Category: crime


Teen Held on 26 Counts in High School Bloodbath

A 16-year-old Pennsylvania boy was charged Wednesday evening with two dozen felony counts after 20 students and a security guard were stabbed or slashed at a suburban Pittsburgh high school.

The boy, identified as Alex Hribal, a sophomore at Franklin Senior Regional High School in Murrysville, was held without bail on four counts of attempted homicide, 21 counts of aggravated assault and a misdemeanor count of carrying a prohibited weapon.

At least four people remained in intensive care with life-threatening injuries after the rampage Wednesday morning at Franklin Senior Regional High School in the town of Murrysville.

Hribal was remanded to juvenile detention pending a preliminary hearing April 30 in Westmoreland County Magisterial Court.

Prosecutors told Judge Charles R. Conway that Hribal “randomly and indiscriminately” wielded his knives in a hallway at the school and indicated that “he wanted to die.”

They said it was unclear whether he was competent to stand trial.

Attorneys for Hribal — who sat head-down in court in a hospital gown, bearing numerous bandages and stitches with his hands and feet shackled — asked for a psychiatric evaluation.

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Image:Parents and students embrace along School Road near Franklin Regional High School after more than a dozen students were stabbed by a knife wielding suspect at the school

Sean Stipp / Tribune Review via AP

School Stabbing Spree

School Stabbing Spree: 20 Hurt in Pittsburgh-Area Bloodbath

A student flashing two knives went on a stabbing rampage through the classrooms and halls of a high school outside Pittsburgh on Wednesday morning, authorities said. At least 19 students and a security guard were hurt, some with life-threatening injuries.

The suspect, a 16-year-old sophomore, was in custody and being questioned by police, authorities said. His motive was unclear, said Dan Stevens, a Westmoreland County emergency management spokesman.

The first photo of the suspect emerged several hours after the mayhem. NBC News is blurring the face of the teen in the photo, from the Pittsburgh Tribune-Review, because of his age. He had not been charged or identified.

Guy Wathen / Tribune-Review

A suspect in the Franklin Regional High School stabbings leaves the Murrysville Police Station on Wednesday. Image blurred to protect identity.

The student was “flashing two knives around” as he moved through the classrooms and a first-floor hallway, said Thomas Seefeld, the Murrysville police chief. A principal tackled the stabber, he said. The security guard suffered a stomach wound.

The attack happened at Franklin Regional High School, in the suburb of Murrysville, just after doors opened for the day. A student described panic in the halls.

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Teen stabs 22 at Pittsburgh-area high school

By Associated Press

MURRYSVILLE, Pa. (AP) — Flailing away with two kitchen knives, a 16-year-old boy with a “blank expression” stabbed and slashed 21 students and a security guard in the crowded halls of his suburban Pittsburgh high school Wednesday before an assistant principal tackled him.

At least five students were critically wounded, including a boy whose liver was pierced by a knife thrust that narrowly missed his heart and aorta, doctors said.

The rampage — which came after decades in which U.S. schools geared much of their emergency planning toward mass shootings, not stabbings — set off a screaming stampede, left blood on the floor and walls, and brought teachers rushing to help the victims.

A man and woman walk away from Franklin Regional High School after more then a dozen students were stabbed by a knife wielding suspect at the school on Wedne...

A man and woman walk away from Franklin Regional High School after more then a dozen students were stabbed by a knife wielding suspect at the school on Wednesday, April 9, 2014, in Murrysville, Pa., near Pittsburgh. The suspect, a male student, was taken into custody and is being questioned. (AP Photo/Tribune Review, Brian F. Henry) PITTSBURGH OUT

Police shed little light on the motive.

The suspect, Alex Hribal, was taken into custody and treated for a minor hand wound, then was brought into court in shackles and a hospital gown and charged with four counts of attempted homicide and 21 counts of aggravated assault. Authorities said he would be prosecuted as an adult.

The attack unfolded in the morning just minutes before the start of classes at 1,200-student Franklin Regional High School, in an upper-middle-class area 15 miles east of Pittsburgh. It was over in about five minutes, during which the boy ran wildly down about 200 feet of hallway, slashing away with knives about 8 to 10 inches long, police said.

Nate Moore, 15, said he saw the boy tackle and stab a freshman. He said he going to try to break it up when the boy got up and slashed his face, opening a wound that required 11 stitches.

“It was really fast. It felt like he hit me with a wet rag because I felt the blood splash on my face. It spurted up on my forehead,” he said.

The attacker “had the same expression on his face that he has every day, which was the freakiest part,” Moore said. “He wasn’t saying anything. He didn’t have any anger on his face. It was just a blank expression.”

Assistant Principal Sam King finally tackled the boy and disarmed him, and a Murrysville police officer who is regularly assigned to the school handcuffed him, police said.

Doctors said they expect all the victims to survive, despite deep abdominal puncture wounds in some cases.

King’s son told The Associated Press that his father was treated at a hospital, though authorities have said he did not suffer any knife wounds.

“He says he’s OK. He’s a tough cookie and sometimes hides things, but I believe he’s OK,” Zack King said. He added: “I’m proud of him.”

“There are a number of heroes in this day. Many of them are students,” Gov. Tom Corbett said in a visit to the stricken town. “Students who stayed with their friends and didn’t leave their friends.”

He also commended cafeteria workers, teachers and teacher’s aides who put themselves at risk to help during the attack.

As for what set off the attack, Murrysville Police Chief Thomas Seefeld said investigators were looking into reports of a threatening phone call between the suspect and another student the night before. Seefeld didn’t specify whether the suspect received or made the call.

The FBI joined the investigation and went to the boy’s house, where authorities said they planned to confiscate and search his computer.

While several bloody stabbing rampages at schools in China have made headlines in the past few years, schools in the U.S. have concentrated their emergency preparations on shooting rampages.

Nevertheless, there have been at least two major stabbing attacks at U.S. schools over the past year, one at a community college in Texas last April that wounded at least 14 people, and another, also in Texas, that killed a 17-year-old student and injured three others at a high school in September.

On Wednesday, Mia Meixner, 16, said the rampage touched off a “stampede of kids” yelling, “Run! Get out of here! Someone has a knife!”

The boy had a “blank look,” she said. “He was just kind of looking like he always does, not smiling, not scowling or frowning.”

Meixner and Moore called the attacker a shy boy who largely kept to himself, but they said he was not an outcast and they had no reason to think he might be violent.

“He was never mean to anyone, and I never saw people be mean to him,” Meixner said. “I never saw him with a particular group of friends.”

Michael Float, 18, said he had just gotten to school when he saw “blood all over the floor” and smeared on the wall near the main entrance. Then he saw a wounded student.

“He had his shirt pulled up and he was screaming, ‘Help! Help!’” Float said. “He had a stab wound right at the top right of his stomach, blood pouring down.”

Float said he saw a teacher applying pressure to the wound of another student.

The security guard was wounded after intervening early in the melee, police said. He was treated and released.

About five minutes elapsed between the time the campus police officer summoned help over the radio at 7:13 a.m. and the boy was disarmed, the police chief said.

Someone, possibly a student, pulled a fire alarm during the attack, Seefeld said. Although that created chaos, the police chief said, it emptied out the school more quickly, and “that was a good thing that that was done.”

