Tuesday, June 30, 2009

Full Marks

Although I'm doing quite badly in getting an engineering job and finding fundings for my PHD, but I did quite well in KFC.. -__- like WTF!!!????

Why can't it be the opposite??? T__T

Sometimes I really wanna ask why all things are going quite different from the way I plan it....

Anyway, when I say quite well in KFC actually meant doing really good in KFC...

This is the rating that I'd got from the mystery shopper (who grade our service by judging on our friendliness and efficiency).

Ya!!! The 100 one (not the 88 -__-). That's a full marks on service... I don't even remember servicing him with super full attention and kindness and of utmost important.. What I do remember that is that I kept on smiling throughout...
But anyway, I'm getting £100 for acheiving this high score as a prize.... So no complaints here...
But still..... I wanna work as an engineer or study PHD lah.... Give me a chance...please....

Monday, June 29, 2009

Haiz, Fail Again...

Failed in the interview that I went on last last Friday....

Why do I always have to fail like nobody's business!?

Well, the good news is I had an offer from Queen's University to study PHD.... The problem now is to get funding...

Super troublesome, can someone tell me how to live a life without so much trouble and worries and obstacles??? Thanks....

Zimbabwe's Ex-Opposition MDC Mulls Break With Gov't

HARARE, Zimbabwe -- Zimbabwe's former opposition party said Monday it would boycott the next Cabinet meeting and was considering disengaging from a troubled, four-month-old unity government with President Robert Mugabe.

The Movement for Democratic Change has complained about continued harassment and arrests of Mugabe's opponents and his unilateral appointments of top officials.

Mugabe and Prime Minister Morgan Tsvangirai, bitter rivals, formed their coalition in February, pressed by neighbors to end a decade of violent confrontation and work together to resolve the southern African nation's severe economic crisis.

MDC Vice President Thokozani Khupe said the latest irritant came Monday, when Mugabe rescheduled the weekly Cabinet meeting from Wednesday to Monday because he was going to be out of town for an African Union summit in Libya. At a news conference, Khupe depicted that as a snub to Tsvangirai, her party's leader, saying he should have chaired the meeting in Mugabe's absence.

Mugabe's party "has not welcomed MDC as an equal partner," said Khupe, a deputy prime minister in the unity government.

Khupe said her party would boycott the rescheduled Cabinet meeting, but remained "committed to the (coalition) agreement in the interest of our people" despite "clear evidence of the absence of a reliable and honest partner."

She did not say when MDC ministers would resume attending Cabinet meetings.
"It is our constitutional right to consider disengagement," she said. "It is time toxicity and insanity are removed (from the coalition)."

The MDC has asked the Southern African Development Community, which pushed for the coalition government to be formed, to intervene. It is asking for help in resolving issues such as Mugabe's appointment of loyalists as the central bank governor and the attorney general, the arrests of and attacks on independent rights activists and MDC lawmakers, and the seizures of white-owned farms.

Khupe said Mugabe loyalists had also frustrated democratic and media reforms.
The Southern African Development Community, though, has said it did not see a reason to step in now.

Zimbabwe PM Rules out Reviving Worthless Local Currency

JOHANNESBURG (AFP) — Zimbabwe Prime Minister Morgan Tsvangirai on Saturday ruled out reviving in the short term the worthless local currency scrapped earlier this year to beat world record inflation.

But his comments clashed with veteran leader Robert Mugabe's assertions to the contrary a day earlier, highlighting the uneasy relationship between the two former arch-foes currently sharing power in a unity government.

"For economic reasons, there is no way you can resort to the Zimbabwean dollar currency in a situation of low production," Tsvangirai told a news conference in Johannesburg.

"You have to increase your productivity levels from the current 10 percent to about 50-60 percent, otherwise you slide back to... inflation," he said.

"It is impracticable to talk about even resorting to a currency which is worthless at this stage.
"There are no plans yet. There are discussions" to revive the Zimbabwe dollar, which was once on a par with the British pound but is now arguably the world's most useless currency.

Mugabe however Friday said the local money should be revived as multiple currencies introduced earlier this year to beat inflation were not helping the plight of the people.

