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Jumaat, 10 Julai 2015

Top Tibetan Monk On Money Laundering Charge

A Tibetan monk seen as a possible successor to the Dalai Lama is to be prosecuted for money laundering.

   The decision to prosecute Karmapa Urgyen Trinley comes after an Indian court overturned a decision to drop charges.

   A judge at the Himachal Pradesh High Court issued an order for authorities to open criminal proceedings over the recovery of around $1m (£650,000) in foreign currency during a raid on his Buddhist monastery four years ago.
   Criminal conspiracy charges were filed after the raid but a district court in 2012 dismissed the case but the latest appeal means Trinley now faces judicial proceedings.
   The case dates back to a raid in January 2011 on a monastery in the Himalayan town of Dharamshala in which investigators say stacks of bank notes in 26 different currencies were recovered, including the equivalent of £65,000 in Chinese yuan.
   The raid came after police stopped two people driving a car that was full of cash - the pair said the money was intended for a land deal involving a trust run by Trinley.
   The 30-year-old has denied any wrongdoing, saying the bank notes were donations from devotees gathered over the years and he was not involved in any land deals.
   The monk, who fled Tibet at the age of 14, is recognised by both China and the Dalai Lama as the reincarnation of the Karmapa Lama, the 17th incarnation of the head of the Karma Kagyu lineage, one of the four major schools of Tibetan Buddhism.
   Since fleeing Tibet and reaching India after an eight-day journey on foot and horseback, Trinley has lived mainly at the Gyuto Monastery in Dharamshala, the northern Indian hill station that is the seat of the Tibetan government in exile.
   He is seen as having the highest profile of an array of young lamas who could succeed the 80-year-old Dalai Lama.
   Their appearances together have increased speculation he is being groomed as the Nobel peace laureate's spiritual successor.
   Trinley's spokesman, Kunzang Chungyalpa, said the lama had great faith in India's judicial system.
   "He strongly believes truth will prevail at the end."

Tearful prayers as Manny Pacquiao visits death row Filipina

Boxing superstar Manny Pacquiao visited a Filipina on death row in Indonesia on Friday, with the convict breaking down in tears as she prayed behind bars with the Philippine sporting hero.
Mary Jane Veloso was sentenced to death in Indonesia after being arrested in 2009 with 2.6 kilograms (5.7 pounds) of heroin sewn into the lining of her suitcase.

She had been due to face the firing squad along with other foreign drug convicts in April but was granted a temporary reprieve after a woman suspected of recruiting her was arrested in the Philippines.
Indonesian authorities have insisted the case of Veloso, who has always maintained her innocence claiming that human-traffickers duped her, has only been postponed while legal proceedings run their course in the Philippines.
"We're hoping to help save Mary Jane's life, I think Mary Jane is a victim of human-trafficking," Pacquiao said after visiting the single mother of two young children in Wirogunan prison on the main island of Java.
During a 30-minute meeting, Pacquiao and his wife Jinkee prayed with Veloso. The convict broke down in tears as she prayed, a government official who witnessed the meeting told reporters, and at one point tightly embraced the boxing star.
They swapped gifts, with Veloso giving Pacquiao a blue scarf emblazoned with his nickname "Pacman", and the boxer giving her money. However prison officials said they would keep the money for her as it was against the rules for inmates to have cash. They did not say how much it was.
Pacquiao, who was in Indonesia to film a television advert, was also hoping to raise her case with President Joko Widodo during a visit to the capital Jakarta later Friday.
Her case attracted huge attention in both Indonesia and the Philippines, with near daily rallies of support and celebrities urging Jakarta to show her mercy.
Pacquiao is an international star who last made global headlines in May when he was beaten by Floyd Mayweather in Las Vegas in what was dubbed "the fight of the century".
Widodo has vowed there will be no clemency for drug traffickers on death row as Indonesia is facing an "emergency" due to rising narcotics use.
Seven other foreign drug convicts and one Indonesian were executed as planned on the prison island of Nusakambangan in late April, sparking an international outcry.

