SHORTAGE LOOMS: (Feb 8) A drastic change in consumer diet from chicken to other meats caused by the bird flu scare has resulted in lower broiler production that has plunged the poultry industry into uncertainties. The up to 60% drop in business may force a number of chicken farmers to close shop, further decreasing supply.
MORE SAFETY FEATURES: (Feb 9) Transport Minister Datuk Seri Chan Kong Choy said he would meet local car manufacturers to find out why several basic road safety features have not been included in Malaysian cars.
RESTRICTED HEARINGS: (Feb 11) The Royal Commission tasked to come up with ways to turn the Royal Malaysia Police into a credible force has promised to be open and transparent and to protect whistleblowers who have evidence against the police. But, said Commission chairman Tun Mohammad Dzaiddin Abdullah, when the need arose the public enquiries would be closed to the press and public. He said this was a move to protect whistleblowers.
RM76M CBT CHARGE: (Feb 10) Former Perwaja Steel Sdn Bhd managing director Tan Sri Eric Chia Eng Hock has claimed trial to committing breach of trust involving more than RM76mil 10 years ago.
FOUR CHALLENGES: (Feb 10) Prime Minister Datuk Seri Abdullah Ahmad Badawi has outlined four fundamental challenges confronting Asia poverty eradication, human development, good governance and regional stability.
MINISTER CHARGED: (Feb 12) Land and Co-operative Development Minister Tan Sri Kasitah Gaddam was charged in the Sessions Court in Kuala Lumpur with corrupt practice and cheating. The first Cabinet member to be charged with such crimes, Kasitah, 57, claimed trial to having used his position as SLDB chairman for his financial gain.
WATER TREATMENT PLANT: (Feb 12) Prime Minister Datuk Seri Abdullah Ahmad Badawi opened the Semangat plant near Kota Tinggi to mark the end of Johors dependence on Singapore for treated water for the past 77 years.
MISSING TEENS: (Feb 12) Another 6,000-plus youngsters will be called up for National Service early next month to make up for the same number of students previously selected but who could not be traced. Most of the students who could not be traced had not updated their address in their identity cards.
TECHNOLOGY TRANSFER SOUGHT: (Feb 10) Delegates from some developing and developed nations want clearer guidelines in setting up facilities to aid technology transfer or co-operation between countries as part of efforts to reduce biodiversity loss.
SECOND OUTBREAK: (Feb 11) American farm workers destroyed 74,000 chickens after discovering a second outbreak of bird flu.
UN CAUTION: (Feb 13) The United Nations issued a sharp warning to Asian countries not to relax in the war on a bird flu virus that has killed 19 people in the region because the epidemic was still spreading.
NO PROOF: (Feb 12) The World Health Organisation said it could find no evidence that human-to-human transmission of bird flu was responsible for the deaths of two Vietnamese sisters last month.
HEAD SCARF BAN: (Feb 10) An overwhelming majority of Frances National Assembly voted to ban religious emblems in state schools, a measure Paris wants to keep tensions between Muslims and Jewish minorities out of public classrooms.
JET CRASHES: (Feb 10) An Iranian Fokker 50 plane carrying mainly Asians and Iranians crashed as it prepared to land at Sharjah airport and burst into flames, killing 43 people aboard but avoiding any casualties on the ground.
EMBRYONIC STEM CELLS: (Feb 11) South Korean scientists have cloned the worlds first mature embryonic stem cell line, in what is seen as a breakthrough toward developing new methods of treating a wide range of degenerative ailments, a US science group reported. But the controversial experiment is also likely to raise new concerns about cloning human beings, attempts at which have been widely criticised in the United States and other countries.
BOY FLIES OFF: (Feb 11) An eight-year-old boy who spent the past three years with Taiwanese relatives left the island on Wednesday to return to his grandmother in Brazil, ending a custody battle that erupted in a chaotic street confrontation this week between police and relatives who tried to keep him.
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