Tuesday, 23 April 2013

Woman stabbed by robbers dies shortly

Woman stabbed by robbers dies shortly after

A woman died after being stabbed by robbers on Saturday evening while she was on her way with her family to a charity run at Gasing Hills, Petaling Jaya.  Madam Irene Ong was walking with her daughter when two men on a motorcycle came from behind. Ong knew something wasn’t right and pushed her daughter away. She was stabbed four times by the pillion rider.
The robbers then tried to snatch her pouch while her daughter was running to look for help. By the time her husband ran to her aid, she had passed away due to the loss of blood. According to sources, the deceased’s last words to her daughter were “I love you.”
In light of the tragic incident of Madam Ong and the rampant snatch thefts that have been occurring lately, what can we as citizens and as a community do to protect ourselves and deter such crimes from happening? Request for more police patrols around Bukit Gasing or the community coming together to organise a crime watch around the area?

Wednesday, 17 April 2013

AirAsia starts recruiting pilots for Indian venture

Asia's largest budget carrier AirAsia announced Saturday it has begun recruiting pilots for the no-frills Indian airline joint venture it plans to launch later this year.

AirAsia is searching for India-based captains and co-pilots, the carrier said on its website. Group chief executive Tony Fernandes added on his Facebook page: "Come fly with us! AirAsia India is hiring pilots."
Last month, the Malaysia-based company won approval from India's foreign investment panel to set up an airline in a joint venture with the giant Tata group, a government official said.
"The way things are going, it looks like we will start operations in September provided we get all the necessary approvals," Bo Lingam, chief operating officer of Air Asia, was quoted as saying by India's Economic Times.
The venture still has to obtain a flying licence from India's aviation regulator, among other steps.
The company will recruit 100 employees to begin with for its Indian operations, the newspaper said.
AirAsia will have a 49 percent stake in the carrier while India's Tata Group will hold 30 percent. The remainder will be held by entrepreneur Arun Bhatia's Telstra Tradeplace.
Fernandes, a former record industry executive, took over insolvent AirAsia in 2001 and turned it into one of the aviation sector's biggest success stories.
AirAsia's entry would mark the first by a foreign carrier in the Indian aviation sector since the government last September relaxed rules allowing overseas airlines to take up to 49 percent stakes in domestic carriers.

Strong quake jolts Iran, felt in Gulf and South Asia

Strong quake jolts Iran, felt in Gulf and South AsiaA powerful earthquake rattled Iran on Tuesday, and was felt in the Gulf and South Asia, where at least five people died and frightened office workers fled from buildings
Pakistanis wait outside after evacuating nearby buildings following tremors in Karachi, on April 16, 2013. A powerful earthquake has rattled Iran on Tuesday, and was felt in the Gulf and South Asia, where at least five people died and frightened office workers fled from buildings, reports said.
It comes a week after one struck near Iran's Gulf port city of Bushehr, killing at least 30 people and injuring 800.
At least 27 people were hurt in Iran on Tuesday, according to a local governor speaking to the official IRNA news agency, but there was no immediate confirmation of any deaths.
In Pakistan, the quake brought down homes, killing at least five people and injuring others, a hospital official said.
"We have received five dead bodies," Ashraf Baloch told AFP by telephone from Mashkail in Washuk district, around three kilometres (1.8 miles) from the border with Iran.
A local health official in Iran told the Fars news agency that more than 20 villages were probably "severely damaged," based on initial reports.
But the deputy head of Iran's state crisis management organisation, Morteza Akbarpour, told Fars news agency casualties should be low considering the rural setting of the stricken area.
IRNA said crisis management authorities had declared a state of emergency in the quake-hit area.
The head of Iran's Red Crescent rescue corps, Mahmoud Mozafar, said communications to the stricken areas have been cut.
The earthquake also shook buildings in Abu Dhabi and Dubai, across the waters of the Gulf in the United Arab Emirates. It was also felt in the Saudi capital Riyadh and in Oman.
In the tourist hub of Dubai, residential and office buildings were evacuated and thousands of people gathered outside skyscrapers.
"Everybody's on the streets. There's a state of panic," said the director of an insurance company in the city centre who identified himself only as Rami.
The grandiose Dubai Mall was completely evacuated, according to employees who said people were evacuated from towers in Downtown Dubai, home to the world's tallest building.
The quake was also strongly felt in Kuwait, particularly in coastal areas, and in the Bahraini capital Manama, where buildings in the central financial district were evacuated.
It was felt across northern India, including in the capital New Delhi. where tremors rattled buildings and led many office workers to run into the street as a precaution.
"We felt the jerks," said SC Basu, a retired government engineer who lives in the east of the Indian capital. "Our beds shook and crockery rattled. Many people left for outside."
There were no immediate reports of any damage or casualties in India, but concern remains high just 10 days after the collapse of a building in Mumbai killed 72 people.
Iran's Seismological Centre said the 7.5-magnitude quake struck at 3:14 pm (1044 GMT) in the southeast near the border with Pakistan and Afghanistan.
It had initially put the depth of the quake at 18km (11 miles) but later revised it to 95km (59 miles).
The US Geological Survey put the magnitude of the quake at 7.8, and said it struck near the Iranian city of Khash, in the province of Sistan Baluchistan.
Dr David Rothery, chair of the volcanoes, earthquakes and tsunamis course at Britain's Open University, said "this morning's earthquake in Iran was strong... but fortunately its source was quite deep.
"Although the ground probably shook for the best part of a minute, the intensity of the shaking was less than it would have been for a shallower earthquake of the same magnitude."
But he added that the area "is mountainous, and damage can be expected from landslides as well as because of poorly constructed buildings."
Iran sits astride several major fault lines and is prone to frequent earthquakes, some of which have been devastating.
A double earthquake, one measuring 6.2 and the other 6.0, struck northwest Iran last August, killing more than 300 people and injuring 3,000.
In December 2010, a massive quake struck the southern city of Bam. It killed 26,271 people -- about a quarter of the population -- and destroyed the city's ancient mud-built citadel.

