Monday, October 19, 2009

(MY112) : Largest turtle-linked salmonella outbreak detailed

CHICAGO – Two girls who swam with pet turtles in a backyard pool were among 107 people sickened in the largest salmonella outbreak blamed on turtles nationwide, researchers report.

The 2007-08 outbreak involved mostly children in 34 states; one-third of all patients had to be hospitalized. In many cases, parents didn't know that turtles can carry salmonella.

Despite a 1975 ban on selling small turtles as pets, they continue to be sold illegally.

The American Veterinary Medical Association estimates that the number of pet turtles nationwide doubled from 950,000 in 1996 to almost 2 million in 2006.

"It's very easy to think of turtles as being a very gentle and nice pet," but many carry salmonella, without showing any signs, said Julie Harris, a scientist at the federal Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and the report's lead author.

Salmonella in turtle feces can end up on their shells and body, and can spread to people who handle them.

An infected turtle can spread the same strain of salmonella to others during shipping, which may be how the outbreak occurred. Turtles involved were bought at pet shops, flea markets, from street vendors and online. The Food and Drug Administration contacted retailers involved and their investigation is ongoing, the report said.

"Continued, collective efforts are needed, both on state and federal levels, to enforce the ban and protect public health," the report said. It appears in October's Pediatrics, released Monday.

Authorities began investigating in September 2007 after a Union County, N.C., teen swam in her backyard pool with two pet turtles and a friend from South Carolina. Both girls developed bloody diarrhea, vomiting, fever and stomach cramps; one developed kidney failure and spent eight days in the hospital.

Salmonella bacteria traced to those turtles matched salmonella later found in three other North Carolina children. Other cases turned up elsewhere, many involving direct contact with turtles, including children kissing turtles or putting them in their mouths, Harris said.

Indirect contact likely also occurred, she said. For example, children playing with turtles at school may have brought the germs home and spread them to family members, Harris said.

Illnesses from the same kind of salmonella turned up coast to coast through January 2008, including 12 people in California, 10 each in Pennsylvania and Texas, and nine in Illinois.

No one died in the outbreak but many required several days of hospital treatment, Harris said.

"Everyone from pediatricians to other public health professionals needs to really stress that reptiles and especially turtles are a source of salmonella infections," she said.

The ban only affects turtles less than about 4 inches in diameter because of reports that young children had gotten sick after putting the small reptiles in their mouths.

David Bergmire-Sweat, a North Carolina epidemiologist who investigated the Union County case, said he's heard of families letting turtles walk on kitchen surfaces where food is prepared, and babies being bathed in sinks where turtle cages are washed.

Because the federal ban was enacted more than 30 years ago, "many people just don't remember," he said.

Recent efforts to overturn the ban, backed by turtle farmers, have failed.

Veterinarian Mark Mitchell, a University of Illinois zoological medicine professor, has been working with Louisiana turtle farmers in research aimed at raising salmonella-free turtles. Initial efforts involved cleansing turtle eggs with antibiotics, but that led to strains of antibiotic-resistant bacteria.

Mitchell said now he's focusing on washing eggs in disinfectants similar to chlorine. He says the industry has been unfairly saddled with harsher restrictions than producers of human foods also blamed for recent salmonella outbreaks.

Sunday, September 13, 2009

(MY111) : Mirzan says San Miguel stake is just business

KUALA LUMPUR, Sept 13 – Mirzan Mahathir has defended his investment group’s stake in Philippines conglomerate San Miguel Corp (SMC), saying the company was well on the way to diversifying substantially from its brewery business.

In a letter to The Malaysian Insider yesterday, Mirzan said San Miguel Corp had decided to shift its attention to the infrastructure, public utility and energy requirements of the Philippines, from its core brewery business.

“Since Kirin Holdings of Japan acquired a significant direct ownership stake in the brewery division, this will result in a dramatic change in SMC’s revenue mix, with beverages expected to contribute less than 15% of total sales by next year,” he said in the letter.

The Malaysian Insider had reported this week that Mirzan, the eldest son of Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad, was recently appointed to the board of San Miguel Corp, the biggest food and beverage conglomerate in the Philippines and the owner of San Miguel Brewery Inc.

San Miguel Corp told the Philippines stock exchange last week about Mirzan’s appointment which is to represent the interests of Q-Tech Alliance Holdings Inc on the board.

Q-Tech, a Manila-based investment company in which Mirzan has a stake in, recently acquired a 19.9 per cent share in San Miguel Corp for 39.61 billion pesos (RM2.9 billion).

It bought the stake from Japan’s Kirin Holdings, which used the funds to help finance the acquisition of a 43 per cent stake in San Miguel Brewery Inc.

With this latest corporate exercise, San Miguel Corp still maintains a 51 per cent stake in San Miguel Brewery Inc.

San Miguel Brewery controls 95 per cent of the Philippine beer market. The company has made San Miguel Beer for more than a century. The beer is brewed in the Philippines, China, Indonesia, Vietnam, Thailand and Malaysia, and is sold in 60 markets worldwide, according to the company’s Web site.

Mirzan’s involvement in the deal, while a sound investment decision, has raised some eyebrows among Malaysia’s conservative Muslim community.

Since news of Q-Tech’s acquisition of San Miguel Corp shares began circulating here, a number of news blogs have used it to attack Dr Mahathir’s Muslim credentials.

“Unfortunately, certain parties are keen to turn this exciting positive change in a well?managed Philippines corporation into an assault on the reputation of my father, even though he has nothing whatsoever to do with my business interests.

“I can only provide a rational explanation for my actions and it would be a pity if facts are twisted to gain dubious points from a straightforward business decision,” said Mirzan.

continue reading here

Tuesday, September 1, 2009

(MY110) Nogold Trivia : Uji Kecekapan Mata Dan Pengetahuan Anda

Anda mempunyai mata yang sentiasa peka dengan objek-objek di sekeliling anda? Bagaimana sekiranya anda diberi gambar seperti berikut :

Dapat teka apa gambar itu? Ia adalah objek yang biasa anda lihat. Masih meneka? Kita lihat klu seterusnya;

Ia agak berat

masih tidak dapat meneka...masih keliru dengan gambar yang ada???? kita ke klu yang kedua;

dari hobi menjadi professional

sudah dapat meneka???? betulkah tekaan anda itu?? anda hendak jawapan nya? sila klik disini

Permainan diatas adalah yang diberi nama Nogold Trivia sebahagian dari usaha pihak untuk memberikan anda NG$ yang mana boleh digunakan untuk membuat bidaan seperti yang telah di ceritakan di entry sebelum ini. Untuk melihat apa yang ditawarkan di Nogold Mart boleh lihat disini. Untuk mengetahui apa itu NG$ dan bagaimana untuk membida boleh lihat disini.

Sunday, August 16, 2009

(MY109) Nogold Mart : Penghargaan NG kepada Forumer bukan sesuatu yang baru. Forum ini telah subur seawal 2005.Disini anda bebas membuat pilihan untuk menjadi silent reader mahupun aktif berforum.Selain itu di anda dihargai. Segala catatan mahupun komen-komen anda di boleh memberikan anda membawa pulangan berbentuk barangan. Anda tidak percaya? Saya akan membuktikan ini bukan suatu omongan kosong sebaliknya adalah benar.

Di setiap komentar dan catatan yang anda luahkan akan berikan NG$. Apa itu NG$? Ia adalah berfungsi seperti RM tetapi hanya boleh digunakan dan diterima di Berbagai cara boleh dilakukan untuk mendapatkan NG$ antaranya dengan membuat blog dan hantarkan ke : Blog Review untuk mendapatkan NG$. Didalam entry ini akan diceritakan bagaimana cara untuk mendapat NG$ dengan mudah.

Dengan memperkenalkan NG$ maka selepas itu memperkenalkan pula "Nogold Mart : Daily, Weekly & Monthly bid". Nogold Mart diwujudkan sebagai penghargaan kepada forumer yang setia dan aktif melontarkan komentar mereka di ruang-ruang forum Kepada silent reader, ini satu kerugian. Di Nogold Mart, diadakan ruangan membida barang-barang yang ditawarkan oleh pemilik Barangan yang ditawarkan adalah mengikut kekerapan seperti barangan yang ditawarkan secara harian, mingguan dan bulanan.

