Rabu, 5 Jun 2013

The Star Online: World Updates

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The Star Online: World Updates


North Korea proposes talks with South on commercial projects

Posted: 05 Jun 2013 08:57 PM PDT

SEOUL (Reuters) - North Korea on Thursday proposed official talks with South Korea to normalise commercial projects, including the Kaesong industrial zone that was shut down at the height of tensions between the rivals in early April.

North Korea's state-owned KCNA news agency also said the government would restore severed communications channels if the South accepted the offer of talks, indicating it was prepared to roll back a series of steps it has taken since March that reinforced the deterioration in relations between the two sides.

South Korean vehicles carrying South Korean employees working at the Kaesong Industrial Complex (KIC), head towards the South's CIQ (Customs, Immigration and Quarantine) from KIC, just south of the demilitarized zone separating the two Koreas, in Paju, north of Seoul May 3, 2013. REUTERS/Kim Hong-Ji

South Korean vehicles carrying South Korean employees working at the Kaesong Industrial Complex (KIC), head towards the South's CIQ (Customs, Immigration and Quarantine) from KIC, just south of the demilitarized zone separating the two Koreas, in Paju, north of Seoul May 3, 2013. REUTERS/Kim Hong-Ji

The North, in a statement by its Committee for the Peaceful Reunification of Korea which handles ties with the South, also proposed discussing the reopening of tours to a mountain resort and family reunions as well as to hold events to mark the 2000 summit of their leaders that opened a decade of warmer ties.

"We propose holding talks between authorities of the North and the South for the normalisation of the operation in the KIZ (Kaesong industrial zone) and the resumption of tours of Mt. Kumgang on the occasion of the anniversary of the June 15 joint declaration," the committee said.

The June declaration refers to the outcome of the 2000 summit between then South Korean President Kim Dae-jung and the North's Kim Jong-il, who died in 2011.

South Korea has previously proposed to hold talks with the North on reopening the Kaesong zone, but Seoul has been reluctant to link those talks with the summit commemoration, saying Pyongyang would try to use them for propaganda.

It was not immediately clear whether Seoul will consider the North's statement as an acceptance of its offer for talks. Officials at the Unification Ministry, which handles Seoul's ties with Pyongyang, could not immediately be reached for comment on a holiday on Thursday.

From the beginning of March, North Korea has threatened to attack the South and U.S. military bases in the Pacific using its missile and nuclear arsenal, driving tensions to the highest point in decades.

The daily barrage of threats and steps to cut off communications channels with the South and the U.S.-led forces guarding the Korean border ceased in late April, timed with the end of annual military drills by the South and U.S. forces.

Experts said the threats may have been designed by the North to reinforce leader Kim Jong-un's stature as a military leader and to beef up his grip on the country's nearly 1.2-million strong army.

(Reporting by Jack Kim; Editing by Raju Gopalakrishnan)

Copyright © 2013 Reuters

Not just Bangladesh, garment makers pressured in Cambodia as well

Posted: 05 Jun 2013 08:36 PM PDT

PHNOM PENH (Reuters) - As investment in Cambodia's textile industry surges, so is labour unrest, putting pressure on suppliers to the world's big garment brands to raise wages and improve sometimes grim conditions in one of the last bastions of low-cost factories.

Garment workers sit beside police officers during a protest in front of a factory owned by Sabrina (Cambodia) Garment Manufacturing in Kampong Speu province, west of the capital Phnom Penh June 3, 2013. REUTERS/Samrang Pring

Garment workers sit beside police officers during a protest in front of a factory owned by Sabrina (Cambodia) Garment Manufacturing in Kampong Speu province, west of the capital Phnom Penh June 3, 2013. REUTERS/Samrang Pring

Hundreds of angry workers rampaged this week through a textile plant in Cambodia that supplies U.S. sportswear company Nike Inc, clashing with police over their demands for a pay hike.

The violence came just weeks after over 1,100 workers were killed in the collapse of a building housing garment factories in Bangladesh, another impoverished Asian nation where mass-produced textiles are the biggest export earner.

Cambodia is considered one of the better locations in the world for low-cost garment manufacturing with the International Labour Organisation (ILO) monitoring pay and working conditions at many factories.

But strikes and sometimes violent protests have been on the rise as unions emboldened by a shortage of skilled workers press complaints that companies have failed to raise wages enough or improve safety.

Strikes by the country's more than 300,000 garment workers nearly quadrupled last year to 134, according to the Garment Manufacturers Association of Cambodia, the main industry body. The 48 strikes so far this year are already more than in the whole of 2010 or 2011.

"Supply of skilled workers is a problem," said Kaing Monika, a business development manager at the Garment Manufacturers Association of Cambodia (GMAC), the main industry body.

"Most existing factories are running at full capacity."

Nike was the latest big brand to face protest action at its Cambodia-based suppliers in recent months, joining H&M Hennes and Mauritz AB, Wal-Mart Stores Inc, Gap Inc, and Puma SE among others.

The international brands buy garments from local manufacturers and do not have direct control over pay or working conditions. But the major companies have signed to the ILO scheme aimed at ensuring suppliers meet legal requirements on wages and work conditions.

The garments industry has become by far the country's biggest export earner, with shipments up 10 percent in 2012 to $4.44 billion.

ELECTION YEAR

Until this year, the minimum wage in the textile sector was $61 a month, compared to $38 in Bangladesh and more than $150 in China. The government raised it in March to $80, including a health care subsidy, but strikers at the Nike factory and other workers complain that wage rises have not kept up with costs.

"Life is hard, we have a lot of expenses with a low wage. Sometimes, we just borrow money from other workers," said 28-year-old Mao Pov, one of those on strike at the Sabrina Garment Manufacturing plant that supplies Nike as well as privately held Wilson Sporting Goods Co.

Inflation in Cambodia was 3 percent in 2012, which is low for developing nations in Asia, although many workers complain the price of basic items has risen faster.

