Selasa, 16 Julai 2013

The Star Online: Metro: Sunday Metro

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The Star Online: Metro: Sunday Metro

Syllabus to teach kids to handle money better


CHILDREN are to spend more time learning about money during home economics classes as Singapore grapples with rising costs and household debt.

A new syllabus to be rolled out by the Education Ministry next year will place greater emphasis on teaching secondary school students how to manage their finances.

It will also introduce three elective modules for project work: food science, food entrepreneurship and consumerism.

The change was revealed yesterday by Dr Joyce Mok, a senior lecturer in natural sciences at the National Institute of Education.

"The difference is that we're giving more curriculum time to financial education, and we've introduced elective modules for project work," she said, adding that the new syllabus – titled Food and Consumer Education – comes in the wake of increasing credit problems and rising costs.

Dr Mok, who is part of the syllabus committee, said learning about money management must start at a young age.

She was speaking on the sidelines of the 17th Biennial Inter­national Asian Regional Asso­ciation for Home Economics Congress.

The five-day event at the Grand Copthorne Waterfront Hotel brings together about 200 academics, educational leaders and policy makers from 13 countries.

Senior Parliamentary Secretary for Education and Manpower Hawazi Daipi said the design of the syllabus "takes into account the demographic changes in society".

Home economics is compulsory for lower secondary students.

Temasek Secondary student Jaren Pang, 13, said the extra focus on money management would be useful for some of his friends.

"When they see something attractive, like game cards, they don't think before buying," he said. "Shortly after, they will run out of money and ask if they can borrow from me and my friends." — The Straits Times / Asia News Network

Malaysian convicted of murder the first to be jailed for life


A 23-year-old Malaysian man has become the first convicted murderer in Singapore to be sentenced to life imprisonment.

This follows changes made to the law last year giving judges the discretion to impose either the death penalty or life imprisonment for certain categories of murder.

The case of Fabian Adiu Edwin, a construction worker from Sabah who killed a security guard in 2008 during a robbery, is the first time a sentencing judge has a choice in deciding the sentence for murder.

Before the changes to the law, the death penalty was mandatory for all categories of murder.

Fabian was convicted of murder in September 2011 and given the then-mandatory death penalty.

However, he was among the condemned prisoners given a lifeline as hangings had been put on hold pending a review of the mandatory death penalty.

In May this year, his case was sent back to the High Court for re-sentencing.

On Tuesday, in imposing life imprisonment and 24 strokes of the cane, Justice Chan Seng Onn considered Fabian's young age and sub-normal IQ. — The Straits Times / Asia News Network


The Star Online: World Updates

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The Star Online: World Updates

Obama says capture of cartel boss shows Mexico serious about drug fight


WASHINGTON (Reuters) - President Barack Obama said on Tuesday that Mexico's capture of the leader of a notorious drug cartel provided reassurance that President Enrique Pena Nieto's commitment to fighting drug trafficking was solid.

"What it shows is that the new administration of President Pena Nieto is serious about continuing the efforts to break up these transnational drug operations," Obama said in an interview with Univision's Los Angeles affiliate. "And there had been some question about that, I think early on during his campaign, and immediately after his election."

Pena Nieto caused some concern in the United States by dialling back the aggressive campaign against drug trafficking pursued by his predecessor, Felipe Calderon, in favour of a policy emphasizing reducing violence.

Under the new approach, Pena Nieto reined in the wide latitude Calderon gave the U.S. government in working with Mexican officials, replacing it with a single point of contact, Mexico's Ministry of Interior.

Obama endorsed the policy in May during a visit to Mexico, saying it was up to the Mexican people to determine their own security structures.

But he said on Tuesday that Monday's arrest of Miguel Angel Trevino, also called Z-40, the leader of the Zetas drug cartel, offered proof that Pena Nieto's approach could be effective.

"He indicated to me that he recognizes the need to deal with these transnational drug cartels in a serious way," Obama said. "And I think this is evidence of it."

Obama said that clamping down on the international drug trade in Mexico was in the U.S. interest, and that Washington supported Mexican efforts. The United States recognizes for its part that it has a role to play in curtailing the market for drugs at home and the flow of guns to Mexico.

"We want to make sure that they know that we're a partner," Obama said. "It also means though we have to continue doing our part here in the United States to reduce demand, and reduce the flow of guns and cash down south."

(Reporting By Mark Felsenthal; Editing by Peter Cooney)

Magnitude 6.2 earthquake strikes southern Peru


(Reuters) - A magnitude 6.2 earthquake struck southern Peru on Tuesday, according to the U.S. Geological Survey.

The epicentre of the quake was located 53 miles (85 km) northwest of Arequipa, Peru, at a depth of about 52 miles (84 km), according to the USGS. Magnitude 6 quakes are capable of causing severe damage.

Peruvian authorities said there were no reports of damage or injuries.

(Editing by Stacey Joyce)

Peru court orders government to pay 40-year-old bonds worth billions


LIMA (Reuters) - Peru's top court on Tuesday ordered the government to pay 40-year-old land reform bonds at their current value and with interest, terms that will likely lead to a payment worth several billion dollars.

The government has six months to pass a decree with further details on how to appraise the debt and carry out payments, said the court resolution published late on Tuesday.

