Report says that Firefox should soon be equipped with a new function that will tell you if your personal data has been pirated. [...]
Cotodama teams up with Saint Laurent to create a special edition Lyric Speaker Canvas. — Picture courtesy of Saint Laurent via AFP
PARIS, July 21 — French luxury fashion house Saint Laurent has collaborated with Cotodama to release a YSL-branded edition of the Lyric Speaker Canvas, a device that functions as a piece of art as much as it does a sound system.Last year, Japanese speaker company Cotodama launched the connected Lyric Speaker Canvas for those who want a sound system that's equally as stylish as it is functional. This week, as spotted by Hypebeast, the company has collaborated with Saint Laurent to make the “high art concept” also high fashion.The device appears to consist of two canvas boards leaning against the wall. When playing music, the board in front displays the song's lyrics while the one in back — which is actually a Hi-Fi audio speaker — plays the sound. Cotodama describes this design as “providing constant inspiration and motivation through the power of words.”While neither canvas features any logos or visual obstructions, the Saint Laurent iteration has “Saint Laurent” printed on the back board in a dark gray just a view shades lighter than black canvas cover.This special edition Lyric Speaker Canvas is available exclusively at Rive Droite Saint Laurent locations in Paris and LA and is priced at US$2,655 (RM10,905), about US$750 more than the standard model. — AFP-Relaxnews [...]
BANGKOK: Thailand’s new government said it plans to pursue a number of economic policies championed by the previous military administration as officials strive to revive growth. [...]
PKR president Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim and wife Datuk Seri Wan Azizah Wan Ismail at the PKR retreat in Port Dickson July 21, 2019. — Picture by Mohd Yusof Mat Isa
PORT DICKSON, July 21 — PKR president Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim has pledged to continue working together with his deputy Datuk Seri Mohamed Azmin Ali as a team.He said the two of them should meet regularly to discuss the party’s agenda and work out ways to resolve issues raised by the people.“Azmin is deputy president; we need to work as a team, to have regular meetings and regular discussion and he has the mandate from the last party election,” he told reporters after the PKR retreat here today.Anwar said this when asked whether he would continue cooperating with his deputy in view of the open spats between them following the viral sex video controversy which implicated Azmin.Police have said that facial recognition analysis done on the video could not positively identify the two men in the video and that Azmin could not be linked to the scandal.Azmin was reported to have skipped the three-day retreat which, according to Anwar, was attended by 120 of the 140 party leaders who were invited.All the leaders present also signed a resolution expressing full support for Anwar to drive and lead PKR.Asked on the support of the 20 leaders who were absent, Anwar said they would be given time to read the resolutions and decisions made at the retreat.“Give them space to read first, whether they agree or not. I do not think anyone will dispute the spirit of the big majority who attended,” said Anwar, who is Port Dickson Member of Parliament.Anwar said some of those who did not attend gave reasonable excuses, like their mothers were seriously ill or they themselves were in hospital or overseas.Anwar said the retreat offered PKR leaders a good platform to exchange views and thrash out issues for the sake of strengthening the party.Among the matters raised was the need to continue the party’s struggle for the people and to enhance the dissemination of information, especially on the successes achieved by the Pakatan Harapan (PH) government.Anwar said the decisions made at the retreat would be submitted to Prime Minister Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad and the PH Presidential Council. — Bernama [...]
Wine production in France this year will be down by between six and 13 per cent over 2018, notably because of the ongoing heatwave.. — AFP pic
PARIS, July 21 — Wine production in France this year will be down by between six and 13 per cent over 2018, notably because of the ongoing heatwave, the agriculture ministry said yesterday.France, one of the world’s top wine producers and exporters, was hit hard by poor weather conditions, including a heatwave at the end of June.That and other factors meant that production should be between 42.8 and 46.4 million hectolitres — the lowest figures in the last five years, said the ministry, based on estimates drawn up on July 12.Unfavourable weather conditions hit the flowering of the vine, particularly in the western wine regions of France, such as Val de Loire, Charente, Bordelais the wines of the southwest.In southern France, the heatwave broke records, with temperatures in some places as high as 46 degrees Celsius.The heat damage meant lost production in three regions: The Gard, Herault and Var, the ministry added.Hailstorms also affected some vines but they did less damage nationally.Another heatwave has been forecast for most of France in the coming week.France, along with Spain and Italy, is one of the world’s top three wine producers and exporters, according to industry figures released last week. — AFP [...]
