What Melania said

What Melania said

“My parents impressed on me the values: that you work hard for what you want in life. That your word is your bond and you do what you say and keep your promise. That you treat people with respect. They taught me to show the values and morals in my daily life. That is the lesson that I continue to pass along to our son.

“And we need to pass those lessons on to the many generations to follow. Because we want our children in this nation to know that the only limit to your achievements is the strength of your dreams and your willingness to work for them.”

What Michelle said

“And Barack and I were raised with so many of the same values: that you work hard for what you want in life; that your word is your bond and you do what you say you’re going to do; that you treat people with dignity and respect, even if you don’t know them, and even if you don’t agree with them.

“And Barack and I set out to build lives guided by these values, and pass them on to the next generation. Because we want our children — and all children in this nation — to know that the only limit to the height of your achievements is the reach of your dreams and your willingness to work for them.”

Republicans turn day from raucous to sublime

CLEVELAND — Buoyed by a grand Las Vegas-style entrance at his party’s national convention, Donald Trump hopes to bolster Republican Party unity when congressional leaders take the stage on a day focused on the US economy.

Trump, whose name was to be formally offered for the Republican presidential nomination yesterday, saw the opening day of his convention on Monday turn from the raucous to the sublime.

Trump backers faced down a revolt from Republican delegates opposed to him, and in the end Trump’s wife Melania offered a powerful testimonial to her husband, her voice flavoured with the accent of her native Slovenia.

“Let’s all come together in a national campaign like no other,” she said to cheers after her husband stepped on stage to introduce her, his image silhouetted against a misty white backdrop.

Yesterday’s theme was “Make America Work Again”.

Trump and his presidential ambitions were to receive the blessing of House of Representatives speaker Paul Ryan and Senate majority leader Mitch McConnell, who were to speak along with Trump’s son, Donald Trump Jr, daughter Tiffany and two former rivals who support him, New Jersey governor Chris Christie and retired neurosurgeon Ben Carson.

It will be Christie’s first major public appearance since Trump chose Indiana governor Mike Pence as his vice presidential running mate, instead of Christie, leaving Christie deeply disappointed.

Both Ryan and McConnell need Trump to do well in the Nov 8 election in order to preserve Republican majorities in Congress. They also want to ensure the defeat of Democrat Hillary Clinton, who leads most opinion polls as Americans consider a matchup between two candidates largely seen in an unfavourable light.

The convention delegates gathered in this city on Lake Erie were also to hear speakers talk up how Trump wants to trigger more economic growth.

The New York businessman touts his business record as a real estate developer and has proposed some protectionist trade policies aimed at preventing
job outsourcing.

Part of the goal of the convention is to portray Trump in the most favourable light possible, softening the image of a candidate whose anti-immigrant rhetoric has factored heavily in Americans’ views of him.

More duelling rallies and marches were expected for yesterday, but after a first day of peaceful demonstrations by small, orderly crowds, Cleveland organisers had cause to hope that fears of violent, disruptive protests might have been overblown.

Cleveland police chief Calvin Williams described the few occasions where police on bicycles needed to disrupt protesters on Monday as “nothing that out of hand”.
— Reuters

IS claims train axe assault
first attack in Germany

WUERZBURG (Germany) — The Islamic State (IS) group claimed responsibility yesterday for its first attack in Germany, an axe and knife assault on a train carried out by a 17-year-old Afghan refugee.

German authorities said they found a hand-painted IS flag among the belongings of the asylum seeker, who seriously injured four members of a family of tourists from Hong Kong in his rampage. The teenage assailant was killed as he tried to flee.

“The perpetrator of the stabbing attack in Germany was one of the fighters of the Islamic State,” the IS-linked Amaq news agency said.

The assault on a regional train near the southern city of Wuerzburg late on Monday left two of the victims critically hurt, said Joachim Herrmann, the interior minister of Bavaria state.

“We hope those who were gravely injured make it,” Herrmann told ZDF public television.

Germany has thus far escaped the kind of large-scale extremist attack seen in the southern French city of Nice last week, in which 31-year-old Mohamed Lahouaiej Bouhlel used a truck to mow down 84 people. That attack was also claimed by IS.

The terrifying assault in Bavaria is likely to revive a heated national debate about integrating migrants and refugees after a record influx last year.

The assailant had arrived as an unaccompanied minor in Germany about two years ago and had been staying with a foster family in the region for the last two weeks, Herrmann said.

“It is quite probable that this was an Islamist attack,” said a ministry spokesman.

However, he stressed the investigation was ongoing and that the teenager appeared to have acted alone.

“We must determine what the motive was and to what extent he really belonged to the Islamist scene or was self-radicalised very recently,” Herrmann said, adding that the assailant had no criminal record
in Germany.

