Last updated Tuesday, December 23, 2014 12:17pm

The Lead Story

Ignoring Isma, Umno minister wishes ‘Merry Christmas’ to all on Twitter

Cover Media Video: Idris Elba as James Bond?
Could Idris Elba be the next James Bond? The Mandela: Long Walk to Freedom star has said that he would be happy to take on the iconic role, if asked. ― Cover Media Read More

December 23, 2014

KUALA LUMPUR, Dec 23 ― An Umno minister took to Twitter today to scoff at Ikatan Muslimin Malaysia's (Isma) claim that Muslims should not celebrate Christmas or even wish... Read more

#Throwback2014

How will amputations ‘save society’? MCA asks PAS in row over hudud

December 23, 2014

KUALA LUMPUR, Dec 23 ― Kelantan MCA decried today PAS's promise not be “overzealous” in its implementation of hudud, saying the party's refusal to back down from the proposal and its belief that amputations will “save society” is already overzealous enough. In a statement here, Kelantan MCA secretary Datuk Lua Choon Hann urged PAS's Pakatan... Read more

Women take a

Women take a 'selfie' in front of a colourful fountain at a shopping mall in Kuala Lumpur on December 23, 2014. ― AFP pic

Asia takes heart in Wall Street high as oil faces further slip

December 23, 2014

SYDNEY, Dec 23 — Asian markets should be well underpinned today after Wall Street closed at historic highs while oil prices suffered a vicious setback after Saudi Arabia quashed all thought of cutting supply. The revival in risk appetites undermined the safe haven yen and kept the US dollar elevated across the board, while sovereign bonds... Read more

HK Nicaragua Canal Development Investment Co Ltd (HKND Group) chairman Wang Jing greets youths at the start of the first works of the Interoceanic Grand Canal in Brito town, Nicaragua. — Reuters pic

HK Nicaragua Canal Development Investment Co Ltd (HKND Group) chairman Wang Jing greets youths at the start of the first works of the Interoceanic Grand Canal in Brito town, Nicaragua. — Reuters pic

Chelsea restore three-point lead disposing of Stoke

December 23, 2014

LONDON, Dec 23 — John Terry’s early header and Cesc Fabregas’s second-half strike restored Chelsea’s three-point Premier League lead heading into a busy Christmas programme after a 2-0 win at Stoke City yesterday. Chelsea were ahead inside two minutes at the Britannia Stadium when Terry met a Fabregas corner with a powerful downward header. Stoke pushed forward after the break without ever causing fit-again Chelsea keeper Thibaut... Read more

New York mayor appeals for protest pause for cops’ funeral

December 23, 2014

NEW YORK, Dec 23 — New York Mayor Bill de Blasio implored protesters yesterday to wait until after the funerals of two policemen shot dead in an ambush before resuming rallies that have roiled the city and beyond over the deaths of black men at the hands of police. But de Blasio's plea was quickly dismissed by several activist groups that... Read more

Photo of Japan

Photo of Japan's Emperor Akihito (left) feeding carp in a pond with Empress Michiko at the Imperial Palace in Tokyo released on December 23, 2014, the emperor's 81st birthday. — Reuters pic

A pop-up store of Christmas goodies at China House

By Opalyn Mok
December 23, 2014

GEORGE TOWN, Dec 23 — Christmas is in two days and if you are in a panic about what to get for your friends and family, you’re in luck! There’s a full range of baked Christmas goodies over at a Christmas pop-up store in China House. The store, offering the conventional gingerbread men and fruit cake with brandy, also has locally made... Read more

Traders take a cappuccino break in their booth on the floor of the New York Stock Exchange. Stocks rose a fourth straight day, with the Dow and S&P closing at record highs. — Reuters pic

Traders take a cappuccino break in their booth on the floor of the New York Stock Exchange. Stocks rose a fourth straight day, with the Dow and S&P closing at record highs. — Reuters pic

Not all ‘happily ever after’ in Broadway’s ‘Into the Woods’

December 23, 2014

NEW YORK, Dec 23 ― Wishes are granted, dreams come true and Cinderella is rescued by her prince, but it is not all happily ever after in “Into the Woods,” the film adaptation of the Tony-winning Broadway musical that puts a modern spin on fairly tales. Director Rob Marshall worked closely with composer Stephen Sondheim and James Lapine in... Read more

Cover Media Video: Channing Tatum teams up with Team Oscar
Channing Tatum has joined the judges for Team Oscar, which gives young filmmakers that chance to appear on stage at the upcoming Academy Awards ceremony and help deliver the golden statues to the celebrity presenters. ― Cover Media Read More

Google self-driving car prototype ready to go off drawing board for the road

December 23, 2014

SAN FRANCISCO, Dec 23 — Google yesterday announced that the first completed prototype of its self-driving car is ready to be road tested. “We’re going to be spending the holidays zipping around our test track, and we hope to see you on the streets of Northern California in the new year,” the Internet titan’s autonomous car team said in a... Read more

Italian collector Domenico Agostinelli, 74, checks an old car in his museum in Dragona, near Rome. The car once belonged to the American gangster Al Capone. — Reuters pic

Italian collector Domenico Agostinelli, 74, checks an old car in his museum in Dragona, near Rome. The car once belonged to the American gangster Al Capone. — Reuters pic

Crazy ski lift commute? It might just work for New York

December 23, 2014

NEW YORK, Dec 23 — Trying not to spill your coffee while wedged up against perfect strangers on a jam-packed subway is a daily challenge for New York commuters. Now one real estate executive, inspired by an Alpine holiday in France, believes that cable cars can solve New York's transport problem — too many people and too few trains. A... Read more

A still image taken from video shows a monkey biting another monkey which fell unconscious after being shocked by electrical wiring in Kanpur December 23, 2014. — Reuters pic

A still image taken from video shows a monkey biting another monkey which fell unconscious after being shocked by electrical wiring in Kanpur December 23, 2014. — Reuters pic

Google’s Android One for Bangladesh, Nepal and Sri Lanka

December 23, 2014

NEW YORK, Dec 23 — Google's affordable smartphone initiative is expanding to three more countries. The idea behind Android One is to get the world's remaining smartphone-less five billion inhabitants connected to the mobile web via a handset that is cheap yet good quality, promises the features that everyone expects from a handset and which... Read more

NASA

NASA's Solar Dynamics Observatory captures a significant solar flare in this image provided by NASA, December 23, 2014. — Reuters pic

Win a night’s stay at Paris’ Galeries Lafayette with Airbnb

December 23, 2014

PARIS, Dec 23 ― Airbnb is known for allowing travellers to stay in unique, sometimes unusual accommodations, and its “A Night At” contest series takes this reputation to a new level. The latest contest will let six winners spend a night at Galeries Lafayette, the historic Parisian department store, the day before the start of the “soldes,”... Read more

People stroll along the embankment of the Elbe river in Dresden, December 23, 2014. ― Reuters pic

People stroll along the embankment of the Elbe river in Dresden, December 23, 2014. ― Reuters pic

CIA tips for traveling spies leaked

December 22, 2014

WASHINGTON, Dec 22 — WikiLeaks yesterday released two CIA documents that offered tips to help spies maintain their cover while using false documents as they crossed international borders.  The two documents, dating from 2011 and 2012, are marked classified and “NOFORN,” which means they were not meant to be shared with allied intelligence... Read more

People talk in a park beside books displayed for sale in Old Havana December 23, 2014. — Reuters pic

People talk in a park beside books displayed for sale in Old Havana December 23, 2014. — Reuters pic