Khamis, 3 April 2014

The Star Online: Metro: Sunday Metro

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The Star Online: Metro: Sunday Metro


Indonesia's PDI-P set to win

Posted: 03 Apr 2014 09:00 AM PDT

JAKARTA: Indonesia's main opposition party is set to win a convincing victory at legislative elections next week, boosted by the nomination of the popular Jakarta governor as their presidential candidate, a poll showed.

The Indonesian Democratic Party of Struggle (PDI-P) will take 37% of the vote at the election, a survey of 2,000 people by private pollster Roy Morgan Research suggested.

The poll put the corruption-mired Democratic Party of President Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono in fourth place with 10%.

The Golkar party, the former political vehicle of late dictator Suharto, came second in the survey with its support declining to 17%, while the Gerindra party of ex-army general Prabowo Subianto was in third with 14%.

The PDI-P had been expected to top the elections for some months, but it has seen an increase in popularity since the nomination of governor Joko Widodo as its candidate for the presidential elections in July.

Roy Morgan Research reported a 10% jump in the party's popularity after Widodo, known universally by his nickname of "Jokowi", was chosen in mid-March, compared to a previous poll.

His humble demeanour and common touch – he regularly heads out to meet people in the capital's poorer districts – has endeared him to a nation sick of aloof, political leaders with deep roots in the Suharto era.

The survey showed the percentage of people saying they would vote for Widodo in the presidential polls rising to 45% from 35% in a survey before his nomination.

His main rival for the presidency is seen as Subianto but he lagged far behind in the survey with only 15% saying they would pick him as head of state.

Roy Morgan Research is an Australian company which has an Indonesian office.

The survey was released on Wednesday.

Some 186 million voters are eligible to cast ballots in the legislative elections in the world's third-biggest democracy, with 12 parties competing for 560 seats in the national parliament. — AFP

Google launches digital tour of Angkor Wat

Posted: 03 Apr 2014 09:00 AM PDT

SIEM REAP: Cambodia's Angkor Wat has been digitally mapped for the first time, allowing people to visit the World Heritage Site from the comfort of their armchair using Google Street View.

The project is part of a growing trend aimed at Internet users who might otherwise never have the chance to visit the cultural and architectural wonders of the world.

Google took more than a million photos of Angkor – the result is 90,000 360° views of more than 100 temples.

Street View allows users to zoom in on an area, and then explore.

"Recently we've done the Taj Mahal, the Grand Canyon, Mount Fuji," said Manik Gupta, project manager at Google Maps.

"But the scale of Angkor Wat is what makes this unprecedented," he said at the project's launch yesterday.

"It is such an iconic place, people say it is the eighth wonder of the world, and it gives you this incredible sense – look at every single small nook and cranny, you'll find art work."

The Angkor Archaeological Park contains the remains of the different capitals of the Khmer Empire, dating from the 9th to the 15th century.

To create the project Google used a new innovation called "Trekker".

Fifteen digital cameras are attached by a long pole to a backpack, and each one records a 75 million mega pixel photo every two and a half seconds.

By walking around the Angkor Wat temple complex, they are able to photograph areas that Google's Street View cars cannot reach. — AFP

RM5.2m worth of ivory seized

Posted: 03 Apr 2014 09:00 AM PDT

SINGAPORE authorities seized S$2mil (RM5.2mil) worth of illegal ivory last week – the third largest haul of its kind since 2002.

Acting on a tip-off, officers from the Agri-Food & Veterinary Authority of Singapore (AVA) and the Singapore Customs intercepted and detained the shipment, which was passing through Singapore on transit from Africa in a 20-foot container.

The shipment – bound for another Asian country – was declared as coffee berries, but officers detected irregularities when the container was scanned at the Pasir Panjang Export Inspection Station on March 25.

The container was found to contain 106 pieces of ivory, weighing about one tonne in total. They were packed into 15 wooden crates.

AVA is investigating the case.

Elephants are protected under the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora (Cites) which has, since 1989, prohibited international trade in elephant ivory.

Under the Endangered Species (Import and Export) Act here, a permit is required for the import and export of elephant parts or products – including ivory.

In a statement, AVA said it will continue to work with Singapore customs, as well as other national and international enforcement agencies, to curb wildlife trafficking.

All companies should be cautious when accepting jobs from customers, and take care to avoid being implicated in the smuggling of illegal wildlife, their parts or their products, said the AVA. — The Straits Times / Asia News Network

Kredit: www.thestar.com.my

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Emma Watson takes on demanding role in Noah

Posted: 03 Apr 2014 09:00 AM PDT

Film is first big-budget post-Potter role for the Hogwarts-trained actress.

After a decade at the Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry in the Harry Potter film franchise, actress Emma Watson put her magical training to use for her first big-budget post-Potter role in biblical action blockbuster Noah.

In director Darren Aronofsky's movie, she plays Ila, the wife of Noah's eldest son, Shem (played by Douglas Booth).

The film distributed by Paramount Pictures stars Russell Crowe as the ark-building Noah and Jennifer Connelly as his wife, Naameh, in a dark reimagining of the Old Testament flood story.

Noah is banned in Indonesia, Pakistan and a number of Middle Eastern countries.

Watson, 23, talks about how the Harry Potter films prepared her for her role in Noah.

Noah marks your return to large-scale spectacle films. Did you approach your role any differently than you did while making the Harry Potter series?

I remember being on set and Darren said: "Okay, the water is going to be cold, we're probably going to be here for a full day, conserve your energy between takes, keep warm and make sure you eat properly. This is going to be physically very demanding."

For a minute, I felt intimidated and then there's something about having done those Harry Potter films and they were very physical. We did a lot of stuff in Scotland. It was freezing cold, filming at 4am, working crazy hours. It was a very good school in a way and it set me up very well for this kind of environment and this kind of pressure.

Did you do any reading on your character of Ila outside of the script?

I didn't do a lot of reading, but I did a lot a research because I become a mother in the story and, obviously, have never given birth. Darren and I agreed that in so many films, women give birth and it looks like they're barely breaking a sweat. We wanted it to feel very raw and real, so I took it seriously.

