Khamis, 21 Julai 2011

The Star Online: Entertainment: TV & Radio

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The Star Online: Entertainment: TV & Radio

Red-dy to win

Posted: 22 Jul 2011 01:31 AM PDT

WITH movie screening tickets, clubbing passes and more up for grabs, you can take your pick on the cachet of prizes that's just waiting to be won all next week on Red FM.

Pick up passes to the hottest dance party as Red FM's Remix Club Tour keep you on your toes with DJ Razz playing a sizzling mix of top club songs, electronic dance tracks and dance anthem remixes. Dancing its way to Arena Club in Malacca, the party is on July 30 from 11pm onwards.

Remix Club Tour is a spin-off from Red FM's Remix programme every Saturday (11pm-1am) that plays a mixture of dance music.

So get ready to party hard with DJ Razz and guest DVJ G-Mix.

DJ Razz will be playing an addictive blend of hip hop to house vibes while DVJ G-Mix will be displaying his unique skills of "visualising sounds" as he loads his audiences with hypnotic, head turning visuals.

A veteran of 11 years in the local club scene, DVJ G-Mix's infectious beats landed him a slot for the Bangkok Invaders and most memorably as the guest DVJ at South Korean superstar Rain's concert VIP after party.

You can pick up four passes to the party on Red FM's Eleven 2 Three With Lexie (Mondays to Fridays, 11am-3pm) and Red FM's Evening With Arnold (Mondays to Fridays, 7pm-10pm).

For movie lovers, a special screening will be held in conjunction with the release of The Rise Of Planet Of The Apes on Aug 2. Taking place at Golden Screen Cinemas in 1 Utama Shopping Centre, Petaling Jaya, Selangor, at 9pm, you can win four tickets to catch this thrilling movie of humans versus apes in a war for supremacy. Win the tickets on Red FM's Eleven 2 Three With Lexie, Red FM's Drive With Terry (Monday to Friday, 3pm-7pm) and Red FM's Evening With Arnold (Monday to Friday, 7pm-10pm).

Check out for details. Join the Red FM Malaysia Facebook fan page ( and follow us on Twitter (@iloveredfm) for the latest updates.

Red FM is owned and operated by The Star.

> Red FM's station frequencies: Taiping, Kedah, Perlis and Pulau Langkawi: 98.1 FM; George Town and Seberang Perai: 107.6 FM; Ipoh, Perak: 106.4 FM; Klang Valley, Negri Sembilan & Tapah: 104.9 FM; Kuantan, Pahang: 91.6 FM; Batu Pahat and Malacca: 98.9 FM; Johor Baru and Singapore: 92.8 FM.

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All in a day’s work

Posted: 22 Jul 2011 01:01 AM PDT

Two adventurous young men explore unusual occupations in 72 Extreme Jobs.

A MULTICULTURAL country like Malaysia naturally has much to offer in terms of extraordinary and bizarre occupations as the two hosts of 72 Extreme Jobs discovered.

Taking up the challenge are Juztin Lau Kah Fai and Joe Chang Yew Joe, two young men who have much in common. Both love to sing and are alumni of Astro Star Quest, a Chinese singing competition on Astro Wah Lai Toi. Lau came in second in 2009, while Chang was placed fourth in 2010.

Both are 21 and naturally very excited to take on 13 different extreme occupations in the first season of the series. Both also hail from Ipoh, so hosting in Cantonese is second nature to them.

Yet, the similarity ends here. Chang is an only child and leans heavily towards outdoor activities while Lau, with three sisters, tends to be more of a homebody. Working together has given the duo much in synergy and they understand each other so well that one can easily pick up where the other leaves off.

The cameras started rolling in May and the boys already have enough footage for four episodes. At a press conference, the hosts regaled local media with stories of how they were introduced to rappelling down waterfalls, rock blasting, tree cutting, snake catching and bone collecting (as in dusting off human bones in a cemetery, mind you!).

"The longest shoot thus far has been the episode involving stone blasting because it requires a permit for the explosives. It's really dangerous from beginning to end because you have to climb up a mountain of rock some 20 to 30 stories high to put in the explosives," Lau said of the rock blasting episode.

Sharing his experience cutting down a tree using a chainsaw, Chang said: "The roads were so difficult to negotiate that it took an hour just to get to the top of the hill. And, we had only one chance to do it right, because we couldn't possibly cut another tree just for the show."

Snake catching was also a very scary episode for them as some of the trainers got bitten. Chang has a tip for viewers: "If you see a small snake like a cobra, just keep still and don't move. If you see a big snake like a python, run as fast as you can. This is because if you move, snakes are afraid you might attack them."

While the jobs had danger written all over them, the boys said that they took all the necessary precautions. They reported only one injury – Lau showed how he slipped and grazed the knuckles on his right hand as they prepared to rappel down a waterfall.

"It was our first time at the shoot, so we were probably not confident enough," Lau explained.

Chang added: "I watched him get hurt so we got somewhat scared, but the director assured us that we had to trust our trainer."

Both are relatively fresh faces as Lau has previously only participated in the shoot for drama series Ah Beng while Chang is working on another project filming minute-long trailers with co-hosts Danny Boy and Eng Yee Min.

In the age of all-rounder entertainers, these two young TV personalities realise that hosting TV programmes offers them more opportunities to shine as they explore new territory and learn to think on their feet.

Lau, who has some TV experience as a substitute host on a Chinese entertainment programme Astro Show Power, shared that he was quite nervous interviewing the singing duo By2 partly because that show was conducted in Mandarin.

Chang, who loves football and basketball, aspired to be a sportsman as a child. Then, he had a year-long stint as a hairstylist, before finding his calling as a TV host.

Of all the extreme jobs on the list, which are their favourite picks?

