Tag Archives: Xinhua News Agency

Australian PM says MH370 black box within scope of one kilometer

SHANGHAI, April 11 (Xinhua) — Australian Prime Minister Tony Abbott said here on Friday that the missing Malaysian flight MH370’s black box is within the scope of one kilometer.

According to earlier media reports, Abbott, who is on an official visit to China, said he was “very confident” that the signals detected are from the missing flight.

In a luncheon in Shanghai, he said the information does not mean that the debris of the plane can be found.

Australia, along with China and other countries involved, will try every effort to continue the search, according to sources who quoted Abbott at the luncheon site.

The plane disappeared on March 8 while flying from Kuala Lumpur to Beijing with 239 people on board, including 154 Chinese passengers.

The plane’s black box, or flight recorder, could be used to solve the mystery of why the plane veered so far off course.

 Xinhua 

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Malaysia Airlines Flight 370 : Ship reportedly detects “pulse” signal

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PERTH, Australia — A Chinese ship involved in the hunt for the missing Malaysian jetliner reported hearing a “pulse signal” Saturday in Indian Ocean waters with the same frequency emitted by the plane’s data recorders.

China‘s official Xinhua News Agency said a black box detector deployed by the ship, Haixun 01, picked up a signal at 37.5 kilohertz (cycles per second). However, Xinhua said it had not yet been determined whether the signal was related to the missing plane, citing the China Maritime Search and Rescue Center.

Malaysia’s civil aviation chief, Azharuddin Abdul Rahman, confirmed that the frequency emitted by Flight 370’s black boxes was 37.5 kilohertz.

Retired Air Chief Marshal Angus Houston, chief coordinator of the Joint Agency Coordination Center – the Australian government agency coordinating the search – said Saturday the Haixun’s report of electronic pulse signals could not be verified at this time. U.S. officials from the National Transportation Safety Board and FAA were not able to confirm the report, either.

Houston also said the report of a number of white objects on the water’s surface about 90 kilometers from the signal detection area could not be confirmed to be related to the missing plane.

The deployment of Royal Australian Air Force assets to the area where the Chinese ship detected the sounds is being considered, Houston said.

CBS News transportation safety analyst Mark Rosenker, a former chairman of the NTSB, wondered why there was no report of debris from the Chinese ship that detected the signal: “When you think about what in fact they are saying, which means they believe they have the debris site where the aircraft is laying, it defies logic that we would not be seeing something on the surface as well,” Rosenker said.

But Sky News senior correspondent Ian Woods told CBS News Radio, “The reason it is being given some credibility is because even though there are many items that could be mistaken for wreckage floating round in the ocean, there is only one thing that pulses at 37.5 kilohertz, and that is a ‘black box’ recorder.”

Rosenker also said that, if the signal came from missing plane’s flight data recorder, then it could likely take weeks or possibly longer to target and recover it.

On Thursday, the British navy’s HMS Echo reported one alert as it searched for sonic transmissions from the data recorder, but it was quickly discounted as a false alarm, the Joint Agency Coordination Center overseeing the search said. False alerts can come from animals such as whales, or interference from shipping noise.

With the batteries in the black boxes’ locator beacons due to run out any day, crews are in a desperate race against the clock.

On Friday for the first time, crews launched an underwater search trying to pick up a signal from the black box flight recorders on the Beijing-bound plane before they are expected to fall silent. The batteries last only about 30 days, which would be Monday.

The search for the Boeing 777 — plagued by confusion, and agonizing to relatives of the 239 passengers — has frustrated investigators and left many wondering how long it can go on.

Two naval ships from Australia and the United Kingdom began probing the ocean along a 150-mile route on Friday that investigators hope is close to where Malaysia Airlines Flight 370 went down. The Australian ship, Ocean Shield, is towing a U.S. Navy device that can detect signals or pings from the flight data and cockpit voice recorders, commonly known as the black boxes.

The U.S. Navy’s towed pinger locator can pick up signals to a depth of 20,000 feet, and so should be able to hear the plane’s data recorders even if they are at the deepest part of the search zone, about 19,000 feet.

