Malaysia's Mahathir Quits Ruling Party, UMNO?

Monday, February 29, 2016
Former Malaysian premier Mahathir Mohamad announced Monday he was quitting the ruling party, saying it had degenerated into an organisation whose sole purpose was to protect scandal-plagued Prime Minister Najib Razak.
However, according to  Communications and Multimedia Minister Datuk Seri Dr Mohd Salleh Said Keruak, Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad has made the right move by resigning from Umno.
He described it as the best option that Dr Mahathir could take “since his relationship with Umno or its leader is no longer tenable.”
  • In his latest post on his blog today, he said: “Dr Mahathir’s actions are hurting the party and for him to remain in the party while at the same time going against the party does not seem logical.
  • “If Dr Mahathir wants to continue to attack Umno then he should do so outside of Umno. That would be the noble and ethical thing to do.”
  • He noted that this was the third time Dr Mahathir had left Umno.
  • The first time was when he was sacked by then party president Tunku Abdul Rahman. He quit Umno in 2008 when Tun Abdullah Badawi was at the helm.
  • Mohd Salleh said he was saddened by this episode not so much because Dr Mahathir has yet again left Umno but because of the circumstances of his resignation.
No one can deny that Dr Mahathir did a lot for the country in his 22 years as Prime Minister “although his term of office was not entirely free of blemish.”
“But the events over the last year and his resignation today will be remembered more than the good he has done".

Source: AFP, Bernama
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Venezuela: The World's Worst-Performing Economy

Sunday, February 28, 2016

With hyperinflation so significant that people have actually to carry backpacks loaded Along with your hard earned cash to the neighborhood supermarket, it’s no surprise that Venezuela – a country which is in its worst form because Globe War II – is the world’s worst-carrying out economy. 
The country's economy continues to be buffeted by plunging global oil prices, with the World Bank forecasting that it will contract by 4.8 per cent in 2016.
Food and medicine are becoming increasingly scarce, with long queues outside supermarkets 
a regular sight in the country's capital, Caracas.
Source: Agency
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Indian Villages Ban Single Women From Owning Mobile Phones

Saturday, February 27, 2016

The village of Suraj passed a new policy in early February that forbids single, young women from owning a mobile phone, saying they should focus more on their schoolwork, 
A couple of villages in Mehsana and Banaskantha districts in Gujarat have imposed the ban in recent weeks, with more villages joining the campaign, said Ranjit Singh Thakor, president of the Mehsana district council. 
The ban applies to girls under the age of 18 and unmarried women, he said. "The girls don't study properly if they have mobile phones, and they can get into all sorts of bad situations," he told the Thomson Reuters Foundation by telephone. 
"Let   them  study, get  married , then they can get their own phones. Until then, they  can  use 
their fathers'  phones at home, if 
Source: Agency
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He Named Me Malala

Friday, February 26, 2016
HE NAMED ME MALALA is an intimate portrait of Malala Yousafzai, who was wounded when Taliban gunmen opened fire on her and her friends' school bus in Pakistan's Swat Valley. 
The then 15-year-old teenager, who had been targeted for speaking out on behalf of girls' education in her region of Swat Valley in Pakistan, was shot in the head, sparking international media outrage.
Take a first look at He Named Me Malala a documentary about Nobel Peace Prize winner Malala Yousafzai's life, story and personal journey as an education activist. 
Directed by acclaimed documentary filmmaker Davis Guggenheim (An Inconvenient Truth, Waiting for "Superman"), the film shows us how Malala, her father Zia and her family are committed to fighting for education worldwide.

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State of Iowa USA Lawmakers Approve Bill That Would Let Kids Have Handguns?

Thursday, February 25, 2016

Children of all ages in Iowa would be able to lay down their toy guns and pick up the real thing under a bill that passed the state House of Representatives.
The measure approved Tuesday by 62-36 vote would allow children 14 or younger to possess “a pistol, revolver or the ammunition” under parental supervision. It now heads for the state Senate.
“We do not need a militia of toddlers,” state Rep. Kirsten Running-Marquardt (D) said on the House floor.
Running-Marquardt, joined by other statehouse Democrats, said she balked at a bill that "allows for 1-year-olds, 2-year-olds, 3-year-olds, 4-year-olds to operate handguns.”
Statehouse Republicans, including the bill's sponsor, Rep. Jake Highfill, said the the legislation was an issue of parents' rights designed to correct "an injustice in Iowa code” that now forbids children 14 and younger from handling pistols.
Highfill said his measure would bring the law on children's use of handguns in line with regulations for shotguns and rifles, which don't restrict the age of children  using  them  under 
parental supervision. 
Current Iowa law makes it a felony for a parent or guardian to allow a child younger than 14 to handle a pistol. Older children may do so with supervision.

