Rabu, 17 Oktober 2012

The Star Online: Entertainment: TV & Radio

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The Star Online: Entertainment: TV & Radio


Kutcher tops Forbes' list of highest paid TV actors

Posted: 17 Oct 2012 08:49 PM PDT

NEW YORK: When Ashton Kutcher replaced Charlie Sheen on the hit comedy "Two And a Half Men," he also took his place as television's highest-paid actor, according to Forbes' annual survey released on Wednesday.

Forbes estimated Kutcher earned $24 million from May 2011 to May 2012, while Sheen, now starring in "Anger Management" on cable television following a very public firing from the hit CBS show, didn't even make the top 10.

Sheen's $40 million a year ago however easily out-earned Kutcher by some $16 million. Steve Carell, also in the top 10 last year with $15 million before he left "The Office," was also nowhere to be found this year.

Earnings runners-up included "House" star Hugh Laurie and Ray Romano of now-canceled "Men of a Certain Age," with $18 million each.

Other highly compensated actors in the top 10 list included Emmy winner Alec Baldwin of "30 Rock," "Last Man Standing" star Tim Allen, "Men" co-star Jon Cryer and "The Big Bang Theory"'s Jim Parsons and Johnny Galecki.

Forbes said its estimates did not include deductions for manager and agent fees, or "the other costs of being a celebrity."

The entire list can be seen http://www.forbes.com/sites/dorothypomerantz/2012/10/17/sorry-charlie-ashton-kutcher-tops-our-list-of-the-highest-paid-tv-actors/ _ Reuters

Showdown time

Posted: 18 Oct 2012 06:10 AM PDT

Aspiring interior designers vie for the ultimate prize on Asia's first interior design reality TV show.

PROMISING to be bigger, better and more exciting, the second season of The Apartment: Style Edition will see eight teams of aspiring interior designers battle it out for the ultimate prize in the high-stakes competition – the ownership of a luxury condo.

Produced by Singapore-based Imagine Group with Sime Darby Property (SDP) as the main sponsor, The Apartment: Style Edition is unlike other design shows if the inaugural season last year was anything to go by. It is billed as the first interior design reality TV series in Asia. Not only are contestants expected to show a progression in style through their work, they are also expected to shine under the added pressure of timed challenges.

Viewers will also get ideas and tips while watching the contestants design, decorate and vie for their ultimate dream home. Be warned, this is not your typical home renovation show but a do-it-yourself showdown. The teams will be stretched to the limits of their creativity, ability and sanity as they battle to out-design, out-shop and out-decorate each other for the ownership of a unit at the Veo in Desa Melawati, Kuala Lumpur.

The Veo is a project by leading integrated property developer SDP, which also developed the posh East Residence where the series is filmed. The East Residence courtyard homes, located within a gated and guarded community, are part of the Kuala Lumpur Golf and Country Club's integrated development.

For 10 episodes beginning today, the eight pairs of contestants will be tasked with designing various rooms in an apartment, including the living room and bathrooms. The inaugural season, which aired on AXN (Astro Ch 701) last year, was reportedly watched by a total of 97 million households across 22 countries in Asia.

According to Imagine Group founder and president Riza Mehta, the new season of The Apartment: Style Edition is bigger in scale and prizes. "In the first season, we had three teams competing for the grand prize. The new season will see eight teams competing and the composition is very international, so the series is a lot bigger.

"Matching the increased sophistication of the new season, the two primary judges of the show are themselves renowned experts in the field of design. We brought in Australia's Jamie Durie as celebrity host and Britain's Laurence Llewellyn-Bowen as head judge, and this helped raise the calibre of the show," Mehta said.

Durie is a landscape designer and horticulturalist who has written nine books and hosted several TV shows, while Llewellyn-Bowen is a homestyle consultant who previously appeared on BBC's Changing Rooms renovation series and helped designed the decorations for Queen Elizabeth II's Diamond Jubilee.

Llewellyn-Bowen and Durie will mentor, critique, and push the contestants to unearth hidden design talents amongst the hopefuls. Celebrity guest judges will include Paula Malai Ali, Andrea Fonseka, Lisa S and Kim Robinson, who will add glitz and glamour to each episode as well as deliver special challenges to the contestants.

The eight pairs for The Apartment: Style Edition are: fashion photographer-model Jesper and his brother, graphic designer Killian; self-employed Iva and Phillipe; radio anchorman Alex and model-singer Chelsea; fashion designer John and boutique hotel manager Daniel; performer Cynthia and housewife Paula; wine distributor general manager Paul and student Ash; events manager Kish and art director Mera; and fashion blogger Agri and make-up artist Clarissa.

"The teams were specially selected from online auditions to represent Asia's next-generation of home owners who are looking to invest their hearts, minds and souls into their property," explained Mehta.

Co-sponsored by Sime Darby Motors (the first runner-up will drive home in a new Ford Focus) and Dulux, The Apartment: Style Edition was filmed over 30 days in June and July after a series of auditions in April.

The contestants come from Malaysia, Singapore, Indonesia, Argentina, the United States, the Philippines, Australia, France and Canada. As part of the contest, they will paint, tile, wallpaper and install fixtures and fittings. There will be a handyman to help them this time, unlike in the previous season.

According to SDP Property Development head Zulkifli Tahmali, The Apartment: Style Edition was conceived by SDP as a unique vehicle to reach out to its customers and demonstrate the various ways in which living spaces can be transformed to complement lifestyles.

"Our vision came alive via a creative partnership with the Imagine Group which not only produced the show but also turned it into a stunning success. The Apartment: Style Edition is an excellent platform to champion the new East Residence project and also promote Sime Darby to an international audience," he said.

Mehta echoed the sentiment: "We are honoured to partner with Sime Darby Property again this year to produce a new season and our multinational contestants are determined to show their creativity to the world."

He added that contestants also have to take into account the cost-effectiveness and sustainability of their designs, which might sometimes necessitate the purchase of repurposed furniture and the creation of eco-friendly decor.