Bidaan harian dijalankan dari hari isnin sehingga hari jumaat. Barangan dalam pelbagai bentuk ditawarkan untuk dibida selama 12 jam. Berkemungkinan ditawarkan pada jam 10.00 pagi dan ditutup untuk bidaan 12 jam kemudiannya. Pembida dengan nilai tertinggi dan Kuasa Membida (Bidding Power) yang tinggi di penutup bidaan mempunyai peluang cerah untuk memenangi barangan yang ditawarkan. Antara keputusan pemenang bidaan harian boleh dirujuk di Keputusan Bidaan Harian : Minggu 1 3/8/09-7/8/09

Bidaan mingguan dijalankan dari hari isnin sehingga hari jumaat. Barangan dalam pelbagai bentuk ditawarkan untuk jangka tempoh 5 hari bermula hari isnin sehingga jumaat. Berkemungkinan ditawarkan pada hari isnin dan ditutup untuk bidaan pada hari jumaat pada jam 12.00pm. Sekali lagi, pembida dengan nilai tertinggi dan Kuasa Membida (Bidding Power) yang tinggi di penutup bidaan mempunyai peluang cerah untuk memenangi barangan yang ditawarkan.Antara barangan yang ditawarkan untuk bidaan mingguan ialah Sony Ericsson K770i + 2G Memory , Sony 12.1 Mega Pixel W Series 3x Optical Zoom Cyber-shot

Bidaan bulanan dijalankan dari hari awal bulan sehingga hujung bulan. Barangan dalam pelbagai bentuk ditawarkan untuk jangka tempoh sebulan. Barangan yang ditawarkan untuk bidaan bulanan adalah lebih tinggi nilainya dari barangan bidaan harian dan mingguan. Sekali lagi, pembida dengan nilai tertinggi dan Kuasa Membida (Bidding Power) yang tinggi di penutup bidaan mempunyai peluang cerah untuk memenangi barangan yang ditawarkan. Tawaran untuk bulan ogos yang masih dibuka di bida ialah Laptop Dell Inspiron 13 bidaan bulan ogos akan ditutup pada 31.08.2009

Kita kembali kepada bagaimana cara untuk mendapatkan NG$. Sila lihat di bawah:

a. Kredit Permulaan (100) - mula-mula daftar dan masuk ke group
b. Kredit Referral (100) - masa register, kalau guna nama referral maka dapat bonus
c. Referral Bonus (5)- ini kalau kita refer new member
d. Kredit Activiti (20)- menjadi aktif, tidak idle
e. Kredit Hari Lahir (100)
f. Kredit Memberi Reputasi (0.5)- sekiranya memberikan reputasi kepada orang lain
g. Kredit Menerima Reputasi (2)- sekiranya menerima reputasi dari orang lain
h. Menerima Infraction (-10)
i. Buka Thread Baru (10)
j. Thread di beri 'rate' (1)
k. Membuat post di thread orang lain (5)
l. Membuat post di thread sendiri (3)
m. Kredit setiap perkataan melebih 100 (0.5)
n. Kredit apabila thread di lawat oleh ahli lain (0.05)
o. Thread menerima balasan (2)
p. Profile di lawati (0.05)
q. Membuat poll (5)
r. Poll di undi (1)
s. Ada attachment (3)
t. Hantar PM (-2)
u. Letak event dalam kalendar (3)
v. Ada profail gambar (3)

Format-format bagaimana untuk membida :

last bid: NG$XXXXX
my bid: NG$XXXXX


Selepas menang bidaan pembida harus membayar dengan menggunakan NG$ yang dimiliki. Sekiranya jumlah bidaan yang dibuat melebihi NG$ yang dimiliki maka penalti akan dikenakan iaitu NG$ yang dimiliki akan ditolak 10%. Sekiranya bidaan yang dimenangi tidak dibuat pembayaran dalam tempoh yang diberi, barangan berkenaan akan di buka untuk bidaan
semula dan NG$ pemenang yang tidak membuat pembayaran akan ditolak 10%. Sekiran pembayaran telah dibuat maka lampiran hendaklah di letakkan di tempat yang berkenaan. Format bukti pembayaran.

Barangan yang dimenangi akan di pos atau diserahkan kepada pemenang semasa NG Tour diadakan. Tempat dan tarikh penyerahan akan di nyatakan di forum. Boleh lihat dibawah majlis penyerahan barangan bidaan kepada pemenang.

jadi kenapa anda hanya melihat. sertai kami dengan mendaftar sekarang dan bersama-sama merebut barangan yang

Monday, August 10, 2009

(MY108) How Can You Participate And Become Nogold Super Star (RM10k can be yours)

r u hav a gut to record what u r singing then upload ur video to youtube??? if yes then u should try this Nogold Super Star..there's lot of money they are offer to the winner..just take a look at the poster below then u can find how much can u win..rm10k???? (if u win the final) can u believe it??? it just a simple step to participate..

1st step : snap a video while u r singing (even while u r in a toilet but pleaseee with full set of clothes)
2nd step : upload to youtube
3rd step : register ur ID at (if u r still did'nt register as NG member)
4th step : submit ur video url.
5th step : join the community to introduce ur self in order for them to know about u (they hav to know u if u want their vote)
6th step : just cross ur finger till end of month to know if u are the top 3..

here are the Month of June Winner...

1st Place

2nd Runner up

3rd Place

here are the Month of July Winner...

1st Place

2nd Runner up

3rd Place

congratulation to the monthly winner..
for the 1st place the prize is RM500
for the 2nd place the prize is RM300
for the 3rd place the prize is RM100

for detail you can check
so anyone interested to participated can send your check the weekly top 5 of NG superstar just click here...Carta Top 5 NG Superstar Untuk Minggu Ini

Wednesday, July 22, 2009

(MY107) Pregnancy, STDs on the Rise Again Among Teens

THURSDAY, July 16 (HealthDay News) -- Birth rates among U.S. teens increased in 2006 and 2007, following large declines from 1991 to 2005, according to a new U.S. government study.

It found that previously improving trends in teens' and young adults' sexual and reproductive health have flattened or may be worsening in some cases.

U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention researchers analyzed national data from 2002-2007. Among their findings:

About one-third of adolescents hadn't received instruction on methods of birth control before age 18.
In 2004, there were about 745,000 pregnancies among females younger than age 20. This included an estimated 16,000 pregnancies among girls aged 10 to 14.
Syphilis cases among young people aged 15 to 24 have increased in both males and females in recent years.
In 2006, about one million young people aged 10 to 24 were reported to have chlamydia, gonorrhea or syphilis. Nearly one-quarter of females aged 15 to 19, and 45 percent of females aged 20 to 24 had a human papillomavirus (HPV) infection during 2003-2004.
From 1997 to 2006, rates of AIDS cases among males aged 15 to 24 increased.
In 2006, the majority of new diagnoses of HIV infection among young people occurred among males and those aged 20 to 24.
From 2004 to 2006, about 100,000 females aged 10 to 24 visited a hospital emergency department for nonfatal sexual assault, including 30,000 females aged 10 to 14.

"This report identifies a number of concerns regarding the sexual and reproductive health of our nation's young people," Janet Collins, director of CDC's National Center for Chronic Disease Prevention and Health Promotion, said in a news release.

"It is disheartening that after years of improvement with respect to teen pregnancy and sexually transmitted diseases, we now see signs that progress is stalling and many of these trends are going in the wrong direction," she said.

The study also identified a number of racial/ethnic disparities in the sexual and reproductive health of young Americans. For example, Hispanic teens aged 15 to 19 are much more likely to become pregnant (132.8 births per 1,000 females) than non-Hispanic blacks (128 per 1,000) and non-Hispanic whites (45.2 per 1,000). The study also found that non-Hispanic black youth in all age groups have the highest rates of new HIV and AIDS diagnoses.

The study appears in the July 17 issue of the Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report, published by the CDC

(MY106) World's largest telescope to be built in Hawaii

HONOLULU – Hawaii was chosen Tuesday as the site for the world's biggest telescope, a device so powerful that it will allow scientists to see some 13 billion light years away and get a glimpse into the early years of the universe.

The telescope's mirror — stretching almost 100 feet in diameter, or nearly the length of a Boeing 737's wingspan — will be so large that it should be able to gather light that will have spent 13 billion years traveling to earth. This means astronomers looking into the telescope will be able to see images of the first stars and galaxies forming — some 400 million years after the Big Bang.

"It will sort of give us the history of the universe," Thirty Meter Telescope Observatory Corp. spokesman Charles Blue said.

