Category: Kidnapping / Abduction


Man arrested for allegedly kidnapping girl, holding her for 10 years

Santa Ana police arrested a Bell Gardens man on suspicion of kidnapping and rape after he allegedly abducted a 15-year-old girl a decade ago and held her hostage, forcing her to marry him and have his child.

Isidro Garcia was arrested Tuesday after his alleged victim reached out to her sister on Facebook and revealed how she been held hostage in a relationship with the 41-year-old man and had given birth to his child during the decade she vanished.

Santa Ana police say the girl’s mother reported her missing in August 2004. The mother told police her daughter went missing, along with her live-in boyfriend, Garcia, after a domestic violence incident.

Detectives say the mother suspected Garcia was sexually abusing her daughter.

The victim, now 25, revealed to authorities Tuesday how she was abducted in June 2004, when she was living with her mother and sisters in Santa Ana.

 

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US military should rescue schoolgirls, even without Nigeria’s permission – McCain

Published time: May 13, 2014 22:58

From a video released by Boko Haram reportedly showing the missing schoolgirls abducted by the group .(AFP Photo / Boko Haram)

From a video released by Boko Haram reportedly showing the missing schoolgirls abducted by the group .(AFP Photo / Boko Haram)

The US military should rescue the 200 schoolgirls abducted in Nigeria by Islamist militant group Boko Haram, even if the Nigerian government disapproves, Sen. John McCain says. Meanwhile, negotiations on a prisoner-hostage exchange appear to be advancing.

The longtime US senator and two-time presidential candidate told The Daily Beast that the US should feel no compunction to withhold sending special operations forces to find the kidnapped girls – especially in a country led by “some guy named Goodluck Jonathan.”

“If they knew where they were, I certainly would send in US troops to rescue them, in a New York minute I would, without permission of the host country,” McCain said on Tuesday. “I wouldn’t be waiting for some kind of permission from some guy named Goodluck Jonathan,” he declared, in reference to Nigeria’s president.

As he suggested last week in a CNN interview, McCain insisted that if he were US president, his administration would have prepared special forces ready to enter Nigeria if a rescue opportunity was apparent. His rationale for military intervention rests with the United Nations charter, he said, since the mass abduction was akin to “crimes against humanity.”

“The United Nations Charter recognized crimes against humanity, this fits into the category of crimes against humanity, and that gives any nation the license if they can to stop a crime against humanity, the same reason we should have if we could have freed the people at Dachau or Auschwitz,” McCain said.

Yet, as The Daily Beast points out, the UN Charter “does not explicitly mention crimes against humanity.” But the news website found that the Rome Statute of the International Criminal Court Explanatory Memorandum does, indicating that crimes against humanity “are particularly odious offenses in that they constitute a serious attack on human dignity or grave humiliation or a degradation of human beings.”

 

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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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‘I love you more than anything in the world': Girl, 15, forced to send notes to her parents hidden in origami after they lose custody of her to a HOSPITAL

  • Justina Pelletier was diagnosed with mitochondrial disease as a child
  • The 15-year-old was admitted to Boston Children’s Hospital after coming down with the flu
  • She has been kept there against her will for nine months
  • Doctors have claimed the teen is in fact suffering a mental illness that manifests itself in physical symptoms
  • Her parents are embroiled in a custody battle with the hospital who did not wish to comment
  • Neither the Department of Children and Families or hospital were able to comment after a court judge prohibited public statements being made

By Jennifer Smith

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The parents of a 15-year-old girl who has a long history of medical problems have lost custody of her to a hospital. 

Justina Pelletier was diagnosed with mitochondrial disease, a genetic disorder that can cause loss of muscle coordination and weakness, several years ago.

The teenager from West Hartford, Connecticut, however was able to live a normal life until coming down with the flu in February.

'Don't forget me': Justina Pelletier, 15, has been held at Boston Children's Hospital for nine months against her will by doctors who believe she is suffering from a mental illness

‘Don’t forget me': Justina Pelletier pictured in Boston Children’s Hospital where she has been held against her will for nine months by doctors who believe she is suffering from a mental illness

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The family are only able to visit 15-year-old Justina at the hospital (pictured) for one hour every week, and can speak only twice a week on the phone for 20 minutes at a time

Justina was admitted to Boston Children’s Hospital to receive treatment from a specialist she has known since her diagnosis.

