Isnin, 2 Januari 2012

The Star Online: World Updates

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

The Star Online: World Updates

Arab League says Syria monitors are helping

Posted: 02 Jan 2012 03:58 PM PST

BEIRUT (Reuters) - The head of the Arab League has said its peace monitors are helping to ease a violent crackdown on anti-government protests in Syria, but urged President Bashar al-Assad's government to carry out a peace plan in full.

Demonstrators protest against Syria's President Bashar al-Assad in Kafranbel, near Adlb December 30, 2011. Syrian security forces, undaunted by the presence of Arab League observers, have killed at least 12 protesters as hundreds of thousands demonstrated against the government of President Bashar al-Assad, opposition activists said. REUTERS/Handout

Meanwhile army defectors whose armed insurgency has threatened to overshadow the peaceful popular uprising captured dozens of members of the security forces by seizing two checkpoints Monday, the opposition said.

Army defectors also clashed with security forces at a third checkpoint, killing and wounding an unspecified number of troops loyal to Assad, opposition activists said.

Assad is struggling to defeat a popular uprising and avoid becoming the latest leader to be toppled by "Arab Spring" revolutions, after those of Tunisia, Egypt, Libya and Yemen.

After nearly 10 months of violence in which the United Nations says more than 5,000 people have been killed, mostly unarmed civilians, an Arab League monitoring mission has spent the past week assessing Assad's compliance with a peace plan.

Arab League Secretary General Nabil Elaraby said Monday that Syria's military had now withdrawn from residential areas and was on the outskirts of the cities, but gunfire continued and snipers were still a threat.

"The latest telephone report said there is gunfire from different places, which makes it hard to say who is shooting who," Elaraby said in Cairo. "Gunfire should be stopped and there are snipers."

"We call upon the Syrian government to fully commit to what it promised."


The League's plan calls for Assad to pull troops and tanks from the streets, free detainees and talk to his opponents.

Elaraby said the monitors had secured the release of 3,484 prisoners and succeeded in getting food supplies into Homs, one of the centres of the violence. "Give the monitoring mission the chance to prove its presence on the ground," he said.

But many Syrian opposition activists are sceptical that the mission can put real pressure on Assad to halt the violence.

Sunday, the Arab Parliament, an 88-member committee of delegates from each of the League's member states, called for the monitors to leave Syria, saying their mission was providing cover for unabated violence and abuses by the government.

Two people were killed by gunfire in Homs Monday, and the bodies of another two were handed over to their families, the British-based Syrian Observatory for Human Rights said.

Security forces killed a farmer in Douma, on the northeastern edge of Damascus, as they carried out raids searching for suspects wanted by authorities, it said.


Kinan Shami, a member of the Syrian Revolution Coordinating Union activists' group, said from Damascus that people were taking huge risks by gathering in cities where Arab League monitors were expected, in the hope of talking to them.

"People expected them in Daraya yesterday on New Year's Day and thousands went to the main square, raised the Independence Flag on a mast and gathered around it. Security forces shot at them and killed two protesters," Shami said.

"The people are trying to show the monitors the repression and are risking their lives to meet them because everywhere they go the monitors are surrounded by security... Other than getting arrested and beaten or killed, they could easily face endless counts of treason and communicating with foreign powers."

But Issam Ishak, a senior member of the main opposition Syrian National Council, said the monitors must be given a chance. "Their presence is helping further erode the fear factor and is encouraging the expansion of the protests."

The reported attacks on military checkpoints came three days after the anti-government Free Syrian Army said it had ordered its fighters to stop offensive operations while it tried to arrange a meeting with the Arab League delegates.

Rami Abdelrahman, director of the Observatory, said Monday's operation had taken place in the northern province of Idlib. It was not immediately clear how many people had been killed or captured by the rebels.

The government bars most foreign journalists from operating in Syria, making it difficult to verify witness accounts. Assad blames the unrest on foreign-backed armed Islamists who officials say have killed 2,000 security personnel.

The state news agency SANA said a worker at a school in the city of Hama had been killed by armed men who captured her three days ago after her husband, who worked at the same school, refused their demands that he leave his job.

SANA also said a journalist working for state radio had died Monday from wounds sustained when gunmen shot him several days ago in Daraya, in Damascus province.

(Additional reporting by Khaled Yacoub Oweis in Amman; writing by Mark Trevelyan and Kevin Liffey; editing by Jon Boyle)

Copyright © 2012 Reuters

Full content generated by Get Full RSS.

Egyptians head to polls again in parliament vote

Posted: 02 Jan 2012 03:19 PM PST

CAIRO (Reuters) - Egyptians vote Tuesday in the third round of a parliamentary election that has so far handed Islamists the biggest share of seats in an assembly that will be central in the transition from army rule.

