Search and rescue crews from several countries were scrambling Saturday to locate a Malaysia Airlines plane with 239 people aboard, including three Americans, that disappeared after losing contact with air traffic control on its way from Kuala Lumpur to Beijing.
The airline said the Boeing 777-200 "lost contact" with Subang Air Traffic Control at 2:40 a.m., two hours into the flight. The plane had been expected to land in Beijing at 6:30 a.m. Saturday.
Malaysia Airlines CEO Ahmad Jauhari Yahya said there was no indication that the pilots had sent a distress signal, suggesting that whatever happened to the plane occurred quickly and possibly catastrophically.
China's state-run news agency Xinhua reported the plane was lost in airspace controlled by Vietnam, and never made contact with Chinese air traffic controllers. There have been no reports of a plane crashing into Chinese waters, and China is assisting the airline in its search for the plane.
Vietnamese air force planes on Saturday spotted two large oil slicks in the area where the plane vanished in the first sign that the aircraft carrying 239 people on board, including two infants and 12 crew members, had crashed.
The slicks were each between 6 miles and 9 miles long. There was no confirmation that the slicks were related to the missing plane, but the statement said they were consistent with the kinds that would be produced by the two fuel tanks of a crashed jetliner.
The airline said in a statement that it is currently notifying next-of-kin about the situation. "Our thoughts and prayers are with all affected passengers and crew and their family members," Yahya said.
Those aboard included 152 passengers from China, 38 from Malaysia, seven from Indonesia, six from Australia, five from India, three ..... (article cut to save bandwidth)
For six years the bills were paid, the grass was cut and no one noticed the body of the dead woman sitting in the back seat of a car in a garage of a residential Pontiac, Michigan neighborhood.
Her mummified body was finally found this week by someone dispatched to check on the property that fell into foreclosure after the money ran out of her account and the mortgage payments stopped, police said on Friday.
"It is kind of the perfect storm for a mysterious set of circumstance and a challenge because of the extreme degradation of the body," Oakland County Sheriff Michael Bouchard said in a telephone interview.
The woman has not yet been positively identified, but it is thought she is a person who stopped working in 2008 and had set up all of her bills to be paid automatically from her bank account.
She is also thought to have worked as a contractor in the financial department for a major automobile company.
A neighbor cut her lawn, her mail was sent to the post office and there was no family living nearby, Bouchard said.
"The last withdrawal from her account was in March 2013," he added.
Neighbors said the woman had family in Germany and would be gone for days or weeks at a time. When she was back home, she kept to herself, local broadcaster WXYZ reported.
"Nobody came over there to check on the lady. It's weird. And it's actually scary," a neighbor who wished to remain anonymous told the local TV station.
A cause of death was under investigation.
NEW YORK, March 7 (UPI) -- A 75-year-old New York woman who won a $2 million lottery jackpot said she got her numbers from a fortune cookie.
Great-grandmother Emma Duvoll, who collected her winnings Thursday, said she kept her fortune cookie slip when she and her sons picked up food from Sammy's Noodle Shop & Grill in Greenwich Village and she used the numbers from the slip when she bought a lottery ticket from Hanneford's grocery store, the New York Post reported Friday.
Duvoll said playing the lottery using family birthdays and anniversaries had failed to yield results and she decided to use her fortune cookie numbers because she had heard of the same strategy being successful for someone else.
"I heard about it once, a long time ago," Duvoll said. "You try anything once. And this time it worked!"
Duvoll matched five numbers in the Feb. 1 drawing, earning $1 million, but missed the Powerball number. Her payout was doubled to $2 million because she paid an extra $1 for the Power Play option when she bought the ticket.
Duvoll, who collected a lump sum payment of $1,246,085 after taxes, said she and her husband, Dwight, 86, don't expect the windfall to change their lives too much.
"We're very content they way we are," Duvoll said. "It will probably go into savings and investments."
TAMPA, Fla. – Authorities say a Florida woman who was 9 months pregnant and her family became ill after eating meat tainted with LSD.
