Rabu, 14 September 2011

The Star Online: Entertainment: TV & Radio

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The Star Online: Entertainment: TV & Radio

On a thrill Ryde

Posted: 15 Sep 2011 04:01 AM PDT

THE search for the Red FM's Runaway DJs is underway, and with the Red Ryders acting as their accomplices, it's a joyride all the way!

Every Monday to Friday, the Red FM DJs have been taking turns to run away with the help of the Red Ryders in a Proton Inspira to secret locations.

Hints and clues are given out on-air and online to help track them down.

The first person to turn up at the correct location and identify the Red FM's Runaway DJ of the day will receive a key to the finale for a chance at winning a brand new Proton Inspira.

If you failed to grab hold of one of these keys, don't worry. The Red Ryders will be distributing a limited number of Red FM's Runaway DJs car stickers and if your car gets spotted bearing this sticker, they will reward you with a key.

Catch the street team this weekend at the following stopovers in Selangor as they hand out the stickers:


1.40pm: Sunway Pyramid Shopping Mall
5.40pm: Empire Shopping Gallery, Subang Jaya,
8.40pm: OVO Live Bistro, Damansara Uptown,


12.40pm: Sunway Pyramid Shopping Mall
5.40pm: Empire Shopping Gallery, Subang Jaya

Just walk up to the Red Ryders and get hold of a sticker as that could put you in the running to win a car. And while you are at it, join them for some fun during their stopovers as they have CDs, movie ticketsand other merchandises to give away.

Check out red.fm for more details of the contest.

Join the Red FM Malaysia Facebook fan page (facebook.com/redfm.my) and follow us 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.

Deadly serious

Posted: 15 Sep 2011 03:58 AM PDT

Participants of The Challenger Muay Thai aren't in it just for kicks – winning the reality TV competition could change their lives.

WHEN I was told that I'd be visiting a house for the contestants of an international reality TV competition, I was expecting the American Idol mansion or the Top Model house. At the very least the Big Brother house.

As it turns out, it was just a quaint old bungalow in a local Malaysian university campus.

And instead of having crazy parties, cosying up in hot-tubs and getting all up in each other's faces over petty squabbles, all the contestants did was sleep.

But that's because the contestants were 16 of the best middleweight Muay Thai fighters in the world, some seriously hardcore fighters who aren't here for the glamour, but to get their hands bloody.

The fighters had been brought together in Malaysia for The Challenger Muay Thai, a reality sports competition that would see the contestants training and fighting for the winner-takes-all US$100,000 (RM300,000) prize money over six gruelling weeks.

Starting today, Malaysian audiences will be able to follow their journey on AXN (Astro channel 701 or 721 for HD). One fighter will be sent home every week after a five-round fight, with the last one standing earning the title of The Challenger.

Host and mentor Stephen Fox, a former Muay Thai world champion and one of the biggest personalities in the sport, said the show will be packing some serious action with all these top fighters coming together.

"We have probably the biggest names in this weight division. Many of these boys are national heroes or superstars in their countries, there's no question about that. Obviously, they're not David Beckhams, but in the Muay Thai circles, these guys are the best of the best in the business," said Fox.

Malaysia, being a developing Muay Thai nation, had won the bid to host the filming of the competition, which was done secretly to avoid any spoilers for the audience.

But members of the media were given a tour of the set and the chance to watch the first elimination fight, and they are not for the faint-hearted.

In Muay Thai, fighters are allowed to kick, punch, elbow and knee opponents; and with so much at stake with The Challenger, fights will be that much more intense.

Some fighters will get battered and bloodied, and some will get knocked out cold.

So it's probably not a show for the ladies, right?

"Well, the girls will get to see a lot of hot bodies ... Kidding!" said Fox. "They'll enjoy the show because there are a lot of emotions in there, a lot of human sacrifices. They'll follow stories of the fighters. In fact, I very much feel the show will be more popular among the female audience.

"You can really relate to these boys and their hopes and dreams. And obviously, they're good-looking boys. They're very fit, and I think a lot of girls will like to have one of them as their boyfriend!"

Indeed, there are two part-time male models among the 16, but pretty much all of them have abs that would have guys watching at home laying off the chips for at least that one hour.

The fighters come from five different continents, and each has a unique story to tell, from the granite-jawed Australian full-time stone mason and part-time fighter, to the sensitive father-of-two who had to take care of his single mother and sister while growing up in the ghettos of France.

But all of them have the same goal, to have a life and career-changing win at The Challenger.

The constantly-joking Jordan Watson grew up on the rough streets of Leeds, England. But it was also there that his parents started sending him for kickboxing classes when he was six, and he's now seen as one of the best pound-for-pound fighters in the country.

Even then, Watson said winning The Challenger would be a huge break for his career.

"I'm well-known in England, but not so much elsewhere," he said. "If I win this, I would get a lot more exposure, and people would know who I am.

"I'm already getting well-known for the fights I have now, but this will just get me a little further, so I can get better fights, better money."

Australian Rhyse Saliba, on the other hand, is the rookie of the bunch having only fought for less than three years.

The quiet 19-year-old qualified for the competition straight out of high school, and he looks completely out of place among the muscular guys with his skinny frame and boyish looks; but he's completely unfazed by the challenge.

"I'm not worried about any of them," he said confidently. "They're all big names, but I can hold my own against anyone. I'm a bit light, but it doesn't bother me. However it turns out, the experience will be priceless for me."

Saliba has big dreams for his fledgling professional fighting career.

"That's what I want to do (fight for a living). This show will help me to make a name for myself, show the world what I can do. I'm not mucking around. I know what I'm doing and I can hold my own," he said.

But the contestant that most Malaysians will be looking out for, is our very own fighter, Mohd Faizal Ramli.

