Malaysia Takes Heat as Search Drags on

It's unclear when communications system went off: officials
By Matt Cantor,  Newser Staff
Posted Mar 17, 2014 12:50 PM CDT
Malaysia Takes Heat as Search Drags on
Malaysia's acting Transport Minister Hishamuddin Hussein looks on a map of a search corridor during a press conference in Sepang, Malaysia, Monday, March 17, 2014.   (AP Photo/Vincent Thian)

With the search for Malaysia Airlines Flight 370 now in its 10th day and seemingly no nearer an answer, Malaysian officials are facing a rare dose of anger, both internally and externally, in the country whose media rarely question its leadership. "I've never seen anything like it, not in Malaysia," a local businessman tells the Wall Street Journal. China is also openly prodding Malaysia to move faster as Beijing faces pressure from citizens; the plane carried 154 Chinese, the AP notes. Malaysia "bears inescapable responsibility" for the delay, China says. House Homeland Security chair Michael McCaul has also expressed frustration, but the US military says governments are collaborating. Elsewhere:

  • China has also slammed manufacturers Boeing and Rolls Royce as well as US intelligence.
  • Amid a search of their homes, the plane's pilots haven't been linked to terrorist groups. Still, US officials are raising the possibility that the flight could have been a "dry run" for a terrorist attack. "We can't discount it," an official tells the Journal. A friend of pilot Zaharie Ahmad Shah says a flight simulator found in his house was simply there "because he wants to share the joy of flying with his friends," CNN reports.
  • One Malaysian newspaper yesterday suggested the plane may have been flying low—at about 5,000 feet—and amid mountains to hide from radar. CNN notes that it can't confirm that story.
(More Malaysia stories.)

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