Monday, 15 April 2013

Black Bear Becomes First To Undergo Brain Surgery

Black Bear Becomes First To Undergo Brain Surgery

A three-year old Asiatic black bear by the name of Champa has undergone brain surgery, and in the process has become the first of her kind to do so.
Champa is based in the mountains of northern Laos, and after losing her vision and becoming more violent vets in her sanctuary came to the conclusion that she was suffering from hydrocephalus, otherwise know as ‘water on the brain.’
Due to this condition she constantly felt as if she was suffering from a migraine. Previously, Champa had always stood out due to her protruding forehead and she often had difficulties socialising with other bears around her.
However, rather than being put down because of her conditions, the Buddhist traditions in Laos, as well as various wildlife protection laws, meant that Champa was forced to undergo a six surgery.
A South African veterinary surgeon was flown in from her usual place of work at the Edinburgh Zoo, in Scotland, to complete the procedure.
This operation, which took place in February, consisted of drilling a small hole behind one of the bear’s ears, before then using an ultrasound probe to confirm that she was indeed hydrocephalic.
A thin tube was then inserted into her brain, which then threaded under her skin to the abdomen, where they drained the fluid from the cavity.
Matt Hunt, the chief executive of the sanctuary, noted that Champa was instantly different after the ordeal. “There was a lot more recognition,” he stated. “We can’t know if her vision is fully recovered, but everyone certainly believes her vision has improved.”
The sanctuary where Champa is based is entitled Free the Bears, and protects these bears from wildlife traffickers. The Asiatic black bear is currently listed as vulnerable on the list of threatened species, whilst its bile is often used in Chinese and Korean medicine.

Kim Jong-Un ‘Struggling,’ Says Former North Korean Spy

Kim Jong-Un ‘Struggling,’ Says Former North Korean Spy
Kim Jong-Un is “struggling” to maintain control of North Korea’s military forces. According to a former North Korean spy and terrorist who took orders directly from his father, the bombastic young dictator that everyone loves to hate is still fighting to consolidate power with a show of force.
That’s the read from convicted terrorist Kim Hyun-He, who placed a bomb on a South Korean airliner in 1987. The bomb exploded, killing 115 people. She was captured and sentenced to death but ultimately pardoned because it was established that she herself was a victim of brainwashing. She now lives in hiding in Seoul, South Korea, and she gave her thoughts last night on the situation to Australia’s ABC TV from a secret location.
Poor Kim Jong-Un. A stone-hearted strongman waving nuclear threats just can’t get any respect these days.
When he announced that doomsday might be coming as soon as Wednesday or Thursday of last week, a cheeky British tabloid published probably false photos of the alleged young Kim Jong-Un playing a role as a leather-jacket wearing hoodlum in the musical Grease.
John McCain called him “a clown.” Fidel Castro said that the threats were absurd. Anonymous hacked North Korea and turned admittedly chunky Kim Jong-Un into a pig.
Even former vice-president Dick Cheney, who’s always up for a good war, conceded only that we might be “in the deep doo-doo” with the young and impetuous dictator. Doo-doo? You run a whole country, and you can’t even get an upgrade to s**t?
Despite breathless reports that the missile is now upright, it didn’t go off at the appointed time. An internet wit spread the word that the test was delayed because of North Korea’s reliance on Windows 8 software, and that North Korea has now declared war on Microsoft.
Yeppers, there’s no doubt that Kim Jong-Un is struggling to get the respect of the west. But his own military? That’s another question.
Some observers have cautioned that Ms. Kim Hyun-He’s take could be way out of date. She knew the father, not the son, and it isn’t known if she still has current contacts feeding her information from North Korea.
Far from struggling, those analysts point out that Kim Jong-Un appears to have a firm grip on the North Korean armed forces — so firm that he has successfully removed senior generals. That includes four officials that actually carried the casket of his father at the state funeral.
“He is proving he is the leader, the decider…a leader in power, a leader from the get-go,” said Joseph DeTrani, a former North Korean ambassador.
While the world waits to see when, or if, the next much-ballyhooed missile test will launch, the jokes will probably continue. At the end of the day, almost everyone seems to agree that it isn’t about starting a nuclear war. It’s about blackmail.
“He’s also using the nuclear program as a bargaining chip for aid, to keep the public behind him,” said Kim Hyun-He.
Whether you think he’s a pathetic blackmailer, a serious danger, or just a joke, Kim Jong-Un’s struggle for respect is far from over.