Supporters of Egypt's former President Hosni Mubarak shout slogans outside the police academy, where his trial will take place, in Cairo January 2, 2012. REUTERS/Mohamed Abd El-Ghany

Islamist groups came late to the uprising that unseated president Hosni Mubarak in February, but were well placed to seize the moment when Egyptians were handed the first chance in six decades to choose their representatives freely.

The run-up to the third round has been overshadowed by the deaths of 17 people last month in clashes between the army and protesters demanding the military step aside immediately. But the ruling generals have insisted the election process will not be derailed by violence.

Monitors mostly praised the first two rounds as free of the ballot stuffing, thuggery and vote rigging that once guaranteed landslide wins for Mubarak's party.

But police raids on pro-democracy and rights groups last week have disrupted the work of leading Western-backed election monitors and drew accusations that the army was deliberately trying to weaken oversight of the vote and silence critics.

The government said the raids were part of a probe into illegal foreign funding of political parties and not aimed at weakening rights groups, which have been among the fiercest critics of the army's turbulent rule.

Nevertheless, Washington called on the Egyptian government to halt "harassment" of the groups involved.

The U.S.-funded International Republican Institute said it had been invited by Egypt government to monitor the election and did not give funding to political parties or civic groups.

It urged the government to let staff return to their offices and obtain the official registration they had long requested.

"There is no reason not to allow IRI to assess the elections," the IRI said in a statement Monday.


Citizens thronged the polls in unprecedented numbers in the first two rounds and parties ranging from hardline Islamists to liberals and secularists are competing hard for every vote.

Liberals accuse groups like the Muslim Brotherhood and the hardline Islamist Al-Nour party, which surprised with a strong showing in earlier rounds, of flouting a ban on religious slogans in politics and telling voters their rivals are ungodly.

"We have been trying to tell people in our campaign before the third stage that we respect religions," said Mohamed Abu Hamed, Secretary General of the liberal Free Egyptians party.

Islamists in turn accuse one of the party's top figures, Coptic Christian business tycoon Naguib Sawiris, of using his media empire to mount a disinformation campaign against them.

The Brotherhood's Freedom and Justice Party (FJP) "demands from media outlets, especially those owned by businessmen who ... still have interests with the previous regime, to remain objective and stop distorting this experience, which people have been waiting for a long time," the FJP said in a statement.

Although Islamists command a majority of seats contested so far, fierce rivalry among the various Islamist groups offers scope for liberals to wield influence in the parliament, which will play a role in defining a new constitution for Egypt.

But the strong showing by religious parties has sown unease among Western powers that only disowned Mubarak once his three-decade rule was crumbling.

Mubarak painted his government as a modernising bulwark against Islamist extremists who threatened Egypt's future prosperity and its peace treaty with neighbour Israel.

The Brotherhood, which built a broad grass-roots support base through decades of charity work among millions of poor Egyptians, insists it will do nothing to weaken Egypt's economy further or sow social chaos.

That message of stability has found resonance among ordinary Egyptians tired of almost a year of political turmoil and fearful for their livelihoods as the economy wallows in crisis.

The concluding vote to the lower house of parliament takes in regions of the rural south, which has the largest proportions of Christian voters, the industrial Nile Delta region north of the capital Cairo, and the restive Sinai desert region to the east.

Fourteen million eligible voters in nine regions will choose who occupies 150 of the seats in parliament.

The army, under pressure to hasten the handover to civilian rule, issued a decree Sunday to shorten the forthcoming upper house election to two rounds from three.

Copyright © 2012 Reuters

Full content generated by Get Full RSS.

Five hurt in Cyprus in protest over British bases

Posted: 02 Jan 2012 01:11 PM PST

NICOSIA (Reuters) - At least five people were injured and two arrested during a protest against the presence of British military bases in Cyprus late Monday, witnesses said.

Fighting broke out between Cypriot demonstrators and police guarding RAF Akrotiri, a sprawling compound on the southern tip of the eastern Mediterranean island.

According to a spokesperson for the bases, four civilian police officers employed to guard the bases were injured along with a television cameraman who was hit by a rock. Local media also reported injuries among demonstrators, some of whom threw rocks and sticks at the entrance of the tightly-guarded compound.

Britain has held sovereignty over two bases since Cyprus gained independence from London in 1960. The existence of British bases is regarded by many Cypriots as an unwelcome colonial remnant, though protests against their continued presence have waned in recent years.

London has given no sign it intends to hand them over.

Last month British Defense Minister Philip Hammond confirmed London's "enduring commitment" to the bases, saying they had proved their worth during air operations in Libya and as a logistic hub for activities in Afghanistan.

The RAF base at Akrotiri plus the army barracks at Dhekelia in the east together cover 98 sq miles (254 sq km) of Cyprus, or around 3 percent of its landmass.

