30 November, 2008

Indonesian 'ride for peace' Jeffrey Polnaja (Jurig Jalanan)

Indonesian motorbike rider Jeffrey Polnaja has visited over 62 countries among them Iran, Burma, Pakistan, Bangladesh, Saudi Arabia, Jordan, Egypt and China. He is due to finish 'ride for peace' around the world in 2011.

"I am just a rider, but I hope to see peace in the world. I hope (politicians) will make peace part of their policy," said Polnaja in an interview with Adnkronos International (AKI).

"I want to share peace with all the people in the world. We only have one planet, and it is not for us, it is for our grandchildren," he said.

His journey began in 2006 in Indonesian capital Jakarta after his eight-year-old son asked him why the world is in such a state of war.

His 'peace ride' has already taken him to to 62 countries and by the time he finishes his journey he will have visited 100 countries in all five continents.

Polnaja, who is 45, said he felt particularly close to Afghanistan (photo), where he would hear gunshot wherever he went.

He comes from Bandung in the Indonesian province of West Java.

Polnaja said he was shot three times in a South Asian country, although he declined to name it.

After crossing through the notorious Khyber Pass, which links Afghanistan with Pakistan, he was hit by a drunk driver in the the Pakistani province of Baluchistan, near the border with Iran.

His expensive motorbike was badly damaged, its navigation system destroyed and his right arm was broken in the accident, which left-him stranded in the desert for days.

During that time he recalled having hallucinations and seeing birds fly over his head that he believed would attack him after his death.

"I only had me, my bike and my god," said Polnaja.

"I had an adrenaline rush, and decided to ride as fast as I could," he told AKI.

He then encountered a truck driver who gave him directions to get to the nearest town so he could find food and shelter.

After this near-death experience, he crossed into Iran, where he was escorted through the dangerous border area between Pakistan and Iran, where opium is smuggled from Afghanistan

Polnaja told AKI that although Iran is usually portrayed as being a 'dangerous' and 'bad' country, his experience was quite the opposite.

"Iranians fixed my motorbike at no cost, saying: 'We do not want your money, you are representing us, go for peace, we want peace'," Polnaja told AKI.

He said he is very grateful to Iranians. His sponsors offered him a new motorbike, an offer he refused, preferring to continue his journey on the same bike once it was repaired.

Polnaja has had to get a visa for nearly every country he has visited, and is making the journey alone, with a specially equipped BMW motorbike.

As well as a navigation system, the motorbike has a video camera and extra containers for tools and supplies specially designed for long distance rides.

He has already clocked up 101,000 kilometres and still has nearly 40 more countries to visit on his 'ride for peace'.

During his stay in Rome, he visited the Town Hall and is due to visit Vatican city. He will visit San Marino and Venice on Italy's Adriatic coast, before heading to Austria and Slovenia.(AKI/rideforpeace)

Ride for Peace on Mira Adanja-Polak TV SHOW

Ride for Peace On Jordan TV

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JakJazz swings into life with Lica Cecato, Zarro

Hundreds of music lovers turned out at Istora Senayan Stadium in Central Jakarta on Friday for the opening of the 10th Jakarta International Jazz Festival, known as JakJazz.

Sultry Brazilian singer Lica Cecato and local band Zarro wowed the audience at the Amphitheatre stage with a sizzling combination of excellent music, vocals and dance.

The performers had rehearsed together for only a few hours, Cecato said, "but we could feel the connection during the performance. I found out that this country is a musical country ... The artists are catching up with music (trends) very fast," Cecato said after the show.

Eighteen-year-old student Vidi Aldiano stole the show with his performance of 10 songs, including five from his latest album, released two weeks ago.

The newcomer kicked off his set with "Masquenada", following it up with "Friday Night", "Tomorrow" and others from his new album.

The show just got hotter as Aldiano brought Keenan Nasution, J-Flow and Tohpati onto the stage.

"This was my first performance at JakJazz. I was a bit nervous at the beginning but when I was on stage I felt free," Aldiano said after the show.

"Jazz is difficult but good to listen to, with lots of variation."

Local band Kunokini hypnotized their crowd with their unique combinations of traditional and modern instruments. The audience laughed and sang along with the reggae version of the traditional Ambonese song "Rasa Sayange", a jazz version of a re-mixed Javanese traditional tune "Gundul Gundul Pancul" and Bob Marley's "Get Up, Stand Up".