"We want to show people that they can be sustainable, while also being stylish," he said.

n Catch the premiere of the 10-episode The Apartment: Style Edition on Star World (Astro ch 711) today (Oct 18) at 9.30pm.

Kredit: www.thestar.com.my

The Star Online: World Updates

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The Star Online: World Updates


Obama plans election-night rally in Chicago convention centre

Posted: 17 Oct 2012 07:01 PM PDT

CLEVELAND (Reuters) - U.S. President Barack Obama plans to usher in what he hopes will be a second four-year term in the White House at an election-night rally at a huge convention centre near downtown Chicago, a campaign official said on Wednesday.

U.S. President Barack Obama speaks during a campaign rally at Ohio University in Athens, Ohio, October 17, 2012 Obama is campaigning in Iowa and Ohio on Wednesday following the second presidential debate against Mitt Romney on October 16. REUTERS/Jason Reed

U.S. President Barack Obama speaks during a campaign rally at Ohio University in Athens, Ohio, October 17, 2012 Obama is campaigning in Iowa and Ohio on Wednesday following the second presidential debate against Mitt Romney on October 16. REUTERS/Jason Reed

The event will likely draw thousands of supporters to the McCormick Place convention centre in Chicago, Obama's hometown and the site of his re-election campaign headquarters.

Supporters are expected to watch the voting results come in and then hear a speech by the incumbent Democrat who faces Republican Mitt Romney, a former Massachusetts governor and private equity executive, in the November 6 general election.

More than 200,000 revellers flooded Chicago's Grant Park after Obama beat John McCain in 2008 to become the first black U.S. president.

McCormick Place attracts close to 3 million visitors each year and has assembly seating for 18,000 people, according to its website.

The campaign official declined to discuss why the event would not be held in Grant Park.

The official, who declined to speak on the record, said plans for the rally were still being worked out and declined to say how many people the campaign expects to attend.

(Editing by Mohammad Zargham)

Copyright © 2012 Reuters

Japan ministers visit shrine for war dead

Posted: 17 Oct 2012 06:11 PM PDT

TOKYO (Reuters) - Japan's land minister and postal minister visited a controversial shrine for war dead on Thursday in a move which could further strain relations between neighbouring China and Korea, already tense over territorial disputes.

The two ministers' pilgrimage to the Yasukuni Shrine, seen by many in the region as a symbol of Japan's war-time militarism, came a day after Japan's main opposition party leader and possible next prime minister, Shinzo Abe, visited there.

Japan's newly-appointed Land, Infrastructure, Transport and Tourism Minister Yuichiro Hata attends a news conference at the premier's official residence in Tokyo June 4, 2012. REUTERS/Toru Hanai

Japan's newly-appointed Land, Infrastructure, Transport and Tourism Minister Yuichiro Hata attends a news conference at the premier's official residence in Tokyo June 4, 2012. REUTERS/Toru Hanai

Land minister Yuichiro Hata and postal minister Mikio Shimoji were among a group of nonpartisan lawmakers visiting the shrine during its autumn festival.

Fourteen Japanese wartime leaders convicted as war criminals by an Allied tribunal are honoured at the shrine along with other war dead.

Hata told reporters his visit was "private".

"I visited as a secretary general of the People's New Party. It won't be a big diplomatic problem," Kyodo quoted Shimoji as saying.

Sino-Japanese relations have soured sharply in the past month when a row over disputed islands led to violent anti-Japanese protests across China and badly hurt trade.

(Reporting by Kaori Kaneko; Editing by Chris Gallagher)

Copyright © 2012 Reuters

Mexico seeks allies in trade dispute with China

Posted: 17 Oct 2012 06:06 PM PDT

MEXICO CITY (Reuters) - Mexico is hoping to recruit allies in a trade dispute in which it accuses China of breaking international rules by giving tax breaks and subsidies to its textile businesses, a top Mexican trade official said on Wednesday.

Mexico argues that Beijing subsidizes Chinese companies in its textiles and clothing sector by exempting them from income taxes, value-added taxes and municipal taxes.

"It's possible that at any time during the next 30 days, or 60 days, other countries could join us," Francisco de Rosenzweig, Mexico's undersecretary for foreign trade, told Reuters in an interview.

Additional allies in the dispute would bring more pressure to bear on China.

De Rosenzweig said Mexico was in consultations with various countries, but he declined to name them.

Mexico formally requested consultations with China on Monday in the World Trade Organization (WTO), and the Asian giant has 60 days to resolve the matter by explaining its actions or changing its behaviour. Without a deal, Mexico could ask the WTO to rule on the dispute, its fourth WTO complaint against China.

De Rosenzweig pointed to the massive textile trade deficit that Mexico, Latin America's second largest economy, faces with China. He said Chinese textile exports to Mexico last year totalled $1.07 billion (663.4 million pounds) while Mexico's exports to China were worth just $88 million.

All told, Mexico imported more than $52 billion worth of Chinese goods last year and exported only about $6 billion of its own products to China, its third-biggest single export market.

(Reporting by Adriana Barrera and David Alire Garcia; Editing by David Brunnstrom)

Copyright © 2012 Reuters

Kredit: www.thestar.com.my

The Star Online: Business

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KLCI inches higher in early trade, Tenaga, SK Petro lift

Posted: 17 Oct 2012 06:21 PM PDT

KUALA LUMPUR: Blue chips rose in early trade on Thursday, with Tenaga and SapuraKencana Petroleum among the major gainers, as investors' appetite for equities improved, as sentiment was underpinned by the more positive outlook from the US and Europe.

At 9.05am, the FBM KLCI rose 0.76 of a point to 1,661.43. Turnover was 43.31 million shares valued at RM20.18mil. There were 75 gainers, 33 losers and 94 counters unchanged.

