Friday: April 25

Tune in at 4 am ET: President Obama is in South Korea and expected to hold news conference
April 11th, 2014
06:13 AM ET

5 Students, 5 Adults Die in Bus-Truck Crash

A FedEx truck crossed a freeway and slammed head-on into a bus carrying students in Northern California, killing 10 people, authorities said Friday.

The collision Thursday evening killed both drivers, five students and three chaperones, said Lt. Bill Carpenter with the California Highway Patrol.

At least 34 people were taken to local hospitals, authorities said.

The bus was taking students from various Los Angeles-area schools to visit Humboldt State University in Arcata. The collision occurred in Orland, about 100 miles north of Sacramento.

In a statement, the university said it got word of the crash but was working to find out more details.

"Our thoughts and prayers are with everyone involved in the tragic accident on I-5 in California. We are cooperating fully with authorities as they investigate," FedEx spokeswoman Bonnie Kourvelas said.

The truck also sideswiped another car before crashing into the bus. The condition of the car's driver was unknown.

Tommy Chang, the instructional superintendent for the Los Angeles School District, confirmed there were local students involved. He declined to provide additional details.

"The first priority is informing parents," he said.

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April 10th, 2014
12:55 PM ET

Heartbleed Bug: What You Need to Know

Security researchers have uncovered a fatal flaw in a key safety feature for surfing the Web - the one that keeps your email, banking, shopping, passwords and communications private.

What is it?

It's called the Heartbleed bug, and it is essentially an information leak.

It starts with a hole in the software that the vast majority of websites on the Internet use to turn your personal information into strings of random numbers and letters. If you see a padlock image in the address bar, there's a good chance that site is using the encryption software that was impacted by the Heartbleed bug.

"It's probably the worst bug the Internet has ever seen," said Matthew Prince, CEO of website-protecting service CloudFlare. "If a week from now we hear criminals spoofed a massive number of accounts at financial institutions, it won't surprise me."

What does it do?

For more than two years now, Heartbleed has allowed outsiders to peek into the personal information that was supposed to be protected from snoopers.

The bug allows potential hackers to take advantage of a feature that computers use to see if they're still online, known as a "heartbeat extension." But a malicious heartbeat signal could force a computer to divulge secret information stored in its memory.

At the very least, Heartbleed exposes your usernames and passwords. It also compromises the session keys that keep you logged into a website, allowing an outsider to pose as you - no passwords required. And it allows attackers to pose as a real website and dupe you into giving up your personal details.

Making matters worse, the Heartbleed bug leaves no traces - you may never know when or if you've been hacked.

"You could watch traffic go back and forth," said Wayne Jackson III, CEO of open source software company Sonatype. "This is a big deal. When you think about the consequences of having visibility into Amazon and Yahoo, that's pretty scary."

For more on this story, see CNN Money. 

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April 9th, 2014
06:30 AM ET

Malaysia Airlines Flight 370: 2 New Signals in Search Area Buoy Hope

In a sea of uncertainty, two bits of good news emerged Wednesday.

Searchers picked up fresh signals that officials hope are locator beacons from the data recorders of the missing Malaysia Airlines Flight 370.

The Australian ship Ocean Shield had first picked up the underwater pulses Saturday. But then, for the next three days, nothing.

On Tuesday, the ship once again reacquired the signals. That's four signals in the same broad area: two on Saturday; two on Tuesday. All of the signals are within 17 miles of one another.

"I believe we are searching in the right area, but we need to visually identify wreckage before we can confirm with certainty that this is the final resting place of MH370," said Air Chief Marshal Angus Houston, who's coordinating the Australian operation.

The second piece of good news? Authorities analyzed the signals picked up Saturday and determined they weren't natural occurrences, but likely came from specific electronic equipment. Some marine life make similar sounds.

"They believe the signals to be consistent with the specification and description of a flight data recorder," Houston said. "I'm now optimistic. We'll find the aircraft or what's left of the aircraft in the not too distant future."

Signals getting weaker

Wednesday is Day 33 in the search for Malaysia Airlines Flight 370, which went missing March 8. It was carrying 239 people.