(Reporting By Michele Kambas; Editing by Ben Harding)

Copyright © 2012 Reuters

Full content generated by Get Full RSS.

The Star Online: Entertainment: TV & Radio

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

The Star Online: Entertainment: TV & Radio

Yearning for more

Posted: 03 Jan 2012 12:25 AM PST

It's a new year with new possibilities so we've decided to list down our hopes and wishes for TV in 2012.

LET me start with my annual plea: that our TV stations bring more current shows our way. Top on my list: Homeland, Enlightened, the latest season of Dexter, The Closer, Fringe, Modern Family, Big Bang Theory, Mike & Molly, Parks And Recreation, Top Chef, Top Chef Just Desserts, Project Runway and Dancing With The Stars (we need to catch up so please air the previous 12 seasons that we missed out on)!

Now, we all get frustrated when a show doesn't go the way we want it to, right? Like the romance between Dr Gregory House (Hugh Laurie) and Dr Lisa Cuddy (Lisa Edelstein), for example, which I thought ruined almost the entire seventh season of House. So, here's my hope for another series which I am fast losing interest in: How I Met Your Mother. Does anyone still care how Ted Mosby (Josh Radnor) met the mother of his two children?

I know I stopped caring a couple of seasons ago. I pity those kids of his, having to sit on the couch and listen to everything but how their parents met.

In fact, these days I'm just focused on willing (I believe in the power of positive thinking, even though I've never quite had any successful outcomes) Barney Stintson (Neil Patrick Harris) and Robin Scherbatsky (Conie Smulders) together. My wish for 2012 (that's Season Seven of the show for crying out loud) is that the creators/writers for the show should somehow ditch/switch the whole HIMYM direction because it's gotten way old.

Next: Supernatural. Still a great show but will Sam Winchester please shave off his side-burns – they're fast becoming scarier than any of the demons that appear on the show.

The horror! You've seen the trailers – American Idol is back for its 11th season in about a week's time, with the same line-up of judges we saw last year. Yup. Jenny from the Block is back as is Steven Tyler.

The show is what it is and chances are, the winner will not become a record-breaking star – only three have had any real success (Kelly Clarkson, Carrie Underwood and Chris Daughtry and he didn't even win). Still, it's obviously still bringing in the ratings. What I hope for 2012? That the show's producers pick up on the what the show seriously lacked last season – subtitles for rocker Tyler because no one knows what he's saying half the time. SI

PICKING up from where Indra left off, I'd like to see a few changes on American Idol this year, too. For the longest time I was a very big fan of the reality series. But in the last two years, I have completely lost interest – especially after they messed around with the judging panel. I just couldn't get used to record producer Kara DioGuardi; was appalled by comedian Ellen DeGeneres and thanked my lucky stars when she was replaced by Lopez and Tyler. I actually like the pop-rock duo Lopez and Tyler, but still somehow felt the series was lacking something.

So, if I had to wish for something this year, it would be to go back in time – a retrograde flow if you like. Back to the days when Simon Cowell would offer his caustic, harsh critiques and Paula Abdul would be the "Pollyana" all the contestants loved; the days when Idol wannabes had the gumption to sing an Allman Brother's tune like Whipping Post (Bo Bice, I love you still); and when Ryan Seacrest was just a fresh faced host (and not some hotshot network producer); when the series was more interested in finding talent than how to boost ratings. Back to the days when a gazillion other reality talent shows weren't on every other channel.

But can we go back? I almost cringe at the thought of a new season (starting Jan 18, set your reminders if you're looking forward to it). Ten seasons in the bag, there are still people overly obsessed with the show (At, which is a blog providing AI spoilers for the Idolsphere and beyond, they are even guessing who made it through the auditions by stalking people online). I really hope that this year the audition rounds don't drag on forever, and that they don't over-feature the ridiculous/zany auditions. We would much rather see talent, even if the William Hung types do provide fodder for water cooler conversation.

Very often we don't get to track the entire histories of the eventual finalists, so I wish this time around the producers allow for episodes which will feature unseen footage of those who eventually make it through. Yeah, and maybe at the finals, we could hear what the original three judges would have to say ... just for a blast from the past.

My next wish for TV this year revolves around shows like the Dog Whisperer With Cesar Millan, Party Planner With Dave Tutera and Take Home Chef. I really, really wish that these experts would find it in their hearts to come to Malaysia (after all, it is a slice of what's truly Asia, right?). If Millan would come to Subang Jaya, Selangor, for instance, wow! He'd be kept incredibly busy I assure you – there's more than enough problematic canine material here for a whole season, and I'm talking about my mutts alone!