Princess Charlotte Looks Adorable in Official Christening Photos

Only days after Kate Middleton and Prince William baptized daughter Princess Charlotte, Kensington Palace has released four official photos of the ceremony taken by famed photographer Mario Testino.
    In one shot, Kate Middleton smiles while holding Charlotte and gazing at her infant. Charlotte, ready for her close-up, makes eye contact with the camera. In a second, the family of four poses, with Prince William holding Prince George (who is playing with his hair), while Middleton holds Charlotte. A third shot, black and white, features Prince William holding Prince George, and the last is of the entire family, both royals and Middletons.

   It’s not the first time Testino has snapped the royals. Aside from being Princess Diana’s favorite photographer (having shot her infamous Vanity Fair spread before her death at age 36), he took Will and Kate’s official engagement photos in 2011, along with previous shots of Prince Charles, Camilla, Duchess of Cornwall, and Prince Harry.
   During Charlotte’s christening ceremony, the princess was blessed with a total of five godparents. “There’s no set rule for how many godparents a royal child is given, although it’s certainly more than the average person,” CNN royal expert Victoria Arbiter, previously told Yahoo Parenting. “William and Harry each have six godparents and George has seven.”
   However, in the case of the royals, godparents won’t serve as potential legal guardians — according to Arbiter, the titles are merely symbolic for those who will provide guidance and friendship to Charlotte. And as for reports that Kate sister Pippa and William’s brother Harry were overlooked for the role, Arbiter says, “As aunt and uncle, they already have a close and meaningful relationship with the Cambridge children so there is no need for them to serve as godparents.” What’s more, she adds, in the U.K., siblings aren’t usually asked to be godparents.

Here are Charlotte’s five godparents:  
Laura Fellowes: She’s William’s first cousin (the daughter of Diana’s sister, Lady Jane Fellowes). You also may recognize her as the little girl photographed with a mischievous William at the Duke of York’s 1986 wedding. The young prince was sitting next to Laura when he was caught sticking out his tongue and yawning during the nuptials.
Tom van Straubenzee: One of William’s best friends, he and fellow godparent James Meade were ushers at Will and Kate’s 2011 wedding. Fun fact: van Straubenzee’s wife is a castle heiress and one of their family homes was featured in a Harry Potter film.
Sophie Carter: She’s Kate’s loyal bestie and frequent tennis partner and she once dated van Straubenzee.
James Meade: Nicknamed “Badger,” Meade is an old classmate of William and lives near Anmer Hall with his wife.
Adam Middleton: He’s Kate’s first cousin and as a loyal Middleton member, he attended the duchess’ 2013 birthday party at Cirque du Soleil and Pippa’s launch party for her 2012 book,Celebrate.
The adorable christening photos top off a week of royal celebrations. Hopefully we’ll see some cute summer candids. 

Khamis, 9 Julai 2015

Ariana Grande Apologises

ICYMI because you were living under a rock and/or too busy eating non-contaminated doughnuts to notice, Ariana Grande caused outrage yesterday when a video emerged of her licking doughnuts and being kinda rude to staff at Wolfee Donuts shop in California.
Now, however, the pint-size popstar has apologised for saying she ‘hates America’ in the video, claiming she was just angry about America’s eating habits.

Arianators were pretty p*ssed yesterday when the CCTV footage came to light, which showed the 22-year-old licking doughnuts she didn’t intend to buy before encouraging her friends to do the same.
The star’s fanbase were left even more peeved by Ari’s reaction to the server who comes back to the counter with a fresh tray of doughnuts, with the singer snapping: “What the f*ck is that?”
She then continues with: “I hate Americans. I hate America.”
Hanger is dangerous, y’all.
After the video caused uproar online, the pop princess took to Twitter to apologise for and explain her actions, captioning the explantion: “need to clean up this mouth of mine & set a better example for my babes. i apologize and i love you. always learning. [sic]”
She wrote: “I am EXTREMELY proud to be an American and I’ve always made it clear that I love my county [sic]. What I said in a private moment with my friend, who was buying the donuts, was taken out of context and I am sorry for not using more discretion with my choice of words. 
“As an advocate for healthy eating, food is very important to me and I sometimes get upset by how freely we as Americans eat and consume things without giving any thought to the consequences that it has on our health and society as a whole. 
“The fact that the United States has the highest child obesity rate in the world frustrates me. We need to do more to educate ourselves and our children about the dangers of overeating and the poison that we put into our bodies. We need to demand more from our food industry. 
“However I should of [sic] known better in how I expressed myself; and with my new responsibility to others as a public figure I will strive to be better.”
Errrr, still doesn’t explain why she decided some doughnuts needed some new fresh saliva-based icing, and we’re kinda sad there’s ear that every pastry/doughnut/cake we now buy may come with an side order of slobber, but okay.
She went on to explain why she had to pull out of a Major League Baseball concert scheduled to take place on Saturday, continuing: “As for why I cannot be at the MLB show, I have had emergency oral surgery and due to recovery I cannot attend the show. I hope to make it up to all those fans soon. 
“That being said let me once again apologize if I have offended anyone with my poor choice of words.“

