Khamis, 29 Disember 2011

The Star Online: Entertainment: TV & Radio

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The Star Online: Entertainment: TV & Radio


Lead a beautiful life

Posted: 30 Dec 2011 01:18 AM PST

Start the new year picking up pointers on how to eat healthy, dress pretty, and more.

LI TV kickstarts the new year with some brand new shows. Get design savvy with The Nate Berkus Show and Paul Smith - Gentlemen Designer, discover Taiwanese cuisine in A Taste Of Taiwan - CNY Specials, explore Japanese architecture in Before And After (S2) and stay healthy with World's Best Diet.

> World's Best Diet (Jan 1, 9pm)

The average Western diet is making people fat and unhealthy. In contrast, people in some other countries stay slimmer and live longer, healthier lives. So what's their secret?

In this series, presenter Jonathan Maitland and celebrities Linda Robson, Cheryl Baker, Darren Gough and Carole Malone set out on a journey to discover why these other cultures are bucking the obesity trend and eating their way to healthier lives.

From raw fish in Japan to the low-carb diet in California, from vegetarian curry in India to the Mediterranean diet in Italy – each of the celebrities travel to a different nation, immersing themselves in the local cultural attitude towards healthy living and learning to cook their food. They are then challenged to maintain their regime when they return to Britain for five weeks.

At the same time, host Maitland examines what has happened to eating habits in Britain by reverting back to the typical post-war diet that his parents would have followed.

Which contestant will lose the most weight and emerge the healthiest? And which one of the diets could turn out to be a new way of life? World's Best Diet brings you the best eating habits and lifestyles across the world. Stay tuned for a healthier you!

> Paul Smith - Gentlemen Designer (Jan 1, 10pm) – "You can find inspiration in everything. If you can't, then you're not looking properly," says the fascinating British designer, Lord Paul Smith. Celebrating 40 years in business, Smith creates classic clothes with a twist for men and women from his London headquarters.

Director St├ęphane Carrel follows Smith from London to Paris to Tokyo and back again in this behind-the-scenes film where Smith snaps away at his camera endlessly and happily poses with his legions of Japanese fans.

Smith has 400 shops and outlets in 35 countries, 12 clothing lines, 400mil Euros in yearly revenues, sales topping Chanel's, partnerships with Evian, Apple and Austin, and prestigious bicycle and race car brands. All that, and his popularity around the world is only growing. The secret of his success? A brilliant concept called "Maximising Britishness". Watch Paul Smith – Gentlemen Designer to find out how this modest bloke from Nottingham managed to get millions of men interested in fashion.

> Before And After (Sr 2) (Jan 7, 9pm) – Tune in to one of the most-watched shows in Japan – Before And After (S2), hosted by George Tokoro. This is an extremely uplifting show where top Japanese architects and workers renovate an entire house, including every single room plus the exterior and landscaping, for a deserving family in Japan.

Emphasising on environment conservation, recycled materials are used and the latest eco-technology are utilised in all renovation and construction work. Stay tuned for the dramatic changes.

> A Taste Of Taiwan - CNY Specials (Jan 15, 9pm) – Celebrate Chinese New Year (CNY) with a Taste Of Taiwan. Join host Sherry Shih as she hops from city to city, showing you how to celebrate CNY the Taiwanese way.

These three special episodes introduce to the audience the food that most Taiwanese will prepare for the festive celebration. Discover the traditional cuisines and the authentic ingredients used.Whether it is traditional tofu, meatballs, chicken or braised sea cucumber, indulge yourself and your family in the most exquisite food in Taiwan during this lunar festival.

> The Nate Berkus Show (Jan 25, 10.30pm) – Design expert and best-selling author Nate Berkus takes on design challenges, showcases home improvement and provide audiences with life-changing personal makeover stories on The Nate Berkus Show.

Known for his regular appearances on The Oprah Winfrey Show, Berkus brings audiences an upbeat hour filled with entertaining topics like stories of the personal transformation of fascinating guests and lifestyle topics.

Offering the best in design tips and industry secrets, there are tons of takeaway information from this new and trendy daily series that features segments such as Secrets To Buying Secondhand Online and Turning Family Finds Into A Fortune.

Berkus will also welcome celebrity guests such as Elizabeth Edwards, Dolly Parton, Julianne Moore, Jamie Lee Curtis and Kim Coles. This show is your destination for living beautifully each day.

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Merrymaking with Red FM

Posted: 29 Dec 2011 03:44 PM PST

Party your way to the New Year with great music.

IT'S the most exhilarating celebration of the year and Red FM invites you to join in the revelry with a special countdown weekend as you usher in a brand new year.

All this weekend, Red FM will be playing the top 100 songs of 2011. It's been another year of fantastic music as the industry produced a number of infectious pop hits, energetic dance tracks and beautiful ballads. Tune in to find out which songs made it to the top 100, and you may find some surprising inclusions alongside the year's biggest hits from well-known artistes such as Adele, Bruno Mars, Maroon 5, Beyonce, LMFAO, Pitbull and Kelly Clarkson.

Taking the celebration to the ground, join Red FM this Sunday in counting down to the New Year at Batu Ferringhi, Penang, with the Red FM's Remix Tour and Hard Rock Hotel Penang. It's a massive poolside party as you dance the night away to Red FM's DJ Razz and DVJ G-Mix selection of the top club songs, electronic dance tracks and dance anthem remixes.

Synonymous with music, good fun and entertainment, have an ultimate rock star experience as you dance away at Hard Rock Hotel Penang. Today is your final opportunity to pick up passes on Red FM's Eleven 2 Three With Linora (Monday to Friday, 11am- 3pm) and Red FM's Evenings With Arnold (Monday to Friday, 7pm-10pm).

