Isnin, 5 September 2011

The Star Online: World Updates

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The Star Online: World Updates

Libyan army convoy in Niger may be Gadaffi deal

Posted: 05 Sep 2011 09:34 PM PDT

TRIPOLI/AGADEZ, Niger (Reuters) - Scores of Libyan army vehicles have crossed the desert frontier into Niger in what may be a dramatic, secretly negotiated bid by Muammar Gaddafi to seek refuge in a friendly African state, military sources from France and Niger told Reuters on Tuesday.

An anti-Gaddafi fighter walks next to a vehicle as he mans the last checkpoint to enter the town of Bani Walid, currently held by pro-Gaddafi forces, in south east Tripoli September 5, 2011. (REUTERS/Youssef Boudlal)

The convoy of between 200 and 250 vehicles was given an escort by the army of Niger, an impoverished and landlocked former French colony to the south of Libya, and might, according to a French military source, be joined by Gaddafi en route for neighbouring Burkina Faso, which has offered him asylum.

It was not clear where the 69-year-old former leader was. He has broadcast defiance since being forced into hiding two weeks ago, and has previously vowed to die fighting on Libyan soil.

Gaddafi's son Saif al-Islam, the heir apparent before the uprising which ended his father's 42 years of personal rule two weeks ago, also was considering joining the convoy, the French source added. France played a leading role in the war against Gaddafi and such a large Libyan military convoy could hardly have moved safely without the knowledge and agreement of NATO air forces.

Sources told Reuters that France may have brokered an arrangement between the new Libyan government and Gaddafi.

But a spokesperson for the French foreign ministry in Paris could not confirm the report of the convoy's arrival in the northern Niger desert city of Agadez nor any offer to Gaddafi, who with Saif al-Islam is wanted for crimes against humanity by the International Criminal Court at The Hague.

Officials in other Western governments and in Libya's new ruling council were not immediately available for comment.

The sources said the convoy, probably including officers from army units based in the south of Libya, may have looped through Algeria rather than crossing the Libyan-Niger frontier directly. It arrived late on Monday near the northern city of Agadez. Algeria last week took in Gaddafi's wife, daughter and two other sons, angering the rebels who ended his 42-year rule.


NATO warplanes and reconnaissance aircraft have been scouring Libya's deserts for large convoys of vehicles that may be carrying the other Gaddafis, making it unlikely that it could have crossed the border without some form of deal being struck.

Libya's new rulers have said they want to try Gaddafi before, possibly, handing him over to the International Criminal Court (ICC), which has charged him with crimes against humanity.

Earlier on Monday, Gaddafi's fugitive spokesman Moussa Ibrahim said he was in good health and good spirits somewhere in Libya. "Muammar Gaddafi is in excellent health and in very, very high spirits," Ibrahim said in remarks broadcast on television.

"He is in a place that will not be reached by those fractious groups, and he is in Libya," Ibrahim told Arrai TV.

The head of Gaddafi's security brigades, Mansour Dhao, along with more than 10 other Libyans, crossed into Niger on Sunday, two Niger officials had said earlier on Monday.

The French military source said he had been told the commander of Libya's southern forces, General Ali Khana, may also be in Niger, not far from the Libyan border.

He said he had been told that Gaddafi and Saif al-Islam would join Khana and catch up with the convoy should they choose to accept Burkina Faso's offer of exile.

Burkina Faso, also once a French colony and a former recipient of large amounts of Libyan aid, offered Gaddafi exile about two weeks ago but has also recognised the rebel National Transitional Council (NTC) as Libya's government.

Burkinabe Foreign Minister Yipene Djibril Bassolet said that Gaddafi could go into exile in his country even though it is a signatory of the ICC treaty.

Gaddafi has said he is ready to fight to the death on Libyan soil, although there have been a number of reports that he might seek refuge in one of the African nations on whom he once lavished some of Libya's oil wealth.

His spokesman Ibrahim said: "We will prevail in this struggle until victory ... We are still strong, and we can turn the tables over against those traitors and NATO allies."


Last week, a senior NTC military commander said he believed Gaddafi was in Bani Walid, 150 km south of Tripoli, along with Saif al-Islam. Libyan forces have massed outside the town -- that has refused to surrender -- building a field hospital in preparation for a possible last stand.

Some NTC officials said they had information that Saif al-Islam had fled Bani Walid on Saturday for the southern deserts that lead to the Niger and Algerian borders.

On-off talks involving tribal elders from Bani Walid and a fog of contradictory messages in recent days, have reflected the complexities of dismantling the remnants of Gaddafi's rule and building a new political system.

At a military checkpoint some 60 km (40 miles) north of the town on the road to the capital, Abdallah Kanshil, who is running talks for the interim government, told journalists a peaceful handover was coming soon. Nevertheless, a dozen vehicles carrying NTC fighters arrived at the checkpoint.

"The surrender of the city is imminent," he said on Monday. "It is a matter of avoiding civilian casualties. Some snipers have surrendered their weapons ... Our forces are ready."

Similar statements have been made for days, however. With communications cut, there was no word from inside Bani Walid.

But 20 km closer to the town, NTC forces built a field hospital and installed 10 volunteer doctors to prepare for the possibility that Gaddafi loyalists would not give up.

"The presence of pro-Gaddafi forces in Bani Walid is the main problem. This is their last fight," said Mohamed Bin Dalla, one of the doctors. "If Bani Walid is resolved peacefully then other remaining conflicts will be also be resolved peacefully."

Forces loyal to the National Transitional Council are also trying to squeeze Gaddafi loyalists out of his home town of Sirte, on the coast, and a swathe of territory in the desert.

(Reporting by Mohammed Abbas and Alex Dziadosz in Tripoli, Sherine El Madany in Ras Lanuff, Emma Farge in Benghazi, Marie-Louise Gumuchian, Barry Malone and Alastair Macdonald in Tunis, Sami Aboudi, Amena Bakr and Omar Fahmy in Cairo, Abdoulaye Massalatchi and Nathalie Prevost in Agadez and Richard Valdmanis in Dakar; Writing by Barry Malone; Editing by Alastair Macdonald and Michael Roddy)

Copyright © 2011 Reuters

UK justice min blames riots on penal system - report

Posted: 05 Sep 2011 07:32 PM PDT

LONDON (Reuters) - The British justice minister said on Tuesday that the riots which swept across England last month were the result of a "broken penal system".

Kenneth Clarke said the system has failed to rehabilitate a group of hardcore offenders he described as the "criminal classes".

