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The Star Online: Entertainment: TV & Radio

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The Star Online: Entertainment: TV & Radio

Beauty and the beast

Posted: 16 Jul 2011 07:33 PM PDT

Crystal Reed plays the love interest of one Teen Wolf.

LOOK out vampires! Werewolves could be the next sexy thing.
Teen Wolf, Michael J. Fox's 1985 comedy, gets a 21st century makeover in a new series – also called Teen Wolf. The show, which premiered in the United States over MTV last month, is about Scott McCall (Tyler Posey) who is an average, typical high school student until he gets bitten by a mysterious creature in the woods one night.

Overnight, McCall finds his underdog existence as an awkward, asthmatic teen overturned. He becomes an awesome athlete, develops super-keen hearing, and, for reasons he could not comprehend, girls are now drawn to him.

One of the girls that catches his eye is the newcomer, Allison Argent, and to his delight, she reciprocates his interest. Life seems to be turning out really well for McCall all of a sudden, and he's certainly enjoying it.

But then one night he finally discovers the price for these gifts: he painfully transforms into a half-man, half-wolf creature, sprouting fangs, fur and developing a fiery lust to kill.

Could this be Twilight – the werewolf version?

"A lot of people are comparing us to Twilight and I have to say I'm quite flattered. I like the franchise and I think it is wildly successful. And if we could have a fraction of that success I'd be really happy," said Crystal Reed, who plays Argent, via a telephone interview from Los Angeles. (Reed recently appeared in the alien invasion movie Skyline.)

"That being said, we're really much different from Twilight because we do have a comedic element and I think that's what sets us apart. So I don't feel any pressure to be anything other than what we are which I think is really great," she added.

The original Michael J. Fox movie was a comedy, but Teen Wolf is much darker, said Reed. It has blood, deaths and lots of horror. It's also sexier, with McCall's relationships at the centre of the show. "I think our show is about teenage transformation and the struggles with growing up and not knowing who you are, and not feeling like you belong and to hide who you are ... It's really about transforming and what it is like to be young and dealing with teenage struggles," she said.

And on teen wolf, the teenage angst is magnified – especially for McCall, who cannot tell the nearest and dearest to him that he turns into a werewolf. And the raging hormones that teens have to deal with? It's especially bad for him because his werewolf nature is triggered when he gets angry or too excited.

"I think Tyler really embodies the werewolf. He's quite scary. Oftentimes he's walking around the set as a werewolf, and I was afraid. And it takes a lot to make me afraid – he's a pretty awesome werewolf," she said.

Teen Wolf werewolves don't transform 100% into wolves like the ones in Twilight or True Blood.

"They still maintain that human element which makes them a little more sexy than the other werewolves on TV," said Reed.

This is achieved via make-up and prosthetic – no CGI wolves here, said Reed.

And unlike the Michael J. Fox movie where werewolves are cute and cuddly and retain their human personalities, those here are closer to the ones established in lore: they have heightened hearing and strength, are ferocious and uncontrollable, and are thus capable of great horror and damage.

Reed describes a scene in episode three where "it gets really scary, bloody and gory".

"There was a tonne of blood on everyone. It is probably the most graphic scene in our series so far," said Reed.

This is why there exists a group of hunters who hunt these werewolves. As a result, McCall's once-sheltered life is now in danger of collapsing as he not only has to juggle teen problems, he has to also run for his life, too. This matter will effect Reed as well; she will eventually have to decide if Scott is worth sticking out for.

"It's forbidden, it's one of the things where it's not supposed to happen – you're not supposed to fall in love with the bad guy or the person who's supposed to be evil," said Reed.

However, on Teen Wolf, good and evil is not black and white, and if you look deeper there's more to them than meets the eye.

When we first see Argent, she's the new girl in town. She's had an almost nomadic lifestyle, having to move because of her parents' secret profession. Then, she falls for McCall. But what should be a normal rite of teenagehood is complicated by the secrets in their lives.

Argent is no damsel or fussy miss, however. Her character actually knows archery.

"They set up archery lessons for me in Atlanta. I learnt about my form and the different types of bows and so I got to do all of that stuff myself on set," she said.

Although Reed has a stunt double, she does most of the physical work herself.

"And that was a lot of fun because, for me, as an actor it is really much more gratifying when I got to do my own physical work," she said.

However, it was also a challenge for Reed to be this physical.

"It was really draining ... we were filming 14 hours a day, five days a week. (There was) rain and it was freezing. Physically, it was really hard on me. But I would do it all over again because I loved it so much," she said.

The crew shot Teen Wolf in Atlanta, Georgia, around October last year. They had a lot of night scenes which were filmed in an old rundown wooded area.

"There will always be fog and most of the time it was freezing cold and we're out in the middle of nowhere. So the scenes are really intense," she said.

They also shot in an abandoned high school.

"I think it's haunted or something because it was quite scary. There were some scenes in the school in which I had to be really afraid, and I'd go upstairs by myself and walk the hallways just to freak myself out and it works," she said.