The New Year celebration continues till the next day with Red FM supporting the RED 2012 New Year Celebration Concert at Garden Explore My Fiesta on Jan 1. Admission is free to this outdoor event at Taman Prima Tropika in Seri Kembangan, Selangor. Bring along your family and friends and catch performances by artistes such as Dennis Lau, Shawn Lee, as well as Namewee. There will also be a fashion show, comedy performances, games and an exciting fireworks display.

Log on to www.red.fm for more information. Join the Red FM Malaysia Facebook fan page (facebook.com/redfm.my) and follow them on Twitter (@iloveredfo) to check out the latest happenings.

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


Jamaica opposition scores landslide win at polls

Posted: 29 Dec 2011 08:16 PM PST

KINGSTON (Reuters) - Jamaica's main opposition party rode a wave of discontent with a bad economy to a big win at the polls on Thursday, in elections that swept former Prime Minister Portia Simpson Miller back into office.

Voters wait in line outside a poling station during the Jamaican General Elections in Kingston December 29, 2011. REUTERS/A. Gilbert Bellamy

Preliminary official results showed Simpson Miller's People's National Party, or PNP, winning 41 of the 63 parliamentary seats at stake in the national election.

The results gave the Jamaica Labour Party, or JLP, of Prime Minister Andrew Holness just 22 seats.

"The people of Jamaica have spoken," Holness, 39, told reporters late on Thursday after calling the 66-year-old Simpson Miller to concede defeat.

"I wish the new government well," he said. "There are challenges that they will face, challenges that we are quite well aware of. And we hope for the benefit of the country and for the interest of the people of Jamaica that they will do a good job,

The centre-right JLP is considered slightly more conservative than Simpson Miller's PNP, which narrowly lost a general election in 2007 after she briefly served as Jamaica's first female premier.

But there are no major ideological differences between the parties, in a country once notorious for political bloodletting. Analysts have said neither party would have much room for manoeuvre in office as it deals with a huge debt burden and high unemployment.

Many expect the new government will be forced to implement unpopular austerity measures, including possible layoffs of state workers, in an effort to shore up the economy after it received a $1.27 billion lifeline from the International Monetary Fund last year.

Simpson Miller did not spell out any belt-tightening or other economic measures in a long and rambling victory speech outside her campaign headquarters in the capital, Kingston.

But she has vowed to appeal to the IMF to extend the period Jamaica has to repay any loans, to give the Caribbean island more leeway to jump-start the economy.

Holness took office in October after his predecessor surprisingly resigned.

Although one of the Caribbean's more developed economies, Jamaica is saddled with a public debt load totalling more than 120 percent of gross domestic product.

That has proved a huge drag on the economy, which is dependent on tourism and has failed to grow over the past four years, sputtering since the JLP took power.

Unemployment has risen to 12.9 percent from 9.8 percent in 2007.

(Writing by Tom Brown; Editing by Peter Cooney)

Copyright © 2011 Reuters

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Jamaica's ruling party concedes election defeat

Posted: 29 Dec 2011 07:03 PM PST

KINGSTON (Reuters) - Jamaica's ruling party conceded defeat in national elections on Thursday, as preliminary official results showed the party of opposition leader and former Prime Minister Portia Simpson Miller scoring a landslide victory.

"The people have spoken," said Karl Samuda, campaign director of the ruling Jamaica Labour Party. "We have not won," Samuda conceded in his comments to national television.

Voters wait in line outside a poling station during the Jamaican General Elections in Kingston December 29, 2011. REUTERS/A. Gilbert Bellamy

"We have done what we could on behalf of the people of Jamaica," Samuda added. "There will be another day."

(Reporting by Horace Helps; Editing by Tom Brown)

Copyright © 2011 Reuters

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North Korea's new leadership lashes out at South Korea

Posted: 29 Dec 2011 06:55 PM PST

SEOUL (Reuters) - North Korea's first official communication with the outside world following the death of leader Kim Jong-il and the transition of power to his son was a sombre warning to South Korea and its allies that it would not change policies.

The main target of the message, delivered by state news agency KCNA and attributed to the North's National Defence Commission, was South Korea's conservative government headed by President Lee Myung-bak who has pursued a hardline stance against the isolated and impoverished North.

North Korea's new leader Kim Jong-un looks on during the memorial for late North Korean leader Kim Jong-il in Pyongyang, in this still image taken from video December 29, 2011. North Korea's military staged a huge funeral procession on Wednesday in the snowy streets of the capital Pyongyang for its deceased "dear leader," Kim Jong-il, readying a transition to his son, Kim Jong-un. REUTERS/KRT via Reuters TV

"On this occasion, we solemnly declare with confidence that foolish politicians around the world including the puppet forces in South Korea should not expect any changes from us," said the commission which was the top governing body under Kim Jong-il.

Under Kim Jong-il, who died earlier this month aged 69, North Korea conducted two nuclear tests. In 2010 it shelled a South Korean island and - most independent observers believe - sank a South Korean naval vessel.

The North denies the sinking and says it was provoked into the artillery barrage that killed civilians.

Kim Jong-il's son, Kim Jong-un, the third member of his family to rule North Korea, has made no public statements since the death of his father whose vast funeral procession was held two days ago.

(Reporting by Seoul bureau; Editing by Ed Lane)

Copyright © 2011 Reuters

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The Star Online: Sports

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Hayden breaks ribs, shoulder blade in training

Posted: 29 Dec 2011 03:29 PM PST

Former MotoGP world champion Nicky Hayden broke two ribs and a shoulder blade during a training accident in Kentucky earlier this week, the American's motorcycling team Ducati said on Thursday.

Hayden suffered the injuries near his home in Owensboro and has since had x-rays, a CAT scan and an MRI.

Ducati said no surgery had been scheduled but that the 30-year-old rider would have the fractures assessed by a specialist in California next week.

"Obviously, injuries are never good but it's part of motorcycle racing," Hayden said in a statement released by Ducati. "Just like at Valencia, it was kind of a freak accident.

