Selasa, 21 Mei 2013

The Star Online: World Updates

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The Star Online: World Updates

Freeport Indonesia says death toll rises to 28 after tunnel accident

Posted: 21 May 2013 08:21 PM PDT

JAKARTA (Reuters) - The death toll from a tunnel collapse at the world's second largest copper mine run by Freeport McMoRan Copper & Gold Inc's Indonesian unit was raised to 28 on Wednesday as rescuers gave up hope of finding any more survivors.

Arizona-based Freeport closed the remote Papua mine on Wednesday last week, a day after a training tunnel away from its main operations fell in on 38 workers. Ten workers were rescued, but the search for the seven still listed as missing has now turned into an attempt the retrieve their bodies.

"We continue to grieve with the families even as we close this grim chapter," Freeport Indonesia President Director Rozik Soetjipto said in a statement.

"There is still much to do for us to provide the best care and support for the injured and the families of the bereaved."

Although Indonesia's mining sector has a poor safety record, last week's tunnel accident is one of the country's worst-ever mining disasters, industry officials say.

Soetjipto said on Saturday that once the rescue efforts were finished the company would launch an investigation with the help of international experts and Indonesian government officials.

Freeport emergency response teams, who are working around the clock to try to recover the remains of the dead, have been hampered by narrow tunnels and loose rock at the site, Wednesday's statement said.

It made no mention of the investigation or the current suspension of mining operations.

A union leader last week demanded that Freeport keep the mine closed while the cause of the accident was investigated.

The incident's impact on global copper supply has so far been limited as the Grasberg mine keeps stockpiles in reserve in case of disruptions, but that would change if any investigation and closure drags on.

(Reporting by Randy Fabi and Michael Taylor; Editing by Richard Pullin)

Copyright © 2013 Reuters

Japan considers resuming talks with North Korea - media

Posted: 21 May 2013 06:52 PM PDT

TOKYO (Reuters) - Japan has started looking into resuming inter-governmental talks with North Korea after a surprise visit to Pyongyang by an aide to Japan's prime minister, the Asahi Shimbun and other newspapers said on Wednesday.

Such talks, intended to discuss North Korea's abduction of Japanese citizens decades ago and other issues, were last held in November 2012, but have been halted due to the North's missile launch in December and nuclear test in February.

"The Abe government on (May) 21st started preparatory work to restart inter-governmental negotiations with North Korea," the Asahi said, without citing sources.

Through the inter-governmental talks, Japan aims to not only solve the abduction issue but also address North Korea's nuclear and missile programmes, the Asahi said.

Isao Iijima's visit last week to the North Korean capital and his talks with senior officials there irritated South Korea and prompted Glyn Davies, a U.S. envoy for North Korea, to stress the importance of close coordination among countries.

Davies said he had received no advance notice of Iijima's trip, details of which have not been made public.

Asked about the negative responses to Iijima's visit to North Korea, Abe told parliament on Monday that Japan must take leadership in solving the abduction problem.

Japan's ties with North Korea have long been fraught due to Pyongyang's bitterness over Japan's 1910-1945 occupation of the Korean peninsula, Tokyo's worries about North Korea's missile and nuclear programmes, and Japanese anger over the abduction of its citizens by North Korean agents decades ago.

(Reporting by Kiyoshi Takenaka; Editing by Michael Perry)

Related Stories:
North Korea sends top Kim Jong-un aide to Beijing

Copyright © 2013 Reuters

Whole neighbourhoods razed by Oklahoma tornado that killed 24

Posted: 21 May 2013 06:29 PM PDT

MOORE, Oklahoma (Reuters) - Rescuers went building to building in search of victims and survivors picked through the rubble of their shattered homes on Tuesday, a day after a massive tornado tore through the Oklahoma City suburb of Moore, wiping out blocks of houses and killing at least 24 people.

A man carries his belongings through debris after the suburb of Moore, Oklahoma was left devastated by a tornado, on May 21, 2013. REUTERS/Adrees Latif

A man carries his belongings through debris after the suburb of Moore, Oklahoma was left devastated by a tornado, on May 21, 2013. REUTERS/Adrees Latif

After a long day of searching - emergency crews lifted broken doors, moved sections of shattered walls and tossed aside bricks looking for survivors as cadaver dogs sniffed through the rubble - Moore Mayor Glenn Lewis said he believed all the dead and missing had been accounted for.

"We've checked the area with thermal imagers, as well as gone door to door, so we feel like we're fixing to go from rescue and searching to recovery," Lewis told CNN.

The death toll of 24 was lower than initially feared, but nine children were among the dead, including seven who died at Plaza Towers Elementary School, which took a direct hit on Monday in the deadliest tornado to strike the United States in two years. About 240 people were injured.

Emergency workers pulled more than 100 survivors from the debris of homes, schools and a hospital after the tornado ripped through the Oklahoma City region with winds exceeding 200 miles per hour (320 kph), leaving a trail of destruction 17 miles (23 km) long by 1.3 miles (2 km) wide.

"Can you imagine a lion, like a huge lion? You mix it with a freight train and that's what it was like. Scariest thing I've ever heard in my life," said Kim Limke, 40, in Oklahoma City's Westmoor subdivision. "It was like a freight train came out of a lion's mouth."

Limke rode out the tornado at her daughter's school and was surrounded by its destruction on Tuesday at her rented Westmoor home. For blocks around, houses were reduced to heaps of rubble and trees were stripped of their leaves. The air was tinged with the smell of wet pine from wrecked homes.

The National Weather Service upgraded its calculation of the storm's strength on Tuesday, saying it was a rare EF5, the most powerful ranking on the Enhanced Fujita Scale, with winds exceeding 200 miles per hour (320 kph).


In the hours right after the storm, many more people had been feared dead. At one point, the Oklahoma state medical examiner's office said the toll could rise as high as 91, but on Tuesday officials said 24 bodies had been recovered, down from a previous tally of 51.

The earlier numbers likely reflected some double-counted deaths, said Amy Elliott, chief administrative officer for the medical examiner.

