Khamis, 23 Jun 2011

The Star Online: Entertainment: TV & Radio

0 ulasan
Klik GAMBAR Dibawah Untuk Lebih Info
Sumber Asal Berita :-

The Star Online: Entertainment: TV & Radio

Archie Panjabi talks about being Kalinda Sharma

Posted: 24 Jun 2011 02:54 AM PDT

Archie Panjabi, who fashionably walks the talk in The Good Wife, was in town recently and had a tete-a-tete with The Star.

THOSE boots ... they seem to have a life of their own," says actress Archie Panjabi of the now iconic leather boots her character Kalinda Sharma wears in the critically-acclaimed legal drama The Good Wife. "There is something about those boots and how fitted her clothes are ... it makes me feel very powerful when I am playing the character."

The boots in question – a pair of knee-high black leather Via Spigas – are arguably the most talked about piece of footwear on TV at the moment; maybe even of all time.

Kalinda, the in-house investigator at the Stern, Lockhart & Gardner law firm is rarely seen without them; unless, of course, she switches them for a pair of studded, suede Calvin Kleins – also black.

So popular are those boots that fans (and Kalinda has legions of them) dub them the "boots of justice".

Cool as they may be, the boots have nothing to do with fashion. They are an extension of Kalinda's character; a character so mysterious and so guarded that we need clues (like a pair of kick-a** leather boots) to gain some insight.

"Even though everything about Kalinda looks very sexy, the intention is not for her to come across as sexy but as someone very focused and reserved. Her job is not to intimidate people but to get information. It's more about creating a presence."

Panjabi was in Kuala Lumpur last week with her husband, businessman Rajesh Nihalani, for a five-day holiday to visit relatives (she has close relatives in Seremban, Port Dickson and Kuala Lumpur) but graciously agreed to meet with Malaysian media during her brief trip. Despite battling jet lag having flown in from New York the night before, the actress gamely shared some insight into her character and the series.

With Kalinda, talk isn't cheap. According to Panjabi, audiences don't really get to know her from what she says.

She observes: "She doesn't have a lot of dialogue a lot of the time. It's more her reactions, her dress and the way her hair is tied up."

Figuring out a character so ambiguous, while challenging, isn't easy. "I am always paranoid before I do a scene. I usually have a very clear idea of what my character would do but with Kalinda, she's so mysterious ... imagine how it is playing a character that is so complex. How do you do a scene when you don't fully know what to expect from the character? I am learning to go with my gut.

"When they say 'action' it's almost like those boots take over. They kind of guide me to do things which I normally would not do," says the 39-year-old actress of Indian descent from Edgware, London.

The Good Wife is a law procedural that focuses on Alicia Florrick (Juliana Margulies) whose husband Peter (Chris Noth), a former state's attorney, is jailed following a very public sex and corruption scandal. An out-of-practice lawyer, Alicia has to return to her old job as litigator at Stern, Lockhart & Gardner to provide for her children.

The series follows her as she learns to deal with her husband's betrayal and copes with unresolved romantic feelings for her boss, Will Gardner (Josh Charles), an old college sweetheart.

The series is said to have been partly inspired by real life American political scandals such as that of Eliot Spitzer, John Edwards and Bill Clinton.

Kalinda is the firm's investigator who soon becomes a close friend and confidante of Alicia.

Professionally, Kalinda is an ace investigator. She uses a combination of stealth and charm to get information to win their cases. She is alluring, fearless and manipulative. She hangs out with cops and is able to knock back tequila shots like a pro.

Personally, however, she is a closed book. Nobody knows what she is thinking or feeling and even after two seasons, viewers don't have a clue about her family or friends or where she comes from. Even her ethnicity is never discussed. We do know, however, that she is bisexual (thanks to the emergence of an ex-lover mid season) and that she has some deep, dark secrets.

Physically, Kalinda is daunting despite her petite stature. Her pulled-back hair, close-fitting tops and dresses, short skirts, leather vests and jackets and, of course, the knee-high boots are sexy but more than that, they spell power and mean business.

In person, Panjabi seems nothing like her character. While Kalinda is aloof and unapproachable, Panjabi is warm and friendly. She smiles a lot and giggles. She poses for photographs.

Does she share any traits with Kalinda?

"Uhmmm ... no," she laughs. "I am sure there are similarities between us. We're different but sometimes I do things on instinct (when in character) and so I learn a little bit about myself as well as Kalinda. Sometimes, when I am in a situation and I don't know how to resolve it, I find myself wondering what Kalinda would do because she is so able to resolve a problem without getting too emotionally involved.