Little-known Abe Simpson Trio, featuring young singer Alexandro, had the honor of starting the action at the Jazz on Green stage, watched by a crowd of about 40 people.

Other international acts in the lineup were Ray Harris & The Fusion Experience, Kyoto Jazz Massive, Marina Xavier & Enrique Marcos and Kiboud Maulana & Friends.

Rain delayed the schedules of some shows and some performances overlapped but, as with most festivals, crowds roamed around before deciding where to stop for a listen.(jakartapost)

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28 November, 2008

Michael Jackson converted to Islam took name

Give Thanks to Allah for "Michael Jackson(swaramuslim)

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Jackson may turn to Islam

MUSLIM Jermaine Jackson believes that his superstar brother Michael may convert to the faith.

“Michael needs to become a Muslim because I think it's a great protection for him from all the things that he's been attacked with, which are false,” said Jermaine.

“There's a strength and a protection there.”

Jermaine, who proved to be the voice of reason in the Celebrity Big Brother house, says that his faith kept him calm under the stresses of the reality show.

“If I didn't have Allah and my prayer rug, I would not have survived, and the reason why is because it kept me focused, it kept me calm,” he said.

And he adds that he is hoping Michael will join him in the faith.

“I brought him a lot of books, and he reads everything and he reads a lot,” said the 52-year-old.

“I think he's probably given it serious thought because he's spent a lot of time in Bahrain.”

“I was the reason why he had gone there because I wanted him to get out of America and just go somewhere peaceful and quiet, where people pray five times a day. It's a beautiful thing.”

Meanwhile, Jermaine has offered to help Jo O’Meara relaunch her
career - by giving her one of his songs.

"I thought that Jo is a very, very wonderful talent and there’s a bit of confusion that’s trapped inside of her," he said.

“She needs to step out of her shell. She’s young, she’s beautiful, she looks great on camera. She can sing."

“I was most impressed by Jo because of her musical talent. But she needs to take off those shackles, those handcuffs.”

“I told her that I have a song that I wanted to present to her. I’m going to do it.”(thesun)

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By The Way: Batik, a symbol of Javanese domination?

Sri Muljani Indrawati and Mari Elka Pangestu are the icons of Indonesian batik. The two women in President Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono's cabinet can be seen sporting batik dresses perhaps more often than any other public figures.

The two look elegant and comfortable as they go about the business of managing the country's economy.

Batik is experiencing somewhat of a resurgent lately, with more and more people wearing the designs regularly, even to work. In the past, batik was generally reserved for special occasions, such as wedding ceremonies; most men for example would keep just two or three in their wardrobe.

Today, government agencies, state enterprises and an increasing number of private companies, make Friday "batik day" or "casual wear" day. The batik industry has responded to this by introducing more creative designs and motifs.

Short-sleeve batik shirts, long dismissed as too casual, are now in vogue even for office attire.

Personally, this is important for me. I am one of the few Indonesians who have never felt comfortable wearing batik. And if you don't feel comfortable in something, you just don't look good in it. Thankfully, a short sleeve batik shirt is not as torturous as the long ones.

I felt somewhat unpatriotic at times whenever the nation gets up in arms at Malaysia for promoting their own batik styles, and more recently at China, which has flooded malls in Jakarta with their batiks.

The resurgence in batik in Indonesiais in part a response to this growing intrusion into what Indonesians feel is our heritage. If Japan in the 1970s and 1980s had a slogan "Buy Japanese First", then Indonesians are now being told wear batik if they love their country.

I, for one, don't buy this at all.

Batik is an ancient method of dyeing fabric that was developed in Java -- so it's more correct to say that its part of Javanese heritage.

We Sumatrans have kain or songket and Baju Melayu or Teluk Belanga as traditional costumes for men. Admittedly, I'd never be seen dead in one of those.

I don't think Indonesia has the right to accuse other countries of stealing our batik. Wax printing methods have been around for centuries, which I think makes it a sort of an "open source" style. What we, or rather what the Javanese have done, is to develop the designs into a higher form of artistic expression.

