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What we know, and still don’t, on Malaysian plane

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This Saturday, March 22, 2014 graphic provided by the Australian Maritime Safety Authority (AMSA), shows the approximate position of the objects seen floating in a Chinese satellite image in the southern Indian Ocean that the AMSA is concentrating its search for the missing Malaysia Airlines flight MH370 on. China on Saturday released a satellite image showing an object floating in a remote stretch of the southern Indian Ocean near where planes and ships have been crisscrossing since similar images from an Australian satellite emerged earlier in the week. Two military planes from China arrived Saturday in Perth and were expected on Sunday to join Australian, New Zealand and U.S. aircraft in the search. (AP Photo/Australian Maritime Safety Authority)

This Saturday, March 22, 2014 graphic provided by the Australian Maritime Safety Authority (AMSA), shows the approximate position of the objects seen floating in a Chinese satellite image in the southern Indian Ocean that the AMSA is concentrating its search for the missing Malaysia Airlines flight MH370 on. China on Saturday released a satellite image showing an object floating in a remote stretch of the southern Indian Ocean near where planes and ships have been crisscrossing since similar images from an Australian satellite emerged earlier in the week. Two military planes from China arrived Saturday in Perth and were expected on Sunday to join Australian, New Zealand and U.S. aircraft in the search. (AP Photo/Australian Maritime Safety Authority)

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A summary of the questions answered, and still pending, about the disappearance of Malaysian Airlines Flight 370 after Malaysian Prime Minister Najib Razak’s Monday announcement:

WHAT WE KNOW

THE PLANE CRASHED: Najib said satellite data showed the flight “ended in the southern Indian Ocean,” confirming that the Boeing 777 that disappeared more than two weeks ago went down in a remote corner of the ocean, “far from any possible landing sites.”

ITS LAST POSITION: A British company calculated satellite data obtained from the remote area of the ocean, using analysis never before used in an aviation investigation of this kind, and pinpointed the last spot the flight was seen in the air was in the middle of the ocean west of Perth, Australia.

NO SURVIVORS: Najib left little doubt that all 239 crew and passengers had perished in the crash; the father of an aviation engineer on the flight said, “we accept the news of the tragedy. It is fate.”

QUESTIONS REMAIN

WHO AND HOW: Malaysian authorities have not ruled out any possible explanation for what happened to the jet, but have said the evidence so far suggests it was deliberately turned back across Malaysia to the Strait of Malacca, with its communications systems disabled. They are unsure what happened next. Authorities are considering the possibilities including terrorism, sabotage, catastrophic mechanical failure or issues related to the mental health of the pilots or someone else on board.

WHAT’S FLOATING IN THE OCEAN: The prime minister didn’t address whether investigators had confirmed floating objects in the ocean and images captured by several countries’ search parties, including that of France and China, were debris from the plane.

Associated Press

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