"I think if I ever met Kalinda, I would definitely love to hang out with her. People often say they wish they had a friend like that because they'd feel protected by her. I would probably be a little intimidated by her because she doesn't say much to you. "

Reel journey

The role of Kalinda was something that sort of fell into her lap because her preference is for film, not TV. Panjabi's screen debut was in the 1999 British hit movie East Is East, a comedy set in the 1970s, in which she played Meenah, a soccer-mad teenaged tomboy. Panjabi received good reviews and the movie went on to win The Evening Standard Best Film Award and the Alexander Korfa Bafta award for Best British Film in 2000. She also starred in another British blockbuster, Bend It Like Beckham (which won a Golden Globe and a Bafta in 2003), The Constant Gardener with Ralph Fiennes and Rachel Weisz, and more recently, in A Mighty Heart alongside A-list Hollywood mega star Angelina Jolie. She can currently be seen in The Infidel, a British comedy about a British Muslim (Omid Djalili) who goes through an identity crisis when he discovers that he was adopted as a child and that he is actually Jewish! He secretly tries to discover his Jewish heritage but his wife (played by Panjabi) suspects that her husband is having an affair.

It was Panjabi's performance as Indian-American journalist Asra Nomani in A Mighty Heart that caught the attention of the casting agents of The Good Wife.

"They had seen a lot of actresses for the role and they were about to offer it to somebody else. Then one of the casting associates mentioned my performance in A Mighty Heart and they sent me the script and asked me to put myself on tape.

"Normally in America, you can go for five or six castings before you are seen by the executives. But they really liked the way I had done the recording and so as soon as they saw it, they offered me the role. It was the easiest casting I've had in my career," recalls Panjabi.

Getting the job may have been easy but the actress admits that she was a barrel of nerves in the beginning.

"I didn't really know much about the role of an investigator. I kind of just thought of detectives ... you know, Sherlock Holmes, and Cagney and Lacey. I was at a dinner about the time we were doing the pilot episode and I was sitting next to Matt Czuchry who plays Cary (Argos) and I remember telling him how nervous I was because I didn't know what to do with this character. Kalinda is so mysterious. I was worried that if the character just doesn't work, they would re-cast me. This was such a dangerous character and I wanted to please everyone. I really wanted to come back and do the season because I loved it. And Matt gave me the best piece of advice. He said: 'Archie, you are never going to please everybody, so if you sit there worrying about pleasing all the executives, it's not gonna happen. You should follow your gut and play the character the way you want to.'

"That was really the best piece of advice. I just made decisions based on what I felt was right rather than trying to do the right thing for the American public or for an American show," she shares.

Always evolving

Kalinda was a hit with fans from the get go. Somehow, fans (both men and women) fell in love with the character despite her reserve.

Says Panjabi: "When they tested the pilot with a test audience, one of the things that scored very highly was the character of Kalinda and the relationship between her and Alicia. As a result, the writers knew they had something very interesting with the character. The response from the audiences was a lot better than they anticipated and so they developed it ... which has all been very fortunate for me."

One of the things the actress loves about her role is its ambiguity which, she says, challenges her as an actress even after two seasons. Constantly evolving, Kalinda is like no character Panjabi has played before.

"I think I am one of those actresses who gets bored quite easily if I really understand everything about the character. It becomes almost robotic, which is why I haven't really done much television. Most of my previous work tends to be in film. But with this character, because she is so ambiguous, its exciting and keeps me interested. The thing about this series is you never know what the back story really is. I was told in the beginning, the character was an investigator who may come in and out of the series. I don't think the role was meant to be as big as what they made it, which has been very fortunate for me.

"But I remember when I read it (the script), I felt there was something really strong and interesting about this character. She's so different from anything I've done or anything I've seen on television. I definitely got a good feeling about it."

As she wasn't given much background about Kalinda when she was offered the part, Panjabi wrote a two-page back story for her character, which she uses as a reference point. "Kalinda is really a work-in progress. My suspicion is that, she is the way she is because of survival. She has obviously had something in her life that affected her. It's almost like people have let her down. In one of the last few episodes (of Season Two) she has a line where she tells Will that she doesn't have to confide in anyone. To me, when a character says something like that, she may have been hurt a lot or let down a lot in the past and her way of surviving is to divorce herself (from feeling) and move on."

The constantly developing plot lines and character arcs keep Panjabi on her toes.

"It's a really exciting project because they (creators Robert and Michelle King) never know themselves. They write something and if they feel it works or that it's interesting or if the audience responds to it, then they will write further. It's almost interactive."

Winning formula

Panjabi's dazzling portrayal of Kalinda won her an Emmy for Best Supporting Actress in a Drama Series last year. At the time, she was barely mid-way into the first season and a relative unknown in America. Also, she was up against favourites Elisabeth Moss and Christina Hendricks of the Mad Men.

The win came as a sweet surprise.

"I didn't hear my full name. I just heard 'Ar...' and was getting ready to clap for somebody else. I hadn't prepared a speech. I was so shocked. People in the business had actually told me: 'You know Archie, it's a great character but you're not hugely known'. I really convinced myself that I didn't have a chance. When they announced my name ... I was ecstatic and a bit emotional. I wasn't able to speak. Then I realised that the whole world was going to be watching this speech for years to come, and I had better think of saying the right things. It's amazing how the human body is, it somehow just gets on with it and I was able to come up with something. I was okay after I gave the speech."

Panjabi reckons that the popularity of the series is because the characters – even Kalinda – are real and the presentation of them is so novel.

