Khamis, 13 Mac 2014

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Strong 6.3-magnitude quake hits off Japan, injures 17

Posted: 13 Mar 2014 06:58 PM PDT

TOKYO, March 14, 2014 (AFP) - A strong 6.3-magnitude earthquake struck off southern Japan early Friday injuring 17 people, reports said as officials warned residents to be alert to the danger of landslides following the tremor.

There was no tsunami warning or reports of major damage.

Public broadcaster NHK said 17 people were injured. None of the injuries seemed to be life-threatening.

The epicentre of the quake - which struck at 2:06 am (1706 GMT Thursday) - was located 13 kilometres (eight miles) north of the city of Kunisaki, the US Geological Survey said. The quake hit at a depth of 82 kilometres.

Japan's Meteorological Agency said there was no risk of a tsunami but urged residents to stay on alert.

"We fear the danger of rockfalls and landslides has increased" in areas that felt strong tremors, Yohei Hasegawa, director of the agency's earthquake and tsunami observation division, told a news conference.

The quake, which the Japanese agency measured as having a preliminary magnitude of 6.2, registered a strong intensity in parts of southwestern Shikoku, the main island of Honshu and southern Kyushu islands.

There were no abnormalities detected at the Ikata nuclear plant in Ehime prefecture or at the Shimane plant in Shimane prefecture.

More than 18,000 people died when a 9.0-magnitude undersea earthquake sent a towering tsunami barrelling into Japan's northeast coast in March 2011 in the country's worst post-World War II disaster.

Cooling systems at the Fukushima nuclear plant were knocked out, sending reactors into meltdown and forcing tens of thousands of people to flee.

India court upholds death sentence for Delhi gang-rapists

Posted: 13 Mar 2014 03:58 AM PDT

NEW DELHI: An Indian court upheld Thursday the death penalty handed to four men convicted of the fatal gang-rape of a student in New Delhi, an attack that shocked the country and sparked weeks of protests.

The High Court rejected an appeal by the four who were sentenced last year to hang following a trial over the attack on the 23-year-old student on a moving bus in the capital in December 2012.

"Our appeal has been dismissed by the high court," AP Singh, a lawyer for the four, told reporters outside the court in New Delhi.

"The death sentence of the four convicts has been upheld. We will go to the Supreme Court (to appeal further)," Singh said.

"This is a politically motivated decision," he added, claiming that the judges were under political pressure ahead of the country's general elections next month.

Indian defense lawyer AP Singh (centre), representing two of the convicts of the Delhi gang rape band, talks to the media outside the Delhi high court. -EPA

The physiotherapy student was attacked by six men, including with an iron rod, after she boarded a private bus while going home from the cinema with a male friend. They were both later dumped naked and bleeding on the roadside.

She died 13 days later from the internal injuries inflicted.

The brutality of the attack, and her determination to survive long enough to identify her attackers to police, triggered large-scale angry street protests as well as soul-searching about India's treatment of women.

The case led to tougher rape and sexual assault laws and shone an international spotlight on what women's groups called a "rape epidemic" in the country.

Four of her attackers were convicted last September after the case was fast-tracked, while a juvenile was sentenced to the maximum of three years in a detention centre. A sixth man was found dead in jail in a suspected suicide.

The student's mother, who cannot be identified for legal reasons, welcomed the decision, saying the family was "inching closer to justice".

"Complete justice will be delivered when all the convicts are hanged to death," she said outside the court.

"The juvenile accused should also get the same punishment," she said.

The father said he was "satisfied" with the result, adding that he too wanted them hanged.

A small crowd gathered outside the court chanted in favour of the death penalty, saying "the rapists should be hanged to death".

The court dismissed the men's appeal as well as confirmed the death penalty handed down by the trial court, after consideration. As part of Indian legal procedure, the High Court is required to review the death penalty delivered by a lower court.

Kredit: www.thestar.com.my

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Knife-wielding assailants attack people in central China - Xinhua

Posted: 13 Mar 2014 09:20 PM PDT

BEIJING (Reuters) - Knife-wielding assailants attacked civilians on a street in the central Chinese city of Changsha on Friday morning, state news agency Xinhua said, citing local authorities.

Xinhua said its reporters saw at least one body lying on the ground at the scene.

Photos on microblogs showed at least four bodies on a street outside a school and police taking a suspect into custody. The authenticity of the photos could not be immediately confirmed.

Xinhua did not make clear who was responsible for the attack in the city, capital of Hunan province.

The incident happened just two weeks after a deadly stabbing attack at a Chinese train station in the southwestern city of Kunming which killed 29 people and injured about 140.

The government blamed that attack on militants from the western region of Xinjiang, home to a large Muslim Uighur minority. Many Uighurs say they are infuriated by Chinese curbs on their culture and religion, though the government says they are given wide freedoms.

(Reporting by Ben Blanchard and Li Hui; Writing by Sui-Lee Wee; Editing by Paul Tait)

Japan's Abe says won't alter 1993 apology on 'comfort women'

Posted: 13 Mar 2014 07:50 PM PDT

TOKYO (Reuters) - Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe said on Friday that his government would not revise a landmark 1993 apology to women, many Korean, forced to serve in wartime military brothels, as Washington presses for better ties between its two Asian allies.

Japan's ties with South Korea are frayed by a territorial row and the legacy of its 1910-1945 colonisation of the Korean peninsula, including the issue of compensation and an apology to women, known euphemistically in Japan as "comfort women", forced to serve in military brothels before and during World War Two.

South Korea and China were outraged by signs that Abe's government might water down the apology, issued by then-chief cabinet secretary Yohei Kono, which recognised the involvement of Japanese authorities in coercing the women to work in the military brothels - a point many conservative Japanese dispute.

Nationalist politicians have been urging the government to revise the apology, arguing there is no evidence of large-scale coercion by government authorities or the military.

"With regard to the 'comfort women' issue, I am deeply pained to think of the comfort women who experienced immeasurable pain and suffering, a feeling I share equally with my predecessors," Abe told a parliamentary panel.

"The Kono Statement addresses this issue ... and, as my Chief Cabinet Secretary Suga stated in news conferences, the Abe Cabinet has no intention to review it."

Abe also said his government adhered to the positions stated by past governments on history, including the 1995 apology for suffering caused by the war given by then-premier Tomiichi Murayama.

"We must be humble regarding history," he said. "Issues regarding history should not be politicised or made diplomatic issues. I think that research on history should be left in the hands of intellectuals and experts."