Analysts said the optimism in the US and Europe could provide the impetus for the KLCI to retest its resistance of 1,668 and possibly extend its all-time high.

Tenaga added five sen to RM6.99 while SKPetro gainsed three sen to RM2.47 after its secured a contract extension.

BAT was the top gainer, up 50 sen to RM64 with 200 shares done.

Among plantations, United Plantations added 46 sen to RM25.30 with 100 shares transacted, PPB Group rose eight sen to RM12.28.

However, SOP fell nine sen to RM6, FGV three sen to RM4.71 and IOI Corp two sen to RM5.05

TH Heavy, Benalec, UMW and Axiata rose three sen each to 53 sen, RM1.39, RM9.96 and RM6.54 respectively.

Maybank snapped its recent rally, easing six sen to RM9.22 on profit taking.

Malaysia-Market factors to watch on Oct 18(Thursday)

Posted: 17 Oct 2012 06:19 PM PDT

KUALA LUMPUR: Following is a list of events in Malaysia as well as news company-related and market news which could have an influence on the local market. GLOBAL MARKETS-Asian shares rise after US data, China GDP in focus

SE Asia Stocks-Philippine at week high; Thai surprise rate cut lifts property

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

* Dewan Rakyat sitting at 1000am (0200). * Iskandar Investment Group and Mah Sing Group sign lease purchase agreement, JW Marriott Hotel, Jalan Bukit Bintang, at 1030am (0230).

* Information, Communications and Culture Minister Datuk Seri Dr Rais Yatim launches "u-Pustaka" programme at Sultan Abdul Samad Complex main entrance, Kuala Lumpur at 1130am (0330).

* Deputy Prime Minister Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin attends a special meeting with students of Institute of Teacher Education (IPG) and hands over Siswa 1Malaysia discount cards at the IPG Islamic Education Campus in Bangi at 0300pm (0700)

MARKET NEWS

> Nikkei rises, set for third day of gains on softer yen

> S&P 500 gets housing lift, but IBM reins in the Dow

> Prices fall on improved homes data, reduced Spain fears

> Euro & AUD rally pauses ahead of China data rush

> Gold flat as investors eye China data, euro zone

> Brent crude, U.S. gasoline fall on inventory gains

> Palm oil prices climb, but high stocks cap gains

MALAYSIA IN THE NEWS:

> Operator of Malaysia's busiest port plans $500 mln IPO in 2013-sources

> PREVIEW-Malaysia's Sept inflation seen steady at 1.4 percent y/y

> UPDATE 1-Asia Rubber-China, tyre makers buy as prices slip

> BASIS POINT-Forbes Bumi Armada take-out oversubscribed

> Exxon to buy Canada's Celtic Exploration for C$2.6 bln - Reuters

VEGOILS-Market factors to watch Oct 18 Thursday

KUALA LUMPUR: The following factors are likely to influence Malaysian palm oil futures and other vegetable oil markets on Thursday.

FUNDAMENTALS

* Malaysian palm oil futures ended higher in rangebound trade on Wednesday, as rising exports offset analyst expectations that the market will fall further on high stocks.

* U.S. soybean futures rose for a second consecutive day on Thursday, driven by bargain hunting after prices slid to their lowest since late June earlier this week.

* Brent crude prices fell on Wednesday as rising U.S. crude oil and gasoline stockpiles kept tepid global demand for petroleum in focus, while a weaker dollar and worries about supply disruptions limited losses.

MARKET NEWS

* Asian shares rose to their highest in seven months on Thursday, buoyed by a surge in U.S. housing starts that has followed other positive economic data, helping to further ease worries about a slowdown in global growth.

* Copper had its biggest gain in a month on Wednesday and grains markets rose too as the falling U.S. dollar provided more buying opportunity in commodities for users of the euro.

RELATED NEWS

> Argentina to press on with WTO biodiesel complaint

> EU biofuel rules are progress, not perfect-Commissioners

> Monsanto suspends seed royalties in Brazil,fighting state court

> China's 2012 corn output revised up, to expand 4.3 pct-CNGOIC

DATA/EVENTS

> Cargo surveyor Intertek Testing Services to issue Oct. 1-20 exports data on Saturday. Another cargo surveyor will issue data for same period on Monday. - Reuters

Affin Research upgrades AMMB, ups target price to RM6.62

Posted: 17 Oct 2012 06:08 PM PDT

KUALA LUMPUR: Affin Investment Research has upgraded AMMB Holdings from reduce to Add and raised the target price from RM6.38 to RM6.62.

It said on Thursday it lifted its price target from RM6.38 (based on a P/BV of 1.45 times on CY13 ROE of 14.5% and a BVPS of RM4.36) to RM6.62, equivalent to a P/BV multiple of 1.5 times on CY13 ROE of 15.2% and a slightly higher BVPS of RM4.40.

"The upgrade is a result of our upward earnings revision ranging from +4.2% for FY13, +6.1% FY14 and +5.3% FY15, as we take into account potentially stronger earnings impact from non-interest income contribution, of which we have revised up by +8.0-16.0% for FY13-15," it said.

Affin Research also said that the stock price have more or lessbottomed-out, as it is currently trading at FY03/14 P/BV multiple of 1.4 times.

 

Kredit: www.thestar.com.my

The Star Online: Sports

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The Star Online: Sports


Koo-Tan battle from set down to win opener in Denmark Open

Posted: 17 Oct 2012 06:34 PM PDT

ODENSE: Top doubles shuttlers Koo Kien Keat-Tan Boon Heong made a remarkable comeback from a first game setback to beat the highly rated Lee Yong-dae-Ko Sung-hyun of South Korea in the opening round of the Denmark Open here on Wednesday.

The beleaguered pair proved that they still have fire in their bellies when they recovered from a 8-21 defeat to beat the Koreans 8-21, 21-16, 21-19 to make the second round.

It was Kien Keat-Boon Heong's first big win after losing in the bronze medal playoff at the London Olympic Games in August.