Chang immediately piped: "Stunt performer definitely! Everytime we watch people work behind the scenes and see people leaping multiple storeys from above, it looks especially dangerous yet fun. If I have the opportunity to work in movies, I'd go for actioners."

Affable Lau continued with a laugh, "The one I'd like to try is racing."

So, keep your eyes peeled when you next go shopping in Kuala Lumpur as the boys are scheduled to do some high-rise window-cleaning at KLCC some time soon.

> 72 Extreme Jobspremieres on Astro Wah Lai Toi (Channel 311) today. It airs every Friday at 11pm.

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The Star Online: World Updates

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The Star Online: World Updates

Canada court rules against China's most wanted man

Posted: 21 Jul 2011 07:17 PM PDT

VANCOUVER, British Columbia (Reuters) - The Federal Court of Canada cleared the way on Thursday for the extradition of China's most wanted man, dismissing concerns that he could be tortured or executed back home.

Judge Michel Shore refused a request to stay the deportation of Lai Changxing, accused by Beijing of running a multibillion-dollar smuggling operation in China in the 1990s.

Lai Changxing, who has been called China's most wanted fugitive, listens to a translator during a news conference in Vancouver, British Columbia September 18, 2007. (REUTERS/Andy Clark/Files)

Lai fled to Canada with his family in 1999 and claimed refugee status, saying the allegations against him were politically motivated. Canada rejected his refugee claim, and after years of legal wrangling government lawyer Helen Park said on Thursday he could be sent back early as Saturday.

China says Lai bribed Chinese officials to avoid paying taxes and duties on everything from fuel to cigarettes that were shipped into China's southeastern Fujian province.

Lai admitted in a 2009 interview with the Globe and Mail newspaper that he had avoided taxes by taking advantage of loopholes in the law, but he denied bribery charges. He said if he were not in Canada he would have been executed by now.

(Reporting by Greg Joyce; writing by Randall Palmer; Editing by Jeffrey Hodgson)

Copyright © 2011 Reuters

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Libya's Gaddafi rules out talks

Posted: 21 Jul 2011 05:45 PM PDT

SIRTE, Libya (Reuters) - Libyan leader Muammar Gaddafi ruled out on Thursday talks with the rebels seeking to end his 41-year-rule, casting doubt on a flurry of Western efforts to negotiate an end to a deepening civil conflict.

A girl holds a picture of Libya's leader Muammar Gaddafi during a pro-government rally in the Gaddafi hometown of Sirte, 400 km (249 miles) east of Tripoli, July 21, 2011. (REUTERS/Caren Firouz)

"There will be no talks between me and them until Judgment Day," Gaddafi told a crowd of thousands of his supporters in his home city of Sirte in a remotely delivered audio message. "They need to talk with the Libyan people ... and they will respond to them."

The rally in the quiet seaside city drew men wearing green hats, women waving flags and children whose faces were painted with pro-Gaddafi slogans.

Their vociferous support for Gaddafi -- and rebel declarations earlier that the war could not be ended through talks -- showed how far Libya may be from a negotiated end to its five-month-old conflict.

Rebels who have struggled to arm and organise themselves have suffered losses in the past week near the insurgent stronghold of Misrata and the eastern oil hub Brega, but are pushing ahead with their campaign to unseat the longtime leader.

On Thursday the rebels said their advance towards the capital had been slowed by the laying of hundreds of thousands of mines at Brega, but the frontline at Zlitan advanced to the closest it has ever been to the western city's outskirts.

Foreign diplomatic efforts to find a solution have intensified as the fighting drags on. China said it would work with the African Union, which has proposed a plan seen as less hostile to the Libyan leader than a Western plan that insists on his stepping down.

Chinese President Hu Jintao told his visiting South African counterpart Jacob Zuma that the Africans had played an important role in pushing a political solution.

"China greatly appreciates this and is willing to continue remaining in close touch and to coordinate closely with South Africa and the African Union on the Libya issue," Hu said.

France said on Wednesday Gaddafi could stay in Libya if he gave up power, an apparent softening of the West's stance in a new effort to find a diplomatic end to the war.

The United States said Gaddafi must quit, but whether he remained in Libya after that would be up to the Libyan people.

But Libyan officials have said before now that Gaddafi's departure was not up for negotiation and the rebels said on Thursday that no one seriously expected talks to end the crisis.

"No one talks about a political solution. Impossible. He closed all the doors," said Colonel Ahmed Bani, a rebel military spokesman. "What do we tell the widower? What do we tell the mother who lost her children ... We can't negotiate, people will devour us."


Bani said he expected a breakthrough in Brega in a few days, and in the western town of Zlitan within two days.

"We are advancing slowly and clearing the mines ... but we know that at the end, we will enter it (Brega)," he told Reuters in an interview in the eastern rebel stronghold of Benghazi.

"The fall of Brega is the end of the regime."

Libya's front line near the oil town of Brega, one of the last strongholds of Gaddafi's forces, has been deadlocked for weeks.

Bani estimated that 400,000 mines had been planted around Brega and said the rebels, mostly volunteers with no military experience, were working to clear them with almost no help from experts. Gaddafi's forces have pushed back the rebels by filling trenches with petrol and setting them ablaze.

The rebel forces are now about 20 kms from the edge of Brega, but Gaddafi's forces still control the city and its oil installations, he said. The rebel forces are dug in east and south of Brega.

In Zlitan, on the coast road 160 km (100 miles) east of the capital, the rebel front line has advanced 4 kms in the past 24 hours, a major gain that leaves the rebels around 5 kms from the city's outskirts.

This is the nearest the rebels have ever come to Zlitan, a source familiar with the battles said. Three rebel fighters were killed and 25 wounded on Thursday in fighting outside Zlitan, according to hospital figures. Five rebels were killed on Wednesday by mines, the rebels said.