"Yes, prices may have gone down but the people should have the money," the state-controlled Herald newspaper quoted Mugabe as saying.

"If they don't have the money, how will they buy the goods? We can't run a country like that. We are considering changing that and reverting to our own currency."

The government allowed shops and service providers to trade in foreign currency, mainly the US dollar and the South African rand, to help businesses acquire stocks from neighbouring countries.

Before the introduction of other currencies, most shops resembled empty warehouses as businesses failed to restock because of constantly changing prices.

Faced with a worsening economic crisis and political tensions, Zimbabwe's three main political rivals have formed a power-sharing agreement aimed at reviving the economy and easing tensions.

Sunday, June 28, 2009

Kinder Happy Hippo

Yoong bought this for me while his stay in Derry ^__^. Although its from Tesco and having a half price promotions, but his considerate move/thoughts really touch me (aaaawwww.....)

Super super cute with its hippopotamus shape and all eyes as well as nose attractingly imprinted.... And the packaging really does gives this snack loads of bonus points.

Covered with rice crispy. I do think they look like a beard for the hippo. Don't you think??

I can proudly say that the hippo not only looks good, but tastes equally excellent as well... the creamy inside and crunchy outside, and its sweet enough for me. I hate snacks which aren't sweet enough...
Go ahead and try it, I'd say, its worth the money...

Thursday, June 25, 2009

May Michael Rest In Peace

Michael Jackson (29/08/1958 - 25/06/2009) has died after being taken to a hospital on Thursday after suffering cardiac arrest. He is said to stopped breathing and collapsed at his home in Los Angeles. Paramedics failed to revived him in his home and when rushed to hospital (with 10 bodyguards, I thought that they should have of better use), the doctors attempts failed too.

May his soul rest in peace and his song as well as his life would be forever be remain in our hearts.
p/s: And hopefully fans get to refund their tickets as 750,000 tickets had been sold.. Not that they would mind of course...
p/p/s: Truely, I'd been saddened by this news too...

Gracious Act

It is very kind of Adrian (my housemate) to present me this plate of goodness.

Roti Canai, Chicken Curry and some Fries...

How long have I not tasted Roti Canai??? Ummm..... 2 Years!?

Thank you my dear friend... Now, lets see what should I give him back...

Wednesday, June 24, 2009

Zimbabwe's Mines Minister Barred From Britain

HARARE, Zimbabwe (AP) — Zimbabwe's mines minister, who is on a list of officials close to President Robert Mugabe barred from the West, has been kept from attending an investment conference in London, state radio and British officials said Tuesday.

British officials in Harare said Obert Mpofu was denied a visa to travel to the African mining meeting where he was scheduled to make a speech Tuesday.

Mpofu is among politicians and leaders of Mugabe's party targeted under travel restrictions imposed by Britain, the European Union and the United States. The travel restrictions, freezes on overseas bank accounts held by Mugabe cronies, and a study ban keeping their children from enrolling in foreign schools are meant to punish Mugabe for abusing human and democratic rights.

State radio said leaders of Mugabe's ZANU-PF party accused Western governments of arrogance for barring party members from participating in a re-engagement campaign led by former opposition leader Morgan Tsvangirai, who is prime minister in a coalition government formed in February and is and currently touring Western capitals.

In London, Tsvangirai was scheduled to address the International Mining in Africa conference from which Mpofu was barred. The conference is focusing on investment opportunities in Zimbabwe.

Tsvangirai's party held a meeting of its national executive committee in Harare on Tuesday and announced it will seek help from regional leaders on continuing disputes in the fragile coalition government.

Tapiwa Mashakada, the party's acting secretary general, cited bias in the state media against the party and Tsvangirai's foreign trip, and more arrests and prosecutions of party activists and lawmakers.

He said the state media favored Mugabe's ZANU-PF and undermined Tsvangirai's efforts abroad.

"If this inclusive government is going to succeed, the media should project the spirit of the day, but it is attacking and belittling the prime minister in very toxic language," Mashakada said.

China Justifies UN Veto Over Zimbabwe Sanctions

HARARE (Xinhua) -- China's veto of proposed sanctions against Zimbabwe by the United States and Britain last year has been vindicated by the formation of the inclusive government, outgoing Chinese Ambassador Yuan Nansheng said on Tuesday.

