Rabu, 12 Jun 2013

The Star Online: World Updates

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The Star Online: World Updates

Brazil police say 8 firemen evaded duty at deadly nightclub blaze - TV

Posted: 12 Jun 2013 09:13 PM PDT

RIO DE JANEIRO (Reuters) - Brazilian police accused eight firefighters of dereliction of duty for their alleged failure to enforce fire codes at a nightclub where a January 27 blaze resulted in the deaths of 242 people, the Record TV network reported on Wednesday.

The accused, all men, were responsible for inspections of the Boate Kiss nightclub in Santa Maria, a university town in Brazil's southernmost state of Rio Grande do Sul.

The coffin of military doctor Daniele Dias de Mattos, a victim of the fire at Boate Kiss nightclub, is carried by an honor guard as she receives military honors during a funeral at a local cemetery in Rio de Janeiro, January 30, 2013. REUTERS/Pilar Olivares

The coffin of military doctor Daniele Dias de Mattos, a victim of the fire at Boate Kiss nightclub, is carried by an honor guard as she receives military honors during a funeral at a local cemetery in Rio de Janeiro, January 30, 2013. REUTERS/Pilar Olivares

The firemen were also responsible for making sure the club's fire prevention and escape plans met local codes. Officials with Rio Grande do Sul's state security secretariat, the agency responsible for the police investigation and the fire department, were not immediately available for comment.

News reports shortly after the fire showed that the club failed to meet many basic safety regulations that the fire department and city inspectors are charged with enforcing. The club did not have all the required licenses to operate.

Victims and their relatives consider the charges, most of which only carry prison terms of several months and demotion or expulsion from the force, too light, the G1 news service reported on its website.

Two club owners and two band members face manslaughter charges over the fire and could face years in prison if convicted.

The Boate Kiss nightclub was packed when a member of a live band allegedly fired off fireworks that set insulation on the club's ceiling alight. The only exit door from the club was temporarily blocked by security who thought the victims trying to flee were skipping out on their bar tabs.

Many panicked club-goers fled instead into exitless bathrooms where they piled up, overcome by toxic smoke. Some who made it to safety died going back to rescue friends and family. Others, damaged by smoke and cyanide-laced fumes agonized in hospital for months. The latest victim died May 19.

One of the firemen, an officer, also faces a charge of fraud for failing to disclose that he was a partner in a company that developed fire prevention plans, the Exame newsweekly magazine reported on its website Wednesday.

The accusations were made before judges of the Rio Grande do Sul state military court. The judges have the authority to accept the accusation, formally charging the individuals, or to reject the accusations.

The state military court has authority over all cases involving the state's paramilitary police and paramilitary firefighting forces. In Brazil most police and firefighters are not subject to the jurisdiction of civilian courts for acts committed on duty.

Brazilian fire departments and most police are auxiliaries of the Brazilian Army, but under the command of the governor of each state.

(Reporting by Jeb Blount; Editing by Lisa Shumaker)

Copyright © 2013 Reuters

Snowden as a teen online: anime and cheeky humour

Posted: 12 Jun 2013 08:09 PM PDT

SAN FRANCISCO/WASHINGTON (Reuters) - Long before he became known worldwide as the National Security Agency contractor who exposed top-secret U.S. government surveillance programs, Edward Snowden worked for a Japanese anime company run by friends and went by the nicknames "The True HOOHA" and "Phish."

A combination photo shows (from left to right) an avatar posted beside Edward Snowden's biography, him wearing a hoodie, and putting a clothespin on his chest for fellow employees when he worked as a webmaster and editor for a Japanese anime company run by friends in Maryland in 2002. REUTERS/as posted to katiebair.com by an online user in 2002, via Reuters

A combination photo shows (from left to right) an avatar posted beside Edward Snowden's biography, him wearing a hoodie, and putting a clothespin on his chest for fellow employees when he worked as a webmaster and editor for a Japanese anime company run by friends in Maryland in 2002. REUTERS/as posted to katiebair.com by an online user in 2002, via Reuters

In 2002, he was 18 years old, a high school dropout and his parents had just divorced. On the tiny anime company's website, he wrote of his skills with video games and popularity with women.

In an online forum eight years later, he apparently again used the screen name "The True HOOHA" in a discussion of surveillance by a private computer company for the government.

"It really concerns me how little this sort of corporate behaviour bothers those outside of technology circles," the post from 2010 reads. "Society really seems to have developed an unquestioning obedience towards spooky types."

Snowden, a former CIA employee who turns 30 later this month, does not appear to be otherwise active on social media sites like Facebook or Twitter - at least not under his own name.

But the website of Ryuhana Press, a defunct start-up that sold anime art, offers a glimpse of Snowden as a youth. As its web editor, Snowden's profile page is a mix of truth, sarcasm and silly jokes.

For example, he listed his correct birthday - June 21, 1983 - and noted that it fell on the summer solstice, the longest day of the year. But he also claimed to be 37 years old and to have fathered two preteen children.

"I really am a nice guy," Snowden wrote on his profile page. "You see, I act arrogant and cruel because I was not hugged enough as a child, and because the public education system turned it's (sic) wretched, spiked back on me."

Reuters viewed the website on Tuesday and contacted former company employees for comment. On Wednesday, the website had been taken down.

Snowden wrote that he favoured purple sunglasses and praised the Baltimore Orioles baseball team.

"I like my girlish figure that attracts girls," he wrote, "and I like my lamer friends. That's the best biography you'll get out of me, coppers!"


Photographs uploaded by friends for Snowden's 19th birthday show a young man pulling down his pants for his colleagues, putting a clothespin on his chest, and dancing. A blog entry from a company employee teased: "Who is he? What does he do? Does he really love himself as much as his shameless marketing would have you believe?"

Within years, he took a job as a security guard at the NSA and by age 23, Snowden was working undercover overseas for the CIA on classified computer systems. He went to work for a private contractor in 2005, congressional officials said Wednesday.

In postings a year later on the Ars Technica internet message board, he apparently again used "The True HOOHA" screen name. The later Ars Technica postings were first reported by the New York blogger Anthony De Rosa.

He wrote that he joined the CIA for the opportunity to travel abroad. He also wrote about his concerns regarding government wiretapping. In 2006, "TheTrueHOOHA" wrote: "NSA's new surveillance program. That's the sound of freedom, citizen!"