The Javanese claim to batik is more a claim to specific motifs and designs. Indeed, no one can take this away from them, but if you think about it that way, there is no such thing as Indonesian batik in Indonesia, just as there is no such thing as Chinese restaurant in China or a Padang foodstall in Padang.

In Indonesia, batik aficionados recognize Yogya batiks, Solo batiks, Pekalongan batiks or Cirebon batiks for their unique designs. But there is no such thing as Indonesian batik.

The Malaysians, Indians, Chinese and Africans have every right to claim their own batiks, at least as far as motifs and designs are concerned. Incidentally, if Wikipedia is to be believed, Nelson Mandela is not wearing Indonesian batik. He may have worn a few from Iwan Tirta's collections, but apparently most of his Madiba shirts are supplied by a South African designer.

My sorry excuse for not wearing batik is that to me it is just another form of Javanese cultural domination that we other ethnic groups in Indonesia have had to endure.

They already dominate the nation through the sheer size of their numbers, especially among the ruling elite. Their culture permeates our lives, and batik is just another part of this.

But you can't win them all.

We Sumatrans won the language war back in 1928 when the Javanese, the largest cultural group in what is now Indonesia, agreed to use Malay as the root for Bahasa Indonesia, the national language. That's a huge concession on their part that no amount of "Javanization" of our local cultures can ever match.

Perhaps, I'll start wearing that batik shirt after all, if only to preserve Malay's linguistic domination. (jakartapost)

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27 November, 2008

Record number of HIV victims

RECORD numbers of Brits are now living with HIV – and more than a quarter have no idea they are infected.

Figures from the Health Protection Agency show an estimated 77,400 people had HIV in 2007, up from 73,000 a year before.

Of those with the infection, 28 per cent were unaware they had HIV while a significant number were diagnosed late.

“It is very worrying that so many people remain unaware of their HIV status,” said Dr Valerie Delpech, head of HIV surveillance at the HPA.

“Wider HIV testing in high-prevalence areas of the UK is urgently needed to reduce the number of undiagnosed infections.”


There were 7,734 estimated new diagnoses, continuing the high upward trend of recent years, the HPA said.

The number of people who had contracted the infection through heterosexual contact in Britain had also significantly risen.

Dr Delpech said a third of those found to have the infection were diagnosed late, meaning they missed out on the benefits of an early diagnosis including prolonged life expectancy.

“Diagnosing HIV infections earlier will reduce transmission of this infection as those unaware of their positive status pose a greater risk to future sexual partners,” she said.


“Late diagnosis also has a major impact on disease and life expectancy and it is vital that people are diagnosed early.”

Lisa Power, Head of Policy at HIV charity the Terrence Higgins Trust, said the figures were worrying.

“There are now well over 20,000 people in the UK who have HIV and don’t know it.

"Not only is this dangerous to their own health, but they are more likely to pass the virus on than someone who has been diagnosed,” she said.

“Gay men and African people are most likely to have undiagnosed HIV in the UK so we’d urge people in those groups in particular to recognise their level of risk and get tested for HIV regularly.” (thesun)

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26 November, 2008

Going up in smoke: Raids begin

Rizki, 22, was about to get off a bus at the Blok M terminal, South Jakarta, when a public order officer caught him for smoking a cigarette.

The officer informed him that he had violated a bylaw on smoking in two restricted areas: public transportation and bus terminals.

“Really? I don’t even know about the bylaw,” a confused Rizki told the officer. “I often smoke on the bus because there are no written rules about not doing so.

“If you forbid me from smoking in public areas, I can do it. But if you ask me to quit smoking, well, that will be hard,” he said.

Rizki was one of dozens of commuters and bus drivers caught smoking at the bus terminal on Wednesday.

Officials from the Jakarta Environmental Management Body (BPLHD) took down each violator’s personal details as part of judicial investigation procedures, while members of antismoking NGOs, including the Indonesian Network of Women Against Tobacco and the Indonesian Consumers Foundation, lectured on the bylaw and the dangers of smoking.

That was the scene on the first day of antismoking raids conducted by the BPLHD, municipal agencies and NGOs.

The sweep, which would end on Nov. 27, targets smokers flouting the bylaw on smoking in public areas such as office buildings, medical centers, schools, places of worship, playgrounds, public transportation and shopping centers.