Addressing a press conference on the eve of his departure to a new posting in Suriname, Yuan said it was likely that Zimbabwe could not have proceeded to form an inclusive government without the vetoes by China and Russia.

"China vetoed the resolution under two considerations. The first one was that China adopted the same position with the African Union and SADC and most African countries, especially the neighboring countries to Zimbabwe. As far as I know, SADC and the African Union did not wish to have passed this resolution," Yuan said.

"Second, China vetoed because we wish to create a better environment for Zimbabwe internationally and domestically and I cannot imagine that without the veto, the inclusive government of Zimbabwe would have been established," he added.

Yuan said he remembered Zanu PF chief negotiator Patrick Chinamasa saying that among the intentions of the proposed sanctions was the issuing of travel bans to members of his party.

"So how can the representatives of Zanu PF like Chinamasa, (Nicholas) Goche and (Oppah) Muchinguri not go to South Africa and make the discussions with their (MDC) counterparts and how would South Africa have done their coordination job? So history has proved that the veto by China and Russia has provided a great foundation for the establishment of Zimbabwe's inclusive government and the better situation in Zimbabwe and the better international image of Zimbabwe," he said.

Britain and the United States last year attempted to have the UN Security Council impose sanctions on the country, citing bad governance and absence of the rule of law.

However, China and Russia vetoed the proposed resolution, arguing that SADC and AU initiatives which had already gathered momentum should be given a chance.

Chilli Con Carne Again

Yoong told me that Chilli Con Carne (CCC) is not pronounced as "cheeli kon kan", he said that someone told him that it should be "cheeli kon kanay"...

But I still prefer the old one as its fun to say "cheeli kon kan", "cheeli kon kan", "cheeli kon kan", "cheeli kon kan", "cheeli kon kan", "cheeli kon kan", "cheeli kon kan"...... -__-

OK, back to the tajuk (title), made this again cuz I'm a fan of this mexican dish.

Twicked the recipe and I got this chinese version of CCC....

1. Marinate the minced chicken (500g) with soy sauce (I know, very chinese right??), sesame oil (again chinese), sugar, tons of white and black pepper, cornstarch and some flour for about half an hour.

2. Dice carrots and onions (perferably 2 whole onions).

3. Chop some garlic.

4. Mix the paste with some water (actually, all ingredients and methods are stated on the packet, so if you wan the real authentic one, then use their recipe, I'm too lazy and too poor to prepare the real stuff and I don't like kidney beans).

5. Brown them garlic and onions.

6. Stir fry the chicken till it gives a whitish colour.
7. Add in the paste as well as the carrots and pour in some water.
8. Let it boil for 10 minutes (or until carrots are softened).
9. Serve warm with rice.

10. Say "yummy!!" and lick your lips...

Tuesday, June 23, 2009

Shoes - Prada

Oh dear, I just seem to get over the fact that I'm obsessed with browsing tons of shoes over the net and comparing their prices to my needs...

This time, the showcase would be Prada.

They are all under £170. Worth the money I would say.
OK, I need t get a grip of myself before finding myself floating in a mind of shoes...
Oh yeah, before I forgot, How are you doing today??? Everything good and smooth???

Monday, June 22, 2009

Britain Pledges More Aid To Zimbabwe - But Insists On Further Reform

Nearing the end of his European tour, Zimbabwean Prime Minister Morgan Tsvangirai met on Monday with British Prime Minister Gordon Brown, formally bringing to a close years of frosty bilateral relations between Harare and London.

Mr. Brown noted in a joint news briefing following his 10 Downing Street meeting with Mr. Tsvangirai that it had been 25 years since a Zimbabwean and British prime minister stood side by side.

Like other leaders including U.S. President Barack Obama have done during Mr. Tsvangirai's tour seeking political re-engagement and financial support, the British prime minister praised Mr. Tsvangirai’s “courage...determination...strength of character and fortitude."

Mr. Brown announced new aid to Zimbabwe in the amount of 5 million pounds (US$8.2 million) taking British aid to the country this year to more than 60 million pounds. Mr. Brown said the new funding will go to food and school books.