The telescope, expected to be completed by 2018, will be located atop a dormant volcano that is popular with astronomers because its summit sits well above the clouds at 13,796 feet, offering a clear view of the sky above for 300 days a year.

(MY105) Solar eclipse shrouds Asia

TAREGNA, India – The longest solar eclipse of the 21st century pitched a swath of Asia from India to China into near darkness Wednesday as millions gathered to watch the phenomenon.

But millions more, gripped by fear, shuttered themselves in. India abounds in superstitions and fables based on Hindu mythology, one of which says an eclipse is caused when a dragon-demon swallows the sun.

The eclipse is caused when the moon covers the sun completely to cast a shadow on earth. In some parts of Asia it lasted as long as 6 minutes and 39 seconds.

Thick cloud cover over India obscured the sun when the eclipse began at dawn. But the clouds parted in several cities, minutes before the total eclipse took place at 6.24 a.m. (0054 GMT; 8:54 p.m. EDT).

Friday, July 17, 2009

(MY104) Explosions at the Ritz-Carlton Hotel and the Marriott Hotel in central Jakarta

JAKARTA, July 17 — Six people were killed in nearly simultaneous explosions at the Ritz-Carlton Hotel and the Marriott Hotel in central Jakarta today, Indonesia”s Metro TV reported.

Jakarta police spokesman Chrysnanda Dwilaksana said he could not confirm if the blasts were caused by bombs. A Jakarta hospital official said 10 people had been brought in for treatment.

There have not been any major bomb blasts in Indonesia for several years, and this month the country’s presidential election passed off peacefully.

“We know there are six victims, six who died and there are several others injured and we have evacuated them to hospital,” Dwilaksana said.

The Indonesian rupiah fell 0.7 per cent after the blasts. The stock market has not opened yet.

Witnesses at the scene told Metro TV that the injured, including Indonesians and foreigners, were seen being taken away in ambulances.

“Some windows of the Ritz-Carlton building have been shattered, mostly on the lower section. I’m looking at it from my office,” said Myra Junor, who works at a nearby building.

Lydia Ruddy, a witness who lives in the area, told Reuters said could see debris everywhere.

She said she heard an explosion and saw smoke coming from the Marriott, followed five minutes later by another explosion at the Ritz-Carlton hotel, which is in the same area.

An Australian man told local Radio 2UE his son had been hurt at the Marriott and was being taken to hospital.

The Marriott Hotel was badly damaged by a car bomb attack in 2003 that killed 12 people.

That coincided with a period when Islamists militants carried out numerous attacks, including bombings in Bali in 2002 that killed 202 people. Many militants have since been arrested. — Reuters

Thursday, July 16, 2009

(MY103) Ean Yong’s political secretary dead at MACC HQ

SHAH ALAM, July 16 – The Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission’s (MACC) controversial probe into several DAP assemblymen’s activities was thrown into more turmoil today with the death of political aide Teoh Beng Hock at the anti-graft authority’s Selangor headquarters.

The 30-year-old’s death will put more pressure on the MACC, which has been accused by the opposition of conducting selective investigations.

Teoh, the political secretary of Seri Kembangan assemblyman Ean Yong Hian Wah, was taken in for questioning by the MACC yesterday at its 14th floor office in Plaza Masalam in Shah Alam.

MACC said he was freed but his body was later found sprawled on the roof of a five-storey building next door.

It is unclear if Teoh, a former journalist with Chinese daily Sin Chew Jit Poh, fell or jumped from the MACC office.

Ean Yong and several other DAP lawmakers are at the scene now, including M. Manoharan, Gan Pei Nee and Teresa Kok.

DAP’s Ronnie Liu said the police has confirmed that the body is that of Teoh. He added that he does not understand how this could have happened.

[Forensic investigators examine the body of Teoh Boon Hock for clues. Teoh was found dead next to the MACC’s office today, after being taken in for questioning yesterday.]

Forensic investigators examine the body of Teoh Boon Hock for clues. Teoh was found dead next to the MACC’s office today, after being taken in for questioning yesterday.
At a press conference, the MACC director of investigations Datuk Mohd Shukri Abdul said Teoh was questioned from 5pm yesterday to 3.45am and was released soon after.

However, Teoh apparently said he was tired and so he rested on a settee in the lobby. He was seen sleeping on the settee at 6am.

At about 1.30pm, Shukri said, they heard that a body had been found on the 5th floor of the adjacent building and when one of the MACC officers went to investigate, he realised it was one of their witnesses.

Shukri said Teoh was not a suspect but was questioned as part of their investigations into the misuse of state allocations.

Police have not allowed anyone to view Teoh’s body, which has still not been removed at 6.30pm, when his brother was at the scene.

In an immediate reaction, DAP supremo Lim Kit Siang expressed shock and asked in his twitter account, “Is there now the first case of death in custody, not police but MACC? If so, heads must roll!”

The DAP leader is in Penang and said he was waiting for a full report about the tragedy.

“What has this country come to?” he asked, adding later he and other Pakatan Rakyat leaders will meet the MACC on Friday for an explanation.

According to Kit Siang, Teoh, an Alor Gajah boy, was to register his marriage tomorrow.

Kit Siang also confirmed he and Anwar will meet reporters at the MACC building in Shah Alam at 10am Friday.

Teoh was taken in for questioning yesterday after MACC officers raided Ean Yong’s office in the State Secretariat as they were investigating complaints about the failure of state allocations to reach the people.

Selangor State Assembly Speaker Teng Chang Khim weighed in by saying the MACC is responsible for the incident.

His lawyer M Manoharan, who accompanied Teo to the MACC office yesterday, said the deceased looked normal and showed no signs of being under stress.

“He was happy and looked composed. I had advised him how to handle the interrogation as I was not allowed in during questioning,” he said.

Manoharan, who is the Kota Alam Shah assemblyperson, last saw Teo at around 7pm yesterday.

Ean Yong said it was highly unlikely Teoh took his own life since he was due to register his marriage tomorrow.

"Furthermore, there was no reason for him to linger (after the interrogation) because his car was here," he added.

Selangor executive councillor Elizabeth Wong expressed shock over Teoh’s death and added to the chorus that MACC was responsible for it.

“This tragic incident is another reminder of the recklessness of supposedly public institutions like the MACC in pursuing the goals of their political masters,” she said in a statement.

Wong said MACC investigations director Datuk Mohd Shukri Abdul’s explanation flew in the face of logic, adding that the authority should operate within acceptable guidelines when conducting interrogations.

“Even the police stops interrogating suspects at 6pm. Did the MACC think it holds powers greater than the PDRM when it interrogated Teoh from 5pm to 4am the next day?” she asked.

She said the incident has prompted her not to allow her staff to be questioned by the MACC unless accompanied by legal counsel, adding the police should also seal the office for investigations.

“ Datuk Mohd Shukri … should save whatever honour he and the MACC have left by resigning,” said the Bukit Lanjan assemblywoman.

In a statement, Penang Chief Minister Lim Guan Eng said the MACC must bear full responsibility for this death as Teoh was in their custody at the time.

“MACC should stop its political persecution of PR, especially DAP leaders and members, that does not serve the interest of fighting corruption or justice,” he said. “Such political games have caused the loss of life of a bright young idealistic DAP member.”

“There must be a full investigation on how he died. Unless MACC can clear its name, the public may suspect that Teoh was mistreated and MACC had a hand in his sudden death. There must be full transparency and accountability.

“DAP extends its condolences to Teoh’s family for this tragic loss and assures them that all steps will be taken to ensure that the culprits or those responsible be punished.”

Sekinchan assemblyman Ng Swee Lim, who was weeping openly at the press conference, said he had wanted to take Teoh for seafood yesterday.

Meanwhile, PKR vice president K. Sivarasa calls this a “death in suspicious circumstances.”

PKR assemblyman Xavier Jeyakumar is questioning why a normal young man would want to kill himself over being questioned about state allocations. A vigil is now being organised for Teoh outside the MACC office from 8.30pm tonight.

(MY102) NH man charged 23 quadrillion dollars for smokes

MANCHESTER, N.H. – A New Hampshire man says he swiped his debit card at a gas station to buy a pack of cigarettes and was charged over 23 quadrillion dollars. Josh Muszynski checked his account online a few hours later and saw the 17-digit number — a stunning $23,148,855,308,184,500 (twenty-three quadrillion, one hundred forty-eight trillion, eight hundred fifty-five billion, three hundred eight million, one hundred eighty-four thousand, five hundred dollars).

