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Exiled Leader Fights For Xinjang.


A couple of years ago I had set up a wifi system around my house but it was down, I am thinking of making another one and I am going to name it "wifi republic".

I am going to re-organize my blogs too, now I am testing some templates, trying and testing them at this stage. I am trying to fully utilized the latest blogspot editor. Not doubt that they are better with many needs that are taken care of. However the new blogspot editor lack fluidity where we can used different blog templates for different categories of posts or entries.

However I had thought of this new format. Try
anak matlesen to see the new format. The present PERWI is slightly messy as I had attempted to master the new blogspot editor. I think by doing that I had taken extra "memories".

I am still in the learning curve and I may not proceed with the present idea for I have to evaluate either to follow the existing system that blogspot new editor provide or do the necessary such as amending the html on the free template that I had obtained satisfactorily to get a system that I want.

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PRK: Bukit Gantang turut dibanjiri polis,SB

KUALA LUMPUR - Seperti kebiasaan suasana pilihan raya tidak akan sunyi dengan kehadiran pihak berkuasa, dan ini tidak terkecuali di ketiga-tiga kawasan pilihan raya kecil yang akan diadakan pada 7 April kelak.

Menurut Setiausaha Jabatan Pilihan raya PAS Pusat, Wan Nik Wan Yusoff, khemah dan pondok polis juga telah mula didirikan di sekitar kawasan pilihan raya kecil Parlimen Bukit Gantang.

"Setakat pemerhatian yang pihak jentera PAS jalankan, terdapat pondok dan khemah-khemah polis yang diwujudkan sepertimana yang dibuat di pilihan raya kecil Kuala Terengganu," katanya kepada Harakahdaily.

Namun jelasnya, keadaan tersebut kali ini dijangka akan mengalami sedikit perbezaan memandangkan pilihan raya tersebut diadakan secara serentak bersama dengan Dun Selambau dan Batang Air.[more]

Read On

Crime and Punishment

The UN special rapporteur on human rights, Richard Falk.

Thanks to new, alternative and unbiased satellite news channels, the plight of Gaza's Palestinian population under the recent Israeli military attack was for once brought to the attention of the world at large. The appalling brutality and savagery of the Israeli military high command's onslaught against Palestinian civilians brought tears to countless eyes around the world and instilled in the international community a new sense of purpose to punish war criminals and thus finally introduce a new chapter worthy of 21st century humanity into the world justice system.[more]

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Russian rocket sends US tourist into space 26 March 09

Russian rocket carrying a US space tourist is on its way to the International Space Station.

Charles Simonyi is the first tourist to take a second trip into space.

The Soyuz spaceship will take the number of people living on the orbiting space station to six - the highest number to date

Neave Barker reports.[ VIDEO INSIDE ]

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HRW: Israel use of phosphorus proof of war crimes

Israel's use of white phosphorus over densely populated areas in Gaza "was indiscriminate and evidence of war crimes," a rights group says.

In a 71-page report, titled "Rain of Fire" published on Wednesday, Human Rights Watch (HRW) said the repeated use of air-burst white phosphorus artillery shells in populated areas of Gaza was not incidental or accidental, but revealed "a pattern or policy of conduct". [more]

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Obama held hostage by PPPIP

- Pepe Escobar: If Geithner's plan - PPPIP (Public-Private Partnership Investment Program) does not work, the President sinks- it is not Iran, Iraq, Afghanistan or Palestine.

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Even Abdullah’s farewell gets upstaged

KUALA LUMPUR, March 28 — It was a vintage end-of-assembly for Umno, as it bid farewell to its sixth president and fifth Prime Minister Datuk Seri Abdullah Ahmad Badawi.

As in all previous assemblies leaders, including Abdullah, asked for forgiveness and forgave for mistakes and slurs, intended or otherwise.

And as in previous assemblies, especially when divisive party polls are held, they all hugged each other, some cried, most were emotional, and all promised to be one family — kekeluargaan — as stressed by all their leaders in their closing speeches.

Until next year, at least, or when the next party polls are held.[more]

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G20 protesters' anger amid global recession

While politicians are set to discuss their solutions to the global recession at the G20 summit, hundreds of small groups have held demonstrations to have their say.

Tens of thousands of people took to the streets of London in a peaceful march calling for changes to be made to the global financial system.

