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Rabu, 31 Desember 2008

Deputy V BIN Muchdi Purwoprandjono Divonis Free

The judges overturn the South Jakarta district court verdicts to free the accused Munir murder case, former Deputy V BIN Muchdi Purwoprandjono.

Reading the decision deployed in the South Jakarta district court on Wednesday (31/12). Muchdi judge stated do not proven criminal act that caused the loss of someone's life, in this case human rights activist Munir.

This decision certainly far more light from the claim that prosecutors demanded 15 years in prison. In considering, the judge stated, based on the facts and evidence information or evidence, that there is not corroborate the allegations that prosecutors Muchdi is a person who moves terpidana case Munir, Pollycarpus, to kill Munir.

Postulation of a number of allegations, no judge assess a proposition that prosecutors prove successful. Therefore, the allegations first alternative Article 55, paragraph (1) second-jo Penal Code Article 340 is not proven. This also alternatives allegations second Article 55, paragraph (1) One jo Penal Code Article 340.

"Therefore, with consideration of the facts and the law, council can not think prosecutors proved the allegations that the defendants recommend Pollycarpus do plan to murder Munir. Element Article 55 paragraph 1 Penal Code in the second allegation first alternative is not required. Thus, the council decided not proven judges in valid and convincing to do criminal acts such as the indictment and cut off the accused free of all legal charges, "said the judge read putusannya.

With this decision, the judge ordered to restore the rights of the accused in a position of dignity and dignity in the state. Previously, prosecutors claim Muchdi do with the crime of giving or promising something, or it with power, facilities or intentionally encourage other people that Pollycarpus terpidana Munir murder case, and mail fraud.


Nissan X-Trail 2.0 Berteknologi XTronic Present January 2009

January 2009, two car manufacturers in Indonesia menyodorkan newest product to market the country. Most likely the first door opener at the beginning of the year is PT Nissan Motor Indonesia (MNI), which displays the X-Trail 2.0L on 7 January 2009, which had previously planned to attend this December.

Through the "Test Drive All New X-Trail 2.0L XTronic CVT," MNI invite a number of journalists to experience first hand experiance driving the SUV is equipped with advanced technology for two days.

MNI parties have selected the test drive route from Jakarta to Cikampek, Subang, Majalengka and Linggarjati. Linggarjati chosen as travel destination, according to the Public Relations Manager MNI Dinne Musu region because it has an interesting scene. In addition, the route has a variety of conditions so that the appropriate way to test the ability of all cars.

The difference X-Trail with the new 2.0 version ever, in the earlier model (also with a 2.0L) equipped with manual transmission 6-speed. While the current technology with the CVT transmission, as in the Nissan 2.5L.


AL Israel Tabrak Ship Help Gaza

A small boat carrying a number of activists and international aid to Gaza were forced to anchor in the port city of Tire, south Lebanon, on Tuesday (30/12), collide with ships after the Navy force Israel to turn to Lebanon.

A spokesman of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Israel to ensure no "physical contact" between the ship and cruise along the 60 foot motorboat called "Dignity", which sailed from Cyprus, on Monday night.

Some activists of the movement "Free Gaza" ships, they said, which brought 3.5 tons of medical aid and 16 people, has dibentur and ditembak in international waters in the 70-80 miles offshore Gaza by Israel Navy ships. There is no victim in this incident.

Yigal Palmor, spokesman of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Israel, said the ship did not respond to help alert and radio contact. He also disputed the issue of Israel AL shot.

Israel has announced the Gaza area as a closed military zone after a swing state that the air attacks against Hamas, Saturday. More than 380 people killed in a Palestinian attack.

Dignity in the dock Tire be under guard by a Navy ship and several Lebanese fishing boat search wave the flag of Lebanon and Syiah groups. A number of Palestinian and Lebanese people for the boat that got a big hole in the deck on the top.

A member of Free Gaza, David Halpin, said, at the helm of a glass vessel is broken, torn left side, and the ship was almost entirely from tercabik direction to stern.

Halpin admitted to see two Israeli patrol boats when they shine lights around 5 o'clock local time (3 o'clock GMT). Israeli officials on board was requested to stop the boat captain, but he refused, said Halpin.

"There are three very loud explosion that sounds like split with the forest. Haluan dibentur the ship and was two times," said Halpin. "I think I will die. I'm 68 years old. None of us are wearing life jacket. We surprised with the barbaric action," he said.

Cyprus state radio said, the Government of Cyprus will have an explanation from Israel about the incident. Ships that bring medical assistance donated by Cyprus, and there are at least three people in Cyprus over the ship, including a member of parliament.

Free Gaza is bermarkas organizations in the U.S. that have been re-send aid alik to keep Cyprus out of Gaza since August.

Some activists say, they do not terhalangi by the incident. "We decided to go to Gaza and will be looking for other ships," said Derek Graham activists. "Government of Cyprus has given us this drug to be sent, and we will send them."

Source: Ant

Honda Komparasi Tiger vs Kanzen Roadwin 200 vs Bajaj Pulsar 200

Kanzen Roadwin designate the presence of 200 will add to the many types of motor men (Motorsport) in the 200 cc class. After first appearing before Bajaj Pulsar 200 DTS-I and Honda New Tiger Revolution.

Greatness of the name, control the market and certainly related to the sale price back, Tiger clearly surpass the two competitors who came from different countries, namely Indonesia (Kanzen) and India (Bajaj). But in terms of design and features offered to consumers, might fight.

For more detail, Em-Plus komparasi to make a third motor in the top of the price range of Rp15 million. That is, they are not seen as a daily use, but have been lifestyle, activities or hobbies Turing a good image.

Overall Views
The concept of double down tube used Kanzen lumayan steal attention. Moreover, the design he selected enough clean and simple. Lekukannya also minimal effect without override gahar men in the motor. That, monosok options so that the benefits of an impact on the overall design.

Honda others. Effect of typical futuristic cruiser Europe via asymmetric detail and neat so that consideration. Moreover, there is this motorcycle manufacturer in the shadow that has been in the mind melegenda Username Indonesia.

Bajaj as are new comers, brave enough to design its Brasa Italy. Taper design with tail lights ekstraordinary so that the evaluation itself. "But in a matter of streamlined, Honda feels more," the value of Goy Gautama, a lecturer senirupa ITB also observer design motor home Bandung.

Maybe we start from the front, namely spidometer. Ease of vision for the driver to be measurements. Bajaj Pulsar and follow the digital system, both to appoint and speed odometer is considered the most powerful. With technology, the concentration driver still awake.

Thus komparasi spidometer New Tiger Revo and Roadwin 200 more interesting. While Honda offers different concepts such as asymmetric, Roadwin model even comes with Tiger spidometer long.

Yes! With the basic concept of the white panel, and the model of the indicator is not much different. Roadwin possible should be a little more sophisticated? Given the concept of body design and the withdrawal sasis offered streetbike style of Italy.

Moreover, other benefits of the Bajaj? India has a motor cooling system. Despite a cooler on the oil, not the radiator. Begitunya, symptoms of overheating engine can also muted. And also, the quality of oil still awake due to the circulation through the oil cooler. Meanwhile, in New Honda Tiger Revolution and Kanzen Roadwin 200 remain mengaplikasi air conditioning.

To deal comfort while driving, Kanzen Roadwin 200 offers a concept monosok. Two competitors are still enduring the style or the two quasi-dual background.

For a matter of function, capability or stability, the two quasi enggak is less intense. For Honda's New Tiger Revolution and Bajaj Pulsar 200 also offers a shock reducer equipped with a feature gas. So, soft dong!

If talk of aesthetics more. Virus or trends in modern motor is clean and simple. Moreover, for a sporty stylish as they are offered. Here, the style of monosok Dilirik and more up to date. In this matter, Kanzen be proud!

Lights Tiger winning
Create lighting the lamp in the back, seemingly Kanzen must give way to the Tiger and the Pulsar. Because, the two competitors mengaplikasi model LED. In addition to power scattered light brighter, the flow of electricity more sparingly.