Any pregnant woman anywhere, I'd be like, "Can I talk to you? Can I talk to you about your experience?" I spoke to my mother a lot, obviously, and I watched a lot of YouTube videos on natural births, lots of documentaries, spoke to midwives, just any information I could get my hands on.

What attracted you to the role in the first place?

I was a huge fan of Darren's films. I loved Requiem For A Dream (2000). The Fountain (2006) is one of my favourite movies . So, even before I read the script, I was intrigued because his work speaks for itself, really. And then having read the script, I loved my role. And then I hear about the cast, it's Russell Crowe and Sir Anthony Hopkins and Jennifer Connelly and Ray Winstone. And I realise that it's the opportunity to work with people who are at the top of their game. — Reuters

Chris Evans: I would have regretted not playing Captain America

Posted: 02 Apr 2014 09:00 AM PDT

Working on the movie franchise was the right decision to make for actor.

Being asked to play Captain America in a potentially huge movie franchise is something many actors fantasise about, but when Chris Evans received the offer in 2011, he hesitated.

It meant signing on to do six movies as the superhero, which he feared would take over his career and his life. If the films did well, he would lose his privacy and anonymity, as well as be locked into a commitment for six to eight years.

Looking back today on his eventual decision to say "yes", the 32-year-old tells reporters: "Had I not done the movies, it would've been the biggest mistake of my life. It really would've been the biggest regret to date – and there are plenty."

The success of the first film and the positive buzz surrounding the second, which analysts believe will likely continue the winning streak of Marvel franchises such as Iron Man and The Avengers, have "changed everything for me", the actor says.

Firstly, he says, the success of the movies has allowed him to do things outside the franchise. These include pursuing passion projects such as his upcoming directorial debut, 1:30 Train, an indie romantic comedy that will see him and actress Alice Eve (Star Trek Into Darkness) play a couple who meet and connect on a train.

Secondly, he says it is "comforting knowing that you're making good movies" with the Marvel brand – perhaps conveniently forgetting the other Marvel superhero franchise on his resume, the critically eviscerated Fantastic Four movies of 2005 and 2007, in which he played Johnny Storm, the Human Torch.

"It would be a nightmare to be trapped in this contract and be making films that you're not proud of, but Marvel has the Midas touch, so every time you suit up, you know that you're making something of quality."

Working on this franchise has thus been "rewarding on every level. So thank God I had the right people in my life pushing me to make the right decision."

It was also fun for him to get to work with old friends such as Anthony Mackie, who plays Captain America's high-flying sidekick Falcon, as well as with acting legends Robert Redford and Samuel L. Jackson.

Says Evans: "I've known Anthony for a while now. This is our third movie together and when I first met Anthony, it actually wasn't on a movie set and we got along very well. So it was very easy having just kind of a repartee with him off-set and I think that translates on-set."

He adds that Redford, who plays right-wing bureaucrat Alexander Pierce, was "amazing".

He says: "It was pretty intimidating because he is a living legend, but it's always such a treat when someone you look up to that much lives up to expectation. I mean, he very easily could've come on the set and hijacked the film, not just as an actor, but also given his past as a director and his experience, he very easily could've taken over.

"But he showed up with the utmost professionalism. I think the first day we filmed, we shot until one in the morning and he stuck around for my off-camera stuff. I mean, it was like it was his first movie. So he really is such an example of what it is to be great." – The Straits Times, Singapore/Asia News Network

Captain America: The Winter Soldier is currently playing in cinemas.

Kredit: www.thestar.com.my

The Star Online: Entertainment: TV & Radio

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Lady Gaga performs on 'Letterman' for the first time ever

Posted: 02 Apr 2014 11:10 PM PDT

The singer marched Late Show audiences across the street to see her performance at New York's iconic Roseland Ballroom.

In true Lady Gaga style, the eclectic singer made a big surprise on the Late Show With David Letterman when she walked into the set with a big canary yellow wig and fishnet stockings, and promptly invited everyone to see her performance at the historical Roseland Ballroom, which is across the street from the Ed Sullivan Theatre in New York.

"Hey, what are you guys doing tonight, 'cause I have a show across the street and if you want to come over, I'll bring you. You can see the performance. I'll bring the audience ... You can come over and I'll sing you some songs," said the Bad Romance singer, before heading out of the theatre with the crowd and into Roseland.

Incidentally, actor Bill Murray, who was sitting on the guest chair chatting with host David Letterman when all this happened, had been showing off his bucket list which included, "... to meet Lady Gaga".

Lady Gaga had been playing a series of concerts at Roseland, which has been around since 1919. The singer is the last artiste to perform there, as it will close its doors for good on Friday.

This was Lady Gaga's first performance on Late Show With Letterman; she only appeared as a guest on the show in 2011.

Dermot Mulroney lives through Crisis

Posted: 02 Apr 2014 09:00 AM PDT

Dermot Mulroney takes on a regular role in a TV series for the first time, as a man whose daughter is abducted.

Actors are usually drawn to a project because of a good script or because of the prestige names attached to it.

But actor Dermot Mulroney offers a more offbeat reason for taking up the television series Crisis.

He says drily over the telephone from Los Angeles: "For me, what sold me is when I had my own pinky cut off. The amputation of the finger is what sold me."

He plays Francis Gibson, a former CIA analyst who volunteers as a chaperone for his estranged daughter's school field trip - one which ends with the children getting abducted.

The cast includes The X-Files' Gillian Anderson as a high-powered chief executive whose daughter is also abducted, Rachael Taylor as her FBI agent sister and Lance Gross as a rookie Secret Service agent protecting the President's son.

Well, the thrilling plot did not hurt either and he sounds excited about it when he says: "It seems like a big story with important people and a terrible crisis that's playing out in the media. But believe me, it's a lot worse than it seems."

As a father himself, the character of Gibson also resonated with Mulroney. He says that was an "easy way into the character" for him and adds: "All parents everywhere will understand the story because that is the pressing question: How far will a parent go to protect his child? What would you do if asked? At several times in the series, you will see people pushed to their very limit."