Authorities haven't given up trying. Instead, they are pinning their hopes on the pings.

But time is not on their side.

The batteries powering the flight recorders' locator beacons are certified to be working for 30 days. Stored in a plane's tail, they are designed to begin sending off distinct, high-pitched signals as soon as they come in contact with water.

"The signals are getting weaker. Which means we're either moving away from the search area or the pinger batteries are dying," Houston said.

The first signal, at 4:45 p.m. Perth Time on Saturday, lasted 2 hours 20 minutes.

The second, at 9:27 p.m. Saturday, lasted 13 minutes.

The third signal was picked up Tuesday at 4:27 p.m. That lasted 5 minutes 32 seconds.

The fourth, at 10:17 p.m. Tuesday, was 7 minutes long.

"It's certainly encouraging that more signals have been detected," Pentagon spokesman Adm. John Kirby told CNN. "There is still much work to do, however."

U.S. Navy Capt. Mark Matthews did not join the speculation over the new signals, instead sticking to the black and white world of science.

"I'm an engineer so we don't talk emotions too much," he said.

Matthews is overseeing the American equipment being used aboard the Ocean Shield to pick up the signals.

Scouring for debris

There's still no indication of wreckage from the plane. And so the visual search goes on.

Wednesday's effort includes up to 11 military planes, four civilian aircraft as well as 14 ships. Three of them - the Ocean Shield farther north, and the British HMS Echo and Chinese Haixun 01 to the south - will be focusing underwater.

All told, everyone involved will be scouring a 29,000-square-mile zone centered about 1,400 miles northwest of Perth.

That's roughly the size of South Carolina.

But it still pales in comparison to the once nearly 3 million miles, at sea and on land, the searchers were scouring for signs of the lost aircraft a few weeks ago.

Kevin McEvoy, a New Zealand air force commodore involved in the effort, noted that authorities once "didn't even know which haystack" to look in for the aircraft.

"I think we have got a much clearer picture around the areas that we need to concentrate on," McEvoy told CNN's Erin Burnett from Auckland.

Authorities greatly reduced that area after analyzing satellite data to determine Flight 370 had set off from Kuala Lumpur toward Beijing, turned around to go back over the Malay Peninsula, then ended up in the southern Indian Ocean.

Why? No one really knows.

The best chance to answer that question may rest wherever the plane - and its so-called black boxes, with their trove of information about the plane and its movements - now resides.

Search planes dispatched day after day looking for evidence of the missing airliner - a floating wing, a seat cushion, anything - thus far have come up empty.

The latest, greatest hopes have come from crews listening underwater for signs of Flight 370.

The ocean to contend with

The first such possible breakthrough came last Friday and Saturday, when a Chinese ship detected pulses that may have been from the plane. No more have been heard since.

According to McEvoy, "the main focus" centers around the site of Ocean Shield's discovery. The ship used more advanced detection gear than that aboard the Chinese vessel and was found some 375 miles away, leading Houston to believe they are separate signals.

Beyond the dwindling battery life, there's all the ocean to contend with: The Ocean Shield signals were in water about 2.6 miles deep, meaning a number of things could literally get in the way of or otherwise disrupt the pulses.

To make sure the waters in the area isn't roiled any further, air and sea traffic there is being limited. That's why there's no rush to put in underwater drones to take photos.

Ocean Shield can search six times the amount of area with a towed pinger locator than can be done with the sonar on a drone, Houston said.

"The better the Ocean Shield can define the area, the easier it will be for the Autonomous Underwater Vehicle to subsequently search for aircraft wreckage," he said. "Bear in mind with the Air France disaster, it took the underwater vehicle 20 days to get to the wreckage."

A painstaking process

If more pulses are detected, it's not as if they'll lead down in a straight line to the flight recorders. As is, the pings that were heard could have emanated from anywhere within a 5-mile radius, said Mary Schiavo, a former inspector general for the U.S. Department of Transportation.

Finding more signals could narrow the search area. Without them, authorities could then start the painstaking process of using side-scanning sonar to try to find the aircraft on the ocean's bottom.