"I was starting to train again, like I normally do during the winter, at a private track near my house. I came up behind another rider, and he went to move out of the way.

"I wasn't going that fast, but he clipped my front wheel and I went down and landed pretty hard on my left shoulder, and that was it."

Hayden, who became MotoGP world champion in 2006, had been training for the first time since he broke his wrist during the Nov. 6 Valencia Grand Prix.

"It's disappointing, but there's nothing to do about it but heal quickly," said Hayden, who is nicknamed 'The Kentucky Kid'.

"Anyway, this doesn't change my expectations for 2012 which, fortunately, is just around the corner."

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Donald voted writers' male player of the year

Posted: 29 Dec 2011 03:09 PM PST

British world number one Luke Donald added another accolade to his rapidly growing resume when he was named male player of the year by the Golf Writers Association of America (GWAA) on Thursday.

Taiwan's world number one Yani Tseng, who triumphed 12 times across the globe in 2011, was the runaway GWAA female player of the year while American veteran Tom Lehman was named senior player of the year.

Donald, who won four times worldwide in 2011 and became the first player to clinch the money titles on both sides of the Atlantic, earned 88 percent of the GWAA votes.

The 34-year-old Englishman comfortably beat Americans Keegan Bradley and Webb Simpson and Northern Irishman Rory McIlroy for the award.

Bradley won his maiden major title at the PGA Championship and McIlroy claimed his first grand slam crown at the Masters but Donald eclipsed all his rivals with an extraordinarily consistent campaign.

He won twice on the U.S. PGA Tour and posted a further 12 top-10s in 19 starts. Donald took over at the top of the world rankings on May 30 and went on to win the 2011 PGA of America player of the year award and the Vardon Trophy for the lowest scoring average.

On Dec. 13, he became the first Briton to be named PGA Tour player of the year and just two days later was voted the European Tour's golfer of the year.

Donald, Tseng and Lehman will be honoured at the GWAA's annual awards dinner on April 4 next year, held on the eve of the Masters.

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Nicol takes steps to avoid repeat of New Year stumble

Posted: 29 Dec 2011 03:35 PM PST

KUALA LUMPUR: World No. 1 Nicol David does not intend to stumble in her first tournament of 2012 as she did this year.

The memory of that shock defeat at the hands of Laura Massaro of England in the final of the Cleveland Racquet Classic in Ohio last January still bothers Nicol.

But having learnt her lesson, Nicol is not resting on her laurels as she prepares for the World Series Finals at the Queen's Club in London next week.

The 28-year-old Nicol, winner of seven tournaments this year, had a good two-week sparring session with Vicki Cardwell, a former Australian world No. 1, and her son George, in Penang.

"I learnt a lot from her in those two weeks. I also had some tough matches with George," said Nicol, who spent Christmas in Penang with her family.

Nicol, who will be playing in the eight-player World Series Finals for the first time, has been drawn in Group One with Ireland's Madeline Perry (world No. 4), France's Camille Serme (No. 10) and Australia's Donna Urquhart (No. 14).

World No. 13 and national No. 2 Low Wee Wern, who is also featuring in the Finals for the first time, is in Group Two with England's Jenny Duncalf (No. 2) and Laura Massaro (No. 3) as well as Australia's Rachael Grinham (No. 6).

Nicol opens her campaign against Serme on Jan 4 followed by matches against Urquhart and Perry.

Nicol said there would not be any easy matches.

"I can't take any of my opponents lightly even in the group stage. I believe they are all well prepared and eager to take me down.

"It's going to be a challenge to play consistently well in five matches over five days," said Nicol.

World No. 11 and national number one Mohd Azlan Iskandar will also compete for the first time in the men's competition.

The Sarawakian is drawn in Group One with England's James Willstrop (No. 2) and Egyptians Ramy Ashour (No. 4) and Karim Darwish (No. 5).

World No. 1 and two-time world champion Nick Matthew of England is drawn in the other group with Frenchman Gregory Gaultier (No. 3), Egypt's Amr Shabana (No. 6) and England's Peter Barker (No. 7).

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The Star Online: Business

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Asian markets higher in early trade

Posted: 29 Dec 2011 05:20 PM PST

KUALA LUMPUR: Improved economic data from the US and window-dressing activities buoyed Asian bourses with Tokyo's Nikkei 225, Sydney's S&P/ASX 200 and the Taipei indices posting gains in early Friday trade.

Analysts reckon that window-dressing activities would continue in the local bourse which should extend gains seen in the past week as sentiments rose supported by lower US weekly jobless claims and higher pending house sales despite a disappointing Italian bond sale.

The local bourse's FBM KLCI was up a third of a percent to 1,511.24 at 9.15am with buying interest seen in select stocks including Scomi Marine which gained 4.5 sen to 41 sen and Scomi, which was 1 sen higher at 28.5 sen.

According to analysts at HwangDBS Vickers Research, stocks that might see interest today include Berjaya Corp after posting weaker second-quarter ended Oct 31 results, QSR following a possible counter-offer from the Malay Chamber of Commerce Malaysia and Cypark Resources, which was awarded a contract worth RM14.70 million.

In the currency markets, the ringgit was higher versus the greenback at 3.169 and the euro at 4.105.

Spot gold price rose more than four-fifths of a percent to trade between US$1,558 to US$1,559 per ounce while Nymex crude oil in electronic trade gained a fifth of a percent to just below US$100 per barrel.

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Malaysia-Market factors to watch Friday Dec 30

Posted: 29 Dec 2011 05:15 PM PST

KUALA LUMPUR: Following is a list of events in Malaysia as well as news stories and press reports which may influence financial markets.

WHAT IS HAPPENING IN MALAYSIA, TIMES LOCAL FOLLOWED BY GMT:

>Kelington Group Bhd holds EGM at No. 3, Jalan Astaka U8/83, Jelutong Industrial Park, Shah Alam at 1000am (0200).