Also, a girl with “an amazing amount of composure” applied pressure to a schoolmate’s wounds and probably kept the victim from bleeding to death, said Dr. Mark Rubino at Forbes Regional Medical Center.

Public safety and school officials said an emergency plan worked as well as could be expected. The district conducted an emergency exercise three months ago and a full-scale drill about a year ago.

“We haven’t lost a life, and I think that’s what we have to keep in mind,” said county public safety spokesman Dan Stevens.

___

Associated Press writers Mike Rubinkam in Allentown and Jesse Washington in Murrysville, Pa., and AP news researchers Judith Ausuebel and Barbara Sambriski contributed to this report.

A police officer guards the entrance Heritage Elementary School as students are dismissed after more than a dozen students were stabbed by a knife wielding s...

A police officer guards the entrance Heritage Elementary School as students are dismissed after more than a dozen students were stabbed by a knife wielding suspect at nearby Franklin Regional High School on Wednesday, April 9, 2014, in Murrysville, Pa., near Pittsburgh. The suspect, a male student, was taken into custody and is being questioned. (AP Photo/Tribune Review, Sean Stipp) PITTSBURGH OUT

Students walk past a row of buses as they leave the campus of the Franklin Regional School District after more then a dozen students were stabbed by a knife ...

Students walk past a row of buses as they leave the campus of the Franklin Regional School District after more then a dozen students were stabbed by a knife wielding suspect at nearby Franklin Regional High School on Wednesday, April 9, 2014, in Murrysville, Pa., near Pittsburgh. The suspect, a male student, was taken into custody and is being questioned. (AP Photo/Gene J. Puskar)

Students are escorted from the campus of the Franklin Regional School District after more then a dozen students were stabbed by a knife wielding suspect at n...

Students are escorted from the campus of the Franklin Regional School District after more then a dozen students were stabbed by a knife wielding suspect at nearby Franklin Regional High School on Wednesday, April 9, 2014, in Murrysville, Pa., near Pittsburgh. The suspect, a male student, was taken into custody and is being questioned. (AP Photo/Gene J. Puskar)

Westmoreland County emergency management spokesman Dan Stevens, left, looks on as Franklin Regional School District Superintendent Gennaro Piraino pauses whi...

Westmoreland County emergency management spokesman Dan Stevens, left, looks on as Franklin Regional School District Superintendent Gennaro Piraino pauses while addressing the media during a news conference outside of Franklin Regional High School on Wednesday, April 9, 2014.on Wednesday, April 9, 2014, in Murrysville, Pa., near Pittsburgh. More than a dozen students were stabbed by a knife wielding suspect at the school. The suspect, a male student, was taken into custody and is being questioned. (AP Photo/Tribune Review, Brian F. Henry) PITTSBURGH OUT

A parent holds hands with a Franklin Regional High School while picking up the student after more than a dozen students were stabbed by a knife wielding susp...

A parent holds hands with a Franklin Regional High School while picking up the student after more than a dozen students were stabbed by a knife wielding suspect at the school on Wednesday, April 9, 2014, in Murrysville, Pa., near Pittsburgh. The suspect, a male student, was taken into custody and is being questioned. (AP Photo/Tribune Review, Sean Stipp) PITTSBURGH OUT

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Protesters descend on Albuquerque City Hall to decry deadly shootings

Published time: April 08, 2014 03:59

Downtown Albuquerque (Photo from wikipedia.org)

Downtown Albuquerque (Photo from wikipedia.org)

Protesters filled Albuquerque City Hall on Monday evening, forcing the city council to clear its legislative agenda and turn the podium over to citizens furious with police over a spiking number of fatal shootings.

City Council President Ken Sanchez told the Albuquerque Journal that more police officers would be assigned to make sure the meeting was peaceful, and that the meeting would be adjourned if tempers flared, but said the council is mulling legislation that would create more oversight over the department.

We need to make some dramatic changes,” he said. “We’re confronting a crisis situation at this time.”

Tension have been building between police and the public for years. Wynema and Michael Gonzagowski told Cindy Carcamo of the Los Angeles Times that, upon moving to Albuquerque, friends warned them to avoid the police. They did not take those warnings seriously until they watched police fatally shoot their neighbor, Alfred Lionel Redwine on March 25.

I’ve never been scared of crops, but out here, the cops terrify me,” said Michael, age 39. “They treat you like you’re out looking to cause trouble every time they talk to you.”

Chief Eden said in a press conference that Redwine brandished a weapon and shot at police during a standoff at a public housing complex, forcing the officers to return fire. Wynemda Gonzagowski disagreed, telling the Times that Redwine had surrendered to police with his arms out when he was hit.

They didn’t warn him, they didn’t tell him to freeze and get on the ground or to put his hand behind his hand,” she said.

 

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Flight 370 The CIA Hoax: Gordon Duff

The file photo shows the search operation for the missing Malaysian plane

The file photo shows the search operation for the missing Malaysian plane

 

By Gordon Duff and Press TV

(This is the most read article in the world for 2014 thus far)

Today we are told that the fate of Flight 370 is known, not yet identified debris has been spotted in what is called “the Southern Indian Ocean,” perhaps more appropriately described as “north of Antarctica.”

We also know that the 777/200 is a “fly by wire” aircraft with controls in place that allow the CIA to remotely pilot the plane “in case of emergency.”  We were able to verify the design and implementation of this system through Boeing, Raytheon and commercial pilots.

“BAD NEWS”

The descriptions today in the New York Times and other publications are purposefully inaccurate and contradictory.  Their explanations of how commercial aircraft communicate and are tracked are fanciful at best, at worst “criminal.”

CIA CONTROLS COMMERCIAL AIRCRAFT

When Malaysian Airlines Flight 370 was reported as having crashed in the South China Sea, a massive cover up began yet no one will speak of it, nothing is written of it and its broad consequences are a subject of no investigation.

While people around the world were told the plane was “lost” or “crashed,” it was being monitored by NORAD (North American Aerospace Defense Command) and its regional defense partners through secret systems installed in the plane.

In 2006, Boeing announced the following, from a John Croft article in Flight Global:

Boeing last week received a US patent for a system that, once activated, removes all controls from pilots to automatically return a commercial airliner to a predetermined landing location.

The “uninterruptible” autopilot would be activated – either by pilots, by onboard sensors or even remotely via radio or satellite links by government agencies like the Central Intelligence Agency, if terrorists attempt to gain control of a flight deck.
 
Boeing says: “We are constantly studying ways we can enhance the safety, security and efficiency of the world’s airline fleet.”

Similarly, Raytheon Corporation was awarded a contract by the Federal Aviation Administration 8 years ago to implement an “Advanced Route Evaluation System” (ARES) to work in concert with the system operated by the Central Intelligence Agency.

In addition, the technical staff at Rolls Royce, a fact also reported in the Wall Street Journal, continually monitored the plane’s flight.

Hundreds of people knew exactly where the plane was, how every system was working, what had been “turned off” not only when but where and exactly where the plane is now.  Every word told the press, has been a lie.
Every word told by the mainstream media has been a lie.

THE “FLYING DUTCHMAN” AIRLINER

Now everyone knows that the plane continued flying for hours.  This is where the cover up becomes problematic; you see everything about the plane was known, position, conditions of the engines, oxygen levels in the cockpit and passenger compartment, this and much more.