Tampa police say doctors induced labor and the woman had a healthy baby boy. The entire family was eventually released from the hospital in good condition.
Tampa police say the family of four ate the tainted meat Monday. The Hillsborough County Medical Examiner's Office reported Friday that the meat had been contaminated with the hallucinogenic drug.
Police say the bottom round steak was purchased from a Wal-Mart in Tampa. The store has turned over all its meat to police for testing.
Local police, along with county health officials and state and federal agriculture officials, are investigating how the drug got into the meat.
It was Superdog to the rescue.
A family in Los Angeles was home when armed intruders broke in – but their medium-sized pooch may have saved their life.
Charlie was one of three dogs at the Pineo family home in Los Angeles when two men barged into the house. The three dogs chased out the intruders, who fired shots at the pets as they ran off.
Charlie was struck in two of her legs and the other dogs tried to push her back into the house after she was hurt, according to the North Central Shelter’s Facebook page.
“Everybody said good-bye to the dog. For us, she was dead,” dog owner Armando Casillas told KTLA. “I saw the dog coming through the house bleeding.”
Thanks to an online fundraising campaign, Charlie had a lifesaving surgery and is now recovering at home.
Family members said they were glad they could save the dog’s life – since she likely saved theirs. If Charlie had not been in the line of fire, the bullets could have hit one of the children, the family said.
Charlie was taken by Animal Control to the North Central Shelter because the family could not afford to get her to an emergency veterinarian on their own.
Initially, when told the cost of the surgery to save Charlie’s life, the family almost thought they would not be able to save her. But a technician at the shelter reached out to the North Central Shelter Intervention Program, which helps owners find resources.
Karri Lowe Armstrong, who works at the shelter, went online to seek donations to save Charlie. In less than an hour, about $4,000 (the cost of the surgery) had been raised.
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A man of the United Kingdom, was charged with manslaughter after he failed to call for help when his son was electrocuted.
Shaun Stewart, 52, of Barnsley, appeared at the Sheffield Crown Court, after his son died while they tried to steal copper.
Brent Shaun Campbell, 29 , was electrocuted by 11,000 volts of electricity. The jury heard how the father and son traveled to the Tyers Hall pumping station in Darfield, with the intent of stealing what they thought was expensive copper cables.
The pumping station is a Northern Power Grid circuit breaker that provides electricity to 3,000 customers. To their disappointment, the overhead cable was actually made of aluminum, with has a much lower value than copper.
The duo decided to take the metal anyway. In order to reach the metal, they sawed down a pole, which supported three cables.
Prosecutors said that they did not realize the lines were energized. As a result, Campbell suffered a fatal electric shock and his father was seriously injured in the leg, face and neck.
After the incident occurred, Stewart did not call for help. Instead, he returned home without his son and told his wife he could not remember what happened.
He was taken to a hospital where he was treated for third degree burns. Sheffield Police received a call from the pumping station after employees found a body in a nearby field.
When the area was confirmed to be safe at 3:02 a.m., Campbell was discovered and pronounced dead at the scene.
After an investigation, Stewart was arrested for theft. During the interview with police, he admitted that he and his son went there to steal cables as they both needed money, according to the prosecutor.
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LAS VEGAS, March 6 (UPI) -- A California businessman's lawsuit against a Las Vegas casino alleges he was allowed to gamble while "blackout drunk" and was loaned $500,000 by management.
Mark Johnston, 52, the retired owner of a southern California car dealership, alleges in his lawsuit the Downtown Grand Casino, which opened under its current name and owners in October 2013, violated Nevada laws by allowing him to play blackjack and pai gow for several hours during a Super Bowl weekend trip to Las Vegas, legaluspokersites.com reported Thursday.
Nevada laws prohibit allowing visibly inebriated patrons to continue gambling or receive comped drinks. Johnson alleges he was already "blackout drunk" when he arrived at the Downtown Grand and he was comped several drinks and given a $500,000 loan by management to continue gambling.