Japan's already strained ties with both South Korea and China worsened further after Abe paid his respects in December at Yasukuni Shrine, where wartime leaders convicted by an Allied tribunal as war criminals are honoured along with war dead.

Under pressure to improve ties with Seoul ahead of an April visit by U.S. President Barack Obama, Tokyo has been trying to arrange a summit between Abe, South Korean President Park Geun-hye and Obama on the sidelines of a global nuclear-security summit in the Hague, Netherlands, on March 24-25.

A South Korean government official said earlier this week, however, that no progress was likely unless Japan made further efforts to resolve frictions stemming from Japan's wartime past.

And on Thursday, South Korean Foreign Ministry Spokesman Cho Tai-young told a news briefing: "We have no reason to refuse dialogue with Japan if Japan shows that it has changed and creates the right conditions that would make constructive dialogue possible."

Japan has been sending mixed messages on the Kono Statement, announcing that it would review the circumstances behind the apology, but adding that it would not rescind the statement.

Abe himself sparked controversy during his first 2006-2007 term by saying there was no proof Japan's military had kidnapped women for the brothels.

Japan says the matter of compensation for 'comfort women' was settled under a 1965 treaty establishing diplomatic ties. In 1995, Japan set up a fund to make payments to the women from private contributions, but South Korea says that was not official and therefore, insufficient.

(Reporting by Linda Sieg; Editing by Simon Cameron-Moore)

Tank-commanding cartoon girls capture fans for Japan's military

Posted: 13 Mar 2014 07:45 PM PDT

TOKYO (Reuters) - Being a soldier in Japan after World War Two was seen as a job for failed police recruits and unemployed youth from depressed rural towns. But as tension with China chips away at Japan's post-war pacifism, the military is regaining its prestige - helped by a blitz of television dramas, movies and cartoons.

Patriotic zeal is now a more compelling reason to enlist. A decade ago, around one in 10 candidates said they wanted to be a soldier for love of country. These days it's closer to one in three, according to recruitment data obtained by Reuters.

Film directors, animators and TV producers have delivered a bumper crop of military-themed content, much of it with help from the Ministry of Defense.

Hit shows include "Girls und Panzer", a cartoon about schoolgirls fighting tank battles, and "Eternal Zero", a movie about a kamikaze pilot that its director made in part to counter an image of Japanese soldiers as fanatics.

The military's attempt to emerge from decades in the shadows is in line with Prime Minister Shinzo Abe's more nationalistic tone and a less apologetic diplomacy.

Making the military cool is important for Abe's drive to increase defence spending after years of cuts. But even a soft-power approach to boosting defence risks inflaming tensions with neighbours who still have strong memories of Japan's aggression.

"It's our job to explain to the Japanese people why we have to raise the Self-Defense Force budget," said Hirokazu Mihara, the head of public relations at the Defense Ministry. "We need to have as close a relationship with them as possible."

That relationship is getting tighter.

Reflecting the praise the Self-Defense Force (SDF) won for its rescue efforts after the devastating earthquake and tsunami that hit Japan in 2011, a government survey in 2012 showed that 91.7 percent of respondents expressed a favourable opinion of the military, the highest level since the survey began in 1969.

MILITARY ALLERGY

Escalating tension with China over maritime borders and the threat from North Korean missiles have ensured the military's place in the media spotlight.

"When I was at school, feelings about the war were strong and anti-military feeling was high," said Yutaka Takaku, editor of Mamoru, the Defense Ministry's official magazine. "That allergy is going. People realise a military is necessary."

The growing popularity of soldiers as potential husbands prompted Takaku to begin a dating feature that introduces three single men from the navy, airforce or army every month.

Each issue also has a popular female model on its cover to draw in men. In December it was Mai Fuchigami, the voice of one of the lead characters in "Girls und Panzer".

The TV series, which ran last year, featured the girls commanding old and modern tanks accurately drawn to scale. To get those details right, staff from Bandai Visual, an animation unit of computer game maker Namco Bandai, were granted access to the army's tank school and other SDF bases.

The girls are never hurt in the cartoon battles, protected by a special "carbon lining" in their tanks.

"We have presented it like a sports tournament. A real battle would mean people dying," said producer Kiyoshi Sugiyama.

Bandai, which will release a "Girls und Panzer" movie this year, has also collaborated with Wargaming.net, put out a mobile social game in Japan and plans to sell a game for Sony Corp's PSP Vita handheld console.

The cartoon, Sugiyama said, was not made to promote the military but as a venture to make money for Bandai. Nonetheless, the girls and their tanks have reinforced the military's public relations, with copycat characters used in recruitment posters.

At the army's annual live-fire exercises last August, a record 110,000 people applied for less than 6,000 public seats, many of them fans of the cartoon.

"THE POWER OF POPULAR CULTURE"

Cute images have long been used by Japan's military but it has become even more "warm and fuzzy" to appeal to young people, said Sabinne Fruhstuck, professor of Modern Japanese Cultural Studies at the University of California, Santa Barbara.

"The military has, along with other governmental agencies and corporations, finally discovered the power of popular culture. Thus those tank girls," said Fruhstuck, who wrote "Uneasy Warriors", a 2007 book about the Japanese army.

But the popularity of the armed forces may not translate into greater public backing for military action, she said.

The military's appetite for publicity prompted it to lend a missile destroyer to Takashi Yamazaki, the director of "Eternal Zero", for a day. The footage he took helped generate computer images of a wartime aircraft carrier.

"If you approach the SDF with a proposal that is going to make them look bad then you won't get anywhere," he said. "But if it benefits both sides then they are ready to cooperate."

Yamazaki's movie led box office returns at the end of last year. The tale of a kamikaze pilot moved prime minister Abe to tears, according to media reports.

The resurgent role of the military and the prospect of changes to Japan's pacificist constitution have alarmed its Chinese and Korean neighbours.

Naoki Hyakuta, author of a 2006 book on which "Eternal Zero" was based and an Abe-appointed member of state broadcaster NHK's board, further fuelled those concerns in February.

In a speech backing Toshio Tamogami, a right-wing candidate in elections for Tokyo's governor, Hyakuta denied the Nanjing Massacre ever happened. China says 300,000 people were killed.

Other backers of Tamogami, who won 12 percent of the vote in Tokyo, are also looking to transform wartime history.

Satoru Mizushima, the head of right-wing Internet TV service Channel Sakura, welcomes the higher profile of the military as "a return to normality". Japan's decision to go to war, he argues, inspired Asian nations to throw off Western imperialism.