But events in Rome and Berlin were marred by some violence. Al Jazeera's Nazanine Moshiri.
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Najib gets Pak Lah, Dr M together

KUALA LUMPUR, March 28 — Datuk Seri Najib Razak today pulled off a major public relations coup by brokering a rapprochement of sorts between Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad and Datuk Seri Abdullah Ahmad Badawi.

The former prime minister and the current prime minister shook hands on stage at the end of the five-day Umno General Assembly.

Najib told the delegates earlier that he would try and bring Dr Mahathir and Abdullah together and consult both of them on party and national issues.

But while party members loved the idea of Dr Mahathir returning to Umno and the prospect of the two former party presidents putting their differences aside, not everyone was elated over today’s sideshow.[more]

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Najib: Judge me by my actions

KUALA LUMPUR: Moments after Datuk Seri Najib Razak had finished his acceptance speech as Umno’s seventh president, he found himself appealing for a chance to demonstrate his leadership.

Faced with a barrage of questions on unsubstantiated accusations, Najib asked reporters not to pre-judge him.

"Judge me by my actions. Don't judge me on rumours and baseless allegations,” said the soon-to-be prime minister at a press conference this afternoon.[more]

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Saudis, Egyptians gear up to isolate Iran

Mubarak (L) along with
Saudi Monarch Abdullah
With the main goal of isolating Iran in the region, Saudi and Egyptian leaders step up efforts to woo Syria against the Islamic Republic.

In an early March meeting in the Saudi capital of Riyadh, Saudi King Abdullah and Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak joined forces to drive a wedge between Syria and Iran, taking matters in their own hands.

During the summit, Abdullah attempted to cajole Syrian President Bashar Assad into breaking ties with Tehran by promising financial and political support, said a Saudi royal adviser.[more]
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Iran urges Israel trial over Gaza attack

Iran's ambassador to the UN, Mohammad Khazaei
Iran's ambassador to the UN has called on the international community to bring Israeli officials behind the recent attack on Gaza to justice.

Mohammad Khazaei told the UN Security Council meeting on Wednesday that the international body, including the UN and the Security Council, had to take 'immediate' action against what Tehran defines as Israel's crimes against Palestinians. [more]
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Najib's Manifesto : Party will revamp election process

KUALA LUMPUR: Newly elected president Datuk Seri Najib Razak has promised to change the way the party elects its leaders.

"It will be more transparent and fair to all," he said during his acceptance speech as the new Umno president this afternoon.

"The voting of Umno's leaders will no longer be restricted to 2,500 members. We will open it up to 60,000 members."

“In future, we hope to conduct elections simultaneously in all the 191 divisions. This will ensure that the practice of money politics will be curbed.

Apart from that, the quota for election candidates will also be revamped.

“I don’t want to be a president who hides behind a quota. The current number of nominations (58) needed before one can contest for the position is too high.

however, he was silent about limiting the term of office bearers, a suggestion put forth by Abdullah during his opening address on Thursday.

But he explained that the party needs to adopt these measures to give confidence to the people of Umno.[more]

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Obama unveils new Afghan plan, sets goals

As the security situation continues to challenge coalition forces, President Obama redefines the Afghan mission in a new "comprehensive" approach to defeat the insurgency.
Warning that the situation is "increasingly perilous", US President Barack Obama unveils a new strategy to defeat the Taliban and al-Qaeda.

In an address at the executive office building in Washington on Friday, Obama said he would use all elements in his power to "disrupt, dismantle and defeat" the insurgency in the war-ridden country.

"The situation is increasingly perilous. It has been more than seven years since the Taliban was removed from power, yet war rages on, and insurgents control parts of Afghanistan and Pakistan," Obama said.[more]

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High Court to hear Sivakumar’s suit against EC on May 28

A lawsuit filed by Perak Speaker V Sivakumar and six others to compel the Election Commission to hold fresh election in Behrang, Changkat Jering and Jelapang will be heard on May 28.

High Court judge Lau Bee Lan fixed the date after the matter came up for mention in chambers today.

Three Pakatan Rakyat assemblymen - Chen Fook Chye, Tai Sing Ng, A Sivanesan - and three voters - Ahmad Sabry Wahab of Behrang, Abdul Latif Ariffin of Changkat Jering and Foo Hon Wai of Jelapang - had along with Sivakumar filed for the judicial review.[more]

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We live in confusing times

So why is there this terrible disconnect between what our politicians are saying and what is happening on the ground? Is this a case of over-zealous functionaries trying to second-guess the powers that be? If that is the case then it is easily remedied by immediately reversing these orders. However (as I suspect it is), if these orders have the approval of those at the top, then this is a case of a serious mismatch of word and deed.

