New possible underwater 'pings' detected in search for missing Malaysian jet
PERTH, Australia (AP) — An Australian aircraft hunting for the missing Malaysian jet picked up a new possible underwater signal on Thursday in the same area search crews detected sounds earlier in the week that were consistent with an aircraft's black boxes.
The Australian navy P-3 Orion, which has been dropping sound-locating buoys into the water near where the original sounds were heard, picked up a "possible signal" that may be from a man-made source, said Angus Houston, who is coordinating the search off Australia's west coast.
"The acoustic data will require further analysis overnight," Houston said in a statement.
If confirmed, this would be the fifth underwater signal picked up in the hunt for Flight 370, which vanished over a month ago on a flight from Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia, to Beijing.
On Tuesday, the Australian vessel Ocean Shield picked up two underwater sounds, and an analysis of two other sounds detected in the same general area on Saturday showed they were consistent with a plane's flight recorders, or "black boxes."
Chief prosecutor challenges Oscar Pistorius over relationship with girlfriend he killed
PRETORIA, South Africa (AP) — The chief prosecutor in the murder trial of Oscar Pistorius on Thursday accused the Olympic athlete of egotistical behavior in his relationship with Reeva Steenkamp before he killed her, and described Pistorius' courtroom apology to his girlfriend's family as an insincere "spectacle" that ignored the feelings of her relatives.
"Your life is just about you," prosecutor Gerrie Nel said on a second day of cross-examination of Pistorius, who fatally shot Steenkamp through a closed toilet cubicle of his home in the early hours of Feb. 14, 2013. Pistorius says he shot Steenkamp by accident, mistaking her for a dangerous intruder. The prosecution says he intentionally killed her after an argument.
Nel's tough questioning in the court in the South African city of Pretoria was designed to counter earlier testimony in which Pistorius said he loved Steenkamp, a 29-year-old model, and was trying to protect her when he shot her without realizing, according to his account, that she was in the toilet cubicle.
Two contrasting images of the double-amputee runner have emerged in court: the defense-led image of Pistorius as a contrite man who had been worried about crime and made a terrible mistake on the night he killed Steenkamp, and the prosecution's depiction of him as an overbearing egotist who was obsessed with firearms.
Nel said he had checked all of Steenkamp's text messages on her cellular telephone and that the phrase "I love you" appeared only twice in those missives. On both occasions, he said, they were written by Steenkamp to her mother.
10 Things to Know for Today
Your daily look at late-breaking news, upcoming events and the stories that will be talked about today:
1. FIVE-MINUTE STABBING FRENZY, THEN BLOOD EVERYWHERE
Like a horror movie come to life, a blank-faced student tears down a high school hallway swinging knives, slashing and injuring 21 classmates and a security guard before he is tackled by an assistant principal.
Police seek motive of attacker with 'blank look' in high school stabbing spree that injured 22
MURRYSVILLE, Pa. (AP) — It was just before the start of class and the hallways were packed as usual with students at their lockers or chatting with friends.
Nate Moore was walking to homeroom, book in hand, when a classmate he knew to be quiet and unassuming tackled a freshman boy a few feet in front of him. Moore thought it was the start of a fistfight and went to break it up.
But 16-year-old Alex Hribal wasn't throwing punches — he was stabbing his victim in the belly, Moore said. The suspect got up and slashed Moore's face, then took off down the hall, where authorities said he stabbed and slashed other students in an attack that injured 21 students and a security guard — and might have been even worse but for the "heroes" who Pennsylvania's governor said helped prevent further injury or loss of life.
An assistant principal tackled and subdued Hribal, who was charged Thursday night with four counts of attempted homicide and 21 counts of aggravated assault and jailed without bail. Authorities said he would be prosecuted as an adult.
The suspect's motive remained a mystery.
Malaysia and Australia, partners in airliner search, have close friendship but turbulent past
CANBERRA, Australia (AP) — The leaders of Malaysia and Australia have used warm and glowing terms to assure the world that their partnership in the desperate hunt for a missing airliner is built on a firm and abiding friendship. But it's also an odd-couple relationship that has proved brittle in the past and has been blighted by hostility, rivalries and cultural misunderstandings.
It has been a long time since an Australian leader accused Malaysia of being "barbaric," or since a Malaysian official offered a snide comment about Australia's origins as a British penal colony. And the countries appear to have recovered from a more recent tiff set off by Australian Prime Minister Tony Abbott's party when it was in the opposition.
"At this difficult time, Australia has proven an invaluable friend," Malaysian Prime Minister Najib Razak said last week during a visit to Australia, where he stood shoulder-to-shoulder with Abbott and inspected the headquarters of the multinational air and sea search of the southern Indian Ocean.
"Our nations are longstanding friends who work very well together and, to use the Australian term, we're good mates," Angus Houston, the former Australian defense chief who heads the search coordination center, told the Malaysian leader.
Malaysia, the country where the missing Malaysian Airlines plane was registered, officially runs the search, but Australia, which is closest to the plane's suspected location, is tasked with coordinating the effort.
