loved ones, arrived in Kuala Lumpur on Sunday, said Malaysia Airlines commercial director Hugh Dunleavy.

Two-thirds of the 229 passengers aboard Flight 370 were Chinese, and their relatives have expressed deep frustration with Malaysian authorities since the plane went missing.

It could take days for the Australian warship, the navy support ADV Ocean Shield, to reach the search zone, which shifted northeast Friday to an area roughly the size of Poland.

The Australian Maritime Safety Authority, which oversees the search, said the ship will depart Perth on Sunday for the zone, about 1,850 kilometres (1,150 miles) to the west.

The ship will be fitted with a black box detector — the U.S. Navy’s Towed Pinger Locator — and an unmanned underwater vehicle, as well as other acoustic detection equipment.

Ships from China and Australia on Saturday scooped up items described only as “objects from the ocean,” but none were “confirmed to be related” to Flight 370, AMSA said.

A Chinese Ilyushin IL-76 plane spotted three floating objects, China’s official Xinhua News Agency said, a day after several planes and ships combing the newly targeted area, which is closer to Australia than the previous search zone, saw several other objects.

Meanwhile, a Chinese military plane scanning part of the search zone spotted several objects floating in the sea Saturday, including two bearing colours of the missing jet.

The search shifted northeast Friday to a new part of the ocean that is roughly the size of Poland.

It was not immediately clear whether those objects were related to the investigation into what happened to Malaysia Airlines Flight 370, which disappeared March 8 en route from Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia, to Beijing, and officials said the second day of searching in the new area ended with no evidence found of the jet.

The three objects spotted by the Chinese plane were white, red and orange in color, the Xinhua report said. The missing Boeing 777’s exterior was red, white, blue and gray.

Investigators have been puzzled over what happened to Flight 370, with speculation ranging from equipment failure and a botched hijacking to terrorism or an act by one of the pilots.

The latter was fuelled by reports that the pilot’s home flight simulator had files deleted from it, but Acting Malaysian Defence Minister Datuk Seri Hishammuddin Hussein said checks, including one by the FBI, had turned up no new information.

“What I know is that there is nothing sinister from the simulators, but of course that will have to be confirmed by the chief of police,” Hussein said.

Newly analysed satellite data shifted the search zone on Friday, raising expectations that searchers may be closer to getting physical evidence that the plane crashed into the Indian Ocean.

That would also help narrow the hunt for the wreckage and the plane’s black boxes, which could contain clues to what caused the plane to be so far off-course.

The newly targeted zone is nearly 1,130 kilometres (700 miles) northeast of sites the searchers have crisscrossed for the past week.

The redeployment came after analysts determined that the Boeing 777 may have been traveling faster than earlier estimates and would therefore have run out of fuel sooner.

The new search area is closer to Perth than the previous one, with a flying time of 2 1/2 hours each way, allowing for five hours of search.

AMSA said 10 planes are scheduled to join the search today. The first aircraft, a Chinese Ilyushin IL-76, left Perth air force base and the remainder would take over throughout the morning.

The Australian navy supply ship HMAS Success, which is to store wreckage, and three Chinese ships reached the search area Saturday. A further six ships should arrive in the area on Sunday, AMSA said.

All ships in the search area are being tasked to locate and identify the objects sighted by aircraft over the past two days.

Weather in the search area is forecast to worsen Sunday with light showers and low cloud, though search operations are expected to continue, AMSA said.

Malaysia Airlines’ commercial director, Hugh Dunleavy, said in Beijing late Saturday that around 40 to 45 Chinese relatives of passengers on the missing plane would fly to Kuala Lumpur early Sunday morning.

If investigators can determine that the plane went down in the newly targeted search zone, recovery of its flight data and cockpit voice recorders could be complicated.

Much of the sea floor in the area is about 2,000 meters (6,600 feet) below the surface, but depths may reach a maximum of up to 6,000 meters (19,685 feet).

The hunt for the plane focused first on the Gulf of Thailand, along the plane’s planned path. But when radar data showed it had veered sharply west, the search moved to the Andaman Sea, off the western coast of Malaysia, before pivoting to the southern Indian Ocean, southwest of Australia.–AP


Read more: MH370 Lost in Indian Ocean: Black box detector joins search – Latest – New Straits Times

Search for missing Malaysia Airlines plane: is this the wreckage of flight MH370?


