Saturday, May 31, 2008


Many nations have been involved in prosecuting the war on terror and many have had successes of a kind. But Indonesia faces unique challenges and has produced almost unique results.

PROBABLY the most successful country in the world in combating radical Islamist terror is Indonesia.

Since the first Bali bombing in 2002, more than 400 Jemaah Islamiah terrorists and active supporters have been arrested in Indonesia. Short of a nation engaging in large-scale military operations, that in itself must be surely the highest number of arrests anywhere, certainly for any democracy.

And these arrests have all resulted in transparent legal proceedings with a very high conviction rate. JI has been fundamentally compromised and disrupted. There has not been a big terrorist bombing since the second Bali bombing in 2005. That's nearly three years. That is an outstanding success by any measure.

JI is no longer a tanzim siri, as Indonesians say, or secret organisation. It has been widely exposed. It structures have shrunk. Most of its senior personnel have been captured. It must rely on less capable people.

Part of the long-term Indonesian success comes from its program of deradicalisation. This is a program with strong family resemblance to similar effective programs run in Singapore and Malaysia.

The essential and simple philosophy behind this program is that as well as detaining, punishing, preventing and deterring terrorists, the state and society make a serious effort to reclaim them, and especially their families, for moderate, mainstream society. The Singaporeans realised soon after they arrested a swag of JI activists who had planned to blow up the Australian embassy, among other things, that they did not want the immediate and extended families of these people to form a permanently alienated and bitter subculture that hated the state. So they made sure the families were able to continue to send their children to school and had adequate housing and the like.

In some senses it is easier for a predominantly Muslim state to undertake than for a secular state because it approaches detained terrorists as Muslims. It seeks to change their mindset by changing their attitude to jihad. Although it provides a lot of intellectual material to bring subjects back to moderation, the emphasis is on practical matters rather than ideological argument. This happens through building up personal connections between state officers and detainees.

In particular, a huge effort is made to bring detainees back from hijrah, or the unreal world of the imagination, to the real world of the here and how. Officers will eat and pray with detainees and give them dignity by sometimes allowing them to lead prayers.

The deradicalisation program offers them a way back. It is a sign that the state and society have not given up on them, that they can recover an Islamic meaning to their lives that renounces violence and extremism.

Extract from greg Sheridan..the Australian.


As of yesterday, Nepal has declared itself a republic state, bringing and end to a centuries-old Hindu monarchy, as parliamentarians said they would give the last king 15 days to leave the palace.

Thousands of Nepalis marched, danced and sang in the capital's streets to celebrate "the dawn of the republic", hours before the Himalayan nation was set to abolish its once-revered Hindu monarchy.

It has been a dramatic decline for King Gyanendra; his portrait has been wiped off banknotes and his name has disappeared from the national anthem. He has been asked to pay his own electricity bills.

The king has remained silent as it became apparent that his days as Nepal's monarch were numbered, and the country's leading politicians have in recent days threatened to remove him from the 1970s-era concrete palace by force if he refuses to go peacefully.

Many Nepalis hope it will be the final chapter of a peace process ending a decade-long war that killed more than 13,000 people.

"Let's celebrate the dawn of a republic in a grand manner," one loudspeaker blared from the top of a taxi.

Demonstrators chanted "long live the republic!" and sang songs deriding the king.


This mother and child make an unusual sight as they swing through the trees.

But the odd couple have formed a special bond after the female monkey decided to adopt the puppy.

According to locals in Jammu, India, the grieving monkey transfered its maternal affections to the pup after losing its child.

The pair look quite happy together.


Report from dailymail:

Britain is now more dangerous than the Balkans, it was revealed yesterday.

You are more likely to be assaulted, robbed and burgled in Britain than in the region of southeast Europe once synonymous with war and gangsters, according to a report by the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime.

Your car is at least ten times more likely to be stolen in Britain than in Albania, Croatia or the Former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia.

The wide-ranging report, entitled 'Crime and its Impact on the Balkans', showed that while Britain and other western European countries continue to suffer from a crime wave, Balkan countries have shed their badlands image and have many types of crime under control.

Figures on vehicle theft were particularly telling. In Britain, 1,330 vehicles in every 100,000 are reported stolen annually, compared to 166 in Croatia, 113 in Macedonia and just 90 in Albania.

The report suggested crime might be low in the Balkans because there is not so much of a gap between the rich and the poor.

It said: 'Income inequality is regarded as the most robust quantitative correlate of crime rates.


TOKYO, JAPAN - A JAPANESE man puzzled by food mysteriously disappearing from his refrigerator got a shock when he found out a woman had been living in his home for months without permission, police said.

The 57-year-old man living alone - or so he thought - in the western city of Fukuoka installed a security camera and called the police when he saw images of someone walking around his home while he was out.

'We searched the house in the man's presence. We found the woman in the closet,' said a The woman, named as 58-year-old Tatsuko Horikawa, was found in a flat storage space only just big enough for a person to squeeze into lying down.

She had sneaked a mattress and several plastic bottles into the cubby hole, police said, adding that the women had been arrested.

'She told police that she had nowhere to live,' the spokesman said. 'She seems to have lived there for about a year, but not all the time.'

It is unclear how she managed to enter the home undetected. Police suspect she might have been closet-hopping, moving from house to house. -- AFP

Friday, May 30, 2008


Report from CAN

WASHINGTON: White House hopeful Barack Obama's campaign said Thursday he was on the verge of beating Hillary Clinton to the Democratic nomination once their exhausting primary slog climaxes next week.

"Obviously, it's not over until we get to the convention or until Senator Clinton makes the decision that she's now prepared to support a unified ticket," former Senate majority leader Tom Daschle told MSNBC television.

But Daschle, a national co-chair of Obama's campaign, said "I do believe that sometime over the course of the next week we're going to be in a very good position to claim at least that we've got the majority of the delegates."

After nearly six months of coast-to-coast campaigning, Obama is in striking distance of amassing enough Democratic delegates to earn the right to take on Republican John McCain in November's presidential election.