Even if the plane couldn’t be remotely piloted, its systems under “uninterruptable” control, a term coined by Boeing itself, the 777/200’s supposed “Flying Dutchman” journey to the South Pole is more than implausible.

The CIA along with Joint military commands set up during the Global War on Terror, tracked Flight 370, monitoring it continually, monitoring the murder of its passengers, monitoring its landing, monitoring its refueling and know exactly where it is.

If the plane really went down “off Antarctica,” they then monitored and “allowed” that.

ROLLS ROYCE SILENCE

In Britain, technicians for Rolls Royce monitored the plane as well, reporting its position to the British government every minute it was in the air.  Those technicians have been silent, the British government has never been asked, and no one has been asked.

As the largest “Where’s Waldo” hunt in history goes on, now pulling in data from weather satellites and fleets of anti-submarine warfare planes unleashed upon the Indian Ocean, the entire thing is an “act,” a would-be comical farce.

Flight 370 is a Boeing 777/200, one of the most automated planes in the world.  We will be outlining some of the specifics that make this theft or hijacking or alien abduction or whatever the mainstream media chooses to call it not just improbable but government sponsored terrorism.

9/11 ALL OVER AGAIN…..

 

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New objects seen, but still no evidence of jet

By ROB GRIFFITH and GILLIAN WONG Associated Press

Posted:   03/29/2014 12:58:05 AM MDT | Updated:   72 min. ago

 

Click photo to enlarge

Crew onboard a Royal Malaysian Air Force C-130 Hercules unloads… ((AP Photo/Rob Griffith, Pool))

PERTH, Australia—A day after the search for the Malaysian jetliner shifted to a new area of the Indian Ocean, ships on Saturday plucked objects from the sea to determine whether they were related to the missing jet. None were confirmed to be from the plane, leaving searchers with no sign of the jet three weeks after it disappeared.Meanwhile, a Chinese military plane scanning part of the search zone, which is roughly the size of Poland, spotted several objects floating in the sea, including two bearing colors of the missing jet.

It was not immediately clear whether those objects were related to the investigation into what happened to Malaysia Airlines Flight 370, which disappeared March 8 en route from Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia, to Beijing, and officials said the second day of searching in the new area ended with no evidence found of the jet.

Dozens of relatives of passengers on the missing plane were to fly from Beijing to Kuala Lumpur on Sunday to seek answers from Malaysia’s government as to what happened to their loved ones. Two-thirds of the 229 passengers aboard Flight 370 were Chinese, and their relatives have expressed deep frustration with Malaysian authorities since the plane went missing.

Ships from China and Australia on Saturday scooped up items described only as “objects from the ocean,” but none were “confirmed to be related” to Flight 370, said the Australian Maritime Safety Authority, which is overseeing the search.

A Chinese Ilyushin IL-76 plane spotted three floating objects, China’s official Xinhua News Agency said, a day after several planes and ships combing the newly targeted area, which is closer to Australia than the previous search zone, saw several other objects.

The three objects spotted by the Chinese plane were white, red and orange in color, the Xinhua report said. The missing Boeing 777′s exterior was red, white, blue and gray.

Investigators have been puzzled over what happened to Flight 370, with speculation ranging from equipment failure and a botched hijacking to terrorism or an act by one of the pilots.

The latter was fueled by reports that the pilot’s home flight simulator had files deleted from it, but Malaysian Defense Minister Hishammuddin Hussein said checks, including one by the FBI, had turned up no new information.

 

 

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Some Objects Found in Search Area Not Related to Jet

Objects retrieved by Chinese and Australian ships on Friday are not related to missing Malaysia Airlines jet, Chinese state media said. But more objects found Saturday have not been ruled out as having a connection to the plane.

Objects were retrieved by a Chinese ship during Friday’s search operations, but China’s state broadcaster CCTV said that they were merely garbage.

Australian officials confirmed that a Chinese aircraft had spotted three objects in a new search area for the missing Malaysia Airlines jet off Australia’s west coast on Saturday.

 

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in London and in New York
 Watch Video Here
Malaysia’s acting transport minister Hishammuddin Hussein briefs the media on Friday on the latest developments in the search for Malaysia Airlines flight MH370. He says claims by US officials that the plane continued for several hours after its last transmission have not been verified

9.56pm GMT

Summary

We’re going to wrap up our live blog coverage for the day. Here’s a summary of where things stand:

• No tangible clue to the fate of Malaysia Airlines flight 370 had emerged after a week of searching. The plane disappeared north of Kuala Lumpur in the early hours of 8 March with 239 people aboard.

• US ships, helicopters and surveillance aircraft expanded a search on the Indian Ocean side of Malaysia. India sent flights with heat sensors over the remote Andaman Sea islands. “We just have to take it little by little,” a US Navy commander said.

Flight 370 made significant changes in altitude and took more than one turn after losing contact with ground control, in a pattern that suggests someone was flying it, the New York Times reported, quoting “American officials and others familiar with the investigation.”

• The Indian Ocean search intensified, an Obama administration official said Thursday, based on radar readings and automated transmissions from the plane that registered on a satellite network.

• A satellite company said its network had picked up “routine, automated signals” from the plane, but executives would not say for how long. Such pings are only received when the normal data transmission is not operating, once per hour, the company, Inmarsat, told the Guardian.

9.31pm GMT

Malaysia Airlines flight 370 made significant changes in altitude and took more than one turn after losing contact with ground control, in a pattern that suggests someone was flying it, the New York Times reports, quoting “American officials and others familiar with the investigation”:

Radar signals recorded by the Malaysian military appear to show the missing airliner climbing to 45,000 feet, above the approved altitude limit for a Boeing 777-200, soon after it disappeared from civilian radar and made a sharp turn to the west, according to a preliminary assessment by a person familiar with the data.

The radar track, which the Malaysian government has not released but says it has provided to the United States and China, then shows the plane descending unevenly to an altitude of 23,000 feet, below normal cruising levels, as it approached the densely populated island of Penang, one of the country’s largest. There, the plane turned from a southwest-bound course, climbed to a higher altitude and flew northwest over the Strait of Malacca toward the Indian Ocean.

The Times story cautions that data from engines and radar is “incomplete and difficult to interpret.” Read the full piece here.

Updated at 9.41pm GMT

9.28pm GMT

US ships are moving into the Indian Ocean to undertake a search “due west” of Kuala Lumpur, US Navy Commander William Marks of the US 7th Fleet has just told CNN from aboard the USS Blue Ridge Command Ship, positioned “a little northwest of the Malacca Strait” at 5am local time.

“As you look west, and you transition west to the Indian Ocean, ships alone are really not quite much of a solution, because of the expanse of the ocean,” Marks told CNN. “You have to look at what other assets you have.”

Marks said the navy was using helicopters and surveillance aircraft to look for MH370. “We’re looking essentially west of Kuala Lumpur … due west,” he said.

A P8 Poseidon aircraft has reached the Bay of Bengal and is patrolling for debris, the Navy told the Guardian, and the USS Kidd destroyer also is in the area, Marks said, adding that the search party now includes 57 ships and 40-some aircraft from 13 countries.

“We just have to take it little by little,” Marks said. “That’s the best we can do out here.”

Updated at 9.39pm GMT

8.40pm GMT

Some theorists of the fate of MH370 have picked up on a South China Morning Post story from Friday that suggests an 8 March seismic event on the sea floor between Vietnam and Malaysia may have been tied somehow to the plane’s demise.

