Pick Up Teaching English as your Career
Thursday, December 10, 2009
Thursday, November 26, 2009
The return of the Ghost of Altantuya: PI’s lawyer – ‘Anwar not behind Bala tapes’ & Bala is away somewhere in India.
The Secretary General is saddened by reports of the brutal killing of more than 50 civilians in Maguindanao province, Southern Philippines. He condemns this heinous crime committed in the context of a local election campaign, a statement from the Secretary Generals office read.
Ban called for the perpetrators of the heinous crime to be brought to justice.
President Arroyo declared on Tuesday a state of emergency in Maguindanao province following Mondays killings, which have been described as the worst election-related violence in the nations history.
The Secretary General extends heartfelt condolences to the families of the victims and hopes that no effort will be spared to bring justice and to hold the perpetrators accountable, the statement said.
Outgoing US Ambassador Kristie Kenney said such barbaric acts violate the most fundamental principles of human rights and democracy.
On behalf of all American and Filipino employees of the Embassy, Ambassador Kenney offers heartfelt condolences to the families, friends and colleagues of the victims, the US embassy statement said.
We strongly believe that a thorough, rapid, and transparent investigation must be conducted, and those responsible must be brought to swift justice, Kenney said.
I condemn in the strongest possible terms the barbaric killing of innocent civilians, including women, journalists and lawyers, who were preparing to participate in the electoral process in the Philippines, said European Commissioner for External Relations Benita Ferrero-Waldner.
I call for calm in the period leading up to the forthcoming elections scheduled for May 2010. In the face of this atrocity, the rule of law and democracy have to prevail, she said.
British Ambassador Stephen Lillie said: I condemn this brutal massacre of innocent civilians, including women, journalists and lawyers. I hope that the authorities in the Philippines will take urgent action to bring the perpetrators to justice and prevent further escalation of violence in the run-up to next year's elections here.
Effective action will be crucial in maintaining confidence in the Philippines' commitment to protect human rights, he added.
The New York-based Human Rights Watch said the massacre was an effect of the failure of the Arroyo administration to hold accountable perpetrators of unexplained killings.
It urged the government to initiate an independent probe on the murders to be led by the National Bureau of Investigation. The possible involvement of state forces in the Maguindanao massacre means that security personnel shouldn’t be allowed to interfere in an independent investigation.
Extrajudicial killings will continue to be a serious problem in the Philippines until they are competently, transparently, and impartially investigated, and perpetrators, including members of security forces, are fully prosecuted, Elaine Pearson, deputy Asia director at Human Rights Watch, said.
The history of election-related violence in the Philippines makes the lead up to the May 2010 elections a period of special concern, Pearson said.
Wednesday, November 25, 2009
"We hope they're not coming empty-handed," he added. "We very much want them to come and say that they intend to join this convention. Even if they can't give a timeline, we want them to say they intend to join at some point in time."
Anti-mine campaigners said a declaration of intent was important because the Bush administration reversed U.S. policy on accepting the convention and said it would never join.
While Kelly's comment indicated no shift in administration policy, Jeff Abramson, deputy director of the nonpartisan Arms Control Association, said the United States was expected to make a statement at the conference that might shed more light on the decision.
He said it would be disappointing if such a statement shut the door to continuing a review of U.S. policy.
Kelly said the United States was the world's single largest financial supporter of humanitarian mine action, having provided more than $1.5 billion since 1993 to support mine clearance and destruction of conventional weapons.
In contravention of the treaty, however, the United States stockpiles some 10 million antipersonnel mines and retains the option to use them.
But using mines would pose big problems for Washington, Goose said, because most of its allies including all but one NATO country, are parties to the treaty and are pledged not to help other countries use the weapons.
Tuesday, November 24, 2009
Monday, November 23, 2009
Sunday, November 22, 2009
Friday, November 20, 2009
The so-called "Team 8" was appointed by President Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono to look into allegations that police and prosecutors are trying to frame top anti-corruption investigators with false criminal charges.
The scandal has sparked protests and raised doubts over Yudhoyono's drive to lift the scourge of corruption from Indonesia, which remains ridden with graft despite 10 years of reform since the fall of the Suharto kleptocracy.