And filming is so hectic that they could end up filming a scene from a script that they hadn't even fully read. We were really behind and they were writing it so fast that we really didn't know what was going on.

"Week to week we had no idea what was happening with our characters. We're all really excited to find out the next week what's going to happen in the next episode," she said.

Reed had wanted to act since she was 10 years old.

"I really love to be able to take people on a journey and to be able to provide an escape at the end of the day. I think it's really important as humans to be able to have that type of escape through art," she said.

Teen Wolf premieres on AXN Beyond HD (Channel 720) at 9pm today.

Related Story:
One wildly appealing dude

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One wildly appealing dude

Posted: 16 Jul 2011 07:33 PM PDT

Tyler Posey talks about playing a werewolf and whether his muscles are real.

TYLER Posey, the 19-year-old who plays budding werewolf Scott McCall, is looking at the rainforest outside his room in Sao Paulo, Brazil, and telling us about how much fun he's having. He's promoting his show Teen Wolf in the country, and will be flying to Argentina in a few days.

"Hopefully, soon I will be able to come to Asia and promote the show, that will be fun!" he says in a telephone interview.

Since Teen Wolf premiered in the United States, Posey has seen his popularity rise. He has gained almost 40,000 Twitter followers in the past month and is getting a lot of attention from girls.

"We went to this premiere and after that we got to take pictures of all these girls and they were all asking for kisses, and I would give them kisses on their cheek and they would give me kisses. I love it. It's all I could ever ask for and it is so much fun. I love my fans and I love how they love me," he says.

He has even been called a sex symbol. In one Teen Wolf poster, Posey is seen ripping off his shirt, revealing well-defined muscles.

"The abs are all me, but the eyes and the cheek were photo-shopped, and that's about it. The muscles are real, I promise you," he says cheekily.

It takes quite a bit of work to look like that, he says. Posey has a personal trainer who puts him through the motions in the gym, and he has 45 minutes to an hour of workout daily.

"I just work out like a madman. I feel like I want to throw up afterward. I don't know if it is a good or bad thing but I usually feel pretty good afterward," he says.

Besides the workouts, there are the long filming hours.

"I am the lead of the show and I knew that I was going to have to work a lot but I didn't know how much," he says.

The cast and crew had to work 16- to 17- hour days, and at times it was hard for him to keep going and stay motivated. However, he found it enjoyable working with the crew so the work, although exhausting, ended up being fun. Besides, he loves being a werewolf.

"It's like the coolest thing I could ever think of. It's the action, I get to kiss hot girls, there's blood," he says.

And while the creatures of the night are really popular these days, don't expect werewolves' mortal enemies – vampires – to make an appearance anytime soon.

"We are sticking to the werewolves. There will be no crossovers, and that is another thing about our show that sets us apart from the others," he says.

Posey believes that Teen Wolf is a metaphor about growing up, about "going through puberty, going from being a young man to a man".

"Because there are changes when you are in high school and when you're going through puberty; you get more hair, you get all these crazy hormones, you fall in love," he says.

Scott McCall is a kind of extreme symbol of this metaphor and playing him is like playing two different roles, says Posey.

"Scott is not a nerd, he's just an outcast and not in the spot light. He is a shy and nervous kid while the werewolf is the complete opposite: he's like a serial werewolf insane killer," he adds.

While his character is a bit of an outcast in school, Posey had a very different high school experience, saying that he had so much fun in school. Perhaps too much.

"I didn't really go for the school, I just wanted to hang out with my friends basically and I was late to some of my classes. I was talking to every single person on my way to class. I am really glad it's over. I hate high school," he says wryly.

Related Story:
Beauty and the beast

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TNT cancels 'Men of a Certain Age,' cites ratings

Posted: 15 Jul 2011 09:17 PM PDT

LOS ANGELES (AP) - Ray Romano's award-winning TV series "Men of a Certain Age" has been canceled after two seasons.

Calling it a "difficult decision," the cable network TNT said Friday the show failed to attract a big enough audience despite its excellence. "Men of a Certain Age" averaged 2.7 million viewers for the episodes that concluded this month.

The show received a prestigious George Foster Peabody award earlier this year and was lauded for combining humor and poignancy. This week, series co-star Andre Braugher received an Emmy nomination as best supporting actor in a drama series.

Romano, Braugher and Scott Bakula played three longtime friends each facing middle age and various life crises. Romano, the former "Everybody Loves Raymond" star, co-created "Men of a Certain Age."

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The Star Online: Business

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The Star Online: Business

Mexican income fell 12 pct during global crisis

Posted: 15 Jul 2011 09:20 PM PDT

MEXICO CITY (AP) - Mexican researchers say the average income in Mexican homes fell just over 12 percent during the global economic crisis.

The National Institute of Statistics and Geography says average household quarterly income had risen before 2008, reaching 39,823 pesos, or about $3,400. But it then fell to 34,936 pesos by 2010.

