Jumaat, 29 Julai 2011

The Star Online: World Updates

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

The Star Online: World Updates

Former prosecutors weigh in on Strauss-Kahn case

Posted: 29 Jul 2011 08:48 PM PDT

NEW YORK (Reuters) - Even by the standards of a salacious and unpredictable international scandal, it was a whirlwind week in the Dominique Strauss-Kahn sexual assault case.

Nafissatou Diallo, the Manhattan maid who has accused Dominique Strauss-Kahn of sexually assaulting her, speaks during a media conference at the Christian Cultural Center in the Brooklyn borough of New York July 28, 2011. (REUTERS/Shannon Stapleton)

On Sunday, Strauss-Kahn's accuser, Nafissatou Diallo, 32, broke her silence and anonymity, telling the world in televised and print interviews her version of the incident with the former International Monetary Fund chief. Diallo, a hotel maid, alleges Strauss-Kahn forced her to perform oral sex on him and attempted to rape her at an upscale Manhattan hotel on May 14.

Strauss-Kahn, 62, who had been seen as a possible French president, has denied any wrongdoing.

On Tuesday, prosecutors requested and received a second postponement of the next court date in the case, originally scheduled for July 16. It is now scheduled for Aug. 23.

On Wednesday, Diallo met with prosecutors behind closed doors for more than eight hours.

The next day, a tearful Diallo appeared before a sea of cameras in a Brooklyn church, as her attorney accused prosecutors of abandoning her.

Yet through all the dizzying developments, the case remains in limbo. Despite speculation the prosecution would collapse after significant doubts arose regarding Diallo's credibility, a spokesperson for Manhattan District Attorney Cyrus Vance Jr. insisted the office was still investigating.

Interviews with eight former Manhattan prosecutors found agreement the case was an uphill climb, but no clear consensus on whether Vance should -- or would -- continue to prosecute Strauss-Kahn.

"Every juror has to be convinced beyond a reasonable doubt that she's telling the truth," said Bennett Gershman, a former Manhattan prosecutor and a law professor at Pace University. "The burden is enormous on the prosecutor. Do they want to go ahead with a case that seems so difficult?"


Several former prosecutors said the decision to allow Diallo to speak publicly about the incident could create inconsistencies the defense would try to exploit at trial. Her credibility is already under siege after prosecutors said she lied about her past and about the immediate aftermath of the alleged attack.

"You're creating a treasure trove of material for the defense to dig into," said Jeremy Saland, a defense lawyer who worked as a prosecutor under Vance's predecessor, Robert Morgenthau.

Others have suggested that the media appearances show that Diallo's attorney, Kenneth Thompson, no longer believes the criminal case will hold up. Thompson argued on Thursday that she was forced to come forward to counter "lies" about her, including a report in the New York Post claiming she worked as a prostitute. Diallo has sued the Post for libel over that report.

The publicity could also backfire if it appears to be an effort to extract money from Strauss-Kahn to settle a potential civil lawsuit. Thompson has said she will file a civil claim soon.

Thompson's comments seemed to reflect his own uncertainty over whether the criminal case will proceed.

On Wednesday, following Diallo's meeting with prosecutors, Thompson said the discussion "went well." When questioned on Thursday about that assessment, he appeared to backtrack.

"You know, yesterday when I said it went well, I think that you read too much into that," he said in response to a reporter's question. "It was a meeting, I got out of it, I came outside. I don't know what the district attorney will do."


But some observers say the media blitz could succeed in bringing pressure to bear on Vance's office.

"My sense is that they want to be done with it and they want to dismiss it," said one former city prosecutor who did not want to be named. "But, having said that, the victim has put on a pretty impressive show this past week."

John Moscow, the former deputy chief of the district attorney's investigations division, said the physical evidence was strongly suggestive of a forced encounter. That could be enough to overcome doubts about her credibility, Moscow said.

"Here's how I look at it: if she were run over by a car, would you still have a case?" he said. "Yes, you would. I just don't see any reason at all not to go forward."

Matthew Galluzzo, a former Manhattan sex-crimes prosecutor, said Diallo's story about being gang-raped in her home country of Guinea, which she later admitted was inaccurate, could be devastating to the case.

But Daniel Bibb, another former prosecutor, said jurors could forgive her, since she apparently told it to gain political asylum and entry into the United States.

"In the average rape case, I would say that discovery of a prior false allegation of rape is fatal to the prosecution," he said. "In this case, I'm not so sure, simply because her motives in claiming rape were not malicious."

Even if Vance goes ahead with the prosecution, former prosecutors say a conviction of Strauss-Kahn will be hard to secure.

"If what I've read and seen is accurate, it appears to me that this case will ultimately be dismissed," Saland said.

But like most of the prosecutors interviewed, Bibb warned it was impossible to assess from the outside whether the case will continue.

"I don't know what the right decision is," he said. "I don't have all the facts."

(Reporting by Joseph Ax and Noeleen Walder; Editing by Jesse Wegman and Peter Cooney)

Copyright © 2011 Reuters

Full Feed Generated by Get Full RSS, sponsored by Used Car Search.

Libyan rebels say commander killed by allied militia

Posted: 29 Jul 2011 08:48 PM PDT

BENGHAZI, Libya (Reuters) - Libyan rebels said on Friday the gunmen who shot dead the rebel military chief were fighters of an allied militia, in apparent confirmation of deep rifts among the forces struggling to overthrow Muammar Gaddafi.

A Libyan rebel fighter loads bullets into an ammo clip at a checkpoint near the town of Nalut in western Libya July 29, 2011. (REUTERS/Bob Strong)

The reports follow 24 hours of confusion over the killing of Abdel Fattah Younes, a defector from Gaddafi's inner circle, whose death deals a blow both to the rebels and their Western backers.

There had been widespread speculation as to whether Younes had been killed in an internal rebel feud or by Gaddafi forces which had penetrated the Benghazi-based movement.