However, much as other Western leaders have done, Mr. Brown insisted that Britain needed to see Zimbabwe taking "further rapid steps forward" in implementing political and economic reforms before it would significantly expand support of the Harare government.

Responding, Mr. Tsvangirai called the steps toward democracy in Zimbabwe “irreversible,” though with many hurdles still to surmount given the uneasy partnership in a national unity government his Movement for Democratic Change has pursued since February with the long-ruling ZANU-PF party of President Robert Mugabe, which has resisted change.

While affirming his commitment to human rights, Mr. Tsvangirai said he was conscious of his government's shortcomings in meeting benchmarks set by the West, but assured Mr. Brown that "we will be working very hard to ensure that those conditions are fulfilled."

Echoing Mr. Tsvangirai's pledge, his spokesman, James Maridadi, told reporter Ntungamili Nkomo of VOA's Studio 7 for Zimbabwe that the prime minister was confident the unity government would soon meet international benchmarks for reform.

Mr. Tsvangirai will conclude his tour Wednesday in Paris meeting President Nicolas Sarkozy.
Foreign policy expert Tom Cargill of the Chatham House think tank in London said Western demands for reform put Mr. Tsvangirai in a tough spot as his ZANU-PF partners seem likely to resist his efforts to bring about the reforms the West has called for.

* VoA

Proposed US$30,000 Vehicle Loans to Zimbabwe Legislators Stir Outrage

Members of Zimbabwe's Parliament have started shopping for vehicles based on indications that the Ministry of Finance will arrange a loan of US$30,000 to all parliamentarians to allow them to buy a new car to allow them to travel to and within their constituencies.

The move has angered some Zimbabweans who express concern that the government cannot afford to extend the loans which total more than US$6.3 million.

House Speaker Lovemore Moyo of the Movement for Democratic Change formation headed by Prime Minister Morgan Tsvangirai has said details of the scheme are being worked out.

But MP Thabitha Khumalo, deputy spokesperson for the Tsvangirai MDC formation, said most members are already shopping for vehicles under their terms of service.

One critic, political analyst Themba Dlodlo, told reporter Gibbs Dube that lawmakers should use the cars made available to them by the Reserve Bank of Zimbabwe as the new scheme will drain state resources that should be directed towards critical capital projects.

* VoA

ANC Expels 55 Eastern Cape Councillors

Johannesburg - The ANC's National Disciplinary Committee expelled 55 Eastern Cape councillors on Monday.

"This has upheld the decision by the ANC leadership in the Eastern Cape, said provincial secretary Pemmy Majodian."The councillors who are from several municipalities will not be allowed to join the ANC for the next seven years."

She said that 54 of the councillors were suspected to be working for the Congress of the People, and using state resources just before the elections in April this year.

Free paraffin for voting Cope

"They went as far as going into communities promising them free paraffin if they came to a certain venue. "When the people arrived, they would hand them Cope pamphlets and tell them the only way they would receive the paraffin was if they voted for Cope.

"This has been their trend in activities."Only one of the councillors was expelled because of the way he "conducted himself in his duties", Majodian said.

Councillors will seek legal advice

He too would not be able to join the ANC for seven years.She said the 55 were split into four groups. Two groups were found guilty in May, and the other two groups in June.The councillors were from Amahlathi, Mbhashe, and Ngqushwa and Butterworth.

It was reported that the expelled councillors said they would seek legal advice, and that the expulsions had opened vacancies in the municipalities.


Shoes - Chloe

I'd recently stumbled upon a website which is called YOOX.COM where they sell discounted designer items. I was really thrilled when I get to see what the site has to offer.

The 1st thing I'd look into is CHLOE. I just adore Chloe... I mean, although I do not own any of them outfits, but I'm looking forward to owning a piece or 2...

But most importantly, let me just satisfy my cravings for this designer label by swooning on these cheap gorgeous shoes. I just simply love their bold bright colours, their straps, their design and most importantly, their chunky heels.

