Ahad, 11 November 2012

The Star Online: Entertainment: TV & Radio

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The Star Online: Entertainment: TV & Radio

Radio worthy line-up

Posted: 11 Nov 2012 10:59 PM PST

Tune in to 988 bright and early as the station has much to offer this week.

From politics, to safety tips, to music and literary works, the station has shows to suit every listener's taste.

Street Cases (Monday-Friday, 8am-9am)

The US Election has without doubt grabbed the world's attention. President Barack Obama is re-elected as the 45th President of the United States, defeating Mitt Romney. So, did hurricane Sandy play a part in the outcome of the poll? Join 988 for an analysis on the exciting and inspiring US Election.

The Feature (Monday and Tuesday, 9am-10am)

Recently, there is much public concern on the crime and safety in our cities. Why and what drive the recent spate of crimes and how can you protect yourself? A criminal psychologist explains what's inside a criminal's mind. Learn to equip yourself with crime prevention and self-defence knowledge.

Street VIP (Wednesday-Friday, 9am-10am)

In movies, triad gang is often portrayed as an "organised organisation", operated systematically like a business corporation. In real life, this is actually not far from the truth. Hear it from a former triad tai ko (big brother) who talks about his life in the underworld and how he had finally managed to leave it all behind.

Music VIP (Monday to Friday, 2pm)

Since young, he's known as Taiwanese singer Billie Wang's son. With a celebrity mum, he's perhaps predestined to such association. But now, Nick Chou Tang Hao is ready to step out of his mother's shadow. He wants people to know that he's the son of Billie, and he's also a singer.

Night Chat (Monday to Friday, 10pm-midnight)

It's not uncommon when a doctor gives up his profession to become a writer. Why did Hou Wen Yong, a medical practitioner, make the switch to become a writer? Tune in this Wednesday for an up close and personal interview with the famed Taiwanese author of bestseller novel The Hospital. Hou will also talk about his new book I Just Can't Help Laughing.

> For more information, log on to 988.com.my. Chinese radio station 988 is owned and operated by The Star.

Kredit: www.thestar.com.my

The Star Online: World Updates

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The Star Online: World Updates

Northeast cleans up from Superstorm Sandy, death toll rises

Posted: 11 Nov 2012 08:06 PM PST

NEW YORK (Reuters) - New Yorkers took to the streets on Sunday to reinforce recovery from Superstorm Sandy, volunteering to help clean up devastated neighbourhoods and using an annual Veterans Day parade to collect donations for victims still struggling without homes or electricity.

Evelyn Faherty surveys the damage to her home after Hurricane Sandy swept through the Breezy Point neighborhood of Queens, New York, November 11, 2012. REUTERS/Andrew Burton

Evelyn Faherty surveys the damage to her home after Hurricane Sandy swept through the Breezy Point neighborhood of Queens, New York, November 11, 2012. REUTERS/Andrew Burton

Police raised the storm-related fatality toll in New York City to 43, adding the death of a 77-year-old retired custodian who was found paralyzed last week at the bottom of the steps of his apartment building in Rockaway, Queens, with head injuries. He died at a hospital on Saturday, they said.

At least 121 people have perished in the storm, which caused an estimated $50 billion in property damage and economic losses and ranks as one of the most destructive natural disasters to hit the U.S. Northeast.

The Rockaways peninsula of the city's Queens borough was especially hard hit when Sandy barrelled into the East Coast on October 29, unleashing a record storm surge that flooded low-lying areas and fierce winds that toppled trees and power lines.

Many residents said they felt exhausted.

Priscilla Perez, 30, was climbing up 11 flights of stairs in the dark, carrying clothes, jugs of water supplies and her 1-year-old daughter to an apartment at the Bay Towers in Rockaway Park. Helping carry the load was her 10-year-old son, Elijah, who she said is struggling with the impact of the storm.

"He doesn't want to eat. He's never been through anything like this," she said. "I tell him when we go to get food, 'Take a peanut butter and jelly sandwich, take a hot dog,' but he says no."

Recovery workers, from volunteers to firefighters, National Park Service workers and thousands of National Guard members, helped clean up in Queens and the city's Staten Island borough, also badly damaged, clearing mounds of garbage, sand and debris.

Medical teams went door to door to check on residents in high-rise buildings without power.

U.S. Homeland Security Secretary Janet Napolitano paid a visit on Sunday to hundreds of federal recovery workers crammed into the mess hall aboard the T.S. Kennedy, a merchant marine training ship docked on Staten Island to serve as a floating hotel for government employees taking part in the effort.

"Thank you, and thank you, and thank you," she told the workers, adding, "I hope you take some pride in what you're doing."

Throughout the Eastern seaboard, thousands of homes were destroyed or badly damaged, millions were left without power, and commerce was brought to a virtual standstill in the immediate aftermath of the storm.

The misery was compounded by an unseasonably early winter storm, or "Nor'easter" that lashed the region on Wednesday with more heavy winds, along with rain, sleet and snow. As many as 8.6 million utility customers lost electricity at some point in the midst of the back-to-back storms.

On Sunday, nearly two weeks after Hurricane Sandy first struck, thousands were still in temporary shelters, while the tally of power outages had dwindled to about 167,000, according to the U.S. Energy Department. New York accounted for most of the remaining outages, the bulk of them on Long Island.

In what was likely to be a great relief to hundreds of thousands of commuters struggling to get to jobs without mass transit, New York Governor Andrew Cuomo and New Jersey Governor Chris Christie announced that some PATH trains that connect New York and New Jersey would resume service on Monday morning.

However, service at the Hoboken, Exchange Place and World Trade Center stations was still suspended due to severe flooding and will likely remain so for several weeks, they said.

Officials also announced the limited reopening of the Governor Hugh L. Carey Tunnel, formerly known as the Brooklyn-Battery Tunnel, for rush-hour bus service Monday morning.

The tunnel, which connects Brooklyn with downtown Manhattan, flooded with an estimated 43 million gallons (162.8 million litres) of water that damaged electrical, lighting, communications, surveillance and ventilation systems, authorities said.

