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BN MPs crossing over should tell all on corruption, says Xavier
Dr Xavier Jayakumar said BN MPs crossing over to PH should reveal any other cases of corruption involving current Umno leaders without fear or favour. — Picture by Azinuddin Ghazali PUTRAJAYA, Dec 15 — Barisan Nasional (BN) members of Parliament (MP) crossing over to Pakatan Harapan (PH) should reveal any other cases of corruption involving current Umno leaders without fear or favour, said PKR vice president Dr Xavier Jayakumar.In a statement, the Minister of Water, Land and Natural Resources, said it is among the three conditions laid out by the PH presidential council and should be agreed to by (BN) MPs who cross over.Besides that, he said in addition to recognising and supporting Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad as the present Prime Minister, these MPs should reaffirm the same unwavering commitment for the Prime Minister in-waiting (PKR president Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim).He added that these MPs should also commit themselves to the PH cause in bringing positive changes to the country through their support via en-bloc voting at the Dewan Rakyat for motions brought up by PH MPs as major changes by PH which are deemed positive for the rakyat (people) may require a two-thirds majority.“Most importantly, they should now take the opportunity to state, reveal or whistleblow any other instances of corruption allegations involving current Umno leaders such as Datuk Seri Najib (Tun) Razak (former prime minister and former Umno president) or Datuk Seri Dr Ahmad Zahid Hamidi (former deputy prime minister and current Umno president) without fear or favour not just to the PH leadership but most importantly to the rakyat as well,” he said.News of BN MPs mostly from Umno leaving the party in search of greener pastures amongst PH’s component parties or becoming independent in support of Dr Mahathir have dominated the headlines this week. — Bernama [...]
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Gun Deaths in the U.S. Are at Their Highest Rates in Decades, CDC Says
Gun deaths in the U.S. have reached a record high, according to new data from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). According to the research, 39,773 people were fatally shot in 2017, a figure that has grown by more than 10,000 people since 1999. CDC data going back to 1979 shows that last year had the highest rates of gun deaths in nearly 40 years. The new data comes as a community in Newtown, Conn. reckons with the sixth anniversary of the 2012 shooting at Sandy Hook Elementary School, during which 20 children and six adults died. Tim Makris, co-founder and managing director of Sandy Hook Promise, a group that formed in the wake of the shooting to prevent gun-related deaths, issued a statement calling the CDC results “heartbreaking and beyond unacceptable.” Makris noted that the number of school shootings and minors who have been fatally shot continued to rise in 2018, citing research from the U.S. Naval Postgraduate School, which said there were about 96 school shootings this year. (That number can fluctuate depending on how it’s counted.) “After the shooting at Sandy Hook Elementary six years ago today, so many people overwhelmingly said ‘not one more,’ yet over 3,200 youth and teens have been killed or injured by gun violence this year alone — including more than 90 incidents at schools,” he said. “This is the biggest spike that we have seen in a decade.” But while mass shootings get headlines and result in calls for action, they are not the sole, or even primary, cause of the uptick in gun deaths. Instead, suicide is driving the increase of overall gun deaths in the U.S., according to the CDC’s statistics. That’s leading doctors and researchers to increasingly view gun violence as a public health issue. Of the nearly 40,000 who died by firearms in 2017, 23,854 people, or 60%, committed suicide using a gun. According to CNN, the age-adjusted rate of suicide by gun was highest among white men, at 14 per every 100,000. Overall life expectancy in the U.S. also dropped for the third year in a row in 2017, driven in part by an increase in suicides, which as a whole grew 3.7% between 2016 and 2017. The findings show that common perceptions about gun violence are at odds with its actual impact. For example, many people mistakenly assume that gun violence is predominantly an issue facing young men and men of color, says Dr. Garen J. Wintemute, an emergency medicine specialist at UC Davis Health. While homicide deaths by guns were the highest among black men in 2017 compared with other demographics, that number does not take into account that, overall, most firearm deaths are suicides—which by and large affect middle-aged and elderly white men. “The general perception is that it’s not an old white guy problem, but that it’s more of a crime issue,” says Wintemute. “It has made it hard to attack the problem. Much of society thinks, ‘it’s not my problem.’ But we all have a stake in this.” Firearms are exacerbating the suicide rate because of their wide availability in the U.S. and their relative efficacy compared to other methods, says David M. Studdert, a health law policy expert and professor at Stanford University. “The chances of dying of suicide by gun are very high,” he says. “Women attempt suicide more than men, but they have far lower rates because they employ less lethal means.” Suicide itself is often misunderstood by the general population, Studdert contends. People often assume that a suicidal person will do anything to kill themselves, but the reality is that many people attempt suicide without success and go on to live their normal lives. “It’s often a very impulsive act,” he says. “Whatever is on hand in that moment is going to have an important role.” Wintemute agrees. “Guns are unique in the combination of lethality and ease of use,” he says. That knowledge can give doctors, researchers, and advocates a chance to reduce both gun violence and suicides. Wintemute, who has worked in emergency rooms for decades, says he works to persuade doctors to talk about guns with patients who seem at risk for carrying out violence, whether the target is themselves or others. He also recommends that in these situations, patients find ways to separate themselves from their weapons. In his statement, Makris noted that gun violence can be prevented if people try to spot risky behaviors in individuals and intervene on time. “It’s time we turn these alarming statistics around so that no other parent has to feel the unimaginable pain of losing a child to gun violence,” he said. The National Rifle Association, which came under harsh criticism in November for telling doctors who spoke out against gun violence to “stay in their lane,” did not immediately comment on the CDC’s findings. The organization on Wednesday tweeted that “gun control laws are not the answer.” The facts are clear: Gun control laws are not the answer. If we want to prevent more horrific acts of violence our leaders need to stop demonizing the men and women of the @NRA and find solutions that will save lives. https://t.co/No0RZTnowf — NRA (@NRA) December 13, 2018 “If we want to prevent more horrific acts of violence our leaders need to stop demonizing the mend and women of the NRA and find solutions that will save lives,” the group said. [...]
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Special Act for senior citizens to be tabled, says DPM
Dr Wan Azizah said the Act, among other things, was to establish a support system needed by senior citizens. — Picture by Ahmad Zamzahuri KUALA LUMPUR, Dec 14 — Datuk Seri Wan Azizah Wan Ismail said a special Act for senior citizens will be drafted in the near future to protect the welfare and basic rights of the group.The deputy prime minister said the matter was discussed and approved at the first meeting of the National Senior Citizens Advisory and Consultative Council (MPPWEN) in 2018, which she chaired here, today.Dr Wan Azizah, who is also women, family and community development minister, said the Act, among other things, was to establish a support system needed by senior citizens.“Recognising the fact Malaysia will become an ageing country by 2030, where 15 per cent of the population will be made up of senior citizens, the ministry will enact a special Act for them in the near future,” she said in a statement.Dr Wan Azizah said the ministry planned to have a pilot project where an ‘age-friendly city’ would be created with the cooperation of the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP).“This project is to promote public participation in local planning and in turn, create a friendly environment for senior citizens,” he said.Dr Wan Azizah said the government would continue to empower seniors in the community through the establishment of 29 new Senior Citizen Activity Centres (SCACs).“A total of RM3 million has been allocated in 2018 under the 11th Malaysia Plan (RMK-11) whereby each PAWE receives RM80,000 assistance for building improvements and equipment purchases and RM33,333 for operating purposes.“In 2019, the JKM (Social Welfare Department) will ensure that any parliamentary constituencies that still do not have an SCAC will be given priority for the construction of the centre,” she said.Dr Wan Azizah said the MPPWEN’s empowerment agenda will be continued to give due recognition to all senior citizens.“Close cooperation among all parties involved is important and necessary to hold the responsibility and commitment to improve the quality of life and well-being of senior citizens in Malaysia,” she added. — Bernama [...]