Upon admission however a team of new doctors allegedly swooped in on the teen and came up with a different conclusion about her condition.

They also cast doubt on whether she had ever had mitochondrial disease, suggesting she in fact suffering from Somafotorm disorder – a psychological condition that manifests itself in physical symptoms.

After the conflicting diagnosis, doctors allegedly gave Justina’s parents the heart-breaking news that they wouldn’t be able to take their daughter home.

Nine months after the incident. Mr and Mrs Pelletier remain embroiled in a bitter custody battle with the hospital who allow Justina so little time to see her family she has resorted to smuggling letters to them in origami artwork.

‘This one’s in her artwork,’ says Justina’s sister, Jennifer, pointing to a folded note.

Justina has resorted to hiding handwritten notes to her family in origami artwork

Justina has resorted to hiding handwritten notes to her family in origami artwork

Despite being diagnosed with the condition which can affect muscle coordination and mobility, 15-year-old Justina lived a normal life until being taken to Boston Children's Hospital in February   Despite being diagnosed with the condition which can affect muscle coordination and mobility, 15-year-old Justina lived a normal life until being taken to Boston Children's Hospital in February

Despite being diagnosed with the condition which can affect muscle coordination and mobility, 15-year-old Justina lived a normal life until being taken to Boston Children’s Hospital in February

'It's kidnapping': Justina's parents has been left fighting for custody of her as psychologists and doctors describe the case as 'one of the most bizarre' they have seen    Justina's mother, Linda Pelletier, recalls how security ushered her and her husband out of the hospital after being told she wouldn't be taking her daughter home with her

‘It’s kidnapping': Justina’s parents Lou and Linda Pelletier have been left embroiled in a bitter custody battle with the hospital

‘I know you trust in me. Don’t forget it. I love you more than everything in the whole world. Justina,’ Linda Pelletier reads from one note.

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Eretz Zen Eretz Zen

 

Published on Oct 28, 2013

As the human cost of the spiraling Syrian conflict mounts, civilians are being increasingly caught up in the fighting. Some are now facing no other choice than to enlist in the military and head to the front line. One Syrian mother who has taken the safety of her children into her own hands is featured in this RT report.

Source: RT

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Desert Rose Creations / Family Survival Protocol   2013

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 Commercial sexual exploitation and sex trafficking of minors are serious problems in the United States with long-term adverse consequences for children and society as a whole, and federal agencies should work with state and local partners to raise awareness of these issues and train professionals who work with youths to recognize and assist those who are victimized or at risk, says a new report from the Institute of Medicine and the National Research Council.Minors who are prostituted or sexually exploited in other ways should be treated as victims rather than arrested and prosecuted as criminals, as they currently are in most states, the report says.


“Commercial sexual exploitation and sex trafficking of minors are often-overlooked forms of child abuse,” said Richard Krugman, co-chair of the committee that wrote the report, and vice chancellor for health affairs and dean of the University of Colorado School of Medicine.”Our national, state, and local laws and policies should recognize that and provide these children and adolescents with the support they need. Right now, they are often invisible to us, and when we do recognize them, we fail to see them as victims and survivors of abuse and violence.We hope our report will help open our nation’s eyes to a serious domestic problem in need of solutions.”

Commercial sexual exploitation and sex trafficking of minors refer to a range of crimes, including recruiting or transporting minors for the purpose of sexual exploitation, exploiting them through prostitution, or exploiting them through survival sex (exchanging sexual acts for something of value, such as shelter or food), among other offenses. Young victims and survivors of these crimes face both immediate and long-term social, legal, and health consequences. As directed by its charge, the committee focused its report on exploitation and trafficking of minors who are citizens or lawful permanent residents of the U.S. and its territories, but urged readers and policymakers to consider the broader implications of its recommendations as they apply to all children and adolescents.