The assault happened at about 9.15pm (3.15am in Malaysia) on the train which runs between the town of Treuchtlingen and Wuerzburg in Bavaria.

A witness, who lives next to the railway station, told DPA news agency that the train, which had been carrying about 25 people, looked “like a slaughterhouse” with blood covering the floor.

The man, who declined to give his name, said he saw people crawl from the carriage and ask for a first-aid kit as other victims lay on the floor inside.

“The perpetrator was able to leave the train, with police in pursuit and as part of this pursuit, they shot the attacker and killed him,” a police spokesman said.

Herrmann later said the teenager was shot when he attacked police while trying to escape.

Germany has been spared major Islamist attacks but in May, a mentally unstable 27-year-old man wielding a knife killed one person and injured three others on another Bavarian regional train.

Police later said there was no evidence pointing to a religious motive. He is being held in a psychiatric hospital.

In February, a 15-year-old girl of Turkish origin stabbed a policeman in the neck with a kitchen knife at Hanover train station in what prosecutors later said was an IS-inspired attack.

Police in April arrested two 16-year-olds over an explosion that wounded three people at a Sikh temple, in what was believed to be an Islamist-motivated attack against an Indian wedding party at a temple in the western city of Essen.

Germany let in nearly 1.1 million asylum seekers last year, with Syrians the largest group, followed by Afghans.

However, the number of refugees arriving in Germany has fallen sharply as a result of the closure of the Balkans migration route and an EU deal with Turkey to stem the flow. — AFP

Taiwan bus inferno kills 24 Chinese tourists

TAIPEI — A bus taking mainland Chinese tourists to the airport for their flight home caught fire and crashed yesterday, killing all 26 on board as desperate passengers struggled in vain to escape.

The disaster was the latest in a series that have called into question Taiwan’s safety record.

Media footage showed the bus, with flames shooting from the front, had rammed into an expressway barrier near Taipei.

The images showed thick plumes of smoke and the burned-out wreckage by the roadside.

A police spokesman said the bus had caught fire before it crashed into the barrier but gave no reason.

“All the people on the bus died,” said Lin Kuan-cheng, spokesman for the National Fire Agency.

“At this stage, it is still not clear why no passengers escaped from the bus.”

One image in Hong Kong’s South China Morning Post newspaper showed two men trying to smash the windows with fire extinguishers as the doors of the vehicle remained shut.

The Liberty Times newspaper quoted an unnamed witness as saying passengers were pounding the bus windows for help as the driver swerved sharply before the crash.

A firefighter at the scene said there were no survivors still calling for help when they arrived.

The tour group of 24 people — three children, 15 women and six men — was from China’s northeastern city of Dalian, Taiwan’s interior ministry said.

A Taiwanese driver and Taiwanese tour guide were also killed, the National Fire Agency confirmed.

The group were on their way to Taipei’s main Taoyuan airport for a 4.30pm flight back to Dalian after an eight-day tour of the island. The accident happened shortly before 1pm.

Several recent fatal accidents in Taiwan have led to safety probes.

The collapse of a residential block during an earthquake in Tainan in February, which left 115 dead, led to an investigation which showed builders had cut corners.

In June 2015, coloured corn starch sprayed over crowds at a water park party near Taipei ignited due to the heat of stage lights, killing 15 and injuring more than 500, many of them young people who sustained horrific burns. The organiser of the event was jailed for negligence.

In February last year, a Transasia plane crashed into a river in Taipei, killing 43 on board. A recent report by investigators confirmed the pilot had shut down the wrong engine after the other one failed. The airline was instructed to overhaul safety procedures and training. — AFP

Sanjeevan charged at two courts

KUALA LUMPUR — Malaysian Crime Watch Task Force chairman Datuk R. Sri Sanjeevan was yesterday charged under Section 55B(1) of the Immigration Act 1959 in the Sessions Court in Seremban for employing an illegal foreign worker.

Later, at the Seremban magistrate’s court, he was charged under Section 384 of the Penal Code for blackmail.

Sanjeevan was charged for extorting RM25,000 from Hon Goh Toh, 38, as “protection money” at the Nilai toll plaza at 10.45pm on June 22 and faces 10 years’ jail, and a fine, and whipping.

At the Sessions Court, he was charged with hiring Indian national Manivannan Muthukumar, who did not possess a valid work permit. For the offence, Sanjeevan faces a jail term not exceeding 12 months, a fine of between RM10,000 and RM50,000, or both.

Sessions Court judge Fathiyah Idris and magistrate Nurulfitriza Abd Latif set Aug 1 for re-mention.

Deputy public prosecutor Saiful Hazmi Mohd Saad, Izwan Ariff Ibrahim and Shukor Abu Bakar appeared for the prosecution.

Sanjeevan was represented by Gobind Singh Deo, S. Prakash, Pavin Jay Kumar and Haijan Omar.

