Showing posts from November 7, 2010

Source: Hunt for bin Laden missed 'real opportunity'

Hamburg, Germany (CNN) -- When Osama bin Laden was being bombed at Tora Bora, Dr. August Hanning was Germany's foreign intelligence chief charged with hunting him down.
"He was watching the bombing," Hanning told CNN in an exclusive interview. "I know this," Hanning told CNN without elaborating on his source of information.
After bin Laden escaped from the mountain in December 2001 Hanning said he had agents feeding him information about the al Qaeda's chief's movements.
Frustratingly however, their information never led to actionable intelligence that would have allowed Western agencies to move against al Qaeda's leader.
"We have got information always on where he was. And that's the problem -- days, week later. But he was present there. He hadn't left the region," Hanning told CNN.
Hanning says that after bin Laden escaped from Tora Bora the search for al Qaeda's leader became much harder.
"I knew there was a chance in Af…

From Vietnamese refugee to U.S. representative

It was April 1975 when I was packed into a military transport plane with two of my siblings as the Vietnam War ended. We left Vietnam to escape communist rule and eventually, take on an additional identity.
I was 8 years old, and being separated from both parents for the first time in my life was confusing and scary. My mother decided to stay behind with my five remaining siblings to wait for my father to return. An officer in the South Vietnam Army fighting alongside the Americans during the Vietnam War, my father spent the next seven years in the communist prisons, which were euphemistically called "re-education camps." It was many years later when our family was reunited.
The challenges I faced growing up were probably not that different from the struggles all other immigrants face when they first arrive in the United States. I suppose most immigrants, regardless of origin, would have to deal with obstacles such as the language barrier and unfamiliar customs. I vividly r…

Malaysian medical student killed in road mishap

Malaysian student Muhammad Akmal Shahiran Marzukhi's dream to become a doctor was cut short after he was killed in a road accident in South India on Thursday.
Akmal, a first year student at the JJM Medical College in Davangere in the state of Karnataka, was riding pillion on a motorcycle ridden by another student when the accident happened.
His friend had tried to avoid an auto rickshaw (three-wheeler) but lost control of the motorcycle, which skidded off the road and fell into a ditch.
Akmal suffered multiple skull fractures and died on the same day in a local hospital. His friend survived.
The 19-year-old Mara-sponsored student arrived in India to pursue his medical course last September.
Davangere is located about 260 km from Bangalore.
Malaysia's Consul-General Anuar Kasman said the body was flown out of Bangalore to KL International Airport early Saturday morning.
His funeral would be held in Kuala Kedah.

Cabinet to attract non-Malays to armed forces

The cabinet has decided to take concrete measures to attract non-Malays to the armed forces, said Minister in the Prime Minister's Department Tan Sri Dr Koh Tsu Koon. The Cabinet decided at Friday's meeting to take steps to increase the participation of Chinese and Indians in the armed forces which is currently at an all-time low, he told reporters here.
"This is a positive move," Koh said, but did not elaborate what the measures were.
According to recent reports, 8,151 or 90% of those who joined the armed forces last year are Malays. Only 82 Indians and 26 Chinese enlisted in the armed forces last year, while the remaining 795 were from Sabah and Sarawak.
Koh said that efforts to bring more non-Malays into the armed forces should be carried out, but stressed that the limited participation of the other races should not be a subject of polemics.
"As the Prime Minister (Datuk Seri Najib Razak) said, we should stop with the polemics. If we continue, nothing can be …

Media ban

The Pas-led Kedah government became the second state under Pakatan
Rakyat to penalise the media for what it deemed as a manipulation of news.

A letter, signed by the press secretary to the menteri besar, said that certain
media organisations would be banned from covering the budget session of the
state assembly beginning tomorrow.

The Kedah move followed the banning of the New Straits Times from covering the
DAP-led Penang government functions and events, effective March last year.