On Wednesday, the BPLHD ran its campaign in South Jakarta, taking in the Blok M bus terminal, Blok M Mall, the Amazone game arcade at Blok M Plaza, the Victoria office building, Pertamina Hospital, Al-Azhar high school and Al-Azhar mosque.

The bus terminal netted the most violators — 20 — followed by Blok M Mall and Al-Azhar Mosque with six smokers respectively, Pertamina Hospital with three, and no smokers spotted at either Amazone or Al-Azhar high school.

Most of those caught smoking pleaded ignorance of the bylaw.

“Never heard about it. If the administration really wants to enforce the bylaw, they should provide smoking rooms,” said Andi, a university student.

Joni Tagor, head of the South Jakarta BPLHD, said violators would not face punishment because the raids were more about raising people’s awareness of the bylaw than about enforcing it.

“We will put more ‘No Smoking’ signs around the terminal and in public transportation in a bid to raise people’s awareness,” said Joni, admitting the lack of such signs was behind the high number of violators at the terminal.

The sweep at the Victoria office building saw BPLHD officers check on the provision of ‘No Smoking’ signs and smoking rooms in the building.

Joni urged the building management to be strict in forbidding staff or visitors from smoking outside the designated areas.

Bachtiar Sonda, head of the building’s tenant association, said he supported the raids, saying it could help reduce the number of smokers.

Ria Musiawan, from the Indonesian Network of Women Against Tobacco, agreed the raids were quite effective.(thejakartapost)

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Obama missing 'rambutan, bakso and nasi goreng'

President Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono held a telephone conversation with U.S. president-elect Barack Obama during his stopover in Seattle, and invited him to visit Indonesia, tempointeraktif.com reported on Wednesday.

When the presidential flight touched down at Nagoya airport in Japan on Tuesday, Yudhoyono made a statement to reporters over the airplane's intercom.

"He addressed me with, 'Apa Kabar Bapak President?' (How are you Mr. President?), with his fluent Indonesian language," Yudhoyono said.

Obama was missing several local delicacies such as nasi goreng (fried rice), rambutan and bakso (meatball soup), he added.

Yudhoyono had congratulated Obama's election as U.S. president and suggested he visit Indonesia after attending the Asia Pacific Economic Cooperation meeting in Singapore next year.

Yudhoyono said they had both agreed to maintain good relations between the two countries.

"I felt his warmth and friendship in the conversation."

During one of his campaign speeches, Obama said he would visit Indonesia within the first 100 days of his presidency. Obama is due to take office on Jan 20, 2009.

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25 November, 2008

Purple tomatoes help fight cancer

Deep purple ... genetically engineered tomatoes on the left alongside normal red tomatoes

A PURPLE tomato that fights cancer has been genetically engineered by British scientists.

Genes of a snapdragon flower were put into normal tomatoes, making them produce high levels of anthocyanins — chemicals that colour blackberries and blueberries.

Research suggests the compounds protect against cancer, heart disease and Alzheimer’s. They may also combat inflammation, obesity and diabetes and improve vision.

Scientists put powder from freeze-dried purple tomatoes into the food of mice lacking an essential anti-cancer gene.

Powder from red tomatoes had no effect and the mice died of cancer.

But animals given the GM tomato powder lived longer, an average of 182 days compared with 142.

The tomatoes may be sold in Europe in three years. Prof Cathie Martin of the John Innes Centre, Norwich, said human studies are “the next step”. (thesun)

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Man Jailed for Hannah Murder

A SEX beast has been sentenced to life in jail today for killing brilliant A-level student Hannah Foster.

Maninder Pal Singh Kohli was convicted at Winchester Crown Court of Hannah's murder, rape, false imprisonment and kidnap in March 2003.

Evil Kohli snatched the 17-year-old from a street just yards from her home in Southampton after she spent a night out with friends.
Hannah had been celebrating getting four predicted A grades in her exams.

The terrified teenager – who wanted to be a doctor – called 999 hoping an operator would hear what was happening but the call was terminated when she did not speak.

Sixteen-stone Kohli took her to a secluded spot where he repeatedly raped slightly-built Hannah in his sandwich delivery van.
Kohli then strangling her when he feared she might identify him.

Hannah's body was dumped beside a road in West End, Hampshire, before her attacker went back home to his wife and two sons.
Four days later, he fled to India as the police net closed in on him.

