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The mini-submarine hunting for flight MH370 will finish scouring its current strip of the Indian Ocean within a week, Australian Prime Minister Tony Abbott has said, adding that if unsuccessful the operation will be forced to move into a new phase.Abbott told the Wall Street Journal on Wednesday that authorities will need to rethink their approach if the US Navy mini-submarine fails to find wreckage from the missing Malaysian jet in its current search zone, 2,000 kilometres (1,240 miles) off Perth."We believe that search will be completed within a week or so," Abbott told the US newspaper."If we don't find wreckage, we stop, we regroup, we reconsider."The unmanned Bluefin-21 submersible on Thursday completed its first full mission in the search zone, where underwater signals -- believed to be from the missing plane's black box -- were detected earlier this month.Data retrieved by the mini-submarine is being analysed.Australian officials said the Bluefin had searched around approximately 90 square kilometres (35 square miles) so far.The mini-sub's first two attempts to scan the seabed for signs of the Boeing 777, which vanished on March 8 with 239 people on board, had to be cut short -- on Tuesday because the water was deeper than its 4,500-metre operating limits, and on Wednesday because of an unspecified technical problem."My determination for Australia is that we will do whatever we reasonably can to resolve the mystery," Abbott said."If the current search turns up nothing, we won't abandon it, we will simply move to a different phase," he added, reiterating his confidence that searchers were looking in the right place.The Bluefin's aborted first two missions have raised the spectre of a prolonged, difficult search that may require even more sophisticated equipment to be deployed.The US Navy has estimated it would take the sophisticated device "anywhere from six weeks to two months to scan the entire search area".AFP

Singapore tells airlines to review conflict zone risk assessment

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Singapore tells airlines to review conflict zone risk assessment

SINGAPORE/KUALA LUMPUR (Reuters) - Singapore's civil aviation authority has asked airlines based in the city-state to review their risk assessment of conflict zones following the shooting down of a Ma...


Britain says has received black boxes from downed Malaysian plane

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Britain says has received black boxes from downed Malaysian plane

LONDON (Reuters) - Britain said on Wednesday it had taken delivery of two black box flight recorders recovered from MH17, the Malaysian passenger jet downed over eastern Ukraine last week."We can...

Arab rifts may complicate search for Gaza truce

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Arab rifts may complicate search for Gaza truce

DOHA/CAIRO (Reuters) - The push for a Gaza ceasefire risks becoming mired in a regional tussle for influence between conservative Arab states and Islamist-friendly governments, with rival powers compe...

Ukraine to impose sanctions on Russian individuals, firms - PM

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Ukraine to impose sanctions on Russian individuals, firms - PM

KIEV (Reuters) - Ukrainian Prime Minister Arseny Yatseniuk said on Wednesday Kiev would impose sanctions on Russian individuals and companies who directly or indirectly support "terrorists" ...

Wrecked Concordia finally headed for scrapyard after massive salvage operation

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Wrecked Concordia finally headed for scrapyard after massive salvage operation

GIGLIO ISLAND Italy (Reuters) - The rusty hulk of the Costa Concordia cruise liner began its journey to the scrapyard on Wednesday after a two-year salvage operation off the Italian island where it ca...

Philippine army warned against "meddling" as coup rumours swirl

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Philippine army warned against "meddling" as coup rumours swirl

MANILA (Reuters) - Philippine soldiers should keep clear of politics, the military's new chief said on Wednesday, as rumours of a possible coup swirled in the capital after the Supreme Court declared ...

Sierra Leone's chief Ebola doctor contracts the virus

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Sierra Leone's chief Ebola doctor contracts the virus

FREETOWN (Reuters) - The head doctor fighting the deadly tropical virus Ebola in Sierra Leone has himself caught the disease, the government said.The 39-year-old Sheik Umar Khan, hailed as a "nat...