Sweden's H&M, the world's second-largest fashion retailer, said a general election scheduled to be held in July had caused some instability among workers at plants run by its Cambodian suppliers.

"This being an election year, the situation in the country was generally more disorderly than usual during early spring," said spokeswoman Andrea Roos. After minimum wages were increased, "the situation on the labour market in Cambodia has been more stable", she said.

Workers at the Nike-linked plant first went on strike on May 21 even though the factory had raised their minimum wage. The union on strike says that the health and other benefits that were previously paid separately were folded into the new wage, and is demanding another $14 hike.

A spokeswoman for Nike told Reuters last week that compensation at the Cambodian plant was the responsibility of the factory, but that Nike was in "close contact" with the factory and would "continue to monitor the situation".

The Southeast Asian nation's textile industry has often been touted as a model for fair production because of the ILO's Better Factories Cambodia (BFC) programme that has monitored factories there for more than a decade.

But union leaders and activists say the programme has masked a deterioration in workers' rights as factory owners have taken advantage of the BFC's lack of enforcement powers and responded to pressure from buyers for ever lower prices.

Factories regularly violate union rights and exceed legal limits on overtime work, a report by Stanford Law School's International Human Rights Clinic released in February found. The BFC found evidence of sharply worsening fire safety standards at factories in its most recent report this year.

In May, two workers were killed at a factory making running shoes for Asics Corp when part of a warehouse fell in on them at a company that was not part of the ILO programme. Thousands of workers have been taken sick in mass fainting incidents in recent years -- including at the Sabrina factory -- a phenomenon that has been blamed on a combination of poor nutrition, long working hours and poor ventilation.

"The brands cannot hide behind the ILO," said David Welsh, country director at Solidarity Center in Phnom Penh, which advocates for worker rights.

"If the brands are not pressuring factories to improve, they are not going to improve because everybody is out to make as much money in the industry as they possibly can."

(Writing by Stuart Grudgings; Editing by Jason Szep and Raju Gopalakrishnan)

Copyright © 2013 Reuters

U.S. lawmakers to introduce new bill to punish cyber theft

Posted: 05 Jun 2013 07:51 PM PDT

WASHINGTON (Reuters) - A day before Chinese President Xi Jinping visits the United States, three U.S. lawmakers plan to propose a new law that would punish hackers backed by China, Russia or other foreign governments for cyber spying and theft.

The new bill, to be introduced on Thursday, would freeze U.S. assets of individual foreign hackers and revoke visas for them and their families, according to a spokeswoman for Representative Mike Rogers, one of the authors of the measure.

A man types on a computer keyboard in Warsaw in this February 28, 2013 illustration file picture. REUTERS/Kacper Pempel/Files

A man types on a computer keyboard in Warsaw in this February 28, 2013 illustration file picture. REUTERS/Kacper Pempel/Files

Rogers, a Michigan Republican who chairs the House Intelligence Committee and leads cybersecurity efforts in Congress, is introducing the bill together with Democratic Representative Tim Ryan of Ohio and Republican Senator Ron Johnson of Wisconsin.

President Barack Obama will meet with Xi in California this week and plans to tell him that Washington considers Beijing responsible for any cyber attacks launched from Chinese soil and that China must abide by international "rules of the road" on cybersecurity.

China has consistently denied U.S. accusations of cyber hacking and has insisted it is more a victim than a perpetrator.

The White House declined to specify what, if any, punitive measures the United States might take if Xi refuses to cooperate and the cyber threats persist.

"Cyber hackers from nation-states like China and Russia have been aggressively targeting U.S. markets, stealing valuable intellectual property, and then repurposing it and selling it as their own," Rogers' office said.

The new bill, the text of which has not yet been released, will be the second such legislation taken up by Congress after a group of senators introduced the Deter Cyber Theft Act last month.

That Senate bill focuses on tracking nations that engage in economic or industrial cyber espionage and blocking imports of products containing stolen U.S. technology, among other things. It was introduced by Democrats Carl Levin of Michigan and Jay Rockefeller of West Virginia, and Republicans John McCain of Arizona and Tom Coburn of Oklahoma.

The House bill will focus on identifying individual hackers instead of companies or products, to make their names public and force them to face consequences, said Kelsey Knight, spokeswoman for Rogers.

Both bills are expected to face a challenge in Congress this year. A divided Congress has not approved much legislation in recent years, while it has been consumed by partisan fiscal battles.

The House earlier this year passed another cybersecurity bill co-authored by Rogers, which is meant to ease sharing of cyber threat data between companies and the government. Senators are working on their own version of information-sharing legislation.

(Reporting by Alina Selyukh; Editing by Christopher Wilson)

Copyright © 2013 Reuters

Kredit: www.thestar.com.my

The Star Online: Sports

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The Star Online: Sports


MNCF to get tough after Shafiq’s death

Posted: 05 Jun 2013 05:13 PM PDT

PETALING JAYA: It was a sad day for the Malaysian cycling fraternity as they mourn the death of junior state cyclist Mohd Shafiq Imran Syahril, who was killed during training in Terengganu yesterday.

"It's sad news that a junior cyclist had been killed in an accident today ... let us pray for him," Youth and Sports Minister Khairy Jamaluddin said in his opening speech at the launch of the Jelajah Malaysia cycling race in Putrajaya yesterday.

He also sent his condolences to the family.

Shafiq, 15, was training with a team of 40 cyclists at 9.30am in Kampung Gemuruh, Tepuh yesterday when he crashed into an oncoming trailer.

The Form Three student of Sekolah Menengah Bandar had apparently tried to avoid another rider, who swerved into his path after hitting a pothole.

Shafiq succumbed to his injuries on the way to the Sultanah Nur Zahirah hospital in Kuala Terengganu.

The cyclists were training for the National Cycling Grand Prix, which is scheduled to be held in Perlis in two weeks' time.

Malaysian National Cycling Federation (MNCF) deputy president Datuk Naim Mohamad said that it was standard practice for state and national cyclists to have an escort vehicle following them when they are out training on the road.