They will take on another new combination Jonas Rasmussen-Joachim Fischer Nielsen of Denmark for a place in the quarter-finals.

Malaysia also have another pair in the second round when Hoon Thien How-Tan Wee Kiong defeated Vladimir Ivanov-Ivan Sozonov of Russia 22-20, 21-13 to set-up a meeting with Japan's Hiroyuki Endo-Kenichi Hayakawa in the second round.

In the men's singles, World No 1 Lee Chong Wei and Liew Daren made it to the second round in convincing styles.

Chong Wei dumped Denmark's promising star Viktor Axelsen with a 21-8, 21-18 win while Daren showed that his back problem was not a big concern any longer when he ousted Rajiv Ouseph of England 21-17, 21-19.

Today, Chong Wei will take on Boonsak Ponsana of Thailand while Daren squares of with Sho Sasaki of Japan.

Malaysia's Olympians Chan Peng Soon-Goh Liu Ying will be out to keep the nation's flag flying high when they take on Anders Kristiansen-Julie Houmann of Denmark for a quarter-final ticket in the mixed doubles event.

Easy for Chun Seang

Posted: 17 Oct 2012 04:24 PM PDT

ODENSE: It was a day of mixed fortunes for Malaysian shuttlers as another prominent Dane – Tine Baun – made a startling announcement of her final appearance in the Denmark Open.

Malaysian professional Tan Chun Seang walked into the second round without breaking sweat after Tommy Sugiarto conceded a walkover in the men's singles event.

Chun Seang will next play the winner of the match between Chong Wei Feng and Simon Santoso of Indonesia.

In other men's singles matches, second seed Chen Long of China and fifth seed Sho Sasaki had to go to the distance before prevailing against Hu Yun of Hong Kong and Anand Pawar of India respectively.

Malaysia's second ranked pair Hoon Thien How-Tan Wee Kiong overcame a strong challenge in the opening game to beat lanky Russians Vladimir Ivanov-Ivan Sozonov 22-20, 21-13 to march into the second round.

It was a sad end for reigning Dutch Open runners-up Gan Teik Chai-Ong Soon Hock when they lost 21-17, 12-21, 14-21 to Holland's Jorrit De Ruiter-Dave Khodabux in the first round.

Soon Hock said he could not play his normal game because of a neck pain.

"We had a good draw but my condition was not good today. I found it hard to play with my painful neck. We'll have a good rest before making our way to the France Open next week," he said.

Said Teik Chai: "Overall, it has been good for us since we started playing five months ago. The final appearance in Holland is good for us. We are grateful to the many sponsors who continue to support us."

In the mixed doubles, Chan Peng Soon-Goh Liu Ying battled their way into the second round with a 15-21, 21-17, 21-15 win over Dave Khoda­bux-Selena Piek of Holland.

The fifth seeds will take on Anders Kristiansen-Julie Houmann of Den­mark and should make it to the quarter-finals provided they can play a more polished game.

There was some sad news for Danish fans when their top women's singles shuttler and world No. 6 Baun announced her retirement plans yesterday.

The two-time All-England champion wants to hang up her racquet at next year's All-England to focus on her family and studies.

She will enrol in a university in Copenhagen next Feb­ruary to study health and nutrition.

"I am 33 years old and I think the time has come for me to say goodbye to badminton. I have been playing competitive badminton since 25. I'm finding it hard against younger players," said Baun.

"I want to have children and I am also going to further my studies. It's good to leave when one is at the top of the game.

"I will miss it but I am sure that Den­mark will produce more players. Some are young right now but, given time, they will make it to the top like me."

She is the second Danish to play in her last Denmark Open. Their top men's singles shuttler – Peter-Gade Christensen – will also stop playing in December and this Denmark Open is his last.

Injury-free Zulfadli wants to break into top 50

Posted: 17 Oct 2012 04:23 PM PDT

ODENSE: It's going to be almost a year since Zulfadli Zulkifli won the world junior title – a first for the country.

Although his progress has been rather slow compared to Denmark's Viktor Axelsen – the player he defeated in the final of the world juniors in 2011 – Zulfadli is taking it all in his strides.

After overcoming a string of injuries, Zulfadli is looking forward to ending the year by breaking into the top 50. Axelsen has already beaten several top players and is 20th in the world.

Zulfadli's plan to improve on his current world ranking of 66th, however, took a beating when he bundled out by Scott Evans of Ireland in the second qualifying round of the Denmark Open.

"This is my first Premier Super Series event, so I was thrilled just to compete here. It shows that I have improved," said Zulfadli.

The 19-year-old, however, knows that he has to speed up his game plan in order to join the big league and show that he has what it takes to represent Malaysia in major events like the SEA Games, Thomas Cup and Sudirman Cup.

"Injuries stalled my progress but I am injury-free right now. Being an independent player has its limitations but I am doing all I can to succeed. I am strong-willed and persistent and, I believe, I will make it to the top eventually," said the KLRC shuttler.

The talented Zulfadli can, with proper guidance, ensure that Malaysia will have someone to take over the mantle from world No. 1 Lee Chong Wei when he retires.

Besides Zulfadli, several players from Hendrawan's back-up team – like reigning Pahang Open champion Misbun Ramdan Misbun, Iskandar Zulkarnain Zainuddin, Loh Wei Sheng and Goh Soon Huat – have also shown glimpses of promise.

Let's just hope their international breakthroughs will come soon.

Kredit: www.thestar.com.my

The Star Online: Entertainment: Movies

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Moving on from a broken heart

Posted: 18 Oct 2012 06:15 AM PDT

It's all about falling in love again in The Fierce Wife Final Episode.

Call it the Taiwanese version of Chicken Soup For The Soul if you want. You've heard the story before: a woman loses her husband to a younger, prettier rival. Despite its clich├ęd premise, The Fierce Wife struck a chord with millions of viewers and became the most talked-about show in Taiwan last year.

