Malaysia Airlines MH370 search halted, government to make 'full and final' report public
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- Four-year, $200-million search for Malaysia Airlines flight MH370 will end tomorrow, government promises to make "full and final" report public
- New Zealand to cull 150,000 cows to try and stop the spread of an invasive bacteria
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Search for flight MH370 ends
After four years and hundreds of millions of dollars, the search for Malaysia Airlines flight MH370 comes to an official end tomorrow, with more theories than answers about what befell its 239 passengers and crew.
The Boeing 777-200 disappeared from radar screens during trip from Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia, to Beijing on March 8, 2014. It is believed to have crashed somewhere in the vast expanse of the Indian Ocean after running out of fuel.
A new effort covering an additional 90,000 square kilometres, led by American underwater exploration company Ocean Infinity Ltd., has also come up bust.
Last week, Anthony Loke, Malaysia's transport minister, said he was unwilling to grant the firm another extension, even though the search is being performed on a "no-find, no-fee" basis.
Speaking with the media in Kuala Lumpur today, Loke pledged to make a "full and final" report on the international probe into the crash available to the public.
"It will be released to the public without any prejudice, in a transparent manner. This includes even if there are any controversial elements in it," Loke said.
The only hard clues to the fate of MH370 have come from three dozen bits of wreckage — including a flaperon and a damaged Chinese suitcase — that washed up on the beaches of Réunion Island and Mozambique, thousands of kilometres from the plane's likely crash site.
But the Australian investigators who have led the four-year, $200 million hunt for the plane have dismissed Vance's conclusion. They noted that the flap found off the coast of Tanzania in 2015 was not in a deployed position, suggesting the plane hit the ocean at speed.
The Australian Transportation Board's investigation concluded that Shah and his co-pilot were probably unconscious at the time of the crash, perhaps victims of a sudden cabin depressurization.
This week, Sakinab Shah, the pilot's sister, dismissed the murder-suicide speculation as "preposterous," telling an Australian newspaper that he was a man who "loved life, loved fun."
The sister admitted that things were not always perfect between Shah and his wife, but maintained that the situation was far from irreparable. "He was naughty, I admit that," she said. "But at the end of the day he always went home. He took care of his wife. They were high-school sweethearts."
"This should have been done a long time ago," Gibson told the Western Australian newspaper. "There is so much more out there, and pieces I have handed in to local authorities have not been collected by the Malaysians. A reward would galvanize many villagers to collect pieces that are just lying on beaches. Some of these could be critical to the investigation."
The extensive and expensive ocean-floor mapping during the hunt for MH370 did discover two other wrecks, however — ships that went missing in the 19th century. Both merchant vessels had been transporting coal when they sank 2,300 kilometres off the coast of Australia.
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New Zealand's bacterial battle
New Zealand's government is preparing to slaughter 150,000 cows to try and stop the spread of an invasive bacteria.
Mycoplasma bovis can cause cattle to develop pneumonia, arthritis, mastitis and other painful conditions. While it doesn't make milk products or meat unsafe to eat, it does have serious economic consequences for farmers, by decreasing production and lowering the weight of cattle.
"We essentially had three options in front of us today: phased eradication, long-term management or doing nothing," said Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern. "Our plan to eradicate Mycoplasma bovis over time will require significant resources from both government and the industry, but to not act would cost even more."
The cull, and the compensation to affected farmers, is expected to cost $800 million and will begin immediately.
The government has given officials the authority to enter farms and slaughter cattle, even over the objections of farmers. Entire herds are to be eradicated, even if just one animal is infected. Most of the cows will be processed for meat.
"Over 99 per cent of our dairy herds in New Zealand have no signs of this disease, and we want to keep it that way," DairyNZ chairman Jim van der Poel told the media.
New Zealand has about 10 million head of cattle overall — more than double its human population.
If the cull proves a success, it will mark the first time a country has ever managed to rid itself of the bacteria.
In 2010, a bacteria called Psa threatened to devastate the Kiwi crop, but a $45 million investment in new varietals appears to have beaten back the blight and the industry is thriving.
In 2015, the government spent $14 million on spraying and eradication after 14 Australian fruit flies were discovered.
Invasive mosquitoes, moths and weevils have all been defeated. And the country is currently engaged in a $3 billion, three-decade effort to rid itself of the introduced rats, possums and stoats that kill some 25 million native birds each year.
In Canada, Mycoplasma bovis is a major cause of respiratory and joint infections in cattle, especially on feedlots. Canadian farmers try to control its spread with pre-immunization and antibiotics.
Highlights from the final Ontario provincial leadership debate:
Ontario NDP Leader Andrea Horwath presses Premier Kathleen Wynne on childcare, PC Leader Doug Ford warns of job losses and Wynne says "Sorry, not sorry." Here are some of the highlights from the third and final debate ahead of the June 7 provincial election. <a href="https://t.co/QDO7q73Ziq">pic.twitter.com/QDO7q73Ziq</a>—@CBCTheNational
Quote of the moment
"You think the world revolves around your skin colour."
- Federal Conservative MP Maxime Bernier criticizes his Liberal colleague — and frequent Twitter antagonist — Celina Caesar-Chavannes, an African-Canadian, for being too focused on her race.
What The National is reading
- Former hostage Joshua Boyle to have bail hearing today (CBC)
- The U.S. lost track of 1,475 immigrant children last year (Washington Post)
- Motorcyclist who advocated for safety dies in a crash (CTV)
- New Zealand's Five Eyes membership called into question over 'China links' (Guardian)
- Migrant who saved dangling child offered citizenship by French president (CBC)
- Thieves plunder German strawberry fields (Deutsche Welle)
- Great White Sharks have a secret 'cafe' and they led scientists right to it (NPR)
- Beekeepers are stealing each others hives to survive in a cutthroat industry (Quartz)
Today in history
May 29, 1964: Alfred Hitchcock's filmmaking tips
The director of Psycho, The Birds and many other classic films discusses how he constructed his films for maximum chills, and why he thinks they are more art than craft. "Sometimes one can almost say the man who builds a roller-coaster is an artist, because the grades and dives that he puts in it create the crudest and broadest emotions in the rider."
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