The study says the richest 10 percent of Mexicans suffered the biggest drop in income, falling nearly 18 percent. It theorizes that could be because wealthy Mexicans had more investments in the U.S. housing market.

Poor Mexicans had a smaller drop - about 7.5 percent - but might have had more trouble compensating for their losses.

As of 2008, some 47 percent of Mexicans lived in poverty.

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Bank profits up as card customers improve payments

Posted: 15 Jul 2011 09:18 PM PDT

NEW YORK (AP) - The top U.S. credit card companies are seeing a boost to their bottom lines as consumers are getting better about paying their bills on time.

Five of the top six card issuers on Friday said the rates at which their customers defaulted on their accounts fell in June. Bank of America Corp. reported the biggest drop in defaults, with JPMorgan Chase & Co. and Discover Financial Services also showing significant improvement.

Late payments were also down. Only Capital One Financial Corp. saw an uptick in payments late by 30 days or more, and that increase was tiny.

Among the top six, only Citibank had not yet submitted its monthly regulatory filing detailing card performance for the month. Its parent, Citigroup Inc., reported second-quarter results earlier in the day, however, giving some insight into its card performance.

The latest data followed reports that show credit card users have far better payment habits than a year ago, when the industrywide charge-off rate peaked at 10.9 percent, according to Federal Reserve data. For the first three months of this year, that rate was down to 6.96 percent - a significant improvement, but still well below the industry average of 3.82 percent before the recession, which indicates banks will benefit further as default and delinquency rates further improve.

And they should continue to do so. Banks have already written off the balances of most customers expected to default, and those individuals have a hard time getting new credit.

The impact of the improved payment habits was reflected in banks' second-quarter financial results this week.

Citigroup said that it pulled $757 million out of the pool set aside to cover uncollectable credit card bills, adding to its $3.3 billion profit for the quarter. That followed a report from JPMorgan Chase on Thursday, which posted a $5.4 billion profit for the period, boosted by a $1 billion reduction in loss reserves.

And much of Capital One's 50 percent profit leap reported Tuesday was due to the $579 million it released from reserves. Analyst Henry Coffey of Sterne Agee estimated 81 cents of the $1.97 per share profit, or about 41 percent, came from that reserve release.

Last month, Discover Financial Services said it released $401 million from its reserves, helping to more than triple the company's second-quarter profit.

Also goosing bank bottom lines: Card holders are using their credit cards more. That trend is now clear, after 51 percent of the U.S. card market has reported its second-quarter results, said Morgan Stanley analyst Glenn Fodor.

Citigroup said purchase volume rose 1.5 percent.

JPMorgan Chase's customers spent 10 percent more using their cards. Discover said sales volume on its namesake cards rose 9 percent.

Bank of America and American Express Co. are slated to report next week, and both are expected to show similar gains in spending.

The Federal Reserve said total balances on revolving credit, which is mostly cards, rose slightly in May to $793.13 billion. That's still nearly 19 percent below the peak balances of $973.64 billion in August 2008, but reflected an uptick in spending after months of belt-tightening by consumers.

What's less clear is if the higher spending will continue.

Borrowing is typically a sign of confidence in the economy, and the weak jobs market and higher unemployment last month may discourage further spending.

And even when the recovery gains steam, few economists say they expect consumers to pile on debt again after spending the last two years paying it down.

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Primus set to re-appeal

Posted: 15 Jul 2011 07:39 PM PDT

PETALING JAYA: Primus (M) Sdn Bhd is seeking leave to appeal against the Court of Appeal's earlier decision which unanimously dismissed its two appeals with costs involving matters related to the RM5.06bil disposal of the assets and liabilities of EON Capital Bhd (EON Cap) to Hong Leong Bank Bhd (HLB).

The announcement was made by EON Cap yesterday to Bursa Malaysia. It is understood that if this application of leave to appeal fails, Primus will not be allowed to proceed with further appeals.

On June 20, the Court of Appeal had unanimously dismissed Primus' two appeals with costs involving matters related to the disposal.

The first dismissed appeal was for the decision by the High Court, on Jan 31, that ruled the resolutions passed at EON Cap's EGM held on Sept 27, 2010 as valid. The EGM was held to vote on the sale of EON Cap's assets and liabilities to HLBB and also a proposal to distribute cash arising from the proposed sale.

The second dismissed appeal was for the decision by the High Court that had earlier dismissed with costs the petition filed by Primus against EON Cap and its directors over the takeover offer by HLB for the entire assets and liabilities of EON Cap on April 28.

Primus which is the single largest shareholder of EON Cap which holds 20.2% stake, was said to be against the disposal of the assets and liabilities of EON Cap to HLB because it had bought its stake in the banking group at a higher price.

The sale of EON Cap to HLB however has since been completed.