The killing of such a senior figure was a setback for the rebels as they were winning broader international recognition and launching an offensive in the west, and has deepened fears that divisions within the rebel camp will prolong the conflict.

Rebel minister Ali Tarhouni told reporters in Benghazi that an allied militia leader who had gone to fetch Younes from the front line had been arrested and had confessed that his subordinates had carried out the killing.

"It was not him. His lieutenants did it," Tarhouni said, without giving details about the militia. He added that the killers were still at large.

Rebel leader Mustafa Abdel Jalil said on Thursday Younes had been recalled for questioning to Benghazi but was killed before he arrived. Relatives said they retrieved a burned and bullet-riddled body.


The rebels have seized swathes of the country, but five months into the rebellion still appear far from ousting Gaddafi and remain poorly equipped.

Speculation about the assassination of Younes ranged widely. There were reports that he had been suspected of feeding the Gaddafi camp with information. One rebel commander said Islamists whom Younes had targeted in his job as interior minister may have been to blame.

The United States, which like some 30 other nations has formally recognised the opposition, said Younes's death was a blow but called for solidarity among the rebels.

"What's important is that they work both diligently and transparently to ensure the unity of the Libyan opposition," State Department spokesman Mark Toner said in Washington.

On Friday, weeping relatives and supporters brought Younes's coffin into the main square of Benghazi to mourn him, as fighters fired guns in the air.

Some family members vowed allegiance to the rebels' political leader. "A message to Mustafa Abdel Jalil: We will walk with you all the way," nephew Mohammed Younes told hundreds of mourners in the main square.


Younes, from eastern Libya where the rebels are strongest, had been Gaddafi's interior minister but switched sides to become the military chief in the rebel Transitional National Council.

Rebel defence minister Omar Hariri, visiting the west, said Younes's death would have an impact on rebel fighters. "But they will recover, and there will be other leaders," he said.

Rebels took swathes of Libya soon after launching their uprising in February against Gaddafi's 41 years of domination of the oil-producing North African state, but have made few recent advances despite the support of NATO air strikes.

They said they had seized several towns in the Western Mountains on Thursday but are yet to make a major breakthrough.

A rebel commander near Ghezaia told Reuters on Friday that around 100 insurgents had taken control of the town, from which Gaddafi forces had dominated plains below the mountains.

Reuters could not go there to confirm the report as rebels said the area could be mined. But through binoculars from a rebel-held ridge near Nalut, reporters could see no sign of Gaddafi's forces in Ghezaia.

Fighters on the front line near the town of Misrata said they viewed Younes as a martyr and would avenge his death.

"It will be an extra motive for us in the fight against the tyrant," said Khaled al-Uwayyib.

With prospects fading for a negotiated settlement, the five-month-old civil war will grind on into the Muslim holy month of Ramadan in August.

Nick Witney, analyst at the European Council on Foreign Relations in Paris, said the West had hoped for a "nice simple conflict" with right prevailing, but this had ignored the nuanced, tribal nature of Libyan politics.

"It was a brave and right thing to do," he said. "But I feel we've lost the moral high ground a bit and wandered into something that will be prolonged and messy, but we're not in a position to sort out."

(Additional reporting by Michael Georgy near Ghezaia; Mussab Al-Khairalla in Misrata; Alexandria Sage in Paris; Samia Nakhoul, Avril Ormsby and Clare Kane in London and Missy Ryan in Tripoli; Joseph Nasr in Berlin; Hamid Ould Ahmed in Algiers; writing by David Lewis and Richard Meares; editing by Andrew Roche)

Copyright © 2011 Reuters

Full Feed Generated by Get Full RSS, sponsored by Used Car Search.

Around 100 feared dead in DR Congo boat collision

Posted: 29 Jul 2011 08:18 PM PDT

KINSHASA (Reuters) - Around 100 people were feared dead in the Democratic Republic of Congo on Friday after the latest in a string of boat accidents in the central African country, officials said.

"We've counted 110 survivors out of over 200 that were on the canoe," said Rebecca Ebale, local communications minister for the northern Equateur province where the collision with a second boat took place on the Ruki river late on Tuesday.

Ebale told Reuters by telephone that around 50 bodies had already been recovered.

Alfred Lompaka, a survivor, said the damaged boat was a local construction made of three large motorised canoes and designed to maximise capacity for passengers and produce. It was sailing in the dark without lights, as was the second boat, which was able to continue its journey.

Boat accidents are common in Congo, often caused by poor maintenance and overcrowding. Rivers and lakes are vital transport routes for people and produce in the heavily forested nation, which has virtually no road network.

In May, President Joseph Kabila sacked his transport minister after a series of boat accidents killed more than 100 people.

(Reporting by Bienvenu-Marie Bakumanya; Writing by Bate Felix; editing by Myra MacDonald)

Copyright © 2011 Reuters

Full Feed Generated by Get Full RSS, sponsored by Used Car Search.
Kredit: www.thestar.com.my

The Star Online: Sports

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

The Star Online: Sports

India may lose hosting rights to Champions Trophy

Posted: 29 Jul 2011 05:56 PM PDT

NEW DELHI (AP) — The International Hockey Federation threatened Friday to strip India of the right to host this year's Champions Trophy and February's Olympic qualifiers following a row between two Indian hockey bodies.

The FIH, hockey's international body, said it did not recognize the settlement brokered on Monday of a turf war between Hockey India and the Indian Hockey Federation. The two groups agreed to form a joint executive board until the end of 2012 following mediation by India's sports ministry.

However, the FIH said a country could only have one ruling body for the sport, and that it only recognized Hockey India.

"It is a fundamental and non-negotiable requirement of the Olympic Charter and the FIH Statutes that there can only be one governing body for a sport in each country with exclusive authority and responsibility to govern, organize national competitions and to enter national teams in international competitions," it said in a statement.

As a result, the FIH announced it was halting all discussions about tournaments in India, including the men's Champions Trophy (Dec. 1-12) and both the men's and women's Olympic qualifiers (Feb. 15-26).