This Jekyll and Hyde syndrome reflects an undignified sense of insecurity. Our leaders must make up their minds. Are they interested in upholding the rule of law and our democratic institutions or are they insistent on showing utter contempt for all that we hold dear just to protect the interests of a few? If only they would realise that they are more likely to win the popularity contest if they would instead show utter contempt for dishonesty and injustice and constancy in protecting the rule of law, the independence of our institutions and the freedoms of our people. If only they would realise that the whole world is watching us and that our platitudes on human rights (particularly at the universal periodic review that just took place) ring very hollow.[more]

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Perak gridlock extends to pay freeze for rival governments

With the Bukit Gantang parliamentary by-election just days away, the Pakatan Rakyat-controlled Perak Public Accounts Committee (PAC) today recommended to freeze the salaries of both rival governments.

The State Assembly PAC chairman Wong Kah Woh said the committee decided to freeze the pay for Menteris Besar Datuk Seri Mohammad Nizar Jamaluddin and Datuk Dr Zambry Abdul Kadir together with their respective executive councils.

"We want to avoid the double payment of their wages, allowances and any perks until the legitimate mentri besar and his exco men have been established," Wong told reporters here today.[more]

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Umno Youth wants ban on the term ‘Pakatan Rakyat’

Umno Youth today suggested that all quarters, including the media, cease using the term “Pakatan Pakyat” to refer to the opposition pact because the loose coalition of opposition parties is not a legitimate entity.

Langkawi Umno Youth Chief Nor Saidi Nayan said the entity called Pakatan Rakyat was not a registered or an approved organisation under the Registrar of Societies’ rules and regulations.[more]

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'Israel targeted 17 trucks in Sudan'

Sudan says Israel has been 'most probably' behind two attacks on a truck convoy which killed up to 40 people in the country's north.

"The first thought is that it was the Americans that did it. We contacted the Americans and they categorically denied [that] they were involved," Foreign Ministry spokesman Ali al-Sadig said on Friday.

"We are still trying to verify [the American's claim]. Most probably it involved Israel," he added.[more]

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Pak Lah to announce transition date tomorrow

Datuk Seri Abdullah Ahmad Badawi will end all speculation over his departure from office when he announces the date he steps down as prime minister during his speech at the close of Umno general assembly tomorrow.

The prime minister has kept the date a secret from even his close advisors and wants to follow the tradition of Umno and inform party members first of his retirement date. He told several party officials — who have been urging him to issue a press statement and quell speculation over his political future — he intends to follow in the footsteps of Umno presidents Tunku Abdul Rahman and Tun Hussein Onn and inform his party when he will hand power to his successor.[more]

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Rais: Cabinet should resign with outgoing PM

Losing Umno vice-presidential candidate Datuk Seri Rais Yatim said the entire Cabinet must technically resign when Prime Minister Datuk Seri Abdullah Ahmad Badawi steps down.

“It is a ideal situation, when a prime minister resigns all his ministers are deemed to have resigned. This is the conventional interpretation of the Westminster system,” the Foreign Minister told reporters at the Umno General Assembly today.[more]

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Ruling party chooses a new leader, but not a new direction

Party conferences are seldom thrilling but this week’s gathering of over 2,500 ruling-party faithful in Kuala Lumpur has the eyes of the nation upon it. For, as Umno goes, so goes the country.

Since Malaysia’s independence from Britain in 1957, Umno’s chosen leader has always become the country’s leader. This year the torch is passing from Datuk Seri Abdullah Ahmad Badawi, the prime minister, to Datuk Seri Najib Razak, his deputy, who is standing uncontested as Umno leader and due to be sworn in as Malaysia’s sixth prime minister next week.[more]

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Former PKR rep Osman accused of power abuse

Ex-PKR assemblyman Mohd Osman Mohd Jailu, who quit the party and toppled the Pakatan Rakyat coalition from Perak in early February, has now been accused of abusing his powers by appointing his second wife to a government company.