In addition, Amtrak planned to reopen the so-called North Turbe rail tunnel under the Hudson for Amtrak passenger train and New Jersey Transit commuter service on Monday, according to a statement from U.S. Senator Frank Lautenberg of New Jersey.

He said the tunnel, which was shut down immediately following Sandy, was expected to operate at 63 percent of normal capacity as further work continued.


Organizers of the Veterans Day parade, New York City's first major post-Sandy event since its annual marathon race was cancelled last weekend, asked spectators lining the parade route to bring winter coats to be donated to storm victims.

The group New York Cares was hoping to collect 50,000 coats by week's end, part of an annual drive that began two weeks early to help Sandy victims.

"What's wonderful is that veterans came to us and felt in the spirit of service, that is so prevalent among folks in the armed forces, they wanted to make sure the veterans were not only being honoured today but also doing their bit to help," said Gary Bagley, the group's executive director.

Lingering power outages tested the patience of many residents who had been living without lights, heat or water for extended periods. Sharp criticism was levelled in particular at the Long Island Power Authority, or LIPA, which was still trying to restore service to some 62,000 customers.

Speaking on CNN, U.S. Representative Peter King, who represents the area, called the situation "a disgrace."

"The LIPA has failed miserably. They are not doing a good job," he said. "It really has reached crisis proportions."

Sunday also marked the third day of gas rationing in New York City, under a system in which cars with odd- and even-numbered license plates can fill up only on alternate days.

President Barack Obama is to visit hard-hit areas of New York City on Thursday.

Mayor Michael Bloomberg said in a radio address that the city has distributed almost 2 million meals, 500,000 litres of water and more than 100,000 blankets as well as space heaters, baby supplies and flashlight batteries. The city also was distributing underwear, winter hats, toilet paper, bleach, soap, toothbrushes, toothpaste and towels.

Bloomberg said the city was sending in teams of contractors and inspectors to help hasten the process of restoring power to thousands of utility customers in Brooklyn, Queens and Staten Island who cannot get electricity back until equipment is repaired and tested.

In Staten Island, a fear of crime in the darkened neighbourhoods was evident in signs hanging on many houses that read "Beware of Dog" or "This home is Remington protected."

In Queens, small cranes scooped up mounds of sand washed ashore by the storm, and firefighters used hoses to power-wash streets.

"We're taking it one day at a time," said Jim Long, a firefighter whose home suffered water damage. "The water table is pretty high. You clean out some water and come back the next day and there's more water."

(Additional reporting by Eileen Houlihan and Olivia Oran, Writing by Ellen Wulfhorst and Steve Gorman; Editing by Christopher Wilson and Eric Walsh)

Copyright © 2012 Reuters

Emirates A380 jet returns to Sydney after engine failure

Posted: 11 Nov 2012 07:45 PM PST

CANBERRA (Reuters) - An A380 Emirates jet bound for Dubai was forced to return to Australia on Sunday night when one of its engines failed soon after take-off, with some passengers reporting flames trailing from the engine unit.

The flight, with 380 passengers on board, was just 20 minutes into its flight from Sydney to Dubai and climbing at an altitude of 10,000 feet when it experienced a problem with one of its four engines.

"Emirates flight EK413 from Sydney to Dubai on 11 November turned back shortly after take-off due to an engine fault. Passengers are being re-booked on alternative flights," the airline said in a statement on Monday.

A mid-air engine blowout in November 2010 on an A380 using Rolls Royce Trent engines prompted Australia's Qantas Airlines to ground its entire fleet of Airbus superjumbos for nearly a month.

Emirates, the world's biggest user of A380s, uses rival GP7200 engines built by Engine Alliance, a joint venture between engine manufacturers General Electric and Pratt & Whitney.

Passengers on the giant double-deck aircraft, manufactured by Airbus parent EADS, said the superjumbo experienced a "judder" and then they saw flames shooting several metres out of one of the engines.

"I saw a flash. I thought it could have been lightning, but then we saw flames come out of the engine. The whole interior of the A380 lit up," passenger John Fothergill, 49, from New Zealand told Australia's Daily Telegraph newspaper.

Emirates later said there was no fire, although "passengers may have seen a flash."

The Dubai-based carrier apologised for the inconvenience to its passengers and said their safety was "of the highest priority and will not be compromised."

Superjumbos, worth $375 million apiece, typically carry around 525 passengers.

A380 aircraft, manufactured in Toulouse from parts sourced across Europe, have also been affected by cracks in the wings of a small number of planes.

There are eighteen airlines currently using the aircraft with total orders outstanding for 262.

(Reporting by Rob Taylor; Editing by Ryan Woo)

Copyright © 2012 Reuters

Japan PM eyes snap election after backing U.S-led trade pact

Posted: 11 Nov 2012 07:43 PM PST

TOKYO (Reuters) - Under growing opposition pressure to keep a promise to call an election "soon", Japanese Prime Minister Yoshihiko Noda looks to be leaning toward calling a vote as early as next month, after pledging backing for a controversial U.S.-led free trade pact.

Japan's Prime Minister Yoshihiko Noda arrives at Vientiane airport November 4, 2012. REUTERS/Damir Sagolj

Japan's Prime Minister Yoshihiko Noda arrives at Vientiane airport November 4, 2012. REUTERS/Damir Sagolj

The unpopular Noda may be hoping to emulate charismatic leader Junichiro Koizumi's bold election gamble in 2005 and use a call for a major economic reform to ease the bashing his Democratic Party is expected to suffer at the hands of disappointed voters.

The maverick Koizumi's pledge to privatise the giant postal system as a symbol of vital reforms, despite opposition from lawmakers in his own party, helped him lead the then-ruling Liberal Democrats to a stunning election victory.

Now Noda, with voter support for his cabinet below 20 percent, wants to enshrine backing for the U.S.-led Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) trade pact in his Democratic Party of Japan's (DPJ) new campaign platform.

"We will simultaneously pursue the TPP and the free trade agreement between Japan, China and South Korea and this stance will be included in our manifesto," Noda told reporters over the weekend.

