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PERTH, Australia (AP) — Authorities are confident that signals detected deep in the Indian Ocean are from the missing Malaysian jet's black boxes, Australia's prime minister said Friday, raising hopes they are close to solving one of aviation's most perplexing mysteries.

Tony Abbott told reporters in Shanghai that crews hunting for Flight 370 have zeroed in on a more targeted area in their search for the source of the sounds, first heard on Saturday.

"We have very much narrowed down the search area and we are very confident that the signals that we are detecting are from the black box on MH370," Abbott said.

"Nevertheless, we're getting into the stage where the signal from what we are very confident is the black box is starting to fade," he added. "We are hoping to get as much information as we can before the signal finally expires."

The plane's black boxes, or flight data and cockpit voice recorders, may hold the answers to why the Boeing 777 lost communications and veered so far off course when it vanished March 8 while flying from Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia, to Beijing with 239 people on board.

Search crews are racing against time because the batteries powering the devices' locator beacons last only about a month — and more than a month has passed since the plane disappeared. Finding the black boxes after the batteries fail will be extremely difficult because the water in the area is 4,500 meters (15,000 feet) deep.

The Australian ship Ocean Shield is towing a U.S. Navy device that detects black box signals, and two sounds it heard Saturday were determined to be consistent with the signals emitted from aircraft flight recorders. Two more sounds were detected in the same general area on Tuesday.

"We are confident that we know the position of the black box flight recorder to within some kilometers," Abbott said. "But confidence in the approximate position of the black box is not the same as recovering wreckage from almost 4 ½ kilometers beneath the sea or finally determining all that happened on that flight."

Abbott also met with Chinese President Xi Jinping in Beijing on Friday and briefed him on the search. Two-thirds of the passengers aboard Flight 370 were Chinese, and their relatives have been critical of the Malaysian government's handling of the crisis.

"This will be a very long, slow and painstaking process," Abbott told Xi.

An Australian air force P-3 Orion, which has been dropping sonar buoys into the water near where the Ocean Shield picked up the sounds, detected another possible signal on Thursday, but Angus Houston, who is coordinating the search for the plane, said in a statement that an initial assessment had determined it was not related to an aircraft black box.

The buoys each have a hydrophone listening device that dangles about 300 meters (1,000 feet) below the surface and their data are sent via radio back to a plane, Royal Australian Navy Commodore Peter Leavy said.

The Ocean Shield was still towing its pinger locator to try to find additional signals on Friday, and the Orions were continuing their hunt, Houston said. The underwater search zone is currently a 1,300-square-kilometer (500-square-mile) patch of the ocean floor, about the size of the city of Los Angeles.

"It is vital to glean as much information as possible while the batteries on the underwater locator beacons may still be active," Houston said in a statement.

The searchers are trying to pinpoint the exact location of the source of the signals so they can send down a robotic submersible to look for wreckage. Houston said Friday that a decision to send the sub could be "some days away."

The Bluefin 21 submersible takes six times longer to cover the same area as the pinger locator being towed by the Ocean Shield and would take six weeks to two months to canvass the current underwater search zone.

Complicating matters is the depth of the seabed in the search area. The signals are emanating from 4,500 meters (15,000 feet) below the surface, which is the deepest the Bluefin can dive. The search coordination center said it was considering options in case a deeper-diving sub is needed.

Meanwhile, the center said the surface area to be searched for floating debris had been narrowed to 46,713 square kilometers (18,036 square miles) of ocean extending from 2,300 kilometers (1,400 miles) northwest of Perth. Up to 15 planes and 13 ships were conducting the visual search Friday, west of the underwater search based on expected drift from the suspected crash site.

Investigators believe the plane went down in the southern Indian Ocean based on a flight path calculated from its contacts with a satellite and analysis of its speed and fuel capacity.

Separately, a Malaysian government official said Thursday that investigators have concluded the pilot spoke the last words to air traffic control, "Good night, Malaysian three-seven-zero," and that his voice had no signs of duress. A re-examination of the last communication from the cockpit was initiated after authorities last week reversed their initial statement that the co-pilot was speaking different words.

