Monday, January 31, 2011
BANDUNG (Indonesia): Ariel, the vocalist of Indonesian pop Peterpan, was sentenced to 42 months' jail and fined Rp250mil (about RM84,000) in default three months' jail by the provincial court here Monday for making and distributing pornographic videos featuring him and artistes Luna Maya and Cut Tari.
The verdict was read out by the chief judge who presided over the case, Singgih Budi Prakoso, in a courtroom packed with members of the public and the media.
Some of Ariel's female fans wept on hearing the verdict.
The prosecution had called for a jail term of five years.
A panel of three judges was unanimous in ruling that Ariel was guilty under the republic's anti-pornography law.
The distribution of the video last year, which spread like wildfire on the Internet and reached the masses through mobile phones, shocked the nation and stunned the people, with many social media users calling him "Ariel Peterporn".
Ariel and Luna Maya denied their involvement in the act.
Cut Tari, however, owned up to the clip and apologised to the Indonesian people. She also maintained the stand when appearing as a witness in the trial.
Ariel, who smiled upon hearing the verdict, did not offer any statement when the judge asked him whether he would appeal against the verdict.
The singer, who has a week to file his appeal, was then escorted out of the courtroom through the back door.
Hundreds of demonstrators gathered out the court, causing traffic congestion.
They comprise two groups one in support of Ariel, calling themselves "Peterpan's Friends" and the other, those who condemned the singer, who expressed dismay at the verdict and were seen hurling stones towards Ariel's supporters.
Police managed to keep order.
Demonstrators had been gathering outside the court complex since the trial started on Nov 22 last year and swelling in number each time the case came up for hearing. - Bernama
JOHOR BARU: Two people have died and 28,932 were evacuated to 200 centres statewide by 11am Monday as continuous rain in the past few days flooded many parts of Johor.
Segamat, Johor Baru and Kluang were the worst-hit areas and the bad weather was expected to continue on Tuesday, said Johor Mentri Besar Datuk Abdul Ghani Othman on Monday.
All of Segamat is cut off by floodwaters. It is an island.
Police said no one can get in or out of the town as the roads to Muar, Johor Baru and Kuala Lumpur are under water.
Tenaga Nasional Berhad (TNB) has disconnected electricity supply to Segamat. Its substations have been switched off as a safety precaution.
A TNB spokesman said Monday that it was a common procedure during a flood to prevent electrocution. The supply will be restores once the floodwaters ebb to a 'safe level'.
Roads in Labis town, which was flooded Sunday, are clearing but the outskirts are still submerged.
According to the Department of Irrigation and Drainage Malaysia (DID) online river level data, three in Johor burst their banks Sunday. Sungai Muar, Sungai Benut and Sungai Mengkibol overflowed.
With the downpour continuing, the department is closely watching five more rivers – Sungai Simpang Kiri at Sri Medan, Sungai Bekok, Sungai Johor at Rantau Panjang are at a dangerous level.
Meanwhile, Reuters reported that rain-driven floods have disrupted Malaysian oil palm estates from transporting the vegetable oil to refineries and ports in key producing states of Sabah and Johor.
Planters said Monday that as much as 60,000 tonnes of crude palm oil heading to refineries in Sabah on Borneo island have been delayed as floods make it difficult for trucks to get through the estate roads, said two planters from the top producing state.
The transport delay to Malaysia's key palm oil export port of Pasir Gudang in Johor has slowed the transport and loading of cargoes, refiners said, according to Reuters.
Sunday, January 30, 2011
SERDANG: The ceiling of Serdang Hospital's main lobby collapsed early Sunday but no one was injured by the falling debris.
It is learnt that the incident occurred at 12.10am near the hospital's main entrance-cum-waiting area.
A guard, who declined to be named, said it was fortunate the collapse occured well beyond visiting hours when no one was in the area.
"I was shocked when I heard a crashing sound, only to see after the dust had cleared that the ceiling had collapsed.
"Fortunately, no one was there when it happened," he said, adding that the hospital security control room was just metres away from the spot.
It is learnt that the ceiling collapse was the first of its kind since the hospital began operations in December 2005.
Meanwhile, hospital authoroties cordoned off the area after an inspection by the Public Works Department, fearing the structure's stability.
Serdang MP Teo Nie Ching also visited the scene at noon and promised to look into the matter.
Serdang Hospital, which commenced operations on Dec 15, 2005, was built to serve the roughly 570,000 population of Serdang, Putrajaya, Kajang and Bangi.