Source: Huffington post
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Organ-Trafficking Syndicate Uncovered In Indonesia

Tuesday, February 23, 2016
Three members of an organ-trafficking syndicate have been arrested and doctors at a government hospital questioned by police after Al Jazeera uncovered an illegal organ-trading operation.
People from a village in West Java, which has a population of 30, sold their kidneys for around $5,000, the exclusive investigation revealed.
Police said that they had questioned six doctors so far for possible collusion with organised criminals in the trade.
"I was in a really bad situation. I had huge debts and didn't have a house ... I couldn't pay my rent for four months," one of the kidney sellers, Edi Midun, told Al Jazeera.
Selling organs is illegal in Indonesia, but people can donate them to friends and relatives.

To sell his kidney, 39-year-old Midun had to pretend that he knew the recipient of his kidney well, acting as a donor. A middleman changed his age to 25 to increase his chances of being accepted.
A government hospital accused of helping the traffickers has denied any involvement, but its director says the screening process is designed to weed out any cases of organ trading. 
"If we find the [organ trading] syndicate works together with the hospital, of course the doctors will be prosecuted," Arie Dharmanto, a police investigator, told Al Jazeera.
"We need to look at the issue case-to-case. This needs to be further investigated. If there are possible mistakes - which could be the case - then this should be part of the investigation," Czersna Soejono, the director of the Cipto Mangunkusumo Hospital, said. 
According to Indonesia's health ministry, 150,000 Indonesian kidney patients need a transplant.
In an effort to stop the kidney trade, MPs have urged the government to establish a donor bank,  where organ donation will be regulated and donors properly screened.

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Indonesia Arrests ‘Dozens Of Suspected Islamic Radicals’

Sunday, February 21, 2016
Jakarta – Indonesian police have arrested dozens of suspected Islamic extremists on Java island, most of whom were allegedly carrying out military-style training on a remote mountain, police and reports said Saturday.
Around 30 were reportedly detained late Friday on Mount Sumbing as they took part in the training, while another five were arrested the same day in raids in the city of Malang.
It was not clear whether they were linked to the gun and suicide attacks in Jakarta last month which left four civilians and four assailants dead, and were claimed by the Islamic State group.
  • A member of Indonesia’s elite anti-terror police, speaking anonymously, confirmed there had been a “raid on an arms training session” taking place on a mountain.
  • Local media reported that the group of around 30 were from Islamic extremist group Jamaah Ansharus Syariah and the training was on the slopes of Sumbing, in Central Java province.
  • The arrests came after local villagers reported hearing gunfire, MetroTV reported, citing provincial police spokesman Liliek Darmanto.
  • Air guns, knives, religious books and flags were seized at a house where some of the participants had stayed en route to the mountain, the report said.
In the separate raid in Malang, five alleged Islamic radicals were seized by police backed by officers from the elite anti-terror squad, said local police chief Yudho Nugroho.
“The five are still being held,” he said, adding that police had been “monitoring them for a while”.
The attacks in the capital centred around a Starbucks outlet and were the country’s worst terror incident in seven years, prompting police to launch a nationwide crackdown.
Authorities said last week that 33 people from radical Islamic groups who were plotting attacks against the airport and other targets in the near future had been arrested, with around half directly linked to the Jakarta attacks.
Indonesia, the world’s most populous Muslim-majority country, suffered several major bomb attacks by Islamic radicals between 2000 and 2009, but a subsequent crackdown weakened the most dangerous extremist networks. 

Source: – AFP

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Indian court slaps Hindu God With SUummons Over Land Grab?

Friday, February 19, 2016
New Delhi – A court has served a Hindu god with a summons for illegally encroaching on government land in eastern India after a roadside temple was built in his honour, officials said Thursday.
Photos in local media showed the summons, addressed to Lord Hanuman, pasted on an idol of the monkey god, worshipped for his courage and strength, at the temple in Bihar state.
“The summons was issued after the public works department filed a case against the temple for encroaching on the road,” a court official in Rohtas district, who refused to be named, told AFP.
The department petitioned the local magistrate’s court to have the temple removed for obstructing traffic, but local Hindu groups have protested against the legal action.
A local official in Rohtas said the summons had been erroneously addressed to the Hindu god, and would be soon corrected.
“The summons was meant for the temple management and not the god,” Hashim Khan, Rohtas deputy development commissioner, told AFP.
Encroachment of public land is rampant in India, including by religious groups who construct temples, shrines and other places of worship on public walkways, roads and vacant land.

