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Plane search expands from Australia to Kazakhstan

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A Chinese girl is taken a picture in front of an electronic display showing the weather information of the cities in Asia at the Kuala Lumpur International Airport, in Sepang, Malaysia, Monday, March 17, 2014. When someone at the controls calmly said the last words heard from the missing Malaysian jetliner, one of the Boeing 777’s communications systems had already been disabled, adding to suspicions that one or both of the pilots were involved in the disappearance of the flight. (AP Photo/Vincent Thian)

A Chinese girl is taken a picture in front of an electronic display showing the weather information of the cities in Asia at the Kuala Lumpur International Airport, in Sepang, Malaysia, Monday, March 17, 2014. When someone at the controls calmly said the last words heard from the missing Malaysian jetliner, one of the Boeing 777’s communications systems had already been disabled, adding to suspicions that one or both of the pilots were involved in the disappearance of the flight. (AP Photo/Vincent Thian)

An unidentified woman with her face painted, depicting the flight of the missing Malaysia Airline, MH370, poses in front of the “wall of hope” at Kuala Lumpur International Airport in Sepang, Malaysia, Monday, March 17, 2014. Authorities now believe someone on board the Boeing 777 shut down part of the aircraft’s messaging system about the same time the plane with 239 people on board disappeared from civilian radar. But an Inmarsat satellite was able to automatically connect with a portion of the messaging system that remained in operation, similar to a phone call that just rings because no one is on the other end to pick it up and provide information. No location information was exchanged, but the satellite continued to identify the plane once an hour for four to five hours after it disappeared from radar screens. (AP Photo/Joshua Paul)

Relatives of Chinese passengers aboard missing Malaysia Airlines Flight MH370 watch a TV news program about the missing plane as they wait for more official information at a hotel ballroom in Beijing, China, Monday, March 17, 2014. Attention focused Sunday on the pilots of the missing Malaysia Airlines flight after the country’s leader announced findings so far that suggest someone with intimate knowledge of the Boeing 777’s cockpit seized control of the plane and sent it off-course. (AP Photo/Alexander F. Yuan)

An unidentified woman with her face painted, depicting the flight of the missing Malaysia Airline, MH370, poses in front of the “wall of hope” at Kuala Lumpur International Airport in Sepang, Malaysia, Monday, March 17, 2014. Authorities now believe someone on board the Boeing 777 shut down part of the aircraft’s messaging system about the same time the plane with 239 people on board disappeared from civilian radar. But an Inmarsat satellite was able to automatically connect with a portion of the messaging system that remained in operation, similar to a phone call that just rings because no one is on the other end to pick it up and provide information. No location information was exchanged, but the satellite continued to identify the plane once an hour for four to five hours after it disappeared from radar screens. (AP Photo/Joshua Paul)

Relatives of Chinese passengers aboard missing Malaysia Airlines Flight MH370 watch a TV news program about the missing plane as they wait for more official information at a hotel ballroom in Beijing, China, Monday, March 17, 2014. Attention focused Sunday on the pilots of the missing Malaysia Airlines flight after the country’s leader announced findings so far that suggest someone with intimate knowledge of the Boeing 777’s cockpit seized control of the plane and sent it off-course. (AP Photo/Alexander F. Yuan)

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KUALA LUMPUR, Malaysia (AP) — The search for the missing Malaysian jet pushed deep into the northern and southern hemispheres Monday as Australia took the lead in scouring the seas of the southern Indian Ocean and Kazakhstan — about 10,000 miles to the northwest — answered Malaysia’s call for help in the unprecedented hunt.

French investigators arriving to lend expertise from the two-year search for an Air France jet that crashed into the Atlantic Ocean in 2009 said they were able to rely on distress signals — but investigators say the Malaysian airliner’s communications links were deliberately severed ahead of its mysterious disappearance more than a week ago.

“It’s very different from the Air France case. The Malaysian situation is much more difficult,” Jean Paul Troadec, a special adviser to France’s aviation accident investigation bureau, said in Kuala Lumpur.

Malaysian authorities say the jet carrying 239 people was purposely diverted from its flight path during an overnight flight from Kuala Lumpur to Beijing on March 8, and suspicions has fallen on anyone aboard the plane with aviation experience, particularly the pilot and co-pilot.

Malaysian police confiscated a flight simulator from the pilot’s home Saturday and also visited the home of the co-pilot, in what Malaysia’s police chief Khalid Abu Bakar later said was the first police visits to those homes. The government issued a statement Monday contradicting that account by saying that police first visited the pilots’ home on March 9, the day after the flight.

Investigators haven’t ruled out hijacking or sabotage and are checking backgrounds of all 227 passengers and 12 crew members, as well as the ground crew, to see if links to terrorists, personal problems or psychological issues could be factors.

Malaysian Airlines CEO Ahmad Jauhari Yahya said at a news conference Monday that an initial investigation indicates that the co-pilot, Fariq Abdul Hamid, spoke the fight’s last words — “All right, good night” — to ground controllers.

Officials previously have said that those words came at a point when one of the jetliner’s data communications systems already had been switched off, and the timing has sharpened suspicions that one or both of the pilots may have been involved in the plane’s disappearance. The detail would appear

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