Saturday, September 29, 2012

KATHMANDU, Nepal -  The passengers on board a doomed flight that crashed on its way to Mount Everest could be heard screaming inside the cabin but rescuers were unable to get them out as flames engulfed the aircraft.


Witnesses to Friday's crash in Kathmandu which killed 19 people, including 12 foreigners, recounted how they rushed to the scene as the Sita Air plane came down in flames in the Nepalese capital.
  • "We could hear people inside the aircraft screaming, but we couldn't throw water at the plane to put out the fire because we were scared that the engines were about to explode," said Tulasha Pokharel, one of the first on the scene.
  • Pokharel, a 26-year-old housewife living near the Manohara River, told AFP she was picking vegetables around daybreak when she looked up and saw an aircraft which looked like it was flying too slowly.
  • "There was a fire near one of its wings and the aircraft's body was shaking. The plane moved towards the river for landing and it had almost landed at the river but it slipped off course and moved towards the land.
  • "At first, I was optimistic that the pilot could manage to land the aircraft on the water and hopeful that some of the passengers would survive."
  •  But as she realised that the plane was about to crash, she began to fear that she herself could become a victim.
"I was very scared and nervous. I thought that the plane would come towards us and hit us."
Pokharel said she and her husband were so close they could hear people inside the aircraft screaming moments before impact.
"The pilot tried his best to make an emergency landing. If he had managed it, then we could have rescued some of the passengers," she added.
Source: Gulfnews...More... 
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Saturday, September 29, 2012

KUALA LUMPUR, Malaysia -  Opposition leader Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim accuses the Budget 2013 as not prioritising the rakyat but it emphasises more on incentives to cronies and the upper class.
Anwar reportedly said in Keadilan Daily that the incentive for Tun Razak Exchange (TRX) as a financial incentive to the rich.

“It doesn’t touch on IPP (Independent Power Producers). The sugar price is mentioned but not the sugar monopoly,” Anwar was quoted as saying.

  • He also criticised the lack of new things for the people in middle-class income range such as the My First Housing scheme.
  • Anwar said the National Housing Corporation should prioritise the people and not becoming a profit-oriented organisation saying it should be able to generate projects which can meet the needs of the people.
Pas deputy president Mohamad Sabu (photo below) said no matter how good the budget is, it will not mean anything if its implementation is filled with frauds and running at RM28 billion losses per year.

In a news report by Harakah Daily Mohamad or better known as Mat Sabu was quoted as saying: “Even if Najib has the ability to present a good budget, it is not useful for the people when the Auditor-General has revealed that the country is losing RM28 billion per year due to mismanagements by the Barisan Nasional government.”

Mohamad believed what is worse than vote-buying is mismanagement on implementations of what has been presented in the budget.

Source: MyMole, The Star
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Friday, September 28, 2012

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu exhorted the United Nations General Assembly on Thursday to draw "a clear red line" to stop Iran from developing nuclear weapons.
In a theatrical gesture, Netanyahu held up a cartoon-like drawing of a spherical bomb and drew a red line below the fuse, "before Iran completes the second stage of nuclear enrichment to make a bomb," he said.


"It's not a question of whether Iran will get the bomb. The question is at what stage can we stop Iran from getting the bomb," said Netanyahu, who also accused Iran of aggression.
"I ask, given this record of Iranian aggression without nuclear weapons, just imagine Iranian aggression with nuclear weapons," the Israeli prime minister said.
"Who among you would feel safe in the Middle East? Who would be safe in Europe? Who would be safe in America? Who would be safe anywhere?"

But Iranian leader Mahmoud Ahmadinejad told CNN that his country won't be influenced by a threat from Israel and a demand from U.S. President Barack Obama to abandon plans to acquire nuclear weapons.
Iran's president talks Israel, slams homosexuality "When we say we do not take it seriously, we mean that it impacts -- it does not impact our policies in the slightest," Ahmadinejad told CNN's Fareed Zakaria in an interview to be aired Sunday at 10 a.m. and 1 p.m. Eastern.

 "Iran is a vast country. It's a great country. Let's assume a few terrorists come and assassinate some of our officials. Will the country be damaged? No. A couple of bombs will be set to explode.
Will the country be destroyed? No. "We see the Zionist regime at the same level of the bombers and criminals and the terrorists. And even if they do something -- even if they do something, hypothetically, it will not affect us fundamentally," Ahmadinejad said.

The White House highlighted how Obama sided with Israel in his speech before the general assembly this week.
"As the prime minister said, the United States and Israel share the goal of preventing Iran from acquiring a nuclear weapon," said spokesman Tommy Vietor of the National Security Council.
U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton met with Netanyahu for more than an hour later Thursday, a senior State Department official said.