Thursday, 11 April 2013

Seoul calls Pyongyang to come to dialogue table

SEOUL: South Korea on Thursday called on North Korea (DPRK) to come to the dialogue table to resolve the political deadlock, China's Xinhua news agency reported.

"The suspension in operation of the Kaesong Industrial Complex, a symbol of the inter-Korean reconciliation and cooperation, is an act that does not do any good to our nation's future," Unification Minister Ryoo Kihl-jae said in a formal statement.  
Ryoo said that "the normalisation of the Kaesong complex should be made through dialogue," urging Pyongyang to "come to the dialogue table to discuss what the North (DPRK) wants."  
Asked whether the statement is a formal proposal for dialogue with Pyongyang, Ryoo told reporters that it would be a declaration to make certain that "all the problems, including the Kaesong Industrial Complex problem and the escalating threats by North Korea, should be resolved through dialogue" rather than the government's formal suggestion for dialogue.  
Ryoo strongly urged Pyongyang to stop heightening tensions on the Korean Peninsula, expressing his regrets over the North Korea's repeated provocative threats.  
His comments came amid escalating tensions on the Korean Peninsula. A spokesman of North Korea's General Bureau for Central Guidance to the Development of the Special Zone told the official Korea Central News
Agency that the Kaesong industrial zone may cease to exist if the South Korean authority continues its confrontation policy.  
The industrial zone, established under an agreement reached at the unprecedented inter-Korean summit in 2000, stopped operations from Tuesday as around 53,000 North Korean workers failed to report to work following North Korea's announcement of withdrawal of all its workers from the North Korea's border town of Kaesong. 
South Korea
South Korean army tanks move at a shooting range in the border city of Paju on April 11, 2013. North Korea kept the world on edge on April 11, over an expected missile launch while turning its own energies to celebrating leaders past and present amid soaring tensions on the Korean peninsula.

Bomb kills 2 soldiers, wounds 6 in south Thailand

PATTANI, Thailand: Police say two soldiers were killed and six were wounded in a roadside bombing in Thailand’s insurgency-plagued south.

Police Col. Manit Yimsai said Thursday that suspected insurgents detonated an improvised bomb hidden on the road surface in Pattani province’s Panarae district.
The soldiers were in two armored vehicles traveling Wednesday night to inspect damages from an earlier militant attack. One of the personnel carriers was badly damaged.
The attack was one of 36 incidents overnight in Pattani. Authorities said suspected militants set fires on tires, cell towers, telephone booths, buildings and closed-circuit cameras. No other casualties were reported.
More than 5,000 people have been killed in Thailand’s three southernmost provinces since an Islamist insurgency erupted in 2004.

Thai security forces inspect the site of a roadside bomb attack on an armoured vehicle by suspected separatist militants which killed two soldiers and injured six in Thailand's restive southern province of Pattani on April 11, 2013. More than 5,500 people have been killed in nine years of bloodshed in Thailand's Muslim-majority south near the border with Malaysia, with shadowy insurgent groups blamed for near-daily bombings and shootings.

Flash flood in several areas in KL

KUALA LUMPUR: Thousands of road users in the city centre were stuck in massive traffic jams after flash floods occurred in several areas, with Jalan Tun Razak closed for traffic since about 5.30pm.