The SCMP includes what it says is a statement by Chinese seismologists explaining that “It was a non-seismic zone, therefore judging from the time and location of the event, it might be related to the missing MH370 flight.”

Not hardly true, according to US Geological Survey scientists. “The location coincides with a region of regularly occurring seismicity along the Sunda-Java trench,” the USGS said in a report quoted by NBC News.

“The bump from the plane hitting bottom of the ocean would not be noticeable,” earthquake expert John Vidale of the University of Washington told USA Today.

The location — southwest of Sumatra — is also prone to volcanoes, the USGS added.

Updated at 8.53pm GMT

6.30pm GMT

Guardian transport correspondent Gwyn Topham (@GwynTopham) has confirmed with the satellite company Inmarsat that its network registered “routine automated signals” from MH370.

“The signals, described as a series of ‘pings’ to the satellite, indicated that its communication system was still working, but not transmitting data,” Gwyn writes, and “such pings are only received when the normal data transmission is not operating, once per hour. The information would support theories that the plane’s system was deliberately switched off”:

David Coiley, vice president, aviation, at Inmarsat, said: “When the system is not transmitting or receiving data on the aircraft, it will send network signalling info to establish that the aircraft satellite communication is switched on, to say that the system could communicate. If we haven’t seen any activity from an aircraft or ship it’s a check. It’s a simple acknowledgement.

“The ping doesn’t say anything other than that the satellite communications is functioning.”

Coiley said an analogy was signalling that mobile phones use that is noticeable as interference (eg near radios) even when not in use, as they establish contact with networks.

Such signals would not transmit location but can indicate a position and distance relative to the satellite which could give a guide to a rough direction of travel over several hours.

The Inmarsat system is installed in over 90% of long haul passenger planes worldwide.

Coiley told Gwyn that any total absence of communication during normal aviation would be “a highly unusual situation. The systems are designed to allow people to communicate when they want to communicate, constantly.”

Updated at 6.39pm GMT

5.32pm GMT

The Associated Press quotes an unnamed US official as saying the MH370 transponder stopped “about a dozen minutes before a messaging system on the jet quit.” The official calls it “key evidence for [possible] human intervention,” AP reports.

It wasn’t clear what “messaging system” the report referred to, however. An unnamed senior Obama administration official was quoted Thursday as saying that the plane continued to send out some Aircraft Communications and Reporting System (ACARS) data for hours after it lost contact with ground control, and a satellite company said its network had registered “routine, automated signals” from the plane.

In other timelines, the loss of ACARS has been placed before the loss of the transponder. Malaysia Airlines chief executive Ahmad Jauhari Yahya said early Thursday that the last (ACARS) data were sent at 1:07 a.m., 14 minutes before the transponder signal was lost. Malaysian officials’ statements have proven inconsistent.

4.01pm GMT

Summary

• The search for MH370 grew on the Indian Ocean side of Malaysia as military radar readings and satellite readings appeared to suggest the plane flew west for hours. India began conducting overflights with heat sensors of the remote Andaman Sea islands.

• A satellite company said its network registered “routine, automated” signals from the flight. The Guardian is seeking confirmation of reports that the signals lasted hours.

• Two unnamed sources close to the investigation told Reuters that radar showed an unidentified aircraft believed to be MH370 following a route between navigational waypoints in the direction of the Andaman Islands. Malaysia requested additional raw radar data from its neighbors.

• Malaysian officials acknowledged speculation that the plane flew for hours after losing contact and said teams were “working on verifying that detailed information.”

• There has been no confirmed sighting of debris from MH370 a week after it disappeared with 239 passengers on board. The search operation now involves 57 ships, 48 aircraft, and 13 countries.

Updated at 4.09pm GMT

3.32pm GMT

The MH370 pilots were “a middle-aged family man passionate enough about flying to build his own simulator and a 27-year-old contemplating marriage who had just graduated to the cockpit of the Boeing 777,” the Associated Press reports:

Police have said they are looking at the psychological background of the pilots, their family life and connections as one line of inquiry into flight MH370’s disappearance, but there is no evidence linking them to any wrongdoing.

The plane was flown by Zaharie Ahmad Shah, 53, and Fariq Abdul Hamid, 27, who was featured in recent a CNN report:

Fariq, the son of a high-ranking civil servant in Selangor state, joined Malaysia Airlines in 2007. With just 2,763 hours of flight experience he had only recently started co-piloting the sophisticated Boeing 777.

He had a short brush with fame when he was filmed recently by a crew from “CNN Business Traveler.” Reporter Richard Quest called it a perfect landing of a Boeing 777-200, the same model as the twin-aisle plane that went missing. An online tribute page to the pilots shows a photo of Fariq in the cockpit with Quest, both smiling.

Neighbor Ayop Jantan said he had heard that Fariq was engaged and planning his wedding. The eldest of five children, his professional achievements were a source of pride for his father, said Ayop, a retiree.

Fariq’s superior, Zaharie, joined Malaysia Airlines in 1981 and has more than 18,000 flight hours.

Read the full piece here.

Updated at 7.08pm GMT

3.07pm GMT

Satellite company says it registered signals

Inmarsat, the £3bn satellite company, registered “routine, automated signals” from MH370 on its network, the company said in a brief statement on its website.

The statement does not mention for how long the signals were received or when they stopped.

Here’s the statement in full:

14 March 2014: Inmarsat has issued the following statement regarding Malaysia Airlines flight MH370.

Routine, automated signals were registered on the Inmarsat network from Malaysia Airlines flight MH370 during its flight from Kuala Lumpur.

This information was provided to our partner SITA, which in turn has shared it with Malaysia Airlines.

For further information, please contact Malaysia Airlines.

“Such signals are very reliable,” but would not indicate location, an Inmarsat executive told NPR’s Frank Langfitt:

David Coiley, vice president of aviation at Inmarsat, declined in an interview to discuss the specifics of the Malaysia Airlines case. But he said that in general, such signals are very reliable. ‘I‘d say way over 99 percent. It’s highly unusual to get a false positive that the system was still operating when in fact it wasn’t,’ he said.” [...]

Coiley, the Inmarsat executive, told Frank that the pings received by its satellites would not include data on altitude or a plane’s position.

Updated at 3.19pm GMT

2.55pm GMT

India’s navy says it has nearly doubled the number of ships and planes deployed to search the Andaman Sea, according to AFP.

It said six ships and five aircraft were now scouring for any sign of the vanished plane in the Andaman Sea, which surrounds India’s remote Andaman and Nicobar group of islands.

“We want to cover the area and it should be strictly done,” Indian naval spokesman DK Sharma told AFP.

India had earlier deployed three ships and three aircraft in the search.

The Indian ships and aircraft were looking in an area “designated” by the Malaysian navy in the southern region of the Andaman Sea, Sharma said.

