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Australia leads missing plane southern search

Australia will take control of the “southern vector” search for the missing Malaysian plane, its PM says, as a multinational effort continues.

Malaysian officials say the plane was intentionally diverted and could have flown on either a northern or southern arc from its last known position.

More than 20 nations have been asked to help search for flight MH370, and evaluate radar and satellite data.

There has also been scrutiny of the last communication from the plane.

Malaysian officials said on Sunday that the last words from the cockpit – “All right, good night” – came after the Aircraft Communications Addressing and Reporting System (ACARS), which transmits key information about the plane to the ground, had been deliberately switched off.

On Saturday police searched the homes of Captain Zaharie Shah and co-pilot Fariq Abdul Hamid. A flight simulator taken from the captain’s home was being re-assembled and examined at police headquarters, officials said.

Friends of both pilots – who investigators say did not ask to fly together – have expressed disbelief at the possibility of their involvement.

Investigators are also looking at passengers, engineers and other ground staff who may have had contact with the aircraft before take-off in their search for clues.

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