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The Star Online: Sports

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The Star Online: Sports

Kleybanova diagnosed with cancer

Posted: 16 Jul 2011 07:09 PM PDT

PARIS: Russian tennis player Alisa Kleybanova (pic), who celebrated her 22nd birthday on Friday, has been diagnosed with cancer.

Kleybanova, the world num-ber 28, is suffering from Hodgkin's Lymphoma.

"It's my birthday today and I want to thank all of you for the wonderful messages. I haven't written anything for a long time about why I haven't been on tour, so that's why I'm writing this today," she said in a statement.

"It's not an easy time for me right now. I've been a bit unlucky with my health. I have Hodgkin's Lymphoma, a form of cancer.

"I've been having treatment in Italy and it has been going well, but it takes lots of patience and I've had to be really strong to get through this. The good news is after I do treatment for a few more months, if I feel well, there's a chance I'll be able to play tennis again."

She reached a career high of 20 after the Dubai tournament in Feb-ruary, but illness forced her to pull out of the French Open and Wimble-don.

Kleybanova has collected two WTA titles – at Kuala Lumpur in 2010 and in Seoul in 2008. — AFP

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Let’s focus on development to arrest decline in athletics

Posted: 16 Jul 2011 07:09 PM PDT

To say that athletics in Malaysia is in a deplorable state is an understatement.

Based on their age of 116, the Malaysian Amateur Athletics (MAAU) would have been considered a wise "man".

The MAAU were established in 1895, making them the oldest sports association in the country.

In the 1960s, 1970s and 1980s, we were able to produce top athletes like Datuk M. Jegathesan and Ishtiaq Mubarak and they competed in the Olympics. Malaysia also produced top Asian class athletes like Saik Oik Cum, Rabuan Pit, V. Angamah, Mumtaz Jaafar, Zaiton Othman, Datuk M. Rajamani and a few others.

Now, take a look at our results in recent international competitions.

In the Guangzhou Asian Games last December, Malaysia sent 10 athletes and they all returned home empty handed. To add insult to injury, they all failed to come close to their personal bests.

In the Asian Track and Field (ATF) Championships in Kobe, Japan, earlier this month, eight Malaysians took part. Again, they failed to win a single medal and no personal bests.

Women hammer thrower Tan Song Hwa managed 54.44m, 4m short of her personal best of 58.71m. Veteran Norasheela Khalid has a personal best of 56.02 but she clocked 58.53 in the women's 400m hurdles to finish seventh.

In the women's 3,000m steeplechase, Melinder Kaur clocked 11:20.13 to finish last in a field of seven runners. Her time – almost 25 seconds slower than her national record of 10:55.31.

It was the same with the other athletes – 110m hurdler Rayzam Shah Wan Sofian, P. Yuvaraaj (400m), Jackie Wong (hammer), Mohd Hakimi Ismail (triple jump) and Noor Amira Nafiah (triple jump). They all failed to justify the trip to Kobe.

At least at the 2007 ATF meet in Amman, Jordan, Malaysia managed to win two gold medals through Lee Hup Wei in the men's high jump and Roslinda in the women's pole vault.

Why is our standard down in the doldrums these days?

The answer is simply – MAAU have not been focusing on the grassroots. They are still relying on the same old runners – like 31-year-old Norasheela – for glory.

The other South-East Asian countries like Thailand and Vietnam did quite well in Kobe, each winning one gold, one silver and one bronze.

To make matters worse, MAAU were not even aware that six national sprinters, who were asked to provide urine samples for dope tests at the National Sports Institute (NSI), had gone missing.

Five of them – Norjannah Hafiszah Jamaluddin, Nurul Sarah Abdul Kadir, Yee Yi Ling, Siti Zubaidah Adabi and Siti Fatimah Mohamed – are members of the women's relay team. The other is male sprinter Mohd Noor Imran.

Siti Zubaidah, Siti Fatimah and Yi Ying took the test a week later while the other three left for Bulgaria for a training stint.

Malaysia were once a force in the middle and long distance events at SEA Games level.

The SEA Games will be held in Indonesia in November.

Can we count on our athletes to bring glory to the country? Don't bet your money on it.

It is time for the MAAU to wake up from their slumber. Otherwise, the tag of "senile" old man would be more appropriate.

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Big Dolphin aiming to come good at Selangor Masters

Posted: 16 Jul 2011 07:08 PM PDT

PETALING JAYA: Renaissance man Prom Meesawat (pic) will be aiming for victory at next week's Worldwide Holdings Selangor Masters to complete his return to top form.

The burly Thai, nicknamed the Big Dolphin due to his physique and the fact that he comes for a coastal town, will be one of the star attractions in the RM1.2mil Asian Tour event at the Kota Permai Golf and Country Club from July 20-23.

The tournament will give Prom, who turns 27 next week, a perfect opportunity to return to the winner's circle as he is riding a hot streak of form following four straight top 10s on the Asian Tour.

