Khamis, 20 September 2012

The Star Online: World Updates

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The Star Online: World Updates

U.S. lifts ban on NZ warships, NZ keeps nuclear-free stance

Posted: 20 Sep 2012 08:54 PM PDT

AUCKLAND (Reuters) - The United States has lifted a ban on visits by New Zealand warships to U.S. defence and coast guard bases around the world, further thawing relations after a 26-year stand-off on nuclear issues.

U.S. Defense Secretary Leon Panetta made the announcement during a visit to New Zealand on Friday. He said Washington would lift restrictions on military exercises and facilitate more talks with New Zealand even though Wellington maintains its long-held nuclear-free stance.

For the first time since the suspension of the ANZUS Treaty in 1986, Washington will allow individual visits by Royal New Zealand Navy ships to U.S. Department of Defense or Coast Guard facilities in the United States and around the world, Panetta said in Auckland, New Zealand's largest city.

"These changes make it easier for our militaries to engage in discussions on security issues and to hold cooperative engagements that increase our capacity to tackle common challenges," he said.

Panetta said Washington and Wellington would work together despite lingering "differences of opinion in some limited areas".

The visit by Panetta, the first by a Pentagon chief in 30 years, signals a new era of U.S.-New Zealand defence links breached in the mid-1980s, when Wellington declared itself nuclear-free and barred its ports to nuclear warships.

While both Washington and Wellington acknowledged the improvement in relations and defence ties, New Zealand Defence Minister Jonathan Coleman said New Zealand had an independent foreign policy and that its anti-nuclear ban was not negotiable.

"I don't think that we should get too hung up about trying to turn the clock back to pre-1986 because the reality is that the relationship is very, very good," Coleman said at a news conference following their meeting.

New Zealand has a small contingent of troops fighting with U.S. and NATO troops in Afghanistan.

During his visit Panetta is also meeting with other senior leaders to explore deeper U.S. military engagement with New Zealand as the United States rebalances its forces to the Asia-Pacific as part of a new military strategy.

In July, the United States and New Zealand agreed to hold regular high-level talks and to cooperate on maritime security, counter-terrorism, and peacekeeping operations.

Copyright © 2012 Reuters

China sets Monday verdict for ex-police chief at heart of Bo scandal

Posted: 20 Sep 2012 08:37 PM PDT

BEIJING (Reuters) - A Chinese court will announce its verdict on a former police chief at the centre of the country's biggest political scandal in decades on Monday, an official said, with observers in little doubt that he will be found guilty.

The hearing for Wang Lijun, former police chief of south-western Chongqing municipality, will come a week after he was tried in Chengdu on multiple charges, chiefly that he sought to cover up the murder of a British businessman by Gu Kailai, the wife of one of China's most senior and ambitious politicians, Bo Xilai.

Wang Lijun reads documents as he attends a session of the Chinese People's Political Consultative Conference (CPPCC) of the Chongqing Municipal Committee, in Chongqing municipality, January 7, 2012. REUTERS/Stringer

Wang Lijun reads documents as he attends a session of the Chinese People's Political Consultative Conference (CPPCC) of the Chongqing Municipal Committee, in Chongqing municipality, January 7, 2012. REUTERS/Stringer

"The verdict will be announced at 8:30 am on September 24 in our court," an official in the Chengdu court news department told Reuters.

Wang's defence lawyer confirmed the date.

China's Communist Party-run courts rarely find in favour of defendants and official accounts of Wang's trial have said that he admitted defecting to a U.S. consulate and did not contest the other charges.

Wang has been at the heart of a scandal that rocked China, exposing rifts and uncertainty at a time when the Communist Party is preparing for a once-in-a-decade leadership change.

That leadership handover could come at a party congress as early as next month.

Wang, 52, lifted the lid on the murder of the British businessman Neil Heywood in February when he fled to the consulate for over 24 hours and, according to sources, told envoys there about the murder that would later bring down Bo.

Within two months of Wang's visit to the consulate, Bo was sacked as party boss and from the Politburo and Bo's wife was accused of poisoning the businessman. Gu has since been given a suspended death sentence.

So far, Chinese officials and media have been silent on the fate of Bo. But an official account of Wang's trial for the first time implicated him in a criminal act, indicating that he had "angrily rebuked" Wang for confronting him with the murder allegations against Gu.

That reference to Bo increased the chances of him also facing criminal charges, possibly for covering up a crime.

(Reporting by Chris Buckley, Sally Huang and Terril Yue Jones; Editing by Nick Macfie)

Copyright © 2012 Reuters

Protest marks souring of Chinese democracy experiment

Posted: 20 Sep 2012 08:30 PM PDT

WUKAN, China (Reuters) - One of China's most celebrated experiments in grass-roots democracy showed signs of faltering on Friday, as frustrations with elected officials in the southern fishing village of Wukan triggered a small and angry protest.

On the first anniversary of an uprising that gave birth to the experiment, about 100 villagers rallied outside Wukan's Communist Party offices to express anger at what they saw as slow progress by the village's democratically elected governing committee to resolve local land disputes.