The Penang ban on NST has not been lifted despite appeals from some of the
biggest names in Pakatan Rakyat, including DAP chairman Karpal Singh.

Kedah Gerakan Youth chief Tan Ken Liang described the Kedah action as censorship
and contrary to Pakatan Rakyat’s pledge to promote press freedom.

“The state assembly sitting is of public interest and every media house should
be allowed to attend and cover the meeting,” he said.

Yesterday, National Union of Journalists president Hata Wahari asked the Ked…

Trial run of sex education module yields positive results

More holistic approach to sexual health lessons for Forms 1, 2 and 4 ready to be implemented, but not compulsory. The module for a more holistic approach to sex education is ready to be implemented in Forms one, two and four, the National Population and Family Development Board revealed.

Its director-general, Datuk Aminah Abdul Rahman, told the New Straits Times the module, co-developed with several non-governmental organisations, would also be geared towards helping curb sexual abuse among children and promoting responsibility in taking care of reproductive health.

Aminah, one of the key figures involved in developing the module, said it was meant to address a range of issues including baby dumping, teenage pregnancies and lack of parenting skills.
While the module has yet to receive any formal acknowledgement from the government, part of it is currently being taught in five schools in Kelantan, Pahang, Selangor, Kuala Lumpur and Penang.

“This is just a trial run. Holistic sex educat…

33,000 in shelters: Flood situation ‘very bad’ in Kedah, ‘precarious’ in Perlis

The floods in Kedah claimed the lives of two young sisters yesterday, bringing the total number of fatalities in the state to four since Monday. The situation in Perlis is still precarious with two-thirds of the state inundated by floodwaters, while in Kelantan it is easing up.

To date, however, more than 33,000 victims are being housed in relief centres in the three states.

The two latest victims — Siti Nadia Syukur, 13, and Sharipah, 8 — were believed to have drowned after they fell off a motorcycle, ridden by a neighbour, into an irrigation canal in Kampung Telaga Emas, Langgar in Pokok Sena about noon.
The neighbour, Intan Malik, 14, also fell into the canal but she held on to a tree and was saved by villagers.

The two earlier victims were identified as a 64-year-old German woman, Erna Fischer, who drowned in Kampung Kota Giam near Jitra on Monday night and schoolboy, Mohd Zaki Shaari, 13, who fell into a pond in Kampung Charok Bongor on Tuesday.

Kedah Menteri Besar Datuk Seri Azi…

Man drowns trying to save wife

A man drowned while attempting to rescue his new bride after both of them were swept away by strong currents during a family picnic at a recreational spot in Kampung Pasir Kubur, Sungai Lembing here on Friday. It is learnt that Mohd Hazrul Abdul Jalil, 26, had taken his wife Norfaridah Mohd Amin, 26, together with his mother and younger brother, Mohd Helmi, 25, to the spot for a picnic at 10.30am.

Relating the incident, Helmi said his brother and his wife had gone for a dip at the deeper end of a river flowing by when they were suddenly swept away by strong currents.

"My brother tried to push his wife up to the surface before they were swept away to a shallow part of the river where passers-by hauled them up to the river's bank," he said.
He added that one of the passers-by performed cardiopulmonary resuscitation on his brother, but paramedics who arrived soon pronounced him dead.

The wife escaped unhurt.

Helmi said his brother, who worked at the Farmers' Organisati…

Help them

The number of flood evacuees in the four affected districts
here remained high yesterday, with Kota Setar being the hardest hit. Its
number increased by more than 2,000 from Friday. In Perlis, the people were
warned to be prepared for a possible second wave of floods.
Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Razak called on all agencies to give their all to alleviate the suffering of flood victims in Kedah, Perlis, Kelantan and Terengganu.

Sultan of Kedah Sultan Abdul Halim Mu’adzam Shah expressed sadness at the plight of those affected by the floods, the worst in the state in recent years.

He urged all political parties, whatever their affiliation, to help those affected.

Read more: Help them