Muszynski says he spent two hours on the phone with Bank of America trying to sort out the string of numbers and the $15 overdraft fee.

The bank corrected the error the next day.

Bank of America tells WMUR-TV only the card issuer, Visa, could answer questions. Visa, in turn, referred questions to the bank.

(MY101) Singapore central bank suffers S$9.2b loss

SINGAPORE, July 16 — Singapore's central bank said today it posted a net loss of S$9.2 billion (RM22 billion) in its last financial year that ended March 2009, badly hurt by a decline in global markets.

The loss compared to a profit of S$7.44 billion in the same period a year earlier, the Monetary Authority of Singapore's managing director Heng Swee Keat said at a press conference.

"The unprecedented global financial crisis has weighed heavily on financial markets worldwide, leading to severe declines in valuation across many asset classes amidst heightened market volatility," he said.

"MAS's investment was negatively affected by this crisis."

The loss in the last financial year equalled about 3.5 per cent of the central bank's average assets, he said.

"With the broad based upturn in financial markets after the close of the financial year, the valuation of MAS' foreign assets has improved and more than half of the losses have been recovered," he said. — Reuters

(MY100) 13,000 fake RM50 notes seized in Thailand

BANGKOK, July 16 — Thai police confiscated more than 13,000 pieces of fake RM50 notes with a face value of between RM650,000 and RM750,000 in Lopburi on Tuesday.

The money was found during a police raid on a former top soldier's house in the province outside Bangkok where authorities also seized weapons.

Police Col Akradej Pimolsri told the media here that police made the seizure following a tip-off that the former soldier was storing weapons in his house.

He said two suspects, aged 36 and 37, were arrested. They claimed they were caretakers of the house sited in a province where several army camps are located.

A Thai policeman said they believed the ringgit notes were printed in Thailand and it was the biggest seizure in years.

"Earlier there was information that fake ringgit notes were being printed in Cambodia. But now we have some information that they could be printed outside Bangkok," he said.

Yesterday, Thai police arrested a 36-year-old carrying fake US currency with a face value of Bt13 million at the Bangkok International Trade and Exhibition Centre here.

The man told police that he was a former police informant and was carrying the money for a police sting operation. — Bernama

(MY099) Australia's "worst case scenario" 6,000 H1N1 deaths

SYDNEY (Reuters) – As many as 6,000 people could die from H1N1 in Australia this season in a "worst case scenario" if no preventive measures or vaccines are found, Australian Health Minister Nicola Roxon said on Thursday.

The H1N1 influenza has killed 21 people in Australia so far and there are 10,387 confirmed cases, according to data compiled by Australia's health department.

"We could expect around 6,000 deaths across the country," Roxon told local radio. "That is the really worst case scenario that is being projected at the moment."

Each year a few thousand Australians die from influenza.

The World Health Organization has confirmed 429 deaths and 94,512 cases of H1N1, declared a pandemic last month. But these numbers represent only a fraction of the real cases.

Swine flu is the dominant flu in Australia this southern hemisphere winter and authorities say they have ordered 21 million doses of swine flu vaccine still under development.

They say that should be enough for half the 21 million population with multiple doses.

The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention says at least a million people have been infected with H1N1 and the virus is spreading out of control.

Disease control experts say the death rate from H1N1 is similar to the death rate from seasonal influenza, which kills anywhere between 250,000 and 500,000 people globally each year.

(MY098) Strong 6.1-magnitude quake hits off Papua New Guinea

PORT MORESBY (AFP) – A 6.1-magnitude earthquake struck off the coast of Papua New Guinea's remote New Ireland area Thursday, seismologists said, but there were no immediate reports of casualties or damage.

The epicentre of the strong quake, which hit at 06:10 am (2010 GMT Wednesday), was located 103 kilometres (64 miles) south-southwest of the town of Kavieng, New Ireland, the US Geological Survey said. It took place at a shallow depth of 19 kilometres.

There was no immediate Tsunami warning issued.

Papua New Guinea sits on the so-called Pacific "Ring of Fire", where continental plates meet. The region is frequently hit by earthquakes

Wednesday, July 15, 2009

(MY097) Pic : New RM50 Bank Note

(MY096) 168 reportedly killed in Iran plane crash

TEHRAN, Iran – An Iranian passenger plane carrying 168 people crashed a quarter-hour after takeoff Wednesday, smashing into a field northwest of the capital and shattering to pieces. State television said all on board were killed.

The impact gouged a deep trench in the dirt field, which was shown littered with smoking wreckage in footage shown on state TV. It showed a large chunk of a wing, but much of the wreckage appeared to be in small pieces, and emergency workers and witnesses picked around the shredded metal for bodies.

The Russian-made Caspian Airlines jet was heading from Tehran to the Armenian capital Yerevan near the village of Jannatabad outside the city of Qazvin, around 75 miles northwest of Tehran, state television said. It crashed at about 11:30 am, 16 minutes after taking off from Tehran's Imam Khomeini International Airport, TV reported.

The Qazvin emergency services director Hossein Bahzadpour told the IRNA news agency that the plane was completely destroyed and shattered to pieces, and the wreckage was in flames. "It his highly likely that all the passengers on the flight were killed," Bahzadpour said.

Iranian Civil Aviation Organization spokesman Reza Jafarzadeh told state television that 153 passengers and 15 crewmembers were on board. State TV said all were killed.

A Caspian Airlines representative told AP in Yerevan that most of the passengers were Armenians, and that some Georgian citizens were also on board. The representative spoke on condition of anonymity because she was not authorized to talk to the press.

Also among the passengers were eight members of Iran's national youth judo team, along with two trainers and a delegation chief, who were scheduled to train with the Armenian judo team before attending competitions in Hungary on Aug. 6, state TV said.

(MY095) Robert De Niro victim of New York art scam

NEW YORK (Reuters) – Several paintings by actor Robert De Niro's late father were sold without the actor's permission as part of an art scam by a New York gallery, the Manhattan District Attorney's office said on Tuesday.

Art dealer Lawrence Salander, 59, was indicted on additional charges for stealing $5 million from several estates on Tuesday after he was arrested in March for orchestrating a sophisticated $88-million art investment scam that also duped former tennis champion John McEnroe and Bank of America.

Salander and other dealers at his New York gallery sold the works by Robert De Niro Sr., an abstract Expressionist painter who died of cancer in 1993 aged 71, and did not pay out the majority of the sales to his estate, according to the charges.

As a result of the scam, De Niro Sr.'s estate lost more than $1 million, the DA's office said.

Other victims relating to the additional charges include the Lachaise Foundation, who consigned the works of French-American sculptor Gaston Lachaise, as well as the estate of Elie Nadelman, an American sculptor who died in 1946.

Robert De Niro has organized exhibitions of his father's works around the world and has said he keeps many of his works at home.

(MY094) Bank Negara issues new RM50 banknote

KUALA LUMPUR, July 15 — Bank Negara today issued a new RM50 banknote with a design incorporating various modern and innovative security features principally aimed at deterring counterfeiting.

"This new RM50 banknote is the first denomination of the fourth series of currency notes which will replace the existing series in stages," the central bank said in a statement.

It said the existing RM50 banknote series would continue to remain legal tender and would co-circulate with the new RM50 banknotes as the former is gradually phased out.

No time limit had been set on the duration of co-circulation, it added.

The earlier RM50 banknote was issued in December 2007 to commemorate the 50th anniversary of the country’s independence. This current series will no longer have the logo of the country's golden jubilee celebrations.

The enhanced security features incorporated in the new RM50 banknote include a colour shifting security thread which replaces the existing security thread.

The thread appears on the reverse side of the note as coloured intermittent lines. When held against light, it is seen as a continuous dark coloured line and the repeated text of BNM RM50 can be read.

When the note is tilted, the colour of the thread changes from red to green and vice versa.

Under ultra-violet light, the repeated text of BNM RM50 will fluoresce yellow and the thread is seen as a continuous fluorescent yellow line when the banknote is viewed from the obverse.

The two-coloured fluorescent elements are an additional invisible printed feature on the reverse of the note. Under ultra-violet light, a complex design two-colour numeral 50 will fluoresce. — Bernama

is this the new bank notes???