The hospital cost RM690mil to construct and is one of the e-hospital networks envisioned by the Government.- theStarOnline
LABIS: Continuous rain and rising floodwaters forced 846 people from several villages in Tenang, where a by-election is going on, to be evacuated to relief centres on Sunday.
Among the villages are Kampung Lembah Bakti, Kg Usaha Jaya, Kg Air Panas and Kg Batu Badak, said Tenang by-election police media officer Supt Abdul Aziz Ahmad.
Heavy duty vehicles are ferrying voters through submerged access roads to the polling centres in those areas.
Police are also prepared to deploy boats to ferry voters should the situation worsen. All polling centres remain open and polling is proceeding smoothly.
Two days of non-stop rain in Johor Baru and Kota Tinggi has caused floods in several locations here.
In Kampung Baru Plentong, water levels rose knee-high due to the as the Plentong river rose.
Houses in Taman Kota Puteri, Pasir Gudang were also damaged by flooding.
In Kota Tinggi, four families from Kampung Sg Berangan had to be evacuated as water levels rose to unsafe levels there.
Police and Fire and Rescue Department officials have urged anyone with information on flooding to contact the police hotline at 07-2212999 or the Fire and Rescue department at 07-2247444.-theStarOnline
PETALING JAYA: An 18-year-old Malaysian student in London was allegedly gang-raped by several Russian men, including an intelligence officer who has been charged with the offence.
The Sun tabloid of London (pic), which broke the story on Thursday, reported that the girl had attended a party at the prestigious Bellerbys College in Greenwich, South London, where she is studying.
The report, quoting sources, claimed that the girl was allegedly drugged and then filmed while being assaulted by seven Russian men, including the intelligence officer identified as Oleg Vladimirvich Ivanov, 23.
The attack is said to have happened early last Sunday during the party attended by English language students of the college.
The report stated that police retrieved iPhones with harrowing footage of the victim being gang-raped.
Ivanov was charged with three others identified as Gregory Andreev Melnikov, 22, Norayr Davtyan, 25, and Arnen Simonay, 26, with the offence at the Woolwich Magistrates’ Court on Tuesday and Wednesday.
All four claimed trial and have been remanded.
They will appear at Woolwich Crown Court on Tuesday.
Two other suspects were released on bail while another was released without any charge.
The Sun report stated that the seven men had claimed to be students, but it quoted well-informed sources as saying that Ivanov worked in the Intelligence Section of the Moscow Police.
It stated that Ivanov had only been in Britain for a week before the alleged gang-rape.
The victim was said to have raised the alarm after staggering into a friend’s room.
“She is distraught. She is very young and it is believed she was given a drug before being defiled,” the report quoted a source as saying.
Two students at the college, contacted by The Star last night, were tight-lipped about the incident.
“What we know so far is what everyone has read in the newspaper (The Sun). We refuse to talk about the case as we are not allowed to. Please contact our college officials if you want a comment,’’ said one of them.
The college officials could not be reached for comment. - theStarOnline
Saturday, January 29, 2011
TAMPA, Florida (AP): A woman was charged Friday with fatally shooting her "mouthy" teenage son and daughter after police found the mother covered in blood on the back porch of her home in an upscale suburb, police said.
Julie Powers Schenecker admitted to the slayings after police came to the home Friday morning, police spokeswoman Laura McElroy said.
Schenecker's mother had called police from Texas because she was unable to reach the 50-year-old woman, whom she said was depressed and had been complaining about her children.
Schenecker's husband, Parker Schenecker, is an Army colonel serving in Qatar and was notified of his children's deaths later Friday, McElroy said. He was assigned to U.S. Central Command, headquartered at MacDill Air Force Base in Tampa.
Schenecker left a note detailing her plans to kill her disrespectful children and then herself, saying "they talked back and were mouthy and that she was going to take care of it," McElroy said. She provided the same motive to police who interviewed her.
"I think we will never understand how or why a mother could take the lives of her children," McElroy said. "That was the only reason she provided to our detectives."
The body of Schenecker's daughter, Calyx Powers Schenecker, 16, was found in an upstairs bedroom, McElroy said. The body of her son, Powers Beau Schenecker, 13, was found in an SUV in the garage. Police believe they were killed Thursday night. Both were shot in the head with a .38-caliber pistol.
There were no signs of a struggle, and McElroy said investigators believe the teens "never saw it coming." Julie Schenecker was jailed and charged with two counts of first-degree murder.