British Justice Secretary Kenneth Clarke speaks during joint statements with his Croatian counterpart Drazen Bosnjakovic in Zagreb April 13, 2011. (REUTERS/Nikola Solic/Files)

In an article in the Guardian newspaper he said the civil unrest had laid bare an urgent need for penal reform to stop reoffending among "a feral underclass, cut off from the mainstream in everything but its materialism".

"It's not yet been widely recognised, but the hardcore of the rioters were in fact known criminals. Close to three quarters of those aged 18 or over charged with riot offences already had a prior conviction," he said.

"That is the legacy of a broken penal system - one whose record in preventing reoffending has been straightforwardly dreadful."

Clarke dismissed criticism of the severity of sentences handed down to rioters and said judges had been "getting it about right," but added that punishment alone was "not enough".

(Reporting by Stephen Mangan)

Copyright © 2011 Reuters

Two dead in Texas wildfires, homes destroyed

Posted: 05 Sep 2011 06:30 PM PDT

SAN ANTONIO (Reuters) - Sixty separate wildfires, whipped by strong winds, were burning across Texas on Monday, destroying hundreds of homes and killing at least two people, officials said.

Ashes float through the air as a wildfire burns out of control near Bastrop, Texas September 5, 2011. An estimated 1,000 homes are being threatened in Bastrop County, just east of Austin, as a 14,000-acre (5700-hectare) wildfire rages out of control, causing evacuations. (REUTERS/Mike Stone)

Authorities in Gregg County, in northeast Texas, say a 20-year-old woman and her 18-month-old daughter were killed on Sunday when they were trapped in their mobile home by flames.

The Texas Forest Service estimates 424 homes may have been destroyed so far, including 300 from the so-called Bastrop County Complex fire east of Austin.

Texas Gov. Rick Perry, the front-running Republican Party presidential candidate, canceled his appearance at a candidate roundtable in South Carolina on Monday to return to Austin.

"I have seen a lot of mean-looking fires in my time, but this one is the meanest. You realize the devastation when you see it first hand," Perry said at a news briefing.

"I am not paying any attention to politics right now. There are people's homes and lives in danger, and that is far more important," he said to a smattering of applause.

"I have never seen a fire season like this. We have lost more than 3.5 million acres to brush fires, that is an area larger than the state of Connecticut," he said. "We have a long way to go to get this thing contained."

More than 3.6 million acres (1.5 million hectares) in Texas have been scorched by wildfires since November, fed by a continuing drought that has caused more than $5 billion in damage to the state's agricultural industry and shows no sign of easing any time soon.

The Texas Forest Service responded on Sunday to 63 new fires burning on more than 32,000 acres (13,000 hectares), including 22 new large fires.

Officials said the worst of the fires was the Bastrop County Complex fire, which stretched for 16 miles (26 km).

They said the fire had jumped a road that they had hoped to set up as a barrier, and has now spread to 25,000 acres (10,000 hectares).

"We have about 16 miles long at this time and about 6 miles wide (10 km)," said Bastrop County Fire Chief Ronnie McDonald.

Residents said the fire had moved very quickly, driven by the strong, gusty winds.

"It's pretty dire," Justice Jones of the Forest Service said on Monday morning.

The Bastrop Complex fire has forced the evacuation of several subdivisions in the county of 70,000 people.

"This is a shock," said one man as he drove out of the fire zone near Bastrop with his family. "We had some nice plans for Labor Day, and this gives you a sick feeling."

The Texas Forest Service said dozens of aircraft were responding to fires, including four heavy airtankers, 15 single-engine airtankers, and 13 aerial supervision aircraft.

In the Steiner Ranch area of Austin, a separate fire has forced the evacuation of some 1,000 homes. One woman desperately scanned the wall of thick black smoke and flames looking for her lost dog.

"I was just driving around the neighborhood, I'm five months pregnant, and I was taking in smoke and I was freaking out," she said. "I looked to the right of me and everything over there was full of fire, it was just gone."

About 200 homes had to be evacuated due to a brush fire in the Austin suburb of Pflugerville, and about 150 homes were evacuated in Longview, in east Texas. A dozen homes were under mandatory evacuation on Monday near Tyler in east Texas.

(Reporting by Jim Forsyth; Editing by Mary Wisniewski, Peter Bohan and Eric Beech)

Copyright © 2011 Reuters


The Star Online: Entertainment: TV & Radio

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The Star Online: Entertainment: TV & Radio

Get on board

Posted: 06 Sep 2011 03:05 AM PDT

AS the sun sets on a long day, it's time to chill out with Today's Best Music with Arnold, host of Red FM's Evening show (Monday-Friday, 7pm-10pm).

It's a non-stop entertainment filled segment as this former television producer brings his knowledge of music and video production to the show. And this week, he brings you more, with passes to some of the most exciting events in town.

Win open movie passes to the Japanese Film Festival 2011 oganised by the Japan Foundation Kuala Lumpur on Red FM's Onboard contest. The festival's screening dates are from Sept 15 - 20 and Sept 22 - 25 at selected GSC cinemas. Be the first person to give Arnold a shout out on 03-7885 1049 when you hear the cue and say "I'm On Board". You also pick up exclusive invites to the opening ceremony on Sept 13 — a set of premiere tickets to Second Chance which will screen on the same night at GSC Pavilion Kuala Lumpur.

Partly shot in Malaysia, the movie will premiere here before it hits the screens in Japan. The cast and crew will be here to attend the opening ceremony as well as the premiere and Red FM is the official station for this highly anticipated festival.

On Red FM's Text What's Next, just SMS Arnold on the choice of songs you love to hear and want to shove. For your effort, you get to win clubbing passes to watch Sidney Samson spin at Zouk Club Kuala Lumpur on Sept 9.

If you didn't manage to catch either of these two events, there's still a chance for you to catch hold of Arnold and win cash instead as he's one of the Red FM's Runaway DJs. Clues to their whereabouts are given out onair and online throughout the day on weekdays. So, join in the hunt; you may even win of a brand new Proton Inspira.

Check out for the terms and conditions of the contest. Join the Red FM Malaysia Facebook fan page ( and follow them on Twitter (@iloveredfm) for the latest updates of the contest.

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 Prai: 107.6 FM; Ipoh, Perak: 106.4 FM; Klang Valley, Negri Sembilan and Tapah: 104.9 FM; Kuantan, Pahang: 91.6 FM; Batu Pahat and Malacca: 98.9 FM; Johor Baru and Singapore: 92.8 FM.


