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JAKARTA – A man missing since Sunday (March 26) in Indonesia has been found dead inside the belly of a 7m-long python, according to reports.

Akbar Salubiro, 25, had not been seen since setting off to harvest palm oil in a remote village on the island of Sulawesi.

A search found the giant python sprawled out next to his garden with the 25-year-old’s boots clearly visible in its stomach, according to a report in the Tribun Timur. Villagers then used a large knife to cut open the snake’s belly slowly revealing the father-of-two’s body.

Tribun Timur posted a video of the snake’s belly being cut open to its YouTube page.

The horrifying footage shows the corpse being slowly removed from the killer reptile as the leathery skin is peeled away.

Akbar’s neighbour Satriawan said: “He was found in the location of the garden.

“Initially Akbar set out from his home to go to harvest palm. After not returning to his home, people looked for him.”

Akbar’s wife, Munu, was away at the time and only found out when pictures and video emerged in the news, Tribun Timur said.

Village secretary Salubiro Junaidi said: “People had heard cries from the palm grove the night before Akbar was found in the snake’s stomach.

“When the snake was captured, the boots Akbar was wearing were clearly visible in the stomach of the snake.

“Resident cut open the belly of the snake and Akbar was lifeless.”

Reticulated pythons suffocate their victims before swallowing them whole, reports said. – Tribun Timur

KUALA LUMPUR – The government has announced that 45 per cent of the Light Rail
Transit 3 (LRT 3) contracts worth RM9 billion would be awarded to Bumiputera
companies through the “carve out and compete” concept .

Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak said the eligible companies had to
compete among themselves based on merit.

“It (contracts) is not being randomly awarded and they (Bumiputera
companies) must prove their ability and consideration will be given based on
merit,” he said after chairing the Bumiputera Economic Action Council here
today.

ZAYN Malik has surprised fan with another new addition to his unique style – bright green hair.

The Pillowtalk singer, 24, posted the sultry selfie on his Twitter page on Tuesday night, sending his devoted fans and followers’ hearts racing and gaining 38,000 likes in a matter of hours.

In the picture, he’s seen with an overgrown mohawk that has been dyed black and light green.

Bobbing his head forward to show the effects, only one eye can be seen through the hue, as his hand shows off just some of his many tattoos.

This isn’t the first time the star has tried the unconventional hair colour, with the constantly adapting star once trying out the style over a fresh buzz cut before he grew his hair out.

His new look comes in the midst of him teasing a new album release following his latest single Still Got Time with US musician, PartyNextDoor.

As his fanbase quizzed him online, he didn’t give much away when one asked when he was releasing his new songs.

He just cryptically replied “When your ready…”[sic] – The Sun

THE Saudi Film Festival opened Monday with 58 homegrown cinematic works to be screened in the ultra-conservative kingdom that continues to ban public cinemas.

“Welcome to all of you, filmmakers, makers of art and makers of hope,” festival director Ahmed al-Mulla told participants at the opening ceremony, which was broadcast online.

The fourth edition of the festival had been slated to run from March 23-28 in the Gulf coastal city of Dhahran, but it was pushed back due to stormy weather.

This is the third consecutive annual film festival in Saudi Arabia after a hiatus of seven years.

The festival includes four competitions for feature films, documentaries, student productions, and unproduced scripts.

It is scheduled to open with a drama that resonates, as the kingdom’s tentative efforts to expand entertainment face resistance from conservatives.

Wasati directed by Ali Alkalthami is based on the true story of extremists trying to disrupt a play at a university theatre in Riyadh 10 years ago.

Saudi Arabia late last year began a cautious push to introduce entertainment, despite opposition from Muslim hardliners.

Other events on offer for Saudi spectators have been the New York theatrical group iLuminate, the Comic-Con pop culture festival, and WWE wrestling. — AFP

LIMA – A Peruvian Airlines plane caught fire upon landing at the Jauja
airport in Junin region on Tuesday. All people on board were evacuated in
time, local media reported, according to China’s Xinhua news agency.

Nearly 140 passengers were rescued by some 20 firefighters on the scene,
according to Peruvian daily El Comercio.