"The characters are all layered and the performances are very nuanced. It's not over-written. It's the kind of drama where you really have to watch it to understand what's going on. You can't sit in the other room ironing or making a cup of tea and know. It's actually watching what's not being said that's important. I think this challenges audiences. In today's world, there is so much variety and choice in TV dramas and I think people want something that's a little more stimulating.

"Also, the characters resonate with people. Even the good wife is not necessarily 'good' as you will see in the finale. It shows people as they really are. The reality is that no one is perfect. No one is completely imperfect. I think people connect to that," she says.

While the drama on The Good Wife can get heavy and complicated, the atmosphere on the set, says Panjabi, is "a lot of fun".

"It's quite a relaxed set. We work long hours, so there needs to be some lightness on set. There is a lot of legal jargon to learn and when you're working 16 hours a day, sometimes that legal jargon is too much. I mean, we're not lawyers, we're just actors and sometimes the words are so hard to remember. To lighten the atmosphere, sometimes when someone is on camera, the others will be trying to make him or her laugh. You really have to be very strong in order not to laugh. It gets really hard to look at the (other) actors' eyes because they've got a mischievous smile on their face," she shares, with a laugh.

Who's the naughtiest one?

"I think people would probably tell you that I laugh the most, which is really ironic. I am very bad at corpsing. If I catch somebody's eye, I'll laugh and once I start laughing, I find it very difficult to stop ... sometimes the whole crew starts laughing as well and we have to remind ourselves to be serious or the bosses might tell us off," says Panjabi, giggling as she recounts the behind-the-scenes stories.

Panjabi resumes filming Season Three in three weeks and while it may spell the end of her holiday, she's excited to know what's next.

"Well, I definitely get a new pair of boots next season," she jokes. "I think you're going to see if Alicia and Kalinda's friendship can be saved. I think Kalinda really wants to save it but the ball is really in Alicia's court. I think they're also going to develop the relationship between Cary and Kalinda and I don't know which way that's going to go. It will be very interesting to see because there definitely is an attraction between them but they're on opposing sides – he's with the state attorney's office and she's with the law firm. I think it's going to be fun."

The repeat of The Good Wife (Season Two) finale will air on Diva Universal (Astro Ch 702) tomorrow (1pm) and Sunday, June 26 at 2pm. You can also catch Panjabi in The Infidel, now playing at cinemas nationwide.

Full Feed Generated by Get Full RSS, sponsored by USA Best Price.

Laugh out loud

Posted: 24 Jun 2011 02:44 AM PDT

Local Chinese radio station 988 gets ahead with Malaysia's first deejay comedy talk show on the big stage.

Come July 9, Malaysia will experience its first deejay stand up show – The Most Wanted M.A.S.K-ing Talk Show, which is a fresh spin on local live entertainment acts.

Set to run for 90 minutes at Genting International Show Room in Genting Highlands, this light-hearted stage show is hosted by local Chinese station 988's morning belt deejays – specifically the hosts of 988 Morning Up. They are deejays May, Anson, Sam and Kian, whose initials make up the title of the show – M.A.S.K.

The four will conduct the stage show in Cantonese, while a fifth performer deejay Athena will chatter in Mandarin as she provides a bridge between each set.

Morning Street Up is a talk show programme on local Chinese radio station 988. But they have deejays with stage ambitions!

Themed Attitude, the stage show is divided into different segments. First up is a solo section where each deejay will take to the stage and perform individually. Next, they will perform in pairs. Then, finally, they will entertain the audience as a group.

In a phone interview last week, the five deejays spoke of how they became inspired to present something new to their audience.

"Instead of the usual stand-up comedy show where you have one comedian on the stage, why not do the opposite?" exclaimed DJ Athena, who also hinted about them doing impersonations amid the jokes and quizzes.

"Like the title of our morning show (Gai Tao Cho Dai King), we'll take to the stage as a group where we'll sit down and talk to our audience. There will be some songs too ... like a Hong Kong-style stand-up comedy show," offered DJ Kian, who will discuss contemporary romances and the modern outlook on love during his segment.

DJ Anson, who will take charge of discussions on current issues, will also be responsible for mediating between arguments to ensure they don't get out of hand.

"My part is to show people how to calmly examine and resolve issues. We'll tackle issues that most people can identify with like superior-subordinate relationships at work," he said.

Unlike being on a radio show, where they are only heard, each deejay now has to perform on stage where the audience can see each of them.

Personality and charisma are a big part of the performance. For showbiz value, DJ May spent some time practising her solo bit but shares that the deejay bunch is taking it easy with rehearsals.

"We are concerned that the show won't be spontaneous enough if we are too rehearsed. For my individual segment, I will play the guitar and sing a song, with my own lyrics," she pointed out.

"Anson and Kian have already begun training to boost their stamina by going jogging," shared DJ Sam, who lamented that she could not join them in training as she just recently gave birth.

"My set deals with the more serious issues. We will be talking about people's attitudes and whether they behave professionally or not. We'll even reveal some industry secrets and issues regarding prominent people," teased DJ Sam, who is hopeful that the professionally-styled costumes would make her look taller and slimmer.

