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/ 13 June 2007

Somali pirates ‘getting out of control’

Pirates are operating freely in waters off Somalia, an international maritime watchdog warned on Wednesday, calling for immediate assistance from the world’s naval forces. ”We are appealing for urgent intervention by international navies …,” Pottengal Mukundan, the London-based director of the International Maritime Bureau, said.

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/ 15 May 2007

SA vet to the rescue of Malaysian orangutan

A South African vet will perform in Malaysia what is being described as the world’s first cataract surgery on an orangutan, an official said on Tuesday. Animal ophthalmologist Izak Venter will perform the two-hour surgery early on Wednesday, said an official at the Matang Wildlife Centre in Sarawak state on Borneo island.

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/ 8 May 2007

Cup ‘will not be taken away from SA’

Fifa president Sepp Blatter insisted Tuesday that South Africa will definitely host the 2010 World Cup barring a natural disaster. South Africa will be the first African nation to host football’s showpiece event, but reports of delays in stadium construction have raised questions as to whether the tournament would go ahead.

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/ 3 April 2007

See work as a virtue, Malaysian civil servants told

Malaysia’s deputy premier has told the country’s civil servants they need to work harder and spend more time at their desks, according to a report on Tuesday. Deputy Prime Minister Najib Razak told a gathering of civil servants, who are frequently criticised for their seven-hour days, to condition their minds to see work as a virtue, not a punishment.

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/ 26 March 2007

No Malaysia jail for French ‘Spiderman’

French "Spiderman" Alain Robert escaped a jail sentence after prosecutors decided not charge the daredevil for scaling Malaysia’s tallest buildings, a senior police official said on Monday. Government lawyers also allowed Robert to leave the country after finding no grounds to charge him in court, the official said.

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/ 27 February 2007

Deforestation affects Malaysian tourist resorts

Malaysia’s three main hill resorts, popular draws for tourists escaping the tropical heat, are warming up, mainly due to deforestation, environmentalists said this week. Faizal Parish, director of the Malaysia-based Global Environment Centre, said some bird and plant species are disappearing as the mountainous areas became hotter, and called on the government to stop forest clearing.

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/ 8 February 2007

Toilet studies to be offered in Malaysia

Malaysia is to introduce college courses in toilet management as part of a battle against the nation’s notoriously filthy public restrooms, a report said on Thursday. Deputy Housing and Local Government Minister Robert Lau said similar efforts had yielded clean toilets in Britain and squeaky-clean Singapore.

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/ 26 January 2007

Malaysia: Truly Asia or truly bizarre?

Malaysia has launched its biggest tourism drive since independence under its famous slogan ”Malaysia: Truly Asia”, but it may as well read ”truly bizarre”. Recent visitors to the South-East Asian nation have read serious newspaper articles about miracle healers and a mysterious giant ape in the country’s southern jungles.

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/ 3 January 2007

Thousands of Malaysians return home as floods recede

More than 60 000 Malaysians who were forced to evacuate their homes due to massive floods have returned to their wrecked homes after staying at temporary shelters for close to two weeks, officials said on Wednesday. Uncommonly heavy rains in the southern state of Johor and neighbouring states last month forced close to 90 000 people to leave their homes.

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/ 16 December 2006

Malaysian ministry scoffs at Bigfoot claims

Officials from Malaysia’s Environment Ministry have scoffed at the existence of mysterious ”Bigfoot” creatures said to be roaming the jungles of southern Johor state, a report said on Saturday. The ministry’s parliamentary secretary said no firm evidence such as droppings or hair from the creature has ever been found.

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/ 24 September 2006

Australia crush West Indies to win DLF Cup

Australia crushed the West Indies by 127 runs to win the DLF Cup final on Sunday and send a chilling warning to their rivals ahead of the Champions Trophy next month. Set 241 to win, the West Indies were skittled out for 113 from 34,2 overs, unable to deal with the power and accuracy of Australia’s top-notch bowling attack.

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/ 22 September 2006

Lee propels Australia to final

Paceman Brett Lee took five wickets as Australia advanced to the final of the tri-series tournament with an 18-run victory over India on Friday. Australia struggled with the bat, scoring 213 all out in 48.1 overs but their bowlers, led by Lee who claimed 5-38, fought back to dismiss India for 195.