After years of campaigning by Hannah’s parents Hilary and Trevor Foster, Kohli was finally extradited back to Britain last year to stand trial.

Kohli shook his head only slightly but showed no other emotion as the four unanimous verdicts were delivered.

Hearing the guilty verdict on the first count of murder, Hannah’s sister Sarah and her mother sobbed and hugged each other while Hannah’s father helped comfort them.

Speaking outside the court, Mr and Mrs Foster paid tribute to their murdered daughter describing their “overwhelming sense of relief” at today’s verdict and saying they had “waited six years for this moment”.

Mr Foster said Kohli had shown “not one iota of remorse for his actions”, adding: “Today finally justice has caught up with him."

He thanked the police for their hard work throughout the investigation and the jury for their verdict.
"We have done everything we can in pursuit of justice for Hannah," he said.

Mr Foster added: “The guilty verdict is the culmination of a long but emotional journey, not just for Hilary, Sarah and myself, and not just for our immediate family, close friends and all the people who knew and loved Hannah.

"But also for everyone in the local community who has supported us in so many ways and shown us such kindness through the long ordeal.”

The jury took five-and-a-half hours to reach its decision and the judge, Mr Justice Keith, adjourned the case for ten minutes so everyone in court could regain their composure.

Kohli, dressed in a grey suit and blue shirt and flanked by three security guards, was taken from the court. When he returned he was told he would serve a minimum of 24 years.

In a victim impact statement read to the court by Hannah’s aunt Gill Lewis, Hannah’s mother Hilary said she would feel guilt for the rest of her life that she was not there to protect her daughter when she was murdered.

She said of her daughter’s murderer: “Kohli ripped out my heart and stamped on it.”
Mrs Foster also described the moment she saw Hannah’s body in the mortuary.

She said: “When Trevor and I saw Hannah in the mortuary, I couldn’t believe what I was seeing, there must be some mistake.
“The cold, battered and bruised body certainly looked like her, but where was the sparkle in her eyes?”

Mrs Foster also wrote in the statement: “Our lives have revolved around our two girls, their wellbeing, personal interests and hopes for the future.
“On March 14 2003, our lives changed forever.”

Detective Sergeant Alan Betts, who led the operation to hunt down Kohli, later said the six year wait for justice had been a "frustrating process".

He also paid tribute to Hannah's family, the Indian authorities and the work of Hampshire Constabulary for their cooperation and determination in making it happen.

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17 November, 2008

Transfers - November 2008

The transfer window is now closed for permanent signings and will reopen on 1 January 2009.

In the Football League, once seven days have passed since the closing of the summer transfer window on 1 September, loan deals are permitted.

However, in exceptional circumstances, clubs can apply for special dispensation to the Premier League or Football League outside these times - for instance, if they had no goalkeepers available.

In addition, players who are unattached free agents, and were not registered with a club when the transfer window closed on 1 September, are able to join new clubs.

The transfer window does not apply to clubs below Blue Square Premier level.

Meanwhile, if an out-of-contract player under 24 (who has been offered a new deal but has turned it down) moves clubs within the same country, then his "old" club are entitled to compensation. If the two clubs cannot agree a fee, then it will be determined by a tribunal.
16 November 2008

Lee Hendrie [Sheffield United-Blackpool] Loan

14 November 2008

Darren Byfield [Doncaster - Oldham] Loan
Stuart Green [Blackpool - Crewe] Loan
Michael Liddle [Sunderland - Carlisle] Loan
Josh Low [Cheltenham - Forest Green] Loan
Mark Magee [Bristol City - Stafford Rangers] Loan
Romone Rose [QPR - Histon] Loan
Jamie White [Southampton - Shrewsbury] Loan

13 November 2008

onathan Forte [Scunthorpe - Notts County] Loan
Lee Hills [Crystal Palace - Colchester] Loan
Bondz N'Gala [West Ham - MK Dons] Loan
Abu Ogogo [Arsenal - Barnet] Loan

11 November 2008

Danny Carlton [Carlisle - Morecambe] Loan

10 November 2008

Darren Ambrose [Charlton - Ipswich] Loan

7 November 2008

Luke Boden [Sheffield Wednesday - Rushden & Diamonds] Loan
Nat Brown [Wrexham - Macclesfield] Loan
Simon Whaley [Preston - Barnsley] Loan