"There was a lot of chaos," she said.

Shelters were opened for families who lost their homes, and universities offered to house people. Albert Ashwood, director of Oklahoma's department of emergency management, said it was too early to say how many people were left homeless, but clearly it was thousands, given the extent of the damage.

The National Guard, fire-fighters from more than a dozen fire departments and rescuers from other states were involved in the search-and-rescue effort in Moore, a town of 55,000 people. Washington deployed 300 federal disaster workers to Oklahoma.

Plaza Towers Elementary School was one of five schools in the path of the tornado. "They literally were lifting walls up and kids were coming out," Oklahoma State Police Sergeant Jeremy Lewis said. "They pulled kids out from under cinder blocks without a scratch on them."

Oklahoma Insurance Commissioner John Doak said the damage to property was likely to exceed that caused by the 2011 twister in Joplin, Missouri, which killed 161 people. Insured losses from the Joplin tornado exceeded $2 billion (1 billion pounds) and are expected to rise as claims are settled.

Disaster modelling company AIR Worldwide estimated the replacement value of the properties within a mile of each side of the tornado's track at around $6 billion. The figure represents a rough estimate of the potential upper limit of losses, not an actual loss estimate, it said.


President Barack Obama declared a major disaster in Oklahoma, ordering federal aid to supplement state and local efforts.

"The people of Moore should know that their country will remain on the ground, there for them, beside them, as long as it takes," Obama said at the White House.

Lewis, the Moore mayor, warned residents of the danger of electrocution and fire from downed power lines and broken natural gas lines. Thunderstorms and lightning slowed the search effort and made conditions tough for families left with nothing but their clothes.

At Moore's Eastwood Estates, Nicole Moore, 32, and her husband, Kelly Regouby, 43, picked through the wreckage of what had been the master bedroom of their home.

During the storm, the couple, their 9-month-old son, Regouby's 20-year-old daughter and Moore's mother huddled in a shelter built into the floor of their garage. The house came down over them, but they emerged with only scratches.

On Tuesday, they recovered rain-soaked family pictures and mementos.

"As long as we find stuff like this, I'll be happy," Moore said, her voice breaking. "We'd give up 10 of these houses to have our family safe."

In the neighbourhood, brick walls were flattened and pink insulation was scattered everywhere. Hundreds of cars looked as if they had been shelled. In a sign of the tornado's strength, a bicycle wheel found in a sodden field had lost its rim and the spokes were wrapped around the hub.

Authorities warned the town 16 minutes before the tornado touched down just after 3 p.m. That amount of time is more than the average eight to 10 minutes of warning.


U.S. Representative Tom Cole, who lives in Moore, said the Plaza Towers school was the most secure building in the area.

"And so people did the right thing, but if you're in front of an F4 or an F5 (in tornado strength), there is no good thing to do if you're above ground. It's just tragic," he said on MSNBC-TV.

Miguel Macias and his wife, Veronica, had two children at the Plaza Towers school. They found 8-year-old Ruby after workers rescued the girl but their son, 6-year-old Angel, was nowhere to be found, said Brenda Ramon, pastor of the Faith Latino Church where the family are members.

Ramon and several congregation members spent hours helping the family search for Angel. He was located at a medical centre in Oklahoma City about five hours after the tornado hit.

"It was heart-breaking," Ramon said. "We couldn't find him for hours." The boy had wounds to his face and head, but was not badly hurt, Ramon said. "Their little bodies are so resilient," he said.

Witnesses said Monday's tornado appeared more fierce than a giant twister that was among the dozens that tore up the area on May 3, 1999, killing more than 40 people and destroying thousands of homes. That tornado ranked as an EF5.

The 1999 tornado ranks as the third-costliest in U.S. history, having caused more than $1 billion in damage at the time, or more than $1.3 billion in today's dollars. Only the devastating Joplin and Tuscaloosa tornadoes in 2011 were more costly. (Graphic

(Additional reporting by Alice Mannette, Lindsay Morris, Nick Carey, Brendan O'Brien and Greg McCune; Writing by Claudia Parsons and Jim Loney; Editing by Grant McCool, Philip Barbara and Stacey Joyce)

Related Stories:
Factbox - The 10 deadliest tornadoes in U.S. history

Copyright © 2013 Reuters


The Star Online: Entertainment: TV & Radio

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The Star Online: Entertainment: TV & Radio

Kelly Pickler jives to victory on 'Dancing With The Stars'

Posted: 21 May 2013 09:07 PM PDT

NEW YORK (Reuters) - Country singer Kelly Pickler won the 16th season of ABC's Dancing With The Stars on Tuesday night, winning over judges and TV audiences with her graceful style and high-jumping jives with partner and professional dancer Derek Hough.

Pickler, who first grabbed attention as a contestant on American Idol in 2006, screeched and jumped up and down when she learned she had won. Fellow finalist Jacoby Jones, an NFL player, hoisted her on his shoulders to celebrate.

Pickler beat out Jones, former Olympic gymnast Aly Raisman, and actress Zendaya, who goes by her first name. The show began with 12 celebrity contestants including singer Winona Judd and former Olympic skater Dorothy Hamill, who were paired with the show's professional dancers.

Inspired by the British show Strictly Come Dancing, Dancing With The Stars has remained popular with American TV audiences since its debut in 2005, though its ratings have slipped over time.

The show's judges award points to the couples based on their dance routines, which are weighed equally with audience votes to select the winner.

Citing fatigue, Ang Lee pulls out of 'Tyrant'

Posted: 21 May 2013 08:45 PM PDT

LOS ANGELES (Reuters) - Oscar winner Ang Lee canceled his plans to direct the pilot of new U.S. television series Tyrant, saying on Tuesday that he needed to rest after spending four years working on 3D fantasy-adventure film Life Of Pi.

Lee, 58, signed on to direct the pilot of the drama series for cable network FX in March, shortly after winning the Best Director Oscar for Life Of Pi.