Stephen was quick to point out that Faizal, who is from Kelantan, was not given an automatic spot in the competition because he was Malaysian. He had to go through the qualifying process just like everyone else, and he made it completely on merit.

"Faizal is one of the boys who really surprised us all in the competition," said Fox. "He was one of the outsiders. Malaysian Muay Thai has become very strong in the last couple of years, but not in that weight division. Faizal was really one of the boys whom everyone thought would not last long. But he trained very hard, and prepared very well. He will do Malaysia proud."

For Faizal who will be turning 22 next month, Muay Thai has been more than career. It has provided him and his family a chance for a better life.

"Muay Thai changed my life. It has given me a lot of discipline, and the prize money I've made has helped me to look after my parents and pay for my siblings' education," said Faizal, who has 11 siblings.

Those are the kind of stories and values that Fox hopes people will take away from watching The Challenger, even more than the action.

"It's more than just kicking and punching. It is a sport with really deep traditions, respect and honour, and people are going to fall in love with it," he said.

The Challenger Muay Thai premieres today at 10pm on AXN (Astro Channel 701 or 721 for HD).

Kredit: www.thestar.com.my

The Star Online: World Updates

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The Star Online: World Updates

Body odour? Gene disorder may be the culprit

Posted: 14 Sep 2011 09:08 PM PDT

NEW YORK (Reuters) - For some people with troublesome, unexplained body odour, an uncommon genetic disorder once known as "fish-odour syndrome" may be to blame, according to a study.

The condition, known clinically as trimethylaminuria, is caused by emitting excessive amounts of the compound trimethylamine (TMA). TMA is produced when people digest foods rich in a substance called choline -- including saltwater fish, eggs, liver and certain legumes, such as soy and kidney beans.

An athlete stretches in front of Recreio dos Bandeirantes beach before the Rio de Janeiro International Marathon in Rio de Janeiro July 17, 2011. (REUTERS/Ana Carolina Fernandes/Files)

"Individuals with the metabolic disorder trimethylaminuria may sporadically produce malodours despite good hygiene," wrote study leader Paul Wise, at Monell Chemical Senses Centre in Philadelphia, in the American Journal of Medicine.

"The psychosocial impact of trimethylaminuria may be considerable. However, trimethylaminuria is difficult to diagnose without specialized tests."

Trimethylaminuria is caused by defects in a gene known as FMO3, which hinder the body's ability to metabolize TMA and turn it into odour-free compounds.

TMA itself has a strong fishy smell, but only about 10 to 15 percent of people with trimethylaminuria have that specific malodour, which may make it tougher to get a diagnosis.

For someone to have the disorder, he or she must inherit a defective copy of the FMO3 gene from both parents, who themselves would be unaffected "carriers." Of course, if either of the parents had the disorder, they would also pass it on.

Studies in the UK have estimated that up to 1 percent of white people carry a flawed copy of FMO3, with some ethnic groups -- including people from Ecuador and New Guinea -- having a higher rate.

For the current study, Wise and his colleagues looked at how often trimethylaminuria was diagnosed in patients who came to Monell seeking help for unexplained, persistent body odour.

They found that about one-third of the 353 patients tested positive for trimethylaminuria. Testing involves measuring the level of TMA in the urine after a person drinks a beverage with added choline.

Of the 118 patients who tested positive, just 3.5 percent had complained of a "fishy" odour. Far more often, they reported general body odour, bad breath and a bad taste in the mouth.

Many of the patients in the study had seen several doctors and dentists before being referred to Monell for testing. Some contacted the centre on their own -- which Wise said was the major limitation of the study.

So it's unlikely that they are actually representative of all the people with unexplained body odour problems, he added, meaning researchers cannot conclude that one-third of all such individuals have trimethylaminuria.

George Preti, a Monell researcher who also worked on the study, said that in their experience, the second-most common culprit in unexplained body odour is chronic halitosis, or bad breath.

"It can be mistakenly perceived as body odour, because the odour is projected around your body when you speak or exhale."

Only a few labs in the United States perform testing for the disorder, but one way to gauge on your own whether you have it or not would be to make diet changes, such as avoiding choline-rich foods, Wise said.

If cutting out those foods improves your problem, that's a strong clue as to the underlying cause, he added. SOURCE: http://bit.ly/qhS5uN

(Reporting by Amy Norton at Reuters Health; editing by Elaine Lies)

Copyright © 2011 Reuters

Third man pleads guilty in N.Carolina Islamic militant case

Posted: 14 Sep 2011 08:36 PM PDT

RALEIGH, N.C. (Reuters) - The son of a man accused of being ringleader of a North Carolina Islamic militant group pleaded guilty in federal court on Wednesday to participating in a conspiracy to promote violent jihad abroad.

Dylan Boyd, 24, admitted his guilt as part of a plea agreement. He faces up to 15 years in prison and is scheduled to be sentenced in December.

"The government is very impressed with the forthcomingness of the defendant," Assistant U.S. Attorney John Bowler told U.S. District Judge Louise Flanagan.

Boyd has been in custody since his arrest along with six other men in July 2009. The men were charged with multiple counts related to planning to assist Islamic militants in foreign countries.

Daniel Patrick Boyd, the father of Dylan Boyd, is a Muslim convert and drywall contractor. Prosecutors said he organized a plot from his home in Willow Spring, North Carolina, near Raleigh. Prosecutors said Boyd's father was a veteran of terrorist training camps in Pakistan and Afghanistan.

Between 2006 and 2009, the indictment said, the elder Boyd conspired to recruit others "to advance violent jihad, including supporting and participating in terrorist activities abroad and committing acts of murder, kidnapping or maiming persons abroad."

The elder Boyd had been indicted for allegedly plotting an attack by the group on the U.S. Marine Corps base in Quantico, Virginia.