The Most Wanted M.A.S.K-ing Talk Show, (also known as Morning Street Up Talk Show), will be staged at Genting International Show Room on July 9 from 8pm to 10pm. Admission is free but tickets are required and the audience is limited to 1,000. Tickets are available from the 988 office, via the 988 Happy Cruiser or the upcoming 988 road show at Cheras Leisure Mall this Sunday at 2pm. Stay tuned to 988 for other details and sponsored freebies. The Star operates 988.

Full Feed Generated by Get Full RSS, sponsored by USA Best Price.

The sound of money

Posted: 24 Jun 2011 02:43 AM PDT

The cash prizes just keep on growing when you tune in to Red FM's Blankety Blank and What's The Movie bonanza. These two lucrative contests are hot favourites among listeners with the prize money snowballing each time an incorrect answer is given.

While you get your dose of daily humour, news and the best music with Rudy and Jeremy on Red FM's Breakfast show (Monday to Friday from 6am to 10am), you can give your brain the ultimate wake-up call too!

Listen in to play Red FM's Blankety Blank and walk away with a cash prize that could make you a few hundred or a few thousand ringgit richer. Just guess the missing word from a given sentence and the cash is yours. The money snowballs if no one gets it right and one lucky listener found out just how much it could go up to when he won a whopping RM28,000 last March!

Get another shot at the cash during Red FM's Drive show with Terry from Monday to Friday (3pm to 7pm). Terry's vibrant personality and passion for movies have made the segment a highly popular drive time slot as listeners make their way home. Sweeten your journey by joining Red FM's What's The Movie to win a generous cash prize.

Yes, put your movie knowledge to the test with Terry, the station's resident movie guru. A short clip from a movie is played and all you have to do is correctly identify the clip. With prize money accumulated to RM20,000 at one point, here is a contest you can't afford to miss.

All the wrong answers from the two contests are posted on Red FM's website, so be sure to check it out to help increase your chances of getting the correct answer. For more details, visit and join the Red FM (Malaysia) Facebook group. You can also follow us on Twitter (@iloveredfm).

Red FM is owned and operated by The Star.

Full Feed Generated by Get Full RSS, sponsored by USA Best Price.

The Star Online: World Updates

0 ulasan
Klik GAMBAR Dibawah Untuk Lebih Info
Sumber Asal Berita :-

The Star Online: World Updates

Tiny camera reveals inside of ancient Mayan tomb

Posted: 23 Jun 2011 08:15 PM PDT

MEXICO CITY (Reuters) - A tiny remote-controlled camera peered inside the tomb of a Mayan ruler that has been sealed for 1,500 years, revealing red frescoes, pottery and pieces of a funerary shroud made of jade and mother of pearl.

The tomb was discovered in 1999 inside a pyramid among the ruins of the Mayan city of Palenque in the hills of the southern Mexican state of Chiapas.

But until now archeologists had not been able to access the vault believed to hold the remains of a Mayan ruler who lived between AD 431 and 550, the National Institute of Anthropologyand History said in a release on Thursday.

By dropping the small camera 16 feet (5 meters) deep through a small hole at the top of the pyramid, researchers were able to get the first view of the intact tomb.

"The characteristics of the funeral site show that the bones could belong to a sacred ruler from Palenque, probably one of the founders of a dynasty," said archeologist Martha Cuevas.

The tomb's walls are painted in a rich red with paintings of Mayan figures. The Mayans flourished between AD 250-900 and Palenque is one of the most important Mayan archeological sites.

(Reporting by Rachel Uranga, writing by Cyntia Barrera, editing by Anthony Boadle)

Copyright © 2011 Reuters

Full Feed Generated by Get Full RSS, sponsored by USA Best Price.

Obama touts efforts to advance gay rights

Posted: 23 Jun 2011 08:15 PM PDT

NEW YORK (Reuters) - U.S. President Barack Obama on Thursday touted his efforts to advance gay rights and promised further progress, but stopped short of declaring his support for legalizing same-sex marriage.

U.S. President Barack Obama participates at an election fundraiser on stage following a performance of "Sister Act" on Broadway in New York City June 23, 2011. (REUTERS/Jason Reed)

Obama received an enthusiastic reception from gay, lesbian and bisexual supporters at a New York fundraiser, but a few dozen gay rights protesters outside the hotel and a handful of hecklers inside the ballroom where he spoke served as reminders of frustration that he has not done more for their cause.

"I believe that gay couples deserve the same legal rights as any other couple in this country," Obama said to applause from a crowd of 600 at the "Gala with the Gay Community" event hosted by actor Neil Patrick Harris, where tickets started at $1,250 a plate.

Obama's speech reflected his desire to shore up his support among gay and lesbian voters, a constituency that supported him strongly in the 2008 presidential vote, as he revs up his 2012 re-election bid.

But as he seeks to broaden his appeal to a wide base of independent voters, the president is not expected to push any new gay rights initiatives that could alienate social conservatives over the next year.

Obama stressed his record on gay issues, including winning repeal of the ban on gays serving openly in the military, his order for the Justice Department to stop defending the law that prohibits federal recognition of same-sex unions and expansion of benefits for same-sex partners of federal employees.

