World News

Searchers Try to Confirm 'Ping,' Possibly From Missing Malaysian Plane

The head of the multi-national search for missing Malaysia Airlines Flight 370 says reports that a Chinese vessel twice picked up electronic pulses late Saturday are encouraging, but have not yet been verified.

Retired Air Chief Marshal Angus Houston told a news conference Sunday that, although the pulses are consistent with a plane's "black box" flight recorder, officials cannot verify any connection at this stage between the signals and the Malaysian jet. He said two Australian ships with high-technology equipment will join the Chinese vessel to confirm or rule out whether the signals were from the missing plane's flight recorder.



"This is an important and encouraging lead, but one which I urge you to continue to treat carefully. We are working in a very big ocean and within a very large search area, and so far, since the aircraft went missing, we have had very few leads which allow us to narrow the search area."



Australian Prime Minister Tony Abbott said Sunday that searchers are hopeful but by no means certain that the signal came from the plane's black box.

The Malaysia Airlines flight from Kuala Lumpur bound for Beijing vanished nearly one month ago.

The wide-ranging search has focused on a remote area of the southern Indian Ocean where an underwater hunt began Saturday. The search has become more intense as the batteries in the black boxes are due to reach the end of their life soon.



Ships using submersible sonar and numerous military and private aircraft were deployed Saturday in a patch of the Indian Ocean about 1,700 kilometers northwest of Perth, Australia. Position information given out by China indicates its search ship was slightly outside the targeted area when it monitored the "ping" signal.

The Boeing 777 vanished without any distress calls, and authorities have refused to rule out any possibilities, including hijacking, sabotage or a mechanical malfunction. Malaysian officials say they are continuing to investigate whether any deliberate action by the pilots or crew could have sent the plane down.

###

ALL ACTS IN D5.1 HOUSE SHARED SUNDAY
Angus Houston Act 1
ACT Angus Houston MALAYSIA PLANE (q: the search area)
"This is an important and encouraging lead, but one which I urge you to continue to treat carefully. We are working in a very big ocean and within a very large search area, and so far, since the aircraft went missing, we have had very few leads which allow us to narrow the search area."

Act 2
ACT Angus Houston MALAYSIA PLANE (q: original detection)
"This morning we were contacted by the Chinese authorities and advised that Haixun 01 had late yesterday afternoon redetected the signals for 90 seconds within just two kilometers of the original detection."

Act 3
ACT Angus Houston MALAYSIA PLANE (q: determination)
"A word of caution. In the days, weeks and possibly months ahead there may be leads such as the one I am reporting to you this morning on a regular basis. I would ask you the media to treat them as unverified until such time as we can provide an unequivocal determination."

Act 4
ACT Angus Houston MALAYSIA PLANE (q: detected the sounds)
"Obviously we take any reported leads in the search very seriously. That's why today Royal Australian Air Force assets will deploy to assist in further examining the acoustic signals in the vicinity of where the Chinese ship has detected the sounds."

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
A Small Oasis on Kabul's Outskirts Provides Relief From Security Tensionsi
X
May 26, 2015 11:11 PM
When people in Kabul want to get away from the city and relax, many choose Qargha Lake, a small resort on the outskirts of Kabul. Ayesha Tanzeem visited and talked with people about the precious oasis.
Video

Video A Small Oasis on Kabul's Outskirts Provides Relief From Security Tensions

When people in Kabul want to get away from the city and relax, many choose Qargha Lake, a small resort on the outskirts of Kabul. Ayesha Tanzeem visited and talked with people about the precious oasis.
Video

Video Film Festival Looks at Indigenous Peoples, Culture Conflict

A recent Los Angeles film festival highlighted the plight of people caught between two cultures. Mike O'Sullivan has more on the the Garifuna International Film Festival, a Los Angeles forum created by a woman from Central America who wants the world to know more about her culture.
Video

Video Kenyans Lament Losing Sons to al-Shabab

There is agony, fear and lost hope in the Kenyan town of Isiolo, a key target of a new al-Shabab recruitment drive. VOA's Mohammed Yusuf visits Isiolo to speak with families and at least one man who says he was a recruiter.
Video

Video Scientists Say Plankton More Important Than Previously Thought

Tiny ocean creatures called plankton are mostly thought of as food for whales and other large marine animals, but a four-year global study discovered, among other things, that plankton are a major source of oxygen on our planet. VOA’s George Putic reports.
Video

Video US-led Coalition Gives Some Weapons to Iraqi Troops

In a video released Tuesday from the Iraqi Ministry of Defense, Iraqi forces and U.S.-led coalition troops survey a cache of weapons supplied to help Iraq liberate Mosul from Islamic State group. According to a statement provided with the video, the ministry and the U.S.-led coaltion troops have started ''supplying the 16th army division with medium and light weapons in preparation to liberate Mosul and nearby areas from Da'esh (Arabic acronym for Islamic State group).''
Video

Video Amnesty International: 'Overwhelming Evidence' of War Crimes in Ukraine

Human rights group Amnesty International says there is overwhelming evidence of ongoing war crimes in Ukraine, despite a tentative cease-fire with pro-Russian rebels. Researchers interviewed more than 30 prisoners from both sides of the conflict and all but one said they were tortured. Henry Ridgwell reports for VOA from London.
Video

Video Washington Parade Honors Those Killed Serving in US Military

Every year, on the last Monday in the month of May, millions of Americans honor the memories of those killed while serving in the armed forces. Memorial Day is a tradition that dates back to the 19th Century. While many people celebrate the federal holiday with a barbecue and a day off from work, for those who’ve served in the military, it’s a special day to remember those who made the ultimate sacrifice. Arash Arabasadi reports for VOA from Washington.
Video

Video Kenya’s Capital Sees Rise in Shisha Parlors

In Kenya, the smoking of shisha, a type of flavored tobacco, is the latest craze. Patrons are flocking to shisha parlors to smoke and socialize. But the practice can be addictive and harmful, though many dabblers may not realize the dangers, according to a new review. Lenny Ruvaga has more on the story for VOA from Nairobi, Kenya.
Video

Video Rolling Thunder Run Reveals Changed Attitudes Towards Vietnam War

For many US war veterans, the Memorial Day holiday is an opportunity to look back at a divisive conflict in the nation’s history and to remember those who did not make it home.
Video

Video Female American Soldiers: Healing Through Filmmaking

According to the United States Defense Department, there are more than 200-thousand women serving in the U.S. Armed Forces.  Like their male counterparts, females have experiences that can be very traumatic.  VOA's Bernard Shusman tells us about a program that is helping some American women in the military heal through filmmaking.

VOA Blogs