Following the arrests, investigators found $13,000 in cash and a large cache of firearms at the Boyd home which "was set up like a fortress," Bowler said at the hearing.

Daniel Patrick Boyd, pleaded guilty in February to one count of conspiracy to provide material support to terrorists and one count of conspiracy to murder kidnap, maim and injure persons in a foreign country.

Dylan Boyd's brother and co-defendant, Zakariya Boyd, pleaded guilty in June to one count of conspiracy to provide material support to terrorists.

The trial for the remaining co-defendants in custody is scheduled to open next week in federal court in New Bern, North Carolina.

The indictment, based largely on covertly recorded conversations and reports from a confidential informant, said the defendants prepared themselves to engage in violent jihad and were willing to die as martyrs.

They were also accused of offering training in weapons and financing, and helped arrange overseas travel and contacts so others could wage violent jihad overseas.

(Editing by Cynthia Johnston and Greg McCune)

Copyright © 2011 Reuters

U.S. urges Myanmar to make "genuine" reforms

Posted: 14 Sep 2011 08:06 PM PDT

YANGON (Reuters) - Myanmar's leaders must pursue "genuine" reforms that involve Nobel laureate Aung San Suu Kyi and make progress in freeing thousands of political prisoners before ties can improve with Washington, a U.S. envoy said on Wednesday.

Myanmar Pro-Democracy leader Aung San Suu Kyi and Yangon Division government's security and border affairs minister colonel Tin Win (R) watch the Asean Football Federation U-19 Championship soccer match between Myanmar and Laos at Thuwunna stadium in Yangon September 14, 2011. (REUTERS/Soe Zeya Tun)

But the new U.S. special representative to Myanmar, Derek Mitchell, declined to identify specific conditions for lifting sanctions in place since the military crushed a 1988 student uprising.

"I consider this a highly productive visit," Mitchell told reporters at Yangon's main airport at the end of a six-day trip to the army-dominated, reclusive former British colony also known as Burma.

Mitchell met a range of officials in the capital, Naypyitaw, including Cabinet members of the nearly year-old parliament and opposition politicians led by Suu Kyi, but he did not meet President Thein Sein.

U.S. Assistant Secretary of State Kurt Campbell will meet Myanmar's foreign minister in New York next week during the U.N. General Assembly, a senior U.S. official told reporters as Secretary of State Hillary Clinton flew to San Francisco.

"There are clear ... winds of change blowing through Burma," said the official, who spoke on condition of anonymity. "We are trying to get a sense of how strong those winds are and whether it is possible to substantially improve our relationship."

While noting many U.S. concerns about Myanmar and saying one should not be "overly hopeful," the official noted the authorities' emerging dialogue with Suu Kyi and said more generally that Myanmar was going through "probably the most significant developments on the ground for decades."


Mitchell said he asked officials to free about 2,000 political prisoners, maintain dialogue with the opposition and investigate human rights abuses. He also raised concerns about Myanmar's military relationship with North Korea.

"Progress on these issues will be essential to progress in the bilateral relationship," he said. "If the government takes genuine and concrete action, the United States will respond in kind."

Recent rare overtures by Myanmar's authoritarian rulers toward liberalization have stirred speculation of possible reforms in the resource-rich country, which has been blighted by 48 years of oppressive military rule and starved of capital.

Last month, Thein Sein held an official meeting with Suu Kyi, who was detained for 15 years until freed from house arrest last November.

"Any credible reform effort must include her participation," said Mitchell.

Most experts doubt sanctions will be lifted until political prisoners are freed. Mitchell said he held a "candid" dialogue and "very productive exchange" with Myanmar officials on the issue of political prisoners but received no commitment.

"I noted that many within the international community remain sceptical about the government's commitment to genuine reform and reconciliation, and I urged authorities to prove the sceptics wrong," he said.

(Additional reporting by Arshad Mohammed in San Francisco; Writing by Jason Szep; Editing by Peter Cooney)

Copyright © 2011 Reuters

Kredit: www.thestar.com.my

The Star Online: Business

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The Star Online: Business

US firms: M’sia creates more competitive environment

Posted: 14 Sep 2011 04:45 PM PDT

PETALING JAYA: US corporations in Malaysia have expressed their satisfaction that the country is creating more competitive business environment, according to the American Malaysian Chamber of Commerce's (Amcham) Asean Business Outlook Survey 2011.

The country's highly competitive labour cost, availability of raw materials and ease of moving products across borders scored top marks among senior executives polled from US companies operating here.

Accordingly, some 70% of the respondents expected a profit increase this year and 80% forecast an even more bullish outlook next year.

A total 20 US companies in Malaysia, which reflected more than 10% Amcham members, were respondents of the survey. The survey was conducted in May and June this year.

Amcham president Sanjeev Nanavati said the US companies positive sentiments were also reflected in that 55% of those polled anticipated that the local economy would expand this year.

"Malaysia also remains as the primary destination for other US companies in Asean to expand their businesses. About 40% out of a total 327 US companies senior executives in Asean have expressed that they plan to expand here.

"The sentiments and expansion plans by the US companies to Malaysia are in part a testament to the effectiveness of the Government Transformation Programme (GTP) and Economic Transformation Programme (ETP)," he told reporters at the briefing on the survey yesterday.

Nanavati said the survey was done in May to June and the economic condition had somewhat changed in the past few months.

"But, I don't think it (the current economic condition) would change the sentiments on Asean, investment into Malaysia and the areas of satisfaction.

"The only area that may have a slight moderation could be the global economic outlook," he said.

On areas of concern, Nanavati said the respondents of the survey, had again expressed dissatisfaction with corruption; however, the magnitude of dissatisfaction had reduced significantly this year.

Ahmad Jauhari new MAS MD

Posted: 14 Sep 2011 03:36 PM PDT

PETALING JAYA: National carrier Malaysia Airlines (MAS) has announced the appointment of its new chief, Ahmad Jauhari Yahya, in hopes that he will be able to turn around the loss-making airline.