An object floats in the southern Indian Ocean in this picture taken from a Royal New Zealand Air Force P-3K2 Orion aircraft searching for missing Malaysian Airlines flight MH370 Photo: Jason Reed/ Getty


Terrorist theories grow as it is confirmed that international security services are involved in the search for missing flight MH370.

British secret services are investigating the disappearance of Flight MH370, Malaysia’s transport minister said on Saturday. The disclosure that MI6 as well as the CIA are assisting the Malaysian authorities will fuel renewed speculation the aircraft was hijacked by terrorists.

Last night, hope was growing among the search teams that a part of the wreckage might finally have been found, three weeks after the plane vanished.

A photograph of an object floating in the southern Indian Ocean was taken by a Royal New Zealand Air Force plane which has been combing the seas for clues. Ships have been despatched to try to reach the object even as one expert cautioned it could part of the equipment found on-board a shipping trawler.

The New Zealand image followed a few hours after Chinese and Australian teams reported seeing possible debris from the plane in the same area.

Until now, all possible debris have proved to be unconnected to the missing passenger jet.

As the reports emerged last night attention turned again to what might have caused the plane to vanish.

Hishammuddin Hussein, Malaysia’s acting transport minister, said yesterday that MI6 and the CIA are working with Chinese spy agencies in determining what happened to the Boeing 777 and the 239 passengers and crew on-board.

Yesterday Mr Hishammuddin stopped short of plumping for one theory over any other. He said that MH370’s disappearance was due to “terrorism, hijacking, personal and psychological problems, or technical failure”.

“These scenarios have been discussed at length with different intelligence agencies,” he said. “When all the agencies are comfortable in what is able to be released is public, it is for the [Malaysian] chief of police to do that.”

Crash investigators believe the disappearance of the plane – and the decision to disable the communications system – appears to have been a deliberate action but have found no evidence of a motive.

MI6 is understood to have assisted with extensive background checks on each of the 239 passengers and crew aboard the plane but nothing suspicious has emerged.

Mr Hishammuddin said MI6 has also been involved in examining ‘pings’ emitted by the plane which are being used to try to locate its route during the seven hours after its communications systems were disabled.

“Now that we are talking about satellite data and imagery, the CIA has been on board, Chinese intelligence has been on board, MI6 has been on board,” Mr Hishammuddin said.

The Malaysia Airlines flight vanished off radar screens en route from Kuala Lumpur to Beijing more than three weeks ago. Speculation has been rife as to the cause of its disappearance but an explanation has so far proved elusive.

The plane turned wildly off course, its communications systems were ‘deliberately’ disconnected and then it carried on flying south over the Indian Ocean. It is thought to have crashed into the sea off the coast of Australia after running out of fuel.

The suggestion that intelligence agencies are involved will renew speculation its disappearance was a criminal act rather than a mechanical failure.

A fortnight ago the Sunday Telegraph disclosed that an al-Qaeda supergrass had previously warned secret services that four to five Malaysian men had been planning to take control of a plane, using a bomb hidden in a shoe to blow open the cockpit door.

The terror plot was hatched, said the supergrass, in an Afghan terror training camp by the mastermind behind the 9/11 attack on America.

The Malaysian police investigation has centred largely on the actions of MH370’s pilot Zaharie Ahmad Shah, but an examination of a flight simulator seized from his home has uncovered “nothing sinister,” Mr Hishammuddin said.

Zaharie, 53, a father of three and veteran pilot, used the simulator to play three flying games.

The different theories have done nothing to ease the anguish of families. The possibility the plane was seized by jihadi terrorists was raised after it emerged that Saajid Badat, a British-born Muslim from Gloucester, said that he had been instructed at a terrorist training camp in Afghanistan to give a shoe bomb to the Malaysians at the terror camp.

Giving evidence earlier this month at the trial in New York of Sulaiman Abu Ghaith, Osama bin Laden’s son-in-law, Badat said: “I gave one of my shoes to the Malaysians. I think it was to access the cockpit.”

Badat, who spoke via video link and is in hiding in the UK, said the Malaysian plot was masterminded by Khalid Sheikh Mohammed, the principal architect of 9/11.