Somewhat 'befuddling'

The absence of wreckage near these detected signals leaves some skeptical, worried that the Chinese and Australian ship's finds could be yet another false lead in an investigation that's been full of them.

Acknowledging "a very high-speed vertical impact" could explain the lack of aircraft remnants, CNN aviation analyst Miles O'Brien said there's reason to be cautious.

"It's either the most extraordinary event, or those pings weren't real," O'Brien said. "It's somewhat befuddling."

Sarah Bajc, the partner of American passenger Philip Wood, isn't convinced about anything. She told CNN's Erin Burnett she thinks the plane was hijacked.

"All of us pretty well agree that until there's the bulk of the plane, the bulk of the bodies discovered, and a black box intact, we won't believe that it's final evidence," Bajc said early Wednesday from Beijing. "I don't think the authorities have given us much confidence of their investigative skills so far."

The lack of clarity makes it hard to "grieve properly and ... move on" - something that she's not yet willing to do.

"I want to fight to find him, in whatever form that ends up being," said Bajc, who is coordinating with other passengers' kin to press for answers. "And I think most of the families feel the same way."

Until they get answers, family members like Steve Wang are clinging to hope while trying to hold themselves together. His mother was on the plane.

"We're just going through so many kinds of emotion," Wang said. "Desperate, sad and helpless - something like that. Everything."

April 8th, 2014
05:44 AM ET

Married Congressman 'Sorry' After Seen Kissing Staffer in Video

Newly elected Rep. Vance McAllister asked for forgiveness from God, his family and his constituents after a local newspaper published what it said was surveillance video of the married Louisiana Republican making out with a female staffer.

"There's no doubt I've fallen short and I'm asking for forgiveness. I'm asking for forgiveness from God, my wife, my kids, my staff, and my constituents who elected me to serve. Trust is something I know has to be earned whether your (sic) a husband, a father, or a congressman. I promise to do everything I can to earn back the trust of everyone I've disappointed,” McAllister said in a statement.

“From day one, I've always tried to be an honest man. I ran for congress (sic) to make a difference and not to just be another politician. I don't want to make a political statement on this, I would just simply like to say that I'm very sorry for what I've done. While I realize I serve the public, I would appreciate the privacy given to my children as we get through this,” he said.

The Ouachita Citizen in West Monroe, Louisiana, published the video it says shows McAllister and the woman passionately kissing in his office last December.

McAllister is married with five children. The woman, the paper reported, is also married.

McAllister was elected in a November special election to fill the vacancy left by  GOP Rep. Rodney Alexander’s resignation.

McAllister campaigned as a Christian conservative. He made headlines earlier this year when he invited “Duck Dynasty” star Willie Robertsonto be his guest at the President’s State of the Union address.

CNN’s Curt Devine contributed.

April 7th, 2014
06:01 AM ET

Malaysia Flight 370: New Signal Sounds 'Just Like' One From a Plane's Beacon

After weeks of searching vast swaths of ocean, investigators now have their "most promising" lead yet in finding Malaysia Airlines Flight 370.

A pinger locator in the Indian Ocean has detected signals consistent with those sent by a flight data recorder and a cockpit voice recorder, the head of the Australian agency coordinating search operations said Monday.

The sounds were heard at a depth of 4,500 meters (about 14,800 feet), retired Air Chief Marshal Angus Houston said.

"We've got a visual indication on a screen, and we've also got an audible signal. And the audible signal sounds to me just like an emergency locator beacon," Houston said.

"We are encouraged that we are very close to where we need to be."

But it could take days before officials can confirm whether the signals did indeed come from the plane, which fell off the radar on March 8 with 239 people on board.

"In very deep oceanic water, nothing happens fast," Houston said. "I would ask all of you to treat this information cautiously and responsibly. ... We haven't found the aircraft yet."

At least one investigator has described the search not as finding a needle in a haystack, but rather trying to find the haystack.

"It's very exciting, very exciting," forensic audio expert Paul Ginsberg said Monday. "I think we have finally found the haystack."