Report from CAN

Most people know that smoking can cause stroke and diseases such as lung and throat cancers, but many are unaware that taking that puff can also cause blindness.

This is according to the first cross-cultural survey between Singapore's Alexandra Hospital and Scotland's Ninewell Hospital, which polled over 200 respondents in the two countries.

While more than eight in ten are aware of the more common diseases afflicting smokers, only about three in ten regard blindness as a smoking-related condition.

The fact is, experts say, smoking increases the risk of age-related deterioration of the retina by four times and triples the risk for cataract clouding.

By the way today is tobacco free day!


New paper report:

Singapore: A PHONE conversation with his mother triggered off a series of events which landed Mr Liu Tie in the A&E with a swollen eye and scratches on his neck.

He was accused of talking too loudly by a fellow bus passenger who then beat him up.

Mr Liu, a China national working as a waiter, had made the call to his mother in Jilin, China, after he finished work on Sunday night.

Said Mr Liu, 22, in Mandarin: 'I was talking to my mum when I boarded bus number 145 from Boat Quay.'

He said the bus had about 20 people in it.

Soon after he sat down, he claimed that a man sitting some rows behind him told him aggressively to keep his voice down.

'I was still talking to my mother. So I lowered my voice. She kept asking me what was happening. I didn't want to worry her, so I told her it was all right,' he said.

After he finished the conversation with his mother, he turned to look at the man.

'He was still scolding me, gesturing with his hands and feet. He made his hand into the shape of a gun and pointed at me. Then he kicked his legs about, in a threatening manner,' said Mr Liu.

He claimed the man then rushed over and started beating him up.

'He just came at me, held my neck and rained blows down the right side of my face,' he said.

No one on the bus stepped forward to help, he claimed.

When the bus stopped at a bus-stop along Victoria Street, the man was still hitting him.

'My attacker was holding my neck, and banging my head against the bus seats,' said Mr Liu.

He shouted for help and for someone to call the police.

'A woman in the crowd at the bus-stop shouted back that she had called 999,' said Mr Liu.

That was when Mr Liu's assailant tried to get away.

'He ran towards the opened door at the back of the bus. But I didn't want him to get away. So I ran after him and grabbed his arm,' said Mr Liu.

Three young men boarded the bus to help Mr Liu.

'After I told them what happened, one of them said to the man who beat me, 'The sign in the bus says no smoking, no eating, no littering, but where does it say no talking on the phone?' said Mr Liu.

Another man also boarded the bus to help Mr Liu apprehend his attacker until the police arrived.

'An ambulance arrived first and while the paramedics were tending to me, the police arrived,' said Mr Liu.

He was sent to the A&E at Singapore General Hospital.


'At the hospital, I saw my assailant. He also came to the hospital because he said his arm hurt. When he saw me, he made a lunge for me again, in front of all seven or eight policemen,' said Mr Liu.

The police managed to restrain him.

After his injuries were treated, Mr Liu went to the Central Police Station to give another statement.


ROME - ENGINEERS declared that their efforts to keep Pisa's tilting tourist attraction from toppling have paid off.

For the first time since the 12th century, the bell tower has finally stopped moving and is safe from the law of gravity for the next three centuries.

'All of our expectations have been confirmed,' Professor Michele Jamiolkowski, an engineer and geologist who has been monitoring the iconic Italian tourist attraction for at least 30 years, was quoted as telling Italy's leading newspaper, Corriere della Sera.

The tower's tilt of about 4m off the vertical has remained stable after a big engineering project that ended in 2001 corrected its lean by about 40cm from where it was in 1990 when the project began.

Now we can say that the tower can rest easy for at least 300 years,' Prof Jamiolkowski told the paper in an article published on Wednesday.

The tower was off-limits to visitors for almost 12 years from 1990 - when it was sinking about 1mm a year - and reopened in December 2001 at the end of the biggest phase of the consolidation and restoration project.

The 14,000-tonne free-standing bell tower, an internationally recognised architectural symbol of Italy along with Rome's Colosseum, was built in several stages between 1174 and 1370.

It began to tilt after completion of several storeys, due to unstable ground.

The Times of London said conservationists had estimated that the entire structure would collapse 'some time between 2030 and 2040'.

Builders at first used trapezoidal stones to return the structure to the vertical but the tower continued to lean.

During the stabilisation phase of the project, which ended in 2001, the structure was anchored to cables while cement was injected to relieve pressure on the ground.

The lean of the tower is now considered safe and is about what it was in 1700.

Restorers are now using specially designed, lightweight scaffolding made of an aluminium alloy as a base from which to clean the tower's white and grey marble.

Officials have said over the years that they have no intention of straightening the tower, which would detract from its unique status and tourist draw.

Astronomer Galileo, who was hauled before the Vatican's Inquisition for his view that the Earth revolved around the sun, is said to have used the tower of his home town for experiments on gravity.




MALAYSIA Airlines' advertisements titled 'Everyday Low Fare (the Never Before Asean Sale)' is misleading.
The newspaper advertisement offers RM0 fare to Singapore, Bangkok, Phuket, Manila, Cebu, Jakarta, Yogyakarta, Surabaya, Medan, Bali (Denpasar), Bandar Seri Begawan, Ho Chi Minh City, Hanoi, Phnom Pehn, Siem Reap plus Hong Kong and Guangzhou.
It gives the impression that the zero fare is applicable to all the destinations stated in the advertisement.
This is not so. On checking the online booking system, I found out that the fare from RM0 is not applicable to Singapore, Denpasar and Phnom Pehn.
As stated online, the fare for Singapore is RM59-RM139, Denpasar RM99-RM249 and Phnom Pehn RM99-RM239.
This should have been stated clearly in the advertisement. The advertisement is misleading.
The low fares are also available only for certain destinations from Kuala Lumpur, certain destinations from Penang, from Kuching and from Kota Kinabalu.
This should also have been clearly stated in the advertisement.

Subang Jaya.


THE Bush administration has been caught off guard by the revelations of former insider Scott McClellan, who in a new book turns whistleblower on President George W. Bush and the invasion of Iraq.

