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.
Mass Grave Exposes Entrenched Trafficking in Thailandi
X
May 05, 2015 5:50 PM
Police in southern Thailand have found two more camps believed to have held human trafficking victims -- one containing a buried skeleton. This comes just days after officials announced arrests in connection with the grisly discovery of 26 bodies in a mass grave at another location. Officials suspect as many as 400 mostly ethnic Rohingya from Myanmar were being held for ransom at the remote camp near the Malaysian border. Steve Sandford reports on developments in the case.
Video

Video Mass Grave Exposes Entrenched Trafficking in Thailand

Police in southern Thailand have found two more camps believed to have held human trafficking victims -- one containing a buried skeleton. This comes just days after officials announced arrests in connection with the grisly discovery of 26 bodies in a mass grave at another location. Officials suspect as many as 400 mostly ethnic Rohingya from Myanmar were being held for ransom at the remote camp near the Malaysian border. Steve Sandford reports on developments in the case.
Video

Video Russia's 'Victory Day' Glory Over Nazis Overshadowed by Ukraine

ussia is preparing to commemorate the 70th anniversary of the end of World War II, known since the Soviet era as “The Great Patriotic War,” with a massive parade on May 9th of military hardware and millions of medals handed out to veterans or their relatives. But critics say the Soviet-style display of power and nationalism overshadows tragic scars during and after the war that still influence politics and foreign policy, especially in the current Ukraine crisis.
Video

Video WWII Anniversary Brings Old Friends and New Worries

The 70th anniversary of the end of World War II has special significance, with Russia becoming more assertive in Ukraine and sending its military planes to the edges of western countries’ airspace. Changes in the geostrategic balance and the transatlantic relationship are felt across the continent, not least in German towns that have hosted U.S. military bases since the defeat of Nazi Germany. VOA’s Al Pessin visited Schweinfurt, Germany, where a large base closed last year.
Video

Video Abraham Lincoln Funeral Re-created for 150th Civil War Anniversary

Over the last four years, commemorative events to mark the 150th anniversary of the U.S. Civil War have brought thousands of visitors to battlefields and historic landmarks across the country. As VOA's Kane Farabaugh reports from the Midwest state of Illinois, the final event in the Civil War's sesquicentennial honors the final journey home of the slain American President, Abraham Lincoln.
Video

Video Campaign Raises Money to 'Uncuff' Journalists

Beginning Sunday – World Press Freedom Day – the Committee to Protect Journalists, a private U.S. group, is launching a campaign to bring attention to their plight and encourage efforts to free them. Deborah Block reports.
Video

Video Volunteers Pull Together to Aid Baltimore Riot Victims

Calm has returned to Baltimore, Maryland, after authorities lifted an overnight curfew imposed almost a week ago to stem the rioting that followed the funeral of Freddie Gray - the 25-year-old black man who died of spinal injuries suffered while in police custody. Six police officers, three of them African-American, have been charged in connection with his death. Baltimore is now trying to get back to normal, in part with the help of volunteers who responded to calls to help those in the city'
Video

Video From Aleppo To Berlin: Band of Brothers Escapes Civil War

Hundreds of thousands of Syrians have fled the civil war in their country and journeyed to Europe by boat across the Mediterranean. It is a terrifying ordeal with dangers at every turn. A group of Syrian brothers and their friends describe their ordeal as they try to reach Germany. VOA's Henry Ridgwell reports. ...
Video

Video Rural Nepal Suffers Brunt of Quake’s Devastation

Nepal is still coming to grips with the full extent of the devastation and misery caused by last Saturday’s magnitude 7.8 earthquake. Some of the hardest-hit communities have been cut off by landslides making it difficult to assess the precise toll. A VOA News crew has been among the first to reach a few of the smaller, remote communities. Correspondent Steve Herman reports from the Sindhupolchak district, east of Kathmandu, which suffered greatly in Nepal’s worst quake in more than 80 years.
Video

Video Obama Praises Work of 3 Immigrant Journalists

President Barack Obama met with three immigrant journalists at the White House Friday to praise them for their work ahead of World Press Freedom Day, May 3. In attendance: Dieu Cay (his pen name) a blogger from Vietnam recently released from prison; Lily Mengesha from Ethiopia who was harassed and detained for exposing the marrying off of young girls as child brides, and Fatima Tlisova, an ethnic Circassian from the North Caucasus region of Russia, who works for VOA's Russian Service.
Video

Video Middle East Atheist Channel Defies Taboo

In Egypt, a deeply religious country in a deeply religious region, atheism is not only taboo, it is dangerous. It is sometimes even criminal to publicly declare nonbelief. Despite the danger, one group of activists is pushing back with a new online channel that defends the right not to believe. VOA’s Heather Murdock reports.
Video

Video Nepal Quake Survivors Tell Their Stories

Against all hope, rescuers have found a few more survivors of the devastating earthquake that hit Nepal last Saturday. Mountain climbers and hikers trapped in remote places also have been airlifted to safety, and aid is finally reaching people in the areas closest to the quake's epicenter. Survivors and rescuers are now recounting their experience. Zlatica Hoke has this story.
Video

Video Lessons for Germany, Europe Remain on Anniversary of WWII's End

The 70th anniversary of the end of World War II will be marked May 8-9 in all European countries except Germany, which lost the war. How is the war viewed there, and what impact is it still having? From Berlin, VOA’s Al Pessin reports.
Video

Video Nepal Town Destroyed By Quake Counts Itself Lucky

Foreign search teams on Wednesday began reaching some of the communities outside Kathmandu that suffered worse damage than Nepal’s capital from last Saturday’s massive earthquake. VOA Correspondent Steve Herman is in Sankhu - a town of about 10,000 people - where there is relief the death toll is not higher despite widespread destruction.
Video

Video Somali Hotel Chain Owner Strives to Make a Difference

Many in the Somali diaspora are returning home to make a new life despite the continuing risks. Since 2011 when a military campaign against Al-Shabab militants began making progress, members of the diaspora community have come back to open hospitals, schools, hotels, restaurants and other businesses. Abdulaziz Billow in Mogadishu profiles the owner of a chain of hotels and restaurants who is helping to bring change to the once-deadly Somali capital.
Video

Video Child Migrants Cross Mediterranean Alone, Face Unknown Future

Among the thousands of migrants making the deadly journey by boat to Europe, there are unaccompanied girls and boys. Some have been sent by relatives to earn money; others are orphaned or fleeing war. From a shelter for young migrants in the Sicilian town of Caltagirone, VOA's Henry Ridgwell reports.

VOA Blogs