And Malaysian authorities are hopeful there will be a positive development in the next few days, if not hours, acting Transportation Minister Hishammuddin Hussein told reporters Monday.

But some relatives of those on board haven't lost hope, despite Monday's news of the promising signals.

"If the plane is there, its there. We can't change it," the husband of one passenger said. "But I am still hoping for a miracle to happen."

But time could be running out in tracing the sounds. In a few hours or days, the pingers aboard the plane stop transmitting for good.

The batteries inside the beacons, which are designed to start sending signals when a plane crashes into water, last about 30 days after the devices are activated.

Monday marks the 31st day of the search.

What happens after the Malaysian plane's pingers die?

New flight details

While searchers may be getting closer to the plane itself, a fresh mystery has emerged about what happened during the flight.

The aircraft skirted Indonesian airspace as it went off the grid and veered off course, a senior Malaysian government source told CNN on Sunday.

After reviewing radar track data from neighboring countries, officials have concluded that the plane curved north of Indonesia before turning south toward the southern Indian Ocean, the Malaysian source said.

Whoever was flying the plane, the source said, could have been trying to avoid radar detection.

But why?

Like most details in the case that's baffled investigators ever since the plane dropped off Malaysian military radar, it depends on whom you ask.

CNN law enforcement analyst Tom Fuentes cautioned against assuming a nefarious reason for steering the plane around Indonesia's airspace.

"I think the plane's being intentionally flown there, but I think it's still a mystery as to why. ... I think they would probably guess they're not avoiding anybody's radar, because there's a lot of radar in the area," he said. "I think they're avoiding getting shot down or colliding with another airplane."

CNN aviation analyst Miles O'Brien said the new route includes designated waypoints that pilots and air traffic controllers use.

"This particular route that is laid out happens to coincide with some of these named intersections," he said. "So what it shows is an experienced pilot somewhere in the mix on this."

Investigators haven't said who they think might have flown the plane off course or why.

But Hussein, Malaysia's acting transportation minister, said Monday that Indonesian military authorities told the chief of the Malaysian defense force that they had "no sighting" of the plane the night it disappeared.

The possibility that the plane was hijacked by someone who knew how to fly a commercial jet is still on the table. Authorities have also been investigating the plane's captain and co-pilot. And they haven't ruled out mechanical problems as a possible cause of the plane's diversion.

So far, no physical evidence of the plane's eventual whereabouts has been found, leaving many relatives of those on board trapped in uncertainty.

Zeroing in

The HMS Echo, a British navy ship equipped with advanced detection gear, sailed into the area of the southern Indian Ocean on Monday morning (Sunday afternoon ET) where a Chinese crew had detected two audio signals.

The area of detection is roughly 1,600 kilometers (1,000 miles) west-northwest of Perth, according to coordinates reported by Chinese state media.

The arrival of the Echo will be critical to the search for the missing Boeing 777. It has state-of-the-art sonar and is capable of mapping the ocean floor, which is about 4,500 meters (2.8 miles) deep in the focused search area.

It should be able to help determine more confidently whether audio signals picked up on Friday and Saturday by the Chinese patrol ship Haixun 01 came from the plane.

The Chinese said the electronic pulses – detected only 2 kilometers (1.25 miles) apart – were consistent with those emitted by pingers on an aircraft's black boxes.

Sounds travel long distances underwater, Houston said, making it difficult to ascertain their sources. If detectors were near a pinger, they would pick up the signal for a more sustained period.

Houston also said that search authorities were informed Sunday that the Ocean Shield, an Australian naval vessel equipped with sophisticated listening equipment, has detected "an acoustic noise" in another area of the ocean to the north.

'Most promising lead'

The Ocean Shield, which has a high-tech pinger locator borrowed from the U.S. Navy, will continue to pursue the sound it heard. If that lead turns cold, it will move to the other detection area, a journey that will take at least a day, officials said.

On Monday morning, the Ocean Shield was "continuing investigations in its own area," Australian authorities said.

"At the moment, the most promising lead appears to be the one associated with Haixun 01," Houston said.

