Thursday, April 30, 2009
Wednesday, April 29, 2009
The 1.1 billion ringgit project includes an Arabian bazaar, Middle Eastern restaurants, shopping complex, five-star hotel, water theme park, and a unisex Arabic health and beauty spa, the Star daily said on Wednesday.
One of the 'Arab Cities' will be built on a small island lying south of Malacca town, while the other will be located at a beachside resort just west of the historic port, it said.
Malacca chief minister Mohamad Ali Rustam reportedly said the project, due for completion by 2012, will attract more Middle Eastern tourists and give locals a chance to experience Arabic culture.
Malaysia's tourism industry has seen a sharp rise in the number of big-spending tourists from the Middle East in recent years, attracted by the tropical country's Islamic image.
Some 264,338 visitors from the region made their way to Malaysia last year, almost double the figure recorded in 2005.
The capital Kuala Lumpur has already seen the introduction of an 'Arab Street' to make tourists from the Middle East feel at home, while hotel and restaurants serve West Asian food and bring Arab cooks to work in the country.
Tourism was Malaysia's second highest foreign exchange earner in 2007, raking in US$14 billion in revenue from 21 million tourists arrivals.
The government however expects tourist numbers to fall 9.3 per cent to 20 million this year as the global economic slowdown hits. -- AFP
Management consultancy Mercer said Vienna scored the highest for overall quality of living in the 215-city survey after improvements in Austria's political and social environment, knocking the Swiss city of Zurich into second position.
Third in the list came another Swiss city, Geneva, followed by Vancouver, Canada, and Auckland, New Zealand, in shared fourth place.
Baghdad, Iraq, came last despite slight improvements in its infrastructure and moves to encourage investment.
Three German cities made the top 10 -- Dusseldorf, Munich and Frankfurt -- with the list rounded out by Bern in Switzerland and Sydney, Australia.
The highest U.S. ranking in the 2009 Worldwide Quality of Living Survey was Honolulu which came 29th while Washington and New York remained in positions 44 and 49 respectively.
London came 38th in the list which is designed to help governments and companies formulate international packages for their employees.
"As a result of the current financial crisis, multinationals are looking to review their international assignment policies with a view to cutting costs," said Slagin Parakatil, senior researcher at Mercer, in a statement.
"Many companies plan to reduce the number of medium to long-term international assignments and localize their expatriate compensation packages where possible though the hardship allowance, based on quality of living criteria, will remain an essential component of the package."
Singapore was the top-scoring Asian city, coming in 26th which was up six places from a year ago due to its growing importance as a financial center and its wide range of international and private schools.
Beijing moved up three places to 113, boosted by improvements in public transport facilities from the Olympics last August.
Singapore also came first in a separate ranking based on city infrastructure, which examined standards of electricity, water, telephone, mail, public transport, traffic congestion and the range of international flights from local airports.
Singapore was followed in the infrastructure rankings by Munich, Copenhagen, and Tsukuba in Japan. Again, Baghdad came last.
The rankings, based on a point-scoring index in which New York is the base city with 100, are based on 39 quality-of-life determinants such as political stability, schooling, recreation, housing and natural environment.
In Central and South America, San Juan in Puerto Rico retained the highest ranking at 72 followed by Montevideo at 79.
"Political and security issues, and the incidence of natural disasters, continue to hinder the improvement of quality of living in the region. Shortages of consumer goods have also contributed to a decline in quality of living in some cities," said Parakatil.
(Writing by Belinda Goldsmith, Editing by Miral Fahmy)
Tuesday, April 28, 2009
The 35-year-old Welsh midfielder, who has enjoyed nearly two decades of success at Old Traford in a career featuring two Champions League final triumphs, had twice won the Young Player of the Year award but can now add the ultimate mark of esteem from his fellow professionals to his list of prizes.
PFA Premier League team of the year: Edwin van der Sar (Man Utd); Glen Johnson (Portsmouth), Rio Ferdinand (Man Utd), Nemanja Vidic (Man Utd), Patrice Evra (Man Utd); Ashley Young (Aston Villa), Steven Gerrard (Liverpool), Ryan Giggs (Man Utd), Cristiano Ronaldo (Man Utd); Nicolas Anelka (Chelsea), Fernando Torres (Liverpool)
Friday, April 24, 2009
Microsoft has just finished compiled the official Windows 7 RC, which has the build version of 7100, and the DVD ISO image for the final copy of Windows 7 RC has leaked and emerged on BitTorrent network. Windows 7 RC (Release Candidate) is said to have the build version of 7100.0.winmain_win7rc.090421-1700.