But Noda faces opposition from his ruling party MPs who fear a backlash from Japan's politically powerful farmers. Japan's farmers say a flood of cheap agricultural imports will devastate their heavily protected, small-scale operations.

The main opposition Liberal Democratic Party (LDP) opposes joining the TPP negotiations if the end result is the elimination of all tariffs. The TPP aims to tear down traditional barriers to trade.

"I think an election is close," Motohisa Furukawa, a former National Strategy Minister, told Reuters last week, adding that a December 16 vote was possible. "I don't think the situation will improve if we put it off."


Political analysts are not convinced Noda can steal victory at the ballot box like Koizumi, but how badly the Democrats will lose is unclear given lukewarm voter support for the LDP and the wild card of new parties such as one led by populist Osaka Mayor Toru Hashimoto.

"It wasn't that the public liked postal reform. The public liked Koizumi," said Gerry Curtis, a Columbia University political science professor.

"The problem is, the public doesn't particularly like Noda. I think what he may be after is to go down in history as the one who got the consumption tax increase and TPP."

In August, Noda persuaded the LDP and its smaller partner, the New Komeito, to back a bill to double the sales tax to 10 percent by 2015 in order to curb bulging public debt. In return for their help in passing the bill in the opposition-controlled upper house, he promised to call a general election "soon".

Japanese business executives are pushing strongly for Tokyo to join the U.S.-led trade deal, arguing Japan will fall further behind regional rivals China and South Korea if it stays out of the pact, which so far includes the United States Australia, New Zealand, Vietnam, Malaysia, Singapore, Brunei, Chile and Peru.


Noda is Japan's sixth prime minister since 2006, when Koizumi ended a rare five-year term, and the third since the Democrats won a landslide victory in 2009, ending more than half a century of nearly non-stop LDP rule.

Since gaining office three years ago, the Democrats have fallen into policy confusion and political deadlock.

Pressure is mounting on Noda to call an election for parliament's lower house before year-end, although some in his party would prefer to delay the day of reckoning.

Lower house members' four-year terms run through August 2013 but scenting victory, the LDP and the New Komeito want Noda to keep his pledge to call a poll now.

Hoping to force his hand, they are poised to help pass key bills Noda has set as conditions for calling an election.

A law to allow the government to issue bonds to help finance the budget now looks set to pass, as does legislation to reduce vote disparities between urban and rural election districts that the Supreme Court has ruled unconstitutional.

But Noda could still decide to wait until next year to face Japanese voters, perhaps dissolving the lower chamber soon after the start of a regular session expected to begin in January.

"Noda's job is to minimize the damage to the party," said Tsuneo Watanabe, a senior fellow at the Tokyo Foundation think-tank. "If he wants to avoid a total bashing, the election should not be this year."

(Editing by Tomasz Janowski and Michael Perry)

Copyright © 2012 Reuters

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The Star Online: Sports

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The Star Online: Sports

Beljan caps wild week with first PGA win

Posted: 11 Nov 2012 06:53 PM PST

LAKE BUENA VISTA, Florida: Charlie Beljan capped a wild week with an emotional first US PGA Tour victory Sunday, posting a two-stroke triumph just two days after he was hospitalized with a panic attack.

Beljan carded a three-under par 69 final round, countering a double-bogey and three bogeys with eight birdies for a 16-under total of 272.

Matt Every and Robert Garrigus both shot four-under 68 in the final round to share second place on 14-under 274, and Brian Gay was a stroke further back after a 70 for 275.

Beljan, who came into the final tournament of the season at 139th on the money list, needed a good week to move into the top 125 and secure full playing privileges for next season.

With the victory, he's guaranteed his tour card for the next two seasons and a berth in the PGA Championship, but for a time it looked as if he wouldn't even be able to finish the tournament.

"I'm speechless. My family flew in last night, I've got everybody back home rooting for me. I didn't even think I'd get to finish my round on Friday.

"Yesterday I showed up just hoping to be able to finish 18 holes and now here I am ... the champion.

"This is the greatest feeling ever," Beljan said.

Beljan, who held his seven-week-old son as he walked off the 18th green, was in hospital on Friday night, after a panic attack had him battling shortness of breath, an elevated heart rate and light-headedness during the second round.

He even told his caddie he thought his life was in jeopardy, but he opted to return to the course on Saturday and had emerged from the third round with a two-shot lead.

Even so, Beljan said he wasn't feeling so great on Sunday morning.

"I did not feel well this morning. I woke up, not the same symptoms, but my stomach was hurting, my head was pounding and I was like here we go again," he said. "You know, that may have took the other nerves off."

Beljan missed the green at the first hole, leading to a quick bogey.

He rebounded with birdies at two and four, but a bogey at the fifth dropped him into a tie for the lead.

Beljan got hot at the seventh, however, draining a birdie putt from off the green. At the par-five eighth he landed his third shot within two feet and made that for birdie, and at nine he drained a 30-footer.

He made his fourth birdie in as many holes at the 10th, then drained another long birdie putt at 12.

His momentum slowed with a double-bogey from a greenside bunker at 13.

"I still had a three-shot lead, so I knew I just had to keep plugging away," Beljan said.

Tim Herron closed with a 69 to finish tied for ninth, just squeaking into the top 125.

But there was disappointment for some who started the week on the edge.

Australian Rod Pampling and American Billy Mayfair, who both missed the cut, fell to 127 and 128, respectively. Their status in the top 150 will give them partial status for next year, allowing them into some events but not all. - AFP

Kerr wins as Lewis locks up LPGA Player of Year

Posted: 11 Nov 2012 06:51 PM PST

GUADALAJARA, Mexico: Cristie Kerr rallied to win the Lorena Ochoa Invitational on Sunday as Stacy Lewis locked up LPGA Player of the Year honors with a tie for fourth place.

Kerr had six birdies and three bogeys and parred the last three holes at Guadalajara Country Club to hold off fellow American Angela Stanford and overnight leader Inbee Park and win by one stroke.