Mulroney has a son, 15, with his former wife, actress Catherine Keener. He and his second wife, Tharita Catulle, have two daughters, aged six and five.

He is better known for his turns in films such as My Best Friend's Wedding (1997) and August: Osage County (2013), both of which also starred Julia Roberts. Crisis marks the first time that he is taking on a lead role on the small screen after guest spots in, among others, comedy series New Girl and Enlightened. Or as he puts it with a laugh: "I've never had steady work since I started as an actor, I've only ever worked in films, temporary jobs."

One thing that stood out for him was the fact that when he started the part, he "didn't know what happened at the end", as opposed to movies which come with completed scripts. He adds: "I was really looking forward to exploring a character over a length of time."

He gets to work with Anderson on the show though the trailer suggests they do not have much interaction at first.

"That storyline finally intersects later on and I had to anticipate and really got to look forward to how our characters meet. For me, it was a thrill for it was a long time to wait. And she's fantastic, I've admired her work forever. It was really fun to have this ride with her," he says.

Mulroney has been having quite a "nice little run" having just completed the Oscar-nominated drama August: Osage County with Meryl Streep and Roberts just before he started work on Crisis.

"That was a great role for me to get into," he says of his part as the unsavoury fiance of the younger sister of Roberts' character. "And I was pleased to join an Oscar-level cast. The whole experience of making that movie - George Clooney was the producer - it was just a dream."

So, no mid-life crisis then for the actor who turned 50 last year? He says: "I saw it coming for a while and I've enjoyed myself immensely so far this year. No crisis, no catastrophe, I welcomed it. It came as no surprise at least." – The Straits Times, Singapore/Asia News Network

> Crisis premieres tonight at 9.50pm on Fox (Astro Ch710).

Brooklyn Nine-Nine: What a riot

Posted: 01 Apr 2014 09:00 AM PDT

Brooklyn Nine-Nine raised eyebrows when it won two Golden Globes, but the cop comedy flick deserves the awards.

LIKE many viewers, I only took notice of Brooklyn Nine-Nine after it picked up two Golden Globes earlier this year, despite being only in its first season.

Nine-Nine beat out heavyweights The Big Bang Theory, Modern Family, Parks And Recreation and last year's winner, Girls, to clinch the Best Television Series (Musical or Comedy) award.

Even more surprising, first-time nominee Andy Samberg who plays the show's protagonist Detective Jake Peralta took home a Golden Globe for Best Actor in a TV series (Musical or Comedy), surpassing veteran comedian (and four-time Golden Globe winner) Michael J. Fox and Jim Parsons, Jason Bateman, Don Cheadle who have all won in the category at least once.

Nine-Nine, created by Michael Schur and Daniel J. Goor, is a workplace comedy set in the fictional precinct, Brooklyn's 99th of the New York City Police Department.

The show begins with the introduction of Captain Ray Holt (Andre Braugher) to the precinct as its new Commanding Officer.

The no-nonsense, by-the-book captain implements new rules and practices, rocking the boat a little in the hopes of steering it to the right direction.

But of course there are those who prefer to catch their own waves. Jake is one of the team's finest cops who thrives on following his gut and ignoring orders. Unfortunately, he acts like a kid stuck inside the body of a 33-year-old.

He eats cereal with orange soda, comes up with intricate fictional storylines to go with his real-life crime-solving endeavours and has rented Olympus Has Fallen 12 times - basically the maturity of a caterpillar. OK, that was a little mean.

But a workplace comedy is as good as its characters are. And Jake's transitioning to his adult life conjures some hilarious situations and one-liners ("Don't worry, I know what I'm doing, I saw the first 15 minutes of The Hurt Locker," he says after being assigned a task). At its core, he speaks to the part of all of us that don't want to grow up no matter how old we get.

Other quirky, endearing characters include his trusty sidekick Detective Charles Boyle (Joe Lo Truglio) whose adoration for Jake is adorable to watch; driven, ambitious Amy Santiago (Melissa Fumero) who would lick dirt off her captain's shoe to impress him (wait, I'm not sure if that was a figure of speech or it actually happened) and my favourite character, office administrator Gina Linetti (Chelsea Peretti) who doesn't do much around the office (if at all) except spew out awesome lines like, "I was born for politics. I have great hair and I love lying."

The script is incredibly witty, to say the least, but what's a cop comedy show without some slapstick? That's where Sergeant Terry Jeffords played by physical comedy veteran Terry Crews steps in.

He leaves audiences in stitches (besides pulling those signature silly faces) because of the juxtaposition between his tough guy, muscle man image and his timid personality (he fears that being on the field could lead to his children being fatherless one day).

All this talk about the comedy aspect of the show might have you thinking if this is even a cop show anymore. A majority of its episodes do feature a different investigative case each but it must be said that Nine-Nine is decidedly character-driven and by extension, comedy-driven.

These cases are used to flesh out the characters' idiosyncrasies, and in doing so, lap up plenty of laughs. Some episodes don't even revolve around a case at all (my favourite one is when the team attends the fearsome Captain's birthday party). So if you're hoping to catch some crime-busting action, well, watch Law & Order.

I also love the fact that the scriptwriters make it a point to put their characters in situations outside their comfort zones – the serious Captain getting hooked on a game on his phone; the free-spirited Jake learning to put on a tie; and the precinct's scariest cop Rosa Diaz (Stephanie Beatriz) cracking a smile.

My only criticism is the show's characters remind me too much of Parks And Recreation.

Schur, who also co-created Parks, probably couldn't help but bring Ron Swanson to his new show in the form of the precinct's captain.

Both come off as cold and uncaring and speak in this low, monotonous drone. Rosa is obsessed with violence and is expressionless most of the time like April Ludgate of Parks and Nine-Nine's resident clumsy duo Michael Hitchcock (Dirk Blocker) and Norm Scully (Joel McKinnon Miller) is basically a carbon copy Jerry Gergich. These characters are no less funny but it doesn't hurt to see something new and fresh.

There's plenty of talk suggesting Nine-Nine shouldn't have won the Golden Globes purely because it is only in its first season.