State TV showed what it said were fresh pictures from Zlitan and Brega in an apparent bid to show the towns were still firmly in Tripoli's hands. In Zlitan, dozens of Gaddafi supporters were shown chanting slogans of support.

Some analysts have said Gaddafi is running short of fuel and food, which could stoke popular unrest ahead of the Muslim month of Ramadan which begins next week. During Ramadan, people prepare nightly feasts after fasting by day.

The state news agency JANA said officials met on Thursday to ensure food supplies "reach consumers as soon as possible before the start of Ramadan".

Gerald Howarth, British Minister for International Security Strategy, said there would be no pause in the war for Ramadan.

"There will be no let-up in the coalition activities to protect the people of Libya," he said. "It would be highly irresponsible to give Gaddafi any excuse to inflict the kind of brutality that he has displayed in the past."

(Additional reporting by Rania El Gamal in Benghazi, Souhail Karam in Rabat, Lutfi Abu Aun in Tripoli, Sui-Lee Wee and Ben Blanchard in Beijing, Brian Love and Emmanuel Jarry in Paris, Patrick Worsnip in New York; writing by Richard Meares and Lin Noueihed, editing by Tim Pearce)

Copyright © 2011 Reuters

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James Murdoch denies "mistaken" evidence to UK lawmakers

Posted: 21 Jul 2011 05:14 PM PDT

LONDON (Reuters) - James Murdoch gave "mistaken" testimony to a British parliamentary committee, two senior ex-News of the World executives said on Thursday, the most direct accusation made so far against News Corp's heir apparent in a phone-hacking scandal.

BSkyB Chairman James Murdoch appears before a parliamentary committee on phone hacking at Portcullis House in London July 19, 2011. (REUTERS/Parbul TV via Reuters Tv)

Murdoch said he stood behind his testimony to the committee, which had asked what he knew of a scandal that has forced senior News Corp executives and two senior police chiefs to quit and raised questions over press barons' influence on politicians.

The statement by Tom Crone, the British news group's top legal officer until last week, and Colin Myler, editor of the News of the World tabloid until it was shut down earlier this month, was the first open challenge by former senior executives of Rupert Murdoch's global media empire.

"I stand behind my testimony to the Select Committee," James Murdoch said in response to the assertion by Myler and Crone that they told him of an email from a News of the World reporter to "Neville" containing transcripts of hacked voicemails.

Neville Thurlbeck was chief reporter on the weekly when it published a story about English soccer executive Gordon Taylor. Murdoch later approved a large payout to Taylor, but told the committee this week he had not been in possession of all the facts when he approved it.

The phone-hacking scandal has led News Corp, Rupert Murdoch's global media empire, to drop its $12 billion bid for the 61 percent of pay-TV broadcaster BSkyB it does not own after public revulsion over allegations that dead soldiers' families and a missing schoolgirl were among those whose voicemails were hacked.


During three hours of questioning on Tuesday, James Murdoch, News Corp's deputy chief operating officer, was asked by lawmaker Tom Watson: "Did you see or were you made aware of the full Neville email, the transcript of the hacked voicemail messages?"

"No, I was not aware of that at the time," Murdoch told the committee, adding he was only aware of "key facts and evidence" that came to light at the end of 2010 when detectives re-launched a probe into phone-hacking and allegations that reporters had bribed police officers.

An initial police inquiry led to the jailing of a News of the World reporter and a private detective in 2007.

British police are now investigating allegations that about 4,000 people had their phones hacked by journalists from the News of the World -- among them politicians and celebrities as well as a missing schoolgirl, later found murdered, and families of victims of the 2005 London bombings.

Crone and Myler said in their statement: "Just by way of clarification relating to Tuesday's CMS Select Committee hearing, we would like to point out that James Murdoch's recollection of what he was told when agreeing to settle the Gordon Taylor litigation was mistaken.

"In fact, we did inform him of the 'for Neville' email which had been produced to us by Gordon Taylor's lawyers."

Watson, reacting to the two men's statement, told the Independent newspaper: "If these allegations are true, you can only reach the conclusion that James Murdoch misled parliament."

John Whittingdale, chairman of the committee, said lawmakers could push Murdoch for clarification.

"I haven't seen the statement but if it is the case that Colin Myler and Tom Crone are in conflict on a serious issue then that is a matter we would want to obtain a response from James Murdoch on," he told Reuters.

"James Murdoch has already said he will provide written evidence on other issues and we could ask for this to be clarified this way."


In a sign of further turmoil at News Corp, the BBC reported on Thursday that a senior executive at the News of the World's sister paper, The Sun, had been sacked for matters relating to his previous job at the News of the World.

Sun features editor Matt Nixson, previously deputy features editor at the News of the World, was marched out of the building that houses all News Corp's London newspapers, a senior journalist from Murdoch broadsheet the Times of London tweeted.

"Understand at one time Nixson worked on NOTW news desk under Ian Edmondson and Andy Coulson," the Times's Assistant News Editor David Rose wrote on his Twitter feed.

Coulson, the former editor of the News of the World, went on to become Prime Minister David Cameron's communications chief until he resigned in January.

He denies any knowledge of hacking but his connection to the investigation has encouraged the opposition Labour party to question Cameron's judgment in employing him and provoked questions about Cameron's relations with News Corp.

(Additional reporting by Kate Holton; editing by Tim Pearce)

Copyright © 2011 Reuters

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The Star Online: Sports

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The Star Online: Sports

Swedish amateur tied for lead at Nordea Masters

Posted: 21 Jul 2011 06:27 PM PDT

STOCKHOLM (AP) - Swedish amateur golfer Robert Karlsson was on top on the leaderboard with countryman Alexander Noren and Jaco Van Zyl of South Africa after they shot 5-under 67s in Thursday's first round of the Nordea Masters.

