Khamis, 10 November 2011

The Star Online: Entertainment: TV & Radio

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The Star Online: Entertainment: TV & Radio

Looking for Mr Right

Posted: 11 Nov 2011 06:25 AM PST

Take Me Out is an avenue for singles to find their soulmate.

WHILE the Koreans celebrate Nov 11 by exchanging chocolate sticks to show love and China commemorates the date as national Single's Day, Ntv7 is celebrating love with the premiere of the Malaysian version of the hit dating game show, Take Me Out.

Yes, you heard it right! Britain's most talked about show that fulfils your heart's desire has finally made its way to our shores. Get ready for the Malaysian invasion of Take Me Out – a daring, sassy and electrifying show, where first impressions really count.

This studio-based reality show, which airs today at 8.30pm, is bound to make waves across the country as it sets the platform where singles can find love.

For the uninitiated, Take Me Out is a new dating game show to convince a woman to date the mystery guy.

How does it work?

Each week, four brave bachelors will have to try to impress 30 single women. Each woman has a (white) light which she can turn off (red) if she is unimpressed by the man.

The guys have three chances to impress the ladies – starting with the introduction where the first impression counts most. Second and third chances depend on a video and talent showcase. His aim is to convince as many women as possible to keep their lights on so that he can then pick the one that he wishes to take on a date.

If there is one woman left, the couple will go on a date. If no lights are left on – referred to as a "blackout" – then the man must leave the show without a date, accompanied by the Celine Dion version of the Eric Carmen hit song All By Myself.

The game starts with the man descending the "Love Lift" with his chosen song playing in the background. This is followed by a video from his friends and family. In the third round, he tries to show off an ability he has to impress the women.

After these rounds, if there are more than two women left with their lights on, the man must turn off the lights of those remaining until he is left with two.

The guy must then pose a question to both the women, after which he decides which one he would like to take on a date. And every time a lady leaves, the empty podium will be replaced by a new girl.

If the mock-up episode presented to members of the media was anything to go by, Take Me Out promises to be fun, especially for singletons.

The fact that the affable Naz (Nazruddin Rahman) of The Breakfast Show fame and the pretty lass, Julie Woon (of 8TV Quickie and Blogger Boy), play matchmakers will undoubtedly add much fun and zest to the show.

"We know viewers love surprises and Take Me Out is nothing like a reality show you've ever seen before. I was amazed when I heard some of the single ladies and guys shed tears on the show," said Airin Zainul, group general manager of Ntv7 and 8TV, after the launch of the show at KRU Studio in Cyberjaya, recently.

"These are real people who are searching for love, and what is amazing about them is that each has a story to tell the world.

Airin added that the station has been planning for the show for the past two years.

"But there are several issues which we have to approach carefully as ours is a multi-racial society and we have to be extra sensitive on certain issues.

"In the past two years, we have sent our production crew to neighbouring countries such as Indonesia (Take Me Out Indonesia) and Thailand (Take Me Out Thailand) to do our own observations and apply it in our show here.

"With that in mind, we are really hoping that Take Me Out will entertain viewers and give the singles a chance at love," said Airin.

She added that TV viewers should watch out for the ladies who would be taken out on a date, which will be highlighted in Take Me Out Extra – a 30-minute diary airing every Sunday at 3pm beginning this week.

Ntv7 holds the airing rights of the Take Me Out franchise which is owned by Fremantle Media and was first commissioned in Australia. It has successfully run in several countries, including Denmark, the Netherlands, Sweden, Spain and Britain.

The 15-episode Take Me Out promises to have lots of twists, laughs and surprises. From brains to brawn, from the bold to the beautiful, the guys will be given a chance to impress and the girls will continue their search for Mr Right.

And get this, if you singles out there are interested, auditions are on-going and you can get all the information and details to participate by visiting

Take Me Out airs on Fridays beginning today (Nov 11) at 8.30pm and Take Me Out Extra airs on Sundays, at 3pm starting this week.

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The dragon dance

Posted: 10 Nov 2011 10:47 PM PST

Astro wants you to star in its upcoming Chinese New Year music video.

IT is hardly three months before we bid zai jian ("goodbye" in Mandarin) to the Rabbit and welcome the Dragon – widely considered as one of the most prosperous Chinese zodiac signs. This would mean that television stations are now busy prepping their annual Chinese New Year (CNY) programmes.

After four successful CNY albums and two bestselling Lunar New Year flicks in a row (Woohoo! last year and Great Day early this year), just what will Astro do to top itself?

It turns out that the biggest pay television service in Malaysia has grand plans to usher in the new year – going where no station has gone before and involving as many Malaysians as possible.

Yes, you heard that right. Starting today (the auspicious-sounding 11.11.11), Astro and MY FM (collectively known as MY Astro) are embarking on My Astro Happy Dragon Celebration, which will see everyman like you and me joining more than 60 MY Astro artistes to star in the music video Kai Xin Le Long Long (Happy Dragon), the single title for MY Astro's 2012 CNY album.

Different groups of artistes will travel to 14 locations in the country within two weeks and get the locals to join them for a choreographed dance in front of the camera. The footages will be made into a 15-minute music video that will be aired during CNY.

The tour will kick off in Selangor today. The other destinations are Cameron Highlands (Pahang), Perak, Penang, Kedah, Perlis, Kelantan, Terengganu, Johor, Malacca, Negri Sembilan, Sabah and Sarawak, wrapping up in Kuala Lumpur on Nov 28.

Chiu Keng Guan, the director for both Woohoo! and Great Day, explained the concept: "Every Chinese New Year, audiences watch the artistes perform on TV, but this time they are going to be in it. It's one of those rare occasions when you can get everyone in your family – young and old – to do something together.

"We have nine dragons representing the different aspects of life – career, health, friendship, prosperity, family, luck, study, love and youth. However, at the end of the day, it's all about happiness. We want to spread happiness across the entire country."

In order to achieve that, Chiu and his team have come up with a set of dance routines that are easy enough for everyone to follow.

"Each dance routine represents a certain aspect of life. So we'll pick the routine according to the location. For example, when we are shooting in a school, we'll require the audiences to perform the routine related to studies. If it's a place with many families, we will ask them to do a routine on family values," he explained.

Directing an amateur can be challenging, let alone hundreds of them. Think it's almost impossible to achieve? Not when you have the best team onboard.

The director offered some insights into how they will work: "We bring in a team that does movie shooting. We also have many experienced producers and directors who don't mind playing the role of assistants just to contribute to this music video.