But, that would be like a school teacher downgrading an A test score to a B+ so the poor student wouldn't be "overconfident" and would "try harder" next time.

Brooklyn Nine-Nine is what it is and it is good.

Do you like or loathe Brooklyn Nine-Nine? E-mail your comments to entertainment@thestar.com.my.

Kredit: www.thestar.com.my

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Emma Watson takes on demanding role in Noah

Posted: 03 Apr 2014 09:00 AM PDT

Film is first big-budget post-Potter role for the Hogwarts-trained actress.

After a decade at the Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry in the Harry Potter film franchise, actress Emma Watson put her magical training to use for her first big-budget post-Potter role in biblical action blockbuster Noah.

In director Darren Aronofsky's movie, she plays Ila, the wife of Noah's eldest son, Shem (played by Douglas Booth).

The film distributed by Paramount Pictures stars Russell Crowe as the ark-building Noah and Jennifer Connelly as his wife, Naameh, in a dark reimagining of the Old Testament flood story.

Noah is banned in Indonesia, Pakistan and a number of Middle Eastern countries.

Watson, 23, talks about how the Harry Potter films prepared her for her role in Noah.

Noah marks your return to large-scale spectacle films. Did you approach your role any differently than you did while making the Harry Potter series?

I remember being on set and Darren said: "Okay, the water is going to be cold, we're probably going to be here for a full day, conserve your energy between takes, keep warm and make sure you eat properly. This is going to be physically very demanding."

For a minute, I felt intimidated and then there's something about having done those Harry Potter films and they were very physical. We did a lot of stuff in Scotland. It was freezing cold, filming at 4am, working crazy hours. It was a very good school in a way and it set me up very well for this kind of environment and this kind of pressure.

Did you do any reading on your character of Ila outside of the script?

I didn't do a lot of reading, but I did a lot a research because I become a mother in the story and, obviously, have never given birth. Darren and I agreed that in so many films, women give birth and it looks like they're barely breaking a sweat. We wanted it to feel very raw and real, so I took it seriously.

Any pregnant woman anywhere, I'd be like, "Can I talk to you? Can I talk to you about your experience?" I spoke to my mother a lot, obviously, and I watched a lot of YouTube videos on natural births, lots of documentaries, spoke to midwives, just any information I could get my hands on.

What attracted you to the role in the first place?

I was a huge fan of Darren's films. I loved Requiem For A Dream (2000). The Fountain (2006) is one of my favourite movies . So, even before I read the script, I was intrigued because his work speaks for itself, really. And then having read the script, I loved my role. And then I hear about the cast, it's Russell Crowe and Sir Anthony Hopkins and Jennifer Connelly and Ray Winstone. And I realise that it's the opportunity to work with people who are at the top of their game. — Reuters

Chris Evans: I would have regretted not playing Captain America

Posted: 02 Apr 2014 09:00 AM PDT

Working on the movie franchise was the right decision to make for actor.

Being asked to play Captain America in a potentially huge movie franchise is something many actors fantasise about, but when Chris Evans received the offer in 2011, he hesitated.

It meant signing on to do six movies as the superhero, which he feared would take over his career and his life. If the films did well, he would lose his privacy and anonymity, as well as be locked into a commitment for six to eight years.

Looking back today on his eventual decision to say "yes", the 32-year-old tells reporters: "Had I not done the movies, it would've been the biggest mistake of my life. It really would've been the biggest regret to date – and there are plenty."

The success of the first film and the positive buzz surrounding the second, which analysts believe will likely continue the winning streak of Marvel franchises such as Iron Man and The Avengers, have "changed everything for me", the actor says.

Firstly, he says, the success of the movies has allowed him to do things outside the franchise. These include pursuing passion projects such as his upcoming directorial debut, 1:30 Train, an indie romantic comedy that will see him and actress Alice Eve (Star Trek Into Darkness) play a couple who meet and connect on a train.

Secondly, he says it is "comforting knowing that you're making good movies" with the Marvel brand – perhaps conveniently forgetting the other Marvel superhero franchise on his resume, the critically eviscerated Fantastic Four movies of 2005 and 2007, in which he played Johnny Storm, the Human Torch.

"It would be a nightmare to be trapped in this contract and be making films that you're not proud of, but Marvel has the Midas touch, so every time you suit up, you know that you're making something of quality."

Working on this franchise has thus been "rewarding on every level. So thank God I had the right people in my life pushing me to make the right decision."

It was also fun for him to get to work with old friends such as Anthony Mackie, who plays Captain America's high-flying sidekick Falcon, as well as with acting legends Robert Redford and Samuel L. Jackson.

Says Evans: "I've known Anthony for a while now. This is our third movie together and when I first met Anthony, it actually wasn't on a movie set and we got along very well. So it was very easy having just kind of a repartee with him off-set and I think that translates on-set."

He adds that Redford, who plays right-wing bureaucrat Alexander Pierce, was "amazing".

He says: "It was pretty intimidating because he is a living legend, but it's always such a treat when someone you look up to that much lives up to expectation. I mean, he very easily could've come on the set and hijacked the film, not just as an actor, but also given his past as a director and his experience, he very easily could've taken over.

"But he showed up with the utmost professionalism. I think the first day we filmed, we shot until one in the morning and he stuck around for my off-camera stuff. I mean, it was like it was his first movie. So he really is such an example of what it is to be great." – The Straits Times, Singapore/Asia News Network

Captain America: The Winter Soldier is currently playing in cinemas.

Kredit: www.thestar.com.my

The Star Online: Nation

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VAT 69 commando recalls how gunmen fired on them during recon op

Posted: 02 Apr 2014 09:00 AM PDT

KOTA KINABALU: Malaysian security forces were taken by surprise when Sulu gunmen suddenly fired on them during a close reconnaissance operation in Kampung Tanduo last year, the High Court heard yesterday.

VAT 69 commando Sjn Mohd Rosli Sidek, 53, said he was inspecting houses in an area of the village with his team when they heard gunshots.

"We immediately left our inspection duties and started running in the direction of the gunshots when suddenly, shots were fired at us," he said, adding that they had to take cover and retaliate.