"This is not a regulation set by the federation ... it's a general practice for the coach to drive with them as an escort so as to let other traffic users be aware of cyclists in training," he said.

"I haven't received a report on the accident ... whether there was an escort with them."

Last year, recreational cyclist Rafizi Hamdan was killed in an accident at the Middle Ring Road 2 (MRR2) near Taman Melawati after being hit by a car in March.

In January last year, national cyclist Mariana Mohammad suffered multiple fractures on her left arms and ribs after being hit by a car during a closed road training session in Putrajaya.

She was training for selection to the Asian Cycling Championships.

In April last year, national cyclist Ng Yong Li escaped with just bruises after a motorcycle hit him during training near Taman Tasik Ampang, also at the MRR2.

"We will sit down to discuss the need for the regulations to be adhered strictly in terms of conducting training for state and national cyclists," said Naim.

"This is a sport with high risks ... but the safety of the athletes is paramount."

Twenty-three teams for trimmed Jelajah

Posted: 05 Jun 2013 05:13 PM PDT

PETALING JAYA: The oldest bike race in Malaysia – Jelajah Malaysia – will return on June 26-30 as the race celebrates its 50th anniversary.

The International Cycling Union (UCI) 2.2 race will have five stages this year – one fewer than last year. The race was initially slated to run from May 7-12 but was postponed due to the general election in May.

The race this year will start from Kuala Lumpur and head to Rembau for the Stage One finish before going south towards Johor Baru and culminating with a finish at Putrajaya on June 30.

Youth and Sports Minister Khairy Jamaluddin, who is also the Rembau MP, was clearly surprised to see the race making a stop in Rembau this year.

"It's a great deal that the race will come to Rembau for a stage this year. I'd like to thank all the sponsors, namely Resort World, Milo, 100 Plus and Suzuki, for making the race happen," said Khairy during his speech at the launch yesterday.

Also present at the launch were Malaysian National Cycling Federation (MNCF) president Datuk Abu Samah Abdul Wahab, his deputy Datuk Naim Mohamad and Youth and Sports Ministry secretary general Datuk Mohid Mohamad.

The Youth and Sports Ministry have been staunch supporters of the race and are injecting RM800,000 into the race this year. The cost of organising the race is about RM2mil.

"A total of 23 teams, including a number of international outfits, will be in the fray this year and we'll make an announcement on that soon," said Naim, who is also the chief operating officer for the race.

Iskandar, Joo Ven and Teck Zhi clear tough openers

Posted: 05 Jun 2013 05:03 PM PDT

PETALING JAYA: It was a good start for three national back-up shuttlers at the Thailand Open GP Gold as they cleared tough first matches in Bangkok.

Iskandar Zulkarnian Zainuddin, Soong Joo Ven and Soo Teck Zhi – all seeking to make their mark on the international stage – made the second round yesterday.

The 22-year-old Iskandar, who reached the semi-finals of the Malaysian Open GP Gold and Kedah Open last month, put up a confident display to beat Indonesia's Adi Pratama 21-17, 21-15.

Iskandar, the world No. 58, faces seventh seed Hsu Jen Hao of Taiwan next.

There will be extra motivation for Iskandar to do well after second seed Tommy Sugiarto of Indonesia was dumped in the first round by local lad Tham­masin Sitthikom, who won 16-21, 21-19, 21-17.

Asian Junior runner-up Joo Ven was also in superb form as he sent the higher-ranked Ville Lang of Finland packing with a stunning come-from-behind win.

World No. 175 Joo Ven showed his potential by beating world No. 40 Lang 19-21, 21-10, 24-22.

Fellow youngster Teck Zhi was also in excellent form, disposing of Singapore's Robin Gonansa 21-13, 15-21, 21-18.

World No. 172 Teck Zhi, however, is up against Joo Ven in the second round.

A fourth Malaysian, independent shuttler Tan Chun Seang, also made the next round after dispatching Thai qualifier Kanpop Athaviroj 21-16, 21-8 and will face Indonesia's Andre Marteen next.

Malaysian Open GP runner-up Goh Soon Huat, however, suffered a disappointing day after losing in three games to fourth seed Dionysius Hayom Rumbaka.

In the women's singles, youngster Yang Li Lian continued to struggle at the senior level after losing 12-21, 16-21 to Singapore's Liang Xiaoyu.

There was some cheer in the mixed doubles when eighth seeds Tan Aik Quan-Lai Pei Jing stayed in the hunt for their first career title after beating Irish siblings Sam Magee-Chloe Magee 21-13, 21-18.

The world No. 15 pair will take on England's Marcus Ellis-Alyssa Lim next.

Results

*Malaysian results only

FIRST ROUND

Men's singles: Soong Joo Ven bt Ville Lang (Fin) 19-21, 21-10, 24-22; Soo Teck Zhi bt Robin Gonansa (Sin) 21-13, 15-21, 21-18; Dionysius Hayom Rumbaka (Ina) bt Goh Soon Huat 15-21, 21-13, 21-16; B. Sai Praneeth (Ind) bt Mohd Hafiz Hashim 21-12, 9-21, 22-20; Son Wan-ho (Kor) bt Loh Wei Sheng 21-14, 21-14; Matthieu Lo Ying Ping (Fra) bt Beryno Wong 21-17, 27-25; Tan Chun Seang bt Kanpop Athaviroj (Tha) 21-16, 21-8; Iskandar Zulkarnian Zainuddin bt Adi Pratama (Ina) 21-17, 21-15; Andre Kurniawan Tedjono (Ina) bt Kuan Beng Hong 21-17, 21-18; Vladmir Malkov (Rus) bt Chiang Jiann Shiarng 21-16, 19-10 (rtd).

Women's singles: Liang Xiaoyu (Sin) bt Yang Li Lian 21-12, 21-16.

Mixed doubles: Tan Aik Quan-Lai Pei Jing bt Sam Magee-Chloe Magee (Irl) 21-13, 21-18.