My kids and I dream of having Millan's pack over at our place, mingling with our mixed breed "Pickles" and Cocker Spaniel "Rainy" so that they can learn how to go on nice, normal walks around the neighbourhood; wait patiently for meal times; and not bound manically out the house each time the auto gate is opened. Cesar Millan, do you see our plight, hear our need? How about if we pay for your flight ticket?

I felt the same way about Tutera and oh-so wanted to have him over to organise my 40th birthday party (yes, I'm way past that juncture now, go ahead and laugh if you want, see if I care). I even went so far as to write to Tutera to ask if he would come here ... for a special KL-episode. Sadly, I never received a reply and instead, had to settle for my own party planning skills, so you can imagine what a letdown that was for my guests.

Now, Curtis Stone (the Take Home Chef) did actually come to Malaysia three years ago and my fellow Sofa Spudnik Indra even got a chance to cook with him, but that was a media promotional thing so it shouldn't count. There's nothing like walking around a supermarket and having an Australian surfer-type dude asking if he can come home and cook for you ... definitely on my wishlist this year. – AMC

Full content generated by Get Full RSS.

The Star Online: Nation

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

The Star Online: Nation

Chef Wan decides to continue with his facebook postings

Posted: 02 Jan 2012 04:11 AM PST

PETALING JAYA: Chef Wan got over his simmering disappointment with the scathing remarks written in his Facebook account and in the spirit of the new year, tossed aside his earlier intention to quit the online scene.

He said he changed his mind about closing his Facebook account because he was moved by the loyalty and kindness shown by many of his fans.

"This is the time to show all of you that I really tak sampai hati kerana sayangkan (don't have the heart because I love) all of you," said the celebrity chef, whose real name is Datuk Redzuawan Ismail, on his fan page.

Chef Wan also deleted several posts he wrote over the weekend on his website which expressed his unhappiness and upset with criticism he had received from comments he made as a juror on Astro's Maharaja Lawak Mega.

He said earlier in one of the posts that he had decided to close his account as the page had become a "source for spewing jealousy, backstabbing and kutuk-mengutuk (condemnation), especially towards me."

Wishing his fans a happy new year, he said he would take everything, be it good or bad, in a positive way.

His fans, numbering close to 85,000 Facebook followers, offered encouraging words for his turnaround decision.

One of them, Charles Thean, said he was very happy that Chef Wan did not concern himself with negative opinions from others.

"What's important is that there are many who are positive and keep supporting you! Live on the positive and throw away the negative where it belongs - [in the] rubbish bin," he wrote.

Another fan, Noor Sharon Mohamed, said Chef Wan's announcement was the "best news ever for the new year".

Full content generated by Get Full RSS.

Haris quits as MCLM president

Posted: 02 Jan 2012 03:50 AM PST

PETALING JAYA: Lawyer-turned-activist Haris Ibrahim has resigned as president of the Malaysian Civil Liberties Movement.

He announced his resignation on his blog Monday, just two days after MCLM chairman and exiled blogger Raja Petra Kamarudin gave an interview to selected media lashing out at Opposition Leader Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim.

Claiming that Raja Petra's comments had greatly undermined MCLM's efforts for the upcoming general election, Haris said that he was saddened his "friend" continued to view the people through racial lenses.

He rebutted Raja Petra's interview where he was reported to have said MCLM would not field any candidate in the coming polls.

"I can confirm now that no decision has been made after due consultation," said Haris.

He also had contention with Raja Petra's statement in which he was quoted as saying: "The Chinese voters don't want Tahrir Square type of change", in reference to the revolutionary demonstrations in the Arab countries.

"In the circumstances, I find it impossible to continue to serve MCLM as its president," he said.

Haris also revealed that he knew about the interview about a week beforehand when both the families went for a holiday together during Christmas but was not aware of what the blogger had said.

Despite that, he said he would still remain committed to the reforms they have been pressing for by "a new pro-rakyat government in Putrajaya".

MCLM was formed in 2010 as a platform to offer "carefully vetted and chosen" candidates in the general election, to be fielded by Opposition parties.

Full content generated by Get Full RSS.

Police smash robbery gang, arrest four

Posted: 02 Jan 2012 01:39 AM PST

JOHOR BARU: Police have smashed a gang believed to have been involved in 29 robberies here with the arrest of four suspects, including two women.

Johor police chief Deputy Comm Datuk Mohd Mokhtar Mohd Shariff said the suspects, aged between 20 and 47,were arrested in a raid at a house in Jalan Harmonium 18, Taman Desa Tebrau, about 10pm Friday.

Police found 165 watches, RM10,000, 30 mobile phones, nine DVD players, eight bottles of liquor, eight ATM cards, six laptop computers and a Mercedez Benz, believed to have been stolen, from the suspects.

"We also found 37 Eramine Five pills, six packets of syabu and weapons such as a parang and crowbar," he said Monday.