He also enjoys competing in Malaysia, with his record of two top 10s in the Malaysian Open and was tied 22nd at Kota Permai when the course hosted the Volvo Masters of Asia in 2004.

"The only two times I played at the Selangor Masters was at the Seri Selangor Golf Club and I missed the cut both times. I'm looking forward to returning to Kota Permai which is a good new-styled golf course.

"I'll be looking for another top 10 …. or maybe even a win! I'm going to try my best," he said.

"I've played well in the Malaysian Open in the past. I always seem to do well in events in Malaysia and Singapore. It's close to home and it's easy to get good food. I always feel comfortable here," he added.

Prom burst on to the professional scene in 2004 after a strong amateur career where he won the world junior amateur championship twice.

In 2006, he won the SK Telecom Open in South Korea for his first Asian Tour victory. But in the past few years, his form dipped following a series of injuries which took its toll on his confidence.

His management team hooked him up with a sports psychologist from Thailand's world famous boxing team to straighten out his head and it has done him a world of good in the past eight months.

Prom made his major debut at this week's British Open but he failed to advance into the weekend rounds.

At the inaugural Panasonic Open (India) in March Prom finiashed fourth, was ninth in the inaugural Indonesian Masters, eighth at the Philippine Open in May and fifth at the Queen's Cup on home soil last month.

"I'm very happy with my game. Things are getting better. I'm still working with my coach and sports psychologist to keep up my form," said Prom.

"Whenever I wasn't in good form previously, I kept saying I needed to play good. But now, I am just thinking about my plan to play the golf course.

"This is part of the things I've learnt from the psychologist. I've learnt to cut the negative thoughts out from my head. I just stick to a good routine and concentrate on my game."

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The Star Online: Nation

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The Star Online: Nation

Kedah govt to discuss with entertainment operators on ban

Posted: 16 Jul 2011 05:27 AM PDT

Published: Saturday July 16, 2011 MYT 8:15:00 PM
Updated: Saturday July 16, 2011 MYT 8:27:50 PM

ALOR SETAR: The Kedah government will hold a meeting with operators of entertainment centres in the state to find the best mechanism to resolve the issue that they close operation during the fasting month.

Mentri Besar Datuk Seri Azizan Abdul Razak said the decision was made following his meeting with representatives from the Kedah Chinese Assembly Hall Saturday.

"The meeting will either be held tomorrow or the following day and instruction has also been given to the State Secretary to resolve the matter.

"Possibly, they may be allowed to operate as usual, but certain conditions will be imposed, like imposing a ban on Muslims from entering the entertainment centres," he told reporters after receiving a memorandum from the Entertainment Operators Coordinating Committee in Mentaloon.

Meanwhile, Kedah Chinese Assembly Hall president Datuk Cheng Lai Hock thanked the state government for agreeing to discuss the matter for the sake of more than 6,000 workers who would be laid off if the entertainment centres were not allowed to operate during Ramadan.

"We have submitted a memorandum containing an appeal for the operators of the entertainment outlets to continue to operate during Ramadan and they (operators) have agreed to accept whatever conditions set by the state government, including to bar Muslims from entering," he added. - Bernama

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Eight students involved in Melbourne accident safe

Posted: 16 Jul 2011 05:10 AM PDT

KUALA LUMPUR: the eight Malaysian students involved in an accident on the Bass Highway near Melbourne, Australia, last Thursday, are safe.

Wisma Putra in a statement said four of the students were currently hospitalised, while the rest who sustained minor injuries, had been discharged.

"Only one out of the eight students is studying in Australia, that is at Business Monash University, Caufield, while four are from University College Dublin, Ireland, two from Monash University Sunway, Malaysia and one from Taylors College, Malaysia," the statement said.

Wisma Putra said the students were on their way to Clayton, Victoria from Philip Island when their van skidded and rolled into a roadside drain at about 7pm local time on Thursday.

Those with injuries are Aisyah Fadhillah Mahmud Azmi, who was taken to the Alfred Hospital in Melbourne, while Syafiq Hilimi, Iffat Farain Abdul Halim and Mohd Fitry Mahayuddin, are at the Monash Medical Centre, Clayton.

The other four, Muhammad Rashidul Amin, Helmi Mohd Samat Hani, Wan Hafizunazrin and Aisyah Mardiah Mahmud Azmi were taken to the Dandenong Hospital and were discharged on Friday.

Muhammad Rashidul was the driver of the hired van.

Wisma Putra also said that an officer from the newly-opened Malaysian Consulate General Office in Melbourne had visited the students and informed their families in Malaysia of their conditions, besides offering necessary aid and assistance. - BERNAMA

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Two special teams to probe claims by 11 doctors at Tung Shin hospital

Posted: 16 Jul 2011 03:14 AM PDT

KUALA LUMPUR: Police have set up two special teams to investigate claims by 11 doctors at Tung Shin Hospital that tear gas was fired into the hospital compound during the July 9 illegal rally.