"The FIH Executive Board has decided that it is neither possible nor appropriate to continue with the discussions with HI to host tournaments in India over the next four-year cycle, particularly the FIH Men's Champions Trophy and the FIH Men's & Women's Olympic Qualifying Tournaments."

The FIH also said it has written to Indian Sports Minister Ajay Maken, calling on him to have an urgent meeting with Hockey India and the Indian Olympic Association on the issue.

Eight-time Olympic gold medallist India failed to qualify for the 2008 Beijing Olympics and is yet to ensure a place for London 2012.

Full Feed Generated by Get Full RSS, sponsored by Used Car Search.

Top-seeded Nicolas Almagro advances at Swiss Open

Posted: 29 Jul 2011 05:54 PM PDT

GSTAAD, Switzerland (AP) — Top-seeded Nicolas Almagro of Spain put in a double shift at the Swiss Open on Friday, advancing to the semifinals after beating Jarkko Nieminen and Feliciano Lopez.

Almagro rounded off the action at Roy Emerson Arena against fifth-seeded Lopez, defeating his compatriot 6-4, 7-5 with the only breaks of serve in the match to clinch each set.

The 10th-ranked Almagro had opened play by resuming a rain-delayed second-round match with Finland's Nieminen.

Almagro, who trailed 3-2 in the first set overnight, completed a 7-6 (3), 6-3 victory within an hour to book a double-duty return against Lopez.

In Saturday's semifinals, Almagro will play No. 4 seed Fernando Verdasco of Spain who beat Frenchman Julien Benneteau 6-4, 5-7, 6-1.

Second-seeded Stanislas Wawrinka disappointed the Gstaad crowd by losing 6-3, 6-2 to eighth-seeded Marcel Granollers of Spain.

Wawrinka, the Swiss No. 2, last reached the final at his home tournament in 2005.

Granollers will face Mikhail Youzhny of Russia in the last four.

Third-seeded Youzhny beat 70th-ranked Austrian Andreas Haider-Maurer 6-4, 5-7, 6-4.

Full Feed Generated by Get Full RSS, sponsored by Used Car Search.

India reach 24-1 at stumps vs. England

Posted: 29 Jul 2011 05:53 PM PDT

NOTTINGHAM, England (AP) — India reached 24-1 at stumps on day one of the second test against England at Trent Bridge on Friday after a superb counterattacking 64 from Stuart Broad helped the home side recover from 124-8 at tea to 221 all out.

India trailed by 197 runs at the close, with VVS Laxman unbeaten on 13 and Rahul Dravid on 7 not out after Abhinav Mukund had been caught by Kevin Pietersen off the first ball of the innings from James Anderson (1-10).

Broad, whose innings took 66 balls and included nine fours, put on 73 for the ninth wicket with Graeme Swann.

"At tea it was 100 percent India's day so we're delighted to have wrestled our way back into the game," Broad said. "You can't blame too many of our batsmen for throwing away their wickets, I thought there were some good deliveries in there. We had a little chat at tea and thought we needed to get the momentum back and we did that by playing our natural game."

Sreesanth, who took three wickets on his return to the side, said Broad's innings hadn't deflated India.

"That's how test cricket goes," he said. "There was always going to be one partnership and all credit to them for taking their chances."

Swann made 28 from 35 balls with three fours, after England had collapsed from 69-2 at lunch, losing six wickets in a frantic afternoon session.

Praveen Kumar was India's best bowler with 3-45, while Ishant Sharma claimed 3-66 and Sreesanth 3-77.

Sreesanth was booed by a section of the fans after claiming a catch that had clearly bounced, but he said that merely encouraged him.

"It's a typical English wicket and honestly I had fun," he said. "Most of the time it happens and it's better than being left alone. I ended up giving my very best so thanks to them for cheering me up!"

Sreesanth also enlivened the news conference by giving an engimatic quote reminscent of former French footballer Eric Cantona. When asked why he didn't say much on his twitter feed, he replied: "Silence is the speech of a spiritual seagull."

The tourists won the toss and chose to bowl, with the ball expected to swing in the overcast conditions.

The controversy over India's refusal to allow the Decision Review System to be used for lbw calls in this series was also reignited.

In the fifth over Praveen Kumar was denied the wicket of Alastair Cook when he hit him on the pad, but an over later Cook was given lbw to Sharma for 2.

Replays suggested that both decisions were marginally incorrect, although there was no argument over Trott's departure, in Sreesanth's first over.

Trott made just four runs before he edged Sreesanth to Laxman at third slip.

Batting looked difficult, until Kevin Pietersen swatted fours from successive Sreesanth balls.

Pietersen then survived an appeal for lbw from Kumar, to a ball that would have clipped the bails, a decision that so angered Kumar he had to be ushered away from umpire Marais Erasmus by his teammates.

Strauss and Pietersen completed their 50 partnership with the fourth ball of the afternoon session, but Pietersen was out to the next delivery, edging Sreesanth to Suresh Raina at slip.

Kumar then struck twice in the 37th over, getting Strauss caught at slip by Raina for 32 and Eoin Morgan lbw for 0.

Matt Prior lasted just four balls before he was caught by Rahul Dravid off Sreesanth for 1.

It could have been worse for England when Bell, on 22, was dropped by Dravid off Kumar, though Dravid partially redeemed himself by catching Tim Bresnan (11) off Sharma.

Bell's reprieve was cut short in the session's final over as he wafted at a Sharma delivery and was caught behind off a bottom edge.

Yet although India was on top at tea, Broad and Swann revived the hosts, scoring rapidly at the start of the evening session.

They batted for 49 minutes before Swann gloved a lifting delivery from Kumar to Abinhav Mukund in the slips. Swann was subsequently taken to hospital for an x-ray on his hand which confirmed he had suffered a hairline fracture, but one that will not prevent him from bowling.

Anderson further irritated India by hanging around for long enough to first allow Broad to steer England past 200 and then bring up his 50, from 56 balls, by smashing Kumar straight back over his head for four.