The 22-year-old Karlsson, one of only three amateurs in the tournament, made seven birdies and one double-bogey on the 7,603-yard (6,952-meter) Bro Hof Slott course - the longest on the European Tour this year.

Karlsson said the lead took him by total surprise.

"We had set no goals aside from just having fun," Karlsson said of his caddie. "I hadn't really expected this when I stood by the tee this morning.

It feels really good. I started to feel more and more comfortable with the shots and then it just kind of flowed. It felt like I was in the moment the whole time. I wasn't thinking either back or forward, I was just in the moment."

Noren made eight birdies, one bogey and a double-bogey, while Van Zyl holed six birdies and a bogey.

Dustin Johnson, who shared second place in the British Open on Sunday, hit a 73 while fellow American Bubba Watson shot a 71.

Local favorite and defending champion Richard S. Johnson hit a 70. The tournament changed its name to Nordea Masters from Scandinavian Nordea Masters this year.

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Golf: Florida-based Kelly Tan claims her maiden international amateur title

Posted: 21 Jul 2011 04:46 PM PDT

KUALA LUMPUR: Florida based Kelly Tan claimed her maiden international amateur title when she won the Mazda Malaysian Ladies Amateur Open at the Mines Resort and Golf Club yesterday.

Kelly, who had to settle for the runners-up spot in last year's tournament, carded a three-under 68 in yesterday's final round to clinch the title by six strokes with a total score of five-under 208.

Kelly had birdies on the second, seventh, 12th, 15th and 17th holes but bogeyed the fourth and sixth holes on the front nine but it was still a very consistent day for Kelly.

It proved to be a great day for Malaysian golfers as they took the top four positions in the individual event. On Wednesday, Malaysia won the team title.

Nur Durriyah Damian finished second after coming through from fifth place to finish with a four-under-67 for a three-day total of 214.

Overnight leader Imam Ahmad Nordin, who led by two strokes going into the final round, failed to sustain her form and could only managed a one-under 70 yesterday.

Fourth place went to 2009 winner Michelle Koh Lay Sia who was a stroke behind after carding a one-under 70 in her final round.

For Kelly, the win made up for the disappointment of missing the title last year. "I played great today. Last year it was a bit disappointing to lose in the play-off but I've learnt a lot over the past year, especially in terms of mental preparation and it has paid off," said the 18-year-old lass.

Kelly also pledged to do her best to bring back the gold medal for Malaysia in the upcoming SEA Games in Indonesia in November.

"Two years ago, I was a bronze medallist. If I'm in the team again this time around, I will definitely try my best to win the gold for Malaysia," she added.

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Webber and Alonso seek to break Vettel’s dominance

Posted: 21 Jul 2011 04:34 PM PDT

NUERBURGRING: Mark Webber of Red Bull and Ferrari's Fernando Alonso are hoping past success at the Nuerburgring will give them an edge over championship leader Sebastian Vettel at Sunday's German Grand Prix.

In 2009, Webber won his first Formula One race - after 132 starts - at the Nuerburgring, starting from pole position and finishing almost 10 seconds ahead of Vettel for a Red Bull 1-2.

Alonso, who notched his first victory of the season two weeks ago at the British Grand Prix in Silverstone, has won twice at the circuit, in 2005 with Renault and in 2007 with McLaren-Mercedes.

Still, Vettel will be racing at home in Germany and he has won six of the nine races so far this season and has an 80-point lead over Red Bull team-mate Webber, with Alonso another 12 points behind.

"For some, it may create some pressure or raise the expectations, but I don't really feel it," Vettel said about racing at home. "In fact, it may give me an extra push, maybe I can get a tenth (of a second) more here and there, which could be decisive on the track."

Vettel, the defending F1 champion, won five of six races to start the 2011 season, has started all nine races so far from the front row - including seven pole positions - and has yet to finish worse than second this year.

At the season's midway point - the 10th of 19 races - he has six victories and has been second three times.

But Ferrari have been having greater success lately and it's no longer just the McLaren team of Lewis Hamilton and Jenson Button who are challenging Red Bull for the team title.

"I think Ferrari has taken a great step forward in the last couple of races and at Silverstone they were even, if not faster," Vettel said. "We have to be realistic. It's important to realise it and accept it."

Red Bull lead the constructors' standings with 328 points, ahead of McLaren with 218 and Ferrari with 164.

Ferrari have won 15 times at the Nuerburgring and team principal Stefano Domenicali said Alonso's victory in Britain was a significant boost for the Scuderia.

"That victory in Silverstone was an important moment in this season," Domenicali said. "We know that Ferrari cannot be happy with winning just one race so far this season, but it was important for the morale of everyone in the company."

Domenicali added that he would give Ferrari a "negative score" for their performance during the first three months of the season.

"But I would say the last part of the first half of the year was better, because although we only took one win, we were competitive enough to have won more, but for various circumstances," Domenicali said.

Hamilton and Button both have 109 points, the only other drivers with more than 100 beside the top three.

Hamilton has won a German GP, but that was in 2008 at the Hockenheim circuit, the track which lately has been alternating with the Nuerburgring in hosting the race.

At the track set among the Eifel mountains in western Germany, the Brit has had little luck, finishing ninth in 2007 and just 18th in 2009.

"The current circuit may be less epic than the original 14-mile layout, and certainly a lot safer, but it can still bite you," Hamilton said. "The weather can turn in a matter of moments - you can have all the seasons in one afternoon."

Button highlighted the deep heritage of the track inaugurated in 1927 - although the current Grand Prix layout was built in 1984, with some later alterations.

