MECCA: Muassasah Southeast Asia, the Saudi agency in Mecca responsible for Haj pilgrims from the region, has made several improvements to ensure a more comfortable Masyair phase this year. Masyair, a crucial part of the Haj, involves pilgrims travelling from Mecca to Arafah for Wukuf, then on to Muzdalifah, followed by four days in Mina. Muassasah Southeast Asia chairman Muhammed Amin Hassan Andarqiri said for this year’s Haj season, pilgrims will be using newer GPS-equipped buses, and their accommodations have also seen some upgrade. “In terms of health services, there are six hospitals in Mecca and three in Arafah and Mina specifically for Haj pilgrims,” he said. On how the Muassasah manages 300,000 Haj pilgrims from Southeast Asia every year, he said the task is made easier by cooperating with agencies like TH.
August 18, 2017 23:37 UTC
MECCA: Malaysian haj pilgrims under emotional distress should seek out Tabung Haji (TH) counsellors who are qualified to help resolve their problems. We can talk to the pilgrims and alleviate the pressure on them,” TH Counselling manager Fauziah Ahmad told Malaysian media here recently. She said pilgrims can talk to the counsellors in person or through the unit’s PEKA hotline. “The counsellors have found most pilgrims are well adjusted to the weather and their roommates. She said pilgrims need not worry about breach of confidentiality when speaking to the counsellors as they are bound by the profession’s code of ethics.
August 18, 2017 23:37 UTC
BRASILIA (Reuters) - Brazil's Federal Police have called for the indictment of 21 people, including two ex-governors of the capital Brasilia, for allegedly overcharging 559 million reais (138.04 million pounds) in the renovation of the stadium used in the 2014 World Cup. The Mane Garrincha stadium in Brasilia was originally scheduled to cost around 600 million reais but ended up costing closer to 1.575 billion, officials said. It is now up to federal prosecutors to decide whether to press charges, ask for more information or drop the case. The 69,000-capacity stadium hosted seven games in the 2014 World Cup and several others in the 2016 Olympic soccer tournament. (Reporting by Ricardo Brito; Writing by Andrew Downie; Editing by Sandra Maler)
August 18, 2017 21:22 UTC
Newcomers Niklas Suele and Corentin Tolisso put the Bavarians ahead before Robert Lewandowski added a third goal with a penalty, following the official use of the video assistant referee for the first time in the Bundesliga. Admir Mehmedi pulled a goal back in the 65th minute for the visitors, who missed a handful of late chances to score again. Midfielder Tolisso did score in the 19th minute with a close-range header from Arturo Vidal's clever cross. Tolisso then rattled the post four minutes later with Leverkusen struggling to repel the Bayern pressure. Leverkusen finally managed to spark into life but were wasteful with their chances as Bayern stepped off the gas.
August 18, 2017 21:22 UTC
BARCELONA (Reuters) - Barcelona's players will bear the city's name on the back of their shirts in tribute to the victims of Thursday's deadly attack in the Catalan capital when they play Real Betis in La Liga on Sunday, the club said in a statement. Barca have been granted special permission from the Spanish soccer federation (RFEF) for the arrangement, and said the message "#TOTSSOMBARCELONA" ("We are all Barcelona") will be embroidered on the front of the soccer team's shirts. The club added that the players will also wear black armbands during Barcelona's opening league game of the season. Barca said on Friday that their shirt tribute was for the victims of the attacks in Barcelona and Cambrils. Ernesto Valverde's side and Betis will join the other 40 teams in Spain's top two divisions in holding a minute's silence before every game at the weekend.
August 18, 2017 18:45 UTC
OLYMPIC champion Joseph Schooling of Singapore flew into Kuala Lumpur yesterday where he was welcomed by his Malaysian mother May Schooling from Ipoh. When Schooling landed at the Kuala Lumpur International Airport, he was asked by the Malaysian media on his recent controversial comment. Schooling, who had earlier expressed regret over his remark about “teaching Malaysia a thing or two” ahead of the KL Sea Games, apologised again yesterday. "The Sea Games is not a training ground. My dad used to tell me, at every race, race fast and I think that holds a lot of ground.
August 18, 2017 18:22 UTC
KUALA LUMPUR: Media Prima bagged the highly-coveted Media Owner of the Year award in front at 2017’s Spark Awards For Media Excellence, held in InterContinental Singapore last night. The win came largely by way of Media Prima Television Networks, which won the Best in Show title, taking home five gold awards for Best Media Solution – TV / Online Video, Best Media Solution – Social Media, Best Media Solution – Integrated Media, Best Collaboration between Media Owner & Agency, and Best Creative Team. Helping Media Prima gain momentum were its collaborations with brands such as Samsung and McDonald’s. With McDonald’s, under the Best Media Solution – Social Media Category, Media Prima Television Networks, for the fourth year running, drove pre-event hype for McDonald’s National Breakfast Day, held on 24 October 2016. Other first-time entrants that placed gold were solution-providers Advocado, CIO Network, Kossle, and Media Prima subsidiary MP CJ O Shopping.