The 56-year-old will be the airline's new managing director starting next Monday.

Meanwhile, Mohammed Rashdan Mohd Yusof will remain the airline's executive director and report to Ahmad Jauhari, the company told Bursa Malaysia.

Ahmad Jauhari was appointed to the board of Malaysia Airports Holdings Bhd earlier this year.

He had previously served as the managing director at several companies, including Malakoff Bhd (from 1994-2010), Malaysian Resources Corp Bhd (1993) and Time Engineering Bhd (1992).

He was also The New Straits Times Press (M) Bhd senior group general manager for production and circulation in 1990 and has served several directorships, which included Jordan's Central Electricity Generating Co Ltd and Saudi Arabia's Shuaibah Expansion Project Co Ltd. Aside from this, Ahmad Jauhari was the honorary president of Penjanabebas, the association of independent power producers.

The hunt for a new MAS managing director began after Tengku Datuk Seri Azmil Zahruddin vacated his position as the airline's chief with immediate effect on Aug 9. Tengku Azmil's departure from MAS came with a board re-shuffle at MAS.

In the revamp, six independent non-executive directors resigned and four new individuals Land & General Bhd founder Tan Sri Wan Azmi Wan Hamzah, IJM Corp Bhd executive deputy chairman Tan Sri Krishnan Tan, Astro Malaysia Holdings Sdn Bhd CEO Datuk Rohana Rozhan and Axiata Bhd director David Lau Nai Pek were appointed as independent non-executive directors.

On the same day, MAS' major shareholder Khazanah Nasional Bhd and AirAsia Bhd's largest shareholder Tune Air Sdn Bhd announced a share-swap deal.

Khazanah took up a 10% stake in AirAsia while Tune Air, the investment vehicle of AirAsia founders Tan Sri Tony Fernandes and Datuk Kamarudin Meranun, bought a 20.5% stake in MAS. On top of the share swap, a collaboration agreement was signed simultaneously by MAS, AirAsia and AirAsia X, which would effectively see MAS concentrate on being a full-service premium carrier, AirAsia on being a regional low-cost carrier and AirAsia X, a medium to long haul low-cost carrier.

Meanwhile, it is expected that the five-member executive committee put in place as an interim measure to lead the airline while the search for a new chief was underway, will be disbanded. No announcement was made on this. The exco was chaired by MAS chairman Tan Sri Md Nor Yusof and the members included Datuk Mohamed Azman Yahya, Mohammed Rashdan, Fernandes and Kamarudin.

EU urges fiscal, aid reforms to save resources

Posted: 14 Sep 2011 03:35 PM PDT

BRUSSELS: European Union (EU) policymakers may scrap subsidies for energy, water and transport and impose new taxes in a move designed to cut the bloc's use of limited resources, a draft document seen by Reuters yesterday showed.

A roadmap to be unveiled by the EU's executive commission next week will lay out the commission's thinking on targets and policy proposals for the EU to use resources more efficiently in the coming years, as the bloc struggles to ensure security of supply for energy and other raw materials.

"Member states are invited to prepare plans and timetables to phase (environmentally harmful subsidies) out as part of their national reform programmes," the draft said, noting that state-backed programmes in the field of energy, transport and water often carry a negative environmental impact.

"The commission will monitor and guide the phasing out of EHS in the European Semester as of 2012," the draft says, adding that by 2013 aid decisions will be made on resource efficiency grounds.

But with power over fiscal and parts of subsidy policy in the hands of national governments, and EU industry wary of adding more cost to production, it is unclear how much of the commission's roadmap will be adopted into national legislation across the bloc.

"By 2020 (environmentally harmful subsidies) will be phased out, with transitional measures for people in need," the draft says.

Several future proposals promised in yesterday's draft will be limited to requests for EU governments to improve their resource efficiency, but they will stop short of concrete legislative proposals, which need approval from national governments and the European Parliament. The draft will also suggest new fiscal and economic incentives for producing resource-efficient goods.

"By 2020 the shift to a share of environmental taxation in public revenues of an EU average of more than 10% will create a level playing field and support the economy to achieve greater resource efficiency," the draft says.

"Member states are invited to within fiscal consolidation measures, shift taxation away from labour to environmental impacts," it adds.

In 2012, the commission will also propose new rules that would impose environmental requirements on big public works and infrastructure projects. - Reuters

Kredit: www.thestar.com.my

The Star Online: Sports

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The Star Online: Sports

Maple Leafs stun Tonga with late Mackenzie try

Posted: 14 Sep 2011 05:03 PM PDT

PHIL Mackenzie scored a try seven minutes from time to give Canada a thrilling 25-20 World Cup victory over Tonga at the Northland Events Centre yesterday.        

The bleach-blond winger picked up the ball at the foot of a ruck to wriggle between two tacklers and over the line to give Canada only their fifth ever World Cup win and keep alive their modest hopes of progressing from Pool A.       

Tonga, who had gambled on a radical overhaul of the team that impressed but lost the tournament opener 41-10 to the All Blacks last weekend, were left stunned after looking set for victory with the stiff breeze behind them in the second half.       

Lock Jebb Sinclair and number eight Aaron Carpenter also scored tries for Canada, who led 10-0 just before half-time but had seen the Tongans overhaul them in front of a passionate full house of 20,000.

"That was awesome," Canada captain Pat Riordan told reporters.

"I'm so proud of the boys and the way they played and guts they showed.

"We knew it was a pretty strong wind there in the second half.

"At half-time, we knew we had achieved a couple of things and knew we had to change a couple of things but also knew that it was in our control and up to us to change it and we did.       

"I hope it just shows what the Canadian boys can do."        