Earlier, Rosli testified they had entered Kampung Tanduo in Lahad Datu to carry out a close reconnaissance at about 1am on March 1 last year.

"My team and I were in charge of inspecting five identified houses in the village. After I inspected the fourth house, I heard gunshots," he said at the trial of 30 people charged with involvement in the intrusion of Sulu gunmen into Lahad Datu and Semporna.

Rosli said he was with his team leader, whom he identified as Insp Sahar, at that time.

He added that they soon ran into their other colleagues.

After taking their positions and retaliating, Rosli said they saw two men fully clad in fatigues behind some oil palm trees on their right.

"A shootout lasting about 10 minutes broke out before Insp Sahar beckoned towards me to pull back," he said.

Asked by Deputy Public Prosecutor Mohd Dusuki Mokhtar on the reason for pulling back, Rosli said the team was at an exposed and dangerous position with only young oil palm trees for cover.

"The intruders were heavily armed and they had matured oil palm trees as cover," he said.

The team, said Rosli, then retreated to a small forest further away from the shooting area and maintained a ground defence until 1.30pm on the same day when they received other instructions.

The trial continues today.

Good Samaritan willing to carry on as organ donor

Posted: 02 Apr 2014 09:00 AM PDT

A YOUNG Malaysian, who donated part of her liver to a stranger, is willing to continue donating her organs if she is fit to do so, Guang Ming Daily reported.

Lai Mei Yi (pic), 27, from Ipoh, made headlines in local Chinese dailies in February for donating 60% of her liver to a 16-year-old Malacca boy, who was diagnosed with end-stage Caroli disease.

Recalling the first time she read about the plight of Teng Cyun Shen, Lai said she quickly made a call to Singapore's National University Hospital to express her intention to help.

"I felt really sad to see the photo of a boy lying restlessly on the bed," she said.

When Lai was told that she was fit for the organ donation. Her family members, who had initially been worried, supported her decision.

"I was smiling through the entire process as I had saved a life. I was confident that the operation would not kill me as I did not think that God would be so cruel to me," she said.

To Lai, the post-operation scar on her body is the most beautiful "tattoo".

Teng, who was discharged from the hospital last month, is now recuperating in Singapore.

> Kwong Wah Yit Poh reported that a child was slapped by a female passenger after complaining about having to give up her seat to others on a bus in Shenyang, China.

The daily reported that the passenger, who was with a senior citizen and a man, had asked the child to give up her seat.

The child obliged but grumbled about it, irritating the passenger, who then hit her. The child's mother then called the police for help.

●  Found in Translation is compiled from the vernacular newspapers (Bahasa Malaysia, Chinese and Tamil dailies). As such, stories are grouped according to the respective language/medium. Where a paragraph begins with this ' >'sign, it denotes a separate news item.

MMA: Unhealthy meals, not operating hours, cause obesity

Posted: 02 Apr 2014 09:00 AM PDT

PETALING JAYA: The Malaysian Medical Association has defended the operating times of 24-hour eateries but urged that they serve healthy food.

Its president Datuk Dr N.K.S. Tharmaseelan said 24-hour eateries were not the source of obesity problems but the types of food served were.

"The eateries must be advised to serve healthy food, and it should be made mandatory for menus to show the amount of calories of each meal as this would contribute as a 'disincentive' to consume that food," he said in a statement on Tuesday.

He said Malaysians should be taught and encouraged to reduce caloric intake and indulge in regular physical activity.

On Sunday, the Malaysian Association for the Study of Obesity president Prof Dr Mohd Ismail Noor said the Government had to be more serious about controlling the environment that encourages obesity and all food outlets should be closed by midnight instead of being allowed to operate 24 hours.

Dr Tharmaseelan said most developed countries did not have 24-hour food outlets like Malaysia and yet obesity was prevalent.

He said the livelihood of thousands of Malaysians would be affected if these outlets were asked to close down or limit their operating hours and this would have financial implications for the nation as a whole.

He argued that most tourists saw the 24-hour eateries as an attraction as their food was cheap and easily accessible round-the-clock.

Night-shift workers and students, too, thronged these places as they might not have the time to cook, he said.

"Instead of banning, we should wean them off eating unhealthy and excess food. They should be encouraged to lead healthy lifestyles," he said, adding that persistence was needed.

Dr Tharmaseelan said the Government should make bold moves in withdrawing unhealthy foods and raising taxes on all types of sweetened drinks and food besides coming up with incentives and a long-term plan to address obesity.

More recreational centres and parks, too, should be built and maintained properly, he said.

Kredit: www.thestar.com.my

The Star Online: Lifestyle: Arts & Fashion

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Life truly is a stage for Five Arts Centre

Posted: 02 Apr 2014 09:00 AM PDT

Three decades on, local arts outfit Five Arts Centre is still shining bright and smiling wide.

IT was a thrilling convergence of past and future at the 30th anniversary celebration of the Five Arts Centre, one of the most prominent performing arts collectives in the country.

Featuring fine wine, good food and friendly faces from far and wide, the celebration was a nostalgic look at the arts company's many milestones, as well as an exciting glimpse of things to come.

Held at its homebase in Taman Tun Dr Ismail in Kuala Lumpur last Saturday, the event marked the 30th anniversary of the founding of the Five Arts Centre, as well as the 10th anniversary of the passing of one of its members, prominent theatre critic and director Datuk Krishen Jit.

"A lot of people have been asking me, how do I feel about lasting so long, how do I feel about an arts company reaching 30. We definitely didn't think about lasting. We just thought about what's the next project?" said Marion D'Cruz, Five Arts Centre executive producer and founding member. "And another question I've been asked is: how does it feel to be 30? And let me tell you. It feels damn good! I'm 60, which means half my life has been Five Arts Centre. And it feels. Damn. Good!"

The evening was unexpectedly marred by bad weather: a sudden thunderstorm meant much improvisation was needed to adapt the outdoor-based celebrations into a mostly indoor event. Fortunately, this was carried out without a hitch: you don't get to 30 without learning to deal with unexpected hiccups, after all.