"This is a race I'd really like to win," said Button whose best finish at the circuit was third in 2004. "To be able to say you've won at the Nuerburgring is a major achievement because it's such a historic and challenging location."

Despite pressure from McLaren and Ferrari's resurgence, Webber could well be the source of Vettel's biggest headaches.

The Australian has not always accepted Vettel's dominance easily. He was warned by his team not to challenge Vettel in the closing stages of the Silverstone contest - fearing a collision would put both out of the race - but Webber admitted to ignoring the order. — AP

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The Star Online: Entertainment: Movies

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The Star Online: Entertainment: Movies

Kim Kardashian sues Old Navy over lookalike in ads

Posted: 20 Jul 2011 07:58 PM PDT

LOS ANGELES (AP): Kim Kardashian wants Old Navy to stop using a lookalike to advertise its clothing.

The reality show starlet and model on Wednesday sued the clothing store and its parent company, The Gap Inc., in a Los Angeles federal court alleging their ads violated her publicity rights with ads that feature a woman who looks like her.

A video of a broadcast ad featuring a smiling, dark-haired woman who bears a resemblance to the real Kardashian has been viewed more than two million times on Old Navy's YouTube channel.

Kardashian's lawsuit claims consumers may be confused by the ads and the model's actual endorsements, which include her own clothing store and shoe line.

A commercial, titled, "Super C-U-T-E," began airing in February and Old Navy is still using some of the promotions, the lawsuit states.

The case sites all the benchmarks of modern celebrity: her eight million followers on Twitter, more than five million fans on Facebook and ranking as one of the most searched-for celebrities on the Internet.

Kardashian "has invested substantial time, energy, finances and entrepreneurial effort in developing her considerable professional and commercial achievements and success, as well as in developing her popularity, fame, and prominence in the public eye," the lawsuit states.

Louise Callagy, a spokeswoman for San Francisco-based Gap said the company has not yet seen the case and had no comment.

Kardashian, 31, has rocketed to fame in recent years after gaining prominence as a friend of Paris Hilton and for having a sex tape.

She appears along with her family on the E! Entertainment Television series "Keeping Up With the Kardashians" and routinely graces magazine covers.

Her lawsuit is seeking unspecified damages and wants a federal judge to prevent Old Navy from using a Kardashian lookalike model in its ads again.

The model in the ads, Melissa Molinaro, is not named in the lawsuit. She expressed exasperation that the resemblance was being pointed out again.

"Were (sic) still talking about this," she posted on Twitter, noting the ad ran five months ago. "Some people have too much time on (their) hands."

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The Star Online: Nation

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The Star Online: Nation

Opposition to proposal for NGOs on EC

Posted: 21 Jul 2011 04:36 AM PDT

KUALA LUMPUR: The Malaysian Bar Council's proposal to allow non-governmental organisations (NGO) to sit on the Election Commission (EC) has been shot down by several quarters.

They feel that the EC must be free from political influence as, in the present situation, it was difficult to gauge whether an NGO was neutral or had any agenda.

Universiti Utara Malaysia (UUM) International and Political Studies lecturer Md Shukri Shuib said the system employed by the EC could be improved, but the presence of representatives with vested interests would only create chaos.

"Improvement does not mean adding on members to the EC, but improving the procedures or giving fresh ideas. "If the Coalition for Clean and Fair Elections (Bersih) is chosen as a panel member, what about the rights of the other NGOs in Malaysia?" he said.

Md Shukri said the Bar Council itself needed to be improved so that it was more transparent and fair in its decisions on any matter.

"The Bar Council needs to rectify itself first as it is already eligible for registration as a political party. We see that it has strayed from its original objective of looking after the interests of its members," he said.

Assistant Professor Dr Shamrahayu Abd Aziz of the Ahmad Ibrahim Kulliyah of Laws of the International Islamic University of Malaysia was of the opinion that although the matter might seem positive, it would be worrying if NGO representatives could not separate themselves from politics.

"The irony is that NGOs have political influence. We cannot avoid it because everyone has their own political agenda. These representatives have voting rights and cannot be fence-sitters," she said.

Dr Shamrahayu also said that having NGOs on the EC might result in disagreements between the committee members and lead to disorder in the EC administrative system.

Selangor Youth Council deputy president Badrul Hisham Badrudin said he felt that the EC was experienced and continuously improving itself in the implementation of information technology systems and new voter registration.

"The commission needs to be free of political parties and NGOs as their presence can invite disputes and allegations by irresponsible quarters.

"NGO representatives need not be appointed to be part of the EC, but they should be given the chance to have discussions at forums or seminars," he said. - Bernama

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Teoh family refuses to accept suicide finding

Posted: 21 Jul 2011 04:35 AM PDT


KUALA LUMPUR: Teoh Beng Hock's family refused on Thursday to accept the Royal Commission of Inquiry's finding that he had been driven to commit suicide.

His younger sister Lee Lan, 31, told reporters that while there might have been evidence of "torture" there was none that he committed suicide.

"As a family, we cannot accept the conclusion of the report. It is not an answer for us," she said emotionally.

"My brother was not weak," she said.

Meanwhile, in Alor Gajah, Teoh's mother Teng Shuw Hor, 58, insisted her son was murdered.

"As a mother, I will not accept that my son took his own life.

"My son was murdered," she reiterated when met at the family home at Taman Seri Kelemak, Alor Gajah here early Thursday.

"The Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission (MACC) must be held fully responsible for Teoh's death," she said.

She later joined Lee Lan at the packed press conference in Kuala Lumpur.