Kredit: www.thestar.com.my

The Star Online: Business

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Maybank Research: Banking sector valuations still attractive

Posted: 05 Jun 2013 06:58 PM PDT

KUALA LUMPUR: Maybank KE Research is maintaining its Overweight recommendation on the Malaysian banking sector with a Buy on AMMB, RHB Capital, BIMB and Hong Leong Financial Group (HLFG).

It said on Thursday banking sector valuations were still attractive relative to the market as its basket of companies are trading at a 13% to 16% discount to the FBM KLCI.

Maybank Research said this was on a forward price-to-earnings ratio (PER) basis while offering faster earnings growth of 8.4% for 2013 (KLCI: 6.1% on-year), 10.3% for 2014 (KLCI: 7.6%).

"Relative to regional peers, valuations are still at a slight premium but this premium has narrowed significantly.

"The Bursa Malaysia Financial Index (KLFIN) still lags its peers on a year-to-date basis but the stable growth of the sector with the ETP as an economic catalyst, coupled with still attractive dividend yields, provide sector re-rating impetus," it said.

The research house Q1, 2013 was a fairly soft quarter with earnings growth tamed by higher overheads and credit costs.

"While core operating income rose at a decent pace of 9% on-year, negative JAWS persisted while credit costs rose, resulting in core net profit rising just 2% on-year," it said.

According to Wikipedia, the jaws ratio * is a measure used in finance to demonstrate the extent to which a trading entity's income growth rate exceeds its expenses growth rate, measured as a percentage.

Maybank Research said annualised loan growth for the Big Six banks was relatively sedate at 9% due to the drag from corporate loans.

Loan momentum should however pick up. With just 11% of RM212bil worth of committed ETP projects actualized as at end-2012 and only 29% of Petronas' budgeted capex of RM300bil from 2011-2015 realised, there was still much work ahead, particularly with the 13th General Election out of the way.

"We see stable consumer loan demand and faster corporate lending contributing to domestic loan growth of 10.7% for the year," said Maybank Research.

* JAWS ratio = Income Growth Rate - Expense Growth Rate)

The JAWS ratio is significant in that a larger positive value demonstrates that a trading entity is effectively generating more income over time than it is generating expenses, thereby potentially increasing its profitability, and profitability growth rate.

The ratio may also be a negative percentage, which should be a cause for concern for the owners / management of a trading entity as this will over time result in eroded profitability. -

Affin Research maintains "Add" on Genting Malaysia, TP RM4.25

Posted: 05 Jun 2013 07:01 PM PDT

KUALA LUMPUR: Affin Research is maintaining is "Add" call to Genting Malaysia Bhd with a target price of RM4.25 following its New York expansion plans.

It said on Thursday Genting Malaysia has committed to grow its gaming footprint in mature markets including New York.

This was despite that the Big Apple had issued a legislation which include "No Destination Resort will be authorised in New York City, and no Destination Resort will be located downstate until a minimum of five years after the first upstate Destination Resort opens".

Affin Research said it expected Genting Malaysia to study the legislation before making any decision before bidding for the project proposals.

"At this juncture, information is still sketchy especially on the capital expenditure requirement set by the individual county.

"Importantly, it appears that there will be no casino allowable in New York City which would be the real jewel for the NY gaming landscape, we opine," it said.

Affin Research noted good infrastructure as well as tax and government support would help Genting Malaysia in its gaming destination resort.

KLCI edges up in thin trade, may see selling pressure

Posted: 05 Jun 2013 06:28 PM PDT

KUALA LUMPUR: Malaysia's blue chips advanced in early Thursday trade despite the weak regional bourses and overnight fall on Wall Street, but analysts expect local equities to come under selling pressure.

At 9.12am, the FBM KLCI was up 2.05 points to 1,776.47. Turnover was 127.79 million shares valued at RM80.44mil. There were 109 gainers, 151 losers and 144 counters unchanged.

Stock market data showed that foreigners were net sellers on Wednesday at RM253.80mil as selling picked up to RM690.70mil compared with buying at RM436.90mil.

However, local funds were seen supporting the market with net buying of RM236.10mil and retail investors net buyers at RM17.70mil.

BIMB Securities Research said investors should be aware that foreign institutions have been net sellers in the past 10 trading days, with total net outflow more than RM1.2bil.

"We believe the outlook of the local market to remain volatile for the moment and investors are advised to stay cautious. Expect to see immediate resistance at 1,785/1,800 while support at 1,770/60," it said.

Petronas Gas rose 34 sen to RM21.84 and Petronas Dagangan 24 sen higher at RM25.74 but in very thin trade. UMW edged up 10 sen to RM14.70 with 100 shares done.

Among the banks, Hong Leong Bank rose eight sen to RM14.06 with 100 shares done also while Public Bank foreign shed 10 sen to RM16.86 and HLFG six sen to RM15.

Naim was the top loser, down 12 sen to RM4.20. Among the plantations, KL Kepong was down eight sen to RM21.40 and PPB Group six sen to RM13.88 while heavyweight Sime Darby fell three sen to RM9.47.

Kredit: www.thestar.com.my

The Star Online: Entertainment: Movies

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The Star Online: Entertainment: Movies


Catch Man Of Steel

Posted: 05 Jun 2013 12:44 AM PDT

From Warner Bros. Pictures and Legendary Pictures comes MAN OF STEEL, starring Henry Cavill (Immortals, TV's The Tudors) in the role of Clark Kent/Superman, under the direction of Zack Snyder (300, Watchmen).

A young boy learns that he has extraordinary powers and is not of this Earth. As a young man, he journeys to discover where he came from and what he was sent here to do. But the hero in him must emerge if he is to save the world from annihilation and become the symbol of hope for all mankind.

MAN OF STEEL stars Henry Cavill, Amy Adams, Laurence Fishburne, Diane Lane and Kevin Costner; and is directed by Zack Snyder. The movie opens in cinemas on 13 June. Thanks to Warner Bros. Pictures we have 50 pairs of tickets to give away.