Activist Ivy Josiah (left) and lawyer Datuk Ambiga Sreenevasan reading from The Cord, which was the Five Arts CentreĆ¢¿¿s first ever show. Both were part of the original production in 1984, and they revisited their old roles to much applause.

Activist Ivy Josiah (left) and lawyer Datuk Ambiga Sreenevasan reading from The Cord, which was the
Five Arts Centre's first show. Both were part of the original production in 1984, and they revisited their
old roles to much applause.

 

The celebration opened with a performance by contemporary gamelan ensemble Rhythm in Bronze, previously part of the Five Arts Centre. Dressed impeccably in white, the group's members put on a visually and aurally delightful show, performing while lit up light-boxes dimmed and intensified with the music's tempo.

Rhythm in Bronze performed the song On Ayak Ayak, which was arranged by Sunetra Fernando, and interspersed with a monologue on duality, Aku Perempuan by Nam Ron. This was followed by a contemporised version of Teuku Umar's Suntuk Masa, accompanied by dancers.

The night featured excerpts, songs and readings from many of the Five Arts Centre's most iconic productions, such as Dua Tiga Dalang Berlari, Bunga Manggar Bunga Raya and In 1969, all performed by prominent local personalities. These performances took place in a room in the centre's office, and channelled via a live feed to party guests outside.

Among the performances were Kubhaer T. Jethwani's reciting The IC Poem from Lebih Kecoh, Pearlly Chua performing a monologue from Ang Tao Mui, Chin San Sui doing an excerpt from Lady White, and Ali Alasri and Mervyn Raj's rendition of the song Gadis Dikuburan, from the hit musical Uda Dan Dara.

One of the night's most memorable moments, however, was activist Ivy Josiah and lawyer Datuk Ambiga Sreenevasan reading from The Cord, which was the Five Arts Centre's first ever show. The two, who were part of the original production in 1984, revisited their old roles to much applause.

"In the beginning we thought we would just ham it up," said Ivy. "But reading the play again, I could feel all the emotions I felt when I first performed it."

"It made us remember Krishen," said Ambiga, referring to the play's late director.

"He really terrified us, but he brought out the best in us."

Five Arts Centre's 30th anniversary celebration opened with a performance by contemporary gamelan ensemble Rhythm in Bronze, previously part of the theatre institution.

The celebration opened with a performance by contemporary gamelan ensemble Rhythm in Bronze, previously part of the theatre institution.

 

The celebration also saw the announcement of tenTenTEN, a two-year celebration by the Five Arts Centre which will span 2014-15 with multiple arts projects and events.

TenTenTEN will consist of five threads: Para-Sites (a monthly series of curated events), Process (an observation and tracking of artists' strategies in creating work), Conference (an exhibition on critical aspects of Jit's work, bringing together leading arts practitioners, academics, researchers and students), Publication (various programmes featuring and analysing iconic Five Arts Centre and Malaysian plays) and Performance.

Among the projects for Performance is 2 Minute Solos – Art Meets Politics, which will take place at the Damansara Performing Arts Centre in Petaling Jaya, Selangor this month. Created by D'Cruz, the show features 12 two-minute solo performances carried out in 12 different spaces, with a line-up of six artists and six "political types" doing various things ranging from theatre, dance, poetry and much more.

For the show, 12 different audience groups of 10 people each will watch a performance one after the other, with all of the two-minute solos starting and ending at the same time.

"I hope people get an interesting experience. Theatre, or any live art, for me, is about people getting an experience that you can't get anywhere else," said D'Cruz.

"And that experience can be anything. It can be just entertainment, it can make you laugh, it can educate. I don't decide that. I give this to you, and you receive it in any way you want to receive it."

Get your tickets for 'Jersey Boys'

Posted: 02 Apr 2014 09:00 AM PDT

NEVER been to New Jersey? No problem! The countdown is on for Jersey Boys, which is set to run at Istana Budaya, Jalan Tun Razak in Kuala Lumpur from April 15 to 27. This award-winning US musical looks set to transform Istana Budaya into a Frankie Valli & The Four Seasons wonderland of songs, dance and drama.

This popular musical, now in its 10th year, depicts the rags-to-riches story and remarkable rise to stardom of one of the most successful groups in American pop music history – Frankie Valli and The Four Seasons. It's the inspiring tale of four New Jersey boys who made their dreams come true.

Out comes a full-scale Broadway musical to thrill Malaysian theatre-goers with all the big hits and a whole lot of hip-swaying in the aisles. To refresh your memory, the Jersey Boys show features pop classics like Sherry, Big Girls Don't Cry, Walk Like A Man, Can't Take My Eyes Off You, December 1963, Oh What A Night and many more.

The good news is show promoters Milestone Production Sdn Bhd has come up with 104 tickets for Jersey Boys to give away. Just answer a simple question. Closing date is April 10.

For enquiries, call 012-5157 922. Go to www.thestar.com.my/lifestyle/entertainment for more information. The Star is the show's gold sponsor and Red FM the official radio station.

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The Star Online: Metro: Central

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Pakistan's Musharraf survives assassination bomb attempt

Posted: 02 Apr 2014 10:18 PM PDT

ISLAMABAD: Pakistan's former military ruler Pervez Musharraf (pic), who is on trial for treason, narrowly escaped an assassination attempt as a bomb went off shortly before his convoy was due to pass early Thursday, police said.

The bomb was planted on Musharraf's route from an army hospital in Rawalpindi where he has been staying since January to his home on the outskirts of Islamabad and went off at around 2:00 am (2100 GMT Wednesday).

Nobody was injured and there have so far been no claims of responsibility.

"Four kilograms of explosive device planted in a pipeline under a bridge exploded around 20 minutes before the former president was supposed to cross the spot," senior police official Liaqat Niazi said.

The blast occurred at the Faizabad interchange, which lies at the boundary of the two cities, and destroyed a footpath around two metres wide.

Niazi said the former president was then taken home via an alternative route.

Muhammad Naeem, a spokesman for the Islamabad police, confirmed the incident, saying a bomb disposal squad had cordoned off the area after the blast and searched for additional explosives.