"We will keep at least four cameras rolling at the same time to capture the moves and expressions.

"Of course, at every location, we'll have hosts who will help enliven the atmosphere before the cameras roll," said Chiu.

On their part, TV viewers would need to "practise the steps at home and then come and have fun with us," he said.

It's more than just shooting a music video, as according to him, there'll be a truck travelling with the tour giving out goodies.

"Expect a lot of surprises. We hope to spread fun and happiness everywhere we go. As for what's in store, you will have to be there to find out," teased Chiu.

So, are you ready to dance alongside the likes of Jack Lim and Vivian Tok? Find out where and when the filming will take place by logging on to 2012.

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Pick of the flicks

Posted: 11 Nov 2011 01:55 AM PST

MOVIE buffs are in for a treat next week as Red FM will be giving away passes to two movie premieres.

On Red FM's Cinepass, you have the opportunity to win tickets to the premiere of Twilight: Breaking Dawn, Part One. Starring Robert Pattinson, Kristen Stewart and Taylor Lautner, the saga of Edward and Bella continues in one of the most highly anticipated movies of the year.

Newlyweds Edward and Bella are faced with an unexpected pregnancy while Jacob must deal with the shocking developments it brings. Based on the bestselling Twilight series of books by Stephenie Meyer, the movie's screening will take place at TGV Cinema in Suria KLCC, Kuala Lumpur, on Nov 23 at 9pm.

With Red FM's Movie Promo, tickets to 50/50 are up for grabs. A critically acclaimed film about a young man who has been diagnosed with cancer, it features Joseph Gordon-Levitt and Seth Rogen. Inspired by a true story, the movie offers a touching and humorous look at friendship, love and survival as the young man struggles to fight the disease. The movie will be screened on Nov 23 at 9pm in GSC 1-Utama, Petaling Jaya, Selangor.

So take your pick and listen out for the cue to enter. In the meantime, if you have yet to win tickets to 2PM Hands Up Asia Tour in Malaysia 2011, you have one last chance to do so next week.

On Red FM's Late Night Love Songs with Mynn (Sundays to Fridays, 10pm-1am), send in your choice of three love songs as well as a dedication when Red FM's Threesome comes on. If your selection is picked, you win a pair of rock zone tickets worth RM638 each to watch this Korean boy band sensation perform live at Stadium Negara, Kuala Lumpur, on Nov 25 at 8.30pm.

For details, log on to Join the Red FM Malaysia Facebook fan page ( and follow us on Twitter (@iloveredfm) for the latest updates.

Red FM is owned and operated by The Star.

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

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The Star Online: World Updates

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The Star Online: World Updates

Murdoch limits damage in parliament grilling


LONDON (Reuters) - James Murdoch, fighting for his career, held his line that he was innocent of covering up phone-hacking at the News of the World tabloid and blamed other former executives in a UK parliamentary hearing on Thursday.

News International Chairman James Murdoch arrives at News International in London July 12, 2011. (REUTERS/Olivia Harris/Files)

But the 38-year-old News Corp executive and son of media mogul Rupert had no answer during his two-and-a-half-hour grilling to accusations he should have asked more questions, particularly when approving a huge payoff to a hacking victim.

Murdoch accused his former editor and legal chief of misleading him and parliament, after Colin Myler and Tom Crone publicly contradicted his previous testimony to the committee of British MPs investigating the phone-hacking.

"This was the job of the new editor who had come in ... to clean things up, to make me aware of those things," said Murdoch, appearing confident under interrogation by lawmakers even when compared by MP Tom Watson to a Mafia boss.

Observers said Murdoch, who as executive chairman of News Corp's British newspaper arm News International was ultimately responsible for the now-defunct tabloid, acquitted himself well by not damaging his reputation any further.

"There was definitely no knock-out punch delivered," said Ian Whittaker, media analyst at Liberum Capital.

But his performance will have done nothing to win over those with doubts about his ability to run a large company like News Corp. Until recently he had been expected to succeed his father at the head of the media group.

The committee will now draw up a report of its findings, which it expects to publish by Christmas.

"Mr Murdoch, I think, did do his best to give his full account to the committee. Clearly there are contradictions between what he said and others have told us," the committee's chairman, John Whittingdale, told reporters after the hearing.


The News of the World was revealed this year to have run an industrial-scale operation to hack into the phones of murder victims including schoolgirl Milly Dowler as well as celebrities and politicians.

The scandal caused a wave of public anger which ultimately brought about the closure of the tabloid, shook the political establishment and saw the head of the country's largest police force resign.

Prime Minister David Cameron was also damaged by his decision to hire former News of the World editor Andy Coulson as his communications chief in 2007.

Previously, News Corp had maintained the hacking at its tabloid was the work of a lone, "rogue" royal reporter, Clive Goodman, and private detective Glenn Mulcaire.

Both went to jail for the offence in 2007.

In 2008, James Murdoch approved a payoff of about 750,000 pounds ($1.2 million) to hacking victim and soccer boss Gordon Taylor, who had in his possession an email of hacking transcripts appearing to show the hacking went beyond Goodman.

He reiterated to MPs on Thursday he had approved the unusually large payoff only because he was following legal advice, and not because he knew the so-called "for Neville" email could implicate other journalists.

"I was given sufficient information and only sufficient information to authorise the increase of the settlement offered, that Mr Crone and Mr Myler had already eagerly been increasing in order to achieve a settlement even before it had come across my desk," he said.

Opposition Labour Party MP Tom Watson, the toughest member of the committee, asked Murdoch: "Do you think Mr Crone misled us?" Murdoch answered: "It follows that I do, yes."

Crone later issued a statement to media rebutting Murdoch's version of events. "The simple truth is he was told by us in 2008 about the damning email and what it meant in terms of wider News of the World involvement," he said.

Myler likewise rejected Murdoch's account. "My evidence to the select committee has been entirely accurate and consistent," he said in a statement.

Neville Thurlbeck, the former News of the World chief reporter believed to be the "Neville" in the disputed email, said he had been compiling his own hacking dossier and accused the paper's executives of trying to keep a lid on what had been happening and not News International bosses.

"If Mr Murdoch, James Murdoch, had been aware of my dossier, if he had been aware of what I was volunteering over two years to the News of the World he would have been far more prepared to face this crisis," he told BBC TV.

"I think when he was giving his evidence today it was based on ignorance ... of what had been going on on the shop floor."