Titi Serong assemblyman Khalil Idham Lim Abdullah from Pas today lodged a report with the Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission (MACC), accusing his former comrade of failing to disclose the family relationship when approving her appointment as managing director of Tourism Perak Sdn Bhd.[more]

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All the president’s men

When Deputy Premier Datuk Seri Najib Razak appealed to Umno delegates to vote him a good team, he had an unspoken list in mind. By the time the two-day party elections closed, it appeared that he did get most of what he wanted.

Indeed, he seems to have a fairly formidable team. A strong slate of the president's men will mean that Najib can count on the support of loyalists, and unite a fractious Umno that has been locked in leadership tussles for a year.

Just as important, the newly elected team is likely to be acceptable to many Malaysians. They are mostly in line with the choices named by Malaysians in a survey by the independent Merdeka Centre.[more]

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MT UMNO: Dua menteri dan empat MB kalah.

Dua menteri dan empat Menteri Besar antara 24 calon Majlis Tertinggi (MT) yang kecundang dalam pemilihan parti Umno kali ini.

Menteri Pelancongan Azalina Othman Said serta Menteri Perdagangan Dalam Negeri dan Hal Ehwal Pengguna Shahrir Abdul Samad, yang sebelum ini adalah anggota MT, terpaksa akur dengan kehendak perwakilan dan melepaskan kerusi masing-masing.

Menteri Besar yang gagal mempertahankan kedudukan sebagai Anggota Majlis Tertinggi pula terdiri daripada Menteri Besar Pahang Adnan Yaakob, Menteri Besar Negeri Sembilan Mohamad Hasan, dan Menteri Besar Johor Abdul Ghani Othman.[more]

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Najib plans rapid reforms

Najib expected to make sweeping changes to cabinet and introduce radical economic reforms very soon. – Bernama pic

Malaysia's prime minister-in-waiting will announce a new cabinet within a week of taking office and plans radical economic reforms that will transform the way the country does business, a government source said today.

Deputy Prime Minister Najib Razak will take over as premier "soon after" the end of the United Malays National Organisation (Umno)congress tomorrow the senior source said today.

Umno is the main party in government.[more]

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Muhyiddin looks to by-elections, stresses party unity

Having agitated the speedy demise of Datuk Seri Abdullah Ahmad Badawi as Umno president, the party's new No. 2 is quickly working to stress party unity ahead of three crucial by-elections.

Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin also stressed his support for Datuk Seri Najib Razak and his efforts to reform the party.

"Najib has his way of doing things, very much focused and committed on seeing issues being addressed," the deputy president said today.[more]

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Shahrir to resign on April 1

Stung by his loss at the Umno polls, Datuk Sharir Abdul Samad will submit his resignation from the Cabinet at its weekly meeting on April 1.

The Domestic Trade and Consumer Affairs Minister lost in the race for an Umno supreme council spot yesterday.

“For me, I chose to become a minister because of the support I received from the party. I feel I need a strong moral basis in order to perform my job well because if I become a minister, I have to face the people, the government servants, the opposition,” Shahrir told reporters at the Umno annual assembly today.[more]

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Delegates push Umno to go far right, not wide .

going far right

Despite a leadership calling for Umno to be more inclusive and narrow differences with other communities, delegates today pushed the party to move further to the right in governance and politics.

In speech after speech debating a motion of thanks for outgoing Umno president Datuk Seri Abdullah Ahmad Badawi's opening address, the delegates spoke on diverse of subjects centred on the party's domination in governance and politics.

Terengganu delegate Datuk Zubir Embong urged the government to be strict in banning the Christians from using the word 'Allah' saying it confused the Malays.[more]

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Khir Toyo faces assembly ban over Balkis case

Datuk Seri Dr Mohd Khir Toyo could be banned from the Selangor assembly while his wife faces possible police action for not attending the Balkis inquiry.

State speaker Teng Chang Khim said both are in contempt of the State Assembly when they failed to attend the Select Committee for Competence, Accountability and Transparency (Selcat) inquiry into Balkis, a charity set up by the former Barisan Nasional state government for their wives.

“It’s the Legislative Assembly which established Selcat and action can be taken against Dr Khir, who is a member of the Assembly, while his wife is liable for criminal action under Section 3 of the Contempt of the House Enactment 2008,” Teng said today.

Teng disclosed that any member of Selcat can refer the former Selangor Menteri Besar to the Privilege Committee while the Selcat secretary may lodge the police report against Zahrah.[more]

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Dr M calls Umno Youth corrupt for electing Khairy

KUALA LUMPUR, March 27 - The expected backlash from Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad has arrived.