In the earlier postings as an 18-year-old, Snowden wrote on his profile that he liked online role-playing games, or RPG. "I always wanted to write RPG campaigns with my spare time, but I'll get about three missions in and scrap the world for my next, better, powergamin' build."

He joked that he "got bullied" into being an editor on the website by a gaggle of artists and "beautiful nubile young girls."

Snowden said he liked playing the popular fighting video game Tekken. He was so skilled that he attracted a gathering of fans at the 2002 Anime USA convention, a co-worker wrote on another part of the site. "He tends to spontaneously be a ray of sunshine and inspiration. He's a great listener, and he's eager to help people improve themselves."

The co-worker did not reply to inquiries from Reuters on Wednesday. Ryuhana closed in 2004 as the primary proprietors went off to college and opened a new business in California, according to the website. Other contributors to the site could not be reached for comment.

The defunct company listed an address in Fort Meade, Maryland, next door to the NSA.

(Editing by Tiffany Wu and Peter Cooney)

Copyright © 2013 Reuters

Exclusive - U.S. in antitrust probe of Lockheed-Boeing rocket venture

Posted: 12 Jun 2013 07:50 PM PDT

WASHINGTON (Reuters) - U.S. regulators have opened a probe into whether a Lockheed-Boeing joint venture that launches U.S. government satellites into space has violated antitrust laws through an exclusivity agreement with the maker of engines used in its rockets.

The Orbital Sciences Corporation Antares rocket is seen as it launches from Pad-0A of the Mid-Atlantic Regional Spaceport (MARS) at the NASA Wallops Flight Facility in Virginia, April 21, 2013. REUTERS/Bill Ingalls/NASA/Handout

The Orbital Sciences Corporation Antares rocket is seen as it launches from Pad-0A of the Mid-Atlantic Regional Spaceport (MARS) at the NASA Wallops Flight Facility in Virginia, April 21, 2013. REUTERS/Bill Ingalls/NASA/Handout

The Federal Trade Commission is investigating whether United Launch Alliance, a joint venture of Lockheed Martin Corp and Boeing Co, or the engine maker RD Amross violated laws "by monopolizing, attempting to monopolize, or otherwise restraining competition in the provision of state launch services," the agency said in an April 22 document obtained by Reuters.

The agency has requested documents from at least one of the parties involved in the probe, industry sources said.

RD Amross, a joint venture of Russia's NPO Energomash and Pratt & Whitney Rocketdyne, a unit of United Technologies Corp, provides RD-180 engines for ULA rockets.

Industry sources say ULA is preventing RD Amross from selling the engines to other rocket makers, including Orbital Sciences Corp, which is trying to break into the lucrative market for government rocket launches.

Jessica Rye, spokeswoman for ULA, confirmed the investigation and said the company was cooperating with antitrust regulators.

"ULA's contracts to purchase the RD-180 engine are lawful, pro-competitive and designed to provide the most reliable launch vehicle possible for critical U.S. government missions," Rye said. "Because this is ongoing investigation, it would be inappropriate for us to comment on specifics."

Pratt & Whitney spokesman Jay DeFrank said his company is aware of the investigation and cooperating with U.S. regulators.

The FTC declined comment.

Barry Beneski, a spokesman for Orbital Sciences, said the company had been contacted by the FTC about the probe.

"We have been contacted by the FTC about their investigation. However we can't be more specific than that," Beneski said. "In general, the company supports efforts to ensure there is an open and fair competitive environment in the market for launch services."

Lockheed and Boeing formed the joint venture in 2006 after years of competing for contracts under the Air Force's Evolved Expendable Launch Vehicle (EELV) program, which provides launch services for large military, intelligence and NASA satellites.

The companies won U.S. government's approval for the venture by arguing that there was not enough demand for heavy lift rocket launch services to support two competitors since the commercial demand they had expected had failed to materialize for such large rockets.

The U.S. Air Force, frustrated about the high cost of EELV rocket launches, has in recent years tried to infuse more competition into the launch service market.


Industry sources said the FTC investigation follows repeated unsuccessful efforts by Orbital to buy the RD-180 engines for its new medium-lift Antares rocket, which was developed in partnership with NASA to haul cargo to the International Space Station. The first Antares rocket was launched from a new commercial spaceport in Virginia in April.

Orbital ultimately used the AJ-26 engine, a refurbished Russian engine that is supplied by Aerojet, a unit of GenCorp Inc, to power the rocket. But that engine is no longer in production and there are only limited supplies available.

To be a viable competitor in the future, industry sources say Orbital needs access to the RD-180 engine, the only liquid propulsion engine in production that is commercially available and can be used for Orbital's Antares rocket.

Orbital developed the Antares rocket together with Aerojet and Alliant Techsystems as a replacement for the Delta II rocket built by Boeing that has been retired.

Orbital has enough AJ-26 engines to support its resupply missions for the space station but needs more engines to be a viable competitor for launches of medium-sized satellites that do not need larger and more expensive boosters.

Orbital is not seeking to compete directly with ULA for heavy lift rocket launches, but says it could save the government money by using the Antares rocket, which costs under $100 million, to lift smaller payloads into space.

(Additional reporting by Diane Bartz; Editing by Ryan Woo)

Copyright © 2013 Reuters

Kredit: www.thestar.com.my

The Star Online: Entertainment: TV & Radio

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The Star Online: Entertainment: TV & Radio

HBO heeds the call from outer space

Posted: 12 Jun 2013 01:54 AM PDT

Karl Gajdusek, co-writer of the Tom Cruise picture Oblivion, has been recruited by cable network, HBO to whip a sci-fi series, The Spark, into shape.

HBO is venturing into a genre it has scarcely explored to date, drawing on the expertise of Karl Gajdusek, who co-scripted this year's sci-fi flick Oblivion and the prematurely aborted ABC military drama series Last Resort.

The Spark will be set in the near future, in a world undergoing yet another technological and industrial revolution.

The movie focuses on human reactions to a mysterious signal coming from outside the solar system.

AMC, the cable and satellite channel already hosting Mad Men and The Walking Dead, wants a sci-fi series too, and has likewise roped in an Oblivion team member, director Joseph Kosinski.

Together they're working on Ballistic City, the story of an ex-cop propelled into the criminal world of a city on a spaceship bound for an unknown planet.