And the best part is they are all under £150 and in my size (ok, maybe they are out of season, but...). Aaaahhh, the glory of just owning one of them makes me shudder. Anyway, enough of this bullshit, I need to save money up before I could get my hands on 1 of them.
Boyfriend even suggested getting 1 of these for me for our 1 year anniversary instead of the ring... -__-.... He thought that these shoes would be cheaper but in fact, they are 2 times more expensive than the ring that I'd set my eyes on -__-
Oh yeah, that reminds me, since boyfriend is so enthusiastic in getting me one of these, then which one will you choose??? A Gold Ring or A Designer Shoes??

Zim PM Defends Sharing Power With Mugabe

Zimbabwean Prime Minister Morgan Tsvangirai on Sunday defended his decision to enter a power-sharing government with President Robert Mugabe, a day after being heckled offstage by protesters in London.

The two bitter rivals joined in a coalition government in February.

The move has not gone down well with many Zimbabwean exiles, who blame Mugabe for years of economic collapse and political repression.

Protesters jeered Tsvangirai at a London church on Saturday when he appealed to expatriates to return home and rebuild the southern African country.

Tsvangirai told BBC television that Zimbabwe was making progress toward democracy and that free elections would be held in two years.

He said the coalition was "not perfect... but certainly we are on the way and it's irreversible".
"We went in this government to achieve one thing - it is to achieve ultimately democracy and democratic elections," Tsvangirai said.

He said Mugabe, who has ruled Zimbabwe since 1980, "has already accepted that this is a process of transition and that after two years we should go for an election".

Tsvangirai acknowledged there was a long way to go. Zimbabwe has had the highest inflation rate in the world, most of the population lacks food, human rights abuses persist and thousands have died during a major cholera outbreak.


Spate Over Zimbabwe's PM Newsletter

Harare - Zimbabwe's information ministry says it is investigating whether a newsletter published by Prime Minister Morgan Tsvangirai's office is legal.

The state Sunday Mail newspaper, a mouthpiece of President Robert Mugabe's party, says the four-page publication set Tsvangirai on a "collision course" with government colleagues.

The newsletter contains details of Tsvangirai's current trip to re-engage with Western nations after a decade of isolation for Zimbabwe. The Sunday Mail says Tsvangirai should first have reported to Cabinet colleagues.

Chief information secretary George Charamba is quoted as saying his department is "looking at what the law says".

Rivals Mugabe and Tsvangirai joined in a coalition government in February.

* AP

Zimbabwe and UK PM Set for London Talks

Zimbabwe PM Morgan Tsvangirai is expected to ask for financial support from Britain when he meets his counterpart Gordon Brown in London.
He is also expected to request the lifting of sanctions imposed by Britain on members of the government close to President Robert Mugabe.

Mr Tsvangirai is on a tour of America and Europe to lobby for relief funds.
In an interview with the BBC on Sunday he defended the record of the unity government formed in February.

He said schools and hospitals had reopened, and that the human rights situation improved.
Mr Tsvangirai also called for "normal relations between Zimbabwe and the UK", saying it was "important to support this transition in order to strengthen the democratic reforms".

He said Mr Mugabe, who has ruled the landlocked former British colony since 1980, had accepted there need to be changes.

"Mr Mugabe has already moved, he has already accepted that this is a process of transition and after two years we should go for an election.

"It will be a fair election because we are transforming the electoral environment. We are transforming the institutions that were used to abuse people."

On Saturday, Mr Tsvangirai was booed by Zimbabwean exiles when he urged them to return to the country.

Many were bitter that, following years of outspoken opposition to the Zimbabwe government, he had decided to join it and offer public support to Mr Mugabe.

Mr Tsvangirai's UK visit is the final stage of his tour of Europe and the US.


Sunday, June 21, 2009

Outfit Of The Day

This is what I'd worn to my interview... Its nothing to shout about but I sure wish that this is the right one to go for such a formal event. Hopefully it didn't scared the interview panels.

Coat: Italy, White long sleeve top: Next, Knitted top: Next, Skirt: Malaysia (can't remember where), Tights: H&M, Shoes: Malaysia (Escarli or something).
Now the more I think of it, the more I feel that I may not stand a chance to get the job that I'd interviewed several days earlier. Maybe its because I didn't do well in the written exam and I do think that my friend has a better chance as this job requires designing and I do not have any experience in that. **sigh**. Back to square one again.