Crisis intervention training teaches police to identify and defuse psychiatric crises
NORRISTOWN, Pa. (AP) — When a 6-foot-5, 270-pound man with a history of violence broke out of a mental health ward near Philadelphia and tried to withdraw money from a bank, a confrontation with police seemed likely.
But Lower Merion Township police officer Matthew Freind used his mental health training to calmly talk to the man and defuse the crisis.
"No force was necessary," Freind said. "He thanked me. He said, 'You're the only person that's ever truly listened to me.' That was a situation where things could've gotten out of hand very quickly."
Sometimes, they do, especially if police aren't trained how to respond to the severely mentally ill.
Dozens of mentally ill people die in run-ins with police every year. Just last month, a homeless camper in Albuquerque, N.M., was killed in a shooting captured on an officer's helmet camera, sparking an FBI investigation and a protest that forced the city to call out riot police.
Police seek driver in connection to Florida day care crash that left 1 dead, 14 injured
WINTER PARK, Fla. (AP) — Authorities say they want to question a man who has been arrested eight times since 2000 about his possible role in a car's crash into a Florida day care center that left one girl dead and injured 14 others, mostly children.
Authorities in the Orlando area were searching Thursday for 26-year-old Robert Corchado, whom they have described as a "person of interest" in the crash into the KinderCare building Wednesday afternoon.
A Toyota Solara convertible went out of control after it was struck by a Dodge Durango, jumped a curb and smashed into the day care, breaking through the wall and into the building, said Florida Highway Patrol spokesman Wanda Diaz. The convertible's driver was not hurt.
Local television footage showed small children and infants in cribs being taken outside to the day care's playground. Several of the injured were carried out on stretchers.
Late Wednesday afternoon, parents could be seen waiting to pick up their children, and then clutching them in their arms as they were escorted to their vehicles by authorities.
Afghan criminal investigation begins in killing of AP photographer and wounding of AP reporter
KABUL, Afghanistan (AP) — Afghan central government authorities on Wednesday began questioning the police commander who killed an Associated Press photographer and wounded an AP reporter, a day after he was transferred by helicopter to the capital — a rare case in which an Afghan officer or soldier who shot a foreigner was captured alive.
Local security officials who spoke with the suspect after he was first detained said he seemed a calm, pious man who may have come under the influence of Islamic extremists calling for vengeance against foreigners over drone strikes. Witness and official accounts so far have suggested the shooting was not planned.
But the Afghan Interior Ministry, which is overseeing the investigation, told the AP it won't speculate about a motive so early in its probe into the attack, which killed AP photographer Anja Niedringhaus and seriously wounded senior correspondent Kathy Gannon.
The suspect, identified as a unit commander named Naqibullah, surrendered immediately after the attack Friday in front of dozens of security forces and election workers on a heavily guarded government compound in eastern Afghanistan. The shooting was the first known case of a security insider attacking journalists in Afghanistan, part of a surge in violence targeting foreigners.
Niedringhaus and Gannon were traveling in their own car with an AP freelancer and a translator in a convoy of workers transporting election materials from Khost, the capital of the province of the same name on the border with Pakistan, to the outlying district of Tani.
Breath of French air jarred by Chinese artist fetches $860 in mix of pollution protest, profit
BEIJING (AP) — Beijing artist Liang Kegang returned from a business trip in southern France with well-rested lungs and a small item of protest against his home city's choking pollution: a glass jar of clean, Provence air.
He put it up for auction before a group of about 100 Chinese artists and collectors late last month, and it fetched 5,250 yuan ($860).
"Air should be the most valueless commodity, free to breathe for any vagrant or beggar," Liang said in an interview. "This is my way to question China's foul air and express my dissatisfaction."
Liang's work is part of a gust of recent artistic protest — and entrepreneurial gimmickry — reflecting widespread dissatisfaction over air quality in China, where cities often are immersed days on end in harmful pollutants at levels many times what is considered safe by the World Health Organization. The chronic problem has spurred brisk markets for dust masks and home air purifiers.
China's senior leaders have pledged to clean the country's air, partly in response to a citizenry increasingly vocal about environmental issues. But it is a daunting task that must be balanced with demands for economic development and employment crucial to maintaining stability.
Britain's Prince William and wife Kate tour NZ aviation museum with director Peter Jackson
BLENHEIM, New Zealand (AP) — Britain's Prince William and his wife, Kate, have met with "The Lord of the Rings" director Peter Jackson during a visit to an aviation museum in New Zealand.
The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge visited the museum on Thursday in Marlborough, on the country's South Island, as part of a 3-week tour of New Zealand and Australia.
The Oscar-winning director gave the royal couple a tour of his collection of World War I aircraft that are housed at the museum.
Kate and WIlliam have a busy few weeks ahead, with their planned activities including a wine tasting at a local vineyard, a jet boat ride and a visit to the city of Christchurch, which was devastated by an earthquake in 2011.