Don't miss Game Of Thrones' explosive finale

Posted: 11 Jun 2013 09:23 PM PDT

The Emmy and Golden Globe-winning HBO Original Series, Game Of Thrones approaches the final stages of its third season with a shocking penultimate episode.

The Rains Of Castamere, premiers exclusively on HBO (Astro ch 411) and HBO HD (Astro ch 431) on Saturday, June 22. The season finale, Mhysa, airs the same time the following week on June 29.

In the wildly anticipated and intensely shocking episode, The Rains Of Castamere, Robb presents himself to Walder Frey and Edmure Tully meets his bride. Meanwhile, Jon Snow faces his harshest test yet and Bran Stark discovers a new gift. Tensions run deep in Daenerys Targaryens's camp as Daario Naharis and Jorah Mormont debate on how to take Yunkai. And finally, House Frey joins with House Tully.

The season finale, titled Myhsa, wraps with Joffrey challenging Tywin. Bran tells a ghost story. In Dragonstone, mercy comes from strange quarters, and Daenerys waits to see if she is a conqueror or a liberator.

Based on the bestselling fantasy book series by George R.R. Martin, Game Of Thrones is an epic story of honor, ambition, love, and betrayal, set against the backdrop of the continent of Westeros.

Myhsa, screened in the US this week attracted 5.4 million viewers, a 28 percent increase over the Season 2 finale. The series also became the premium cable network's second-most-watched show season across all platforms with an average 13.6 million viewers per episode, beating True Blood's third season and second only to the fifth season of The Sopranos.

Kredit: www.thestar.com.my

The Star Online: Sports

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The Star Online: Sports

Veteran cyclist grabs two gold medals in empty velodrome

Posted: 12 Jun 2013 05:19 PM PDT

KUALA LUMPUR: Veteran cyclist Josiah Ng powered his way to two gold medals in the National Track Championships at the Cheras Velodrome as favourite Azizulhasni Awang, who finished empty-handed, made a passionate plea to cycling fans to fill up the venue.

The cyclists battled it out amidst empty stands on the opening day of the national track meet, which is being held for the first time.

And Josiah, who came out tops in the 1km time trial and sprint, voiced his disappointment at the lack of support.

Together with Azizul, the duo even contacted their sponsors to provide some attractive prizes in a bid to woo the public to come for the final day tomorrow.

"This is the inaugural national cycling meet ... too bad no one knows about this," said the 33-year-old Josiah, the 2010 Commonwealth Games gold medallist in keirin.

"Having it is a step in the right direction but I'm disappointed to see the empty stands.

"We have a two-time World Championships silver medallist in Azizul, we have a two-time Asian woman champion and a rising star in Fatehah (Mustapa) and an old dog like me who is still racing at the top level.

"We are right up there with the established cycling nations like Australia, Germany and Britain in the top 10 rankings.

"It's incredible when you think that Australia started their national cycling championships in 1910 and this is just our first one ... so we must be doing something good.

"We made phone calls to our sponsors and they've agreed to give out prizes. There is going to be opportunities for fans to win two fixed gear bicycles and Nike shoes.

"The 100Plus drinks are available free flow as well ... so, there's no excuse not to come ... not even the searing heat.

"We'll be available for autographs after the keirin finishes on Friday ... we're trying to get a deejay to come and drum up the entertainment.

"We're doing all this because we love our sport and I just want fellow Malaysians to come and support us.

"It's not every time we get to race here. We hope they can spare three hours to come and watch us race."

Josiah, riding for Sarawak, blitzed his way to the 1km time trial gold medal in 1:07.927, ahead of Perak's Muhd Edrus Yunos (1:09.490) and Malacca's Arfy Qhairant Amran (1:09.731).

Rizal rides to a silver medal in comeback trail

Posted: 12 Jun 2013 05:22 PM PDT

KUALA LUMPUR: Former World Champion-ships bronze medallist Rizal Tisin announced his comeback to competitive cycling after a two-year hiatus with a silver medal as part of the Selangor team pursuit quartet in the National Track Championships at the Cheras Velodrome.

Rizal, who won the 1km time trial bronze medal in the 2009 World Championships, only returned to the track in March after getting clearance from his employers – the Public Services Commission – to attend training.

Rizal combined with Muhd Elmi Jumari, Hamdan Hamidun and Muhd Imran Mohd Zubir to take the silver behind the Kelantan quartet of Muhd Syafiq Syazwan, Muhd Al-Ghazali Abdul Hamid, Loh Sea Keong and Mohd Azwan Nik Zulkifle.

"It's a good start for me as I only started training in March. I shed a few kilogrammes after joining Graham Seers (as part of the endurance track squad)," said Rizal, who last competed on the track in the 2011 Asian Championships in Korat, where he won the 1km time trial.

The Selangor-born cyclist has set his sights on making it to the team pursuit and team sprint squad for the Asian and Commonwealth Games next year.

Chong Wei survives scare in Indonesia Open first round

Posted: 12 Jun 2013 05:20 PM PDT

PETALING JAYA: World No. 1 Lee Chong Wei survived a nerve-wracking encounter against China's Wang Zhengming before moving into the second round of the Indonesian Open in Jakarta.

The 30-year-old Chong Wei, seeking his fourth title of the year – after the Korean, Malaysian and India Opens – won 20-22, 21-4, 22-20 yesterday.

There was also some good news for the troubled world No. 3 pair of Koo Kien Keat-Tan Boon Heong when they defeated Indonesia's Yonathan Suryatama Dasuki-Hendra Gunawan 21-15, 21-11 in the first round.

Their reward is a second round date with another Indonesian pair – Alvent Yulianto-Markis Kido.

The wretched form of world No. 7 Hoon Thien How-Tan Wee Kiong continued as they lost to the scratch Indonesian pair of Andrei Adistia-Gideon Markus Fernaldi despite taking the first game.

Thien How-Wee Kiong, who have yet to get past the quarter-final stage of a tournament this year, went down 21-10, 18-21, 15-21.

The day, however, belonged to Chong Wei.

"Zhengming played his best game and put me under a lot of pressure early on," said Chong Wei.

"I had to work really hard to stay focused and control the match."

National singles coach Tey Seu Bock admitted that Chong Wei was "sluggish initially but improved as the match wore on".