Full content generated by Get Full RSS.

The Star Online: Entertainment: Movies

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

The Star Online: Entertainment: Movies

2011’s reel disasters

Posted: 02 Jan 2012 03:24 AM PST

There are some movies that you would want to erase from your memory.

SO many bad movies, so little space. This year's collection of stinkers proves Adam Sandler can be counted on to make at least one monumentally bad film, not all comic book movies are good and there are times when there's nothing funny about a comedy.

Here's the worst of the worst for 2011.

Jack And Jill: It should have been called "Dreck And Swill". Adam Sandler nailed down the worst actor award for 2011 with a performance so rancid it couldn't be contained by one character.

Sandler plays a brother and sister who are the most torturous thing since waterboarding was invented. Director Dennis Dugan proves it's possible for a talentless hack to still get work in Hollywood.

Green Hornet: Comic books fans expressed concern when it was announced that Seth Rogen was going to star in the film version of the comic book. Those worries weren't unfounded. Rogen bungles his way through a script that couldn't have been more inane had one of the Jersey Shore cast written it. The film was the biggest crime committed in Hollywood this year.

Hall Pass: What do the careers of Bobby Farrelly and Peter Farrelly have in common with an old woman in a TV commercial? Both have fallen and they can't get up. Old jokes and lame performances abound as Owen Wilson and Jason Sudeikis play two guys given a pass from their marriages for a week to do anything they want. They should buy disguises and leave the country.

Arthur: This feeble remake is not just repugnant for its lack of humour, amateurish acting and lead-footed pacing, but it's also an insult to the memory of Dudley Moore, who starred in the 1981 version. Russell Brand firmly establishes himself as a contender for Adam Sandler's bad acting crown with a performance that is about as entertaining as sticking a ferret in your ear.

No Strings Attached: Natalie Portman and Ashton Kutcher play bank robbers ... oops .. that's wrong. They merely steal the money they got paid for this film because they did no acting. They play a couple who agree to be intimate without obligations – and who manage to make sex look boring.

Sanctum: There's no sense of time or tension. In between deaths, director Alister Grierson focuses his cameras on the actors walking or swimming from cave to cave.

Ioan Gruffudd – cinemas' answer to tryptophan – headlines the film where bad acting, a predictable script and worthless 3D effects make this tale of the great cave escape a real speclunker.

Don't Be Afraid Of The Dark: Just be afraid of this movie. This insult to moviemaking is a sadistic and vile film that tries to pass off the emotional and physical torture of a young girl as entertainment.

Putting children in peril in horror films is one of the easiest ways to engage an audience. But there is a line between the entertainment value of seeing someone in danger and the sick depiction of abuse. This film obliterates that line.

Just Go With It: It's a twin killing for Adam Sandler as another of his movies makes this year's hall of shame. When it comes to mindless comedies, you expect poop jokes. But this movie is relentless, including a scene where a young boy goes to the bathroom on an adult male's hand.

There's just a point where the bathroom humour stinks. This smells like a diaper laundry service before washing day.

Limitless: A drug makes a man smart. That same drug makes this movie stupid. The potential of Limitless was just that. It fails. Under Neil Burger's disjointed direction and Bradley Cooper's cold performance, the movie should be called "Hapless".

Immortals: The Muse that was behind this script should be tossed off Mt Olympus. We will never know what it's like to live forever, but we can at least get a taste of what eternity feels like with Immortals. The last time something this big and bloated moved this slowly there was an Ice Age going on.

Dishonourable mentions: Transformers: Dark Of The Moon, Something Borrowed, Happy Feet 2, Crazy, Stupid, Love and Bridesmaids.

Full content generated by Get Full RSS.

Spooked out

Posted: 02 Jan 2012 12:47 AM PST

The sighting of a child ghost in a boarding school brings about The Awakening.

IN a 1921 post-war England where many of the bereaved seek solace in spiritualism, Florence Cathcart (Rebecca Hall) is committed to debunking supernatural claims, using methodical and rational explanations. When she is asked to visit Rookwood, a boarding school in the countryside, to investigate the alleged sightings of a ghostly young boy, she feels compelled to take the job.

Once at Rookwood, Cathcart sets out to place traps and gather scientific evidence.

Gradually, secrets begin to unravel and the mystery surrounding the ghost turns out to be nothing more than a schoolboy prank ... or is it?

The psychological chiller, The Awakening, came about when producer David M. Thompson (Billy Elliot, Eastern Promises, An Education) met with writer Stephen Volk (Octane, Afterlife) in the wake of the latter's spooky BBC television show Ghostwatch, which aired in the early 1990s.

"Stephen came up with the idea for The Awakening and I thought the script was really strong," says Thompson, in the production notes.

