The search for the missing Malaysia Airlines plane has been expanded to two areas, five days after the Beijing-bound flight disappeared without a trace. Speaking at a news conference in Kuala Lumpur on Wednesday, Malaysian Transport Minister Hishammudin Hussein said the search had been extended to cover the South China Sea and Strait of Malacca. "Each day that passes I fear that the search and rescue becomes just a search, but we never give up hope." :: Sky News will be showing a 12-minute special report on the story so far of the missing flight MH370 at 2.30pm.
Aviation experts told Sky News pilot suicide is a possible explanation, although Malaysia Airlines chiefs say there is "no reason to believe" crew had anything to do with the Boeing 777-200's disappearance. As the mystery deepened, Australian aviation consultant Neil Hansford accused the Malaysian government of not telling the full story of what happened. He told Sky News: "I'm finding in any interviews I'm doing with Malaysians, there is a fair bit of spin, there's a fair bit of denial of the boarding procedures and the manifest checking with the stolen passport list, and inconsistencies all the time. "I think you're now finding the Malaysian authorities have got a lot to answer for."
Oscar Pistorius was on his stumps when he smashed down a locked toilet door to reach his shot girlfriend, a court has heard, contradicting his previous claims. South African police forensic expert Johannes Vermuelen knelt down in court and swung Pistorius’ cricket bat at the door as part of a reconstruction of the night in question. :: A special Sky News highlights programme will be broadcast every weekday at 9.30pm. Pistorius is charged with the murder of model and law graduate Reeva Steenkamp, who he shot through the locked toilet door on Valentine's Day last year.
Ed Miliband has effectively ruled out an EU in-out referendum, saying there would only be a vote in the event of a significant Brussels power grab. The key initiative from the Labour leader is what he calls a "new lock" which means no in-out referendum unless there is a transfer of powers from the UK to the EU. However, he pointed out there were no current proposals for such a transfer of powers so it is unlikely any Labour government would introduce an EU membership vote. In a speech in central London on Wednesday morning he said: "Now, there are no current proposals from other countries for such a transfer of powers.
A bill of rights should be created to govern the Internet in the wake of revelations about the depth of government surveillance, the inventor of the World Wide Web said on Wednesday.
Chinese maths teachers are to come to England to give masterclasses in the subject as part of a fresh bid to boost standards.
David Cameron has urged Israel to pursue a peace deal with Palestinians that could mean "an end of all conflict" in the Middle East.
By Guy Faulconbridge and Kylie MacLellan LONDON (Reuters) - A future Labour government is unlikely to hold a referendum on Britain's membership of the European Union this decade, party leader Ed Miliband said in a political gamble that lowers the chances of Britain leaving the 28-member bloc. Seeking to define the battlelines of the 2015 election, Miliband said he wanted to fight Prime Minister David Cameron on the 'cost of living' rather than spooking businesses with the prospect of a British exit from the EU. In sharp contrast to Cameron's promise to reach a new settlement with the EU before holding an in/out vote by the end of 2017, the 44-year-old Labour leader said he would only hold a referendum if more powers were transferred to Brussels. Such a transfer is unlikely at this stage, particularly since future European political and economic integration would probably come within the euro zone, of which Britain is not a member.
British insurer Prudential revealed rising 2013 operating profits and a dividend hike on Wednesday, sending shares surging to a record peak, but the group added that net earnings sank.
Lance Corporal Richard Farrell, who has been in custody at Shrewsbury police station since his arrest at the weekend, was remanded in custody until a further hearing on March 31 after making a brief appearance at Telford Magistrates' Court. The soldier is charged with killing Corporal Geoffrey McNeill, of 1st Battalion The Royal Irish Regiment. West Mercia Police have yet to confirm the cause of Cpl McNeill's death after further tests were ordered following a post-mortem examination. The victim's brother, Jason McNeill, paid tribute to his sibling, who was born in Ballymoney, County Antrim.
The Court of Appeal has quashed a decision taken by the Attorney General to block the disclosure of communications between Prince Charles and seven Government ministers. Judges ruled that Dominic Grieve, the Government's principal legal adviser, had "no good reason" for using his ministerial veto to block their publication following an appeal from Guardian journalist Rob Evans. The Upper Tribunal permitted the publication of the letters in September 2012 under the Freedom of Information Act 2000 (FOIA), and under the Environmental Information Regulations 2004. Although the Government departments concerned did not object to the ruling, the Attorney General issued a certificate under section 53 of the FOIA and used his ministerial veto the following month to block their disclosure.