More in The Star on Friday

Related Stories:
'Teoh Beng Hock driven to suicide by aggressive interrogation by MACC officers'
Nazri: Action to be taken against 3 MACC officers who grilled Teoh Beng Hock
Teoh's boss refuses to accept commission's finding of suicide

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'Teoh Beng Hock driven to suicide by aggressive interrogation by MACC officers’

Posted: 21 Jul 2011 04:34 AM PDT


KUALA LUMPUR: The Royal Commission of Inquiry found that Teoh Beng Hock had been driven to commit suicide by "aggressive, relentless, oppressive and unscrupulous" interrogation by three MACC officers.

The three named were Selangor MACC Deputy Director Hishamuddin Hashim, and his officers Mohamad Anuar Ismail and Ashraf Mohd Yunus.

The commission said that unlawful intimidatory tactics used "would have had grave consequences upon Teoh's mind and would have been a culminating factor that drove him to suicide."

In the 124-page report released Thursday the commission said that three MACC officers had probably tried to coerce him into making a statement that it was Selangor state executive council member Ean Yong Hian Wah, Teoh's boss, who had "directed him to commit unlawful acts in handling" an allocation.

"This session must have been very taxing on Teoh both physically and mentally.

"He had been deprived of sleep throughout that night and into the morning and had had to endure persistent, aggressive and unscrupulous questioning.

"His physical condition as described by Ashraf when fetching him the glass of water was that Teoh had moved to sit in an upright position very slowly.

"This fourth interrogation session, to our minds, must have been the final straw that broke the camel's back."

Teoh, 30, the political secretary to Ean, was found dead on July 16, 2009 on the fifth floor corridor of Plaza Masalam, Shah Alam, Selangor, after giving a statement at the Selangor MACC office on the 14th floor of the same building.

The setting up of the commission was announced by Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Razak last Jan 26 after the Coroner's Court delivered an open verdict.

The commission also made some recommendations for the change of attitude of MACC officers as there were "serious weaknesses" at the Selangor MACC office.

These include:
a)brutality in interviews
b)poor interview skills
c)poor reporting
e)poor relationship with the public and other agencies
f)insufficient use and understanding of the capacity of modern technology
g)possible problems with interaction between intelligence-gathering and evidence gathering
h)lack of discipline

Federal Court judge Tan Sri James Foong Cheng Yuen chaired the Commission of Inquiry.

The other CI members were former Federal Court judge Datuk Abdul Kadir Sulaiman, former Appeal Court judge Datuk T. S. Nathan, Penang Hospital's forensic pathology consultant Datuk Dr Bhupinder Singh, Dean of Cyberjaya Medical Science College University and consultant forensic psychiatrist Prof Dr Mohamed Hatta Shaharom and Legal Affairs Division Director-General at the Prime Minister's Department Datuk Saripuddin Kasim.

Saripuddin was appointed the commission's secretary while Amarjeet Singh a/l Serjit Singh (deputy head, Legal Affairs Division I), Awang Armadajaya Awang Mahmud (deputy public prosecutor) and Kwan Li Sa (deputy public prosecutor) were named conducting officers.

The CI was tasked with investigating Teoh's death as well as whether there were improprieties in the course of the MACC investigations into Teoh, in relation to the standing orders and practices, and to recommend any appropriate action, if necessary.

Throughout the proceedings from Feb 14 to May 18, 70 witnesses were called and 750 pages of written submissions were handed over to the Bar Council, MACC and conducting officers of the commission while 19,200 pages of notes on witnesses' testimonies and 256 exhibits were tabled.

The proceedings uncovered new information such as the content of text messages, telephone conversations and the computer of an MACC officer.

The MACC's investigations also exposed alleged irregularities in the awards of tenders for bumiputera contractors.

The commission, which had appointed its own investigator, former British police officer Michael Leslie Squires, was also assisted by Bar Council representatives and MACC lawyer Datuk Seri Muhammad Shafee Abdullah.

Last month, the commission's findings were submitted to Yang di-Pertuan Agong Tuanku Mizan Zainal Abidin.

More in The Star on Friday

Related Stories:
Nazri: Action to be taken against 3 MACC officers who grilled Teoh Beng Hock
Teoh's boss refuses to accept commission's finding of suicide
Cabinet agrees to publish findings on Teoh's death
Teoh Beng Hock inquiry report handed to king

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The Star Online: Metro: Central

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The Star Online: Metro: Central

Metro watch

Posted: 21 Jul 2011 06:53 AM PDT


From today until July 23, there will be a showcase of Yasmin Ahmad's print ads, photographs and commercials as well as a screening of her movie, Rabun at Kuala Lumpur Performing Arts Centre, Jalan Stratchan, Sentul. On July 24 at 7.30pm, the Instant Cafe Theatre is dedicating an evening for all of Yasmin's friends and fans to share their favourite memory of Yasmin. For details, call 03-4047 9000.


Taarana, a centre for children with special learning needs, will be having an open day on July 23 from 10am-2pm. Among the highlights will be talks from specialists on speech therapy, occupational therapy, demonstrations on the benefits of yoga, music and taekwondo along with crafts and games for children. For details, call 03-7980 2998 / 012-262 5034.


Upgrading works of toll lanes at the Penchala toll plazas will be carried out from July 22 to 26 (Lane N21 Bandar Utama-Kepong) and July 22 to Aug 16 (Lane S03 Kepong-Bandar Utama). The affected lanes will be closed to facilitate construction works and to open an additional toll booth. Highway users are advised to follow the traffic diversion signs posted.


Litrak will be carrying out piling works for Pier 2 of the new bridge from Persiaran Surian to Penchala toll plaza at the Vehicular Box Culvert near Damansara Perdana (KM3.7) from today until July 23 between midnight and 6am. Highway users are advised to follow the traffic diversion signs posted. For details, call 03-7494 7333.