Last week, a journalist working for sister newspaper The Sun was arrested on suspicion of bribing police. When asked, Murdoch said he could not rule out shutting down the daily tabloid, should widespread malpractice be discovered there.


Any notion that News International was a reformed organisation was undermined this week by its admission that the News of the World had put lawyers defending hacking victims under surveillance as recently as this year.

James Murdoch also said that members of the parliamentary committee questioning him had been put under surveillance, for which he apologised "unreservedly".

Mark Lewis, who is representing victims including the Dowler family, told Reuters: "It's useful that I have an apology for something that shouldn't have happened."

"But we need to know what did happen, who was doing it, why were they doing it, the full extent and why they were bothering to trail my family."

Murdoch survived a massive protest vote against his membership of the board of News Corp last month, and faces a shareholder vote on his chairmanship of British satellite broadcaster BSkyB at the end of November.

James Murdoch adopted a more contrite tone than on his previous appearance before the committee together with his father Rupert in July.

"It is a matter of great regret that things went wrong at the News of the World in 2006. The company didn't come to grips with those issues fast enough," he said.

The sometimes testy Murdoch also failed to rise to the bait when Watson compared him to a Mafia boss, responding mildly: "Mr Watson, please, I think that's inappropriate."

(Additional reporting by Keith Weir, Paul Sandle and Michelle Martin; Editing by Sophie Hares and Andrew Heavens)

Copyright © 2011 Reuters

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Papademos named PM to claw Greece out of crisis


ATHENS (Reuters) - Greece named banker Lucas Papademos as head of a new crisis government on Thursday, ending the country's chaotic search for a leader to save it from default, bankruptcy and expulsion from the euro zone.

Vice President of the European Central Bank Lucas Papademos attends the European Business Summit in Brussels March 26, 2009. (REUTERS/Eric Vidal/Files)

A solemn Papademos called on Greeks to unite behind him after months of divisive politicking, as he sets about securing a bailout from the European Union that will impose yet more hardship on a nation already suffering soaring unemployment.

"The choices we make will be decisive for the Greek people. The path will not be easy but I am convinced the problems will be resolved faster and at a smaller cost if there is unity, understanding and prudence," Papademos said as he emerged from the coalition talks brokered by President Karolos Papoulias.

In a week when other European leaders started to openly question Athens' membership of the 17-currency bloc, the former European Central Bank vice-president stressed Greece's commitment to the euro.

"I am convinced that the country's participation in the euro zone is a guarantee for monetary stability," he said after meeting outgoing Prime Minister George Papandreou and the conservative opposition.

Papademos was left mulling the formation of a coalition government alone in his new prime ministerial office on Thursday night after talks ended with no indication of who the new cabinet would include.

Sources in both parties said Evangelos Venizelos was likely to remain as finance minister when Papoulias swears in the new cabinet, scheduled for 1200 GMT on Friday.

The EU's two top officials -- now facing a similar political crisis in "too big to fail" Italy -- welcomed news that Papademos had been named prime minister.

"We reiterate that our European institutions will continue to do everything within their power to help Greece. But Greece must also do everything within its power to help itself," European Commission President Jose Manuel Barroso and Herman Van Rompuy, European Council President, said in a joint statement.

They said they had told Greece's leaders they needed to send "a strong cross-party message", put aside domestic political wrangling and start shrinking the country's huge debt load.


Papademos, a respected figure in European capitals and on financial markets, said the coalition had the specific task of implementing a 130-billion-euro ($177 billion) bailout deal with the euro zone before calling an early election.

The 64-year-old cuts a grey and uncharismatic figure in the colourful and chaotic world of Greek politics, but Papademos also has a reputation for being calm at a time when the nation is clamouring for stability.

Political leaders had agreed the coalition should govern only until elections pencilled in for Feb. 19, but Papademos signalled he would not necessarily be bound by the date if work remained to be done.

Greeks reacted with exhausted relief that an internationally-recognised technocrat will be in charge after four days of often shambolic negotiations between party leaders on forming the coalition.

"After three days of farcical comedy, Greece has today a prime minister who is fully qualified to succeed in the task he has been assigned to," said Costas Panagopoulos, head of pollsters Alco.

"The fact that the parties finally managed to cooperate is also very positive. I hope that the big gap between political parties and Greek citizens will now start shrinking."

But analysts abroad were cautious on whether Papademos can impose the tough austerity required by the bailout deal on a Greek people who have already staged a wave of strikes and protests against budget cuts and higher taxes.

As if to prove the point, around 8,000 Communist party supporters marched past parliament on Thursday night, chanting "resist" and "no more austerity".

Jennifer McKeown, senior European economist at Capital Economics in London said it would be extremely difficult to implement austerity measures give strong public opposition.

"Some of these measures will be pushed through but in the long run the situation will not improve until Greece leaves the euro zone and devalues its currency."

Analysts also say Papademos, a man with no political experience, may struggle to exert his authority over hardened party figures in his cabinet like Venizelos.

Greeks were just thankful the coalition agreement had been sealed after long-running negotiations during which party leaders struck a deal to install the speaker of parliament as premier, only for it to collapse at the last minute.

"It is the only good thing in this case, which has made us all a laughing stock," former Greek President Costis Stefanopoulos told Mega TV shortly before the deal was struck.


In a sign of the problems he faces, the statistics service ELSTAT reported unemployment jumped almost 2 points in one month to a record 18.4 percent in August, a time when the rate traditionally falls as tourists flock to Greek beaches.

Papademos said he had set no terms to any political leaders before accepting the job, but government sources said he had driven a hard bargain.

These included a demand that Papandreou's socialist PASOK and the New Democracy party of Antonis Samaras give a written undertaking to support the euro zone bailout package, whose stipulations are likely to be highly unpopular with voters.

EU Economic and Monetary Affairs Commissioner Olli Rehn, exasperated by broken Greek promises, has already insisted the leaders sign up before receiving even an 8 billion euro instalment from Greece's original bailout deal pulled together last year, a fraction of the total it will eventually need.

Unless Greece gets that money, it will default next month when a 2.9 billion euros in debt repayment are due.

Samaras had long argued the spending cuts, tax rises and job losses imposed by the outgoing socialist government under orders from the EU and IMF had deepened Greece's crippling recession, now in its fourth year.