A matter of form, the design offered Pulsar and Tiger enggak less interesting. With white mica, taillight Bajaj futuristic look. So also with the New Tiger mika distinguish between the brake lights the night with lights. So easy to be more behind the driver. Ngomong matter of Lights. Design Tiger dare be different concept through asimetrisnya

It is alleged Al Qaeda members, killed and cut finger

U.S. Army is investigating accusations that their special forces unit killed a member of Al Qaeda and the unkind cut finger in an operation near Baghdad, and early December.

While jockey Robbie was held on December 10 at a house in the districts of Salman Pak, 15 miles south of Baghdad with the main target of bomb suspects manufacturer members of Al Qaeda named Hardan al-Jaburi.

In the statement, U.S. military says al-Jaburi bersenjatakan AK-47 and against U.S. troops occurred when penggerebekan. "Feeling threatened by the enemy, troops demolish the armed men, killed," the sound of U.S. military statements.

However, the family, al-Jaburi, a leader in the tribe, while denounce this issue to officials at the U.S. military Green Zone, Baghdad, that refutes the victims. According to them, al-Jaburi arrested after U.S. soldiers besieged with his brothers.

Added, al-Jaburi and his brother wear ditelanjangi live in and forced prone on the ground. They can not move without the permission of the U.S. army. Al-Jaburi and then asked back to the house before the shot dead.

"The U.S. memerintahkannya (al-Jaburi) re-entered the house," said the brother, al-Jaburi, such as Nurri This CNN, on Wednesday (31/12). "He asked light the lamp. And when he set the lights, release the soldier shot, and then further menyeretnya entry into the house."

In a video recording obtained by HP's CNN show puddles of blood on the floor and the former site of bleeding in the walls of one room house, al-Jaburi. In the recording is fully relic al-Jaburi with one finger cut off. Index finger right hand missing.

Family al-Jaburi said U.S. soldiers cut the finger al-Jaburi with the purpose to intimidate the brothers.

U.S. military refused comment further on this case. In a statement, the U.S. military said only serious side to respond to the accusations and will be investigating. "We will investigate all accusations and procedures during the operation. When the investigation is ongoing, should not comment," the sound of U.S. military statements.

To CNN, the family, al-Jaburi said U.S. military team of investigators come to their house, last week. Asked a team of investigators and family members take photos.

Source: CNN

Selasa, 30 Desember 2008

Japan’s Nikkei index seen to face more pain in 2009

TOKYO: Japanese share prices on Tuesday closed the year down 42.12 percent from 2007, marking the worst annual percentage fall in Tokyo’s Nikkei index as the global economic crisis hit hard.

Analysts predict the market could face more pain in the new year as the world reels from the worst financial downturn since the Great Depression.

The Nikkei ended at 8,859.56 points as it closed out the year with a half-day session, 6,448.22 points lower than 2007.

The stock market reopens on January 5.

The year’s fall was the worst in percentage terms since the index was established in 1949.

“It was a year beyond our imagination,” said Kazuhiro Takahashi, an analyst at Daiwa Securities SMBC.

Global markets, already reeling from a credit crunch, went haywire in September when Wall Street titan Lehman Brothers went belly up under a mountain of debt.

The Japanese market repeatedly posted some of its biggest ever rises and falls. In October, the Nikkei plunged to a 26-year low.

“Since October, we have been exposed to harsh winds that we have rarely experienced,” Tokyo Stock Exchange president Atsushi Saito told the ceremony to close the year’s trading.

“In the long history of mankind, there have been many harsh economic slumps but they have been overcome,” he said. “We want to make the next year a year in which we will move toward the future in a constructive manner.”

In 2008, shares were hardest hit in the auto sector with all of Japan’s carmakers drastically cutting their earnings forecasts due to falling demand in the United States and Europe as well as a soaring yen.

Shares in auto leader Toyota Motor Corp.—a year ago a pillar of the Japanese economy—lost half of their value in the course of the year.

The falls were even more dramatic for some of their competitors such as Nissan Motor Co. and Mazda Motor Corp. as well as for some major Japanese exporters.

Shares in Sony Corp. tumbled 69.0 percent in 2008, while top bank Mitsubishi UFJ Financial Group was down 47.56 percent.

While 2008 was the worst year in percentage terms, the Nikkei suffered a bigger fall in points in 1990 with the end of Japan’s bubble economy, shedding 15,067.16 points or 38.71 percent of its value.

The market at least ended 2008 on a positive note, rising 112.39 points or 1.28 percent, in Tuesday’s abbreviated session.

The broader Topix index of all first-section shares ended the year down 41.77 percent at 859.24. For the final session of 2008, the index rose 4.47 points, or 0.52 percent.

Dealers said the market was optimistic about upcoming economic stimulus plans as US President-elect Barack Obama prepares to take over on January 20.

Dariusz Kowalczyk, chief investment strategist at CFC Seymour in Hong Kong, expected the market to rise later in the year. He predicted the Nikkei would grow 27 percent in 2009.

Dealers said Japan could also benefit from greater political stability in 2009. General elections must take place by September, with polls showing the opposition in a strong position to win—an outcome that would end a divided parliament in place since mid-2007.

But Takahashi warned that Japan still had a long way to go before lifting out of its recession, with the auto industry’s woes leading to higher unemployment and dragging down the entire economy.

“We may be able to see a temporary rebound in the middle of next year thanks to stimulus measures taken by major economies, led by the United States and China,” he said.

“But the impact could be short lived. We can’t be optimistic. It will take more time to see a sustainable recovery.”

Air NZ's green flight makes history

It was a history-making flight but it looked all very ordinary - and that's just how Air New Zealand wanted it.

The airline yesterday completed the world's first commercial aviation test flight using biofuel to power one of its Boeing 747-400's Rolls-Royce engines. The biofuel is a 50:50 blend of jatropha and Jet A1 fuel

The jatropha plant - which Air New Zealand sourced from Africa and India - produces seeds that contain inedible lipid oil, which is used to produce fuel.

Air New Zealand chief pilot Captain Dave Morgan told reporters and Air New Zealand staff by satellite phone that the flight was uneventful - and he couldn't have been more pleased.

"The performance of the aircraft is very good. Nothing has occurred that we didn't anticipate ... It's notable for the lack of nothing - and that's the way we like it."

When he emerged from the plane he said it had performed "beautifully".

"We couldn't be more pleased with this significant and major milestone for the aviation industry," he said.

"There's still a lot of analysis to be done but we achieved a lot with the test flight and the manoeuvres we've done. The aircraft performed flawlessly."

Captain Morgan said the performance on the biofuel blend was indistinguishable from that on normal Jet A1 fuel. Engineers would spend the next few days assessing the engine and fuel system to see if any changes had resulted from the use of biofuel.

"Overall it's been a successful day for Air New Zealand. We're very pleased with the data we've recorded."

Air New Zealand chief executive Rob Fyfe said the test flight showed the airline was at the forefront of making biofuel commercially viable. It was another step in the long-term goal to become the world's most environmentally sustainable airline.

The two-hour flight over Auckland's Hauraki Gulf put the jet through a punishing series of tests at various altitudes.

It took off at full thrust and performed acceleration tests as well as simulated a missed approach at 8000ft.

Prime Minister John Key congratulated Air New Zealand on the successful test flight.

"The fortunes of Air New Zealand and New Zealand's tourism industry are closely tied," he said.

"As we promote ourselves to the world as 100 per cent Pure, it's great to see Air New Zealand showing environmental leadership."

Mr Key said it was a historic day and he was proud the airline was working with world leaders in their fields to develop more sustainable fuels.

The test flight was a joint initiative by Air New Zealand, Boeing, Rolls-Royce and Honeywell's UOP.

It was planned for early this month but was postponed after an Air New Zealand Airbus A320 crashed off Perpignan, France, on November 27.

* Jatropha

The Jatropha plant grows to about 3m high and produces seeds containing oil that can be used to produce fuel.

Each seed produces between 30 and 40 per cent of its mass in oil.

It can be grown in a range of difficult conditions.

It is refined in the United States to produce jet fuel that can serve as a replacement to traditional petroleum-based fuel.

Tainted governor to fill Obama's seat

HE corruption-tainted governor of Illinois was expected to appoint a replacement Tuesday to the senate seat of president-elect Barack Obama, US media said.