The 23-episode drama series, about a jilted wife (Sonia Sui in her Golden Bell-nominated performance) who bounces back looking and acting "fiercer" than before, hits close to home for a large number of female population in Taiwan, as it rose to become the nation's No.1 show and turned Xi Li Ren Qi (its Mandarin title) into a catchphrase.

The momentum is far from slowing down in 2012.The release of a feature film, The Fierce Wife Final Episode, became an instant box office hit in Taiwan when it opened in August.

Set four years after An Zhen (Sui) divorces her husband Wen Rui Fan (James Wen), the film sees the one-time meek and shy housewife becoming a career lady who finds love knocking on her door again.

The million-dollar question here is who the female protagonist will pick – the ex-husband who once broke her heart, now eager to redeem himself and woo her back, or Lan Tian Wei aka "Mr Perfect" (Chris Wang), who is too much of a perfectionist and a hard-to-please snob at times?

The answer does not matter, said director Wang Pei Hua. Rather, the film shows how women move on from heartbreaks and find the courage to love again.

"It's not just the growing process of An Zhen, but also of others like her sister-in-law Rui Xuan (Karen Hu) and even An Zhen's ex-husband," she explained in an interview in Kuala Lumpur recently. Wang was in KL to promote the film with the film's stars, Sui, Wen and Hu.

The continuation of the story on the big screen was not part of the plan, she said, adding that it was partially inspired by what a friend went through.

"She had many suitors after her divorce, but she ended up letting the opportunities slip, because she hesitated moving forward and opted to adhere to the traditional view that women should sacrifice their love lives for their kids.

"This movie is to encourage every woman out there to be brave and never give up on love, no matter how many times you have had your heart broken," said Wang.

But what if you have never watched the popular drama series? Will the plot be hard to follow? It's not a problem, according to the director, who had a test screening for non-viewers of the series.

"Many women – and men – had come up to me, held my hand tightly and told me that it inspired them to seek happiness for themselves. I was very touched," said Wang, 47.

Actresses Sui and Hu, who coincidentally have been unlucky in love, also find comfort in the film's core message.

Five months ago, Sui broke up with her boyfriend of eight years, Yao Wen Hao, after he allegedly cheated on her with pop princess Cyndi Wang. Meanwhile, Hu grew tired of turning a blind eye to her husband's womanising ways.

Hu said: "The drama series tells women not to be afraid when seeking true love, but the film shows you how to do it, and that happiness might just be around the corner.

"I also wonder whether I'll meet someone like Tian Wei," said the 28-year-old mother of one, who is also the daughter of famous Taiwanese host, Hu Gua.

Meanwhile, Sui has apparently moved on from her heartbreak.

"I'm not in a rush. Of course I would want (a new romance), but I will just let fate take its course," she said.

Thanks to this role, the 31-year-old model-turned-actress has become the hottest TV star in Taiwan, earning a Best Leading Actress In A Television Series nod at last year's Golden Bell Awards. However, there's no superstar treatment on the set.

Wang recalled: "Sonia did not feel well throughout filming, but I made her laugh and cry depending on the scene and she could only ease her discomfort with medicine and a massage. Looking back, it was kind of a cruel thing to do (laughs) and I really appreciate her for that."

Sui was even hospitalised at one point, revealed Hu, adding: "But on the screen, you wouldn't be able to tell that she's uncomfortable."

Because of his role, Wen, 34, became the most hated man in Taiwanese TV, with housewives coming up to him and warning him to be faithful to his onscreen wife Sui. In the film, though, he turns over a new leaf.

Wen laughingly called The Fierce Wife Final Episode "a movie shot for women" and quipped: "I can finally redeem myself in this movie. I've been the target of insults and hatred. Let's just say that men's mistakes in love help enrich women's experiences and help them grow."

n The Fierce Wife Final Episode opens in local cinemas nationwide on Thursday.

Young and talented

Posted: 17 Oct 2012 02:17 AM PDT

Story file not found.

'He-Man', 'The Creature From The Black Lagoon' up for remake?

Posted: 17 Oct 2012 01:03 AM PDT

Hollywood has unearthed two old-school franchises headed for potential remakes: The Masters Of The Universe and The Creature Of The Black Lagoon.

According to entertainment publication Variety, He-Man could make a comeback on the silver screen thanks to Richard Wenk. The co-writer for The Expendables 2 will be tasked with penning the project to be directed by John Chu. The film will be based on the popular Mattel toys launched in the early 1980s, which led to several TV series adaptation and a movie with Dolph Lundgren released in 1987.

The Creature From The Black Lagoon (1954), one of the first films shot in 3D, is also slated for a comeback, reveals The Hollywood Reporter. Dave Kajganich (Invasion) will be in charge of updating the script for the horror flick about a scientific expedition in the Amazonian rain forest faced with a deadly amphibious creature.

Carl Rinsch (47 Ronin), who was tied to the movie at one point, is now out of the picture as the director.

(Relaxnews)

Kredit: www.thestar.com.my

The Star Online: Nation

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No restriction in use of detection devices to beat AES

Posted: 17 Oct 2012 07:39 AM PDT

KUALA LUMPUR: There is no restriction in the use of detection devices by motorists to beat the Automated Enforcement System (AES), said Deputy Transport Minister Datuk Abdul Rahim Bakri.

"We cannot stop anyone from using gadgets to beat the AES.

"That is why the system is transparent and there is no restriction on the use of detection devices," he said when answering a question raised by Tan Sri Shahrir Abdul Samad (BN-Johor Bahru) when winding up the budget speech for his ministry Wednesday.

He noted the transparency of the AES system was evident as the locations of the camera were made known to the public.

"The system (AES) is transparent as the locations of the cameras are known and available on the website for those interested to know.

"There are even warning signs put up two-to-three kilometers before the cameras locations," he said, adding that the mobile phones GPS systems would be able to determine the location of the cameras.