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Bring AFF Suzuki Cup home, says Dr M
Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad and the Harimau Malaya team pose for pictures at the Prime Minister’s Office in Putrajaya December 7, 2018. — Bernama pic KUALA LUMPUR, Dec 14 — Prime Minister Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad has advised the Harimau Malaya squad to go all out to bring home the AFF Suzuki Cup to Malaysia.“I would like to wish all the best to the Harimau Malaya squad who will play in Hanoi, Vietnam tomorrow night.“Prove that we can beat the opponents. To Ultras Malaya, give your unwavering support and cheer on our team, “Dr Mahathir said in a video post on his Facebook page tonight.Malaysia will face Vietnam at the My Dinh National Stadium in Hanoi in the second-leg of the finals. The first match held at the National Stadium in Bukit Jalil, here Tuesday, finished 2-2. — Bernama [...]
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Death of 7-Year-Old Girl in DHS Custody ‘Preventable,’ Says Pediatrics Group President
The head of the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) has called the death of a 7-year-old Guatemalan girl in Department of Homeland Security custody “preventable” and called for pediatricians to have oversight of detention centers that hold migrant children. Dr. Colleen Kraft says the Dec. 8 death of Jackeline Caal is part of a broader failure to meet children’s basic needs that has characterized the Department of Homeland Security’s interaction with young people detained at the U.S.-Mexico border. “We will not stop asking questions until we learn more about the circumstances of this girl’s death, so we can understand what happened to her and how to make sure it never happens again,” Kraft tells TIME. American Academy of PediatricsDr. Colleen Kraft, the president of the American Academy of Pediatrics, criticized the DHS for the death of a 7-year-old girl in custody. Kraft says pediatricians who have visited DHS processing facilities that hold children have been alarmed by the conditions they have found. “These children are not given the basic needs of food and water and medical care,” she says. Jackeline had not yet been booked into a processing facility when she went into apparent shock and died, according to DHS. Kraft, the president of the AAP — which represents 67,000 pediatricians — says her organization has sent letters to DHS asking the government to improve the standards of care for migrant children in federal custody, but that the recommendations have “fallen on deaf ears.” Jackeline died in intensive care at an El Paso hospital after she went into sepsis shock following about eight hours in DHS custody, DHS said. Customs and Border Protection agents had detained the girl and her father, 29-year-old Nery Caal, at about 9:15 p.m. local time on Dec. 6 as part of a group of 163 migrants near the remote Antelope Wells border crossing in New Mexico. Jackeline and her father were on a bus to a detention center when she began vomiting at about 5 a.m. on Dec. 7. When the bus arrived at the processing center 90 minutes later, EMTs treated her and revived her twice. She was then flown to Providence Children’s Hospital in Texas, where she died early Dec. 8 in intensive care. A DHS statement called Jackeline’s death “tragic” and said her father told authorities she had not been able to consume food or water for several days prior to being detained. DHS said the father signed a form saying that neither he nor his daughter were ill at the time they were apprehended. DHS said all of the detained migrants were offered water and food and access to bathrooms.EMTs were waiting to treat Jackeline when her bus arrived at the detention center, DHS said. In a Friday interview on Fox & Friends, Homeland Security Secretary Kirstjen Nielsen said Jackeline’s death was “heart-wrenching” and said DHS staffers did everything they could to save her. However, she blamed the girl’s family for taking her on the dangerous cross-country trek to cross the border. “This family chose to cross illegally,” Nielsen said. “They were about 90 miles away from where we could process them. It took a such a large crowd, it took our Border Patrol folks a couple times to get them all.” DHS did not respond to a request for comment Friday about the AAP’s letters or Kraft’s allegations about the conditions at DHS processing facilities. The AAP said that Jackeline’s death shows why pediatricians need unfettered access to the children in DHS custody. “The first thing that’s needed is pediatric oversight of these centers so that as children and families are processed, these children have access to the basic necessities of pediatric care that’s needed,” Kraft says. The AAP issued detailed guidance in 2017 on the care of migrant children in detention. The group also issued a statement criticizing the Trump Administration’s policy of separating migrant children from their parents at the border earlier this year. Kraft says that, as the group representing pediatricians, it is the duty of the AAP to give medical advice on the care of children in government custody. “We all agree that we should treat children with compassion and we should never let a child die in United States custody. I don’t think anyone would disagree with that, so that’s where we speak,” she says. Kraft says the AAP also wants DHS to end the policies that have resulted in the detention of children and families — and return to Obama-era policies of releasing asylum-seekers into the U.S., pending immigration court hearings. “We know that these families will stay in touch with their immigration attorney and will make it to their asylum hearings,” she says. “They’re not the threat that the rhetoric is telling us they are. Certainly not 7-year-old children.” [...]
