Anthony Bourdain Parts Unknown 6_AM

UNUSUAL ROUTE

ANTHONY BOURDAIN: PARTS UNKNOWN S6 (premiere)

TLC (CH707) 9.55pm

Follow the world-renowned chef, writer and broadcaster as he travels across the globe uncovering little-known areas and celebrating diverse cultures by exploring food and dining rituals. Known for his curiosity, candor, and acerbic wit, Bourdain (pic) takes viewers off the beaten path — including some war-torn areas — and meets with a variety of local citizens to offer a window into their lifestyles, and occasionally communes with an internationally lauded chef on his journeys.

THE ELLEN DEGENERES SHOW S14 (premiere)

Lifetime (CH709) 5pm

Join comedian Ellen (pic) as she speaks to celebrity guests, musical performers and ordinary people with extraordinary talents.

WHAT’S FOR SALE S1 (premiere)

Nat Geo People HD (CH725) 9.20pm

Host Rob Serediuk (pic) takes Paul and Lyn around Prince Edward County, Ontario,Canada to find their dream cottage. After touring a Hamptons-style cabin, a quaint cottage with Quebecois flair, and a third colourful property, which will they choose?

TOP GEAR USA S3

Kix HD (CH729) 9pm

Featuring super-cars and car reviews, hosts comedian and actor Adam Ferrera, champion rally and drift racer Tanner Foust and racing analyst Rutledge Wood bring exciting stunts and challenges with a splash of American humour.

sime darby

Extending care to urban poor

ABOUT 30 needy families at Projek Perumahan Rakyat Taman Putra Damai in Lembah Subang, Ara Damansara recently received food and hygiene packages from Sime Darby Property and its corporate social responsibility partner Islamic Relief Malaysia.

The activity, which is part of Sime Darby Property’s community development programme, is a six-month programme aimed at improving the livelihood, health and economic status of poor households in urban areas within the Klang Valley.

Corporate responsibility exists in every aspect of Sime Darby Property’s business and operations. Its focus is aligned towards developing sustainable communities through shared value creation for women, children, foreign workers, indigenous people and local communities.

Other community development activities in the pipeline include self-enhancement programmes on financial management, family enrichment and social skills as well as community-wide programmes touching on community integration and social issues.

maybunk

Committed to community development

OVER 18,000 Maybank employees worldwide recently commemorated the seventh Maybank Global Corporate Responsibility (CR) Day engaging with communities through various initiatives.

With the theme Enabling Communities with Solutions, the Maybank Global CR Day is part of the company’s employee volunteerism programme believed to be the largest single community programme undertaken simultaneously by a Malaysian-based corporation on a global scale.

It involves employees not only in Malaysia but also its offices abroad — from New York and London to China and across Asean — coming together to reaffirm their commitment to social and community development.

Maybank Group chief human capital officer Nora Manaf said the Global CR Day is a unique volunteerism event where employees reinforce Maybanks mission of humanising financial services and its commitment to be at the heart of the community sustainably. On this day, employees across the group went down to the ground to volunteer and carry out together their various sustainable CR initiatives that they had been and will be implementing in communities where the Bank has presence.

Our theme for this years Group-wide Global CR Day resonates strongly with our role as a responsible corporate citizen. This theme reinforces our commitment in creating and empowering solutions for the communities to improve their lives. We believe the solutions that we are bringing through our initiatives today, will benefit the present communities for a better future, she said.

Nora said this years Global CR Day marked yet another milestone for the Group as it was not only the seventh consecutive year that the employees were getting together on a single day, to contribute to the betterment of society and the environment in a sustainable and impactful manner, but it took the impact farther on the sustainability front with the principle of Paying it Forward weaved intensively into the activities.

Over 90 initiatives were implemented by employees across the Group. These included various community projects involving special children, the elderly, disabled, single mothers and orphans as well as the environment.

In Kuala Lumpur, Maybank chairman Tan Sri Megat Zaharuddin Megat Mohd Nor joined in a fun run and walk with Down Syndrome children from the Orchid Home at the Forest Research Institute of Malaysia to raise funds for special needs students as well as cancer children from the University of Malaya Medical Centre Cancer Unit.