A host of loyal Bush lieutenants swamped the US television and cable networks yesterday to slam the former administration spokesman.

Central to his book is Mr McClellan's analysis on Mr Bush's decision to go to war in Iraq, a determination Mr McClellan says he had made by early 2002 - at least a full year before the invasion - if not earlier.

"He signed off on a strategy for selling the war that was less than candid and honest," Mr McClellan writes.

He adds Mr Bush's main reason for war always was "an ambitious and idealistic post-9/11 vision of transforming the Middle East through the spread of freedom".

But he said the President and his advisers made "a marketing choice" to play down this vision in favour of one focused on misleading portrayals of the threat posed by the supposed weapons of mass destruction.

During the "political propaganda campaign to sell the war to the American people", Mr Bush and his team tried to make the "WMD threat and the Iraqi connection to terrorism appear just a little more certain, a little less questionable than they were".

Democratic presidential aspirant Barack Obama said yesterday that he hadn't read the book but added: "I don't think the substance is particularly surprising.

"I think many of us have been troubled by the lack of straightforwardness in this administration. The only news is that somebody within the administration has confirmed what a lot of us have thought for some time.",,theaustralian


He is the undisputed David Beckham of Spanish bullfighting, a daring heart-throb with an adoring female following.

But like many A-list performers at the top of their game, Jose Tomas always faces the risk of a career-ending injury - as these astonishing pictures show.

Tomas, who earns a staggering £400,000 a fight, is Spain's highest-paid matador. But he certainly gave the crowd in Cordoba, in the south of the country, their money's worth this week when a raging, half-ton bull got the better of him in dramatic style.

Caught red-handed: Champion bullfighter Jose Thomas is outwitted by the half-ton bull

Sent flying: The bull smashes into the fighter, tossing him high into the air

Bullseye: Tomas is skewered by the beast for a second time. He can do nothing but lie helplessly on top of the bull

Savaged: Tomas tries to protect himself as he is gored by the raging bull

Eyeing revenge: He is back in the fight

Despite this being his second serious 'cornada', or goring, in under a month,, the battered Tomas somehow managed to get back on his feet and kill the bull.

In recognition of his extraordinary chutzpah, Tomas was rewarded with both ears and the tail of the bull and was later carried out of the ring on a collegue's shoulders - the customary reward for feats of great bravery...dailymail


THE Mediterranean diet, which is famously beneficial for the cardiovascular system, also helps protect against diabetes, according to a paper published online today by the British Medical Journal.

The mainstays of the Mediterranean diet are olive oil, fish, grains, fruit, nuts and vegetables, usually supplemented by a modest amount of red wine. Meat and dairy products have only a minor role.

Researchers at the University of Navarra in northern Spain recruited 13,753 people with graduate-level education between December 1999 and November 2007 and who had no history of diabetes when they were enrolled.

Their health and dietary habits were then tracked in detail over the following months and years.

During the follow-up period - an average of 4.4 years over the range of participants - 103 people became diagnosed with Type 2 diabetes, with a large preponderance of cases among those who did not follow the basics of the Med diet.

Those who adhered to the diet most strictly enjoyed a relative reduction of 83 per cent in the risk of diabetes.

Intriguingly, many people in this group also had the biggest accumulation of risk factors for the disease - they were older, were fatter, had a family history of diabetes, more sedentary lifestyle or were ex-smokers.

But they appear to have been shielded by the diet, the authors say. ..theaustralian


Report from CAN:

KUALA LUMPUR : AirAsia said on Thursday its net profits defied spiralling fuel prices to leap 86 percent in the first quarter, but that rising costs would impact on profit margins in the future.

Profits rose to 161.3 million ringgit (50 million dollars) in the three months to March, from 86.9 million ringgit in the same period a year ago, on revenue growth of 31.8 percent to 535 million ringgit.

AirAsia said that passenger numbers increased by 21 percent to 2.6 million during the first quarter, while average fares rose 10 percent, and that a looming consumer slowdown would not necessarily hurt its bottom line.

"Passengers who would normally take a full-service carrier are likely to trade down and fly with a low-cost carrier," Fernandes said.

"We believe the way around the spiking fuel cost is by reducing cost, and equally important is to consolidate our brand, using innovation and marketing to drive the top line."

AirAsia's Thai operations have improved considerably with five new Airbus A320 aircraft, and better passenger flow and load factors, it said. - AFP/de

Thursday, May 29, 2008


A FLAMBOYANT archeologist known worldwide for his trademark Indiana Jones hat believes he has identified the site where Cleopatra is buried.

Now, with a team of 12 archeologists and 70 excavators, Zahi Hawass, 60, the head of Egypt's Supreme Council of Antiquities, has started searching for the entrance to her tomb.

And after a breakthrough two weeks ago, he hopes to find her lover, the Roman general Mark Antony, sharing her last resting place at the site of a temple, the Taposiris Magna, 45km west of Alexandria.

Dr Hawass has discovered a 140m tunnel beneath the temple containing clues that the supposedly beautiful queen may lie beneath.

"We've found tunnels with statues of Cleopatra and many coins bearing her face, things you wouldn't expect in a typical temple," he said.

A fortnight ago, Dr Hawass's team discovered a bust of Mark Antony, the Roman general who became Cleopatra's lover and had three children with her before their ambitions for an Egyptian empire brought them into conflict with Rome.

They committed suicide - he with his sword, she reputedly by clutching an asp to her breast - after being defeated by Octavian in the battle of Actium in 31BC.

"Our theory is that both are buried here," Dr Hawass said.

Other experts are cautious, though. John Baines, professor of Egyptology at Oxford University, warned that searching for royal tombs often proved a "hopeless" task.

He also doubted that Mark Antony would be buried alongside his lover.

"It's unlikely Mark Antony would have a tomb that anyone would be able to discover because he was the enemy at the time he died," he said.

The Sunday Times


MADRID: Spanish twins who were separated at birth through a hospital error - then reunited as adults through a fluke - are suing for millions in damages, as is a third woman who grew up thinking that she was one of the twins.