Download 32-bit (x86) Windows 7 RC Build 7100 ISO Disc Image
File name: 7100.0.090421-1700_x86fre_client_en-us_Retail_Ultimate-GRC1CULFRER_EN_DVD.iso
Size 2.35 GB
Thursday, April 23, 2009
Rafael Benitez's side will face Thailand in Bangkok on July 22 before flying to Singapore to take on the national team on July 26.
It will be the first time the Reds have visited Thailand since 2003, while they have not played in Singapore for eight years.
"We have a fantastic group of fans in both Thailand and Singapore and it will be great to take the lads out there again," Reds boss Rafael Benitez said.
Ian Ayre, Liverpool's commercial director, added: "South East Asia is clearly a key region for Liverpool.
"As we continue to develop our international plans, being able to allow fans all over the world to see the team live is paramount."
Dato Worawi Makudi, president of the Thai Football Association, said they were eagerly anticipating the match.
"Liverpool's return to the kingdom is long overdue," he said.
"The experience that our players will receive from this game will help in the development of Thai football."
Winston Lee, general secretary of the Football Association of Singapore, was also pleased to welcome back the Reds.
He said: "Inviting teams such as Liverpool, as well as Brazil and Australia last year, is part of our continued efforts to bring top-class football action to our shores.
"It will not only be a great experience for our fans but our players will get exposure to world-class teams and players."
A FREAKISH storm with strong winds uprooted trees, damaged cars and left a trail of destruction on Wednesday night, all within about 15 minutes.
There were numerous reports of fallen trees island-wide, with at least one car damaged by the falling branches in an open carpark. At a housing estate in Dover Road, a large tree almost snapped in half and lay fallen on its side, with other branches strewn across the grassy area.
Eyewitnesses also reported that large plastic barricades used in roadworks were blown across a road by the strong winds, causing traffic obstruction. Pham Tan Hung found a large tree fallen outside Hong Leong Gardens in Clementi while on his way to work on Thursday morning. 'It's a shocking scene to me. It covered the whole walking path to the bus stop, around 6 to 8 metres,' he wrote to straitstimes.com
Weather maps from the National Environmental Agency (NEA)'s website showed that a rain storm blew over Singapore shortly after 11pm on Wednesday.
Social networking sites such as Facebook and Twitter were also abuzz with postings about the freak storm. Bloggers in Singapore also recounted personal stories, with many saying they were awoken by the violent rattling and slamming of doors caused by the winds. Others reported car alarms going off.
'We had to duck from the many things that were blowing out of control. There was a road block signage that blew across a major road. heavy duty dustbins dropped like bowling pins. We had to take refuge on the outside of a building' wrote mistipurple on her blog.
'I don't know how widely the winds could have travelled, but tonight for about five minutes, I experienced one of the strongest winds since returning to Singapore,' wrote blogger mis-erialc.
'In fact, I don't remember a time that we've ever experienced winds so strong. As the wind repeatedly assaulted my blinds, I couldn't help but look outside at the environmental commotion it was causing - the bending of trees, the picking up and tossing around of random objects outside.'
Wednesday, April 22, 2009
Tuesday, April 21, 2009
While you're waiting patiently for the release, treat yourself to a sneak preview of the forthcoming video, which Paolo recently travelled all the way to Cuba to film.
Click here now to feast your eyes on a collection of behind-the-scenes photos from the tropical shoot: http://www.paolonutini.com
Monday, April 20, 2009
You can download the high quality MP3 parts and remix them as you wish...
You can also upload your creations directly to the site for the world to hear.