A defiant Rod Blagojevich, who is accused of trying to sell the seat to the highest bidder, was expected to name former Illinois attorney general Roland Burris, 71, to the seat, the Chicago Tribune reported.

Senate leaders warned they would not seat anyone appointed by Mr Blagojevich after he was arrested December 9 on fraud and bribery charges linked to FBI wiretaps in which he allegedly discussed ways to profit from the appointment.

Mr Blagojevich's lawyer had said the Democratic governor would not try to fill the seat and supported a special election to fill the vacancy.

But a battle was brewing among state lawmakers over the special election, with Republicans accusing Democrats of blocking the necessary legislation out of fear they could lose the seat.

Mr Burris is not thought to be among the six candidates discussed by Mr Blagojevich in the FBI wiretaps and could satisfy Blagojevich's critics.

Mr Burris was the first African-American elected to statewide office in Illinois when he won the office of state comptroller in 1983, an office he held until he was became the second African American in the United States elected to the office of attorney general in 1991.

He also served as vice-chairman of the Democratic National Committee from 1985 to 1989.
A senior attorney at a Wisconsin law firm, Burris has made Ebony magazine's annual list of the 100 most influential African-Americans 16 times.

Thailand PM Abhisit Vejjajiva evades protests for maiden speech

BANGKOK: Thailand's new Prime Minister, Abhisit Vejjajiva, was forced to change venues for his maiden policy speech after riot police failed to clear protesters besieging Bangkok's parliament building.

Mr Abhisit, leader of the Democrat Party, instead addressed lawmakers at the foreign ministry as protracted political turmoil in the kingdom showed no sign of ending.

With protesters confronting police outside, Mr Abhisit gave a 50-minute speech outlining plans to jump-start the economy, heal the country's political divisions, address a Muslim insurgency in the south and repair its tattered image among foreign tourists and business leaders.

"The Government has come into office at a time of conflict. This conflict has become the weakness of the country," he told lawmakers that included only his coalition members.

Opposition MPs boycotted the session. "Our Government's priorities are reviving the ailing economy and solving the conflicts between groups in Thai society," he said.

The protesters, vowing to ring the Parliament building until their demands for new general elections are met, forced the Government to abandon plans on Monday to deliver its policy speech.

They are loyal to Thaksin Shinawatra, the premier ousted in a 2006 coup, and said Mr Abhisit's Government was not legitimate as he came to power after the Thaksin-linked former ruling party was dissolved by a court early this month.

Mr Abhisit's election in a parliamentary vote earlier this month ended six months of increasingly disruptive protests by anti-Thaksin group the People's Alliance for Democracy, which peaked when they seized and closed Bangkok's two airports. The Oxford educated Mr Abhisit, 44, is Thailand's third premier in four months.

ADB pushes ASEAN+3 credit scheme

Buyout of financial firms’ toxic assets opposed By Doris Dumlao
Philippine Daily Inquirer
First Posted 01:01:00 12/30/2008

Filed Under: ASEAN, Economy and Business and Finance, International Economic Institutions

The Asian Development Bank has called on the 10-member Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) plus China, South Korea and Japan — in grouping called ASEAN+3 — to step up efforts to establish a regional credit guarantee and investment mechanism in view of the bleak global economic environment.

In its December Asia economic monitor, the ADB said the region should strengthen existing mechanisms under the ASEAN+3, particularly the Chiang Mai Initiative (CMI) framework for bilateral swaps. However, the ADB is not too keen on a proposal of the Philippine government to expand the CMI to take out bad assets of ailing financial institutions as what was being done in the western world.

The ASEAN consists of Brunei, Cambodia, Indonesia, Laos, Malaysia, Myanmar, the Philippines, Singapore, Thailand and Vietnam.

“Because the challenges facing Asian economies are structurally different from those in the US and Europe, strengthening the CMI should not imply mobilizing resources to buy toxic assets from regional financial institutions, but offering immediate liquidity injections to those economies which may have urgent needs,” the ADB report said.

“ASEAN+3 should also consider accelerating the establishment of a credit guarantee and investment mechanism (CGIM) to provide credit guarantees for domestic commercial banks’ loans and bond issuance to gain easier access to US dollar funding,” it said.

Such a guarantee is envisioned to lower the cost of fund-raising by banks given a lingering global financial turmoil, thereby boosting foreign exchange liquidity in the region.

The ADB vowed to work with the ASEAN+3 in establishing such a CGIM that will provide credit guarantees for commercial bank loans and bond issuance.

The ASEAN+3 pledged to expand and “multilateralize” the CMI, upgrading it to an $80-billion regional pool of which 20 percent would be financed by the ASEAN and 80 percent by China, Japan and South Korea.

Asian authorities were also urged to consider establishing an Asian Financial Stability Dialogue to coordinate efforts to address the financial crisis.

“Many national governments introduced measures to support their banking systems to help stabilize financial markets and facilitate economic recovery,” the report said.

Coordination of these national measures from a regional and global perspective could help ensure the actions of one country do not add stress to a neighbor’s financial system by forcing them into inappropriate or rash ad hoc responses, the ADB pointed out.

“The region has the opportunity to take collective action to address the knock-on effects of the global financial crisis,” the ADB said.

In the meantime, the ADB warned against excessive foreign exchange intervention. While some intervention seemed warranted given the extreme volatility in the market, it said excessive support of the exchange rate and depletion in foreign exchange reserves would make economies more vulnerable to future shocks and constrain policy maneuverability.

It said the region’s authorities should remain cautious, as excessive interventions might eventually increase the risk of one-way bets on their currencies, leading to greater exchange rate volatility and a more disruptive adjustment down the road.

In some economies with relatively rigid currency regimes, the ADB said, introducing greater flexibility may also help enhance the effectiveness of monetary and fiscal stimulus, while rebalancing demand.

Policymakers in many emerging East Asian economies need to deepen and broaden structural reforms to rebalance the sources of growth from an over-reliance on exports to domestic demand, it said.

Matta Fair set to offer better deals

THE global economic crisis will not have a negative impact on the Matta Fair, which has been an astounding success thus far.

The organisers are confident that the gloomy financial situation will not be a dampener to the popular fair, and that it would even play a pivotal role in spurring the economy to better growth.

Matta (Malaysian Association of Tour and Travel Agents) Fair organising committee chairman Datuk Mohd Khalid Harun said suppliers, hoteliers and airlines, both local and abroad, had expressed positive sentiments that they looked forward to the fair in March as it would be a good opportunity to promote their products.

“Indonesia and Turkey enquired about taking up 20 booths each at the coming fair, while other industry players are raring to offer even more attractive products to lure consumers who are more careful with their budget,” he said.

According to him, Thailand, which was rocked by political turmoil in recent months, would be offering even cheaper and better packages to regain travellers’ confidence, while other coun­tries would be equally pro-active.

He felt that such efforts and offers would appeal to Malaysian consumers whose purchasing power had not been affected drastically.

“The government has not imposed salary cuts nor retrenchment, so civil servants will receive the same salary next year. Over in the private sector, not many local companies have wound up, while those that have shrunk their operations have cut down on foreign manpower, so the locals are not too badly affected,” said Khalid, who is the association’s deputy president.

He projected a more prosperous year ahead with the implementation of the government’s stimulus packages, adding that it would also be a time when travellers revisit their shelved plans as the political scenario becomes stable again.

“Our economy is on the right track, as is our tourism industry. We should all work together for a better 2009. The Matta Fair that takes place in the first quarter of the year would be a great start,” he added.

He said the fair would maintain its prices and incentives. It is targeted to be as popular as last year’s, with 70,000 visitors and 200 exhibitors. A total of 900 booths, in three halls, are now open for booking.

The Matta Fair March 2009 is scheduled for March 13 to 15 at the Putra World Trade Centre (PWTC) in Kuala Lumpur. For details, call 03-9287 6881, fax to 03-9287 6880 or 03-9287 3881, or visit

Smith revels in South Africa's 'greatest moment'

South Africa captain Graeme Smith today hailed his team's historic series triumph over Australia as 'the greatest moment in South African cricket'.