The pulses registered by the Chinese ship are of particular interest because they occurred in an area that fits with the latest calculation by experts of roughly where the plane is likely to have entered the water, Houston said.

April 4th, 2014
06:21 AM ET

Underwater Search in 'Area of Highest Probability'

The hunt for Malaysia Airlines Flight 370 has penetrated beneath the waves as searchers race to catch pings from the missing plane's flight data recorders before they fall silent.

But the area of the southern Indian Ocean where British and Australian naval ships are deploying sophisticated listening technology remains nothing more than an educated guess at where the plane may have hit the water.

The British Royal Navy survey ship HMS Echo and the Australian naval supply ship Ocean Shield began searching the ocean's depths along a single 240-kilometer (150-mile) track Friday, said retired Air Chief Marshal Angus Houston, the head of the Australian agency coordinating the search efforts.

The Ocean Shield is equipped with high-tech gear borrowed from the United States: the TPL-25, a giant underwater microphone that will listen for the pings from the flight data recorders, and the Bluefin-21, an underwater robot that can scour the ocean bed for signs of wreckage. The HMS Echo also has advanced sensor equipment.

Time is running out in the efforts to detect the pings as the batteries that power the recorders' beacons are expected to expire in the coming days.

"If they do find it, I think it'll be remarkable," said Bill Schofield, an Australian scientist who worked on developing flight data recorders.

Nearly four weeks have passed since the jetliner vanished with 239 people on board. With investigators still apparently stumped by the case, information in the flight recorders could help them unravel the mystery of what happened the night the plane dropped off radar.

But there are no new clues behind the area where the underwater search is concentrated. It's based on the same kind of analysis of radar, satellite and other data that investigators have used to determine a series of shifting search areas in recent weeks.

"The area of highest probability as to where the aircraft might have entered the water is the area where the underwater search will commence," Houston said at a news conference Friday. "It's on the basis of data that arrived only recently, and it's the best data that is available."

April 3rd, 2014
06:30 AM ET

Fort Hood Shooter Was Iraq Vet Being Treated for Mental Health Issues

The man who opened fire at the Fort Hood military post in Texas was a veteran who served four months in Iraq and was undergoing treatment for mental health issues.

Spc. Ivan Lopez, married with children, moved to the post in Killeen in February from another military installation.

Authorities don't know what prompted the shooting spree Wednesday, where Lopez, 34, killed three people, wounded 16 - before fatally shooting himself.

There aren't indications that this was a terrorist act - but officials said they won't rule anything out until the investigation is over.

"There are initial reports there may have been an argument in one of the unit areas," Lt. Gen Mark Milley, the post's commanding general, told reporters late Wednesday.

"Obviously, we are digging deep into his background, any criminal or psychiatric history, his experiences in combat. All of the things you would expect us to do are being done right now."

Based on publicly released details, interviews with neighbors and conversations with law enforcement and other sources, here's what we know so far about Lopez:

Combat history:

He served for four months in Iraq in 2011. "He was not wounded, according to our records," Milley said. However, Lopez "self-reported" suffering a traumatic brain injury while deployed, he said.

Medical history:

Lopez suffered from depression, anxiety and other psychiatric complaints and was receiving treatment and medication. He was going through the process required to diagnose Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD). "He was not diagnosed, as of today, with PTSD," Milley said. That process takes time.

Work history:

Lopez was transferred to Fort Hood from another unnamed base in February. He was assigned to the 13th sustainment command, which deals with the logistical responsibilities for the post. (It was one of two unit buildings where Lopez opened fire).

Retired Army Maj. Gen. James "Spider" Marks expressed surprise at the transfer. Lopez should have remained at the other base for continuity of care, he said.

Lopez was not in the process of being transitioned out of the military, Milley said.

Family history:

He was married and had a daughter, around 3 years old. Just over a week ago, the family moved in to an apartment complex close to the base.

Neighbor Xanderia Morris described the Lopez's as a 'typical, average family."

"They would smile whenever they'd see someone," she said.

After the news of the shooting broke on television, the wife came out crying. "She said 'I'm just worried, I'm just worried,'" Morris said. "I tried to console her and comfort her, let her know everything was OK."