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Ali Hamsa: Income tax exemption on bonus will affect govt revenue

Posted: 17 Oct 2012 07:00 AM PDT

PUTRAJAYA: A proposal for the bonus payment to civil servants to be exempted from income tax can be detrimental to government revenue if implemented, said Chief Secretary to the Government Datuk Seri Dr Ali Hamsa.

He said likewise, private sector employees might also ask for their bonus to be exempted if the Government were to approve the proposal.

"Ironically, the proposed income tax exemption will not benefit civil servants earning less than RM2,700 a month as they are already exempted from income tax," he said at a meeting with Cuepacs officials here Wednesday.

Cuepacs president Datuk Omar Osman had asked for the bonus payment to civil servants in December and January be exempted from income tax.

At a news conference later, Ali said the meeting focused on efforts to improve the public service and iron out several issues.

Hence, Ali said civil servants were welcomed to email him if they have any suggestion or enquiry. - Bernama

Kelantan task force nabs five in Jeli for illegal gold-mining

Posted: 17 Oct 2012 05:46 AM PDT

KOTA BARU: A state government task force established this year to monitor illegal gold-mining activities succeeded in apprending five people in Jeli recently who had raked in at least RM1mil.

The state assembly was told Wednesday that the arrests were made possible after surveillance on the area over several weeks.

"This is one of the measures taken by the government to curb illegal mining of mineral resources like gold, iron ore and others," said Deputy Mentri Besar Datuk Ahmad Yakob (PAS-Pasir Pekan).

"The task force comprises more than 40 people who are also assisted by the relevant authorities, including the police, to ensure that swift action is taken against the culprits," said Ahmad, who is also Public Administration, Land Development and Territories committee chairman.

He was replying to Abdul Latiff Abdul Rahman (PAS-Mengkebang), who wanted to know how many licences for gold and iron ore mining were approved by the government, the royalty received from the investors and measures were taken to curb illegal mining in the state.

Ahmad said RM7mil and RM2.3mil were collected from gold and iron ore mining activities respectively.

Kredit: www.thestar.com.my

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DBKL rescue squad on standby at all its branches

Posted: 17 Oct 2012 04:48 AM PDT

RESCUE workers with Kuala Lumpur City Hall (DBKL) have had their leave applications frozen by the local authority and the 40-member rescue team is now on standby for floods in the city.

DBKL deputy director-general (socio-economy development) Datuk Amin Nordin Abd Aziz said the team had been told to forgo their leave and come back to work since the first week of October.

"We have activated our operations room and teams comprising flying squad and rescue squads have been deployed to the enforcement division in Jalan Tun Razak and each of the DBKL branches in Kuala Lumpur,'' he said.

"Our 40-member rescue squad are highly trained in search and rescue missions, including the 23 scuba divers," Amin Nordin said.

The rescue squad is equipped with rescue boats, two innovative rescue surf boats, jet ski, lifejackets, water craft, hovercraft, 4WD vehicles, tipper trucks and cranes to carry out rescue operations.

"The flying squad comprising traffic wardens on scramblers and DBKL staff will be based in all its branches to ensure they are able to respond quickly,'' he added.

"We don't want a situation where the rescue squad arrives after the floodwaters recede.

"Now, the branch closest to the emergency will act quickly,'' he said, adding that each branch will have a flying squad team to handle uprooted trees, accidents, landslides and floods.

Amin Nordin said those based in the control room will be alerted on the weather by the Drainage and Irrigation Department (DID), and they would then alert the people on the ground, like the flying squad and the nearest team.

Amin said unlike previously, DBKL would now identify and monitor flood prone areas in the city.

Roads identified as flood prone are Jalan Kuching, Jalan Ipoh, Jalan Genting Kelang, Jalan Tun Razak, Jalan Segambut, Jalan Duta, Jalan Khidmat Usaha and Section 6 Wangsa Maju which have been installed with water-level indicators to monitor rainfall.

Mohd Amin said DBKL had also identified 21 schools and 14 multipurpose halls as relief centres to house victims and had formed a disaster relief management committee together with the relevant departments including the police, fire and meteorological department.

The operations centre can be contacted at 03-4024 4424, 03-4022 0055, 03-4026 7222 or 019-212 0031.

Meanwhile, DID deputy director Norhisham Mohd Ghazali said its staff's leave had also been frozen and put on standby for any emergency.

He said the siren systems in the city to activate flood warnings had been checked and were in working condition.

The siren system is in place at 12 flood prone areas to alert the public.

The integrated traffic information system will also be used to alert motorists against using roads in flood prone areas.

Round-the-clock shift at Disaster Operations Unit in Shah Alam

Posted: 17 Oct 2012 04:27 AM PDT

ALTHOUGH Shah Alam has not been hit by flash floods for sometime now, Shah Alam City Council's (MBSA) Disaster Operations Unit is on alert if the need for their services arises.

"Our team is always ready to face any situation at any time, like to clear fallen trees, help flood victims or rush to disaster areas," said MBSA assistant enforcement officer and unit supervisor Che Kamal Hussin.

He said his team of 38 officers worked in three shifts, around the clock, starting from 8am to 4pm, from 4pm to 12am and from 12am to 8am.

The disaster unit is well equipped with six speed boats, a jet-ski and water pumps as well as chainsaws to cut fallen trees which are obstructing traffic after a downpour.

Life-jackets, safety lights and tents have also been stocked up in preparation for the rainy season.

It is Che Kamal's job to ensure he has enough manpower even during major public holidays like during the upcoming Hari Raya Haji next week.

"The most recent incident that we had to cope with was on the second day of Hari Raya this year, when more than 10 trees fell due to rain and strong winds,

"Most of us were on leave but were recalled to help despite the festive period," he said.

During the dry season, his officers are sent to the Fire and Rescue Services Department and occasionally to Kuala Lumpur City Hall to learn about rescue work.

He said of late there had been no major disasters after warning system were installed at Sungai Damansara and Sungai Klang which flows through the city.