"It is one of the most brilliant ideas for a series that I've seen and one about which I was very excited," Lee said in a statement. "However, after spending over four years making and promoting Life Of Pi, I have recently realized that I need some rest."

Tyrant tells the story of an American family that is pulled into the workings of a restive Middle Eastern nation, and Lee was slated to begin filming the pilot this summer.

It would have been the Taiwanese-born director's first foray into television.

Tyrant is produced by Howard Gordon and Gideon Raff, who also are producers on Showtime's Emmy-winning counter-terrorism thriller Homeland.

FX, which did not immediately reply to messages seeking comment, is owned by Fox Entertainment Group, a subsidiary of News Corp.

Win great prizes from Reconnect contest

Posted: 22 May 2013 01:44 AM PDT

CAPITAL FM's Reconnect contest, which began its run on May 6 and will end this Friday, has garnered a lot of response from its listeners.

There are a lot of things to be won from the contest, including a hair makeover courtesy of Albert Nico, products from Kiehl's and Lancome, as well as vouchers for belly dancing classes.

Reconnect is basically a memory game that is played on the air. To help you keep track, just download a grid template from and follow the progress of the game on air. You need to tune in to Talk Of The Town (6am-10am, weekdays), The Jam Break (4pm-9pm, weekdays) and Groovedown (8pm-midnight, weekdays) for your chance to participate.

Capital FM listener Jess Wu took the challenge and won a holiday package from Bukit Gambang Resort City in Kuantan, Pahang worth RM3,000. With the help of the grid, Wu managed to guess the right combination. "After learning about this competition, I checked out the website for more information and printed out the grid. I carried this grid with me everywhere, noted down everything!"

Visit for more information.

Captal FM is a subsidiary of Star Radio Group.


The Star Online: Business

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The Star Online: Business

Suria Capital, SBC Corp in RM1.8b Sabah JV

Posted: 21 May 2013 06:40 PM PDT

Published: Wednesday May 22, 2013 MYT 9:40:00 AM

KUALA LUMPUR: Suria Capital Bhd and SBC Corporation Bhd have teamed up to undertake a mixed development project -- Jesselton Waterfront -- in Kota Kinabalu with net sale value (NSV) of RM1.8bil.

Trading in Suria Capital shares on Wednesday was suspended from 9am to 10am.

Suria Capital said the project would be built on its land in Jalan Tanjung Lipat,

"The Jesselton Waterfront Project shall carry a minimum NSV of the developed units of the Jesselton Waterfront Project of RM1.8bil, " it said, adding that 18% would go to Suria Capital and SBC 82%.

"Based on the minimum NSV of RM1.8bil, the Jesselton Waterfront project will carry a minimum guaranteed returns to Suria Capital of at least RM324.0mil," it said.

CIMB advances in early trade, Dayang in focus

Posted: 21 May 2013 06:19 PM PDT

KUALA LUMPUR: Shares of CIMB Group rose in early trade on Wednesday after the release of its first quarter earnings while Dayang Enterprise was in focus after its RM2bil contract win.

At 9.02am, the FBM KLCI was up 2.12 points to 1,789.50. Turnover was 97.56 million shares valued at RM43.82mil. There were 209 gainers, 56 losers and 136 counters unchanged.

Bloomberg reported Asian stocks rose, with the regional benchmark index trading at a five-year high, before the Bank of Japan concludes a two-day policy meeting.

Trading on Hong Kong equity markets will be delayed due to a storm warning.

BIMB Securities Research expects the local market to trend higher today given the positive sentiments from the west and from big-cap companies such as IOI and CIMB reported stronger quarter earnings.

"Immediate resistance is seen at 1,790 followed by 1,800 while support at 1,780 and 1,775," it said.

At Bursa Malaysia, CIMB rose 11 sen to RM8.61. Alliance Research has raised CIMB Group's target price to RM9.64 from RM8.66 as it rolls over its valuation for the banking group to FY2014.

Dayang was in focus, up 22 sen to RM5.11 while the call warrants, Dayang-CD rose 10 sen to Rm2.35 and Dayang-CE gained 7.5 sen to 82.5 sen.

Among the healthcare stocks, Pharmaniaga rose 20 sen to RM9.90 and Apex Healthcare 11 sen to RM4.48.

Plantations were mostly lower, except TH Plantations, which rose 10 sen to RM2.32. However, KL Kepong and United Plantations fell 14 sen each to RM21.60 and RM27.42 while TDM shed five sen to RM5.10 and Kulim three sen lower at RM3.60.

RHB Research downgrades Dayang Enterprise to Neutral

Posted: 21 May 2013 06:04 PM PDT

Published: Wednesday May 22, 2013 MYT 9:05:00 AM

KUALA LUMPUR: RHB Research has downgraded Dayang Enterprise, whose share price has rallied in recent weeks, to Neutral unless it secures a higher-than-expected contract value soon.

The research house said on Wednesday Dayang Enterprise secured a RM2.0bil contract from Sarawak Shell and Sabah Shell Petroleum Company to provide hook-up, commissioning and topside maintenance service.

RHB Research said the recent contract meant Dayang had secured about RM2.3bil worth of contracts year-to-date from the Pan-Malaysia hook-up and commissioning (HUC) tender.

"We make no change to our earnings forecast, as we have already imputed new RM2.5bil worth of contract wins for FY14," it said.

The research house noted there were contracts which had not been awarded in the Pan-Malaysia HUC tender and Dayang was understood to be eyeing another contract win.

"While we are encouraged with the positive news, we believe that there could be weakness in the shares in the short term but we advocate investors to accumulate the shares on weakness," it said.


The Star Online: Sports

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The Star Online: Sports

Injured Murray withdraws from French Open

Posted: 21 May 2013 06:30 PM PDT

LONDON: Andy Murray will miss the French Open with the back injury that flared up at the Rome Masters, the world number two announced on Tuesday.

After meeting with medical specialists Murray has decided to skip the second Grand Slam of the year at Roland Garros to ensure he is fully fit for Wimbledon.

"It's a really tough decision and I love playing in Paris, but after seeking medical advice, I am not fit to compete," the US Open and Olympic champion explained in a statement to Britain's Press Association.