File photographs of clouds hanging over the North Sentinel Island, in India's southeastern Andaman and Nicobar Islands. India used heat sensors on flights over hundreds of uninhabited Andaman Sea islands on Friday, and will expand its search for the missing Malaysia Airlines jet farther west into the Bay of Bengal, officials said.
File photographs of clouds hanging over the North Sentinel Island, in India’s southeastern Andaman and Nicobar Islands. India used heat sensors on flights over hundreds of uninhabited Andaman Sea islands on Friday, and will expand its search for the missing Malaysia Airlines jet farther west into the Bay of Bengal, officials said. Photograph: Gautam Singh/AP

2.25pm GMT

Malaysia’s prime minister Mohd Najib Tun Razak has prayed for the passengers and crew at a mosque near Kuala Lumpur airport. He has also had another briefing on the expanding search operation for the plane.

In a Facebook update he paid tribute to the tireless efforts of those involved in the operation.

Malaysian Prime Minister Najib Razak prayers for passengers and crew of missing Malaysia Airlines flight MH370 at mosque near Kuala Lumpur International Airport, Malaysia.
Malaysian Prime Minister Najib Razak prays for passengers and crew of missing Malaysia Airlines flight MH370 at mosque near Kuala Lumpur International Airport, Malaysia. Photograph: He Jingjia/REX

2.10pm GMT

Some 2.3 million internet users have joined the search for the plane by scanning the Tomnod website and its access to satellite imagery, writes Carmen Fishwick.

Tomnod is run by commercial satellite company DigitalGlobe, which soon after the plane’s disappearance repositioned two of its five satellites over its last known location in the Gulf of Thailand, and have since moved them as the search headed west.

Tomnod users are provided with a randomly chosen map from the search area and are told to drop a pin if they see signs of aeroplane wreckage, life rafts, oil slicks or anything that looks “suspicious”.

An algorithm then finds where there is overlap in tags from people who tagged the same location, and the most notable areas are shared with authorities. A Tomnod spokesperson said that as of Thursday every pixel had been looked at by human eyes at least 30 times.

Despite the huge online search party, the Tomnod hunt has so far have proved inconclusive. But that – and the fact crowdsourcing was disastrously discredited during the hunt for the Boston bombers and the search for adventurer Steve Fossett’s single-engine plane – hasn’t stopped millions of people searching the maps and tagging over 745,000 images they believe may be signs of the missing Malaysian Airlines plane.

Three users explain why they’ve giving up their time to scour tens of thousands of kilometres of satellite imagery for free.

1.54pm GMT

Indian aircraft have searched over the Andaman and Nicobar Islands, after suggestions that the missing plane last headed towards the heavily forested archipelago, according to Reuters.

Popular with tourists and anthropologists alike, the islands form India’s most isolated state. They are best known for dense rainforests, coral reefs and hunter-gatherer tribes who have long resisted contact with outsiders.
Two sources told Reuters the unidentified aircraft appeared to be following a commonly used navigational route that would take it over the islands.
The Indian Navy has deployed two Dornier planes to fly across the island chain, a total area of 720 km (447 miles) by 52 km), Indian military spokesman Harmeet Singh said in the state capital, Port Blair. So far the planes, and a helicopter searching the coast, had found nothing.
“This operation is like finding a needle in a haystack,” said Singh, who is the spokesman for joint air force, navy and army command in the Andaman and Nicobar islands.
The Defence Ministry said the Eastern Naval Command would also search across a new area measuring 15 km by 600 km along the Chennai coast in the Bay of Bengal.
The shape of this area, located 900 km west of Port Blair, suggested the search was focusing on a narrow flight corridor.

Royal Malaysian Air Force Navigator captain, Izam Fareq Hassan and pilot major Ahmad Shazwan Mohammed show locations on a map during a search and rescue operation to find the missing Malaysia Airlines flight MH370 plane over the Strait of Malacca.
Royal Malaysian Air Force Navigator captain, Izam Fareq Hassan and pilot major Ahmad Shazwan Mohammed show locations on a map during a search and rescue operation to find the missing Malaysia Airlines flight MH370 plane over the Strait of Malacca. Photograph: Mohd Rasfan/AFP/Getty Images

1.27pm GMT

The USS Kidd is en route to the western tip of the Strait of Malacca to aid the search at the request of the Malaysian government, writes the Guardian’s US security editor Spencer Ackerman.

It left from the Gulf of Thailand yesterday and the Navy expects it will be in the Strait by Saturday, according to navy spokeswoman Lauryn Dempsey.

Additionally, a P8 Poseidon surveillance plane is also on its way to the area, flying from Kadena Air Force Base in Japan.

These are the only planned US military assets aiding the search at the moment. The USS Pinckney, which was in the Gulf of Thailand to aid the search,
has now returned to the Strait of Singapore for pre-planned maintenance.

The Arleigh Burke-class guided-missile destroyers USS Kidd and USS Pinckney are seen en transit in the Pacific Ocean in this US Navy picture taken May 2011.
The Arleigh Burke-class guided-missile destroyers USS Kidd and USS Pinckney are seen en transit in the Pacific Ocean in this US Navy picture taken May 2011. Photograph: US NAVY/REUTERS

12.27pm GMT

The French aviation site Air Info has a more detailed map of the missing plane possible flight path based on that Reuters story.

#MH370 : l’appareil aurait fait route vers les îles Andaman http://t.co/MaEANbkM7Z #avgeek #crash pic.twitter.com/Z5Spbb6mhS

— Air Info (@AirInfoAviation) March 14, 2014

12.21pm GMT

The Chinese are joining the westward focus of the search. The marine patrol ship Haixun 31 is heading for the Strait of Malacca, according to the state news agency Xinhua.

China’s marine patrol ship Haixun 31 is heading for Strait of Malacca to search for missing jet pic.twitter.com/ixrRezdLxe

— China Xinhua News (@XHNews) March 14, 2014

12.09pm GMT

Summary

Here’s a roundup on the latest on the search operation for the missing plane.

There has been no confirmed sighting of debris from MH370 almost a week after it disappeared with 239 passengers on board. The search operation now involves 57 ships, 48 aircraft, and 13 countries.

Read More Here

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Satellite data shows hijacked MH370 was last seen flying towards Pakistan OR Indian Ocean as investigators search pilots’ luxury homes and reveal one had home-made flight simulator

  • Officials confirmed missing plane was hijacked by one or several people
  • Could have turned off communication system and steered it off-course
  • Now believed plane could have flown for another seven hours
  • Malaysian Prime Minister Najib Razak refused to confirm the reports
  • Investigators working to establish motive and where plane was taken
  • Both captain and co-pilot are now said to be under investigation
  • Police raided the pair’s luxury homes in upmarket Kuala Lumpur suburb

By Wills Robinson and Richard Shears and Kieran Corcoran

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Investigators say the missing Malaysia Airlines jet was hijacked, steered off-course and could have reached Pakistan.

A Malaysian government official said people with significant flying experience could have turned off the flight’s communication devices.

The representative said that hijacking theory was now ‘conclusive’, and, as a result, police have raided the luxury homes of both the captain and the co-pilot.

