Malaysia official hopeful about lost jet search

KUALA LUMPUR, Malaysia (AP) -- Malaysia's defense minister says he is "cautiously hopeful" that there will be positive developments in the next few days, "if not hours," in the search for the missing airliner.

Hishamuddin Hussein made the comments Monday during a press conference in light of news about underwater sounds detected by ships searching the southern Indian Ocean. At least some of the sounds are consistent with pings from aircraft black boxes.

Authorities have warned that it will take time to confirm whether the sounds are signals from the flight data recorders that belonged to Malaysia Airlines Flight 370, which vanished a month ago.

The batteries in the black boxes run out after about 30 days, and the plane vanished March 8, so searchers are in a race against time to locate the devices.