The fire reportedly erupted when the Boeing 737, arriving from Lima, was
touching down at close to five o’clock in the afternoon. The flames and smoke
generated panic among the passengers, said the daily.

Video footage of the plane on the tarmac, apparently taken by someone who
happened to be on the other side of the fence of the airport, showed a thick
plume of black smoke billowing from the aircraft.

There is no report as yet on what caused the fire.
— BERNAMA

IT is proof that even one of the world’s best soccer players is not above the law.

Argentina and Barcelona star Lionel Messi has been hit with a four-game ban by football’s governing body FIFA and fined $10,000 after verbally abusing a match official while on international duty.

The 29-year-old learned of his fate just hours before his country’s crucial qualifying clash with Bolivia. He will also miss upcoming games against Uruguay, Paraguay and Venezuela.

Messi became animated at the end of Argentina’s 1-0 World Cup qualifying victory over Chile on March 24 — a game settled by the forward’s first-half penalty.

After being flagged for a foul, he waved his arms and sent a volley of verbal abuse at the referee’s assistant.

It is a severe blow to Argentina’s hopes of qualifying automatically for Russia 2018, given how poor its record is without Barca’s talisman.

The top four teams in South American qualifying advance to next summer’s tournament, while the team that finishes fifth goes into a playoff.

Argentina are currently third, but only three points separates sixth-place Chile and Uruguay in second.

Messi won’t return to international duty until Argentina’s final fixture against Ecuador, by which time the damage could already be done.

Prior to FIFA’s announcement, football expert Greg Stobart told CNN’s World Sport Show: “Argentina are totally dependent on him (Messi).

“He’s missed quite a few qualifying games through injury — seven matches and they’ve only won one of them.

“With Messi in the side, they’ve played six and won five. If he’s suspended for two, three, four games they are in real trouble of failing to qualify.” – CNN

MELAKA – Twenty-three victims from five families were evacuated after a flood
occurred in Simpang Ampat, Alor Gajah near here late last night.

The Melaka State Disaster Management Committee said in a statement that the
victims were evacuated to the Flood Relief Centre at the Taboh Naning Community
Hall, near here.

“Heavy rain yesterday caused the Kampung Cherana Putih area to be flooded
and the people living in the area had to be evacuated.

“As of 8am today, 23 victims had been evacuated and the rain had stopped.
But the public have been advised to be cautious and to always look after their
safety,” the statement said.

The victims are still being accommodated at the relief centre.

No river in the area had recorded the alert or danger level this morning.
— BERNAMA

KUALA LUMPUR – Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak’s official visit to India from this Friday until next Tuesday underlines the strong bilateral relations between the two countries, which have been established for 60 years.

The visit, at the invitation of India’s Prime Minister Narendra Modi, will be Najib’s third to India since assuming office as Prime Minister in 2009.

According to a statement released by the Communications and Public Diplomacy Division, Foreign Ministry today, the visit would provide opportunities for both Malaysia and India to exchange views on a range of bilateral, regional and international issues of mutual interest.

During the visit, Najib is scheduled to visit Chennai, New Delhi and Jaipur.

The Prime minister will be accompanied by his wife Datin Seri Rosmah Mansor, Foreign Affairs Minister Datuk Seri Anifah Aman, cabinet ministers and senior government officials.

In New Delhi, Najib will be accorded an official welcoming ceremony at the Presidential Palace, make a courtesy call on the President of India, Pranab Mukherjee followed by a restricted meeting with his Indian counterpart and a bilateral meeting with senior members of both delegation.

A Joint Press Conference will be held before the official dinner hosted by Prime Minister Modi in honour of Najib and Rosmah.

“Issues that are expected to be discussed during the bilateral meeting include trade and investment, infrastructure projects, defence cooperation, air services arrangements, tourism and culture relations as well as issues of mutual concern on regional and international cooperation.

“Several government-to-government memoranda of understanding and documents are set to be signed and exchanged during the visit. The exchange of the documents will be witnessed by both Prime Minister Najib and Prime Minister Modi,” the statement said.