Johnson said he put a stop on the payment of the markers when he emerged from his drunken state on Super Bowl Sunday and discovered how much he had lost.
"It's certainly an extraordinary case," attorney Sean Lytte said. "This is not a story that I've ever heard before, where someone was blackout intoxicated where they couldn't read their cards, and yet a casino continued to serve them drinks and issue them more markers. It's a very heavy-handed and unusual approach that we haven't seen in this town in a long time."
The Downtown Grand has filed a countersuit against Johnson, alleging he is attempting to avoid paying his gambling debt.
Russia has reportedly begun large-scale air defense drills as tensions with the West continue escalating over the fate of Crimea.
Roughly 3,500 troops and more than 1,000 units of military hardware will be hosted for about a month in Kapustin Yar, some 280 miles east of the Ukrainian border. The exercise by Russia’s Western Military District, according to a report from RIA Novosti, will culminate with live-firing drills and deployment of air defense systems.
“It is for the first time that all air defense units from the district, including coastal defenses of the Northern Fleet, have gathered in one place,” district spokesman Col. Oleg Kochetkov said, adding that the drills were part of regular training cycles. “It is the largest-ever exercise held by air defense units of the Western Military District.”
Pentagon officials on Friday confirmed the report to Fox News based on the latest intelligence available to U.S. officials. The exercise comes as the speaker of Russia's upper house of parliament said Friday that Crimea — an autonomous Ukrainian region with a majority ethnic Russian population — would become an equal part of Russia if the region votes to leave Ukraine in an upcoming referendum.
Valentina Matvienko met with the head of the Crimean parliament to discuss the region's possible accession to Russia. The parliament of Crimea voted on Thursday to move the referendum date up to March 16 and to include a question on joining Russia.
President Vladimir Putin told reporters on Tuesday that Russia had no intention of annexing Crimea, while insisting that residents had the right to determine the region's status — and thus possible independence — by popular vote. The referendum, however, will give Crimea residents only two options: to join Russia or to stay with Ukraine.
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A U.S. Marine, who suffered serious injuries after it is believed he jumped on a grenade to protect a fellow Marine as they stood guard on a rooftop in Afghanistan's Helmand province, will receive the nation's highest combat valor honor, The Marine Times reported, citing unnamed sources.
William Kyle Carpenter, 24, who medically retired as a corporal, is expected the receive the Medal of Honor later this year, the report said. Carpenter lost his right eye, most of his teeth and shattered his mouth and arm in the November 2010 grenade attack, the report said. He would be the service's third recipient of the honor from the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan.
Neither Carpenter nor the White House would confirm the report, the paper said.
The investigation to verify the story has been difficult. Carpenter acknowledges he remembers little from the attack, and the Marine he is believed to have saved, Lance Cpl. Nicholas Eufrazio, suffered head injuries that until recently left him unable to speak. There were no other witnesses.
However, those who know Carpenter say they have little doubt of his heroism. A Navy Corpsman who treated the Marine said the trajectory of the explosion indicates that Carpenter did indeed cover the explosive, the report said.
ANGLESEY, Wales, March 5 (UPI) -- The head of a Welsh elementary school allegedly called police when she heard students were planning not to smile for a photo, a conduct hearing heard.
The General Teaching Council for Wales heard a list of complaints Tuesday against Ann Hughes, former headmistress of the village elementary school in Anglesey, including allegations she had a police officer come to the school to reprimand students who she heard were planning to refuse to smile for a school photo, the Mirror reported Wednesday.
The allegations against Hughes also include accusations she failed to investigate bullying complaints, shouted excessively at students, called a student "stupid," ripped up a pupil's exam for spelling his middle name wrong and showed favoritism toward students whose first language was Welsh.
Five of the school's six teachers called in sick at the same time in May 2011 after no action was taken on a vote of no confidence in Hughes. The teachers said there was a climate of "fear" at the school before Hughes was suspended in July 2011 and subsequently dismissed from her position.
The conduct hearing is ongoing.