The last-wicket pair added 22 runs before Broad holed out to Harbhajan and was caught on the midwicket boundary by Sachin Tendulkar.

India's reply got off to the worst possible start when Anderson had Mukund caught at gully by Pietersen with the first ball of the innings.

England wasted a review when the DRS upheld Asad Rauf's decision not to give Dravid caught behind to Anderson in the ninth over.

India will be happy to have batted through to stumps without further loss, after both Dravid and Laxman came close to playing on towards the end of the session and Dravid gloved a Broad delivery just short of Prior.

Broad said England's bowlers are "chomping at the bit" to get started again on Saturday.

"We're all excited about what can happen in the morning session," he said. "We were certainly going to have a bowl if we'd won the toss. We're hoping for a shade of cloud cover and hopefully we'll get some nicks."

Full Feed Generated by Get Full RSS, sponsored by Used Car Search.
Kredit: www.thestar.com.my

The Star Online: Business

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

The Star Online: Business


[unable to retrieve full-text content]
Kredit: www.thestar.com.my

The Star Online: Nation

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

The Star Online: Nation

Perak MB wants ban on construction of skyscrapers in Ipoh reviewed

Posted: 29 Jul 2011 07:00 AM PDT

IPOH: The Perak state government will request the Department of Civil Aviation (DCA) to review the ban on the construction of skyscrapers in Ipoh as it will affect development, said Mentri Besar Datuk Seri Dr Zambry Abdul Kadir.

He said the regulation enforced since the 1950s obstructed the state government's efforts to develop Ipoh into a modern city.

"The state government urges the DCA to revise this ban so that we can turn Ipoh into a city with recognizable landmarks, including tall buildings," he told reporters after launching the Electric Train Service (ETS) 1Rakyat Coach at the Ipoh Keretapi Tanah Melayu (KTM) Station Friday.

Dr Zambry said the restriction, which was set to prevent air traffic interference at the Sultan Azlan Shah Airport (LTSAS), should only be imposed in areas with air traffic, and not for the whole city.

He said the regulation could be revised by classifying certain areas as air routes instead of a general classification for Ipoh.

"This revision can be done, especially since there is new technology like navigation system for air traffic...to conclude that no high-rise buildings can be built in the city is difficult to accept, so we want the department to give their views on this," said the Mentri Besar.

When asked if there were plans to relocate the airport to allow the construction of tall buildings, Dr Zambry said the state government has no such intention.

"There are no plans to shut down or relocate the LTSAS because it is still needed by the business community and acts as a Police Air Unit Training Base. The airport still functions and will continue to function," he said.

However, he said the government has plans to build an international airport on over 1,600ha in northern Perak, which will involve cooperation between the state government and the private sector.

"The airport will also cater to domestic flights. We hope the federal government will help us realise this," he said.

In another development, Dr Zambry said the state government was confident that the integrated Ipoh Sentral project, which connects the Ipoh railway station to the Medan Kidd bus station, would improve the quality of public transport services in the city. - Bernama

Full Feed Generated by Get Full RSS, sponsored by Used Car Search.

Patient dies in fire at HKL psychiatric ward

Posted: 29 Jul 2011 06:02 AM PDT

KUALA LUMPUR: A mentally-ill man died in a fire at the psychiatric ward of Hospital Kuala Lumpur Thursday.

Tety Mulya, 33, was earlier taken to the hospital after he became aggressive at his home in Kampung Baru.

His brother, Duri, said he left the hospital at around 11pm after Tety was put in the quarantine room of the ward. He got a call at around 12.30am informing him that his brother had died in the fire.

It is learnt that 18 patients of the ward were transferred to another ward.

City CID chief Datuk Ku Chin Wah said Tety was placed in the ward alone, waiting to receive treatment.

"Hospital staff contacted the Fire and Rescue department after smoke was seen billowing from the room," he said adding that firemen discovered Tety's body in the room.

Hospital director Datuk Dr Zaininah Mohd Zain said that an internal investigation was being conducted.

Full Feed Generated by Get Full RSS, sponsored by Used Car Search.

2011 Umno General Assembly Dec 1-3

Posted: 29 Jul 2011 06:01 AM PDT

KUALA LUMPUR: The 2011 Umno General Assembly will be held from Dec 1-3, Umno President Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak announced Friday.

The dates were decided at a meeting of the Umno Supreme Council on Friday, he added.

Najib, who is the prime minister, also said that in conjunction with the assembly, an international forum would be held.

He said a pre-council meeting would be held on Nov 29, along with the assemblies of Wanita Umno and Umno Youth.

"The Umno General Assembly proper will be held from Dec 1 to 3," he told reporters after chairing the supreme council meeting at Menara Dato' Onn, here.

More in The Star on Saturday

Full Feed Generated by Get Full RSS, sponsored by Used Car Search.
Kredit: www.thestar.com.my

The Star Online: Lifestyle: Bookshelf

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

The Star Online: Lifestyle: Bookshelf

The last piece of The Avengers jigsaw puzzle

Posted: 29 Jul 2011 03:31 AM PDT

THIS is it, the final piece of The Avengers jigsaw puzzle, and arguably the most important one yet. Thor, Iron Man and Hulk (along with Ant Man and Wasp) may be the original founders of the Avengers, but Captain America is its most capable leader, and probably the character that represents the group best.

Captain America: The First Avenger (CA:TFA) may not be the first attempt to transfer the popular Marvel superhero onto the big screen (there have been previous live action incarnations in 1944, 1979 and 1990), but it certainly is the best and most ambitious version of the character so far. So why has it taken so long for Captain America to finally have a movie he can be proud of?

Well, let's put it this way: we believed a billionaire weapons-maker could be a superhero by wearing a super-powered suit of armour. We suspended our disbelief long enough to believe that a mild-mannered scientist could be zapped by gamma rays and become a giant green monster. We've even managed to throw aside all logic and believe that Thor the thunder god actually exists and there is a mythical realm called Asgard out there somewhere.