The Star Online: Sports

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The Star Online: Sports

Djokovic, Serena make quarters at US Open

Posted: 05 Sep 2011 04:50 PM PDT

NEW YORK (AP): Novak Djokovic opened his fourth-round match with a thrilling 16-14 first-set tiebreaker over No. 22 Alexandr Dolgopolov and things got easier from there in a 7-6 (14), 6-4, 6-2 victory at the U.S. Open on Monday.

Djokovic, who racked up his 61st win in 63 matches this year, will face fellow Serb Janko Tipsarevic in the quarterfinals as he seeks his first title at Flushing Meadows.

"This is one of the longest tiebreaks I ever played," Djokovic said. "It was certainly exciting to be part of it. But, you know, I knew that I needed to win that set."

Djokovic saved four set points and finally closed out the set on his sixth chance. When Dolgopolov missed a forehand to give Djokovic the set, Djokovic pumped his fist and put his hands to his ears to take in the applause from the fans at Louis Armstrong Stadium, which sees fewer and fewer headliners as the tournament progresses and the big matches move into Ashe.

"It was a packed stadium. It was a different experience because I haven't played on that court for a while," Djokovic said.

In the women's tournament, Serena Williams fought off the wind, along with brief flurries of effectiveness from her opponent, to advance to the quarterfinals with a 6-3, 6-4 victory over Ana Ivanovic.

Williams closed out the match with four straight serves that Ivanovic couldn't get back - clocked at between 99 and 111 mph in a blustery Arthur Ashe Stadium that had both players fighting with their tosses and topspin all day.

"I didn't even go for winners at any point," said Williams, who hit only 16. "I just tried to get it over because it was so windy. It was definitely tough."

Seeded only 28th after missing big chunks of the last two years with injuries to her foot, Williams nonetheless improved to 16-0 this year on hardcourt.

She has yet to drop a set at the U.S. Open and now finds herself in her first Grand Slam quarterfinal since last year at Wimbledon, when she won her 13th major title.

With each win at Flushing Meadows, she makes a stronger case that the "28" before her name at this tournament is only a number. When healthy, she might be the best in the world.

"I don't know if I'm the best or not," she said. "I believe I am and I think a lot of other girls, women in the locker room, believe they are, too, as they should. I don't think anyone should go out and say that they're not."

The 16th-seeded Ivanovic, the 2008 French Open champion and a one-time world No. 1, came in on a rebound after a slide down the rankings into the 60s. At times against Williams, flashes of the old Ivanovic showed, especially when she drew back to 3-3 in the first set after dropping the first three games in eight minutes.

Taking the ball early, unafraid to step inside the baseline to return Williams' second serves, Ivanovic was the aggressor during that portion and in parts of the second set when she tried, unsuccessfully, to make up the break she lost in the first game.

But she couldn't overcome eight double faults, including three while serving at 3-4 in the first set, and didn't have an answer for Williams who was less aggressive (16 winners to 20 for Ivanovic), but more consistent (14 unforced errors to 29) and also had more bite on her serve (nine aces).

"My serve broke down a little more than hers," Ivanovic said. "I still created lots of opportunities and I felt I was stepping up a lot and I just felt that was the biggest difference today."

Next up for Williams is No. 17 Anastasia Pavlyuchenkova, who made it to her second Grand Slam quarterfinal with a 5-7, 6-3, 6-4 win over former French Open champion Francesca Schiavone.

The three-set match included 16 service breaks over 31 games and, appropriately enough, ended when Pavlyuchenkova hit a forehand winner on match point to break Schiavone's serve for the ninth time. The players combined for 21 double-faults.

"I'm going to say that I don't want to go out there and enjoy just being on center court playing against Serena," Pavlyuchenkova said. "I would like to do well, try to fight, and with my effort, I'll try to beat her."

In other early play, 20th-seeded Tipsarevic outlasted 2003 French champion Juan Carlos Ferrero 7-5, 5-7, 7-5, 6-2 in a match that took 3 hours, 43 minutes. Tipsarevic will play Djokovic in an all-Serb quarterfinal.

Others playing later Monday were No. 8 Mardy Fish, No. 3 Roger Federer and top-seeded Caroline Wozniacki.

Tsonga edges Fish in 5 sets to reach US Open QF

Posted: 05 Sep 2011 04:48 PM PDT

NEW YORK (AP): France's Jo-Wilfried Tsonga came back to eliminate Mardy Fish, the highest-seeded American, 6-4, 6-7 (5), 3-6, 6-4, 6-2 Monday to reach the U.S. Open quarterfinals for the first time.

No. 8 Fish was trying to make it past the fourth round at Flushing Meadows for the second time. But his play dipped in the fourth set, and he was treated by a trainer for a right leg problem before the fifth.

The 11th-seeded Tsonga's best Grand Slam showing was reaching the final of the 2008 Australian Open. He also made it to the Wimbledon semifinals this year by rallying to beat Roger Federer after dropping the first two sets.

Tsonga could face Federer again in the quarterfinals at Flushing Meadows.

Webb Simpson rallies to win Deutsche Bank

Posted: 05 Sep 2011 04:44 PM PDT

NORTON, Massachusetts (AP): Webb Simpson finished off an amazing comeback with three birdies, the final one on the second extra playoff hole, to win the Deutsche Bank Championship on Monday for his second title in three weeks.

On a day filled with big crowds and big moments appropriate to the FedEx Cup playoffs, Simpson delivered a stunning conclusion on the TPC Boston.

He looked as if he would be the runner-up until knocking in a 30-foot birdie putt on the par-5 18th hole for a 6-under 65. That put him into a playoff when Chez Reavie, who had birdied the toughest holes on the back nine, made bogey on the easiest hole on the course at No. 18 for a 66. The finished regulation at 15-under 269.

On the 18th hole in the playoff, Simpson again looked to be out of luck when Reavie chipped to tap-in range for birdie. But Simpson rolled in a 15-foot putt to keep the playoff going, and then won with an 8-foot putt on the 17th hole.

Simpson won his first PGA Tour title three weeks ago at the Wyndham Championship, putting him in good shape for the FedEx Cup playoffs and the chase for a $10 million prize.

Now, he goes to No. 1 in the standings and is assured of being among the top five when the FedEx Cup concludes at the Tour Championship at the end of the month.

"I thought winning the second time would be easier," Simpson said.