 

The last known position of MH370 was pinpointed as it headed east over Peninsular Malaysia. Radar pings then suggest the plane could have then taken two paths along 'corridors' which are currently being searched, which are a fixed distance from the radar station in the Indian Ocean (left)

The last known position of MH370 was pinpointed as it headed east over Peninsular Malaysia. Radar pings then suggest the plane could have then taken two paths along ‘corridors’ which are currently being searched, which are a fixed distance from the radar station in the Indian Ocean (left)

Entrance: The gates outside the home of co-pilot Fariq Abdul Hamid which has been searched by police

Entrance: The gates outside the home of co-pilot Fariq Abdul Hamid which has been searched by police

Journalists gathered outside Hamid's home in Shah Alam as police turned their attention to those on board as part of the wide-ranging probe

Journalists gathered outside Hamid’s home in Shah Alam as police turned their attention to those on board as part of the wide-ranging probe

Probe: Police in Kuala Lumpur searched the home of Capt. Zaharie Ahmad Shah, 53, after news the plane was hijacked

Police have also raided the home of Fariq Abdul Hamid

Investigators have now raided the homes of both Capt. Zahari Ahmad Shah (left) and Fariq Abdul Hamid in the Malaysian capital of Kuala Lumpur

Zahari Ahmad Shah, 53, the pilot, and Fariq Abdul Hamid, 27, are now being investigated as police in Kuala Lumpur search for signs of foul play.

The search operation has now been focused on two ‘corridors’, one which extends from  north west from Thailand to the Kazakstan-Turkmenistan border and the other which opens out into the southern Indian Ocean.

WHAT DOES NEW RADAR SIGNAL FROM SEVEN HOURS INTO FLIGHT MEAN?

The ‘corridors’ stretching north and south through the countries surrounding Malaysia are based on a satellite reading from seven and a half hours after the flight took off.

When the signal was received at 8.11am on March 8, the plane could have been anywhere along the red lines pictured above.

When the satellite in question received the signal, beamed into space, all it could tell would be how to adjust its systems to get a stronger read, an official told the Washington Post.

Combined with previous data, and the maximum flight distance of the plane, investigators have been able to plot a rough area from which they think the signal would have come.

The data cannot show where exactly the plane was, or which direction it was travelling in.

Countries in the plane’s potential flightpath have now joined a huge diplomatic effort to locate the missing passengers, but China described the revelation as ‘painfully belated’.

While Malaysian Prime Minister Najib Razak refused to confirm that flight MH370 was taken over, he admitted ‘deliberate action’ on board the plane resulted in it changing course and losing connection with ground crews.

The plane’s communication system was switched off as it headed west over the Malaysian seaboard and could have flown for another seven hours on its fuel reserves.

It is not yet clear where the plane could have been  taken, however Mr Razak said the most recent satellite data suggests the plane could have headed to one of two possible flight corridors.

Countries in the plane’s potential flightpath have now joined a huge diplomatic effort to locate the missing passengers, but China described the revelation as ‘painfully belated’.

While Malaysian Prime Minister Najib Razak refused to confirm that flight MH370 was taken over, he admitted ‘deliberate action’ on board the plane resulted in it changing course and losing connection with ground crews.

The plane’s communication system was switched off as it headed west over the Malaysian seaboard and could have flown for another seven hours on its fuel reserves.

Compound: A view of the entrance to Capt. Zaharie Ahmad Shah's residence. Police have been stationed outside for the last week

Compound: A view of the entrance to Capt. Zaharie Ahmad Shah’s residence. Police have been stationed outside for the last week

Luxury: Shah is said to live at the property with his wife Faisa

Luxury: Shah is said to live at the property with his wife Faisa

Officers are said to have spent two hours searching the pilot's home today inside the luxury compound

Officers are said to have spent two hours searching the pilot’s home today inside the luxury compound

Both pilots live in the upmarket Kuala Lumpur district of Laman Seri, about an hour's drive from the city centre

Both pilots live in the upmarket Kuala Lumpur district of Laman Seri, about an hour’s drive from the city centre

A security guard stands at a main gate of the missing Shah's house in Shah Alam, outside Kuala Lumpur

A security guard stands at a main gate of the missing Shah’s house in Shah Alam, outside Kuala Lumpur

Shah's property would have looked similar to this one and is set in an estate which is said to be popular with high-income earners

Shah’s property would have looked similar to this one and is set in an estate which is said to be popular with high-income earners

It is not yet clear where the plane was taken, however Mr Razak said the most recent satellite data suggests the plane could have headed to one of two possible flight corridors.

The last radar contact was made at 8.11am on March 8 along one of the corridors, seven hours and 31 minutes after take off, but the plane could have deviated further from these points.

U.S. investigators have not ruled out the possibility that the passengers are being held at an unknown location and suggest that faint ‘pings’ were being transmitted for several hours after the flight lost contact with the ground.

NASA has also joined the international search operation, analysing satellite data and images that have already been gathered.

Malaysian authorities and others are urgently investigating the two pilots and 10 crew members, along with the 227 passengers on board.

WHY DIDN’T RADAR FIND THE PLANE?

Radar coverage of the area where flight MH370 went missing is patchy and often not even switched on, according to aviation experts.

It has emerged today that civilian systems do not cover large swatches of the areas the plane could have gone, and that military systems are often left off to save money.

Air Vice Marshal Michael Harwood, a former RAF pilot, said: ‘Too many movies and Predator [drone] feeds from Afghanistan have suckered people into thinking we know everything and see everything.

‘You get what you pay for. And the world, by and large, does not pay.’

Air traffic control teams rely transponders signals to track planes- but investigators believe that the device was intentionally switched off on the missing aircraft.

Military systems, meanwhile, are often limited, switched off , or routinely ignore aircraft they do not think are suspicious.

A Rear Admiral in the Indian armed forces, which are aiding search efforts over the Andaman Islands, said: ‘It’s possible that the military radars were switched off as we operate on an “as required” basis.’

However, experts have suggested that a disappearing transponder signal would be treated more seriously over Europe or America, and that a parallel situation would be unlikely to develop.

Today, a police van with a large contingent of officers inside passed through a security gate at the entrance to the wealthy compound where father-of-three Captain Zaharie Ahmad Shah lives with his wife Faisa.

Four plain-clothed police officers were also, reportedly, seen at the home of the other pilot Fariq Abdul Hamid, 27.

Both pilots live in the upmarket Kuala Lumpur district of Laman Seri, about an hour’s drive from the city centre – and each was visited today by a team of detectives who arrived in a white ‘people mover’ vehicle.

The homes are substantial and are, said one resident, typical of high income earners.

It is believed a team of search specialists entered Shah’s house and spent two hours searching for signs of foul play, before moving into search the co-pilot’s home a short distance away.

The New Straits Times reported last night that before police turned up at Hamid’s home, his two brothers arrived there in a Mini Cooper, believed to belong to a friend.

They hurried into the house and remained there for a short time before hurrying away in the same car, taking with them transparent blue plastic bags containing clothes and toiletries.

Hamid’s father, Abdul Hamid left with them. An hour later, the plain clothed officers left the house carrying two brown bags.

The concentration by police on the homes of the Captain and the co-pilot adds to suspicion that one – or both – of them might have had been responsible for the plight of the aircraft.

However, if it was diverted into the Indian Ocean, the task of the search teams becomes more difficult, as there are hundreds of uninhabited islands and the water reaches depths of around 23,000ft.

The maximum range of the Boeing 777-200ER is 7,725 nautical miles or 14,305 km.

It is not clear how much fuel the aircraft was carrying though it would have been enough to reach its scheduled destination, Beijing, a flight of five hours and 50 minutes, plus some reserve.

Experts have previously said that whoever disabled the plane’s communication systems and then flew the jet must have had a high degree of technical knowledge and flying experience.

