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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

Chennai court sends Lankan to six day NIA custody for alleged spying

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Chennai court sends Lankan to six day NIA custody for alleged spying

Chennai: A court in Chennai on Wednesday granted NIA six days custody of a Sri Lankan national held for allegedly spying for Pakistan.In a brief order, Judge of the designated NIA court, M Moni allowe...


Islamic State, Ebola among major issues to be discussed at UN annual gathering

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Islamic State, Ebola among major issues to be discussed at UN annual gathering

United Nations: Over 140 heads of state and government, including US President Barack Obama and Prime Minister Narendra Modi, will arrive at the United Nations next week, with the conflict in Syria an...

While Xi sweet-talks Modi, India draws a firm line on the Ladakh border

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While Xi sweet-talks Modi, India draws a firm line on the Ladakh border

China's President Xi Jinping has said that although India's Elephant and China's Dragon are different, they both cherish peace, equity and justice.In an editorial published in The Hindu newspaper hour...

Expectations high over set of opportunities Modi-Xi playdate will create

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Expectations high over set of opportunities Modi-Xi playdate will create

As visiting Chinese President Xi Jinping and Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi prepare to hold summit talks on Thursday, there is much anticipation that the two Asian neighbours may move in a new di...

Bangladesh commutes death sentence of 1971 war crimes convict

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Bangladesh commutes death sentence of 1971 war crimes convict

by Kamrul Hasan Khan/AFPDhaka: Bangladesh's highest court on Wednesday commuted the death sentence on a top Islamist preacher, triggering clashes between police and secular protesters who slammed the ...

As independence vote nears, here's all you need to know about Scotland

from firstpost

As independence vote nears, here's all you need to know about Scotland

Glasgow, Scotland: The people of Scotland will decide on Thursday whether to end a partnership with the rest of the United Kingdom that has lasted more than 300 years. Here is a guide to Scotland as t...

Delhi: Tibetans protest outside Chinese embassy against Xi's visit, 10 detained

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Delhi: Tibetans protest outside Chinese embassy against Xi's visit, 10 detained

New Delhi: Ten Tibetans were detained on Wednesday morning after they staged a protest outside Chinese Embassy in New Delhi against the visit of Chinese President Xi Jinping to India.Protesters, who s...