(MY093) Tony Leung injured while sparring for ‘Grand Master’

HONG KONG, July 15 — “The Lust, Caution” and “Red Cliff” actor broke his arm while rehearsing for his role as Ip Man, the martial arts master who trained a teenaged Bruce Lee

It’s official: kung-fu pictures can be bad for your health. The latest casualty is the leading Hong Kong actor Tony Leung, who had his arm broken by a martial arts instructor while rehearsing his latest role. Production on the film – a kung-fu biopic by Wong Kar-Wai – may now be delayed.

“The Grand Master” stars Leung as Ip Man, a venerable teacher best known for training the teenaged Bruce Lee. The film is due to begin shooting in September.

Leung was in training on Monday when the accident occurred. The actor was kicked by his instructor, breaking a bone in his left forearm, a spokesman for the director's production company, Jet Tone Films, told the Associated Press.

Leung has collaborated with Wong Kar-Wai on six previous movies: “Days of Being Wild”, “Chungking Express”, “Ashes of Time”, “Happy Together”, “In the Mood for Love” and “2046”. More recently, he has starred in Ang Lee’s controversial “Lust, Caution” and John Woo’s action epic “Red Cliff”.

“The Grand Master will be Wong’s first feature since his ill-starred American drama “My Blueberry Nights”, which opened to a raspberry of bad reviews at the 2007 Cannes film festival. – Guardian

Tuesday, July 14, 2009

(MY092) Obesity emerges as risk factor in severe flu

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – People who are obese but otherwise healthy may be at special risk of severe complications and death from the new H1N1 swine flu virus, U.S. researchers reported on Friday.

They described the cases of 10 patients at a Michigan hospital who were so ill they had to be put on ventilators. Three died. Nine of the 10 were obese, seven were severely obese, including two of the three who died.

The study, published in advance in the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention's weekly report on death and disease, also suggests doctors can safely double the usual dose of oseltamivir, Roche AG's antiviral drug sold under the Tamiflu brand name.

"What this suggests is that there can be severe complications associated with this virus infection, especially in severely obese patients," said CDC virus expert Dr. Tim Uyeki.

"And five of these patients had ... evidence of blood clots in the lungs. This has not been previously known to occur in patients with severe influenza virus infections," Uyeki said in a telephone interview.

Dr. Lena Napolitano of the University of Michigan Medical Center and colleagues studied the cases of 10 patients admitted to the university's intensive care unit with severe acute respiratory distress syndrome caused by infection with H1N1.

"Of the 10 patients, nine were obese (body mass index more than 30), including seven who were extremely obese (BMI more than 40)," they wrote in their report.

Their study was not designed to see if obesity or anything else poses a special risk factor for flu. But the researchers were surprised to see that seven of the 10 patients were extremely obese.


Nine had multiple organ failure, which can be seen in influenza, but five had blood clots in the lungs, and six had kidney failure.

None has fully recovered, the researchers said.

The H1N1 swine flu virus first emerged in Mexico in March and was spreading out of control in the United States by the time it was identified at the end of April. The World Health Organization declared a pandemic in June.

While it is causing moderate illness, all influenza viruses can be deadly and this one is no exception. It has killed close to 500 people globally, more than 200 in the United States alone.

However, the new virus has a slightly different pattern from seasonal flu -- it spreads in the summer months, attacks young adults and older children, and may affect the body slightly differently.

As with H5N1 avian influenza, which only rarely attacks people, patients seem to survive better if they get Tamiflu for longer than the usual five-day treatment course, Uyeki said.

"We don't know if it is necessary for a higher dose of the drug to be given to patients who are obese," he said.

"The high prevalence of obesity in this case series is striking," the CDC's commentary accompany the report reads.

"Whether obesity is an independent risk factor for severe complications of novel influenza A (H1N1) virus infection is unknown. Obesity has not been identified previously as a risk factor for severe complications of seasonal influenza."

(MY091) H1N1 is ‘unstoppable’, says WHO as it calls for vaccines

WASHINGTON, July 14 — Saying the new H1N1 virus is “unstoppable”, the World Health Organisation gave drug makers a full go-ahead to manufacture vaccines against the pandemic influenza strain yesterday and said healthcare workers should be the first to get one.

Every country will need to vaccinate citizens against the swine flu virus and must choose who else would get priority after nurses, doctors and technicians, said Dr. Marie-Paule Kieny, WHO director of the Initiative for Vaccine Research.

Several reports showed the new virus attacks people differently than seasonal flu — affecting younger people, the severely obese and seemingly healthy adults, and causing disease deep in the lungs.

Kieny briefed reporters on the findings of the WHO’s Strategic Advisory Group of Experts on Immunisation, or SAGE. “The committee recognized that the H1N1 pandemic ... is unstoppable and therefore that all countries need access to vaccine,” Kieney said.

“The SAGE recognised first that healthcare workers should be immunised in all countries in order to retain a functional health system as the virus evolves,” she added.

After that, each country should decide who is next in line, based on the virus’s unusual behaviour.

Seasonal influenza is deadly enough — each year it is involved in 250,000 to 500,000 deaths globally. But most are the elderly or those with some kind of chronic disease that makes them more vulnerable to flu, such as asthma.

(MY090) The NG Superstar Month of June Winner : They Just Received Their Money

The 1st Prize RM500.00

The 2nd Prize RM300.00

The 3rd Prize RM100.00

you still can participate in this contest as it's close on December.
Detail to participate just click here NG SuperStar

Saturday, July 11, 2009

(MY089) India gay sex ruling - protection, not acceptance

NEW DELHI (AFP) – For India's gay community, the joy that greeted this month's court ruling legalising gay sex is tempered by the fact that, although the law now accepts them, society still does not.

For all the celebrations and talk of an historic milestone, many believe it will take more than a court decision to change public attitudes toward homosexuality, which is largely taboo in India and considered by many to be a mental illness.

Although the Delhi High Court's verdict has served as a morale booster for men and women who lived in constant fear of being criminalised, they say it is unlikely to encourage those in the closet to come out.

"I don't think it will make a major impact," says Maya, 32, who runs a counselling centre for lesbians and people with gender identity issues.

"I'm sure some people who were afraid of the legal implications are more comfortable now, but there are still so many social issues.

"The major issues are how you're going to tell your family -- it has nothing to do with the law," she said.

Abhi's parents took him to a psychiatrist when he came out to them two years ago. They eventually came to terms with his sexual orientation, but the 22-year-old call centre employee believes it will take generations for India to tolerate, let alone embrace homosexuality, on a wider scale.

continue reading here

Friday, July 10, 2009

(MY087) NZ porn king vows to push ahead with "Boobs on Bikes"

A porn entrepreneur has vowed to go ahead with his annual "Boobs on Bikes" parade of topless women in Auckland, despite financial woes and the opposition of the city's mayor.

Fairfax newspapers reported Steve Crow had said the annual parade, held since 2003 down the main street of New Zealand's largest city, would go ahead on September 23 to advertise his erotica show. The group did not quote him directly.

Two of Crow's companies have gone into liquidation at his request after earlier shows in the capital Wellington and the southern city of Christchurch lost money.

Auckland Mayor John Banks says he is vehemently opposed to the parade of topless porn stars, which attracts thousands of spectators, but is powerless to stop them.

A court ruled last year the parades are legal after the Auckland City Council, which Banks heads, tried to have them stopped.

"I am totally opposed to the exploitation of vulnerable woman," Banks told Fairfax.

"Taking... women down Queen Street on the back of Harley Davidsons bare breasted and paying them for such activity is, in my review, not in keeping with the family image with which I want Auckland to be portrayed.

"The council doesn't want to know anything about this."

(MY086) Webber on top after opening free practice

Australian Mark Webber topped the times in Friday morning's opening free practice for Sunday's German Grand Prix, narrowly outpacing championship leader Briton Jenson Button.

Australian Mark Webber topped the times in Friday morning's opening free practice for Sunday's German Grand Prix, narrowly outpacing championship leader Briton Jenson Button.

The 32-year-old Red Bull driver maintained the impressive form shown by his team at last month's British Grand Prix with a fastest lap in one minute and 32.082 seconds.

Button, in his Brawn GP car, was three-tenths of a second slower with Brazilian Felipe Massa of Ferrari third, a further three-tenths adrift of Webber's top time on a cool, damp and overcast morning in the Eiffel mountains.

The conditions were similar to those at Silverstone three weeks ago and once again appeared to favour Webber and Red Bull as Brawn battled to bring the best out of their car.

But while Webber shone again, it was a difficult morning for his young team-mate German Sebastian Vettel who came to a halt after at the first corner after only 10 laps.