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/ 21 September 2006

Ponting backs umpire Hair to make comeback

Australia captain Ricky Ponting has backed controversial umpire Darrell Hair to return to international cricket, saying he was one of the best in the business. Hair told Australian media on Wednesday that he would travel to India for the Champions Trophy next month despite many believing his career was over following the fiasco at the Oval Test between England and Pakistan last month.

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/ 20 September 2006

West Indies collapse against India

A dismal West Indies batting collapse on Wednesday handed India an unexpected victory in their DLP Cup one-day international to keep alive their hopes of making the tri-series final. India were skittled for 162 in 39.3 overs by the West Indies, but the Caribbean islanders failed to punch home the advantage, being bowled out for 140 in reply.

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/ 19 September 2006

Hussey brushes off captaincy talk

Michael Hussey has brushed off talk of wanting to succeed Ricky Ponting as Australian captain, saying he is happy just to be playing in the same side. Hussey took charge of his first game as skipper on Monday in the DLF Cup against the West Indies and led from the front, scoring a maiden one-day century only to see his side beaten by three wickets.

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/ 14 September 2006

Tendulkar shines but Windies too strong for India

Sachin Tendulkar smashed a masterly 141 on his comeback from injury on Thursday but it was to no avail as the West Indies beat India in a rain-affected DLF Cup one-day international here.The West Indies won by 29 runs on the Duckworth/Lewis method after scoring 141-2 in 20 overs as they chased India’s 309-5 when the weather settled matters.

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/ 14 September 2006

Ponting’s behaviour under scrutiny

Australia Captain Ricky Ponting has been rapped on the knuckles by Cricket Australia, who said his behaviour was a concern after he was fined for dissent by the International Cricket Council. ”Let’s be clear, Cricket Australia doesn’t condone any actions that go outside the spirit of cricket,” Cricket Australia’s acting chief executive Michael Brown was quoted as saying by Australian media.

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/ 13 September 2006

Ponting surprised at Flintoff captaincy

Australia captain Ricky Ponting is surprised Andrew Flintoff got the nod to lead England in the Ashes, but sees nothing in their squad to force Australia to alter their preparations. ”It doesn’t really matter whatever squad they have named. It won’t change what we do at all,” he said in the Malaysian capital, Kuala Lumpur, where Australia are playing a triangular one-day series.

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/ 13 September 2006

Ponting apologises for ‘serious error of judgement’

Australia captain Ricky Ponting has apologised for a ”serious error of judgement” after confronting umpire Asad Rauf over a wide delivery in their one-day match against the West Indies on Tuesday. Ponting was fined his entire match fee for breaching the International Cricket Council Code of Conduct during his country’s 78-run victory in the first DLF Cup match.

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/ 12 September 2006

Australia too strong for West Indies

Australia returned to international cricket with a bang on Tuesday, sparking an embarrassing West Indies batting collapse to win their opening DLF Cup one-dayer by 78 runs. Set 280 to win at 5,6 runs an over, the West Indies looked to be cruising with Shivnarine Chanderpaul smashing a majestic 92 before it all went badly wrong.

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/ 28 August 2006

Chad defends Chevron, Petronas expulsion

A Chad minister denied on Monday that his country’s expulsion of two foreign energy companies at the weekend was aimed at winning greater control of its oil resources. Chad ordered the Unitd States giant Chevron and Malaysia’s Petronas on Saturday to leave the country for failing to honour tax obligations.

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/ 1 August 2006

Islamic nations to call for ceasefire in Lebanon

The Organisation of the Islamic Conference (OIC) will press for an unconditional ceasefire in Lebanon at an emergency meeting in Malaysia this week, the Malaysian foreign ministry said on Tuesday. Malaysian Prime Minister Abdullah Ahmad Badawi, the current chairperson of the OIC, called for the August 3 meeting after weeks of military aggression by Israel against Lebanon.

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/ 27 July 2006

Japan hails ‘toilet diplomacy’ with China

Diplomats hailed the "toilet diplomacy" of an impromptu chat in the washroom between the foreign ministers of feuding neighbours China and Japan at security talks in Kuala Lumpur. The two regional powers, whose relations are strained by historical enmities and territorial disputes, have held only a handful of high-level meetings in recent times.

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/ 4 July 2006

Pirates hit two UN ships in Malacca Strait

Pirates have attacked two United Nations-chartered vessels in the Malacca Strait off the coast of tsunami-hit Aceh province in Indonesia, an international maritime watchdog said on Tuesday. Both ships were ferrying construction materials to Indonesia for the UN’s World Food Programme when pirates boarded the ships under the cover of darkness on Sunday.