And the venom was aimed directly at Khairy Jamaluddin, the politician who defeated Datuk Mukhriz Mahathir on the way to becoming the Umno Youth chief.

Some of the vitriol was also sprayed on the youth wing and Datuk Seri Abdullah Ahmad Badawi, both whom he accused of turning a blind eye to corruption in Umno.

Dr Mahathir's tirade is likely to widen the rift in Umno Youth following Khairy's victory on Wednesday and appeared designed to put pressure on Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak to exclude Abdullah's son-in-law from the Cabinet.[more]

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Speaker raps ROS for illegal dissolution of Balkis

More questions than answers were raised today during a public inquiry on the Wives of Selangor Elected Representative Charity Organisation (Balkis), which was dissolved by the Registrar of Societies (ROS) on Feb 11 this year.

Selangor Speaker Teng Chang Khim lashed out at the ROS for dissolving the charity based on an Emergency General Meeting (EGM) by members who had no voting rights in March 11 last year.

Selangor ROS officer Tairah Yusof, who continued her testimony before the Selangor Select Committee for Competency, Accountability and Transparency (Selcat), raised the ire of the committee when she admitted that no checks were made on the composition of Balkis members who voted to dissolve the charity.[more]

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Israel favors Amano for IAEA leadership

Yukiya Amano
Israeli government sources say that Tel Aviv and its closest ally, Washington, prefer to see Japanese Yukiya Amano as the next IAEA chief.

"Government sources. . . seem to prefer the Japanese candidate, Yukiya Amano, rather than South African candidate Abdul Samad Minty," Israeli daily The Jerusalem Post reported on Thursday.

The 35 board-member nations of the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) failed to elect a new director general in their first rounds of voting on Thursday, as none of the contenders managed to win the required two-thirds majority[more]

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Israel test fires anti-missile Iron Dome

Tel Aviv says it has completed a series of test fires over an anti-missile system developed to intercept short- and medium-range rockets.

The Israeli Defense Ministry said Thursday it carried out several "successful" test launches over the past two days and the system managed to locate, track and intercept the rockets in flight, whether fired singly or simultaneously,

The missile system, named Iron Dome can destroy rockets with a range of up to 70 kilometers (43 miles), Israel's Channel Ten reported. [more]

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UN pushes for new global reserve system

A UN panel of expert economists has pressed for a new global currency reserve system to replace the unstable, dollar-based scheme.

"A new Global Reserve System -- what may be viewed as a greatly expanded SDR (Special Drawing Rights), with regular or cyclically adjusted emissions calibrated to the size of reserve accumulations, could contribute to global stability, economic strength and global equity," the panel said on Thursday.[more]

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Troubled days ahead for Umno Youth

It was to have been a glorious start for Umno Youth as their new chief was crowned. But an ugly incident of in-fighting initiated by unhappy supporters of one candidate exposed cracks within the wing that point to a more serious illness within the party.

The drama began slightly after 11pm last night as the results for the wing was announced. It was the last of the three movements under Umno to be read out, delayed by recount after recount for the top post.

When the MC called out Khairy’s name, the crowd went wilder. The dam burst. His supporters were raucously yelling “KJ! KJ! KJ!” repeatedly while pumping their fists in the air.

All of a sudden from the sidelines, several groups started chanting “Rasuah! Rasuah! Rasuah!”

Believed to be the disenchanted cheerleaders of Mukhriz, they quickly surged from all directions towards one corner of the hall to confront the Khairy faction.

From above, the entire floor looked like a fight between two colonies of fire ants.

On the sideline, a red-eyed man in songkok, the Umno white baju Melayu and checquered sarong pelikat, was overheard exclaiming: “This is the end. We’re going to lose all three by-elections.”

No doubt the anonymous man was referring to the upcoming by-elections in the two Bukits and one Batang. Perhaps it was a spur-of-the-moment exclamation, an outburst of overwrought emotions, but such thoughts said aloud do not spell a bright future for the wing at such a vulnerable time.

A couple of hours later, as the last of the workers exited the Putra World Trade Centre, a woman campaigner remarked to her companion: “The opposition media were here. It’s so shameful!”[more]

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Kyrgyzstan police crack down on Muslims

Human rights groups are accusing the government of Kyrgyzstan of using increasingly brutal tactics against religious groups.