But no wreckage from the plane has been found, so officials cannot even be sure they are looking in the right location. The 84,000-square-mile search area, about 1,100 miles northwest of Perth, was already shifted almost 700 miles to the north after investigators decided that the plane was traveling faster than originally thought.Plus, the pinger locator — consisting of a 30-inch cylindrical microphone attached to about 20,000 feet of cable — must be dragged slowly through the water at just 1 to 5 knots (or 1 to 6 mph) in a grid pattern.

Meanwhile, up to the 11 military planes, four civilian jets and 11 ships were to assist in Saturday’s search, led by the Australia Maritime Safety Authority. Australian officials continue to refine the area where the plane entered the water based analysis of satellite communication and the aircraft’s performance.

The Malaysia Airlines jet left Kuala Lumpur on Saturday, March 8, at 12:41 a.m. headed for Beijing. But investigators believe someone re-programmed the plane’s flight management system, and two minutes after the last conversation between air traffic controllers in Malaysia and the cockpit, the plane’s transponder was turned off. The plane went dark on civilian radar, and then made a left turn back toward Malaysia.

Sources have said it followed an established aviation corridor over several navigational “waypoints.”

The Malaysian military tracked an unidentified object now believed to have been Flight 370 on its radar traveling west towards the Strait of Malacca. At 2:15 a.m., it disappeared from the military radar, about 200 miles northwest of Penang.

Investigators say the plane’s antenna signaled to a satellite multiple times over the next several hours, with the last signal recorded at 8:11 a.m., about the time the plane would have run out of fuel.

Experts says the search in the southern Indian Ocean might have been easier had the plane been outfitted with so-called “deployable black box” technology, essentially flight recorders that eject and float when a plane crashes.

The U.S. Transportation Safety Administration tested the technology, employed on U.S. Navy jets such as the F/A-18 for more than two decades, and found that it would enhance safety on commercial aircraft. But three years after the study, no U.S. commercial airline has installed the technology. The price tag per plane is about $60,000.

As the search for the missing Malaysian jet entered its fifth week, Australian Air Chief Marshal Angus Houston, head of the joint agency coordinating the operation, has acknowledged the search area was essentially a best guess.

“They might be lucky and they might start smack bang right over the top of it,” said Geoff Dell, discipline leader of accident investigation at Central Queensland University in Australia. “But my guess is that’s not going to be the case and they’re in for a lengthy search.”

CBS News

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Female activists scuffle with Istanbul police on Int’l Women’s Day

A Turkish woman shouts in front a barricade of riot policemen as she and other protesters march towards Taksim square as part of the "International Women's Day" on March 8, 2014, in Istanbul.

A Turkish woman shouts in front a barricade of riot policemen as she and other protesters march towards Taksim square as part of the “International Women’s Day” on March 8, 2014, in Istanbul.

Some 2,000 people marched peacefully in central Istanbul on International Women’s Day, protesting the Turkish government’s policies and violence against women. A small group of protesters later clashed with officers who blocked them from Taksim Square.

The demonstrators, mostly women, marched down the city’s landmark pedestrian Istiklal Street on Saturday towards Gezi Park at Taksim Square – the cradle of last year’s massive anti-government protests.

As riot police cordoned off the area, some protesters tried to break the police line, hitting officers with the sticks of the banners they were carrying, Ruptly news agency reported. Police used shields and batons to disperse the crowd.

The protesters shouted, “Police go home, the streets are ours” and “Tayyip (Turkey’s Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan) run away the women are coming,” Xinhua news agency reported.

According to a survey conducted by the Turkish Health Union, more than 79 percent of respondents believe there is gender inequality in the country, which has caused poverty and disadvantages among women.

Turkish women clash with riot policemen as they march towards Taksim square as part of the “International Women’s Day” on March 8, 2014, in Istanbul.

Turkish women are blocked by a barricade of riot policemen as they march towards Taksim square as part of the “International Women’s Day” on March 8, 2014, in Istanbul.