The error emerged a generation later, through a chance encounter at a clothing store in Las Palmas.

Mr Socorro Perdomo said his client was seeking 3 million euros ($4.93 million) from the government of the Canary Islands, where the error occurred in 1973 in the city of Las Palmas.

A friend of Mr Socorro Perdomo's client worked in the shop. When a woman who was the spitting image of that client came in and failed to recognise the employee, the clerk was dumbfounded.

When the dead ringer came by the store a second time, the clerk began to put two and two together and arranged for the women to meet.

DNA tests proved they were identical twins.

The mix occurred when one of the twins was taken out of her crib as her twin sister lay in one right next to her, mistakenly replaced by another baby girl, and ultimately raised by the family of that child.

The two girls were brought up in the mistaken belief they were twin from ap


A stricken British nuclear submarine was adrift in the Red Sea last night with 112 crewmen trapped aboard.

HMS Superb was submerged on a training exercise when it ran head-on into rocks, seriously damaging its sonar equipment.

A source revealed the terrified crew thought they had hit the ocean bed.


He said: "The vessel was at such a depth that when it hit, those on board thought they had hit the bottom of the ocean. There would have been a significant impact but the emergency procedures were quickly put into place.

"The crew were shaken but none are injured. With a nuclear reactor on board there are real fears for the stability of the vessel and the safety of those on board but tests showed everything was ok."

The 272-ft vessel was around 80 miles south of Suez when she grounded on an "underwater pinnacle" on Monday.

Kate Hudson of the Campaign for Nuclear Disarmament said: "This is yet another submarine crash. It must set alarm bells ringing at the MoD. As a result, what we have is like a floating nuclear power station, surrounded by high-explosives in the most sensitive region of the world."..MIRROR


JAKARTA - Indonesia will withdraw from the Organisation of Petroleum Exporting Countries as it has become a net oil importer, Energy and Mineral Resources Minister Purnomo Yusgiantoro said Wednesday.

"During the budget planning meeting, the president mentioned that we have to withdraw from OPEC and ... when I get back to the office ... I will sign that we withdraw from OPEC," Yusgiantoro said.

But he said Indonesia, the only Southeast Asian member of the oil cartel, could rejoin OPEC if production increased in line with an ongoing effort to boost capacity.

The decline of Indonesia from a net oil exporter to a net oil importer had prompted the move to leave the group, Yusgiantoro told reporters.

"In the case of Indonesia, if we are pulling out from OPEC, then I think in the future ... if our production comes back again to a level that gives us the status of a net oil exporter, then I think we can go back to OPEC," he said.

Oil production in the archipelago has been in decline since 1995 with yields dropping in well-established fields, the minister said.

The Indonesian government hopes to develop new wells to raise its overall production over the next three years. - AFP/ir

Wednesday, May 28, 2008


SYDNEY : Australian airline Qantas on Wednesday said it would slash capacity by five percent by cutting routes, services and jobs and retire several aircraft to cope with soaring fuel prices.

Chief executive Geoff Dixon said the airline's fuel bill would increase by more than 2.0 billion dollars (US$1.9 billion) in 2008/09, representing about 35 percent of the company's total expenditure.

In response, Qantas would cut capacity by about five percent -- the equivalent of grounding six aircraft, he said.

"Despite our fuel hedging strategy, fuel surcharges, two separate across-the-board fare increases and a recruitment freeze, we are not bridging the widening gap between the actual increase in the cost of fuel and the amount we offset," Dixon said in a statement.

"Qantas remains a fundamentally strong company, with a good balance sheet and a commitment to investment that includes a 35-billion-dollar order for aircraft," Dixon said.

"We must make these hard decisions now, however, if we are to ensure the ongoing strength of Qantas, preserve the jobs of the vast majority of our current workforce, and position ourselves for growth when the trading environment improves." ,,,CNA


TAIPEI (Reuters) - A Taiwan man grieving over the death of his girlfriend climbed inside a morgue freezer to be with her and was only pulled out alive half an hour later, media and an official said on Tuesday.

The 41-year-old man was discovered on Monday when workers detected an unusually high temperature in the freezer and realized the hatch was not securely fastened.

"A morgue manager opened the hatch, saw two people lying inside, felt scared enough to yell out and then even cried," the Liberty Times reported. "She didn't stabilize for a long time."

The man took a drug before entering the freezer to speed what appeared to be suicide attempt, local papers said. They said his girlfriend died on Friday from an overdose of sleeping pills.

The morgue would step up security to ensure that family and others who come by to identify bodies do not stay too long, morgue administrator Chang Lung-ching said.


Rat 00000001 left last week. He was 100% sure if sleeping Buddha helms the ship it will sink deep into the shit it is now. And he urged all the other rats to follow.

But sadly enough none of the rats that had important post followed. Like true hero’s they said they will fight on and will stay with the captain. The chief officer(no 2) also brims with confidence that all’s well and swell.

No the ship is not sinking said he, but we have some engine problem, that needs to be repaired, noting serious just some maintenance problems which we are sorting out.

But is he aware that the storm that caused the brake down is still blowing and blowing hard, and the ship without engine is heading to crash at the middle rocks.(this belongs to us now thanks to ICJ)

Everyday it’s taking in water and engine room is beginning to flood, but is there any urgency, no, its business as usual.

But the rat from jb one rank below the chief officer has started to panic. He sounded the alarm , and now waiting to jump overboard. He is waiting for some news, don’t know from where or when, but the last I heard his bags are packed.

Then out of the blues a saviour(or his he?) comes to save the ship. I have heard of rats leaving a sinking ship, but this must be a record of some kind! This new rat that once said he will never come back, suddenly swims to the distress ship.

The captain, like welcoming the prodigal son, welcomes him with open hand personally!

Now the question is why now, why at this time? Big big powers are at play here. We people are commoners , we have no knowledge whats the big plan . Rumors has it, did the opposition send in a torjan?., to make more holes in the already troubled ship?