"We still haven't got our land back," shouted Liu Hancai, a retired 62-year-old party member, one of many villagers fighting to win back land that was seized by Wukan's previous administration and illegally sold off for development.

The small crowd, many on motorbikes, was kept under tight surveillance by plain-clothed officials fearful of any broader unrest breaking out. Police cars were patrolling the streets.

"There would be more people here, but many people are afraid of trouble and won't come out," Liu told Reuters.

A year ago, Wukan became a beacon of rights activism after the land seizures sparked unrest and led to the sacking of local party officials. That in turn led to village-wide elections for a more representative committee to help resolve the bitter rows.

Friday's demonstration was far less heated than the protests that earned Wukan headlines around the world last September. But the small rally reveals how early optimism over the ground-breaking adoption of local-level democracy has soured for some.

"The hopes are too high," said Yang Semao, Wukan's deputy village chief who was elected in the village polls in March.

At the time, expectations were high in this village, built on a sheltered harbour fringed by mountains, that he and his fellow elected officials could swiftly recover farmland that had been seized by the previous local administration.

"We have already been trying our best," Yang said, explaining that complex land contracts and bureaucratic red-tape were hindering their recovery of the land.

Some local critics said the new village committee, which includes several young leaders of last year's protests, lacked administrative experience, failed to engage the public and allowed itself to be manipulated and out-manoeuvred by higher authorities within the party.

The committee stuck letters onto walls around Wukan this week, detailing its progress to date: the return of some 253 hectares of land and other "steady steps", including the resurfacing of roads and other social policy initiatives.

But by Friday, some letters had been torn down by villagers.

"They were people's heroes," said Chen Jinchao, a villager still trying to get back two thirds of a hectare of farmland.

"But now we see them differently. We don't have any new hope. What's the point of electing them if they can't solve the (land) problem."

A man on a motorcycle veered near Wukan's respected village chief, Lin Zuluan, on Thursday and warned him that something big might soon happen, said Zhang Jiancheng, one of the young activists elected onto the village committee.

"Of every 100 things, we may do 50 of them. But people only complain about the 50 things we don't do ... The village committee has been trying to get the land back piece by piece. It's been a very painful process but we must follow legal procedures."

Some say recent discord has been partly sown by allies of the former disgraced village leader, Xue Chang, while higher officials in the Shanwei county seat of government remain tangled in shady deals involving hundreds of hectares of Wukan land in a new economic development zone.

"If Shanwei's corrupt officials aren't cleaned out completely, it is very difficult for us to move forward," Zhang said.

With China on the cusp of a tumultuous leadership transition, any further unrest at Wukan could impact Guangdong province's high-flying leader, Wang Yang, who some hailed as a reformer for his defusing of the Wukan standoff by acceding to key village demands and averting a potentially bloody crackdown.

Some villagers have spoken of marching again and putting real pressure on county and provincial authorities.

"In the end if they really force us to the very limits, it will be like a volcano exploding, you can't control it," said a senior villager who asked not to be named.

(Editing by Mark Bendeich)

Copyright © 2012 Reuters


The Star Online: Entertainment: TV & Radio

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The Star Online: Entertainment: TV & Radio

Shop well, live well

Posted: 21 Sep 2012 01:42 AM PDT

Linora not only takes you shopping, she also shows you how to stay healthy.

THE Red Hub with Linora is a bundle of energy and information for your afternoon. This lifestyle show airs on weekdays from 1pm to 4pm. It features the Red Steal where Linora highlights the latest bargains and sale all over Malaysia.

The Red Hub also features Red Bootcamp where the lovely host offers you the latest advice on how to make your life healthier with emphasis on nutritious eating and staying active.

Linora, a health and fitness buff who is passionate about sharing her healthy lifestyle, says: "I hope to bring awareness about general fitness and wellness. Should they need motivation or tips on how to eat right or mix up their gym routine, I'll do my best to give the most effective suggestions."

Linora understands that Malaysians enjoy eating at mamak stalls where food on their menu sits high on the unhealthy scale. Instead of telling you not to eat there, she says: "Order chappati instead of roti canai, it's the healthier option. It tastes just as good and allows you to indulge while hanging out with friends. "

Linora's inspiration for Red Bootcamp lies behind her experience. "When I first started on my journey to a healthier life, I wasn't aware of what that entailed and where to start. The suggestions and advice I offer are about a complete lifestyle change and it's meant for the long term."

Along with tips and advice on The Red Hub, Linora also offers the opportunity to get active with her. Last week, she gave out passes to run in the PJ Half Marathon with her. She will also be emceeing the run on Sept 30. Last day of registration is today, so log on to to join in the fun.

All this week, Linora has been giving away passes to the Universal Soldier Bootcamp happening on Sept 29 from 7am to 8.30am at Padang Astaka, Petaling Jaya, Selangor. If you're interested in learning how the fit and buff actors trained for their gruelling roles in Universal Soldier, tune in to The Red Hub today as it is the last day passes are given out.

She also gives away CD vouchers and movie tickets, so it's not all sweat and push-ups on her show. Next week, she has passes to give away for Universal Soldier to get you amped up for the bootcamp.

For more information, log on to Join the Red FM Malaysia Facebook fan page on and follow them on Twitter @iloveredfm.