Apart from the bilateral meetings, Najib will be holding dialogue sessions with leaders and captains of industries from major business sectors in India and is scheduled to attend a business luncheon and the 7th Global Science and Innovation Advisory Council Meeting (GSIAC).

Najib’s programme in Chennai includes an official reception hosted by the Acting Governor of Tamil Nadu, Vidhyasagar Rao and a meeting with the Chief Minister of Tamil Nadu, Edappadi Palaniswamy.

The Prime Minister will also use this opportunity to have a dialogue session with the Malaysian community, including students.

Najib will also travel to Jaipur to oversee Malaysia’s participation in India’s infrastructure projects.

He is scheduled to meet with Chief Minister of Rajasthan, Vasundhara Raje Scindia, and attend a high level discussion on the progress of Malaysian companies in infrastructure projects in Jaipur.

“On the last day of the visit, the Prime Minister will also officiate the newly completed complex of the High Commission of Malaysia in New Delhi,” the statement said.

It added that Malaysia is optimistic that the visit would further strengthen the existing friendly ties between Malaysia and India not only in the areas of bilateral cooperation but also on regional and international issues.

— BERNAMA

SEPANG – French President Francois Hollande left Kuala Lumpur for Jakarta last night after concluding two-day state visit to Malaysia.

The French President was seen off at the Bunga Raya Complex of the Kuala Lumpur International Airport (KLIA) by Minister in the Prime Minister’s Department Datuk Joseph Entulu Belaun, who was Minister-in-Attendance.

Hollande was accompanied by ministers, members of parliament, officials as well as a business delegation.

The state visit of Hollande, who arrived in Malaysia on Monday, is part of the French President’s first visit to ASEAN. He had earlier visited Singapore.

Earlier today, Hollande and Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak had a fruitful meeting in Putrajaya, Malaysia’s administrative capital.

Hollande also witnessed the signing of six memoranda of understanding between France and Malaysia. The MoUs were on the energy, solar power generation and gas sectors.

Najib described the meeting as ‘productive discussion’ and that the visit would strengthen and deepen the already close ties between Kuala Lumpur and Paris.

This is the second state visit by a French President to Malaysia. President Jacques Chirac paid a state visit to Malaysia in July 2003, a visit that was hailed as an important milestone for Malaysia-France bilateral relations.

— BERNAMA

PUTRAJAYA – Kim Jong-nam’s body is still at the National Institute of Forensic Medicine (IPFN), Kuala Lumpur Hospital (HKL), said Health Minister Datuk Seri Dr S. Subramaniam.

He said the body of the half brother of the North Korean leader would remain under the responsibility of his ministry, until further advice from the Prime Minister’s Department and the Foreign Ministry.

“They are having discussions and once they have concluded the discussions and come to some kind of conclusion, they will advise the Health Ministry what to do,” he told reporters after the Health Ministry’s Excellence Service Award (APC) ceremony here, Tuesday.

Regarding media reports yesterday that the body was moved out of IPFN and returned back to the mortuary, Dr Subramaniam said it was news to him.

“As far as I know, the body has always been in HKL. Whether it was given to another group, the answer is no,” he said.

Dr Subramaniam also denied the rumours that Jong-nam’s body had been cremated, saying that the ministry could not do such things without the responsible parties giving them any directive or agreement.

“We have been waiting for the next-of-kin for a long time.

“But unfortunately they have not come forward to come and provide any assistance on how the body should be treated and now the Foreign Ministry is trying to find a solution how to move forward,” he said.

Asked about how long the ministry would keep the body, he said they were not following normal procedures of handling unclaimed bodies as it was a sensitive issue that involved other nations.

“We will try to keep it until we find a holistic solution to this problem,” he said.

Asked whether the ministry would do a second embalming on Jong-nam’s body following claims it was decomposing, Dr Subramaniam said the decision would be made by the forensic department.

Jong-nam, the estranged half brother of North Korean leader Kim Jong-un was murdered at Kuala Lumpur International Airport 2 (klia2) on Feb 13 by two women using the highly toxic VX nerve agent.

Jong-nam, who travelled with a passport bearing the name of Kim Chol, died on the way to the Putrajaya Hospital. – Bernama