>Home Ministry secretary-general Tan Sri Mahmood Adam attends media appreciation night for the success of the Anti-Trafficking in Persons and Anti-smuggling of Migrants Campaign at Putrajaya at 11am (0300).

>Release of Nov 2011 Detailed International Reserves at 12pm (0400)

> Release of Nov 2011 Money Supply data at 6pm (1000)

MARKET SNAPSHOT:

* Malaysia's stock market finished 0.2 percent higher on Wednesday, with gains in leisure conglomerate Genting Bhd, banking group and telecommunications firm Axiata

* U.S. stocks rallied on Thursday, moving the S&P 500 back in positive territory for 2011 ahead of the last trading day of the year, on more positive signals on the U.S. economy.

* U.S. stocks rallied about 1 percent on Thursday as data signaled positive trends for the economy, but gold prices fell for a fourth consecutive session as investors constrained by tight liquidity resulting from the euro-zone debt crisis were forced to sell.

* Malaysian crude palm oil futures dipped on Thursday in cautious year-end trading, but losses were limited by worries that heavy rains may hit production in second-largest producer Malaysia.

IN THE NEWS REUTERS MALAYSIA

> Moody's:No rtgs impact from Country Garden's Malaysia

> ACE buys Ecuador general insurer for $55 mln

> Giant Vale ship gets China port OK

> Palm oil to fall to 3,140 ringgit/T

* Brazil's real gained against the U.S. dollar on Thursday, reversing early losses, as U.S. labor and housing data boosted expectations that the world's largest economy is rebounding from nearly three years of sluggish growth.

* Most Southeast Asian bourses edged higher on Thursday, helped by late bargain-hunting in big caps and dividend-yielding stocks such as banks and telecoms, but trade remained quiet, especially ahead of an Italian debt auction that kept investors nervous.

DIARY - Malaysia 30 December

ALL TIMES ARE PROVISIONAL AND IN LOCAL TIME FOLLOWED BY GMT (IN BRACKETS)

FRIDAY, DEC 30

KUALA LUMPUR - Release of Nov 2011 Money Supply data.

SHAH ALAM - Kelington Group Bhd holds EGM at No. 3, Jalan Astaka U8/83, Jelutong Industrial Park, Shah Alam at 1000am (0200).

* PUTRAJAYA - Home Ministry secretary-general Mahmood Adam attends media appreciation night for the success of the Anti-Trafficking in persons and Anti-smuggling of Migrants Campaign at Block D1, Complex D, Putrajaya at 1100am (0300).

* PUTRAJAYA - News conference by National Registration Department (NRD) on the nnew MyKad at National Registration Department, Putrajaya at 1500pm (0700).

MONDAY, JAN 2 2012

KUALA LUMPUR - Market and Public Holiday - New Year.

PRESS DIGEST - MALAYSIA - Dec 30

Following are the main stories in Malaysian newspapers. Reuters has not verified these stories and does not vouch for their accuracy.

THE STAR (www.thestar.com.my)

* There may again be another tussle for control of the KFC fast food business in Malaysia. This time, the Malay Chamber of Commerce Malaysia(MCCM) is challenging a joint bid by Johor Corp (JCorp) and CVC Capital Partners Asia Pacific to acquire the assets and liabilities of QSR Brands Bhd and KFC Holdings Bhd, MCCM president Syed Ali Alattas said.

After uncovering five cases of drug smuggling this month alone, The KL International Airport Customs has declared all air routes into Malaysia to be at high risk of being used for trafficking, KL International Airport (KLIA) Customs director M. Govinden said.

* The Energy Commission (EC) says it expects the competitive bidding process for the 4,500 megawatt (MW) power-generation capacity to involve a combination of new and existing power plants, an EC official said.

NEW STRAITS TIMES (www.nst.com.my)

* The intensifying scrutiny on alleged corruption at Iskandar Investment berhad (IIB) has uncovered foreign links in inflating costs of projects, sources said.

* The automatic transmission driving licence will be implemented nationwide in May after the driving curriculum is revised, said Deputy Transport Minister Abdul Rahim Bakri.

BUSINESS TIMES (www.btimes.com.my)

* Kian Joo Can Factory Bhd is planning to privatise subsidiary Box-Pak (Malaysia) under a multi-million ringgit deal that will involve certain Japanese firms, sources said.

* Malaysia's retail industry is expected to grow 6.5 percent this year, from last year's 8.4 percent growth, the Malaysian Retailers Association (MRA) said.

THE SUN (http://www.thesundaily.my/)

* Malaysia Airlines' (MAS) unionised staff are unhappy over a potential plan by its management to downsize the workforce as part of the struggling national carrier's turnaround plans, MAS Employees' Union president Alias Aziz said.

* Analysts have maintained ratings on WCT Bhd despite it being awarded a mixed development project in Vietnam, due to its exposure to global economic uncertainties and scepticism in Vietnam's property market, Kenanga Research said in a report.

THE EDGE FINANCIAL DAILY (www.theedgemalaysia.com)

* The local stock market bellweather FBM KLCI rose for a fifth day on Wednesday and with tomorrow (Friday) being the final day of trading for 2011, investors are expecting the upward momentum to continue, ending the year on positive note

Malaysian weather concerns weigh on palm oil futures

KUALA LUMPUR, Dec 30 (Reuters) - The following factors are likely to influence Malaysian palm oil futures and other vegetable oil markets on Friday.

FUNDAMENTALS

* Malaysian crude palm oil futures dropped on Thursday in cautious year-end trading, but losses were limited by worries that heavy rains may hit production in second-largest producer Malaysia.

* U.S. corn futures slipped almost one percent on Thursday, easing from a six-week peak on profit-taking after the market had moved into overbought technical levels during a lively weather rally.

* Oil rose on Thursday as gains in the stock market and shortcovering helped shake off early losses caused by a rise in U.S. crude stockpiles.