Red FM is owned and operated by The Star.

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


The Star Online: Business

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The Star Online: Business

Deutsche Bank to start job cuts in Germany: paper

Posted: 20 Sep 2012 06:49 PM PDT

FRANKFURT: Thousands of jobs may go at Deutsche Bank AG in Germany, with a first round of losses at its base in Frankfurt and its Postbank unit in Bonn, a German newspaper reported on Friday.

Back-office services from its retail banking brands that are currently carried out by a variety of subsidiaries will in future be done by workers at one new unit under a new structure, and all IT systems will be transferred to one platform, potentially eliminating thousands of jobs, Sueddeutsche Zeitung reported.

In a first wave, 543 jobs will be scrapped in Bonn and Frankfurt, the paper said, citing an internal document, with cuts in the finance, risk, controlling, treasury, HR, economic analysis and legal departments. Around 80 percent of the 543 jobs cut will be in Bonn, the paper added.

Deutsche had announced 1,900 job cuts in July, but said they would come mostly outside of Germany.

The bank's chief executives said last Tuesday, however, they would axe more jobs than that, along with cutting bonuses and selling assets to meet tougher capital rules.

Deutsche Bank was not immediately available for comment.

The paper cited a Deutsche Bank spokesman as saying no job cuts were planned beyond those already agreed with labor representatives. - Reuters

Export surge could help U.S. add 5 million factory jobs by 2020: study

Posted: 20 Sep 2012 06:46 PM PDT

BOSTON: Rising U.S. factory productivity, spurred by falling natural gas prices, could help the nation boost exports of products such as locomotives and factory machinery and add as many as 5 million manufacturing jobs by the decade's end, a new analysis found.

High worker productivity and low energy prices driven by a surge in shale gas production will give the United States a cost advantage in exports against Western European rivals and Japan in the coming years, according to a Boston Consulting Group report set for release on Friday.

By 2015, those factors will make average manufacturing costs in the United States lower by 15 percent than in Germany and France, 8 percent than in the United Kingdom and 21 percent than in Japan, the study projects. Factories' costs in China will remain 7 percent cheaper than those in the United States, however.

The competitive gap in some ways reflects the open U.S. labor market, where companies can quickly add or cut workers to meet changes in demand, said Hal Sirkin, a senior partner at the BCG consultancy and author of the report.

"In Europe and Japan, it's relatively hard to lay people off, and because of that you have employees for a long period of time that you may not be able to use," Sirkin said. "In the United States, there's much more flexibility."

Besides the ease of adding or firing workers, lower wages and Americans' readiness to move for work will make U.S. factory labor costs 20 percent to 45 percent lower than prevailing costs in Western Europe and Japan by 2015, the study found.

BCG forecast that a glut of natural gas production in the United States would keep the nation's prices of the fuel 50 percent to 70 percent below those in Europe and Japan, as well as hold down electricity costs.


U.S. factory employment has grown by about 3.6 percent to roughly 12 million people from a 2010 post-recession low, a trend that could accelerate as the United States becomes a more competitive exporter, BCG said.

The increase in part reflects a realization by manufacturers that rising shipping costs and wage inflation in China and other countries have made it cheaper to make products at home.

The recent growth in U.S. factory employment follows a drop of about 40 percent over three decades as many businesses concluded that high wages made the country too costly for manufacturing and economists predicted that Americans would turn away from assembly jobs in favor of work in the service sector.

Over the past year, though, major U.S. exporters General Electric Co and Caterpillar Inc have both added U.S. factory jobs. The study also noted that foreign-owned companies including Japan's Toyota Motor Co <7203.T> and Germany's Siemens AG were also making products in the United States and exporting them to other countries.

BCG said the United States could boost its exports by about $90 billion by the end of the decade by winning orders currently filled by Western European and Japanese factories. Total U.S. exports came to $1.48 trillion in 2011, according to the Census Bureau.

Based on the export forecast and current worker productivity figures, BCG projects that U.S. manufacturers could add 2.5 million to 5 million jobs by 2020.

The biggest gains could come in the industrial machinery, transportation and chemicals sectors -- slices of manufacturing that are both highly energy-intensive and automated, requiring fewer workers, BCG said.

One wild card is the euro currency, which fell fairly steadily in value from mid-2011 through July as the region's policymakers struggled with a debt crisis. This slide made European factories relatively more competitive than their U.S. rivals.

That advantage has begun to fade over the past two months, with the euro trading at $1.29 on Thursday, up about 7.5 percent from its July 24 low.

Sirkin said little short of an outright collapse in the euro would change BCG's analysis.

"Obviously currency matters," Sirkin said, "but over the range that the euro's been over the last reasonable period of time, the fundamentals don't change." - Reuters

Japan firms say China protests affect business plans - poll

Posted: 20 Sep 2012 06:45 PM PDT

TOKYO: About 41 percent of Japanese firms see friction with China affecting their business plans, with some considering pulling out of the country and shifting operations elsewhere, a Reuters poll showed, amid growing tensions sparked by a territorial dispute.