While the exteriors of Rookwood were filmed in Lyme Park in Cheshire, with the majority of the film unfolding in and around the school, the filmmakers opted for three different country houses on the Borders, in locations around Berwick-on-Tweed: Gosford House and grounds, Manderston and Marchmont House.

When Nick Murphy joined the production, he re-worked the script, relocating a Victorian-era story to the early 20th Century, when the nation was reeling from the unprecedented loss of life in the trenches of World War I.

"The story has always been the case that a girl goes to an old school to explain a phenomenon," Murphy says.

"There was an increased sense of loss in 1921 – when over 1.5 million people had died in some way or another in the last five or six years from flu or from the First World War.

"This sense of loss would contribute to the need to see ghosts," the writer-director continues.

"I think that's something that underpins the whole film: that this is a nation grieving, a nation sick, and in the gaps come ghosts." – Compiled by June Lee Pui Yin

The Awakening opens in local cinemas on Thursday.

Full content generated by Get Full RSS.

The Star Online: Metro: Central

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

The Star Online: Metro: Central

Metro Watch

Posted: 02 Jan 2012 02:39 AM PST


The Information Communication and Culture Minisrtry through the Information Department and agencies under the ministry will be hosting the 1Malaysia Community Launch (K1M) from Jan 6 to Jan 8, 8am to 11pm at Padang Jalan Kantan, Bukit Sentosa, Hulu Selangor. All are invited. There will be exciting events in store.


There will be a blood donation drive at several locations today from 11am to 5pm. The venues include Giant Hypermarket Putra Heights, Tesco Semenyih, Giant Hypermarket Bandar Kinrara, Tesco Extra Selayang, Giant Mall Kelana Jaya, Carrefour Klang, Mydin Hypermarket USJ and Giant Hypermarket Klang Sentral Mall.


The Women's Auxilliary (WA) of the Spastic Children's Association of Selangor and FT will be holding a monthly Charity Cooking Demonstration of Chinese New Year dishes on Jan 7 at 10am at the New Wing Hall (ground floor), Spastic Centre (behind the Crystal Crown Hotel) No 14. Lorong Utara A, off Jalan Utara, PJ. Call Datin Faridah Abdul Bakar at 019-394 4281 or Margaret 012-912 7203.


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


The Ampang Jaya Municipal Council will set up assessment fee payment counters throughout the month at various markets over the weekend. The next counter will open on Jan 7 at the Sri Intan Lembah Jaya Apartments market and Jan 8 at the Bukit Baru Keramat Hujung counter from 8.30am to 12.30pm.


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


DBKL has implemented traffic route changes along Jalan Rahim Kajai 13 and Rahim Kajai 14, Taman Tun Dr Ismail, from two ways to one. The traffic along Jalan Rahim Kajai 13 will be changed to one-way and traffic along Lorong Rahim Kajai 14 will be re-routed towards Jalan Rahim Kajai.


My LightHouse, a centre for children with learning disabilities is organising an Open Day on Jan 7 and 14 from 9am to noon at 63, Jalan Templer, Petaling Jaya (near Assunta Hospital). For details, call 017-601 1683 or 03-7781 8535 or

Full content generated by Get Full RSS.

Michael-Victor duo aim to win a third time in World Chinese meet

Posted: 02 Jan 2012 02:39 AM PST

IT WILL be a final attempt for Malaysia's social shuttler Michael Lee to capture a third victory with his Singaporean partner Victor Sim in the 55-to-59 years men's doubles contest at next season's World Chinese Championships in Jilin, China.

The 58-year-old Michael is hopeful of continuing his partnership with Victor, the 57-year-old Singapore Badminton Masters captain, and complete their stint in the age group on a winning note.

"We only partner each other when we show up for competitions. It is unfortunate that we do not have the privilege to combine more regularly and strengthen our combination.

"Despite the setback, we still fancy our chances in putting up a fight and trouble the stronger and younger pairs in the category," he added.

At the recent edition that concluded in Shunde, Guangzhou, the two-time winners of the category ended their campaign in the semi-finals.

The duo were back-to-back winners of the category in 2008 and 2009 but found the eventual champions Jiamsak Panitchaikul-Somrak Amamwat of Thailand too hot to handle and lost 25-31 for a place in the final.

Jiamsak, a notable Thailand former international, paired up with another partner Taveesup Waranusast to emerge champions of the same category at the World Senior Badminton Championships held earlier in Richmond, Canada.

At the meet in Pattaya, Thailand last year, a Thai pair also showed Michael-Victor the exit in the last four.

"We try to avoid going down to another Thai pair for a third time next year. On paper, the Thais are superior. They have the advantage because they train together to prepare for competitions. As seasoned campaigners, we are only counting on our experience and a bit on Lady Luck to pull us through," said Michael, who has been featuring in the annual tournament for shuttlers of Chinese descent since 2002.