According to Badat, Mohammed kept a list of the world’s tallest buildings and crossed out New York’s Twin Towers after the September 11, 2001 attacks with hijacked airliners as “a joke to make us laugh”.

Badat told the court that he believed the Malaysians, including the pilot, were “ready to perform an act.”

During the meeting, the possibility was raised that the cockpit door might be locked. Badat told the court: “So I said, ‘How about I give you one of my bombs to open a cockpit door?’ ” The disclosure that Malaysians were plotting a 9/11-style attack raises the prospect that both pilots were overpowered and the plane intended for use as a fuel-filled bomb. One possible target, if the scenario is correct, will have been the Petronas Towers in Kuala Lumpur, a symbol of Malaysia’s modernity and the world’s tallest buildings from 1998 until 2004.

Lawyers in the US acting for the family of a missing passenger, however, believe the disappearance has been caused by some form of mechanical failure.

Both Boeing and Malaysia Airlines are facing legal demands to disclose what they knew of those possible mechanical failings.

“We are working on the theory that it is a design defect,” said Monica Kelly, a US attorney acting on behalf of Januarai Siregar, whose son, Firman, was on the flight.

The “Petition for Discovery”, lodged in the Circuit Court of Cook County, Illinois, is intended to force both Boeing and Malaysia to release all the material they hold on the aircraft.

Until now both Boeing and Malaysia Airlines have steadfastly refused to comment on what may have caused the plane to disappear.

But details of a number of incidents involving other Boeing 777s have emerged, including a cockpit fire at Cairo Airport in July 2011.

Although passengers and crew were evacuated safely, investigators found that the blaze was caused by a short circuit igniting an oxygen pipe.

Regulators in America and Europe issued a directive ordering the replacement of the oxygen pipes with a replacement less likely to conduct electricity. The work is estimated to cost about £1,500 to put right but last week Malaysia Airlines refused to say if the specific work had been done.

A spokesman said: “All mandatory orders issued by aviation authorities relating to aircraft in our fleet have been complied with by Malaysia Airlines.”

In the court petition, Mr Firman’s lawyers, have demanded details of who designed and manufactured the oxygen system. It has also demanded Boeing release documents showing who had information “of the evidence of findings of corrosion and fractures in the fuselage of the subject aircraft and other 277-200ER aircraft that could lead to catastrophic fatal depressurisation of the cockpit.”

The petition has also demanded Boeing provides details of who was responsible for servicing the plane and who last inspected the fuselage and communications system.

Malaysia Airlines in turn is facing a demand to provide details of who was responsible for training and carrying out psychological evaluations of the crew.

The airline is also facing a demand to provide information about previous aircraft damage incidents and who was responsible for training crew in the event of a cockpit fire or depressurisation.

Yesterday a Chinese surveillance plane yesterday spotted three objects – coloured white, red and orange – in a new search zone west of Perth and an Australian P3 Orion spotted numerous items. Though the colours of the objects appeared to match Malaysia Airlines’ colours, the source of the objects has yet to be identified. Several small objects spotted by planes on Friday were yesterday picked up by Australian and Chinese ships and were found to be unrelated to the plane.

Eight aircraft and four ships conducted searches across 97,000 square miles yesterday, with another five ships due to join the search today.

Air Vice-Marshal Kevin Short, the head of New Zealand’s military, said authorities expected parts of the plane to be floating, including fuel tanks, composite materials and plastics.

Authorities have abandoned a search area in which they had scoured for days for objects spotted by five satellites and instead moved to an entirely new zone about 700 miles to the north. The new zone, spanning about 123,000 square miles, is in calmer waters and closer to shore, allowing aircraft to spend more time flying overhead.

But the area is still 1,150 miles from Perth and was described by Australian prime minister Tony Abbott as inhospitable, inaccessible and “extraordinarily remote”.

“We are trying to find small bits of wreckage in a vast ocean and while we are throwing everything we have at it, the task goes on,” he said.

Mr Hishammuddin met with Malaysian families of passengers and crew aboard the plane and indicated that he has not given up hope of finding “possible survivors”. Malaysia’s government and Malaysia Airlines last Monday declared that the plane had crashed in the southern Indian Ocean and that no passengers survived, though no wreckage has yet been found.

“Miracles do happen, remote or otherwise,” Mr Hishammuddin said.