"The question is who is going to contain the fascist regime in China and it looks like it is down to Japan," said Mizushima.

Yamazaki, the "Eternal Zero" director, also wants to revise history lessons, albeit in a milder way.

"The education we received after the war was one sided," he said. "That doesn't mean we have to flip to the other side but we need to think how we can achieve a middle road."

(Editing by John O'Callaghan)

Kredit: www.thestar.com.my

The Star Online: Entertainment: TV & Radio

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Olivia Wilde joins Scorsese and Jagger's TV series

Posted: 12 Mar 2014 09:45 PM PDT

The American actress has landed a role in the potential rock 'n' roll series, which has been in development since 2010.

Olivia Wilde is set to join an untitled series by Martin Scorsese, who will direct and produce alongside Mick Jagger. The show focuses on Richie Finestra, a record executive seeking fresh talent and a new sound to revive his New York label. The cocaine-fueled character experiences an exciting time in the music industry, starting in 1977, when disco is taking off and punk and hip hop are beginning to emerge.

Olivia Wilde will play Devon Finestra, a former actress and model who is Richie's wife. Facing pressure at home due to her husband's creative crisis, she begins to reimmerse herself in the Bohemian lifestyle she lived during the 1960s.

The actress, who played Dr Thirteen on House M.D. from 2007 to 2011, will be joined on the set by Bobby Cannavale, who joined the project last June in the title role.

Wilde's arrival could accelerate development on the project, which has been gestating for quite some time. Deadline.com indicates that the pilot may be shot as early as this summer, although HBO has yet to make a commitment for this initial episode. — AFP Relaxnews

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The Star eCentral: Movie Reviews

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'Fantastic Four': Who will play Doctor Doom?

Posted: 12 Mar 2014 10:00 PM PDT

Four up-and-coming stars are now in the running to play the villain in the superhero flick.

A varied list of leading men are up for the part of Marvel villain Doctor Doom in the June 2015 action movie Fantastic Four.

Sam Riley, Eddie Redmayne, Toby Kebbell and Domhnall Gleeson are all in with a shout of landing the role of supervillain Doctor Doom in Josh Trank's blockbuster-in-waiting, according to The Wrap.

Riley starred in Joy Division biopic Control and plays Diaval in Disney's upcoming Maleficent, Redmayne was Marius in Les Miserables and Stephen in the adaptation of Sebastian Faulks's Birdsong.

Sam Riley


Eddie Redmayne in Les Miserables.

Kebbell has appeared alongside Jake Gyllenhaal in Prince Of Persia: The Sands Of Time, in Charlie Brooker's series Black Mirror, in the Paddy Considine revenge tale Dead Man's Shoes, and in the Sam Worthington flick Wrath Of The Titans, while Domhnall Gleeson – another Black Mirror aluminus – has both True Grit and Harry Potter And The Deathly Hallows on his recent resume.

Each member of the versatile quartet is either British or Irish, and each complement the existing cast's youthful profile. Miles Teller, Kate Mara, Michael B. Jordan and Jamie Bell are already on board for the superhero adventure. — AFP Relaxnews

Toby Kebbell in Wrath Of The Titans.

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'Fantastic Four': Who will play Doctor Doom?

Posted: 12 Mar 2014 10:00 PM PDT

Four up-and-coming stars are now in the running to play the villain in the superhero flick.

A varied list of leading men are up for the part of Marvel villain Doctor Doom in the June 2015 action movie Fantastic Four.

Sam Riley, Eddie Redmayne, Toby Kebbell and Domhnall Gleeson are all in with a shout of landing the role of supervillain Doctor Doom in Josh Trank's blockbuster-in-waiting, according to The Wrap.

Riley starred in Joy Division biopic Control and plays Diaval in Disney's upcoming Maleficent, Redmayne was Marius in Les Miserables and Stephen in the adaptation of Sebastian Faulks's Birdsong.

Sam Riley


Eddie Redmayne in Les Miserables.

Kebbell has appeared alongside Jake Gyllenhaal in Prince Of Persia: The Sands Of Time, in Charlie Brooker's series Black Mirror, in the Paddy Considine revenge tale Dead Man's Shoes, and in the Sam Worthington flick Wrath Of The Titans, while Domhnall Gleeson – another Black Mirror aluminus – has both True Grit and Harry Potter And The Deathly Hallows on his recent resume.

Each member of the versatile quartet is either British or Irish, and each complement the existing cast's youthful profile. Miles Teller, Kate Mara, Michael B. Jordan and Jamie Bell are already on board for the superhero adventure. — AFP Relaxnews

Toby Kebbell in Wrath Of The Titans.

Kredit: www.thestar.com.my

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Construction, infrastructure outlook seen excellent

Posted: 13 Mar 2014 09:00 AM PDT

CONSTRUCTION

and INFRASTRUCTURE

By Affin Investment Bank

Overweight (maintained)

WITH over RM130bil in economic transformation programme (ETP) jobs left to be awarded, Affin Investment Bank said prospects in the construction and infrastructure sector still looked excellent for significant order book enhancement for key contractors.

This is despite the ongoing government review to address the public sector budget deficit.

It recommended that a strategy of focusing on contractors with excellent track record, strong balance sheets and good order book visibility would prove to be the most fruitful.

Along with good order book and earnings visibility, the prospects of key contractors should be enhanced by growing property gross development values (GDV) and recurring income assets, said Affin Investment Bank.

Amongst them, it added, were Gamuda, IJM Corp, WCT and MRCB.

In addition to strong operating profits from core activities, it said these key contractors offered prospects for the monetisation of concession and property investment assets through disposals or listings and that shareholders may be rewarded with special dividends and preferential issuances.

At this stage of a market upcycle that started in late-2008, Affin Investment Bank thought it was fair to say that the easy money had been made.

However, it believed that key construction stocks still had room for more gains.

This is because their strong earnings prospects did not seem to have been fully priced in, while many ETP projects have yet to be tendered, the research house reckoned.

It maintained an "overweight" on the sector and "buy" calls on all but Gabungen AQRS, which is an "add".

Affin Investment Bank's top picks for exposure to the sector are Gamuda and IJM Corp.

RUBBER PRODUCTS

By RHB Research Institute

Overweight (maintained)

RHB Research Institute said it was upbeat on the glove sector given the favourable operating environment from resilient demand for gloves overall, increased health awareness in developing countries, softening latex and nitrile prices, and the appreciation of the US dollar vs the ringgit.