Tongan centre Siale Piutau will count himself unlucky not to end up on the winning side after scoring two tries, but the Pacific islanders will rue any number of sloppy errors.       

"I thought Canada came out and used the wind nicely but I thought in the second half we didn't play the way we wanted to play," said Tonga skipper Finau Maka, whose hopes of qualifying from a pool which also includes hosts New Zealand, France and Japan are all but gone.       

"For us, we didn't quite play the way we wanted to play and at the end of the day they deserved the win. They played better."       

Tonga, playing against the breeze, dominated the early exchanges with some powerful running and going through plenty of phases without get much penetration.

It was Canada who opened the scoring in the 14th minute, however, when livewire South African-born centre DTH Van Der Merwe cut through the defensive line and lock Jebb Sinclair went trundling over the line.       

Canada's fullback James Pritchard added the extra points and, after Kurt Morath had missed two reasonably easy penalty chances, made the score 10-0 with his second kick at goal.

The mistakes from the Tongans continued with Taniela Moa, so impressive at scrum half against the All Blacks but moved to flyhalf for this match, at one stage punching the ball away in frustration.

With the seconds ticking away before half-time, the Tongans did finally get some cohesion in attack and moved through 19 phases on the Canadian line before a Moa miss-pass found centre Piutau and he cut inside his tackler to touch down.

Morath added the conversion to make it 10-7 at the half, and the Tongan fullback added his first penalty two minutes after the break to tie the match up.       

Pritchard replied immediately with his second penalty to put the Canadians back in front but Tonga were now hitting their stride and 10 minutes later Piutau grabbed his second try, taking an inside ball from Moa and crossing the line untouched.

Morath again added the conversion to give his side a 17-13 lead and, with the Canadians very much on the back foot, added his second penalty after 64 minutes to extend the advantage.

But the Canadians were not done yet, and three minutes later they capitalised on a Tongan turnover to grab their second try, number eight Aaron Carpenter crashing between tacklers and reaching over the line to touch down.       

Pritchard was unable to convert but Mackenzie made his miss academic six minutes later when his late score ignited jubilant celebrations among the Canadians in the crowd.

Tonga and Canada, ranked at 12 and 14 respectively, have a long World Cup rivalry dating back to their first match at the tournament in 1987, which the Maple Leafs won 37-4.

Canada's next game is against France on Sunday, while Tonga play Japan next Wednesday in Whangarei. — Reuters

All Blacks on guard

Posted: 14 Sep 2011 05:03 PM PDT

THE All Blacks will field close to their top side against Japan in their World Cup clash here tomorrow, saying they were under no illusion about how dangerous the Asian champions could be.

After Canada's stunning 25-20 win over Tonga in a Group A match yesterday, New Zealand's coach Graham Henry is leaving nothing to chance against the Japanese.

After watching Japan go close to tipping over France in their opening match, Henry has made seven changes to the experimental-looking line up that played their tournament opener against Tonga.

It will be an emotionally-charged atmosphere surrounding the game dedicated to the victims of the devastating earthquakes to hit both countries this year and which is also the 100th Test for All Blacks skipper Richie McCaw.

But McCaw said it was important the All Blacks were not distracted from the task of winning their second game and progressing towards ending 24 years of World Cup failures.

"The key thing is to keep remembering about doing your job for the team and that's the most important part.

"Personal stuff aside, it's about doing it for the team," he said.

Long-serving Mils Muliana has been reinstalled at fullback over the rising Israel Dagg as coach Graham Henry looks to solve one of the last remaining pieces of his First XV puzzle.

Richard Kahui remains on the wing where he is joined by Cory Jane, and the established midfield of Conrad Smith and Ma'a Nonu are back together.

A fit again Adam Thomson replaces Victor Vito in the back row and up-and-coming lock Sam Whitelock comes in for Ali Williams.

The scrum-half slot has gone to Andy Ellis in what Henry says is a case of picking the right person to start a particular game.

Henry said he now had a fair idea of who would be in his top side apart from fullback.

"You've got a gentleman whose played 98 Test matches, who has played some fabulous rugby for the All Blacks over a long period of time, playing against a young guy who could be a very, very, good player so it's a contest and that's great," he said.

Henry said the All Blacks "were under no illusions about how much of a challenge Japan would be after watching their effort against France.

"They are physical at the breakdown, play the game at speed and will be a real threat if we let them play like that so we will have to be on top of our game."

The Japan team of 2011 is well removed from the class who played in the 1995 World Cup and were thrashed by the All Blacks by a record 145-17.

They came into this tournament as Asian champions and holders of the Pacific Nations Cup, and pushed France to the limit before running out of steam 10 minutes early allowing Les Bleus to run away with the game at the end. "As soon as we found out that we were playing New Zealand in New Zealand, that defeat crossed everyone's minds," said Japan lock Toshizumi Kitagawa.

"But we're determined to show how much we've improved since then." — AFP

Djokovic eyes acting career as he targets more Grand Slam titles

Posted: 14 Sep 2011 05:03 PM PDT

NEW YORK: Novak Djokovic is ranked No. 1 and is 64-2 in 2011, and sees room for improvement.

He won three of the four Grand Slam titles this year - at the Australian Open, Wimbledon and US Open – and is talking about adding to his collection.

"There is a lot more to prove, a lot more tournaments to win," Djokovic told reporters at the Empire State Building on Tuesday, a day after he beat Rafael Nadal in the final at Flushing Meadows.

And that's not all: Djokovic gained plenty of attention for his spot-on impersonations of other players (Nadal, Andy Roddick and Maria Sharapova, among others), and now he wants to pursue acting.

"Yeah. Why not? I might do something if I have time soon. And I would like to. I just think show business is something that attracts me, that I really like watching, that I like being a part of. It's part of my personality," Djokovic said after making the rounds to various morning talk shows with a couple of days' worth of stubble on his face and the benefit of about three hours' worth of sleep.