Clinton and Netanyahu talked at length about Iran and agreed to continue "close consultation and cooperation toward achieving" the goal of stopping Iran from getting atomic weapons, the official said.

 Source: CNN..More...
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Friday, September 28, 2012

Facebook has begun deleting fake page "likes", independent data suggests. According to Pagedata, many of the site's most "liked" pages suffered large drops in numbers on Wednesday.

The move follows the social network's admission that 8.7% of its users are not "real", many having been set up by spammers who use them to artificially make pages appear more popular.
The issue poses a problem for Facebook as it seeks to expand its targeted advertising service.

Facebook's shares have slumped from their initial public offering of $38 (£23) in May to $20.62 on Thursday.
In a blog post written in August, Facebook said: "A 'like' that doesn't come from someone truly interested in connecting with a page benefits no-one."

Technology news site The Verge, citing Pagedata's statistics, noted that some of the most popular pages on Facebook had suddenly shed significant numbers of users.
The page for Texas HoldEm Poker, one of the site's most popular, shed 96,317 "likes" on Wednesday - compared with net gains of about 20,000 each day for the previous month.

Other prominent pages also saw a drop in numbers, including those of pop singers Rihanna (-28,275), Eminem (-15,420) and Lady Gaga (-34,326).
Facebook would not confirm to the BBC that the purge was happening, but could not provide an alternative explanation for the drop in numbers.

Source: BBC...More...
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Thursday, September 27, 2012

LONDON, U.K. -  More than 100 million people will die and global economic growth will be cut by 3.2 per cent of gross domestic product (GDP) by 2030 if the world fails to tackle climate change, a report commissioned by 20 governments said on Wednesday.
As global average temperatures rise due to greenhouse gas emissions, the effects on the planet, such as melting ice caps, extreme weather, drought and rising sea levels, will threaten populations and livelihoods, said the report conducted by humanitarian organisation DARA.
It calculated that five million deaths occur each year from air pollution, hunger and disease as a result of climate change and carbon-intensive economies, and that toll would likely rise to six million a year by 2030 if current patterns of fossil fuel use continue.
More than 90 per cent of those deaths will occur in developing countries, said the report that calculated the human and economic impact of climate change on 184 countries in 2010 and 2030. It was commissioned by the Climate Vulnerable Forum, a partnership of 20 developing countries threatened by climate change.
Source: Reuters...More...
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Thursday, September 27, 2012
Canadian diplomats walked out of the United Nations General Assembly on Wednesday before Iran's president spoke to the world body about his vision for a "new world order."

Mahmoud Ahmadinejad's appearance on the second day of the 67th session of the assembly also sparked a boycott from American delegates, who walked out shortly after the Canadians. 
Both nations were the only two that skipped Ahmadinejad's address, and the delegates later returned. The Israel delegation was not present because of Yom Kippur, the holiest of Jewish festivals.

It was likely to be Ahmadinejad's last visit to the UN General Assembly as president, as his second four-year term ends in June. Observers also noted that his speech on Wednesday was one of his "mildest" in the last eight years, CBC's David Common reported from New York.
A European Union diplomat told CBC News that all EU delegates stayed for the address because Ahmadinejad appeared to tone down the rhetoric he's known for.
Source: CBC...More...

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Wednesday, September 26, 2012
Officials in India are launching a campaign to cheer the flagging spirits of listless river dolphins amid fears that toxic pollution has left them miserable. 
The number of dolphins in India has more than halved from 5000 in 1982 to just 2000 today. Up to 160 die every year because of fishing and pollution. The Ganges is one of India's most polluted rivers and has become an open sewer, burial ground and chemical dump in several stretches.   
Conservationists said the health and happiness of its dolphins is a key indicator of the level of pollution in its waters. 
 "The Ganges dolphin is a solitary animal compared to to marine dolphins but occasionally we see these dolphins engage in fun and joy in their habitat," said Professor R K Sinha, who has studied the Ganges Dolphin for more than 30 years. More recently however, as river pollution has increased, they have not displayed their customary joy.
Source:The Telegraph
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Tuesday, September 25, 2012
Japanese Coast Guard vessels fired water cannon to turn away about 40 Taiwan fishing boats and eight Taiwan Coast Guard vessels from waters Japan considers its own on Tuesday in the latest twist to a row between Tokyo and Beijing. 
Japan protested to Taiwan, a day after it lodged a complaint with China over what it said was a similar intrusion by Chinese boats. 
Sino-Japanese relations deteriorated sharply this month after Japan bought disputed East China Sea islands, called Senkaku in Japan and Diaoyu in China, from their private owner, sparking anti-Japan protests across China. 
Taiwan has friendly ties with Japan, but the two sides have long squabbled over fishing rights in the area. China and Taiwan both argue they have inherited China's historic sovereignty over the islands. 
Japanese Chief Cabinet Secretary Osamu Fujimura said the coast guard used water cannon and other measures to get the Taiwan ships to change course. 
All the Taiwan fishing boats and coast guard ships had since left territorial waters, the Japanese Coast Guard said. 
Source: Reuters...More..
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Tuesday, September 25, 2012