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Malaysia – a nation in pain? Global Pain Index says yes
Panadol was awarded the Brand Icon Award (Health) at this year’s Putra Brand Awards Research suggests that some of us are still suffering in silence when it comes to pain. Recently awarded its fourth consecutive gold at the 2018 Putra Brand awards, Panadol is proud to support Malaysians as their favourite trusted pain reliever. It is a fact: Malaysia is in pain. The Global Pain Index, an international study by GlaxoSmithKline Consumer Healthcare (GSK) which looks at attitudes towards pain across the world, revealed that 96% of Malaysians suffer from pain in their lifetime, with 4 in 10 of us experiencing pain on a weekly basis. This continuous disruption of pain is having a significant economic impact, both on an individual level and nationally. Garnering insights from 500 Malaysians, the Global Pain Index found that the impact of pain on an individual’s ability to focus on work results in the average worker taking two-and-a-half sick leaves a year for body pain alone. Not only does this negatively impact a career progression for the individual, it can also cost companies dearly. The study estimated that in 2017, the effect of pain on workforce across the country cost the economy around RM 3.4 billion. For many people, pain does not just affect them physically but also takes an emotional toll – 7 out of 10 sufferers revealed that their quality of life significantly decreased, while almost 9 out of 10 reported that their pain makes them worried or anxious. Compared with the rest of the world, pain has a striking effect on Malaysians’ ability to socialise and enjoy daily activities, potentially harming their relationships with loved ones. Sufferers in Malaysia were more likely to report that their pain keeps them from leaving the house (58% vs 46% globally) and from going out with friends (59% vs 48% globally). Despite many Malaysians falling victim to pain, we continue to suffer in silence. Nearly half of us do not tell anyone about our pain. Alarmingly, 1 in 5 of us do nothing to try and alleviate the suffering, instead choosing to ignore it completely. We all deserve to live a life free of the worry of pain, and the first step to tackling pain is taking steps to manage it effectively. Over the last 60 years, Panadol has become a trusted pain relief brand and a household name for families across Malaysia, with a range of products designed to provide solutions that meet different needs. By learning to actively address our pain, we can relieve its impact and get back to enjoying the moments that matter. In recognition of its ongoing commitment to Malaysians’ health, Panadol was awarded the Brand Icon Award (Health) at this year’s Putra Brand Awards, otherwise known as the “people’s choice awards”, in which consumers vote for and honour their favourite brands. The Brand Icon Award recognises Panadol as one of Malaysia’s iconic and essential brands, and is reserved for brands winning a gold award for four consecutive years. As one of the world’s leading paracetamol-based pain relievers, Panadol is proud to support Malaysians to manage their pain effectively, knowing that when pain is gone, life can take its place. [...]
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Gattuso says Milan have only themselves to blame for Europa exit
MILAN (Reuters) - AC Milan coach Gennaro Gattuso said his team had nobody to blame but themselves after they lost 3-1 at Olympiakos Piraeus and were knocked out of the Europa League in the group stage. [...]
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Arsenal news: Martin Keown says Mesut Ozil has to prove to Unai Emery 'that he wants it enough'
Ozil returned from a recurrent back injury in the Europa League against FC Qarabag on Thursday [...]