However, only a fraction of firms said improving relations with Asia should be at the top of the agenda for the next government, to be formed after general elections that must be held by around August 2013.

The poll comes as relations between Asia's two biggest economies have hit their lowest point in decades over a dispute centred on an uninhabited group of islands in the East China Sea -- known as the Senkaku in Japan and Diaoyu in China.

Street protests in China have forced some Japanese firms to suspend operations in that country, and the share prices of Japanese firms with exposure to China have tumbled.

But the poll of 400 large and medium-sized firms, of which roughly 260 responded between August 31 and September 14, was taken before the worst of the protests, which damaged factories, restaurants and retail stores.

Firms in sectors such as wholesale, transport equipment and electric machinery were among those expecting the most fallout from worsening relations with China and other parts of Asia.

Some of the firms which see friction with China affecting business plans have suffered not only from rowdy protests involving damage and consumer strikes, but other problems as well.

"We were stranded at customs there even as we followed proper procedures for exporting parts," said one machinery firm.

A transport machinery company complained that it was excluded from bidding in China.

"We need to consider closing our base in China and withdrawing our personnel," said one metal products company.

Others voiced caution about investing in China, while considering putting off plans to make inroads into Chinese markets or seeking alternate sites.

China, the world's second-largest economy, and Japan, the third-largest, have total two-way trade of around $345 billion (212 billion pounds), but some experts believe anti-Japan sentiment could prompt firms to rethink investments in China in the longer term.

In the Reuters poll, 56 percent of firms urged the next Japanese government to put the utmost priority on steps to prop up the economy and stabilise currency rates, while only 2 percent cited smoother diplomatic relations with Asia.

With the dollar hovering around 78 yen, not far from a record low of 75.31 yen hit last October when Japanese authorities intervened heavily to stem their currency's gains, about one-third or respondents sought yen-selling intervention to help safeguard the export-reliant economy.

On the government's contentious plan to double the sales tax to 10 percent by 2015, 45 percent said it should be implemented as planned while 40 percent said the state of the economy at the time should be considered before making a final decision.

Only 10 percent called for putting off the sales tax rise, in stark contrast with the many lawmakers who are wary of a voter backlash over the tax increase. - Reuters


The Star Online: Sports

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The Star Online: Sports

Golf: Tiger, Rose share lead at PGA Tour Championship

Posted: 20 Sep 2012 04:29 PM PDT

ATLANTA (Georgia): Tiger Woods and England's Justin Rose each fired four-under par 66s on Thursday to share the lead after the first round of the US PGA Tour Championship.

Woods, who can capture the US PGA season playoff championship with a victory, and Rose - who dropped in a 50-foot birdie effort at the 18th - each fired six birdies and took two bogeys in the 30-player showdown at East Lake.

"I played well," Woods said. "It was a very consistent round. I hit the ball well, made a few putts, got around well."

Woods sank a long birdie putt at the par-3 second and a six-footer for birdie at the par-4 third. After a bogey at the fourth, Woods finished the front nine with a birdie and made another with a long putt at the 12th.

Woods, in the final group, took a bogey at the 14th but answered with birdies at the par-5 15th and par-4 16th to claim a share of the lead.

Rose, who has not won since March at Doral, answered a bogey at the second with a birdie at the next hole and a bogey at the seventh with back-to-back birdies to conclude the front nine and again at the 14th and 15th before closing with his impressive birdie.

Sharing third on 67 were Americans Steve Stricker, Matt Kuchar, Bo Van Pelt and Scott Piercy with Americans Hunter Mahan, Brandt Snedeker, Zach Johnson, Robert Garrigus and Australian Adam Scott on 68.

World No. 1 Rory McIlroy of Northern Ireland, who has won three of his past four starts, fired a 69.

McIlroy, who played alongside Woods in round one, can also claim the playoff title with a victory as can Snedeker, Nick Watney and Phil Mickelson. Mickelson opened on 69. Watney fired a 75.

All 30 players in the field have a chance at capturing the US$10 million playoff crown and some can claim the prize without winning the tournament title.

Rose, who entered 24th of 30 in the playoff points standings, would need to win and have Woods finish no better than a three-way share of fifth and McIlroy fare no better than 17th. Woods controls his own destiny.

"Winning takes care of everything," Woods said.

Woods played somewhat cautiously at times in warm and breezy conditions, trusting his putter and positioning to help him make birdies. On the day, Woods reached 10 of 14 fairways and reached 13 of 18 greens in regulation.

"This course demands you flight the ball well," Woods said. "You try to keep the ball below the hole because these greens are really quick. I had a couple good up and downs. This wind wasn't so bad. I'm used to playing in it."

Woods was pleased to smash the ball off the tee at times as far as he did in his younger days.

"I still have it in there. I just choose not to use it on every shot like I used to," Woods said. "It's nice to feel healthy enough to be able to clear 310 (yards) again like I used to."

McIlroy laughed off comments by retired Aussie star Greg Norman that McIlroy intimidates Woods, who once boasted such an aura on his way to winning 14 major titles, the most recent of them in 2008.

"He's definitely not intimidated by me and I don't think I'm intimidated by him," McIlroy said of his playing partner. "Hopefully we can just play out there and we have a lot of great battles to come."

