n18
NEWS|Current Affairs 
   |

Kuala Lumpur: The co-pilot of missing Malaysia Airlines plane made a desperate call from his mobile phone moments before the jet went off the radar with 239 people on board under mysterious circumstances on March 8. The call from co-pilot Fariq Abdul Hamid's phone, however, ended abruptly, but not before contact was established with a telecommunications sub-station in Penang state, the New Straits Times reported on Saturday. The call was made as the jet was flying low near Penang island on Malaysia's west coast, the morning it went missing. "The telco's (telecommunications company's) tower established the call that he was trying to make. On why the call was cut off, it was likely because the aircraft was fast moving away from the tower and had not come under the coverage of the next one," the paper said, citing unnamed sources. The paper said it was unable to ascertain who Fariq was trying to call as sources chose not to divulge details of the investigation. The links that police are trying to establish are also unclear, said the report. Investigators are poring over this discovery as they try to piece together what had happened moments before the Boeing 777 Flight MH370 went off the radar, some 200 nautical miles northwest of Penang, the paper said. Fariq's last communication through the WhatsApp Messenger application was about 11.30pm on March 7, just before he boarded the jet for his six-hour flight to Beijing. The Beijing-bound Malaysia Airlines flight MH370 - carrying 239 people, including five Indians, an Indo-Canadian and 154 Chinese nationals - had mysteriously vanished on March 8 after taking off from Kuala Lumpur. The paper said checks on Fariq's phone history showed the last person he spoke to was "one of his regular contacts (a number that frequently appears on his outgoing phone logs)". This call was made no more than two hours before the flight took off from Kuala Lumpur International Airport. Citing sources close to the investigations, the paper said that checks on Fariq's phone showed that connection to the phone had been "detached" before the plane took off. "This is usually the result of the phone being switched off. At one point, however, when the airplane was airborne, between waypoint Igari and the spot near Penang (just before it went missing from radar), the line was 'reattached'. "A 'reattachment' does not necessarily mean that a call was made. It can also be the result of the phone being switched on again," the sources said. Fariq and Captain Zaharie Ahmad Shah have come under intense scrutiny after the plane mysteriously vanished. Investigators last month indicated that the flight was deliberately diverted and its communication systems manually switched off as it was leaving Malaysian airspace. The probe into the missing plane have been focused on four possible areas - hijack, sabotage, as well as personal and psychological problems. The FBI has been assisting police, including sharing intelligence and expertise. Police have not cleared the 227 passengers of the flight MH370 of possible foul play. Clearance has also not been given to the crew. The mystery of the missing plane continued to baffle aviation and security authorities who have so far not succeeded in tracking the aircraft despite deploying hi-tech radar and other gadgets even after searching for 36 days.

US must continue leading global fight against Ebola, says Obama

from firstpost

US must continue leading global fight against Ebola, says Obama

Washington: As New York City reported its first Ebola case, US President Barack Obama on Saturday asked the Americans not to give into fear as the country is well equipped to deal with the deadly viru...


Five-phased polls in J&K, Jharkhand to begin on 25 Nov; results on 23 Dec

from firstpost

Five-phased polls in J&K, Jharkhand to begin on 25 Nov; results on 23 Dec

New Delhi: Five-phased assembly elections would be held in Jammu and Kashmir and Jharkhand, beginning on 25 November and ending on 20 December.By-elections to three Delhi assembly constituencies would...

Bengal: Two killed in TMC intra-party factional clash

from firstpost

Bengal: Two killed in TMC intra-party factional clash

Bhangor: Two youths were killed in an alleged clash on Saturday between two factions of TMC in Bhangor in South 24 Parganas district, police said.One Bapan Mondal was gunned down by some people, follo...

Kashmir flood victims get peanuts to rebuild houses; pitch hope on Modi

from firstpost

Kashmir flood victims get peanuts to rebuild houses; pitch hope on Modi

Srinagar: Ghulam Qadri Dar, a resident of Boat Colony in Bemina area, stood at the wreckage of his once two-storied house as Prime Minister Narendra Modi listened to political and business leaders fro...

Goa governor's website hacked by unknown people

from firstpost

Goa governor's website hacked by unknown people

Panaji: Goa Governor Mridula Sinha's website has been hacked by unknown people, the police said on Saturday.According to a complaint registered by Shilpa Shinde, secretary to the governor, some hacker...

Defying International campaign, Iran hangs woman who killed her molester

from firstpost

Defying International campaign, Iran hangs woman who killed her molester

Tehran: Iran executed today a 26-year-old woman who had spent five years on death row for the murder of a former intelligence official, defying international pressure to spare her life.Reyhaneh Jabbar...

Jammu govt sets up Samadhan Kendra to address public grievances

from firstpost

Jammu govt sets up Samadhan Kendra to address public grievances

Jammu: The Jammu and Kashmir government has launched a 'Samadhan Kendra' here for single-window clearance of public grievances."A Samadhan Kendra, a single contact point for addressing public gri...