That was never the case on a breezy Labor Day south of Boston, a final round so scrambled that seven players - including world No. 1 Luke Donald - had a share of the lead at some point.

Simpson one-putted seven of his last eight greens, mostly for par on the back nine in regulation to stay in the hunt, then received just enough help from Reavie.

The win was filled with perks, beyond his ranking in the FedEx Cup race. Simpson locked up a spot on the Presidents Cup team in Australia, and moves to No. 14 in the world.

Reavie, who started the season on a medical exemption from knee surgery last year and won't get his full PGA Tour status back until January, came roaring up the leaderboard on the back nine. He made four birdies in a six-hole stretch - including on the toughest par 3 at No. 11 and the toughest hole at No. 14 - and was poised to capture his second PGA Tour title until one wedge cost him.

He laid up on the 18th with a one-shot lead and Simpson already finished, but his wedge sailed over the green, and his 10-foot par putt for the win grazed the side of the cup. The runner-up finish still moves Reavie to No. 9 in the FedEx Cup, assuring him a spot in the Tour Championship - and in three majors next year, including the Masters.

Brandt Snedeker, who closed with a 61 last week to tie for third, went out in 30 to take the lead until getting wild off the teed on the back nine. He had to settle for a 66 and another tie for third.

Donald, who matched birdies and eagles with Simpson in regulation, fell apart with a double bogey on No. 12 and a tee shot over the 16th green that led to bogey. He closed with a 67 and tied for third, along with Jason Day, who had a 68.

Bubba Watson, who had a one-shot lead going into the wild final day, chipped in for eagle on the final hole to salvage a 74 that put him in a tie for 16th, seven shots behind.

The drama wasn't limited to the final holes.

The top 70 in the FedEx Cup advance to the third playoff event in two weeks outside Chicago, and some big names were on the cusp of missing out.

Ernie Els, who barely qualified for the playoffs and then narrowly made it to the second stage in Boston, made two key par putts and finished with a 5-foot birdie over his last four holes to move up to No. 68 and advance.

Geoff Ogilvy, trying to keep alive his hopes of making the Presidents Cup in his native Australia, thought he was finished when he made two late bogeys and then hit into native grass behind the rock and took a penalty shot. But he holed a 20-foot par putt on the 17th, then a 6-foot birdie on the 18th hole to move up to No. 69.

Chris Stroud produced a shot even more memorable. Needing nothing less than eagle on the final hole, he hit 3-iron just onto the green, and it caught the ridge and settled 3 feet away for eagle that atoned for a messy day and put him at No. 70.

The PGA Tour now takes a week off before resuming these playoffs at the BMW Championship.


The Star Online: Business

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The Star Online: Business

Support Line

Posted: 05 Sep 2011 05:13 PM PDT

K.M. Lee writes on Denko Industrial Corp, Mieco Chipboard and TDM

DENKO Industrial Corp shares hit an intra-day high of 54 sen, the best since October 2004, amid follow-through buying yesterday. The moving average convergence/divergence histogram is firmly bullish, implying there may be more upside. A break above the 60 sen mark may propel it to the 80 sen level in the medium term. Solid support is expected at 36 sen.

DENKO : [Stock Watch] [News]

MIECO Chipboard touched a 12-month low of 40.5 sen on Aug 9 before recovering on mild bargain- hunting interest. Based on the daily bar chart, the prevailing trend is bearish. If the initial support of 37 sen is violated, the next downside to look for would be at 30 sen. The immediate upside is capped at the 50-day simple moving average of 50 sen.

MIECO : [Stock Watch] [News]

TDM gained for the third straight day, up four sen to RM2.99 yesterday. The positive reading suggests more advances in the short term. A decisive penetration of the RM3.20-RM3.22 barrier may lead to a re-test of the recent rally peak of RM3.42. Support is envisaged at the RM2.80 level.

TDM : [Stock Watch] [News]

The comments above do not represent a recommendation to buy or sell.

ECB spent US$18.8 billion on bond buys last week

Posted: 05 Sep 2011 05:07 PM PDT

FRANKFURT, Germany (AP) - The European Central Bank stepped up its emergency bond purchases last week to keep the eurozone debt crisis from infecting Italy and Spain. The move, however, was accompanied by a warning to governments that the support is temporary.

The 13.3 billion ($18.7 billion) purchases announced on the bank's Twitter feed Monday were double the 6.65 billion spent the previous week.

The bank has been buying Italian and Spanish government bonds since Aug. 8. The purchases hold down the interest yields on the bonds, and have kept bond market turmoil from pushing those countries over the edge while European political leaders struggle to come up with more permanent fixes.

Bank of Italy head Mario Draghi, who will take over as head of the ECB Nov. 1 from Jean-Claude Trichet, said that the purchases would continue but warned they are not a permanent solution.

"The program is temporary," he said according to a text of remarks prepared for a Paris conference. "It cannot be used to circumvent the fundamental principle of budgetary discipline... in other words it should not be taken for granted by member states. "

He and Trichet urged governments to move ahead with agreed plans to reduce debt and ease the fears of default that are roiling markets.

Leaders agreed on July 21 to give the eurozone's 440 billion bailout fund the authority to take over the bond purchases, help bail out banks and quickly loan to troubled governments.

But approval by national parliaments has been delayed by August vacations and some politicians are against the new measures.

One of the government parties in euro member Slovakia says a vote may not take place until December.

Slovak Finance Ministry spokesman Martin Jaros, however, said Monday that the vote is still expected as soon as possible, in late September or early October. "We realize the urgency of the situation," he said.

Greece, Ireland and Portugal have already needed bailouts from other eurozone governments after being unable to refinance expiring debt at affordable rates.

Italy, the eurozone's third-largest economy, is regarded as too large to bail out.

The bank's bond purchases are risky since they take more risk onto the bank's balance sheet in case of the country's defaults. They are also seen by some as blurring the line between monetary policy and budget policy, since the central bank is indirectly supporting the finances of indebted governments.

Latest business news from AP-Wire

Swiss bankers oppose another US tax treaty

Posted: 05 Sep 2011 05:05 PM PDT

GENEVA (AP) - Swiss banking officials lashed out Monday at the possibility of yet another tax treaty with the United States aimed at handing over the details of more Americans suspected of using Swiss banks to cheat on their taxes.

The chairman of the Swiss Bankers Association, Patrick Odier, urged the Swiss people and the government to "put up a united front" and work out a solution that applies to all countries. He said that U.S. and Swiss politicians must work with existing accords.