Thursday's pairing was the fifth time in four tournaments that Woods and McIlroy have played together and the eighth time this year.

"I've gotten more comfortable playing with him. You get more comfortable being around somebody. We've been around each other a lot in these playoffs."

McIlroy won the Deutsche Bank and BMW championship playoff events as well as last month's PGA Championship, his second career major victory after the 2011 US Open.

"Tiger shot a little better than me, but the quality of golf out there was high," McIlroy said. - AFP

Japan Open: Chong Wei faces Wei Feng in quarters

Posted: 20 Sep 2012 05:31 PM PDT

KUALA LUMPUR: World No. 2 Lee Chong Wei and Chong Wei Feng won their matches in impressive styles to set up an intriguing battle between mentor and protege in the quarter-finals of the Japan Open.

Top seed Chong Wei took only 26 minutes to dispose of former world junior champion Viktor Axelsen of Denmark 21-10, 21-12 in the second round to set up a meeting with Wei Feng.

While Chong Wei was on fiery form, Wei Feng took 35 minutes to tame world No. 23 Ajay Jayaram of India 21-16, 21-16.

It was his second successive win over a higher ranked player after beating world No. 7 Kenichi Tago of Japan a day earlier. In the past, he had scalped China's Chen Jin, Indonesia's Taufik Hidayat and Hu Yun of Hong Kong.

Wei Feng is the sole back-up shuttler in the fray. Liew Daren caved in 14-21, 23-21, 16-21 to Vietnamese Nguyen Tien after a relentless fight for one hour and 12 minutes ended in vain.

The 23-year-old Wei Feng, currently ranked 32nd in the world, wants to enjoy a good match against the London Olympic Games silver medallist.

"The match will not be easy as Chong Wei is not showing any sign of slowing down. I just have to throw everything in my game to unsettle him," said Wei Feng in a telephone interview from Tokyo.

The other three quarter-finals today will involve Tien Minh and Hu Yun; Taufik and Simon Santoso of Indonesia; and qualifier Kazumasa Sakai against Boonsak Ponsana of Thailand.

In the men's doubles, Malaysia's Koo Kien Keat-Tan Boon Heong and Hoon Thien How-Tan Wee Kiong stormed into the quarter-finals but their Japanese opponents are looking equally good to spoil their party.

Kien Keat-Boon Heong, bouyed by the news that they will be retained by the national body, crushed Pati­phat Chalard­chaleam-Nipitphon Puangpuapech of Thailand 21-8, 21-7 in 22 minutes to set up a meeting with Naoki Kawamae-Shoji Sato.

Second round results

Men's singles: Lee Chong Wei bt Viktor Axelsen (Den) 21-10, 21-12; Chong Wei Feng (Mas) bt Ajay Jayaram (Ind) 21-16, 21-16; Simon Santoso (Ina) bt Tanongsak Saensomboonsuk (Tha) 21-8, 21-11; Taufik Hidayat (Ina) bt Akira Koga (Jpn) 21-11, 21-10;

Kazumasa Sakai (Jpn) bt Wong Wing Ki (Hkg) 19-21, 21-18, 21-14; Boonsak Ponsana (Tha) bt Sho Sasaki (Jpn) 21-12, 21-12; Nguyen Tien Minh (Vie) bt Liew Daren 21-14, 21-23, 21-16; Hu Yun (Hkg) bt Takuma Euda (Jpn) 21-12, 21-10.

Men's doubles: Yonathan Suryatama Dasuki- Hendra Gunawan (Ina) bt Mathias Boe-Carsten Mogensen (Den) 16-21, 21-13, 21-19; Hiroyuki Saeki-Ryota Taohata (Jpn) bt Ashton Chen-Derek Wong (Sin) 21-12, 21-15; Hiroyuki Endo-Kenichi Hayakawa (Jpn) bt Alven Yulianto-Markis Kido (Ina) 17-21, 21-15, 21-9;

Kim Ki-jung-Kim Sa-rang (Kor) bt Takeshi Kamura-Keigo Sonoda (Jpn) 21-15, 21-16; Hoon Thien How-Tan Wee Kiong bt Chris Adcock- Andrew Ellis (Eng) 21-11, 21-14; Hirokatsu Hashimoto-Noriyasu Hirata (Jpn) bt Rasmus Bonde-Mads Conrad-Petersen (Den) 21-15, 17-21, 21-15; Naoki Kawamae-Shoji Sato (Jpn) bt Shohei Hoshino-Akira Kobayashi (Jpn) 21-12, 21-8; Koo Kien Keat-Tan Boon Heong (Mas) bt Patiphat Chalardchaleam-Nipitphon Puangpuapech (Tha) 21-8, 21-7.

* Matches involving Malaysians in other events

Women's singles: Ratchanok Intanon (Tha) bt Tee Jing Yi 21-11, 21-10; Ai Goto (Jpn) bt Lydia Cheah 21-15, 15-21, 21-18.

Women's doubles: Eom Hye-won-Jang Ye-na (Kor) bt Ng Hui Ern-Ng Hui Lin 21-17, 27-29, 21-10.

