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Malaysia Airlines plane missing with more than 200 passengers on board

MAS B777
© Airliners Net/Bruno Delliere
Search and rescue teams are trying to find a Malaysia Airlines plane that has gone missing with more than 200 passengers on board.

The airline lost contact with the B777-200 aircraft after it departed Kuala Lumpur shortly after 12.40am local time on Saturday.

It was expected to land in Beijing at 6.30am.

Flight MH370 was carrying 227 passengers including two infants and 12 crew members.

Malaysia Airlines said in a statement that it was working with the authorities who have activated their search and rescue team to locate the aircraft.

An unconfirmed report from a flight tracking website said the plane had plunged more than 200 metres and changed course in the last minute that it had transmitted data.

There have also been reports that it is the same type of plane involved in the Asiana crash last July in San Francisco.

The airline will provide regular updates on the situation.


Shock survey: Depraved French think disgraced Dominique Strauss-Kahn should replace Francois Hollande

Disgraced former IMF director Dominique Strauss-Kahn is the most qualified to replace France's unpopular president, François Hollande, according to a shock survey French newspaper Le Parisien chose not to publish.

Asked which French politician they trusted to run the economy, 56% of those surveyed named the 64-year-old former head of the International Monetary Fund, whose political career has been ruined by a string of sex scandals and criminal allegations.

Alain Juppé, a former foreign minister, came second with 53%, while former president Nicolas Sarkozy pooled 49%.

The startling result was revealed by France Info radio, which said the poll's commissioner Le Parisien had chosen not to publish it due to "editorial" reasons.

Le Parisien reportedly told France Info it had pulled the survey because it felt it should have included the question: "Are you for or against Strauss-Kahn's return to politics?"

French commentators said the poll was embarrassing to both Hollande's ruling Socialists and the conservative opposition.

Gold Coins

No legitimate claim to $10 million California gold find, firm says

© Kagin's, Inc./AFP
Cans filled with 19th century gold coins are seen in this undated handout photo obtained February 26, 2014 courtesy of Kagin's, Inc
The currency firm representing a California couple who found $10 million worth of rare Gold Rush-era coins buried on their property says no valid claim to the collection has emerged, despite rumors that the stash was swiped in a 1901 heist.

A sale of the treasure trove, which includes 1,400 gold pieces in nearly mint condition, will proceed as planned, said coin expert David McCarthy of currency firm Kagin's.

"To my knowledge, no legitimate claims have surfaced, and I don't think that any will," McCarthy told Reuters.

Theories about the history of the Saddle Ridge Hoard, named by the owners after an area of land where they unearthed the coins in April, have emerged since the discovery was made public last week.

Black Magic

Pregnant mom spoke of demons before driving minivan into ocean with her 3 kids inside

A pregnant mother was caught on video driving a minivan into the Atlantic Ocean with her three kids inside.

The video shows the unnamed mother driving the black minivan into the water at Daytona Beach as bystanders rush to save the kids inside.

"My friend pointed out that there was a car getting really close to the beach, and actually started driving on the water," eyewitness Taylor Quintin told CBS News. "I saw a kid in the back, like waving his arms around, like screaming, 'Help us! Help us!' and the car kept going deeper."

One witness who ran to the van said the mom dove out the window into the water while they were trying to save her young kids.

Comment: An update from USA Today:

"A pregnant South Carolina woman who drove a minivan carrying her three young children into the ocean surf off Florida had talked about demons before leaving the house, according to her sister who worriedly called police, officials said during a news conference Wednesday."

Police: Mom who drove into ocean spoke of demons


More hysteria from the anti-tobacco crusade: LA restricts usage of e-cigarettes

Smoking fascism
© Unknown
Do e-cigarettes endanger the health of their users and secondhand inhalers and therefore require strict regulation, or are they a safer alternative to conventional lit cigarettes whose growing popularity should be welcomed?

On Tuesday Los Angeles took the plunge into this national debate, with a unanimous City Council vote to prohibit e-cigarettes wherever regular tobacco products are banned.

Comment: Maybe soon they'll also be forced to ban nicotine gum, lest one of those pesky molecules escape the chewer's mouth and cause disastrous cancer in nearby innocent bystanders. In the mean time, educate yourself: 'World No Tobacco Day'? Let's All Light Up!


Bitcoin trader Autumn Radtke's death classified as 'unnatural'

bitcoin death suicide

Autumn Radtke
Update (Mar 6, 1pm): Police has classified this as a case of unnatural death. No foul play is suspected, and toxicology test results are pending. More details about her death have been added.

Update (Feb 27, 3pm): Article edited to emphasize that investigations are ongoing. While suicide has been suggested, it is not a certainty.

The startup community has lost one of its own. Autumn Radtke, CEO of First Meta, a Singapore-based virtual currency trading platform that allows users to sell bitcoin, has died on February 26, Tech in Asia has learned. She was 28 years old.