So there you go.

Manny Pacquiao to visit death row Filipina in Indonesia

 BOXING superstar Manny Pacquiao said he will visit a Filipina on death row in Indonesia on Friday and also plans to raise her case with President Joko Widodo.
 Mary Jane Veloso was sentenced to death in Indonesia after being arrested in 2009 with 2.6 kilograms (5.7 pounds) of heroin sewn into the lining of her suitcase.

She was set to face the firing squad in April with several other foreign drug convicts but was granted an 11th hour reprieve after a woman suspected of recruiting her was arrested in the Philippines. The alleged recruiter and an accomplice now face charges in the Philippines.
After Veloso was given a reprieve, the Indonesian government stressed the decision was only a "postponement" to allow time for police investigations.
The single mother of two young children has always maintained her innocence, claiming she was duped by an international human-trafficking gang into bringing the drugs into Indonesia.
Her case attracted huge attention in both Indonesia and the Philippines, with near daily rallies of support and celebrities including Philippine star Pacquiao pleading for her life to be spared.
Pacquiao, who arrived in Indonesia on Tuesday, said he would meet Veloso in prison later this week.
"I will visit her on Friday," he told reporters in the central Java city of Semarang, not far from the prison where Veloso is being held, adding he would see how he could help her.
"I'm going to meet the president on Friday, so we will see what we can do."
Eight-weight world champion Pacquiao made global headlines in May when was beaten by Floyd Mayweather in Las Vegas in what was dubbed "the fight of the century".
Local media reported Pacquiao was also filming a TV advert during his visit to Indonesia.
The Indonesian attorney-general's office could not be reached for comment Wednesday.
Widodo has vowed there will be no clemency for drug traffickers on death row as Indonesia is facing an "emergency" due to rising narcotics use.
Seven other foreign drug convicts and one Indonesian were executed as planned on the prison island of Nusakambangan in late April, sparking an international outcry.