Mixed doubles: Chan Peng Soon-Goh Liu Ying bt Noriyasu Hirata-Miyuki Maeda (Jpn) 21-17, 21-16; Tan Wee Kiong-Ng Hui Lin bt Maneepong Jongjit-Savitree Amitrapai (Tha) 21- 12, 21-15.

Team Apido eye podium spot

Posted: 20 Sep 2012 05:10 PM PDT

PETALING JAYA: Team Apido Yamaha Boon Kui team manager Hairul Azuan Abdul Rahman is confident of a good outing for his team in Round 7 of the Petronas AAM Malaysian Cub Prix Championship in Kluang from Sept 22-23.

Hairul said after the hard work put in by the back room boys, he believes his riders will be on the podium in Kluang.

The team's rider Ahmad Abdul Kadir (pic) finished 11th overall last year as they were bogged down by technical issues.

Ahmad had three podium finishes from the first six rounds this year.

And the Sarawakian earned himself the right to sit in second overall in the CP115 standings with 84 points, just seven points shy of Petronas Syntium Moto Yamaha AHM's Shahril Izzuwan Mohd Noor, who leads with 91 points.

"We had major problems setting up the bike last year and we were always one step behind the other teams despite our hard work," said Hairul.

"After the season ended we immediately started working on analysing the bike and comparing it to the competitors and fixing it along the way.

"I am certain Ahmad will be there with the frontrunners in Kluang. He has been working hard to keep his fitness in check and the team mechanics have already prepared a competitive bike. Hopefully, Ahmad can end up on the podium and keep his CP115 title hopes alive."


The Star Online: Entertainment: Movies

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The Star Online: Entertainment: Movies

Lindsay Lohan arrested in NY for hitting pedestrian

Posted: 19 Sep 2012 08:20 PM PDT

NEW YORK: Lindsay Lohan was arrested on Wednesday after a pedestrian told police that her car struck him as the "Mean Girls" actress was driving into a hotel in New York, New York City police said.

Lohan's vehicle clipped a 34-year-old man in an alley, around 2:30 a.m., police told Reuters, and the man later went to a nearby hospital saying he had an injured knee.

The 26-year-old actress, who has been in and out of court, rehab and prison since a 2007 drunk driving arrest in Los Angeles, was arrested for leaving the scene of an accident.

Police arrested her as she left the Dream hotel in lower Manhattan. She was charged with a misdemeanor and released, the New York police department's Office of Public Information said.

Lohan's spokesman in Los Angeles said he believed the claims would not be proved.

"While some of the facts are still being gathered, it appears that this is much ado about nothing. We are confident this matter will be cleared up in the coming weeks and the claims being made against Lindsay will be proven untrue," spokesman Steve Honig said in a statement.

Celebrity website, quoting sources at the hotel, said surveillance video of the incident made it hard to tell whether Lohan's car made contact with the pedestrian or, if it did, how hard.

The New York Daily News identified the man as Jose Rodriguez, a cook who was leaving his workplace, the adjacent Maritime hotel, when the incident occurred.

A Los Angeles judge released Lohan from formal probation in March, but she was instructed to obey all laws until 2014. A conviction in the New York case could trigger a violation of those conditions. Lohan, who rose to fame as a child star in the 1990s, has been trying to make a comeback after her once promising movie career was derailed.

She stars as screen legend Elizabeth Taylor in a Lifetime TV movie, "Liz & Dick," due to air in November. - Reuters


The Star Online: Nation

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Maroon 5 wows Malaysian fans

Posted: 20 Sep 2012 08:53 AM PDT

SHAH ALAM: Chart-busting pop-rock band Maroon 5 certainly had the crowd "moving like Jagger" at its Overexposed Tour 2012 concert here Thursday night.

Back for their second gig in Malaysia, frontman Adam Levine and his bandmates James Valentine on guitar, Mickey Madden on bass, Matt Flynn on drums and PJ Morton on keyboard - had the 7,000-strong crowd eating out of their hands as they performed some of their biggest hits at the one-night-only event.

Kicking off the excitement for the night was Las Vegas-based alternative rock band The Cab, who set the mood for the main act with its unique and infectious brand of music.

When it was finally time for Maroon 5 to take the stage, the crowd went wild as Levine led off with a rousing rendition of Payphone.

As expected, the largely female crowd couldn't contain their screams of adoration as the handsome lead singer serenaded them with his distinctive vocals, with Harder To Breathe and This Love getting the biggest cheers.

The biggest applause, however, was reserved for the American band's smash hit, Moves Like Jagger, one of the best-selling singles of all time, which it performed with signature style and swagger, and ended the concert.

Putrajaya sends letter to S'gor over water issue

Posted: 20 Sep 2012 08:32 AM PDT

NANNING (China): The federal government has sent a letter to the Selangor government over the water issue, including the proposed takeover of water concessionaires, said Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin.

The Deputy Prime Minister said he had responded to all questions raised by Mentri Besar Tan Sri Abdul Khalid Ibrahim in the letter, including the acquisition of all water concessionaires for the proposed restructuring of water supply.