Despite the gravity of the problem, there is no reliable estimate of the scope or prevalence of commercial sexual exploitation and sex trafficking of minors, the report says; estimates of the number of prostituted children and adolescents in the U.S., for example, have ranged from 1,400 to 2.4 million. These crimes are overlooked and almost surely underreported because they frequently happen at the margins of society and behind closed doors, and the young people involved often do not recognize themselves as victims of abuse. Those especially vulnerable to exploitation include youths who have been neglected or abused; those in foster care or juvenile detention; lesbian, gay, transgender, and bisexual youth; racial and ethnic minorities; and homeless, runaways, and “thrown-away” children who have been asked or told to leave home.

Efforts to prevent the commercial sexual exploitation and sex trafficking of children in the U.S. are largely absent, the report says, and though efforts to respond to these problems are emerging, they are generally insufficient, uncoordinated, and unevaluated.Many professionals who interact with youth — such as teachers, health care providers, and child welfare and law enforcement professionals — are either unaware that trafficking and exploitation happen in their communities or lack the knowledge and tools to identify and respond to young people who are at risk.

Commercial sexual exploitation and sex trafficking of minors should be understood as acts of abuse and violence, the report says.All states have statutory rape laws specifying that a child under a certain age cannot legally consent to having sex and must be treated as a victim of a crime.And federal law on sex trafficking recognizes children as victims.However, in most states, commercial sexual exploitation and sex trafficking of minors often are viewed through the lens of prostitution laws. As a result, laws allow prostituted minors to be arrested and charged with crimes instead of treating these sexually exploited minors as victims of crimes.These children and adolescents may be subject to arrest, detention, adjudication or conviction, and commitment or incarceration; they may have permanent records as offenders.

The report calls for all national, state, local, tribal, and territorial jurisdictions to develop laws and policies that redirect young victims and survivors of commercial sexual exploitation under the age of 18 away from arrest and prosecution and toward systems, agencies, and services that are equipped to meet their needs.A small but growing number of states have enacted “safe harbor” laws designed to send young victims of exploitation to agencies that provide supportive services instead of sending them to the criminal or juvenile justice systems.

The U.S. departments of Justice, Health and Human Services, and Education, working with other partners, should support national, regional, state, and local efforts to raise awareness of these crimes, the report says.These efforts should include training for professionals and others who routinely interact with minors. Health care and child welfare workers, the education sector, and the private sector have an important role to play in preventing, identifying, and responding to these problems.Efforts should also include campaigns to raise public awareness and specific strategies for raising awareness among children and adolescents. In addition, in the absence of an exhaustive list of resources for victim and support services, a digital information-sharing platform should be created to deliver reliable, real-time information on how to prevent, identify, and respond to the problem.

Despite the hard work of prosecutors and law enforcement in many jurisdictions, individuals who sexually exploit children and adolescents largely escape accountability, the report says. All jurisdictions should review and strengthen laws that hold exploiters, traffickers, and solicitors accountable for their role. These laws should include a particular emphasis on deterring demand, both through prevention efforts and penalties for those who solicit sex with minors.

In addition, the report recommends that the departments of Justice, Health and Human Services, and Education collaborate and partner with others to implement a national research agenda to advance understanding of this kind of exploitation and develop evidence-informed interventions to prevent youth from becoming victims and to assist those who have been exploited.

“It’s time to direct greater effort to preventing this kind of abuse, identifying young people who have become ensnared in it, and developing effective approaches that can enable them to reclaim their lives,” said committee co-chair Ellen Wright Clayton, Craig-Weaver Professor of Pediatrics and professor of law at Vanderbilt University.

The study was sponsored by the Office of Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention in the U.S. Department of Justice. Established under the charter of the National Academy of Sciences, the Institute of Medicine and the National Research Council provide independent, objective, evidence-based advice to policymakers, the private sector, and the public. The National Academy of Sciences, National Academy of Engineering, Institute of Medicine, and National Research Council make up the National Academies.

Report: http://www.nap.edu/catalog.php?record_id=18358

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The above story is based on materials provided by National Academy of Sciences.

Note: Materials may be edited for content and length. For further information, please contact the source cited above.