Maybank Group president and chief executive officer Datuk Abdul Farid Alias joined employees in a community programme to raise funds through various activities for the National Autism Society of Malaysia, as well as create more awareness of autism among the public.

Activities included a telematch with autistic children, colouring contest and the refurbishment of the school.

Elsewhere, employees engaged in numerous other initiatives ranging from engagement with the physically challenged, mentoring and supporting indigenous and financially disadvantaged communities, planting trees in public parks, or joining hands to spruce up community areas.

They also cleaned up rivers and wetlands, promoted waste recycling awareness and helped in greening available space at Menara Maybank, with the food produce donated to welfare homes.

The Global CR Day was first held in 2010 in conjunction with Maybanks 50th anniversary. Over 10,000 employees took part in the inaugural event. The increasing number of participants over the years reflects the strong team spirit among employees to come together and participate in the unique global volunteer programme.

PHILIPPINES-CRIME-DRUGS-RIGHTS-DUTERTE-20160905-082002

Rich, poor are all targets in Philippine drug war

MANILA — The Philippines police chief warned yesterday his officers were prepared to kill anyone, even rich and influential politicians, as they wage President Rodrigo Duterte’s deadly war on drugs.

Since Duterte took office just over two months ago, the government said more than 2,400 people have been killed in his anti-crime crusade, an increasingly controversial campaign that has drawn UN condemnation.

Police said they themselves killed 1,011 drug suspects with 1,391 others listed as “deaths under investigation”.

“If they fight back they will die. Rest assured, we do not discriminate,” national police chief Ronald De la Rosa told a news conference.

“All of them, the rich, the poor, police, civilians … even if you are a politician, you will die if you are into drugs and you fight back,” he warned.

The dominant Catholic church, human rights groups and even UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon have criticised Duterte for his apparent support of extrajudicial killings.

Critics have also charged the police are mainly killing poor people in the slums while wealthy and influential suspects have been spared.

Duterte was elected by a landslide in May after vowing to end crime in six months by killing tens of thousands of criminals.

De la Rosa, who has been Duterte’s main enforcer in the campaign, stressed police would be more merciless towards corrupt policemen involved in illegal drugs.

“We even prefer to kill our fellows who have betrayed our cause … they have turned traitors,” he said.

Duterte and other officials insisted police only kill suspects in self-defence, and have said others were murdered by crime gangs trying to silence them.

However Duterte has also openly called for the killing of drug suspects, even urging their neighbours to murder them.

Concern over Duterte’s anti-crime crackdown increased further after he declared a “state of lawlessness” following a bombing in his hometown of Davao last Friday that left 14 dead and about 70 injured.

The declaration allows the president to use the military in law enforcement operations once limited to the police.

Opposition legislators have said this action was unnecessary and could result in further breaches of human rights.

De la Rosa, playing down such concerns, said: “Rest assured we will implement this without violating human rights.”
— AFP

Indonesian haze probe team threatened with death

JAKARTA — Dozens of Indonesian men, suspected of being hired by an oil palm plantation company, threatened to kill environmental investigators checking on fires on Sumatra island, the environment ministry said.

The incident illustrates the difficulties Indonesia faces tackling the illegal burning of vegetation to clear land for palm oil and pulp and paper plantations that causes clouds of smoke every dry season, which at times blanket the region, raising fears for public health and air travel.

The ministry said a group of up to 100 men detained seven investigators for about 12 hours on the weekend and threatened to burn them alive and dump their bodies in a river at an oil palm plantation in Rokan Hulu, Riau province.

The team was following up on satellite images showing “hot spots”, or suspected fires, in a concession of PT Andika Permata Sawit Lestari (APSL) oil palm plantation company.

There were “strong indications” the mob was deployed by the company, the ministry said in a statement.

“With this incident, the investigation of PT APSL will become our top priority,” Environment Minister Siti Nurbaya said in the statement, referring to both suspected forest encroachment by the company and the detention of the team.