It said its sector top pick was Kossan, given its expected robust earnings growth over the next two years backed by capacity expansion.

The research house expected overall demand for gloves to remain healthy and grow at an annual rate of 8%-10% over the next few years.

It said this would be backed by natural organic growth in larger markets like the United States and European Union as well as the boost from rising healthcare awareness in developing nations where natural rubber glove penetration was still as high as 90%.

Based on nitrile capacity expansion plans by the big four glove makers, it estimated that the new incoming nitrile supply stream would total 14.1 billion pieces for this year.

This, the research house added, would be absorbed by an estimated new global demand of 13.8 billion pieces this year. Assuming a 20% year-on-year growth for nitrile gloves up to 2016, it believed that an oversupply scenario would not occur as the upcoming nitrile capacity would be soaked up by growing global demand for such gloves.

Yinson slips after rally

Posted: 13 Mar 2014 06:50 PM PDT

KUALA LUMPUR: Shares of Yinson Holdings fell to a low of RM9.03 early Friday after its recent rally as the weaker broader market prompted investors to lock in their profits.

At 9.44am, it was down 13 sen to RM9.03. There were 104,600 shares done.

The FBM KLCI fell 9.98 points to 1,808.88. Turnover was 249.78 million shares valued at RM233.44mil. There were 89 gainers, 347 losers and 196 counters unchanged.

However, AmResearch is maintaining its Buy call on Yinson with an unchanged fair value of RM10.30 a share, based on sum-of-parts (SOP) valuation.

It said this implies a FY15F PE of 23 times and EV/EBITD (enterprise value/earnings before interest, tax & depreciation) of 14 times - comparable with its current valuations for Bumi Armada.

AmResearch said Yinson has raised its rights proposal by 20% from RM500mil to RM600mil due to its recent share price appreciation. 

KLCI slides, sees support at 1,800

Posted: 13 Mar 2014 06:20 PM PDT

KUALA LUMPUR: Key Asian markets and Malaysia's blue chips fell in volatile trade early Friday after the overnight tumble on Wall Street, with the FBM KLCI falling more than 12 points.

At 9.10am, the KLCI was down 12.08 points to 1,806.78. Turnover was 115.01 million shares valued at RM75.42mil. Declining stocks beat advancers 236 to 58 while 159 counters were unchanged.

BIMB Securities Research expects local market to remain volatile with the slight downside bias due to heavy selling around the world and continuous outflowing of foreign institutions investors.

"Expect to see immediate support at 1,815/20 while resistance at 1,825/30," it said.

Plantations were among the losers, with KL Kepong down 42 sen to RM23.52 and PPB Group lost 20 sen to RM16 but United Plantations rose 60 sen to RM25.40.

However, RHB Research maintains its Overweight outlook on plantations and it expects better quarters ahead on the back of rising crude palm oil (CPO) prices and lower production costs. 

Public Bank fell 14 sen to RM18.0 and RHB Cap 13 sen to RM7.85 while AmBank shed nine sen to RM7.02 and CIMB eight sen lower at RM7.01.

Tenaga gave up 10 sen to RM11.84 and Petronas Gas eight sen to RM22.92.

However, Takaful rose 38 sen to RM10.82 while IJM Land gained five sen to RM2.76 and Time dotCom four sen higher at RM3.79. 

Kredit: www.thestar.com.my

The Star Online: Nation

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Missing MH370: Life raft-like object unlikely from missing aircraft

Posted: 12 Mar 2014 09:00 AM PDT

PORT DICKSON: A life raft-like object found by fishermen in the Malacca Straits on Tuesday afternoon is not from the missing Malaysia Airlines aircraft, preliminary investigations have showed.

A source said the object was normally found in sea vessels.

"Based on preliminary investigations, we feel that the object is used by sea vessels and not in aircraft. But we can't conclude anything until we see it," he told The Star.

Earlier yesterday, a group of fishermen out at sea claimed that they had found what looked like a life raft some 10 nautical miles off the resort town here.

They claimed that they saw the life raft-like object with the words "Boarding" printed on it.

Fisherman Azman Mohamad, 40, said they immediately notified the authorities.

The fishermen managed to secure the object to their boat while waiting for the MMEA team but it sank because it was too heavy.

Missing MH370: Family members get some answers from Malaysian reps

Posted: 12 Mar 2014 09:00 AM PDT

BEIJING: Families of the Chinese passengers on board MH370 came for an important meeting with officials from the Malaysian Government looking for answers.

The Department of Civil Aviation (DCA) provided some information when questioned by the family members on whether any military had detected the aircraft on its radar when it went missing.

"The last thing the pilot spoke to the Subang Air Control was 'Okay, goodnight' when we passed the aircraft over to our counterpart in Ho Chi Minh," a DCA representative said at the meeting here yesterday.

The frustrated family members also wanted to know why the news was not announced as soon as the aircraft lost contact with air controllers, as they feared the delay could have hampered the search and rescue mission.

They remained mostly calm and reminded themselves not to create havoc to avoid outbursts.

With regard to their visas, Malaysian ambassador to China Datuk Iskandar Sarudin assured them that their applications would be sorted out in a timely manner.

"In a meeting with the ambassadors from Asean countries, all of them agreed to facilitate the visa issuance should the aircraft be identified in their countries," said Iskandar.

Firefly CEO Ignatius Ong, who represents Malaysia Airlines here, said that at the request of the family members, MAS had added a term in the acceptance form distributed to them concerning the financial sum of 31,000 yuan (RM16,592) that MAS promised to pay to them.

He said if the family members accepted the offer, the sum would not be deducted from the compensation that might be given later.

Prime Minister's Special Envoy to China Tan Sri Ong Ka Ting yesterday visited the Malaysia Airlines team stationed at Lido Hotel here to provide support.

He conveyed the Prime Minister's concern to the team which has been working since Saturday to take care of the needs of the families.

Ong added that he had also informed the Chinese Foreign Ministry of the airline's difficulty in its caregiving mission here, and the situation had improved.

Missing MH370: Public show their support in various forms

Posted: 12 Mar 2014 09:00 AM PDT

PETALING JAYA: As nation and world continue to reel in shock over the missing MH370 flight, there has been plenty of public support for families and friends of the 239 onboard.

There have been outpourings of sympathy and empathy in the form of public message walls; poems and good wishes over the radio; as well as tributes made over Twitter and via Facebook and Instagram to show support.