When television reports identified the shooter as Lopez, the wife was "hysterical," the neighbor said.

She was taken from the apartment by law enforcement officials, and was cooperating, an FBI source told CNN.

Gun used:

Lopez used a .45 caliber Smith and Wesson semiautomatic pistol that he recently purchased in the area, Milley said. He didn't know how much ammunition Lopez was carrying.

"If you have weapons and you're on base, it's supposed to be registered on base," Milley said. "This weapon was not registered on base."

Motive:

That's the big unknown.

"There's no indication that this incident is related to terrorism although we are not ruling anything out and the investigation continues," Milley said.

Could it have been an argument? "There are initial reports there may have been an argument in one of the unit areas, but no indication of an argument at the WTU," Milley said. WTU is the acronym for the Warrior Transition Command, where wounded, ill and injured soildiders are taught resilience skills.

He also couldn't say whether Lopez knew his victims.

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April 2nd, 2014
05:39 AM ET

Powerful Earthquake Strikes Off Chile, Triggers Tsunami

A mighty 8.2-magnitude earthquake struck off the coast of northern Chile late Tuesday, triggering small landslides, sapping power and generating a tsunami.

Four men and one woman died - two due to heart attacks and three crushed to death, said Interior Minister Rodrigo Penailillo.

About 300 prisoners escaped from the northern port city of Iquique in the immediate aftermath, he said.

The quake struck about 8:46 p.m. local time, some 60 miles northwest of Iquique. It had a depth of 12.5 miles, the U.S. Geological Survey said.

Chile's National Emergency Office asked everyone to evacuate the South American nation's coast. And residents complied.

"The fact is, we will know the extent of the damage as time goes by and when we inspect the areas in the light of day," Chile's President Michelle Bachelet said early Wednesday morning. "The country has faced these first emergency hours very well."

Residents in the port city of Antofagasta,calmly walked through the streets to higher ground as traffic piled up in some places.

"Many people are fearful after experiencing the powerful earthquake in 2010, so they immediately fled for higher ground when they heard the tsunami warning," said Fabrizio Guzman, World Vision emergency communications manager in Chile.

"There have been multiple aftershocks and communications have been cut off in many of the affected areas. So people are waiting in the dark hills not knowing what is to come, and hoping they will be able to return to their homes safely."

At one point, the Pacific Tsunami Warning Center issued several tsunami warnings. All of them, including for Chile and Peru, were canceled early Tuesday morning. All tsunami watches, which once extended as far north as Mexico's Pacific coast, were called off as well.

Tsunami waves of more than 6 feet generated by the earthquake washed ashore on the coast of Pisagua, according to Victor Sardino, with the center.

Iquique, with a population of more than 200,000, saw waves 7 feet high.

Danger averted

An earthquake of the scale that struck Tuesday night is capable of wreaking tremendous havoc.

So, if the initial reports stand, Chile may have dodged a major catastrophe.

Landslides damaged roads in some regions. Power and phone outages were reported in others.

Chile is on the so-called "Ring of Fire," an arc of volcanoes and fault lines circling the Pacific Basic that is prone to frequent earthquakes and volcanic eruptions.

On March 16, a 6.7-magnitude earthquake struck 37 miles west-northwest of Iquique. A 6.1-magnitude hit the same area exactly one week later.

About 500 people were killed when a 8.8-magnitude earthquake struck Chile on February 27, 2010. That quake triggered a tsunami that toppled buildings, particularly in the Maule region along the coast.

According to researchers, the earthquake was violent enough to move the Chilean city of Concepcion at least 10 feet to the west and Santiago about 11 inches to the west-southwest.

'No hazards' to U.S. coastline

The U.S. National Tsunami Warning Center worked Tuesday to determine the level of danger for Alaska, Washington, Oregon and California, as well as Canada's British Columbia.

Gerard Fryer, a geophysicist with the Pacific Tsunami Warning Center, told CNN there is "clearly not going to be any hazards to the coastline of North America."

The Pacific Tsunami Warning Center issued a tsunami warning for Hawaii, saying strong currents may pose a hazard to swimmers and boaters.