"It's got to be the best," he said. "It's got to be the most incredible season South African cricket has ever had particularly with the results that we've had. I don't think anyone would argue with that."

The South Africans capped off a remarkable 2008 by inflicting Australia's first series defeat at home in 16 years with a crushing nine-wicket victory at the MCG, handing them an unassailable 2-0 lead heading into the third and final Test in Sydney starting on Saturday.

Should they claim victory there, they will take over Australia's mantle as the number one Test nation in the ICC rankings.

"Obviously things have changed a little bit now. It's a real honour for us to sit here today knowing we are the first team in 16 years to come and be victorious on these shores," Smith said.

"The balance of power is evening out in world cricket.

"Credit to Australia, they've dominated world cricket for a decade now and they obviously enjoyed their time. It doesn't mean that they're going to be beaten in future tours or are going to be easy to beat.

"I think the balance is going to be evened out a little bit more now. Maybe other teams are moving into other eras, who knows?"

In 2008 South Africa won 11 of 15 Test matches - which included a series win over England in England and a draw in India - and suffered just two losses.

It was also a breakthrough season personally for Smith, who signed the year off as the leading run scorer in Test cricket with 1656 runs - the third-highest in a calendar year in history behind Pakistan's Mohammed Yousuf and West Indies great Viv Richards.

The 27-year-old said the Proteas could do worse than try to emulate Australia's decade-long dominance of cricket.

"I think the challenge is to maintain the levels that we've played at. That's something you've got to give Australia credit for. That they performed at that level for a decade or so was incredible," Smith said.

"For us, it's going to be an ongoing challenge to keep achieving these standards we've set ourselves. Hopefully we stay fit and keep progressing to the next level of our game."

Australia skipper Ricky Ponting remained upbeat ahead of the Sydney Test and said his team would not give up the top ranking without a fight.

"We've dominated world cricket for a long period of time. I'm still very positive and very sure with some of the young guys coming on that in a few years' time that we can get back up there and be dominating world cricket again," he said.

"A lot of players in the team aren't accustomed to losing Test matches let alone Test series.

"The gap between our best cricket and our worst cricket has been too big, and we have to make that smaller if we want to win the next Test and if we want to stay in that top group of Test-playing nations."

Ponting was also quick to point out that Australia remain on top of the rankings for now.

"At the moment we're still number one, they have to beat us in Sydney to take that mantle from us," he said.

"That's the way that ranking system works but I'm probably sure if you knocked on their door they'll say they're the number one team at the moment."

Ponting admitted Australia had been in winning positions in both Tests but 'when we've needed to put the last couple of nails in the coffin we haven't been able to do that'.

"In fact we've been a long way from being able to do that. That's the disappointing thing," he added.

"What's happened in this series is generally what Australia have done to teams in the past.

"When big moments have come up we've grabbed it with both hands, turned a negative very much into a positive and been able to go on and win games."

Is there more to Rwanda than gorillas?

Sunday Times travel expert Richard Green responds: Rwanda is a wonderful little country, and although its star attraction is its mountain gorillas, there's a lot more wildlife, spectacular scenery, and a surprisingly enjoyable capital too. Best of all though, are the welcoming locals and peaceful atmosphere.

The gorillas are holed up the side of a volcano in the west of the country, and any drive from here takes you through some stunning landscapes: vivid green fields of coffee and tea plants, bustling villages, and dominated by the "Mountains of the Moon", as the high equatorial peaks were known.

Just over an hour's drive to the south west of the gorillas is Gisenyi, a charming on the shores of Lake Kivu. The Serena hotel here has a good pool and a nice lakeside beach, perfect for a couple of days relaxation.

The drive down the side of the lake to the Nyungwe Forest National Park is a shocker ­ about 40 miles as the crow flies, but it takes the best part of a day (roads elsewhere in the country are generally very good though). It's beautiful, but bone-shaking, and you'll be glad to stretch your legs over lunch in the pretty lakeside town of Kibuye.

The lodge at the Nyungwe forest is clean and simple, and the Chimpanzee treks start early in the morning. Forget the lazy intimacy of the gorillas; this lot tense the entire jungle with their shrieks and chest thumping.

There are hippos, giraffes and elephants in the Akagera National Park too, in eastern Rwanda, and at the centre is Kigali; great for craft shopping, with lovely cafes, bars, and restaurants - largely serving the diplomatic corps and aid workers. If you aren't actually staying at the Mille Collines Hotel, you should at least have a poolside cocktail there. It starred as itself in the film, Hotel Rwanda, where hundreds sought sanctuary during the 1994 slaughter.

That brings me to the "G" word ­ genocide. Rwandans are happy to talk about it if you ask them. Equally you could pass through the country entirely unaware if you really wanted to. I'd recommend talking about it; any guide will take you to some of the many mass graves and memorials, and if you see only one genocide-related sight, make it the genocide memorial in Kigali.

Tour operators with in depth knowledge of the country include Audley Travel, Rainbow Tours, Tribes, Expert Africa, and Tucan Travel.

For further information, visit, and see the Bradt Travel Guide to Rwanda (£14.99).

AU slams Israel over attacks

Addis Ababa - The African Union on Tuesday condemned Israel's air raids on the Gaza Strip and urged the UN Security Council to "compel" Israel to declare a ceasefire.

"The (AU) Commission strongly condemns the ongoing air raids on the Gaza Strip by Israel since 27 December," the bloc said in a statement.

"This massive and disproportionate attack constitutes a clear violation of international humanitarian law and will further aggravate the suffering of the civilian population, which, as a result of the siege imposed by Israel, has been faced by shortages of food, medicine and fuel."

The body appealed to the UN Security Council and members of the Middle East diplomatic Quartet "to fully assume their responsibilities towards the civilians in the Gaza Strip by compelling Israel to an immediate ceasefire".

The AU also urged the world to step up efforts to provide medical and humanitarian aid to victims of the attacks.

Israeli warplanes pounded Gaza for a fourth day on Tuesday with tanks on standby as Israel vowed to wipe out the hardline Palestinian movement Hamas, which controls the territory.

A medical official in Gaza said at least 360 Palestinians, including more than 50 civilians, have been killed in the raids.

Since Saturday, Gaza militants have fired more than 250 rockets and mortar rounds into Israel, killing four people and wounding two dozen more.


Bali tourism promotion budget reduced for 2009

The Bali Tourism Authority (BTA) has revealed that Bali will have only Rp. 4 billion (US$360,000) for tourism promotion in 2009, 20% less than the Rp. 5 billion allocated in 2008. Bali officials are blaming the reduced promotional budget on the worsening global financial crisis and the need to prioritize spending on health services and poverty eradication.

The move to curtail promotional funding has been labeled as "unwise" by the Bali Chairman of the Association of Indonesian Tour and Travel Agents (ASITA), Al Purwa. Purwa told The Jakarta Post that, in fact, the government needs to increase promotional budgets to counteract the expected downturn in tourism markets in 2009: "Promotions are a necessity regardless of the given economic conditions. In a time of financial crisis, we must strengthen promotional efforts and not weaken them." Purwa also warned that his members were reporting cancellations and reduced levels of new bookings for the coming year.

The Chief of the BTA, I Gede Nurjaya, said he remained optimistic that a 2.1 million target for foreign visitors was achievable for 2009. He explained that total, higher than the 1.9 million plus visitors expected to be in hand by the end of 2008, will be achieved through targeted promotions; coordinated visits by the press, travel agents and foreign officials; and cooperative programs with international airlines flying to Bali.

Quoted separately in, Nurjaya said promotional efforts would be reduced in "markets deemed to not have great potential such as Russia" and instead see marketing concentrated on more promising markets such as Japan, Australia, China and India.

The total budget of the BTA is Rp. 6 billion (US$540,500) with two-thirds of that amount dedicated to promotional activities and the remaining one-third for the daily operations of his office.

Australia, on the head syndicates Cocaine

Australian police on Monday (29/12), said the arrest of a male head of a syndicate trafficking in cocaine in three continents. Police said, the men, who are accused of operating the network trades in Australia, Canada and the Netherlands, Friday last week are the subject of accusations berkonspirasi overtake ekstradisinya import cocaine from the Netherlands.