Malaysians for Malaysia, a civil society movement, has been mobilising shopping malls in the Klang Valley to help people show their support.

Several malls have set up message walls on their premises.

"These let people express their support and compassion," said Azrul Mohd Khalib, a convenor for the movement.

"The messages also offer some comfort to the families and friends of those aboard MH370."

At MATTA Fair 2014, taking place at the Putra World Trade Centre this weekend, the anticipated 100,000 visitors are expected to show support for MH370 by leaving messages of hope on a specially set up wall.

The Star Radio Group, through its CapitalFM radio station, interviewed Singaporean Susan Chee yesterday, who gave pointers on coping with anxiety. She lost her husband in the 1997 Silkair tragedy.

Chee is also the general manager of Wicare, a Singapore organisation which counsels and supports families who are less fortunate.

Another radio station 988FM, will be holding a vigil tomorrow from 8pm to 9.30pm in front of Tropicana City Office Towers.

Listeners can express their hopes and prayers by writing it on balloons and boards, and there will be a performance by local Chinese artistes, who are coming together to show their support for MH370.

On SuriaFM's Ceria Pagi show, words of encouragement in the form of poems and stories from the public were read out at intervals from 5am to 9am yesterday.

Social media was also flooded with prayers and hope wishes.

Malaysian food-art star Samantha Lee posted this on her Facebook page: "MH370 … I know you're somewhere out there n I pray for your safe return", garnering 3,430 likes.

She also created a "dish of hope" with bread representing clouds and the aeroplane, buildings of cream cheese, an orange as the sun and the flight number in chocolate.

Instagram user Che Yusaidi Che Yusoff (@Chedd) created a batik-inspired piece on his smartphone containing the names of the cabin crew aboard the missing flight.

"My wife works for MAS so she knows half of the crew members on the plane," said the creative head at a production company.

Related story:

Malls offer platforms for shoppers to pen messages for those affected by MH370

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The Star Online: Entertainment: Movies

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'Fantastic Four': Who will play Doctor Doom?

Posted: 12 Mar 2014 10:00 PM PDT

Four up-and-coming stars are now in the running to play the villain in the superhero flick.

A varied list of leading men are up for the part of Marvel villain Doctor Doom in the June 2015 action movie Fantastic Four.

Sam Riley, Eddie Redmayne, Toby Kebbell and Domhnall Gleeson are all in with a shout of landing the role of supervillain Doctor Doom in Josh Trank's blockbuster-in-waiting, according to The Wrap.

Riley starred in Joy Division biopic Control and plays Diaval in Disney's upcoming Maleficent, Redmayne was Marius in Les Miserables and Stephen in the adaptation of Sebastian Faulks's Birdsong.

Sam Riley


Eddie Redmayne in Les Miserables.

Kebbell has appeared alongside Jake Gyllenhaal in Prince Of Persia: The Sands Of Time, in Charlie Brooker's series Black Mirror, in the Paddy Considine revenge tale Dead Man's Shoes, and in the Sam Worthington flick Wrath Of The Titans, while Domhnall Gleeson – another Black Mirror aluminus – has both True Grit and Harry Potter And The Deathly Hallows on his recent resume.

Each member of the versatile quartet is either British or Irish, and each complement the existing cast's youthful profile. Miles Teller, Kate Mara, Michael B. Jordan and Jamie Bell are already on board for the superhero adventure. — AFP Relaxnews

Toby Kebbell in Wrath Of The Titans.

Mireille Enos makes her mark with dark and dreary roles

Posted: 11 Mar 2014 09:00 AM PDT

The star of The Killing will next be seen in the action movie, Sabotage.

On an unseasonably warm winter day, Mireille Enos is dressed for spring. Red-headed and radiant in a floral print dress, she's also quick to smile. This bears mention because Enos' roles in film and television tend to not be very bright.

The Sugar Land, Texas native and High School for the Performing and Visual Arts grad is best known for doing three seasons of The Killing, work that requires a lot of standing in the rain in Vancouver during the winter. Fittingly on the show, she plays Detective Sarah Linden, an anguished Seattle officer who does the decidedly glum work of investigating the murders of children.

Prior to The Killing, Enos played twins JoDean Marquart and Kathy Marquart on the dark Big Love. Nothing good happened to them. And more recently she was Karin Lane in World War Z, which allowed Enos to clutch a walkie-talkie waiting for calls from Brad Pitt, who was being pursued by zombies.

"My manager and I joke that next I need to play a character who talks and wears colourful clothes," Enos says, laughing. She rattles off a few forthcoming projects, all of which sound pretty dark. "But I did just shoot a lovely little movie called If I Stay with Chloƫ Moretz based on a lovely young adult novel. I get to be much lighter and happier in that one. Which was nice."

We'll have to take her word for it. The IMDb summary of the film is as follows: "A car accident lands 17-year-old Mia in a coma and claims the life of her family."

But Enos works well amid death and darkness. Because she's played such quiet types, Enos has had to find physical ways to convey information, particularly on The Killing. Enos has had a herky jerky relationship with Linden, simply because the show keeps getting cancelled and resurrected. "We can't get rid of it, right?" Enos says.

AMC cancelled the show once but brought it back. After the cable channel pulled the plug a second time, Netflix stepped in with plans to shoot a short fourth season to air this year. A show frequently critiqued for leaving viewers hanging between seasons will likely have the opportunity to write its own resolution.

Enos – who has received Emmy and Golden Globe nominations for the show – can't talk about plot points, but says, "It's a continuation of where we left off in Season Three. It's about resolving events from that season.

"But it's nice to have the opportunity to close it the way Veena (Sud, the show's creator) wants to. I'll miss Sarah. It's the longest I've ever spent with any character. Getting to end it this way will help me feel like there was closure."

Enos is married to actor Alan Ruck and they have one child together, Vesper Vivianne Ruck. The actress was in Texas for an HSPVA luncheon at the River Oaks Country Club, where she was honoured and a guest speaker. She credits her mother, who was roving about the event beforehand taking photos of some of the art pieces and performers, with nurturing her career when Enos was young.

"She wanted to dance, but she didn't have the chance," Enos says. "So she promised herself – not just for the arts, but anything her kids wanted to do, she'd throw open the doors if she could. Of course she got a bunch of arty kids. But she was the one up all night helping us with audition pieces, driving us to rehearsals, throwing study parties."

The fourth of five children, Enos followed an older sister to HSPVA, where she studied in the school's theatre programme until her graduation in 1993. She calls the school "magic. There's something very special they've captured there. Such a diverse group of kids thrown together. No cliques, no acting out. Just creative people who were thrilled to be there.