(Additional reporting by Renee Maltezou, Karolina Tagaris and Angeliki Koutantou; Writing by David Stamp and Ben Harding; Editing by Sophie Hares)

Copyright © 2011 Reuters

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Syria violence kills dozens more, Arab League to meet


[unable to retrieve full-text content]AMMAN (Reuters) - At least 30 civilians and 26 soldiers were killed in Syria ahead of Friday prayers, activists said, as a seven-month crackdown on pro-democracy protests becomes more violent and attacks on security forces increase.

The Star Online: Business

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The Star Online: Business

Local bourse steadier on positive note

Posted: 10 Nov 2011 06:33 PM PST

KUALA LUMPUR: The local stock market rebounded with the FTSE Bursa Malaysia KL Composite Index (FBM KLCI) rose 3.49 points, leaving investors delighted but puzzled over its future direction.

The benchmark index opened 1.97 points higher at 1,474.62 today. Most stocks on Bursa Malaysia were higher. Gainers led losers 312 to 148, while 232 stocks were unchanged.

Dealers said the local bourse took the cue from an overnight gain on Wall Street, with the Dow Jones Industrial Average gaining 112.85 points to 11,893.79. They said the drawbacks yesterday provided investors with opportunities for scale-down or bargian hunting buying today.

HwangDBS Vickers Research said despite a positive overnight performance on Wall Street, it reckoned Asian investors would probably play cautious for the time being in view of the recent market volatilities.

"This suggests that we may not see any major movements on our Malaysian bourse on the unique date of Nov 11, 2011. The benchmark FBM KLCI could struggle to overcome the immediate support-turned-resistance level of 1,475 ahead," it said.

The research house said on the news front, Bank Negara Malaysia's monetary policy committee is expected to leave interest rates unchanged at a meeting this evening.

Meanwhile, stocks worth watching out today include Benalec Holdings Bhd which has secured reclamation projects in Johor; CI Holdings, after increasing the amount of cash distribution to RM5.10 per share and Genting Bhd, as its listed subsidiary Genting Singapore's quarterly financial results released last evening broadly met expectations.

Among the major gainers were DiGi.Com Bhd, which surged 82 sen to RM34.82. British American Tobacco and United Plantations Bhd added 50 sen and 40 sen respectively to RM46 and RM18 respectively.

Among banks, CIMB Group added 2 sen to RM7.28, Public Bank remained unchanged at RM12.60 and Maybank was 1 sen lower at RM8.23.

Leading the list of heavily-traded counters was Compugates Holdings Bhd remained unchanged at 8 sen with 40.1 million shares done.

Newly listed iDimension Consolidated Bhd rose 2.5 sen to 40.5 sen. The manufacturing software solutions provider's initial public offering (IPO) was oversubscribed by 6.09 times. The IPO involved a public issue of 38.23 million new shares of 10 sen each at 38 sen apiece. It also involved a private placement of up to seven million shares.

Of the RM14.5mil proceeds, 34.42% will be used for expansion in the group's key markets, 30.97% will be for research and development, 5.69% for working capital and 14.46% as capital expenditure. The balance 14.46% are for listing expenses.

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EADS delays A350 but avoids heat of crisis

Posted: 10 Nov 2011 05:01 PM PST

PARIS (Reuters) - Airbus parent EADS pushed back its A350 carbon-fiber jetliner by six months with a 200 million euro ($272 million) charge as it seeks to avoid errors like those that nearly derailed Europe's A380 superjumbo.

The delay trimmed third-quarter profits that nonetheless beat expectations as Airbus stabilized costs on the troublesome superjumbo project. And EADS shares got a boost as Europe's largest aerospace group raised its outlook for the year.

Despite storm waves in Western economies, Airbus and Boeing , who dominate the $70 billion aircraft market, are boosting output to meet demand from Asia and the Middle East.

"I am confident the commercial aircraft market will sustain our growth in years to come despite the weakening of the macro-economic environment and particularly of the European economies," Finance Director Hans Peter Ring told reporters.

"Fifty percent of our backlog is in growing regions of the world and not in Europe or the provided there isn't a big double-dip recession we think it is manageable for us."

He declined to comment on the instability ripping through the euro zone or to say whether EADS, seen as another key European symbol, had drawn up contingency plans for further turmoil.

"I am not in politics and this is something nobody can anticipate reasonably at this point, so we are following the environment, that is all I can say."

EADS operating profit fell 15 percent to 322 million euros in the third quarter as revenues fell 4 percent to 10.751 billion euros. Net income rose sharply to 312 million euros.

The Franco-German-led group said it expected strength in the commercial market to boost 2011 operating profit to 1.45 billion euros rather than staying flat at 1.3 billion euros.

Shares rose six percent to 21.17 euros. EADS is already the top gainer in the French CAC-40 index <.fchi> this year.

Analysts were predicting operating profit of 51 million euros on sales of 10.37 billion and a net loss of 34.6 million.

Aircraft sales remain buoyant despite fears that the economy will dampen passenger travel and a downturn hitting cargo.

After injecting new life into its best-selling A320 with a revamp in the summer, the world's largest commercial planemaker now expects record 1,500 orders in 2011 instead of 1,000.

The prediction, beating a 2005 record of 1,111 orders, sets the tone for what industry sources expect to be a haul of at least 100 new Airbus sales at the Dubai Air Show next week.

These include a sale of five new A380s to Qatar Airways, doubling its previous order, though it remains to be seen how the A350's largest customer responds to the delay in that model.

Airbus had 1,372 gross orders by the end of October.


Airbus faces a steep learning curve on the lightweight, carbon-fiber A350 but said it had learned from mistakes on the A380, when it clogged up factories by failing to spot weak coordination early enough.

The delays hammered its shares in 2006 and stoked tensions between Paris and Berlin. Germany's Daimler confirmed on Thursday it would sell part of its stake.

EADS said the A350 would enter service in the first half of 2014 instead of late 2013. It pushed the start of the first final assembly back three months to the first quarter of 2012.

The A350 aims to compete with Boeing's 787 Dreamliner which entered regular service this month, three years late due to problems in mastering the same lightweight carbon materials.

"Each delay of the A350 program and the individual models allows Boeing to recover some breathing room on the 787 program and to develop the 787-9," wrote U.S.-based aviation analyst Scott Hamilton, referring to the next Dreamliner variant.

Airbus and Boeing see a market for several thousand of the twin-engined planes which aim to save costs by some 30 percent.

Airbus, which overtook Boeing in 2003 as the world's largest commercial jet maker, turned the page on its earliest attempts to compete on the world's longest routes by axing the A340.

The four-engined plane first flew 20 years ago with a focus on routes like the 18-hour trip from Singapore to New York.