"Zhengming is a top player and a very tough first round opponent. So, it's normal to see Chong Wei slow off the block," said Seu Bock.

"Once he got used to the draught and the court, he picked up his game ... that's what matters."

Meanwhile, it was also a day of upsets with world No. 2 Chen Long being sent packing by home favourite Tommy Sugiarto 21-11, 21-18. Tommy will take on Hong Kong's Wong Wing Ki next.

Fifth seed Kenichi Tago of Japan, sixth seed Hu Yun of Hong Kong and seventh seed Jan O Jorgensen also bit the dust in the first round.

The biggest upset in men's doubles was the loss of world No. 2 and reigning Olympic silver medallists Mathias Boe-Carsten Morgensen in the men's doubles.

The Danish pair were well and truly beaten 17-21, 23-25 by Russia's Vladimir Ivanov-Ivan Sozonov.



Men's singles: Lee Chong Wei (Mas) bt Wang Zhengming (Chn) 20-22, 21-4, 22-20; Boonsak Ponsana (Tha) bt Viktor Axelsen (Den) 2-1 rtd; Sho Sasaki (Jpn) bt P. Kashyap (Ind) 21-7, 21-8; Du Pengyu (Chn) bt Nguyen Tien Minh (Vie) 21-19, 21-15; Takuma Ueda (Jpn) bt Hu Yun (Hkg) 21-13, 12-21, 21-19; Dionysius Hayom Rumbaka (Ina) bt Vladimir Ivanov (Rus) 17-21, 21-6, 21-18; Alamsyah Yunus (Ina) bt Kenichi Tago (Jpn) 24-22, 16-21, 21-17; Ajay Jayaram (Ind) bt Riyanto Subagja (Ina) 22-20, 8-21, 21-12; Sony Dwi Kuncoro (Ina) bt Chen Yuekun (Chn) 21-17, 10-21, 21-19; R.M.V. Gurusaidutt (Ind) bt Andre Kurniawan Tedjono (Ina) 22-20, 21-16; Wong Wing Ki (Hkg) bt Rajiv Ouseph (Eng) 21-7, 24-22; Kazumasa Sakai (Jpn) bt Jan O Jorgensen (Den) 21-16, 21-19; Tommy Sugiarto (Ina) bt Chen Long (Chn) 21-11, 21-18.

Men's doubles: Vladimir Ivanov-Ivan Sozonov (Rus) bt Mathias Boe-Carsten Morgensen (Den) 21-17, 25-23; Chris Landgridge-Peter Mills (Eng) bt Rasmus Bonde-Mads Conrad Petersen (Den) 19-21, 21-15, 21-12; Andrei Adistia-Gideon Markus Fernaldi (Ina) bt Hoon Thien How-Tan Wee Kiong (Mas) 10-21, 21-18, 21-15; Shin Baek-cheol-Yoo Yeon-seong (Kor) bt Guo Zhendong-Shen Ye (Chn) 21-17, 23-21; Alvent Yulianto-Markis Kido (Ina) bt Wijaya Rendra-Rian Sukmawan (Ina) 18-21, 21-14, 21-14; Koo Kien Keat-Tan Boon Heong (Mas) bt Yonathan Suryatama Dasuki-Hendra Gunawan (Ina) 21-15, 21-11; Takeshi Kamura-Keigo Sonoda (Jpn) bt Gan Teik Chai-Ong Soon Hock (Mas) 14-21, 21-8, 21-11; Ricky Karanda Suwardi-Muhammad Ullinoha (Ina) bt Kim Ki-jung-Kim Sa-rang (Kor) 4-1 rtd; Lee Sheng Mu-Tsai Chia Hsin (Tpe) bt Angga Pratama-Ryan Agung Saputra (Ina) 21-17, 21-16; Ko Sung-hyun-Lee Yong-dae (Kor) bt Hirokatsu Hashimoto-Noriyasu Hirata (Jpn) 21-18, 19-21, 21-9; Liu Xiaolong-Qiu Zihan (Chn) bt Hiroyuki Saeki-Ryota Taohata (Jpn) 21-15, 16-21, 21-19; Mohd Ahsan-Hendra Setiawan (Ina) bt Hiroyuki Endo-Kenichi Hayakawa (Jpn) 20-22, 21-18, 21-18; Cai Yun-Fu Haifeng (Chn) bt Mohd Zakry Abdul Latif-Mohd Fairuzizuan Mohd Tazari (Mas) 21-14, 18-21, 21-14; Maneepong Jongjit-Niphitphon Puangpuapech (Tha) bt Lukasz Moren-Wojciech Szkudlarczyk (Pol) 21-16, 21-18.

Kredit: www.thestar.com.my

The Star Online: Business

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The Star Online: Business

Affin Research maintains "Add" on Astro, raised TP to RM3.25

Posted: 12 Jun 2013 06:48 PM PDT

Published: Thursday June 13, 2013 MYT 9:48:00 AM

KUALA LUMPUR: Affin Research is maintaining its "Add" on Astro Malaysia Holdings Bhd as it expects Astro to remain unrivalled in the pay television segment given its premium content selection. Affin also raised its target price to RM3.25 from RM3.12.

Affin said Astro reported a 8.2% drop 1Q14 core net profit of RM124.8mil despite the 14.2% revenue increase of RM1.125bil.

"Core earnings was weaker on-year largely due to earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation and amortization margin contraction from 34.7% in 1Q13 to 33.9% this quarter and higher depreciation charges as a result of the accelerated amortization from its B.yond set top box swap.

"1Q14 revenue growth was driven by net adds of 457.2k, bringing its total sub base to 3.58 million and firmer average revenue per user of RM94.20 vs RM90.30 in 1Q13," it said.

Affin said Astro had also announced an interim dividen per share of two sen.

KLCI opens 10.77 points lower in tandem with losses across regional indices

Posted: 12 Jun 2013 06:30 PM PDT

KUALA LUMPUR: The FBM KLCI fell sharply into the red on Thursday as investors are uneasy with the retreat of the key regional markets.

At 9.12am, the KLCI fell sharply at 10.77 points to 1,764.35. Losers beat gainers 236 to 55. There were 131 unchanged. Turnover was 194.23 million valued at RM98.775mil.