Saturday, June 20, 2009

Steam Ribs with Black Bean Paste and Garlic

I love this recipe, learned it from "Ah Soh (Hong Kong Actress)" and decided to try it out.

Its quite easy to make it actually, just that the measurement of all ingredients and sauces are a bit tricky, a bit difficult to adjust the portions of them, therefore, this dish is also through 6th sense.

Spare ribs
Preservered Black Beans

Sauce to marinate:
Black Soy Sauce
Soy sauce
White pepper
Ground black pepper
Corn starch
Sesame oil

1. Bash the beans to paste-like with the handle of the knife (no pounder, therefore the alternative :) ).

2. Chop the garlic till its really really fine. And I do mean really fine, you don't wanna eat bits and pieces of garlic together with the ribs.

3. Marinated the ribs. (Tips: 1st marinate the ribs with the sauces mention above except for the sesame oil, oil, corn starch, water. This is to ensure that all the flavours could seep through the meat. After half and hour or an hour, then only add the remaining)

4. Place it in a plate (metal or porcelein that could withstand heat).
5. Sprinkle some chopped chillis on top.

6. Depends on your portion of ribs, if its lesser, then steam for about 20 minutes. But for this plate, I steamed for approximately 35 minutes. Remember not to stack the ribs. Space them out for even cooking.

7. There you go. And remember not to add too much water while marinating the ribs as they would end up as the above, ribs swimming in water -__-

8. This is the yummiest pork ribs that I'd ever cooked. No smelly porky taste at all and I didn't even use garlic.
Woohoo... that's a meal.
To all who had express their concerns, thank you very very very much. I really appreciate it as you comment had made me stronger, I swear. Thanks once again. Love you guys/ladies.

Friday, June 19, 2009

All Had Went Well

After days of frustration and mild body un-easiness, the interview is finally over.

The interview went well, but I just have problems with the written technical exam.

Apparently, I had forgotten all about basic electronics formulas and calculations therefore, I had left the paper 3/4 blank.

The interview was alright, as I do know how to answer each and every questions and they were quite friendly.

Again, 50/50 chances of getting this job.

And I'm reminding myself to be better the next time.

A word of sorry to all readers, as I was venting my sadness and anxiousness through this blog and you had to read it.

Thursday, June 18, 2009

Wish Me Luck

for tomorrow's interview...

I'm so nervous I could crack... And don't even remind me that I forgot all about the basic electronic engineering knowledge that I'm supposed to be tested tomorrow...


Wednesday, June 17, 2009

Denmark to Give Zimbabwe $18 Million in Aid

COPENHAGEN (Reuters) - Denmark pledged $18 million in aid to Zimbabwe on Wednesday and said more could follow if the government pursued democratic reforms.

Development Minister Ulla Tornas told a joint news conference with Zimbabwe's Prime Minister Morgan Tsvangirai that Denmark wanted to support democratic forces in the government.

"In rough terms we're giving $12 million for health, education and food security, and $6 million in humanitarian assistance," she said.

Tsvangirai's visit was part of a tour of Western countries designed to drum up financial support for Zimbabwe's fragile unity government which he shares with President Robert Mugabe.Danish Foreign Minister Per Stig Moller told the news conference:

"For us it is very important that the government of Mr. Tsvangirai becomes a success. Because, if it becomes a failure, it will be very difficult next time to establish a democratic government (in Zimbabwe)."

Denmark halted development aid to Zimbabwe in 2002 in reaction to the disputed re-election of Mugabe and now provides only humanitarian aid and some aid through non-governmental organisations.

"Times have changed," Moller said. "The development minister has decided to give transitional support because the situation is different.

"If the democratic process in Zimbabwe continued, Denmark might give more aid, he added.

Germany pledged 25 million euros ($35 million) for Zimbabwe on Monday.

The United States last week promised $73 million in new aid to help fight AIDS and promote good governance.

Zimbabwe Seeks Tourism Bonanza From 2010 World Cup

VICTORIA FALLS (Reuters) - Zimbabwe, its economy in ruins, is dreaming of millions of tourist dollars and even training visits by international soccer stars when the World Cup comes to South Africa next year.

