KUALA LUMPUR, Malaysia (AP) — Rescue helicopters and ships searching for a Malaysia Airlines jet rushed Monday to investigate a yellow object that looked like a life raft. It turned out to be moss-covered trash floating in the ocean, once again dashing hopes after more than two days of fruitless search for the plane that disappeared en route to Beijing with 239 people on board.
Jdeidet Yabus (Syria) (AFP) - A group of nuns kidnapped in a Syrian village were freed Monday, part of a rare prisoner swap in a three-year war whose brutality is highlighted in a new Amnesty report. Jihadists seized the 13 nuns and three maids on December 3 from the famed Christian village of Maalula -- where residents still speak the ancient Aramaic of Jesus Christ -- and took them to the nearby town of Yabrud. The women, who arrived after midnight at the regime-held town of Jdeidet Yabus near the border with Lebanon, were exhausted but praised those who negotiated their release. She thanked Syria's President Bashar al-Assad and Qatari emir Tamim Bin Hamad al-Thani as well as Lebanon's General Security agency director Abbas Ibrahim, who mediated the exchange.