Information received from the City Hall’s Integrated Transport Information System (ITIS) said all major roads leading out of and into the city centre are seeing major traffic crawl due to the wet weather.
Among the affected roads and highways were the Middle Ring-Road 1 (MRR1), Jalan Duta, Jalan Kuching, and Jalan Mahameru.
“Jalan Tun Razak at both sides have been closed to traffic since about 5.30pm after water started flowing into the road.
“The rain has stopped, and hopefully the flash flood will subside soon,” said an ITIS officer when contacted through its hotline.
The officer also said that Jalan Genting Klang was hit by a flashflood at an early stage of the heavy rain, but the water has subsided and the road is now clear for traffic.
Stormwater Management and Road Tunnel (SMART Tunnel) hotline when contacted said the tunnel was closed to traffic since 4.25pm to allow excess water to be channelled out of the city.
“We have re-opened the tunnel for traffic from the city centre heading to Cheras and Seremban, while the other side (leading into the city from Cheras and Seremban), is still closed,” said an officer.
Meanwhile, latest information received was that the flashflood that hit Jalan Tun Razak, said to be as deep as about one-metre earlier, has subsided to about 1 foot at about 7pm and is clear for traffic.
KL flash flood
Flash flood in Jalan Salleh, Kampung Baru did not recede until 9.30pm today.

flash flood in KL 
 A man treading flood waters to check on his car which is partly submerged at Jalan Lai Tet Loke after a 3-hour continous rain flooded several roads in Kuala Lumpur today. -- Bernama picture
Jalan Tun Razak floods

Flash floods along Jalan Tun Razak
Flood view from Bernama office
Heavy downpour for almost two hours caused a flash flood in the city today. This photo was taken from the 15th floor of Wisma Bernama along Jalan Tun Razak. 
Tun Razak flash flood

Bird's eye view of the flash flood along Jalan Tun Razak
Uprooted tree in Taman Danau Kota

DBKL officers work to remove an uprooted tree that fell on a car in Taman Danau

Wednesday, 10 April 2013

Texas College Stabbing Suspect In Custody, Said To Be 21-Year-Old Male Student

Texas College Stabbing Suspect In Custody, Said To Be 21-Year-Old Male Student

The Texas college stabbing suspect has been arrested after slashing at least 14 people with an X-Acto knife on the campus of Line Star College’s CyFair campus in Cypress.
The suspect is described as a white male, believed to be 21 years old and enrolled at the school.
Harris County Sheriff Adrian Garcia said police learned of the Texas college stabbing at 11:12 am on Tuesday when reports came in of a white male “on the loose stabbing people.”
Police said the student went building-to-building on campus at the Texas community college stabbing students before he was subdued and arrested. The attack sent 12 people to area hospitals, including four taken be helicopter. Several others refused treatment at the scene, said Cy-Fair Volunteer Fire Department spokesman Robert Rasa.
Garcia said the fast work of others on campus prevented the Texas college stabbing from being any worse.
“Some of the details in the call slip did indicate that students or faculty were actively responding to work to subdue this individual,” Garcia said. “So we’re proud of those folks, but we’re glad no one else is injured any more severely than they are.”
Lone Star student Michael Chalfan helped tackle the suspect and said it was a harrowing scene.
“Had a sinister look on his face, kind of like a smile and a satisfactory grin after doing it,” Chalfan said.
As the stabbing was taking place, Lone Star officials warned people on campus to take shelter and watch out for a second suspect. Those reports were later amended, with authorities saying the lone 21-year-old white male was responsible.
“It was the same suspect going from building to building,” department spokesman Thomas Gilliland said.
Witnesses described a chaotic scene on campus, with reports spreading quickly through social networks and among students.
Courtland Sedlachek, 18, said he was in class when the phones of everyone in class started buzzing with alerts of the incident. The room was locked down, but students were soon let out in what he said was an orderly but nervous evacuation.
The Texas college stabbing isn’t the first instance of violence on the Lone Star College campus. In January, two people were shot there. Both survived, and police charged a suspect in the incident.

Saddam Hussein Still Causing Trouble: Iraq Demands Return Of Statue’s Buttock

Saddam Hussein Still Causing Trouble: Iraq Demands Return Of Statue’s Buttock

The Saddam Hussein statue famously pulled down in Baghdad’s main square is at the center of a dispute between the Iraqi government and a former SAS soldier.
The Saddam statue was pulled down by a US tank exactly ten years ago today in scenes that were broadcast around the world. However, parts of the statue were taken by troops or civilians as souvenirs. The Iraqi government is demanding the return of the missing pieces, arguing it is “part of their historical and cultural heritage.”
Fifty-three-year-old Nigel Ely owns one of the pieces requested by Iraq. Specifically, he owns Saddam’s left buttock.
Former British paratrooper Ely, who served in the 1990-91 Gulf War, was working as a photojournalist in Baghdad in April 2003. When he showed up in Baghdad’s Firdous Square the day after the statue was hauled down, he tells the BBC the statue was “surrounded by tanks.”
Ely recalls how he introduced himself as a Gulf War veteran to US marines guarding the relic before asking whether he could take a piece of it:
“They said ‘Yea, buddy’ and I hacked off a piece with the help of the US marines.”
Armed with a sledgehammer and chisel, Mr. Ely broke off a 0.6m chunk of the bronze statue depicting the late dictator’s buttock. He had acquired a memorable souvenir.
In the years since, Ely has attempted to sell the bronzed buttock, even turning the chunk of statue into a piece of “war relic art.” He intends to raise money for military charities and groups, but buyers seem in short supply. In October 2011, the relic failed to meet its reserve of $383,000 in an auction in Derby.
In 2012, UK police questioned Mr. Ely over the statue after receiving a complaint from the Iraqi government. Mr. Ely has since said he has tried to resolve the matter with the Iraqi authorities but with no luck. He says:
“Everyone is running scared of it. Maybe they just don’t want to be associated with it [the statue].”
The former soldier has said he aims to strike a deal with the Iraqi government whereby the troublesome buttock can be sold to raise money for charity.


