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