The courier network that is swallowed and then distribute the drug throughout the world. Assistant Australian Federal Police Commissioner Tim Morris said, local police and their international partners to catch a key player in the global drug syndicates that after an operation two years.

"These syndicates are targeting those vulnerable, both financially and because of their dependence on drugs themselves, to take part in the method that is very risky and dangerous, the article by swallowing the drug for hidden from the authorities," he said in a statement .

Defendants appear in court in Melbourne, Monday, and requested that his name be concealed because it says his life threatened. Name kept confidential until he was drunk here again on 8 January.

Source: Kompas

UN protests attack Israel to the United Nations Building

UN special envoy to the Middle East strong protest Israeli air attack in the Gaza Strip that two UN buildings and kill eight people. UN envoy, Robert Serry, and the Head of State Employment Assistance and the United Nations (UNRWA) Karen Abu Zayd has sepucuk write a letter to Israeli Defense Minister Ehud Barak protest the incident with the words little disruption as possible.

Israel conducted twice carelessness during the large-scale attack, which was started on Saturday (27/12). These incidents occurred during Israel's first air attack Saturday in the areas of the U.S. is governed.

Rudal may be targeted against a Palestinian police standing next to the UNRWA training centers. However, the strike rudal training a group of students so that UNRWA defeat eight people and hurt 19 people.

Both incidents occurred on Monday (29/12). In the attack, the UN headquarters in Gaza was damaged by two rudal which are of Israel.

"The UN must be protected and not be disturbed," said the statement, especially the Government of Israel has all the coordinates of where the United Nations in Gaza. Attack indeed harassment against the UN.

The attack was carried out without prior warning. Military attacks that are very close to where the UN is very dangerous to UN personnel and property. "Do not be repeated," said one of the quote message.

Nearly 350 residents of Palestine, at least 57 civilians, have been killed since Israel launched air attacks kilatnya in the enclave, which Hamas dominated.


Debra Rogoff Buy Cake Box, contents There are 10,000 U.S. Dollar

Box cakes bought from shops Debra Rogoff contain surprises. In the envelope containing the money, there are 10,000 U.S. dollars, with a fraction 100 U.S. dollars. This is a woman wonder, how the money as it can in a box cake purchasing on the 10 last October?

"We think, this money would belong to someone. We do not feel good hearts to use them," said Rogoff. Their families and contact the police to inform the findings.

Initially it was said that the money that may appear due RADIO drug traders. Then the police to get information from the store called Whole Foods in the city of Tustin, California, USA. Shop keeper said that, a grandmother who never buy goods in stores that have come to the shop again and very hysterical.

The problem, the grandmother has to return the wrong box. Purpose heart, he wants to return the box cake that is not disukainya and replace it with another cake. However, the grandmother returned the other cake box, where he was placing money with 10,000 U.S. dollars, the savings dikumpulkannya throughout life.

Grandmother is not mentioned identity, no longer believe in the bank in the U.S. that many bertumbangan. Therefore, the grandmother choose only place the money in the box cake rather save the banks.

Grandmother was lucky. Rogoff truly noble act that only want to buy Annie's sour cream and Onion Cheddar Bunny, not the money that the grandmother became his life expectancy.

Rogoff did not hear the thanks from the grandmother and did not get the benefits. Hopefully, health and age panjanglah that he get a gift from God.

Source: Kompas

Muslims Promote Unity

Since Israel attacked Gaza three days ago, anti-Israel protests occurred in all corners of the world, especially in Muslim countries and the Arab world. In fact, some countries have support funds and volunteer to help the Palestinian people's struggle in the face of Israel.

Thousands of citizens of Iran accompanied the government and military officials together down the street to protest and attack Israel, on Monday (29/12). Many are carrying banners with "Israel must be eliminated from the face of the earth" and "We must rise up, unite together destroy Israel." Iran's supreme leader, Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, also invites people in the Muslim world to condemn Israel.

Hundreds of Iraqi citizens also carry anti-Israel protests in Baghdad and one of the city of Syiah, namely, Kufa. The followers of radical leaders of the anti-US, Moqtada al-Sadr, down to the city of Sadr City street and burning the flag of Israel. The Government of Iraq also formally criticize Israeli attacks, which are considered unreasonable and inhumane that.

The same situation is also visible in Beirut, Lebanon. Tens of thousands of Hezbollah supporters protest immediately after the Hezbollah leader, Hassan Nasrallah, to invite all citizens in the Muslim world to rise up and show solidarity to the people of Gaza.

In Afghanistan, Taliban groups also invite all Muslims in the world is united and together attack Israel as a reprisal of the military operation of Israel to the Gaza kill more than 300 Palestinian residents. Taliban criticize the U.S. and Europe because it is not immediately help stop Israeli attacks.

Israel attacks Gaza to also create a community infuriated Indonesia. Criticism and proposals for action from the pop-action protests in a number of areas, such as Gresik, East Java, and Yogyakarta. Israel said the attacks have clearly show who the real terrorist. Israel considered to violate the peace agreement and comply with the resolution.

Hundreds of residents and sympathetic Prosperous Justice Party also assess, Israel has never menggubris critique the world, even with arogan continue to repeat the action with trivial reasons. Israeli actions are war crimes that can not be tolerated. Therefore, the demonstrators demanded the UN to impose sanctions against Israel. Chairman of the Board Chairperson of MCC Region of Yogyakarta Ahmad Sumiyanto invites Islam to help unite Palestinian people's struggle. Not only contribute energy and ideas, but also collecting funds.

Anti-Israel protests also occurred in other countries, such as Jordan, Syria, Egypt, England, Spain, France, Turkey, Sweden, and Denmark. In some countries collision occurred between police and protester. Israel and the U.S. flag visible in front of the burned U.S. Embassy. Peaceful protests, which tumultuous change in the UK. Police arrested dozens of people.

In addition to providing support, Iran is also sending volunteers to fight Israel. Recruitment of volunteer workers from Iran under the hardline student groups.

Like Iran, Islamic Front of a public defender in Indonesia also plans to recruit about 1,000 volunteers to the Gaza Strip. "I need to have a good physical condition, strong, strong confidence, and ready to die. They will be given the ticket once the road until we have successfully overcome Israel, "said Secretary General of Islamic Front of a public defender Ahmad Soebri Lubis.

Stop attacks

The international community urged Israel to stop serangannya to Gaza. Chinese government hopes Palestine and Israel can end the dispute through dialogue, not with violence.

It expressed Likewise the Japanese request that both parties try to refrain. Meanwhile, Malaysia urges UN to act immediately and realize peace in Gaza.

To show concern at a time "to punish" Israel, the Government of South Africa called the Ambassador of Israel to South Africa Dov Segev-Steinberg. In a written statement from the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of South Africa, Israel didesak stop the attacks immediately and sit back immediately negotiate in the peace process without any conditions.

The statement came from different German Chancellor Angela Merkel. He accused Hamas into the causes of the increasing turmoil of violence in the Gaza area. Merkel and Israeli Prime Minister Ehud Olmert jointly agree, Hamas's most responsible for the situation that occurred in the area of the Middle East. The U.S. unilaterally damage the armistice agreement with mortar and rocket fire into Israeli territory.

The U.S. government also agreed to request UN armistice agreement that development. "To stop the turmoil of violence, Hamas must immediately stop the shot roketnya," said White House spokesman, Gordon Johndroe. (AP / ACI / WER / Luke)

Source: Kompas

ambassador chine "Zhang Qiyue" Introduction to China

Too many aspects that must be learned about the state of it. However, Chinese Ambassador to Singapore Zhang Qiyue said will continue working to introduce the country and make people understand more about China, which is indeed complex.

China recently known as the prominent achievements in the economic field. December 2008 exactly 30 years beginning of openness and economic reform of China. The result, as seen together, appear to be China's new economic strength. However, according to Zhang, many other aspects that can be tapped, understood, and understood from China, not only the economic aspects only.

"Many a wrong perception about China. Such as, for example, China is a large country that everything is the same, "said Zhang at the office in Jakarta, on Tuesday (16/12). It virtually without polesan trappings. Only milker lips decorate face. He said the soft, firm and friendly.