Tuesday, 9 April 2013

Britain's Margaret Thatcher, the 'Iron Lady', dead at 87

Former prime minister Margaret Thatcher, the controversial "Iron Lady" who dominated a generation of British politics and won international acclaim for helping to end the Cold War, has died following a stroke. She was 87.

Britain's Margaret Thatcher, the 'Iron Lady', dead at 87
Flowers and mementos left by members of the public and admirers sit outside the home of former British Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher in central London on April 8th 2013. Former prime minister Margaret Thatcher, the controversial "Iron Lady" who dominated a generation of British politics and won international acclaim for helping to end the Cold War, has died following a stroke. She was 87.
 World leaders Monday paid tribute to Britain's only woman premier, whose polarising 11 years in office saw her take on trade unions, go to war in the Falklands and wield her signature handbag against the European Union.
Britain's Queen Elizabeth II said she was saddened by Thatcher's death as Prime Minister David Cameron recalled parliament for a special tribute session, while mining leaders and Irish republicans said she left a disastrous legacy.
 "Today we lost a great leader, great Prime Minister and a great Briton. Margaret Thatcher didn't just lead our country -- she saved our country," said a sombre Cameron, who cut short a trip to European capitals and flew back to London after the news of her death broke.
Her spokesman Lord Tim Bell said Monday she had "died peacefully following a stroke this morning." She was staying at the Ritz Hotel in London when she died, he added.
 Red white and blue Union flags flew at half mast over Buckingham Palace, the Houses of Parliament and the prime minister's Downing Street official residence, while mourners left flowers outside Thatcher's house.
Britain announced plans for a ceremonial funeral next week of the kind given to Princess Diana, although it is a step short of a full state funeral accorded to monarchs and World War II premier Winston Churchill.
Wearing a black tie in a sign of mourning, Cameron said in a speech outside Downing Street that "we can't deny that Margaret Thatcher divided opinion", but hailed her "lion-hearted love of this country."
The former Conservative Party leader was the 20th century's longest continuous occupant of Downing Street from 1979 to 1990.
 Right-wingers hailed Thatcher as having hauled Britain out of the economic doldrums but the left accused her of dismantling traditional industry and destroying the fabric of society.
The once formidable Thatcher suffered from dementia in recent years -- her illness becoming the subject of a film starring Meryl Streep, who hailed her Monday as a "pioneer for women".
Thatcher was told by doctors to quit public speaking a decade ago after a series of minor strokes. She was last in hospital in December for a minor operation to remove a growth from her bladder.
  On the world stage, Thatcher in the 1980s built a close "special relationship" with US president Ronald Reagan which helped bring the curtain down on Soviet Communism. She also fiercely opposed closer political ties with Europe.
President Barack Obama said the United States had lost a "true friend", and Russian leader Vladimir Putin hailed her as a "brilliant political figure".
Former Soviet leader Mikhail Gorbachev, whose good relations with Thatcher played a part in ending the Cold War, said she would live on in "memory and in history", while Helmut Kohl, the father of Germany's 1990 reunification, praised her "love of freedom".
German Chancellor Angela Merkel called Thatcher an "extraordinary leader", and French President Francois Hollande declared she had left a "profound mark" on Britain.
Two former US presidents also remembered the legendary British premier, with George H. W. Bush saying she was "a leader of rare character" and Bill Clinton hailing her as an "iconic stateswoman" who lived a "remarkable life".
Pope Francis praised Thatcher's "promotion of freedom" and said he was "saddened" by her passing.
Britain's 86-year-old queen, who shared weekly chats with Thatcher during her time in power, was "sad to hear the news of the death of Baroness Thatcher," Buckingham Palace said.
Thatcher will receive a ceremonial funeral with military honours at St Paul's Cathedral in central London some time next week, although the date has not been confirmed, Downing Street said.
Her coffin will rest in the Houses of Parliament the night before the funeral and will be taken through the streets on a gun carriage to the cathedral.
British newspapers reported that the former premier had herself requested not to receive a state funeral, knowing that it would prove divisive.
The House of Commons and House of Lords, the two chambers of parliament, will be recalled on Wednesday so that lawmakers can pay tribute to Thatcher.
Reaction to her death was mixed in Britain.
 But the coal miners' union defeated by Thatcher in the 1984-1985 strike issued a statement saying "good riddance".
 In the south London neighbourhood of Brixton, sworn enemies of the former Iron Lady held a street party to celebrate the news.
Holding placards saying "Rejoice -- Thatcher is dead", around 200 people gathered in the neighbourhood, a hotspot of alternative culture, and toasted her passing by drinking and dancing to hip-hop and reggae songs blaring from sound systems.
Thatcher was born Margaret Hilda Roberts on October 13, 1925 in the market town of Grantham, eastern England, the daughter of a grocer.
After grammar school and a degree in chemistry at Oxford University, she married businessman Denis Thatcher in 1951 -- who died in 2003 -- and became the mother of twins, Carol and Mark, in 1953.
She was first elected to the House of Commons in 1959 and succeeded former prime minister Edward Heath as opposition Conservative leader in 1975 before becoming premier four years later.
Her enduring legacy can be summed up as "Thatcherism" -- a set of policies which supporters say promoted personal freedom and broke down the class divisions that had riven Britain for centuries.
Pushing her policies through pitched Thatcher's government into a string of tough battles, while she also had to deal with unexpected setbacks.
When Argentina invaded the remote British territory of the Falkland Islands in 1982, Thatcher dispatched troops and ships, securing victory in two months.
In 1984 Thatcher survived an Irish Republican Army bombing at a hotel in Brighton.
Gerry Adams, leader of the Sinn Fein republican party, said she had played a "shameful role" in the troubles in Northern Ireland.