Kerr's 69 gave her a four-round total of 16-under 272. Stanford carded a 68 and South Korea's Park a 72 for 273.

Kerr claimed her 15th LPGA title and her first since she won the LPGA Championship in June 2010.

"It feels amazing," said Kerr, who admitted to late-round nerves.

"You know, coming in those last couple of holes it didn't feel like I had won before. I kind of just squeaked in. I won by a shot, that's all that it takes, I've lost plenty of tournaments by a shot, but winning by a shot feels a lot better."

Lewis, the world number two who was coming off her tour-leading fourth victory of the year in Japan last week, closed with a 68 for 276, tied with Taiwan's Candie Kung, who also carded a 68.

The finish makes Lewis the first US golfer to win the points-based Player of the Year award since Beth Daniel in 1994.

"After I finally made my last putt there on 18, I think it finally hit me," Lewis said. "It's just crazy to think that there have been so many great American players and I am the one after Beth in '94.

"It's just crazy to even think of. I mean it's an honor to win the award, and I think this will spur on with the rest of the Americans to get out and keep playing well because Solheim Cup is coming up."

South Korea's Park came into the week 58 points behind Lewis in the race for the award, but would have needed to win here, and at next week's season-ending Titleholders tournament, to have a chance of capturing the honor.

Park, who has won twice this season, admitted she was looking forward to playing next week without the pressure of the Player of the Year race.

"I'll just try to enjoy myself next week because I tried to put too much pressure on myself this week so next week will be better," she said. - AFP

The Nicol factor in Malaysia’s bid to win world team title

Posted: 11 Nov 2012 03:10 PM PST

PETALING JAYA: England and Egypt are the clear favourites in the Women's World Team squash championships starting today in Nimes, France, but national elite coach Peter Genever believes that Malaysia can upset the form book.

Malaysia, powered by world No. 1 Nicol David, No. 7 Low Wee Wern, Delia Arnold and Siti Munirah Jusoh, have never won the title. They finished third in the last three editions.

However, Genever, said the Malaysian girls have harnessed the right momentum for the tournament.

The clear advantage would be Nicol, who signalled her return to her best by winning the US Open last month.

The 22-year-old Wee Wern has also made great strides this year, winning her maiden WSA Gold event – the China Open, and climbing to a career best seventh in the world.

"This is our best chance to win the championship but it will be incredibly tough as there are four good teams in the fray," said Genever.

"We have a very good chance to win if we can make the final. We did not do well in the Asian team meet but I am sure the players have gained from the experience and should be motivated this time around. Having Nicol also gives us an edge."

Malaysia were without Nicol at the Asian team meet and lost 2-1 to Hong Kong in the semi-finals.

"England and Egypt are deservedly ranked No. 1 and No. 2 respectively," said Genever.

"But a couple of the other teams are not at their best and the momentum is definitely with us. Our girls are capable of beating anyone, including the English and the Egyptians.

"Furthermore, Wee Wern has been playing really well while Delia is a good team player," added Genever.

Malaysia, the third seeds, open their campaign in Group C against China today before facing South Africa.

They take on Spain tomorrow in the last match. Only the group winners advance to the next round.

England, led by world No. 3 Laura Massaro, play South Korea while Egypt take on Mexico today.

Kredit: www.thestar.com.my

The Star Online: Business

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Tatt Giap down 16.1% on sale of unit

Posted: 11 Nov 2012 05:59 PM PST

Published: Monday November 12, 2012 MYT 9:59:00 AM

KUALA LUMPUR: Tatt Giap Group Bhd's sale of a 49% stake of its stainless steel manufacturing unit received a negative response from investors when it resumed trading on Monday.

At 9.38am, it was down seven sen or 16.1% to 36.5 sen with 123,000 shares done.

The FBM KLCI fell 1.46 points to 1,639.62. Turnover was 118.04 million shares valued at nearly 48mil. There were 97 gainers, 117 losers and 155 counters unchanged.

Last Friday, it announced the sale of a 49% stake in its stainless steel manufacturing unit, Tatt Giap Steel Centre Sdn Bhd, for RM20.03mil to three companies.

It was selling a 14% stake to CSGT International Corporation for RM5.72mil, a 20% stake to CSC Steel Holdings Bhd for RM8.17mil and 15% to Hanwa Co., Ltd. for RM6.13mil.

It would use the proceeds as working capital while it expected the entry of the three new shareholders would result in "transfer of technical know-how and technologies in relation to material management for automotive and electronics/electrical industries".

Semperit gets anti-trust clearance for Latexx takeover

Posted: 11 Nov 2012 05:41 PM PST

Published: Monday November 12, 2012 MYT 9:42:00 AM

KUALA LUMPUR: Semperit Investments Asia Pte Ltd has received the anti-trust clearance from the Austrian and German authorities for its takeover of Latexx Partners Bhd.

RHB Investment Bank Bhd, which is acting on behalf of Semperit, said on Monday that the latter had obtained the clearance from Austria's Austrian Competition Authority and Germany's Independent Competition Authority.

It said following the approvals, the Oct 8 share sale agreement between Semperit and the vendor Low Bok Tek to buy his stake in Latexx, comprising of 65.04 million shares and 35 million warrants for RM211.50mil (RM2.30 per share and RM1.77 per warrant), has become unconditional.

RHB Bank said since Semperit has received valid acceptances and held more than 50% of the voting shares of Latexx as at 5pm last Friday, all the conditions of the offer had been fulfilled and the offer has become wholly unconditional.

"In accordance with Section 25(3) of the Malaysian Code on Take-Overs and Mergers, 2012 the offer will be extended to 5pm on Friday, Nov 23, 2012," it said.

KLCI opens lower, banks, Genting weigh

Posted: 11 Nov 2012 05:22 PM PST

KUALA LUMPUR: Blue chips started the week in the red, tracking the losses in key regional markets, as no near-term solution is yet in sight for the US fiscal woes and Greece's bailout,

At 9.07am, the FBM KLCI was down 3.42 points to 1,637.66. Turnover was 48.63 million shares valued at RM11.32mil. There were 53 gainers, 46 losers and 101 counters unchanged.