August 18, 2017 18:00 UTC
YAN: A 71-year-old man received seven stitches on his eyebrow after being beaten by his own son in an incident at a village in Sungai Limau, here, on Wednesday. “The victim who did not fight back sustained injuries on his right eyebrow. He then filed a report at the Yan Police headquarters,” he said in a statement today. According to Muhammad Halim, the suspect was detained at 11 pm on the same day and tested positive for drugs. “The case is being investigated under Section 323/18A of the Domestic Violence Act,” he added.-- BERNAMA
August 18, 2017 17:48 UTC
MILAN (Reuters) - Juventus have signed France midfielder Blaise Matuidi from Paris St Germain on a three-year deal, the Italian champions announced on Friday. The 30-year-old arrived in Turin earlier this week for a two-day medical and was confirmed as a Juventus player on the Serie A club's website (www.juventus.com). Matuidi, who has 58 caps, has joined Massimiliano Allegri's Juve side for 20 million euros ($23.48 million), which may rise by up to 10.5 million based on appearances. The midfielder played 295 times for PSG, scoring 33 goals, after joining from Ligue 1 rivals Saint-Etienne in 2011. I'm honoured to wear the Juventus colours," Matuidi said on the club's official Twitter page (@juventusfcen).
August 18, 2017 17:37 UTC
NEWCASTLE-UPON-TYNE, England (Reuters) - Newcastle United captain Jamaal Lascelles believes the players' never-say-die attitude will ensure the team's survival in the Premier League this season. "Our 'never-say-die' attitude will keep us fighting until the final game and that will be a massive advantage for us this season. "I think we've got the right manager (Rafa Benitez) to lead us to where we want to go and we've got the talent and work ethic to carry that on as well." LEARNING CURVESkipper Lascelles is determined Newcastle will learn from their neighbours' errors and not become another 'yo-yo' club, bouncing between the top two divisions. Ahead of the trip to the John Smith's Stadium, Lascelles said it was vital to beat their fellow promoted rivals.
August 18, 2017 17:03 UTC
KULAI: The mosquito bike craze continues to become a daunting problem in Johor with yet more children and teenage cyclists brought to the Kulai police station on Friday. Johor Traffic Enforcement and Investigation Department chief Superintendant Dzulkhairi Mokhtar said the parents were called in when their children were rounded up. A total of 60 illegally modified bicycles were also seized. Dzulkhairi said illegally modified bicycles are unsafe for riding as most of them had their brakes removed. He said efforts to weed out the illegal mosquito bike races are ongoing in order to protect the safety of everyone, including the cyclists themselves.
August 18, 2017 16:52 UTC
KUALA LUMPUR: THE newly crowned ONE Featherweight world champion, Martin Nguyen, made history at Stadium Negara after he defeated Marat Gafurov at ONE: Quest for Greatness’ main event, yesterday. The Vietnamese-Australian tarnished Gafurov’s perfect 15-match winning streak to take the belt and title by way of knockout after throwing an overhand right in response to Gafurov’s overreaching jab before the Russian went down. A very emotional Nguyen dedicated the win to his late father, a war veteran who passed away back in 2013 due to pneumonia after contracting the flu. Another Malaysian, Agilan Thani also had a great night after carding a victory over Sherif Mohamed of Egypt by way of unanimous decision. Joining Ev and Agilan in the winner’s circle is Gianni Subba who overcame Japan’s Riku Shibuya as he too was rewarded with a win through unanimous decision.
August 18, 2017 16:52 UTC
(Reuters) - Former U.S. Open champion Samantha Stosur of Australia has withdrawn from the tournament with an injured right hand, organisers said on Friday. The 33-year-old world number 43 has not competed since her fourth round loss at the French Open to Latvia's eventual champion Jelena Ostapenko in June. Stosur, who won her lone grand slam title at the 2011 U.S. Open when she upset Serena Williams in straight sets, suffered the stress fracture in her hand during a third round clash with American Bethanie Mattek-Sands at Roland Garros. Stosur's withdrawal has opened up a place for Germany's Annika Beck in the main draw at the year's final grand slam, to be played from Aug. 28-Sept. 10 in New York. (Reporting by Frank Pingue in Toronto; editing by Ken Ferris)
August 18, 2017 16:41 UTC
(Reuters) - Spanish club Valencia have completed the signing of defender Gabriel Paulista from Premier League side Arsenal on a five-year contract, both clubs said on Friday. The 26-year-old centre back joined Arsenal from Spain's Villareal in 2015 and has made 64 appearances for the London side, winning two FA Cup titles and one Community Shield. "We would like to thank Gabriel for his contribution to the club and to wish him well for his return to La Liga with Valencia," Arsenal said on their website. (www.arsenal.com)The Brazilian moves back to Spain for an undisclosed fee and will remain at the La Liga club until 2022, with a termination clause worth 80 million euros ($93.98 million). (Reporting by Aditi Prakash in Bengaluru; Editing by Robin Pomeroy)
August 18, 2017 16:18 UTC
PETALING JAYA: The Master Builders Association of Malaysia (MBAM) has been praised for its initiatives to help galvanise Malaysia's construction industry and commitment in promoting education to produce professionals in the field. Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Razak said MBAM had been dedicated in meeting soaring demand for well trained and knowledgeable construction industry professionals these especially in the Klang Valley. "Since 2013, MBAM has also promoted the Trade Foreman Programme, the Apprenticeship Programme, and has also recently started the Designated Person Training Programme. "I would also like to congratulate MBAM on your Education Scholarship Programme. "IBS is important in the new edge of construction industry - faster completion times, greater productivity, less waste, fewer accidents and lower overall construction costs for the industry.
August 18, 2017 16:07 UTC