MCA drops Ng Yen Yen from Raub seat

MCA chief Datuk Seri Lam Kang Sang today confirmed that Tourism Minister Datuk Seri Ng Yen Yen has been dropped out of the candidate list for Raub. She has served three terms so far. The MCA Chief also further added that he had met with Prime Minister Najib on this matter and the former would be filling the seat with a "winnable candidate."
Lai Seng Sin, APThe other option is Bilut state assemblyman Datuk Ho Chai Mun, who is a senior Pahang state exco. He will be meeting DAP's Datuk Mohd Ariff Sabri Abdul Aziz.
Ng Yen Yen made headlines not too long ago when she was booed by the crowd in Melaka. Read FULL STORY here.
In 2011, she used the tourism ministry's RM1.8 million expenditure to develop six Facebook pages to promote Malaysian tourism.

PM Najib vows more cash in Malaysians' pockets

Sunday, 7 April 2013

US delays missile test over N. Korea tensions

The Pentagon has delayed an intercontinental ballistic missile test due to take place in California next week amid soaring nuclear tensions with North Korea, an official said.

US delays missile test over N. Korea tensions

Soldiers of the US Army's 23rd Chemical Battalion wear protective gear to give a display of their equipment at Camp Stanley in Uijeongbu, north of Seoul, on April 4, 2013. The Pentagon has delayed an intercontinental ballistic missile test due to take place in California next week amid soaring nuclear tensions with North Korea, an official said.
The defense official told AFP that Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel rescheduled the Minuteman 3 test at Vandenberg Air Force Base for some time next month due to concerns the launch "might be misconstrued by some as suggesting that we were intending to exacerbate the current crisis with North Korea."
"We wanted to avoid that misperception or manipulation," the US official added.
"We are committed to testing our ICBMs to ensure a safe, secure, effective nuclear arsenal."
North Korea, incensed by UN sanctions and South Korea-US military drills, has issued a series of apocalyptic threats of nuclear war in recent weeks.
The Pentagon's announcement followed reports that the North had loaded two intermediate-range missiles on mobile launchers and hidden them in underground facilities near its east coast.
They were reported to be untested Musudan missiles which are believed to have a range of around 1,860 miles (3,000 kilometers) that could theoretically be pushed to 2,485 miles with a light payload.
That would cover any target in South Korea and Japan, and possibly even reach US military bases located on the Pacific island of Guam.
The North has no proven inter-continental ballistic missile capability that would enable it to strike more distant US targets, and many experts say it is unlikely it can even mount a nuclear warhead on a mid-range missile.
Nevertheless, the international community is becoming increasingly skittish that, with tensions showing no sign of de-escalating, there is a real risk of the situation spiraling out of control.


US deploys missile defense system to Guam 
 The United States says it is deploying a THAAD missile defense battery to defend its bases on the Pacific island of Guam, following threats from North Korea. The ground-based Terminal High Altitude Area Defense system will be in place in the coming weeks, the Pentagon has said, and along with two Aegis anti-missile destroyers sent to the western Pacific are aimed at intercepting any North Korean strike fagainst US or allied targets. Duration: 00:17

The latest crisis erupted when North Korea fired a long-range rocket in December that could theoretically reach the continental United States, but instead splashed down near the Philippines.
The North later carried out its third nuclear test in February, defying even its main ally China.
The UN Security Council on March 7 unanimously approved new sanctions that include greater scrutiny of shady financial dealings by the impoverished regime.