But its "four engines are better than two" slogan backfired when airlines put their faith in twinjets like the Boeing 777.

The decision to scrap the plane rubs salt in the wound a day after Boeing trumpeted the start of work on its 1,000th 777. A two-engined sister version, the A330, continues to sell well.

The A340 made its mark as a luxury accessory for VIPs like the Sultan of Brunei but it was dwarfed by sales of the 777.

India's Kingfisher is expected to cancel two last A340 orders, leaving just two jets to assemble for unnamed VIPs.

Bloomberg News reported Boeing could meanwhile notch up record 777 sales this year including possible orders in Dubai.

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Insight - In Greek crisis, HIV gains ground

Posted: 10 Nov 2011 04:41 PM PST

ATHENS (Reuters) - 'Contagion' is the label financial markets use for the economic spread of the Greek crisis. For hundreds of people in an increasingly chaotic society, the word has a deadlier meaning.

Take the mother of four introduced to Reuters by her social worker at the bright offices of an Athens non-governmental organisation called Kentro Zois, or The Centre for Life. A Ukrainian, she said she immigrated to Greece 12 years ago and married a Greek man.

Bleached blonde hair tightly pulled back in a bun, the 34-year old spoke on condition of anonymity. When her two-year-old daughter was wheezy last October, she brought the child to a state-run hospital. The doctors could not explain the baby's persistent fever. One suggested an HIV test. The diagnosis for both mother and child was positive. "I was devastated," she said.

She isn't the only one to be shocked. In 2009, the year the baby was born, Greece had detected not a single case of a mother transmitting the AIDS virus to her child, according to the Hellenic Centre for Diseases Control and Prevention, a public health agency funded by the Health Ministry. The mother's infection was apparently missed by a nationwide screening programme for pregnant women.

"How was it possible for an HIV-positive child to be born in Greece? That is my question," asked the woman's social worker, Anna Kavouri, head of social services at The Centre for Life, which helps people living with HIV/AIDS. Kavouri is working with the woman to try to find out what happened and what options she may have for legal redress.

The health ministry did not respond to phone calls seeking comment, and Reuters was unable to verify all the elements of the woman's story. But others in the Greek capital say the country's social safety net is fraying, nowhere more so than in the health system. Spending by Greeks on health is falling 36 percent this year, according to the National School of Public Health. Including both the government and private individuals, the country spent around 25 billion euros, or roughly 10 percent of GDP, on both public and private health in 2010; in 2011 that will be 16 billion. Just 10 billion or so is government spending on the public health sector.

The effect of that is most visible on the edges of society. Heroin use and prostitution are up. Drug addicts and illegal immigrants with HIV say clean needles, heroin substitutes and antiretroviral treatments are harder to come by. The pace of HIV infection is surging.

The latest available United Nations figures, from 2009, show that 11,000 people, or 0.1 percent of the Greek population, had HIV/AIDS, a third the rate in the United States. But that may be changing. In the first five months of 2010, Greece had 255 new HIV cases. Over the same period this year, there were 384 new cases -- an increase of more than 50 percent. The Hellenic Centre predicts the rate of increase will rise to 60 percent by the end of 2011. By comparison in the United States, cases are increasing by around 7 percent annually.

The problem in Greece has been aggravated by increased drug use. Historically, only about a quarter of people newly infected with HIV in Greece were injecting drug users. But 174 drug users have tested positive to mid October this year. The Hellenic Centre says that will be around 200 by the end of the year. Nikos Dedes, an adviser to the HIV Committee at the World Health Organisation (WHO), says that while most HIV in Greece is still transmitted through unprotected homosexual sex, the risks through heterosexual sex are rising.

"The HIV situation in Greece is like a dry forest in summer which has just been hit with a gust of wind," says Dedes, who is also head of Positive Voice, a Greek NGO set up to combat the spread of HIV. "It could go up in flames any minute."


The Ukrainian mother said she is not an injecting drug user and believes she got HIV through an operation several years ago, though this was impossible to verify.

People in any society can have HIV and not know it -- the United Nations believes around 250,000 in the United States do. That's why many countries, including Greece, routinely screen pregnant women. But the mother said she was not offered an HIV test when she was pregnant with her youngest.

"It didn't even occur to me that I would need one," said the mother, dressed in black sweatpants and a camel-coloured leather jacket. When and how she became infected is not clear, but doctors say she probably passed the virus to her daughter through breastfeeding. Women with HIV are told not to breastfeed as it significantly increases the chance of passing on the virus.

The baby has a twin, a boy, who along with the rest of the family has tested negative for HIV. Unlike his sister, he did not take to breastfeeding.

The mother has separated from her Greek husband in the last year, and now lives with her children in a government-run shelter.


As the economic crisis worsens, society is becoming gloomier. Greeks are swallowing 35 percent more anti-depressants than they did five years ago, according to the National School of Public Health. The health ministry says suicides are up 40 percent so far this year. And if the lines of people at the Hellenic Center's mobile HIV testing vans around Athens' poor quarters are anything to go by, more and more Greeks are also worried about AIDS.

Wearing a stethoscope and long white gown, doctor Evaggelos Liapis conducts tests every night between 6 and 10 pm on the corner of Omonoia Square, which bustles with sesame breadstick vendors, businessmen and drug users hunting for cash. Six months ago, Liapis said, all four vans operating around the city would receive on average two people per night. That's now gone up to 40 tests a night.

"There are no clean syringes around here and we have an increase in poverty and prostitution, especially amongst the drug users," Liapis said as a heavily tattooed Greek man in his twenties sat down in the van for a blood test.

The WHO recommends that 200 clean syringes are provided per drug user per year, to limit HIV infection. Greece has been providing three, the Hellenic Centre says.

Adding to the risk is the fact that when times are tough, drug users are more likely to inject heroin rather than snorting or smoking it, because they get a bigger hit for their money by using a needle, according to French researchers. "Between 2007 and 2008, whilst gross salary growth rates were falling significantly, the proportion of injecting drug users rose by 1.70 percent," wrote Christian Ben Lakhdar, of the Catholic University of Lille, and Tanja Bastianic, of the French Monitoring Centre for Drugs and Drug Addiction, in the International Journal of Drug Policy.

Yannis, a 34-year old Greek addict, is among them. He said he used to inject heroin, then cleaned up at a state-run rehab centre just outside of Athens. But earlier this year he says he became HIV-positive from sharing needles.

