World Briefs: Jet searchers hunt for 'pings'

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PERTH, Australia -- Searchers hunting for the missing Malaysia Airlines jet raced toward a patch of the southern Indian Ocean on Sunday to determine whether a few brief sounds picked up by underwater equipment came from the plane's black boxes, whose battery-powered pingers are on the verge of dying out.

Ships scouring a remote stretch of water for the plane that vanished nearly a month ago detected three separate sounds over three days. A Chinese ship picked up an electronic pulsing signal Friday and again Saturday, and an Australian ship carrying sophisticated deep-sea acoustic equipment detected a signal in a different area Sunday, the head of the multinational search said.

The two black boxes contain flight data and cockpit voice recordings that could solve one of the most baffling mysteries in modern aviation: who or what caused Flight 370 to veer radically off course and vanish March 8 while traveling from Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia, to Beijing with 239 people on board.

But there were questions about whether any of the sounds were the breakthrough that searchers are desperately seeking or just another dead end in a hunt seemingly full of them, with experts expressing doubt that the equipment aboard the Chinese ship was capable of picking up signals from the black boxes.

Peace talks revival sought

JERUSALEM -- Israel and the Palestinians angrily accused each other Sunday of undermining U.S.-led peace efforts in the region, but nonetheless signaled their readiness to find a way to revive the faltering talks.

U.S. efforts to extend the talks past a late April deadline were thrown into disarray last week as Israel failed to carry out a planned prisoner release and the Palestinians responded by reviving a campaign for international recognition of the state of Palestine.

Still, both sides indicated they were prepared to continue with the negotiations. Israeli and Palestinian negotiators were expected to meet Sunday with U.S. mediator Martin Indyk in a bid to get the talks back on track.

Meanwhile on Sunday, Israel said its aircraft struck five "terror sites" in the Gaza Strip overnight in response to rocket fire.

Nigeria economy milestone

LAGOS, Nigeria -- Nigeria's recalculated economy is worth $510 billion, by far the biggest in Africa, officials announced Sunday using long overdue revised data that gives the West African nation continental bragging rights but does little for the 70 percent of its citizens living in poverty.

Nigeria has been Africa's biggest drawer of direct foreign investment despite myriad woes, from massive corruption and oil thefts costing the country some $20 million a day to an Islamic uprising in the northeast that has killed more than 1,200 people so far this year, to a paralytic electricity supply that keeps businesses dependent on diesel-run generators.

Hungary right triumphs

BUDAPEST, Hungary -- Hungarian Prime Minister Viktor Orban's conservative Fidesz party Sunday repeated a landslide triumph from four years ago and may be able to govern virtually unchallenged, a poll indicated.

If the official results confirm that projection, Mr. Orban will, as over the past four years, have the ability to push major legislation through, including constitutional changes, without opposition.


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