Saturday, April 18, 2009
so, here's the official album announcement. here goes: on june 30th i'm releasing my next album, 'wait for me'.
i recorded the album here in my studio on the lower east side(although 'studio' always seems like an overly grand word for a bunch of equipment set up in a small bedroom). in the past i've worked in large and small studios, but for this record i wanted to record everything at home by myself.
i have some friends/guests singing on the record. they're great singers, but unless you live in fort greene or washington heights you might not know about them, as they're relatively unknown(because i've found that working with friends is almost always nicer than working with rockstars).
i started working on the album about a year ago, and the creative impetus behind the record was hearing a david lynch speech at bafta, in the uk.
david was talking about creativity, and to paraphrase, about how creativity in and of itself, and without market pressures, is fine and good.
it seems as if too often an artists or musicians or writers creative output is judged by how well it accommodates the marketplace, and how much market share it commands and how much money it generates.
in making this record i wanted to focus on making something that i loved, without really being concerned about how it might be received by the marketplace. as a result it's a quieter and more melodic and more mournful and more personal record than some of the records i've made in the past.
it's also, for better or worse, all homemade, in that i recorded it at home with my friends and drew the artwork with a black sharpie on copy paper.
the first single(if you can call an instrumental with no vocals that we're giving away for free a 'single')is called 'shot in the back of the head', and i'm happy to announce that david lynch has done the video for it. i sent him the music and said, 'please do whatever you want'. so he sat down and drew some animation that is very dark and beautiful. david lynch is my favorite film director, and i'm really happy to have him as the first video director on 'wait for me'.
here's the link to video on pitchfork:
i mixed the record with my friend ken thomas. he's an amazing mixer/producer, and he's worked with everyone from sigur ros to throbbing gristle to m83. mixing the record with him was really nice, as he's creatively open to trying anything(like recording an old broken bakelite radio and running it through some broken old effects pedals to see what it would sound like. it's on the record as a :45 second long track called 'stock radio'). and as a geeky technical aside, we mixed the record using purely analog equipment in true stereo, akin to how records were mixed in the late 60's(some of the songs sound pretty amazing in headphones, if i do say so myself...).
ok, that's it.
oh, one last thing, i've worked hard recording and arranging the album as a cohesive body of work. i fully understand that most people listen to individual tracks here and there, but i ask that you listen to the album from start to finish even just once. oh, and if you go to moby.com you'll see that we've redesigned it. or, rather, are in the process of redesigning it. gone are the lovely ladies from 'last night', replaced by the lonely little idiot.
p.s-oh, here's the tracklisting for the album:
shot in the back of the head
walk with me
a seated night
wait for me
hope is gone
Friday, April 17, 2009
The annual ranking of business-friendly countries, compiled by financial magazine Forbes Asia, saw Singapore jump four spots from last year, leapfrogging Britain, Sweden, Ireland and Finland.
Singapore also maintained its regional top-dog position as the economy with the best business conditions in the Asia-Pacific. New Zealand was fifth in the ranking, Australia eighth and Hong Kong ninth.
Business-friendly economies like Singapore, which are able to attract entrepreneurs, investors and workers, are 'in a much better position than others to rebound' from the economic downturn that has gripped the world, Forbes said.
Its survey ranked 127 countries according to criteria such as taxes, red tape, investor protection, stock market performance, promotion of free trade and freedom of expression and organisation.
The only three countries ahead of Singapore in the ranking were Denmark, the United States and Canada.
To top it off, 17 Singapore-listed firms also made it to this year's Forbes Global 2000 list of the world's 2,000 biggest public companies, ranked by profits, assets, sales and market value. Last year only 14 firms from Singapore were featured.
In fact, with the financial meltdown centred around the United States and Europe, Asian companies featured more prominently on the list this year. A total of 681 firms from the region made the list, 61 more than last year.
But the US is still the single dominant country with 551 firms represented - including the list-topper, General Electric - although this number is down by 47 from last year.
Japan, the clear leader in Asia, fielded 288 firms to the Global 2000 list, 29 more than last year. China, at number two, had 91 companies on the list, an increase of 21 from last year.
Tuesday, April 14, 2009
The film follows Arcade Fire through the making and touring of their 2007 album Neon Bible, documenting the band at their Montreal studio, the making of promotional films and videos, along with live footage and a few short films made on the road.
Miroir Noir is directed by Arcade Fire friend and collaborator Vincent Morisset. Vincent was responsible for the interactive video for the song "Neon Bible" and for the Arcade Fire web design. The film was shot by Vincent Moon.
