March 25, 2014 Edition

Valerie Castro

This is AI generated summarization, which may have errors. For context, always refer to the full article.

  1. Missing plane ended at the southern Indian Ocean

    Photo by AFP

    Sixteen days since Malaysia Airline flight MH370 went missing, Malaysian Prime Minister Najib Razak announced that the plane crashed in the Indian Ocean, but shed no light on the mystery of why it veered from its intended course. Razak said new satellite analysis of Malaysia Airlines Flight MH370’s path placed its last position in remote waters off Australia’s west coast, and far from any landing sites. The somber announcement ended 17 days of agonizing uncertainty for relatives – most of them Chinese. “We know there are no words that we or anyone else can say which can ease your pain.” MH370 last made contact over the South China Sea halfway between Malaysia and Vietnam. Leading theories include a hijacking, pilot sabotage, or a sudden mid-air crisis that incapacitated the flight crew and left the plane to fly on auto-pilot until it ran out of fuel.

    Read the full story on Rappler.

  2. How MH370’s path was revealed

    Photo by Fin Fahey on Wikipedia

    Satellite operator Inmarsat said Monday  it managed to work out which direction the missing Malaysia Airlines plane flew in by measuring the Doppler effect of hourly ‘pings’ from the aircraft. Analysis of flight MH370’s path placed its last position off Australia’s west coast, meaning it must have ran out of fuel above the southern Indian Ocean. Despite the plane’s communication systems being switched off, satellite pings were still bouncing back from the aircraft. The pings are sent from a ground station to a satellite, then onto the plane, which automatically sends a ping back to the satellite and down to the ground station. The pings do not include global positioning system data, time or distance information. So the British satellite operator measured the amount of time it took for the pings to return. An Inmarsat official commented all commercial aircraft should be fitted with existing technology that would mean a plane cannot go missing.

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  3. US sending black box locator and robotic underwater vehicle

    Photo from

    The US military sent a black box locator and a robotic underwater vehicle to the Indian Ocean, Monday, to help in the search for the plane’s black box. The locator system, which relies on acoustic signals to track down flight recorders, and the Bluefin-21, an unmanned device that can scan the ocean’s depths, were being flown to Perth, Australia. The equipment are to be used been only after a debris field has been confirmed. For reasons unknown, MH370 backtracked over the Malaysian peninsula and then flew on for hours. The search swung deep into the Indian Ocean last week after initial satellite images depicted large floating objects there. Hopes of a resolution to the mystery rose after a weekend in which an Australian aircraft spotted a wooden pallet, strapping and other debris, and French and Chinese satellite information indicated more floating objects.

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  4. Malaysia Airlines plane bound for Seoul forced to divert to HK

    A Malaysia Airlines flight from Kuala Lumpur to Seoul had to divert to Hong Kong early Monday, due to electrical problems, adding to the flag-carrier’s headaches as it grapples with its missing plane crisis.  The airline said in a statement Flight MH066 was “diverted to Hong Kong due to an inoperative aircraft generator which supplies normal electrical power” on the Airbus A330-300. The company said, “However, electrical power continued to be supplied by the Auxiliary Power Unit,” giving no further details on the equipment problem. It said the aircraft landed in Hong Kong “uneventfully” and that all 271 passengers had been transferred to other carriers.

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  5. Joma Sison: Tiamzons’ arrest will not cripple left

    Photo from the PNP

    Communist Party of the Philippines founding chairman Jose Maria Sison said the arrest of Benito Tiamzon and wife Wilma Austria will not cripple the Philippine left. “To use basketball parlance, I say the CPP has a deep bench.” This is not the way the military sees it. Armed Forces chief General Emmanuel Bautista said Tiamzon’s arrest will result in a “vacuum in leadership.” President Benigno Aquino III also said the Tiamzons’ arrest delivers “a serious blow” to the CPP. The military holds Tiamzon responsible for “the landmining, the killings, and the violence of the NPA.” The two top cadres were captured in Cebu on March 22.  The couple claims their arrest is illegal and they are covered by the Joint Agreement on Safety and Immunity Guarantees (Jasig) under peace talks with the government. Chief government negotiator Alex Padilla refuted this, saying the two aren’t covered by immunity. He said the verification process in 2012 failed because of lapses by the National Democratic Front. Leftist Bagong Alyansang Makabayan’s (Bayan) Carol Araullo said in the aftermath that the Jasig has become a “bounty list.”