The 24-year-old from Serbia didn't provide details or indicate whether he'd like to wind up on TV or in a movie; he did say he already has a couple of offers to consider.

"This the way I see things off the court. ... If I embrace them, if I accept them as something that can give me energy, that can make me happy, then it all goes in a positive direction," Djokovic said. "Or vice versa: You can say, 'Oh, look this is taking my attention off tennis. This is negative.' It just depends on the way you look at it, and I try always to look at it in a positive way."

Just in case anyone might wonder how focused Djokovic is on his future as a thespian, he was sure to note: "I will not interfere that with my professional life."

Djokovic is doing pretty well at his day job, putting together what seven-time major champion John McEnroe called "the greatest year in the history of our sport, there's no doubt about it."

McEnroe, by the way, went 82-3 in 1984.

As impressive as Djokovic's overall record is, what's even more indicative of exactly how well he's playing is that he is 10-1 against Nadal and Roger Federer this season.

He overcame a two-set deficit, then two match points at 5-3, 40-15 in the fifth, to eliminate Federer in the US Open semi-finals on Saturday, before dominating Nadal for most of the four hours and 10 minutes it took to complete their riveting 6-2, 6-4, 6-7 (3-7), 6-1 final. It's only the second time someone beat Federer and Nadal at the same Grand Slam tournament. — AP

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MAS’s new MD is Ahmad Jauhari Yayha

Posted: 14 Sep 2011 06:15 AM PDT

PETALING JAYA: National carrier Malaysia Airlines (MAS) announced Wednesday the appointment of its new chief, Ahmad Jauhari Yayha, in hopes that he will be able to turnaround the loss-making carrier.

The 56-year-old will be the airline's new managing director starting next Monday.

Meanwhile, Mohammed Rashdan Mohd Yusof will remain the airline's executive director and report to Ahmad Jauhari, the company told Bursa Malaysia.

Ahmad Jauhari was appointed to the board of Malaysia Airports Holdings Bhd earlier this year. He has previously served as the managing director at several companies, including Malakoff Bhd (from 1994-2010), Malaysian Resources Corp Bhd (1993) and Time Engineering Bhd (1992).

He was also The New Straits Times Press (M) Bhd senior group general manager for production and circulation in 1990 and has served several directorships, which include Jordan's Central Electricity Generating Co Ltd and Saudi Arabia's Shuaibah Expansion Project Co Ltd.

Aside from this, Ahmad Jauhari was the honorary president of Penjanabebas.

More in The Star on Thursday

The Malay Mail to be a paid morning newspaper

Posted: 14 Sep 2011 05:30 AM PDT

KUALA LUMPUR: The Malay Mail, one of the nations's oldest newspapers, announced a strategic change in its business model - from a free afternnon daily to a paid morning newspaper.

Editor-in-chief Yushaimi Yahaya said Wednesday the switch from afternoon to morning, within the next few weeks, was primarily due to the fact that benefits of an afternoon paper were voided by the advent of technology.

He said consumers currently obtained late breaking news through alerts on their phones, iPads and the internet.

"A morning paper will further allow us to give our readers in-depth reports of news events that occur during the news day.

"We will focus on in-depth investigative reports on issues that impact our readers and Malaysians, in general.

"As we work towards moving from a free paper to a paid model, we will gradually decrease our print run as an interim measure, until the new paper is launched," he said in a statement.

Yushaimi said readers could continue to access The Malay Mail via its website. - Bernama

RapidKL extends services on Malaysia Day eve

Posted: 14 Sep 2011 05:27 AM PDT

KUALA LUMPUR: Rangkaian Pengangkutan Integrasi Deras Sdn Bhd (RapidKL) is to extend up to 1 am on Friday its services on certain LRT, monorail and feeder bus routes in view of Malaysia Day eve Thursday.

RapidKL said in a statement that the LRT stations involved were Kuala Lumpur City Centre (KLCC), Masjid Jamek and Hang Tuah and the monorail station, Bukit Nanas.

"The services of the feeder buses will be extended in accordance with the times of the last train to arrive at these stations," it added.

Information on the extended services can be obtained from the RapidKL helpline at 03-7885 2585, the statement said. - Bernama

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Tyler Perry is Hollywood's highest paid man

Posted: 13 Sep 2011 10:50 PM PDT

LOS ANGELES: Actor Tyler Perry, who has his own film and TV studio in Atlanta, ranks atop the list of Hollywood's highest paid men, in a new ranking from Forbes.com that includes director Steven Spielberg and singer Elton John.

Perry topped the list by making $130 million from May 2010 to May 2011, financial website Forbes.com reported on Monday.

The actor, writer, director and producer had his Hollywood breakthrough with 2005 film "Diary of a Mad Black Woman," which he created as a stage play. He dressed in drag to portray tough-talking family matriarch Madea, a crowd-pleasing role.

That movie led to a number of sequels, and most recently Perry has seen success producing the television show "Tyler Perry's House of Payne," which runs on TBS.

Holding the No. 2 position on the Forbes list with $113 million is producer Jerry Bruckheimer. He is behind the "Pirates of the Caribbean" franchise and had a hit with the latest movie in the series, which came out this year and earned over $1 billion at global box offices.

Steven Spielberg ranks at No. 3 with $107 million, Forbes said. The last film directed by Spielberg was released in 2008, but he has kept himself busy on a number of projects since then where he was the producer or executive producer, including action flicks "Transformers: Dark of the Moon" and "Cowboys & Aliens" and the upcoming science fiction TV show "Terra Nova."

"Rocket Man" singer Elton John, whose most recent tour grossed over $200 million, takes the No. 4 spot on the list with $100 million in earnings, Forbes said.

