Fire crews in New York City have responded to a possible explosion and building collapse in Upper Manhattan. FDNY confirmed via Twitter that crews responded to a building collapse and fire between 114th and 117th streets. WABC-TV says residents reported hearing a large explosion in an apartment building around 9am. Metro-North Railroad says it has suspended all commuter train service in the area.
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."
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.
The possible publication of potentially embarrassing letters written by British heir-to-the-throne Prince Charles moved a step closer on Wednesday when a gagging order on them was declared unlawful by a court. The 27 letters were written by Charles to members of the previous Labour government and have been described by Attorney General Dominic Grieve as "particularly frank." The 65-year-old prince has long held strong views in areas like the environment and urban planning and has been criticised for apparently using his unelected position to persuade ministers to change official policies through private letters, nicknamed "black-spider memos" because of his scrawled handwriting. He has said that any perception that Charles had disagreed with the previous government of Tony Blair "would be seriously damaging to his role as future monarch because, if he forfeits his position of political neutrality as heir to the throne, he cannot easily recover it when he is king".
British Prime Minister David Cameron on Wednesday voiced opposition to boycotts of Israel, as he spoke in the Israeli parliament during a two-day visit to the Holy Land.
A man who was horrifically injured in a motorbike crash has had his face rebuilt using 3D printing technology. Stephen Power is one of the first patients in the world to have 3D printing used at every stage of the procedure.
By Neil Maidment LONDON (Reuters) - The world's biggest security firm G4S is to repay 108.9 million pounds ($181 million) to the British government after overcharging it on a contract to tag criminals, raising the prospect that a ban on new work could be lifted. G4S generates almost 10 percent of its 7.4 billion pound annual revenues from the UK government and the breakdown in their relationship has been a key concern for investors alongside wider worries about the group's reputation. After a disastrous 2012, when the firm failed to provide enough guards for the London Olympics, G4S has overhauled its management, making 28 senior appointments, and is embarking on a restructuring and investment programme to revive its fortunes. But 2013 brought more scandal with the tagging fiasco - when the firm was found to have charged for monitoring criminals who were dead, in prison or had not been tagged at all - leading to a ban since last July on new UK government work and an ongoing investigation into it by the Serious Fraud Office (SFO).
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.
By Lamine Chikhi ALGIERS (Reuters) - Algerian police prevented opposition leaders from marching on Wednesday to demand a boycott of next month's election, in which President Abdelaziz Bouteflika is seeking a fourth term in power. Bouteflika, 77, registered his candidacy for the April 17 vote last week, one of the few times he has spoken in public since suffering a stroke last year that has raised opposition questions about his ability to govern. Opposition leaders, including from the secularist party Rally for Culture and Democracy (RCD) and the Islamist Movement for Peace and Society (MSP), believe Bouteflika's decision ends fair competition in the election. It is a peaceful march, all we want is to convey a message that Bouteflika is too old, too ill to rule Algeria," said Abdelkader Ait Ali, one of those who tried to take part.
By Dasha Afanasieva ISTANBUL (Reuters) - Tens of thousands of mourners chanting anti-government slogans marched through central Istanbul on Wednesday for the funeral of a teenager wounded in street protests last summer whose death has sparked renewed unrest across Turkey. Riot police fired water cannon and tear gas at protests in several cities after Berkin Elvan's death on Tuesday, adding to pre-election woes for Prime Minister Tayyip Erdogan as he battles a corruption scandal that has become one of the biggest challenges of his decade in power. Crowds chanting "Tayyip! Killer!" and "Everywhere is Berkin, everywhere is resistance" held up photos of Elvan outside a "cemevi", an Alevi place of worship, in Istanbul's working class Okmeydani district, from where his coffin, draped in red and covered in flowers, was carried through the streets for burial.
By Ulf Laessing TRIPOLI (Reuters) - Former Libyan prime minister Ali Zeidan has fled to Europe after parliament voted him out of office on Tuesday over his failure to stop rebels exporting oil independently in a brazen challenge to the nation's fragile unity. Zeidan was in Malta for two hours late on Tuesday on a short stop before going to "another European country", Prime Minister Joseph Muscat told state-owned television TVM. The standoff over control of oil exports runs across dangerous regional and tribal fault lines in Libya where rival militias with powerbases in the east and west back competing political factions in the transitional government. Parliament acted after rebels holding three key ports in the east disobeyed government orders and loaded a North Korean-flagged tanker with oil at Es Sider port as part of their drive for a federal state in their eastern region.
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.
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.