In Shah’s house a flight simulator has been set up and is understood to have interested police following up one line of investigation – that he had used the equipment to practice making his real-life Boeing 777 ‘invisible’ by turning off all communications.

Read More and  Watch Video Here

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Gloria Lee LVMPD via CBS Las Vegas

Shop owner pleads not guilty in puppy arson case

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The Miami Herald

Shop owner pleads not guilty in puppy arson case

  This image provided by the Clark County Detention Center shows Kirk Bills, who has been accused of trying to burn a pet shop where 27 puppies were rescued last month.  Bills has been returned in custody to Las Vegas to face arson and other charges, authorities said Thursday, Feb. 20, 2014.
Clark County Detention Center / AP Photo
This image provided by the Clark County Detention Center shows Kirk Bills, who has been accused of trying to burn a pet shop where 27 puppies were rescued last month. Bills has been returned in custody to Las Vegas to face arson and other charges, authorities said Thursday, Feb. 20, 2014.

Clark County Detention Center / AP Photo

Associated Press

A pet shop owner pleaded not guilty Monday to torching her Las Vegas business, where firefighters rescued 27 puppies.

Gloria Eun Hye Lee, 35, entered her plea in state court after she was indicted Feb. 14 on 31 felony and misdemeanor charges of arson, conspiracy, burglary and attempted animal cruelty.

Clark County District Court Judge David Barker scheduled her trial for July 7.

Lee’s attorneys, Tom Pitaro and Ozzie Fumo, said outside court that they plan to challenge the indictment and seek a reduction of Lee’s $310,000 bail.

In another courtroom, a judge scheduled a bail hearing Thursday and a preliminary hearing March 10 for co-defendant Kirk Bills.

Bills, 27, was arrested Feb. 7 in his hometown of Crown Point, Ind., and returned to Las Vegas where he’s being held at the Clark County jail. He hasn’t been asked to enter a plea.

Read More Here

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The Washington Times

The Washington Times

By Maria Danilova and Yuras Karmanau-

Associated Press

Enlarge Photo

Photo by: Efrem Lukatsky

People lay flowers and lit candles at one of the barricades heading to Independence Square,Kiev, the epicenter of the country’s recent unrest, on a mourning day Monday, Feb. 24, 2014. Ukraine’s acting government issued a warrant Monday for the arrest of President Viktor Yanukovych, last reportedly seen in the pro-Russian Black Sea peninsula of Crimea, accusing him of mass crimes against protesters who stood up for months against his rule. (AP Photo/Efrem Lukatsky)

SEVASTOPOL, Ukraine (AP) — Ukraine’s acting government issued an arrest warrant Monday for President Viktor Yanukovych, accusing him of mass crimes against the protesters who stood up for months against his rule. Russia sharply questioned its authority, calling it an “armed mutiny.”

Yanukovych himself has reportedly fled to the Black Sea peninsula of Crimea, a pro-Russian area in Ukraine.

Calls are mounting in Ukraine to put Yanukovych on trial, after a tumultuous presidency in which he amassed powers, enriched his allies and family and cracked down on protesters. Anger boiled over last week after government snipers killed scores of protesters in the bloodiest violence in Ukraine’s post-Soviet history.

The turmoil has turned this strategically located country of 46 million inside out over the past few days. The parliament speaker is now nominally in charge of a country whose ailing economy is on the brink of default and whose loyalties are sharply torn between Europe and longtime ruler Russia.

Russia and the European Union appeared to be taking opposing sides in Ukraine’s new political landscape.

Russian Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev questioned the legitimacy of the new Ukrainian authorities on Monday. According to Russian news agencies, he said the acting authorities have come to power as a result of an “armed mutiny,” so their legitimacy is causing “big doubts.”

In Brussels, European Commission spokesman Olivier Bailly referred to parliament speaker Oleksandr Turchinov as the “interim president” and said Turchinov will meet with Monday visiting EU foreign policy chief Catherine Ashton in Kiev.

Turchinov said he hopes to form a new coalition government by Tuesday.

Ukraine’s acting interior minister, Arsen Avakhov, said on his official Facebook page that a warrant has been issued for the arrest of Yanukovych and several other officials for the “mass killing of civilians.”

At least 82 people, primarily protesters, were killed in clashes in Kiev last week.

Yanukovych set off a wave of protests by shelving an agreement with the European Union in November and turning instead for a $15 billion bailout loan from Russia. Within weeks, the protests expanded to include outrage over corruption and human rights abuses, leading to calls for Yanukovych’s resignation.

After signing an agreement Friday with the opposition to form a unity government, Yanukovych fled Kiev for his pro-Russian power base in eastern Ukraine. Avakhov said he tried to fly out of Donetsk but was stopped then went to Crimea on Sunday.

Yanukovych then freed his official security detail and drove off to an unknown location, turning off all forms of communication, Avakhov said.

Yanukovych has disappeared,” he said.

Security has been tightened across Ukraine’s borders, the Interfax news agency quoted the State Border Guard service as saying.

Avakhov published a letter that he said was from Yanukovych, dated Monday, in which he gave up his security guard. Yanukovych’s aides and spokespeople could not be reached Monday to verify the reported letter — they have been rapidly distancing themselves from him as his hold on power disintegrates.

Activist Valeri Kazachenko said Yanukovych must be arrested and brought to Kiev’s main square for trial.

“He must answer for all the crimes he has committed against Ukraine and its people,” he said, as thousands continued to flock to the area to light candles and lay flowers where dozens were shot dead during clashes with police last week. “Yanukovych must be tried by the court of the people right here in the square.”

Read More Here

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Medvedev accuses Ukraine of mutiny

/>

Dmitry Medvedev has questioned the legitimacy of Ukraine’s acting government

Russia has questioned the authority of Ukraine’s acting government, with prime minister Dmitry Medvedev saying the country’s acting authorities have come to power as a result of an ‘armed mutiny’.

Ukraine’s acting government has issued an arrest warrant for president Viktor Yanukovych, accusing him of mass crimes against the protesters who stood up for months against his rule.

Yanukovych himself has reportedly fled to the Black Sea peninsula of Crimea, a pro-Russian area in Ukraine.

Calls are mounting in Ukraine to put Yanukovych on trial, after a tumultuous presidency in which he amassed powers, enriched his allies and family and cracked down on protesters. Anger boiled over last week after government snipers killed scores of protesters in the bloodiest violence in Ukraine’s post-Soviet history.

Ukraine’s parliament speaker is now nominally in charge of a country whose ailing economy is on the brink of default and whose loyalties are sharply torn between Europe and long-time ruler Russia.

Russia and the European Union appear to be taking opposing sides in Ukraine’s new political landscape.

Medvedev has questioned the legitimacy of the new Ukrainian authorities. He said the acting authorities have come to power as a result of an “armed mutiny”, so their legitimacy is causing “big doubts”.

In Brussels, European Commission spokesman Olivier Bailly referred to parliament speaker Oleksandr Turchinov as the “interim president” and said Turchinov will meet with visiting EU foreign policy chief Catherine Ashton in Kiev.

Turchinov said he hopes to form a new coalition government by Tuesday.

Ukraine’s acting interior minister, Arsen Avakhov, said on his official Facebook page that a warrant has been issued for the arrest of Yanukovych and several other officials for the “mass killing of civilians.”

At least 82 people, primarily protesters, were killed in clashes in Kiev last week.