President Ollanta Humala's administration has previously said it would comply with the long-awaited decision, which aims to clear up a bitter chapter in Peruvian history.

The bonds were issued as compensation for land confiscated and redistributed to the poor in the 1970s.

The resolution said the president of Peru's Constitutional Tribunal ruled in favour of bondholders after members were split 3-3 on whether to force the government to pay off the debt.

Conservative estimates put the value of land-reform bonds at between $1 billion (661 million pounds) and $3 billion. Other estimates say the liability is far larger, between $4.6 billion and $8 billion, or about 4 percent of Peru's gross domestic product.

Consecutive Peruvian presidents have resisted honouring the bonds, saying they lacked the cash, even after the court ruled 12 years ago that the government should pay up.

Paying off the bonds will officially put them on the government's books, though resolving the outstanding debt might also boost Peru's credit ratings.

Last week Humala asked the court to abstain from ruling on "sensitive" topics such as the land bonds until Congress named new members to the court - suggesting the court's decision would lack legitimacy.

Humala was elected in 2011 after pledging to make sure the poor benefited from Peru's decade-long economic boom.

Bond payments could further anger critics who say Humala has favoured the rich, as public sector doctors strike for wage increases and civil servants and universities protest performance-based reforms.

Much of the land-reform debt has been bought by local and foreign creditors over the years.

"I voted against resolving the debt because I don't believe ownership of the bonds is legitimate," court member Fernando Calle said on RPP television.

The agricultural bonds were issued as compensation for land lost in the 1970s under a redistribution program started by leftist dictator General Juan Velasco, who sought to create a more equal society and redress the legacies of Spanish colonialism.

Many middle-class farmers and workers were ensnared in the program, which caused Peru's agricultural output to collapse when 5,000 farms were seized between 1969 and 1981.

Since the 1990s, Peru has shed Velasco's left-wing economic model and become one of the region's fastest-growing economies, with free-trade agreements from China to Europe and investment-grade credit ratings.

(Reporting by Mitra Taj and Marco Aquino; Editing by Stacey Joyce and Lisa Shumaker)


The Star Online: Nation

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The Star Online: Nation

IGP wants sex bloggers to surrender to police (updated)


KUALA LUMPUR: Inspector-General of Police Tan Sri Khalid Abu Bakar has asked controversial bloggers Alvin Tan and Vivian Lee to surrender to the police here.

Khalid explained that in addition to the investigation carried out by the Malaysian Communications and Multimedia Commission, the pair were also investigated by police under Section 298 of the Penal Code for uttering words with deliberate intent to hurt religious sentiments.

"That is a non-seizable case, which means we cannot arrest them without a warrant.

"We have opened a new investigation paper against the two today under Section 298(a) of the Penal Code for insulting a religion, in which case we do not need a warrant to arrest them," he said.

He advised the couple to surrender to police to have their statements recorded.

Later, Tan and Lee told The Star that they would only turn themselves in if they were "summoned personally" by the police.

"If we're summoned personally by the KL HQ (and not through the media), we will go. So far, this hasn't happened," they said in an SMS message around 6pm Tuesday.

Last Thursday, the duo uploaded a picture on their Facebook page, depicting them eating bak kut teh (a pork dish), describing it as fragrant, delicious and appetising with a "Selamat Berbuka Puasa" (breaking of fast for Muslims) greeting.

Come and get us, sex bloggers tell cops


PETALING JAYA: Controversial sex bloggers Alvin Tan and Vivian Lee are not turning themselves in to the police yet.

They said they would only do so if "summoned personally" by the police.

"If we're summoned personally by KL HQ (and not through the media), we will go. So far this hasn't happened," they messaged at around 6pm Tuesday.

In an SMS exchange with The Star, they said they would not head over to Kuala Lumpur police headquarters solely based on reports in the media.

Last Thursday, they uploaded a picture on their Facebook page, depicting them eating bak kut teh and describing it as fragrant, delicious and appetising, with a Selamat Berbuka Puasa greeting.

They could be prosecuted for displaying offensive pictures and words under Section 233 of the Communications and Multimedia Act.

Corpse and drug-processing chemicals found in rented house


NIBONG TEBAL: The body of man was found together with drug processing chemicals in a double-storey rented house in Taman Jentayu Indah here Tuesday, said a police spokesman.

He said that a neighbour had alerted the police after detecting a foul stench coming from the house.

Based on the chemicals found, the house was believed to have been used as a drug processing lab, said the spokesman.

"The body was dry and discoloured when we found it at 3 pm today and there were no identification documents," he told reporters, adding that police had been in touch with the house owner.

"According to the landlord, the man was known as Cheah Poh Iye, 44, and had rented the house since March. He claimed that he last saw Cheah two weeks ago," he said.

The dead man was said to have been married but his wife lived elsewhere, he added.

A Honda car, usually parked in the house porch, was also missing, he said.

Meanwhile, Seberang Perai South police chief Supt Shafien Mamat confirmed the discovery when contacted here.

"For now we have classified it as a case of sudden death pending the post mortem report," he said. - Bernama

The Star eCentral: TV Tracks

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The Star eCentral: TV Tracks

What's next for 'Glee'?


With the demise of 'Glee' star Cory Monteith, what will happen to his character Finn Hudson? Tell us how you think the writers should end Finn's story in the show.

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