Kuala Lumpur CID chief Datuk Ku Chin Wah said one special team would investigate claims by the doctors while another team would investigate the whole incident.

"We (police) will investigate what happened, including taking statements from doctors, witnesses and personnel (police) present at that time," he said after attending a family day function for Kuala Lumpur Police Contingent in Kepong near here Saturday.

The Tung Shin Hospital Board had said on Monday that tear gas was not fired into the hospital compound, but several news portals reported that 11 doctors claimed otherwise.

The 11 doctors who released a joint statement on Wednesday are Dr Ng Kwee Boon - Consultant Obstetrician & Gynaecologist, Datin Dr Low Paik See - Consultant Paediatrician, Datuk Dr Musa Mohd Nordin - Consultant Paediatrician & Neonatologist, Dr Mazeni Alwi - Consultant Paediatric Cardiologist, Dr David Quek - Consultant Cardiologist, Dr Sheikh Johari Bux - Consultant Obstetrician & Gynaecologist, Dr Steve Wong - Consultant Plastic Surgeon, Dr Ahmad Farouk Musa - Consultant Cardiothoracic Surgeon, Dr Ng Swee Choon - Consultant Cardiologist, Dr Mary Cardosa - Consultant Anaesthesiologist and Dr Jeffrey Abu Hassan - Consultant Chest Physician.

Many of the eleven were on duty at the Tung Shin and Chinese Maternity hospitals at Jalan Pudu on July 9 and stated they were ready to give sworn affidavits to back the veracity of their assertions.

"We, the undersigned doctors, wish not to enter into the polemics of the Bersih 2.0 march on 9th July 2011 but would like to clarify the inconvenient truth.

"We are outraged at the incidents, and the subsequent responses from the authorities, to the events where tear gas and chemical-laced water were shot into the compounds of the Tung Shin and Chinese Maternity Hospitals, two adjacent buildings along Jalan Pudu, Kuala Lumpur, with scant regard for the safety of patients, staff and the general public who were at the buildings that afternoon," the doctors said.

"Hospitals are considered as safe sanctuaries for all, even during wartime, but these consecrated places of refuge and protection were violated by the defence forces that afternoon. Police even entered the buildings in search of some of these peaceful marchers.

"What was most frightening and witnessed by many was the unprovoked violent assault within the hospital compounds and the apprehension of several protesters who had merely run into the hospitals to seek shelter from the tear gas and the water cannons.

"It is repulsive that the authorities entrusted with policing the nation and protecting the weak and needy, have shamelessly denied publicly, the occurrence of these incidents in spite of countless photo/video and eyewitness accounts of what was evident to all independent observers," they said.

On Friday, it was reported that a high-level committee of enquiry headed by Health Ministry secretary-general Datuk Kamarul Zaman Isahad had been set up to investigate if tear gas canisters and water cannons had been fired directly into the Tung Shin Hospital compound during the Bersih rally.

Minister Datuk Seri Liow Tiong Lai had said the committee would clear the contradictions in various statements made by different parties and had urged witnesses to come forward.

Meanwhile, Ku also said police would monitor the movement of Coalition for Clean and Fair Elections (Bersih) including a call by president Datuk S. Ambiga that supporters wear yellow t-shirts on Saturdays. - Bernama

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The Star Online: Lifestyle: Bookshelf

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The Star Online: Lifestyle: Bookshelf


Posted: 15 Jul 2011 05:01 PM PDT

Practically Radical

Author: William C. Taylor

Publisher: HarpersCollins

BUSINESS people everywhere are engaging in a dramatic "rethink" of how they lead, work and get results. How do you break new ground when there is so much pressure to do things the same way as everyone else? This book offers radical ideas and practical ways to help fix what's wrong, launch new initiatives with the best chance to succeed, and rethink the logic of leadership itself. Some of the companies researched for this book include IBM, Zappos, Swatch and Interpol.

Value: The Four Cornerstones of Corporate Finance

Authors: Tim Koller, Richard Dobbs and Bill Huyett

Publisher: John Wiley & Sons

PARTNERS from management consulting firm of McKinsey & Company describe the basic principles of value creation and their relevance. The four areas are the value of a business, conserving that value, performance and stock market expectations and management strategy.

The Copywriting Sourcebook

Author: Andy Maslen

Publisher: Marshall Cavendish

THIS book helps readers to write a copy and provide real world examples. It also shows shortcuts to write a copy, and explains how a professional copywriter goes about his work.

The author has two other titles, Write to Sell and 100 Great Copywriting.

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Investment tips for the accident-prone

Posted: 15 Jul 2011 05:00 PM PDT

Author LouAnn Lofton says investors need to do research, be realistic and think long term and learn from mistakes.

Warren Buffett Invests Like a Girl
Author: LouAnn Lofton
Publisher: Harper Business
Taming The Beast
Author: Larry Light
Publisher: Wiley & Sons

IT'S one of the oldest jokes on Wall Street: "What's the easiest way to end up with US$1mil in the stock market?"

