’Intensifying search’ at sea yields no debris linked to missing Malaysian Flight 370
PERTH, Australia (AP) -- Despite what Australia called an "intensifying search effort," an international hunt Sunday by aircraft and ships in the southern Indian Ocean found no debris linked to the Malaysian jet that vanished more than three weeks ago.
Several dozen angry Chinese relatives of Flight 370 passengers demanded "evidence, truth, dignity" from Malaysian authorities, expressing their frustrations at a hotel near Kuala Lumpur as the mystery drags on.
Nine aircraft and eight ships searching the waters off western Australia found only "fishing equipment and other flotsam" not connected to the Malaysia Airlines plane, the Australian Maritime Safety Authority said. The Boeing 777 disappeared March 8 while flying from Kuala Lumpur to Beijing with 239 people aboard.
But at least four orange objects that were more than 6 feet in size were seen by the crew of an Australian P3 Orion search plane, said the pilot, Flight Lt. Russell Adams, after returning to base.
"I must stress that we can’t confirm the origin of these objects," he said, adding that images of the items have yet to be verified.
Community seeks solace in church as search dogs take break from mudslide recovery
DARRINGTON, Wash. (AP) -- Families coping with the loss of friends and neighbors sought comfort Sunday in church services, while crews searched for more victims of the mudslide that buried the mountainside community of Oso more than a week ago.
Many of the dogs that have been essential in the search will take a two-day break, rescue crews said. Days of working in the cold and rain have taken their toll on the animals, and officials say the dogs can lose their sensing ability if overworked.
"The conditions on the slide field are difficult, so this is just a time to take care of the dogs," said Kris Rietmann, a spokeswoman for the team working on the eastern portion of the slide, which hit March 22 about 55 miles northeast of Seattle and is one of the deadliest in U.S. history.
Dogs from the Federal Emergency Management Agency that arrived more recently will continue working, said Heidi Amrine, another spokeswoman for the operation.
Late Saturday, authorities revised the number of people believed to be missing from 90 to 30, while the official death toll increased by one, to 18, said Jason Biermann, program manager at the Snohomish County Department of Emergency Management.
Study: blood test helps rule out heart attack in people who go to the ER with chest pain
WASHINGTON (AP) -- A simple test appears very good at ruling out heart attacks in people who go to emergency rooms with chest pain, a big public health issue and a huge worry for patients.
A large study in Sweden found that the blood test plus the usual electrocardiogram of the heartbeat were 99 percent accurate at showing which patients could safely be sent home rather than be admitted for observation and more diagnostics.
Of nearly 9,000 patients judged low risk by the blood test and with normal electrocardiograms, only 15 went on to suffer a heart attack in the next month, and not a single one died.
"We believe that with this strategy, 20 to 25 percent of admissions to hospitals for chest pain may be avoided," said Dr. Nadia Bandstein of the Karolinska University Hospital in Stockholm.
Brazil police push into slums near Rio airport in ‘pacification’ effort ahead of World Cup
RIO DE JANEIRO (AP) -- More than 1,400 police officers and Brazilian Marines rolled into a massive complex of slums near Rio de Janeiro’s international airport before dawn Sunday in the latest security push ahead of this year’s World Cup.
Not a shot was fired as the Mare complex of 15 slums became the latest impoverished area to see security forces move in to take control and try to push out heavily armed drug gangs that have ruled Rio’s shantytowns for decades.
In the coming days, Army soldiers will begin patrolling the virtually treeless, flat area of about 2 square miles (5 square kilometers) in northern Rio that hugs the main road to the airport and is home to about 130,000 people.
Security forces will eventually set up permanent posts in Mare as part of the "pacification" program that began in 2008 and is meant to secure Rio ahead of not the World Cup and also the 2016 Summer Olympics. Police have installed 37 such posts in recent years in an area covering 1.5 million people.
Sunday’s operation comes at a critical time for the security effort. In recent months, gangs have brazenly attacked police outposts in other shantytowns on orders from imprisoned gang leaders who want to stymie the spread of "pacified" slums. With each area policy occupy, gangs lose valuable territory for the manufacture and sale of drugs.
Egyptian election commission sets first round of voting for new president
CAIRO (AP) -- Egypt’s presidential election will be held in late May, the electoral commission announced on Sunday, finally setting dates for the crucial vote widely expected to be won by the country’s former military chief who ousted an elected president last year.
The commission set the first round of voting for May 26 and 27, with results expected by June 5. If a second round is necessary it will be held by mid-month with results announced no later than June 26, the commission said.
The country’s powerful former military chief Abdel-Fattah el-Sissi, who led the overthrow of Islamist President Mohammed Morsi last summer, has announced his bid for office and is widely expected to win. His victory would restore a tradition of presidents from military backgrounds that Egypt had for all but one year since 1952, when officers overthrew the monarchy and became the dominant force in politics.
A mostly conscript force that fought four wars with Israel, the army has a strong support base among the population, many of whom see it as a pillar of the country’s identity.
Morsi was removed from office on July 3, amid massive protests demanding his resignation and accusing him of monopolizing power and mismanagement in the face of myriad economic and social problems. The military, led by el-Sissi, stepped in to remove Morsi and backed a political road map that promised presidential and parliamentary elections.