International

New scan of ocean floor hasn’t

found any sign of MH370

SYDNEY (AP) — The new scan of the Indian Ocean floor for Malaysia Airlines Flight 370 has searched nearly 80,000 square kilometers since January without finding any sign of the plane’s wreckage.

This comes despite hopes last year that a 25,000 square kilometer area most likely to contain the aircraft had been identified.

American technology company Ocean Infinity released an update late Monday, saying it had scanned up to 1,300 square kilometers per day since launching its mission in late January.

Ocean Infinity CEO Oliver Plunkett says while results so far are disappointing, the firm remains “absolutely determined for the remainder of the search.”

Malaysia has extended the deadline to mid-June for the company to find the plane.

MH370 disappeared in 2014, while heading from Kuala Lumpur to Beijing with 239 people aboard.

Dominican Republic forges tie

with China, breaks with Taiwan

SANTO DOMINGO, Dominican Republic (AP) — The Dominican Republic’s government announced Monday that it is establishing diplomatic relations with China and breaking diplomatic ties with Taiwan and will later recognize Taiwan as an “inalienable part of Chinese territory.”

The decision was the latest setback for Taiwan in the Caribbean and Latin America. Panama dropped its longtime ties with Taiwan last year and established relations with China, which considers Taiwan to be Chinese territory. The island is recognized as a sovereign nation by only 19 mainly small, developing countries, 10 of them in this region.

Taiwan swiftly condemned what it called China’s “dollar diplomacy” and announced it would terminate ties with the Dominican Republic immediately, including all projects and assistance it provides to the Caribbean nation.

Beijing has been seeking to increase pressure on Taiwan’s independence-leaning President Tsai Ing-wen. Tsai’s ruling Democratic Progressive Party says it wants stable relations with China, but it hasn’t followed Tsai’s predecessor, Ma Ying-jeou, in endorsing the “one China” principle.

Flavio Dario Espinal, legal consultant to the Dominican presidential office, said at a news conference that the change in foreign policy was based on the “needs, potential and future prospects” of his Caribbean nation.

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