All you have to do is print this page and bring it along with you to our redemption table at TGV 1 Utama. Please see details below.

Please note that tickets will be given on a first come, first served basis. Each person will be given only one pair of tickets.

Redemption Details

Date: 12 June 2013 (Wednesday)

Time: 8.30pm till tickets are collected

Venue: TGV 1 Utama

Screening Details

Date: 12 June 2013 (Wednesday)

Time: 9.15pm

Venue: TGV 1 Utama


Rules & Regulations

1. This redemption is open to all eCentral fans.

2. Print out the contest page and redeem it at the venue given in this article.

3. Each page entitles you to two movie tickets only. Each person is allowed to redeem only once.

4. Tickets are given out on a first come, first served basis.

5. Queue-jumping and reserving places in line during the redemption are strictly prohibited. The organizers reserve the right to refuse tickets to anyone found doing so.

6. Tickets are not exchangeable for cash.

7. This movie is not yet rated.. Movie ratings will strictly apply for this movie. The organizers reserve the right to refuse entry to the cinema hall to those not within the permitted age limit. No exceptions will be made at any time for any reason.

8. I hereby expressly consent to the collection, collation, use and/or disclosure of all my personal data by Star Publications (M) Berhad for the purposes of the MAN OF STEEL contest.

9. For enquiries, please e-mail ecentralmy@gmail.com

Ian Somerhalder joins 'The Anomaly' by Noel Clarke

Posted: 05 Jun 2013 12:22 AM PDT

The star of The Vampire Diaries, Ian Somerhalder, will team up with Luke Hemsworth from Hunger Games for a terrorism-themed action thriller, according to film production company Unstoppable Entertainment.

Currently being filmed in London, The Anomaly tells the story of a traumatized ex-soldier who wakes up in the back of a van next to a kidnapped boy. He will soon realize that he has nine minutes and 37 seconds to figure out why the boy has been taken.

Co-starring will be Brian Cox, Alexis Knapp, and Noel Clarke (Doctor Who), who is also directing.

No release date has been announced yet.

(Relaxnews)

Kate Winslet expecting third child

Posted: 04 Jun 2013 08:12 PM PDT

LOS ANGELES (Reuters) - British actress Kate Winslet is pregnant with her third child and first with husband Ned Rocknroll, a spokeswoman for the Oscar winner said on Tuesday.

Winslet, 37, gave birth to a daughter in 2000 with film director Jim Threapleton and a son in 2003 with film director Sam Mendes.

The Titanic star, who won an Academy Award for her role as an aging former guard at a Nazi concentration camp in 2008's The Reader, married Rocknroll last December.

Rocknroll, who was born Ned Abel Smith, is the nephew of British entrepreneur Richard Branson.

Kredit: www.thestar.com.my

The Star Online: Nation

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Mukhriz: I will campaign for Najib and Muhyiddin if they are challenged at UMNO general assembly

Posted: 05 Jun 2013 08:32 AM PDT

ALOR SETAR: Kedah Menteri Besar Datuk Mukhriz Tun Dr Mahathir said he would campaign for Umno president Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak and his deputy Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin if both leaders are challenged in party elections this year.

He said he did not see anyone else qualified for the two top party posts and capable of competing with the two leaders.

"If the top party posts, namely that of the president, deputy president and the three vice-presidents are being challenged, I preceive that Datuk Seri Najib and Tan Sri Muhyiddin will retain their posts. I personally will campaign for them," he told reporters after the swearing-in of the Political Secretary to the Kedah Menteri Besar at the Menteri Besar's Office at Wisma Darul Aman, here on Wednesday.

At the ceremony, former Kedah Exco member, Datuk Azimi Daim, 49, was sworn-in as the Political Secretary to the Kedah Menteri Besar.

Mukhriz said this when asked to comment on the call that the posts of Umno president and deputy president should not be contested at the party general assembly in October to avoid weakening the party.

Mukhriz added that he felt that the party was one that practiced democracy.

"It is up to the Umno members themselves to decide. For me, whether there is a contest or not, it is the rights of the Umno members themselves. Even if there is a contest, I am confident it will not affect the position of Datuk Seri Najib and Tan Sri Muhyiddin at all," he said.

MAHB: KLIA2 delays due to insufficient resources, new completion date yet to be announced

Posted: 05 Jun 2013 07:12 AM PDT

PETALING JAYA: Malaysia Airports Holdings Bhd (MAHB) has granted an extension to the contractors of the KLIA2 low-cost airport project, which accounted for all the changes requested from all the stake holders.

MAHB said that the cause for the delay, despite repeated commitments, was due to insufficient resources to complete the work according to its programme and deadline.

"However MAHB is of the view that there is no justification for any further extension and therefore Liquidated Ascertained Damages (LAD) will apply," the company said in a statement on Wednesday.

It was reported MAHB had announced that through Bursa Malaysia Securities that it had decided to impose LAD on KLIA2 contractors and any other recourse available to the company under the contract on May 29.

In May, MAHB also confirmed that the delay in opening of the new low cost-carrier terminal, KLIA2, scheduled for June 28.

A number of Pakatan Rakyat MPs had blamed MAHB for the delay in the KLIA2 and urged the company to take full responsibility of the increase in cost for the project.

MAHB said that at this stage a new date cannot be determined until a detailed work programme and resource planning by the affected contractors could be scrutinised by the Project Management team and consultants, which have yet to be submitted to date.

"This is to enable MAHB to be convinced that there will be no further slippages on the committed date of completion as had happened in the past.

"We would also like to confirm that at this point all variation orders have been addressed and as of now with the overall project being 90% completed, the cost is still below RM 4 billion," said MAHB.

Lock-up deaths: Not just an Indian issue, but ratio of deaths is disproportionate

Posted: 05 Jun 2013 05:47 AM PDT

PETALING JAYA: Bagan Serai MP N. Surendran agreed with Tan Sri Paul Low's statement that deaths in police custody are not just an Indian issue but a Malaysian issue.

