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All commercial flights worldwide could soon send out an automated signal every minute in times of distress to help rescuers find downed aircraft more easily. The new measures are in response to last year's disappearance of Malaysia Airlines flight MH370 en route from Kuala Lumpur to Beijing in what remains one of history's great aviation mysteries. The new tracking rules, prepared by an industry working group, would be phased in by the end of this year, said the International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO), a United Nations agency. The initiative will now be presented to delegates from all 191 ICAO member states at a meeting in Montreal from Monday to Thursday, and "a final proposal" will be submitted to the ICAO Council within six months for ratification.
Greece's new government dramatically escalated its battle with the country's international creditors, saying it would no longer meet with EU and IMF auditors and rejecting fresh loans offered for February. Athens had been promised another 7.2 billion euros ($8.1 billion) in funds from the European Union, the IMF and the European Central Bank if it completed reforms required by its lenders by February 28. "This government was elected on the basis of analytically questioning the very logic of the programme now being applied," he said, referring to the reforms and budget cuts demanded by Athens' international creditors.