A secret to IS success: Shock troops who fight to the death

BAGHDAD (AP) — Bearded and wearing bright blue bandanas, the Islamic State group's "special forces" unit gathered around their commander just before they attacked the central Syrian town of al-Sukhna. "Victory or martyrdom," they screamed, pledging their allegiance to God and vowing never to retreat.
The IS calls them "Inghemasiyoun," Arabic for "those who immerse themselves." The elite shock troops are possibly the deadliest weapon in the extremist group's arsenal: Fanatical and disciplined, they infiltrate their targets, unleash mayhem and fight to the death, wearing explosives belts to blow themselves up among their opponents if they face defeat. They are credited with many of the group's stunning battlefield successes — including the capture of al-Sukhna in May after the scene shown in an online video released by the group.
"They cause chaos and then their main ground offensive begins," said Redur Khalil, spokesman of the U.S.-backed Kurdish People's Protection Units, which have taken the lead in a string of military successes against the IS in Syria.
Though best known for its horrific brutalities — from its grotesque killings of captives to enslavement of women — the Islamic State group has proved to be a highly organized and flexible fighting force, according to senior Iraqi military and intelligence officials and Syrian Kurdish commanders on the front lines.
Its tactics are often creative, whether it's using a sandstorm as cover for an assault or a lone sniper tying himself to the top of a palm tree to pick off troops below. Its forces nimbly move between conventional and guerrilla warfare, using the latter to wear down their opponents before massed fighters backed by armored vehicles, Humvees and sometimes even artillery move to take over territory. The fighters incorporate suicide bombings as a fearsome battlefield tactic to break through lines and demoralize enemies, and they are constantly honing them to make them more effective. Recently, they beefed up the front armor of the vehicles used in those attacks to prevent gunfire from killing the driver or detonating explosives prematurely.
Those strategies are being carried over into new fronts, appearing in Egypt in last week's dramatic attack by an IS-linked militant group against the military in the Sinai Peninsula.
Andreas Krieg, a professor at King's College London who embedded with Iraqi Kurdish fighters last fall, said IS local commanders are given leeway to operate as they see fit. They "have overall orders on strategy and are expected to come up with the most efficient ways of adapting it," he said. The group "is very much success oriented, results oriented." That's a strong contrast to the rigid, inefficient and corrupt hierarchies of the Iraqi and Syrian militaries, where officers often fear taking any action without direct approval from higher up.
IS fighters are highly disciplined — swift execution is the punishment for deserting battle or falling asleep on guard duty, Iraqi officers said. The group is also flush with weaponry looted from Iraqi forces that fled its blitzkrieg a year ago, when IS overtook the northern city of Mosul and other areas. Much of the heavy weapons it holds — including artillery and tanks — have hardly been used, apparently on reserve for a future battle.
Iraqi army Lt. Gen. Abdul-Wahab al-Saadi said IS stands out in its ability to conduct multiple battles simultaneously.
"In the Iraqi army, we can only run one big battle at a time," said al-Saadi, who was wounded twice in the past year as he led forces that retook the key cities of Beiji and Tikrit from IS.
Even the group's atrocities are in part a tactic, aimed at terrorizing its enemies and depicting itself as an unstoppable juggernaut. In June 2014, the group boasted of killing hundreds of Shiites in Iraq's security forces, issuing photos of the massacre. It regularly beheads captured soldiers, releasing videos of the killings online. It is increasing the shock value: Recent videos showed it lowering captives in a cage into a pool to drown and blowing off the heads of others with explosive wire around their necks.
The number of IS fighters in Iraq and Syria is estimated between 30,000 to 60,000, according to the Iraqi officers. Former army officers of ousted Iraqi dictator Saddam Hussein have helped the group organize its fighters, a diverse mix from Europe, the United States and Arab and Central Asian nations. Veteran jihadis with combat experience in Afghanistan, Chechnya or Somalia have also brought valuable experience, both in planning and as role models to younger fighters.
"They tend to use their foreign fighters as suicide bombers," said Patrick Skinner, a former CIA officer who now directs special operations for The Soufan Group, a private geopolitical risk assessment company. "People go to the Islamic State looking to die, and the Islamic State is happy to help them."
The group's tactics carried it to an overwhelming sweep of northern and western Iraq a year ago, capturing Mosul, Iraq's second-biggest city. Shortly thereafter, IS leader Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi declared a "caliphate" spanning its territory in Iraq and Syria.
In May, it captured Ramadi, capital of Iraq's vast western Anbar province, in a humiliation for Iraqi forces. In Syria, it seized the central city of Palmyra.
The elite shock troops were crucial in the capture of Ramadi. First came a wave of more than a dozen suicide bombings that hammered the military's positions in the city, then the fighters moved in during a sandstorm. Iraqi troops crumbled and fled as a larger IS force marched in.
"The way they took Ramadi will be studied for a while," Skinner said. "They have the ability to jump back and forth between traditional (military operations) and terrorism." He said a similar combination of suicide bombings ahead of ground forces was used in last week's Sinai attacks in Egypt.
Since US-led airstrikes in Syria and Iraq have made it more difficult for the group's forces to advance, IS has lost ground. Iraqi troops and Shiite militiamen retook areas to the south and northeast of Baghdad, the oil refinery city of Beiji and Saddam Hussein's hometown of Tikrit north of the capital.
In Syria, Kurdish fighters backed by heavy U.S. airstrikes wrested the border town of Kobani from the IS after weeks of devastating battles. More recently, IS lost Tal Abyad, another Syrian town on the Turkish border.
Despite that loss, IS shock troops attacked Kobani last month. Around 70 of them infiltrated and battled a much larger Kurdish force for two days, apparently on a mission not to retake the town but to cause chaos.
They were all slain, but not before killing more than 250 civilians, including roughly 100 children, and more than 30 Kurdish fighters. At the same time, they attacked the northeast Syrian city of Hassakeh, driving out thousands of people and still holding out in parts of the city despite continued fighting. Last week, they carried out a bloody incursion into Tal Abyad, again fighting until they were all killed but demonstrating their relentlessness.
"We are still nursing our wounds in Kobani," said Ghalia Nehme, a Syrian Kurdish commander who fought in last month's battle. "From what we saw, they weren't planning to leave alive. It seems they were longing for heaven," she said.
The use of suicide bombings has forced IS's opponents to adapt. Al-Saadi defied his own Iraqi military commanders who demanded a fast assault to retake Beiji. Instead, he adopted a slow, methodical march from a base near Tikrit, moving only a few miles each day while clearing roads of explosives and setting up barriers against suicide attacks. It took him three weeks to go 25 miles to Beiji, fighting the whole way and fending off more than two dozen suicide attacks, then another week to take Beiji, but he succeeded with minimal casualties.
IS also has adapted, and recently began using remote controlled aircraft fitted with cameras to film enemy positions. It is believed to have agents within the military. It also has superior communications equipment, using two-way radios with a longer range than the Iraqi military's, said Maj. Gen. Ali Omran, commander of Iraq's 5th Division.
Omran said that when the extremists figured out the military was listening in on its radio frequencies, it switched to more secure lines but continued using the infiltrated frequencies to feed the military false information.
Even IS supply chains are robust. Its fighters' rations often include grilled meat kebabs and chicken, better than what Iraqi troops eat, Omran said.
But IS has its vulnerabilities, noted Skinner. It has no air force. And its open, state-like organization gives an opportunity for spies to infiltrate, something the group clearly fears given the many killings of people it suspects of espionage. It also faces internal strains, trying to control and direct its multi-national personnel.
"We think of them as this spooky faceless organization that runs seamlessly," Skinner said. "I imagine it's probably the hardest organization to run, because it's staffed with unstable, violent people."