There are many things about Sarawak that sets it apart from the other states in Malaysia and one of them is the public holiday today when Sarawakians observe Sarawak Day.
But what is Sarawak Day for the man on the street? What does being a Sarawakian actually mean?
Last week, The Borneo Post posed these questions to several Sarawakians and here’s what they said:
Hani Nur Zaihanirah, 26, from Limbang. (Her father is a mix of Hakka and Malay from Brunei, while her mother is Foochow and Bisaya):
“Both my immediate and extended family are a mixture of Muslims, Buddhist and Catholic. We do not make each other do things we could not or should not do in our respective religions; we really enjoy each others company. It is alright to be different because differences create diversity and that diversity is what makes the world so colourful.”
Karambir Singh, 57, Miri Indian Association (MIA) president:
“All of us must collectively make strong efforts to always preserve and enhance the positive features of Sarawak. I am indeed very happy and deem it an honour and duty as a Sarawakian to be able to contribute to Sarawak through my educational, political and non-governmental organisations’ activities.”
Temenggong Abdul Rahman Fadzail, 76, Miri Malay paramount chief:
“I stay true to the Malay proverb ‘Di mana bumi dipijak, di situ langit dijunjung’. We need to respect leaders of the day like our current Chief Minister, Datuk Patinggi Abang Johari Tun Openg. When there is respect, it will make not
only my work easier as a grassroots leader, but also
that of the Chief Minister in uniting the people and together, bring greater progress for the country and Sarawak in particular.”
Yong King Sung, 52, accountant
“I was born and raised in Sarawak. I am deeply passionate and loyal to this land of Sarawak.”
Jimmy De Rozario, 53, University College of Technology Sarawak (UCTS) senior manager
“To be a Sarawakian, to me means living in harmony by acknowledging and accepting the differences we have as a multiracial state. We live harmoniously in Sarawak and we are united and we help each other like one big happy family. It is our duty as Sarawakian to make the state proud. Apart from that, Sarawak is politically and economically stable and as Sarawakians we should be thankful for what Sarawak has.”
Kendrick Angus Tho Wen Hua, 16, Riam Road Secondary School student:
“Truthfully I’m glad that being Sarawakian has taught me to accept everyone for who they are and not categorise or judge us humans by race or religion. We are one, we are united. Together all visions will be possible. With the support of my family and the wonderful society around me, I have been able to produce the world’s first ball python morph ‘super enchi banana spider’ and also
many more rare species of animals into my collection. This hobby has enabled me to cultivate friendships
throughout the world. It has taught how much we can learn from one another.”
Awang Arafat , 38, self-employed:
“Many languages spoken by Sarawakians here are different from each other, yet we have lived in harmony. I feel happy because not many states or other countries are like Sarawak. I still consider Sarawak as the best, despite my travels to other places. The different
ethnic groups and races coexisting with one another – this never ceases to amaze me.”
Lau Hoh Long, 60, retired businessman:
“People who celebrate Sarawak Day must know the meaning behind the celebration. If they just follow the celebration blindly, they will fall for the trap of the politicians. The onus therefore is on Sarawakians themselves to look deeper into the meaning of the celebration, whether the occasion is indeed worth celebrating.”
Norinie Wasli, 44, civil servant:
“Aside from co-existing with people of different ethnic groups, races and religion, we Sarawakians are friendly and graceful by nature. We have managed to maintain unity in diversity among our people despite the fast-paced development that the world is currently facing.”
Ursula Goh, 82, former world president of the Associated Countrywomen of the World (ACWW) and advisor of the Sarawak Federation of Women’s Institute:
“Sarawak is the biggest state in Malaysia. The vast population comes from diverse background but lives in peace, harmony, is united, and strong. To be able to survive in peace, harmony, it is important to embrace ‘one people, one nation’. Diversity is its strength.”