MANILA -  The Philippines government and the Moro Islamic Liberation Front (MILF) plan to hold peace talks in Malaysia on October 2-5 to iron out difficult aspects of a proposed political settlement, but representatives of both parties said they have already reached a “peace deal”, sources said.

“Some aspects of the proposed agreement will be discussed and clarified further in Kuala Lumpur from October 2 to 5 to avoid misunderstanding in the future,” said a MILF source.

Both the Philippines government and the MILF have “already agreed in principle” to identify the proposed new autonomous region for Filipino Muslims in the south as the New Autonomous Political Entity (NPE), and not as Bangsamoro Juridical Entity (or BJE), the term used during negotiations during the time of former President Gloria Arroyo, explained Teresita Quinto Deles, head of the Office of the Presidential Adviser on the Peace Process (OPAPP).

Deles did not say if the proposed agreement has stated that NPE would also be an expanded Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao (ARMM), whose members in the south include five provinces and one city.
She did not clarify if the proposed NPE would include the cherished enhanced self governance of Filipino-Muslims in their autonomous region, including power and economic sharing between NPE and the national government.

Despite broad statements coming from government and MILF negotiators regarding these contentious issues, their actions speak louder than their proposed agreement, said political analysts.
MILF chief peace negotiator Mohagher Iqbal and two members of the MILF peace panel, Atty. Datu Michael Mastura and Abdulla Camlian, and Jun Mantawil, secretly attended for the first time a peace forum in Manila.
Source: Gulfnews...More..
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Monday, September 24, 2012
A Pakistani Minister offered $100,000 (£61,600) on Saturday for the death of an online filmmaker, who created the anti-Islam film which has caused widespread protests across parts of the Muslim world. Pakistani Railways Minister Ghulam Ahmad Bilour told a news conference.
The bounty offer came only a day after more than 20 people died in clashes with police in different cities in Pakistan. Scores of people were also injured on Saturday in Bangladesh's capital Dhaka following outbreaks of fighting.
The United States produced film, which has caused the controversy, denigrates Islam's Prophet Muhammad. In response to Ahmad Bilour's bounty offering, Pakistan Prime Minister Raja Pervez Ashraf's spokesman Shafqats Jalil told the BBC that the Government "absolutely disassociated" itself from his comments.
Dozens have died in clashes between police and protesters in Pakistan and countries such as Tunisia and Sudan.
Sunday saw a fresh round of protests over the film in Pakistan, Nigeria, Greece and Turkey.
Most passed off peacefully, but in the Greek capital Athens, riot police and demonstrators clashed. Six people were arrested.
A state department official told the BBC: "The president and secretary of state have both said the video at the core of this is offensive, disgusting, and reprehensible - but that is no justification for violence, and it is important for responsible leaders to stand up and speak out against violence.
"Therefore we find Mr Bilour's announcement is inflammatory and inappropriate. We note that the prime minister's office has dissociated itself from his comments."
The exact origins of Innocence of Muslims, the low-budget film that has prompted the unrest, are unclear. 
The alleged producer of the trailer of the film, Nakoula Basseley (above photo)
Source: Agency
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Sunday, September 23, 2012
MANILA, Philippines - Termites, storms and neglect have damaged part of former Philippine first lady Imelda Marcos's legendary stash of shoes and other vanity possessions, left after she and her dictator husband were driven to US exile by a 1986 popular revolt. 
Hundreds of pieces of clothing of late strongman Ferdinand Marcos, including the formal native see-through Barong shirts he wore during his two-decade rule, have also begun to gather mould and fray after being stored for years without protection at the Malacanang presidential palace and later at Manila's National Museum. 
The Marcoses fled the Philippines at the climax of the army-backed "people power" revolt. They left behind staggering amounts of personal belongings at the palace, including at least 1,220 pairs of Imelda Marcos's shoes
Source: Independent
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Sunday, September 23, 2012
HO CHI MINH CITY, Vietnam — The cause of the second fatality connected with the brain-eating amoeba (Naegleri Fowleri) has not been ascertained even after epidemiological and paraclinical tests, according to the HCM City Preventive Medicine Centre. 
The HCM City Forensic Examination Centre on Thursday affirmed that tests show the cause for the second fatality in Viet Nam was the amoeba found in warm freshwater lakes and rivers. 
The previous day, the City's Medical Affairs Office had said that the victim had been afflicted by encephalitis caused by the Naegleri Fowleri amoeba. Six-year-old Ly Tai Tien of Binh Tan District suffered a stroke at birth, leading to mental retardation and movement disorder. 
He died on the way to the District 6 Hospital on August 12. Doctors were told that a week before being brought to the hospital, the victim had suffered a head injury but not vomit. He had high temperature and was given medicine for it two days before he was hospitalised. 
The Naegleri Fowleri amoeba enters the body through the nose and develops rapidly, migrating through the olfactory nerve to the brain, causing fever with high temperature, headache and even loss of behaviour control. 
A 25-year-old man from central Phu Yen Province was the first fatality this year at the beginning of August. He was infected with the amoeba from the water in a lake near his house into which he dove to fish for snails and oysters. 
Although the number of patients infected with the amoeba is very low, the fatality rate is high, experts say. In the US alone, 121 patients have been infected with the amoeba since 1937. Only one person survived. 
Source: VNS
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Saturday, September 22, 2012