"There was no turning back after that. No backup plan. This was the deal."

After college, Enos moved to New York City. Her first big break came with a 2005 Broadway production of Who's Afraid Of Virginia Woolf?, which earned her a Tony nomination.

Two years later she began appearing in Big Love, which led to her work on The Killing.

At 38, Enos is finding more doors open. She appreciates the slow slog toward success. "I don't think I would've been responsible enough in my twenties to navigate all this," she says.

In a few weeks, she'll begin shooting the final episodes of The Killing. While the show was on ice, Enos took several other projects. The first one set for release is Sabotage, about DEA agents being targeted by members of a drug cartel.

She also has made a pair of films with director Atom Egoyan, who isn't exactly known for light fare.

The first of those is Devil's Knot, a feature film about the West Memphis 3 – a trio of Arkansas teenagers who were believed by many to be innocent of three 1993 child murders for which they were convicted; they were released in 2011.

Enos plays Vicki Hutcherson, who was a crucial figure in turning the police investigation toward the accused, even though she later recanted her testimony.

Once again she finds herself in an internalised and tormented part.

"She's a tragic figure," Enos says, "a single mum who was barely keeping it together."

Like The Killing, the film sounds like it will be long on mood. Enos says Egoyan "shot it like a mystery. There's so much in the story that we don't know and will probably never know. He used factual events and actual dialog from courtroom transcripts. But there's some mystery there, and the mystery is what Atom really leaned into. He made it twisty." – Houston Chronicle/McClatchy-Tribune Information Services

Sabotage is scheduled to open in cinemas on April 10.

Kredit: www.thestar.com.my

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Bach to the dance: Composer's baroque music gets new shoes

Posted: 12 Mar 2014 09:00 AM PDT

Music and movement come together in this work that explores the merging of Bach's works with contemporary dance.

SHE reaches for a paper napkin and draws a grid. Beside it, she adds two parallel lines, and to its right, another two lines with a squiggle between them.

"That's Bach, Mozart and Beethoven," she says, pointing first to the grid as a representation of Bach's music, then moving on to the other two in succession.

Tan E-Jan captures with simple sketches the ambience of these great composers as she feels it.

And it is such emotions that Tan and Ng Chor Guan, the founders of Toccata Studio in Petaling Jaya, Selangor want to tap into with their latest offering, Moving Bach.

Described by the duo as a conversation between baroque music and contemporary dance, this production explores the possibilities that come with the merging of old (baroque music) with new (contemporary dance).

"Putting together something like this is a challenge for everyone involved in this production," says Tan, producer of Moving Bach. "Rehearsals are interesting because the working process of the dancers and musicians are so different. They have different approaches. To work together, they need to find a balance ... or maybe we don't want that balance!"

Dancer/choreographer Steve Goh (left) and Dylan Lee on cello, presenting Bach's Cello Suite in the first set of Moving Bach by Toccata Studio.

Dancer/choreographer Steve Goh (left) and Dylan Lee on cello, presenting Bach's Cello Suite in the first set of Moving Bach by Toccata Studio.

 

For it is through freedom of expression that Bach, for the purpose of this production, truly comes alive.

"We would like to see how living musicians and dancers intepret music that's over 300 years old with contemporary movements," says Tan of the production comprising three sets.

Moving Bach features JS Bach's Cello Suite in the first set, and Chaconne in the second, among the most well-known works of the prolific German composer.

The unpredictability of combining music from a time long past with contemporary dance is not just embraced, but actively encouraged, in Moving Bach. The production will feature Dylan Lee on cello and Tan Su Yin on marimba, accompanied by dancers/choreographers Steve Goh and Aida Redza, respectively, in the first two sets.

"This is the first time Dylan and Su Yin are working with dancers, so they have to not just play music, but also find a way to connect with Steve and Aida," says artistic director Ng, who will join the group of four in the third set of the production, which includes improvisation on elements from the first and second set.

He describes the third set as an "electro-acoustic experience" with sound sampling and remixes complementing the cello and marimba.

"Those who have been through a formal music education will probably be used to an intellectual way of looking at Bach's works," Ng comments, adding that the production hopes to demonstrate that the possibilities are endless, if you strive to look outside the box.

"There is so much more to it than what we were taught, or the way it has 'always been done'. I'd like people to take an open heart to the performance and explore with us," says Ng, adding that Toccato Studio – with a performance space that sits 40 people – hopes to eventually expand Moving Bach into a bigger production.

The production currently clocks in at just under an hour.

"As with most of Tocatta's productions, we go in with one aim: to encourage the audience to dream of all possibilities, of all that this could be.

"In this particular space, in this one hour at Toccata, what you see, what you hear, and what you feel, just let go and dare to dream," concludes Tan.

> Moving Bach is showing at Toccata Studio (19B, SS2/55, Petaling Jaya, Selangor) on March 15 (8.30pm) and March 16 (3pm). Admission is by minimum donation of RM30. Call 016-361 8504 or visit www.toccatastudio.blogspot.com for more information.

It's a woman's Life

Posted: 11 Mar 2014 09:00 AM PDT

Life Sdn Bhd is back and this year, it's all about the fairer sex.

HILLARY Rodham Clinton, Tan Sri Dr Zeti Akhtar Aziz, Julia Gillard, Angela Merkel – these are some of the most powerful women in the world and in our country. They stand as giants in this male-dominated world, as potent equals, if not superiors, on the pedestal of power.

However, a very subjective question arises: do women have to be world leaders and charters of history to be called powerful?

What about the ordinary woman, the everyday lady who goes about her simple life?

It is when one attempts to unpack that question will one discover that power can be found in the most mundane of circumstances. All it takes is for a woman to step forward and speak aloud about her afflictions, and at once, great power is displayed.

Remember Malala Yousafzai, the Pakistani teenager who became an activist in her country?

Challenging the notion that might begets power and confirming the adage that there is a mighty lion in the tiniest mouse is the 11th instalment of the thought-provoking production Life Sdn Bhd (Life).

It starts its four-day run on March 13 at the Kuala Lumpur Performing Arts Centre (KLPac).

Engendered by thespian Datuk Faridah Merican in 2004, Life's premise is the sharing of true life experiences by Malaysians from all walks of life, actors and non actors and bringing to the fore issues that affect us as people.

The theme for this year is The Power of Women, a less grim topic compared to human trafficking and refugees from the previous instalments.

