Commuters, experts slam cab levy at IRs

COMMUTERS and transport experts are up in arms over what they say is the indiscriminate manner in which taxi companies are applying location surcharges.

Their reactions follow an announcement by the six taxi companies that a $3 surcharge would be levied from next week on cab rides from the Marina Bay Sands (MBS) integrated resort. This follows a similar move in January at the other IR, Resorts World Sentosa (RWS).


US keen for M’sia to join pact

THE United States said on Thursday it was keen for Malaysia to enter negotiations on a trans-Pacific trade deal after the two countries shelved talks on a bilateral agreement.

US Trade Representative Ron Kirk held talks this week with Malaysian Trade Minister Mustapa Mohamed, who traveled with colleagues from Brunei, Indonesia and Laos to Seattle to promote business opportunities across the Pacific.

Iran invites UNSC for dinner

IRAN invited all 15 UN Security Council members to dinner on Thursday in New York, prompting a US response that it will give Teheran a chance to show it is willing to play by international rules.

Iranian Foreign Minister Manouchehr Mottaki issued the unexpected invitation on the sidelines of the Non-Proliferation Treaty review at UN headquarters. It also came as the five permanent Security Council members – China, the United States, France, Britain and Russia – began talks on a fourth sanctions resolution against Iran over its controversial nuclear programme.

Britain faced tense wait

IF BRITAIN ends up with a hung parliament – as suggested by exit polls after general elections on Thursday – it will be for the first time since 1974. On that occasion, the country had to wait uncertainly for several days to learn the identity of its new government.

In the Feb 28, 1974 ballots, the Conservatives under then-premier Edward Heath won 297 seats against 301 for Labour, led by Harold Wilson. Both were still short of a majority of 318 in the then 635-member House of Commons. As the incumbent prime minister, Mr Heath – a bachelor known for his love of classical music and yachting – got first shot at forming a government.

New ash cloud warning

AN ICELANDIC volcano which caused havoc to European aviation after erupting last month is to emit a large new ash cloud after surging back to life, meteorologists said on Thursday.

A plume of ash measuring up to 7km high had been detected at the Eyjafjoll volcano, said a statement from the Icelandic Met Office and Institute of Earth Science.

Chinese activists speak out for jailed Uighur

Some of China’s most well-known activists are circulating an open letter protesting the 15-year prison term for a Uighur journalist snared in tensions that followed the country’s worst ethnic rioting in decades.

New Hampshire bomb scare

SEVENTEEN people were briefly held hostage aboard a Greyhound bus on Thursday in New Hampshire after an individual warned a bomb was aboard, police said.

Heavily armed police, backed by armored vehicles, swarmed around the bus in Portsmouth, New Hampshire, after a phone report of a bomb and an apparent hostage-taking.