By Byron Kaye and Sonali Paul PERTH/MELBOURNE (Reuters) - Authorities ruled out any link between debris picked up on an Australian beach and a missing Malaysian jetliner on Thursday as a tropical cyclone again threatened to hamper a 26-nation air, surface and underwater search of the Indian Ocean. The debris, found on Wednesday on a beach at the southern tip of Western Australia state, was seen as the first lead since April 4 when authorities detected what they believed was a signal from the black box of Malaysia Airlines flight MH370, which disappeared on March 8 with 239 people on board. But it took Australian authorities less than a day to analyze detailed photographs of the beached debris, no description of which was given, and dismiss the possibility that it may be linked to the plane. "We're not seeing anything in this that would lead us to believe that it is from a Boeing aircraft," Australian Transport Safety Bureau commissioner Martin Dolan the Australian Broadcasting Corp. That puts the focus of the search, the most expensive in aviation history, back on U.S. Navy undersea drone Bluefin-21, which will soon finish scouring a 10 square kms (6.2 square mile) stretch of seabed where the acoustic pings were located.
Munich (Germany) (AFP) - Formula One supremo Bernie Ecclestone goes on trial in Germany on Thursday facing bribery charges in a case which threatens his nearly 40-year-reign of the motor sport. The 83-year-old Briton denies charges of bribery and abetting breach of trust in relation to a $44 million (31.8 million euro) payment he made to former German banker Gerhard Gribkowsky, who has since been jailed. Ecclestone has denied plans to seek a plea bargain and insisted: "I'm going into this trial to prove my innocence of what I have been charged with". The crux of what is scheduled as a months-long trial will be why he paid Gribkowsky millions in 2006 -- Ecclestone says he was blackmailed, the German banker says it was a bribe.