"Now they want me on a detox programme to prove my commitment to giving up drugs. Otherwise it can get difficult to get my (HIV) drugs, even though I am Greek and have social security," he said by telephone in Athens.

On paper, all Greeks who make social security contributions should be granted HIV treatment, but Yannis says doctors are becoming choosy over who gets them. And the treatment is expensive.


Budget cuts have complicated Athens' relationship with pharmaceutical companies. Athens has imposed some of the most draconian price cuts for medicines of any European country, and some companies have been forced to accept Greek government bonds instead of cash for outstanding debts.

So far, there are no signs that this has disrupted supplies of HIV medicine. But the cuts could have a huge impact on the health system. "It is proven that the more money spent on health, the lower the fatality (rate). Cuts in health will affect lives," said epidemiologist Georgios Nikolopoulos, who tracks HIV rates at the Hellenic Centre.

Currently, antiretroviral drugs cost Greece at least 1,000 euros per patient a month. For the state to pay for all those people would cost just over 130 million euros a year. According to Christianna Rizopoulos, who collects data at the Hellenic Center's HIV office, there is talk among health professionals that the government plans to cut its contribution for drugs to 600 euros per treatment per month, so patients would have to foot almost half the bill. The health ministry did not answer calls seeking comment.

"We are very worried," said Rizopoulos. "With the economic crisis, there is no way of knowing what will happen next."


Josephine, a 50-year old HIV-positive illegal immigrant from Mozambique who also visits the Centre for Life, is among those on the edge.

She has been in Athens since 2005, applied for asylum four years ago and says she is still waiting to learn if her status will be approved. She has a limp caused by severe arthritis, which HIV aggravates.

For the past six months, she said, she has received zero antiretroviral medicine because she cannot find work to pay social security contributions.

"This is also due to the economy in Greece now. I used to get plenty of work before," she said, her small black braids tucked under a red and white scarf. Last year she didn't work at all. Since April this year, she has found sporadic cleaning jobs, but hasn't paid her rent for seven months.

And Greece's preventative programmes are under heavy pressure. In September the health ministry ordered that the seven mobile clinics that provide heroin replacement treatment around the rundown areas of town be moved to 32 state-run hospitals across Athens.

The move was welcomed by some health professionals, who said it would help improve the distribution of staff and treatment. Others said it was unrealistic.

Staff for the Greek Organisation Against Drugs, OKANA, which provides the bulk of drug replacement treatment and reintegration programmes, joined an anti-austerity protest on Syntagma Square last month. They said the cuts will make it harder to reach drug-users.

"Countries like Spain have the centres right where the problem is, here we have the opposite," said Emi Koutsopoulou, an OKANA psychiatrist. "We now have rehab and methadone points in really posh hospitals in wealthy suburbs. This makes no sense. A drug user is not going to go out there."

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London, Doha go head-to-head for 2017 worlds

Posted: 10 Nov 2011 06:47 PM PST

MONACO (Reuters): London or Doha will be named 2017 world athletics championships hosts by the International Association of Athletics Federations (IAAF) on Friday.

The 26 IAAF Council members who will vote must decide between London's campaign as the "athletes choice" and the promise of sell-out crowds in the Olympic Stadium, or take the track and field global showpiece to an untapped and undeveloped athletics market.

Neither city has hosted the biennial championships since they began in 1983. A decision is expected around 1600.

London's bid team have expressed quiet confidence that, after previous failed attempts to stage the championships and confusion over the future of the Olympic stadium, the time is right to fulfil legacy promises made after securing the 2012 Olympic Games.

Doha's bid is part of oil-rich Qatar's campaign to promote itself as a hub for international sport. The desert nation will host the 2022 soccer World Cup and is also bidding for the 2020 Olympic Games.

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Malaysia must beat India in last match to set up showdown with Australia

Posted: 10 Nov 2011 06:43 PM PST

JOHOR BARU: Malaysia face a win or bust situation when they take on India in their last preliminary round match in the Sultan of Johor Cup junior hockey tournament at the Taman Daya Hockey Stadium today.

The Project 2013 team have so far come through with flying colours in their last three matches. They drew 1-1 with New Zealand and beat South Korea (4-2) and Pakistan (2-1) after losing their opening match 1-2 to Australia.

Today, the stakes are high as the winners will most likely earn a place in the final against Australia, who have already confirmed their ticket.

But it will not be easy against a resurgent India who have returned to their winning ways.

Malaysia are playing with much more consistently, a factor which has been missing in our hockey teams.

Even in the 1-2 defeat to Australia the Malaysians played well.

And they have shown attacking flair as well. Their commitment is high and they have the ability to string together winning passes .

But holding on to the ball too long and the delay in getting out of defence still persist. In the forward line, the players seem to take their time finding the right angle to strike and this has caused them to miss several sure goals.

Players like Amir Farid, Nor Izzat Sumantri, Mohamed Ramadhan, Mohamed Hafiz Zainol and Fariq Saadon have shown good skills. Skipper Mohamed Noor Faeez and his defenders Kaven Karthik, Fitri Saari and Mohamed Faiz Helmy are solid and confident.

Goalkeepers Mohamed Hazrul Faiz and Mohmed Hafizuddin Othman are also reliable – for once.

But all the good work will go down the drain if they fumble against India.

The boys will have to channel all their energy into the match to conjure up a win which will put them in the final.

Malaysia's coach K. Dharmaraj said that it all boils down to this one match.

"We have always taken it one match at a time and planned our way through. India are good and on an upswing. We have to keep playing the way we did earlier and make sure we stay in attack mode. There are times when we need to be a little defensive and rely on counter attacks.

"We will do that if necessary. But we want to win this match and are not looking for a draw or any other result.

"The earlier match between Korea and New Zealand will have a bearing on our game but then again it will not matter if we beat India," said Dharmaraj.

India's Malak Singh who has scored five goals thus far is the player to watch. He is nippy in front of goal and can earn penalty corners easily which Harpreet Singh or Ramandeep Singh can convert.

Their weak points are their goalkeepers as they tend to lose focus easily. If the Malaysians can maintain pressure on them, the task of winning will be easier.

Dharmaraj's game plan is crucial and if the team can play as they did against the Australians or the Koreans then they can be assured of playing in tomorrow's final.

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South Korea believe they can still reach the final

Posted: 10 Nov 2011 02:17 PM PST

JOHOR BARU: South Korea and New Zealand head into their final preliminary round match with different targets to fulfil.

For the Koreans a place in the final is at stake while for the Kiwis victory will ensure they stay in the playoff for third place.