"Team 8 recommends to the president, in order to uphold justice for the people, that sanctions should be imposed on the officials responsible for this forced legal process," team spokesman Anies Baswedan told reporters after the committee handed in its report at the end of a two-week investigation.
It also said the police had no evidence to support their allegations of bribery and abuse of power against two deputy chairman of the Corruption Eradication Commission (KPK), and recommended the charges be dropped.
Yudhoyono has been under mounting pressure to take action after wiretap recordings captured senior police and prosecutors discussing ways to apparently frame the commissioners, Chandra Hamzah and Bibit Samad Riyanto.
The anti-graft investigators were arrested last month but were released after the KPK's wiretaps were played in court on November 3.
Police general Susno Duadji and deputy attorney general Abdul Hakim Ritonga have stepped down over their roles in the alleged conspiracy, but anti-graft activists say police chief Bambang Hendarso Danuri and Attorney General Hendarman Supandji also must go.
The team also recommended authorities investigate a controversial, 6.7-trillion-rupiah (US$710-million) bank bailout many analysts believe is the source of friction between the police and the KPK.
Baswedan said Duadji's connections with an account holder reportedly close to Yudhoyono's Democratic Party who was able to withdraw supposedly frozen funds from the collapsed Bank Century should be part of the wider probe.
The Democrats have refused to back parliamentary calls for an inquiry into the Bank Century fiasco, arguing that any suspicions over the bailout should be investigated by the police and not by lawmakers.
Yudhoyono welcomed the Team 8 report but insisted he could not immediately act on its recommendations due to an "internal process" that he did not explain.
"As the head of the country and head of government, what I do will have to be in line with the constitutional order, laws, and government rules," he said, echoing his standard line that the "legal process" must be respected.
Police have refused to drop their allegations against the KPK officials despite the attorney general's office twice rejecting the case in the aftermath of the wiretap revelations.
Activists said Yudhoyono, a liberal ex-general who won re-election in July on promises of clean government and economic growth, was under mounting pressure to prove his anti-corruption credentials.
"The president must follow the recommendations of the team, otherwise what's the point in setting it up in the first place?" Indonesia Corruption Watch coordinator Danang Widoyoko told AFP.
"If he doesn't follow the team's recommendations, it will mean that he has not only failed in carrying out his job as president but also in stopping corruption. In fact, he's only encouraging corruption."
Wednesday, November 18, 2009
Tuesday, November 17, 2009
Saturday, November 14, 2009
Thursday, November 12, 2009
Friday, November 6, 2009
Monday, November 2, 2009
BILL BLACK: …pretty much everything he’s done in life. Most of the institutions that destroyed the economy were under his direct regulatory authority.
MICHAEL MOORE: How did he get the job as Treasury Secretary?
BILL BLACK: By completely screwing up his job as president of the Federal Reserve Bank of New York.
MICHAEL MOORE: That makes no sense.
BILL BLACK: Of course it makes perfect sense. This is not new to Washington. People who will give you the wrong answer, but the answer you want, are invaluable, and they often get promoted precisely because they’re willing to say and do absurd things. These are the people that promised us that financial deregulation would make all of us rich, and these are the people who were personally made rich.
Thursday, October 29, 2009
Israel has criticized a UN report which accuses Tel Aviv of involvement in illegal diamond trade from the Ivory Coast that could be helping re-arm rebels there (photo).
Israel's Diamond Controller Shmuel Morderchai dismissed the accusations in a Wednesday statement, insisting Israel has never dealt in diamond trade with the Ivory Coast.
"We are shocked by these false accusations and completely refute them," he said. The experts report was presented to the UN Security Council on international compliance with sanctions imposed by the international body on the Ivory Coast
The UN sanctions on the African nation's diamond trade came four years ago, after rebels took control of the country's north in a deadly civil war. The world body's investigation team on Tuesday urged Israel to 'investigate fully the possible involvement of Israeli nationals and companies in the illegal export of Ivorian rough diamonds'.
The panel also named the United Arab Emirates, Lebanon, Guinea and Liberia as some of the countries that needed to step up efforts to enforce the embargo on buying rough diamonds mined in the Ivory Coast.
