Commentary on the economic , geopolitical and simply fascinating things going on. Served occasionally with a side of snark.
Sunday, April 27, 2014
Malaysia Airline Flight 370 Mystery Day 49 April 27 , 2014 -- KUALA LUMPUR: U.S. President Barack Obama said today that the United States was "absolutely committed" to providing more assets to assist in the search for missing Malaysia Airlines Flight MH370 in the southern Indian Ocean ....... Bluefin 21 underwater search vehicle completes 95 percent of search area .......... China shuts Embassies after protests from families of flight 370 victims ...... KUALA LUMPUR - The probe into the mysterious disappearance of the Malaysian jet is now looking at the possibility that the plane may have landed somewhere as no debris has been found so far, a media report has said ......... If the South Korea Prime Minister was responsible enough to resign due to failings related to the government response pertaining to the ewol Ferry disaster , shouldn't Malaysian Officials resign over Government failings related to flight 370 ?
New Straits Times......
27 April 2014| last updated at 03:33PM
Obama in KL: U.S. committed to providing assets for MH370 ocean search
KUALA LUMPUR: U.S. President Barack Obama said today that the United States was "absolutely committed" to providing more assets to assist in the search for missing Malaysia Airlines Flight MH370 in the southern Indian Ocean.
"I can tell you the United States is absolutely committed to providing whatever resources and assets that we can," Obama told a news conference in Kuala Lumpur with Malaysian Prime Minister Najib Razak.
A U.S. defence official told Reuters on Friday that the sea search is likely to drag on for years as it enters the much more difficult phase of scouring broader areas of the ocean near where the plane is believed to have crashed. -- Reuters
Sunday, 27 April 2014 08:41
SHOCK MOVE: China SHUTS embassies after protests by MH370 relatives
BEIJING - In a rare move, China has shut down a diplomatic district here housing the Indian and American embassies as angry relatives of passengers of the crashed Malaysian jet held overnight protests over the so far futile search to locate the plane.
With no breakthrough despite the high profile multi-nation search operation nearly 50 days after Flight MH370 went missing, relatives of the 153 Chinese passengers had a stormy meeting with Malaysia Airlines staff yesterday after which they tried to protest in front of the Malaysian embassy located opposite the Indian mission here.
Police stepped up security since yesterday evening and sealed off the area today throwing the traffic in the busy area out of gear.
Many relatives reportedly rushed to the Malaysian embassy last night.
Wen Wancheng, whose son was on the flight said she had spent the entire night outside the embassy along with dozens of other protesters.
This is the second time since the plane went missing, that the Chinese relatives demonstrated in front of the embassy demanding Malaysian officials come out with the truth about the lost plane.
Earlier, relatives had lashed out over the "abrupt" announcement by Malaysian Prime Minister Najib Rajak stating the plane "ended" in the southern Indian Ocean where weeks of search on the surface and beneath the sea yielded no results.
Mystery continues to shroud the plane which went missing along with 239 passengers and crew on board, including five Indians, on March 8 while flying to Beijing from Kuala Lumpur.
This time the protesters said they were angry over the failure of Malaysian officials to be present at the briefing by the airline yesterday as promised before.
It is rare for such protests to be permitted by the Chinese authorities.
The protests this time took place before the weekend visit of US President Barack Obama to Kuala Lumpur, which is the first by an American President.
Malaysia is one of the Asean countries that are locked in maritime disputes with China over the South China Sea islands. The others include the Philippines, Vietnam and Brunei. - PTI
KUALA LUMPUR - The probe into the mysterious disappearance of the Malaysian jet is now looking at the possibility that the plane may have landed somewhere as no debris has been found so far, a media report has said.
A report in the New Strait Times quoting sources within the international team probing the disappearance said that among the areas it was revisiting was the possibility that the Malaysia Airlines flight MH370 had landed elsewhere, instead of ending up in the southern Indian Ocean.
"We may have to regroup soon to look into this possibility if no positive results come back in the next few days ... but at the same time, the search mission in the Indian Ocean must go on," the source said.
"The thought of it landing somewhere else is not impossible, as we have not found a single debris that could be linked to MH370. However, the possibility of a specific country hiding the plane when more than 20 nations are searching for it, seems absurd," the sources said. Another possibility was that the flight had crashed landed in a remote location, the source said. Members of the International Investigation Team who have been making efforts since day one are now looking at the likelihood of starting from scratch, the report said.