Read More Here

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Danske Suspends Six Bankers as Prosecutor Probes Bond Trades

By Peter Levring Feb 7, 2014 11:01 AM CT

Photographer: Freya Ingrid Morales/Bloomberg

Customers use automated teller machines (ATM) outside a Danske Bank A/S branch in Copenhagen.

Danske Bank A/S (DANSKE) suspended six employees after Danish prosecutors started a probe into price manipulation on mortgage bond trades conducted in 2009.

The Danish Public Prosecutor for Serious Economic and International Crime has today “brought accusations against Danske Bank of price manipulation under particularly aggravated circumstances,” the Copenhagen-based bank said.

Danske said an internal investigation found that its rules had been violated in transactions between its home-loan arm, Realkredit Danmark A/S, and Danske Bank in the mortgage bond market. The bank said it notified the Financial Supervisory Authority, prompting the police investigation against Realkredit Danmark, Danske Bank and six employees.

“Usually we say that price manipulation will, as a minimum, lead to jail time if they’re convicted,” Hans Fogtdal, a public prosecutor with the crime squad, said by phone. “None of the involved seems to have had a personal motive to commit the crime. It was about securing Danske Bank an additional profit.” The maximum time the employees face behind bars is four years, he said.

Denmark’s $550 billion mortgage bond market is the world’s largest per capita and more than 1 1/2 times the size of the economy. Consumers and businesses in the Nordic nation finance their home loans using bonds. Realkredit Danmark is the country’s biggest provider of bond-backed home loans after Nykredit Realkredit A/S.

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Ten Banks in FX Trading Probe Have Handed Evidence to FCA

By Ben Moshinsky Feb 4, 2014 9:55 AM CT

Photographer: Simon Dawson/Bloomberg

The allegations are “as bad as Libor,” Wheatley told lawmakers in London today,… Read More

Ten banks turned over evidence to the U.K. Financial Conduct Authority as part of an investigation into the manipulation of foreign-exchange benchmarks, its chief executive officer told lawmakers.

The allegations are “as bad as Libor,” FCA CEO Martin Wheatley said in London today, referring to the global probe into rigging of the London interbank offered rate. Those investigations have resulted in global fines of about $6 billion and led to reviews of other benchmarks, including currency rates.

The regulator is investigating “a number of benchmarks that operate in London,” Wheatley said. The foreign-exchange probe is unlikely to be concluded this year, he said, without identifying any banks under investigation.

The regulator said in October it was opening a formal probe into currency-rate trading, joining regulators in the U.S. and Switzerland in reviewing the $5.3 trillion-a-day market. The world’s seven biggest foreign-exchange dealers have now all taken action against their employees, with at least 17 traders suspended, put on leave or fired.

Royal Bank of Scotland Group Plc has handed over records of instant messages to the FCA after concluding a former currency trader’s communications with counterparts at other firms may have been inappropriate, according to two people with knowledge of the matter.

Read More Here

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WRAPUP 2-Forex probe widens as New York banking regulator steps in

Emily Flitter and Jamie McGeever

 

Feb 5 (Reuters) – New York banking regulator Benjamin Lawsky is seeking documents from some of the biggest banks in foreign exchange trading, including Deutsche Bank, Goldman Sachs and Barclays, a source familiar with the matter said Wednesday, as a global probe into possible market manipulation widens.

At least seven other law enforcement offices and regulators internationally are investigating whether banks rigged the $5.3 trillion-a-day currency markets. Martin Wheatley, chief executive officer of Britain’s Financial Conduct Authority, said on Tuesday that his watchdog group’s probe could extend into 2015, and that the allegations it is looking into are “every bit as bad” as the Libor manipulation scandal.

Read More Here

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UPDATE 1 -Citi’s global head of foreign exchange to leave bank -memo

LONDON Wed Feb 5, 2014 2:59pm GMT

Feb 5 (Reuters) – The global head of foreign exchange at Citigroup, the world’s second largest currency trader, is leaving the bank, according to an internal bank memo seen by Reuters on Wednesday.

 

London-based Anil Prasad’s departure, however, is not related to the global investigation into allegations of currency market manipulation, a source familiar with the matter said.

“Anil’s decision is his own and entirely unrelated to the on-going FX investigations,” the source said.

 

Citi sees 14.9 percent of the average $5.3 trillion that flows through the world currency markets every day, according to the last annual poll by Euromoney, just behind market leader Deutsche Bank AG which sees 15.2 percent.

 

Prasad joined Citi in India in 1986 and relocated to New York two years later. In 1996, he moved to London but left the bank the following year to join Natwest Capital Markets.

 

He returned to Citi in 2000, and was appointed Global Head of Foreign Exchange & Local Markets in February 2007. His successor will be announced in the coming weeks.

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Dr. Melvin Morse, 58, is seen in this booking photo released by the Delaware State Police August 9, 2012.

Melvin Morse, 60, faces charges of endangering the welfare of a child, reckless endangerment and conspiracy.

GEORGETOWN, Del. — A Delaware pediatrician force-fed his 11-year-old stepdaughter, forbade her from using the bathroom and used “waterboarding” in attempts to discipline the child, a prosecutor said during opening statements on Tuesday.

Dr. Melvin Morse’s defense lawyer told jurors in the child endangerment trial that the girl has a long history of lying to adults, including to counselors who have documented the dishonesty.

Morse, 60, faces charges of endangering the welfare of a child, reckless endangerment and conspiracy. He was arrested in 2012 after the girl, then 11, told authorities she had been waterboarded on four occasions.

The prosecutor, Melanie Withers, said he held the girl face-up under a running kitchen faucet until she was unable to breathe. Morse “called it waterboarding,” Withers said.

Defense lawyer Joe Hurley said his client was joking when he used the term “waterboarding” and that the incidents had been attempts to wash the girl’s hair – an activity she hated.

Waterboarding is a controversial technique typically associated with the interrogation of terrorism suspects and involves forcibly holding a cloth over a person’s face and flooding it with water to simulate drowning.

Read More Here

Related: Jurors being chosen in doctor’s trial over waterboarding claims

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US paediatrician Melvin Morse ‘waterboarded’ stepdaughter

Booking photo of Melvin Morse August 2012
Melvin Morse is accused of holding the victim’s face under a tap multiple times

A former paediatrician has gone on trial accused of waterboarding an 11-year-old girl in the US state of Delaware.

Melvin Morse, 60, is said to have held the face of his female companion’s daughter under a tap several times.

Mr Morse has written several books on children’s near-death experiences and has appeared on the Oprah Winfrey Show.

He has pleaded not guilty to child endangerment and assault charges against him.

The 12-person jury was chosen on Monday for the trial stemming from the alleged 2012 incidents.

‘Force-feeding’

The BBC’s Kate Dailey, who is attending the court hearing in the town of Georgetown, says a clean-shaven Mr Morse shook his head vigorously as the prosecution claimed he had controlled every aspect of the girl’s life.

It is alleged that the accused decided what the girl should wear, when she could use the bathroom and what she should eat, starving her sometimes and force-feeding her at other times.

Mr Morse was initially accused of grabbing the girl by the ankle and dragging her across a gravel driveway in July 2012.

When the victim was later interviewed, she reportedly told authorities Mr Morse had held her face under a tap at least four times since 2009.

Read More Here

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