Awang Adam Awang Apek, 63, retired chef from Sri Aman:
“I stayed in Johor for 15 years and in Brunei for 20 years and it is safe to say that I have not seen this kind of unity in any other country or state beside Sarawak. Over here, we have no issue with regards to racism. I am blessed to be able to celebrate Sarawak Day.”
Caroline Guna, 46, entrepreneur:
“The long-established harmony among its multi-racial community makes life more meaningful. It enables the state to woo more tourists and investors to come and help develop Sarawak so that it could achieve its vision of becoming the richest and most developed state in Malaysia by 2030.
Chew Siok Cheng, 49, Methodist Pilley Institute (MPI) Sibu lecturer:
“Sarawak teaches a valuable lesson in respect, friendliness and hospitality. Whenever I go back to Kuching, I love to get close to nature. If I have visitors in Kuching, especially from overseas, I will bring them to Semenggoh and I will bring them to try local food because in Sarawak, we have so much diversity in terms of food.”
Jonathan Tan, 28, sales executive:
“I feel Sarawak Day is just another day. Of course, [...]
Pengurusan Air Selangor Sdn Bhd said that pollution from diesel oil had been found at the intake of the Sungai Selangor Water Treatment Plant Phase 1, 2 and 3 (LRA SSP1, LRA SSP2 and LRA SSP3) and the Rantau Panjang LRA from the raw water of Sungai Selangor. — AFP pic
KUALA LUMPUR, July 21 — Pengurusan Air Selangor Sdn Bhd said that pollution from diesel oil had been found at the intake of the Sungai Selangor Water Treatment Plant Phase 1, 2 and 3 (LRA SSP1, LRA SSP2 and LRA SSP3) and the Rantau Panjang LRA from the raw water of Sungai Selangor.The company’s head of the Customer Relations and Communication Department, Abdul Raof Ahmad said subsequently the Rantau Panjang LRA had to stop operations at 6pm today, followed by the LRA SSP3 at 8pm and LRA SSP1 and LRA SSP2 at 8.15pm tonight.He said in a statement that the source of the pollution was the sand digging activities at the upper reaches of the river and the incident had been reported to the authorities.“This is the second incident within three days involving the closure of all four major water treatment plants and causing large scale water supply disruption to the customers,” said Abdul Raof, referring to a similar action taken on Friday following odour pollution.He said Air Selangor could not ascertain the time frame for recovery if similar pollution of raw water resources recurred.“We are in a state of preparedness to face any incident as the one that occurred today,” he said.On Friday, 1,133 areas involving 1,166,842 customer accounts in Kuala Lumpur and Selangor were affected by unscheduled water supply disruption following odour pollution at the Sungai Selangor raw water source.In a statement earlier today, Air Selangor said it was targeting 100 per cent water supply recovery in all affected areas by midnight on Monday (July 22) before it issued a separate statement on the work stoppage at the four water treatment plants later. — Bernama [...]
United and Leicester have agreed a transfer fee and an announcement is expected shortly [...]
The secret to a healthier life may lie in the guts of elite athletes.
Scientists who studied marathon runners discovered a type of bacteria that flourished in their digestive tracts. These Veillonella bacteria produce a molecule that helps increase exercise endurance.
The results, published recently in the journal Nature Medicine, could someday change the way we work out, said microbiologist George Weinstock from the Jackson Laboratory in Farmington, Connecticut, United States.
“It starts to build the case that someday we may be able to take a Veillonella probiotic just before we are going to exercise, and we’ll be able to exercise more,” said Weinstock, who wasn’t involved in the study.
Our bodies are teeming with microbes, helping us digest the food we eat and providing us with nutrients that we can’t make
Studies of these microbes, collectively known as the microbiome, have led to insights into diseases ranging from obesity to arthritis.
Previous research has found that athletes have a very different composition of microbes within their guts compared to non-athletes, but it’s not yet clear how those differences contribute to an athlete’s health.
“It’s the notion of mining the biology of super-healthy people and translating that into nutritional interventions for everyone else,” said study leader Jonathan Scheiman, who began studying the microbiomes of athletes while working at Harvard’s Wyss Institute for Biologically Inspired Engineering.