"Last year, when I attended an International Women's Day celebration, I realised that there were speeches about women but not necessarily something out-of-the box. You still keep hearing the same kind of tone," said Faridah, who is the executive producer/co-founder of The Actors Studio Malaysia, KLPac and Performing Arts Centre of Penang.

"So I thought it would be good to celebrate the event by bringing to the fore a younger voice from our women and hear what they have to say," she added.

In no way penned by a playwright, the stories that will be shared by the storytellers were plucked from their own experiences, stories "that have touched them as they were growing up or observations of their grandmas and mothers," Faridah shared.

"The stories become more valuable and magical because they are real," said Rebecca Ong Yuen Teng, a 19-year-old musician who will be playing the violin in the Power of Women String Quartet, a new addition to the series.

"How often do you get to hear about the inner workings of females?" quipped Diane Au Kitt May, one of the storytellers.

Faridah reiterated that power is not necessarily reflected by high-ranking positions in the world government.

"The power of women does not mean that you have to be powerful. For example, one of our actors has a lifelong affliction and she is willing to come forward and share her story. That, to me, shows the power that's in her," opined Faridah.

While Ong feels there is power in the collective strength of the quartet, Au hopes that "women will see themselves differently and value the female influences in their lives just that little bit more."

Despite the theme, there will be a performance by a trio of men, called Lelaki 2.5, comprising choreographer Lex Lakshman, and singer-songwriters Ian Chow and Ariff Akhir.

Like anything in life, power and strength is usually found when one is stripped bare and is faced with a giant and that is exactly what you will experience in The Power Of Women. It lies, Faridah said, in the "rawness of the presentations".

> Life Sdn Bhd: The Power Of Women is on at Pentas 2 in KLPac, Kuala Lumpur. Dates: March 13-15 (8.30pm) and March 16 (3pm). Tickets are priced at RM33 (students, disabled and TAS card members) and RM43. For more information, call 03-4047 9000 or visit www.klpac.org.

Kredit: www.thestar.com.my

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India court upholds death sentence for Delhi gang-rapists

Posted: 13 Mar 2014 03:58 AM PDT

NEW DELHI: An Indian court upheld Thursday the death penalty handed to four men convicted of the fatal gang-rape of a student in New Delhi, an attack that shocked the country and sparked weeks of protests.

The High Court rejected an appeal by the four who were sentenced last year to hang following a trial over the attack on the 23-year-old student on a moving bus in the capital in December 2012.

"Our appeal has been dismissed by the high court," AP Singh, a lawyer for the four, told reporters outside the court in New Delhi.

"The death sentence of the four convicts has been upheld. We will go to the Supreme Court (to appeal further)," Singh said.

"This is a politically motivated decision," he added, claiming that the judges were under political pressure ahead of the country's general elections next month.

Indian defense lawyer AP Singh (centre), representing two of the convicts of the Delhi gang rape band, talks to the media outside the Delhi high court. -EPA

The physiotherapy student was attacked by six men, including with an iron rod, after she boarded a private bus while going home from the cinema with a male friend. They were both later dumped naked and bleeding on the roadside.

She died 13 days later from the internal injuries inflicted.

The brutality of the attack, and her determination to survive long enough to identify her attackers to police, triggered large-scale angry street protests as well as soul-searching about India's treatment of women.

The case led to tougher rape and sexual assault laws and shone an international spotlight on what women's groups called a "rape epidemic" in the country.

Four of her attackers were convicted last September after the case was fast-tracked, while a juvenile was sentenced to the maximum of three years in a detention centre. A sixth man was found dead in jail in a suspected suicide.

The student's mother, who cannot be identified for legal reasons, welcomed the decision, saying the family was "inching closer to justice".

"Complete justice will be delivered when all the convicts are hanged to death," she said outside the court.

"The juvenile accused should also get the same punishment," she said.

The father said he was "satisfied" with the result, adding that he too wanted them hanged.

A small crowd gathered outside the court chanted in favour of the death penalty, saying "the rapists should be hanged to death".

The court dismissed the men's appeal as well as confirmed the death penalty handed down by the trial court, after consideration. As part of Indian legal procedure, the High Court is required to review the death penalty delivered by a lower court.

Rising from Haiyan’s ruins

Posted: 12 Mar 2014 09:00 AM PDT

TACLOBAN: In the savage aftermath of the Philippines' deadliest storm, an exhausted young woman gave birth to a girl on a filthy floor with little more than determination to sustain them.

Emily Sagalis survived the tsunami-like ocean surges of Super Typhoon Haiyan by gripping a fence with one hand, while using the other to protect her swollen belly from chunks of metal and other fast-floating debris.

Three days later, the 21-year-old was lying on a concrete floor in labour amid broken glass, splintered wood and other wreckage of a destroyed airport building that had been turned into a makeshift medical centre.

A military doctor told a journalist who witnessed the birth – the first at the centre since the typhoon – that Sagalis' life was in danger as there were no antibiotics to treat seemingly inevitable infections.

But with the medics overwhelmed by a torrent of critically injured survivors, Sagalis was forced to leave with Bea Joy just seven hours after giving birth.

Haiyan, one of the most powerful typhoons ever recorded, claimed about 8,000 lives last November, with many people dying in the terrifying days that followed when medicines, food and water were scarce.

Sagalis and Bea Joy, however, defeated death.

"I am happy that Bea Joy is happy and healthy. That's the most important thing," Sagalis said on a recent visit to their shanty rebuilt alongside hundreds of tents provided by international relief agencies.

The home Sagalis shares with Bea Joy and her unemployed husband, Jobert, is so close to the Pacific Ocean that the grey sand beach forms the floor of their tiny kitchen and sleeping area.

It is built on the same site as their previous home in San Jose, where all the buildings were wiped out as waves generated by Haiyan powered inland.

Thousands of people have returned to San Jose and neighbouring towns to live in crudely built homes, or in white tents from the United Nations' Refugee Agency (UNHCR) that has helped lead relief efforts.

Sagalis, Jobert and Bea Joy have so far had a steady supply of food and water, thanks almost entirely to donations from foreign and local charities.

Sagalis never did suffer from infections from the cuts suffered during the storm and giving birth in unsterile conditions.

That is about where the mercies end.

Like their neighbours, Sagalis and Jobert have to continue living in San Jose as they have no money to go anywhere else and the government has yet to deliver on promises to relocate them.