Source: AFP
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Deadly Turkey 'Terror Attack' Targets Military In Ankara

Thursday, February 18, 2016

An explosion hit military vehicles at an intersection in the Turkish capital of Ankara on Wednesday evening, officials said, in what the military called a terror attack.
Twenty-eight people were killed and 61 others were injured, according to Deputy Prime Minister Numan Kurtulmus.
The explosion hit three military vehicles and a private vehicle in central Ankara, near Turkish Parliament buildings, Turkey's semiofficial Anadolu news agency reported, citing Ankara Gov. Mehmet Kiliclar. 
The vehicles were stopped at a traffic light, the military said.
Authorities believe a bomb-laden vehicle caused the explosion, Kiliclar said,  according to Anadolu.
Video aired on CNN Turk showed large flames reaching toward the night sky from an area on the ground. 
Lights from numerous emergency vehicles flashed nearby.
No group has claimed responsibility.
"Our determination to respond in kind against such attacks against our unity and future from outside and inside is even more strengthened through such attacks," Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan said in a statement. 
"Turkey will not hesitate to use its right to self-defense anytime, anywhere, and in all situations." His thoughts were echoed by U.S. Defense Secretary Ash Carter. 
"We strongly condemn this cowardly attack which appears to have targeted buses carrying Turkish military personnel. 
We stand with our Turkish allies in the face of this horrific act, which only strengthens our resolve to deepen our ongoing cooperation in the fight against terrorism," he said.
  • Soner Cagaptay, a senior fellow at the Washington Institute for Near East Policy think tank, said that if it was a bomb attack, suspects could include ISIS or the PKK, the Kurdish militant separatists that Turkey considers a terrorist group.
  • "There's definitely many reasons why Turkish reaction is going to be fierce" if this was an attack, he said.

 Source: CNN
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Lawyers’ Group Concerned Over Xenophobic Sentiments On Bangladeshi Workers?

Thursday, February 18, 2016

Lawyers for Liberty has expressed concern over the rising xenophobic and racist sentiments against the Malaysian government's plan to bring in 1.5 million Bangladeshi workers over the next three years.
Its executive director Eric Paulsen said it was unacceptable that the people made sweeping statements that migrant workers would cause all manner of social problems, including having relations with local women and causing a rise in crime, diseases, security issues and even terrorism.

"Migrant workers are not in Malaysia to commit crimes, bring diseases or harass local women. They are here to work, mainly in jobs shunned by locals.
"They generally come from impoverished backgrounds, having left everything behind and incurring huge debts in order to try earn a living in Malaysia for their families and themselves," he said in a statement today.
He said like everywhere else, there were individual cases of migrant workers misbehaving or committing crimes, and they were rightly handled by the relevant authorities.
The Home Ministry in a statement last Thursday said there was no specific figure for Bangladeshi workers entering the country because it depended on the actual needs of the employer during the application.

The ministry said the number of Bangladeshi workers entering the country would be assessed based on the qualifications and abilities of the employer to comply with regulations set by the government.
According to the ministry, the figure of "1.5 million Bangladeshi workers" widely mentioned in media coverage was actually the number of Bangladeshis registered with the Bangladesh government for employment.
Source:– Bernama,
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Wednesday, February 17, 2016
In a recent survey conducted by undergraduates from Nanyang Technological University (NTU), a dirty Singaporean secret is uncovered: while 9 in 10 smartphone users admit using their smartphones in the toilet, only 1 in 10 clean their smartphones on a regular basis. Furthermore, only 1 in 2 always wash their hands after using the toilet.

The startling statistics from a street survey of 305 smartphone users in Singapore show that many just underestimate the dirtiness of their smartphones.

With these insights, the team of four final-‐year students from NTU's Wee Kim Wee School of Communication and Information pioneered a campaign, Hello, Hygiene? to promote good hygiene amongst smartphone users in Singapore.

"While we were researching on personal hygiene and germs, we chanced upon an article on The Telegraph about how dirty our smartphones really are, and that they can even harbor faecal matter.
In fact, a British study found that our phones have 18 times more germs than a public toilet seat," said team member Eenette Wong, 23.
Source: Asia One...More...
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