Meanwhile, former Malaysian international Kwek Chiew Peng also picked up a bronze medal in the men's 55-to-59 years singles.

In his previous outing at the World Chinese Badminton Championships in Malaysia five years ago, 57-year-old Chiew Peng failed to go beyond the quarter-finals in three events — mixed doubles, men's singles and doubles — of the 50-to-54 years age group.

And Chiew Peng, who was part of the national training camp between 1975 and 1982, has been showing a steady progress in his return to competitive veteran competitions.

For the recent outing in China, the Michael's Badminton Academy (MBA) team fielded 30 players and returned with a modest haul of two gold, one silver and six bronze medals.

Diane Lim and Ho Tze Fah won the women's 55-to-59 years singles and men's 60-to-64 years singles respectively while Tan Ee Teik settled for a silver in the men's 45 to 49 years singles.

Among the other medallists were Chua Peng Sin-Liew May Kim (40-to-44 years mixed doubles), Lee Wai Ching (women's 55-to-59 years singles), Tan Tiean How-Tan Wooi Chong (men's 30-to-34 years doubles) and Loke Kok Yoon (men's 55-to-59 years singles).

A total 100 Malaysia competitors playing under different banners joined more than 3,000 local and foreign entries in 107 separate categories.

Full content generated by Get Full RSS.

The Star Online: Entertainment: Music

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

The Star Online: Entertainment: Music

Zooey Deschanel finds music a (Pooh) bear necessity

Posted: 01 Jan 2012 03:57 PM PST

LOS ANGELES (Reuters) - Writing a song for a Disney animated film puts a songwriter into a long and legendary line that has produced 30 nominations and 10 wins going back to ''When You Wish Upon a Star'' in 1940. And writing a song for a ''Winnie the Pooh'' movie is just as daunting a task, because it requires a songwriter to follow in the footsteps of Richard and Robert Sherman, who penned the well-known ''Pooh'' theme song and also wrote ''Chim Chim Cher-ee,'' ''Supercalifragilisticexpialidocious,'' ''It's a Small World'' and ''I Wan'na Be Like You,'' among many others.

''The tradition of music in Disney animated films is pretty spectacular. But I tried not to think about it, because I might be overwhelmed if I did,'' said actress and singer-songwriter Zooey Deschanel, who couldn't exactly ignore that history when she was drafted to contribute to this year's Disney version of the A.A. Milne stories.

Her initial task, after all, was to record a new version of the Sherman brothers' theme song. When that went well, she was asked to write and record an end-credits song, which turned out to be ''So Long,'' one of the film's two Oscar entries. And after that, she was asked to contribute vocals to other songs in the film ... all while finishing a tour with her band, She and Him, and getting ready to begin filming her new TV series, ''The New Girl.''

''It kind of happened in little bits and pieces over the course of the year,'' Deschanel told TheWrap.

''That's the thing with music for me. Songwriting was always something that I did in my private time as a release, very much on my own. It didn't come out into the world until later in my life. But now, as my schedule has gotten so weird and so busy, I feel like I need to keep going back to it.''

Deschanel first got involved with ''Winnie the Pooh'' when music supervisor Tom McDougall showed her a 10-minute segment that had been cut to a She and Him song, and asked if she'd record the title song. She enlisted bandmate Matt Ward (who goes by M. Ward) to produce, and settled on an approach to a song whose original version was recorded by a large chorus of anonymous singers.

''I think there was something that Matt and I saw in that song that we could pull out, that wasn't really focused on in the original recording,'' she said. ''That was the warmth and the intimacy of the song.

We wanted it to feel very warm and sweet. I felt like it should welcome people into the story.''

Her Oscar entry ''So Long,'' though, ushers viewers out of the story through its placement in the final credits. ''They showed me a rough cut of the movie, so I knew what was leading up to that song,'' she said. ''I knew that I wanted to write a love song, but about friendship love.''

Her models, she said, came from albums she loved both as a kid and as an adult: Harry Nilsson's ''The Point,'' Carole King's ''Really Rosie'' and the compilation ''Free to Be ... You and Me.''

''I listened to all of those again,'' she said. ''They all had classic chord progressions and catchy melodies with good lyrical hooks and very strong choruses. I wanted a song that was upbeat and made you feel happy walking out of the theater, and also one that kids would enjoy.''

The discipline, she added, was dramatically different from writing for her own band, in which she's free to tackle any subject and take any approach.

''There's something overwhelming about being able to write about anything, which I can do in She and Him,'' she said. ''This was like cracking a code. I had to think, 'How do I accomplish all these things for the movie, how do I tell the story without getting too literal or writing something totally off-topic?'