"Abuse of any person, irrespective of race is a human rights issue. It's the fundamental rights of the people to question them."

Minister in the Prime Minister's Department Tan Sri Paul Low stated that deaths in police custody is not an Indian issue but a national issue.

Low, who oversees integrity and corruption issues in the Prime Minister's department said that police statistics between 2000 and 2010 showed 64 Malays, 30 Chinese and 28 Indians had died in police custody.

"The percentage of Indians living in Malaysia is 7% but the number of Indians dying in custody is huge. Hence, there is a disproportionate number of Indians dying in lock-up." said Surendran.

However, he reiterated that this is a national issue.

R.Sri Sanjeevan, President of MyWATCH (Malaysian Crime Watch Task Force) feels that the Indians are the main victims in this issue.

"For me, the main concern is the Indians. Immediate attention should be given by the authorities to curb this problem,"

"They are a small minority in Malaysia yet often get killed in custody." said Sanjeevan

Pemandu's Director D. Ravindran also agreed with Paul Low's statement but stated that they have been a increase in number of Indian deaths in custody after 2010.

"By saying it's an Indian issue, you can't reduce the importance of it. This has to be the national agenda that needs to be solved by authorities like PDRM and Suhakam,"

"Citizens will get the rightful protection if the authorities take great measures to curb this problem." he said

Ravindran also feels that both sides of political divide need to work together to improve the situation.

"For me, this is a national issue that needs to be addressed immediately." said Ravindran

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Bike lane connects small parks to schools in Section 2, 3 and 4

Posted: 04 Jun 2013 04:01 PM PDT

CYCLING enthusiasts in Shah Alam will soon be able to get from one park to another on their favoured two-wheeler.

The Shah Alam City Council (MBSA) is looking at ways to connect a handful of small parks nestled in housing areas, to schools and the city centre.

The aim is to encourage residents to visit the parks, by extension, foster better relationships among the residents in a conducive environment.

With cycling gaining in popularity, Shah Alam mayor Datuk Mohd Jaafar Mohd Atan wanted to build bicycle lanes that could be utilised by both children and seasoned cyclists.

The first phase of the 10km bicycle lane project is a route constructed around a small green lung, and is connected to neighbourhood parks within Section 4.

The fully paved 2km route is equipped with road signs, a map of the park as well as sheltered huts and bicycle racks.

Although the track has yet to be officially opened, many young children were spotted riding along the tracks.

"We come here every evening to meet up and cycle together.

"It is something different and we like it," said Ameer Danial Salla-huddin, 14.

His neighbour Haziq Shah Zainal, 11, said it was easier for them to cycle on the dedicated lane as there were no obstacles.

"We usually have to look out for each other when we cycle on roads and it is not easy as we all travel at different speeds," said Haziq.

The second phase of the project involves an extension of another 4.5km from Section 4 to Section 3 and 2.

It will begin from Jalan 4/2 passing by Sekolah Rendah Agama Section 3 in Jalan Seraya 3/12 and Kolej Jati UiTM in Persiaran Piala Muda before continuing on to Jalan Bunga Mawar 2/5 where SMK Sultan Salahuddin Abdul Aziz Shah is located. The route ends at a children's playground in Section 2.

Mohd Jaafar said the track would be routed along several educational institutions so students could cycle to school.

The final phase will see the completion of the proposed 10km track when the existing routes are linked to Section 5, Section 14, Bukit SUK and the Shah Alam City centre.

MBSA Parks and Recreational Department director Mohd Tahir Man said certain points of the bicycle lane would be painted with thermoplast for the safety of cyclists.

Interlocking concrete pavers will also be placed at crossings between one park and another.

The RM500,000 project is part of the council's Clean Zone effort and will be completed by the end of the year.

Shah Alam Bicycle Club sports officer Jaid Idham Idris said his members welcomed the initiative by the council.

"A lot of residents here are avid cyclists but there are not many places one can cycle without having to worry about cars," said Jaid, whose club has over 350 members.

The club members' main aim, he said, was to promote the sport but safety was a priority.

"We hope more will start to utilise the new bicycle lanes," said Jaid.

He was pleased with the signage and safety information placed along the track.

Selangor Mentri Besar Tan Sri Abdul Khalid Ibrahim is scheduled to launch the first phase of the bicycle lane in Section 4 next month.

Shah Alam MP urges MBSA to rethink parking rates

Posted: 05 Jun 2013 06:58 AM PDT

THE Shah Alam City Council (MBSA) should reconsider its decision to increase parking rates in the city as it failed to provide a strong reason for the price hike, said Shah Alam MP Khalid Samad.

Recently, MBSA announced that the hourly parking rate would be raised to 60sen, an increase of more than 30% from 40sen previously.

"According to the mayor, it is because the rate has not been increased since 1998, while other cities and towns have raised their rates.

"But that is not necessarily an acceptable reason," said Khalid.

He added it would be more acceptable if MBSA argued that it needed to generate more revenue as the cost of providing services had gone up.

"We should be proud that we are able to sustain the old rates and be an example to other cities.

"We do not have to follow the rates set by other local councils," he said.

Khalid suggested that MBSA review its agreement with parking management concessionaire Suasa Efektif Sdn Bhd.

When asked to elaborate on the concession agreement, Khalid said the explanation should come from MBSA.

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‘No’ to cervical cancer

Posted: 05 Jun 2013 02:42 AM PDT

A global Call to Action to universalise cervical cancer prevention is backed up by historic commitments from national leaders and international agencies.

EVERY year, 275,000 women die from cervical cancer. India alone accounts for 72,000 deaths – more than any other country – while the top 10 highest mortality rates for cervical cancer are all in Africa.

With global attention focused on cervical cancer, which is projected to kill nearly half a million women a year by 2030, key stakeholders from more than 70 countries came together to craft an urgent "Call to Action".