More than 30 people were recently arrested and accused of belonging to an Islamic group, which authorities say is a "terrorist organisation".

Robin Forestier-Walker reports from Nookat, where tensions are mounting between state and religion.

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Labor joins Israeli coalition government

Israel's Labor party has voted in favour of joining the right-wing coalition led by Benyamin Netanyahu.

Fifty-eight per cent of Labors central committee members voted for the deal after Ehud Barak, the party leader, made an emotional plea. He said it was a patriotic duty to back the coalition deal.

But as Zeina Awad reports from Jerusalem, not everyone in the Labor movement was convinced.

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Najib is in the news

It appears that Najib is constantly in the news nowadays. With him about to become the new Prime Minister of Malaysia, he would undeniably be the hottest story in town. But the stories that the international media are running focus on the kickbacks in the submarine deal and Altantuya’s murder. This is how the international media views Najib, a corrupt man and possibly a murderer to boot.

Scorpene’s Sting: Liberation Publishes Expose re: Malaysia’s Bribery & Murder Scandal
Defense Industry Daily, 24 March 2009

The Franco-Spanish Scorpene diesel-electric attack submarine competes on the global market against an array of competitors, foremost of which is ThyssenKrupp HDW’s U209/212/214 family. In June 2002, the Malaysian government signed a EUR 1 billion contract with Armaris (now DCNS) and Spanish naval shipbuilder Izar (now Navantia) for 2 SSK Scorpenes and associated support and training. The first of class KD Tunku Abdul Rahman has begun trials , and is scheduled to enter service in 2009.


'Doomsday pin pulled' on Malaysian politics over Najib Razak
Radio Australia, 25 March 2009

* Listen to the audio report: Windows Media

In Malaysia, an explosive speech by a former UMNO minister has cast a shadow over the imminent prime ministership of Najib Razak. Prominent Malaysian lawyer Zaid Ibrahim says long-standing scandals and sensational charges, including alleged links to a murder case, against Datuk Najib make him unfit for leadership.[more]

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State paid for former UMNO MB’s wife to visit son in Melbourne

Permodalan Negri Selangor Berhad (PNSB) chief executive officer Datin Khairiyah Abu Hassan testified before the legislature today that the state subsidiary was ‘instructed” to pick up the cost to Melbourne for the wife of former menteri besar Datin Zahrah Kechik to visit their son who was studying there.

Khairiyah told the Special Select Committee for Competency, Accountability and Transparency (Selcat) that she received the instructions directly from Zahrah and was “told” to accompany her on the three day visit, in 2007.

Over RM14,000 was spent to purchase return business class and economy class tickets sometime in December 2007.[more]

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Asian shares retreat, bank plan euphoria fades

Asian shares retreated from two-month highs today as investors paused to assess whether a US plan to deal with banks’ toxic debt would revive the financial system and help pull the economy out of recession.

Japan’s share market shed nearly 1 per cent as bank stocks such as Mitsubishi UFJ Financial Group, the country’s top lender, took a breather, while the yen edged up as the fall in shares tempered appetite for higher-yielding currencies.

The dollar held steady against the euro after a steep rise the previous day on growing expectations of lower euro zone interest rates, and US President Barack Obama said its strength was a sign of confidence in the US economy.

Second thoughts about the US Treasury’s plan to persuade private firms to help rid banks of up to US$1 trillion (RM3.6 trillion) in toxic assets sent Wall Street lower yesterday, reversing some of the hefty gains made on Monday when the plan was released.[ more ]

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Komodo dragons maul man to death

Two Komodo dragons have mauled a fruit picker to death after he fell out of a tree in an orchard in eastern Indonesia, in a rare attack on humans by the world’s largest lizard.

The man, Muhamad Anwar, 31, was found bleeding from bites to his hands, body, legs and neck within minutes of falling out of a sugar-apple tree on the island of Komodo and died later at a clinic on neighbouring Flores. The giant lizards had been waiting for him under the tree, according to a neighbour, Theresia Tawa.

The carnivorous Komodos, which live for up to 50 years, can grow to 3m in length and weigh up to 90kg. Though they rarely attack humans — and had not previously killed an adult for more than 30 years — an eight-year-old boy died after being mauled in 2007 and attacks are said to be increasing as their habitat becomes restricted. Their diet usually consists of smaller animals, including other members of their own species.[more]

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Debate on Witness Protection Bill provokes thought

[William Leong Jee Keen is Member of Parliament for Selayang. A prominent lawyer, he has extensive and long years of experience in the legal arena. The above was his speech to Parliament on Mar 23, 2009]

I am grateful to be given the opportunity to participate in the debate on Witness Protection Bill 2008.