Reuters reported Asian shares were capped on Monday as investor sentiment was weighed down by concerns over US fiscal woes as well as Greece's bailout, despite improving economic data from the world's two largest economies, the US and China.

At Bursa, BAT fell the most, down 78 sen to RM58 with 300 shares done. Genting Bhd lost five sen to RM9.35.

Banks fell, with Public Bank shedding 10 sen to RM15.42 but with only 200 shares done, CIMB seven sen to RM7.65 and Public Bank foreign down six sen to RM15.44. However, Hong Leong Bank rose 18 sen to RM14.88 with 100 shares done.

SapuraKencana Petroleum gainer six sen to RM2.86 while BToto added three sen to RM4.39.

JAKS Resources rose two sen to 36.5 sen in active trade after it received several contracts for the project at Ara Damansara totaling RM820mil.

Kredit: www.thestar.com.my

The Star Online: Nation

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Narcotics officer finds drugs on drunk who picked a fight

Posted: 11 Nov 2012 03:26 PM PST

A DRUNK who picked a fight with a narcotics officer found himself put behind bars after the officer busted him for drug possession.

In the 10pm incident on Saturday, the Chief Inspector was looking for parking in an area when another car suddenly reversed and nearly hit his, prompting him to honk at the driver, reported Metro Ahad.

It reported that the car's owner got out and challenged the Chief Inspector to a fight.

Raub district police chief Supt Wan Samsudin Wan Osman said the man in his 30s was believed to be drunk at the time.

He said the officer called for backup from the district police headquarters.

"As soon as they got the call, a police unit rushed to the scene," said Supt Wan Samsudin.

"The suspect was apprehended in a few minutes and police found a suspicious substance on him that was later confirmed to be drugs," he said.

> In another report by the tabloid, a woman in her 60s was arrested on suspicion of being a pimp to some 60 foreign guest relations officers.

The woman was busted along with her employees during a raid at an entertainment centre in Jalan Imbi by the Gambling, Secret Society and Vice Division (D7) of the Dang Wangi police headquarters on Saturday.

District police chief Asst Supt Zainudin Ahmad said the raid, carried out following a tip-off from the public, resulted in the arrest of 50 Vietnamese, nine China nationals and a Cambodian woman.

Other News & Views is compiled from the vernacular newspapers (Bahasa Malaysia, Chinese and Tamil dailies). As such, stories are grouped according to the respective language/medium. Where a paragraph begins with this > sign, it denotes a separate news item.

Mum’s plea helps save boy from being taken hostage

Posted: 11 Nov 2012 03:25 PM PST

FOUR robbers tried to take a 10-year-old child hostage after they ransacked his house in Johor Baru on Saturday.

The 30-year-old distressed mother pleaded with the robbers not to take her son away. The robbers released her son after she promised not to lodge a police report, China Press reported.

The mother was with her three children, aged between two and 10, when the robbers broke into their house at about 8.40am after her husband had left for work.

She sought the help of neighbours after the robbers had left and lodged a police report, it reported.

> The newspaper also reported of Datuk Lee Chong Wei's father saying that the national shuttler's 90-year-old grandmother had wanted to attend his wedding dinner reception in Kuala Lumpur. However, no arrangement was made for her attendance at the event.

Lee Ah Chai said Chong Wei's grandmother had to spend the day in an old folks home instead.

"As far as I know, Chong Wei had visited his grandmother when he came back from his pre-wedding photo shoots a few weeks ago.

"He did tell her that he was going to get married. However, I am not sure if he had promised to take her to his wedding ceremony," said Ah Chai.

The 61-year-old father told reporters, who were at his house in Butterworth when Saturday's wedding dinner reception was aired "live" on television, that he would not watch it.

On Saturday, Ah Chai made headlines in major Chinese dailies when he told the media that he was not invited for the wedding dinners in Kuala Lumpur.

Other News & Views is compiled from the vernacular newspapers (Bahasa Malaysia, Chinese and Tamil dailies). As such, stories are grouped according to the respective language/medium. Where a paragraph begins with this > sign, it denotes a separate news item.

Grim Deepavali for 153 in Sentul

Posted: 11 Nov 2012 03:24 PM PST

TAMIL Nesan reported of 153 residents of Kampung Railway in Sentul who would be having a bleak Deepavali this year as they have been slapped with a court eviction order from developer Sentul Raya Sdn Bhd.

They staged a demonstration at the entrance of their century-old settlement with banners and placards.

The High Court had declared Sentul Raya as the rightful owner of the land and had issued the eviction order on Oct 30.

The residents are now demanding for Kuala Lumpur City Hall (DBKL) and Sentul Raya to issue a letter of commitment to fulfil an earlier promise of building low-cost apartments as compensation.

Their lawyer Abdul Rashid Ibrahim said the residents were not asking for free units but would buy them at a discounted price.

He claimed that prior to the court's decision, Federal Territories and Urban Wellbeing Deputy Minister Datuk M. Saravanan had pledged during a meeting that low-cost apartments would be built by the developer.

He said the residents were informed that they would obtain the commitment letter from the developer on Nov 4, but there was no news of this so far.

> Malaysia Nanban reported that an impostor, who sold the kidney of a woman after promising to marry her, was arrested by Hyderabad police in Southern India on Friday.

It was reported that Shivakumar from Kollam was the kingpin of a racket that illegally traded kidneys in the state.

Police said the victim, Manju, had lodged a complaint in January.

An operation had been carried out to remove her kidney at a hospital after Shivakumar promised to marry her if she sold one of the organs.

When Manju agreed, the accused fixed a deal and sold the kidney but abandoned her upon receiving the money.

Other News & Views is compiled from the vernacular newspapers (Bahasa Malaysia, Chinese and Tamil dailies). As such, stories are grouped according to the respective language/medium. Where a paragraph begins with this > sign, it denotes a separate news item.