But Obama, who said in December his views on marriage for gay couples were "constantly evolving," held to a cautious line on the issue, saying only that it was a matter that should be decided by the states, not the federal government.


Obama's visit came as lawmakers in the New York state capital, Albany, deliberated on whether to join Washington, D.C., and five states where gay marriage is legal.

Several people briefly heckled the president's speech, screaming, "Marriage!" and "Say yes to marriage!" when he described his initiatives on gay rights.

About 30 protesters gathered outside the hotel, chanting: "Obama, Obama, let mama marry mama."

Louis Flores, 38, said he was "angry and disappointed" that Obama had not done more on gay marriage. "We should all be holding the president to his campaign promise."

The U.S. public is nearly evenly split over whether gays and lesbians should be able to marry legally, with 45 percent in favor and 46 percent opposed, according to a Pew Research poll released last month.

Younger voters, an important demographic for Obama, are particularly accepting of homosexuality and could react well to initiatives on gay causes.

A CNN exit poll showed 4 percent of voters were gay, lesbian or bisexual, and 70 percent of them voted for Obama. Other estimates put gays at 7 percent of overall voters.

The gay community is also seen as an influential group in media and Hollywood, and as an important fundraising bloc.

Later on Friday, Obama attended an intimate fundraiser for Wall Street and other supporters who paid $35,800 each at a small Upper East Side restaurant, and then spoke to an audience at a screening of the Broadway show "Sister Act," who paid $100 and up to attend the event with actor Whoopi Goldberg.

At the restaurant fundraiser, Obama acknowledged he may have a tougher time garnering enthusiasm about his candidacy in 2012 than he did in 2008, joking that his greying hair had made him seem less fresh-faced than the last time around.

"Now I'm sort of old news. But the vision hasn't changed, and my enthusiasm and my commitments haven't changed. And I hope yours haven't changed either, because if we're able to work just as hard as we did in 2008, then I think we're going to get through this very difficult time," he said.

(Writing by Laura MacInnis and Matt Spetalnick; Additional reporting by Kim Dixon, Paula Rogo, Mark Egan and Michelle Nichols; Editing by Anthony Boadle)

Copyright © 2011 Reuters

Full Feed Generated by Get Full RSS, sponsored by USA Best Price.

Gbagbo, Ouattara forces engaged in war crimes -ICC

Posted: 23 Jun 2011 06:12 PM PDT

THE HAGUE (Reuters) - The world's top war crimes prosecutor said forces loyal to ousted Ivory Coast leader Laurent Gbagbo as well as those backing his rival, Alassane Ouattara, committed war crimes in the post-election violence.

Ivory Coast President Alassane Ouattara (R) greets military officers during a ceremony to commemorate those who had died during his power struggle with former leader Laurent Gbagbo at the presidential palace in Abidjan May 12, 2011. (REUTERS/Thierry Gouegnon/Files)

Former President Gbagbo refused to cede power to Ouattara following the Nov. 28 election, triggering months of violence and economic havoc in the world's top cocoa-producing country before Gbagbo was captured in April in Abidjan.

After lodging a request with International Criminal Court judges on Thursday for approval to start an investigation, prosecutor Luis Moreno-Ocampo said at least 3,000 people were killed and 520 people were arbitrarily detained in the violence.

There were more than 100 reported cases of rape and the number of unreported cases could be much higher, he added.

Moreno-Ocampo, who will send a team to assess the security situation in the Ivory Coast on Monday and to plan for his investigation, said it was not yet clear who was the most responsible for the crimes.

"We have to collect the evidence to define who gave the orders to commit the crimes," Moreno-Ocampo said. "After all the violence and suffering in Ivory Coast, justice has to be done."

If authorised to open a probe, this would be Moreno-Ocampo's seventh formal investigation; all of them are in Africa.

Although Moreno-Ocampo has launched preliminary examinations in 11 countries, from South America to the Middle East and Asia, he has only opened formal probes in Africa, prompting criticism the court is only targeting African crimes.

"I am in Africa today, because the most serious crimes under my jurisdiction are today in Africa," Moreno-Ocampo said, defending his actions. "We are working with African leaders, leaders who are struggling to stop violence in Africa."

Humans rights groups welcomed the prosecutor's request for an investigation into the Ivory Coast, but said the scope of the request did not go far enough.

Alison Smith at No Peace Without Justice urged Moreno-Ocampo and Ouattara to investigate crimes committed by all forces in the Ivory Coast dating back to 2002 when the ICC was set up.

"Ivory Coast's own history demonstrates that granting impunity for serious crimes only encourages those crimes to continue, whether by the same perpetrators or others," she said.

Moreno-Ocampo said evidence indicated pro-Gbagbo forces allegedly committed crimes against humanity by killing civilians who challenged his decision to stay in power last year.

He said once the armed conflict started, both pro-Gbagbo forces and pro-Ouattara forces allegedly committed war crimes.

Gbagbo is being detained in northern Ivory Coast, awaiting a domestic trial for alleged economic crimes, although Ouattara also wants him tried in the ICC for crimes against humanity.