Kendall: I love posing in my underwear

Kendall Jenner always finds it fun to pose in her underwear.
The 19-year-old model is the face and body of Calvin Klein’s latest lingerie campaign. Titled The Original Sexy, the shots see a close up of Kendall in her bra, while another wider shot shows the teen in just a thong. But while some young models would find posing in so little for such an iconic brand daunting, Kendall was in her element.
“It was super fun. Every girl loves posing in her underwear. It’s always fun to do that,” she told WWD about the shoot, which also features Joan Smalls, Isabeli Fontana and Edita Vilkeviciute. “I’m close with Joan, and me and all the girls are friends.”
The individual portraits of the girls were shot by Mikael Jansson in New York. Working with such a good photographer as well as her pals made the whole day an enjoyable one for Kendall.
“The shoot was amazing. Mikael Jansson shot it, and he and I have a good chemistry. Having girls around who are all my friends, the energy was really great,” she smiled.
The models show off a variety of embroidered lace sling balconettes, plunge-neck chemises and bodysuits in seductive fits. The ads will focus on the higher-end product, Calvin Klein Black.
“[They are] definitely something I would wear…The bras are great; I was surprised at how comfortable they were,” she added before describing the Calvin aesthetic as “really timeless, chic and classy.”
Kendall managed to fit the shoot in around her work at Paris Fashion Week. The star admitted to the outlet that she likes to make sure she has a nice mix of catwalk and commercial shoots.
“They’re both pretty different to me,” she noted. “I enjoy doing both for sure. When I’m not doing runway, between seasons, I miss it. Runway is like an adrenaline rush. Shooting is trying to get the best product out of yourself.”