But are we truly ready to believe that a real soldier would wear a tight, bright red-white-blue suit into battle, armed with nothing but a brightly coloured round shield?

Next to Thor, Captain America was probably the hardest Avenger to bring to the big screen thanks to his star-spangled superhero costume. After all, blue, red and white tights and a winged helmet isn't exactly standard military issue, and neither is a shield made out of vibranium.

In an interview with British magazine Comic Heroes, CA:TFA producer Stephen Broussard said it was a challenge bringing the costume to life. "The challenge – and the fun part – is always interpreting it off the page and making it believable, justifying why a soldier would wear something like that in the field," he said. "It's been something we've had to do in all our films ... whether it's Stark's armour ... the Asgardian costumes ... or Cap's quasi-period Stark-tech outfit."

Another potential stumbling block was the obvious patriotic-slant of the character. Of course, you can't make a movie about a character named Captain America and not include some patriotic American chest-beating in it. But in today's global market, the filmmakers had to take care not to be too in-your-face with the "ra-ra America" stuff.

Fortunately, CA:TFA director Joe Johnston had a convenient way out of that conundrum – they set the movie in World War II, in a time when it was totally acceptable to be patriotic and passionate about fighting for your country.

"One of the benefits of telling a period piece is that the character is so tied to that time period," Broussard told Comic Heroes. "Through the lens of history there's the benefit of right and wrong and it's very easy to understand why they would want to join their country at their time period – why they would want to make a difference."

Set in 1941 during the height of World War II, CA:TFA tells the story of Steve Rogers (Chris Evans), a frail, sickly man who wants nothing more than to enlist in the military and serve his country in the war. Unfortunately, his frail condition automatically disqualifies him from being a soldier. Salvation comes in the form of Dr Abraham Erskine, who has handpicked Rogers to be the first recipient of a "Super Soldier" serum he has created. After receiving the serum and bathed with "Vita-rays" that help stabilise the serum within his body, Rogers' body is enhanced to the pinnacle of human perfection, giving him almost superhuman strength, agility and even limited regenerative powers. Unfortunately, a spy from the dastardly Hydra organisation assassinates Dr Erskine right after the procedure, leaving Rogers as the only super soldier in existence. Led by Johann Schmidt a.k.a. Red Skull (Hugo Weaving), Hydra has harnessed the power of a powerful Asgardian (yes, from Asgard, Thor's home) artefact and is planning to destroy the world with its power, and it's up to Captain America to stop them.

The comics

As far as the story goes, the film pretty much mirrors the origin story from the original 1941 comic (pic), created by the legendary comic writer-artist team Joe Simon and Jack Kirby for Timely Comics (the predecessor of Marvel Comics). Back then, Captain America was created as an intentionally patriotic symbol for a nation taking part in World War II, and his stories often depicted him going up against German Nazis, Japanese and other threats against America. The cover of the first issue of Captain America even depicted the hero punching out Adolf Hitler!

Once the war was over, however, Captain America's popularity began to wane; but the Captain America title soldiered on bravely through major events such as the death of his sidekick Bucky, before ignominiously cancelled in 1950. After an attempt to revive the character in 1954 flopped, the character was (literally) put on ice for almost a decade before he was finally officially reintroduced into the Marvel universe in 1964, through The Avengers #4.

In that issue, the Avengers – made up of Thor, Iron Man, Wasp and Giant Man at the time – found Steve Rogers frozen in ice in the Arctic during a mission. Apparently, Rogers had been in a state of suspended animation for decades, having fallen from a plane into the North Atlantic Ocean during the final days of WWII. Now a man out of his time, but no less powerful, the Captain is accepted into the Avengers and soon ascended to become the team's field leader.

With his initiation into the Avengers, Captain America's popularity was on the rise again. He was subsequently given his own title once more in 1965, and has been a mainstay in Marvel's roster ever since. Over the years, Captain America has battled villains such as Baron Zemo and Red Skull; changed his name several times (which included Nomad, The Captain, to the current Super Soldier), and was even "assassinated" in the aftermath of the major Marvel crossover event Civil War.

After that event, Rogers' former sidekick Bucky Barnes took over the mantle of Captain America. After Rogers was inadvertently "revived", he insisted that Bucky continue on as Captain America. However, all that is set to change once again with the latest crossover event, Fear Itself.

For all his solo adventures, however, Captain America is most prominent when teaming up with the Avengers. Despite joining the team late, he was given founding member status in place of Hulk, and has been at the forefront of the team ever since.

Therefore, it is only apt that the final piece of The Avengers film puzzle is the Sentinel of Liberty himself. Now, that all the major players have already been introduced, we can only wait with bated breath for May 2012, when Captain America finally utters the immortal words: AVENGERS ASSEMBLE!

Full Feed Generated by Get Full RSS, sponsored by Used Car Search.

Cream of the crop

Posted: 29 Jul 2011 02:08 AM PDT

THE dust has settled at the Will Eisner Comic Industry Awards 2011, presented by Comic-Con International (Comic-Con).

The awards, considered the "Oscars" of comics, ended on an unusual note last Friday night in San Diego, United States, with the Best Graphic Album-New category going to two winners: Jim McCann and Janet Lee's Return Of The Dapper Men (published by Archaia) and Dan Clowes's Wilson (published by Drawn & Quarterly).

The "Eisners," which honour comics' best and brightest, were held as part of Comic-Con, the world's largest comic book and popular arts event.

The Graphic Album category is somewhat comparable to "Best Picture" in the comics industry. Other notable winners included horror novelist Joe Hill for Best Writer (Locke & Key, IDW), Chew (Image) by John Layman and Rob Guillory for Best Continuing Series, Daytripper (Vertigo/DC) by Brazilian brothers Gabriel Bá and Fábio Moon for Best Limited Series, and American Vampire (Vertigo/DC) by Scott Snyder, Stephen King, and Rafael Albuquerque for Best New Series.

