Featured News

Polling stations open in British general election

Polling stations opened across Britain for general elections widely predicted to give Labour Prime Minister Tony Blair a third straight term in power.   Polling stations opened at 7:00 a.m. (0600 GMT) in England, Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland for a new 646-seat House of Commons. Polls will close at 10:00 p.m. (2100 GMT).   Blair’s Labour Party won landslide victories in 1997 and 2001, but his love affair with the public has soured since he chose to back the     Iraq war in March 2003, braving widespread public scepticism and the biggest protest march ever seen in the country.   The conflict, especially Blair’s reasons for joining it, has haunted the premier throughout a difficult election campaign during which opponents openly labelled him a liar.

Fresh blow to EU treaty as Britain shelves referendum plan

Britain shelved plans for its own referendum on the EU constitution, driving a further stake into the heart of the stricken treaty and exposing a deep political rift with the European bloc.   The move rebuffs calls from Britain’s EU partners, particularly France and Germany, for other members of the 25-nation     European Union to go on ratifying the text despite its rejection by French and Dutch voters last week.   “We see no point in proceeding at this moment,” Foreign Secretary Jack Straw said in a statement to parliament, although he declined to rule out holding a referendum “should circumstances change” in the future.   “Until the consequences of France and the Netherlands being unable to ratify the treaty are clarified, it would not in

International

Editor's Pick

International

Polling stations open in British general election

Polling stations opened across Britain for general elections widely predicted to give Labour Prime Minister Tony Blair a third straight term in power.   Polling stations opened at 7:00 a.m. (0600 GMT) in England, Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland for a new 646-seat House of Commons. Polls will close at 10:00 p.m. (2100 GMT).   Blair’s Labour Party won landslide victories in 1997 and 2001, but his love affair with the public has soured since he chose to back the     Iraq war in March 2003, braving widespread public scepticism and the biggest protest march ever seen in the country.   The conflict, especially Blair’s reasons for joining it, has haunted the premier throughout a difficult election campaign during which opponents openly labelled him a liar.

Technology

M’sian men are gentlemen, say Jap models

Malaysian men have won the hearts of at least three Japanese girls. “Not only are their eyes big and sparkling, they are kind and perfect gentlemen.” The verdict came from full-time models Kaoru Asami, Aki Kogochi and Mai Akiyama, all 24-year-olds. The girls are in town as part of their activities to promote the Japan GT Championship Malaysia that will be held at the Sepang International Circuit on June 25 and 26. “For example, Malaysian men hold the door for us while Japanese men do not bother,” said Asami, an English-language graduate who spent two years in a home-stay programme in California. Asami said she also liked the way the men behaved, adding that while Japanese men were generally “very shy”, Malaysian men “do come

More News

Polling stations open in British general election

Polling stations opened across Britain for general elections widely predicted to give Labour Prime Minister Tony Blair a third straight term in power.   Polling stations opened at 7:00 a.m. (0600 GMT) in England, Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland for a new 646-seat House of Commons. Polls will close at 10:00 p.m. (2100 GMT).   Blair’s Labour Party won landslide victories in 1997 and 2001, but his love affair with the public has soured since he chose to back the     Iraq war in March 2003, braving widespread public scepticism and the biggest protest march ever seen in the country.   The conflict, especially Blair’s reasons for joining it, has haunted the premier throughout a difficult election campaign during which opponents openly labelled him a liar.

Fresh blow to EU treaty as Britain shelves referendum plan

Britain shelved plans for its own referendum on the EU constitution, driving a further stake into the heart of the stricken treaty and exposing a deep political rift with the European bloc.   The move rebuffs calls from Britain’s EU partners, particularly France and Germany, for other members of the 25-nation     European Union to go on ratifying the text despite its rejection by French and Dutch voters last week.   “We see no point in proceeding at this moment,” Foreign Secretary Jack Straw said in a statement to parliament, although he declined to rule out holding a referendum “should circumstances change” in the future.   “Until the consequences of France and the Netherlands being unable to ratify the treaty are clarified, it would not in