TV personality and music executive Simon Cowell, whose "The X Factor" singing contest is about to make its U.S. debut, ranked No. 5 with $90 million, Forbes said.

Writer James Patterson, author of "The Women's Murder Club" series of novels and such titles as "I, Alex Cross," ranks at No. 6 on the Forbes list with $84 million.

Rounding out the top 10 on the entertainment world list are: Phil McGraw, the TV psychologist and Oprah Winfrey protege from the show "Dr. Phil," with earnings of $80 million; actor Leonardo DiCaprio with $77 million; radio shock jock Howard Stern with $76 million; and pro golfer Tiger Woods with $75 million.

DiCaprio and Perry were the only actors on the list, and Forbes.com noted that Perry earned most of his money from producing and directing projects instead of appearing on-camera.

Clooney's ex-girlfriend Elisabetta Canalis gets naked for PETA

Posted: 13 Sep 2011 10:47 PM PDT

LOS ANGELES: George Clooney's ex-girlfriend Elisabetta Canalis is the latest celebrity to strip down for animal rights group PETA, unveiling her campaign and her naked body in Beverly Hills on Tuesday.

Shoppers on ritzy Rodeo Drive got an eyeful of Canalis as she posed next to her nude, black-and-white campaign portrait for People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals.

The Italian TV host, who split from A-list actor Clooney earlier this year, has long been against the use of fur. Her campaign will be shown prominently in Milan, where designers are still known to use fur in their collections.

"This is a thing which I personally believe and trust in, so nobody told me to do it. Since I was a little kid, I was against fur, I never wore fur in my life," she told Reuters.

Canalis, 33, joins a long list of Hollywood celebrities who bared it all for PETA's anti-fur campaign, including Charlize Theron and Pamela Anderson.

The Italian beauty said she was moved to work on the campaign after hearing of the immense cruelty suffered by animals in the fur trade.

"If you know what happens all around the world, everyday, like, 50,000 - more than that - animals are killed, bludgeoned, drowned, electrocuted, skinned alive, just for vanity. That's enough I think," said Canalis.

The model is stepping away from her famous ex-boyfriend's spotlight and into her own, with an upcoming stint on U.S. reality TV show "Dancing With The Stars." Canalis is training hard with dance partner Val Chmerkovskiy, in preparation for the live show, which premieres on ABC on September 19.

"At the beginning, I thought, this is a very famous TV program in United States (and) I'm very happy they asked me to do it. But now, I'm realizing that it's a lot of work because me and Val, we are working tough everyday, six hours, it's like an athlete training, so I was not really used to doing it," said Canalis. "But I'm so excited to do it."

Canalis will be featured in PETA's fall "I'd Rather Go Naked Than Wear Fur" campaign, which will be appearing in advertisements and on billboards worldwide.

For Michelle Yeoh, 'The Lady' is role of lifetime

Posted: 13 Sep 2011 09:58 PM PDT

TORONTO: For action star Michelle Yeoh, one of Asia's best known actresses, the chance to play Nobel laureate Aung San Suu Kyi posed perhaps the biggest challenge in her nearly three-decade career, and that is exactly what she wanted.

Taking the lead role in ''The Lady'', which premiered at the Toronto International Film Festival Monday, meant the responsibility of playing one of the world's most revered pro-democracy figures, who is still fighting for reform in her native Myanmar.

But it also meant finding the humanity behind Suu Kyi's iconic image, and capturing the highs and lows of the love affair that helped sustain her through years of detention.

''I knew that this was not just the role of a lifetime, but an incredible story that really needed to be told,'' Yeoh said at a press conference in Toronto Monday.

''I lived and breathed her for the past four years. Every day. Every night. I learned Burmese. I slept with her. I woke up with her. Because it was necessary ... (to) allow you to come into her world.''

Directed by France's Luc Besson, also known for action films like ''La Femme Nikita'' and ''The Fifth Element'', ''The Lady'' follows Suu Kyi starting in 1988 when she returned to Myanmar, formerly Burma, to care for her ailing mother.

But as the daughter of slain independence hero General Aung San, the charismatic Oxford graduate soon became the figurehead for the country's fight against the military dictatorship.

While Suu Kyi's National League for Democracy won the 1990 election by a landslide, the military nullified the results and refused to hand over power. Suu Kyi spent 15 years in detention under house arrest for spearheading the campaign.

Covering events up to 2007, ''The Lady'' centers on one of the lesser known aspects of the 66 year-old Suu Kyi's life: her marriage to British academic Michael Aris and their two kids.

Aris, an Oxford professor, never wavered in supporting Suu Kyi's decision to stay in Myanmar, raising their children and playing a key behind-the-scenes role in campaigning for her Nobel Peace Prize. But this choice, which meant years of separation, exacted a huge personal toll on them both.

The relationship took an even more tragic turn when Aris was diagnosed with cancer and denied a visa to visit Suu Kyi a final time. He died in 1999.

''The story was just so moving, because we know more about the political side and the problems they had, but we don't know about this incredible love story, this soulmate that she had who did everything possible to ensure her safety,'' said Yeoh.

''When you love someone you don't try to change them. And I think he knew what she was about.''

TURNING POINT FOR YEOH The role marks a huge shift from Yeoh's early career as a star of Hong Kong action films alongside Jackie Chan, when the former Miss Malaysia famously performed many of her own stunts. She came to the attention of Western audiences as a Bond girl in 1997 movie ''Tomorrow Never Dies'', as well as films like director Ang Lee's ''Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon''.

For ''The Lady'', Yeoh dove into research about Suu Kyi and even managed to visit her briefly in Myanmar during the production. Initially so in awe she could barely speak, Yeoh said Suu Kyi quickly put her at ease.

''We never spoke about the film. I think it was conscious, on my part, on both our parts, because in no way would we want to put her in danger in case they turn around and say 'how could you be giving information like that?','' Yeoh said.