"The solution must be globally applicable, be definitive and correspond to existing Swiss law," Odier told the association at a meeting in Basel, Switzerland, according to his prepared remarks. "A second bilateral treaty has to be avoided and the U.S. needs to respect this."

A double taxation agreement was approved by Switzerland in 2009 but is still awaiting ratification by the U.S. Senate.

The United States last year forced Switzerland to agree to a separate bilateral tax treaty - and to break its own banking secrecy laws - in order to prevent the country's biggest bank, UBS AG, from facing damaging civil litigation in U.S. courts for helping thousands of Americans hide money in offshore accounts.

UBS was forced to hand over the names of thousands of American account holders and pay a $780 million fine in a landmark case that pierced Switzerland's storied tradition of banking secrecy. Swiss lawmakers are due to approve a revised tax agreement with the U.S. this fall.

But Switzerland now fears that U.S. officials may try to bring charges against one or more Swiss banks, including Credit Suisse Group, if the country does not divulge more details on how many Americans may have used Swiss banks to avoid paying U.S. taxes.

"The United States is trying to build up pressure. It's looking for someone to pay its debts and finance its wars," Christophe Darbellay, head of the centrist Christian Democratic People's Party, was quoted as saying by the Zurich daily Blick on Monday.

The Swiss government has also faced similar pressure outside the United States, and has recently signed revised agreements with several countries, including Germany and Britain, to provide greater help to foreign tax authorities seeking information on their citizens' accounts in the Alpine nation.

Taken together, the moves have been widely seen as the beginning of the end of Switzerland's strict policy of noncooperation with foreign tax authorities.

"The U.S. should take the tax agreements with Germany and the United Kingdom as an example. Bilateral problems between friendly nations should be solved by mutual agreement," Odier said.

The agreements with Germany and Britain were both reached in August. Swiss banks will pay an up-front guarantee of 2 billion francs (nearly $2.7 billion) to Germany and 500 million Swiss francs ($630 million; 385 million pounds) to Britain.

German residents who haven't previously declared existing assets in Switzerland will have the chance to make a one-time tax payment between 19 and 34 percent of those assets, or to declare them to German authorities. Similarly, British clients will have the option of making an anonymous one-time payment for past taxes owed or declaring their assets to British authorities.

The Swiss Bankers Association also said there could be rough times ahead because of the strong franc and new banking requirements to boost capital holdings.

The value of the franc has risen sharply as a safe haven for investors, but that has made Swiss exports and tourism more expensive, driving down profits. Banks must also meet new rules to gradually increase their capital cushions, eating into the amount they can invest.

But the trade group reported that Swiss banks' combined assets rose slightly to 2.7 trillion francs, and generated earnings of 61.5 billion francs in 2010 - an increase of 13.4 percent in earnings on the year.

The Swiss currency almost reached parity with the euro before the Swiss National Bank stepped in last month by pumping francs into the markets.

Switzerland's government says the country's currency is still too strong, despite measures taken to make it less attractive to foreign investors. On Monday, the exchange rate was 1.10 francs to the euro.

The SNB says its next scheduled "monetary policy assessment" will be Sept. 15.


The Star Online: Entertainment: Movies

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The Star Online: Entertainment: Movies

Have a laugh on us

Posted: 05 Sep 2011 01:40 AM PDT

Shake the disease

Posted: 05 Sep 2011 12:38 AM PDT

Who doesn't love a good pandemic movie? Steven Soderbergh's thriller Contagion shows the effect of a global outbreak.

PERHAPS what is most scary about the premise of Contagion is that it's very much based on reality. New viruses are discovered almost every day, and past epidemics have claimed a large number of casualties – The Black Death in the 14th century caused an estimated 75 million deaths, the 1918 Spanish Flu wiped out 50 million people; not to mention the damage caused by smallpox, cholera, malaria, influenza, tuberculosis, SARS (the virus has not been eradicated, which means it could re-emerge) and H5N1.

With these gory facts and figures, director Steven Soderbergh told Entertainment Weekly that he felt Contagion would be more unsettling than most horror films.

He said: "You can avoid going into the ocean or taking a shower if Jaws and Psycho scare the s*** out of you. (But) you can't live a normal life without coming into contact with germs.''

The idea for the film came when Soderbergh and screenwriter Scott Z. Burns – who both travel a lot – talked about people getting sick after travelling. But instead of just common colds, they conjectured on what would happen if the virus were far more deadly. Recruiting Hollywood's who's who for the film – Matt Damon, Laurence Fishburne, Marion Cotillard, Kate Winslet, Jude Law and Gwyneth Paltrow – the duo set out to explore how a highly infectious virus would spread.

Approaching it from both the victim's and a scientific point of view, Soderbergh follows the pandemic's progress – revealing acts of bravery from average folk as well as the race against time for dedicated scientists to not only stop the progression of the disease, but find a cure. In the process, "each character confronts some aspect of his life that would have remained unexpressed or unchallenged if this disease hadn't shown up," said Soderbergh in the film's production notes.

Also in the mix is another sort of contagion – a blogger is convinced the government is hiding something behind the deaths, posting his theories freely and causing panic. "Part of the story is the way in which information spreads along similar pathways to that of a virus: who gets it and how it moves forward, how it's altered as it moves from one host to another, or one organisation to the next. That was our focus throughout the movie, treating information like a baton that gets passed from one scene to the next. There are so many interesting tributaries. In this situation, it's a lethal problem because misinformation can kill," said Soderbergh.

At the heart of the film is Matt Damon's character, Mitch Emhoff – an everyman whose wife (Gwyneth Paltrow) becomes the first known victim of this unknown virus – who doesn't understand how or what is happening. As a dad, he knows he has to protect his daughter.

Oscar winner Paltrow acknowledged that it is those living who must face the biggest challenge of their lives.

She said: "You start to wonder what you would do in that scenario, and where you'd go for clean water and food. You ask yourself how prepared you would be for a crisis of this scale. We rely so heavily on the infrastructure of society, I think the answer is that we'd all be in quite a lot of trouble."

Meanwhile, the scientists at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) must take on the hazardous job of tracking down the starting point of this mutating virus by actually visiting the suspected locations. Playing an Epidemic Intelligence Service officer, Dr Erin Mears, is Winslet. After accepting the role, the Oscar winner spent some time at the CDC, meeting with EIS officers.

Winslet recounted what she had learned: "I was told by some that they feel most alive when they're on a mission. You have to be incredibly determined to do this work. It means sacrificing a lot of sleep, a social life, and your own safety, but it's an honour to be chosen. It's what they all train for and want to do."