“The environment ministry will investigate this and take strict action in accordance with the law,” she said.

A company official declined to comment when contacted yesterday.

The team was released only after lengthy negotiations involving police and after they agreed to delete photographic evidence and to leave behind two vehicles and equipment. The equipment and vehicles were recovered the next day.

The investigators, however, managed to retrieve video footage shot by a drone showing thousands of hectares of forest had been burned illegally in and around the APSL concession.

“As far as the eye can see, an area once peatland has been converted into oil palm plantation,” Nurbaya said.

Plantation companies drain swampy peatland before planting their crops and the dried-out peat is particularly flammable and often catches fire when companies set fires to clear vegetation.

More than 450 individuals have been arrested in connection with land and forest fires this year.

Under Indonesian law, companies found guilty of clearing land by burning can be fined up to 10 billion rupiah (RM3.1 million), and the management faces up to 10 years in jail. Companies that fail to control fires started elsewhere but which spread into their concession land also face punishment.

Smoke from fires in Riau often drifts over nearby Singapore and Malaysia. Air pollution in Singapore rose to “unhealthy” levels late last month after a spike in fires in the area. — Reuters

missile

N. Korea fires three ballistic missiles off east coast

SEOUL — North Korea test-fired three ballistic missiles into the sea yesterday, South Korea said, in a new show of force as world leaders meet at the G20 summit in China.

The missiles were fired into the Sea of Japan (East Sea) from the North’s Hwangju county at about 0300 GMT (11am in Malaysia), a spokesman for Seoul’s defence ministry said.

The sabre-rattling follows the North’s submarine-launched ballistic missile test some two weeks ago.

“They are speculated to be Rodong missiles with a range of 1,000km and were fired without navigational warning to Japan,” the spokesman said in a statement.

“North Korea’s ballistic missile launch is a direct violation of UN Security Council resolutions, aimed at showing off its nuclear and missile capabilities during the G20 summit,” he said.

The defence ministry in Tokyo said the three missiles are estimated to have fallen into Japan’s maritime Exclusive
Economic Zone.

“The ministry expresses serious concern over the missile launches as they pose a grave threat to Japan’s national security,” a ministry statement said.

The North’s latest tests sparked strong protests from senior Japanese and US officials.

The launches “are a grave security provocation and can never be permitted”, Japanese Foreign Minister Fumio Kishida told reporters in Tokyo.

“We have lodged a strong protest against North Korea.”

A senior US administration official at the G20 in Hangzhou also condemned the launches as a threat to its allies and to civilian air travel, and vowed diplomatic action against the Pyongyang regime.

“Today’s reckless launches by North Korea pose threats to civil aviation and maritime commerce in the region,” the official said.

Washington would try to “bolster international resolve to hold the DPRK (North Korea) accountable for its provocative actions”.

Yesterday’s missile launches came hours after South Korean President Park Geun-Hye and Chinese President Xi Jinping met on the sidelines of the summit in Hangzhou.

Ties between South Korea and China have been frosty since Seoul announced plans to deploy a US anti-missile system in July to counter growing nuclear and missile threats from the North.

During the summit, Xi reiterated Beijing’s opposition to Seoul’s planned deployment of the Terminal High Altitude Area Defence (THAAD) system, arguing that “mishandling” the issue could “intensify disputes” in the region, China’s state-run Xinhua news agency said.

Park labelled North Korea’s continued provocations as a “challenge” to Seoul-Beijing ties, adding that security threats from Pyongyang were at an “unprecedented level”, South Korea’s Yonhap news agency said.

North Korea has conducted a series of missile tests this year in defiance of UN sanctions imposed after its fourth nuclear test in January. The most recent was a submarine-launched ballistic missile last month.

That missile, fired from off the northeastern port of Sinpo, flew 500km towards Japan, far exceeding the range of the North’s previous sub-launched missiles.

The country’s leader Kim Jong-un described the August test as the “greatest success” and said it put the US mainland within striking range.

The launch was widely condemned by the US and other major powers but analysts saw it as a clear step forward for North Korea’s nuclear strike ambitions.