In many cases, like America, the witness who is given the protection was a member of the criminal syndicate itself and had participated in the crime. If under this Act, the witness will not only be given a pardon from his crimes but also have his liabilities repaid and his future salaries ensured without having to work, it means under this Act, crime pays.

It will be very lucrative to live a life of crime and then come to Court to finger someone and this may lead to abuse because of the benefits that the witness will obtain.

The Crime

12. Besides organized crime, drug trafficking and corruption, there are also other offences which should provide protection to witnesses. These include money laundering, obstruction of justice, trafficking in persons and smuggling of migrants. Malaysia has been named as one of the countries in which offences relating to trafficking in persons and smuggling of migrants have become serious proportions.

Relocating Criminals

13. One of the problems that have arisen in the Witness Protection programme in the government giving the witness a new identity in a new relocation is that the witness himself is a criminal. Many of them have after being given the new identity in the new location has returned to a life of crime often causing harm and losses to the persons in the new location.

How does the government propose to resolve this issue and will the government take responsibility for knowingly putting a serial offender into an innocent neighbourhood.[more]

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China economy ‘has bottomed’, says central bank adviser

China’s economy has touched bottom but further interest rate cuts remain an option, a Chinese central bank adviser said on Wednesday.

Fan Gang, who sits on the Chinese central bank’s monetary policy advisory committee, said a 25 per cent rise in car sales and accelerating investment in China indicated the economy was showing signs of improvement.

“Before (the economy) bottoms out, it has to bottom. I believe it has bottomed, with the stimulus package and signs of recovery in some industries,” Fan said in an interview during the Credit Suisse Asian Investment Conference in Hong Kong.[more]

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Polis Merusuh Di Dua Bukit

Provokasi pasukan keselamatan sehingga menimbulkan ketegangan di Bukit Selambau dan Bukit Gantang memperlihatkan UMNO dan BN semakin terdesak dalam menghadapi pilihanraya kecil kawasan terbabit.

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French professor sacked over 9/11 conspiracy theory

An academic in France has been sacked by the Ministry of Defence after questioning the official version of events surrounding the 9/11 attacks. He now reportedly plans to sue the government.

Aymeric Chauprade lost his job allegedly over the introduction to his latest book about political crises around the world, and more specifically, that the 9/11 attacks in New York City and Washington D.C. were an orchestrated "American-Israeli conspiracy". The Defence Minister had strong objections to the material, so Aymeric had to go.

Jean Dominique Merchet, a French journalist, was the first to report on the sacking.The Ministry of Defence has reacted too brutally. They have transformed Chauprade into a victim, and not an intellectual opponent even if what he defends is not good, Merchet said. [more]

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Civil society, analysts slam police for harassing Anwar, Pakatan

Civil society leaders and political analysts have slammed as short-sighted and oppressive the moves by the government to curb the by-election campaigning of Opposition Leader Anwar Ibrahim and his Pakatan Rakyat coalition.

Last night, police shot rounds of tear gas and chemical-laced water into a crowd of more than 5,000 who gathered to hear the reform icon speak in Sungai Tinggi, Bukit Gantang, where a parliamentary by-election is due to take place on Apr 7.

Their action was a repeat of the night before, when they also trained tear gas and water canons into another peaceful crowd that came to hear Anwar - this time at Bukit Selambau in Kedah. [more]

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Play it again, Sam

Let’s call a spade a spade. In the 1980s, when Umno attacked the Rulers, the opposition rallied to the Rulers’ side. It was the opposition that defended the Monarchy in 1980 when Umno attacked it. That is a fact that has gone down into history.

Don't twist historical facts, says Najib

Umno deputy president Datuk Seri Najib Razak reminded all quarters not to twist the facts of history in recounting Umno's action to amend the law with regard to the Malay rulers.

"It was never done in bad faith, but rather with the noble intention of preserving the royal institution and upholding the doctrine of the separation of powers which is the basis of any democratic government.