Creators who received multiple awards were Hellboy creator Mike Mignola (Best Cover Artist, Best Single Issue for Hellboy: Double Feature Of Evil, published by Dark Horse), famed French cartoonist Jacques Tardi (Best Reality-Based Work and Best US Edition of International Material for It Was The War Of The Trenches, published by Fantagraphics), and artist Skottie Young (Best Adaption from Another Work and Best Penciller/Inker for The Marvelous Land of Oz, published by Marvel).

The publisher taking away the most awards was IDW, with five total, including two for Dave Stevens' The Rocketeer Artist's Edition, in addition to Joe Hill's Best Writer nod and Darwyn Cooke's win for Best Writer/Artist.

DC Comics had four winners plus two shared, along with bragging rights for the Best Comics-Related Book: 75 Years Of DC Comics, by Paul Levitz.

Dark Horse had three winners (including the two for Mignola) plus two shared. Marvel Comics received three trophies, while Archaia and Fantagraphics receive two. Other publishers taking home trophies included BOOM!, Drawn & Quarterly, Image, Scholastic, and VIZ.

Full list of Eisner 2011 winners at (www.comic-con.org/cci/cci_eisners_ main.php).

Full Feed Generated by Get Full RSS, sponsored by Used Car Search.

State of dream

Posted: 29 Jul 2011 02:07 AM PDT

The Eisner Award-nominated story arcs in The Finder Library: Volume 1 have set the bar for science fiction storytelling, with a lush, intricate world and compelling characters.

WHEN we saw the bulky, 600+ pages of The Finder Library: Volume 1, our first thoughts were, "Holy cow! it's going to take us forever to read through this book before we've digested enough to write about it."

Turns out we'd prove ourselves wrong on both counts.

First, we finished the book much faster than we expected since we simply could not put it down – the stories were just too engrossing.

Second, despite spending over two weeks reading through the pages of Finder, we still have no idea how to describe it. Do we call it a sci-fi story? A fantasy adventure? A human drama? Or something else altogether?

The stories told in Finder are set in an amazing, strange, and almost surreal world where massive domed cities house complex communities of human clans and animal-folk. It's a place where psychics and aboriginal totems exist side-by-side with holograms and AIs; where centaurs can have jobs as taxi drivers; where people can read books by plugging their brain into computers; and where intricate tribal customs are intertwined with the ruthless mechanisms of shadowy corporations.

Finder makes liberal use of elements from the fantasy, science fiction and cyberpunk genres, yet it refuses to be confined to any single one of them.

As a result, the story finds itself in a territory best described as dream-like.

However, despite the exotic setting and fully fleshed out alien/fantasy world, Finder's not an epic tale about good vs evil, nor is it an action-adventure that takes the hero on a journey across the planet to save it.

Instead, in a world full of unexplained wonders and daily mysteries, the real conflict and drama in the Finder stories are very human and personal in nature.

In Sin Eater, the first of the story arcs compiled in the Finder Library, we're introduced to the gruff hero/anti-hero Jaeger and his interactions with a dysfunctional family who live in the strange domed city of Anvard.

Sin Eater is Exhibit A in the case for Finder's compelling storytelling: it stars characters that struggle with internal conflicts, have complex yet believable relationships with one another, face ugly matters such as emotional abuse and, ultimately, grow in the face of challenges.

Plus, as we learn more about Jaeger's odd character and experience the trials of the Grosvenor-Lockhart family, we're also gradually acquainted to the colourful cultures of the citizens of Anvard.

The high quality of storytelling continues in the next two story arcs.

In King Of The Cats, we see Jaeger caught in a conflict between the Ascians, a tribe of humans, and the Nyima, a tribe of feline women.

Talisman is a story about a girl trying to write a story, and its protagonist is a side character introduced in a previous arc.

It's interesting enough to see the story-within-a-story aspect in Talisman, but what we found more interesting was seeing how a character we were previously acquainted with grow up and evolve over three chapters.

Carla Speed McNeil does an astounding job in capturing the reader's imagination with her detailed black-and-white illustrations and the deliberate narrative pacing. Plus, the massive walls of text crammed in between the illustrations really give insight into the world she created.

Wait, wait, don't get scared off by the deluge of printed words – although Finder really puts the "novel" in "graphic novel", it does it really well.

While massive amounts of text would have made most other comics incredibly tiresome to slog through, the well-written dialogues and internal monologues in Finder are really engrossing and only help in drawing you into the world of McNeil's creation.

After reading through several pages hinting at Anvard's hidden history and the customs of the Ascian and Nyima tribes, we're not only filled with a sense of wonder at Finder's intricate story world, but also with a hunger to learn more.

By the time you've gone through the first volume of the Finder Library, you, too, will share the questions that are currently swimming in our head: Who or what created the mysterious domed city of Anvard? What's the true nature of Jaeger's nomadic, unkillable "condition"?

And, more importantly, where can an eager reader find more Finder stories? (At least this one we can answer: visit the artist's website at http://www.lightspeedpress.com/, or the Finder website at http://www.findercomics.com/.)

The Finder Library: Vol 1 is absolutely NOT for readers who are looking for quick, easy to read stories or stories with definite good guys vs bad guys and clear-cut happy endings.

The complicated relationships between the characters alone would drive you bonkers, and the veritable ocean of text will pretty much drive you over the edge with its attention to detail and world-building information.

However, if you're willing to invest a good chunk of your time to get absorbed in really great stories about the lives of interesting people and to see an entire world slowly unfold before you, then we invite you to get lost in Finder.

The Finder Library: Volume 1 (Dark Horse Comics) is available at Kinokuniya KLCC.

Full Feed Generated by Get Full RSS, sponsored by Used Car Search.
Kredit: www.thestar.com.my

The Star Online: Entertainment: Movies

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

The Star Online: Entertainment: Movies

Captain America contest

Posted: 29 Jul 2011 03:21 AM PDT

In conjunction with the release of the film Captain America: The First Avenger, the film distributor – United International Pictures – is giving away some prime, but limited edition, movie merchandise. In order to win one of these cool prizes, answer these three questions based on the film, and complete the following sentence (in less than 15 words): "He's the First Avenger, so he ....