HwangDBS Vickers Research said US equities suffered further losses last night. Leading bellwethers on Wall Street were down between 0.8% and 1.1% as sentiment continued to be weighed down by concerns of premature tightening of quantitative easing programs.

"Still, we reckon our Malaysian bourse will probably show resilience ahead. From a technical perspective, the benchmark FBM KLCI is expected to find strong support at the 1,750 level," it said.

Bloomberg reported Asian equities dropped after the World Bank cut its global growth forecast and as investors mulled out the outlook for monetary stimulus.

It added US stocks fell, with the Dow Jones Industrial Average posting its first three-day losing streak this year, as investors weighed prospects for economic growth and the pace of Federal Reserve stimulus measures.

In Bursa Malaysia, blue chips were the major losers with PetGas down 24 sen to RM20.98, PetDag 20 sen to RM24.88 and Genting Bhd 22 sen to RM10.80.

Plantations declined with KL Kepong down 10 sen to RM21.58 and PPB 12 sen to RM13.62 but Genting Plantations rose 21 sen to RM9.61.

Dutch Lady rose 94 sen to RM47.98, Pharmaniaga 11 sen to RM4.64 and Hartalega nine sen to RM6.39 after it announced its plan for a multi-billion ringgit Sepang factory.

World Bank cuts growth outlook as world enters 'new normal'

Posted: 12 Jun 2013 05:53 PM PDT

WASHINGTON: The World Bank cut its outlook for global growth, saying the economy should expand more slowly this year than last as it cited a deeper-than-expected recession in Europe and a recent slowdown in some emerging markets.

In its twice-yearly Global Economic Prospects report, the bank warned that large developing economies, which have driven global growth in recent years, will not experience the same boom as they did before the global financial crisis and will have to focus on structural reforms to keep expanding.

The bank forecast the world's gross domestic product will grow 2.2 percent this year, slightly below last year's growth of 2.3 percent. In its last forecast in January, the World Bank estimated the world economy would expand 2.4 percent this year.

Andrew Burns, the report's lead author, said the global economy should be less volatile in the future, but growth should slow.

The World Bank estimates the global economy should expand after this year's trough to 3 percent in 2014, and to 3.3 percent in 2015.

"Growth is not slower because of inadequate demand but rather because, in our view, the very strong growth we saw in the pre-crisis period was due to that bubble phenomenon," Burns told reporters.

"What we're seeing now is more in line with the underlying growth potential," he said. "Therefore, this is a case of moving towards the new normal of the post crisis."

Part of that "new normal" will be slower growth rates in countries like Brazil, India, Russia and China, as commodities prices moderate and countries rebalance their economies, the World Bank said.

The World Bank cut its outlook for developing countries, which last year grew at their slowest pace in a decade, to 5.1 percent, from 5.5 percent in the January forecast. The bank said growth in these countries should slowly pick up in the future, to 5.6 percent next year and 5.7 percent in 2015.

Before the global financial crisis hit in 2008, developing countries as a whole were chalking up growth rates of around 7.5 percent, while China expanded at an annual rate of 10 percent.

Evidence has mounted in recent weeks that China's economic growth is fast losing momentum, and economists are abandoning their rosy recovery forecasts and bracing for what could be the country's slowest growth rate in 23 years.

Burns said he was not worried about the slowdown, as it was long expected that China's rapid expansion would moderate as its economy rebalanced away from investment-led growth to focus more on consumption.

The World Bank also said the euro area and fiscal uncertainty in the United States should recede as major risks to the global economy in the future. Instead, developing nations will have to watch out for side effects from the massive monetary expansion in advanced nations like the United States and Japan. - Reuters

Kredit: www.thestar.com.my

The Star Online: Entertainment: Movies

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The Star Online: Entertainment: Movies

Zack Snyder will be back for 'Man of Steel' sequel

Posted: 12 Jun 2013 01:43 AM PDT

Warner Bros. has officially signed off on a Superman sequel, reveals Deadline.com.

Even before the release of Man Of Steel, Superman's return to the silver screen in a new feature helmed by Zack Snyder has already been leaked to the press.

The director will be teaming up again with David S. Goyer, who scripted Man Of Steel and had already contractually committed to writing the sequel.

The sequel, which won't be coming out for several years, is supposed to lay the foundations of the Justice League, Warner Bros.' answer to Disney's Avengers.

The greatest superheroes in the DC Comics pantheon, Batman, Superman, Wonder Woman, Flash et al., will be pooling their forces in the name of Justice.

Meantime, fans of made-in-Hollywood blockbusters won't have to wait long to see the latest avatar of the Man Of Steel in action: the movie rolls out internationally this month.


Owen Wilson joins Jim Carrey in heist comedy

Posted: 12 Jun 2013 12:56 AM PDT

Two of Hollywood's funnymen, Jim Carrey and Owen Wilson, will share top billing in a comedy that is currently untitled but referred to in Hollywood as Loomis Fargo after the true story of the Loomis Fargo bank robbery, announces Deadline.com.

Owen Wilson, top-billed for The Internship, will be joining Jim Carrey in this picture by Jared Hess (Napoleon Dynamite, Nacho Libre).

It's about a disgruntled armored car driver working for a bank who successfully steals US$20m from its vault, only to find himself soon afterwards betrayed by his accomplices, penniless and on the lam in Mexico.

This feature-length comedy will be produced by Relativity Media, which has yet to announce a shooting date.


'The Purge' sequel in the works

Posted: 11 Jun 2013 11:50 PM PDT

LOS ANGELES (TheWrap.com) - Universal Pictures and Jason Blum's Blumhouse banner are developing a sequel to The Purge, TheWrap has learned.

Written and directed by James DeMonaco, The Purge grossed $36 million this past weekend on a budget of only US$3 million, making a sequel even more appealing.

However, The Purge currently has a 41% fresh rating on Rotten Tomatoes, while reviews from top critics are only 21% fresh.

The horror-thriller stars Ethan Hawke and Lena Headey as parents whose heavily-fortified home is broken into by a group of wealthy young people participating in an annual 12-hour-long ritual during which time all crime is legal, including murder.

The film is contained to one suburban neighborhood, so a sequel could explore the mayhem on a larger scale.

Blum and Sebastian Lemercier produced with Platinum Dunes principals Michael Bay, Brad Fuller and Andrew Form.