The standard edition DVD feature the 70 minute film Miroir Noir. The deluxe edition DVD contains bonus material including Arcade Fire's live performances on Jonathon Ross, Saturday Night Live and at Maida Vale.
The 70 minute film is available in both standard and limited editions from Amazon.com below from $13.49.
Miroir Noir $13.49
Miroir Noir Ltd. Edition Deluxe $26.99
It's less than a week till the Brothers decend upon the Coachella Music Festival in Indio, CA!
The boys have a special DJ set planned that should have the desert awash with excitement. It's been some time since the Brothers have brought a DJ set to this end of the pond, so we know it's going to be a rare and special night.
We also get to see a lot of our friends - both old and new - and catch a lot of other great music.
The Chemical Brothers will be DJing in the Sahara Tent on Saturday night - hope see you there!
Friday, April 10, 2009
Anandita Dutta Tamuly, 26, chewed her way through the chillies before an audience late Thursday in India's northeast.
She consumed the chillies in the company of British celebrity chef Gordon Ramsay, who was producing a television show on food and anchoring the event in Jorhat, 300 kilometres east of Assam's main city of Guwahati.
'In two minutes, Anandita gobbled 51 red-hot chillies without batting an eyelid or shedding a tear, and also smeared seeds of 25 chillies into her eyes in one minute,' Atul Lahkar, a chef who organised the show, told AFP.
The chillies are known locally as bhut jolokia and are a staple of local diet in Assam. They are recognised by Guinness World Records as the world's hottest chili pepper.
Guinness World Records had 'asked us to provide them with a recording of the feat supervised by someone responsible. We asked Ramsay to be the adjudicator,' said Diganta Saikia, another coordinator.
Tamuly said she became hooked on hot peppers when she was five years old.
'I had a sore tongue and my mother applied a chilli paste to cure the infection. After that I developed a penchant for chillies,' Tamuly said. -- AFP
Wednesday, April 8, 2009
Prices are doubling every day and food and fuel are in short supply. A cholera epidemic has killed more than 2,000 people and a deadlock between President Robert Mugabe and the opposition has put hopes of ending the crisis on hold.
Hyper-inflation has forced the central bank to continue to release new banknotes which quickly become almost worthless.
There is an official exchange rate, but most Zimbabweans resort to the informal market for currency transactions.
In addition to the Z$100 trillion dollar note, the Reserve Bank of Zimbabwe plans to launch Z$10 trillion, Z$20 trillion and Z$50 trillion notes, the Herald newspaper reported.
"In a move meant to ensure that the public has access to their money from banks, the Reserve Bank of Zimbabwe has introduced a new family of banknotes which will gradually come into circulation, starting with the Z$10 trillion," the Herald said, citing a statement from the central bank.
Previous issues of new banknotes have done little to curb the cash crunch faced by Zimbabweans, who often line up for hours outside banks to withdraw barely enough to buy a loaf of bread.
Critics blame the economic meltdown on mismanagement by Mugabe's government, including the seizure and redistribution of thousands of white-owned farms. The once-thriving agricultural sector has fallen into ruin.
The veteran Zimbabwean leader, in power since independence from Britain in 1980, says Western sanctions are the main cause of the economic crisis and worsening humanitarian picture.
Political analysts say the establishment of a unity government between Mugabe's ZANU-PF party and the opposition Movement for Democratic Change (MDC) is the best hope of reversing the economic slide and worsening humanitarian crisis.
But power-sharing talks are deadlocked over the control of important government ministries. Tsvangirai accuses Mugabe of trying to assign the MDC a junior role and has demanded the release of detained opposition members before a deal is implemented.
The presidents of regional powers South Africa and Mozambique will meet political parties in Zimbabwe on Monday in a new regional push to break the impasse, South Africa's government said on Thursday.
Wednesday, April 1, 2009
box set includes:
180 gram double gate-fold vinyl
12x12 book with hand-written lyrics + exclusive photos
sspu tee shirt
lithograph of Swoon art by darren waterston
digital download card for album
sspu button + sticker pack
pre-order the album and deluxe package @ http://dangerbirdrecords.c