“I cannot give them [relatives] false hope … No matter how remote the odds, we will pray, hope against hope, and continue to search for possible survivors.”

Families of some of the 153 Chinese passengers aboard the plane are planning to travel to Malaysia to confront authorities. Some Chinese family members have accused Malaysian authorities of hiding information about the flight and bungling the search.

Steve Wang, a representative of some of the families, said Malaysian authorities “have not been able to answer all our questions”.

“It’s either they are not in charge of a certain aspect of work or that it’s still being investigated, or it’s not convenient for them to comment,” he said.



Arsenal draw with Manchester City to leave league title race wide open

David Silva

David Silva, right, scores for Manchester City against Arsenal in the Premier League game at the Emirates Stadium. Photograph: Carl Recine/Action Images


When the story comes to be told of an open and increasingly difficult-to-predict title race, Manchester City may look back and reflect that this was a particularly useful day. Yet, for now, they also know it could have been much better considering the rewards that would have followed if they had managed to hold on to David Silva’s first-half goal.

Manuel Pellegrini’s team forfeited the chance to replace Chelsea at the top of the Premier League during a second half in which Mathieu Flamini’s equaliser will be celebrated by everyone connected with Liverpool, who are suddenly looking at the table in a new position of strength.

For Arsenal, the solitary point probably confirms what most people already suspected, namely that there is only a very faint chance they can catch and overhaul the three teams above them.

City are in a much stronger position, two points behind Chelsea with two games in hand, but the gap to Liverpool will be four if Brendan Rodgers’s team beat Tottenham Hotspur on Sunday. More than ever, it looks as if the pivotal game will also be at Anfield, when City are the opponents on 13 April.

Pellegrini will just have to hope his team can play more like they did here in the first half, and less like they did after the interval. For the first time, perhaps, there were signs of weariness. Yet Arsenal deserve great acclaim for their perseverance and left the pitch to rich applause.

Arsène Wenger has had to make do with a considerable injury list, but his team showed real personality to emerge with something and that is worth noting at a time when they are often accused of lacking mental strength.

City started just where they had left off against Manchester United, pressing their opponents back and moving the ball swiftly, in telling areas of the pitch. Yet here, too, was further evidence of the vulnerabilities that have left Arsenal coming up short. Silva’s goal was the product of Lukas Podolski losing the ball – and, in a flash, the entire team suddenly looked susceptible to the speed with which their opponents poured forward.

It was the same theme in the 6-0 defeat by Chelsea and, again, their full-backs, Kieran Gibbs and Bacary Sagna, were caught hopelessly out of position.

Silva led the City charge, breaking through the middle, with options either side. He chose Edin Dzeko, running into the left-hand side of the penalty area, leaving the striker to find the angle to beat Wojciech Szczesny. His shot came back off the post and Silva, following in, was rewarded for his anticipation, tucking the rebound into an unguarded net.

Silva, always on the move and so difficult to mark, was the outstanding player in that first half, but the speed and directness of Jesús Navas created plenty of issues for Gibbs – and Pablo Zabaleta’s overlapping runs from the right full-back position were another feature.

City looked stronger, physically, and when they did lose the ball, there was something to admire about their appetite to win it back.

By half-time, there was also a reasonable case that Arsenal should have been a man down. Tomas Rosicky’s attempt to win a penalty from Zabaleta’s non-challenge – fishing out his foot to try to initiate contact – did not deceive the referee, Mike Dean, and surely merited a yellow card. Rosicky was booked for a later challenge on Gaël Clichy and should probably consider himself a lucky man.

Arsenal’s style means they will always have a lot of the ball. They just did not make enough use of it before the interval. Mathieu Flamini was offside when he bounced Podolski’s cross past Joe Hart, shortly before Silva’s goal, but there were not many other times when the away team’s goalkeeper seemed exposed.

Mikel Arteta rarely dominates these big matches and, though Yaya Touré was unusually subdued, Silva was always finding little pockets of space to weave his magic.

It was not until the early parts of the second half that Arsenal began to play with the dynamism that was evident earlier in the season. Now they started to move the ball with greater purpose. Santi Cazorla – a prominent figure in the shift of pattern – brought the first real save from Hart.

Then, a few minutes later, Arsenal worked the ball from one side of the pitch to the other, in front of the penalty. Not once did a City player try to intercept the ball and Flamini was free, close to the penalty spot, to sweep in Podolski’s left-wing cross.