    Read the full story here and here.

  6. Bangsamoro deal signing a milestone for peace

     Photo by Rappler

    The administration of President Benigno Aquino takes a step closer towards one of its biggest goals – the signing of the peace agreement between the Philippine government and the Moro Islamic Liberation Front or MILF. Malacañang said it is “a milestone that heralds one of the final stops on our nation’s journey to a just and lasting peace.” The Bangsamoro Transition Commission is drafting the Bangsamoro Basic Law, and is expected to pass by the end of 2014. The goal is to elect a Bangsamoro government by 2016. The government and the MILF want the region set up before Aquino steps down from office in 2016. Malaysian prime minister Najib Razak will attend the signing because Malaysia played a significant role in the negotiations. The 16-year peace talks between the government and the MILF concluded in January after both sides agreed on a historic firearms deal. Earlier, the panels signed annexes on transition, wealth and power-sharing, and the much-disputed provision on water territories.

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  7. Dismissed cadet Cudia faces media

    Photo by Carmela Fonbuena/Rappler

    The fight is not over. Wearing civilian clothes, dismissed cadet Aldrin Jeff Cudia faced the media on Monday. He didn’t speak but sat through the press conference his family called a week after his failed campaign to graduate in the Philippine Military Academy (PMA). The family, who got an audience with President Benigno Aquino III, said the President promised them results in a week, but nothing happened. The special investigation board has not submitted its recommendation to military top brass. Jeff’s father said the boy has no plans to join the military anymore. “They will just make a fool of him.” Cudia was supposed to graduate as top of the Navy Class. The PMA Honor Committee declared him guilty of violating the Honor Code because he supposedly lied about the reason he was late in one class. The family wants the PMA to give Jeff his diploma so he can look for a job outside the military.

    Read the full story on Rappler.

  8. 529 Morsi supporters sentenced to death

    An Egyptian court sentenced 529 supporters of ousted Islamist president Mohamed Morsi to death after a mass trial. Islamist backers of Morsi face a deadly crackdown launched by the military-installed authorities since his ouster in July. Of those sentenced, 153 are in detention and the rest are on the run. 17 others were acquitted. A second group of about 700 defendants will be in the dock on Tuesday.The verdict can be appealed. They were accused of attacking people, public property and causing the deaths of two policemen, after security forces broke up two Cairo protest camps. Among the accused are several leaders of Morsi’s Muslim Brotherhood, including its supreme guide Mohamed Badie. Morsi, Egypt’s first elected and civilian president, was ousted by the army on July 3, 2013.

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  9. Possible Ebola case in Canada

    A traveller returning to Canada from west Africa has been hospitalized after displaying symptoms of the Ebola virus that has killed dozens in Guinea.  A health official said the casualty had been in Liberia and developed the symptoms after landing in Canada. The patient would not have been contagious when travelling and was now in isolation pending test results. Aid workers and health officials in Guinea are battling to contain west Africa’s first outbreak of the deadly Ebola virus as neighboring Liberia reported its first suspected victims. At least 59 people are known to have died in Guinea’s southern forests. Canada’s health office said the risk of transmission was low as the disease, one of the world’s most virulent, is transmitted to humans from wild animals and between humans by direct contact with blood, feces or sweat, or by sexual contact and the unprotected handling of contaminated corpses.

    Read the full story on Rappler.

  10. Kim Jong-Un lookalike in China a hit

    Photo by Agence France-Presse

    North Korean leader Kim Jong-Un strikes fear into some hearts, but photos of a Chinese street food vendor with a distinct resemblance to the Pyongyang strongman have fuelled online mirth. Chubby, with a round face and sporting Kim’s trademark side-shaved haircut, the vendor was pictured cooking skewered meat on a rusty barbecue. Though his identity remains unknown, he works in the northeastern Chinese city of Shenyang, not far from the border with North Korea. Like Kim, the vendor has a penchant for high-buttoned jackets, and a smoking habit. Thousands of Chinese Internet users commented on the images, with many referring to Kim by the nickname “Fatty the Third,” a reference to his weight as well as his inherited position. Beijing has long been Pyongyang’s closest ally but Chinese social media users often skewer the young leader with irreverent criticism.

    Read the full story on Rappler.

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