"Nobody was injured in the blast," he said, adding Musharraf was the intended target.

Musharraf, who led Pakistan from 1999 to 2008, returned from self-imposed exile in March last year to fight in general elections, but was barred from taking part and has faced a series of legal cases including treason.

The Taliban also vowed to send a squad of suicide bombers to kill him, and security threats have prevented him from appearing at all but two of his treason hearings.

It was the fourth attempt on the ex-general's life, with the first three occurring while he was in office.

No deal, yet

On Monday, a special court indicted Musharraf for treason, in what was seen as a milestone for civilian authority in a country long dominated by the army.

The charges relate to Musharraf's 2007 imposition of emergency rule which came as the Supreme Court was due to rule on the validity of his re-election as president.

Treason carries the maximum penalty of death, but some analysts were sceptical whether the government would allow the trial to be seen through to its completion and risk a greater clash with the military.

Musharraf had also sought permission to leave the country to see his ailing mother in the UAE, leading to renewed speculation that a deal, which would allow all sides to save face, was imminent.

But the government on Wednesday refused to end a travel ban preventing Musharraf from leaving the country.

"The interior ministry has sent a written reply to Musharraf refusing to lift travel bans as there are a number of cases against him," an official of the interior ministry told AFP.

Musharraf had been staying at the Armed Forces Institute of Cardiology in the garrison city of Rawalpindi since being taken ill with a heart condition in January.

But he was believed to be keen to return to his comfortable villa in the scenic Bani Gala suburb of Islamabad.

Ahmad Raza Kasuri, a member of his legal team, told reporters that Musharraf had discharged himself.

"He left the AFIC at his own request and was with his son Bilal," he said.

Thursday's attack had echoes of the first major attempt on Musharraf's life in December 2003, when a powerful bomb went off minutes after his highly guarded convoy crossed a bridge in Rawalpindi.

A few days later, he survived another attempt by two suicide bombers which left 16 people dead.

In July 2007, an unknown group fired a 7.62 submachine gun at Musharraf's plane as it took off from a runway in Rawalpindi. -AFP

Minor tsunami hits Japan after Chile quake

Posted: 02 Apr 2014 08:45 PM PDT

TOKYO: Small tsunami waves hit northern Japan early Thursday following a powerful 8.2-magnitude earthquake thousands of kilometres away across the Pacific Ocean in Chile after officials issued an evacuation advisory for certain areas.

The Japan Meteorological Agency said waves of 40 centimetres (16 inches) were monitored in Kuji, Iwate prefecture, at 7:39 am (2239 GMT Wednesday) about an hour after the first 20-centimetre tsunami was recorded there.

Waves of up to 30 centimetres were also monitored in other areas of northern Japan, the agency said, adding that bigger waves could hit the coast later.

Earlier Thursday, Japan issued a tsunami advisory, saying waves of up to one metre (three feet) above normal sea levels could hit eastern Pacific coast regions, but were unlikely to cause damage.

Large areas of the coastline covered by the advisory were damaged by the 2011 quake and tsunami that killed more than 18,000 people and triggered a nuclear accident in Fukushima.

The agency advised people to leave the coast but said it did not expect damage from the waves.

"Get out of the water and leave the coast immediately," it said.

Local authorities issued evacuation advisories to more than 22,000 people living near the coastline in Iwate prefecture, public broadcaster NHK said.

Television footage showed people fleeing to nearby shelter in Kesennuma, Miyagi prefecture, where more than 1,000 people were killed in the 2011 tsunami.

Before dawn a tsunami warning siren echoed over Ishinomaki, another city hit hard by the tsunami three years ago, and some local bus services were cancelled.

Authorities in Japan and many other countries at risk of tsunamis have well-developed early warning systems and tend to be cautious.

Television footage earlier showed officials in Kochi, southwestern Japan, closing a metal barrier to seal their local breakwater in preparation for possible high waves.

Tokyo Electric Power, which runs the crippled Fukushima Daiichi plant, suspended part of operations scheduled for early Thursday, a company spokesman said.

In 1960, a 9.5-magnitude earthquake in Chile sent a tsunami across the Pacific that killed more than 140 people in Japan. 

Indonesia warning

Indonesia also said it could be hit by a small tsunami from the quake off Chile, which killed at least six people and caused nearly a million to evacuate their homes along the coast.

Waves of up to half a metre had been expected to hit the eastern region of Papua shortly after 2200 GMT Wednesday but officials said nothing had been detected so far.

"Until now there are no signs of even a small tsunami. We are monitoring closely," Frangky Ulus from the Indonesia Tsunami Early Warning System in Jayapura, Papua, told AFP.

Authorities in 19 provinces of Indonesia were alerted earlier as a precaution and people were urged to stay away from beaches.

Indonesia, which is frequently hit by earthquakes and has scores of active volcanoes, is particular vulnerable to even small tsunamis as many people on the archipelago of more than 17,000 islands live in poor, coastal communities.

More than 170,000 people were killed in Aceh province on western Sumatra island in 2004 when it was hit by a huge quake-triggered tsunami, which also left thousands dead in other countries around the Indian Ocean.

Northern Japan was rocked by a 5.6-magnitude quake early Thursday but there were no reports of damage or injuries and officials said there was no risk of a tsunami. -AFP

Related story: 
Powerful 7.8 earthquake rocks northern Chile
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The Star Online: Lifestyle: Health

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Alarming protein diets

Posted: 02 Apr 2014 09:00 AM PDT

People under the age of 65 who eat a lot of meat, eggs and dairy products are four times as likely to die from cancer or diabetes, study suggests.

A DIET rich in meat, eggs, milk and cheese could be as harmful to health as smoking, according to a controversial study into the impact of protein consumption on longevity.

High levels of dietary animal protein in people under 65 years of age was linked to a four-fold increase in their risk of death from cancer or diabetes, and almost double the risk of dying from any cause over an 18-year period, researchers found.

However, nutrition experts have cautioned that it's too early to draw firm conclusions from the research.