City had lost their control and, suddenly, this did not look like an Arsenal side missing half a team’s worth of Wenger’s first-choice players. The volume had gone up several notches and Podolski – with a clear sight at goal –would have turned it even higher if his shot had not flicked off Hart’s legs and ricocheted wide.

A minute before the equaliser, Per Mertesacker almost put through his own goal and there were still sporadic moments when City threatened to get behind the home defence. Yet this was a laboured finish from City and, ultimately, a more profitable day for Liverpool than for anyone else.


Crystal Palace 1-0 Chelsea: John Terry own goal blows Premier League title race wide open


With all three of the Premier League’s title contenders visiting Selhurst Park in Crystal Palace’s final four home games, the need for the Eagles to nab a first point of the season against the top six was greater than ever.

Thanks to a John Terry own goal they nabbed all three and Tony Pulis – the man Jose Mourinho had tipped to win Manager of the Year pre-match – looks ever-closer to completing his miracle job in SE25.

Mourinho brought in Fernando Torres for Samuel Eto’o up front and opted for a robust midfield of David Luiz and Nemanja Matic to combat the physicality of Palace’s consonant-hungry and rippling duo; Mile Jedinak and Kagisho Dikgacoi.

As it happened, they needn’t have just been worried about those two as Palace put in a feisty performance full of the fight and gusto you’d expect from a Pulis outfit.

Wingers Yannick Bolasie and Jason Puncheon were both booked in the early stages for crunching challenges as Palace looked to win the ball back high up the pitch and those cautions somewhat stifled the hosts’ ability to pressure Chelsea.

As the first half wore on, the visitors should have gained increasing control. Instead, they became evermore disjointed and resorted to trying to hit Palace on the counter-attack with long, raking passes.

The Eagles grew in confidence and should have scored when Bolasie somehow failed to convert Puncheon’s drilled cross. They were then somewhat questionably denied a penalty when England defender Gary Cahill uprooted Cameron Jerome, but continued to press on and most notably tested Petr Cech from a Jedinak free-kick on the half-hour mark.

With the verve and skill of Andre Schurrle and Eden Hazard always likely to cause problems for Pulis’ men, Chelsea’s counters audibly set the boisterous home crowd on edge, but some solid defending saw Palace through to the break well worth the 0-0 scoreline.

Mourinho sought to give his side more control by introducing Oscar for David Luiz at the break, but the Eagles continued to threaten and should have taken the lead when Cameron Jerome glanced the ever-troublesome Bolasie’s dangerous cross agonizingly across goal.

But the winger continued to threaten and his intervention changed the game when John Terry diverted a looping 56th-minute cross past his own keeper at the near post.

Selhurst erupted, as parts of Liverpool and Manchester surely did, and a smouldering Jose Mourinho acted quickly to address what could have been a critical blow to his side’s title chances.

The ineffective Frank Lampard was replaced by Mohamed Salah as the Portuguese attempted to inject some dynamism to his floundering attack, and Chelsea moved onto their third tactical system of the day.

Yet the hosts failed to get a grip on the game and could so easily have fallen two goals behind when Cameron Jerome’s strong running created a chance for Jason Puncheon, whose left-footed snapshot dribbled narrowly wide of the post with Cech beaten.

Finally the title-contenders began to grow into the game, but clear chances were difficult to come by as a clearly irritated Mourinho began to miserably patrol his technical area.

His final change was to throw on Demba Ba for the increasingly anonymous Schurrle, while Pulis attempted to shut up shop by replacing the potent attacking threat of Yannick Bolasie with Duracell bunny Stuart O’Keefe.

Chelsea’s desperation converted itself into chances, but in Julian Speroni they found a man in sensational form, particularly in saving from Hazard’s point-blank effort in the 73rd minute.

With the Blues pushing up, Palace began to create their own openings, Jerome clattering the post having bettered Cech in a one-on-one before Joe Ledley’s volley bounced inches past the far post.

For all Palace’s energy, the visitors’ body language told a story of a team who knew that they could be about to suffer a season-defining defeat. All sloped shoulders and furious hand gestures while Mourinho, hands in pockets, appeared angrily resigned to the result.