"I explained to him one by one," he said when commenting on Khalid's statement that that the state government would continue with the restructuring of the water supply exercise if the Energy, Green Technology and Water Ministry failed to respond to its letter sent on Sept 14 within 14 days.

Speaking to reporters after attending a briefing on the Qinzhou Industrial Park project here Thursday, Muhyiddin said Khalid had urged the federal government to interfere in the matter, but he (Muhyiddin) explained that the matter was not under the federal government's jurisdiction.

"The Selangor government is bound by agreements it had entered into with all concessionaries, and the matter should be resolved through negotiations on the basis of willing buyer willing seller," he added.

Selangor has four water concessionaires, namely Syarikat Pengeluar Air Berhad, Konsortium Abbas, Syarikat Bekalan Air Selangor (Syabas) and Puncak Niaga.

Muhyiddin said the acquisition of the concessionaires would take a long time and if it did not materialise, then only it could be brought to the second level, that is the federal government, as it was responsible in taking over water assets through Pengurusan Aset Air Berhad (PAAB).

The deputy prime minister said in his letter, he also explained to Khalid the importance of helping the federal government resolve issues related to construction of the Langat 2 Water Treatment Plant (Langat 2).

He said the state government should not downplay the impending water crisis in Selangor, Kuala Lumpur and Putrajaya expected by 2015.

"We cannot make fun of this, he should give his agreement. I do not understand on what basis he wanted to ask the minister responsible first before making his decision. The most important thing he must answer first to the people of Selangor, Kuala Lumpur and Putrajaya.

"Is that an ultimatum or a threat, it is up to the people to make an evaluation. In this important matter, we cannot adopt a hostile attitude as we are dealing with problems faced by the people. Water supply cannot be considered a small matter," he said. - Bernama

Related Stories:
Selangor waiting for reply on water restructuring plan
S'gor assumes Putrajaya has no objections to Syabas takeover
Expert: Water crisis looms in Selangor

A-G gets probe papers on trampling of PM's picture

Posted: 20 Sep 2012 07:58 AM PDT

KUALA LUMPUR: Investigation papers on the trampling of pictures of national leaders and the waving of the Sang Saka flag on the eve (Aug 30) of the 55th Independence Day celebration have been submitted to the Attorney-General.

Home Minister Datuk Seri Hishamuddin Tun Hussein said the police had completed their investigation.

"We have submitted to the Attorney-General to scrutinise the report and take appropriate action," he told reporters after attending an Umno supreme council meeting here Thursday.

To date, seven individuals have given their statements to the police on the waving of the Sang Saka flag, trampling and showing the buttocks to pictures of national leaders in public, during the eve of Merdeka Day.

More that 100 police reports were made on the action of the participants of the Janji Bersih gathering who stepped on pictures of national leaders and insulted the Malaysian flag at the Dataran Merdeka. - Bernama

Related Stories:
Several people arrested for stomping on pictures
Zahid: Stepping on pictures unacceptable
People furious over stomping incident, says minister
Hunt is on for those behind two incidents


The Star Online: Metro: Central

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Not right to have centres for the mentally ill in residential areas

Posted: 20 Sep 2012 06:46 AM PDT

We refer to your article "Heal and hearty" (The Star, Aug 13), about the Eve Caring Centre in Petaling Jaya. As residents living along the street where one of the centre's facilities is located, we would like to bring your attention to how the operation of this centre has been disturbing our peaceful neighbourhood.

As mentioned in the article, activities for the patients at this centre start as early as 6am.

A major disturbance is the constant coming and going of vans transporting patients and caretakers to and from the centre. It continues throughout the day from before 7am until as late as 11pm.

The drivers of these vans drive recklessly on our street and honk up to five times when they reach the centre's gate for it to be opened, without any consideration for others living in the neighbourhood. Patients as well as caretakers are often heard screaming, shouting and crying loudly, and some patients have tried to escape from the centre.

Additionally, several neighbours have regularly seen people from the centre urinating in front of houses along the street early in the morning.

While we fully support the concept of a centre to help mental health patients recover from their illnesses and acknowledge the need for such centres in our society, we cannot tolerate the disturbances and we believe that such institutions should not be allowed to operate in residential areas.

Residents of section 12,

Petaling Jaya

Bravo to tree-planting plan

Posted: 20 Sep 2012 06:46 AM PDT

Efforts by Kuala Lumpur City Hall (DBKL) to gazette some 360 acres as open space to provide more recreational areas for health-conscious city folk are commendable.

I am pleased to note that Kuala Lumpur mayor Datuk Ahmad Phesal Talib had stated that DBKL is committed to greening the city for the benefit of the environment and its preservation and protection.

I submitted a short memorandum to him shortly after he took office as the city's mayor, detailing my recommendations to further improve Kuala Lumpur.

One of my recommendations is to plant more trees and to provide more recreational spaces for city folk.

The mayor's decision to initiate a tree-planting programme according to the birth rate of babies for the year 2011 is a step in the right direction.

Under the initiative, parents of babies born in the year 2011 are invited to plant trees as a sign of blessing apart from giving the birth a symbolic meaning.

The mayor also pointed out that under the Sixth Entry Point Project (EPP) to increase green space in the city, DBKL aims to plant 30,000 trees by year 2020.