 

This  Article Courtesy of  Science Daily

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BREAKING NEWS:

  • Ariel Castro found hanging in his prison cell at 9.20pm Tuesday
  • He was checked on every 30 minutes by guards
  • Castro was being held in isolation, in protective custody away from the general prison population
  • Served just one month of his prison sentence of life, plus 1,000 years
  • Pleaded guilty last month to kidnapping, raping, beating and torturing Amanda Berry, Gina DeJesus and Michelle Knight

 

By Michael Zennie

 

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Ariel Castro, the Cleveland kidnapper who held three women against their will for a decade, is dead after hanging himself in his prison cell Tuesday night.

Castro, 53, was found about 9.20pm at Correctional Reception Center in Orient, Ohio. He had served only one month of his prison term, which sent him away for life, plus 1,000 years.

Castro was being housed alone in an isolation unit for his protection, prison officials said.

Prison regulations dictate that guards had to check on him every 30 minutes. Officials say he hanged himself during a break between inspections.

Dead: Ariel Castro hanged himself in his prison cell just one month after being sentenced to serve the rest of his life in prison

Dead: Ariel Castro hanged himself in his prison cell just one month after being sentenced to serve the rest of his life in prison

Lonely death: This is an isolation cell at Correctional Reception Center in Orient, Ohio, like the one where Castro hanged himself Tuesday

Lonely death: This is an isolation cell at Correctional Reception Center in Orient, Ohio, like the one where Castro hanged himself Tuesday

 

Castro made international headlines when Amanda Berry, Gina DeJesus and Michelle Knight were freed from his Cleveland house after ten years of captivity under unimaginable conditions.

When prison guards found Castro hanging in his cell Tuesday, they immediately began trying to resuscitate him.

He was taken to Ohio State University Medical Center, where he was pronounced dead about an hour and a half later – shortly before 11pm.

 

 

A spokeswoman for the the Ohio Department of Corrections said the agency will make a full investigation of Castro’s suicide to determine whether regulations were followed and if anything could have been done to prevent his death.
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Ariel Castro’s house of horror leveled in Cleveland

Neighbors, victims and family clapped and cheered on the street as the heavy equipment clawed away at the roof and walls of Ariel Castro’s house where he kept three women captive for more than a decade.

Jennifer Lindgren and Doug Stanglin ,
USA TODAY 11:03 a.m. EDT
August 7, 2013

One of his victims brought yellow balloons in memory of other missing children.

 

CLEVELAND — Demolition crews leveled Ariel Castro’s former house of horror Wednesday not long after one of three young women held captive there for 11 years brought a bundle of yellow balloons in memory of other missing children.

Cheers erupted on Seymour Avenue as the heavy equipment clawed away part of the roof and walls of the rundown house where Amanda Berry, Gina DeJesus and Michelle Knight were rescued after years of living in chains.

Crews reduced the two-story house to rubble in a little more than an hour. The demolition was carried live online and also drew crowds of neighbors and onlookers.

Castro, 53, pleaded guilty last month to 937 charges including rape, kidnapping and aggravated murder charges in connection with the abduction of the three young women, who were rescued May 6.

Knight, who also spoke at Castro’s sentencing in a moving condemnation of his crimes, made a brief statement and asked God to grant strength to those still missing and told their families to have hope. She says the yellow balloons represented those still out there waiting to be found.

 

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>By Greg Botelho, CNN

updated 10:26 PM EDT, Thu August 1, 2013

Ariel Castro's sentencing for the kidnapping and rape of three women in Ohio will be issued Thursday, August 1. During the trial, the prosecution presented images from inside the house that reveal the disturbing conditions in which they were held. A model of the house was also included. Ariel Castro’s sentencing for the kidnapping and rape of three women in Ohio will be issued Thursday, August 1. During the trial, the prosecution presented images from inside the house that reveal the disturbing conditions in which they were held. A model of the house was also included.

(CNN) — From the outside, the home at 2207 Seymour Avenue looked like most any other in Cleveland’s Westside neighborhood.

From the inside, it looked like hell.

There were the makeshift alarms rigged to the front and back doors. The porch swing blocking a stairway. Heavy fabric obstructing the kitchen and the second floor. A plastic toilet in a bedroom. Doors without handles, but with padlocks, dead bolts and slide locks. Solid wood covering second-floor windows, assuring no light would enter even on bright, sunny days.

And there were the restraints — duct tape, plastic zip ties, metal chains fastened to a basement pole and bedroom walls — to ensure that Michelle Knight, Amanda Berry and Gina DeJesus wouldn’t leave.