A proven submarine-launched ballistic missile system would allow deployment far beyond the Korean peninsula and a “second-strike” capability in the event of an attack on the North’s military bases. — AFP

Lee says he is ‘alright’ after fainting on stage

SINGAPORE — Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong said in a televised interview broadcast on Sunday that he was “alright”, after he took ill two weeks ago during a national day rally speech.

In his first televised appearance since the incident, Lee told local television Channel 5 doctors concluded he suffered “vasovagal syncope”, which is the most common type of fainting.

“I’m alright. Doctors went over me thoroughly the same night and after that night and they went through all possible causes on why it could have happened,” Lee said.

“For the layman it means ‘you stood up and you fainted.’ Fortunately it’s nothing worse than that and no harm came to me but I had a week’s break and I’m back at work,” said Lee, who is now in China attending a summit of leaders from G20 nations.

Vasovagal syncope is usually harmless and requires no treatment.

“I usually have a doctor travel with me when I’m going on working trips. I just have to keep a sustainable pace,” he said at the beginning of an interview about upcoming changes to make it easier for minorities to become president of the city state.

A key change could be that from time to time the presidential race could be reserved to minorities if needed, he said. The presidential role in Singapore is largely ceremonial, but the president has veto rights over the use of past state reserves and key civil servant appointments.

Lee, 64, has twice survived cancer. He was diagnosed with lymphoma in 1992 but the cancer went into remission after successful chemotherapy. He had his prostate gland removed in February last year. — Reuters

US-ANIMAL-PANDA-20160824-153854

Giant pandas no longer ‘endangered’ in China

HONOLULU — Decades of conservation work in China have paid off for the giant panda, whose status was upgraded on Sunday from “endangered” to “vulnerable” due to a population rebound, officials said.

The improvement for the giant panda (Ailuropoda melanoleuca) was announced as part of an update to the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN) Red List, the world’s most comprehensive inventory of plants and animals.

The latest estimates show a population of 1,864 adult giant pandas. Although exact numbers are not available, adding cubs to the projection would mean about 2,060 pandas exist today, said the IUCN.

“Evidence from a series of range-wide national surveys indicate the previous population decline has been arrested, and the population started to increase,” said the IUCN’s updated report.

The cornerstones of the Chinese government’s effort to bring back its fuzzy, black-and-white national icon have included an intense effort to replant bamboo forests, which provide food and shelter for the bears.

Through its “rent-a-panda” captive breeding programme, China has also loaned some bears to zoos abroad in exchange for cash, and reinvested that money in conservation efforts.

“When push comes to shove, the Chinese have done a really good job with pandas,” John Robinson, a primatologist and chief conservation officer at the Wildlife Conservation Society, told AFP.

“So few species are actually downlisted, it really is a reflection of the success of conservation,” he said at the IUCN World Conservation Congress, the largest meeting of its kind, which drew more than 9,000 heads of state, policymakers and environmentalists to Honolulu.

According to Simon Stuart, chair of the IUCN Species Survival Commission, the improvement was “not rocket science” but came from the hard work of controlling poaching and replanting bamboo forests.

“This is something to celebrate because it is not a part of the world where we expect this to happen,” Stuart told reporters at a press conference to unveil the updated Red List. — AFP

AFGHANISTAN-CONFLICTS-ZOO-ANIMAL-20160905-030700

Kabul’s once battle-scarred zoo roars back to life

KABUL — Its scarred lion Marjan was for years a symbol of Afghan survival.

Now, more than a decade after his death, Afghanistan remains battered by war but Kabul zoo is buzzing again — a haven for women, children and young lovers in a capital city that has little public space for anyone but men.

The carnival of animal life may be a mundane affair compared to other places, but it seems like an anomaly in Kabul, a war-scarred city benighted by post-traumatic stress, which still faces a high risk of insurgent attacks.

Men with children, women in blue burqas, crowds of young students — girls and boys — come to this haven to relax.

“My wife and I have come here to take a break and forget our pain and sorrows,” explains Mohammad Ali Akbari, a resident of southern Ghazni province, one of the worst hit by the Taliban insurgency.