The landmark announcement, made at the Global Forum on Cervical Cancer Prevention held recently in Kuala Lumpur, called for universal access to cervical cancer prevention; a strategy that could potentially rewrite the future of millions of girls and women living in some of the poorest countries in the world.

The Global Forum was hosted by 30 international partners, including the Malaysian Health Ministry.

African progress

World leaders and international agencies are heeding the call.

Over the past month, South Africa, Kenya, Rwanda, the World Health Organisation (WHO) and the GAVI Alliance (a public-private global health partnership focused on saving children's lives and protecting people's health by increasing access to immunisation in poor countries) have all announced bold steps that will dramatically reduce the number of cervical cancer deaths across the world.

Rwanda and Kenya have led the way in Africa.

In 2011, Rwanda, with donations from pharmaceutical company Merck, started rolling out the vaccine against the human papilloma virus (HPV) that causes cervical cancer, and in 2014, will receive GAVI funding to support their national programme.

In further good news, Kenya also recently began rolling out the HPV vaccine for schoolchildren in one county as part of a HPV demonstration project.

"This is a wonderful beginning in protecting girls from the world's poorest countries against one of the leading cancer killers of women," said GAVI Alliance CEO Seth Berkley.

"And the new low price we negotiated for the HPV vaccine allows us to immunise more girls, and takes us a step closer towards sustainability."

Leaders commended South Africa, which is not eligible for GAVI funding, for taking the bold step of announcing that in February 2014, they too will roll out the vaccine to girls aged nine to 10.

South Africa will follow the Pan American Health Organisation's model of negotiating lower prices for the vaccine.

"We welcome the South African Government's commitment to vaccinate girls against this deadly disease, which kills more than 3,000 women every year, and is a leading opportunistic infection for people with HIV," said Portia Serote of the Treatment Action Campaign.

"We agree with the government that the vaccine is too expensive for South Africa, and we will work with them to ensure that the price is brought down and the vaccine is rolled out successfully across the country so that girls are protected."

Going forward

International agencies have a key role to play to ensure that the world moves toward the WHO commitment that by 2015, 50% of the 75 focus countdown countries will have introduced the HPV vaccine.

"This is an ambitious target, but we must do more. WHO is committed to working with partners to take all steps possible to prevent women worldwide from dying of cervical cancer," said WHO Reproductive Health and Research director Dr Marleen Temmerman.

"For that, we need to help girls obtain HPV vaccinations and provide other necessary interventions, such as appropriate screening and treatment options.

"Together, we can take a historic step forward, and we must build on the current momentum to deliver for all women and girls."

There are already models for the world to follow. Malaysia has made major strides forward with their national school-based HPV vaccine programme, which according to the Malaysian Government, has more than 90% coverage.

Decades from now, women in Malaysia will reap the benefits of these policies, protected from this devastating disease.

"Preventing cervical cancer is about women's rights to health, and equity in development," said Gra├ža Machel, incoming chair of the Partnership for Maternal, Newborn and Child Health.

"The progress being made is encouraging, but we certainly have a long way to go.

"It is unacceptable that cervical cancer rates are increasing in developing countries. We urgently need to increase resources so that cancer prevention tools are available to every woman and every girl, everywhere."

The launch of the Call to Action paved the way for an exchange of best practice experiences for effective cervical cancer prevention across the globe.

Participants also agreed that for universal access to cervical cancer prevention to become a reality, broad multi-sector coalitions must be formed at the national level to ensure that no woman is left behind.

"The commitments by international leaders gathered here in Kuala Lumpur is a historic step forward.

"If these strong words translate into action, thousands of women's lives will be saved," said Genevieve Sambhi, a cervical cancer survivor and former Miss Malaysia Universe.

"Cervical cancer happened to me – it can happen to anyone – but it doesn't need to be this way. Together we can achieve a world free of cervical cancer."

Life or identity

Posted: 05 Jun 2013 02:43 AM PDT

A new law reignites debate over Germany's baby hatches.

GERMANY'S baby hatches, where women can safely leave their unwanted newborns, have come under fire as the German government pushes for a new law to guarantee a child the right to eventually know its mother's identity.

At a Berlin clinic, a discreet path winds through springtime flowerbeds to a sign that simply directs visitors to the "Baby Crib" – a steel hatch that opens onto a heated cot where an infant can be left.

"An alarm goes off for several seconds," says Gabriele Stangl of the Protestant Church-run Waldfriede hospital in the German capital's leafy, residential Zehlendorf district.

"It takes two to three minutes for the nurses to come and get the baby, enough time so the mother can get away without being seen."

In the 13 years since the clinic set up the hatch – known in Germany as the "Babyklappe" – the alarm has sounded more than 20 times, especially of late.

"For two years we didn't have any, and during the last six months, we had two in five days," said Stangl.

The babies tend to be between 24 and 30 hours old, and are cared for by the hospital.

They are passed on to an adoptive family unless the birth mother changes her mind within the first eight weeks.

Germany has around 100 baby hatches under a system thought to have been common in medieval Europe and through to the end of the 19th century.       

It was reintroduced 14 years ago in Germany, and has since been adopted by other countries ranging from Belgium to Japan.

The chief aim of the baby hatches is to give the most desperate of mothers an alternative to killing their babies or abandoning them in places where they will die.

Finding another way

While the system is accepted by the churches in Germany, there is no legal framework governing their use, and the method remains controversial.

The United Nations (UN) condemned it last year for flouting a child's right to know its origins.

Opponents also argue that the baby hatches have done nothing to bring down the number of newborns being killed every year in Germany.

According to the non-governmental organisation Terre des Hommes, which is campaigning against the baby hatch, 313 newborns were found dead in Germany between 1999 and the end of last year.

Just recently in Berlin, the bodies of two babies were discovered - one abandoned in a plastic bag in a wooded area, the other in a public clothes recycling bin.