But, despite Ariel Castro’s efforts, they did.

On May 6, Berry alerted passers-by by banging on the front door then crawling out with her 6-year-old daughter. Police officers arrived and went upstairs, where Knight jumped into their arms — holding them tight and thanking them for ending her 11 years of terror. A pale, quiet DeJesus emerged from a room a short time later.

Today, all three women are free. And Castro is paying a price for what he did: life in prison without parole and 1,000 years, as finalized in a Cleveland court Thursday.

Castro sentenced to life plus 1,000 years

The sentence follows a deal in which Castro agreed to plead guilty to 937 charges to avoid a trial and a possible death penalty. The prosecution didn’t have to present evidence Thursday, but they did — laying out in vivid detail the twisted torment that Knight, DeJesus, Berry and Berry’s young daughter, fathered by Castro, went through — in testimony, impact statements and a sentencing memorandum.

“The days never got shorter,” said Knight, the lone victim to speak in court. “The nights turned into days. The days turned into years. The years turned into eternity.”

Lured into home, restrained and assaulted

It started on August 22, 2002, when Castro saw the then 21-year-old Knight at a Family Dollar store. She was trying to find the social worker in charge of her son, then not even 2½ years old, Cleveland police Det. Andrew Harasimchuk testified.

Knight asked around for directions, and Castro responded that he knew where to go. Knight knew his daughter, Emily, so she took up his offer for a ride.

They ended up at the Seymour Avenue home Castro had bought a decade earlier. Did Knight want to go inside to get a puppy for her son, Castro asked? She did, and went in.

But instead of giving her a puppy, Castro tied her up with an extension cord.

A few hours later, Knight was taken down to the basement, where she was restrained with a chain and with plastic ties around her wrists, said Harasimchuk, his department’s lead investigator on the case. Castro put a motorcycle helmet over her head.

And then he sexually assaulted her — for the first of what would be scores of times.

Michelle Knight: ‘After 11 years, I’m finally being heard’

The following April, Castro spotted Amanda Berry walking along a Cleveland street in her Burger King. She was 16; he was 42.

Did Berry know his son, who’d also worked at Burger King? What about his daughter Angie? Berry said she knew them both, and she accepted his offer for a ride after he told her Angie was at Castro’s home.

Berry went in, but saw no sign of her friend, ending up in an upstairs bedroom. Berry asked to go home and when Castro didn’t comply, she tried to run away — her exit stopped when she slammed into a closet instead.

Then Castro sexually assaulted her, putting duct tape over her wrists, legs and mouth and a motorcycle helmet over her head. Berry was carried to the basement and tied to a chain attached to a center support pole.

A third, eerily similar chapter of this story played out about a year later.

This time the victim — Gina DeJesus — was younger, at age 14. And she was even closer to Castro’s family, as one of his daughter Arlene’s best friends.

That spring afternoon, DeJesus and Arlene Castro had been together and hoped to spend the afternoon at DeJesus’ house. When that plan didn’t pan out, the two walked separate ways.

Ariel Castro spotted the two together, then apart. He admitted driving past his daughter to get to DeJesus. She got in the car after he asked for help finding his daughter, then got out of it when he asked for help carrying a speaker from his home into his car, testified Harasimchuk.

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More than 100 teens rescued in weekend sex-trafficking raids, FBI says

More than 100 teenagers — many of them children from broken homes — were rescued over the weekend in a sex-trafficking crackdown that swept more than 70 cities, the FBI said Monday.

The youngest victim was 13 years old, the agency said.

The sting resulted in the arrest of 159 “pimps” from San Francisco to Miami who were involved in the commercial exploitation of both adults and children, said Ronald Hosko, assistant director of the FBI’s criminal investigative division.

It was the FBI’s largest action to date focusing on the recovery of sexually exploited children, and took law enforcement agencies to streets, motels, casinos and social media platforms, Hosko said. He said he hoped it would focus attention on sex trafficking, “this threat that robs us of our children.”

The pimps preyed in particular on troubled children, authorities said. In some of the cases, they used a popular online classified site, Backpage, to sell the children for sex, authorities said.

 

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