Decorate your home with seashells

Using seashells to decorate parts of your home may not be a bad idea after all.My daughter loves to watch the cartoon "Lil Bill". Repeat episodes come on every day, so I have the theme "Spring is here, Spring is here, it's the best time of the year" stuck in my head. The episode reminds me that the snow is slowly melting and it's about time to go to the beach.

Maybe it is too early in the year to go to the beach yet, but somewhere in the world it is spring or even summer. That means it is time to think about decorating your home for breezy summer days. What better way to do that than with seashells? Kathy Peterson has excellent suggestions on exactly what and where we can decorate with seashells.

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One million computer viruses are being circulated

The new high for malicious programs was revealed by security firm Symantec in the latest edition of its bi-annual Internet Security Threat Report.

The vast majority of these programs have been created in the last twelve months, said Symantec.

Cyber criminals pump out malware to fool anti-virus programs which look for characteristics they have already seen.

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That's a large number of computer viruses available and ready to attack a computer without anti-virus protection! Anti-virus software companies can now rejoice over the fact that dependability on anti-virus will continually grow.

Plea change irks judge

The accused, aged 50, had earlier pleaded guilty to raping his 14-year-old daughter but changed his plea yesterday after appointing a defence counsel.

Judge Zamri Bakar asked him angrily: "Are you insulting the court?

"You pleaded guilty at the beginning and now you are changing your plea. Why did you plead guilty in the first place?"

The accused had on Jan 14 pleaded guilty and the court fixed Feb 13 for sentencing.

However, on Feb 13, the prosecution sought a postponement as the medical report on the victim was not ready.

Zamri then fixed yesterday for facts and sentencing.

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Strong support for audio-video show

More than 80 per cent of the booths at the Kuala Lumpur International Audio Video Show 2008 (KLIAV Show 2008) have been taken, 70 per cent of which are from international exhibitors and the rest local.

Organising committee chairman Dick Tan said the showcase always received good feedback from exhibitors.

"We are fully booked every year and I think the remaining 20 per cent of booths will be snapped up in no time," he said after a prize-giving ceremony at the New Straits Times Press (M) Bhd's Balai Berita here yesterday for contest winners.

At the ceremony, 12 were selected as winners among thousands of participants for last year's KLIAV slogan contest. The winners were those who coined the best slogan with not more than 20 words.

Grand prize winner, Boon Kok Soong, 61, won a Toshiba projector sponsored by Mediaplex Sdn Bhd.

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No decision yet to abolish federal department

Chief Secretary to the Government Tan Sri Mohd Sidek Hassan said the matter was raised as promised to Sabah leaders by Prime Minister Datuk Seri Abdullah Ahmad Badawi on Monday.

He said the matter would be discussed further in due course.

"I met the chief minister (Datuk Seri Musa Aman) this morning and conveyed what was discussed in cabinet to him," he said after a closed-door dialogue with officers from local authorities in Sabah.

Abdullah had told the leaders that he would raise the proposed abolition of the department in cabinet following requests from the state Barisan Nasional leaders during his day-long meeting with them here.

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MIC plans to set up info centre

The centre, which will attend to calls on issues like education, loans and welfare, will be based at its headquarters in Menara Manickavasagam.

MIC president Datuk Seri S. Samy Vellu said information on organisations like the Maju Institute of Education Development (MiED) and Yayasan Strategik Sosial (YSS) could be obtained through the website.

"We will update the website with information on discussions that the MIC had with the government, what did the minister representing the Indian community say... everything will be up on the website," he said at the MIC's newly-renovated office on the 6th floor of Menara Manickavasagam yesterday.

Samy Vellu said he had ordered all branch chairmen to recruit at least 50 youth as members within three months.

He said the youth and women movement would be separated and a branch could be formed with just 50 youth or women.


Parole system to start in October

At the same time, the government will also introduce community service for those who commit traffic offences.

These measures would help to eliminate the problem of overcrowding in prisons, Home Minister Datuk Seri Syed Hamid Albar said after a six-hour visit to Kajang prison yesterday.

The introduction of both systems is provided for in the Prison (Amendment) Bill 2007 which was passed in parliament last year.

Under the parole system, a prisoner with a minimum one-year jail sentence will be eligible for parole after serving half the term.

But those imprisoned for sexual crimes or crimes under the Kidnapping Act, Firearms (Increased Penalties) Act, Dangerous Drugs Act and Internal Security Act are not eligible.

Syed Hamid said that some 36,672 inmates were now cramped in prisons, waiting for trial or under remand.


Are we, Malaysia as a whole ready for a parole system? Why can't we just build more prisons to eliminate the issue of overcrowding?

Americans lose spending power

With sentiment knocked by recession fears, the University of Michigan's index of confidence fell to 63.2 for April from 69.5 in March.

This month's figure is the lowest since March 1982, when the US economy was deep in an economic downturn.

It is just the latest study to show that US consumer confidence has fallen sharply in recent months.

The news hit the markets, with America's main Dow Jones index ending Friday down 2%, while the Nasdaq gave up 2.6%.


Perfect Pear Diamond Gets Sold

A private buyer purchases a Pear diamond during an auction when the reserve price wasn't met.

The highly anticipated 72.22 carat "Perfect Pear" diamond was withdrawn from the Sotheby's Hong Kong auction on April 10th after the final bid failed to reach the reserve price. The stone was expected to sell above USD $13 million or RM40,918,150 but the highest bid only reached $9.4 million or RM29,586,970.

That didn't seem to dampen interest, however, as within just a few hours of the auction closing the stone was sold to a private buyer for an undisclosed amount.

Via Luxist 

TM: RM500,000 lost to cable theft in Kelantan

Its general manager Abdul Rashid Che Osman said 144 cases were detected from January to March this year, mostly in rural areas such as Bachok, Rantau Panjang, Pasir Puteh and Machang.

Kelantan is the sixth highest state after Kedah, Perlis, Perak, Johor and Selangor in cable theft cases.

Abdul Rashid said TM would take a week to restore power for consumers affected by the theft.

He blamed the thefts on the demand for copper which would be melted and sold to syndicates.

Find out how TM intends to tackle the problem at