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Nothing spotted in search for jet, Australia says

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One of the relatives of Chinese passengers aboard missing Malaysia Airlines Flight MH370 wipes her tears as she watches a TV news program about the missing flight after a briefing meeting with Malaysian officials in a hotel ballroom in Beijing, China, Friday, March 21, 2014. Planes are flying out of Australia again to search for two objects detected by satellite that may be debris from the missing Malaysian airliner. (AP Photo/Alexander F. Yuan)

One of the relatives of Chinese passengers aboard missing Malaysia Airlines Flight MH370 wipes her tears as she watches a TV news program about the missing flight after a briefing meeting with Malaysian officials in a hotel ballroom in Beijing, China, Friday, March 21, 2014. Planes are flying out of Australia again to search for two objects detected by satellite that may be debris from the missing Malaysian airliner. (AP Photo/Alexander F. Yuan)

FILE – In this April 4, 2001 file photo, P-3C Orion practices touch-and-go landings at Whidbey Island Naval Air Station near Oak Harbor, Wash. The similar type of the P-3 Orion, favored by the Australian and New Zealand defense forces, is used in the search for the Malaysia Airlines Flight 370 which went missing on March 8, 2014, off the west coast of Australia. Because the search area is so remote, it’s an eight-hour round trip, leaving the planes just two or three hours to search. (AP Photo/Stevan Morgain, File)

FILE – In this Feb. 9, 2005. file photo, a U.S. Navy P-3C Orion aircraft sits on the tarmac during the Aero India 2005, at the Air Force Station in Yelahanka, near Bangalore, India. The similar type of the P-3 Orion, favored by the Australian and New Zealand defense forces, is used in the search for the Malaysia Airlines Flight 370 which went missing on March 8, 2014, off the west coast of Australia. Because the search area is so remote, it’s an eight-hour round trip, leaving the planes just two or three hours to search. (AP Photo/Gautam Singh, File)

This Friday, March 21, 2014 graphic provided by Australian Maritime Safety Authority (AMSA), shows an area in the southern Indian Ocean that the AMSA is concentrating its search for the missing Malaysia Airlines Flight MH370 on. Planes are flying out of Australia again to search for two objects detected by satellite that may be debris from a missing Malaysian Airlines jetliner. (AP Photo/Australian Maritime Safety Authority)

In this March 16, 2014 satellite imagery provided by Commonwealth of Australia – Department of Defence on Thursday, March 20, 2014, a floating object is seen at sea next to the descriptor which was added by the source. Australia’s government reported Thursday, March 20, 2014 that the images show suspected debris from the missing Malaysia Airlines jetliner floating in an area 2,500 kilometers (1,550 miles) southwest of Perth Australia. (AP Photo/Commonwealth of Australia – Department of Defence)

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PERTH, Australia (AP) — Search planes scoured a remote patch of the Indian Ocean but came back empty-handed Friday after a 10-hour mission looking for any sign of the missing Malaysia Airlines jet, another disappointing day in one of the world’s biggest aviation mysteries.

Australian officials pledged to continue the search for two large objects spotted by a satellite earlier this week, which had raised hopes that the two-week hunt for the Boeing 777 that disappeared March 8 with 239 people on board was nearing a breakthrough.

But Australia’s acting prime minister, Warren Truss, tamped down expectations.

“Something that was floating on the sea that long ago may no longer be floating — it may have slipped to the bottom,” he said. “It’s also certain that any debris or other material would have moved a significant distance over that time, potentially hundreds of kilometers.”

In Kuala Lumpur, where the plane took off for Beijing, the country’s defense minister thanked more than two dozen countries involved in the search that is stretching from Kazakhstan in Central Asia to the southern Indian Ocean, and said the focus remains on finding the airplane.

“This going to be a long haul,” Hishammuddin Hussein told a news conference.

The search area indicated by the satellite images — some 2,500 kilometers (1,550 miles) southwest of Perth — is so remote it takes aircraft four hours to fly there and four hours back, leaving them with only enough fuel to search for about two hours.

On Friday, five planes, including three P-3 Orions, made the trip. While search conditions had improved from Thursday, with much better visibility, the Australian Maritime Safety Authority said there were no sightings of plane debris.

Two Chinese aircraft are expected to arrive in Perth on Saturday to join the search, and two Japanese aircraft will be arriving Sunday, Truss said. A small flotilla of ships coming to Australia from China was still several days away.

“We are doing all that we can, devoting all the resources we can and we will not give up until all of the options have been exhausted,” said Truss, who is acting prime minister while Tony Abbott is in Papua New Guinea.

Experts say it is impossible to tell if the grainy satellite images of the two objects — one 24 meters (almost 80 feet) long and the other measuring 5 meters (15 feet) — were debris from the plane. But officials have called this the best lead so far in the search that began March 8 after the plane vanished over the Gulf of Thailand on an overnight flight to Beijing.

For relatives of the people aboard the plane — 154 of the 227 passengers are Chinese — hope was slipping away, said Nan Jinyan, sister-in-law of passenger Yan Ling.

“I’m psychologically prepared for the worst and I know the chances of them coming back alive are extremely small,” said Nan, one of dozens of relatives gathered at a Beijing hotel awaiting any word about their loved ones.

Abbott spoke with Chinese President Xi

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