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Bridging economic gap crucial for harmony, says Mat Sabu
Mohamad Sabu arrives at the Amanah National Convention in Ipoh December 14, 2018. ― Picture by Farhan Najib IPOH, Dec 14 — Empowering the economy of those who lag behind and bridging the economic gap regardless of race, are among key factors which can pave the way for harmony in the country, said Parti Amanah Negara (Amanah) president Mohamad Sabu.At the same time, he said the government should ensure that the freedom and opportunities that had been granted to the people should not be abused to incite racial and religious hatred for the political benefit of certain quarters.“The people should not take advantage of the situation to achieve the political objectives of certain groups or question matters which are fundamental rights that have already been enshrined in the Federal Constitution.“The government’s responsibility is to preserve unity, stability and harmony among the people based on the Constitution, and not based on a zero-sum game where the interests and rights of one group should be sacrificed in the interest of other groups,” he said in his presidential address at the 2018 Amanah National Convention at the Casuarina Convention Centre, Meru here, today.A total of 1,000 delegates from 156 registered party divisions as well as 3,000 local and foreign observers are attending the three-day convention themed ‘Fulfilling Trust, Building Nation’ beginning from today. — Bernama [...]
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No official relationship with PAS, says Ismail Sabri
Umno deputy president Datuk Seri Mohamad Hassan, PAS president Datuk Seri Abdul Hadi Awang and Umno president Datuk Seri Ahmad Zahid Hamidi share the limelight at the anti-ICERD rally, December 8, 2018. ― Picture by Ahmad Zamzahuri KOTA KINABALU, Dec 13 — Umno vice-president Datuk Ismail Sabri Yaakob has denied that party’s central leadership was forging a relationship with Islamist party, PAS, despite working together on several occasions such as at the recent anti-ICERD rally.He said that Umno had not conducted any official discussion with PAS on forging a relationship, adding that no joint committee had been formed on the matter either.“Sometimes, we work together on issues as an Opposition bloc in Parliament, such as those with public interest. When it comes to race and religion, like the recent ICERD, we also work together but there is no official relationship.“There is no need to worry. Like I said, Sabah Umno will be given autonomous power, so it can have its own plan to strengthen the party,” he said.ICERD is the acronym for United Nations’ International Convention on the Elimination of Racial Discrimination.In the recent exodus, former Sabah Umno chairman Datuk Hajiji Noor said that the state party had to take into consideration the recent political developments that he said affected its 100,000 non-Muslim members, alluding to Umno’s relationship with PAS.He also said that the party will now focus on being an effective Opposition without negotiating with any parties.Also blamed for Sabah Umno’s dissatisfaction with the party leadership was the lack of autonomy that was promised to the state.On this, Ismail Sabri said that the leaders left prematurely as Umno vice-president Datuk Seri Mohamed Khaled Nordin was due to arrive in the state today to discuss that very issue.“It was postponed due to the change in leadership. When the new leadership takes over, god willing, we will continue with talks on autonomy. It was our policy to grant autonomy to Umno Sabah, which we will fulfil,” he said.On whether the entry of Parti Pribumi Bersatu Malaysia (PPBM) to Sabah would affect Umno, Ismail Sabri said nothing was certain.“Many who have left Umno are still Independents. It’s not definite that they can join PPBM just because they quit. Even DAP urged Tun Dr Mahathir today not to take them in,” he said, referring to PPBM chairman Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad, who is also the prime minister. He said that even the component parties of the Pakatan Harapan government (PH) had said that if possible, it’s best not to take them in because the country needed a strong Opposition.“If everyone jumps and joins the government, then there won’t be an Opposition and there will be no checks and balances. So, it’s not that simple. I’ve also been made to understand that Parti Warisan Sabah does not want those who left to join PPBM because they will only be their competition here,” he said. [...]