"Start with US$2mil."

Yes, in good markets and bad, investors invariably find ways to reduce the value of their holdings by doing stupid things. But two new personal finance books are intended to keep you from becoming part of the punch line.

The one that offers the most specific advice, in addition to being more entertaining, is by LouAnn Lofton, managing editor for online content at, the Web site of the Motley Fool, the financial education company that also offers its own mutual funds. She argues that investors need to do research, be realistic, think long term and learn from mistakes. But that would make an awkward title, so Lofton calls her book Warren Buffett Invests Like a Girl: And Why You Should, Too (Harper Business, US$25.99).

Lofton begins by reviewing well-publicised research showing that when it comes to investing, women are far better than men at getting out of their own way. She dissects those studies and provides explanations – she calls them "the eight essential principles every investor needs to create a profitable portfolio" – of why she agrees that this is the case.

Here are her conclusions: Women trade less than men, so their transaction costs are less – and lower transaction costs mean greater returns. Women exhibit less overconfidence. (Men think they know more than they do, while women are more likely to know what they don't know.) Women also shun risk, are more realistic, do more research, are more immune to peer pressure, learn from their errors and are less prone to taking extreme actions.

Lofton points out the benefits of each principle – for example, the less you know about an industry in which a company competes, the greater your chances of being surprised if you hold the company's shares.

Then, to explain her title, she argues that Buffett has used these same eight rules to amass his fortune. For example, he doesn't trade excessively. He also does extensive homework before he buys, is fond of saying his favourite holding period "is forever" and avoids investing in areas like technology that he says he does not understand.

The description of his investment style is a bit simplistic, of course. Not all of us can buy billions of dollars worth of a company's shares, sometimes getting very favourable terms in return. For example, the US$5bil worth of preferred shares of Goldman Sachs that Buffett bought in 2008 paid 10% a year in interest.

That option wasn't available to the average mutual fund investor.

Still, the idea of using Buffett as the symbol for her investing approach is effective.

There seems to be a (probably misplaced) rule in publishing that no one will take a personal finance book seriously if it has fewer than 40,000 words. This book rounds out its simple, clear and relatively short argument with four interviews with fund managers who share the author's beliefs, and includes an ode to the joys of compound interest, none of which seem to be needed. And the book finds several ways of reprising its eight rules. That grows tiresome after a while – explaining the principles twice would have been just fine.

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Man is charged with stalking Paris Hilton

Posted: 15 Jul 2011 05:56 PM PDT

LOS ANGELES (AP): A man accused of stalking Paris Hilton has pleaded not guilty to felony charges that could land him in jail for five years.

City News Service says 36-year-old James Rainford entered pleas Friday in Los Angeles to two felony stalking charges and three misdemeanor counts of disobeying a court order to stay away from the socialite.

Rainford was arrested on the Fourth of July after paparazzi recognized him outside Hilton's Malibu home. It was his third arrest in less than a year related to Hilton.

Rainford is jailed on $150,000 bail. Jail records don't indicate whether he has an attorney.

Rainford was released from jail in May after serving time for misdemeanor battery. Authorities say he had tried to grab Hilton's then-boyfriend outside a courthouse earlier this year.

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The Star Online: Metro: Central

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Pay up arrears or risk cut in water supply

Posted: 16 Jul 2011 04:07 AM PDT

BEGINNING July 18, Syarikat Bekalan Selangor Sdn Bhd (Syabas) will start disconnecting water supply for those who had yet to pay up their arrears.

Syabas corporate communications executive director Abdul Halem Mat Som said the exercise, which ends on July 23, would cover those living in Selangor, Kuala Lumpur and Putrajaya.

"We are looking into all the accounts that had been served with reminder notices,

"Ample time had been given for errant users to pay up," he said.

Abdul Halem said those who had ignored the notices to pay up within 14 days would have their water supply disconnected.

With the disconnection, users would have to pay a fee of RM50 to reconnect their supply.

"The amount is not a fine or penalty but a fee Syabas is charging its customers as gazetted by the Selangor government under water supply enactment 1997," he said.

Syabas advised its users to make their bill payments soon to avoid disconnection of their water supply.

Abdul Halem said in addition to the week-long exercise, all 11 payment counters in various districts from KL, Gombak, Petaling, Klang, Hulu Langat, Kuala Langat, Hulu Selangor, Kuala Selangor, Sabak Bernam, Sepang and in Wisma Goshen would be extending their operation hours from 9am to 5pm on July 23 and 9am to noon on July 24.

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Exhibit with a mission

Posted: 16 Jul 2011 04:07 AM PDT

DO not freak out if you see artificial limbs displayed at the Floral Pavilion at the Putrajaya Flower and Garden Festival (Floria 2011).

The display, entitled "Blossoms of Hope" was merely an exhibition by the Rotary Club of Bandar Sunway about their "Leg for the Legless" project, which has provided more than 400 artificial limbs since its inception in 1998.