MARKET NEWS

* U.S. stocks rallied about 1 percent on Thursday as data signaled positive trends for the economy, but gold prices fell for a fourth consecutive session as investors constrained by tight liquidity resulting from the euro-zone debt crisis were forced to sell.

* Agricultural markets fell broadly on Thursday, ending a two-day rally spurred by dry weather in Argentina, a major growing country, while gold slid into bear market territory as investors sold the precious metal to raise cash.

RELATED NEWS

> European vegoils: Palm oil down on strong dollar

> Soybeans retreat for 2nd day on profit-taking

> ADVISORY-Astra Agro suspends palm oil auction on Dec 30, Jan 2 - Reuters

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Palm oil retreats from 5-week high, weather eyed

Posted: 29 Dec 2011 05:03 PM PST

SINGAPOREL Malaysian crude palm oil futures dropped on Thursday in cautious year-end trading, but losses were limited by worries that heavy rains may hit production in second-largest producer Malaysia.

Weaker global markets also prompted investors to book profits as palm oil eased from a 5-week high on Wednesday, adding to its 16.7 percent loss this year.

Palm oil is set to post its first annual decline since 2008, weighed down by concerns the euro zone debt crisis could stall economic growth and commodity demand.

"There's light profit-taking in the market, but it's going to be a wait-and-see game on the severity of the rainfall," said a dealer with a foreign commodities brokerage in Malaysia.

Benchmark March palm oil futures on the Bursa Malaysia Derivatives Exchange settled 0.9 percent lower at 3,155 ringgit ($1,000) per tonne. Prices touched 3,205 ringgit on Wednesday, a level unseen since Nov. 22.

Traded volumes for palm oil futures stood at 15,694 lots of 25 tonnes each, much thinner than the usual 25,000 lots as traders were unwilling to take postions ahead of the new year holidays.

But despite the loss, some traders were bullish on palm oil's outlook for next year.

"The bulls have both technical momentum and weather vagaries to propel prices higher. Against the backdrop of tight production prospects and slippage in South American crop, prices should be supportive in first quarter next year," said a trader with a local commodities brokerage in Malaysia.

"Any drop in prices is certainly a buy at least until first quarter 2012," he added.

On the weather front, the Malaysian weather office warned heavy rains could trigger floods in low-lying areas in the key oil palm growing states of Pahang, Johor and Sabah, accounting for almost 60 percent of national palm oil output.

While there have not been any reports of a disruption in deliveries of crude palm oil to refineries and ports, traders are watching the weather development closely, especially as palm oil production in Malaysia is in the seasonally low-yield phase.

But slowing exports may provide relief to any tightness in stocks as cargo surveyor data on Tuesday showed Malaysia's palm oil exports fell 11 percent in the first 25 days of December.

In related markets, oil held above $107 a barrel on Thursday as investors looked ahead to a U.S. supply report expected to show a drop in crude stocks and as Iranian threats to halt a vital oil trade lent support.

U.S. soyoil for January delivery fell 0.6 percent amid weaker global markets while the most active Sept 2012 soyoil contract on China's Dalian commodity exchange was almost flat. - Reuters

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The Star Online: Entertainment: Movies

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The Star Online: Entertainment: Movies


Jeremy Renner's Mission Possible

Posted: 29 Dec 2011 12:57 AM PST

LOS ANGELES (Reuters): Actor Jeremy Renner scuffed around Hollywood for a decade before his career took off in 2009 when he was nominated for an Oscar in his starring role in the bomb-disposal war drama The Hurt Locker.

Renner didn't win the award, although the film earned the best movie Oscar. He followed Hurt Locker with another Oscar-nominated role in The Town and did a cameo in this year's blockbuster Thor.

Now he's starring opposite Tom Cruise in Mission: Impossible - Ghost Protocol, the MI franchise's fourth film that is No. 1 at box offices over the holidays.

Renner, 40, spoke to Reuters about how he landed the role, working with Cruise, and rumors he may take over the franchise when Cruise, nine years his senior, tires of it.

Is it true you went in to discuss a possible role in Super 8 when you were offered MI4 instead?

It's true. I was discussing Super 8 with J.J. Abrams, who directed that and produced (MI4), and that was a very secretive project too, and within a few hours I'd met Tom Cruise and (MI4 director) Brad Bird. I went in for one movie and came out with another!

Does that happen a lot?

Not to me. It's very strange. I called people and said, 'You won't believe what just happened.' It was crazy and I was shocked to suddenly be in MI4. But it was so easy, sitting down with Tom and Brad. It's this fantastic fun franchise ... And there was no script then. They just pitched me the whole story, where my character was at, and it all made sense. It was very easy to say, 'Yes.'

You play the uptight analyst. Is there much of you in him?

I can get very nervous about stuff, and I have to do something to relieve that nervousness -- it's not something disgusting or pornographic -- and Tom thought it was pretty funny and he put it in the movie. My character is complicated, and I really liked that. He starts off as this very buttoned-up desk-jockey type, and then things happen and there's more than meets the eye to him, which is always interesting.

Any surprises working with Cruise?

Just how dedicated he is. I think he has 48 hours in a day, compared to our 24. He gets so much done and is so focused. He has this childlike outlook, where he's constantly learning and growing all the time. He has this immense amount of energy because he's so excited about what he's doing. He loves what he does, and that's awesome to be around. It's infectious.

There's a rumor that you may take over the franchise.

I heard that. I hear lots of rumors -- that I'm sleeping with half of Hollywood -- and I'm like, 'who has the time?' No, it's not true about Mission: Impossible. There's no taking over. It's not happening.

Next year you do take over the Bourne franchise, though.

Yeah, but I'm not playing Jason Bourne and taking over from Matt Damon. It's called Bourne Legacy, and it's a sort of continuation of the story, but not based on a book like the others. I'm loving doing it, though it's very different from Mission. It feels very small and contained by comparison. It's action-heavy but not stunt-heavy with big spectacle stunts. It's more hands-on and gritty.