Blum has already taken the prescient step of applying for California's Film and Television Tax Credit program on The Purge 2, which would have to start shooting before the end of the year.

That shouldn't be a problem if Blum's track record is any indication. The Paranormal Activity producer has put together low-budget sequels on short notice before, so if Blumhouse wasn't already developing a script, it is now.

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PKR backs down from Parliament opening boycott threat

Posted: 12 Jun 2013 08:35 AM PDT

PETALING JAYA: PKR will not boycott the opening ceremony of the 13th Parliament sitting after all.

The party's political bureau made a unanimous decision Wednesday night not to boycott the sitting scheduled on June 24.

PKR Wanita chief Zuraida Kamaruddin confirmed that the decision was unanimous.

She claimed that PKR adviser Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim's earlier suggestion to boycott the sitting in protest of alleged electoral fraud was spun.

"His statement was spun. We are not going to boycott," she said when contacted.

Zuraida had earlier said the Wanita wing did not agree to the boycott as they needed to be present at Parliament to effectively represent the electorate.

Anwar, who is also the Opposition leader, was quoted in media saying PKR should perhaps look into boycotting the sitting in protest of alleged electoral fraud.

DAP and PAS leaders did not agree to the suggestion.

Related Stories:
PKR should not boycott Parliament swearing-in, says its Wanita chief (Updated)
It was just a suggestion, says Tian Chua

The Star's reporter bags top environment journalism prize

Posted: 12 Jun 2013 08:52 AM PDT

PETALING JAYA: The Star's journalist Isabelle Lai Lin Hui clinched the Petronas-Best Environment Journalism (Kewartawanan Alam Sekitar Cemerlang-Petronas) Award at the Malaysian Press Institute (MPI)-Petronas Malaysian Journalism Awards 2012 here Wednesday night.

She was among 16 winners who received cash prizes totalling RM300,000.

She won a cash prize of RM15,000 and return tickets from Kuala Lumpur to Hong Kong.

"I am honoured and humbled to be selected as a winner amongst so many talented colleagues," said Lai, who won the award for her stories on unsustainable land clearing in Cameron Highlands entitled "They Are Killing Camerons".

She hoped environmental issues will continue to be featured prominently in the media and concrete steps taken by the Government to address them.

Earlier, event chairman Datuk Chamil Wariya said 264 media personnel representing 26 media organisations submitted 491 entries that were considered by a panel of judges of veteran journalists and academics.

He said that MPI was contemplating adding two consolation prizes for each category contested, in addition to the RM15,000 prize money for for each category winner.

"We also suggested a new category called Best Radio Journalism" he said, adding that this will be discussed with Petronas when the sponsorship contract ended in 2014.

PM Najib: Govt won't impose licensing for news portals

Posted: 12 Jun 2013 08:48 AM PDT

KUALA LUMPUR: The Government will not impose licensing requirements for news portals, as implemented by neighbouring countries, said the Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak.

"Instead, to maintain the country's harmony, the federal government will enforce laws already in place to ensure that action is taken against anyone who fans hatred and racial sentiments or belittles the monarchy, and those who try to subvert the parliamentary democracy," he added.

Najib said this in his speech at the presentation ceremony of the Malaysian Press Institute (MPI)-Petronas Malaysian Journalism Awards 2012 here Wednesday.

He said the people must be mature and ensure social media was not misused.

"We must create an environment where there are principles and values as well as responsibility towards anything published in social media," he said.

He suggested a "positive control" to ensure that there was responsibility and that information published did not go against any laws.

The Singapore government recently announced that online news portals that regularly reported on the city state would be required to procure a licence, effective June 1.

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Taking on the challenge to make rice dumplings

Posted: 12 Jun 2013 05:01 AM PDT

The Dumpling Festival has always been a time to indulge in the delicious delicacy. This year, StarMetro reporters take on the challenge to make their own rice dumplings.

HAVING eaten bak chang (rice dumplings) for many years, we come to a realisation that the best dumplings are homemade.

We decided to try our hand at making our own dumplings, partly for our own experience and also to impress our colleagues.

Looking for an expert in dumpling-making was not an easy task but thankfully our colleague, photographer Art Chen heard of our plight and offered to ask his mother to lend us a helping hand.

All geared up, we drove for 90 minutes to Tanjung Sepat to meet her.

Chen's mother, Ng Kee Hong, 77, was well prepared for our arrival.

She meticulously prepared the ingredients and laid them out in the kitchen, just like those cookery programmes one would watch on television.

Ng has been making dumplings for over 45 years.

"I did not know how to make the dumplings when I first got married. I learn from observing my mother-in-law when she was making them.

"I started making dumplings as my children love it and request for it during the festival every year," said the loving mother.

Both her daughters had also perfected the recipe and it had become a tradition for the family to enjoy homemade dumplings every year.

Ng, who used to sell economy rice for 20 years, is an expert cook and her Hokkien-style dumplings are to die for.

For our lesson, she used are chicken, mushroom, salted egg yolk, onion, fresh and fried garlic, chestnut and dried prawns together with glutinous rice.

"The glutinous rice has to be soaked for half an hour before it is slowly stir-fried with black bean and soy sauces. All the ingredients are easily available at the grocery shops.

"For 40 over small dumplings you need 2kg of chicken meat and 1kg of glutinous rice.

"But of course, all quantities go by the rough estimation method," she said.

As Ng instructed us on the cooking methods, she also generously doled out some tips.

The chestnut had to be steamed before removing its skin.

First order of business was to fry the onion and garlic in a little bit of oil.

One of Ng's tips was to keep stirring the ingredients in the wok carefully to make sure they did not brown, which could overwhelm the other flavours.

Next, the dried prawns were cooked until fragrant, before adding in mushrooms and chestnuts.

Finally the chicken was added in. After it started to cook, we added the required seasoning such as five-spice powder, salt, pepper, black bean sauce, soy sauce and fried garlic and onion.

The next order of business was one Priya was dreading — wrapping the dumpling. She had tried it once before and found it to be very difficult.

Wrapping the dumpling is an art on its own. Only skilled hands can ensure that the shape and size of the dumplings are consistent.

As we were stuffing the leaves with the ingredients, she kept telling us to put in more meat.

It was evident this was one generous cook.