The Koreans are in a tussle for a final berth with India and Malaysia who meet in a later match.

Malaysia are second in the standings with seven points while Korea and India have six points each with the latter third on goal difference.

Australia, who have 12 points, have already qualified for the final. They play winless Pakistan.

South Korean coach Song Seung-tae (pic) said it is a must win situation and they will go all out to get it.

"We have a chance to make the final and we aim to do it. Our match is before the Malaysia-India game and that is no advantage for us.

"We must secure a win at all costs and then wait for the outcome of the Malaysia-India match.

"It is entirely out of our hands once we have completed our fixtures," he said.

The Koreans not only need the three points but also as many goals as possible.

Goal difference may play a major part in deciding the other finalists.

But the Kiwis are not about to lie down and accept defeat.

Their coach Grant Edwards said that they want to avoid defeat.

"We need to beat Korea so that we will remain in the play off for third place. It is not going to be easy, as they need the three points too.

"Our goal scoring has been a problem although we have had ample chances. We must do better. I must say that our defence has held up well and the penalty corner defence is the best in the tournament," he said.

The Kiwis have played four matches and scored just four goals.

Korea on the other hand have a good scoring rate with 13 goals in four matches. But their defence is also porous having conceded 16 in as many matches.

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The Star Online: Entertainment: Movies

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Rising star

Posted: 10 Nov 2011 12:36 AM PST

SANDRINNE Pinna began her career at 10 with commercials before going on to star in numerous TV series and movies such as Poor Prince and Police et Vous. In 2008, her role in Miao Miao won her a nomination for the Best Actress award at the Golden Horse Film Festival, and the Best Newcomer at the Asian Film Award. She eventually won the Asia Rising Star Award at the Pusan International Film Festival for the role.

"Acting makes me braver and understand myself better. Being an actress is something I can't do without," she said.

What's your favourite colour?

Black is very mysterious and very rich. It's mysterious but yet there's a sense of simplicity about black. When you add all the colours together you'll get black.

What are your beauty secrets?

I use skincare products that are gentle to the skin, especially for cleansing. Using a lustrous powder after a foundation creates a beautiful texture and glowing freshness. I always wear mascara and false eyelashes to accentuate my natural beauty.

What is your image of the ideal woman?

I admire women who are spontaneous and expressive, positive and who always strive to achieve their hopes and dreams.

Who do you think is beautiful?

My dog has the most beautiful eyes and smile.

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Free Happy Feet 2 Tickets

Posted: 09 Nov 2011 07:41 PM PST

The master of tap, Mumble, has a problem because his son, Erik, is choreo-phobic. Reluctant to dance, Erik runs away and encounters The Mighty Svena penguin who can fly! Mumble has no hope of competing with this charismatic new role model. But things get worse when the world is shaken by powerful forces. Erik learns of his father's guts and grit as Mumble brings together the penguin nations and all manner of fabulous creatures from the tiny Krill to the giant Elephant Seal.

Happy Feet 2 makes its way into cinemas 17 November. and Warner Bros. are giving away special 3D preview screening tickets.

We have 60 pairs of tickets to give away. To get a free pair of tickets, print this page and exchange it for the tickets. See details of redemption and screening below.

Redemption Details

Date: 14 November 2011 (Monday)

Time: 11am to 1pm

Venue: Lobby of Menara Star, Star Publications, 15 Jln 16/11, Section 16, 46350 Petaling Jaya.

Screening Details

Date: 15 November 2011 (Tuesday)

Time: 9pm

Venue: Hall 10; GSC MAXX, Berjaya Times Square

Rules & Regulations

1. This redemption is open to all eCentral fans.

2. Print out the contest page and redeem it at the venue given in this article.

3. Each page entitles you to two movie tickets only. Each person is allowed to redeem only once.

4. Tickets are given out on a first come, first served basis.

5. Queue-jumping and reserving places in line during the redemption are strictly prohibited. The organizers reserve the right to refuse tickets to anyone found doing so.

6. Tickets are not exchangeable for cash.

7. This movie is rated U. Movie ratings will strictly apply for this movie. The organizers reserve the right to refuse entry to the cinema hall to those not within the permitted age limit. No exceptions will be made at any time for any reason.  

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Focus on beauty

Posted: 09 Nov 2011 07:05 PM PST

Wong Kar Wai's short film entitled Mask is a celebration of feminine beauty.

HONG Kong director Wong Kar Wai has a way with women.

In his movies, they are mysterious beings with an almost unattainable allure. Think Maggie Cheung in In The Mood For Love, or Gong Li in 2046. What does he see in women that enables him to portray them in such a light? What does he find so fascinating about women?

Unfortunately, Wong wasn't at the press conference in Hong Kong in late August to answer these questions, though his "touch" can be felt on Shu Uemura's 2011 holiday collection, and on Mask, a special short film he created for the collection.

His movies are often coated with a soft, golden hue, and both the collection and Mask reflect that. In the film, a masked femme fatale dances and twirls in the midst of gold sparkles. She is alluring and inviting, yet untouchable.

Sandrinne Pinna, a 24-year-old rising star in Taiwanese cinema, is the said femme fatale, personally recommended by Wong to Shu Uemura for the short film.

"When the Shu Uemura project came up I knew she was the one. She has the exuberance of youth and a Cinderella quality," he said in a press release.

Pinna was thrilled and excited when the director asked her if she was interested to star in the short film.

"I said yes immediately, just like that," said the actress of French and Taiwanese descent during an interview.

Making the film

Wong was approached with the idea of a collaboration with Shu Uemura while shooting his martial arts film The Grandmasters. He was happy for a break to film "something that is contemporary and unabashedly focuses on beauty".

Mask was inspired by American poet and novelist Charles Bukowski's poem, Love is burning in water drowning in flame. Wong describes the poem as a paradox.

"The film explores that contradiction of passion. The contrasting warmth and coolness of rouge et blue (red and blue) seemed the perfect fit," he said.

Masks and glitter are some of the key features of the film. The mask symbolises possibilities, said Wong. "It liberates you from your fixed image about yourself and lets your imagination fly," he said.

For Pinna, working with Wong was an honour.

"Wong is able to present the beauty of the woman in a perfect way," she said.

Indeed, Wong's quest for perfection is legendary: he would often take years to make his films because of his desire of getting every scene perfectly shot. Wong describes perfection as a "beautiful dress".

"You must tailor the dress to the woman, not the other way around," he said.