Gobind claimed his client was physically abused while in detention.

“During proceedings in the Sessions Court, I complained to the judge that Sanjeevan had informed me that he was abused during detention under Section 4(1)(a) of the Prevention of Crime
Act 1959.

“He said he was handcuffed, blindfolded and beaten. In addition, he was not provided with medicine or food. He also complained that his requests for medical treatment for internal bleeding was ignored,” Gobind said in a statement.

He said he proceeded to apply for an order directing the police to take Sanjeevan for a medical check-up and that the accused be allowed to lodge a police report over his allegations.

“I told the court that Sanjeevan’s complaints were serious as he was detained for 21 days by way of a court order obtained at the Kuala Lumpur magistrate’s court on July 11, and that order does not provide for any form of abuse being inflicted on him,” Gobind added.

Police: Ship’s crew may have been kidnapped

KOTA KINABALU ― Five Malaysian sailors may have been abducted after their ship was found drifting in Sabah waters off Lahad Datu yesterday, said police.

“We do not rule out the possibility of the five being kidnapped,” state police chief Datuk Abdul Rashid Harun told reporters in Lahad Datu.

He added that police were investigating all angles to account for the missing crew of the ship, found in one of Sabah’s easternmost points, Dent Haven, near Tambisan.

He also said none of the family members of the missing five have been contacted for ransom.

The crew were identified as Abdul Rahim Summas, 62; Tayudin Anjut, 45; Fandy Bakran, 26; Mohamad Jumadil Rahim, 23, all from Tawau; and Mohd Ridzuan Ismail, 32, from Pahang.

They were aboard the Tawau-based Serudong 3 tugboat which was leading a barge from Sandakan on July 17. It was due to arrive in Semporna on July 18 at about 5pm.

A passing tugboat, Sabah Tug 9, saw it caught on a sandbank in Dent Haven, at about 2pm yesterday, and tried to contact it. The area is close to the sea border to the Philippine island of Tawi Tawi.

“They notified the authorities and at about 3pm, two speedboats from the marine police went out in search of the boat and found it with its engine running but compass missing,” said Rashid, who requested fishermen to notify them of their routes when going out to sea.

“This way, we can mobilise our assets to ensure safety measures are in place. This cooperation is crucial.”

The disappearance has created more fears of kidnappings in the region, which is known to be a hotbed of cross-border crime, most notably kidnap-for-ransom.

The latest in a string of abductions was the kidnapping of three Indonesian crewmen of a fishing trawler in the waters off Lahad Datu on July 9.

On April 1, four Sarawakian sailors were taken from their vessel in the waters off Pulau Ligitan. — Malay Mail Online

Elderly man shocked by robbery dies

KUALA LUMPUR — A 72-year-old real estate broker collapsed and died minutes after he and his aged wife screamed at three burglars ransacking their Bukit Pantai home in Bangsar on Monday night.

After the thieves fled through the back door of the bungalow, Datuk Abdul Haleem Shah Salamat Shah and Datin Sharifah Delia Syed Zainal Abidin Al-Yahya, believed to be in her 60s, went upstairs to their bedroom where he experienced breathing difficulties.

Abdul Haleem, who suffered from high blood pressure and diabetes, fainted and could not be resuscitated.

Brickfields police chief ACP Shahrul Othman Mansor said medical personnel from University Malaya Medical Centre arrived at 10pm and pronounced him dead.

He said the thieves escaped with a Rolex watch, two diamond rings and an undisclosed amount of foreign currency, with losses amounting to RM60,000.

Shahrul said there were five closed-circuit television (CCTV) cameras in the house but the suspects were believed to have also stolen the decoder from the master bedroom.

“We have contacted the CCTV company but they do not have any backup footage.

“We will acquire footage from CCTVs nearby for clues as to what happened,’’ he said.

Shahrul said the thieves gained entry through the kitchen window after they disabled the security alarm system by burning its wires.

He said four fingerprints were found at the scene.

He said Sharifah Delia was unable to provide further information on the suspects as they ran behind the house before she could see their faces.

“The couple did not turn on the lights at the back of their home and the suspects escaped into the darkness.”

Woman burnt in petrol kiosk mishap succumbs to injuries

PETALING JAYA — A teacher who was burnt after her car caught fire while refuelling at a petrol station in Setapak Indah, Kuala Lumpur, on June 28, died on Sunday.

T. Sarifhla, 25, died at Kuala Lumpur Hospital 19 days after the incident.

Wangsa Maju district police chief Supt Mohamad Roy Suhaimi Sarif said she died of infection from her injuries.

It was reported that she had been using her handphone after locking the trigger mechanism of the fuel nozzle when an explosion occurred.

Police had said Sarifhla, from Batu Caves, had answered a call on her phone when the incident took place about 1.25pm.