Although plagues have always come and gone in the world's history, the frequency of emerging infectious diseases are at a high in our times.

In the process of making this film, Soderbergh admitted that he came away both more worried ("everyone we talked to felt there would be a virus at some point that tips over") and more secure in how the people who are the first line of defense are both skilled and intelligent. While not turning into a germaphobe, the director shared that he is more conscious of everything he touches and what people around him touch.

Soderbergh concluded: "It's not often you get the opportunity to make a movie that touches on themes that resonate with everyone, and can also be an entertaining thriller.

"When Scott and I talked about doing a serious film about a pandemic, I thought that because of what's been happening in the world, plus all the advances in medicine and technology, we had to approach it in an ultra-realistic manner. Having been through the research now, I will never again think the same way about how we interact with one another. You cannot immerse yourself in this world and not be forever altered by yourawareness of it." – Mumtaj Begum

> Contagion infects cinemas nationwide on Sept 8.


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Noramfaizul’s family has no intention of taking legal action

Posted: 05 Sep 2011 07:50 AM PDT

SERDANG: Family members of the late Noramfaizul Mohd Nor, a BernamaTV cameraman who was killed by a stray bullet while covering the Putera 1Malaysia Club's Humanitarian Aid Mission in Somalia, will not take any legal action against the organiser.

Noramfaizul's father Mohd Nor Abdul Majid said nobody was at fault for the fate suffered by his son.

"What happened was destined and everything, including his burial went smoothly. I cannot blame anybody," he told reporters at his house here Monday after receiving a stream of visitors and well wishers, including exco members of the National Press Club.

His cousin Rodzana Esa said the family was still recovering from the tragedy and the gloom surrounding his cousin's demise and that a legal action had never crossed their mind.

"We accept his death," he said.

Noramfaizul, 39, was killed on Friday evening after he was shot at while travelling in a four-wheel-drive vehicle with other Malaysian media members who were covering the humanitarian aid mission to Somalia, led by the Putera 1Malaysia Club. - Bernama

RM100,000 fine, 6-mth jail for cruelty to animals under new act

Posted: 05 Sep 2011 04:42 AM PDT

PUTRAJAYA: Anyone caught being cruel to animals will face a fine of up to RM100,000 and a jail term of not more than six months under the Animal Welfare Act to be tabled in Parliament next year, Veterinary Services director-general Datuk Dr Abd Aziz Jamaluddin said Monday.

He said the Act covered all animals, including fish and insects, whether owned by individuals or businesses and would define as cruelty the failure to feed them.

"We forget to feed our dog, that's cruelty. We keep it caged and it cannot look for food. We are in the process of defining 'cruelty' to create awareness so people realise that cruelty to animals can be on purpose or unintentional," he told reporters here.

Abd Aziz said the Act will require all premises housing animals to be registered with the Veterinary Services Department, and related business operators with the Malaysian Veterinary Council.

He said the department would monitor the premises every three to four months to ensure that they are properly maintained.

"We will also provide guidelines and a list of offences and other matters related to animal welfare," he said.

"We will carry out campaigns in collaboration with animal shelters to create public awareness," he added

Commenting on a media report on an animal hotel at Damansara Damai in Selangor that allegedly left its cats to starve, Abd Aziz said the owner of the premises can be charged under local by-laws as his licence had not been renewed since 2009.

He said the name of the company will be published on the department's website as a lesson to operators of such premises and as information to the public. - Bernama

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Bird’s nest operators, premises owners urged to register

Posted: 05 Sep 2011 04:33 AM PDT

PUTRAJAYA: All bird's nest operators and about 56,000 premises owners nationwide are required to register with the Veterinary Department in the wake of the recent allegation in China regarding the condition of birds' nests imported from Malaysia.

Veterinary services director-general Datuk Dr Abdul Aziz Jamaluddin said a database would be set up listing all bird's nest exporters, which can be accessed by importers from China for verification purposes.

"Through the system, only exporting companies that are approved by both Malaysia and China are allowed to export the item," he told reporters here.

Abdul Aziz said the registration exercise began this week.

So far, 12 companies have registered.

"The claim by China recently that the 'red-coloured bird's nests' allegedly imported from the country containing nitrite is not true, because Malaysia does not produce that type of bird's nests. It might have come from other countries but was trans-shipped to China from Malaysia," said Abdul Aziz.

Under the new system, only birds' nests bearing the Veterinary Health Mark are allowed to be exported to China.

"The department, in collaboration with the Malaysian Communications and Multimedia Commission, will also set up a track-and-trace network system to enable consumers there to determine if the products are from Malaysia," he said.

The three-week period during which China ceased importation of bird's nests from Malaysia caused millions of ringgit in losses, according to Abdul Aziz.

The industry's annual export value to China alone is RM5 billion. It also provides 20,000 jobs.

Abdul Aziz also urged the public to report deaths of birds or poultry so that early precaution can be taken against any bird-flu outbreak.

He expressed concerned over the possible spread of bird flu from Cambodia from bird migration to this part of the region.

Regarding the Hendra outbreak reported in Australia, Abdul Aziz said at the moment, the government has stopped the import of live animals from that country, unless they have been certified free of the disease.

The Malaysian authorities will once again conduct tests and quarantine animals before allowing them into the market.

Frozen meat is not affected because freezing destroys the virus, he said. - Bernama

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City Watch

Posted: 05 Sep 2011 06:45 AM PDT

Blood donation

THE National Blood Bank will be organising mobile donation counters today at the following places: Hopsital Kuala Lumpur lobby, Jalan Pahang, Kuala Lumpur (9am to 4pm); Saito College, 18 Jalan Tengah, Petaling Jaya (9am to 4pm) and Carrefour Mid Valley (11am to 6pm).

Antenatal talk

THERE will be a public health talk on antenatal and baby care on Saturday, Sept 10 from 1.30pm to 4.30pm at Tung Shin Hospital (Level 5, Chinese Medical Building). The talks titled Antenatal Care and Normal New Born Baby Features will be conducted in English and Mandarin. Admission is free. Call 03-2037 2388 or 016-909 9665 to register.

Art exhibition

THE solo exhibition by Syed Thajudeen titled Paintings on Love will be on display from now until Sept 30 at the KL Lifestyle Art Space, 150, Jalan Maarof, Bukit Bandaraya, Kuala Lumpur. For more information, call 019-333 7668.

