Oil slicks spotted in hunt for jet with 239 aboard KUALA LUMPUR, Malaysia (AP) - Vietnamese air force planes spotted two large oil slicks Saturday in the region where a Malaysia Airlines jetliner disappeared, the first sign that the Boeing 777 with 239 people aboard had crashed. The air force planes were part of a multinational search operation launched after Flight MH370 fell off radar screens less than an hour after taking off from Kuala Lumpur bound for Beijing.
Why Malaysia Airlines jet might have disappeared NEW YORK (AP) - The most dangerous parts of a flight are takeoff and landing. Rarely do incidents happen when a plane is cruising seven miles above the earth. So the disappearance of a Malaysia Airlines jet well into its flight Saturday morning over the South China Sea has led aviation experts to assume that whatever happened was quick and left the pilots no time to place a distress call.
Russia reinforces military presence in Crimea SEVASTOPOL, Ukraine (AP) - Dozens of military trucks transporting heavily armed soldiers rumbled over Crimea's rutted roads Saturday as Russia reinforced its armed presence on the disputed peninsula in the Black Sea. Moscow's foreign minister ruled out any dialogue with Ukraine's new authorities, whom he dismissed as the puppets of extremists. The Russians have denied their armed forces are active in Crimea, but an Associated Press reporter trailed one military convoy Saturday afternoon from 25 miles (40 kilometers) west of Feodosia to a military airfield at Gvardeiskoe north of Simferopol, over which a Russian flag flew.
Crimea's new leader, a man with a murky past SIMFEROPOL, Ukraine (AP) - Two weeks ago, Sergey Aksyonov was a small-time Crimean politician, the leader of a tiny pro-Russia political party that could barely summon 4 percent of the votes in the last regional election. He was a little-known businessman with a murky past and a nickname - "Goblin" - left over from the days when criminal gangs flourished here after the collapse of the Soviet Union. Times have changed.
AP Exclusive: Counties undermine prison efforts SACRAMENTO, Calif. (AP) - California counties are confounding the state's court-ordered efforts to sharply reduce its inmate population by sending state prisons far more convicts than anticipated, including a record number of people with second felony convictions. The surge in offenders requiring state prison sentences is undermining a nearly 3-year-old law pushed by Gov. Jerry Brown. The legislation restructured California's criminal justice system to keep lower-level felons in county jails while reserving state prison cells for serious, violent and sexual offenders.
At 50, landmark libel case relevant in digital age WASHINGTON (AP) - Singer Courtney Love hadn't been born and tweeting was reserved for birds when The New York Times won a landmark libel case at the Supreme Court in 1964. But when a California jury decided recently that Love shouldn't have to pay $8 million over a troublesome tweet about her former lawyer, she became just the latest person to lean on New York Times v. Sullivan, a case decided 50 years ago Sunday, and the cases that followed and expanded it.
Domestic violence cases spark protests in Lebanon BEIRUT (AP) - Nada Sabbagh received a brief, chilling telephone call from her son-in-law last month telling her: "Come to your daughter. I am going to kill her." Sabbagh said by the time she arrived to her daughter's home in Beirut, her husband had kicked, punched and beaten her with a pressure cooker, leaving her mortally wounded and bleeding on the floor.
Stern Israeli airport security measures questioned JERUSALEM (AP) - Jack Angelides was about to board a flight out of Israel's international airport when he was given a curious choice that baffles him to this day. Traveling with a laptop and a stack of printed reading material, he was told to part with one or the other, due to unspecified security concerns. The Israel-based British-Cypriot businessman says he negotiated a compromise in which he kept the computer and several pages, checking in the rest of the documents.
South Africa: Mandela comrade stays in the game JOHANNESBURG (AP) - One of Nelson Mandela's closest confidants is still challenging the powers that be, with plenty of guidance from his ancestors, the ancient Greeks. "Power, even in advanced democracies, is abused. It's part of life," said George Bizos, a Greek-born lawyer who defended Mandela at the 1960s trial in which the anti-apartheid leader was sentenced to life in prison.
Daylight saving time: Set clocks ahead 1 hour WASHINGTON (AP) - Spring is closer than you think, and here's a sure sign: Daylight saving time arrives this weekend. Most Americans will set their clocks 60 minutes forward before heading to bed Saturday night. Daylight saving time officially starts Sunday at 2 a.m. local time.