The questions are:

1) What are the colours on Captain America's costume?

2) Who plays Captain America?

3) Who is Captain America's arch nemesis in this film?

There are two sets of grand prizes up for grabs comprising

> Limited Edition Captain America: The First Avenger Retro Radio

> Limited Edition Captain America: The First Avenger Skateboard and Changeable Wheelset

Another 12 winners will receive complimentary items from Hasbro. Up for grabs are:

> Hasbro Electronic Hero Power Captain America: The First Avenger

> Hasbro Captain America: The First Avenger action figures

> Hasbro Captain America: The First Avenger Deluxe Mission Pack

> Hasbro Captain America: The First Avenger Cruisers

> Hasbro Captain America: The First Avenger Disc Launching Shield

Send in your entries to:

Star2 Captain America Contest
United International Pictures
C-27-03, 3 Two Square
2 Jalan 19/1
46300 Petaling Jaya
Selangor Darul Ehsan

Please include your name, address and phone number, with your answers and completed slogan. Postcards arriving later than August 5 will not be entertained, and the judges' decision is final.

Full Feed Generated by Get Full RSS, sponsored by Used Car Search.

Coppola unveils new Twixt

Posted: 29 Jul 2011 02:13 AM PDT

LEGENDARY director Francis Ford Coppola is ready to remind fantasy movie fans why they fell in love with him in the first place with a chilling return to the horror genre, Twixt, featuring his own twist on 3D.

Making his first return to Comic-Con International 20 years after presenting Bram Stoker's Dracula here, The Godfather director enthralled thousands of movie buffs, both young and old, as he previewed his upcoming film that looks to be a mystery wrapped in horror.

"I've always loved the gothic romance story, the horror story ... I began my apprenticeship with Roger Corman. I learned the low-budget horror film at his knee. I was assistant, which meant I washed his car every week and mowed the lawn, but I learned a tremendous amount from Roger," Coppola said.

Five-time Oscar winner Coppola, 72, whose work includes The Godfather, writing Patton and making Apocalypse Now, has for many years been selective of his directorial efforts, often choosing to work outside Hollywood's studio system where he admits he has diminished creative control.

With Twixt, he continues to put his Coppola spin on moviemaking by using 3D technology in a way he hopes will be less cumbersome for audiences.

Within the tale, he has placed on-screen cues telling audiences when to put on 3D glasses so they don't have to wear them throughout the entire film.

Coppola donned the cap of lecturer at Comic-Con, a gathering of tens of thousands of fans of all things science-fiction, fantasy and comic in books, movies and TV.

"I was a little taken aback when I heard certain studio execs say they are going to make all their films in 3D," he said, expressing reservations over new cinema technology.

He said that, while he enjoyed the high quality of a 3D movie like Avatar, he did remove his glasses at various times. His is a similar complaint of many fans of 3D movies who have experienced eye fatigue.

Coppola also gave Comic-Con fans a sort of "dress rehearsal" for an ambitious plan that will see him screen Twixt in various cities accompanied by live music. He will oversee the screenings much like a conductor, and "perform the film for each audience, uniquely for them," he said.

"I want to bring life back into the movies," Coppola announced in a rather giddy fashion to the delight of audiences. – Reuters Life!

Full Feed Generated by Get Full RSS, sponsored by Used Car Search.
Kredit: www.thestar.com.my

The Star Online: Metro: Central

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

The Star Online: Metro: Central

Inconsiderate motorists irk business operators

Posted: 29 Jul 2011 03:48 AM PDT

GETTING in and out of their own parking bays every day has become a difficult task for the business operators in Taman Industri Selaman, Bandar Baru Bangi.

This is due to inconsiderate drivers waiting for their turn for inspection at the Puspakom centre.

Every day as early as 7am, cars are parked in front of the shops along Jalan P10/16 waiting for their turn for inspection.

The industrial area has been mobbed by these drivers who started patronising the Puspakom inspection centre after it opened about four years ago.

Clavenn Choo, 33, said the cars were there from morning to evening.

Business operator Sylvia Lim said most of them would block the entrance and refuse to give way to patrons who wished to park at the proper parking bays.

"They leave the cars there and it is difficult for us to remove our cars.

"Even the postman finds it difficult to deliver the mail and ends up throwing it on our driveway," added Lim. To make matters worse, some of them are rude to the clients of business operators.

ABEX Manufacturing Sdn Bhd supervisor Ramesh Kanthiah said there had been many accidents in the area due to the narrow roads.

"Lorries are forced to manoeuvre through the narrow streets because of the queue. While negotiating the bend, many cars have been hit, including mine," he said.

Ramesh added that it was not strategic to have the Puspakom centre there.

Another businessman, who wished to be known as Zul, said the solution would be to ask the cars to queue up along the main road Jalan P10/10.

"We have proposed this numerous times to the staff but nobody has bothered to solve the problem," he said.

The Puspakom Communications Department said they had taken note of the feedback and had put on trial several options for better traffic flow.

"We have changed the traffic flow for incoming and outgoing cars at our inspection centre to minimise the backlog. This has proved to be effective and we will continue to monitor the situation," the statement said.

Full Feed Generated by Get Full RSS, sponsored by Used Car Search.

Online poll to find winners of photography contest

Posted: 29 Jul 2011 03:45 AM PDT

THE second Cyberjaya Digital Photography Contest has garnered tremendous response from contestants all over Malaysia with hundreds of submissions received since the start of the contest.

Organised by Cyberview Sdn Bhd, the contest is themed Discover: A zest of Life in Cyberjaya and aims to showcase the cybercity's vibrancy.

Submissions for the Cyberjaya Digital Photography Contest were open from April 1 to June 15 and more than 1,100 entries were received.