Scottish explorer David Livingstone is said to have written after first seeing the Victoria Falls in 1855: "On sights as beautiful as this, angels in their flight must have gazed."

The magnificent waterfalls were once one of Africa's biggest tourist attractions, but Zimbabwe's political violence and economic collapse have reduced visitors to a trickle both here and at the country's other attractions. Tourist income has slumped from $360 million at its 1999 peak to $29 million last year.

An influx of soccer fans before or after the tournament would be a godsend for this once prosperous nation and visits by teams like Brazil, Germany or even England would offer a rare morale boost for millions of impoverished but soccer-mad fans.

The sight of David Beckham marvelling at the Victoria Falls or bending a trademark free kick on a local pitch would be a huge coup for a nation battling to shake-off its bad-boy image.

Tourism officials believe Zimbabwe could reap as much as $100 million from the World Cup, a windfall for a government which is broke and continues to be shunned by foreign donors.

The country has made international headlines for all the wrong reasons in the past decade, from violent seizures of white-owned farms, to election violence and political repression to the world's highest rate of hyper-inflation.

"This would be the perfect opportunity to showcase the other side of Zimbabwe by cleaning up our pariah image and showing the world that we have much to offer especially to tourists," said economist John Robertson.

* Guardian

Swedish PM Says Zimbabwe Democracy Will Be European Union Priority

Zimbabwean Prime Minister Morgan Tsvangirai met Tuesday with his Swedish counterpart, Fredrik Reinfeldt, who said democracy in Zimbabwe will be a priority for the European Union when his country assumes the leadership of the 27-member bloc next month.

Speaking Tuesday at a joint news conference with Mr Tsvangirai in Stockholm, Mr. Reinfeldt said that he saw some positive signs in Harare, but stopped short of offering much-needed budgetary support for the unity government formed by Mr. Tsvangirai and President Robert Mugabe in February. He urged further political and economic reforms.

Monday, German Chancellor Angela Merkel pledged US$35 million to help Zimbabwe. U.S. President Barack Obama said Friday that the US government would provide US$73 million for humanitarian purposes and the restoration of the health and education systems.

The funds will be channeled through non-governmental organizations, he specified.

But this arrangement has created a backlash in Harare with ZANU-PF hardliners accusing the prime minister of indirectly channeling funds to his Movement for Democratic Change party, saying NGOs likely to receive such funds are aligned with the MDC.

State meanwhile charged that Mr. Tsvangirai had failed to carry out his brief from President Mugabe to lobby for Western targeted sanctions on him and associates to be lifted.

The state-controlled Herald newspaper mocked Mr. Tsvangirai on Saturday saying he had "hit another brick wall" after failing to secure direct budget support from Washington.

State media did not broadcast or publish photos of Mr. Tsvangirai's meeting with Obama. The MDC Tuesday issued a statement calling official media reports "mischievous," adding that the party was not responsible for negative international perceptions of Zimbabwe.

Mr. Tsvangirai himself denied reports Mugabe had dispatched him, saying his three-week tour of Western capitals was undertaken at his own initiative.

* VoA

Tuesday, June 16, 2009

I Have To Say It

I am f***ing fed-up with my life. I am just sick of the expectations, the work, the hardships, the feeling of regret, the pressure, the decisions, everything..


I think I'm going to burst...

I'm not blaming GOD for telling me and my mum that I'll get lucky in June with my job searching, but I just can't seem to see myself getting a job with just 13 days left. And I just felt really pressured.

I'm afraid to disappoint my parents again and again by telling them I haven't got any luck in my job search as I think that they are sick of hearing it too.

I'm so afraid that I wouldn't be able to obtain a job related to engineering that I'm forcing myself to feel optimistic that companies would eventually hire me to be their engineer but the fact is, I'm not enjoying what I'm doing...

I know, its too late, I'm 24, a Master degree holder in engineering, and yet, here I am, shouting about how much I dislike what I am doing..

There's just so many things to do and yet, I haven't succeeded in accomplishing anything. Somtimes I do think I'm such a loser, to this life and to my weaknesses.