The Bukit Bintang Boys' Secondary School, Petaling Jaya is having a farewell for its principal Quah Mooi Eng on Friday from 8.30am to 12.30pm in the school's badminton hall. All parents, ex-students and ex-teachers are cordially invited. For details, call 03-7956 5819.


Residents of Bandar Sri Damansara together with LITRAK, Petaling Jaya City Council and Alam Flora will carry out a gotong-royong session on July 23 from 8am to noon at the road shoulder of LDP/Bandar Sri Damansara along the monsoon drain near the Bandar Sri Damansara and Persiaran Ara residential areas. For details, call 012-328 1567 (Ravi) or 012-332 3805 (Karen).


The National Blood Centre and AEON Berhad together with Ansara will be organising a blood donation campaign from July 29-31 at AEON shopping centres within Klang Valley from 10am-6pm. For details, call 03-2965 5557/8 or visit


The SK USJ12 PTA will hold a "Jaya Senamrobik" event at the school grounds from 8.30am-2pm on Saturday. An official said the event was being held to help improve several of the school's facilities, such as the toilets, electrical wiring, resource centre and sports store.


There will be an open day at Fairview International School (Subang Campus) on July 23 from 10am-1pm. Seats are limited. To register, call 03-8023 7777 or sms to 017-213 6330 Free in-line skating activities will be available for the children.

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Left to burn openly

Posted: 21 Jul 2011 06:53 AM PDT

In recent times we have been quick to point a finger at Sumatra whenever haze shows up in our atmosphere.

For over a year now, I have been contacting the Department of Environment (DOE), the Klang Municipal Council and the state government to report incidents of open burning between the Kampung Jawa exit and the Jalan Banting exit on the Kesas highway and certain stretches of Jalan Banting.

I even went as far as to provide particular areas where and when the burning took place but my efforts were all in vain.

DOE told me that they were aware of this menace but it was hard to catch the culprits.

I find this hard to believe in a day and age when landowners are provided with titles and the registry of titles is in the custody of the district office.

The residents of the areas surrounding the open burning have to put up with fumes almost every night and this lasts till morning.

I am surprised that no authority has decided to act.

My electricity bill has gone up because of constant use of air-conditioning but even this does not seem to help very much.

Recently, for the second time, I provided an officer in the state government with information on some open burning sites and I am now waiting and hoping for positive action to be taken.

I think we should clean up our own backyard before pointing fingers at Sumatra.

Lancelot Rozario

Shah Alam

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The Star Online: Metro: South & East

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The Star Online: Metro: South & East

Metro watch

Posted: 21 Jul 2011 06:53 AM PDT

Reunion dinner

The Malacca Gajah Berang Secondary Secondary School (Class of 1978) 50th bash will culminate with a reunion dinner on August 6. For details, call 012-6391771 ( Peter Chung Yoke Onn), 012-6358065 (Harry Tan Huat Hock) or 012-3118352 (Chua Heng Ton).

Anniversary gift

LEE Biscuits Pte Ltd is celebrating their 77th anniversary with a RM15 limited edition gift pack as a gesture of appreciation for the continuous support from their loyal customers. Those interested can get their hands on the gift pack can call 07-686 8333.

Fund raising concert

The Lisbon Chamber Choir will be performing at the Calvary Chur4ch Auditorium in Bukit Beruang on July 23 commencing at 7.30 pm.Tickets are priced at RM200.00, RM100.00 and RM50.00. For further details and ticket reservations, contact 016-205 5780 (Doris Teo), 012-392 7970 (Christina Ng), 012-618 6770 (Lee Siew Len) or 012-621 8909 (Chee Siok Hoon).

Change of number

The Muar Inland Revenue Department at Sungai Abong here has changed its telephone number from 06-952 7000 to 06-956 3100, beginning June 1.

Handicraft's lure

Looking for unique and beautifully carved wooden and traditional batek and ceramic products for souvenirs or home decoration? Check out the Pahang Handicraft Corporation complex at Kampung Pandan II, Kuantan-Terengganu bypass. Opens from Monday to Friday, 8am-5pm. For details, call 09-538 5677.

Zero waste zone

Kuantan Municipal Council (MPK) has launched the Zero Waste Zone 2011 and it is MPK's aspiration to ensure that Kuantan Town Centre becomes a zero waste zone from Jalan Tanah Putih in front of Giant Hypermarket to Teluk Cempedak. For details, call 09-512 1555/1666 or log on to their website at

Cancer counselling

Mahkota Medical Centre will be providing comprehensive cancer counselling services for free to the public, in collaboration with Malacca Cancer Society, every Friday from 4-6pm at No.76, Jalan Taman Melaka Raya 25, Taman Melaka Raya, Malacca. For details,call 06-285 2931 (Dr Sanjeev), 06- 285 2975 (Dr Jayendran) or 06-285 0988 (Michaelina/Koh).

Ballroom dance class

A beginner's ballroom dancing class for cancer survivors, family, friends and caretakers is held every Thursday from 11am-12pm at a monthly fee of RM10 at Malacca Cancer Society's Oasis centre. Conversational Mandarin class is held every Tuesday from 12pm to 3pm at a monthly fee of RM20. For details, call 06-283 0988 (Oasis), 012-399 7176 (Koh) or 012-323 9300 (Chua).

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Dialysis centre reaching full capacity with new patients

Posted: 21 Jul 2011 06:53 AM PDT

MIRI: End-stage renal failure patients are on the rise here and the Malaysian Red Crescent (MRC) kidney dialysis centre is alarmed that it may not be able to accommodate the needs of the ever-increasing number of patients.

The centre's founder and president Datuk Lee Kim Shin, who is also the Infrastructure Development and Communications Assistant Minister, said it had 78 dialysis machines and 217 patients.

"Our maximum capacity is 400 patients, but with an average of three new patients monthly, we will soon be overloaded," said Lee, adding that the centre had spent RM30.8mil to acquire 30 new machines recently.

