China joins search
Aircraft and ships from China headed to the desolate southern Indian Ocean to join the search for Malaysia Airlines Flight 370, now lost for two full weeks, and Australia promised its best efforts to resolve “an extraordinary riddle.” A satellite spotted two large objects in the area earlier this week, raising hopes of finding the Boeing 777 that disappeared March 8 with 239 people on board. Three Australian planes took off at dawn today for a third day of scouring the region about 1,550 miles southwest of Perth. A total of six Australian aircraft were to search the region today.
Army kills 93 rebels
The Syrian army ousted rebels from a massive Crusader fortress after several hours of fierce fighting, killing at least 93 of them as they fled to neighboring Lebanon, an army commander told reporters on a government-led tour of the area Friday. Reporters were shown signs of a precipitous flight from Crac des Chevaliers by the opposition fighters, including collapsed walls and staircases and other damage from the multiple rounds of fighting in the UNESCO World Heritage site since rebels first seized it in 2012. The nearby village of Hosn was devastated in the fighting.
Twitter ban backfires
Turkey’s attempt to block access to Twitter appeared to backfire on Friday with many tech-savvy users circumventing the ban and suspicions growing that the prime minister was using court orders to suppress corruption allegations against him and his government. Turkey’s telecommunications authority said it had blocked access to the social media network hours after Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan threatened to “rip out the roots” of the website. Tweets have proliferated with links to recordings that appear to incriminate him and other top officials in corruption. By midday, tweets continued.
Compiled from wire reports.