Or is it a case of ego’s.

What I believe is immaterial, the thing is will the ship sink with the extra baggage or will it will find some new strategy to stay a float a little longer, with the new found saviour who comes with the many secrets of the opposition.

Only time will tell, or is the guy with once famous black eye rolling in his sleep.


WASHINGTON - GROUPS that monitor Islamic Web sites say Al-Qaeda in a new video will urge jihadists to use biological, chemical and nuclear weapons to attack the West, the FBI said.

There was no evidence of a direct threat or that the group had obtained weapons of mass destruction, US intelligence officials said.

Spokesman Richard Kolko said the FBI sent out an alert to US law enforcement agencies about the video, expected in the next 24 hours.

'We got information the tape is coming,' said Mr Kolko. 'We sent out an alert to law enforcement to let them know the tape was coming.' The alert was a routine precaution sent to 1,800 US law enforcement agencies, he said.

There is no sign that Al-Qaeda has acquired the capability to use weapons of mass destruction, a US intelligence official said on Tuesday.

'At this point there isn't evidence they've obtained it,' the official said on condition of anonymity. 'But it's clearly their intent and it's something we need to be aware of and concerned about'. The official declined comment on the FBI alert.



Mukhriz Mahathir has upped his stake in his cold war with Khairy Jamaludin, publicly blaming the number two in Umno Youth for Barisan Nasional’s poor performance in Election 2008 and suggesting that he had no place in the ruling party unless he changes his style.

This is the first time that the youth wing politician has openly criticised Khairy

If khairy hits back, then a full scale siblings war between the two will start.

Mukhriz blamed khairy for the elections defeat as said the SIL lacked the sting that umno youth was known for.

In an interview with agenda daily mukhriz said under his leadership the youth wing has become weak. The son of DR M has openly stated he will contest the number one position in umno youth.

So now khairy and toyo will have their work cut out for them, as it is known that these two are also eyeing that position.

So lets just wait and see who has the bigger marbles to win this one!!


TOKYO (Reuters) - One of the travelers who arrived at Tokyo's Narita airport over the weekend may have picked up an unusual souvenir from customs -- a package of cannabis.

A customs official hid the package in a suitcase belonging to a passenger arriving from Hong Kong as a training exercise for sniffer dogs Sunday, but lost track of both drugs and suitcase during the practice session, a spokeswoman for Tokyo customs said.

Customs regulations specify that a training suitcase be used for such exercises, but the official said he had used passengers' suitcases for similar purposes in the past, domestic media reported.

"The dogs have always been able to find it before," NHK quoted him as saying. "I became overconfident that it would work."

Anyone who finds the package should contact Tokyo customs as soon as possible, the spokeswoman said.


Report from mirror:

As a child, John Webber often played with the strange engraved metal cup that was lying around in his grandfather's scrapyard.

Even when he inherited the cup from the old rag-and-bone man, he assumed it was simply another piece of bronze or brass which had escaped the melting pot.

But last year Mr Webber, himself now a 70-year- old grandfather, unpacked it from its box after six decades to discover he had been sitting on a fortune.

Experts say the cup is pure gold and dates back to before the birth of Christ.

Next month, it will go up for auction and Mr Webber says he will not be surprised if it fetches half a million pounds.

Standing 51/2in high, the cup carries the outline of two similar female faces looking in opposite directions, their foreheads decorated with a snake motif.

When they first saw it, experts were baffled by the piece, unlike any they had seen before.

That was until laboratory analysis of the gold put it in the third or fourth century BC.

Now it is thought the intricate design is the work of craftsmen in the days of the Achaemenid Persian Empire, which spanned three continents until Alexander the Great defeated the forces of its last ruler in 330BC.


The move to total ban of foreign registered vehicles to top up fuel in JB is causing an uproar .

Without business from Singaporeans , we will die, said the owners of petrol pumps, since 90% of their business comes from foreigners. Other businesses like hypermarts and restaurants will be affected too. These move to ban petrol will affect about 300 petrol stations.

Business will be badly affected and some of us may have to close shop said one owner.

Most of the Singaporean motorists interviewed yesterday said they will cut back trips across the causeway.

Singapore government has a law which requires Singapore cars leaving Singapore to have their tanks filled with ¾ tank of fuel. This was to help the petrol pumps in Singapore to retain their business. If you fail to comply, you may be fined upto S$500.

The customs at the immigration checkpoint normally checks the Singapore cars leaving the island at random. But even with the ¾ ruling, about 20,000 cars leave the island everyday to spend their money in JB.

This and the security crack down for the hunt for mas selamat has caused massive jams at the causeway and no end seems to be in sight. Hopefully with this new ruling the jams will cease.


Japanese Yasutoshi Yokoyama takes a demonstration flight on the GEN H-4 helicopter, the world's smallest one-man helicopter, in Vinci (the birthplace of Renaissance genius Leonardo da Vinci) near Florence, Italy


Report from CAN:

A new James Bond novel will be released worldwide on Wednesday, May 28 2008, in celebration of Ian Fleming’s 100th anniversary of his birth.

"Devil May Care" was penned by the award winning British novelist Sebastian Faulks at the request of the late author’s family.

According to its publisher, Bond’s 15th adventure in print is a return to the original Bond, after so many adaptations of the character on film.

And staying true to its fictional British super spy, the plot is being kept a closely guarded secret. All that is known is that the adventure, set in 1967 during the Cold War, takes Bond to Paris, London and the Middle East.

Much in the style of Daniel Craig's unveiling as the new 007 actor back in October 2005, the first copies of the book will be jetted down the Thames to a waiting press corps on board HMS Exeter at Tower Bridge at noon the day before the scheduled release of the book.

A convoy will then deliver a consignment of "Devil May Care" to Waterstones in Piccadilly, where doors will open at 8am on Wednesday to sell the first copies.

"Devil May Care" features all the glamour, thrills, and excitement that one would expect from any adventure involving Bond. "My novel is meant to stand in the line of Fleming's own books, where the story is everything," said Faulks, who wrote the book in six weeks.