According to past president Mani Raja Chandran, the club saw a need for artificial limbs in Malaysia and took up the project.

"We learned about the technology through an NGO from India," he said, adding that the club does fund-raising projects to fund the cost of the limbs.

In some private hospitals, a prosthesis such as Jaipur Foot can cost between RM3,000 and RM7,000, excluding future consulting fees.

Mani Raja remembered the case of a lorry driver in his 20s who was run down by another lorry and lost his legs.

"He lost hope and for nine months he locked himself in a room. When he received the artificial limbs, he cried as he was able to walk again," he said.

Another example was R. Selvarani, 43, a mother of three who was diagnosed with diabetes. About six months later, she lost her right leg due to an infection of her ankle.

Under the project, she was fitted with an artificial limb at the Rehabilitation Centre of Tengku Ampuan Rahimah Hospital in Klang.

Before getting the artificial limb, Selvarani could only move around on a wheelchair and was not able to do anything on her own.

"I am now able to stand and cook again for my family and that is my biggest joy.

"The artificial limb is helpful and life is much better now. I am independent and I do not have to trouble my husband or children if I need to get anything," she said.

The centre, a brainchild of the Rotary Club of Bandar Sunway, acts as a one-stop centre for those in need of artificial limbs.

It has two medical rooms, a workshop to make the limbs and a gymnasium for patients to exercise after being fitted with the limbs.

The club's director of service projects, Dr Dieter Esser, said free consultation, artificial limbs and follow-up checks for patients were provided.

Club vice-president John Beardsley hoped that corporations could help out as the number of patients was growing every month.

"Through our involvement in Floria Putrajaya 2011, we would like to highlight the help those in need and encourage more caring corporate citizens to join hands with us to make this initiative a greater success," he said.

For details or to make a donation, contact Ravindranath at 012-211 3290 or KK Chue at 012-238 9956.

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The Star Online: Entertainment: Music

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Vanessa Minnillo and Nick Lachey are married

Posted: 15 Jul 2011 07:42 PM PDT

LOS ANGELES (AP) - After dating for more than five years, Nick Lachey and Vanessa Minnillo are married.

A spokeswoman for Minnillo confirms that the couple wed Friday. People magazine first reported the nuptials.

Publicist Melissa Raubvogel provided no other details.

The 37-year-old singer and 30-year-old actress announced their engagement in November. Lachey was previously married to Jessica Simpson.

He is host of NBC's "The Sing-Off." She was host of ABC's "True Beauty."

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Lady Antebellum delays US show over family loss

Posted: 15 Jul 2011 05:57 PM PDT

TOLEDO, Ohio (AP): Lady Antebellum has announced the sudden postponement of an Ohio concert due to a death in the family.

The country music trio says on its website that band member Hillary Scott's grandmother has died, so the Grammy-winning group won't perform as scheduled Friday night at the Toledo Zoo Amphitheatre.

The sold-out show has been rescheduled for Aug. 10.

Lady Antebellum says it still plans to appear Saturday night at a music festival in Sarnia, in the Canadian province of Ontario.

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Jennifer Lopez, Marc Anthony call it quits

Posted: 15 Jul 2011 04:58 PM PDT

NEW YORK (AP) - With three failed marriages between them, Jennifer Lopez and Marc Anthony finally seemed to find true love together when they married seven years ago. They had twin children, went on tour together, did a movie together and even planned a music-based reality show they were working on together.

But on Friday, the pair announced they were no longer together. "We have decided to end our marriage. This was a very difficult decision," the couple said in a statement by Lopez's publicist. "We have come to amicable conclusion on all matters. It is a painful time for all involved and we appreciate the respect of our privacy at this time."

It was a surprising split for one of Hollywood's most high-profile couples.

They seemed inseparable: Lopez even danced in the background for her crooner husband when he performed on "American Idol," where she debuted as a judge this past season.

The pair, both of Puerto Rican heritage, married in 2004 after years of knowing each other. He was ending a marriage to former Miss Universe Dayanara Torres, while she had recently endured a high-profile breakup with Ben Affleck.

Lopez had been married twice before in brief unions to Ojani Noa and Chris Judd and had a famous romance with Sean "Diddy" Combs.

Her union with Anthony was her most enduring public relationship. The pair did a joint tour together and starred in the movie "El Cantante" in 2006.

They also had two children, twins Emme and Max. They were Lopez's first children; Anthony had a child from Torres and another from a previous relationship.

In April, the pair, both 42, announced plans for a television show together, "Q'Viva! The Chosen," with Simon Fuller, the creator of "Idol." The show was to feature the superstar couple as they traveled the world to find the best performers in Latin music, dance and other arts with the goal of creating a live extravaganza.

The show had no airdate, and it's unclear if it will continue.

Lopez released her latest album, titled "Love?" this year. Her career, which had lulled in recent years, has surged since she became an "Idol" judge.

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