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Pakatan doesn’t need Umno’s support, says DAP Youth
In exchange for his support, Datuk Seri Nazri Aziz had asked Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim that he does not deregister Umno and return the full government allocation to its lawmakers. — Picture by Miera Zulyana PETALING JAYA, Dec 13 ― DAP Youth has poured scorn on Datuk Seri Nazri Aziz’s offer to support PKR president Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim as prime minister now that Umno’s future is uncertain.DAP Youth vice chief Muhammad Shakir Ameer said DAP will never work together with Umno as the party will never forget the hardship the latter caused and that such hardship will strengthen the party to not follow in Umno’s footstep.“Who is Nazri to make such demands with Umno’s ever decreasing number of MPs?“An agreement was signed between Pakatan Harapan (PH) component parties finalising that Anwar will be 8th Prime Minister in 2020, the support from PH is enough and we do not need Umno,” he said in a statement.In exchange for his support, Nazri had asked Anwar earlier today that he does not deregister Umno and return the full government allocation to its lawmakers.Under the Pakatan Harapan (PH) federal government, Opposition MPs receive an annual allocation of RM100,000 for their constituencies, while their government counterparts get RM500,000 for their constituencies and RM200,000 for their service centres.Muhammad Shakir said it was better if Umno reflects upon its shortcomings when it was in power, adding: “If they do not want to repent, then let Umno bury itself.”“Umno need not waste time discussing with different parties for their survival. Just accept with open heart and work hard for the people to regain their trust,” he added.Even though Umno won a respectable 54 seats in the 14th general election, the Malay nationalist party has been bleeding lawmakers since its first-ever loss of federal power, numbering at 10 Members of Parliament so far.Sabah Umno lost yesterday nine out of its 10 assemblymen, four out of its five MPs, and most of its state liaison committee.Previously, six MPs left Umno, three of whom — Jeli MP Datuk Seri Mustapa Mohamed, Bagan Serai MP Datuk Noor Azmi Ghazali, and Masjid Tanah MP Datuk Mas Ermieyati Samsudin — joined Parti Pribumi Bersatu Malaysia (PPBM).Another, Labuan MP Datuk Rozman Isli, joined Parti Warisan Sabah. [...]
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Bersatu's Sabah chapter may be set up soon, says party chief strategist
PETALING JAYA: There is likely to be an announcement soon by Parti Pribumi Bersatu Malaysia (Bersatu) on the possible setting up of the party's Sabah chapter. [...]
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Infantino says he has wide support for 48-team World Cup in Qatar
DOHA (Reuters) - FIFA President Gianni Infantino said on Thursday that a majority of national soccer federations were in favour of expanding the 2022 World Cup in Qatar to 48 teams. [...]
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Sawarak mulls bringing LRT project back, says chief minister
Datuk Patinggi Abang Johari Tun Openg says the Sarawak government is mulling on putting the Light Rail Transit project between Kuching and Kota Samarahan back on the track. ― Bernama pic KUCHING, Dec 12 ― The Sarawak government is mulling on putting the Light Rail Transit (LRT) project between Kuching and Kota Samarahan back on the track, says Chief Minister Datuk Patinggi Abang Johari Tun Openg.“I have to postpone the LRT project following opposition from certain people but now they want it again, so we may consider to implement the project if the need arises,” he said.The chief minister said LRT is one of the options to solve traffic congestion especially in heavy populated areas like Kuching and Kota Samarahan.Abang Johari said traffic congestion especially in Kota Samarahan is really bad as workers have to start moving from their homes as early as 5.30 am and reach their work place at 8 am although the route is short.“As we progress, transportation becomes a major contributor to air pollution in urban areas and cities.            “Therefore, to overcome air quality degradation, we have to think of options for mitigation such as LRT, hydrogen fuel buses, electric motor vehicles; and biofuel vehicles,” said the chief minister at the 8th Sarawak Chief Minister's Environmental Award (CMEA) Night here tonight.Touching on sustainable cities, Abang Johari said cities in Sarawak are currently dubbed as clean and healthy cities but this may not be for long as these cities are growing at an exponential rate.“We are already challenged with traffic jams, waste generation, and rapid urban population growth.“Therefore, there is a need for us to address these challenges before they become major problems for us. To address them, we have to seriously embark on green buildings,” he said.He said although Sarawak already has the Sarawak Energy Bhd building certified as a green building, the challenge is there for property and realty developers to advocate green building or green construction or sustainable building, including design, structure and the application of processes that are environmentally responsible and resource-efficient throughout a building's life-cycle. ― Bernama [...]
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China suspected in huge Marriott data breach, official says
Investigators believe hackers working on behalf of China’s main intelligence agency are responsible for a massive data breach involving the theft of personal information from as many as 500 million guests of the Marriott hotel chain, a US official said. [...]
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I am not behind Sabah Umno exodus, says Dr M
KUALA LUMPUR: Prime Minister Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad has denied allegations that he plotted Sabah Umno’s mass defection with Datuk Seri Hishammuddin Hussein. [...]
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