Radtke was found lying motionless at the second-level parapet of an apartment block at Cantonment Close at 7am. She was declared dead on scene by paramedics.

Circumstances surrounding the death is unclear. The Police have classified this as a case of unnatural death, which can be caused by an accident, misadventure, or suicide. Preliminary investigations indicated no foul play, but toxicology test results are pending.

According to Reuters, the American was struggling with personal and professional issues, one of which was the fact that First Meta had not gained traction as hoped.

Dollar Gold

Who is Satoshi Nakamoto? Man denies being bitcoin inventor amid media chase

© Damian Dovarganes/AP
Dorian S Nakamoto, named by Newsweek as Satoshi Nakamoto.
Dorian S Nakamoto, the Japanese-American man named as bitcoin inventor Satoshi Nakamoto, has denied any link to the digital currency amid a farcical media chase through Los Angeles.

Nakamoto, 64, disputed a Newsweek cover story that on Thursday unmasked him as the "father of bitcoin". His denial cast doubt on a putative scoop the magazine used to relaunch its print edition.

Nakamoto made the denial in an interview with the Associated Press after a day of near-slapstick scenes in which dozens of journalists pursued him and an AP reporter through the city, provoking a social media storm. "I got nothing to do with it," he said.

It remained unclear whether Newsweek had got the right man - the enigmatic, anonymous architect of the troubled currency - or committed a credibility-shredding blunder.

Satoshi Nakamoto makes his way through a media throng outside his California home.


On applying for British citizenship: 'I never felt safe' (Newsflash: It's the same everywhere)

© Guardian/Sara Lee
Kamila Shamsie
There's a postcard on my fridge door in London, which a South African friend sent to me 18 months ago. A replica of a Puffin picture-book cover, it has an illustration of mountain peaks below which are emblazoned the words "Everest is climbed!" My friend had already climbed the same metaphorical mountain that I had just reached the summit of, and when she had reached the top she sat down and wept, much to the surprise of all her British friends. "I knew I could stay," she had told me, describing the emotion of the moment, "finally, I knew I could stay." I might not have wept, but I did turn wobbly-kneed and lean against my kitchen counter for support the day my letter arrived from the UK Border Agency to say I'd been granted Indefinite Leave to Remain (ILR) in the UK.

Five years previously, when I had entered the UK on a Writers, Artists and Composers visa I thought the road to settlement, and then citizenship, was flat and paved. As long as I could maintain myself financially, continued to work as a writer, and didn't break any laws, I'd be eligible for ILR in five years, and citizenship a year later. And then there would be a citizenship ceremony to end it all, which seemed a pleasant enough idea. I'm all for rituals to mark moments of significance. But I wasn't prepared for the mutable nature of immigration laws, and their ability to make migrants feel perpetually insecure, particularly as the rhetoric around migration mounted. "I didn't think that would affect someone like you," a large number of Brits said to me over the years, with the implacable British belief that if you're middle class you exist under a separate set of laws. They weren't entirely wrong - the more privileged you are in terms of income and education the more likely it is you'll be able to clear all hurdles. It's only the rich around whose convenience immigration laws are tailored.

Evil Rays

Journalist beaten with lead pipe by Venezuelan opposition protesters

© Federico Parra
A photograph that Ultimas Noticias claims shows Hernandez being beaten by opposition demonstrators
Venezuelan opposition protesters in Caracas attacked three journalists following a march demanding "greater freedom of the press". Meanwhile, barricades in Tachira state have claimed another life.

Luis Gutierrez Camargo was killed instantly during a collision with an opposition roadblock in Tachira state yesterday, communication minister Delcy Rodriguez announced via Twitter.

Rodriguez condemned the use of street barricades, describing them as "murderous methods".

"Were the violent ones who organised these barricades unaware that they can end the life of another person? This is a protest?" Rodriguez stated.

Comment: See how the private media of Venezuela have been instrumental in spreading lies and easing former coups:

War Whore

With friends like these, who needs terrorists? Notorious Ukrainian nationalist Aleksandr Muzychko on international wanted list over Chechnya killings

© TVRivne1
Aleksandr Muzychko
Russia's Investigative Committee initiated a criminal case against notorious Ukrainian nationalist, Aleksandr Muzychko. The Ukrainian is accused of torturing and murdering at least 20 captured Russian soldiers as he fought alongside the Chechen militants.

Also known as Sashko Bilyi, the man took active part in the First Chechen War in 1994-1995, when he headed a group of Ukrainian nationalists fighting against Russian troops.

"Today a court in the city of Essentuki, Stavropol region, issued a decree on indictment of Aleksandr Muzychko as a defendant, and an international arrest warrant has also been issued," stated Vladimir Markin, the spokesman for Russia's Investigative Committee.

Muzychko is charged with forming and supervising an armed gang organized for the purpose of attacking Russian citizens, Markin said.