Last updated Friday, November 21, 2014 09:57am

The Lead Story

Refugee status being sold for up to RM3,500 in Malaysia, claims Al-Jazeera report

Lindsey Stirling’s ‘Dragon Age’ music video
Popular online violinist, Lindsey Stirling’s “Dragon Age” music video features dramatic special effects, visuals, and of course, gorgeous music. Read More

BY JOSEPH SIPALAN AND MELISSA CHI
November 21, 2014

KUALA LUMPUR, Nov 21 ― There is an alleged market for securing refugee status through illegitimate means in Malaysia, with United Nations High Commissioner on Refugees (UNHCR) cards being sold for thousands of ringgit,... Read more

NZ sex assault case: Ex-Malaysian envoy denies charge

November 21, 2014

WELLINGTON, Nov 21 ― A former Malaysian diplomat in New Zealand accused of sexual assault denied the charge and elected a trial by jury when he appeared in court today. Muhammad Rizalman Ismail, 38, was extradited to New Zealand last month after leaving the country under diplomatic immunity when first charged in May. In his latest court... Read more

Pictures of the Day

Christmas is around the corner!

  • The Pavilion Mall in Kuala Lumpur is beautifully decorated with Christmas decorations, November 20, 2014. ― Picture by Saw Siow Feng

    The Pavilion Mall in Kuala Lumpur is beautifully decorated with Christmas decorations, November 20, 2014. ― Picture by Saw Siow Feng

  • Tourists are seen taking photos of the huge Santa Claus at the Pavilion Mall concourse area, November 20, 2014. ― Picture by Saw Siow Feng

    Tourists are seen taking photos of the huge Santa Claus at the Pavilion Mall concourse area, November 20, 2014. ― Picture by Saw Siow Feng

  • A group of friends taking a ‘selfie’ at the Pavilion Mall in Kuala Lumpur, November 20, 2014. ― Picture by Saw Siow Feng

    A group of friends taking a ‘selfie’ at the Pavilion Mall in Kuala Lumpur, November 20, 2014. ― Picture by Saw Siow Feng

  • A family poses for a photo at the Pavilion Mall in Kuala Lumpur, November 20, 2014. ― Picture by Saw Siow Feng

    A family poses for a photo at the Pavilion Mall in Kuala Lumpur, November 20, 2014. ― Picture by Saw Siow Feng

Whopping US$1b bill for Madoff bankruptcy case

November 21, 2014

NEW YORK, Nov 21 — Unwinding the biggest Ponzi scheme in US history isn’t cheap. Six years after Bernard Madoff’s fraud collapsed, the cost of liquidating his defunct investment advisory firm to repay thousands of victims has topped US$1 billion (RM3.35b), though the con man’s former customers aren’t footing the bill. The fees, paid by... Read more

Mark Wilson pulls a sled full of groceries in the town of West Seneca near New York, November 21, 2014.  — Reuters pic

Mark Wilson pulls a sled full of groceries in the town of West Seneca near New York, November 21, 2014. — Reuters pic

Wigan lose sponsor in protest at racist, sexist and homophobic Mackay appointment

November 21, 2014

LONDON, Nov 21 — Wigan lost one of their shirt sponsors as the fall-out from the controversial appointment of manager Malky Mackay continued yesterday. Mackay was hired by Wigan just three months after the Football Association revealed they were investigating text messages, sent during his spell in charge at Cardiff, which he admitted were “disrespectful of other cultures”. With Mackay back in management so soon after being accused of... Read more

Tunis court rejects appeal of two policemen, gives double jail sentence on rape charge

November 21, 2014

TUNIS, Nov 21 — A Tunisian court sentenced two policemen to 15 years yesterday for the rape of a woman who was herself almost put on trial, in an appeal that doubled their initial penalty. Monia Bousselmi, a lawyer for the victim, hailed the ruling as “a great step” forward for such cases in the Muslim country. The two policemen had been... Read more

Next Media Video: Lake effect causes huge snow-fall in northern US
Five weeks before Christmas a freezing Arctic air mass has dumped huge amounts of snow on upstate New York, paralysing traffic across the region. — Reuters Read More

Wine lovers celebrate as Beaujolais Nouveau arrives (VIDEO)

November 21, 2014

BEAUHEU (France), Nov 21 — Thousands of wine lovers braved the cold to get the first sip of this year’s Beaujolais Nouveau in its hometown as part of a time-honoured tradition to celebrate the arrival of the young French wine. Eager crowds gathered Wednesday outside the church in the eastern French town of Beaujeu ahead of midnight when at... Read more