Yet former rebels loyal to Ouattara were last week still committing abuses such as executions and torture, in which they killed at least 8 people, the U.N. peacekeeping mission said on Thursday.

No one from Ouattara's camp has yet been arrested.

Although the Ivory Coast is not one of the member countries covered by the ICC, the world's first permanent war crimes court, it has accepted the jurisdiction of the court and Ouattara wrote to Moreno-Ocampo in May asking the ICC to investigate reported abuses.

(Reporting by Aaron Gray-Block; editing by Philippa Fletcher)

Copyright © 2011 Reuters

Full Feed Generated by Get Full RSS, sponsored by USA Best Price.

The Star Online: Business

0 ulasan
Klik GAMBAR Dibawah Untuk Lebih Info
Sumber Asal Berita :-

The Star Online: Business

Oil tumbles on plan to release international reserves

Posted: 23 Jun 2011 05:56 PM PDT

NEW YORK: Oil tumbled Thursday after the International Energy Agency, which includes the U.S., said it will release some of its emergency oil supplies to stave off a possible spike in energy prices that could strain the global economic recovery.

The IEA, based in Paris, will make 60 million barrels available over a 30-day period. Half of that will come from the U.S. Strategic Petroleum Reserve, which currently holds 727 million barrels of crude. The SPR was last tapped in 2008 as oil rose to a record $147 per barrel.

With Libya's oil supplies likely unavailable for at least the remainder of this year because of unrest there, and global demand for oil expected to grow in the summer, the IEA said it was concerned that tighter supplies threatened to "undermine the fragile global economic recovery."

Benchmark West Texas Intermediate crude fell $4.39, or 4.6 percent, to settle at $91.02 per barrel on the New York Mercantile Exchange.

Brent crude, used to price many international varieties, lost $6.95, or 6.1 percent, to settle at $107.26 per barrel on the ICE Futures exchange in London.

The IEA's action comes two weeks after the Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries failed to agree to boost oil production. At the time, IEA said it was disappointed by OPEC's lack of response to rising oil prices.

The move was somewhat unexpected because oil prices have dropped in the past few weeks. WTI is down about 20 percent from its recent high of $113.93 per barrel at the end of April. Brent has fallen about 14 percent from a high of $126.12.

Michael Lynch, president of Strategic Energy & Economic Research said the release of oil over the next month will probably depress prices temporarily, but he's doubtful it will have a long-term impact.

"It creates an immediate glut (of oil)," he said "But they're not solving the problem."

If oil demand continues to rise to historic levels this year, oil suppliers will continue to have trouble keeping up, Lynch said.

The IEA announcement came amid further indications of a slow economic recovery in the U.S. Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke on Wednesday warned that some problems - in the financial and housing sectors - would linger into next year. And on Thursday the Labor Department reported an increase in applications for unemployment benefits.

In other Nymex trading, heating oil fell 17.15 cents, or 5.8 percent, to settle at $2.7994 per gallon and gasoline futures lost 15.24 cents to settle at $2.7764 per gallon. Natural gas gave up 12.4 cents to settle at $4.193 per 1,000 cubic feet. - AP

Latest business news from AP-Wire

Full Feed Generated by Get Full RSS, sponsored by USA Best Price.

Ferragamo shares set at $12.79 each

Posted: 23 Jun 2011 05:54 PM PDT

MILAN: Italian fashion house Ferragamo says it is selling shares in its public offering at 9 ($12.79) each.

Ferragamo announced the definitive price Thursday, saying the request has surpassed demand by 3.6 times. Trading is set to begin next Wednesday.

Ferragamo plans to list up to 25 percent of the company in an initial public offering on the Milan Stock Exchange. Ferragamo's value has been estimated at 2.25 billion ($3.28 billion).

It follows Prada, which is launching an IPO on the Hong Kong Stock Exchange. - AP

Latest business news from AP-Wire

Full Feed Generated by Get Full RSS, sponsored by USA Best Price.

Economists see slim odds for more US Fed help

Posted: 23 Jun 2011 05:52 PM PDT

NEW YORK: Welcome back to investing without a safety net.

There are just five trading days left in the Federal Reserve's second round of quantitative easing, the Fed's effort to push billions of dollars into financial markets and prod the recovery forward.

But the $600 billion bond-buying spree, dubbed QE2, ends in the midst of a slowing economic recovery and worries about a European debt crisis. Unemployment remains stubbornly high, factory orders have slowed and gas prices have put a strain on consumer spending. Greece's debt troubles threaten to spread to other countries. And the stock market has given up two-thirds of the gains made earlier this year.

So will these troubles lead to a third round of bond buying? After all, QE2 has helped keep interest rates low and drive investors into stocks, setting off a rally that lasted until the end of April.

The Federal Reserve and its chairman Ben Bernanke have all but ruled out another round of bond buying. In a recent Associated Press survey, 36 of 38 economists opposed any further effort by the Fed to spur growth. Many say QE3 could stoke higher inflation and provoke a political backlash. What's more, the central bank has already bought $2.8 trillion in mortgage and Treasury bonds and kept short-term interest rates near zero since 2008. Eventually, all those bonds will have to be sold back to the market.