Your career is red hot. Ever been down and out?

Of course! Most of my career's been down, not up.

What was your lowest point?

There's loads of those. I had stretches where I couldn't afford the electric bill, but I was still alive and kicking -- and still smiling. That's the most important thing. Even in my darkest hour, I was still happy doing what I do. I never considered ever giving up. Not once.

What do you do when you're not working on movies?

I'm very active. I love skiing, building houses, and music's still a big part of my life. I used to have a garage band, and now I love writing songs. It's a great outlet as it only needs me. I don't need scripts or a whole film crew. It can happen instantaneously.

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'Hunger Games' trumps 'Twilight' in 2012 buzz

Posted: 28 Dec 2011 10:37 PM PST

LOS ANGELES (Reuters) - Is "The Twilight Saga" beginning to lose its grip on movie fans?

The latest installment of the vampire romance finished second to "Harry Potter" in a best of the year poll for MTV's Nextmovie.com, and trailed "The Hunger Games" as the most anticipated movie of 2012.

What's more, "Twilight" stars Kristen Stewart and Robert Pattinson - whose characters Bella and Edward finally wed in "The Twilight Saga: Breaking Dawn-Part 1" - lost out as best on-screen couple to Emma Watson and Rupert Grint, who played Hermione Granger and Ron Weasley in "Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows-Part 2."

According to the poll released on Wednesday, 51 percent of the votes cast for the movie fans are most looking forward to in 2012 went to upcoming "The Hunger Games" - based on the futuristic young adult thriller novels of the same name.

"The Twilight Saga: Breaking Dawn Part 2" - the forthcoming final film based on the best-selling novels by Stephenie Meyer - won 45 percent of votes.

"Deathly Hallows - Part 2" which concluded the Harry Potter movie franchise this summer, won the title for best 2011 movie with 52 percent of votes ahead of "Breaking Dawn- Part 1" with 48 percent.

The "Twilight" and "Harry Potter" films have been two of Hollywood's most lucrative franchises of the past few years.

But "The Hunger Games", starring Jennifer Lawrence and Josh Hutcherson as teens fighting to the death in a bleak vision of North America, is creating strong buzz ahead of its release on March 23, 2012.

Nextmovie.com said the poll received more than 982,000 votes. Full results can been seen at http://www.nextmovie.com/blog/2011-year-end-poll-results/.

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Traffic cops to help probe vehicle theft cases

Posted: 29 Dec 2011 05:35 AM PST

Published: Thursday December 29, 2011 MYT 9:35:00 PM

KOTA KINABALU: About 5,200 traffic policemen will be roped in from Jan 15 to help Criminal Investigation Department (CID) officers in probes involving vehicle theft cases.

Federal Internal Security and Public Order director Datuk Salleh Mat Rasid said the CID would hand over investigation papers on the thefts to the respective district traffic police for immediate follow-up.

"If there is any arrest or recovery of the stolen vehicle, we will hand the case to the CID for action.

Comm Salleh said the latest move was implemented in light of the frequency of vehicle thefts at street alleys or residential areas.

"Traffic policemen are mostly the ones on duty at these areas. They will also be involved in locating stolen vehicles," he said after a dialogue with the state General Operations Force brigade officers in Kinarut near here Thursday.

Police records showed that 40.7% of the 177,520 crimes committed in 2010 involved thefts of vehicles, he added.

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Harakah hits back at Hasan Ali

Posted: 29 Dec 2011 03:10 AM PST

PETALING JAYA: PAS organ Harakahdaily has hit back at embattled party leader Datuk Dr Hasan Ali for accusing it of twisting facts when claiming he had apologised to spiritual leader Datuk Nik Aziz Nik Mat in a recent closed-door meeting.

The publication ran a piece online Thursday carrying a transcript of its interview with Nik Aziz, highlighting excerpts to back an earlier article quoting the Kelantan Mentri Besar as saying that Hasan had apologised to him at the Tuesday night meeting.

Written in Malay and backed by a video clip, the contentious line read: Datuk Hassan Ali menarik balik kenyataan-kenyataan dia yang sensitif. Ini tanda kelelakian dia, anak jantan. Kita buat salah, bila kita sedar buat salah, tarik balik, minta maaf. Ini ajaran agama. Bukan senang manusia buat salah nak tarik balik, bukan senang. Tiba-tiba dia ni tarik balik.

(Datuk Hasan Ali retracted his statements that were sensitive. This is a sign of his manliness, a real man. We make mistakes, and when we realise we make mistakes, we take it back, apologise. This is what religion teaches. It is not easy for people who do wrong to take it back, not easy. Suddenly he took it back.)

Late Wednesday, Hasan issued a statement denying that he had apologised to Nik Aziz at their meeting in Kota Baru, saying he retracted his comments on the party's welfare state policy and apologised to party leaders during a press conference at his residence on Dec 24.

He said he was disappointed with Harakahdaily for claiming such, adding that he had reminded them "many times" not to twist facts which could create confusion and disunity.

Hasan's spat with the party organ is the latest to hit the former Selangor Pas commissioner, who has been at loggerheads with party colleagues over the past several weeks for criticising their leadership.

Both he and former deputy president Nasharudin Mat Isa also got in trouble for pushing for a revival of unity talks with arch-rival Umno.

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Man held for chaining, confining children in toilet

Posted: 29 Dec 2011 03:00 AM PST

Published: Thursday December 29, 2011 MYT 6:59:00 PM
Updated: Thursday December 29, 2011 MYT 7:00:09 PM

BUTTERWORTH: Police have detained a man for abusing his two children by chaining and confining them in the toilet of their home in Taman Mawar, Jalan Raja Uda, here.

Seberang Prai North police chief ACP Zulkifli Alias said Thursday that the man, in his 40s, tied his six-year-old daughter and two-year-old son with a metal chain when he went out to work at 3pm Wednesday.