The release of the novel is just one of the events that are being held to commemorate the 100th anniversary of Fleming’s birth.

Tuesday, May 27, 2008


Report from reuters:

MIANZHU, China (Reuters) - Chinese soldiers were working non-stop to dig a giant sluice to ease pressure on a swelling "quake lake", with plans to evacuate 100,000 people to avert a new disaster, state media said.

Soldiers and police trekked to the Tangjiashan lake carrying dynamite ready to blast the mud and rubble blocking the flow of water from a river and creating the largest of 35 quake lakes formed when landslides triggered by the massive tremor blocked rivers.

Some 30,000 people living below the lake in and around Beichuan in the mountainous southwestern province have been evacuated as a precaution.

In Mianyang, 150,000 people will have been evacuated by midnight on Tuesday, in line with a contingency plan should one third of the lake's 300 million cubic meters of water burst the dam, Xinhua news agency said.

China on Tuesday put the death toll from the earthquake that struck Sichuan province on May 12 at 67,183, with the figure certain to rise with 20,790 listed as missing.

Nearly 362,000 people were injured.


Report from mirror:

French Parachutist Michel Fournier, plans to break four world records, today with his record breaking freefall jump today in Canada.

He holds the France’s freefall record with a 12km jump.

This time around he is planning to leap from a balloon 40 km (25 miles) above Western Canada.

If he successfully completes the jump from high above Canada's Prairies, he hopes to claim four records: the freefall altitude record, the highest manned balloon flight, the longest time in freefall and the speed record for freefall.

Fournier will use a helium-filled balloon 90 metres (295 feet) high to reach the jump altitude. The balloon is expected to take 2-1/2 hours to make the trip, carrying a pressurized basket with oxygen and flight data instruments.

Fournier will jump wearing a spacesuit capable of withstanding temperatures of -100 Celsius (-148 Fahrenheit) for as long as 10 minutes.

Should he carry off his "Super Jump", he'll surpass official world freefall record of 24,483 metres, set in 1962, though in 1960 a U.S. Army captain fell 31,333 meters in an uncertified attempt.

He also expects to be the first human to break the sound barrier in freefall.


In a continuation of spat between de facto law minister Zaid and the umno backbenchers,

Tajuddin in a surprise outbust in parliament today asked PM to dismiss Zaid from the cabinet.

This is because, Zaid said stern action should be taken against Bn members who criticize government policies and the Pm. This comment was published in the MSM.

This did not go well with Tajuddin.

Tajudin said that while he accepted that it was the right of the PM to select ministers, he wanted Abdullah to re-examine Zaid's appointment as minister.


Report from mirror:

Fisherman in Australia got more than they bargained for when they hauled up this 20ft long giant squid from the ocean.

The 500lb squid was already dead when it was caught in the trawler's nets on Sunday night in waters more than 1,640ft deep off the south-eastern coast.

The squid was lifted on to a stretcher by 10 men and placed in a storage freezer in the city of Portland. It will be examined by experts later this week before being given to a museum.

Facts on squids:

- The giant squid remains largely a mystery to scientists despite being the biggest invertebrate on Earth. Their inhospitable deep-sea habitat has made them uniquely difficult to study, and almost everything scientists know about them is from carcasses that have washed up on beaches or been hauled in by fishermen.

- The largest of these elusive giants ever found measured 59 feet (18 metres) in length and weighed nearly a ton (900 kg).

- Squid are among the fastest invertebrates on Earth speeding through the water at up to 24mph.

- Research indicates that squid cannot smell, they have no noses.

- Squid eyes are similar to fish eyes. They have no eyelids but control the amount of light coming into the eye by opening and closing their slitted pupil.

- Ever been told you've got Squid eye? It means your eye is all messed up and people can't tell which way or what you are looking at.


Report from ducktimes:

Domestic Trade Shahrir Samad said the ban on sales to foreign vehicles would be enforced from Friday.

I believe for those us who travel everyday from johor baru to Singapore this news will come as a blessing, and yet to others it may be a nightmare.

Everyday thousands of Singaporeans cross over to jb to pump fuel, and do their marketing as well. It worth their while because fuel price in Singapore is double the price compared to the pump price in jb. So even with the massive jams day in day out, Singaporeans still will brave the jams to drive into jb.

But now with the total ban coming into effect this Friday, I would assume it would not be attractive now for Singaporeans to drive to jb any longer.

Believe me, this is really going to hurt the petrol stations in jb and not only that, there is going to be a tailspin down to other businesses as well.

There is one particular petrol station just before the causeway immigration check point, close to the jb central railway station. At any time of the day you can see the number of Singapore cars lining up to have their cars filled up just before heading to the check point.

With these new ruling in place, I bet the owners of this particular station is going to have some sleepiness nights!.....i remember back in the good old days (30yrs back), this patrol station had only 2 pumps and was totally run down. But now it has the most numbers of pump for a petrol station anywhere in Malaysia, thanks to the business of the Singaporeans.

On the brighter note, the silver lining, will be a tremendous reduction in traffic to jb from Singapore, and hopefully the crazy jams will also cease, and people crossing the causeway will have and easier time without the jams!.....i for one support this bill 100%.


BURMA'S military rulers tightened security around the home of opposition leader Aung San Suu Kyi today, the day her latest year-long stretch of house arrest is due to expire.

Few expect the military to do anything but roll over the 62-year-old Nobel laureate's detention order, even though such a move is bound to create tensions with Western nations who have promised millions of dollars in cyclone aid.

At least six police trucks, a prison van and a fire engine have been parked near the headquarters of Ms Suu Kyi's National League for Democracy (NLD) party, which is due to hold a ceremony this afternoon.
Amid rumours of a planned NLD march to Ms Suu Kyi's house, police moved a wooden and barbed-wired barricade across the road up to the nearest major intersection, making it impossible even to approach the lakeside villa.
Ms Suu Kyi has spent more than 12 of the last 18 years in prison or under house arrest. Her party won more than 80 per cent of seats in a 1990 election, but was denied power by the military, which has ruled since a 1962 coup.
Her latest stretch of detention started "for her own protection" after clashes between her supporters and pro-junta thugs near the northern town of Depayin on May 30, 2003.
However, her formal house arrest under a state security law did not start until November 27 of that year. It was renewed once for six months, and has since been renewed every year on or around May 27.


