Oil slicks are spotted at sea after flight with 239 people on board goes missing
Hundreds are feared dead after a Malaysia Airlines flight vanished in the early hours of yesterday, with Vietnamese officials reporting oil slicks in the sea that could be connected to the missing plane.
The mystery of Beijing-bound MH370's disappearance was compounded as diplomats confirmed that two passengers were travelling on stolen passports.
Five young children were among the 239 people on board the Boeing-777 when it vanished from radar screens, about 40 minutes after taking off from Kuala Lumpur at 12.41am local time.
Search and rescue teams from Vietnam and Malaysia have been searching waters in the South China Sea for any sign of the flight.
Singaporean teams and ships and aircraft from China, the Philippines and the US are also at the scene or on their way to help.
Vietnam said its rescue planes had spotted two large oil slicks – each about 15km long – and a column of smoke off its coastline.
POLICE SEEK TO MEET LAWRENCE PARENTS
Scotland Yard is to request a private meeting with the parents of murdered teenager Stephen Lawrence to share the findings of the criminal investigation into alleged misconduct by undercover officers. The force is writing to Doreen and Neville Lawrence in order to discuss Operation Herne, the probe into Scotland Yard's Special Demonstration Squad (SDS) – the top-secret unit that was up and running for nearly 40 years.
It follows a report by barrister Mark Ellison QC, published last week, which found that officers spied on the Lawrence family, with an undercover officer passing on personal details such as comments on the separation of Stephen's parents. Stephen's mother, now Baroness Lawrence, has demanded Met Police Commissioner Sir Bernard Hogan-Howe take "decisive action" following the Ellison review's "devastating" revelations.
Meanwhile, Stephen's brother Stuart said he would agree to join a panel appointed to search the Met's archives for any available evidence for a public inquiry into undercover policing. (PA)
NUDES EXHIBIT OUTSIDE THE LOUVRE
The Louvre has always showcased nudes. But never quite like this. Paris police said they arrested six women yesterday for baring their breasts and more outside the pointy pyramid entrance to the museum in front of dumbstruck, applauding tourists. They were released after identity checks.
Protest organiser Safia Lebdi said the demonstration was connected to International Women's Day. She said the women waved flags of Tunisia, Algeria, Egypt and Iran to highlight the many legal and cultural restrictions imposed on women in the Muslim world.
MOTHER ACCUSED OF BID TO KILL CHILDREN
A Florida judge set a bond of $1.2m (€865,000) for a pregnant woman accused of driving her minivan into the ocean in an attempt to kill her three children.Volusia County Court spokeswoman Ludmilla Lelis said that 32-year-old Ebony Wilkerson's bond was yesterday for three charges of attempted murder and three charges of child abuse causing great bodily harm. Ms Wilkerson told police she was not trying to hurt her children, but she was driving too close to the water.
POLICE CAR USED IN IRAQ SUICIDE ATTACK
A suicide bomber used a stolen police Humvee to pass through a military checkpoint in Iraq and set off his explosives, yesterday, wounding 14 people. The attack happened in Ramadi, the provincial capital of Anbar province, where Iraqi security forces have been battling militants who took control of parts of the town in late December.
STUN-GUN PHONE SEIZED FROM TEENAGER
A stun gun disguised as a teenager's smartphone has been seized by British police. The weapon, which emits a powerful electric shock, was found after a 14-year-old boy was searched in Manchester city centre. The officer conducting the search suffered a shock as he examined the fake handset but was not seriously injured. (PA)
Ferry and wife to end marriage
Rock star Bryan Ferry and his wife are divorcing but remain "on extremely good terms", his publicist has said.
The singer, 68, and former PR woman Amanda Sheppard, 31, who married in a private ceremony on the Turks and Caicos Islands in 2011, were granted a decree nisi. They now have to wait for a decree absolute to formally end the marriage in the coming weeks.
A statement from Ferry's publicist said: "With great sadness, Amanda and Bryan have decided to go their separate ways." (PA)