World News

Focus of Missing Malaysia Plane Shifts to Cockpit

A senior Malaysian official says a signaling system was partially disabled on the missing Malaysia Airlines jet before a pilot spoke to air traffic control without hinting at any trouble.

Malaysia's defense minister said Sunday the final words from the cockpit were spoken to Malaysian air traffic controllers after the plane's data communication system had been partially disabled.

The pilots did not mention any trouble on board, suggesting they may have been misleading ground control or acting under coercion by someone familiar with aviation technology.

The development could help investigators determine why the plane turned far off its planned route and vanished from radar screens more than a week ago with 239 people onboard.

Police have searched the homes of the two pilots and are examining an elaborate flight simulator taken from one of them. Authorities are also questioning engineers who may have had contact with the plane before it left Kuala Lumpur.



Meanwhile, Malaysia appealed for international coordination in the search for the missing passenger jet that stretches across two corridors from the Caspian Sea to the southern Indian Ocean.

Malaysian officials say the number of countries involved in the search has grown to 25 after it was determined the plane may have flown as far north as Central Asia.

Authorities briefed envoys on the progress of the investigation after calling off a search in the South China Sea, marking a new diplomatic phase in a search operation thought increasingly likely to rely on the sharing of sensitive material such as military radar data.

A full-scale criminal investigation was triggered when Malaysian Prime Minister Najib Razak said Saturday there is a "high degree of certainty" that someone who knew what he was doing deliberately turned off the jet's communications systems.

The prime minister said the last of the systems were switched off just before the jet turned westward, away from its flight path. Mr. Najib stopped short of saying the plane was hijacked and said investigators are looking at all scenarios.

The search for Malaysia Airlines Flight 370 now ranges from Kazakhstan to the southern Indian Ocean. Investigators say the plane had enough fuel to fly for several hours after disappearing from radar Saturday, March 8.

Authorities have also not ruled out the possibility the plane was on the ground at an unknown location when some satellite signals were sent.

The missing Boeing 777 was flying from Kuala Lumpur to Beijing when it disappeared. About two-thirds of the people on board were Chinese. Other passengers included Europeans and Americans.

###

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Turkey's Main Opposition Party Hopes for Election Breakthroughi
X
May 22, 2015 10:23 AM
Turkey’s main opposition Republican People’s Party has sought an image change ahead of the June 7 general election. The move comes after suffering successive defeats at the hands of the Islamist-rooted AK Party, which has portrayed it as hostile to religion. Dorian Jones reports from the western city of Izmir.
Video

Video Turkey's Main Opposition Party Hopes for Election Breakthrough

Turkey’s main opposition Republican People’s Party has sought an image change ahead of the June 7 general election. The move comes after suffering successive defeats at the hands of the Islamist-rooted AK Party, which has portrayed it as hostile to religion. Dorian Jones reports from the western city of Izmir.
Video

Video Europe Follows US Lead in Tackling ‘Conflict Minerals’

Metals mined from conflict zones in places like the Democratic Republic of Congo are often sold by warlords to buy weapons. This week European lawmakers voted to force manufacturers to prove that their supply chains are not inadvertently fueling conflicts and human rights abuses. Henry Ridgwell reports from London.
Video

Video Class Tackles Questions of Race, Discrimination

Unrest in some U.S. cities is more than just a trending news item at Ladue Middle School in St. Louis, Missouri. As VOA’s Kane Farabaugh reports, it’s a focus of a multicultural studies class engaging students in wide-ranging discussions about racial tensions and police aggression.
Video

Video Mind-Controlled Prosthetics Are Getting Closer

Scientists and engineers are making substantial advances towards the ultimate goal in prosthetics – creation of limbs that can be controlled by the wearer’s mind. Thanks to sophisticated sensors capable of picking up the brain’s signals, an amputee in Iceland is literally bringing us one step closer to that goal. VOA’s George Putic reports.
Video

Video Afghan Economy Sinks As Foreign Troops Depart

As international troops prepare to leave Afghanistan, and many foreign aid groups follow, Afghans are grappling with how the exodus will affect the country's fragile economy. Ayesha Tanzeem reports from the Afghan capital, Kabul.
Video

Video Poverty, Ignorance Force Underage Girls Into Marriage

The recent marriage of a 17-year old Chechen girl to a local police chief who was 30 years older and already had a wife caused an outcry in Russia and beyond. The bride was reportedly forced to marry and her parents were intimidated into giving their consent. The union spotlighted yet again the plight of many underage girls in developing countries. Zlatica Hoke reports poverty, ignorance and fear are behind the practice, especially in Asia and Africa.
Video

Video South Korea Marks Gwangju Uprising Anniversary

South Korea this week marked the 35th anniversary of a protest that turned deadly. The Gwangju Uprising is credited with starting the country’s democratic revolution after it was violently quelled by South Korea’s former military rulers. But as Jason Strother reports, some observers worry that democracy has recently been eroded.
Video

Video California’s Water System Not Created To Handle Current Drought

The drought in California is moving into its fourth year. While the state's governor is mandating a reduction in urban water use, most of the water used in California is for agriculture. But both city dwellers and farmers are feeling the impact of the drought. Some experts say the state’s water system was not created to handle long periods of drought. Elizabeth Lee reports from Ventura County, an agricultural region just northwest of Los Angeles.
Video

Video How to Clone a Mammoth: The Science of De-Extinction

An international team of scientists has sequenced the complete genome of the woolly mammoth. Led by the Swedish Museum of Natural History in Stockholm, the work opens the door to recreate the huge herbivore, which last roamed the Earth 4,000 years ago. VOA’s Rosanne Skirble considers the science of de-extinction and its place on the planet
Video

Video Blind Boy Defines His Life with Music

Cole Moran was born blind. He also has cognitive delays and other birth defects. He has to learn everything by ear. Nevertheless, the 12-year-old has had an insatiable love for music since he was born. VOA’s June Soh introduces us to the young phenomenal harmonica player.

VOA Blogs