Almost every day for a week before and after the 2015 Boston Marathon, the Harvard researchers collected stool samples from 15 runners entered in the race as well as from 10 non-athletes, who served as controls. Those samples allowed researchers to see what kinds of microbes were inhabiting subjects’ guts.
When they compared the abundance of the different species of bacteria within those samples, one group in particular jumped out at them.
“We found this one bacterial genus, Veillonella, that was not only in higher abundance in athletes compared to controls, but almost immediately after the marathon there’s this spike in abundance,” Scheiman said.
What was especially intriguing about these bacteria was their appetite for a molecule called lactate.
This discovery “was kind of a lightbulb moment because lactate is a metabolite that accumulates in the blood after strenuous exercise”, Scheiman said.
“When your ability to utilise it gets outpaced by your ability to produce it, it then starts to accumulate in the blood, and tends to be a marker of fatigue.”
This connection between Veillonella, lactate and exercise prompted the researchers to wonder whether giving Veillonella to mice might affect their endurance.
So they isolated a sample of the species Veillonella atypica from one of the marathon runners and administered it to 16 mice.
They also gave Lactobacillus bulgaricus, another bacterium that does not eat lactate, to 16 other mice. Then they had all the animals run on a treadmill until they collapsed in exhaustion.
Rodents with better endurance
Sure enough, the mice given Veillonella ran 13% longer than mice given the microbe that could not eat lactate.
The results prompted Scheiman and some of his Harvard colleagues to launch a biotech start-up called FitBiomics to see if they could turn their discovery into a suite of products.
Scheiman is now the chief executive of the New York City-based company.
“This 13% increase might not sound impressive,” said senior author Aleksandar Kostic, a microbiologist at Harvard Medical School who co-founded FitBiomics. “But I think any endurance athlete or any athlete in general will tell you that a 13% increase is pretty significant.”
Lactate is produced in the muscles and travels through the bloodstream to the liver, where it is converted into glucose to fuel exercise.
But the researchers wondered how it made its way into the gut, where the Veillonella bacteria were waiting to break it down.
To find out, they tagged lactate molecules with a radioactive marker and injected them into the tails of four mice. They found that a portion of the labelled lactate molecules moved from the bloodstream into the liver as expected, but a portion also travelled directly into the gut.
While a few groups of bacteria in the gut are able to eat lactate, Veillonella is one of the only groups that can convert lactate into molecules called short-chain fatty acids.
“Short-chain fatty acids are typically a hallmark of healthy guts,” Scheiman said. “They have all sorts of cool properties. They’re anti-inflammatory. They can serve as energy sources for cells in the body.”
The one produced by Veillonella is propionate. That made the researchers wonder whether they could boost the endurance of mice by skipping the bacteria step and introducing propionate directly into their colons via a standard enema.
Mice given propionate ran just as long as mice given Veillonella.
The researchers saw this as an indication that the propionate produced by Veillonella, not the Veillonella itself, was allowing the mice to run for a longer time.
Clinical trials will be needed to figure out what exactly propionate is doing in the body that enables a runner to exercise for longer. And not just for the sake of finishing the Boston Marathon in less time.
“The ability to do meaningful exercise is strongly correlated with a decrease in risk of chronic diseases such as cardiovascular diseases and diabetes,” Kostic said.
“If it’s possible that we can increase a person’s exercise capacity by making a simple modification to their microbiome, perhaps by introducing Veillonella as a probiotic, this could have a potentially medically important impact in reducing risk of chronic diseases.”
Paul Cotter, a molecular microbiologist from Ireland’s University College Cork who was not involved in the work, said the study made a convincing case that Veillonella boosts propionate, and that [...]
PETALING JAYA: PKNP and Kuala Lumpur are out of the Super League. [...]
WHEN Temasek Holdings announced its results early last month, there was no hiding the stark fact that Singapore’s state investment firm was feeling the full effects of the ongoing US-China trade war. [...]