"After consultation with his team and medical specialists, Andy has reluctantly withdrawn from the French Open and will instead focus on preparation for the grass court season," the statement added.

Murray had raised the possibility of his absence from the French Open after retiring with the back problem in his second-round match against Spain's Marcel Granollers at the Rome Masters last week.

"I'd be very surprised if I was playing in Paris," a subdued Murray said then.

This will be the first Grand Slam he has missed since Wimbledon in 2007.

The injury was the same one which required him to take a pain-killing injection in order to play Roland Garros last year where he reached the quarter-finals.

Murray will now aim to return for the start of the grasscourt season at Queens Club on June 10.

"(The back) has not been perfect for a long period, I want it to start feeling good again. Everyone goes into matches with niggles, but this is very frustrating," added Murray after his Rome retirement.

"I don't want to go into details, but I've got a disc problem, it changes week to week. It's been an issue for a while, but I want to make sure it goes away.

"I don't want to be playing with it long-term, it's not enjoyable at all."

The French Open begins on Sunday. -AFP

Ramy wins fiery battle of words and deeds

Posted: 21 May 2013 06:29 PM PDT

HULL, United Kingdom: World number one Ramy Ashour won a fierce battle of words as well as deeds with his compatriot Omar Mosaad during a hot-tempered opening win in the British Open on Tuesday.

A dispute over a let decision in the second game of a 11-4, 11-9, 11-6 victory appeared to fuel Ashour's annoyance, and the match ended with the two men arguing at length in the front of the court.

They then did so again by the door of the court - delaying the customary post-match interview in front of the crowd - and then a third time afterwards in the changing room.

It was an oddly fiery end in very cold conditions to the first step in Ashour's bid to become the first Egyptian in nearly 50 years to win the world's oldest title.

At issue appeared to be an Ashour belief that the bigger and taller Mosaad - who was close to bullying him to defeat at the World Open in Doha in December - had not been allowing him sufficient room to play the ball.

"Is everything all right?" said the master of ceremonies with nice irony as she eventually manoeuvred her way in to speak with the unpredictable but popular Ashour.

His response was perfect. "Someone had to pay for lunch today," he said, with equal irony. "And he had to pay today, and I will pay tomorrow, so that was the discussion," he said, making some of the crowd chortle.

Despite all the contention Ashour never really looked in difficulties, partly perhaps because Mosaad, who conceded two early penalty points with mistimed shots, seemed much more subdued than during their previous meeting.

Mosaad also let slip his one real chance of causing damage, when he led 6-1 and 8-6 in the important second game, but lapsed into tin-hitting errors.

It was then that the differences between the two first became apparent, with Ashour becoming aggravated during an unusually long pause by the officials in dealing with a let appeal.

It was then that the two men started grumbling at each other.

Ashour also stormed off court, ostensibly to get another racket, during the delay. From 8-8 to the end of that game there were six more let decisions which stoked up the emotional temperature further.

Mosaad led again, by 6-3 in the third game, but won no more rallies on the match, conceding two more penalty points in the process. He finished looking obstinate and cross.

Despite all this Ashour often played well in none-too-easy conditions, but did not want to consider whether it was well enough to complete the bit of Egyptian history.

"My colleagues Karim Darwish (the former world number one) and Mohammed El Shorbagy (the world runner-up) could just as easily do it, so I don't want to think about it," he said generously.

If Ashour were to succeed, it would strip away the last major accolade of the titleholder Nick Matthew, the first Englishman ever to win the British Open three times.

Ashour took away Matthew's world title and his world number one spot last year, and is a strong favourite to do the same with this title too.

Matthew on Monday started his defence with a straight games win over Henrik Mustonen, a Finnish qualifier, and on Wednesday faces Laurens Jan Anjema, the top ten Dutchman.

Ashour, who lost to Matthew in last year's final, will play his second round on Thursday, against another Englishman, Chris Simpson, who scored a good win over Nicolas Mueller, the top 20 Swiss player. -AFP

Low Wee Wern fails to clear opening round again in British Open

Posted: 21 May 2013 05:40 PM PDT

PETALING JAYA: World No. 7 Low Wee Wern's dream of playing in Hull City's KC Stadium was dashed after she crashed out in the first round of the British Open squash championships at Pontefract.

The national No. 2 suffered a rude shock when England's world No. 18 Sarah-Jane Perry packed her off with a stunning 11-7, 13-11, 7-11, 11-9 upset in 62 minutes yesterday.

Wee Wern blamed her loss on Perry's physically aggressive approach but the reality was that the Englishwoman displayed great racquet skills and oozed confidence.

The Penangite deserved credit for hauling back the third set 11-7 despite playing with her back against the wall and she also looked well on course to sending the match into a fifth set when she led 6-2 in the fourth.

But the taller and bigger Perry regained her composure and focus to level the set at 7-7 before surging home 11-7 to secure a spot in the second round, where she will take on 12th seed Kasey Brown of Australia.

"It was a joke. The match was way too physical and Sarah kept blocking and running into me," claimed a dejected Wee Wern, who also lost in the first round last year.

"I went from the T to the back wall more often than not because she was so huge and kept pushing me.

"Of course I'm disappointed. It's always tough when you lose ... but losing in the first round again of the British Open is just brutal.

"Although I'm disappointed, there's nothing much I can do and I'll head home today to regroup and start afresh for the second half of the year," added Wee Wern, who also lost in the final of the Asian Individual Championships earlier this month.

On Monday, national No. 3 Delia Arnold played superb squash to earn a spot in the main draw.

The 27-year-old Delia took just 15 minutes to dispose of Austria's Birgit Coufal 11-5, 11-5, 11-6 in the final qualifying round.

She is, however, not expected to progress further as she faces world No. 3 Raneem El Weleily in the first round.

With Wee Wern's loss, Malaysia's challenge will again fall on the shoulders of four-time winner Nicol David, who faces India's Joshna Chinappa in the opening round.