In the beginning, the Sultan of Perak was actually not in favour of sacking Nizar. When Nizar had his audience with the Sultan, His Highness was actually quite receptive to the idea of dissolving the State Assembly so that new state elections could be held. But His Highness got cold feet after Najib visited him and reminded Tuanku that he would be jeopardising his throne if he took Pakatan Rakyat’s side in the Perak Constitutional Crisis.

Yes, that’s right. Najib threatened the Sultan and reminded His Highness that his future lies in the hands of Umno. And Najib has the gall to say that Umno is the defender of the crown. Bullshit! I know what happened. And that is why I spoke in defence of the Sultan of Perak -- and many Malaysia Today readers whacked me because of that. But I also asked Nizar to hold his ground and not back down even if it results in a Constitutional Crisis.[more]

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The new role of the SPR (EC)

Heard about the new role being played by the SPR (EC) in Selangor?

They have now become part of a committee formed under the PM's Department responsible for the implementation of a program called 'people centric'.

This programme has, as its objective, the upliftment of BN's image in the eyes of the public and the battering of the image of the PR.

This is then to lead to the defeat of the PR government in Selangor in the next General Election. The activities which are being planned in relation to this program is to be financed by Federal funds!

If this does not constitute misuse of public funds, I do not know what does![more]

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Pakatan Rakyat serah memorandum bantah gantung Harakah dan Suara Keadilan

Pakatan Rakyat hari ini menyerahkan memorandum bantahan kepada Suruhanjaya Hak Asasi Manusia (Suhakam) berhubung penggantungan permit Harakah dan Suara Keadilan.

Ketia-tiga parti gabungan Pakatan Rakyat diwakili oleh Ketua Penerangan PAS Pusat Dato' Mahfuz Omar, Ketua Penerangan KeADILan Tian Chua dan Timbalan Setiausaha Publisiti Nasional DAP Teo Nie Ching.

Mahfuz dalam ucapan ringkasnya mendesak agar dihapuskan kuasa Menteri Dalam Negeri menggantung atau menarik balik permit sesebuah akhbar.

"Sudah tiba masanya kuasa memberi dan menarik permit sesebuah penerbitan bercetak diserahkan kepada mahkamah bukan kepada menteri.

"Jika kuasa masih berada di tangan menteri, apa yang berlaku hari ini akan berulang lagi di mana tindakan menggantung permit Harakah dan Suara Keadilan yang jelas bermotif politik," tegas beliau.[more]

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Indonesia to sell $650m syariah bonds

Indonesia’s finance ministry plans to sell its first global syariah-compliant bond issue, or sukuk, before June, backed by 7.5 trillion rupiah ($650 million) worth of assets, a senior official said on Wednesday.

The government of the world’s most populous Muslim nation has already raised more than two-thirds of its gross debt issuance target for 2009, but it wants to tap a wider investor base using a broad array of instruments including syariah-compliant debt.

Rahmat Waluyanto, treasury director general, said the global sukuk would be issued before a Samurai bond issue which is planned for June, and that the size would depend on the underlying assets available.[more]

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G20 plan will leave Africa in poverty

World leaders claim they can save the global economy from recession. But, as Mani Tanoh tells Ken Olende, people will be left behind.

he G20 will do little to help Africa escape the cycle of debt and misery, according to studies by leading NGOs and aid agencies working in the continent.

The reports from the World Development Movement (WDM), Actionaid and Christian Aid state that far from helping countries in the Global South, the policies advocated by the G20 are keeping them poor.[more]

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Quick Tip - do you know the MENU key?

I made a new friend today. It was there all along and I never noticed it on the right side of my keyboard between the Window Key and the Control Key. I don't even know it's true name, so I'll call it the "Menu Key".[ more ]

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George Galloway's first speech from inside Gaza

(9 March 2009)

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Subprime Credit Crisis - made simple

The Short and Simple Story of how the Subprime mortgage Credit Crisis started.

The goal of this video is to present a complex situation, the subprime mortgage credit crisis, plainly - short and simple to layman, very much like us, on the street for quick understanding and grasp the essence of the situation, especially to those unfamiliar and uninitiated.

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Israel's lunatic right wing rejects Obama's 2 state plans

Members of an Israeli right-wing faction have expressed their opposition to US President Barack Obama's support for a two-state solution.

Over 1,800 members of the Unity Coalition for Israel (UCI) have sent emails to President Obama and other members of his staff, questioning "the wisdom" of the new US administration. [more]
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