"You must ensure it is wrapped properly. You do not want the ingredients to ooze out when you put them to boil. That will ruin the whole dumpling.

"But, you cannot tie it too tightly as the glutinuous rice will expand when it is being cooked," she added.

Ng made it look easy but it was a tough task for us as we fumbled with the leaves.

After several failed attempts, we managed to get the hang of wrapping and tying the dumplings.

It also helped that Ng was encouraging and patient.

Exhausted from the laborious task, we marvelled at the work that some housewives put in to make their own rice dumplings.

Even with four of us making the dumplings, we took more than an hour to wrap them up.

After that, the dumplings were put into boiling water for over one-and-a-half hours.

The cooking time also depended on how sticky you want the rice to be. The stickier they are, the longer you boil them.

Ng was very modest and kept saying she was not an expert and her dumplings were not pretty to look at.

However, her dumplings were beautifully-wrapped and after tasting them, we can attest to the fact that her cooking skills were superb.

However, she does not plan to make her dumplings for sale as she finds the process too laborious.

The final product was delicious, thanks to her experience with the seasoning and ingredients.

Despite the joy of eating our own dumplings, we decided that dumpling-making should be left to the experts.

Rice dumpling recipe

Ingredients needed:

2kg whole chicken (cleaned anddeboned)

1kg glutinous rice

60g diced onions

3 whole garlic

200g chestnut (steamed and skin removed)

300g dried shrimps

250g mushroom

Fried garlic

Salted egg yolks

Food enhancer

Salt and pepper to taste

Black bean sauce

Soy sauce

Bamboo leaves and hemp strings

Cooking method:

1. Heat some oil in a pan and add in onions and garlic, fry till light brown or fragrant.

2. Add in dried prawns and fry till fragrant.

3. Put in mushrooms and chestnuts.

4. Add in chicken meat followed by the seasoning. Salt and pepper to taste.

5. Stir till chicken is cooked. Remove from pan.

6. Shape two banana leaves into a cone and begin filling the dumpling.

7. Start with a little bit of rice, followed by a salted egg yolk and chicken filling. Complete with another layer of rice.

8. Delicately wrap and tie the dumpling.

(Tip: tie several strings together and hang it up, it is easier to tie the dumplings this way).

9. Boil water in a huge pot with cover. Add in dumplings and cook for an hour and a half.

10. Ensure the water covers the dumplings.

11. Remove and place on a piece of paper till water drains out. Ready to be served.

Origins of the Dumpling Festival

Posted: 12 Jun 2013 05:01 AM PDT

ALTHOUGH many associate the Dumpling Festival, with the patriotic poet Qu Yuan, the Chinese have long celebrated the festival on the fifth day of the fifth lunar month.

The festival is also known as the Dragon Boat Festival or Dun Wu Jie in Mandarin.

According to Professor Lim Chooi Kwa, an adjunct professor who used to teach classical Chinese literature, it was summertime in May and there were water activities including dragon boat races.

Lim said the story of Qu Yuanonly came into the picture during the Warring States period.

"He was accused by corrupted officials and the nation later fell into enemy hands.

"Despaired, he committed suicide by throwing himself into a river on the fifth day of the fifth lunar month.

"People threw dumplings into the river so that the fishes will not eat the corpse of their beloved poet," said Lim.

"It is believed that the tradition of eating dumplings has long existed before this incident.

"However, dumplings are most commonly associated with this incident and some even thought dumplings are created because of this, just like how mooncakes are associated with the moon goddess even though the Mid-Autumn Festival was initially celebrated as a harvest festival," Lim explained.

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Removing your breast

Posted: 12 Jun 2013 03:48 AM PDT

Learn more about the breast removal surgery known as mastectomy.

I READ with interest Angelina Jolie's decision to have a double mastectomy. While I understand why she did it – to prevent herself from getting breast cancer because she has the deadly breast cancer genes – I am very scared when I imagine having to remove both my breasts.

What is a mastectomy and how much of the breast tissue does it really remove?

A mastectomy is a type of surgery to remove the whole breast.

There are five different types of mastectomy:

> Simple or Total Mastectomy: The entire breast is removed, but there is no removal of the axillary lymph nodes in your armpit. No muscles are removed from your chest wall underneath the breast.

This is usually performed for women with multiple or large areas of breast cancer that does not involve the lymph nodes, known as ductal carcinoma in situ.

It is also performed for women like Angelina Jolie who do not have breast cancer, but have a high risk of getting the condition.

> Modified Radical Mastectomy: This involves removal of both the breast tissue and axillary lymph nodes. But no muscles are removed from the underlying chest wall.

Most people with breast cancer will have this type of mastectomy so that the axillary lymph nodes can be taken out and examined for cancer cells.

If there are cancer cells in the lymph nodes, this means that the cancer has spread beyond the breast.

> Radical Mastectomy: This is the most extensive type of mastectomy. Here, the entire breast, axillary lymph nodes, and also, the chest wall muscles beneath the breast are removed.

This type of mastectomy is done only when the breast cancer has spread to the chest muscles below it.

It is now rarely performed because the modified radical mastectomy is just as effective and less disfiguring.

> Partial Mastectomy: This involves the removal of the cancerous part of the breast tissue and some normal tissue around it.

> Subcutaneous (nipple-sparing) Mastectomy: All of the breast tissue is removed here, but the nipple is spared. Most surgeons do not like to perform this because they fear the breast tissue that is left may develop cancer later.

Will the entire skin of my breasts be removed as well?

There is such a procedure called skin-sparing mastectomy. It "spares" as much of your breast skin as possible so that you can have immediate breast reconstruction.

Here, the surgeon only removes the skin of your nipple, areola and the biopsy scar, if any. Then the breast tissue is removed from a small opening that is created.

Your remaining skin will provide the pouch for which an implant for reconstruction can be made.

Most women choose this type of surgery so that they can have immediate breast reconstruction.

But if it is suspected that you have cancer cells very near the skin, this surgery is not recommended.

If I have breast cancer, must a mastectomy always be done?

No. There is another type of breast surgery called a lumpectomy.

It removes the breast tumour ("lump") and some normal tissue surrounding it. It is technically a partial mastectomy, but it is the lesser amount of tissue removed which differentiates the two.

For breast cancer beyond Stage 1, this is usually followed by radiotherapy and chemotherapy to help eliminate any remaining tumour cells, which may have possibly settled.