"Actually, the same as Indonesia, China also has a diverse ethnic, language and culture. Eating habits are different, even different character between Chinese people in the north and south. For people like me to China, the difference is sometimes very interesting to learn, "said the mother of one child who is happy to make this journey.

Relations with RI

Since settling posnya in Jakarta, Zhang argues, there are still many things that can be done to make the relationship between Indonesia and China better, not only from the business or the economy.

Indonesia and China are two important countries in Asia. "Both have an important role in maintaining stability in Asia," he said, emphasizing the importance of cooperation and mutual understanding between the two countries.

Be, the current relationship between Indonesia and China are in the most beautiful. Officials in both countries visited each other and understand the needs and circumstances of each other. "During my duty is only four months have been a lot of visits in various levels," he said.

"Although there are flights between the two countries, the number still needs to be improved. Similarly, the number of tourists also need to be improved, the number of visits, number of students in both countries, to a number of cultural exchange mission, "he said. Zhang also give an example, in between the two countries have been stranded cooperation in the field of sports.

Career diplomat

In this framework, many things that can be done, such as youth exchanges, exchange of sports trainers, to work with the provision of sports equipment and sports medicine. "We still need to foster better understanding of the longer among young people," he explains one of the goals of cooperation in the field of sports.

Jakarta is the second postal Zhang as ambassadorial. Zhang is a career diplomat who has undergone a variety of tasks, ranging from translators at the United Nations, Political Councilor of China in the UN Mission, spokesperson at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of China, to become ambassadorial.

"I served as the spokesman for six years and is a spokesperson for the oldest among the spokespersons who have so far. Normally, the duties of a spokesperson for three years, "he said.

Zhang admitted that the task diembannya as a spokesperson for the Government of China is not easy. Spokesman should be able to convey a message to Chinese leaders the world, not limited only to the people of China. Although it has been trying to explain the good, it still happens sometimes misunderstandings.

"Later, when China's economy growing rapidly, all Chinese people observe and want to know why the economic reform policy and not taken to observe the policy itself. And spokespersons, including the task to explain it. In one a press conference, usually held for one hour and I can receive 40-50 questions, "he said.

"Usually we said in a brief, but journalists continue to pursue the question up. Never a time a press conference, I have to speak in front of 38 television cameras, "kenangnya. Ministry of Foreign Affairs of China has room for a press conference that is very knowledgeable and able to accommodate hundreds of people. "Often space is not enough to accommodate the journalists who come," he said.

Family sprawl

The diplomat English, French, and Spanish language are learning to manage their own this house.

In the middle kesibukannya to pursue a career ambassadorial, he still cook and clean the house with their own hands. "In Beijing, the finished work, I cook and wrong, wrong house, while another may be a friend to go to the fitness center. Cleaning the house can also be said that good sports, "he said. Once up in the house, the family center of attention so, no longer would answer affairs work in the office.

In Jakarta, Zhang lived alone, while her husband is also a diplomat living in Beijing and boys-only aged 21 years studying in the UK. "Our families live in three cities," he continued, laughing. "In Jakarta my concentration is only to work, work, and work," he said. For up communications with her sons, Zhang uses the facilities and Skype phone.

Although a career woman, Zhang treat her sons alone. "When small children are often sick, sickly, sometimes I have to wake midnight to see the situation. Lucky we have the education system good enough. Start the age of three years, he has school and afternoon pick from the new school. I also place themselves as friends of the children, not only as parents, "he said. He admitted, it is a difficult enough time even though ultimately can balance career and family.

Ambassadorial that cooking is also eager to fill the spare time to conduct various kinds of sports. Swimming, basketball, and run a sport of interest. In Jakarta he began to learn golf club swing. According to him, in Jakarta, is one of the golf facilities for socializing and it is a part of their duties. "It is still difficult to play golf as it should be done slowly, patiently, and quietly," said Zhang who still have many plans and efforts to improve this relationship the two countries. (JOE)

Source: Kompas

Snow Landslide, 6 Death in the Rocky Mountains, Canada

Rescue team, on Monday (29/12) found remains of six of the eight tractor motorist who buried them since dihantam two snow slides in the Rocky Mountains, Canada.

There has been no report about the fate of two other men since the accident at about 40 km south of Fernie, British Columbia, Sunday.

"There are six dead bodies have been found, and there is still a search of two people again," said Kopral RCMP Chris Faulkner, a member of the Canadian police (the Royal Canadian Mounted Police). He added, it is not possible that the two missing men is still alive.

Eleven motorist snow tractor to the region have been trapped in two landslides in Harvey Pass, where recreational rural areas in southeastern British Columbia. Three people survived with minor injuries suffered.

Motorist tractors are citizens colliery Sparwood, British Columbia, near where the accident occurred. They have experience in winter travel in the region that is difficult, but ignore the warning of the dangers of snow slides in the area.

Threat of new landslides have been slow and efforts to help engineers were using explosives to stabilize the snow mountain that the crew before the land can safely start with a search that place, Monday morning.

Two of the men who survived it requires about 20 minutes to dig their own. They then help the three men, but the additional danger of sliding snow has forced them to leave the place with a walk before they can dig for other people. The radio voice of the victims taken by the crew to help search for the corpses they find a place in the snow, said police.

Source: Ant

Militia Rocket Kills 2 Palestinian Citizens of Israel

Two civilians killed in southern Israel, Monday (29/12), which are due to rocket Palestinian militia from the Gaza Strip.

One man died and eight other people injured, three seriously, in the city of Ashkelon in southern Israel. The second is a victim killed in the Nahal Oz area in the northern border with the Gaza Strip, medical officials said.

Public radio earlier reported two people injured in the attack on the Nahal Oz. Al-Quds Brigade, armed wing movement hardline Palestinian Islamic Jihad, responsible for the attack on the Nahal Oz.

Attack on Ashkelon occurred in the city center, a place near the building by the Israeli media said most of the populated Arab workers. Medical officials said, the man who died was an Arab-Israeli working in that place in the city, located about 13 km north of the Gaza Strip, Hamas governed since June 2007.

Hamas armed wing claim responsibility for the attack, saying that they have three fire Grad-type rocket at Ashkelon.

Three civilians have now been killed in Israel resulting Palestine gerilyawan shot since Sunday, when Israel launched air attacks to deter large-scale citizens of at least 345 Palestinians and injure more than 1,550 people.

Rocket other towns of Ashdod, Israel, Monday night, and five people hurt, one critically, according to a spokesperson for the Red Cross of Israel, Magen David Adom. He said, Grad-type rocket with a distance of 40 km shoot a slug that the train yard.

Brigade Ezzedine al-Qassam, Hamas armed wing, said in a statement in Gaza, the brigade has also fire the missile strike Ashdod. Grad missile more accurate than the Qassam, which is usually more used by Palestinian armed groups.

People who live in northern Israel, 20 km from the border with Gaza, has dinasihati since Saturday to remain in the public or private protection. When Israeli radar observations to detect a missile incoming, local people have only less than one minute to take shelter.

Source: AP

Send Back the court in Taiwan Chen Shui-bian to Jail

Taiwan court on Tuesday (30/12) morning, and cancel the previous decision to send former President Chen Shui-bian returned to the detention awaiting the trial with accusations of corruption.

The decision was set in the council of judges after the Taipei District Court examination for 12 hours.

One of the lawyers Chen, Cheng Wen-Lung, characterize the decision as unfair and promised to appeal.

Chen was brought to the detention November and charged with obscure government funds and launder money, the first time a leader of the island is facing criminal prosecution. He was released on December 13, pending a hearing. Since then, and Chen against pengacaranya fight efforts to return to the state prosecutor to the detainees.

On 17 December, a high court appeal to support the prosecution and ordered the district court to reconsider putusannya.
High Court, Sunday, again rejected the decision to Chen after the prosecution appeal for the second time on 24 December, which resulted in a marathon examination Monday.

Chen face lifetime imprisonment if proven guilty. Altogether, 13 other people have been charged have connection with the case, including his wife, son, daughter and female. Chen and his family insist they are not guilty.