The senior government official spoke on condition of anonymity because he wasn't authorized to speak to the media.

___

Gelineau reported from Sydney. Associated Press writers Nick Perry in Perth, Rod McGuirk in Canberra, Australia, Eileen Ng in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia, and Gillian Wong in Beijing contributed to this report.

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   WINTER PARK, Fla. (AP) — The SUV driver accused of causing a car to crash into a Florida day care, killing a 4 year old girl and injuring 14 others, most of them children, surrendered to authorities Thursday.
   The Orange County Sheriff's Office tweeted that Robert Alex Corchado was in custody at the jail. Corchado's attorney, Jack Kaleita, confirmed it, but refused to comment further.
   The surrender came a day after police say Corchado, 28, crashed his Dodge Durango into a convertible, which in turn smashed into the KinderCare building. Authorities — and the mother of the little girl who was killed — pleaded for the suspect to give up, even as they blanketed the state searching for him.
   Authorities did not immediately announce charges against Corchado, but he already has a long criminal history. Nicole Quintus, whose daughter Lily Quintus was killed, said he was responsible for heartbreak.
   "Families are emotionally destroyed because of what he did," she said in an interview with The Associated Press.
   The mother softly sobbed as she spoke of her daughter. She said Lily loved princesses, "Star Wars," the TV series "Doctor Who" and ranch dressing on seemingly everything she ate — even pizza and hot dogs. Lily was sitting at a table waiting for her afternoon snack when the car crashed into the building, and Nicole Quintus said a teacher called her soon after, screaming but unable to say what happened.
   "One minute everything was normal and the next there was an explosion and smoke and screams," she said.
   The girl's 7 year old brother is an aspiring engineer who wants to design a time machine to bring Lily back, the mother added.
   "She was beautiful and passionate and innocent," the mother said, "and she deserved so much more."
   Lily was on the minds of those who turned up at the day care, where the gaping hole was boarded up with plywood and a cluster of stuffed animals, flowers and candles were left in memoriam.
   Ralph Velez, 48, left a stuffed bear from his 5 year old son Xavier, who goes to the day care but was unhurt. The bear was a gift from a few Christmases ago, and Xavier — who can't stop talking about the crash — wanted to give it to honor his friends, Velez said.
   "He'll say, 'stupid car,' or 'stupid driver,'" Velez said. "He told us last night that he remembers the driver, who wasn't hurt, getting out and saying, 'What did I do? What did I do?'"
   Local television footage showed small children and infants in cribs being taken outside to the day care's playground Wednesday. Several of those injured were carried out on stretchers. Parents were later seen waiting to pick up their children, then clutching them in their arms as authorities escorted them to their vehicles.
   Corchado has been arrested eight times since 2000.
   Department of Corrections records show he served prison time for trafficking cocaine and extortion. He most recently was arrested in December on a misdemeanor charge of leaving the scene of a crash involving damage, a felony charge of selling narcotics, and felony marijuana possession. He was released on more than $10,000 bond and pleaded not guilty to the charges. He was due back in court in May.
   A man who answered the phone at a number listed for Corchado hung up. Florida Highway Patrol Maj. Cindy Williams said Corchado was linked with the Latin Kings gang and could have been aided by other members.
   Ten people remain hospitalized from the crash, including one child who remains in critical condition and two others who are listed in serious condition, according to the patrol.
   The day care's website says the center provides childcare for children up to 12 years old and has been in the community for more than 25 years.
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   NEW YORK (AP) - Stephen Colbert is replacing David Letterman as CBS' late-night host.
   CBS announced Thursday that "The Colbert Report" host will replace Letterman when he retires next year. Colbert is signed for five years.
   Letterman has hosted "Late Show with David Letterman" since 1993. He turns 67 Saturday.
   Colbert says in a statement: "I never dreamed that I would follow in his footsteps, though everyone in late night follows Dave's lead."
   Comedy Central's Emmy-winning "The Colbert Report" has been a hit since its launch in 2005.
   
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