Do note that tadiotherapy and chemotherapy are not treatments that are only reserved for Stage 4 cancer.

What is breast reconstruction? Is it possible for me to have a "new" breast once I have had a mastectomy performed?

Yes. Some women want to have their breast reconstructed or rebuilt during the same operation that removes it.

This is known as "immediate reconstruction".

Other women wait months or years before having their breast reconstructed.

There are several ways to reconstruct a breast:

> By inserting an implant, which is usually filled with salt water or silicone gel, or a combination or the two.

> Using your own tissue taken from another part of your body, such as your abdomen, thighs or back. This is called autologous implantation. This method may be augmented by a salt water/silicone implant, in case you don't have enough tissue to furnish your breast.

If you need radiotherapy and chemotherapy, it is recommended that you complete them before having a breast reconstruction, as they may alter the appearance and feel of the construct.

Dr YLM graduated as a medical doctor, and has been writing for many years on various subjects such as medicine, health advice, computers and entertainment. For further information, e-mail starhealth@thestar.com.my.

The information contained in this column is for general educational purposes only. Neither The Star nor the author gives any warranty on accuracy, completeness, functionality, usefulness or other assurances as to such information.

The Star and the author disclaim all responsibility for any losses, damage to property or personal injury suffered directly or indirectly from reliance on such information.

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Muhyiddin: Up to MCA’s leadership to make ruling on positions in govt

Posted: 11 Jun 2013 03:45 PM PDT

MUAR: The government will accept any decision by the MCA on its stand whether it will accept positions in federal and state governments, said Deputy Prime Minister Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin.

"We will leave it to the MCA leadership to make the decision," he said when asked to comment on the party could reverse its stand of not accepting any positions through an extraordinary general meeting (EGM).

Muyhiddin said the party in the past had made a decision that it was not ready to accept any positions in the government.

"But then if they want to review or study and make a reserve decision it will be their right. We have to just wait, I am not sure if it is time to review or not as some say it is too early.

"It is MCA's matter and I will leave it to them, we will accept any decision that comes," he said, adding that it was important for the party to discuss the matter first before talk on vacancies in the government.

He was speaking to reporters after attending a thanksgiving and appreciation ceremony held at SMK Temenggong Ahmad, Kundang Ulu, here.

Also present were Muhyiddin's wife Puan Sri Noorainee Abdul Rahman, Johor Mentri Besar Datuk Seri Mohamed Khaled Nordin, MCA president Datuk Seri Dr Chua Soi Lek, state executive councillors and local community leaders.

It was reported that MCA president Datuk Seri Dr Chua Soi Lek said if the EGM was not held, the party would only discuss the matter during the party annual general meeting (AGM) at the end of the year.

Chua was asked to comment on Kedah Mentri Besar Datuk Mukhriz Mahathir's statement that the state government had reserved a seat in his state executive council line-up for MCA.

Dr Chua said the party stood by its resolution made two years ago that they would not accept any post if the party performed poorly in the elections.

SYCJB hospitality students will get hands-on practice in various aspects of hotel operations

Posted: 11 Jun 2013 06:26 PM PDT

JOHOR BARU: In efforts to provide students with a more holistic education and make way for working life, Sunway College Johor Baru (SYCJB) has recently launched a new facility for its hospitality students, which provides a hands-on practice in various aspects of hotel operations and services.

The college's principal and chief executive Hor Poh Choo said the hospitality industry in Johor had been flourishing since the initiation of Iskandar Malaysia, as developments are fast taking place.

"Developments of tourist attractions such as Legoland Malaysia and Puteri Harbour Indoor Themepark, has created a demand for industry-ready professionals in the tourism field," she said.

She added that the increase for hospitality and service-related programmes led the college to establish a Hospitality Education and Training Centre (Hostec), which is a training facility dedicated to students under the hospitality programmes.

"With Hostec students can practice their hotel operations and services skills right here at the college.

"Among the facilities provided is a mock office reception, guestroom, bar, kitchen, restaurant, which replicates an actual hotel set-up to give the students a realistic picture of the industry," she said.

Hor also said that since there was a spike in the number of students enrolled in their Diploma in Hotel Management, and with the newly launched Certificate in Hotel Operations programme, the facility would surely be put to good use.

She added that student would be receiving guidance during training sessions before they sit for a compulsory internship module known as the Supervised Work Experience.

Among those who attended the launching ceremony were members of the board of director, as well as staff and students from the hospitality programmes..

Intakes for the Certificate in Hotel Operations and Diploma in Hotel Management are in April and August.

Youngster receives award for her dedication

Posted: 11 Jun 2013 06:27 PM PDT

YONG PENG: Young St John Ambulance member Lim Yi Fang shared the stage with several of her seniors when she was awarded best cadet of the year 2012 from the first aid team.

The Form Three student of SMK Yong Peng, completed first aid and emergency training and had done over 100 hours of duties and participated in first aid services in various public events.

She received the award recently at a ceremony held at Johor Tengah St John Ambulan premises at Taman Desa Puteh here.

Lim said it was a great honour to her.

"It's always been my dream since I entered primary school to be part of the volunteer service with St John Ambulance and I never expected to receive this award.

"I'm honoured and will work harder to improve my services," she said.

Lim said she joined the team since she was 10, but only became a full member last year after passing compulsory training and examinations set by the St John Ambulance.

The most challenging task was to learn effective first aid for dressings and bandages, she said.

"I still remember my every first first aid task at sports day in my school last year when a boy fell down and injured his knee.

"I was very nervous as it was my first time handling someone's injuries.

"I was afraid that I might cause more pain to the victim while handling the dressing or unable to clean the wound well," she said.

Lim added that she felt relieved when the duty was done with the guidance of a senior.

At the event, Lim was also given the Lance Corporal rank, the enlisted rank for St John Ambulance cadet member, as well as the Special Service Shield upon completing a minimum of 100 hours of service.

Meanwhile, Tang Jia Xuang who was awarded for servicing for two years, said she was happy for the award.

"St John Ambulance is like part of my life since young as both my parents and brothers are also the members and actively involved in the first aid team," she said.

Tang hoped that she would be given a chance to participate in highway duty to get more exposure.

She said many people travel on the road during festive seasons and more volunteers were needed to attend to emergency.

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