The siblings were forced to starve for more than five hours after the father left the house.

The man who works with a courier service company here, has been separated from his wife, a Thai national, since last month.

Zulkifli said the two children were found to be very weak from hunger and their legs chained.

He said the initial investigation found that the father had resorted to the measure as he did not have a nanny and the children were said to be naughty.

The man was detained to assist in the investigation under Section 31 (1) of the Child Act and faces a jail term of up to a year or a fine of RM2,000 or both.

A neighbour of the family who declined to be identified said he had heard the children crying for help at about 8pm.

He said when asked what happened, the girl shouted that they were being held in the toilet.

He later informed a Taman Mawar Voluntary Patrol Team and the police. - Bernama

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Metro watch

Posted: 29 Dec 2011 03:38 AM PST

CLEARANCE SALE

A closing down sale with books and golf items going at rock-bottom prices at 106-2B Jalan PJU 1/3B, Sunwaymas commercial centre on Dec 30-31. The books offer a wide range of titles, including the classics, children's books, pets, history and education. Golf accessories include wooden tees, driving range steel baskets, rubbers tees and others. The sale, strictly on cash terms, will be on from 10am to 5pm. For details, call 012-283 1375 (Jenny — books) or 012-229 3750 (Virginia — golf items).

LANE CLOSURE

There will be a closure of the emergency and motorcycle lanes at both bounds along Shah Alam Highway, between Hicom Interchange and Seafield Interchange from today until July 26, 2012, to facilitate bridge widening works. All motorists are advised to adhere to traffic signage along the construction area. For details, call 03-5633 7188 or visit www.kesas.com.my

BLOOD DONATION

Blood donation drives will be held today at the lobby of Block B, Komplex JPM Putrajaya (9am-4pm); community hall in Jalan Zircon A7/A, Seksyen 7 in Shah Alam (10am-4pm); Dewan Komanwel in Bukit Jalil Sports Complex (9am-2pm) and Chow Kit monorail station (3pm-8pm). For details, visit www.pdn.gov.my

LOGO DESIGN COMPETITION

In conjunction with Cyberjaya's 15th anniversary, a logo design competition is now on until Jan 22. The winning logo will stand a chance to be used as the official celebration logo throughout next year. There is no entry fee. Participants must submit their best designs before 6pm on the closing date. For details and entry form, visit www.cyberview.com.my

TALK ON UNKNOWN UNIVERSE

There will be a free talk by Prof Datuk Dr. Mazlan Othman on "The Unknown Universe" on Jan 4 at the Theatrette, Planetarium Negara in Jalan Perdana, KL. Admission is free. Closing date for registration is Jan 2. To register, contact Hermayanti/Seetha at 03-2694 9898 or email herma@akademisains.gov.my or seetha@akademisains.gov.my

ART EXHIBITION

Soka Gakkai Malaysia (SGM) is holding two art exhibitions — "Homage to Tan Tong His Art and Times" and "Lam Yut Hang's Calligraphy & Xu Yi, Xiong Jiangping and Li Huifang's Purple Clay Teapot Art" exhibition at Wisma Kebudayaan SGM, Jalan Bukit Bintang, KL from now until Jan 1, from 11am to 6pm. Admission is free.

BR1M REGISTRATION

Registration exercise for the 1Malaysia People's Aid (BR1M) RM500 fund will be held this Sunday at the Sri Sakti Karpaga Vinayagar Temple in Jalan Berhala, Brickfields in Kuala Lumpur (opposite the Palm Court condominium). Bring photocopies of MyKad and payslip.

DURIAN FEAST

Eat as many durians as you want at the "Let's Eat Durian 2011" feast from today until Friday at Muzium Telekom in Jalan Raja Chulan, Kuala Lumpur. Price is RM15 per person and RM8 for children between 7 and 12 years old. Visitors can take part in games and activities scheduled as well. For details, call 03-2020 5454.

ACTIVITIES FOR KIDS

There will be cooking, singing, games and craft sessions at the Kajang Gospel Centre from Dec 29-31 from 9am to 1.30pm. Fees will be RM15 per child and is on a first-come, first-served basis. For details, call 012-273 7121 (Low) or 03-8734 5972 (Mah).

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Fishing by the beach can be rewarding, if you find the right spot

Posted: 29 Dec 2011 03:38 AM PST

THERE is a good reason for keen anglers to hit the beach in their spare time.

With the long coastal line on the both of the peninsular, this is an enjoyable way to catch a fish.

From an angling perspective, the local beach has plenty to offer but one has to find the right spot to wet their lines.

Aside from being able to bag various species like stringray, whiting, croacker, bream and even grouper, the gear needed for this activities will not burn a hole in your pocket.

All one needs is a reasonable basic rod, preferably a medium to hard action rod, a reel (enough to spool a 20 or 25 pound line to cast it out to the open sea), hooks and some sinkers to do this.

As for bait, it can be sourced at the location or bought from the market.

Beach fishing is really simple and basic. However, one can also choose to be more sophisticated as one progresses with this hobby. One can use lures like plugs, poppers and even spinner baits near the rocky outcrops along the coastline or nearer the island, to hunt for their catches.

I remember a long time ago, I used to fish using Abu kong-kong.

Abu kong-kong is slang used by some to describe a hand line, a method where the monofilament line is spooled onto a condensed milk can. And to cast the line out, the popular "helicopter" technique to loop the line is used. Of course, the sinker was an unwanted spark plug which could be obtained from motor workshops for free.

It was a cheap way to fish on the beach then. But many of us progressed over the years, upgrading ourselves with affordable rod and line.

Fishing on the beach can be fun, but one has to be able to read the location and know where to cast their line to improve their chances in hooking up the catches.

Knowing the contour of the beach and picking up a spot to fish is not as difficult as one may think.

The most important observation an angler should have is to be able to spot or find a hole or "gutter", which is most likely to hold fish, which has deeper water than other places in a particular location.