I hate myself for being so indecisive. I hate myself for being so weak. I hate myself to always succumb to laziness and pressure and bluntness ans stupidness. I hate myself for always upsetting and disappointing my parents. I hate myself for being so unsatisfied with everything now. I hate myself for having the thoughts of blaming GOD.

I think I need to rest. I think I'm getting old. I think I'm going to be sick. My head's spinning right now. My body is really lethargic. Even food and fashion couldn't excite me anymore.

I'm so tempted to go back to where I belong, to Malaysia, to my family, to the place where I am familiar with, where jobs are easier to obtain, where everything would turn out alright.


I just wanna lie down in a cave and never be found T__T

Zimbabwe's Stores Are Now Full Again

Harare - Zimbabwe's once-deserted supermarkets are full again, after the country reined in its world-record hyperinflation. But there's no wait at the tills - most people simply can't afford to buy anything.

"It a luxury for those who have money to buy," said Marian Chituku, a 36-year-old mother of three, holding a loaf of bread as she walked out of a supermarket in the working-class suburb of Chitungwiza, outside the capital.

"The shops are full, but to us there is no difference because we cannot afford the goods. They are as good as non-existent. We only see them on the shelves."Chituku said her family has tea - without milk - in the late morning, skips lunch and then eat dinner as their only meal in order to stretch her income from a vegetable stall in the township.

But in Harare's leafy suburbs, supermarkets are a shopper's paradise for the select few deciding between imported haddock fillets or full-shell mussels.

"You can get everything you want here," Josephine Marucchi, a housewife from the posh suburb of Mount Pleasant, said pausing to choose from the various brands of cheese before completing the sentence: "as long as you have money."

It's completely different from last year when people had money and the shops were empty," she added.The centre of the shop looked like a gym, stocked with modern exercise gadgets, where an assistant explained to a customer how to operate a treadmill.

Last year supermarkets across Zimbabwe resembled empty sheds as local manufacturers either pulled down the shutters or operated at less than half their capacity because of hyperinflation, which rendered the local currency unusable.

The shortages were exacerbated after the government launched a blitz ordering businesses to slash prices, with long-ruling President Robert Mugabe accusing some businesses of colluding with his western foes to try to topple him.Things improved after Mugabe and his one-time rival Morgan Tsvangirai formed a unity government in February.

The local currency has been abandoned and import restrictions lifted, which has erased the hyperinflation estimated in multiples of billions last year.Now prices, all in US dollars or South African rands, are actually declining, but more than half the population still depends on international food aid.

* News 24

Swedish PM Urges Zimbabwe on Reforms, No Aid Yet

STOCKHOLM (Reuters) - Sweden's prime minister said on Tuesday he saw positive signs in Zimbabwe but stopped short of offering aid to the impoverished country, urging the government to push through economic and political reforms.

"We are determined to do as much as we can to support the transition to democracy and increase the respect for human rights in Zimbabwe," Fredrik Reinfeldt said at a news briefing after a meeting Zimbabwe Prime Minister Morgan Tsvangirai.

"This will be an important task during the Swedish EU presidency."

But Reinfeldt, who takes over the rotating European Union presidency for Sweden from July 1, offered no aid for the African nation, saying urgent matters needed to be resolved."Politically motivated violence needs to be stopped," he said.

"The rule of law and freedom of the media must be established."

Tsvangirai has been touring Europe and the United States in a bid to woo financial support for the unity government he shares uneasily with rival President Robert Mugabe.Reinfeldt said Zimbabwe must provide greater transparency in its financial system and start reforming its central bank.

Western donors, who accuse Mugabe of years of misrule and largely shun him, have said aid will only flow when a democracy is created and economic reforms are implemented.

Aid is beginning to trickle into aid agencies, bypassing the government. Germany pledged 25 million euros ($35 million) for Zimbabwe on Monday and U.S. President Barack Obama promised last week $73 million to help fight AIDS and promote good governance.

Tsvangirai said he understood the concerns and was not there to defend Mugabe's past record. "I would be the last one ... to say everything is rosy," he said. "There are some gaps."

Tsvangirai's government has said it needs $10 billion to rebuild a country of 12 million people which has been devastated by chronic unemployment above 90 percent and acute poverty.