The world No. 1 should have no problems dispatching India's No. 2, having already beaten Joshna when they met in the Malaysian Open last year.

In another match, Australian veteran Rachael Grinham staged an amazing comeback from two sets down to beat a tenacious Nicolette Fernandes of Guyana 10-12, 1-11, 11-7, 11-9, 11-8.

In the men's event, Yorkshire native and defending champion Nick Matthew stayed in the hunt for his fourth British Open title with an emphatic 11-8, 11-7, 11-3 win over Finnish qualifier Henrik Mustonen.



Second round: Joshna Chinappa (Ind) bt Deon Saffery (Wal) 11-13, 11-9, 11-9, 11-5; Emma Beddoes (Eng) bt Nada Elkalaawy (Eng) 11-4, 11-5, 11-6; Lauren Briggs (Eng) bt Melody Francis (Aus) 11-3, 11-5, 11-7; Samantha Cornett (Can) bt Olga Ertlova (Cze) 11-6, 11-5, 11-5; Nicolette Fernandes (Guy) bt Lucie Fialova (Cze) 11-8, 11-2, 11-9; Latasha Khan (US) bt Misaki Kobayashi (Jpn) 11-8, 15-13, 9-11, 7-11, 17-15; Delia Arnold (Mas) bt Birgit Coufal (Aut) 11-5, 11-5, 11-6; Amanda Sobhy (US) bt Lisa Aitken (Sco) 13-11, 11-4, 5-11, 11-3.


Men's first round: Saurav Ghosal (Ind) bt Jonathan Kemp (Eng) 11-9, 11-6, 11-6; Tarek Momen (Egy) bt Marwan El Shorbagy (Egy) 11-9, 11-9, 11-4; Peter Barker (Eng) bt Ali Anwar Reda (Egy) 12-10, 11-9, 11-4; Laurens Jan Anjema (Ned) bt Ryan Cuskelly (Aus) 11-3, 11-6, 10-12, 11-6; Gregory Gaultier (Fra) bt Alister Walker (Bot) 11-6, 11-9, 11-1; Daryl Selby (Eng) bt Olli Tuominen (Fin) 11-7, 11-9, 13-11; Nick Matthew (Eng) bt Henrik Mustonen (Fin) 11-8, 11-7, 11-3; Karim Darwish (Egy) bt Andrew Wagih (Egy) 11-4, 11-9, 11-3; Chris Simpson (Eng) bt Nicolas Mueller (Swi) 7-11, 11-6, 11-9, 11-4; Karim Abdel Gawad (Egy) bt Joe Lee (Eng) 12-10, 11-4, 2-11, 11-8.

Women's first round: Sarah-Jane Perry (Eng) bt Low Wee Wern (Mas) 11-7, 13-11, 7-11, 11-9; Kasey Brown (Aus) bt Lauren Briggs (Eng) 11-6, 11-5, 11-7; Alison Waters (Eng) bt Emily Whitlock (Eng) 11-13, 11-7, 11-7, 11-9; Rachael Grinham (Aus) bt Nicolette Fernandes (Guy) 10-12, 1-11, 11-7, 11-9, 11-8; Joelle King (Nzl) bt Samantha Cornett (Can) 11-8, 11-7, 11-8.


The Star Online: Nation

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Police: Use of handcuffs on student activist is standard operating procedure

Posted: 21 May 2013 08:53 AM PDT

Published: Tuesday May 21, 2013 MYT 11:54:00 PM

KUALA LUMPUR: The use of handcuffs on detainees is police standard operating procedure, except on juvenile offenders, said Sentul police chief ACP Zakaria Pagan.

He said detainees would be handcuffed when they were taken out of the lock-up for security reasons, and the exception did not apply to student activist Adam Adli Abdul Halim.

He was commenting on pictures of Adam Adli in handcuffed which went viral on social sites.

Kuala Lumpur police denies that the picture was taken at the Jinjang Central Lockup, Zakaria said in a statement. - Bernama

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Suspected cow thieves get ‘moo’ then they bargained for

Posted: 21 May 2013 08:49 AM PDT

KUANTAN: Holy Cow! Everything went haywire for two suspected thieves who set out to steal a cow at Felda Kota Gelanggi 2 early Tuesday.

Not only did they fail to load the cow - which they had earlier sedated with a dart from a blow-pipe - into their getaway Proton Wira, the vehicle also failed them when the duo needed it most.

Upon seeing a group of residents on crime-prevention rounds approaching them, the youths dashed into the car to escape in the incident about 3am.

However, the car, upon being reversed recklessly, skidded and plunged into a three-metre deep ravine.

The duo's predicament did not end there. The worse was yet to come.

The group dragged them out of the wrecked car before setting the vehicle ablaze.

The residents proceeded to gave a vicious beating to the intruders before sending them to the Jerantut Hospital and lodging a police report.

The condition of one of the suspects worsened due to severe head injuries, and he was warded at the Haji Ahmad Shah Hospital.

Jerantut police chief Supt Azid Ismail said the suspects, aged 19 and 21, were detained to facilitate police investigations into the theft of the cow.

However, he said the police had also opened an investigation paper on the group of residents for causing grievous hurt to the suspects. - Bernama

Najib congratulates Everest-conquering Felda youths

Posted: 21 May 2013 07:40 AM PDT

KUALA LUMPUR: Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak has congratulated four Felda youths on their success in scaling world's tallest mountain Mount Everest Tuesday morning.

The Prime Minister said the achievement of the Felda Everest 2013 climbers, accompanied by two instructors, had inspired the entire Felda community.

"Congratulations to four Felda youths and their coaches for conquering Mount Everest today. The success is an inspiration to the entire Felda community," he said in his tweet Tuesday.

According to sources, the youngest climber, Mohd Nasuha Shamsuddin, 21, reached a height of 8,848m from sea level at 8.31am (2.05am M'sian time).

He was followed by Mohamad Asyraf Mohd Halim, 25, at 8.48am (3am M'sian time) and Muhammad Hafizuddin Ibrahim, 22, at 9.11am (3.25am M'sian time).