Report from reuters:

LONDON (Reuters) - Former President Jimmy Carter has said Israel holds at least 150 nuclear weapons, the first time a U.S. president has publicly acknowledged the Jewish state's atomic arsenal.

While the existence of Israeli nuclear weapons is widely assumed, Israeli officials have never admitted their existence and U.S. officials have stuck to that line in public for years.

A former Israeli military intelligence chief criticized Carter's comments and said they would do more harm than good.

"The U.S. has more than 12,000 nuclear weapons, the Soviet Union (Russia) has about the same, Great Britain and France have several hundred. We have a phalanx of enormous weaponry ... not only of enormous weaponry but of rockets to deliver those missiles on a pinpoint accuracy target," he said.


Report from channelnewsasia

TOKYO : A Japanese court sentenced a gangster to death on Monday for gunning down the mayor of Nagasaki in a rare assassination that led the country to tighten controls on guns.

Tetsuya Shiroo, 60, who was associated with Japan's largest criminal syndicate, was convicted of shooting Mayor Iccho Ito as he campaigned for re-election in April last year.

He said Shiroo plotted the killing because he blamed his financial problems on the mayor's administration in the southwestern city.

Shiroo had previously had a dispute with the city administration over compensation for a traffic accident.

The accused "tried to carry out his grudge by thwarting the former mayor's campaign for a fourth term.

Shiroo said during the trial that he was ready to be hanged, according to Jiji Press.

"I would like to sincerely receive the ultimate punishment," he was quoted as saying.

Japan has one of the world's lowest crime rates. Most gun violence is linked to gangs, which have vast interests in nightlife and other underworld businesses.

The country has seen several attacks on politicians in recent years. In 2002, an ultra-nationalist stabbed to death Koki Ishii, an opposition lawmaker known for his aggressive investigations of corruption.


Report from reuters:

photo: artist concept of the moonbase

The name of Apollo astronaut Neil Armstrong is etched into U.S. history books as the first human to walk on the moon, and it may be set for an encore.

A bill has been passed in the USA, which carries an interesting caveat. If passed into law, NASA apparently MUST name its first lunar outpost after Armstrong – the first human to set foot on another world during the Apollo 11 mission on july 20 1969.

NASA plans to return astronauts to the moon by 2020 under the agency’s Vision for Space Exploration, which includes completing construction of the International Space Station by 2010.

NASA has been looking for attractive lunar locales for a future moonbase, with one front-running contender being “shackleton crater near the moon’s south pole, where water ice may hide in the constant shadows.

Wonder if Armstrong would be there for ground breaking ceremony?


Report from dailymail

Imagine being Victoria Beckham, with the basketball court full of blond bomshells with their bouncy things- and we’re not talking basketballs!

In a LA game, with front row seats you can see Victoria, has had a hard time controlling her husband’s court-side ogling.

Posh -who is known for her glum looks- couldn’t hide her annoyance at the line women with their meagre attire who seemed set on standing in front of her husband to perform their dance routine.

And although she kept David in check on several occasions even she couldn't help taking glimpse at the well toned cheerleaders.

In one instance it almost looked like Posh wanted her Spice days back as she admired the tanned body of one of blonde dancers.

Victoria keeps her husband David Beckham in check as he admires the scantilly clad cheerleaders at an LA Lakers game

David sneaks a quick peak at the blonde beauty when wife Victoria is distracted

David keeps his attention on Victoria as the blond cheerleader shakes her behind in front of him

Even Victoria Beckham couldn't help taking a glimpse of the well toned blonde

Victoria looks unimpressed and David keeps his eyes firmly shut as the line of cheerleaders walk past them

There there: David gives Victoria a gentle pat on the back, trying to be a goodboy!

Monday, May 26, 2008


Report from dailymail

Evel Knievel’s son , Robbie Knievel has eclipsed his father by jumping a distance of 200ft over 24 trucks.

His father managed 115ft over 14 buses at the same venue, a theme park in Kings Island, Ohio, in 1975 in a stunt watched by more than half of the American TV audience.

Robbie’s feat was greeted by wild cheers from the crowd, booming explosions and shooting flames.

The 46-year-old gave the thumbs-up after his bumpy touchdown and performed a wheelie.

Evel Knievel died last year at the age of 69 after suffering from failing health.

photo: left evel knievel,right robbie


Report from dailymail

Frank, 100, and Anita, 99, today celebrate their 80th wedding anniversary, equaling the record for England’s longest-ever marriage.

As with any married couple, there are times when Frank and Anita Milford don’t quite see eye to eye.

But they have never let the odd disagreement get in the way of their love for each other and their dedication to their marriage.

The pair met in 1926 at a YMCA dance in their home town of Plymouth. They married two years later, on May 26, 1928, and after the register office ceremony popped to the cinema to catch a Charlie Chaplin film.

Shortly after they moved to a bungalow in the city’s St Budeaux district, where they lived until 2005. Mr Milford worked at Devonport Dockyard until retiring at 60.

The couple have two children, Marie, 78, and Frank, 73, five grandchildren and seven great grandchildren.

They have just received a letter from the Queen congratulating them on their ‘oak’ anniversary. Their 80 years together equals the English record set by Percy and Florence Arrowsmith of Hereford in 2006. Mr Arrowsmith died a fortnight after celebrating the anniversary.

Guinness World Records says the longest British marriage was that of Thomas and Elizabeth Morgan of Caerleon, South Wales, who were married for 81 years 260 days until her death in 1891.


Report from channelnewsasia:

SINGAPORE: The superintendent of the Whitley Road Detention Centre has been sacked over security lapses that led to the escape of Jemaah Islamiyah detainee Mas Selamat Kastari. His deputy has been demoted, with a corresponding pay cut.