This frustration boiled over when the Portuguese snapped at a ball-boy in the closing stages, something for which he quickly apologised, but he was ultimately helpless as the final whistle blew on Chelsea and possibly their title chances.


Λύση με πέναλτι για Μπαρτσελόνα


Η Εσπανιόλ λίγο έλειψε να κάνει την ζημιά στην Μπαρτσελόνα, αλλά ένα χέρι στην περιοχή έδωσε την λύση και με πέναλτι του Μέσι οι “μπλαουγκράνα” νίκησαν με 1-0.

H Μπαρτσελόνα δυσκολεύτηκε πολύ στο ντέρμπι με την Εσπανιόλ στο “Κορνεγιά Ελ-Πρατ”, αλλά έχοντας την τύχη με το μέρος της νίκησε με 1-0 χάρη σε εκτέλεση πέναλτι του Λιονέλ Μέσι, ο οποίος έφτασε τα 23 γκολ στο πρωτάθλημα.

Στο 76ο λεπτό λοιπόν μετά από προσπάθεια του Νεϊμάρ στην περιοχή η μπάλα χτύπησε σε χέρι αμυντικού, αν η απόσταση ήταν περίπου μισό μέτρο ο διαιτητής δεν το θεώρησε ακούσιο και έδειξε την βούλα του πέναλτι (δεν το θεώρησε ακούσιο ή απλά έκρινε πως προφανώς αλλοίωσε την φάση και δεν γινόταν να μην το δώσει).

Από το 83′ η Εσπανιόλ έπαιζε με 10 παίκτες, καθώς ο τερματοφύλακας της, Κίκο Κασίγια, χρησιμοποίησε τα χέρια του εκτός περιοχής.

ΕΣΠΑΝΙΟΛ: Κασίγια, Χάβι Λόπεθ, Κολότο, Έκτορ Μορένο (49′ Σίντνεϊ), Φουέντες, Βίκτορ Σάντσεθ, Νταβίντ Λόπεθ, Στουάνι, Σιμάο Σαμπρόζα (78′ Χον Κόρντομπα), Πίτσι (65′ Άλεξ), Σέρχιο Γκαρθία.

ΜΠΑΡΤΣΕΛΟΝΑ: Πίντο, Ντάνι Άλβες, Πικέ, Μαστσεράνο, Τζόρντι Άλμπα, Μπουσκέτς, Τσάβι, Φάμπρεγκας (90′ Σέρτζι Ρομπέρτο), Πέδρο (77′ Ινιέστα), Νεϊμάρ (81′ Αλέξις Σάντσες), Μέσι.

*κόκκινη 83′ Κασίγια

Τα αποτελέσματα της 31ης αγωνιστικής:


Εσπανιόλ – Μπαρτσελόνα 0-1 (77′ πέν. Μέσι)

Θέλτα – Σεβίλλη (19:00)

Μπιλμπάο – Ατλέτικο (21:00)

Ρεάλ – Ράγιο Βαγιεκάνο (23:00)


Βαγιαδολίδ – Αλμερία (13:00)

Οσασούνα – Σοθιεδάδ (18:00)

Βιγιαρεάλ – Έλτσε (20:00)

Βαλένθια – Χετάφε (22:00)


Γρανάδα – Λεβάντε (21:00)

Μπέτις – Μάλαγα (23:00)

Η βαθμολογία

1. Μπαρτσελόνα 75

2. Ατλέτικο 73

3. Ρεάλ 70

4. Μπιλμπάο 56

5. Σεβίλλη 50

6. Σοθιεδάδ 49

7. Βιγιαρεάλ 48

8. Εσπανιόλ 40

9. Βαλένθια 40

10. Λεβάντε 37

11. Γρανάδα 34

12. Θέλτα 33

13. Ράγιο Βαγιεκάνο 33

14. Μάλαγα 32

15. Έλτσε 31

16. Αλμερία 30

17. Οσασούνα 29

18. Χετάφε 28

19. Βαγιαδολίδ 27

20. Μπέτις 22

Ο πίνακας των σκόρερς

27 γκολ

Κριστιάνο Ρονάλντο (Ρεάλ)

24 γκολ

Ντιέγκο Κόστα (Ατλέτικο)

23 γκολ

Λιονέλ Μέσι (Μπαρτσελόνα)


Late goal gives Mariners a win over Wanderers while Victory and Sky Blues draw


Joshua Rose of the Mariners celebrates his goal. Source: Getty Images


BERNIE Ibini has scored a dramatic late winner to hand the Central Coast a 2-1 victory over Western Sydney in the A-League tonight.