Kredit: www.thestar.com.my

The Star Online: Lifestyle: Bookshelf

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The Star Online: Lifestyle: Bookshelf

Just another rotting face

Posted: 10 Nov 2012 11:15 PM PST

This Walking Dead tie-in novel is fast-paced but its story is sorely lacking in ambition.

The Walking Dead: The Road To Woodbury
Authors: Robert Kirkman & Jay Bonansinga
Publisher: Tor, 277 pages

ZOMBIE novels are getting to be like the hordes of the undead, packed together like sardines on bookstore shelves, hungry for your cash and oblivious to, if not disdainful of, the vampire romances also jostling for shelf space. And more than a few of them stink.

(Though given the choice between drivel that makes me imagine my brain being eaten, and drivel that will melt my brain and cause it to drip slowly out of my nose, I'll pick the flesh-eaters any day.)

The Road To Woodbury is one such shambler, a tie-in novel that has showed up just in time for Season Three of The Walking Dead TV show. Timely, because it deals in large part with the series' arch-villain, The Governor, who just made his debut in the episode screened on Astro on Nov 4.

Co-author Kirkman created the comic-book upon which the TV show is based, and this novel is closer to the comics' depiction of both the Governor and his town of Woodbury (they really put the "graphic" in "graphic novel").

For the uninitiated, The Walking Dead is the story of a small group of people trying to survive a zombie apocalypse. The TV show has just reached the point in the saga where they take refuge in a (largely) abandoned prison, while some of their number encounter the despotic Governor, who leads a well organised community of survivors in Woodbury.

This novel is mostly the story of young Lilly Caul, a character who may be known to readers of the comic for pulling the trigger on a major character. Well, two characters actually ... but let's not get ahead of ourselves. When we meet Lilly, Woodbury is still some distance in her future and she is part of a large group of survivors trying to rally together into a community of sorts, just a few months after the start of the zombie outbreak.

With all the death and slaughter in its pages, The Road To Woodbury is no better or worse than any other survivor's tale from this series. As such, don't expect too much in the way of substance and story.

It's a pretty lightweight read, but the authors do well to keep the pace fast and the proceedings absorbing enough to make you keep turning the page – even if it's just to find out how much worse things can get. The book also springs numerous undead surprises on its characters, giving the reader a sense of unease throughout, no matter how safe or tranquil the setting of any given chapter may be.

The most effective thing about The Road To Woodbury, just like almost everything else bearing the Walking Dead brand, lies not in its depictions of the carnage inflicted by the ravenous undead but its reminders of just how scary the living can be.

It's not only the Governor with his collection of severed heads and a chained-up zombie daughter in his mansion; many other survivors are nasty people who think the breakdown of civilisation means there's no need to be human any more.

When you compare the two sources of horror in the book, you will realise that nothing the zombies do is as repulsive as what the living do to each other – as the tagline for Season Three says, "Fight the dead, fear the living".

Getting back to those crowded bookshelves, The Road To Woodbury is one of those books that could easily have been lost in the shuffle if not for the huge "The Walking Dead" emblazoned over its title. It's not a stinker, but it shows a distinct lack of ambition in choosing to just flesh out the backgrounds of existing characters instead of going off into uncharted territory and exploring a whole other part of the post-apocalyptic wasteland.

If you really want to try something unusual as zombie stories go, check out The Reapers Are The Angels by Alden Bell – it is everything that this one isn't, haunting and lyrical and capable of evoking a sense of beauty and wonder in a grim setting where such things shouldn't even exist.

Things to do for the holidays

Posted: 10 Nov 2012 11:14 PM PST

IT'S Friday today, as I write this, and the last day of school. I think I'm as thrilled as my children are about not having to wake up at the crack of dawn on weekdays. However, I do know that many parents are dreading having their children at home 24/7 for close to two months: Oh, the noise! The whining! The mess!

This morning I posted a photo on my Facebook page of my two younger ones in their school uniforms, with a caption about how happy we all were about the school holidays starting. A friend commented about how she was at a loss at what to do with her children during the break, and she asked for suggestions.

I know enrichment centres do very well with their school holiday programmes because parents are desperate to get their kids out of their hair, but they're not cheap and I feel sorry for some of these kids who are practically forced to attend extra classes. When I was a kid, I spent my holidays lazing about, playing with friends, and reading loads. Thank goodness parents back then didn't think it necessary for their children to be mentally stimulated all the time.

I like the idea of children amusing themselves during the holidays. I realise that some kids will choose to stay in bed all day, or in front of the telly, or computer. I'm not sure if that's such a bad thing, actually, but that's a discussion for another time and another place.

I'm fortunate that I live in a low-rise condominium with plenty of open spaces. There are trees, grass, a playground, a pool, and friends and frenemies, so my children aren't trapped in a concrete tower, or behind a padlocked gate. I love the fact that they can play outside with other kids their age. While they love watching TV and playing computer games, I think they do less of those activities because they have the option of hanging out outdoors and don't have to rely on an adult to make it happen – as they would if they had to go to a park for their outdoor fix.

Anyway, as this is a column about books, here are four book-related school holiday activities for children to do, with or without their parents:

> Get your kids to organise your or their own (or the whole family's) book collection. This can take the whole holiday depending on what you mean by "organise". It might just mean giving the books a dust and wipe-down. It might mean sorting out the books into "must keep" and "for charity" piles. It might mean arranging the books in whatever order is the preferred family style (alphabetical by author's surname? Genre? Colour of spine?). It might mean actually cataloguing the books using some sort of computer programme or website (Excel, Good Reads, etc) or in a notebook.

> Challenge your children to organise a book drive for charity. They can start by identifying a specific centre, school or organisation to benefit from the drive. They should then find out what kinds of books are needed. They can do this by speaking to staff at the place.

Next, decide on whom to appeal to. Just family and friends? Neighbourhood? Advertise accordingly, on Facebook or just by word of mouth. Collect the books, sort them, pack them, and deliver. This might be the start of a regular school holiday activity.