''But once I did crack the code, it was inspiring. And the movie people pretty much let me do my thing. They were extremely cool about letting me have my creative moment with the song.''

So far, she adds, there's just one additional thing she'd like out of the experience - and it's not an Oscar nomination, but a face-to-face with her predecessors in the ''Winnie the Pooh'' songwriting gig.

''I haven't met the Sherman brothers yet,'' she says. ''I would love to, I'm such a fan.''

Full content generated by Get Full RSS.

Coldplay grabs first UK number one single of 2012

Posted: 01 Jan 2012 03:54 PM PST

LONDON (Reuters) - Alternative rockers Coldplay jumped to the top of Britain's singles charts on Sunday, snatching the first number one of 2012 with their Grammy-nominated song ''Paradise,'' the Official UK Charts Company said.

Coldplay displaced the Christmas number one, ''Wherever You Are'' by Military Wives, which dropped to four. Olly Murs moved up to second spot with ''Dance With Me Tonight.''

British singer-songwriter Ed Sheeran's ''+'' climbed to the peak of the album charts, with U.S. pop singer Bruno Mars rising to second position with ''Doo-Wops & Hooligans.''

Full content generated by Get Full RSS.

The Star Online: Metro: South & East

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

The Star Online: Metro: South & East

New RM397mil hospital will benefit Kluang residents

Posted: 01 Jan 2012 03:57 PM PST

KLUANG: The new Kluang Hospital has admitted some of its first patients recently.

Some 79 patients from its old premise located 8km away at Jalan Hospital were transferred by ambulance and buses.

The RM397mil hospital – equipped with 268 beds and six operating theatres, is an upgrade of the older facility which was opened in 1931.

Located on 16ha land in Jalan Kota Tinggi, the new hospital features additional modern health services such as an Intensive Care Unit (ICU), Coronary Care Unit (CCU), Neonatal Intensive Care Unit (NICU) and daily treatment unit.

State Women, Family, Com-munity and Health Development committee chairman Dr Robiah Kosai said construction of the hospital began in 2006.

"It was supposed to be completed in second-quarter of 2010, but was delayed due to extension works.

"The people of Kluang have been waiting for this moment for many years. It will benefit some 400,000 residents in surrounding areas," said Dr Robia.

The new hospital has 698 medical personnel including 40 doctors and five specialists.

Facilities such as an X-Ray unit, CT-scan unit, emergency room, out patient treatment unit, library, waiting rooms and a pharmacy are the hospital's standard fittings.

Other clinical services available are: psychiatry, Obstetrics and Gynecology, general medicine, general surgery, children and hemodialysis.

This also includes public amenities such as 435 parking spaces and 220 unit staff quarters, sports and recreation facilities.

Johor Health director Dr Mohd Khairi Yakub said the old hospital was built more than 80 years ago and it was time to improve health care services by providing better environment with modern facilities and services to ensure better welfare for the people.

The old building, he added, will be used by the district hospital's dentistry department and a health complex for dengue and infectious diseases control, nurses college and a day care centre.

Maziah Ahmad, 55-year-old housewife, who visited the hospital on its first day operation, said she was glad to see the opening of the new hospital that was more comfortable and spacious for patients and visitors.

"It is very easy to get here as there are public bus services available," she said.

Another visitor Hawariah Yan, 48, said she wanted to check out the new facilities at the new hospital before admitting her husband for medical treatment there.

Full content generated by Get Full RSS.

State embarks on ‘1 Mosque, 1 Cooperative’ programme

Posted: 01 Jan 2012 03:57 PM PST

KUALA TERENGGANU: The state is embarking on a '1 Mosque, 1 Coope­rative' programme to further promote the cooperative movement.

State Rural Development, Entreprenuership and Cooperatives Committee chairman Datuk Mohamed Awang Tera said the Terengganu government anticipated all the mosques to be running their own cooperatives by 2015.

"Mosques starting cooperatives will be given an initial grant of RM10,000 for the purpose," he said.

There are 491 mosques in the state at present. – Bernama.

Full content generated by Get Full RSS.

Boost for women’s hockey in Terengganu

Posted: 01 Jan 2012 02:55 PM PST

Monday January 2, 2012

KUALA TERENGGANU: Women's hockey will be getting a boost in the state with the Terengganu Women's Hockey Association (TWHA) intensifying efforts to revive the sport here.

TWHA secretary Nik Zaharah Nik Abdul Kadir said the association would be introducing new tournaments besides re-activating dormant ones in a bid the promote the sport among Terengganu's womenfolk.

"Beginning 2012, we will also be participating in all national-level hockey tournaments for women," she added.

Terengganu is known for soccer than any other sport in the local arena. — Bernama.

Full content generated by Get Full RSS.

The Star Online

Copyright 2010 All Rights Reserved