Millions touched by story of Baby Doe found dead in harbor

·         BOSTON (AP) — In her computer-generated image, she is the picture of innocence: a 4-year-old girl with long brown hair, chubby cheeks and expressive brown eyes. The image has reached a staggering 47 million people on Facebook as investigators try to identity the child whose remains were found on a Boston Harbor beach nearly two weeks ago.
The mystery of Baby Doe began on June 25, when a woman walking her dog on the western shore of Deer Island called 911 and reported finding a trash bag containing the girl's body. The child was wearing white leggings with black polka dots. Inside the bag with her remains was a zebra-print blanket.
Police immediately appealed to the public for help in identifying the girl. Using photos of her remains, the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children created a composite image of what the girl may have looked like when she was alive.
After that image and photos of the leggings and blanket were posted on the Massachusetts State Police Facebook page, investigators were astonished by the attention the posting received. As of Wednesday morning, the post had been liked by more than 50,000 people and shared more than 615,000 times.
But authorities still haven't identified the girl.
"It has by far shattered our previous record for Facebook views," said Jake Wark, a spokesman for Suffolk County District Attorney Daniel Conley, whose office is overseeing the investigation.
Adding to the mystery is that investigators still haven't been able to figure out how she died. There were no obvious signs of trauma to her body, and an autopsy performed by the state medical examiner's office did not determine the manner or cause of her death.
Conley said Tuesday that authorities are awaiting the results of toxicology tests to determine if the girl was poisoned or ingested drugs.
She weighed 30 pounds and was about 3 1/2 feet tall. Her body was reasonably intact but had a modest amount of decomposition. Authorities won't say how long they believe she had been dead by the time her remains were discovered.
They also don't know if the girl lived in Massachusetts or came from another state. They will not say whether the trash bag containing her body washed up on shore or was left on the beach by someone.
Investigators have received "dozens and dozens" of tips from the public, and those leads have prompted police to check on the well-being of 20 girls in the same age range. All of those girls were found safe and sound.
Conley said the outpouring of support by people who have shared the girl's image on social media is gratifying and gives him confidence that her identity eventually will be determined.
During a news conference Tuesday, Conley spoke directly to the girl's parents or caretakers: "Please step forward, clear your conscience and help us identify this young child."
Conley would not elaborate on whether the child's parents or caretakers are a focus of the investigation and said authorities don't know if the girl's death was an accident or a crime.
Her death and the mystery surrounding her identity have touched a chord in many people. State police say their Facebook posting on the girl has received more than 10 times the views of their previous highest post. People from Maine to California, Canada and Puerto Rico have shared the posting, with many of them expressing sorrow or anger over the girl's death.
"How can someone just throw a child away?" wrote one woman from Arizona.
"This is just horrible, no one is missing this little angel!" wrote another woman from Clovis, California.
Barbara Smith, 67, of Missoula, Montana, said she has shared the girl's image three times and plans to share it again and again until investigators figure out who she was and how she died.
"I'm about to become a great-grandmother, so it just touches you," she said in a telephone interview. "It's sad that there was a little girl out there of her age that was found by herself and nobody has claimed her."
State police spokesman David Procopio said investigators are grateful to the public for "caring about this little innocent."
"But we continue our request for leads," he said.

"We need people to continue to look at her and think about her and let us know if anything in their memory clicks."

Isnin, 6 Julai 2015

The land of Teguila

Talk about honouring one of Mexico’s longest-standing cultural traditions – the tequila! The Agave Region in Jalisco is a whopping 35,000 ha area dedicated to the growth of agave plants for the tequila spirit.

The Teuchitlan cultures shaped the land from 200 to 900 AD, and the region has been producing spirits since the 16th Century. The agave culture is seen as a part of Mexican national identity. This is perfect for a tequila-tasting adventure!


Rita Ora might have only moved into her fancy-pants new London pad a couple of months ago, but she is already on her new neighbours’ bad side thanks to her rowdy, all-night parties.
The singer has apparently been slagged off for playing loud music and inviting her starry friends over at unsociable hours, with other residents of the expensive London complex that she lives in reaching the end of their tether.