They were part of a five-man team from Felda in Negeri Sembilan, Johor and Pahang, in the expedition organised by the Malaysia Seven Continent Exploration Club (KE7B).

The expedition, which began on April 2, was also supported by Felda Youth Council and Felda Global Venture Holding. - Bernama


The Star Online: Entertainment: Movies

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Chris Evans to star in screen version of Stephen King nightmare

Posted: 21 May 2013 02:44 AM PDT

The man who played Captain America is going to replace Justin Long, who was initially tapped for the part, in a film adaptation of Stephen King's short story The Ten O'Clock People, reports

Chris Evans is in the running to play a man trying hard to quit smoking. Smoking only on his 10am cigarette break causes a strange chemical imbalance in his body, with the supernatural effect of enabling him to see that powerful members of our society are in fact inhuman monsters.

Tom Holland, a specialist in the horror genre and in adapting Stephen King for the screen, will direct this independent feature.

Set in Boston, Massachusetts, The Ten O'Clock People was first published in 1993 in King's short story collection Nightmares & Dreamscapes.


Antonio Banderas to endure Chilean miners' ordeal in 'The 33'

Posted: 21 May 2013 02:34 AM PDT

Martin Sheen and Rodrigo Santoro will be co-starring in a feature film recounting one of the most harrowing events of 2010, reports Variety magazine.

Antonio Banderas will star as the charismatic miner known as "Super Mario" in The 33, a movie about the Copiapó copper/gold mine cave-in, in which 33 Chilean miners were trapped deep underground and eventually rescued after 69 days.

This feature will be shot in Chile this fall by American-Mexican filmmaker Patricia Riggen, who made a name for herself in 2007 with La Misma Luna (Under The Same Moon).

The 33 is currently on offer at the 66th Cannes Film Festival's Marché du Film. Mike Medavoy, coproducer of Shutter Island and Black Swan, is helming the project along with Ed McGurn and Good Universe.


Keanu Reeves makes director debut in modern Kung Fu film

Posted: 21 May 2013 01:26 AM PDT

CANNES (Reuters) - He's played a science-fiction hero, policeman and even Hamlet. But now actor Keanu Reeves is taking on a new role - as director of a contemporary martial arts movie aimed at both Chinese and Western audiences.

Reeves (pic) has stepped behind the camera to make his directorial debut with Man Of Tai Chi, a trilingual film loosely based on the life of a stuntman, Tiger Chen, whom he befriended while working on the sci-fi The Matrix trilogy.

At the Cannes film festival to promote his new movie, due out later this year, Reeves said he knew he had always wanted to try directing and spent five years developing the script.

"It was also tied to getting older," Reeves, 48, who was long one of Hollywood's most glamorous action stars, told Reuters Television in an interview at a hotel on Cannes palm-lined waterfront.

He said the main character of the film, in which he also acts, is a stuntman and martial arts expert, struggling to maintain his traditional values and beliefs against the pressures of modern society. This character is played by Chen.

Reeves plays the villain who lures him into underground fighting and the promises of money, glamour and power.

The film, made in English, Cantonese and Mandarin and filmed in China and Hong Kong, is meant to appeal to both the huge market in China, where Reeves won fans with Matrix and for having a Chinese great-grandparent, and in Western countries.

Man Of Tai Chi was co-produced by the China Film Group, Wanda Media, Village Roadshow Pictures Asia and Universal Pictures and will be distributed internationally by Universal, owned by Comcast through its subsidiary NBCUniversal.

Clips from the movie suggested there would be big fight sequences and high-speed car chases along Chinese highways, as could be expected from the star of the 1994 thriller Speed.

"I loved the responsibility of telling a story," said the Canadian-born Reeves. "I hope I get the chance to do it again."


The Star Online: Lifestyle: Bookshelf

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The MPH Distributors Warehouse Sale starts today

Posted: 20 May 2013 04:47 PM PDT

Here are more titles that Star2 readers can get at a special price at the MPH Distributors Warehouse Sale.

ARE you interested in military tactics and important battles from the Ancient World? Do you play golf or spend your evenings baking cookies? Are you all grown up, but want to read about other people's coming of age stories? Head over to the MPH Distributors Warehouse Sale starting today to pick up titles that cover these and many other topics.

Star2 readers will also get to enjoy further marked down prices for a selection of titles. Just present this original page (no photocopies) upon payment to enjoy the special prices. This offer is valid only during the sale from today till May 26, while stocks last. It is not valid with other promotions and is not exchangeable for cash. One page is valid for up to five of the titles featured on this page.


Fallen In Love by Lauren Kate (warehouse sale price: RM25 / Star2 price: RM18) – Four extraordinary love stories involving the main characters from the Fallen series combine over the course of a romantic Valentine's Day in Medieval England. This novella is a must-have for fans of Lauren Kate's Fallen series.

Rapture by Lauren Kate (WP: RM25 / SP: RM18) – In this final book in the Fallen series, Luce finally discovers her destiny and must make a difficult decision. And whichever choice she makes, great sacrifices will have to be made.

Fiction bundle comprising Moonlight Masquerade by Jude Deveraux, I Heart London by Lindsey Kelk, and 77 Shadow Street by Dean Koontz (WP: RM25 / SP: RM20) – A fantastic value-for-money fiction bundle containing one thriller and two romance titles at a fraction of the retail price.

Fyre (Septimus Heap #7) by Angie Sage (WP: RM 20/ SP: RM15) – In this grand finale in the Septimus Heap journey, our young hero continues to battle the Darke Domaine. Ever powerful, the Darke will remain until the power of the evil Two-Faced Ring is destroyed. Fyre weaves together every character from the series and incorporates many of the Magykal places from each book.

Killing Time by Cindy Gerard (WP: RM13 / SP: RM10) – He is a hard-living hero. She is a beautiful rogue operative who is on a mission to dig up the secrets of his past. Their search for a traitor takes them halfway across the world and opens up a world of deceit, seduction and deduction.

