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Bad Weather Forces Suspension of Search for Malaysian Plane

Bad weather is forcing the suspension of the search for a missing Malaysian jetliner, which authorities have now concluded crashed in the southern Indian Ocean.

The Australian Maritime Safety Authority says high waves, strong winds and dense clouds are preventing airplanes and ships from searching the area, 1,500 kilometers west of Perth.

The search for the plane, which had 239 people on board, will be suspended for 24 hours. But officials say it should resume Wednesday, when conditions are expected to improve.

Late Monday, Malaysian Prime Minister Najib Razak said a new analysis of satellite data indicates the plane's flight "ended" in the remote region, far away from any land or airstrip.

Malaysian authorities provided few other details at a news conference Tuesday, further angering relatives of those missing, some of whom protested in Beijing.

Malaysian Airlines CEO Ahmad Jauhari Yahya acknowledged "we do not know why, (and) we do not know how" the tragedy occurred. But he said there is no evidence of any survivors.

Malaysian authorities have given no exact location for the suspected crash and no wreckage has been found, though satellite photos and surveillance aircraft have spotted possible debris.

Australian Defense Minister David Johnston said Malaysia's analysis is the "best information we've got right now." But he cautioned the flight remains "a mystery and until we recover and positively identify a piece of debris, virtually everything is speculation."



In Beijing, around 100 Chinese relatives of those missing protested outside the Malaysian embassy. The protesters held signs and chanted slogans demanding to be told the "truth." In some cases, they called Malaysian government officials "dogs" and "liars."

At least 200 police, which arrived well before the protest, cordoned off a street in front of the embassy, forcing journalists from the area and obstructing their view of the rare demonstration.

Two-thirds of the plane's passengers were Chinese. Many of their family members accuse the Malaysian government of mishandling the rescue effort and misleading the public.

The Chinese government has also accused Malaysia of not providing complete information in its search for the plane.

A final conclusion about what happened on flight MH370 likely cannot be made until the plane's flight data recorder, or "black box" is located.

The U.S. Navy on Monday said it is sending a black box detector to aid in the search for the plane. The Navy says the "Towed Pinger Locator" could detect the missing airplane's black box to a depth of about 6,100 meters.

The black box recorder contains detailed information about what takes place on an aircraft.

The Malaysia Airlines passenger jet disappeared March 8 while on a flight from Kuala Lumpur to Beijing. There has been little evidence of what happened to the jet.

Investigators are not ruling out anything, including catastrophic mechanical failure, pilot sabotage or terrorism.

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