His Red Bull car needed repairs and he rejoined later on only to wind up eighth-fastest as he struggled to find the form that brought him victory at the British race.

Half of the session was virtually lost to the wet conditions during early drizzle before Webber took command and began setting the benchmark times for the rest to chase.

Italian veteran Jarno Trulli of Toyota wound up fourth ahead of compatriot Giancarlo Fisichella of Force India, a team showing rapid improvements as the season continues.

But Fisichella's promising young team-mate German Adrian Sutil was forced to stop early in the session and had to return to the pits and sit out the practice.

Button's Brawn team-mate Brazilian veteran Rubens Barrichello endured a troubled morning and ended up 12th.

Finn Kimi Raikkonen in the second Ferrari was sixth, two-times champion Spaniard Fernando Alonso of Renault was 10th and defending champion Briton lewis Hamilton was 13th for McLaren Mercedes while his team-mate Finn Heikki Kovalainen struggled to take 18th place.

(MY085) Guatemalan court rules in favor of tweet author

GUATEMALA CITY – An appeals court found insufficient evidence to warrant the trial of a Guatemalan whose Twitter message led to his arrest on charges of inciting financial panic.

Jean Anleu was arrested and charged in May after sending a 96-character tweet that urged depositors to withdraw funds from a bank involved in a political-murder scandal. The message earned him the unfortunate distinction of becoming one of the first people in the world to be arrested for a tweet.

The new ruling means charges will be dropped Friday if prosecutors don't appeal first. Prosecutor Genaro Pacheco told The Associated Press that he has not been officially informed of the appeals court's decision and has not considered dropping the case.

Anleu found the court's ruling to be "very Twitter-like."

"It's a long legal document but there is a very short sentence that sums it up, like a tweet: The appeals court orders the judge to rule the case lacks merit," Anleu told the Associated press by instant message. "A huge weight has been lifted off my shoulders. We still have to see what the prosecution does."

Incensed by reports of a political scandal at Guatemala's rural development bank, Anleu sent the offending tweet under the Internet alias "jeanfer," urging depositors to pull their money from the bank. Written in Spanish, it said: "First concrete action should be take cash out of Banrural and bankrupt the bank of the corrupt."

Pacheco contends the tweet illegally undermined public trust in Guatemala's banking system, and authorities proved Anleu sent the message by searching his Guatemala City home. He was jailed for a day and a half and released on bail.

(MY084) 1 in 3 breast cancer patients overtreated

LONDON – One in three breast cancer patients identified in public screening programs may be treated unnecessarily, a new study says. Karsten Jorgensen and Peter Gotzsche of the Nordic Cochrane Centre in Copenhagen analyzed breast cancer trends at least seven years before and after government-run screening programs for breast cancer started in parts of Australia, Britain, Canada, Norway and Sweden.

The research was published Friday in the BMJ, formerly known as the British Medical Journal. Jorgensen and Gotzsche did not cite any funding for their study.

Once screening programs began, more cases of breast cancer were inevitably picked up, the study showed. If a screening program is working, there should also be a drop in the number of advanced cancer cases detected in older women, since their cancers should theoretically have been caught earlier when they were screened.

However, Jorgensen and Gotzsche found the national breast cancer screening systems, which usually test women aged between 50 and 69, simply reported thousands more cases than previously identified.

Overall, Jorgensen and Gotzsche found that one third of the women identified as having breast cancer didn't actually need to be treated.

continue reading here

(MY083) Mee Bak Kut Teh : Is't really HALAL??

while reading in net then i come across find this...
you can continue read here

then i search wikipedia what is bak kut..guess what..

Bak kut teh (Hokkien: 肉骨茶) is a Chinese soup popularly served in Malaysia, Singapore, China, Taiwan (where there is a predominant Hoklo and Teochew community) and also, cities of neighbouring countries like Batam of Indonesia and Hat Yai of Thailand. The name literally translates as "meat bone tea", and, at its simplest, consists of meaty pork ribs simmered in a complex broth of herbs and spices (including star anise, cinnamon, cloves, dang gui, fennel seeds and garlic) for hours[1]

how can this happen..for muslim please read label before you bought something..

(MY082) Singapore millionaire finds long-lost wife

KUALA LUMPUR, July 10 — A 62-year-old Singapore-born millionaire looking for his long-lost wife and son in Malaysia has apparently found the woman.

Negri Sembilan MCA public services and complaints bureau chairman Tung Kong Ming told The Straits Times that tycoon Yak Eng Wai had informed him of the good news yesterday.

“Yak called me using a friend's phone this morning to tell me that he has found his wife. He is now back in Brunei.”

Yak's plight was highlighted by the media, thanks to the bureau.

Tung also told The Straits Times that Yak — who made it big in Brunei as an auto service provider and parts trader — had not told him whether his wife had returned to Brunei with him.

“We are a public service centre, and we do not question much when someone comes to us for help,” he said.

The businessman told The Star newspaper on Tuesday that his wife, Ooi Suan Im, would be 61 now.

She left him in 1970 and returned to her family in Penang when she was pregnant with their second child.

She left their first child, a two-year-old boy, with her husband.

The boy, who was born with epilepsy, died in 1983 of viral fever.

Yak said he was separated from his wife at a time when he was trying to make ends meet, and when he was planning to move to Brunei in search of greener pastures.

He told The Star: “I have not been able to locate them despite making numerous attempts. Not a day goes by when I don't think of them and wonder how they are.

“It's been so many years but I will not be at peace until I find them.”

He said he had met up with his wife a few times in Penang before they lost touch in 1974.

He believed his son is now 37 years old and is known as Ah Teck.

Yak remarried in 1981 after moving to Brunei, and has a 25-year-old daughter.

After his search for his wife and son was publicised, the MCA office was swamped with telephone calls from people claiming to be the rich man's relatives.

Tung said he had had his hands full entertaining calls from people who claimed to have known Yak's family or said they were related to him.

“One caller said he was Yak's son but when I asked him to fax to me documents or to provide me with personal particulars, he did not get back to me.

“Another sent me a text message also claiming to be Yak's son but declined to be reunited with him. The person asked me to get Yak to contact him.”

Tung added that one caller had even asked for payment to help locate the family. — The Straits Times

(MY081) More than 300 injured by strong quake in China

BEIJING – A moderate earthquake rocked southwest China Thursday evening, injuring at least 336 people and collapsing 10,000 homes, state media said. The magnitude-6.0 temblor, centered in Yunnan province's Yao'an county, damaged another 30,000 homes, the Xinhua News Agency said.

Thirty people suffered severe injuries, while the other 305 were slightly injured, Xinhua said.

The quake was followed by eight aftershocks and the provincial civil affairs department was sending 4,500 tents, 3,000 quilts and other relief materials to Yao'an, Xinhua said.

Hundreds of police were dispatched to the disaster zone, it said.

Yunnan is a quake-prone, mountainous region that lies on China's southern border with Thailand and Myanmar. It also borders Sichuan province, where a magnitude-7.9 quake last year left almost 90,000 people dead or missing.

In 1988, a 7.1-magnitude quake in Yunnan near Myanmar killed more than 930 people. More than 15,000 people died after a magnitude-7.7 earthquake in the province in 1970, though authorities at the time covered up information on casualties and damage amid the chaos of the Cultural Revolution.

after the flood..the earthquake..

Thursday, July 9, 2009

(MY080) 565K new jobless claims, lowest level since Jan

WASHINGTON – The number of newly laid-off workers filing initial claims for jobless benefits last week fell to lowest level since early January, largely due to changes in the timing of auto industry layoffs.

Continuing claims, meanwhile, unexpectedly jumped to a record-high. While layoffs are slowing, jobs remain scarce and the unemployment rate is rising, which some economists worry could weaken or delay a recovery. The unemployment rate rose to 9.5 percent last month and is expected to top 10 percent by the end of this year.

Separately, many retail chains reported disappointing June sales, as consumers are saving more and spending less.

New claims for unemployment insurance plummeted by 52,000 to a seasonally-adjusted 565,000, the Labor Department said Thursday. That's significantly below analysts' expectations of 605,000 for the week ending July 4, according to Thomson Reuters. The last time new claims were below 600,000 was week of Jan. 24.

"This is not as positive as it looks," Jennifer Lee, an economist at BMO Capital Markets, wrote in a note to clients. "There are a number of special factors at play here, including the fact that the holiday-shortened week skewed the data."