"Before, places like TTDI Jaya were disaster prone but now the situation is very much under control," he said, adding that his only concern was Sungai Rasah and Taman Mesra Tambahan in Section U1.

If a major disaster occurs in the area, Che Kamal said he would seek assistance from other councils.

Likewise, the team also helps other councils such as Klang Municipal Council which encountered floods in August.

The council has a disaster control centre based at Wisma MBSA and the public can its 24-hour hotline 03-5510 5811 for help.

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Alzheimer's mind-numbing figures

Posted: 17 Oct 2012 07:58 AM PDT

Some gains have been made, but many mysteries remain as Alzheimer's epidemic looms.

MORE than 100 years after it was first caught in the act of decaying a patient's brain, Alzheimer's remains one of medicine's greatest challenges as it robs ever more people of their memory and independence.

Researchers make halting progress, reporting small steps forward along with many frustrating setbacks.

And while care for Alzheimer's sufferers has improved since former US president Ronald Reagan and British fantasy author Terry Pratchett helped lift the stigma, the key workings of the illness remain a riddle.

Alzheimer's disease causes two-thirds of dementia cases – attacking one in 200 people – and finding a cure has never been more pressing as the world's population grows and ages.

"There is going to be a tsunami in terms of (cost) burden," said Dean Hartley, director of science initiatives at the US Alzheimer's Association.

A door to hope slammed shut recently when drug giants Eli Lilly, Pfizer and Johnson & Johnson stopped tests of eagerly-anticipated therapies that failed in clinical trials.

On Sept 6, French researchers announced plant extract ginko biloba, widely marketed as a natural Alzheimer's remedy, did not actually prevent dementia.

Blaming insufficient funding, at least in part, researchers say they still do not know quite what to make of the plaques and tangles that German doctor Alois Alzheimer first spotted in the brain of a dementia patient who died in 1906.

Little follow-up work was done until the 1960s, partly because fewer people were then living to an age when the disease shows up.

Today, the sole drugs in our arsenal treat some symptoms but are powerless to slow the progression of Alzheimer's.

"People are absolutely desperate for medicines – people suffering from the disease, and people close to them," said Eric Karran, research director at Alzheimer's Research UK.

"Where we are at the moment is a critical period for this disease," he added.

"The pharmaceutical industry has had a range of very, very expensive failures. I worry they might be thinking: 'this is very difficult and we will just have to wait until the science is more evolved'."

Hartley and Karran said Alzheimer's received a fraction of the money governments spend on disease research despite being one of the costliest illnesses in terms of suffering and spending.

Alzheimer's Disease International (ADI) projects the number of people with dementia will rise from 35.6 million in 2010 to 65.7 million by 2030 and 115.4 million by 2050. The cost, including hospital and home care, drugs and clinic visits, is expected to soar some 85% by 2030 from about US$600bil (RM1.8tril) in 2010 – roughly the GDP of Switzerland.

But money is not the only problem.

The disease is a particularly complicated one to crack, not least because its effect on humans is nigh impossible to replicate in lab animals. Its slow progression is an added hurdle.

"The disease seems to be present in people's brains maybe 15 years prior to suffering symptoms," said Karran.

Alzheimer's normally becomes apparent around the age of 70, when family members observe a loved-one becoming forgetful and confused.

"When patients are available to be studied in clinical trials, you are actually looking at a disease that has been going on for 15 years," by which stage neurons would already have died, said Karran.

Scientists disagree on the respective roles of beta amyloid plaque build-ups and of a protein called tau which forms tangles inside these brain cells.

Most test therapies have targeted beta amyloids, but some now suggest it is actually tau killing the braincells.

"We still do not understand the relation between the structural damage and cognitive symptoms exactly," said Dutch neurophysiology PhD student Willem de Haan.

Researchers are aiming for a treatment that will halt the disease at an early stage – even before the onset of symptoms.

And while they have not succeeded, their work is throwing up some valuable clues along the way.

Already known is that a small percentage of people, more women than men, are genetically predisposed to developing Alzheimer's. A family history of the disease boosts the risk.

Some studies suggest healthy living may reduce the chances of those people who do not carry Alzheimer's-related genes of developing the disease.

Diagnostics, too, are improving: New research shows that a simple eye-tracking test and sleep disruption may be early indicators, helping victims make lifestyle choices before the disease steps into higher gear.

The experts believe that if governments, researchers and drug companies work together efficiently, a treatment may be available within 20 years.

But they also warn against giving false hope to desperate people.

"Finding a medicine for a chronic disease is far, far more complicated than, say, putting a man on the Moon," said Karran. – AFP

Problem of abnormal curvature of the spine

Posted: 17 Oct 2012 07:57 AM PDT

Abnormal curvatures of the spine can lead to multiple problems.

I NOTICED that my son has an abnormal curvature of his spine. It bends sideways. I have heard of hunchbacks, but this is not considered hunchback, is it?

No. What you term as "hunchback" is called kyphosis.

What your son probably has is a sideways curvature of the spine. This is called scoliosis.

A person's spine has some curves, which are considered normal if you look at it from the side of the person. But when you look at it from the front or back of the person, the body should be straight. The thoracic (chest) spine is normally slightly curved forward.

The cervical (neck) and lumbar (lower) spine is normally bent a little backward. These are considered normal. But if the curves are exaggerated, then they are not normal.

Kyphosis is a curve where the spine is bent forward if you look at a person from the side (as in "hunch").

Lordosis is a curve where the spine is bent backward if you look at it from the side.

Scoliosis is when the spine bends to either side with additional curves, forming a "C" or "S" shape.

Does it happen only in children?

No. It occurs in all ages. It is most commonly seen in children over 10 years old, however. Girls are twice as likely to be affected compared to boys.

It's also an extremely common disorder in the world. As much as 2% of all females can be affected by it in varying degrees.

Oh dear. What causes it?