Moonlight Masquerade by Jude Deveraux (WP: RM13 / SP: RM10) – The final book in the Moonlight trilogy follows the story of Sophie Kincaid who has just been jilted. She flees to Edilean, the small town her friend Kim calls heaven on earth. But after her car breaks down on a country road and she is nearly run over by a speeding sports car, she wonders if it is really the paradise Kim says it is.

Swimming Pool Sunday by Madeleine Wickham (WP: RM18 / SP: RM15) – No one expected tragedy to strike when the Delaneys opened their pool to the village for charity. But when a terrible accident happens, people begin taking sides, the needs of a child are neglected and long-forged friendships crumble.

The Tennis Party by Madeleine Wickham (WP: RM18 / SP: RM15) – A weekend of tennis at Patrick's new house isn't what it seems when tempers, shocks, revelations and the arrival of an uninvited guest take centre stage.

The Perks Of Being A Wallflower by Stephen Chbosky (WP: RM16 / SP: RM12) – This coming-of-age story (which was made into a movie that showed here recently) is all about navigating the uncharted territory of secondary school. The world of first dates, family drama, peer pressure, sex and drugs combine in a wild and poignant roller-coaster journey known as growing up.


100 Best Foods For Pregnancy (WP: RM17 / SP: RM12) – What you put on your plate during pregnancy will affect you and your baby for years to come. This book contains facts and figures on the key benefits of 100 nutritional foods and offers 100 delicious recipes to try out.

Atlas Of Military History (WP: RM35 / SP: RM28) – A book on military tactics, weaponry and important battles from the Ancient World to the present. This book also contains special features on the greatest warriors with over 600 images.

Beyond Belief: My Secret Life Inside Scientology And My Harrowing Escape by Jenna Miscavige Hill with Liza Pulitzer (WP: RM15 / SP: RM10) – In this tell-all memoir, a prominent critic of Scientology who now helps others leave the secretive organisation, offers an insider's profile of the beliefs, rituals, and secrets of the religion that has captured the fascination of millions, including some of Hollywood's most well-known figures such as Tom Cruise and John Travolta.

Collins Best Practices Series, assorted titles (WP: RM15 each / SP: RM12 each) – This series offers new as well as seasoned managers the essential information they need to achieve more, both personally and professionally. Designed to provide tried-and-true advice from the world's most influential business minds, the books feature practical strategies and tips to help you get ahead at work.

Cookie Jar (WP: RM16 / SP: RM12) – From classics like Chocolate Chip to fruity favourites such as Raisin & Hazelnut, these 80 recipes have something for everyone to enjoy. Contains beautiful gift labels allowing you to create personalised gifts for friends and family.

Great Battles of WWII, with DVD (WP: RM38 / SP: RM32) – An introduction to 28 of the most important actions of World War II, including the Siege of Leningrad, the Battle of Britain and many more. The book also features more than 250 colour and black-and-white photographs and artworks illustrating the soldiers, uniforms and military technology of the era with a 30-minute DVD highlighting 10 key moments of the war.

How I Play Golf by Tiger Woods (WP: RM 40 / SP: RM 32) – A lavishly illustrated instructional book with colour photography, original artwork, unique sequential shots of Woods in action, and easy-to-follow diagrams for golfers of all abilities.

Mojo: How To Get It, How To Keep It, How To Get It Back If You Lose It by Marshall Goldsmith with Mark Reiter (WP: RM10 / SP: RM 7) – How do we find – and keep! – our "mojo"? The author breaks it down into four key factors: identity, achievement, reputation and acceptance. This book outlines the positive actions leaders must take, with their teams or themselves, to initiate winning streaks and keep them coming.

Steve Job's Way by Jay Elliot with William L. Simon (WP: RM 10 / SP: RM7) – Packed with exclusive interviews from key figures in Apple Computer's history, this revealing account provides a rarely seen, intimate glimpse into the Steve Jobs you never saw on stage, thoroughly exploring his management and leadership principles.

The Usborne Pocket Scientist: The Blue Book (WP: RM16 / SP: RM12) – A pocket-sized guide that tackles the mysteries of everyday things, from nature to science and technology. Concise text, colourful diagrams and illustrations and simple experiments to try at home combine to answer children's questions on astronomy, geology, human biology, magnetism, natural science, weather and much more.

The MPH Distributors Warehouse Sale will be held from 8am to 6pm, from today to Sunday (May 21-26), at Bangunan TH, No.5, Jalan 13/4, Petaling Jaya. For inquiries, call 03-7958 1688. 'Like' the sale at for the latest updates.

Latest book from Khaled Hosseini

Posted: 20 May 2013 05:17 PM PDT

That's what Khaled Hosseini's latest book made our reviewer do. To mark the worldwide release today of the much anticipated title, we offer a discount coupon so you can get the book and experience Hosseini's prowess yourself.

And The Mountains Echoed
Author: Khaled Hosseini
Publisher: Bloomsbury, 402 pages

AFTER the enormous successes of The Kite Runner (2003) and A Thousand Splendid Suns (2007), author Khaled Hosseini has become synonymous with stories that tug at the heart, strip the reader bare, and leave a lasting impression through mesmerising narration.

His much-anticipated third offering, And The Mountains Echoed, is testimony once again to the story-telling prowess of this writer and doctor from Kabul.

As if responding directly to fans who have waited six years for this book, the novel starts with the lines, "So, then. You want a story and I will tell you one."

But of course, it would be a terrible mistake to call this a mere story. This is an expansive epic, travelling over six decades across Afghanistan, the United States, France and Greece with a myriad of characters and intertwining plots.

The book starts with inseparable siblings Abdullah and Pari listening intently as their father narrates one of his many bedtime stories. He tells them of the fate of Baba Ayub, who sacrifices his youngest son to a monstrous devil in order to save the rest of his family. But Baba Ayub could not suffer the guilt and goes back in search of the monster only to find his son living in paradise. Baba Ayub decides to leave his son there for a brighter future and the monster grants Baba Ayub another boon – a potion to forget the pain of separation.