The film received a standing ovation and cheers at its gala premiere in Toronto Monday, where Yeoh mixed with fans and Suu Kyi supporters on the red carpet. But early reviews of the movie have been less than positive.

The Hollywood Reporter said it was a ''well-intentioned but pedestrian retelling of a stirring true story'', while the Guardian said the film ''says so little about its subject, it would struggle to pass muster as a TV biopic.''

Suu Kyi was released in November 2010 when her latest stint of house arrest expired after elections widely criticized as a sham, since the army made sure it dominated parliament. With Western countries insisting embargoes against the Myanmar government remain in place until an estimated 2,100 political prisoners are released, cast members said they hope the movie will raise awareness.

''There's so much else going on in the world and the Burmese struggle is in danger of being forgotten. So I hope this film will just bring it up into the spotlight a little more,'' said British actor David Thewlis, who portrays Aris.

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1MCA Medical Foundation helps heart patient with RM12,000

Posted: 14 Sep 2011 03:36 AM PDT

HEART patient Chow Wah became the first successful applicant to receive aid from the 1MCA Medical Foundation via the MCA PJU Community Task Force.

Chow, 53, who was diagnosed more than a year ago with blockage of the heart vessels, would require a total of RM18,100 to undergo a balloon angioplasty and stent placement at Serdang Hospital, where he has been seeking treatment.

He is unable to finance the entire surgery as his wife, the family's main breadwinner, earns some RM1,200 a month selling noodles at a hawker stall in Sunwaymas, Petaling Jaya.

The resident of a low-cost flat in Kota Damansara has three children, one of whom earns less than RM1,000 as a contract worker while the other two are unemployed.

Upon receiving a cheque of RM12,000 from MCA PJU Community Task Force chairman Datuk Dr Wong Sai Hou on behalf of the Foundation on Monday, a grateful Chow said he would request that his doctor schedule his surgery as soon as possible.

Dr Wong said the 1MCA Medical Foundation was aimed at helping those in need of medical treatment by providing financial assistance to ease the patients' burden.

"Patients who are Malaysian citizens and have limited financial capacity are eligible to apply," he said.

"The 1MCA Medical Foundation offers partial contribution for purchase of medication, medical equipment or services not available at government hospitals, as well as partial contribution for certain emergency treatments.

"Those with terminal or chronic illnesses are not eligible to apply, as the idea is to assist patients with a good prognosis to live a normal life after undergoing surgery."

Dr Wong said those who would like to apply have to fill up a form that is divided into three sections: the patient's particulars and biodata, certification by the doctor and supporting documentation, and signature of support from the relevant MCA Division.

"The division will vet the applications before submitting them to the Foundation for approval," he said.

"The patients also have to undergo an interview at the Foundation before their applications are reviewed by a qualified panel.

"The guideline states that the Foundation will only subsidise a certain amount of the surgery cost, depending on the patient's financial capacity, like whether they have financial support from relatives.

"This is a one-off contribution to help poor patients in need of medical treatment."

Dr Wong said the MCA PJU Community Task Force has thus far received five applications for the 1MCA Medical Foundation, including two from the Indian community.

On how he would settle the balance of his surgery cost, Chow said he would negotiate with the hospital to work out the details.

Meanwhile, Dr Wong said Brahma Kumaris Malaysia in collaboration with the MCA NGO Bureau will be organising a five-day residential programme called Three Dimensional Heart Care – A Preventive Healthcare Model for the 21st Century.

The programme, which will be held from Nov 5 to 9 at Resort Pantai Cinta Berahi, Kota Baru, Kelantan, is targeted at those with mild heart cases.

"The programme will introduce patients to relaxation techniques, exercise, meditation and other aspects to serve as preventive measures and to take control of their lifestyle," said Dr Wong, who is the MCA NGO Bureau deputy chairman.

For details on the residential programme, contact Brahma Kumaris Malaysia at 03-2282 6396/ 603-2282 2310 or malaysia3dheartcare@yahoo.com.

Application forms for the 1MCA Medical Foundation are available at the foundation's office at Level 9, Wisma MCA, Kuala Lumpur, or online at www.mca.org.my.

Those who need to seek assistance via the MCA PJU Community Task Force can call 03-7875 9493.

Dangerous plunge

Posted: 14 Sep 2011 03:35 AM PDT

MOTORISTS who speed from the Federal Highway entering into Jalan Kemajuan, in the Subang Jaya locale, could lose control on the perilous bend that has seen a number of cars hitting into a one metre concrete wall and almost plunging down onto a rail track below.

Kelana Jaya MCA division youth chief Lee You Hin said the Subang Jaya Municipal Council (MPSJ) needed to address the issue of the dangerous bend, which spanned 300m.

"According to residents in Subang Jaya and USJ, the dangerous bend has seen a number of accidents.

"The damaged wall and its railings dislodged from an accident about five months ago have yet to be repaired," he said.

Lee said he lodged a complaint with MPSJ two weeks ago but no action had been taken.

"We cannot tolerate such lackadaisical attitude as it concerns all road users. MPSJ must repair the wall and the railing as there is a gaping hole.

"If a car goes off the road, it could end up on the railway track or in front of an oncoming train. That will be devastating," said Lee who is also the MCA Youth deputy chief.

USJ residents Teh Sew Kim and Cecilia Ang asked the council to act fast.

Lee said MPSJ should not only repair the wall and replace the railings but add other safety measures.

"I urge the councillors in the traffic committee to go to the area and think up measures to curb speeding at the bend," he said.

He added that MPSJ should place speed breakers, install reflectors for better night vision and light up the stretch along the bend as there are no streetlamps.

"I advise motorists not to speed," he said.

He said if the council failed to take remedial action, then he would organise a signature campaign among road users and residents.

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