Minister in the Prime Minister's Department Datuk Seri Mujahid Yusof Rawa is pictured at Parliament in Kuala Lumpur July 1, 2019. ― Picture by Firdaus Latif
PARIT BUNTAR, July 21 — Parliament does not have to be dissolved to make way for an early 15th General Election (GE15) because the system is still functioning well.Minister in the Prime Minister’s Department, Datuk Seri Dr Mujahid Yusof said the Pakatan Harapan (PH) government still had another four years to administer the country after winning GE14 last year.“Why dissolve (Parliament) when it is working well? What needs to be dropped is the nefarious agenda of certain quarters to ruin the country.”He said this to reporters after opening the Education and Health Carnival organised by the Parit Buntar Parliamentary Constituency Service Centre and Pusrawi International College of Medical Science (Picoms), here, today following PAS’ call for Parliament to be dissolved to make way for an earlier GE15.Last Friday, PAS deputy president, Datuk Tuan Ibrahim Tuan Man reportedly urged PH to dissolve Parliament immediately for allegedly failing to ensure political stability and harmony in the country.Mujahid said the PH government should focus on administering the country and not get distracted by narrow politics to ensure the success of the New Malaysia, besides gaining the confidence of the people who had given their mandate to the current government.Mujahid, who is also Parit Buntar MP, said an early general election was unnecessary due to the government purportedly being mired in dirty and disgusting politics, especially with regard to sex video, rape and corruption cases.“The issue of sex video and bribery to bring someone down has made the public sick and tired of what’s going on and would certainly indirectly impact the government.“I’m not taking anyone’s side as dirty and disgusting politics is just aimed at exposing things to humiliate and bring someone down someone,” he said.Meanwhile, Mujahid said a RM50 contribution was made to each of the 200 students to open a savings account in the National Education Savings Scheme (SSPN).He said it was aimed at helping parents get out of poverty through their children’s education in light of rising educational costs. — Bernama [...]
PKR deputy president Datuk Seri Azmin Mohamed Ali speaks to the media after a prayer session at the Selangor MB’s official residence in Shah Alam, July 21, 2019 — Picture by Shafwan Zaidon
SHAH ALAM, July 21 — Economic Affairs Minister Datuk Seri Mohamed Azmin Ali said tonight that he knows the identity of the mastermind behind the circulation of the sex video which implicated him.He, however, declined to name the person as the matter is still under police investigation.“I cannot reveal the name because it is still under investigation; let’s wait for the probe to be completed.“But since day one (when video was distributed) I have suspected internal (party) elements,” he told reporters after attending a special prayer session to reject gutter politics against him at the residence of Selangor Mentri Besar Amirudin Shari here.Azmin, who is PKR deputy president, said he would continue to cooperate with party president Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim to champion the party’s agenda.He said there was no reason for him to deny the working relationship despite their recent war of words over the video controversy.“Datuk Seri Anwar and I will continue to cooperate because he is the president and I am his deputy; do not provoke us as we have been together for many decades (in the party struggle),” he said.Inspector-General of Police Datuk Seri Abdul Hamid Bador has said investigation showed that the video was likely authentic but the facial recognition analysis could not link it to the person implicated in the scandal.Azmin urged the party leadership to avoid squabbling and to reject gutter politics.“The people gave the mandate to Pakatan Harapan not to quarrel... we have to reject dirty politics because the people are fed up with such matters and I urge the media to be together with us in disseminating the correct information,” he added. — Bernama [...]
PETALING JAYA: Consumers who were affected by the recent water cuts may brace for further dry taps as diesel pollution in Sungai Selangor has forced further shut downs of four water treatment plants. [...]
BALIK PULAU - A school teacher emerged the champion of a durian eating contest after chomping down four chunky pieces of the king of fruits in 90 seconds.
Zarina Beeran, 50, beat nine others to walk away with the RM100 (S$33) cash prize and hamper in the contest.
The mother of six said she did not expect to win and thought she was signing up for a free durian eating session.
She bent her body as close as possible to the table and used only her right hand to eat 250g of durian flesh.
“I believe my posture and strategy allowed me to finish the plate of durian faster than other contestants.
“It was a really fun experience,” said Zarina, who loves eating durian. [...]
SHAH ALAM (July 19): The planned maintenance works to be carried out at the SSP1 Sungai Selangor Phase 1 (SSP1) Water Treatment Plant (WTP) on... [...]