AFP Video: Japanese uncork Beaujolais Nouveau wine
Japanese wine lovers celebrate the arrival of this year's Beaujolais Nouveau by swimming in a huge tub of specially prepared dark red water in the company of “Miss Bourgogne”. ― AFP-Relaxnews Read More

Jennifer Aniston gains weight for role in movie ‘Cake’

November 21, 2014

LOS ANGELES, Nov 21 — Jennifer Aniston didn’t work out for two-and-a-half months. The 45-year-old actress had to gain weight for her role in upcoming movie Cake. And she said that the best bit about the film was the fact that she was able to take a break from her usually strict diet and exercise regime. “I basically just didn’t work out... Read more

Cover Media Video: Is Keira Knightley pregnant?
A huge congratulations to Keira Knightley, as reports flood in that she’s now 12 weeks pregnant with her and her husband James Righton's first child. ― Cover Media Read More

Forgotten Morris Minor the unlikely star at Birmingham’s Classic Motor Show (VIDEO)

November 21, 2014

BIRMINGHAM, Nov 21 ― Mention classic cars and you may have visions of perfectly restored motors from a bygone age glistening in chrome and nostalgia. So a rusty old Morris Minor that was forgotten in a barn raised some eyebrows when it turned up at the Classic Motor Show in the UK city of Birmingham, where it was one of the unusual... Read more

The BMW i3 is seen after being presented with the the Green Car of the Year Award at the Los Angeles Auto Show November 21, 2014.  — Reuters

The BMW i3 is seen after being presented with the the Green Car of the Year Award at the Los Angeles Auto Show November 21, 2014. — Reuters

Living high! First humans settled on Tibetan Plateau 3,600 years ago

November 21, 2014

LHASA, Nov 21 — Researchers said yesterday that people likely moved to the Tibetan highlands 3,600 years ago, in an indication of when humans first settled at high altitudes. Humans were able to permanently settle on the plateau—which at a maximum height of 3,400m is known as “the roof of the world”—by growing altitude-resistant crops and... Read more

Teresa Munoz mourns over the coffin of her daughter Maria Jose Alvarado during a wake for Maria Jose and her sister Sofia outside their home in Santa Barbara November 21, 2014. The Honduran beauty queen has been found shot dead in a suspected crime of passion. — Reuters pic

Teresa Munoz mourns over the coffin of her daughter Maria Jose Alvarado during a wake for Maria Jose and her sister Sofia outside their home in Santa Barbara November 21, 2014. The Honduran beauty queen has been found shot dead in a suspected crime of passion. — Reuters pic Read More

Tougher Gorilla Glass 4 for smartphone screens soon

November 21, 2014

NEW YORK, Nov 21 — US manufacturer Corning said yesterday it was introducing a new, tougher version of its Gorilla Glass used by major smartphone makers in a bid to maintain dominance in the sector.  The new material, called Gorilla Glass 4, is “up to two times tougher than any competitive cover glass design now in the market,” and aims to... Read more

Visitors take pictures as robots dance on a platform at the 16th China Hi-Tech Fair in Shenzhen, Guangdong province November 21, 2014. — Reuters pic

Visitors take pictures as robots dance on a platform at the 16th China Hi-Tech Fair in Shenzhen, Guangdong province November 21, 2014. — Reuters pic

Winter is coming! New York covered by snow

November 21, 2014

BUFFALO, Nov 21 — Fresh snow fell yesterday in snowbound western New York state, where longtime residents described the blast of winter weather as the worst in memory. At least eight deaths were blamed on the storm. Some areas of New York along the Great Lakes had nearly 60cm of new snow on top of accumulations as high as 1.5m from... Read more

Tourists take pictures as another tourist lies on the lawn outside Madrid

Tourists take pictures as another tourist lies on the lawn outside Madrid's Prado museum, November 21, 2014. — Reuters pic

Book Talk: India’s Bhagat faces up to critics

November 21, 2014

NEW DELHI, Nov 21 — India's biggest-selling author in English is often dismissed as persona non grata by literary critics, but that doesn't faze Chetan Bhagat. Ten years on as a professional writer, the banker-turned-author says he is better prepared to face criticism. “I can dispassionately talk about it. It cannot bother me enough to... Read more

A woman holds Romania

A woman holds Romania's president elect Klaus Iohannis book 'Step by step' as she queues for an autograph in Bucharest November 21, 2014. — Reuters pic