Slatest PM: The Next Steps in the Search For MH370

Your News Companion by Ben Mathis-Lilley
March 24 2014 5:10 PM

Slatest PM: The Next Steps in the Search For MH370

480305847-royal-australian-air-force-ap-3c-orion-sits-on-the
A Royal Australian Air Force AP-3C Orion sits on the tarmac upon its return from a search for Malaysian Airlines flight MH370 over the Indian Ocean, at RAAF Base Pearce north of Perth, March 24, 2014 in Bullsbrook, Australia

Photo by Jason Reed-pool/Getty Images

Josh Voorhees Josh Voorhees

Josh Voorhees is a Slate senior writer. He lives in Iowa City. 

Lost at Sea: Wall Street Journal: "Malaysia Airlines Flight 370 was lost in the southern Indian Ocean, authorities said, offering some of the first definitive information about what happened to the jet after it went missing more than two weeks ago. Malaysia Prime Minister Najib Razak said on Monday that the plane went down in the Indian Ocean, based on new analysis of satellite data, putting it far away from any possible landing sites. ... The announcement that the Boeing 777-200 went down in some of the world's roughest seas came hours after Australia said its navy was investigating two floating objects spotted some 2,500 kilometers southwest of the city of Perth. ... Mr. Najib said he had been briefed by the U.K.'s Air Accidents Investigation Branch on new analysis of data from Inmarsat.... The data were submitted to 'a type of analysis never before used in an investigation of this sort' to allow experts to conclude that the plane flew south and that its last known position was in the middle of the Indian Ocean, the statement said."

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What's Next: USA Today: "It may be many years before any answers emerge on how 239 passengers and crewmembers died in the accident. Aviation experts say it may take months to years to recover wreckage and the cockpit voice and flight data recorders of the Boeing 777.... It could also take years before an accident report is released with a probable cause. ... Analysis of satellite data is a very preliminary step, and wreckage and the recorders must be recovered before facts are established, says former National Transportation Safety Board accident investigator Al Yurman. ... Once there is positive identification, investigators 'have to backtrack' and find a debris field to determine whether the plane made a controlled or an uncontrolled descent into the ocean, he says. ... [Experts] say the depth of the ocean may make it difficult to recover wreckage, and they expect most or much of the wreckage to go unrecovered. ... The U.S. Navy is moving a black-box locator into the area of the Indian Ocean where searchers are looking for wreckage of the Malaysian Airlines plane, the Department of Defense said Monday. The move 'is a precautionary measure in case a debris field is located,' the department said."

It's Monday, March 24th, welcome to the Slatest PM. Follow your afternoon host on Twitter at @JoshVoorhees, and the whole team at @Slatest.

Make that the G7: New York Times: "President Obama and the leaders of the biggest Western economies agreed on Monday to exclude President Vladimir V. Putin from the Group of 8, suspending his government’s 15-year participation in the diplomatic forum and further isolating his country. In a joint statement after a two-hour, closed-door meeting of the four largest economies in Europe, along with Japan and Canada, the leaders of the seven nations announced that a summit meeting planned for Sochi, Russia, in June will now be held in Brussels — without Russia’s participation."

The World: No, Egypt Won’t Actually Execute 500 Muslim Brotherhood Members

Washington Mud Slide: Associated Press: "The search for survivors of a deadly Washington state mudslide grew Monday to include 108 people who are still unaccounted for, raising fears that the death toll could climb far beyond the eight confirmed fatalities. Authorities predicted that the number of missing would decline as more people are found to be safe, but the startling initial length of the list added to the anxieties in this former fishing village two days after a mile-wide layer of soft earth crashed onto a cluster of homes at the bottom of a river valley. ... About 30 houses were destroyed, and the debris blocked a mile-long stretch of state highway about 55 miles northeast of Seattle. Adding to the worries was the timing of the mudslide, which struck Saturday morning, a time when most people are at home. Of the 49 structures in the neighborhood, authorities believe at least 25 were full-time residences."

O'Hare Train Crash: Reuters: "A passenger train crashed through the end of the line early Monday at Chicago's O'Hare International Airport and barreled up an escalator and stairs, leaving 32 people with non-life threatening injuries, officials said. The Chicago Transit Authority train, a mass transit train which ran on electricity, is expected to remain in place for at least a day while investigators from the National Transportation Safety Board try to determine how it jumped a bumper at the end of the line. ... Investigators will review station video of the train arriving and an outward-facing video recorder at the front of the electrified 'L' train, along with signals and the train's condition, [NTSB investigator Tim DePaepe told a news conference.]"

Weiner!: National Journal: "Anthony Weiner isn't done lurking on your computer screen. This time, the failed New York City mayoral candidate and incorrigible sexter will be a monthly columnist for Business Insider.  The column—titled Weiner!—will run on the last Friday of each month, Business Insider's Hunter Walker informs us. It will be imbued with Weiner's "unique insider perspective."  The debut of Weiner! on March 28 will mark the second move in the former lawmaker's predictable if inadvisable comeback-narrative post-mayoral candidacy. The first was a cameo in Garry Trudeau's Amazon comedy Alpha House, the latest in a long string of political satires mocking life in Washington. ... Weiner follows in the footsteps of Eliot Spitzer, who opted to reenter public life in late 2008 by writing a quasi-regular column for Slate."

That's all for today. See you back here on tomorrow. Until then, tell your friends to subscribe or simply forward the newsletter on and let them make up their own minds.

Josh Voorhees is a Slate senior writer. He lives in Iowa City. 

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