Kerry Meeting Lavrov in Another Attempt at Calm in Crimea
U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry is in London for talks with Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov on the crisis in Ukraine.
Friday's talks come as the Ukrainian region at the center of the crisis -- Crimea -- prepares for a referendum Sunday that could see it break away from Ukraine and join Russia.
U.S. and European leaders have called the Russia-backed referendum "unconstitutional," and Kerry has warned Moscow of serious consequences if it annexes the Ukrainian peninsula.
But Russian officials say voters in Crimea have a right to self-determination following last month's collapse of the pro-Russian government in Ukraine. And Moscow on Thursday acknowledged deploying thousands more troops and military hardware near the Ukrainian border for maneuvers that will continue for two weeks.
The deployment is in addition to the 20,000 troops Kerry estimates Russia may have in Crimea.
Malaysia Plane Sent Satellite 'Pings' Hours After Vanishing:
The search for a missing Malaysian jetliner expanded toward the Indian Ocean on Friday, as new evidence emerged that the jet may have traveled for hours after it vanished.
Speaking anonymously, U.S. officials briefed on the investigation said the Boeing 777 sent automated electronic messages to satellites several hours after it disappeared from civilian radar Saturday.
The officials said the communications satellites detected faint messages, known as pings, which attempted to relay regular maintenance and other data about the plane's condition.
It is not clear whether the messages can provide information on the plane's location. It is also not clear whether the plane was in the air at the time the messages were sent.
Ships and planes from over a dozen countries have been searching for six days for the Malaysia Airlines plane and its 239 people on board, who were headed from Kuala Lumpur to Beijing.
The initial search focused on the Gulf of Thailand, where the airliner was last spotted by civilian radar. The Malaysian military has since said it may have tracked the plane hundreds of kilometers away, across the Malaysian peninsula in the Strait of Malacca.
On Thursday, White House spokesman Jay Carney said "an additional search area may be opened" in the vast Indian Ocean. It is the world's third largest ocean and is significantly deeper than the other search areas.