Mostly, the cause is unknown. Another term for this is idiopathic. More than 80% of all scoliosis is attributed to this.

When scoliosis develops before your child is three years old, it is called infantile idiopathic scoliosis. When scoliosis develops in your child who is aged three to 10, it is called juvenile idiopathic scoliosis.

Once your child is over 10 years old, this is called adolescent idiopathic scoliosis.

The other 20% of scoliosis can be divided into:

Functional – This is a type of scoliosis that doesn't develop because there's an abnormality in your spine.

Instead, the problem lies somewhere else in the body – for example, if you have injured your hip, or one of your legs is shorter than the other.

Neuromuscular – The bones of your spine are formed during the time when you are in your mother's womb (as a foetus). Sometimes, they don't form properly, or they fail to separate when they are supposed to.

So basically, when the child is born, he/she has some sort of birth defect, such as cerebral palsy. Kids with these conditions often have a long C-shaped curve in their spines and weak muscles that cannot hold their backs up straight.

This type of scoliosis is often very severe.

Degenerative – This type develops in older people. Your spine becomes arthritic due to age and wear and tear (spondylosis).

Your ligaments and tissues weaken and there may be bony spurs developing.

As a result of the weakening, the spine bends sideways.

Does scoliosis cause pain?

For the most part, it doesn't cause pain.

Scoliosis is usually detected by a family member, or you might notice it yourself because one of your hips is higher than the other, or one of your shoulders may be higher than the other.

You may notice that one side of your ribs is more prominent than the other side.

More severe forms of scoliosis can cause back pain, or difficulty in breathing.

Can scoliosis be cured? Will my son have to have an operation? Will it be painful?

You only treat scoliosis when it's severe. In many cases of infantile idiopathic scoliosis, it will improve on its own without any treatment. But the juvenile type can get worse if you don't treat it.

Basically, there are three components of treatment – observation, bracing and surgery. The objective is to prevent the curve from getting worse until your child stops growing.

Most adolescents and children try bracing. Surgery is recommended only if this doesn't work.

If you have functional scoliosis, then the treatment is concentrated on correcting the abnormality in the other part of the body that is causing it.

The neuromuscular type is usually severe and requires surgery. Surgery will correct the spine to as close as normal as possible, and involves spinal fusion – which is more scary-sounding than it really is.

It just basically involves some screws, hooks and rods which are attached to the bones of your spine to hold them in place.

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 starhealth@thestar.com.my. 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.

Living with eczema

Posted: 13 Oct 2012 11:51 PM PDT

Educating parents about protease and its link to childhood eczema.

WELCOMING a child into the world is a joyful experience, but it can also prove to be daunting for many parents, what with the many infections and diseases that can at times plague their newborn.

The greatest gift these parents can give themselves and their child is the feeling of being in control of such problems. This can be achieved by gathering adequate information about the cause, effects and treatment options available for the condition their child is suffering from.

Dermatologists agree that eczema is one of the most prevalent of skin disorders, particularly in babies and children. The dry, itchy skin condition is common – it affects approximately 10-15% of children at any one point in time.

Did you know that protease attacks play a pivotal role in the severity of your child's eczema?

Protease is an enzyme naturally present in the skin that helps break down protein in the skin to allow for natural skin renewal. The trouble begins, however, when protease becomes overactive and stimulates ideal conditions for an eczema attack.

Syazana* learnt this the hard way, after having to go through a heart-wrenching period with her son Mokhtar*, who began to develop eczema (atopic dermatitis) within just five to six months of birth.

It began when Mokhtar suddenly started developing dry and flaky skin. Soon, there were red patches all over his body, and he became increasingly agitated, oftentimes rubbing himself due to the itchiness, and causing bleeding all over his body. This was when Syazana realised that this was far worse than just dry skin, and something was seriously not right with her beautiful little baby.

This was also the case with Liew*, whose baby began breaking out in rashes all over the body, but especially so at the joint areas. Baby Kean* often cried and acted out due to the discomfort and irritation caused by the rashes, which led to Liew spending hours looking for a solution to the rashes.

Frantic visits to pharmacies and drug stores resulted in prescriptions of antibiotic creams, oral steroids, emollients and bath oils, all of which had little effect on the rashes, leaving both these mothers anxious for an answer to their child's problems.

It was soon determined that their children were suffering from eczema. Eczema shows up as patches of red, leathery, dry skin, and is almost always itchy and rough to the touch. It leads to the skin becoming more alkaline in nature, which tends to enhance protease activity, leading to a weakening in the skin barrier, and making the skin more susceptible to infections.

The use of certain soaps and bubble baths has been known to raise skin pH to 7.5 and higher. This will lead to an increase in skin protease activity, which in turn leads to skin damage. Often, this becomes the trigger for flare-ups of eczema, especially in children.

The condition can be managed by using extra gentle cleansers that aim to soothe the inflamed skin, and reduce the activity of protease in the skin.

With the appropriate medication, coupled with several precautionary measures, Mokhtar and Kean began to recover. Their key to recovery was the use of an extra gentle cleanser, which aided in addressing the problem of overactive protease in their skin.

Both mothers immediately changed their babies' body cleansers and stopped using soap to bath them, instead, opting to use extra gentle cleansers that stopped protease activity.

It is important that eczema is treated with an extra gentle cleanser that is formulated for optimal skin pH to stop protease activity, and thus, strengthen the skin barrier.

In addition to this, cleansers should also be free from the foaming agents sodium lauryl sulphate (SLS) and sodium lauryl ethyl sulphate (SLES), which are powerful detergents used to create foam. These skin irritants often aggravate eczema and cause it to flare up further.

With the proper treatment, parents now have an easy and safe method of treating their baby's eczema.

*The names used in the article have been changed to protect the privacy of those involved.

This article is courtesy of Hoe Pharmaceuticals Sdn Bhd. For further information, e-mail enquiry@hoepharma.com.my.

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