Malaysia News:Anwar to defend Permatang Pauh

Malaysian opposition leader Anwar Ibrahim confirms he will defend his Permatang Pauh seat.

Despite rumours that Malaysian opposition leader Anwar Ibrahim will desert his Permatang Pauh seat in exchange for Tambun, Perak, the PKR leader addressed it by confirming his decision to defend the former. In a ceramah attended by hundreds of crowds in Taman Pauh, Anwar confirmed his decision which received thunderous applause from the crowd.
He had also revealed earlier on that since he wouldn't be contesting in Tambun, Siti Aishah Shaik Ismail, who is PKR's wanita youth chief will be doing so.
Anwar was Permatang Pauh's MP from 1982 onwards when he joined UMNO. When he was imprisoned for sodomy charges, his wife, Dr. Wan Azizah covered his seat in the 1999 General Election. Wan Azizah will not be contesting in the 2013 General Election.

Khairy Jamaluddin will not be contesting in GE13
Malaysia deserves better (An open letter from Lim Guan Eng)

Afghan tragedy mars Kerry trip focused on Syria, Mideast

US Secretary of State John Kerry arrived in Turkey Sunday for key talks on Syria and the Middle East on a visit overshadowed by the killing of a young woman diplomat in an Afghan bombing.

Afghan tragedy mars Kerry trip focused on Syria, Mideast
US Secretary of State John Kerry and his wife Teresa Heinz Kerry board a second plane after their original aircraft had mechanical problems on April 6, 2013, at Andrews Air Force Base in Maryland. Kerry arrived in Turkey Sunday for key talks on Syria and the Middle East on a visit overshadowed by the killing of a young woman diplomat in an Afghan bombing.
The US foreign service employee, who Kerry met late last month when he visited Kabul, died Saturday in a roadside bombing attack of a NATO convoy in Zabul province which killed three NATO troops and two civilians.
"Our State Department family is grieving over the loss of one of our own, an exceptional young Foreign Service officer," Kerry said in a heartfelt statement, condemning the bombing as "a despicable attack."
Kerry was due to meet later Sunday with Turkish Foreign Minister Ahmet Davutoglu and Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan for talks set to focus on the burgeoning crisis in Syria and the Middle East peace process.
He would also "encourage Turkey to expeditiously implement its agreement with Israel and fully normalize their relationship to allow for deeper cooperation," a top State Department official said, asking to remain anonymous.
Israel apologised to Ankara in late March for the deaths of nine Turkish activists in a botched raid by Israeli commandos on a Gaza-bound aid ship, in a breakthrough brokered by US President Barack Obama during a visit to Jerusalem.
The apology ended a nearly three-year rift between Israel and Turkey -- two key US allies in the region -- and the two countries are due to begin talks on compensation on April 12.
But they have yet to exchange ambassadors and fully restore diplomatic ties, and the US official stressed this "was a pivotal time to encourage them to keep moving forward."
Erdogan accepted the apology "in the name of the Turkish people" but said the country's future relationship with Israel would depend on the Jewish state.
Syria will also loom large in their talks, with Turkey having kept its borders open to refugees fleeing the conflict now in its third year.
Turkey has taken in some 190,000 refugees since the start of the conflict to topple President Bashar al-Assad, most of whom are housed in 17 camps stretched along the border with Syria, according to UN figures.
The huge flows are placing a massive burden on Turkish resources, and Kerry would stress the need to keep the borders open as well as their shared support for the Syrian opposition council, the official said.
After talks in Turkey, Kerry heads later Sunday to Israel and Ramallah in the West Bank, where he will meet with Palestinian president Mahmud Abbas.
He will also meet with Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu on Monday, in what will be his third trip to the Middle East region since the start of his tenure on February 1.
US officials have said the return visit will give him a chance to probe possibilities for restarting the moribund peace process, which has stalled for over two years, in the wake of Obama's trip last month.
Kerry's departure for Istanbul was delayed by about three hours when a door on his Boeing 757 malfunctioned, and he was visibly saddened by the tragedy in Afghanistan as he waited with his wife Teresa Heinz Kerry for a second plane to be prepared.
Before leaving, he phoned the parents of the State Department employee to offer his condolences. Four other State Department staff were injured, one critically, in the attack.
The Zabul bombing comes almost exactly seven months after ambassador Chris Stevens and three other American staff were killed in a militant attack on September 11 on the US embassy in Benghazi, Libya.