"There is an urgent need to create awareness on healthy living and taking care of kidneys," said Lee at the launch of a public health talk here yesterday.

The talk themed "Understanding Your Health Better" was organised jointly by the centre, Parkway Health's patient assistance centre and United Daily News.

About 200 people turned up to listen to nephrologist and physician Dr Akira Wu and general surgeon Dr Jennifer Liauw from Singapore, who were the guest speakers.

Lee advised diabetes and hypertension patients to take care of their health as 50% of end-stage renal failure patients were those who were also suffering from one or both of the illnesses.

"Dialysis treatment is costly and a person will spend RM3,000 a month on it on average. Those who have undergone kidney transplants need to fork out RM1,000 a month for maintenance medication," said Lee, adding that diabetes and hypertension were serious problems in Miri.

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Smuggling attempt foiled by agency

Posted: 21 Jul 2011 06:53 AM PDT

JOHOR BARU: The Malaysian Maritime Enforcement Agency (MMEA) had foiled an attempt to smuggle out eight illegal immigrants off the shores of Johor recently.

The MMEA's Southern region commander First Admiral Zulkifli Abu Bakar said his officers had noticed a suspicious looking vessel, and after a short chase, intercepted the boat near the Tanjung Kupang jetty at the Port of Tanjung Pelepas in Pontian.

"We detained the skipper, his Indonesian assistant together with eight illegal immigrants, aged between 19 and 46 including two women," he said adding that one of the women detained was seven months pregnant.

Further investigations revealed that all the illegal immigrants had paid RM450 each to the tekong to transport them out of the country to Tanjung Balai in Indonesia.

"We also found that all of the illegal immigrants did not possess proper identification documents," he said adding that they had also seized the vessel used in the smuggling attempt.

Zulkifli said that the case would be investigated under Section 5(1)(2) of the Immigration Act 1959/1963, and also the Anti-Trafficking in Persons Act (Amendments 2010).

He added that the detainees were brought to the MMEA's Southern Region headquarters for further investigations, and were awaiting further action.

Zulkifli said that the MMEA would be tightening its security in the waters of both the eastern and western coasts of Johor to curb smuggling of illegal immigrants during the coming Hari Raya period.

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The Star Online: Entertainment: Music

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Katy Perry notches 9 MTV VMA Award nominations

Posted: 20 Jul 2011 08:31 PM PDT

NEW YORK (AP): Katy Perry's "Firework" had enough sparks to claim a leading nine MTV Video Music Award nominations, including video of the year.

Perry - who hosted the network's Wednesday night special announcing the nominations - was also nominated for best female video for "Firework," as well as best pop video for "Last Friday Night (T.G.I.F.)."

Adele tied Kanye West with seven nominations. The best-selling British diva will compete with Perry for top video with "Rolling in the Deep." Others in the category include the Beastie Boys for "Make Some Noise"; rapper Tyler, the Creator for "Goblin"; and Bruno Mars for "Grenade."

Mars was nominated for four Moonman trophies. Other multiple nominees include Lady Gaga, Beyonce and Eminem.

The VMAs are scheduled for Aug. 28 in Los Angeles and will air live.

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Beatles' 1st US concert photos fetch $360K in NYC

Posted: 20 Jul 2011 07:41 PM PDT

NEW YORK (AP): In 1964, an enterprising 18-year-old snapped pictures of the Beatles' momentous first U.S. concert in Washington, D.C.

On Wednesday, Christie's auction house said it sold 50 silver gelatin prints that the photographer, Mike Mitchell, made from the negatives for $361,938. The images, plus photos from another Beatles concert, had been estimated to fetch a total of $100,000.

The Beatles played their first U.S. concert at the Washington Coliseum on Feb. 11, 1964, two days after their debut on "The Ed Sullivan Show."

Mike Mitchell was there, shooting photos from just feet away and even jumping onto the stage for the group's pre-concert press call.

Among the highlights is a backlit shot of the band that he took while standing directly behind them. It sold on Wednesday for $68,500; its pre-sale estimate was $2,000 to $3,000.

An image of an animated Ringo Starr on the drums sold for $8,125. It was estimated to bring $3,000 to $5,000. Christie's said the shot depicts a rare moment where Starr was both drummer and lead singer on a song written by Paul McCartney and John Lennon, but made famous by The Rolling Stones: "I Wanna Be Your Man."

Cathy Elkies, Christie's director of iconic collections, said she expected the bids to exceed the pre-sale estimates.

"Beatles fans are fierce. To uncover this trove of images that's never been published will really excite people," she said. Also included in the sale are photos of the band's Sept. 13, 1964, performance at the Baltimore Civic Center.

In a recent interview with The Associated Press, Mitchell described the rollicking scene at the Washington indoor arena - not only of screaming fans but also of his unrestricted access.

"It was a long time ago. Things weren't that way then," said the 65-year-old, who now works as an art photographer in Washington. "It was as low-tech as the concert itself. The concert was in a sports venue and the sound system was the sound system of a sports venue."

Equally astonishing is how few other photographs from that first concert exist.

Simeon Lipman, Christie's pop culture consultant, said it's not clear why there weren't many other photos of the concert. He said Mitchell's black and white photographs were remarkable for their "animated" and "intimate" depiction of the Fab Four.

Mitchell stored the negatives for years in a box in his basement. For the silver gelatin prints in the auction, he used digital technology to do "much better darkroom work that could ever have been done in a traditional darkroom."

Mitchell said he had not thought much about the photos until recently because he has been focused on developing a body of photographic work about light that took him on a different aesthetic journey. Until now, he added, the images "couldn't be restored to the extent that they have."

"They benefit from a historical perspective," he said.

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