Ibini’s 90th-minute strike secured the three points for the Mariners with the Wanderers surrendering second spot with the defeat.

The Mariners snatched second place on the ladder.

Joshua Rose put the Mariners in front before Nikolai Topor-Stanley levelled just before the break at Central Coast Stadium today before late substitute Ibini put the game beyond doubt.

Aaron Mooy drew the first save of the match in the 26th minute, in what was a slow-starting game, creating a chance out of nothing, with Mariners gloveman Liam Reddy doing well to diffuse his strike.

The shot seemed to spark the game into life with Jerome Polenz putting Reddy to work just moments later.

But just as the Wanderers appeared to have the momentum the Mariners broke the deadlock.

Rose went on a menacing run from the half-way mark beating the Wanderers defence and outstretched keeper Ante Covic to put the hosts in front in the 32nd minute.

Celebrations were short-lived however, with the Wanderers equalising eight minutes later.

Mooy provided a superb ball into the box finding Tomi Juric who crossed the ball to the waiting Topor-Stanley to slot home.

It was a much more attacking Mariners who started the second half looking to regain the lead.

Mile Sterjovski, playing his last home game before hanging up his boots, made way for Ibini in the 55th minute with coach Phil Moss looking to get more pace up front.

It proved a masterstroke as Ibini threatened from the get go putting Covic on his toes with a booming strike just moments after coming on.

Ibini looked like scoring the winner with just over 10 minutes remaining brushing the post with a powerful strike.

Substitute Brendon Santalab had a chance to secure the three points for the Wanderers in the dying minutes getting on the end of a Shinji Ono free-kick into the box, but sent his header wide.

The Mariners kept searching for another goal with Mitchell Duke forcing a save from Covic.

But it was Ibini who netted the winner in the final minute of the match with Storm Roux providing the perfect cut-back for the forward.

Socceroos World Cup hopeful James Troisi moved into second spot in the race for the Golden Boot, scoring the equaliser as his Melbourne Victory drew 1-1 with Sydney FC in the A-League clash at AAMI Park.

Sydney FC moved into sixth spot on the table at Newcastle’s expense, although the Jets can go back ahead of them if they get a result against the Perth Glory tomorrow night.

Victory would have gone into second spot with a win, but instead remain fourth with two rounds of the home and away season to play.

Making his first start since December, striker Joel Chianese opened the scoring for the Sky Blues in the 48th minute.

Victory goalkeeper Lawrence Thomas could only parry a strike from Ali Abbas straight into the path of Chianese, who sidefooted home from close range.

Melbourne got back on level terms in the 64th minute after skipper Mark Milligan won the ball on the edge of the area.

Gui Finkler got the ball on to Troisi, whose first-time strike from a tight angle beat Vedran Janjetovic in the Sydney goal.

It was Troisi’s 11th goal of the campaign, putting him level with Brisbane’s Besart Berisha and Melbourne Heart’s David Williams, who are all two behind Jets forward Adam Taggart in the race to be the league’s leading scorer.

Melbourne’s best scoring opportunity of the first half fell to Kosta Barbarouses in the 32nd minute.

The New Zealand international shimmied right and then left before hitting a firm shot just wide of the right upright.

The Sky Blues may have been unlucky not to be awarded a penalty on the stroke of halftime when an Alessandro Del Piero free kick appeared to strike the arm of Victory right-back Scott Galloway.

The incident was missed by referee Jarred Gillett, with Del Piero and Milligan exchanging angry words as they walked off at halftime.

After drawing level through Troisi, the Victory looked the more likely of the two teams to snatch a winner with further chances falling to Jimmy Jeggo, Adama Traore and Troisi.

Chianese also mishit a shot at the other end in the 78th minute.

Victory coach Kevin Muscat chose to rest star midfielder Tom Rogic, who has had a heavy playing schedule since joining the club from Celtic midway through the season.

The Victory must now turn their focus to a crucial Asian Champions League clash away to Japanese powerhouse Yokohama F Marinos on Wednesday.

Sydney’s next match is an A-League home clash against Wellington Phoenix on April 6.