But Israel insisted it had never imported conflict diamonds from the Ivory Coast or any other countries that are not members of the Kimberley Process Certification Scheme (KPCS).
The watchdog was set up in 2003 in a bid to stem the trade in 'blood diamonds' in the wake of civil wars in Angola, Sierra Leone, and Liberia, which were largely financed by illegal diamond trade. Israel has threatened to lodge an official complaint about its inclusion in the UN report at the upcoming meeting of Kimberley Process members scheduled for November 2-5 in Namibia.
Tuesday, October 27, 2009
27/10/2009 reported by almanar
"Swimming pools, well-watered lawns and large irrigated farms in Israeli settlements... stand in stark contrast next to Palestinian villages whose inhabitants struggle even to meet their domestic water needs," the group said in a report released on Tuesday.
Amnesty said between 180,000 and 200,000 Palestinians in West Bank rural communities have no access to running water, while taps in other areas often run dry. "Israel allows the Palestinians access to only a fraction of the shared water resources, which lie mostly in the occupied West Bank", Donatella Rovera, an Amnesty researcher, said.
Israel's daily water consumption per capita is four times higher than the 70 litre per person consumed in the West Bank and the Gaza Strip, according to the report entitled: Troubled waters - Palestinians denied fair access to water Shortages.
Israel, which itself faces unprecedented water shortages, controls much of the West Bank's supplies, pumping from the so-called Mountain Aquifer. The Amnesty report said Israel uses more than 80 per cent of water drawn from the aquifer and while Israel has other water sources, the aquifer is the West Bank's only supply of water.
In the Gaza Strip, several repair works were under way to improve sanitation before the Israeli blockade was imposed in 2007. But the projects have been on hold under the siege, as Israel is preventing repair materials from coming into the Strip.
Adding to an already dire situation, Israel's war on Gaza early this year left water reservoirs, wells, sewage networks and pumping stations severely damaged. The Amnesty report said Gaza's coastal aquifer, its sole fresh water resource, has been polluted by infiltration of seawater and raw sewage and degraded by over-extraction.
The water situation in Gaza had now reached a "crisis point," with 90 to 95 per cent of the water supply contaminated and unfit for human consumption, Rovera said.
Israel's water authority called the report "biased and incorrect, at the very least" and said that while there is a water gap, it is not nearly as big as presented by Amnesty. The authority said Israel had met its obligations under the “Oslo peace agreement” but said the Palestinian authorities had failed to meet their own requirements to recycle water and were not distributing water efficiently.
Saturday, October 10, 2009
The Norwegian Nobel Committee has decided that the Nobel Peace Prize for 2009 is to be awarded to President Barack Obama for his extraordinary efforts to strengthen international diplomacy and cooperation between peoples. The Committee has attached special importance to Obama's vision of and work for a world without nuclear weapons.
Obama has as President created a new climate in international politics. Multilateral diplomacy has regained a central position, with emphasis on the role that the United Nations and other international institutions can play. Dialogue and negotiations are preferred as instruments for resolving even the most difficult international conflicts. The vision of a world free from nuclear arms has powerfully stimulated disarmament and arms control negotiations. Thanks to Obama's initiative, the USA is now playing a more constructive role in meeting the great climatic challenges the world is confronting. Democracy and human rights are to be strengthened. more>>
Saturday, September 26, 2009
Fri, 25 Sep 2009 15:03:09 GMT
Sunday, September 13, 2009
Saturday, September 12, 2009
Sunday, September 6, 2009
Fares Braizat, a Middle East analyst at Qatar University in Doha, discusses the issue with Al Jazeera's Shulie Ghosh
Sunday, June 28, 2009
Experts fear Michael Jackson's children may be at the centre of a titanic legal battle as they stand to inherit a vast fortune that is protected from the star's many creditors.
The star's three children are currently being looked after by his mother Katherine.
But reports have emerged of a possible custody battle with Debbie Rowe, biological mother to Jackson's two eldest children.
It is believed Ms Rowe could take full custody of Paris and Prince Michael under California law.
If she does gain parental control of the children, she could be entitled to a "huge amount of child support" from Jackson's estate, according to showbiz website TMZ.com.