The two were the most senior officers in charge of the ground management of the detention centre, and were among six Internal Security Department (ISD) officers charged over the escape.

Two Gurkha officers were also charged and have been demoted after pleading guilty.

Deputy Prime Minister and Home Affairs Minister Wong Kan Seng disclosed this when he updated Parliament on the disciplinary action taken after Mas Selamat's escape.

Mas Selamat had escaped from a ventilation window in a toilet at the detention centre on February 27 and remains at large.

No grilles were mounted on the window. Mr Wong said the superintendent should have instructed the renovation contractor to install grilles on the ventilation window.

Instead, the superintendent asked for the handle of the window to be sawn off in the mistaken belief that it was a sufficient security measure. This, Mr Wong said, was a serious error.

The superintendent and his deputy have also been held accountable for the lack of supervision over the subordinate officers implicated in the escape.

Mr Wong said the ISD's command director, whom the superintendent reported to, has also been relieved of his duties on April 24.

Although the command director was neither directly nor indirectly linked to the lapses of specific officers down the line, and he was not at fault over the lapses, Mr Wong said he was formally the apex of the supervisory and management chain of command overseeing the detention centre. - CNA/ac


Soft drink giant Coca-Cola is phasing out a controversial additive that has been linked to hyperactivity and causing damage to DNA.

The chemical Sodium Benzoate, also known as E211, is used to stop fizzy drinks going mouldy.

But recent research has shown that the chemical can deactivate parts of DNA, the genetic code in the cells of living creatures.

Peter Piper, a professor of molecular biology research at Sheffield University found that the additive could switch off vital parts of DNA that could be linked to cirrhosis of the liver and Parkinson's disease.

He has also called for further research into the chemical.

In combination with vitamin C (CORR) sodium benzoate can form a potentially cancer-causing substance, benzene.

The move will mean that by the end of the year no can will contain E211 - and it plans to remove it from its other products as soon as possible.

Coca-Cola said it had begun removing sodium benzoate from Diet Coke production in January.

A company spokesperson said: 'We are continuously looking at emerging trends and listening to our consumers thoughts about ingredients.

The company stressed that E211 was an approved additive by many worldwide bodies including the European Food Standards Agency.


Report from channelnewsasia

MEXICO CITY: Manchester City coach Sven-Goran Eriksson, facing the sack from the English Premiership side, can count Mexico's national side as his next possible destination, Mexican media reported on Sunday.

Reports quoted Mexican football agent Juan Carlos Padilla as saying former England boss Eriksson was on the verge of accepting a two-year deal to lead Mexico to the 2010 World Cup.

"We already know what the Mexican FA are looking for and we would accept their terms if they call us again," Mexican newspaper La Jornada quoted Padilla as saying from Manchester.

"If the Mexican FA decide to take him on, he will be their coach and the Mexican national team will be his top choice.

Eriksson, who is on a post-season tour with City, expects to be dismissed by club owner and former Thai prime minister Thaksin Shinawatra, despite leading the club into Europe in his first season with a top half Premiership finish.

Should he indeed leave Eastlands, then one name in the frame to replace him could be Avram Grant, whom Chelsea unceremoniously dumped Saturday after finishing runners-up in both the Premiership and the Champions League.


From reuters:

One of the first images from the Phoenix Mars Lander shows the surface of Mars after the Phoenix Mars Lander spacecraft landed successfully in the first-ever touchdown near Mars' north pole May 25, 2008.

job well done!


Report from channelnewsasisa

BERLIN: Former telecoms monopoly Deutsche Telekom over the weekend became the latest German firm to be rocked by revelations of spying on its employees.

Deutsche Telekom, Europe's biggest phone company, confirmed on Saturday allegations in Spiegel magazine that it hired an outside firm to track hundreds of thousands of phone calls by senior executives and journalists in 2005-6.

It denied that the Berlin consultancy firm listened to the conversations, instead merely logging details on who phoned whom as well as the time and duration of the calls.

Spiegel said that "Operation Clipper" and "Operation Rheingold" were set up in order to identify the source of leaks of sensitive financial information to financial journalists.

Chief executive Rene Obermann, who was not in charge when the spying took place, said that state prosecutors and a law firm in Cologne were investigating the affair.

Less than 20 years after the fall of the Berlin Wall and the demise of the Stasi secret police in communist East Germany, Germans are particularly sensitive about infringements into their privacy.

Other firms have also been accused of spying on their own workers.

The biggest such scandal involved Lidl, one of German's biggest budget supermarket chains, which reportedly violated labour laws by installing hidden cameras in its stores to systematically keep tabs on staff.

Lidl even recorded employees when they used the toilet, their conversations while on break, and kept track on who their friends outside work were, reports said in March.


Report from dailymail

A mother of two has stunned doctors by apparently coming back from the dead.

Velma Thomas's heart stopped beating three times and she was clinically brain dead for 17 hours. Her son had left the hospital to make funeral arrangements, having been told she would not survive.

But ten minutes after her life support system was shut down and doctors were preparing to take her organs for donation, the 59-year-old woke up.

Heart specialist Kevin Eggleston said: 'There are things that as physicians and nurses we can't always explain. I think this is one of those cases.'

He said Mrs Thomas had no pulse, no heartbeat or brain activity after her admission to hospital. She had been found unconscious after suffering a heart attack at her home in West Virginia.

While at the Charleston Area Medical Centre she suffered two further heart attacks and was placed on a life support system.

About 25 family members and friends gathered inside the hospital waiting room. 'We just prayed and prayed and prayed,' said her son Tim, 36. 'And I came to the conclusion she wasn't going to make it.

'I was given confirmation from God to take her off the ventilator and my pastor said the same thing. I felt a sense of peace that I made the right decision. Her skin had already started hardening, her hands and toes were curling up. There was no life there.'

He said after he left the hospital he was called and told she had shown signs of life.

By the time he got to her hospital room, Mrs Thomas was alert and talking. 'She had already asked, "Where's my son?",' he said.

Dr Eggleston added: 'It's a miracle.'