PERTH, Australia

Robotic sub finds nothing of note in search for airliner

A robotic submarine has completed its first full 16-hour mission scanning the floor of the Indian Ocean for wreckage of the missing Malaysian airliner after two previous missions were cut short by technical problems and deep water, authorities said on Thursday.

The Bluefin 21 had covered 35 square miles of the silt-covered sea bed off the west Australian coast in its first three missions, the search coordination center said on Thursday. While data collected by the sub from its latest mission, which ended overnight, was still being analyzed, nothing of note had yet been discovered, the center said.

A total of 12 planes and 11 ships were to join what could be the final day of the surface ocean search for debris from the Malaysia Airlines Boeing 777.

When the sea bed search began this week, authorities announced that the days of the fruitless surface search were numbered as the chances of success dwindled.

But a sample of an oil slick found this week about 3.4 miles from where underwater sounds that could be from an aircraft black box beacon were heard has been shipped to Perth for analysis, the center said.

The analysis could provide further evidence that the hunt for Flight 370 was headed in the right direction. Searchers have yet to find any tangible proof that the sounds that led them to the sea floor were from the ill-fated jet.

NEW YORK

Bloomberg to spend millions on gun control organization

Former New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg plans to spend $50 million this year on a new group that will mix campaign contributions with field operations aimed at pulling 1 million gun-control supporters to the polls, he announced Wednesday. The new organization, Everytown for Gun Safety, plans to mobilize voters to back candidates and ballot measures supporting such causes as enhancing background checks for gun buyers, according to a news release. political action committee.