Media lawyer Mark Stephens told Sky News: "It looks as though she [Jackson's mother] wants to keep them as she has all the other children around her.
"Michael, in his lifetime, expressed that he wanted the nanny to look after them and, of course, there is his first wife [Debbie Rowe] with whom he had two children.
"Ms Rowe says that she is entitled to them so clearly everyone is squaring up for a fight over the children."
There is a reason for this "other than natural affection", said Mr Stephens.
"These children are going to be incredibly rich, probably the richest since Onassis," he explained.
There has been speculation that Jackson reportedly had huge debts and any money will be seized on by his creditors.
But in perhaps the ultimate irony, it seems the King of Pop's death could see a turnaround in the fortunes of his struggling estate.
In the 24 hours since Jackson's death, HMV says it has sold 80 times more Michael Jackson albums than it would have in a corresponding period.
The surge in album sales is much greater than that for Elvis Presley and John Lennon following their deaths.
And Mr Stephens said the pop legend had enormous assets tied up in a trust that his debtors will not be able to access.
"It is something called a spendthrift trust - he wasn't anything of a spendthrift - but that's what the trust is called," he said.
Michael Jackson's family say they are angry and frustrated over unanswered questions surrounding his death and may seek a second post mortem.Speaking to ABC television's Good Morning America, US activist Reverend Jesse Jackson said he had spent time comforting the family at their estate in northern LA.
He said they have concerns with the late singer's personal doctor, who was with the 50-year-old when he died on Thursday.
LA police have already spoken to cardiologist Conrad Murray and say they intend to interview him a second time.
A post mortem completed by the LA coroner has ruled out foul play, but revealed Jackson had been taking some unspecified prescription medications.
Asked if the family would seek their own post mortem, Rev Jackson replied: "I'm sure they ought to, they probably will."
The comments were followed soon after by an internet report which said LA police wanted to speak to a second person in connection with Jackson's death.
Showbiz website TMZ.com said police wanted to talk to Dr Tohme Tohme about an "alleged indirect connection" between prescription drugs and the pop singer's demise, according to their sources.
However, LAPD officer Norma Eisenman denied knowing anything about the report.
TMZ quotes Dr Tohme who as saying to them: "I don't have anything to do with his (Michael's) medication or health... Why should I talk to police?"
Sky correspondent Greg Milam, who is in LA, says Dr Tohme was one of many doctors that cared for Jackson.
"It is a name that has been in the Michael Jackson circle for a number of years - one of the many in the entourage - and nobody really knew what they were up to and what role they fulfilled," he said.
"Clearly police have a responsibility to investigate and will want to speak to everyone who has something to shed on that picture... the minute he was removed from his home and died in hospital."
The singer's body has been released to his family, but further toxicology tests have been ordered, which could take several weeks to be completed.
LA Police Department assistant police chief Charlie Beck said further tests would provide "key results that will steer the direction of the investigation".
No funeral plans have been announced, but the Jackson family say they have not ruled out a public event.
Speculation over the music icon's death is being fuelled by reports Jackson had been receiving a daily injection of Demerol, a synthetic narcotic similar to morphine, and may have been given "too much" on the day he died.
Earlier reports said the Jackson family had been concerned over pop star's use of drugs as he prepared for a series of comeback concerts in London.
Physician and Jackson confidante, Dr Deepak Chopra, told CNN bluntly: "I think drugs killed him."
Thoughts have also turned to the pop singer's three children, who are currently being cared for by Jackson's mother.
But reports have emerged of a possible custody battle with Debbie Rowe, biological mother to Jackson's two eldest children.
Wednesday, June 24, 2009
The evidence of organized vote-counting fraud in both elections was overwhelming, but the news media and the Democratic party did nothing.
And nothing has changed since 2004.
What will the news media and the Democratic party do if the same fraud machine that put Bush into office illegally does the same thing for John McCain?
Past performance suggests they will do nothing.
Monday, June 22, 2009
In the current economic climate what is sure to rouse angry voters to lose faith in politicians? MPs paying for porn with taxpayers money perhaps? After an anonymous tip-off Henry Gewanter has single handedly caused 7 MPs to stand down amid evidence that they have fraudulently claimed expenses. The original source of the material however is still unnamed.