Education minister Liz Truss said that following a recent visit to China, she felt British teachers had much to learn from their Asian opposite numbers. Last year, the 2012 Programme for International Student Assessment (Pisa) report ranked Britain 26th for maths and 21st for science. Under the "teacher exchange" scheme, which is due to begin in the autumn, 60 English-speaking teachers from cities such as Shanghai will be based in 30 new maths "hubs", schools specialising in the subject. In return, some British maths teachers will travel to work in schools in China, as part of the Department for Education's plan to overhaul the teaching of mathematics.
The organisers of Glastonbury Festival have been granted a new 10-year licence. The number of public tickets available will remain at 135,000, but the licence will allow more staff to be on the huge site at Worthy Farm in Somerset. Mendip District Council said it "saw no reason not to grant the festival its new licence". Councillor Nigel Taylor said the council had worked closely with organisers "to make this one of the best-run festivals in the world".
Out-of-shape people are more likely to change their lifestyle and improve their health if offered a cash incentive, research has found. Newcastle University researchers looked at 16 previous studies and found sums as small as £3 could make people up to 50% more likely to make changes than with standard interventions. Newcastle University research associate Dr Emma Giles said: "This was an interesting finding and we were surprised at just how strong the effect was. Dr Jean Adams, a senior lecturer in public health, said: "We were surprised how few studies we found which had looked at the impact financial incentives can have.
Michael Schumacher is showing "small signs of encouragement" more than two months after his skiing accident, according to his agent. But Sabine Kehm said the former F1 star still faces a long fight to recover after suffering brain damage in a skiing accident.
By Mark John PARIS (Reuters) - France's justice minister on Wednesday defied calls for her to quit after it emerged that she knew former President Nicolas Sarkozy's phone was being tapped, apparently contradicting an earlier statement from her. Sarkozy's opposition conservatives accuse the government of using the surveillance, ordered as part of a party funding inquiry, to discredit them before this month's local elections in which President Francois Hollande's Socialists risk losing ground. Justice Minister Christiane Taubira dismissed that accusation on Monday, saying she had not been informed about the phone-tapping before Le Monde newspaper revealed it last week. Barely 24 hours later, Prime Minister Jean-Marc Ayrault acknowledged on television late on Tuesday that he and Taubira did know of the surveillance.
By Eveline Danubrata and Nguyen Phuong Linh KUALA LUMPUR/PHU QUOC, Vietnam (Reuters) - M alaysia's military has traced what could have been the jetliner missing for almost five days to an area south of the Thai holiday island of Phuket, hundreds of miles from its last known position, the country's air force chief said on Wednesday. After a series of at times conflicting statements, the latest revelation underlined that authorities remain uncertain even where to look for the plane, and no closer to explaining what happened to Malaysia Airlines Flight MH370 or the 239 people on board. The flight disappeared from civilian radar screens shortly before 1:30 a.m. on Saturday, less than an hour after taking off from Kuala Lumpur, as it flew northeast across the mouth of the Gulf of Thailand bound for Beijing. Malaysian air force chief Rodzali Daud told a news conference that an aircraft was plotted on military radar at 2:15 a.m., 200 miles (320 km) northwest of Penang Island off Malaysia's west coast.
It has sent out more than 4,000 letters explaining the risk of possible blood contamination and is urging them to get tested for the viruses as a precaution. The health scare centres on insulin pens for diabetics which are pre-filled syringes used by the hospital to dispense the hormone in a single patient. The pens each contain multiple insulin doses with disposable needles, and while nurses used new needles for each patient, they may not have used a fresh pen. Blood could have back-flowed into the chamber contaminating the insulin, the South Nassau Communities Hospital warned.
Russia has signed a preliminary agreement to build at least two more nuclear power plants in the Iranian port city of Bushehr, Iran's official IRNA news agency reported on Wednesday.
SOCHI, Russia (Reuters) - Russian President Vladimir Putin told the country's top finance and economy officials on Wednesday that the current forecast for gross domestic product this year was unacceptable. "I will again stress that the existing growth rates and those forecast by the government cannot satisfy us," Putin told Central Bank Governor Elvira Nabiullina, Finance Minister Anton Siluanov and Kremlin economic adviser Andrei Belousov. The central bank envisages GDP growth of 1.5-1.8 percent this year, while the economy ministry puts the rate at around 2 percent. ...