KUALA LUMPUR, Malaysia - About 40,000 graduates are still unemployed, based on the 2011 Graduate Tracking Study of the Higher Education Ministry. 
Ministry deputy secretary-general (management) Datuk Omar Abd Rahman said they included those who failed to secure permanent jobs six months after graduation but usually were gainfully employed within two years. 
"We carry out the study yearly and, last year, the percentage of graduates still unemployed was 21 per cent from public institutions of higher learning, 27 per cent from private institutions, 28 per cent from polytechnics and 35 per cent from community colleges, he said. 
He was speaking to reporters after the launch of the National LifeLong Learning Seminar and Carnival (My3L) at the Putra World Trade Centre, here, today. 
Omar said a small group of graduates had started working part-time as there were no suitable permanent posts for their qualifications. 
Earlier, in his speech, Omar said that this year, the government through 15 ministries had provide 2,612 courses under the Lifelong Learning Programme. 
He said that to facilitate members of the public obtain information on the programme, a national-level Lifelong Learning Programme directory for the 2012/2013 session had been developed and would be launched soon by Higher Education Minister Datuk Seri Mohamed Khaled Nordin. 
The My3L Carnival, carrying the theme "Non-stop Learning", will be held for two days from today, with 100 booths set up by government agencies and the private sector. 
Source:- Bernama
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Saturday, September 22, 2012
BUENOS AIRES, Argentina - Buenos Aires province court officials raided today the offices of the River Plate club in the investigation carried out after the violent incidents during last Sunday’s match against VĂ©lez Sarsfield.

Police officers carrying out the raid want to know if the eighteen hooligan detained, accused of causing the disturbances, are official club members.

The officials were at River’s headquarters for approximately an hour and left taking documents in the effort to elucidate the case and identify the perpetrators. 

They are also investigating why over approximately six thousand River Club members were authorized to attend the game when the agreement between the clubs was a maximum of four thousand members.
Source: .Buenos Aires herald.
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Friday, September 21, 2012
SAI BURI, Thailand  - At least six people were killed and more than 40 were wounded Friday after a car bomb exploded in a busy shopping street in Thailand's insurgency-hit south, officials told AFP.  The car exploded in the Sai Buri district of Pattani in Thailand's so-called deep south, which has been in the grip of a separatist insurgency since 2004. 
The bomb exploded in front of a packed market. It apparently went off when police arrived after a shooting was reported outside a jewellery shop. Six people were killed in the blast which also wounded 29 civilians and 12 police. Most have been taken to Pattani hospital. 
The insurgency has claimed thousands of Buddhist and Muslim lives in southern Thailand. It is thought to be a response to discrimination against ethnic Malay Muslims by Thai governments. 
A complex insurgency calling for greater autonomy has plagued Thailand's Muslim-majority far south near the border with Malaysia since 2004, claiming more than 5,300 lives, both Buddhist and Muslim, with near daily bomb or gun attacks. 
An army spokesman said CCTV footage showed three militants opening fire on shops in Sai Buri town centre shortly after Friday prayers in the Muslim-majority region, to lure security forces to the scene, before detonating the bomb.
The bomb, which sparked a fire that destroyed several shops, was meant as a warning to locals not to talk with security forces after nearly 100 suspected militants "surrendered" last week, according to Colonel Pramote Prom-in, an army spokesman in the south. 
Source: Agencies
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