“My wife is a bit sick. I brought her here so she can breathe fresh air and enjoy the normal things of life,” he adds, as his wife gazes at a bear inside a cage.

Children peer through a wire mesh fence, amused by monkeys swinging their tails and frolicking from one tree to another, as some of them imitate their whoops and barks.

Loud music emanates from the zoo canteen near an aviary with pheasants and other birds, as families huddled in conversation around burgers, fries and canned sodas.

Other picnickers seek respite from the scorching afternoon heat under the shade of trees, while enjoying platters of cantaloupe, honeydew and watermelon.

Blushing young lovers sit on a bench opposite the gazelle cage, seeking an escape from prying eyes in a city where harassment is otherwise commonplace.

The Kabul zoo — the only one in the country — is located in the heart of the Afghan capital, surrounded by a dense warren of muddy flat-topped houses.

Before the 1992-1995 civil war, the zoo was home to many exotic animals.

But most of them were either killed or escaped as mortar rounds slammed into the zoo during fighting, leaving only a bear with a nose injured by children who jabbed it with a stick, a scattering of monkeys, an assortment of birds of prey — and Marjan, the showpiece lion who was blinded by a grenade blast in 1993.

Many of the smaller and tamer animals, such as sheep and goats, were stolen for food. More exotic creatures, such as rare species of birds, were sold on the black market or smuggled out of the country.

The zoo has since undergone a slow and painful reconstruction, now housing around 600 animals, many of them gifted by countries such as India and China. It is now more than a zoo,” said Aziz Gul Saqib, who served as director for more than a decade.

“Families feel safe here. They see the zoo as a place for rejuvenation,” he said, adding that last year more than 700,000 people visited the zoo, including 50,000 students. — AFP

SYRIA-CONFLICT-EXPLOSIONS-20160905-094410

43 killed as bomb blasts hit across Syria

BEIRUT — A string of bomb attacks hit across mostly government-controlled areas of Syria yesterday, killing several dozens of people including at least 30 in President Bashar al-Assad’s coastal stronghold of Tartus, state media said.

At least 43 people died in the blasts, and 45 were also wounded in the double bombing outside of Tartus city, which is home to a Russian naval base.

There were no immediate claims of responsibility for the blasts, but the Islamic State group regularly targeted several of the areas hit yesterday.

Other attacks hit government-held Homs city, an army checkpoint on a road outside Damascus, and a Kurdish security forces checkpoint in Hasakeh city.

In Tartus, two blasts targeted the Arzuna bridge, “the first a car bomb and the second a suicide bomber who detonated his explosive belt when people gathered to help the wounded,” according to state television.

Tartus has been largely spared the worst violence of Syria’s conflict since it began with anti-government protests in March 2011.

It has become a refuge for many Syrians fleeing the fighting that has displaced over half the country’s population.

In the northeast of the country, at least eight people were killed by a bomber on a bike in the city of Hasakeh, which is mostly controlled by Kurdish forces, though the regime is also present.

Syrian state media said the dead were six members of the Asayesh security forces and two civilians.

Hasakeh city has been regularly targeted by the Islamic State group, including in July, when a motorcycle bomber killed at least 16 people outside a bakery in the city.

The IS-linked Amaq news agency reported the blast in Hasakeh, but did not carry any immediate claims of responsibility.

Yesterday’s bombings came after advances by Turkish forces and allied Syrian rebels expelled IS from the last stretch of the Syrian-Turkish border under their control.

The militant group has been losing ground to both an alliance of Kurdish and Arab fighters known as the Syrian Democratic Forces and, more recently, a Turkish offensive involving rebels loyal to Ankara.

In central Homs city, state media said at least four people were killed in a car bomb at the entrance to the Al-Zahraa neighbourhood, whose residents mostly belong to the same Alawite sect as Assad.

Al-Zahraa has also been regularly targeted in bomb attacks, including a devastating double bomb blast in February that killed 57 people and was claimed by IS. — AFP

E-Paper Article View