She suffered 60 per cent burns on
her body.

Shobukhova must pay for cheating

LONDON — Disgraced Russian athlete Liliya Shobukhova will have to repay organisers of the London Marathon almost £400,000 (RM2.11 million) a British court ordered yesterday.

The 38-year-old — who is banned for life from the London Marathon despite having served her official suspension of just over three years which was reduced by seven months — is obliged to return the appearance money she was paid for the 2010 and 2011 editions in which she won and finished second respectively.

Shobukhova, who also had her three wins in the Chicago Marathon (2009, 2010 and 20/11) erased from the record books, was caught out when in April 2014 Russian authorities detected abnormalities in her biological passport.

Despite the court ruling, the London Marathon organisers face the trickier route now of having the order enforced in Russia.

“The next step is to get the judgment enforced in Russia,” said Nick Bitel, chief executive of the company London Marathon Events.

“It will be a long and difficult process but we will pursue it as we are determined that cheats should not benefit.

“Any money we get back will be redistributed to the athletes that Shobukhova cheated out of their rightful dues.”

Bitel said that marathon runners these days faced increasing scrutiny and dope testing not only by the sport’s world governing body‚ the International Association of Athletics Federations (IAAF).

“We are determined to make marathon-running a safe haven from doping,”
said Bitel.

“We will continue to do everything we can to ensure cheats are caught and do not benefit from cheating.

“In addition to testing operated by the IAAF and national federations, the Abbott World Marathon Majors has set up one of the largest private testing pool of athletes in sport, with 150 competitors being tested out of competition a minimum of six times a year for their unique athlete biological passport.”

Shobukhova is the athlete at the centre of the allegations Papa Missata Diack, the fugitive son of the shamed former president of the IAAF Lamine Diack, and other IAAF officials blackmailed over a positive dope test into paying €450,000 (RM2 million) so she could run in the 2012 London Olympics. — AFP

Timeline of Russian doping scandal

December 2014

German broadcaster ARD airs documentary alleging systematic doping in Russian athletics. A week later, Russian athletics chief and IAAF treasurer Valentin Balakhnichev, and IAAF marketing consultant Pape Massata Diack, son of then-IAAF president Lamine Diack, step down while corruption and doping allegations are investigated by IAAF’s ethics commission. WADA then sets up an independent commission headed by its former chief, Canadian Dick Pound, to investigate the doping claims.

August 2015

ARD airs second documentary with new accusations aimed at Russian and Kenyan athletes based on a leaked IAAF database with details of 12,000 blood tests from 5,000 competitors which revealed “extraordinary” levels of doping. Sebastian Coe is elected to succeed Diack as IAAF president later that same month.

November 2015

French police charge Lamine Diack with corruption on suspicion the 83-year-old Senegalese accepted bribes to cover up doping cases. Diack was also charged with money laundering and conspiracy.

Wada’s report into the scandal calls on Russia’s track and field team to be banned from international competition, including from the Rio Olympics, until “state-sponsored” doping is eradicated.

IAAF’s 26-strong council subsequently suspends the Russian athletics team. Wada also suspends Russia’s national anti-doping body, Rusada, over non-compliance.

January 2016

IAAF ethics commission bans for life Balakhnichev and Pape Massata Diack over bribes taken to cover up doping failures by Russian athletes.

Wada’s second report into doping and corruption is published. It says IAAF leaders must have known about the wide scope of doping.

May 2016

The former head of Russia’s anti-doping laboratory, Grigory Rodchenkov, exiled in the United States, describes an organised doping campaign‚ including at least 15 medallists from the 2014 Sochi Winter Olympics, with the close involvement of the sports ministry and the FSB security service.

Three days after calling the claims “absurd”, Russian Sports Minister Vitaly Mutko says he is “ashamed and sorry” over the doping scandal.

June 2016

Fourth ARD programme claims that Russian authorities have been covering up for coaches disgraced by the doping programme, directly pinpointing Mutko for his alleged involvement in the cover-up.

IAAF Council unanimously votes to extend the ban on the Russian athletics federation, but offers an Olympic lifeline to athletes training outside the Russian system to compete in Rio as neutrals.

July 2016

Canadian law professor Richard McLaren releases a 96-page report for Wada which outlines rampant Russian state-run doping at the Sochi Olympics and other events.

The investigation finds the FSB secret service helped “the state-dictated failsafe system” carried out by the sports ministry and covering 30 sports.

McLaren’s report says the cover-up started in 2010 after Russia’s “abysmal” results at the Vancouver Winter Olympics and continued until 2015 after the Sochi Games.

As a result, Wada calls for Russia to be banned from the Rio Olympics and urges global sports governing bodies to bar Russia until “culture change” is achieved.

IOC president Thomas Bach describes the revelations as “a shocking and unprecedented attack” on sport. — AFP

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