Malaysian leader: Plane's disappearance deliberate KUALA LUMPUR, Malaysia (AP) - The Malaysian jetliner missing for more than a week had its communications deliberately disabled and its last signal came about 7 1/2 hours after takeoff, meaning it could have ended up as far as Kazakhstan or deep in the southern Indian Ocean, Malaysia's leader said Saturday. Prime Minister Najib Razak's statement confirmed days of mounting speculation that the disappearance of the Malaysia Airlines Boeing 777 was not accidental, and underlines the massive task for searchers who have been scouring vast areas of ocean.
Missing jet: Piracy would require special skills To steal Malaysian Airlines Flight 370 out of midair would require a pilot who knew how to elude detection by both civilian and military radar. It would take a runway at least a mile long to land the wide-body jet, possibly in the dark, and a hangar big enough to hide it. All without being seen. Improbable but not impossible, experts say.
US, West brace for Crimea vote to leave Ukraine LONDON (AP) - The West braced Friday for a vote by the Crimean Peninsula to secede from Ukraine - and likely be annexed by Russia - as the last attempt for diplomacy broke down despite threats of costly international sanctions and other imminent penalties against Moscow for forcibly challenging a pro-European government in Kiev. Russia's top diplomat said Moscow will make no decisions about Crimea's future, including whether to embrace it as a new territory, until after a local referendum Sunday to decide whether it should remain part of Ukraine.
Obama seeks to stay neutral in CIA-Senate spat WASHINGTON (AP) - For President Barack Obama, a public spat between his trusted ally at the CIA and a loyal Democratic senator has put into sharp focus his complicated role in managing the post-Sept. 11 anti-terror programs he inherited from George W. Bush. The president wants to stay neutral in the feud that erupted last week between Sen. Dianne Feinstein, D-Calif., and CIA Director John Brennan, who served as Obama's top counterterrorism adviser before being tapped to lead the spy agency. Feinstein accused the CIA of illegally searching computers the Senate Intelligence Committee used to study documents related to the harsh interrogation techniques the agency employed after the 2001 terror attacks.
After 37 years on lam, killer caught in Fla. DEERFIELD BEACH, Fla. (AP) - In the nearly 40 years after he escaped from the maximum-security military prison at Fort Leavenworth, convicted killer James Robert Jones carved out a new life for himself in Florida, living under an assumed name, getting married and working for an air conditioning company. It all came to an end this week when Jones - or Bruce Walter Keith, as the former Army private was known in Florida - was recaptured with the help of technology that was more sci-fi than reality when he broke out during the disco era: facial-recognition software.
Malnutrition grows among Syrian refugee children KAB ELIAS, Lebanon (AP) - Trapped in her northern Syrian village by fighting, Mervat watched her newborn baby progressively shrink. Her daughter's dark eyes seemed to grow bigger as her face grew more skeletal. Finally, Mervat escaped to neighboring Lebanon, and a nurse told her the girl was starving. The news devastated her. "They had to hold me when they told me. I wept," the 31-year-old mother said, speaking in the rickety, informal tent camp where she now lives with her husband in the eastern Lebanese town of Kab Elias.
Russian propaganda war in full swing over Ukraine MOSCOW (AP) - This is Ukraine today, at least as seen by most Russian news media: the government is run by anti-Semitic fascists, people killed in protests were shot by opposition snipers and the West is behind it all. And the room to disagree with that portrayal is getting smaller by the week.
RNC chairman: Primary changes will rebuild GOP BURLINGAME, Calif. (AP) - Planned changes to the Republican Party's presidential selection process are part of a rebuilding process that will strengthen the GOP brand and hopefully make its presidential nominee more competitive in 2016, Republican National Committee Chairman Reince Priebus told California Republicans on Friday, calling the GOP's current primary process "a complete disaster." Priebus said shortening the primary process by moving up the national convention at which the nominee is typically selected to June and cutting the number of debates are "not an establishment takeover. This is using your brain. Everything's not a conspiracy."
Clinton records: President feared 1994 losses WASHINGTON (AP) - Sensing a Republican tidal wave, President Bill Clinton worried in the summer of 1994 that Republicans were energized heading into the midterm elections while his Democratic base was deflated. "There's no organization, there's no energy, there's no anything out there," Clinton said of his own party. "They're organized and they're working," the president observed of conservative activists, according to an August, 1994 transcript. "And our cultural base. ... They walked off."