U.S. Navy official says ‘pings’ unlikely from missing Malaysia jet: CNN

admin   •   May 29, 2014   •   2199

A crew member sits in the cockpit of a Royal New Zealand Air Force (RNZAF) AP-3C Orion maritime patrol aircraft as it continues searching in the southern Indian Ocean for the missing Malaysian Airlines flight MH370, in this picture taken April 1, 2014. 2014.
CREDIT: REUTERS/KIM CHRISTIAN/POOL

(Reuters) – A U.S. Navy official said four acoustic pings at the center of the search for missing Malaysia Airlines Flight MH370, which disappeared in March, are no longer believed to be from the aircraft’s black boxes, according to a report by CNN.

Australian search authorities narrowed the search for the missing jet last month after picking up a series of pings near where analysis of satellite data put the last location of the Boeing 777, some 1,600 km off Australia’s northwest coast.

CNN said authorities now almost universally believe the pings did not come from the onboard data or cockpit voice recorders, but instead came from some other man-made source unrelated to the jetliner that disappeared on March 8, according to Michael Dean, the U.S. Navy’s deputy director of ocean engineering.

“Our best theory at this point is that (the pings were) likely some sound produced by the ship … or within the electronics of the Towed Pinger Locator,” Dean said.

The discovery of the pings on April 5 and 8 was hailed as a significant breakthrough but no further promising signals were heard before the expiry of the batteries on the black boxes’ locator beacons.

A scan of the area around the pings with an unnamed submarine failed to find any sign of wreckage and no debris linked to the plane has ever been picked up despite the most extensive and expensive search effort in aviation history.

Australian authorities leading the search did not immediately respond to requests for comment.

MH370 was carrying 227 passengers and 12 crew when it vanished on March 8. Authorities have not ruled out mechanical problems as a cause but say the evidence, including the loss of communications, suggests it was deliberately diverted thousands of kilometers from its scheduled route from Kuala Lumpur to Beijing.

(Editing by Richard Pullin)

British TV presenter Flack died by hanging — inquest hears

UNTV News   •   February 19, 2020

Caroline Flack

British television presenter Caroline Flack was found hanged in her London flat on Saturday (February 15) and paramedics were unable to revive her, an inquest into her death heard.

The suicide of the 40-year-old former presenter of the hugely popular “Love Island” dating show has reignited a debate in Britain about the conduct of the tabloid press and social media trolls.

Coroner’s Officer Sandra Polson told the court that police had been flagged down on the street by an unidentified person who had led them to a residential address. There, a woman was found lying on her back.

An ambulance arrived and paramedics attempted CPR but were unable to revive her. She was pronounced dead at 1436 GMT on Saturday.

An autopsy determined that the cause of death was suspension by ligature. The coroner adjourned the rest of the inquest until Aug. 5. (Reuters)

(Production: Marissa Davison)

Global warming causing ‘irreversible’ mass melting in Antarctica says scientist

UNTV News   •   February 19, 2020

Global warming was leading to an “irreversible” mass melting of the Antarctic ice and purging carbon from the atmosphere was the only solution to slow the process, an Australian climate scientist told Reuters on Wednesday (February 19).

Recent human activity has intensified global warming, which could result in a mass melting of Antarctica, said Zoe Thomas, a research fellow at the University of New South Wales who was part of an international team of scientists that recently published a paper on Antarctic ice melting.

The study showed the world could lose most of the West Antarctic Ice Sheet, which rests on the seabed and is fringed by floating ice, in a warmer world.

“What we’re seeing with the West Antarctic Ice Sheet is that this starting of the melt, once we reach a certain threshold, will continue despite our efforts to stop it,” she told Reuters.

The hottest temperature ever recorded in Antarctica of 18.3 degrees Celsius (64.94 degrees Fahrenheit) was taken at a research base there on Feb. 6. If hotter temperatures were to sustain they could cause an extreme global sea level rise.

“This will gradually displace people as it goes,” Thomas said. “We know this is already happening in small island communities and this will just continue to happen gradually as more and more houses are being inundated at high tide, then at normal tide and then even at low tide.”

Thomas said that the only thing that would slow down the ice melting was if economies across the world began de-carbonising themselves.

Many advanced economies have pledged to cut carbon emissions to net zero by 2050 though Australia is largely seen as dragging its feet on the issue despite recently suffering one of its worst bushfire seasons ever. (Reuters)

(Production: Cordelia Hsu)

Libya talks suspended after rebels attack Tripoli port

UNTV News   •   February 19, 2020

Libya’s internationally recognized government on Tuesday (February 18) suspended talks hosted by the United Nations to halt warfare over the capital after eastern forces shelled Tripoli’s port, killing three people and almost hitting a highly explosive gas tanker.

Footage from Tripoli’s port showed black smoke rising near docked ships from the area believed to have been hit by shelling.

The U.N. has been hosting in Geneva ceasefire talks between officers from the Tripoli government and the eastern-based Libya National Army (LNA) led by commander Khalifa Haftar.

The two factions have been trying to take the capital in a near year-long campaign, displacing at least 150,000 people.

The LNA on Tuesday shelled Tripoli port, saying first it had attacked a Turkish vessel bringing weapons but saying later it had hit an arms depot. Three civilians were killed and five wounded, the Tripoli forces said.

In response to the LNA attack, the Tripoli-based Government of National Accord said in a statement it suspended its participation in ceasefire talks “until firm responses are taken against the attacker, and we will respond firmly to the attack in appropriate timing.” (Reuters)

(Production: Ahmed Elumami, Seham Eloraby and Fintan McDonnell).

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