> Suggest that your children create a scrap book about a topic of their choice. Allow them access to the Internet so they can do research. Encourage them to refer to newspapers and magazines, or to interview people for their information. Offer a monetary reward for the finished product – perhaps a different sum depending on how much research was done and how the scrap book is put together.

> Plan a reading list with your children. Offer a reward for every book read (money, a treat, etc). Perhaps you can choose titles according to theme. Or choose books that have been made into films and plan to read the books and then watch the films as a family activity.

I'm actually quite impressed with the list I've come up with and may try to propose some of the activities to my own kids. If you have any bright ideas of your own, do share them at star2@thestar.com.my.

Happy Reading and Happy Holidays!

Daphne Lee reads to wonder and wander, be amazed and amused, horrified and heartened and inspired and comforted. She wishes more people will try it too. Send e-mails to the above address and check out her blog at daphne.blogs.com/books.


Posted: 10 Nov 2012 11:10 PM PST

FOR the week ending Nov 4, 2012:


1. Another Forgotten Child by Cathy Glass

2. Unstoppable: The Incredible Power Of Faith In Action by Nick Vujicic

3. The Power Of X Qualifying The 10 Gods by Joey Yap

4. Justin Bieber: Just Getting Started (100% Official) by Justin Bieber

5. Guinness World Records 2013 by Guinness World Records Ltd

6. Heaven Is For Real by Todd Burpo & Lynn Vincent

7. The Power Of Your Subconscious Mind by Joseph Murphy

8. A World Without Islam by Graham E. Fuller

9. I Declare: 31 Promises To Speak Over Your Life by Joel Osteen

10. Steven Gerrard: My Liverpool Story by Steven Gerrard


1. Fifty Shades Of Grey by E.L. James

2. The Sins Of The Father by Jeffrey Archer

3. The Casual Vacancy by J.K. Rowling

4. Secret Daughter by Shilpi Somaya Gowda

5. Life Of Pi by Yann Martel

6. The Garden Of Evening Mists by Tan Twan Eng

7. Lone Wolf by Jodi Picoult

8. Beautiful Disaster by Jamie McGuire

9. The Time Keeper by Mitch Albom

10. One Hundred Names by Cecelia Ahern

Weekly list compiled by MPH Mid Valley Megamall, Kuala Lumpur; www.mphonline.com.

Kredit: www.thestar.com.my

The Star Online: Entertainment: Movies

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Garland's Wizard of Oz dress sells for $480,000

Posted: 11 Nov 2012 02:37 AM PST

LOS ANGELES - The blue and white gingham dress worn by Judy Garland in "The Wizard of Oz" in 1939 was auctioned Saturday in Beverly Hills for $480,000, Julien's auction house announced.

The dress worn by the singer of "Over the Rainbow", then aged 17, was sold through a special auction of Hollywood collectibles and memorabilia.

Other items at the auction included a jacket of Steve McQueen ($50,000), a dress worn by Julie Andrews in "The Sound of Music" ($38,400 dollars), and a watch ($15,000) and sunglasses ($16,640) worn by John Belushi in "The Blues Brothers." - AFP

Blanchett given honorary Australian doctorate

Posted: 11 Nov 2012 01:52 AM PST

SYDNEY - Oscar-winning Hollywood actress Cate Blanchett has received an honorary doctorate from Sydney University for her services to the arts as director of the city's flagship theatre company, reports said Sunday.

Blanchett, 43, received the doctor of letters in a ceremony at the university's Great Hall on Saturday, according to media reports.

"This means a great deal (to) me as someone who didn't complete my arts degree at Melbourne University - I left to go to NIDA (the National Institute of Dramatic Art)," Blanchett told the Sun-Herald newspaper.

The honour was for Blanchett's "work as an actress and as artistic director of the Sydney Theatre Company, as well as her advocacy of the importance of the arts in education," according to media reports of the official citation.

Blanchett and her playwright husband Andrew Upton are credited with turning around the Sydney Theatre Company's finances during their tenure, which began in 2008 and expires at the end of 2013.

She and Upton announced in January that they would step down as co-artistic directors and CEOs at the end of next year due to Blanchett's overseas film commitments and the pressure of three young children.

Renowned indigneous singer Geoffrey Gurrumul Yunupingu, who is blind and taught himself to play the guitar, was also honoured with a degree for his contribution to music and culture. - AFP

Tripod power

Posted: 10 Nov 2012 10:33 PM PST

A chance meeting on a bus transformed War Of The Worlds: Goliath from a little movie into a big international effort.

THIS is the story of how Malaysia made a little animated film that became a goliath.

War Of The Worlds: Goliath, which will be released on Nov 15, is Malaysia's first ever full-length stereoscopic 3D animated feature, and it has already been making waves all over the world. After a successful premiere at Comic-Con International in San Diego in July, it went on to win the award for Best 3D Animated Feature at the Los Angeles 3D Film Festival in September, beating heavyweights such as Madagascar 3 and ParaNorman.

Goliath is a continuation of sorts to HG Wells' original The War Of The Worlds novel. It is set 15 years after the initial Martian attack; the world has been rebuilt and its governments have formed ARES (Allied Resistance Earth Squadrons; Ares is also the name for the Greek god of war), a multinational global organisation that will defend Earth against any future Martian attacks.

The story revolves around an elite group of ARES soldiers trained to pilot the Goliath, one of the most powerful mechas that Earth's scientists have managed to reverse-engineer from the remnants of the first Martian invasion.

Goliath was initially meant to be just a little direct-to-DVD film. However, a chance meeting on a bus in Tokyo between the film's director Joe Pearson and Leon Tan, founder of Malaysia's Tripod Entertainment Sdn Bhd, changed everything.

"We're here because of Malaysia," Pearson proclaimed gratefully when we met him at Comic-Con. "Our friends in Malaysia really believed in the movie, and worked really hard to get it out."

But we're getting ahead of ourselves. To chart the development of Goliath, we need to go back almost half a century, when a nine-year-old Pearson first read The War Of The Worlds.