(MY079) Use of vibrators common, surveys show

NEW YORK (Reuters Health) – Two Indiana University surveys suggest that vibrator use during sexual encounters is common among American men and women and is linked to better sexual health.

Dr. Debra Herbenick and colleagues surveyed 2,056 women between 18 and 60 years old and found that more than half of the women (52.5%) had used a vibrator, with nearly 1 in 4 having done so in the past month.

Women who used vibrators were more likely to have had gynecologic check up within the past year and were also more likely to have performed a genital self-exam within the past month.

In addition, women who used vibrators, and particularly recent users, reported more desire, arousal, lubrication, and orgasm, and less pain.

Most women (71.5%) said they never had any side effects associated with vibrator use and side effects that did occur were generally not severe or long-lasting.

Dr. Michael Reece and colleagues surveyed 1,047 men, also between 18 and 60 years old and found that, for both solo and partnered sexual activities, 44.8% of the men had used a vibrator at some point in their lives, with 10.0% having done so in the last month, 14.2% within the past year, and 20.5% at some point more than a year ago.

"Men who used vibrators, particularly those with recent use, were more likely to report participation in sexual health promoting behaviors, such as testicular self-exam," Reece and colleagues report.

In addition, men who reported recent vibrator use scored themselves higher on sexual desire, erectile function and satisfaction with sex and orgasms, than men who did not report recent vibrator use.

In an Indiana University-issued statement, Herbenick said: "The study about women's vibrator use affirms what many doctors and therapists have known for decades -- that vibrator use is common, it's linked to positive sexual function such as desire and ease of orgasm, and it's rarely associated with any side effects."

"The study about male vibrator use," Reece added, "is additionally important because it shows that vibrator use is also common among men, something that has not been documented before."

"Also, both studies help us to further understand the way in which American consumers are turning to the marketplace for products that promote their sexual health," Reece said.

The surveys, which were sponsored by condom manufacturer Church & Dwight Company, appear in the latest issue of the Journal of Sexual Medicine.

SOURCE: Journal of Sexual Medicine, July 2009.

(MY078) Greenpeace activists arrested for banner on Mount Rushmore

CHICAGO (AFP) – Greenpeace activists were arrested Wednesday for scaling Mount Rushmore and hanging a banner next to the carved face of Abraham Lincoln urging President Barack Obama to get tough on climate change.

A video posted on the environmental group's website showed the massive banner hanging on the South Dakota mountain face.

Its message -- "America honors leaders not politicians: Stop Global Warming" and an unfinished portrait of Obama -- was barely visible as it was whipped by wind.

"Doing what it takes to solve global warming demands real political courage," Greenpeace USA deputy campaigns director Carroll Muffett said in a statement.

"If President Obama intends to earn a place among this country's true leaders, he needs to show that courage, and base his actions on the scientific reality rather than political convenience."

(MY077) F1 Teams Association walks out of FIA meeting

LONDON – The Formula One Teams Association has walked out of a meeting with the sport's governing body to discuss cost-cutting measures.

The FIA was to meet Wednesday with the 13 teams that have entered the 2010 F1 championship to discuss measures agreed to last month that kept FOTA from forming a breakaway series.

But there has been no agreement over a minimum weight limit or on signing a legally binding agreement to reduce costs to the level of the early 1990s.

The FIA said: "The eight FOTA teams were invited to attend the meeting to discuss their further proposals for 2010. Unfortunately no discussion was possible because FOTA walked out of the meeting."

FOTA's members are Ferrari, McLaren BMW Sauber, Renault, Toyota, Red Bull, Toro Rosso and Brawn GP

(MY076) Chinese troops flood streets after riots

URUMQI, China – Thousands of Chinese troops flooded into this city Wednesday to separate feuding ethnic groups after three days of communal violence left 156 people dead, and a senior Communist Party official vowed to execute those guilty of murder in the rioting in western China.

Long convoys of armored cars and green troop trucks with riot police rumbled through Urumqi, a city of 2.3 million people. Other security forces carrying automatic rifles with bayonets formed cordons to defend Muslim neighborhoods from marauding groups of vigilantes with sticks.

Military helicopters buzzed over Xinjiang's regional capital, dropping pamphlets urging people to stay in their homes and stop fighting. Special police from other provinces were called in to patrol the city.

Wednesday, July 8, 2009

(MY075) Ten sneaky bank fees that sting unsuspecting consumers

Here are 10 fees you especially need to keep a close eye on:

1. Overdraft. Should you unknowingly bounce a check, you could be charged a multitude of times before finding out and balancing the account. Many consumers argue that banks should deny them cash at the ATM if it's going to overdraw the account.

2. Deposit returned. If a check deposited in your account bounces, you're charged a fee. Word to the wise: accept checks only from trusted sources.

3. Checking. This is the privilege-of-using-your-own-money charge that many banks did away with years ago. But charges are starting to creep back into the system, experts warn. Consumers should not assume their checking accounts are fee-free -- or if they are, that they will continue to be infinitum. "The type of checking account to now look for is one that does not have a monthly service charge, minimum balance requirement or limit on the number of transactions you can make," says Bankrate's Mr. McBride.

4. Teller. Banks drew fire from consumers in the 1990s when they tried charging a fee if human interaction occurred when depositing or withdrawing money. There are scattered reports of these fees popping up, mostly now in the form of "excessive" use of tellers. Some banks, for example, will give you two free teller visits a month, but charge you for extras.

5. Inquiries. This is the phone version of teller fees. Make a call about your account, a question about a charge or to order a new book of checks and you could get hit with this service fee. "These are the routine fees that month after month can really have a significant impact on your bottom line," Mr. McBride says.

6. Closing accounts. Consider this a punitive fee. Many banks will charge you a fee if you close an account within 90 days -- and sometimes within six months -- of opening it.

7. Credit cards. Late fees and over-limit charges are already steep but could go higher. The new legislation will put caps on some of those fees and on how they're charged against old and new balances. But until then, expect to see them grow. Grace periods also are expected to end or be severely restricted.

8. Annual. In the early days of credit cards, issuers charged consumers a yearly fee for the right to charge. Competition drove most away, but it looks like they may make a comeback. "Read your mail," Mr. Hammer says. "If you get something from the bank, it's usually because they're making a change. Find out what it is."

9. Currency conversions. Got extra euros from a recent trip that you want converted to dollars? It will cost you. These are fees that are on an upswing too.

10. ATMs. If you use an ATM that doesn't belong to your bank or has an agreement with your bank you could get whacked twice, once by your bank and again by the ATM's owner. And the bite is getting bigger.

credit to :

(MY074) Militant Back in Action : Two key oil pipelines blown up in Nigeria

LAGOS (AFP) – Militants in Nigeria's Niger Delta region said Wednesday they had blown up two key oil pipelines in the region operated by the Anglo-Dutch oil giant Shell and the Italian group Agip.

The Movement for the Emancipation of the Niger Delta (MEND) said in a statement it had blown up the lines in a pre-dawn attack in the Bayelsa state, in the Niger Delta, as part of their campaign to cripple the oil industry.

(MY073) Facebook predicts revenue to be in the ‘billions’

SAN FRANCISCO, July 7 — Facebook will likely be posting billions of dollars in revenue in five years, up from about US$500 million (RM1.8 billion) this year, according to Silicon Valley entrepreneur Mark Andreessen who sits on Facebook’s board.

Andreessen told Reuters that the world’s most popular online social network could pile up US$1 billion in revenue this year if it pushed harder on selling advertising.

you make them become millionaire

(MY072) Twitter should win Nobel Peace Prize, says former US security adviser

LONDON, July 8 — Twitter should win the Nobel Peace Prize for its role during the civil unrest in Iran, according to a former US national security adviser.

Mark Pfeifle, said the microblogging site was instrumental in helping document the crisis in Iran following the contested presidential election results last month.

The former aide for George W Bush said that more than 220,000 Iran tweets were sent through Twitter every hour at its peak.

“When traditional journalists were forced to leave the country, Twitter became a window for the world to view hope, heroism, and horror,” he said.

“It became the assignment desk, the reporter, and the producer. And, because of this, Twitter and its creators are worthy of being considered for the Nobel Peace Prize,” he wrote in the Christian Science Monitor.

The annual Nobel Peace Prize is awarded to those who push for “fraternity between nations” and for “holding the promotion of peace”.

Previous winners of the award include Mother Teresa, Martin Luther King Jr and the Dalai Lama.

