Ahad, 8 Disember 2013

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The Star eCentral: Movie Reviews

Thai ruling party says PM Yingluck will run in election


BANGKOK (Reuters) - Thailand's ruling party said Prime Minister Yingluck Shinawatra would run in the upcoming general election after she dissolved parliament on Monday.

"She will definitely run as she has worked with the party all along. We dissolved parliament because we are confident ... We want the Democrat Party to take part in elections and not to play street games," Jarupong Ruangsuwan, head of Yingluck's Puea Thai Party, told reporters.

Around 100,000 protesters, including former lawmakers from the opposition Democrat Party, marched through Bangkok on Monday, extending demonstrations seeking to install an unelected body to run Thailand.

(Reporting by Aukkarapon Niyomyat; Writing by Amy Sawitta Lefevre; Editing by Alan Raybould)

Clarke praises Johnson, hard work for Ashes revival


ADELAIDE (Reuters) - Australia's stunning turnaround from Ashes joke to juggernaut in a few months has been the culmination of good, hard grind and paceman Mitchell Johnson finding himself in a supportive attack, according to captain Michael Clarke.

Australia crushed England by 218 runs on Monday within the first hour's play of day five at Adelaide Oval to take a 2-0 lead in the five-test series ahead of the third test in Perth where England have not won since 1978.

Australia lost the Ashes 3-0 earlier this year in England following a tumultuous period in which South African Mickey Arthur was sacked as head coach and opening batsman David Warner was stood down for punching England's Joe Root at a Birmingham bar.

The northern Ashes humiliation followed one of the lowest points in Australian cricket's modern history when four of their players were suspended during a miserable 4-0 series loss in India for failing to submit ideas on how to improve.

Clarke said the team felt wronged by the scoreline in England but that they knew the results would come with perseverance.

"I can't answer the question as to why we have won the first two test matches (here) so convincingly, it's a positive for our team but I think these two wins are satisfying because of the work we have put in over a long period of time," Clarke told reporters.

"In our opinion, as players, it's not a fluke that we have won the first two test matches.

"It's hard work that we put in the UK and we thought we were so close but we didn't get over the line and we were disappointed not to have success in England.

"So we as a team believe the work we have been putting in for a long period of time, now we're seeing some results which is very pleasing.

"The other side to that is, the reality is we have won two test matches now in the past 12 months and that is not acceptable as an Australian test team.

"So our feet and certainly well and truly cemented on the ground and we are very realistic about where we want to go as a team, how we want to achieve success.

"We have started this series very well but there is a lot of work still to do."


While only one team has ever come back from 2-0 to win an Ashes series - Australia on home soil in 1936-37 - England need only level the series over the three remaining tests to retain the Ashes as holders of the urn.

England's failure to deal with the short-pitched bowling of Johnson in the first two tests could prove terminal in Perth, however, where the left-arm seamer wreaks maximum damage from the bounce on his home WACA pitch.

Johnson, man-of-the-match in Brisbane, took the award again in Adelaide for helping to skittle England for 172 in their first innings with an exhilarating 7-40.

He then dismissed England's talismanic captain Alastair Cook for one to get the ball rolling in the second innings, with Peter Siddle (4-57) and Ryan Harris (3-54) sharing most of the spoils.

"He has always been an X-factor, with bat, with ball," Clarke said of the 32-year-old Queenslander, who is enjoying his best form since winning the ICC Cricketer of the Year award in 2009.

"He's as good an athlete in the field as you'll see.

"Mitch has always had that (quality). It's just about working out how to use him best in your team.

"Our attack right now really complement each other so it allows Mitch to be used the way I feel is best for our team.

"He's been our new-ball bowler, he's bowled first-change, he's bowled 12-over spells.

"Whatever's required, he can do that ... He's been outstanding."

(Editing by Patrick Johnston)

China farmer kills self over fines for children


BEIJING: A Chinese farmer with five children drank a fatal dose of pesticide at a communist chief's house after officials seized his family's annual food supply for violating the one-child policy, reports said Monday.

Ai Guangdong, 45, had more than 3.5 tonnes of corn - the family's entire source of income until next year's harvest - confiscated last week by five officials in Liang'erzhuang, in the northern province of Hebei, the People's Daily Online said.

He went to the party chief's home to discuss the issue, where he drank the pesticide, and later died in hospital, the Global Times reported.

Ai and his wife Xie Yufeng had four daughters and a son, their youngest, and their farm makes them only around 5,000 yuan ($800) a year, according to the reports.

Under China's hugely controversial one-child policy some rural couples are allowed to have a second child if the first is a girl.

But officials have been taking money from them ever since their second daughter was born, Xie said, and demanded 60,000 yuan after the birth of the third child, the People's Daily Online report said.

"We could never afford that," it quoted Xie as saying, adding they were not given receipts for any of the fines they paid.

The village chief had disappeared, along with his family, since the incident, it added.

The local government offered Ai's family 15,000 yuan for aid and funeral costs, and future social security benefits, which the family rejected, it said.

China has implemented its family planning law for more than 30 years, restricting most parents to only one child and at times allegedly brutally enforced.

Fines for violators have become a significant source of income for China's local governments.

In 2012, 24 of the country's 31 provinces and regions collected a total of nearly 20 billion yuan in penalties, Chinese media reported previously. None of the provincial authorities has detailed how the money was spent. -AFP

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