"What would the Fed do for an encore?" asks Jeff Kleintop, chief market strategist at LPL Financial.

Not everyone agrees. Investing bloggers, television pundits and doomsayer Nouriel Roubini all think QE3 is a real possibility. Peter Schiff, head of Euro Pacific Capital, says without another round of bond buying the economic recovery is doomed.

"People say it's time to take the training wheels off," says Schiff, whose firm manages $3 billion. "They're the only wheels. You take them off and we're going down." He believes the Fed will respond to a faltering recovery with a new program to encourage borrowing and inflate markets. He doesn't believe quantitative easing was ever a good idea, but says the Fed is hooked on coming to the market's rescue.

Call it a big misunderstanding. When Bernanke outlined the plan for QE2 last August, the S&P 500 was down 6 percent for the year. In the eight months that followed, the S&P 500 gained 28 percent. Bernanke himself has repeatedly pointed to the stock market's rise as a sign that quantitative easing worked. That's led some investors and pundits to believe that if stocks fall too far, the Fed will swoop in again. Citigroup analysts earlier this month said many traders seem to expect just that.

This view of the Fed as a stock market savior misinterprets the central bank's role.

The Fed has just two jobs. One is to prevent prices from rising or falling too fast. The other is to promote maximum employment. The central bank's main tool for plying its trade: interest rates. It raises rates to fight inflation and lowers them when prices are falling and unemployment seems high.

The idea behind the second round of quantitative easing was simple. Buying Treasurys would make borrowing cheaper and drive investors and banks out of low-yielding bonds and into other investments, like stocks. That, in turn, would create the sort of wealth effect that spurs spending, allowing companies to lift prices and start hiring again.

In the first few months after QE2 launched, that's exactly what happened. Stocks soared. Bond yields rose as investors sold them to the Fed. Americans started spending again and the unemployment rate began to decline. Prices, which had been in a long slide, began climbing. Then, starting in early May, dour economic reports began pointing to a slowdown. The stock market rally hit a wall.

That's when the chatter about a QE3 as a way to boost markets began.

"If you're banking on the Fed to bail you out (as an investor), you're set up for disaster," says Joe Saluzzi, co-head of equity trading at Themis Trading. "That's not the Fed's role."

Economists, including Bernanke, say another bond-buying program could stoke higher inflation. Most importantly, the economy still looks much better than when the Fed launched QE2 last summer.

"Nobody is talking about deflation as they were back then," says Anthony Chan, chief economist at JPMorgan's private wealth unit and a former Fed staffer. "Nobody is talking about a recession. QE3 just isn't on the table."

Still, it could be a rough ride for markets after QE2 ends. Stocks may continue to edge lower until there's solid evidence of economic growth, like a sharp drop in unemployment. At his press conference Wednesday, Bernanke said he expected the pace of hiring to be painfully slow.

What's more, trading is usually thin in the summer months, Saluzzi says. That makes it more likely that a wild-card event, such as Greece defaulting on its debts, could cause another steep sell-off.

"You're going to have a rough summer, that's for sure," he says.

Most economists believe that only the threat of falling prices and, to a lesser extent, many more months of weak hiring, would lead to another round of quantitative easing. Right now prices are on a steady climb, even with the recent dip in the cost of gas. The Consumer Price Index is now rising at a 3.6 percent annual pace, compared with 1.1 percent last summer. So-called core prices, which exclude food and energy, grew at a 1.5 percent annual rate in May. That's the highest rate since October 2008. Core prices bottomed out at a 0.6 percent annual rate last October, the lowest figure on record.

Chan, the JP Morgan economist, says the full benefits from the central bank's bond-buying have yet to be seen.

"We're not really done with QE2 yet," Chan says. Even after it spends the last of its $600 billion on Treasurys this month, the Fed will continue to invest the cash it gets from bonds coming due every month. And with the Fed keeping all the bonds it bought, the low borrowing rates available to banks may prod them to free up more cash for small business lending and other loans.

"The Fed can support growth without lifting a finger," Chan says. - AP

Latest business news from AP-Wire

Full Feed Generated by Get Full RSS, sponsored by USA Best Price.

The Star Online: Sports

0 ulasan
Klik GAMBAR Dibawah Untuk Lebih Info
Sumber Asal Berita :-

The Star Online: Sports

French Open champ Li upset by Lisicki at Wimbledon

Posted: 23 Jun 2011 05:46 PM PDT

WIMBLEDON, England (AP:- After playing so well, so often, at this year's first two major tournaments, Li Na's run at Wimbledon came to an early end.

Only 2{ weeks after giving China its first Grand Slam singles championship at the French Open, and five months after being the runner-up at the Australian Open, Li was knocked out in the second round at the All England Club on Thursday, the grass-court tournament's biggest upset so far.

The third-seeded Li wasted two match points and succumbed to the speedy serving of wild-card entry Sabine Lisicki of Germany in a 3-6, 6-4, 8-6 loss. Lisicki hit 17 aces, including one at 124 mph (200 kph), which the WTA said is the fastest serve by a woman all season.