Terre des Hommes argues that women driven to killing their baby at birth generally suffer psychological conditions so severe that they are unlikely to try and find a baby hatch.

In the face of the UN condemnation, as well as criticism from Germany's ethics committee, Chancellor Angela Merkel's government has adopted draft legislation to find another solution.

The idea is to allow women to give birth without publicly revealing their identity – something about 130 German hospitals already practise, despite a law stipulating that midwives must register the mother's name.

The new bill, which must still be voted on by lawmakers, would provide a legal framework to guarantee birth confidentiality.

However, the mother's personal data would be kept for 16 years, after which the child would have the right to the information, which some psychologists see as crucial for their emotional wellbeing.

Conservative lawmaker Ingrid Fischbach said she believed the new legislation takes into account both "the mother's desire for anonymity and the right of the child to know its origins".

But supporters of the baby hatch see things differently.

"I believe the right to life takes precedence over the right to know where you came from," Stangl said.

"I don't think a child has to fall into a psychological hole simply because it doesn't know where it comes from. When it grows up in an adoptive family that tells it the truth and gives it lots of love, it can become a very stable human being, despite everything." – AFP

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Hike shows that more local entrepreneurs are registering their trademarks

Posted: 04 Jun 2013 03:40 PM PDT

PASIR GUDANG: Johor has recorded an increase in new submissions for intellectual properties (IP) from 317 last year to 381 up to May 2013.

State Domestic Trade and Consu­merism executive chairman Datuk Tee Siew Kiong said the latest figure showed a 17% hike on year-to-year basis.

He said 18 products had been registered as an IP, adding that the processing period would normally take between six months and a year for it to be approved.

"The difference of 64 new applications shows positive signs, as local entrepreneurs are now aware of the importance of registering their trademarks," he said in his speech when officiating the southern zone intellectual property awareness seminar held here yesterday.

Tee also said the state government was confident that the number of new submissions would continue to rise due to the global marketing trend and the influx of foreign investors into Johor.

He added that under the Budget 2013, RM19mil had been allocated by the Federal Government to introduce the Intellectual Property Valu­ation Model, which supported the development of IP.

"We believe that having a vibrant economy, together with good incentives, will create a positive impact especially on the small and medium enterprises.

"This is in line with the Govern­ment's effort in transforming Malay­sians from intellectual property user to ownership not only in their businesses but also in their daily lives," he said.

He also said that from June last year, Malaysian Intellectual Property Organisation (MyIPO) had introduced the copyright registration system that protected the ownership of the property.

Tee added that if the property was to be imitated, then the owner could take legal actions on those who made infringements to his property.

He also said that with all the incentives and opportunities given by the Government, entrepreneurs must grab the opportunities to protect their intellectual property and make their business grow further.

Quick-thinking victim foils robbery

Posted: 04 Jun 2013 03:40 PM PDT

NUSAJAYA: A robbery victim's quick thinking to invite the robbers for a drink at an entertainment outlet managed to save his life and led to their arrest.

The victim was heading towards his car after exiting an entertainment outlet in Taman Nusa Bestari, Skudai, at 1.30am last Monday when he was approached by two men.

Nusajaya OCPD Supt Noor Hashim Mohamed said that the two robbers followed the victim into his car and whipped out a knife.

"The duo then demanded RM500 from the victim but he told them that he could only manage to give them RM100 each.

"He then invited them back to the pub for a drink to make up for the short change," he said.

Supt Noor Hashim added that while the suspects were enjoying their drinks, the victim immediately told his friend to inform the police about the incident.

"Police arrived at the scene shortly after that and arrested both suspects in their 30s from Selangor," he said, adding that the case was being investigated under Section 395 of the Penal Code for gang robbery.

In a separate case, a 36-year-old man was arrested for allegedly raping a 17-year-old girl at her family's house in Taman Nusantara, Gelang Patah here.

Supt Noor Hashim said the victim was forced to have sex with the man, believed to be her relative, since the beginning of this year.

He said that the last time the man forced the victim to perform sexual acts was at 12.30pm on May 17.

"Initial investigations found that the man has been staying with the victim for the past few months.

"The victim was sleeping in her room in the last incident and the suspect woke her up and forced her to have sex with him," he said, adding that the man was arrested at around 3am on Monday.

He said they believed that the victim might have been raped four times before reporting the incident and the man allegedly committed the rape when no one was at home.

Supt Noor Hashim added that the man threatened to hurt her family members if she told anyone about his sexual acts.

"However, the victim finally told her mother about the alleged abuse and lodged a police report on May 26," he said, adding that investigations were ongoing.

Ex-MUFC guru shares tips on marketing football clubs

Posted: 04 Jun 2013 03:40 PM PDT

JOHOR BARU: With the right marketing strategies, small football clubs can rise to fame and even achieve success of big clubs such as Man­chester United Football Club (MUFC).

That was among the tips shared by MUFC former director of marketing Peter Draper, who has over 30 years of experience in the industry.

Draper, who was speaking during the Leadership Series: Going Global programme here on May 29, talked about how football clubs could market themselves and achieve their targets.

"Manchester United made its mark through various forms of marketing and used good platforms to get recognised to the status they are in today," he said.

He added that the smart marketing techniques did not apply only to football clubs, but could be adopted in other competitive industries such as the sports and entertainment industry.

Draper also spoke about ways of developing a brand and how to use proper platforms to attract the right target audience.

"Marketing is about letting the world know of your existence and sports can be the right avenue to do so and some brands take sports clubs under their wings via sponsorship to get noticed," he said, citing Emirates Airlines as an example.

Meanwhile, AirAsia X chairman Tan Sri Rafidah Aziz, who was also a speaker during the event, stressed that it was important for local companies to maintain its etiquettes despite going global.

"Some companies tend to lose the fundamentals of the company once they plan to go global, as they are too influenced by the outside world," she added.

Some 100 participants attended the series, which was organised by Iskandar Regional Development Authority (IRDA) and held at Johor Baru Thistle Hotel.

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