This tale of separation, sacrifice and selfless love sets the foundation for the many intertwining stories within this book. What follows is a no-holds-barred account of the lives of numerous characters, all strung together by the unending cord of time and consequence.

Hosseini ventures further and beyond the themes of his previous two books, opting to expand the cultural experiences of his characters. He not only focuses on Afghani sentiments, but also explores European and American culture using the backdrop of common human sentiments.

Some of the most poignant chapters introduce new perspectives on values and emotions that I, for one, have otherwise indulged in without much thought. For instance, Hosseini offers the tragic aspect of love, which has become his signature skill as an author. In a relationship between a needy father and his daughter, we see "a kind of love that cornered you into a choice: either you tore free, or you stayed and withstood its rigor even as it squeezed you into something smaller than yourself". Hosseini's power of observation and descriptive ability works handsomely in putting such ideas across.

The novel also dives deep into sacrifice and the true nature of people who are seen as selfless heroes. Through the reflection of the characters, we suddenly witness hypocrisy and a deep selfishness in their acts, like the disfigured Thalia who lives with an ageing woman just to hide from public scrutiny, or the man-servant Nabi who brokers the adoption of his niece by a rich woman, only in hopes of winning the woman's love.

The novel questions motives and draws conclusions that the truest love is never spoken, sometimes never seen but is there all along, weathering conflicts and insults, as undeserving minds try with outstretched thoughts to fathom its magnificence. As for those who make a song and dance about their love, they are seen as illusory heroics with cowardly motives.

Another of the key themes in the book is the search for meaning and purpose. Markos, a Greek plastic surgeon who volunteers to work in Afghanistan, is told by his mother that people think they "... live by what they want. But really what guides them is what they're afraid of. What they don't want." Through these remarks we find, yet again, that the book challenges perspectives. This is best described by the Rumi saying that Hosseini chose as the novel's epigraph: "Out beyond ideas of wrongdoing and rightdoing, there is a field. I'll meet you there."

Hosseini maintains his poetic writing style, with countless quotable quotes within this book. His words sometimes feel like passages out of epics or the lyrics from beautiful songs. Some of the best writing appears in the letter that Nabi writes to Markos, who, during his stay in Afghanistan, lives in the house where Nabi works. In the confessional letter, Nabi tells his story with very descriptive passages and honest opinions – like his take on life: "I suspect that we are waiting, all of us, against insurmountable odds, for something extraordinary to happen to us."

I have to say, though, that a work of this magnitude does have its drawbacks, such as some loose ends that do not find closure. And midway through the book, one might be overwhelmed by movements through time and geography as Hosseini takes us on a roller-coaster through 1950s Afghanistan, France of the 1970s, America in the 21st century, and the economically suffering Greece of 2010. However, I advice readers to let the master storyteller weave his magic and allow the stories to unfold.

And The Mountains Echoed is a novel that will make you laugh, cry and think. It is a pilgrimage, across time and space and perspectives. And when all else is said and done, just as the book started, what remains in the end is only people and their insatiable hunger for love, meaning and purpose.


The Star Online: Metro: Central

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Ampang residents use spring water as a back-up during water disruption

Posted: 21 May 2013 04:49 AM PDT

RESIDENTS of the inner parts of Ampang are facing an unscheduled water supply disruption yet again.

However, they are taking the problem in their stride, resigning themselves to the situation that has been occurring frequently of late.

Shopkeeper and resident of Flat Desa Lembah Permai, Sharifah Mohd Shah, 35, said water supply stopped completely on Sunday morning.

"Two Syabas water tankers were sent, one at 8pm and the other at midnight. We were waiting and managed to get some water," she said.

Tanks placed in the area to help residents cope with the disruption were quickly emptied by yesterday morning.

Sharifah said the waterfall near Bukit Belacan, which was walking distance to her house, was another reason she was not overly upset about the water cut.

"Spring water trickles down the hill, behind the flats, so we can get water from there," she said.

She also said the last water supply disruption in the area occurred just before GE13.

In Taman Nirwana and Taman Dagang, meanwhile, residents complained about low water pressure.

Taman Nirwana Phase 2 Residents Association adviser M. Thomas said their problem was made worse by bad service.

"To make a complaint via Puspel is a problem as it takes ages to get your call answered. And after lodging a complaint, there is still no water tanker in sight," he said.

He urged the Ampang Jaya Municipal Council (MPAJ) to look into the matter of town planning, particularly utility supply.

"I noticed that since the construction of the high-rise projects here, water and electricity supply has been disrupted.

"I believe there is more demand than supply and MPAJ should take this into account before approving projects," he said.

Wangsa Melawati resident Alric Manickam, who was reported saying he wanted to start an online petition over the disruption, was still considering the move.

He had urged Syabas to replace the ageing water pumps in the area and Syabas had said it planned to do so.

Inconsistent water supply affects business in Section 7 of Taman Perindustrian Bukit Serdang

Posted: 21 May 2013 04:47 AM PDT

BUSINESS and factory operators in Section 7, Taman Perindustrian Bukit Serdang have been facing frequent water supply disruption for the past two weeks, affecting production.

"The water supply over the last week has been inconsistent," said Goh Fui Chin, a manager at one of the affected businesses.

"We produce water dispensers and filtration systems so consistent water supply is important for production," she said, adding that factory workers were unable to take showers.

"Sometimes water supply resumes for a while but this is usually late at night."

Seri Kembangan assemblyman Ean Yong Hian Wah was at the press conference held to highlight the issue.

Ean Yong said water supply disruption over a prolonged period and without prior notice was unacceptable.

"Businesses have been affected and this is not fair to the operators.

"They should at least send water tankers to the affected area," he said.

Yong said one of the business owners had lodged five complaints with Syarikat Bekalan Air Selangor (Syabas) but nothing was done.

In a statement, Syabas said the water supply disruption was due to a failed automated pump house at the nearby Kolam Perindustrian Bukit Serdang as well as low levels of water at the reservoir.

Syabas said it had taken action by operating the pump house manually while repairs were carried out.


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