"I mean, (from) the first point 'til the end of the match, every serve was, like, around 117 miles (per hour)," said Li, 14-1 in Grand Slam play in 2011 before Thursday. "I mean, this is impossible for the women."

Leading 5-3 in the third set, Li was a point away from victory while Lisicki served at 15-40. But Lisicki got out of that jam with two services winners followed by two aces.

"Obviously, a good serve is important, but also, you have to use it well," the 62nd-ranked Lisicki said. "And I think I'm serving quite smart, as well. So it definitely helped me today."

Talk about an understatement.

Thanks to that serve, Lisicki is no stranger to success on grass, reaching the Wimbledon quarterfinals in 2009 and winning a tuneup tournament this month at Birmingham, England; she's won 12 of her last 13 matches on the slick surface.

But she missed five months last year because of a left ankle injury, temporarily dropping out of the top 200 in the rankings.

"Oh, it's been terrible. I mean, I really, literally, had no muscles in my left calf after seven weeks on crutches. So I had to start to learn how to walk again," the 21-year-old Lisicki said. "It's been a very, very long road back, and tough road back. But that makes those moments right now sweeter."

Lisicki's return game was good, too, and she broke twice when Li served for the match, at 5-4 and 6-5.

Li became an instant star in China with her French Open title; more than 100 million people in the nation of 1 billion watched that final on TV. Li may not have been kidding when she asked reporters at Wimbledon not to write that she'd be flying home now, so there might be a chance to have some private time with her husband.

Even though her Grand Slam triumph came so recently, Li already could sense a change on court - not in herself, but in other players.

"I didn't feel different. I didn't feel, like, pressure. I mean, (the) only change is, right now, opponents see you different," she said. "Everyone (who plays) against you, they feeling nothing to lose. So they can play (their) best tennis."

Full Feed Generated by Get Full RSS, sponsored by USA Best Price.

Yani Tseng leads LPGA Championship

Posted: 23 Jun 2011 05:42 PM PDT

PITTSFORD, New York (AP): Top-ranked Yani Tseng shot a 6-under 66 to take a one-stroke lead over Paula Creamer in the first round of the LPGA Championship on Thursday.

Meena Lee and Angela Stanford were 4 under, and Morgan Pressel, Stacy Lewis, Ryann O'Toole, Amy Hung and Hee Young Park were at 3 under. Defending champion Cristie Kerr, who was ailing with a light case of the flu, shot an even-par 72.

Play was halted in the early evening by a severe thunderstorm with 58 players still on the course.

Tseng made five birdies on the front nine and three more on the back to go with a pair of bogeys. She recovered from a bad tee shot at the par-4 18th hole that landed in the thick right rough, hit her second shot to 4 feet, and drained the birdie putt for sole possession of the lead.

Full Feed Generated by Get Full RSS, sponsored by USA Best Price.

Wanyoike shows true courage to overcome adversity and help others

Posted: 23 Jun 2011 03:57 PM PDT

WHEN Henry Wanyoike was a kid – growing up in the slums of Shauri Yako in Kikuyu, near Nairobi, Kenya – he had a dream that he would one day be a world marathon champion.

However, tragedy struck in 1995 when the then 21-year-old Henry went to sleep, only to wake up the next morning to find that his world was filled with darkness.

It turns out that Henry had suffered a stroke while asleep and lost 95% of his eyesight overnight.

Overnight, his world was turned upside down.

For many, it would have been a scary and traumatic experience.

But Henry's not your average Joe.

He is a man with the heart of a champion and, like the true champion that he is, Henry never despaired.

Full Feed Generated by Get Full RSS, sponsored by USA Best Price.

The Star Online: Entertainment: Movies

0 ulasan
Klik GAMBAR Dibawah Untuk Lebih Info
Sumber Asal Berita :-

The Star Online: Entertainment: Movies

Movies coming soon

Posted: 24 Jun 2011 02:46 AM PDT

Full Feed Generated by Get Full RSS, sponsored by USA Best Price.

Melancholy man

Posted: 24 Jun 2011 02:43 AM PDT

Full Feed Generated by Get Full RSS, sponsored by USA Best Price.

Harry Potter to be sold as e-book

Posted: 23 Jun 2011 04:04 AM PDT

LONDON (AP): Harry Potter's adventures are going digital - J.K. Rowling says the boy wizard's adventures will be sold as e-books for the first time in October.

All seven novels will be available as audiobooks and ebooks in multiple languages through a new website, Pottermore.

Rowling also has written new Potter material for the interactive site. The site immerses users in the boy wizard's world, combining elements of computer game, social network and online store. Rowling says it includes "information I have been hoarding" about the books' characters and settings.

Rowling unveiled the project Thursday in London. The site goes live July 31.

The last Harry Potter novel, Harry Potter And The Deathly Hallows, was published in 2007.

Full Feed Generated by Get Full RSS, sponsored by USA Best Price.

The Star Online

Copyright 2010 All Rights Reserved