Saree talk

THE National Textile Museum will be hosting a talk titled Dream of the Drape by Dr Aruna Gopinath who will explore the history of the saree and the techniques of tying this strip of unstitched cloth. The talk will be held on Saturday, Sept 10, from 6pm to 9pm and the next day, Sunday, from 3pm to 6pm. Admission is free. To register, email or call Syahrul (012-674 2512).

Buddhism course

THE Kinrara Metta Buddhist Society of Puchong is organising an Introduction to Buddhism course every Friday at 8.30pm, from Sept 9 to Oct 21. For registration or enquiries, call Julie (016-270 2120) or Swee Hong (012-370 6644).

Tai chi classes

THE Tai Chi Huang group in OUG, Kuala Lumpur, is conducting Tai Chi lessons every Mondays and Thursdays, 8pm to 9pm, starting today. For more information, call Yeo (016-289 8793) or Tey (014-621 4621).


Artistes Soo Wincci, Liang, Jacyln Victor, Lee Elaine, Juwita Suwito, Kabuki Breakers, T4C, Koe Yeet and Cindy Chen will be at the 1 Believe Benefit Concert at Civic Hall in MBPJ at 8pm on Sept 12 and 13. For details, call 03-7954 5423.


The third Bandar Puteri 5km Fun Walk will be held at 7am at the Puteri 8/10 field on Sept 11. There would be free breakfast for 300 people and lucky draw prizes to be won. For details, call Samson at 012-290 9989.


Cansurvive Centre Malaysia Berhad will be organising a talk entitled Somatics — An Experience of Healing through Feeling at the Pure Life Society in Batu 6, Jalan Puchong, Kuala Lumpur from 4pm to 6pm on Sept 17. It is limited to 150 people.

Going on low gear

Posted: 05 Sep 2011 06:45 AM PDT

IT WAS easy going at the Kuala Lumpur junior badminton training camp after their success in the national junior inter-state mixed-team crown for the second consecutive year in Penang.

The eager trainees have been enjoying a more casual pace while going through the less demanding workouts.

Following their outstanding run in a series of competitions including the two-leg zone and the national junior grand prix finals before the major inter-state team event, a good percentage of the 60 trainees from the various age-groups under the state training programme have swapped their racquets for books to prepare for their year-end and PMR and SPM examinations.

This was evident as the attendance took a deep dive with less than half the squad showing up for training during the fasting month. The trainees were also anticipating a long break for Hari Raya.

Kuala Lumpur Badminton Association (KLBA) coach A. Sankar said only Mohd Rahmad Saldari Irja stayed on his toes as the boys' Under-16 trainee was selected to be part of the Kuala Lumpur side at the recent Asian Junior Sports Exchange Games mixed team event which was held in Japan recently.

"It was a privilege for him (Rahmad) to join his peers including the national junior shuttlers from the national camp based at Bukit Jalil for the trip. He showed his courage to maintain his training routine at the same intensity even when fasting. We did not push him and allowed him to ease back when he could not go the full distance," he added.

Among others showing up occasionally were Abdul Malek siblings Nurul Farisha (girls' Under-12) and Muhammad Aiman (boys' Under-14) as well as Muhammad Farid (boys' Under-18).

Besides, it was tough to get a suitable venue to switch their normal training to later in the evening.

Sankar said it was not necessary to host special sessions after breaking fast in the evening as the trainees were on a tight schedule — juggling their studies and other commitments.

"During the first half of the year, the parents were very supportive and allowed their children to go through the hectic training and competition schedule. We need to be sensitive and understand their children's priorities as they need more time to focus on their studies now," he said.

Meanwhile, the juniors in training featured in friendly matches against the visitors from Vietnam, Kazakhstan and Syria under Badminton Asia Confederation (BAC) programme. They also received personal attention to brush up their skills through specific drills.

After the one-week break for the Hari Raya celebration, they will resume training - six times a week - but they are not expecting the attendance rate to shoot up immediately.

Having guided the city side to two previous victories at the national junior inter-state mixed-team in 2007 and 2010, Sankar said his charges would face an uphill task to regain their fitness and touches when they resume training after their examinations.

"It will be interesting when the tempo in training returns to full swing. We will also be lining up friendly matches against players from other states. We want to prepare them to do well and vie for honours again next year," said Sankar, adding that they are planning to host the Kuala Lumpur Closed as an exercise to identify new talents and broaden their base with emerging shuttlers in various age-groups.


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A monk learns to deal with dangers in the wild

Posted: 04 Sep 2011 09:31 PM PDT

ALL kinds of danger lurk in the woods. So what is a forest monk to do when he comes across wild animals?

"I was fearful initially and thoughts of death crossed my mind. Somehow, I have learnt to accept my destiny," says Ajahn Cagino, of his years in the forest.

He was at his wits' end when wild animals came near his camp site in the remote forests of Kanchanaburi in west Thailand, on several occasions.

"The first time I was all alone by myself in the deep forest, I was excited and restless. Then fear struck when I heard a leopard's roar. I knew it was a leopard because I had been forewarned by the locals. I thought I would die. I couldn't sleep," recalls Cagino. "I was frustrated that I had no pen and paper to write a note to my mum and sister in case it was my last day alive!"

That night, he sat wide awake until morning.

Cagino also ran into two bears on two separate occasions.

"One night, I was awakened by a loud rustling noise nearby. I stood up and peered from behind a giant tree trunk and shone my torchlight into the darkness.

"When the bear saw the light, it stood on its two hind legs, ready to fight off its foe. When it saw no one, the startled bear fled," relates Cagino.

The next morning, he saw a clearing in the bushes made by the fleeing bear.

A month later, he saw a bear cub while walking up a hill.

"It looked so cuddly, like a stuffed toy bear. It had chocolate grey fur with a white patch on its chest. I ran towards it and it took off in fright," recalls Cagino.

On another occasion, Cagino was meditating in a makeshift tent under a mosquito net when he heard a tiger's roar. When the wild cat continued roaring, Cagino was angry with himself for cowering in fear. He asked himself why he was afraid of the wild cat.

"After a while, I told myself to accept my fate. I plucked up courage and got up to investigate. I took my walking stick, wore a headlight and took a flashlight. I crossed the river to find the tiger but there was no sign of it. I returned to my tent to rest," says Cagino.

The next morning, after brushing his teeth and washing his face in the river, he went to look for tiger tracks.