Fortunately, Wong took only two days to shoot Mask, but it was an intense two days.

"We spent two full days together in the studio. It was tough, but nobody lost their concentration. We wanted to achieve only one thing – ultimate beauty. That was amazing," said Shu Uemura's international artistic director Kakuyasu Uchiide.

Working with Wong was a learning process for Pinna, who described the shoot as "free and challenging".

"Working with director Wong was very magical. I was approaching the shoot in a way that relies on my emotions which came out automatically. It was so interesting to work with him as he just came up with the ideas, improvised and developed the character on set," she said.

Pinna has always admired Wong's work.

"I really love the atmosphere and the mood that he creates in his movies. All sorts of emotions are captured in his dreamily nostalgic and contemporary way. It is a mixture of emotions and sensuous, beautiful colours. I am always deeply touched by his films."

She spent two days on the set literally dancing and spinning, she said.

"I had to do a lot of turning and dancing, and that was a bit tiring and physical. I was asked to portray a very feminine type but director Wong made me feel really relaxed and comfortable," she said.

She also had only praise for Shu Uemura's holiday collection, saying that she loved the "burning in water palette" and "drowning in flame palette", which brought out her "natural warmth and femininity".

"I do love the false eyelashes that transform me immediately to another self," she said, referring to the thick eyelashes with heavy glitter that she wore on Mask. "They are so powerful they really helped me get into character."

And Uchiide's make-up for Mask was "dramatic and artistic," she said.

"He drew the word 'love' on my lips. It took time but it was so fantastic and symbolic in this short film," she said.

Related stories:
Magic touch of Shu Uemura
Rising star

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Public hearing on electoral reforms starts Friday

Posted: 10 Nov 2011 05:45 AM PST

KUALA LUMPUR: The MCA, Bersih 2.0 chief Datuk S. Ambiga and Transparency International are among those who will be attending the public hearing by the Parliamentary Select Committee (PSC) on electoral reforms Friday and Saturday.

PSC chairman Datuk Seri Dr Maximus Ongkili said a total of 11 individuals and organisations would be attending the public hearing, including the Selangor Youth Council, Ex-Police Association of Malaysia and Selangor Community Association.

"Organisations that come for the public hearing must be registered while individuals must submit their memorandum and relevant documents. All are given 10 to 20 minutes to summarise their arguments," he said at a press conference in the Parliament building here Thursday.

Friday's public hearing will run from 9.30am to 5.30pm at the Parliament building.

Ongkili said PAS Youth was expected to come to the public hearing on Saturday.

"The committee also invited Attorney-General Tan Sri Abdul Gani Patail to our meeting next Tuesday to seek his views on legal and constitutional aspects," he said.

The committee was set up in October to improve the electoral system and to put to rest any suspicion that there was manipulation by the Government in the electoral process.

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Banting murders: Seven of 10 tooth samples human teeth, witness says

Posted: 10 Nov 2011 05:20 AM PST

SHAH ALAM: Seven out of 10 tooth samples found at the alleged murder sites of Datuk Sosilawati Lawiya and three others in Sungai Panchau and Ladang Gadong, Banting were human teeth, the High Court here heard Thursday.

Dr Norhayati Jaffar, 38, of the Hospital Kuala Lumpur (HKL) Forensics Department, said the seven samples had root impressions on the surface and teeth tissue as normally found on human teeth when X-rayed.

The other three were not of human origin as they were different in texture and bigger in size, she added.

"The three samples possibly belonged to some herbivorous animal as human teeth have a smooth and shiny surface and produce a squeaky sound when scrapped.

"But when I scraped these three, there was just dirt and the X-ray showed no typical human teeth features," she said during examination-in-chief by DPP Ishak Mohd Yusoff.

Dr Norhayati was testifying on the 48th day of the trial of former lawyer N. Pathmanabhan and three farm workers T. Thilaiyalagan, R. Matan and R. Khatavarayan who are charged with the murders of Sosilawati, 47, bank officer Noorhisham Mohamad, 38, lawyer Ahmad Kamil Abdul Karim, 32 and Sosilawati's driver Kamaruddin Shamsuddin, 44.

Pathmanabhan, 42, Thilaiyalagan, 20, Matan, 21, and Kathavarayan, 31, who allegedly committed the offences at Lot 2001, Jalan Tanjong Layang, Tanjung Sepat in Banting between 8.30 pm and 9.45 pm on Aug 30 last year, face the mandatory death sentence upon conviction under Section 302 of the Penal Code.

The 69th prosecution witness said she received a call from HKL Forensics Consultant Dr Nurliza Abdullah, 46 on Sept 17 last year, asking for her help in examining a group of specimens.

"When I arrived at the HKL Forensics' morgue, Dr Nurliza had set aside the specimens for which she wanted my opinion, that is, the 10 samples of what was suspected to be human teeth," she said.

Dr Norhayati informed the court there were cracks on the samples as they had been exposed to an extremely high temperature of 750-degrees Celsius.

"The X-ray image showed no enamel on the samples as high temperatures will separate it from the dentin," she said.

Thereafter, Dr Norhayati agreed with Manjeet Singh Dhillon, who was representing Pathmanabhan, when he put it to her that her report differed from Dr Nurliza's.

In her report, Dr Norhayati stated that seven out of the 10 samples were human teeth whereas Dr Nurliza had testified earlier that 2,030 of the 2,040 specimens found in the river and farm were most likely human bones.

The trial resumes Friday before Judge Akhtar Tahir. - Bernama

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Dr Mahathir: Have a 'sense of shame' for job not well done

Posted: 10 Nov 2011 03:03 AM PST

KUALA LUMPUR: The people should have a "sense of shame" in their hearts when they fail to carry out their job properly, Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad said.

The former prime minister said it was this attitude that propelled the Japanese people to be among the most successful in the world, noting they had adapted this in their work culture.

"This sense of shame is so strong that they cannot accept failure and they are ashamed of it," he said.

He was replying to a question from a Bernama editor, Mahrus Ibrahim, during a dialogue session after delivering a lecture in conjunction with the launch of a coffee table book titled Che Det, published by the Malaysian national news agency, Thursday.

The book contains write-ups and 470 pictures, depicting the great moments in the career of Dr Mahathir as the country's fourth prime minister.

"The Japanese people will strive to do their job to the best of their ability because they feel ashamed if they don't.

"This sense of shame should also be prevalent among our society. If we cannot achieve 100%, we should feel ashamed about it," he said. - Bernama

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