5 November 2008

Chris Arthur [QPR - Kettering] Loan
Ryan Burge [unattached - Barnet]
Efe Echanomi [Tiptree United - Grays] Non-contract
Gifton Noel-Williams [Millwall - Yeovil] Loan
Stephen O'Halloran [Aston Villa - Swansea] Loan
Adam Proudlock [Darlington - Grimsby] Loan

4 November 2008

Nicholas Bignall [Reading - Northampton] Loan
Andre McCollin [Yeovil - Grays] Loan

3 November 2008

Phil Gulliver [Rushden - Corby Town] Undisclosed
Tony McMahon [Middlesbrough - Sheffield Wednesday] Loan
Sam Williams [Aston Villa - Colchester] Loan

1 November 2008

Bruce Dyer [unattached - York]

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Iraq cabinet backs US troops deal

The Iraqi cabinet has approved a security pact with the US governing the future presence of 150,000 US troops in the country, officials have said.

Under the deal, US troops will withdraw from the streets of Iraqi towns next year, leaving Iraq by the end of 2011.

The decision will need to go before Iraq's parliament for a final vote.

America's National Security Council welcomed the cabinet's vote, saying it was "an important and positive step" towards stability and security.

The pact is necessary to determine the role of US military forces in Iraq after their UN mandate expires on 31 December 2008.

In October, Iraq sent a new round of suggested changes to the draft Status of Forces Agreement (Sofa), to which the US responded.

Washington had previously said the pact was "final" and could not be amended.

There are currently about 150,000 US troops deployed in Iraq.

The UK government, which has 4,100 troops in Iraq, is waiting for the US-Iraqi pact to be approved so they can use it as a template for their own bi-lateral deal.

Deal struck

As the Iraqi cabinet met on Sunday, two bomb attacks - in Baghdad and Diyala province - killed at least 18 people and wounded many more.

The cabinet approved the pact after a two-and-a-half hour meeting, government spokesman Ali Dabbagh said.

All but one of the 28 ministers present had voted in favour of the pact, he added, according to the Associated Press news agency.

According to Mr Dabbagh, the agreement's terms include:

* placing US forces in Iraq under the authority of the Iraqi government
* US forces to leave the streets of Iraq's towns and villages by the middle of 2009
* US forces to hand over their bases to Iraq during the course of 2009
* US forces to lose the authority to raid Iraqi homes without an order from an Iraqi judge and permission of the government.

In a statement, US National Security Council spokesman Gordon Johndroe said the US hoped for a successful vote in the Iraqi parliament:

"We remain hopeful and confident we'll soon have an agreement that serves both the people of Iraq and the United States well and sends a signal to the region and the world that both our governments are committed to a stable, secure and democratic Iraq."

The BBC's Andrew North, in Baghdad, says that a compromise was reached on the key issue of Iraqi jurisdiction over US troops and contractors in the country.

In it, a joint committee will decide if Americans who commit crimes outside US bases should face Iraqi justice.

While many Iraqi politicians publicly oppose the deal, our correspondent says, in private they support it.

They believe it will give the government more power over US troops and will allow the Iraqi military more time to develop into an effective security force.

The agreement is set to be submitted to Iraq's parliament later on Sunday, but it is not clear when the body will vote on it.

It then needs to be ratified by Iraq's presidential council before Prime Minister Nouri Maliki can sign the deal with US President George W Bush.

The BBC's Bob Trevelyan says that Mr Maliki has been trying to build support for the amended pact and the main Shia and Kurdish alliances in parliament have recently agreed to back it.

He also appears to have persuaded the country's most senior Shia cleric, Grand Ayatollah Ali al-Sistani, not to oppose it publicly.

The cleric is highly influential in Iraq's Shia community. Any public criticism of the pact by him would probably have stopped it winning parliamentary approval, our correspondent says.

Iraqi officials say failure to pass the agreement would be highly damaging for Iraqi security.

US officials have said it would mean suspending their operations in Iraq.

Speaking before Sunday's meeting, Iraq's lead negotiator, Muwafaq al-Rubaie, said he believed the draft agreement was a "very good text" and he expected it to be approved by parliament as well.