Politician aged 58 years old increased the throne eight years ago with the promise to fight corruption. He was prime in May after a two serves a maximum term of four years. Acapkali Chen said that the accusations against him with politics. He accused its successor, President Ma Ying-jeou, a close with the Chinese as people who malign him.

Source: Ant

Ehud Barak said Israel will swear pour it on Hama

The officials swear Israel will continue to demolish Hamas, after the air attack is now entering a fourth day.

"Israel will fight until completely against Hamas," said Defense Minister Ehud Barak cabinet in session, Monday (29/12). A senior military officials said there will be no building that Hamas will be left.

At least 345 Palestinian citizens killed and 1,550 injured since Saturday, the UN said. Conversely, two new citizens of Israel, which killed as a result of rocket fire from Gaza. UN Secretary General, Ban Ki-moon, asking the truce immediately.

Ban is very alarming violence in Gaza. He recognizes the right of Israel to defend itself from Palestinian militant rocket attacks, but he reprove the use of excessive military force by Israel.

Israel now mobilize troops on the Gaza border states and in the surrounding area as a "closed military zone". The journalist said this step, in addition to the employment of thousands of army reserves, may be a land operation from the beginning.

Red Cross describes the situation in various hospitals in the state of unruly Gaza, medical teams have been working furiously. Meanwhile, a small number of Palestinian people who have been injured across the border Rafah into Egypt for treatment, and the trucks that had allowed drugs into Gaza.

The foreign minister will meet the EU in Paris on Tuesday to discuss the crisis that is increasingly uncertain.

Victims of civil

Dozens of Hamas power centers, including the complex security, government offices, and tunnels to Egypt, destroyed since Israel launched massive bombardment began on Saturday. Buildings that house digempur including senior Hamas commander, a car carrying gas cylinders, a number of mosques and homes, said the various reports. Five women from one family killed in the latest attack in Jabaliya.

Head of UN humanitarian affairs, John Holmes, said the latest information showed 320 people killed and 1,400 injured. "Sixty-four of the killed were civilians," he said in a press conference. "They are women and children. Not including the civilian victims of the men, even though we know many male civilians also died."

Source: BBC

The oldest men in the U.S. "George Rene Francis' death

After the age of three, the oldest man in the U.S. has died in California at the age of 112 years.

As Sacramento Bee reported Monday (29/12), George Rene Francis, who registered as the oldest man in the United States by Gerontologi Research Group in Los Angeles, died because of heart failure, Saturday, at a place of care in Sacramento.

Bee reported, Francis is a black man born in New Orleans on 6 June 1896 and grow in the South. Francis told the newspaper that in one interview recently that he was proud to vote with Barack Obama on the U.S. election, 4 November; Obama will become president of the U.S. descendants of Africa when he was first appointed on January 20.

"I think he was great because he was black," said Francis to the Bee. "Because white people think the Negro will never be developed. I think is beautiful."

Francis, who left the school after the sixth level ever berkarier as a boxer. He moved to California in 1948 and get jobs as drivers, car mechanics, and the barber. His wife, Josephine, died in 1963, after 46 years of marriage.

Bee reported that Francis lived with four children, 19 grandchildren and more than 30 great-great-grandson. With the death of Francis, Montana resident named Walter Breuning men into the country with the oldest aged 112 years and 98 days. Meanwhile, the United States is the oldest woman Gertrude Baines from Los Angeles, aged 114 years.

The oldest person alive who is Maria de Jesus of Portugal, aged 115 years old, born on 10 September 1893, according to Gerontologi Research Group.

Source: Ant

7,000 Students Apply Iran against Israel War

At least 7,000 students from the city of Isfahan in central Iran, on Monday (29/12), register for the fight against Israel.

"On the first day of registration for the fight against Zionis regime and help the Palestinian people, 7,000 students from various universities in Isfahan has voiced readiness," said Mohammad Zarifi, Perhimpunan members of Students Islamic Iran, as quoted Iranian news agency, Fars.

Still on the same day, another Iranian student group, Students Basij (Volunteer) from Tehran University, announced, the organization signed up volunteers to fight Israel.

Registration is done a day after Iran's spiritual leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei issued a fatwa that states, who died in the war against Israel and defend the Gaza Strip will become a martyr.

"In response to the spiritual leader of the Fatwa Jihad (holy war), Basij students from universities throughout Iran have to register and registration will be opened tomorrow," said Alireza Zahedi, a member of Students at Tehran University Basij, without mentioning how many students have signed up.

"In the near future, students who registered will hold a meeting to convey willingness to fight for the spiritual leaders in the region (Palestine)," he said.

Thousands of Iranian people, including students, launched in the parade in Tehran Monday morning to condemn Israeli attacks in the Gaza Strip. They brought a banner containing the slogan of anti-Israel and anti-US.

Since Saturday morning, Israel launched massive air attacks intended to say members of Hamas in the Gaza Strip and kill at least 345 people and injure more than 1,000 people.

Hamas controls the Gaza Strip, received strong support Iran, not acknowledge Israel as one of the countries of the international community.

At UN headquarters, New York, ambassador of Egypt and Palestine in the world body said on Monday, they asked the UN Security Council to make Israel comply with the invocation to immediately stop military action and violence in the Gaza Strip.

Source: Ant

Mass Pro-Thaksin Shinawatra Still cordon Parliament

Thailand's return to the political crisis. Thousands of demonstrators supporting former Prime Minister Thaksin Shinawatra on Tuesday (30/12), still encircle the Parliament building.

The demonstrators vow to continue to claim the election was held to be fulfilled. This action forces the Prime Minister Abhisit Vejjajiva delay the second time speech Monday.

Action This latest occurred less than a month after former PM Somchai Wongsawat forced the two prime overtake the main airport in Bangkok. The demonstrators during the anti-Thaksin groups. Somchai then replaced Abhisit after the court decided to do Somchai cheating during the election.

Although Thaksin supporters held demonstrations peacefully, on Tuesday, analysts assess this latest action will make the tourist industry and economy of Thailand intended to continue.

"We will continue negotiation and mediation," said Abhisit PM to mass. "I ask all the people, including all members of Parliament and officials to forfeit a holiday (New Year) to the state for the country's progress," he added.

The protesters wear red loyal to Thaksin, that those in a military coup d'etat in 2006, said, they will close the gate-gate entrance to the parliament building until Abhisit announced the implementation of a new election.

Blockade that for many people like the repetition of Thailand. The demonstrators mimic tactics used by the activists wear yellow, their competitors, which help in the overthrow of a government led by allies of Thaksin in early December 2008.

The demonstrators said they will allow Abhisit, kabinetnya, and members of parliament to walk into the parliament building, but not with the vehicle. Authorities said, is not safe for members of parliament and the PM to do that, because of the risk of violence.

Nearly dying

The final lap demonstration could hit the tourism industry, Thailand's main foreign exchange that is now nearly-dying-sector and other economic sectors.

Groups of demonstrators, who now call themselves the Democratic Alliance against the dictatorship, will stay in parliament until the government set for early election. Group of the previous plan to stay for three days.

Police said, about 9,000 demonstrators wear red envelop parliament building throughout the night. At least 20,000 supporters have gathered Thaksin began Sunday night in a field in the center of the city.

Alliances that have been at least disrupt government plans to announce policies, according to the rules must be made before the date of January 7. However, legal experts said, the government can request an extension because of political unrest.

Deputy PM Suthep Thaugsuban said, if the announcement could not be delivered on Monday, the effort will be made to enter the parliament building in the days to come, but through negotiations and not by the use of violence.

The demonstrators, called "Red T-Shirt" because of their clothes, said, Abhisit and the Democratic Party gain power this month through a virtual coup d'etat.

Abhisit won the vote in parliament two weeks ago to become PM. He is the third Thai PM in the last four months after the court dismiss the party in power, the People's Power Party (PPP), which is loyal to Thaksin on 2 December.

Decision is undertaken because the impetus protests by the People's Alliance for Democracy (PAD), a group of anti-Thaksin, who memblokade Bangkok airport. Thaksin is not honored military elite, the palace, and the bureaucracy because they are considered corrupt and authoritarian.