Malaysia News: PM Najib vows more cash in Malaysians' pockets

Malaysia's premier Najib Razak unveiled a manifesto on Saturday pledging bigger cash handouts, millions of new jobs and lower taxes and crime, as he seeks his first mandate in looming national polls.

Speaking to tens of thousands in a packed stadium just outside the capital, he talked up Malaysia's economic prosperity over his four years in power, promising to do better should he win convincingly in an election expected late April.
"We have fulfilled the hopes of the people. If that was our performance over just four years, imagine what we can achieve in the next five years if we have a strong mandate," he said in a speech telecast live on national television.
Najib, who dissolved parliament Wednesday, has previously said he is "cautiously optimistic" of a "big" win as his United Malays National Organisation (UMNO) faces what is seen as the toughest challenge to its 56 years in power.
The vote is tipped to be the closest ever, driven by concerns over corruption, the rising cost of living and high crime under an UMNO-dominated coalition which has ruled Malaysia since independence in 1957.
Najib has worked hard to rebrand the 13-member Barisan Nasional, or National Front, since taking over the coalition in 2009 by launching a series of reforms to strengthen the economy and grant greater civil liberties.
He has reversed a recession, despite global economic instability, with Malaysia recording a 5.6 percent growth last year while keeping inflation and unemployment at 1.6 and 3.3 percent respectively.
Launching Barisan's manifesto, he pledged to gradually increase an annual handout he introduced two years ago for millions of poor households from 500 ringgit ($164) to 1,200 ringgit while lowering private and corporate income tax.
The prime minister also promised to build a million low-cost homes and attract 1.3 trillion ringgit in investment by 2020, creating 3.3 million jobs in the country of 29 million people.
The manifesto outlines plans to expand the fight against crime and corruption by increasing the number of special corruption courts and the police force by 4,000 each year.
But Ibrahim Suffian, director of independent pollster Merdeka Center, said the steps taken to combat graft were merely "procedural and do not tackle systemic issues".
"Najib has instead made a hard sell on his economic track record, but most people don't feel the 49 percent increase in income over the past three years he talks about. That's the disconnect," he added.
Najib is facing his first test at the ballot box and is under pressure to recover from the coalition's shock 2008 election result, when it lost its traditional two-thirds parliamentary majority.
Recently, influential ex-leader Mahathir Mohamad said Najib could face a ruling-party leadership putsch if he does not improve on the 2008 setback.
The resurgent opposition, led by charismatic former deputy premier Anwar Ibrahim, has gained traction by pledging to tackle authoritarianism and graft and is equally confident of victory.
The opposition currently holds 75 of 222 parliamentary seats and controls four of the country's 13 states.
The Election Commission has said it will meet Wednesday to decide on a polling date, which must be within 60 days of parliament's dissolution. Analysts expect it to be held by the end of the month.


Malaysia News:Malaysian PM Najib predicts victory at polls

Najib, who dissolved parliament Wednesday in preparation for a general election seen as the ruling coalition's toughest challenge after 56 years in power, has urged voters to give him a strong mandate to rule.
"We are cautiously optimistic that we will be able to win big, which means two-thirds majority (in parliament)," he said.
"We have to work hard towards it and we have to make sure we minimise all internal problems within the party," Najib said, in an apparent reference to factional struggles within his United Malays National Organisation (UMNO).
The vote is tipped to be the closest ever, driven by concerns over corruption, the rising cost of living and high crime under the Barisan Nasional coalition which has ruled Malaysia since independence in 1957.
Najib has worked hard to rebrand UMNO, which dominates the 13-member Barisan coalition, by launching a series of reforms to strengthen the economy and grant greater civil liberties.
"For four years we have fulfilled all our promises," he said after chairing an UMNO meeting.
Recently, ex-leader Mahathir Mohamad said Najib could face a ruling-party leadership putsch if he does not improve on a 2008 polls setback.
An election commission official said Thursday that the election regulator was expected to meet next week to decide on the polling date.
The vote must be held within two months from the date parliament is dissolved. Analysts speculate it would be in late April.
Najib is facing his first test at the ballot box since taking over in 2009 and is unionder pressure to recover from the coalition's shock 2008 election result, when it lost its traditional two-thirds parliamentary majority.
The resurgent opposition, led by charismatic former deputy premier Anwar Ibrahim, has gained traction by pledging to tackle authoritarianism and graft and is equally confident of victory.
The opposition currently holds 75 of 222 parliamentary seats and controls four of the country's 13 states.
Ambiga Sreenevasan, the co-chairman of electoral reform group Bersih, said the opposition had the odds stacked against it.
"No doubt the opposition goes into the race with a disadvantage. Please allow the opposition to have access to the media," she told reporters.
Currently the opposition does not have access to state media.
"I hope voters will come out in big numbers to dilute the discrepancies in the electoral roll," she added, referring to claims the list does not accurately represent the electorate.