Protest call

But the pact has drawn fire from hardline nationalists, especially Iraq's influential Shia cleric, Moqtada Sadr, whose supporters have called for mass demonstrations to oppose any agreement with the US "occupier".

On the streets of Baghdad there was a mixed reaction to the pact.

''We don't want an agreement with America," said Rasheed al-Jumali.

"We don't want an agreement with Israel. We don't want an agreement with Iran. They (the government) should work towards reinforcing the gallant Iraqi army. We fully and totally reject this security pact.''

But Mun'am al-Abadi backed the government, adding: "The Iraqi government knows its people well. We are oppressed people. If the security agreement benefits us, we accept it completely.''

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14 November, 2008

HIV immigrant free to infect hundreds

AN illegal immigrant with HIV is feared to have infected hundreds of women in a massive health scandal, it emerged yesterday.

The Jamaican man roamed a hospital unmonitored for nearly a year looking for sex with other patients.

Now health chiefs have written to 420 women warning they may have the deadly virus.

The man — known as Mr A — came to the UK in 2002 on a visitor’s visa.

He has admitted to sleeping with dozens of girls after prowling nightclubs in Leicester.

Dr Philip Monk, of the Health Protection Agency East Midlands, said: “He doesn’t know the number of women he had unprotected sex with.

“There’s a possibility it could be more than three figures.”

A condition linked to HIV saw Mr A admitted to the Brandon mental health unit at Leicester General Hospital last December.

In May, medics were warned by the Border and Immigration Agency that his visa had expired and he was in the UK illegally.

Yet despite this, he was not monitored and went on to romp with vulnerable patients.

Some sessions may have been INSIDE the unit.

Doctors learned the truth two weeks ago when a married patient confessed.

Officials held talks in Whitehall over fears hundreds of women may be infected.

A source said: “It’s literally panic stations.”

The National Aids Trust advised worried people to contact sex clinics or NHS Direct.

The Home Office refused to discuss the case but a source said Mr A will be deported if he is not charged. (thesun)

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Pregnant man Tom having baby no2

THE sex-swap man who stunned the world by giving birth is pregnant again, it has emerged.

Bearded Thomas Beatie is expected to have his new baby around June 12 — less than a year after daughter Susan Juliette was born.

The 34-year-old American told a US chat show yesterday: “I feel good. I’ve had my check-ups. Everything is right on track.”

He stopped taking pills aimed at making him more manly so he could have another tot.

Thomas, from Bend, Oregon, was born a woman called Tracy and had a sex change in 2002 — but kept his womb. Bodybuilder wife Nancy Roberts, 47, artificially inseminated him.

The couple took the controversial step because Nancy had undergone a hysterectomy and they wanted a biological child.

Thomas previously said: “Being pregnant doesn’t make me feel any less of a man.

“I did not feel maternal or motherly or womanly and pregnant. I felt like Nancy’s husband, and I felt like the father of my child.”

He claims he is already explaining the situation to their daughter by reading her books about male seahorses carrying their young.

But Thomas — whose book about his life goes on sale this week — denies that he has been motivated by fame and money offers. (thesun)

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Baby born after ovary transplant

A healthy baby girl has been born in London following the world's first transplant of an entire ovary, it has been reported.

The 39-year-old mother conceived naturally after receiving the ovary from her twin sister.
Others have given birth after receiving smaller pieces of ovarian tissue.
A UK specialist said the procedure should be used to preserve fertility before cancer treatment, rather than to try to extend it.

The baby, weighing 7lbs 15 oz (3.6kg), was born to a German-born woman married to a Briton, who became infertile at 15 when her own ovaries failed.

It was reported that she did not actually intend to become pregnant, instead hoping that the transplanted ovary from her identical twin could relieve the symptoms of her early menopause and restore her periods.

The ovary was implanted with a minimal risk of rejection by her body, using delicate microsurgical techniques to reattach it to its blood supply and hold it in place alongside the fallopian tube, so that eggs could be expelled and travel down the tube towards the womb in the normal way.

Dr Sherman Silber, who carried out the transplant operation at the Infertility Centre of St Louis, Missouri, announced it to the American Society of Reproductive Medicine Conference in San Francisco.

He told the conference that the full ovary transplant was likely to last longer than strips of ovarian tissue, and might allow a woman's ovary to be removed and put back after extended storage.