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China warns prominent Internet users over Kunming attack

The Weibo account of Beijing police's cybersecurity team was used to threaten journalists

The Weibo account of Beijing police’s cybersecurity team was used to threaten journalists

BEIJING (Reuters) – Beijing police have told prominent users of the microblogging site Weibo to cease comments deemed hurtful, including suggestions that authorities misled the public with accounts of a deadly train station attack blamed on militants from Xinjiang.

The warning was issued late on Thursday in response to postings offering different interpretations of the attack by knife-weilding assailants in the southwestern city of Kunming. At least 29 people were killed and police shot dead four of the attackers.

China says militants from the far western region of Xinjiang, home to a large Muslim Uighur minority, carried out the attack.

Police said they were responding to complaints by netizens over bloggers’ criticisms of media portrayal of events.

“One or two public intellectuals have shown scant regard for the facts, confused black and white. Their comments have hurt the people’s feelings, and (other users) hope the police will deal with this,” the statement said.

The users whose comments were singled out were well-known commentators with thousands or even millions of followers. Screen shots of the offending posts were attached.

Li Chengpeng, a writer and former journalist with over seven million Weibo followers, had posted a quote attributed to a Kunming journalist frustrated at the lack of information about the attacks.

“Never telling you what exactly happened, just letting you blindly hate and feel inexplicably afraid, that is living a confused life and dying understanding nothing,” read the post, subsequently deleted.

He later wrote: “Persecuting people for their writing isn’t done like this! I will be waiting at home for them to come and get me”.

Another poster, Cheng Meixin, a former magazine editor with 10,000 followers, questioned the official version of events, saying: “There is no such thing as natural born killers. We have to admit that society isn’t perfect and has its failings.”

State media, quoting the ministry of public security on Friday, said police had also issued warnings or detained 45 people for spreading rumours about attacks in other regions.

One microblogger, cited by the official Xinhua news agency, had posted that “terrorists from Xinjiang” had attacked people in the eastern city of Hangzhou, killing 10 and injuring 80. Officials, Xinhua said, had dismissed the message as false.

The Communist Party last year stepped up an aggressive campaign to control online interaction, threatening legal action against people who issued “rumours” on microblogs if they were reposted more than 500 times or seen by more than 5,000 people.

Rights groups and dissidents criticised the crackdown as another tool for the party to limit criticism and to further control freedom of expression.

via NewsWires : euronews : the latest international news as video on demand.

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China Train Station Mass Stabbing: 33 Dead

At least 33 people have been killed and more than 130 wounded in a mass stabbing at a Chinese railway station.

According to Chinese state media, the “organised and premeditated” attack at Kunming train station in the country’s southwestern Yunnan province was carried out by separatists from the volatile Xinjiang province in the far west.

Reports from the city suggest a group of people armed with knives entered the train station at about 9pm local time on Saturday and attacked travellers with knives indiscriminately.

Photos on Chinese social media show horrific scenes with blooded bodies and luggage strewn across the station concourse.

One local resident, Yang Haifei, told China’s Xinhua news agency he was attacked and sustained injuries on his chest and back.

Mr Yang said he was buying a ticket when he saw a group of people, most dressed in black, rush into the station and start their attack.

“I saw a person come straight at me with a long knife and I ran away with everyone,” he said.

Unconfirmed reports suggest police shot and killed some of the attackers and detained others.

Chinese police are not routinely armed which may explain why the perpetrators were able to attack so many people before being stopped.

According to eyewitness reports seen by Sky News, there is tension across Kunming amid concern that further attacks may be planned at other locations in the city.

Train stations in Chinese cities are vast and usually extremely busy.

The Kunming city government said the attack was orchestrated by ethnic separatists from Xinjiang, according to the official Xinhua news agency.

Extreme elements of the Muslim population who live there have carried out attacks in the past – most recently in Beijing’s Tiananmen Square last year.

The Uighur Muslim population in Xinjiang believe their freedoms, culture and religion are being eroded and severely restricted by the Chinese authorities.

Xinjiang, 2,500 miles to the north of Saturday’s attack, has experienced repeated outbreaks of violence but the Chinese authorities have largely managed to contain the violence.

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