Jobert was working as a delivery man in Manila when the typhoon hit. He lost his job when he decided to return home and care for his family.

Now, the family income is about a dollar a day, which Jobert earns by taking passengers in and around San Jose on a pedicab that was donated by a relief agency.

That money goes almost immediately on nappies for Bea Joy, plus some eggs and other supplements to the relief food.

Sagalis and Jobert are desperate for more, but not a lot.

"We are hoping we can have the life we had before, a normal life. We hope that we can have a new home, not like this one," Jobert said.

Asked if she felt fear then, or when she was in labour at the shattered airport compound, Sagalis shook her head in the negative and said: "I just tried to be strong for my baby." — AFP

Kredit: www.thestar.com.my

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India court upholds death sentence for Delhi gang-rapists

Posted: 13 Mar 2014 03:58 AM PDT

NEW DELHI: An Indian court upheld Thursday the death penalty handed to four men convicted of the fatal gang-rape of a student in New Delhi, an attack that shocked the country and sparked weeks of protests.

The High Court rejected an appeal by the four who were sentenced last year to hang following a trial over the attack on the 23-year-old student on a moving bus in the capital in December 2012.

"Our appeal has been dismissed by the high court," AP Singh, a lawyer for the four, told reporters outside the court in New Delhi.

"The death sentence of the four convicts has been upheld. We will go to the Supreme Court (to appeal further)," Singh said.

"This is a politically motivated decision," he added, claiming that the judges were under political pressure ahead of the country's general elections next month.

Indian defense lawyer AP Singh (centre), representing two of the convicts of the Delhi gang rape band, talks to the media outside the Delhi high court. -EPA

The physiotherapy student was attacked by six men, including with an iron rod, after she boarded a private bus while going home from the cinema with a male friend. They were both later dumped naked and bleeding on the roadside.

She died 13 days later from the internal injuries inflicted.

The brutality of the attack, and her determination to survive long enough to identify her attackers to police, triggered large-scale angry street protests as well as soul-searching about India's treatment of women.

The case led to tougher rape and sexual assault laws and shone an international spotlight on what women's groups called a "rape epidemic" in the country.

Four of her attackers were convicted last September after the case was fast-tracked, while a juvenile was sentenced to the maximum of three years in a detention centre. A sixth man was found dead in jail in a suspected suicide.

The student's mother, who cannot be identified for legal reasons, welcomed the decision, saying the family was "inching closer to justice".

"Complete justice will be delivered when all the convicts are hanged to death," she said outside the court.

"The juvenile accused should also get the same punishment," she said.

The father said he was "satisfied" with the result, adding that he too wanted them hanged.

A small crowd gathered outside the court chanted in favour of the death penalty, saying "the rapists should be hanged to death".

The court dismissed the men's appeal as well as confirmed the death penalty handed down by the trial court, after consideration. As part of Indian legal procedure, the High Court is required to review the death penalty delivered by a lower court.

Rising from Haiyan’s ruins

Posted: 12 Mar 2014 09:00 AM PDT

TACLOBAN: In the savage aftermath of the Philippines' deadliest storm, an exhausted young woman gave birth to a girl on a filthy floor with little more than determination to sustain them.

Emily Sagalis survived the tsunami-like ocean surges of Super Typhoon Haiyan by gripping a fence with one hand, while using the other to protect her swollen belly from chunks of metal and other fast-floating debris.

Three days later, the 21-year-old was lying on a concrete floor in labour amid broken glass, splintered wood and other wreckage of a destroyed airport building that had been turned into a makeshift medical centre.

A military doctor told a journalist who witnessed the birth – the first at the centre since the typhoon – that Sagalis' life was in danger as there were no antibiotics to treat seemingly inevitable infections.

But with the medics overwhelmed by a torrent of critically injured survivors, Sagalis was forced to leave with Bea Joy just seven hours after giving birth.

Haiyan, one of the most powerful typhoons ever recorded, claimed about 8,000 lives last November, with many people dying in the terrifying days that followed when medicines, food and water were scarce.

Sagalis and Bea Joy, however, defeated death.

"I am happy that Bea Joy is happy and healthy. That's the most important thing," Sagalis said on a recent visit to their shanty rebuilt alongside hundreds of tents provided by international relief agencies.

The home Sagalis shares with Bea Joy and her unemployed husband, Jobert, is so close to the Pacific Ocean that the grey sand beach forms the floor of their tiny kitchen and sleeping area.

It is built on the same site as their previous home in San Jose, where all the buildings were wiped out as waves generated by Haiyan powered inland.

Thousands of people have returned to San Jose and neighbouring towns to live in crudely built homes, or in white tents from the United Nations' Refugee Agency (UNHCR) that has helped lead relief efforts.

Sagalis, Jobert and Bea Joy have so far had a steady supply of food and water, thanks almost entirely to donations from foreign and local charities.

Sagalis never did suffer from infections from the cuts suffered during the storm and giving birth in unsterile conditions.

That is about where the mercies end.

Like their neighbours, Sagalis and Jobert have to continue living in San Jose as they have no money to go anywhere else and the government has yet to deliver on promises to relocate them.

Jobert was working as a delivery man in Manila when the typhoon hit. He lost his job when he decided to return home and care for his family.

Now, the family income is about a dollar a day, which Jobert earns by taking passengers in and around San Jose on a pedicab that was donated by a relief agency.

That money goes almost immediately on nappies for Bea Joy, plus some eggs and other supplements to the relief food.

Sagalis and Jobert are desperate for more, but not a lot.

"We are hoping we can have the life we had before, a normal life. We hope that we can have a new home, not like this one," Jobert said.

Asked if she felt fear then, or when she was in labour at the shattered airport compound, Sagalis shook her head in the negative and said: "I just tried to be strong for my baby." — AFP

Researchers find tumour-stunting protein complex

Posted: 12 Mar 2014 09:00 AM PDT

RESEARCHERS at the Duke-NUS Graduate Medical School have discovered a protein complex which they say can disrupt a process known to promote tumour development.

Known as dedifferentiation, the process causes tumours by leading mature cells to become ectopic neural stem cells.

These cells undergo uncontrolled growth, which eventually leads to brain tumours.

The team of researchers conducted a study using the brains of fruit flies uncovered a protein complex which can prevent the formation of ectopic neural stem cells.

The flies' neural stem cells are similar to those of humans.

The discovery will provide insight on how the tumour development process can be inhibited and also help with the "development of future cancer therapies". the school said in a statement. — The Straits Times / Asia News Network

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