Source: AP

Sheikh Hasina Bangladesh Election Win

Former Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina absolute win in the general election in Bangladesh. Election Commission officials, Humayun mighty of god, on Tuesday (30/12), said Hasina party alliance won two-thirds majority of parliament seats in the election, on Monday.

"This election is free and fair," said the mighty of god to television Channel-i. Mighty of god did not mention the number of gaining seats stronghold Hasina. However, private television Ekuskey previous report, based on unofficial sources, the coalition Bangladesh Awami League leader Hasina have 255 seats, far surpass earnings coalition Nasionalis Bangladesh Party (BNP) leader Khaleda Zia with 32 seats.

Selection of members of parliament, on Monday, was to restore Bangladesh, a country with more than 140 million citizens, to democracy two years after the emergency government that implemented by the government-military support.

Some observers say it is not clear whether the losers will accept the results or bring their supporters to the streets to protest. Confrontation, attacks and street violence has often occurred in Bangladesh politics in the past.

A leader of Bangladesh Nasionalis Party (BNP) leader Khaleda said on Tuesday, they have been prevented supporters to vote in various parts of the country, and the party was planning to submit a claim.

"We have reports that a number of BNP supporters have been prohibited to place the election and also outcast from the election in many places," BNP leader Rizvi Ahmed said in a press conference broadcast information on local television.

Khaleda own, on Monday morning, has said, "If free and fair election, Insya Allah, we will win and form a government that will come."

Waiting party

A spokesman Awami League leader Hasina said, supporters will be waiting to celebrate victory. "Our leader Sheikh Hasina has requested the party and supporters not to victory parade or engage in a kind of celebration until the final results announced by the election commission," spokesperson, Abul Kalam Azad, said in a TV broadcast.

Government support for the military-take power in Bangladesh in January 2007, in the midst of widespread political violence, and cancel the elections should be held that month.

Anyone who win the election that must deal with endemic corruption, widespread poverty and political and social chaos that has been confirmed that encourage the military to intervene.

Hasina and Khaleda flit in power for 15 years until 2006. Some observers say, they have failed to solve the problems of Bangladesh because of demonstrations, strikes and street violence.

Source: AP

Hizbullah Indonesia: Adili Petinggi Israel

Israel launched the attack to reap many Palestinian criticism, is no exception by the Jemaah Muslims (Hizbullah) of Indonesia. They criticize and proclaim to the International Court for memperadilkan petinggi Israel.

"I will send a letter to the International Court in The Hague, Netherlands, to haul the petinggi Israel is involved in action to judge this as war criminals," said Imaamul Indonesian Muslims Hizbullah, Muhyiddin Hamidy, in Jakarta, on Tuesday (30/12) .

In addition to send a letter to the International Court, on Tuesday (30/12), the Hizbullah also fly to the invocation of 53 embassies in Jakarta. "Currently there are already some of our members, is moving to deliver a letter calls for censure of Israel," he continued.

Hizbullah also raise funds to alleviate the burden and help the Palestinian citizens. "Already many people who contributed to both Muslims and non-Muslims, but we have not yet calculate the total amount," said Muhyiddin.

Muhyiddin also feel upset when Palestinian and Egyptian border is closed. "Later on how to distribute aid, the border is closed, bank transfer not possible. One way we will be lobbying the Government to open the Egyptian border, so that we can distribute aid," the blogosphere.

C11 08

Senin, 29 Desember 2008

Bird flu found in poultry in northern Vietnam

HANOI: Bird flu has resurfaced in poultry in northern Vietnam after many months without any cases, killing ducks and chickens at two farms, a state-run newspaper reported on Sunday.

Animal health officials confirmed on Saturday the H5N1 virus had killed several birds among a flock of more than 100 ducks in Thai Nguyen city, 80 km (50 miles) north of Hanoi, the Ho Chi Minh City Communist Youth league-run Tuoi Tre newspaper said.

Officials had also detected the virus in dead chickens at a farm in the same city and nearly 4,200 chickens had been slaughtered to prevent the virus from spreading, the report said without giving a timeframe.

Deputy Health Minister Trinh Quan Huan said this week that there was a very high risk of bird flu returning during the winter and spring in northern Vietnam. The H5N1 strain seems to thrive best in low temperature.

Five Vietnamese have died of bird flu so far this year out of six reported H5N1 infections and all were found in northern Vietnam during the first quarter of the year.

The H5N1 strain has killed 247 people globally among the 391 confirmed cases of infection since 2003, according to the World Health Organisation.

Vietnam has 106 infections, the second highest number of cases among 15 countries with known human cases after Indonesia.

(Reporting by Ho Binh Minh; Editing by Jeremy Laurence

Mideast conflict sends sensitive U.S. markets lower

Stocks slipped lower on Monday morning as Israeli jets pounded targets in Gaza, sending oil prices higher and injecting new tremors into the global markets.

The events in Gaza underscored the market's sensitivity to conflict in a region that produces a third of world crude supply. After rising sharply early Monday, crude oil futures for February delivery fell back to $38.08 a barrel, only 37 cents higher in mid-day trading.

"What's happening in the Middle East is driving oil prices," said Martin Van Vliet, an economist at ING in Amsterdam. "Maybe that is also focusing some minds on the recent drastic cuts in supply."

Shortly after 1 p.m., the Dow Jones industrial average was down about 130 points while the wider Standard & Poor's 500-stock index had fallen 1.5 percent, and the Nasdaq composite 2.2 percent.

After months of stark drops and record volatility, stock markets have quieted markedly this month. Trading volumes are lower because of the holidays, and the Dow has not risen or fallen by triple-digit increments in five trading sessions.

Analysts have said that much of the panicked selling that gripped Wall Street through October and November has ebbed, and that investors are essentially in a holding pattern as they wait for President-elect Barack Obama to take office and a new round of grim quarterly earnings.

"It would take a whole new fountain of bad news to bring this market to new lows, not just the same water flowing through," said David Bianco, chief United States equity strategist at UBS. "We're just in this kind of wait-and-see environment."

General Motors stock rose slightly as investors waited to hear whether bondholders of GMAC, the financing arm of G.M., had approved crucial steps in a plan to convert the company into a bank holding company, giving it access to billions in federal bailout funds. The company's bondholders had until Dec. 26 to approve a bond exchange program, but more than two days have passed without word from GMAC.

Shares of Dow Chemical plunged nearly 18 percent after the government of Kuwait scuttled a deal that would have allowed Dow to finance a $15 billion purchase of the specialty chemicals company Rohm & Haas.

Despite the setback, Rohm & Haas issued a statement saying it would "work diligently" to complete the deal with Dow. Shares of the Philadelphia-based Rohm & Haas were down 20 percent.

Oil's bounce on Monday followed six months of price declines as global consumption plummets amid widespread economic downturn.

This month, the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries announced a 2.2 million-barrel-a day cut in production quotas, effective at the start of January, to stabilize prices amid falling demand and rising oil stockpiles.

The December oil market reports from the Department of Energy, the International Energy Agency and the OPEC Secretariat significantly cut their forecasts for oil demand growth forecasts for 2009. In a research report released after the OPEC announcement this month, Deutsche Bank said it expected additional cuts would be required throughout next year as demand stays soft.

European stocks rose Monday, following a similar pattern in Asia, lifted by energy shares and a positive end to last week's trading in the United States.

The FTSE 100 index in London gained 2.3 percent and the DAX in Frankfurt climbed 1.8 percent. Shares on Wall Street are expected to open softly.

Energy and resource stocks led the gains in Europe. BP, the British oil company, added 4.2 percent, and Repsol of Spain was up 1.9 percent. BHP Billiton, the world's biggest mining company, advanced 5.1 percent in London.

Asian stocks gained as speculation about merger activity lifted insurers, while commodity producers advanced. The Nikkei 225 stock average added 0.1 percent in Tokyo, while the Sensitive Index gained 1.4 percent in Mumbai.

The dollar lost ground in Europe. The American currency was also weaker versus the yen in anticipation of housing and manufacturing reports this week that are expected to show the economy slipping further into recession. The euro rose to $1.4320 in London, from $1.4028 in New York on Friday. The dollar fell to ¥90.41 from ¥90.81.