"It was the first science fiction book I ever read, and I loved it back then, even though it's a harsh book to read when you're nine! I'm here today as an artist and creator because of that book," recalled the 57-year-old veteran director, who is the founder of animation studio Epoch Ink Animation, which had previously produced popular cartoons such as Captain Simian And The Space Monkeys and DuckTales, as well as direct-to-DVD feature Highlander: The Search For Vengeance.

According to Pearson, he had always wondered what the world would have been like after the story in the book. After all, none of the subsequent movies based on the book had ever really dealt with that. "I wondered what would mankind have done after the Martians were gone. Well, for one, they'd pick themselves up, rebuild their cities, and make use of Martian technology to rebuild their armies! All those big mechas just lying around!" he said with a laugh.

Using that as a springboard, Pearson decided that the most interesting time period to set a continuation of the story would be in 1914, because in history, that was the year World War I started (in Goliath, the world is also on the brink of war when the Martians attack again).

"Once I had the two ideas in place, it became really easy (to write the story). I wrote the initial 10-page treatment in 1998, along with all the character biographies," he said.

One of the earliest supporters of his project was Kevin Eastman, owner of Heavy Metal magazine (also best known as the co-creator of the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles). At first, Goliath was going to be in a line of Heavy Metal direct-to-DVD shows; and together with Eastman, Pearson went looking for investors for the movie, to no avail. Then, a chance meeting with Leon Tan on a bus changed everything.

The Malaysian connection

Malaysia's involvement with Goliath began on that fateful bus ride in Tokyo where Pearson met Tan and struck up a conversation. A friendship soon developed, and they started to explore ways in which they could work together. Tan then introduced Pearson to the folks at Mavcap (Malaysia Venture Capital Management Bhd), a venture capital agency set up under the Finance Ministry to spearhead the nation's information and communications technology (ICT) sector.

The three parties – Mavcap, Pearson's Epoch Ink and Tan's Imaginex Studios audio production house – eventually came together to form Tripod Entertainment Sdn Bhd.

According to Tan, Goliath is actually a predominantly Malaysian production. "Besides Joe, Kevin (who is the film's executive producer), David (Abramowitz, screenwriter), and part of the voice cast, most of the creative work was done outside of the United States," Tan said, adding that they had initially wanted a Malaysian company to do the animation, but instead had to commission a Korean animation studio that could better handle the combination of computer-generated and traditional cel (short for celluloid) animation that they required.

Nevertheless, the Malaysian influence on the project remained very strong. Tripod was heavily involved in many of the pre-production creative decisions in addition to doing almost all the post-production work, which included adding in the 3D stereoscopic effects.

Pearson was especially vocal in his praise for Spencer Ooi and Chai Wei Siong of local design outfit Studio Climb, who did the pre-production art design.

"I had seen Spencer's work before, and remember being amazed by it. So in 2007, when we decided to work with Malaysians, his was the first studio I asked about," he recalled. "I was amazed at the quality of his work – it's as good as any team in the world. It's the best design team I've worked with."

Eye for detail

Screenwriter David Abramowitz was also full of praise for Ooi and Chai, claiming their designs were better than what he had written in his script. "What amazed me was the level of detail in every piece of technology ... they had it down to the smallest nut and bolt!" he said during an interview at Comic-Con. "They not only had drawings of what the tripods looked like, but even what they looked like inside, which people would never ever see! It was a fully complete pragmatic diagram of everything!"

Pearson had roped in Abramowitz (whose credits include the original V series in the 80s, Highlander: The Series, and four episodes of MacGyver) to expand his initial treatment into a proper screenplay.

"It was great fun to write! This was such a wonderful palette to write in, and was so much larger than writing a TV series. I've written for the Highlander series (in the early 90s) and also MacGyver, but you can't put spaceships or giant tripods in those shows!" said Abramowitz.

"Goliath's story is completely new and reinvented. The characters and weapons are reinvented; and we put in historical figures such as the great German fighter pilot, the Red Baron; (former US president) Theodore Roosevelt; and (famous scientist) Nikola Tesla, who was in charge of reinventing the Martian technology."

Abramowitz was also instrumental in bringing in some of the primary voice actors for the movie, many of whom were also involved in Highlander: The Series, including Peter Wingfield, Adrian Paul, Elizabeth Gracen and Jim Byrnes. Later, the cast was expanded to include Malaysian actors Tony Eusoff and Asha Gill, as well as Adam Baldwin (Firefly, Chuck), and Mark Sheppard (Supernatural, Battlestar Galactica).

The voice director of the film was Malaysian thespian Gavin Yap who, according to Wingfield, was "ruthless". "It was great working with Gavin, but he was quite ruthless and would make us say the same line over and over and over again until he got what he wanted!" said the Welsh actor, whose past work also includes a small role in X-Men 2 ("I played a soldier who shot a mutant child in the neck ... I still get a lot of stick over that!").

All that would have come to nought if not for the funding by Mavcap, which not only kickstarted production on the film, but also helped develop the local animation industry, and showcase the ability of Malaysian talent to the world.

Pearson also said that Mavcap's support was crucial in transforming Goliath from a low-budget direct-to-DVD film to an award-winning animated 3D stereoscopic theatrical production.

"Two years into the production, we realised that DVD sales were tanking worldwide, and that we needed to expand our horizons," said Pearson. "(From) the initial footage based on art designs by Spencer and his group, we realised that the movie looked beautiful, and the animation looked good enough for a theatrical release."

According to him, the film had gone beyond what they thought they could deliver for the initial budget, so they took the decision to expand the film and turn it into a proper theatrical release.

"After we made that decision, Mavcap stepped up again and backed our dream! I really loved working with the Malaysian talent.

"Their investment industry is as good as any in the world, and the sound, audio, design teams were all first rate," he said, adding that working with Malaysians has opened up a whole new world of young, excited and strong talent.

"Malaysia's probably the most unique country in South-East Asia – it's a fertile ground for innovation, it's a great place to work in, and I think that it (the Malaysian animation industry) has a lot of room to grow and get even better!" he concluded.

War Of The Worlds: Goliath opens in cinemas nationwide on Nov 15.

Kredit: www.thestar.com.my

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