I havent received a single penny for this, I did it for the public good claims Gewanter, now a local celebrity. Ive been bombarded by media interest. Gordon Brown is now in the spotlight after losing dramatically in the European elections: He has been caught with his pants down and has been struggling ever since.
Private LaVena Lyn Johnson (photo) was just five weeks into her tour of Iraq when she was found dead in a contractor’s tent. The US Army concluded the 19-year-old committed suicide after firing her M16 rifle into her mouth.
However, her father, who worked in the military as a civilian specialist in psychology, refuses to believe his daughter committed suicide.
For the past three years, Dr John Johnson has studied almost every aspect of his daughter’s death. He now believes LaVena was raped and murdered by someone in her camp, and accuses the army of covering up a soldier on soldier slaying.
Dr Johnson says he will keep fighting for justice until the army changes “their attitude about how they treat women in the military”.[more]
Wednesday, June 17, 2009
Sunday, May 31, 2009
31/05/2009 | AlmanarTV
"We are now studying the suspension of our participation in the Cairo-hosted dialogue as part of the response to the assassination of two holy fighters in Qalqilya city in the West Bank," Salah al-Bardaweel, a Hamas spokesman, told reporters in Gaza.
Three policemen and a civilian were also killed in the armed clashes which broke off early Sunday between the two Hamas members and the security forces.
Al-Bardaweel reiterated that what happened was "a plot the Palestinian (National) Authority (PNA) and Israel planned to end the resistance and uproot Hamas," in the West Bank, ruled by Abbas ' Fatah party.
Saturday, May 30, 2009
Or is there any serious intention in the first place to arrive at a political tranquility by any of the ruling politicians, as many politicians of late survive through political tribulation and misfortune?
There are questionable actions taken by our top leader which outcries the people of late. The appointment of Omar Ong, the so-called young economic savvy in the 4th floor at JPM to the Board of PETRONAS is another issue under serious public watchfulness.
Now, there are rumors circulating that Syed Hamid Albar is going to chair the Board of PETRONAS and if the rumors turns real than there is another flaw that DS Najib commits…and it is an absolute crab.
PETRONAS has never been touched by politician and all the while that petroleum company has been growing up on its own independently under direct supervision of the reigning Prime Minister.
If there is any politician sitting on the Board, we are at risk of facing another round of political misadventure and would be a tough issue to mitigate.
I pray that the rumor is unsubstantiated. It abhors if it is the real finality that had been decided.
What does Tengku Razaleigh (TR), the architect of PETRONAS has to say about this?
If Mahathir interminably gives comments to leaders who succeeded him, TR should come up with opinion on this issue as he is the living founder of PETRONAS which he built for free of charge…no salary. No allowances…no car. No nothing.
TR should come up with his voice upright because he was the one who went through the pains sweat, tears and hell in getting PETRONAS in existence and subsequently becomes one of the giants of the world.
TR is duty bound to tell the people on the endurances that he had to go through in setting up PETRONAS with everyone in the world were going against the forms and the fundamental motives of setting up this National Petroleum Company.
It was purely for the sake of the needful Malaysian and the generation there after and if current leaders are all out to fulfill their personal advantages, the doors are wide ajar for them to leave us.
He (TR) must tell us why politicians were not welcomed to the Board and why the company was totally given to professionals to manage.
This is his inheritance for the people and he must help us to protect this astute organization from going through shambles and muddle.
Tun Razak’s Cabinet gave him (TR) the task to set up our own National Petroleum Company, and TR was given very wide parameter within which he decided on every little thing as to how PETRONAS should be organized.
Malaysian of younger generation do not know all the hind side stories as to why PETRONAS was set up the way we make out today.
The unpatriotic leaders of the day are not able to actualize all the reasoning behind much stuff surrounding PETRONAS existence.
It is obligatory on the part of TR to recount detailed history of PETRONAS; it is for the generation after to understand the significance of its existence that no element of personal greed creeps in it.
We are in defense of the few left for the people and we wish not to see any further sordid, distasteful and squalid decisions by current leaders as we don’t want to bear witness for our leader’s wrong doings any further. We have had enough of it.