The submissions will be subjected to judging by public votes from July 20 to Aug 20, as well as a panel of professional photographers.

Public votes will account for 40% of the final score and members of the are encouraged to vote by adding Cyberjaya ICT Hub as a friend on Facebook and clicking 'Like' for their favourite photos.

"We were impressed with the calibre of the photography skills and the interpretations of Cyberjaya.

"This year, we received entries from all over the Klang Valley and beyond, with the oldest participant a 73-year-old participant from Petaling Jaya," Cyberview Sdn Bhd managing director Hafidz Hashim said.

"We are delighted so many people wanted to share their experiences," he added.

Last year's Cyberjaya Digital Photography Contest was themed Cyberjaya – Images of Glory and attracted more than 1,000 entries which received 11,000 votes. The winning photos can be seen at the foyer of Kelab Komuniti Taman Tasik Cyberjaya.

For more information on community activities in Cyberjaya, visit the www.cyberview.com.my and www.cyberjaya-tv.com websites, or follow Cyberview on Twitter at Cyberjaya97.

Full Feed Generated by Get Full RSS, sponsored by Used Car Search.
Kredit: www.thestar.com.my

The Star Online: Metro: South & East

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

The Star Online: Metro: South & East

No sale of Terengganu turtle eggs, says board

Posted: 29 Jul 2011 04:36 AM PDT

MARANG: The Terengganu Turtle Sanctuary Advisory Board has denied that turtle eggs being sold in markets in the state, were collected locally.

Board chairman Datuk Mazlan Ngah said the eggs were from Sabah, Sarawak and the Philippines.

"I don't see any Terengganu turtle eggs being sold openly in the markets, but if they are being sold secretly then I would not know," he told Bernama on Tuesday.

Mazlan who is also state secretary said licensed collectors in the state were only allowed to sell the eggs to the Fisheries Department for its hatcheries.

He said the board was finding it difficult to prevent the sale of turtle eggs in the local markets as they had actually come from elsewhere.

Nevertheless, the sale of leatherback turtle eggs were totally banned in the state, he stressed.

Mazlan said the state government was proposing to gazette more turtle landing areas as sanctuaries in a bid to increase their population.

He added that Ma' Daerah Kerteh in Kemaman was in the process of being gazetted as a turtle sanctuary — Bernama.

Full Feed Generated by Get Full RSS, sponsored by Used Car Search.

Youths learn new skills at training event

Posted: 29 Jul 2011 04:36 AM PDT

JOHOR BARU: A group of 85 Indian youths here had the opportunity to enhance their skills and learn new things in the logistics and transport sector recently.

This came after they participated in a skills training scheme for Indian youth, jointly organised by the MIC Johor Baru youth wing and the Prime Minister's department, the party's think tank (Yayasan Strategik Sosial) and SHM Movers Sdn Bhd.

Housewife M. Srividya, 29, said that the new knowledge garnered during the programme meant that she was now better equipped and prepared to find a job.

"We learnt many things including transport management and import and export, and I feel that these new skills and knowledge definitely enhances my job prospects," she said.

Another participant, P. Nagarajan, 30, who is involved in logistics himself, said that programme would be able to help him improve his business.

"I took part in this course because I felt that it would help me improve, and I think I will be able to apply what I have learnt to my work," he said.

He added that the programme featured both theoretical and practical elements, such as lectures and also field activities, which made learning easy and fun.

Electrician K. Murali, 35, said that the course enabled him to learn more about other things, and also felt that the logistical skills gained would complement his current work.

"Having extra skills is always a bonus, and with these skills, I will now be able to better deal with logistic matters, such as transporting our electrical stock from the port to the factories," he said.

He added that the programme had been a good experience, and he was also able to learn from other participants when they shared their own experiences with the group.

The group were presented with certificates at a ceremony officiated by MIC Johor Baru division chairman Datuk S. Balakrishnan for completing the three-month programme.

Balakrishnan mentioned that he was thankful that the division's youth wing was taking the initiative to organise such meaningful programmes, and that he encouraged more Indian youths to get involved in these sort of programmes.

Full Feed Generated by Get Full RSS, sponsored by Used Car Search.

Chief Minister: Ties go back long before British came into the country

Posted: 28 Jul 2011 08:40 PM PDT

MUAR: The Malays have accepted the Chinese and Indians as family members long before the British came into the country, said Malacca Chief Minister Datuk Mohd Ali Rustam.

Mohd Ali said the ties between the Malays and the Chinese was documented in history.

He said Sultan Mansur Shah (1456-1477) of Malacca married a Chinese princess called Hang Li Po and the sultanate developed close relations with the Chinese emperor through Admiral Cheng Ho.

"The ties were so strong that the early people of Malacca even named the hill in the Malacca town Bukit Cina," he said.

Many other places also reflected the importance of the Chinese including Kampung Lubuk Cina and Ramian Cina," he said when launching the Maharani constituency's Juara Rakyat programme on Sunday.

Mohd Ali said since the names were given a long time ago, it showed the Malays had accepted the Chinese a long time ago.

He said it was a similar case with the Indians because the early people of Malacca respected and accepted the community and had named a cape known as Malacca Tanjung Keling.

However, he added, the work 'keling' was now regarded as offensive.

He said the bond developed by the different races in the country had helped to make Malaysia peaceful and progressive over the years.

Earlier, Muar Umno division chief Datuk Mohd Ismail Mohd Shah said the Juara Rakyat programme was aimed at fostering greater understanding among the people.

He said the programme, organised by Wanita Umno Muar, was held in Taman Aman, which had about 80% Chinese residents.

"Although most of the residents here are Chinese and 20% Malays and Indians, their communal commitment towards one another is very strong.

"They also have good Rukun Tetangga and Rela teams which look after the safety and security of the scheme together," he added.

Full Feed Generated by Get Full RSS, sponsored by Used Car Search.
Kredit: www.thestar.com.my

The Star Online

Copyright 2010 All Rights Reserved