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Underwater search for MH370 'at critical juncture'

Malaysian Defence Minister Hishammuddin Hussein has stressed the importance of the weekend missions to search for the missing Malaysia Airlines plane to reporters in Kuala Lumpur.

"The narrowing of the search for today and tomorrow is at a very critical juncture, so I appeal to everybody around the world to pray and pray hard that we find something to work on over the next couple of days," he said.

Malaysia's Defence Minister and acting Transport Minister Hishammuddin Hussein Credit: Reuters

But he added that there were no plans to give up once the Bluefin concludes its work. Instead, he said the scope of the search may be broadened or other assets may be used.

"The search will always continue," he said. "It is just a matter of approach. All efforts will be intensified for the next few days with regards to the underwater search."

Submarine search for MH370 at half-way stage

A robotic submarine looking for the missing Malaysia Airlines plane continued to dive, after completing about half of its search on the bottom of the Indian Ocean with no luck. The Bluefin 21 unmanned sub began its eighth dive off the coast of western Australia.

Its search area forms a 6.2-mile circle around the location of an underwater signal that was believed to have come from the aircraft's black boxes before their batteries died.

The sonar scan of the seabed in that area is expected to be completed in five to seven days, the search centre said.


Woman collapses during South Korea ferry protest

As news of further deaths emerged in the South Korea ferry operation, one woman had to be taken away by ambulance after collapsing.

More than 250 people are still missing, most of them high school students on a holiday trip.

A family member of a passenger missing after the ferry Sewol capsized is placed on a stretcher after fainting Credit: Reuters

563 divers involved in South Korea ferry operation

The South Korean Coastguard said that divers had managed to get inside the ferry that sunk last Wednesday off the country's southern shore.

Sunday's operation involved 204 ships, 34 planes and 563 divers.

Ko Myung-suk, Director-General of South Korea Coastguard Equipment and Technology Bureau: "As we reported, we are at the level where we have already made it into the ferry by breaking the window. So you can see that we have definitely made progress into the ferry.

"We're unable to pinpoint where exactly the dead bodies were found. Divers themselves were also not sure about this due to the limited visibility underwater."

Death toll of sunken ferry disaster rises to 49

Distraught relatives of hundreds of missing people inside a sunken South Korean ferry clashed with police on Sunday as coastguard divers retrieved more bodies from the ship and the number of confirmed dead rose to 49.

A rescue operation has turned into a grim search through the stricken vessel to recover the remaining 253 passengers, most of them schoolchildren on an outing, who are unaccounted for after Wednesday's capsize.

Searchers retrieved 16 bodies overnight and coastguard officials said cranes would not be deployed to lift the ship off the seabed until the bodies had been recovered.

Tougher mortgage checks expected for new applicants

People applying for a mortgage are facing tougher affordability checks which delve into their spending habits on outgoings ranging from childcare, travel and clothing to wine clubs and even a flutter on the horses.

The higher hurdles are being put in place as lenders gear up for new rules which come into force on Saturday under the Mortgage Market Review (MMR), which aim to prevent any return to irresponsible lending.

Tougher mortgage checks expected for people applying. Credit: PA

Experts are warning people that they may want to consider reining back on their spending several months before applying for a mortgage, as providers will want to sift through around three months of bank statements "with a fine tooth comb".

The new industry-wide rules mean mortgage providers have to take a much keener interest in an applicant's regular outgoings, which could include what they spend on food, household bills, loans, credit cards and leisure activities, in order to weigh up whether or not they can afford their home loan.


Royal couple attend Easter Sunday service in Sydney

The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge have celebrated Easter at a service in Sydney's St Andrew's Cathedral on the fifth day of their tour of Australia.

The royal couple were met by the Archbishop of Sydney, the Most Rev Dr Glenn Davies, when they arrived at the cathedral for the 65 minute long service.

The Duchess of Cambridge, and Prince William arrive at Sydney's St Andrew's Cathedral Credit: Reuters
Crowds await the Duchess of Cambridge and Prince William in Sydney Credit: Reuters

RBS may sue after accused of 'undermining small firms'

The Royal Bank of Scotland is considering legal action against the businessman behind a damning report that accused the taxpayer-backed lender of deliberately putting customers out of business for profit.

The Sunday Telegraph reported that the bank could have grounds to pursue a libel action against Lawrence Tomlinson after an inquiry into his allegations reportedly found no evidence to support claims that the lender’s turnaround unit had systematically engineered the collapse of small businesses.

In its report, Clifford Chance said it found “no evidence” to back up the most serious accusations made by Mr Tomlinson. Credit: PA

Jon Pain, the head of regulatory affairs at RBS, said: “The damage of the report has already been done and whether Mr Tomlinson offers any retraction or apology is a matter for him.

"These were the most serious allegations RBS has faced since the crisis and damaged RBS’s brand and undoubtedly harmed the value of the taxpayer’s interest.”

The law firm Clifford Chance on Thursday published the results of its investigation into the Tomlinson report which said it found "no evidence" to back up the most serious accusation.

London Marathon runner denies cheat claims

A man who ran the second half of the London Marathon in less than half the time it took him to complete the first has denied claims he cheated.

Jason Scotland-Williams, 34, was accused of jumping over a barrier midway through the world famous race in order to achieve the impressive time, which fell just three minutes short of the world record for a half marathon.

Runners during the Virgin Money London Marathon Credit: PA

He told the Sunday Telegraph: "I have done nothing wrong. Nobody thinks maybe I just trained hard. No one thinks 'maybe he paced himself through the first half and when the second half came he just let himself go'.

"All along the route there are stewards and people watching. There's no way you can cheat." Mr Scotland-Williams completed the second half of the route in one hour, one minute and 42 seconds, more than three minutes faster than double Olympic running champion Mo Farah.

Read: Mo Farah reveals 'disappointment' over London Marathon

Families attempt to march to Seoul demanding answers

With 260 passengers still unaccounted for from the South Korean ferry, families scuffled with police as they tried to make their way to the Presidential Blue House in Seoul to complain about the slow rescue operation.

"Take out my child, take out my child please. I've heard they are all dead. Bring me the body so that I can see the face and hug my child. What am I going to do? They are likely dead already," said the mother of missing student Bae Sun-ok.

Pictures: Anger as families clash with police over S. Korea ferry

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