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Kuala Lumpur: Malaysian authorities are probing new information that the missing plane with 239 people on board dropped to an altitude of 5,000 feet or possibly lower to evade radar detection after it turned back midair.Investigators are poring over the Boeing 777 flight MH370 profile to determine if it had flown low and used "terrain masking" during most of the eight hours it was missing from the radar coverage of possibly at least three countries, the New Straits Times reported today.The officials are looking at the possibility whether the plane -with 239 people on board including five Indians and one Indian-Canadian - had taken advantage of the busy airways over the Bay of Bengal and avoided suspicion of military radars."The person who had control over the aircraft has a solid knowledge of avionics and navigation, and left a clean track. It passed low over Kelantan, that was true," the paper quoted officials as saying.The plane "would appear to be just another commercial aircraft on its way to its destination," it said."It's possible that the aircraft had hugged the terrain in some areas, that are mountainous to avoid radar detection."This technique is called terrain masking and is used by military pilots to fly to their targets stealthily, using the topography to mask their approach from prying microwaves.The officials said this type of flying is considered very dangerous, especially in low-light conditions and spatial disorientation, and airsickness could easily set in."While the ongoing search is divided into two massive areas, the data that the investigating team is collating is leading us more towards the north," sources said.Prime Minister Najib Razak last week said authorities are trying to trace the plane across two possible corridors - in the north to the border of Kazakhstan and Turkmenistan, and a southern corridor from Indonesia to the southern Indian Ocean.Officials involved in the multi-national investigation said the probe would also focus on regions with disused airports equipped with long runways."There are two likely possibilities - either the plane landed somewhere and the engine was shut down or it crashed.""As soon as the first country comes up with evidence of the flight's position after its last confirmed position (320km northwest of Penang), we will be able to refine the search and better determine its possible location," the officials said.The mystery of the missing plane from Kuala Lumpur to Beijing since March 8 continued to baffle aviation and security authorities who have not succeeded in tracking the aircraft despite deploying hi-tech radar and other gadgets.PTI

Jihadist militants had asked $132.5 million ransom for Foley, says US official

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Jihadist militants had asked $132.5 million ransom for Foley, says US official

Washington: A US official says the Islamic State militants who beheaded American journalist James Foley in Syria had demanded $132.5 million or 100 million Euros in ransom for his release.A second U...


Badaun murder case: HC asks CBI to finish probe, submit report by 19 September

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Badaun murder case: HC asks CBI to finish probe, submit report by 19 September

Allahabad: Allahabad High Court today directed CBI to complete its investigation into the Badaun murder case, in which two teenage girls were killed after alleged sexual assault, and file its report o...

CBI finds gold, land documents in Censor Board CEO Rakesh Kumar's locker

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CBI finds gold, land documents in Censor Board CEO Rakesh Kumar's locker

Mumbai: CBI, which is probing the alleged bribery case involving CEO of Central Board of FilmCertification Rakesh Kumar, had found 1.5 kg of gold in his locker in Vadodara in Gujarat.It, however, did ...

Ishrat Jahan case: CBI implicating officers without verifying facts , IB tells SC

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Ishrat Jahan case: CBI implicating officers without verifying facts , IB tells SC

New Delhi:The Intelligence Bureau has told the Supreme Court that CBI is implicating its officers without verifying the facts in the 2004 Ishrat Jahan encounter killing case of Gujarat.It also placed ...

Gaza crisis: Abbas meets Hamas leader after truce talks collapse

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Gaza crisis: Abbas meets Hamas leader after truce talks collapse

Doha: Palestinian President Mahmud Abbas held talks with exiled Hamas leader Khaled Meshaal on Thursday as renewed fighting raged in Gaza following the collapse of Egyptian-brokered truce efforts.The ...

Himachal accident: 23 killed, 20 injured as bus falls into gorge

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Himachal accident: 23 killed, 20 injured as bus falls into gorge

Shimla: At least 23people were today killed and20 injured when a bus in which they were travelling fell into a gorge on the banks of Baspa river in Kinnaur district of Himachal Pradesh.The bus was on ...

Ban on e-rickshaws to continue till 28 August as HC refuses to pass interim order

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Ban on e-rickshaws to continue till 28 August as HC refuses to pass interim order

New Delhi: The ban on plying of e-rickshaws in the national capital will continue for a week as the Delhi High Court today refused to pass any interim order to permit their operation till 28 August, s...