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The unprecedented hunt for a missing Malaysia Airlines jet expanded northwest to Kazakhstan and south into the desolate reaches of the Indian Ocean after Malaysian authorities concluded the plane was deliberately diverted by someone with considerable flying experience. A summary of the latest information on the search for the plane and the investigation into what happened:
Simferopol (Ukraine) (AFP) - Crimea declared independence Monday and applied to join Russia while the Kremlin braced for sanctions after the flashpoint peninsula voted to leave Ukraine in a referendum that has sparked the worst East-West crisis since the Cold War. Officials results from Sunday's poll showed 96.6 percent of the voters in the mostly-Russian speaking region opting to switch to Kremlin rule in the most radical redrawing of the map of Europe since Kosovo's 2008 declaration of independence from Serbia. "Crimea appeals to the United Nations and to all countries of the world to recognise it as an independent state," said a declaration adopted by the region's Russian-backed assembly. Ukraine's interim president Oleksandr Turchynov denounced the vote as a "great farce" and watched from a podium as agitated lawmakers approved a partial mobilisation of the army aimed at countering Russian troops' effective seizure of Crimea at the beginning of March.