Last updated: April 01. 2014 12:51AM - 351 Views

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Flight MH370

One part of the mystery solved, another continues to build.

Malaysia’s prime minister ended the rankest speculation with the announcement Monday that Malaysia Airlines Flight MH370 was likely lost in the southern Indian Ocean.

It was, at least, a merciful gesture for loved ones of the 239 passengers and crew members after more than two weeks of agonizing over how and why a Boeing 777 could simply vanish — and whether they should hold out hope for a miracle.

A statement the airline sent to relatives said an analysis concluded that “none of those on board survived.” The heartbreaking news let the families move on to a new phase of their vigil.

Prime Minister Najib Razak’s announcement also should end conjecture over certain implausible scenarios …

The detective work to piece together why the Beijing-bound plane went drastically off course is no closer to definitive answers, however.

Why did the plane’s transponder abruptly go quiet as the plane neared Vietnamese airspace? Was there hidden meaning to the first officer’s last words: “All right, good night”?

Was the crew overcome by a suddenly depressurized cabin? Why didn’t passengers make any cellphone calls? Did lithium batteries in the plane’s cargo hold ignite?

The answers are significant to both the flying public and an airline industry that desperately wants to address lingering doubts about safety. The Boeing 777 has a remarkable safety record, with only two serious mishaps among hundreds of aircraft over 19 years. If it has an undiscovered vulnerability, analyzing that could save lives in the future … — The Dallas Morning News


Federal health care insurance

It’s down to the wire, folks. Under the new federal health care law, March 31 is the deadline for signing up for health insurance, either through the federal marketplace, HealthCare.gov., or from a private insurer.

If you aren’t insured through an employer, or don’t already have an individual policy, you have compelling reasons to act quickly …

… Going uninsured will cost you. The law requires a tax penalty for remaining uncovered. Depending on your income, you could end up paying anywhere from $95 as a single adult to as much as $10,150. A single person whose modified adjusted gross income is $35,000 a year would be liable for a $249 penalty. And you get nothing for your money …

Yes, Obamacare has been controversial. But it is the law, and millions of Americans are benefiting from it.

Even critics appreciate the law’s consumer protections, especially a prohibition against insurers refusing affordable policies to consumers with pre-existing health conditions. And the only way to guarantee affordable coverage to sick people is to recruit healthy people into the insurance pool … Unfortunately, signing up for insurance on the federal exchange, HealthCare.gov, isn’t as simple as officials initially promised. It’s especially tricky for people who aren’t computer-savvy. — The Kansas City Star

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