This observation can be done during low tide or as the tide is about to rise.

Alternatively, these holes or gutters can also be easily spotted if you have access to a higher vantage point. Deeper water tends to be darker and calmer than its surrounding area.

Watching how waves break, leaving foam as they break before reforming back to swell, can also give away the location of holes or gutters.

Fishing in these holes or gutters rather than casting the line into the middle of nowhere can be productive, as I found out over the years.

Fishing around rocky outcrops also gives some advantages, especially when one is looking for species like grouper.

Setting up the rig to carry out this type of fishing is also simple enough for anyone to do.

The most common rig used is the double or triple hook flapper rig. The boom paternoster and wishbone rigs are also found to be effective for this type of fishing but it has to depend on the sea conditions, the spot where one would want to fish and the species targeted.

As for the bait, one could source it from the beach or simply buy it from the market.

If you can source (or even buy) the umpun (seaworm) in the vicinity where you fish, this would be the most ideal bait.

Alternatively, one can buy prawns, squids or even bait fish like scad (kembong) or selar or sardin for this.

Some anglers also use cockles and chicken or cow liver as bait to catch sea catfish.

An angler also needs to know the tide movement to fish at beaches, preferably some 45 minutes before the start of a rising tide and after it peaks.

With experience, anglers will find there can be plenty of activity in the early morning and night fishing.

Beach fishing is simple, fun and easy. Anglers will be amazed with the many species that they can land.

Happy fishing!

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New Year Eve carnival at Jonker Street

Posted: 28 Dec 2011 03:28 PM PST

MALACCA: New Year revellers can expect a carnival atmosphere here at Jonker street.

Jonker Walk Committee chairman Datuk Wira Gan Boon Leong said cultural performances and live music are set to entertain revellers throughout the event on Saturday night.

"The Melaka City Rockers and modern group dances by several youth groups here are expected to liven up the evening and this includes many talented musicians that will be performing live.

"Apart from that, a Chinese cross-talking show is also set to intrigue the crowd," said Gan.

He added that the event is in its 12th-year running with an overwhelming response from the public.

The organsing committee, said Gan, had expected more than 10,000 people at the countdown, surpassing the crowd recorded for last year.

"We hope that people will come and celebrate New Year's eve here to liven up the festive spirit," he added.

Gan also called on revellers to not bring and use snow spray during the celebration as the artificial snow-like kit was misused in earlier celebrations which led to some unpleasant incidents among the crowd.

"We do not wish to see anyone being physically hurt by any sort of party items.

"So it is better not to bring and use it," he said.

To keep things in check and balance, the police, including some plain clothed detectives would be stationed at Jonker Walk to enforce public order and safety.

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Malacca is considering the ban on snow spray due to complaints

Posted: 28 Dec 2011 03:28 PM PST

MALACCA: The Malacca government is mulling over the ban on the use of snow spray during open celebrations following numerous public complaints.

Chief Minister Datuk Seri Mohd Ali Rustam said the party that sprays artificial snowflake contributed to the havoc during celebrations, especially among rowdy revellers who were out to have fun at the expense of other people.

"We will bring this up for discussion during the next state executive councillor meeting.

"The item has caused tension among revellers and residents during the recent Christmas countdown party at the Portuguese Settlement," he said.

Mohd Ali added that the rowdy mob spared no one by spraying the snow spray indiscriminately.

"Some of them even sprayed foam onto the windscreens and side windows of passing motorists, leaving a big pile of mess on the roads.

"This irked many residents and tourists," he said.

Inconsiderate revellers, added the Chief Minister, had even sprayed the chemical-based party item onto people's eyes.

"The snow spray leaves a pungent smell and can cause irritation to the eyes and the nose."

Mohd Ali said before the ban takes place, the public can lodge a police report on the culprits where action can be taken.

"It's all right to have fun, but not with the snow spray where it can harm people and cause destruction to public property."

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Villagers terrorised by King Cobra

Posted: 28 Dec 2011 03:28 PM PST

MALACCA: Villagers at Kampung Attap in Ujong Pasir are living in fear as a King Cobra is on the prowl around their neighbourhood.

So far, about 10 people had sighted the venomous reptile in the area.

Kota Melaka Barisan Nasional complaints bureau chief Ronald Gan Ying Hoe said people became paranoid over the snake issue.

He added that even the local council workers and postmen were afraid to enter the area.

"Stories about a King Cobra and Anaconda swallowing people alive at a supermarket here in Cheng are merely rumours, but in the case of a King Cobra sighted at the housing estate is genuine," he said.

Gan added that he had tried resolve the issue, but to no avail as the natural habitat for the large snake had been cleared for development.

"The area is situated on a privately-owned land which is fenced, and that made it difficult for the city council to exterminate the reptile's brooding ground.

"Furthermore, the landscape at Kampung Attap which is close to the sea with plenty of undergrowth are considered as an ideal habitat for the King Cobra," he said.

The matter, he added, was also raised to the state National Park and Wildlife Department.

But in accordance to the Law, no one could enter a private property to capture the reptile without the owner's consent.

"I am constantly bombarded by the residents for not addressing their plight but my hands are tied too.

"They are asking me whether the authority will only act if there is a fatal attack and also threatened not to support Barisan in te next general election if the snake issue is not settled," he said.

Gan added that residents in Kampung Attap had kept away from their own backyards fearing snake attacks.

"The backlanes of the housing estate is brimming cobras and even garbage collectors are afraid to enter the area."

One of the residents, Suzie Chee, 56 said the snakes began to appear at the housing estate since a secondary jungle nearby was cleared for development earlier this year.

She addded that the cobras came out in search of prey in the neighbourhood after their natural habitat was destroyed.

"There has been numerous sightings of snakes in our neighbourhood and fortunately, one of my neighbours who had knowledge on how to handle the reptiles had driven them away," she said.

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