Wearing a white jumpsuit, she was led into a county jail later Friday visibly shaking and being supported by a sheriff's deputy. The family's home is on a cul-de-sac in a gated country club community in north Tampa.
A protester looks at a burnt Egyptian Army armoured vehicle in downtown Cairo, January 28, 2011.
Credit: Reuters/Goran Tomasevic
CAIRO (Reuters) - Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak refused on Saturday to bow demands that he resign, after ordering troops and tanks into cities in an attempt to quell an explosion of street protest against his 30-year rule.
Mubarak dismissed his government and called for national dialogue to avert chaos after a day of battles between police and protesters angry over poverty and autocratic rule. Medical sources said at least 24 people had been killed and over a thousand injured in clashes in Cairo, Suez and Alexandria.
The unprecedented unrest has sent shock waves through the Middle East, where other autocratic rulers may face challenges, and unsettled global financial markets on Friday. U.S. President Barack Obama said he had spoken with Mubarak and urged "concrete steps that advance the rights of the Egyptian people".
Demonstrators at first cheered tanks and armoured cars as they filed through Cairo and Suez, but the mood appeared to change. The army, deployed for the first time in four days of protests, cleared Cairo's Tahrir square towards midnight.
Shortly after Mubarak's speech, protesters drifted back in their hundreds, defying a curfew.
"It is not by setting fire and by attacking private and public property that we achieve the aspirations of Egypt and its sons, but they will be achieved through dialogue, awareness and effort," said Mubarak, in his first public appearance, on state television, since unrest broke out four days ago.
Shots were heard in the evening near parliament and the headquarters of the ruling National Democratic Party was in flames, the blaze lighting up the night sky. Cars were set alight and police posts torched.
Read more at theStarOnline
Toll for the Salak to Taman Connaught stretch of the East-West Link Expressway is set to be abolished by May, Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak announced.
The Prime Minister also announced that the toll rates for the Kuala Lumpur-Karak Expressway and East Coast Expressway Phase One would not be increased for the next five years.
He said the decisions were made following a review of transportation costs, including restructuring the toll charges and to ease the people’s burden.
He also added that no compensation would be paid to the concessionaires of the three highways.
“In line with the 1Malaysia spirit, People First, Performance Now, I have asked toll concessionaires to carry out a review of the respective toll charges to help the Government prosper the country and lessen the burden of the people.
“Taking up the Government’s call, two corporate figures who are also major shareholders of a toll concessionaire, came forward with a toll restructuring proposal through the acquisition of assets, which will benefit the people,” he told a press conference at his office here yesterday.
Also present was Works Minister Datuk Shaziman Abu Mansor.
Najib said the Kuala Lumpur-Karak and East Coast Phase One expressways were owned by the two corporate figures, adding that he had also asked for the concession period not to be extended.
“The suggestion to acquire the concessionaire’s assets brought about the termination of the East-West Link Expressway concession ahead of its original 2018 expiry date.
“This means that expressway users will not have to pay toll anymore and its implementation date will begin once the documentation process is completed, expected in May 2011,” he said.
“I am also calling on other toll concessionaires to emulate these initiatives for the benefit of the people,” he said.
The concession of the East-West Link Expressway is held by Metramac Corporation Sdn Bhd.
On whether the initiatives would also be extended to other highways, including the major North-South Expressway, he said the matter was under consideration.
“Let’s do it one by one. I have got more good announcements,” he said.
Later, Najib flew to Kota Kinabalu and met Sabah Barisan Nasional leaders for an hour after arriving in the state capital for a two-day visit.
He then launched the 7ha Perdana Park at Tanjung Aru, developed and managed by state water concessionaire Timatch Sdn Bhd.
Najib also witnessed the signing of a master collaboration agreement between Singapore-based Parkway Health and state-affiliated firm Jesselton Wellness Sdn Bhd to set up the Kota Kinabalu Gleneagles Medical Centre costing some RM200mil.
The prime minister then flew to Tawau where he spent the night before his scheduled visit to Sabah’s pristine Maliau Basin today.-theStarOnline
|Egypt's embattled President Hosni Mubarak fired his Cabinet early Saturday and promised reforms in his first response to protesters who have mounted the biggest challenge ever to his 30-year rule|
CAIRO (Reuters) - President Hosni Mubarak said in a speech to the nation on Saturday dialogue and not violence was the way to solve Egypt's problems that led to days of protests and announced he was sacking the government.
Mubarak was making his first public comments after protesters demanding an end to his 30 years in office clashed with police in several Egyptian cities.