The target was exceeded when 34,544 trees was planted last year.

While planting more trees for the city, care must be given to the proper type of trees to be planted and at suitable locations. More open spaces along major roads in the city should be planted with trees.

The trees must be regularly checked and monitored.

Maintenance work must also be carried out to ensure that the branches of the trees will not obstruct road and highway signage.

In many public areas today, maintenance work is poor and branches of trees have overgrown, leading to the obstruction of road signage thus causing great inconvenience to the public.

Trees which are affected by earth works of development projects must be replaced by new trees suitably planted.

It is very obvious that everyone has a role to play to make Kuala Lumpur a truly green and garden city, thereby helping to improve lives by creating a more comfortable and friendly environment.


Kuala Lumpur


The Star Online: Lifestyle: Health

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Various disorders cause indigestion

Posted: 18 Sep 2012 04:02 PM PDT

The term indigestion refers to a collection of symptoms that can be caused by various disorders.

WE were due to go to South Korea for a holiday, when at the last minute, my cousin couldn't make it. He had severe indigestion. So we had to go without him. I've had indigestion before, but I never really thought about what causes it. Can you shed light on it?

Indigestion is a term you use to describe a symptom or a plethora of symptoms that can occur during or after a meal. Indigestion is also known as dyspepsia.

It is very, very common for some people and can occur every day for them.

Most people use "indigestion" to describe this feeling of fullness or discomfort that they have in their stomachs. It is sometimes accompanied by a burning pain.

Others consider flatulence to be indigestion as well.

What do people experience when they get indigestion? What can be classified as indigestion?

Look for the following symptoms:

·Fullness during a meal: When you feel "too full" soon after you've begun eating, and you subsequently cannot continue to eat.

·"Over-fullness" after a meal: When you feel "too full" after you've finished your meal. It's as though the food is staying inside your stomach for too long and you don't feel hungry even hours after the meal.

·Pain in the area of your stomach just below your ribcage. This may be a burning pain. It can be mild, or severe.

This should not be confused with heartburn, as heartburn is caused by stomach acid rising to your oesophagus and is represented by a painful burning feeling in your chest that can radiate up to your neck and back.

·Nausea and vomiting.


·An unpleasant tightness in the stomach.

·A "growling" stomach.

·Acidic taste in your mouth.

What causes indigestion?

Most of the time, no cause can be found. The indigestion resolves by itself. This type of indigestion is called functional dyspepsia. It is thought to originate in the area where your stomach meets your small intestine (duodenum).

Theories postulate that there may be abnormal movements going on in the squeezing and relaxing actions (motility) of your normal stomach muscles as it digests the food and passes it to the duodenum.

But sometimes, there's a more sinister underlying disease. Some diseases which can lead to symptoms of indigestion are:

·Gastric and duodenal ulcer.

·Gastro-esophageal reflux of acid.

·Infections of the stomach, both bacterial and viral.

·Gastroparesis, where the contents of your stomach don't empty properly. This is common in diabetics.

·Stomach cancer (but don't worry, this is a rare cause of indigestion).

·Irritable bowel syndrome.

·Chronic pancreatitis.

·Thyroid disease.

·Certain medications like painkillers (especially aspirin), antibiotics, oral contraceptives, steroids, etc.

·Pregnancy, especially when your belly is getting really big.

Naturally, the way most Malaysians eat is not helping either. We eat too much, stuffing ourselves at buffet tables. We eat too fast and we eat too much fatty foods. We smoke and drink too much fizzy drinks and alcohol.

Sometimes, we swallow too much air when we are eating, and we end up feeling bloated and we belch a lot.

All this can lead to indigestion, or what we "term" as indigestion.

And when we are stressed, we may tend to eat too much, and this leads to indigestion as well.

How do we treat indigestion?

You must remember that indigestion is a symptom rather than a disease. So if your indigestion is very severe or if it happens too often, you should see a doctor about it. He/she will then try to investigate for an underlying disease.

The treatment will then depend on the underlying disease. If you have a peptic ulcer, you will be given medications for that.

If you have an infection, you will be given antibiotics.

Meanwhile, you may be given antacids or activated carbon to alleviate your symptoms of indigestion.

Meanwhile, if you are one of those people who are prone to getting indigestion and you have been investigated by a doctor and found to have no underlying cause, you can do the following:

·Avoid food and drinks that give you indigestion. Some people cannot take coffee, for example, or cheese.

·Don't chew with your mouth open or talk while you are eating as air will get into your mouth.

·Don't eat too fast.

·Drink fluids after a meal, rather than during the meal.

·Don't eat too late at night. Avoid suppers.

·Don't eat spicy foods.

·Don't smoke or drink alcohol.

Dr YLM graduated as a medical doctor, and has been writing for many years on various subjects such as medicine, health advice, computers and entertainment. For further information, e-mail The information contained in this column is for general educational purposes only. Neither The Star nor the author gives any warranty on accuracy, completeness, functionality, usefulness or other assurances as to such information. The Star and the author disclaim all responsibility for any losses, damage to property or personal injury suffered directly or indirectly from reliance on such information.


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