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April 1st, 2014
07:14 AM ET

New Last Words From Flight 370 Cockpit

They were words heard around the world as investigators searched for the missing Malaysia Airlines plane.

Weeks ago, Malaysian authorities said the last message from the airplane cockpit was, "All right, good night."

The sign-off to air traffic controllers, which investigators said was spoken by the plane's copilot, was among the few concrete details officials released in a mystery that's baffled investigators since the Boeing 777 disappeared with 239 people aboard on March 8.

There's only one problem. It turns out, it wasn't true.

On Tuesday, Malaysia's Transport Ministry released the transcript of the conversations between the Flight 370's cockpit and air traffic control. The final words from the plane: "Good night Malaysian three seven zero."

Malaysian authorities gave no explanation for the discrepancy between the two quotes. And authorities are still trying to determine whether it was the plane's pilot or copilot who said them.

The final quote is routine and is not a sign that anything untoward occurred aboard the flight, said CNN aviation analyst Mary Schiavo.

But the change in wording weeks into the search for the missing plane raises questions about how Malaysian officials have handled the investigation.

"It speaks to credibility issues, unfortunately," Schiavo said.

"We haven't had a straight, clear word that we can have a lot of fidelity in," said Michael Goldfarb, former chief of staff at the U.S. Federal Aviation Administration. "We have the tragedy of the crash, we have the tragedy of an investigation gone awry and then we have questions about where we go from here."

Malaysian authorities have defended their handling of the situation.

Read the cockpit transcript

Acting Transportation Minister Hishammuddin Hussein said Monday that authorities were not hiding anything by declining to release some details of the missing flight. Some details are part of ongoing investigations into what happened to the plane, he said.

"We are not hiding anything," he said. "We are just following the procedure that is being set."

Hussein said the transcript released Tuesday offered "no indication of anything abnormal."

March 31st, 2014
11:21 AM ET

Hopes Dashed As Orange Objects Turn Out to be Fishing Equipment

Potential leads on the missing Malaysian jetliner keep coming. So do the setbacks and frustrations.

Four orange objects spotted by aircraft searching for the plane in the treacherous Indian Ocean turned out to be fishing equipment, Australian officials said Monday.

Flight Lt. Russell Adams had described the objects found Sunday as the "most promising leads."

But on further analysis, they turned out to be fishing equipment, once again dashing hopes of finding the jetliner that vanished March 8.

"We are searching a vast area of ocean, and we are working on quite limited information," Australian Prime Minister Tony Abbott told reporters Monday. "Nevertheless, the best brains in the world are applying themselves to this task. ... If this mystery is solvable, we will solve it."

The area of the search is 254,000 square kilometers (98,069 miles) that 10 planes and 11 ships were searching Monday. It's the most vessels to comb the search area so far.

Search crews from various nations have found an array of potential leads, only to later shoot down any links to the missing plane. They've included dead jelly fish and other garbage floating in the southern Indian Ocean.

Race against time

With every passing minute, it becomes harder to find the flight data recorders and cockpit voice recorders. Batteries on the "pinger" - the beacon that sends a signal from recorders - are designed to last about 30 days.

Malaysia Airlines Flight 370 disappeared 23 days ago en route from Kuala Lumpur to Beijing.

An Australian ship fitted with a U.S. ping detector is set to join the search Monday in a desperate race against time.

The focus is on helping find the flight recorders. Find the pinger and you find the recorders. Find the recorders, experts say, and you are steps closer to solving the mystery of Flight 370. Flight data recorders capture a wide array of information, including altitudes, air speeds and engine temperatures.

Crews loaded an American pinger locator and undersea search equipment onto the Ocean Shield, an offshore support vessel of the Australian navy. The ship was originally set to depart Monday morning, but authorities said it would be delayed by several hours for an inspection.

It will take the ship up to three days to reach the search area.

But that's just one of the many hurdles.

Oceanographer Erik Van Sebille weighs in on the possibility of finding the data recorder for Flight 370.

WATCH FULL CLIP ABOVE 

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