"It is not by setting fire and by attacking private and public property that we achieve the aspirations of Egypt and its sons, but they will be achieved through dialogue, awareness and effort," he said.
He said he was committed to economic and political reform and was determined to secure the stability of Egypt. He said he understood the demonstrations were against corruption, poverty and unemployment.
"I am fully aware of these legitimate aspirations of the people and I know well the scale of their concerns and suffering.
"Egypt's youth are its most valuable asset and looting of public and private property, destroying what we have built is not the route to follow," he said.
"There will be new steps towards democracy and freedoms and new steps to face unemployment and increase the standard of living and services, and there will be new steps to help the poor and those with limited income," he said.
(Writing by Edmund Blair)
Copyright © 2011 Reuters
Friday, January 28, 2011
MALACCA: A case of mistaken identity has turned profitable for Tan Leong Seng, 40.
He has been mistaken as the unidentified man abusing a poodle which caused an uproar among pet lovers after it was posted on the social networking site Facebook.
Tan, the owner of a restaurant in Melaka Raya, said that while he had been inconvenienced by calls from people asking whether he was behind the alleged abuse, his business experienced a sudden increase as curious people thronged his shop to catch a glimpse of him.
“At first, I was surprised by the surge of customers, but I was alerted by calls from my friends and relatives,” he said at his shop.
“I am Internet illiterate and I don’t even have a Facebook account.
“So, I didn’t know about this issue until I read about it in the newspapers.”
He said he did not have any tattoo like the man in the video.
Meanwhile, Malacca Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals chairman Vincent Low said the society had lodged reports with local authorities including the local Veterinary Services Department and the Malacca City Council.
“We hope the authorities will be able to apprehend the culprit as soon as possible,” he told reporters at a press conference yesterday. - theStarOnline
Find and arrest duo, pet lovers urge cops
Find and arrest duo, pet lovers urge cops
BALIK PULAU: A 38-year-old Indonesian businesswoman has been charged with criminal breach of trust (CBT) involving RM315,000 belonging to her husband’s waste management company of which she was a director.
A smartly-dressed Devi Mulya Tristiati claimed trial at the magistrate’s court here to committing CBT at the Ibrahim Hashim Sdn Bhd office in Jalan Mayang Pasir, Taman Sri Tunas, Bayan Baru, where she worked between March 2009 and November 2010.
She is alleged to have directed the issuance of 21 pieces of company cheques in her own name, to the value of RM15,000 each.
The cheques were pre-signed by the managing director - her estranged husband Ibrahim Hashim, 74, who is the complainant in this case - and issued without his approval.
If convicted under Section 409 of the Penal Code, she faces a jail term of between two and 20 years, and a possible fine.
DPP Edward Chan proposed bail at RM20,000 in two Malaysian sureties, and counsel R.S.N. Rayer acceded.
Magistrate Muhammad Hidayat Wahab fixed Feb 17 for mention and for the prosecution to supply the defence with the relevant documents.
Bail was posted by a director of a different company, of which Devi Mulya is now a director, and his mother.
It is learnt that Devi Mulya, originally from Palembang in Sumatra, is Ibrahim’s second wife. His first wife has since died.
The couple have been married for 13 years and have an adopted child.-theStarOnline
Thursday, January 27, 2011
THE story about a girl and the big bad wolf in the Little Red Riding Hood fairy tale has led a 12-year-old pupil in Singapore to confide that she had been raped by her father for five years.
Apparently, her teacher read the fairy tale to the class and advised them not to let strangers touch them.
According to China Press, the girl later mustered enough courage to tell her teacher what her father did to her.
Her confession led to his arrest in February last year.
Police investigations found that the father had taken advantage of the girl when no one was at home.
Prior to raping her, he would instruct his daughter to shut her eyes and place her hands behind her. He would also order her to take a shower after the rape and then dropped her off at school.
The court case came up in Singapore on Tuesday.
In mitigation, the father said he loved the girl and had only raped her as he was drunk.
China Press also reported that a 17-year-old girl left a posting on Facebook, threatening to commit suicide on the eve of Chinese New Year.
Apparently, the teenager from Ampang, Selangor, was upset as her boyfriend dumped her after they had sex.
He even has a new girlfriend now.
The teenager said she wanted to go public about her suicide bid as she wanted to teach the guy a lesson.
As a prelude to the suicide, the girl posted pictures of herself cutting her wrist.
Her posting was viewed by about 15,000 people. About 120 of them left messages on the page, urging her to reconsider her foolishness. - theStar