A source revealed: “Rita has only been living there for a few months but the neighbours are up in arms.
“She plays music loud and late at night, and both she and her boyfriend have guests and friends over at all hours.“ 
In fact, the neighbours are said to be so fed up with the 24 year old’s antics that they have actually called a meeting to discuss what they can do to stop her and boyf, Ricky Hill’s, rowdiness. 
The insider added to The Mirror: “The other residents don’t share her party-hard spirit. They’ve warned her the noise has to stop.
"The building is co-managed by an association run by the residents who have got together to discuss it and are planning their next move.
"Many of them simply want her to move out and are hoping to be able to encourage her landlord to ask her to leave - but they may have to give her a final chance to calm things down.
"It’s a stunning gated complex in a really upmarket part of London, and people just aren’t used to this sort of thing.”
Rita was previously kicked out of another apartment block back in 2013 following a whole stream of similar complaints, but it doesn’t look as though the new X Factor judge has learned her lesson.
C’mon Rita, give your neighbours a break - all they want is a good night’s kip and to not have to listen to your choice in music 24/7.
We mean, that sounds like a pretty fair deal to us. 


Mohd Khairy Abdullah
KENINGAU: Tan Sri Joseph Kurup memberi amaran keras kepada pemain media social di negara ini, supaya tidak menggunakan kemudahan itu untuk memecah belakan perpaduan rakyat.
  “Walaupun kebebasan bersuara dijamin oleh Perlembagaan Persekutuan, tetapi ia bukan bererti kita bersuara sehingga merosakkan perpaduan,” katanya ketika ditemui selepas meraikan pengamal media dalam satu majlis berbuka puasa di Keningau pada Khamis.
   Menteri Di Jabatan Perdana Menteri itu berkata, apa yang sepatutnya pemain media social perlu lakukan ialah menyuarakan sesuatu yang membina dan boleh memperkasakan perpaduan dikalangan rakyat berbilang etnik dan fahaman agama di Negara ini.
   “Rakyat akan lemah untuk menghadapi cabaran mengapai 2020 jika perpaduan kita rosak,” tegasnya dan menambah, kestabilan politik turut terjejas jika perpaduan dikalangan rakyat rapuh disebabkan angkara pemain media social yang tidak beretika.
   Kurup menekankan kepada pemain media social agar menjadikan saluran itu untuk meningkatkan ilmu, selain menjadikan ia sebagai landasan memperkuatkan tali persaudaraan dikalangan rakyat di Negara ini.

   Ketika berucap semasa meraikan pengamal media di majlis berbuka puasa, Kurup berkata, Malaysia menjadi contoh kepada Negara luar dalam menguruskan perpaduan dan keharmonian.
   “Menjadikan rakyat sedar mengenai tanggungjawab bersama bagi memilihara, mengukuh dan mengekalkan perpaduan bukan lah satu perkara mudah, tetapi di Malaysia perpaduan menjadi asas dan tunggak kepada kerukunan masyarakat pelbagai kaum dan agama,” katanya.
   Menteri itu memberi penghargaan  kepada pengamal media di Negara ini, kerana berterusan untuk memberi kerjasama kepada kerajaan untuk memperkasakan perpaduan.
   Katanya, media merupakan medium penting dalam membentuk pemikiran masyarakat, khususnya media baru yang menjadi pilihan generasi masakini yang sentiasa terdedah dengan pelbagai maklumat.
   “Jesteru katanya, tanpa sokongan dan dokongan daripada media usaha kerajaan untuk membangunkan rakyat khususnya dalam mengekalkan dan memperkukuhkan perpaduan rakyat tidak dapat dilaksanakan dengan berkesan.
   Jelasnya, dasar langit terbuka ternyata bukan sahaja merancakkan sebaran dan tebaran ilmu, serta maklumat dan pengetahuan melalui media, tetapi turut menyulitkan usaha untuk mengawalnya.

   Di akhir ucapan sebelum berbuka puasa, Kurup menitipkan harapan agar media dapat memainkan peranan sebagai mata dan telinga kerajaan, dalam usaha membentuk masyarakat yang bersatu padu, hormat menghormati, bertoleransi serta mengamalkan konsep kesederhanaan seperti yang dihasratkan oleh Perdana Menteri Malaysia Dato Seri Najib Razak.
   Yang hadir sama di majlis itu ialah Timbalan Ketua Pengarah Jabatan Perpaduan dan Intigerasi Malaysia, Hj. Halim Omar, Pegawai Daerah Keningau, Hj. Yusof Osman, Pegawai Daerah Nabawan Fredie Gan serta ketua ketua jabatan kerajaan negeri dan persekutuan.