March 14th, 2014
10:03 AM ET

Missing Plane: Could It Have Landed?

Yet another theory is taking shape about what might have happened to missing Malaysia Airlines Flight 370: Maybe it landed in a remote Indian Ocean island chain.

The suggestion - and it's only that at this point - is based on analysis of radar data revealed Friday by Reuters suggesting that the plane wasn't just blindly flying northwest from Malaysia.

Reuters, citing unidentified sources familiar with the investigation, reported that whoever was piloting the vanished jet was following navigational waypoints that would have taken the plane over the Andaman Islands.


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March 14th, 2014
09:58 AM ET

Inside Politics: GOP Debate Over Policy and Personalities

It's getting personal on all fronts as Republicans debate the wisdom of their leaders - present and future.

Two leading GOP 2016 contenders, the freshmen Sens. Rand Paul and Ted Cruz, are in a public spat over foreign policy that quickly became framed around what seems to be the perennial GOP question: Who is the heir to Ronald Reagan?

And while that plays out, two of the right's outspoken and at times outlandish voices are in a war of words over whether conservatives should see Senate GOP leader Mitch McConnell as a hero or a heretic.

These debates are entertaining and interesting, not to mention telling snapshots of the struggle within the Republican Party and conservative movement to find a consensus message - and acceptable messengers.

Some of it should look familiar to Democrats who remember the years between Mondale '84 and Clinton '92: a party in exile from the White House has no singular leader, and so has more open, and vocal, competition over policy and personalities.

Then-Arkansas Gov. Bill Clinton and his merry band of Democratic Leadership Council centrists argued the Democratic Party was too liberal, too tied to big labor and too afraid to talk about things like work requirements in welfare programs.

No, perhaps they didn't have the notoriety of today's tea party. But those were not exactly days of Democratic unity. "Democrats for the Leisure Class," was the label Jesse Jackson put on Clinton and the DLC.

It was great political theater, and like the Republican tug-of-war today an instructive look at the tensions in a party that at the time was strong at the congressional level but not credible at the presidential level.

My, how the tide has turned. Republicans now control the House and have a good chance to take control of the Senate in this year's midterm elections.

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March 14th, 2014
09:54 AM ET

Malaysia Airlines: The Pilots of the Missing Plane

"All right, good night."

Those are the last words heard from the cockpit of Malaysia Airlines Flight 370, said Zulazri Mohd Ahnuar, Malaysian civil aviation officer.

Who said them? Was it the captain or his first mate? Or someone else in the cockpit with them?

Since MH 370 went missing Saturday, there have been more questions than answers, including about the pilots.

Malaysian investigators are considering the possibility that one of them was involved in its disappearance, the transportation minister said Friday.

Information from U.S. officials indicated that the Boeing 777-200ER passenger jet may have flown for five hours after last contact with the pilots.

The duty of all pilots is to aviate, navigate and communicate, in that order, an aviation expert has told CNN.

Someone may have kept aviating, but either they couldn't - or wouldn't - communicate.

This is what we know about the 50-year-old pilot captain and his 27-year-old first mate.

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March 14th, 2014
09:52 AM ET

Ex-Police Commander's Testimony Aids Defense at Oscar Pistorius' Murder Trial

The top police commander on the scene the night that Oscar Pistorius killed Reeva Steenkamptestified against the Olympic athlete at his murder trial Friday.

But former Col. G.S. van Rensburg may have handed the defense more opportunities to discredit police handling of evidence against Pistorius.

The ballistics expert handling the runner's gun did so without gloves, van Rensburg told the court. And when van Rensburg confronted him, the expert apologized and fetched gloves.

An expensive watch belonging to Pistorius also disappeared during the initial police search of his house, van Rensburg testified.

But probably the key testimony was on Pistorius' bathroom door, which van Rensburg called the most valuable piece of evidence in the case.

The former commander described removing the door, checking that it could be reattached, putting it in a body bag and taking it to his office.

This is critical testimony because the defense argues that the door, as evidence, is contaminated.

If previously given expert testimony based on markings on the door prevails, it could make Pistorius look as though he lied about a detail in his account of events.

Van Rensburg resigned from the police force amid accusations that he mishandled evidence by keeping the door in his office.

In his cross-examination, defense attorney Barry Roux went straight after van Rensburg's credibility, asking him if he understood the importance of telling the truth.

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