Last year’s winner was former Finnish president and United Nations diplomat Martti Ahtisaari, who acted as a UN special envoy during the long running Kosovo-Serbia dispute.

Pfeifle first mentioned the idea while being interviewed for Fox News last week.

“Twitter has been criticised as a time-waster — a way for people to inform their friends about the minutiae of their lives, 140 characters at a time,” he said.

“But in the past month, 140 characters were enough to shine a light on Iranian oppression and elevate Twitter to the level of change agent.

“Even the government of Iran has been forced to utilise the very tool they attempted to squelch to try to hold on to power.”

The ongoing conflict is still being tweeted everyday by thousands — both inside and outside the country.

Pfeifle also stressed the importance of other social networks, like Facebook, where Iranian presidential candidate Hossein Mousavi has amassed more than 100,000 supporters. — Daily Telegraph

(MY071) Man sues Kimberly-Clark over bad-breath device

BOSTON (Reuters) – A Boston-area inventor sued Kimberly-Clark on Tuesday, contending that the maker of Kleenex tissues and Huggies diapers had violated his patent for a device to detect bad breath.

The man, Marv Freadman of Chelsea, Massachusetts, filed a lawsuit in Boston federal court, saying that the Dallas-based consumer products maker is developing a "visual indicating device for bad breath."

The device, Freadman said in court papers, works by detecting carbon dioxide and other gases given off by the bacteria that cause bad breath. Freadman said that he had already patented a similar device.

The company has its own later patent on the device, according to court papers.

The suit asks the court to stop Kimberly-Clark from using the technology and also seeks unspecified monetary damages.

A spokesman for Kimberly-Clark said he had not yet seen a copy of the lawsuit and therefore could not comment.

The case number is 09-1145 in U.S. District Court in Boston

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(MY069) 700-year-old skull washes up on Aussie beach

SYDNEY (AFP) – Baffled Australian police have launched an appeal for information after a 700-year-old skull washed up on a beach.

Police believe the skull must belong to a private collector or museum, but are mystified as to how it arrived on the Sydney beach in September.

"Detectives are now looking for the owner of the skull, who they believe may be a private collector or from a museum or research facility," they said.

Tests showed the skull belonged to a non-Aboriginal child aged between four and six who lived about seven centuries ago.

Police said any claim for the skull would require records or some other proof of ownership

(MY068) New monkey discovered in Brazilian Amazon

RIO DE JANEIRO (Reuters) – Researchers have discovered a new sub-species of monkey in a remote part of the Amazon rain forest, a U.S.-based wildlife conservation group said on Tuesday.

The newly found monkey was first spotted by scientists in 2007 in the Brazilian state of Amazonas and is related to the saddleback tamarin monkeys, known for their distinctively marked backs, the Wildlife Conservation Society (WCS) said.

The small monkey, which is mostly gray and brown and weighs 213 grams (0.47 pound), has been named the Mura's saddleback tamarin after the Mura Indian tribe of the Purus and Madeira river basins where the new sub-species was found.

It is 240 millimeters (9.4 inches) tall with a 320 millimeter (12.6 inch) tail.

Tuesday, July 7, 2009

(MY067) China's restive west descends into mob violence

URUMQI, China – Scattered mobs of Muslim Uighurs and Han Chinese roamed the streets and beat passers-by Tuesday as the capital of China's Xinjiang region degenerated into communal violence, prompting the government to impose a curfew in the aftermath of a riot that killed at least 156 people.

Members of the Muslim Uighur ethnic group attacked people near the Urumqi's railway station, and women in headscarves protested the arrests of husbands and sons in another part of the city. Meanwhile, for much of the afternoon, a mob of 1,000 mostly young Han Chinese holding clubs and chanting "Defend the Country" tore through streets trying to get to a Uighur neighborhood until they were repulsed by police firing tear gas.

Panic and anger bubbled up amid the suspicion. In some neighborhoods, Han Chinese — China's majority ethnic group — armed themselves with pieces of lumber and shovels to defend themselves. People bought up bottled water out of fear, as one resident said, that "the Uighurs might poison the water."

The outbursts happened despite swarms of paramilitary and riot police enforcing a dragnet that state media said led to the arrest more than 1,400 participants in Sunday's riot, the worst ethnic violence in the often tense region in decades.

(MY066) Yemen executes man for rape, killing 11-year-old

SAN'A, Yemen – The Yemen news agency reports that a barber has been publicly executed after he was found guilty of raping and killing an 11-year-old boy who came to his shop for a haircut.

Pictures of the execution Monday in the capital of San'a showed hundreds of people gathered around as Yehya Hussein was killed.

The pictures showed the barber lying face down on a large piece of red cloth, his hands bound behind him, after a Yemeni police official standing over him with what appeared to be a machine gun shot him four times.

According to the news agency, Saba, the barber was arrested in December 2008 and confessed during a January trial to raping the boy inside his salon, killing him and cutting up his body before dumping it outside San'a.

(MY065) 150 people fall ill on virus-struck cruise ship in Scotland

LONDON (AFP) – About 150 people have fallen ill aboard a cruise ship berthed in Scotland following a suspected outbreak of the vomit-inducing norovirus, health officials said Monday.

A 74-year-old English man has also died on board the Marco Polo, which is berthed near Invergordon in northeastern Scotland, but the ship's operators said his death was unrelated to the outbreak.

Two people have been hospitalised and the others are being treated on board, according to Ken Oates, the local National Health Service (NHS) director of public health.

"NHS Highland can confirm that around 150 people on board a cruise ship docked at Invergordon have become unwell with suspected norovirus," he said.

"The Marco Polo docked today. This evening two people have been admitted to Raigmore Hospital who are showing symptoms of norovirus."

Germany-based operators Transocean Tours said the man's death earlier Monday was unrelated to the outbreak, saying he had chronic heart and breathing problems and "suffered a fatal heart attack on board ship".

It said 769 passengers and 340 crew were on the Marco Polo and its medical team had reported that 54 passengers and 21 crew "have an unconfirmed virus that causes a form of gastroenteritis".

Norovirus is highly contagious and induces vomiting and diarrhea. It affects between 600,000 and one million people in Britain each year and outbreaks are common within contained environments.

Passengers on the world-famous Queen Elizabeth II luxury liner were struck by an outbreak in 2007.

(MY064) Lawyer who blogged about ongoing case fined S$1,000

SINGAPORE, July 7 — It is the first case of its kind: A lawyer has been fined S$1,000 (RM2,427) by the Law Society of Singapore for giving his views of an ongoing case in his blog.

Alfred Dodwell was taken to task by the society for “publicly promoting his view of the witnesses and the merits of an ongoing court proceeding, albeit through the medium of blogs”.

The action, reflected last week in the Government Gazette, was taken as Mr Dodwell “had failed to meet the standard of conduct befitting” a lawyer.

As a result of the case, the Law Society has cautioned lawyers about comments they make in blogs and to the media.

In an advisory two months ago, it warned lawyers not to post comments that would compromise client confidentiality, discuss ongoing cases, or make adverse comments about the clients of the opposing party.

The incident relating to Dodwell, 40, is believed to centre on a 2006 case in which siblings had a spat over the will left by their late mother for an estate worth S$700,000.

In it, four siblings represented by Dodwell disputed the validity of the will, which bequeathed an additional S$50,000 to another sibling, who was represented by lawyer Lim Joo Toon.

Dowell’s clients lost the case, but they have appealed, and the three-year saga will continue with a hearing in the Court of Appeal in September.

It is unclear what statements Dodwell made in his blog, entitled “My God Given Life”.

The Straits Times understands that although names were not mentioned, his blog entries contained enough key details for affected parties to recognise the case.

The lawyer is also believed to have made offending remarks on more than one occasion.

When contacted yesterday, Dodwell did not want to go into what his blog postings said.

He said, however, that blogs were part of the new media scene, but added: “I did what I did as a private individual, but I am also a lawyer. This is a whole new area and the Law Society has come to a view.

“I stand guided by the society’s stand, as would all lawyers in this new media arena.”

Lawyers say that while factual reports of an ongoing case can be blogged about, commenting about witnesses or the merits of a case go beyond the pale.

Last week’s Government Gazette also contained an item about rogue lawyer Zulkifli Mohd Amin, who disappeared in 2007 with more than S$6 million of his clients’ money.

It said Zulkifli had been fined S$1,000 for a breach related to overcharging clients. — The Straits Times