At least 36 killed, 72 wounded in bus blast in southwest Nepal

At least 36 people were killed and 72 wounded in southwestern Nepal when a powerful bomb ripped through a crowded passenger bus in one of the bloodiest attacks on civilians by suspected Maoist rebels since their revolt began nine years ago.   “At least 36 civilians were killed and 72 others injured when the terrorists blasted their bus with a landmine at Madi in Chitwan,” the army said in a statement.   Earlier state-run radio, quoting police, had put the death toll at more than 50 people.   An army officer told AFP the bus was torn apart by the force of the blast and that the passengers were badly mutilated by shrapnel as well as by shards of metal and glass from the bus.

Bush promises Susilo full military ties

President George W. Bush said that his administration supported the resumption of full military ties between the United States and Indonesia, saying that such relations “would be in the interest of both countries.” Bush said the resumption in February of a US military training programme for Indonesian military officers was an important step. “It makes sense. We want young officers from Indonesia coming to the United States. We want there to be exchanges between our military corps, that will help lead to better understanding,” he said in a brief press conference at the White House on Wednesday afternoon (Thursday in Jakarta), after a meeting with visiting President Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono. “The President (Susilo) told me that he is in the process of reforming the military

Nestle baby formula pulled off the shelves

A type of milk powder produced by international food firm Nestle has been pulled out after it was found to contain too much iodine, according to a survey conducted by quality inspection authorities in Zhejiang Province. The “Jin Pai Growing 3-Milk Powder,” produced by the Heilongjiang-based Shuang Cheng Nestle Co Ltd, failed to meet national standards over iodine content.   Every 100 grams of milk powder for infants and young children is allowed to contain 30-150 micrograms of iodine, according to State standards.   “This is the first time we have found milk powder containing excessive iodine in recent years,” said Bian Yuyang, an official from the Zhejiang Administration of Industry and Commerce. Bian said the iodine content of the milk powder was slightly higher

Aussie PM urges Australians to accept Corby conviction in Indonesia

Prime Minister John Howard asked Australians to accept an Indonesian court’s decision to convict a young Australian woman on drug charges, urging people to remain calm. Howard said he felt sympathy for Schapelle Corby but he and all other Australians had to accept the Indonesian court’s 20-year sentence imposed on Corby for smuggling 4.1kg (9lbs) of marijuana into Bali last October on a flight from Brisbane. “It’s not for me to make a judgment, it’s not for my fellow Australians, however strongly they feel, to make a judgment,” Howard told reporters. “She was subject to the justice system of another country … we have neither the power nor the right to intervene.” The sentencing of the 27-year-old student beauty therapist was carried live on Australian

Two Japanese soldiers left over from WWII

Japan was checking Friday if two elderly Japanese men found on a Philippine island plagued by an Islamic insurgency were soldiers left behind from World War II who were unaware of Tokyo’s surrender. “What a surprise it would be if it’s true,” Prime Minister Junichiro Koizumi said.   The Japanese embassy in Manila sent three officials early Friday to General Santos city, 1,300 kilometres (806 miles) south of Manila, to meet the two men found on the lawless island of Mindanao.   “The Japanese embassy in the Philippines received information yesterday that two men believed to be former Japanese soldiers are alive,” Foreign Minister Nobutaka Machimura told reporters.   The diplomats will interview the pair, said to be in their 80s, to confirm whether they

M’sian men are gentlemen, say Jap models

Malaysian men have won the hearts of at least three Japanese girls. “Not only are their eyes big and sparkling, they are kind and perfect gentlemen.” The verdict came from full-time models Kaoru Asami, Aki Kogochi and Mai Akiyama, all 24-year-olds. The girls are in town as part of their activities to promote the Japan GT Championship Malaysia that will be held at the Sepang International Circuit on June 25 and 26. “For example, Malaysian men hold the door for us while Japanese men do not bother,” said Asami, an English-language graduate who spent two years in a home-stay programme in California. Asami said she also liked the way the men behaved, adding that while Japanese men were generally “very shy”, Malaysian men “do come