Sunday, 27 April 2014 18:03
NAJIB TOO MUST GO OVER MH370: S. Korean PM resigns over govt response to ferry disaster
SEOUL - South Korean Prime Minister Chung Hong-won announced his resignation on Sunday over the government response to the ferry disaster, in which it was first announced that everyone had been rescued, focusing attention on poor regulatory controls.
The Sewol ferry sank on a routine trip south from the port of Incheon to the traditional holiday island of Jeju on April 16.
More than 300 people, most of them students and teachers on a field trip from the Danwon High School on the outskirts of Seoul, have died or are missing and presumed dead.
The children on board the Sewol were told to stay put in their cabins, where they waited for further orders. The confirmed death toll on Sunday was 187.
South Korea, Asia's fourth-largest economy and one of its leading manufacturing and export powerhouses, has developed into one of the world's most technically advanced countries, but faces criticism that regulatory controls have not kept pace.
As part of the investigation, prosecutors raided two shipping safety watchdogs and a coastguard office. They have also raided two vessel service centres, which act as maritime traffic control.
Chung's resignation has to be approved by President Park Geun-hye, who has the most power in government.
"Keeping my post too great a burden on the administration,"a sombre Chung said in a brief announcement. "...On behalf of the government, I apologise for many problems from the prevention of the accident to the early handling of the disaster.
"There are too many irregularities and malpractices in parts of society that have been with us too long and I hope those are corrected so that accidents like this will not happen again."
Chung was booed and someone threw a water bottle at him when he visited grieving parents the day after the disaster. President Park was also booed by some relatives when she visited a gym where families of the missing were staying.
Tempers have frayed over the slow pace of the recovery and frequent changes in information provided by the government.
The Gyeonggi Provincial Office of Education sent text messages to parents that "All Danwon High School students are rescued" in the hours after the disaster, media reported.
The Star Online.......
Published: Saturday April 26, 2014 MYT 1:30:00 PM Updated: Saturday April 26, 2014 MYT 1:32:23 PM
MH370: Software hitch on Bluefin-21 resolved, 95% of search area covered
PERTH: The Autonomous Underwater Vehicle (AUV) codenamed Bluefin-21 faced its second technical issue Friday since its maiden underwater mission to search for the whereabouts of missing Malaysia Airlines (MAS) Flight MH370.
The Joint Agency Coordination Centre (JACC), which oversees the search operation, said the unmanned-vehicle was brought up again early into its 13th mission on Friday due to a software issue that required resetting.
It said the AUV has technically sophisticated equipment, and a reset was not uncommon, but the issue was resolved overnight by technicians.
Meanwhile the 14th mission was now underway, the agency said in a statement here Saturday.
On April 16, the Bluefin-21, which was on its second mission, faced a technical issue that forced it to abort the mission and resurface.
However, it was again redeployed to continue its mission underwater on the same day after the issue was resolved.
Saturday marks the 50th day of the search operation for Flight MH370, and until now, there has been no contact of interest on the sea surface or underwater.
The Bluefin-21 was dispatched on its maiden mission on April 14 in the hope of locating any debris of the missing plane underwater following no further confirmed signals picked up by the Towed Pinger Locator since April 8.
It uses acoustic sounds to create a three-dimensional map of the sea floor and will take a minimum of 24 hours to complete each mission, which includes four hours to download data collected.
To date, it has covered 95% of the focus underwater search area, said JACC.
The agency said regarding the sea surface visual search operation, the Australian Maritime Safety Authority has planned a search area of approximately 57,311sq km with its centre lying approximately 1,584km northwest of Perth.
Up to eight military aircraft and 11 ships are continuing the visual search Saturday.
"The weather forecast for today is isolated showers, with southeasterly winds up to 20 knots, sea swells of two to 2.5m and visibility of one kilometre in thunderstorms and three kilometres in rain," the agency added.
Flight MH370, with 239 people aboard, left the KL International Airport at 12.41am on March 8 and disappeared from radar screens about an hour later while over the South China Sea. It was to have arrived in Beijing at 6.30am on the same day.
A multinational search was mounted for the Boeing 777-200 aircraft, first in the South China Sea and then, after it was learnt that the plane had veered off course, in the southern Indian Ocean.
After an analysis of satellite data indicated that the plane's last position was in the middle of the Indian Ocean, west of Perth, Australia, Malaysian Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak announced on March 24 that Flight MH370 "ended in the southern Indian Ocean". – Bernama