"I found a seven-and-a-half-inch paw print some 100m away from my camp near a river." By Majorie Chiew

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Forest monks portrayed in photo exhibition

Posted: 04 Sep 2011 09:29 PM PDT

A photography exhibition offers a rare glimpse of the lives of forest monks.

VENERABLE Ajahn Cagino, 43, lives in a cave with two snakes and eight bats. The cave is 2km from the nearest village in Mae Hong Son in northern Thailand. Nestled in a deep valley hemmed in by high mountain ranges that border Myanmar, Mae Hong Son is isolated from the outside world and is covered with mist throughout the year.

"I've had enough of wandering," says the Malaysian monk of the Thai Forest Tradition, which is a branch of Theravada Buddhism.

For 12 years, Cagino had been walking through the remotest jungles of Thailand, before settling down in a cave. It was all part of the spiritual training of a forest monk.

All those years in the forest have brought out the best in him. Cagino, who is back in Malaysia on a vassa (a three-month annual retreat observed by Theravada practitioners during the rainy season), is out to raise funds to build an orphanage in Thailand.

"When I was a forest monk, the villagers gave me food as alms. Now I want to give back to these impoverished tribal people," says Cagino who hails from Seremban.

Cagino, a former professional photographer, found a new focus in life after he set up the Dhammagiri Foundation in Mae Hong Son in 2009. The foundation was established when local Buddhists met a group of forest monks who were passing through the village several years ago, seeking help for the tribal communities.

Cagino rang his sister, Crystal Lau, to ask for financial assistance for a few orphans. Later, when the school headmaster asked the monks to help "adopt" more orphans who were staying in the school, more individuals were recruited to sponsor a child each.

"We rented two houses – one built of bamboo and another of wood – which could accommodate only seven children. We're planning to have a bigger place to house more orphans."

The foundation hopes to provide financial support for 21 children, aged six to 18.

Cagino, who was an award-winning photographer, is putting up his first solo photo exhibition (as a monk) to raise funds to build an orphanage.

The sixth of seven siblings, Cagino (whose birth name is Lau Yong Fang) studied at SM Datuk Sheik Ahmad in Seremban before he graduated with a diploma in graphic design from the Malaysian Institute of Art in Kuala Lumpur.

He found work as a professional photographer, and his first job was at a bridal house. He quit after a year as he did not enjoy coaxing smiles and taking posed shots of newly-weds. Cagino became a freelance photographer and part-time lecturer, teaching students of photography clubs in schools and colleges.

He took part in various photo competitions and won over 40 prizes, including the first prize of RM10,000 in the Asian Photography competition organised by Country Heights (Kajang, Selangor) in 1990.

Despite his success, Cagino did not find happiness and fulfilment. As a photographer, he had to keep honing his skills.

"What used to be the best photo was not the best anymore. At the next photo contest, you've to improve your skills and get the winning shot," he says. "Nothing seems to be the ultimate."

Cagino was miserable and disillusioned, and wondered if there was more to life than its never-ending challenges. At 27, Cagino turned his back on all material pursuits, sold off his worldly belongings, and became a monk.

Over the next two years, Cagino visited forest monasteries in Thailand and New Zealand to learn more about Buddhism.

Cagino was ordained as a samanera (novice monk) at 29, and stayed at Ang Hock Si Temple in Perak Road, Penang, for the next one-and-a-half years.

He trained as a forest monk under Thai master Ajahn Ganha for five years, and was re-ordained at Wat Pah Nanachat (The International Forest Monastery), a Buddhist monastery in north-east Thailand, in the Theravada Forest Tradition.

The monastery was established by the late Ven Ajahn Chah to provide English-speaking monks the opportunity to train and practise in the way Buddha taught his monks in the forests 2,600 years ago.

The Thai Forest Tradition stresses on meditation and strict adherence to monastic rules. Known for its orthodoxy, conservatism and asceticism, the Thais greatly respect monks who observe this tradition.

"I want to be a forest monk because Buddha himself spent much time dwelling in the forest. It is a strict, disciplined path," says Cagino.

During the past 12 years, he was in and out of the forest with other monks. But six years ago, Cagino set off alone into the deep wilderness to experience what it was like to be a forest monk. All he had with him were five pieces of cloth, an alms bowl, cup, umbrella, mosquito net and walking stick.

"The stick is important as we can make some noise to warn snakes and other creatures of our presence when we're walking through the forest," says Cagino.

Cagino described his wandering years as a journey of exploration and discovery, not a time of hardship.

"I enjoyed those years even though I know not if there was a meal for tomorrow or where I was heading. I just walked on to see the world," he says.

A forest monk leads a nomadic life as he moves from one place to another to find the ideal location to practise meditation. He usually camps by the river for easy access to water supply.

"We stay 15 days at the most at one place; not too long as we're not supposed to feel attached to a place," says Cagino. "If a place has ample food and shelter but is not conducive for meditation, we must leave promptly. If the place is great for meditation, the forest monk will stay a bit longer. It allows us to enhance our wisdom."

Sometimes Cagino would ask villagers for directions to caves where monks had previously stayed. "There may be a fireplace and an old kettle left behind. Sometimes I will borrow a hammer and nails to make a seat for meditation," says Cagino.

The life of a forest monk is not without its challenges. There are times when they have to track through muddy paths, cross streams and rivers, or climb down cliffs. One can easily get lost in the jungle, too.

The forest monk will usually stay 2-3km from the nearest village so that he can go for alms in the morning. He accepts only food, never money.

Once, Cagino came upon a little girl who blocked his path. He noticed she had something to give. He lowered his alms bowl and she placed a packet of rice, vegetables and a carton of milk in his bowl.

"When I was about to eat, I found a toy egg on the rice. I was touched that the little girl, out of the pureness of her heart, decided to give dana (food offering) to a monk!"

> A Photographic Journey Of The Dhammafarers is an exhibition of 99 photos by Ajahn Cagino to raise funds for Dhammagiri Foundation to build an orphanage in Thailand. The exhibition is on at White Box, MAP@Publika, Solaris Dutamas, Mont Kiara, KL, from 11am-6pm, until tomorrow. After that, it will be held at Citta Mall, Ara Damansara, Petaling Jaya, from 10am-9pm, Sept 8-20; Bandar Utama Buddhist Society, 3, Jalan BU 3/1, Bandar Utama, Petaling Jaya, from 10am-5pm, Sept 25-Oct 2; and 1 Utama Shopping Centre, Petaling Jaya, from 11am-9pm, Oct 8-9. To view clips of the photos, go to:

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