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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.
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.
By Andy Bruce and David Milliken LONDON (Reuters) - Britain's plan to become the biggest economy to use plastic bank notes took a step forward on Wednesday when the Bank of England said it had signed a contract for a supplier of material for the new notes. The BoE entered into an agreement with Innovia Security, whose polymers are already used for bank notes by more than 20 countries. The Bank and Innovia declined to say how much the contract was worth. When the BoE asked for tenders for the contract, it said it would run just under 10 years, with a transition period to start and an option to extend the contract for three years.
Teachers from China are being brought to the UK to help children in England and Wales improve their maths.
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.
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.
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. ...
Protestors clashed with police in Turkey on Wednesday as tens of thousands of people took to the streets to mourn a teenage boy who died from injuries suffered during last year's anti-government protests.
Ukraine's acting president told AFP he would not wage war over Crimea as the ex-Soviet state's premier prepared Wednesday to seek US President Barack Obama's help against Russia's expansionist threat.
By Hamid Shalizi and Jessica Donati KABUL (Reuters) - A little-known militant group on Wednesday claimed responsibility for killing a Swedish journalist in the Afghan capital, saying he was a spy for British intelligence. Nils Horner, 51, who worked for Swedish Radio and had dual British-Swedish nationality, was shot dead outside a restaurant one Kabul's most heavily guarded districts on Tuesday, underscoring growing insecurity threatening next month's elections. "Nils Horner was killed in this attack. He was not a journalist.