The overall harmful effects seen in the study were almost completely wiped out when the protein came from plant sources, such as beans and legumes, though cancer risk was still three times as high in middle-aged people who ate a protein-rich diet, compared with those on a low-protein diet.

But whereas middle-aged people who consumed a lot of animal protein tended to die younger from cancer, diabetes and other diseases, the same diet seemed to protect people's health in old age.

The findings emerged from a study of 6,381 people aged 50 and over who took part in the National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey (NHANES) which tracks a representative group of adults and children in the US.

The study throws doubt on the long-term health effects of the popular Atkins and Paleo diets that are rich in protein. Instead, it suggests people should eat a low-protein diet until old age when they start to lose weight and become frail, and then boost the body's protein intake to stay healthy.

In the over-65s, a high-protein diet cut the risk of death from any cause by 28%, and reduced cancer deaths by 60%, according to details of the study published in the journal Cell Metabolism.

Valter Longo, director of the Longevity Institute at the University of Southern California, said that on the basis of the study and previous work, people should restrict themselves to no more than 0.8g of protein a day for every kilogram of body weight, equivalent to 48g for a 60kg person, and 64g for an 80kg person.

"People need to switch to a diet where only around 9-10% of their calories come from protein, and the ideal sources are plant-based," Longo told the Guardian.

"We are not saying go and do some crazy diet we came up with. If we are wrong, there is no harm done, but if we are right, you are looking at an incredible effect that in general is about as bad as smoking."

"Spend a couple of months looking at the labels on your food. There is a little bit of protein everywhere. If you eat breakfast, you might get 4g protein, but a piece of chicken for lunch may have 50g protein," said Longo, who skips lunch to control his calorie and protein intake.

People who took part in the study consumed an average of 1,823 calories a day, with 51% coming from carbohydrates, 33% from fat, and 16% from protein, of which two-thirds was animal protein.

Longo divided them into three groups. The high-protein group got 20% or more of their calories from protein, the moderate group got 10 to 19% of their calories from protein, and the low group got less than 10% of calories from protein.

Teasing out the health effects of individual nutrients is notoriously difficult.

The apparently harmful effects of a high-protein diet might be down to one or more other substances in meat, or driven by lifestyle factors that are more common in regular red meat eaters versus vegetarians.

Other factors can skew results too: a person on the study who got ill might have gone off their food, and seen a proportional rise in the amount of calories they get from protein. In that case, it would be the illness driving the diet, not the other way round.

"I would urge general caution over observational studies, and particularly when looking at diet, given the difficulties of disentangling one nutrient or dietary component from another. You can get an association that might have some causal linkage or might not," said Peter Emery, head of nutrition and dietetics at King's College London.

Gunter Kuhnle, a food nutrition scientist at Reading University, England, said it was wrong "and potentially even dangerous" to compare the effects of smoking with the effect of meat and cheese as the study does.

"Sending out statements such as this can damage the effectiveness of important public health messages. They can help to prevent sound health advice from getting through to the general public. The smoker thinks: 'why bother quitting smoking if my cheese and ham sandwich is just as bad for me?'"

Heather Ohly at the European Centre for Environment and Human Health in Exeter, England, said: "Smoking has been proven to be entirely bad for us, whereas meat and cheese can be consumed in moderation as part of a healthy diet, contributing to recommended intakes of many important nutrients."

The British Dietetic Association recommends a daily intake of 45g and 55g of protein for the average woman and man respectively. But according to the British Nutrition Foundation the average protein intake per day is 88g and 64g for men and women.

In a series of follow-up experiments, Longo looked at what might lie behind the apparently damaging effects of a high-protein diet on health in middle age.

Blood tests on people in the study showed that levels of a growth hormone called IGF-1 rose and fell in line with protein intake.

For those on a high protein diet, rises in IGF-1 steadily increased their cancer risk. Further tests on mice found that a high-protein diet led to more cancer and larger tumours than a low-protein diet. — Guardian News & Media

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The Star Online: Entertainment: Music

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Jack White's new album out in June

Posted: 02 Apr 2014 11:25 PM PDT

The singer-songwriter's second solo album will be called 'Lazaretto'.

Jack White has revealed that his second solo album, Lazaretto, will be out June 10 from his own Third Man Records and Columbia. The instrumental track High Ball Stepper, with accompanying video, is now online.

An official first single – the album's title track – is due out later this month.

Through April 30, fans can sign up to pre-order a limited edition, Vault Package #20, that will include a vinyl version, a fold-out poster, a seven-inch of two demos from the album and a 40-page hardcover book.

The former White Stripes frontman's first solo album, Blunderbuss, was released in 2012 and earned five Grammy nominations. His group the Dead Weather, meanwhile, has an album due out in 2015. — AFP Relaxnews

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The Star eCentral: TV Tracks

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The Star eCentral: TV Tracks


Brooklyn Nine-Nine: What a riot

Posted: 01 Apr 2014 04:52 PM PDT

'Brooklyn Nine-Nine' raised eyebrows when it won two Golden Globes, but the cop comedy flick deserves the awards.

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Life after HIMYM: Where the show's stars will appear next

Posted: 02 Apr 2014 06:27 AM PDT

'How I Met Your Mother' finally ended its run yesterday after nine seasons.

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Going local: Watch Malay movies on Dunia Sinema

Posted: 01 Apr 2014 04:52 PM PDT

HyppTV's Dunia Sinema is the first channel in Malaysia dedicated to local Malay flicks.

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Actor Park Yoo-Chun is anything but predictable

Posted: 01 Apr 2014 04:52 PM PDT

Park Yoo-chun is back with a meaty role as the president's bodyguard, Han Tae-kyung, in '3 Days'.

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David Duchovny to investigate Charles Manson in NBC series

Posted: 02 Apr 2014 04:57 AM PDT

'Californication' star joins 'Aquarius' as a cop with a complicated life.

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In the spotlight: Exclusive interview with MTV VJs Hanli and Alan

Posted: 01 Apr 2014 04:22 AM PDT

Two of the hottest TV personalities share stories about being themselves, having fun and The MTV Show.
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