This, he said, could allow women who are delaying motherhood for career or other reasons to improve their chances of having a baby later in life.

Cancer delay

The British Fertility Society supports the use of ovary transplantation, but only in cases in which fertility is threatened by impending radiotherapy or chemotherapy treatment.

Spokesman Mr Laurence Shaw, a consultant in reproductive medicine at the London Bridge Fertility Centre, in London, said that while the removal of eggs for storage in these circumstances could delay treatment, as hormone treatment was needed to mature egg follicles for harvesting, ovary removal could be carried out immediately.

However, most younger women whose ovaries fail would have little or no warning of this in time to store their own ovary, and no identical twin to supply a replacement, he said.

He said: "As a fellow surgeon, I'm awestruck by the way they have transplanted a very vulnerable organ and got it to function like that.

"But in terms of delaying motherhood, there are other techniques, such as egg freezing, which are likely to be more appropriate.

"I would have thought that the long-term freeze-storing of an ovary would cause as much harm as the deterioration due to age itself."

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Drogba faces police and FA probes

Didier Drogba faces police and Football Association investigations after throwing a coin back into the crowd in Chelsea's Carling Cup loss to Burnley.
The Chelsea striker apologised for his actions which followed Wednesday's goal goal but could still be in trouble.
In a statement on Chelsea's website, Drogba said: "I tried to celebrate the goal and I received some things at me.
"The big mistake I did was to throw it back so if someone was hurt I just want to apologise for it."

There were no reports of any spectators being injured. However, the Metropolitan Police confirmed on Thursday that officers are looking into the incident.

A spokesman said: "An inquiry is being conducted by the Football Unit at Fulham police station. No-one has been arrested."

The incident happened after the Ivory Coast forward put the Blues ahead in the 27th minute of the match, which marked his return from injury.

Drogba, 30, made a single-finger gesture before throwing a coin back into the Burnley section of the crowd.

He said: "This is not something I should show in a football match.

"It was an incident in the heat of the moment and I regret it. It was just a mistake and nothing more."

A Chelsea spokesman said: "We will deal with this in the usual way. We are aware there is an incident. But we will not discuss it further until we have seen the referee's report."

Chelsea boss Luiz Felipe Scolari said: "I have not spoken with Didier about any problem. The referee gave him a yellow card but I did not see what happened."

Burnley manager Owen Coyle said he did not see the incident but the club have said they will investigate the matter.

"Burnley Football Club is proud of the 6,100 supporters who made the trip to Stamford Bridge and offered magnificent vocal backing," the club said in a statement.

"However, the club does not condone any misbehaviour from supporters and we will gladly co-operate with any inquiry into the incident, either from the FA or Chelsea Football Club."

It was part of a miserable night for Premier League leaders Chelsea, who suffered a surprise exit 5-4 on penalties following a 1-1 draw.

The FA may now decide to take action after examining referee Keith Stroud's report.

In 2002, Liverpool defender Jamie Carragher was sent off in an FA Cup tie against Arsenal at Highbury after throwing a coin back into the crowd. He received a mandatory three-match ban.

And Gordon Taylor, the chief executive of the Professional Footballers' Association, said a similar punishment should be handed out to Drogba.

"It's there for all to see, he's done something that's against the rules required of players, and a similar situation resulted in a three-match ban for Carragher," he said.

"So it would be very difficult to avoid an accusation that
FA) are inconsistent if they don't follow that line."

Taylor added: "In fairness to the lad, he knows he's done wrong, he apologised immediately after the game, but this happened in the heat of the moment and unfortunately there will be consequences now."

Carragher was also interviewed by police but no further action was taken. However, he was fined by Liverpool and warned about his future conduct.

Meanwhile, former Chelsea forward and current West Ham manager Gianfranco Zola has jumped to the defence of Drogba.

"If he has reacted then maybe he has been insulted and that is bad for football," said Zola.

"The crowd has to respect the players as much as the players have to respect the crowd.

"From what I know of him, he is a fair and honest player who gives everything on the pitch.

"You have to understand we are human beings and when you are playing an important match you can lose your composure when you are under pressure."

Zola added: "It is not easy, you are walking on the edge all the time but the secret is to not give these moments too much importance.

"I have come close to reacting a couple of times, it is not easy to control when you are getting abuse so it is understandable." (bbc)

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