I would advocate everyone who has the platform to express views over this matter, and be vigilant of what is there to come for PETRONAS.
Let us put up defense for PETRONAS till the end from encroachment of unreliable persons with mischievous intent.
I hope what we heard; as I have said in a line above is just an unfounded rumor. No one should be blaming us for being so protective of PETRONAS, as that is the only one of the few left for us to have pride and to rest our laurels on…the rest have gone to the backyard.
Lastly may I repeat, I hope it is just an unsubstantiated rumor. I am dreadful if it is real.
Friday, May 29, 2009
Fri, 29 May 2009 | PressTV
The high-tech weapon does not require a soldier to visually follow his target.
The idea behind a weapon used in a Sylvester Stallone movie comes to realize as the US Army moves to test a new high-tech weapon used against targets out of line of sight.
The computerized, projectile launcher, the XM-25 Individual Air Burst Weapon nicknamed the "Judge Dredd" gun after a Stallone movie, is a shoulder-weapon that uses laser beams to precisely target and destroy objects and people.
"The way a soldier operates this is you basically find your target, then laze to it, which gives the range, then you get an adjusted aim point, adjust fire and pull the trigger," deputy program manager Richard Audette told Army News Service, according to a FOX News report on Thursday.
"Say you've lazed out to 543 meters ... when you pull the trigger it arms the round and fires it 543 meters plus or minus a one-, two- or three-meter increment, then it explodes over the target."
The lightweight XM-25 "smart weapon" would allow the soldier wielding it aim to a spot near the target and have a fused grenade explode exactly at the targeted area.
"For example, in Iraq we had many instances where there was a sniper firing from a rooftop and you have a squad trying to engage that target, but the soldiers couldn't get to him with the weapons they had, so they'd call in the Air Force to drop a JDAM (joint direct attack munition)," said Audette. "We can take out the target at $25 per XM round as opposed to a $20,000 to $50,000 JDAM."
German arms manufacturer Heckler & Koch and the US company Alliant Techsystems (ATK Corporation) have jointly developed the smart gun. The weapon comes with five-round magazine and weighs in at around 14 pounds (6.3kg) - about the same weight as an M-16. It is equipped with a 203 grenade launcher.
Thursday, May 28, 2009
Thu, 28 May 2009 | PressTV
South Korean and US troops go on higher alert amid Pyongyang's threats of 'a powerful strike' and growing fears of a full-scale war in the peninsula.
"As of 7:15 am Thursday (2215 GMT Wednesday), the US-South Korea Combined Forces Command upgraded Watch Conditions by a notch to Stage Two," Seoul's Defense Ministry said in a statement released on Thursday.
"Surveillance over the North will be stepped up, with more aircraft and personnel mobilized," AFP quoted spokesman Won Tae-Jae as saying.
The remarks come in response to North Korea's Wednesday announcement, saying it was withdrawing from the armistice that ended the 1950-53 Korean War.
The North also warned that it could launch a military offensive on the South as it faced further pressure over test-firing an atomic bomb for the second time on Monday.
Following the test fire, Seoul said it planned to join the US-led Proliferation Security Initiative (PSI), which is aimed at halting shipments of weapons technology.
The decision enraged the North which said it would respond to "any tiny hostile acts…, including the stopping and searching of our peaceful vessels," with a strong military strike.
Responding to the threats, US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton warned North Korea against "provocative and belligerent" and highlighted the US firm commitment to the armistice and defending South Korea and Japan -- both in easy range of North Korean missiles.
White House spokesman Robert Gibbs said Pyongyang's angry rhetoric will only aggravate its isolation, and that the peace has held despite the North's repeated threats to end the truce.
Nearly 28,500 US troops remain stationed in South Korea in what Washington calls a deterrent force against Pyongyang.
Won said the surveillance step-up -- the fourth since 1982 -- to stage two would be focused along the borderline Demilitarized Zone, the Joint Security Area at Panmunjom village and the disputed Yellow Sea border of Northern Limit Line.
He added the tight defense measure was aimed at preventing the North's military provocations, vowing "the military will deal sternly with provocative acts."
Tuesday, May 26, 2009
The Somali government has announced an immediate blockade on airstrips and seaports in the rebel controlled center and south of the war-torn Horn of Africa nation.
"Beginning today [May 25] sea ports and airports not under the government's control will be closed to any flights or shipments except for humanitarian purposes," Press TV correspondent quoted Information Minister Farhan Ali Mohamud as saying.
Al-Shabaab militants hold sway over large areas of
south central Somalia.
The announcement comes on the heels of a proposal put forward by the Inter-Governmental Authority on Development (IGAD) calling for the imposition of an embargo on south-central Somali airports and seaports run by extremist al-Shabaab militias.
Speaking after a closed-door cabinet meeting in the capital Mogadishu, Mohamoud said the sanctions were aimed at curbing the flow of arms and foreign fighters into the country and would not extend to humanitarian flights or shipments.
The minister further called on the United Nations to adopt a similar measure to the one taken by the six-nation regional bloc -- comprising of Djibouti, Ethiopia, Kenya, Uganda, Sudan and Somalia.
Earlier on Monday, Somali President Sheikh Sharif Sheikh Ahmed, who has been facing the Herculean task of patching together the country's divided factions, called for international assistance in dealing with the fresh wave of insurgency.
He also blamed Iraqi and Afghan fighters for backing rebel forces in their latest tug-of-war with government forces over the control of Mogadishu.
The latest fighting has left more than 180 people dead and an estimated 60, 000 homeless since it broke out almost two weeks ago.
The militant group al-Shabaab has claimed responsibility for the recent round of car bomb attacks which killed at least 10 people, including seven government forces, and has confirmed that the group has foreign fighters within its ranks.
The armed rebels control most of south-central Somalia where a number of airstrips and the two main ports of Kismayu and Marka are located.
The latest blockade comes as Somalia has been subject to a UN arms embargo for many years. However, weapons are still freely available in the Mogadishu weapons market.
Somalia has not had a functioning national government since 1991 and years of fighting in the country have left some three million people - a third of the population - in need of humanitarian aid.
Wednesday, May 13, 2009
MCA President and Transport Minister, Datuk Seri Ong Tee Keat should stop running from the question why he had failed to honour his repeated public undertakings to “tell all” and make public the full report of the PricewaterhouseCoopers (PwC) audit into the mega-billion ringgit Port Klang Free Zone (PKFZ) scandal. Malaysians want to know what he is hiding.
The PwC audit report into the PKFZ scandal has been described in the media as “a damning disclosure of mismanagement, clandestine deals, conflicts of interest and a total disregard for transparency and accountability” for a project which was supposed to cost RM1.845 billion in 2002 under the then MCA President and Transport Minister, Datuk Seri Dr. Ling Liong Sik but ended up at RM4.6 billion under MCA Deputy President and Transport Minister, Datuk Seri Chan Kong Choy.
Now, horror of horrors, it is reported that the final cost of the PKFZ scandal under MCA President and the third MCA Transport Minister, Datuk Seri Ong Tee Keat is the frightening figure of RM12 billion, which would have to be borne by the Malaysian taxpayers although the Cabinet had been assured in 2002 that the PKFZ project was a feasible, self-financing project that would not require a single sen of government financing!
If the PKFZ scandal had ballooned from RM1.8 billion in 2002 to RM12 billion in seven years under three MCA Ministers, it will be six times bigger than the first Mahathir mega financial scandal – RM2.5 billion BMF scandal!
RM12 billion of public funds is no chicken feed – it could build three Penang Bridges at RM4 billion each, 120 hospitals at RM100 million each, 1,200 schools at RM10 million each or 300,000 low-cost houses at RM40,000 each!
The MCA national leadership must fully account as to how three MCA Ministers in the past seven years had presided over one of the biggest financial scandals in the nation’s 52-year history.
The latest excuse of a “technical issue” preventing the full publication of the PwC report – that the Port Klang Authority Chairman Datuk Lee Hwa Beng had only written to the PcW on April 30 to seek its consent to release the report – is most laughable and a terrible reflection of Ong’s Ministerial irresponsibility to honour his 14-month pledge to reveal the whole truth about the PKFZ scandal.