Saturday, 6 July 2013

Britain's royal baby will have surprising family tree

Britain's royal baby will have surprising family tree

LONDON: Even before the birth of the new British royal baby to Prince William and his wife Kate, genealogists are looking into its family tree, and are coming up with many surprises.

The baby's relations will stretch from a simple Parisian actress via the Dracula princes in Romania, to even an Islamic sultan from Seville in Spain, who descended from the Muslim Prophet Mohammed, experts say.

The family tree of the baby's father Prince William, who is second in line to the throne, is strongly tied to the European Gotha line.

There one finds, alongside all Britain's kings, the sovereigns of Greece, Denmark, Sweden, Russia, Austria, Spain and a good number of German sovereigns.

The British family was called Saxe-Coburg-Gotha until 1917, date on which, mired in a war with Germany, it opted for the name Windsor.

On the side of the mother-to-be Kate Middleton, on the other hand, there is a majority of commoners.

The late "Queen Mum", the mother of Queen Elizabeth II, and Princess Diana, William's mother, were not born princesses.

But "William's alliance with Kate Middleton really managed to democratise the baby's family tree," the famous genealogist Jean-Louis Beaucarnot, who dissected the baby's ascendance in July in the "La Revue Francaise de Genealogie" (the French genealogy review) told AFP.

The future king or queen of the United Kingdom will be cousin with a large number of his or her subjects.

The paternal forefathers of Kate, who is known as the Duchess of Cambridge, were relatively well off.

However, "on her mother's side she has largely working class ancestry from the English north," Scott Steward, member of the New England Historic Genealogical Society (NEHGS) and the co-author in 2011 of a book on Catherine Middleton's family tree told AFP.

--- Mitterrand, Washington and... Mohammed ----

Her family tree contains coalminers, a linen maid, bakers, and a London street sweeper.

One also comes up with a certain Arthur Lupton who taught English to German poet, playwright and scientist Johann Wolfgang von Goethe.

More unexpected, is the discovery of Edward Thomas Glassborough, who was put behind bars in 1881 in London's Holloway prison. The reason for his imprisonment remains a mystery to this day.

But there are other surprises in store in the royal family's family tree. Through Queen Mary, the wife of King George V, who ruled from 1910 to 1936, the line stretches back, according to Beaucarnot, right to the princes of Transylvania and Walachia in Romania.

That leads back in the fifteenth century to the Princes Dracula. Among them figures the Voivode Vlad III, also known by his patronymic name Dracula, who was was posthumously dubbed Vlad the Impaler. He inspired, by his cruelty, the Irish writer Bram Stoker's famous vampire.

Another discovery: a certain Hyacinthe-Gabrielle, an actress at Paris' Palais Royal, brought to England during the revolution by her lover then husband, the Marquis of Wellesley and a direct ancestor of the "Queen Mum".

Via another French woman, a protestant noblewoman born in 1639 in France's region of Poitou, the child will even be a cousin of late French president Francois Mitterrand, while her mother is related to the first president of the United States, George Washington

Through its grandmother Diana, the royal baby will have a link with the families of Winston Churchill and Lord Marlborough, who inspired a popular French folk song.

On the side of celebrities, there are links to the American actress Ellen DeGeneres and the British film director Guy Ritchie, the former husband of Madonna.

But the most astonishing discovery is a little-known ascendancy of one of its distant ascendants, the queen of France, Marie de' Medici, descendant of Alphonse VI of Castillia, who died in 1109.

His fourth wife Zaida, who was an Islamic princess converted to Roman Catholicism, had as an ancestor, according to Beaucarnot, "a king of Seville considered a direct descendant of the Prophet Mohammed".


Kembar Rahma-Rahmi berjaya dipisahkan

Rahma-Rahmi berjaya dipisahkan

KUALA LUMPUR: Sepasang bayi kembar siam warga Indonesia, Rahma dan Rahmi yang melekat di perut dan punggung akhirnya berjaya dipisahkan selepas menjalani pembedahan pada jam 4.15 petang hari ini.

Pembedahan tersebut dijalankan oleh pasukan doktor dari Hospital Moehamad Hosein Palembang dan Hospital Soetomo Surabaya.

Menurut laman portal berita, kembar tersebut masih di dalam rawatan rapi bagi memantau perkembangan kesihatan mereka.

Ibu kepada Rahma dan Rahmi, Lia Rosdiana mengucapkan terima kasih kepada pasukan doktor yang bertungkus lumus menjalankan pembedahan tersebut sambil menangis terharu.

Pasangan kembar dengan nama penuh Sandrina Fauzia Rahma dan Sandrina Fauzia Rahmi itu berumur setahun tiga bulan. Mereka berkongsi usus besar, usus kecil, dubur, hati dan pembuluh darah.

Laman web melaporkan pembedahan itu melibatkan pasukan 50 doktor pakar termasuk dari Hospital Soetomo, Surabaya yang boleh bertugas secara berganti-ganti.

Kumpulan pakar itu digandingkan dengan pasukan doktor dari Hospital Soetomo karena hospital di Palembang itu belum memiliki pengalaman yang memadai untuk pembedahan berkenaan.

Ketua pasukan doktor dari Hospital Soetomo, Dr Agus Harianto Sp.A(K) menjelaskan, pihaknya membawa kumpulan doktor berpengalaman yang biasa berhadapan dengan keadaan pasangan kembar siam itu.

"Kami bawa pasukan yang sudah berpengalaman dalam menghadapi kes serupa. Paling tidak kami sudah 54 kali jalankan pembedahan kembar siam," kata Dr Agus seperti dipetik oleh laman web itu.

Pasukan bedah itu disertai oleh doktor-doktor pakar kardiovaskular, paru-paru, bedah kanak-kanak, bedah urologi, bedah plastik, bedah saraf, bedah ortopedik serta pakar bius.

Pasangan kembar itu sebelum ini dijadual dipisahkan pada 22 Jun lalu. Bagaimanapun, rencana itu tertunda kerana keadaan kesihatan mereka yang tidak mengizinkan pembedahan berkenaan dibuat. Pembedahan itu dijangka mengambil masa lebih kurang 24 jam.

Rahma dan Rahmi adalah anak keempat dan kelima pasangan itu.

-Astro Awani 

Kaedah bersalin dalam air 'Ala-Jakuzi'

Kaedah bersalin dalam air 'Ala-Jakuzi'

KUALA LUMPUR: Hospital Pantai Kuala Lumpur memperkenalkan kaedah bersalin dalam air ala-jakuzi bagi menarik minat kaum ibu beralih kepada cara baru berkenaan.

Perunding sakit puan dan obstetrik, Dr. Choong Kuo Hsiang, berkata, ibu hamil boleh mendapatkan perkhidmatan bersalin melalui kaedah berkenaan dengan kos serendah RM6000.

Hospital Pantai Kuala Lumpur adalah antara hospital pertama yang memperkenalkan konsep ala jakuzi. Konsep berkenaan diperkenalkan selepas penggunaan konsep bersalin dalam kolam plastik sebelum ini.

Lihat video penuh di sini.

Syabas boss's RM33.4 million salary?

Investigate Syabas boss's RM33.4 million salary, says DAP

KUALA LUMPUR: The controversial RM33.4 million remuneration package given to Puncak Niaga Holdings Bhd (PNHB) executive chairman Tan Sri Rozali Ismail must be investigated, said DAP.

DAP publicity chief Tony Pua urged the National Water Services Commission (SPAN) to take all necessary action to investigated this “payout” in order to protect the interest of Malaysians.

The Petaling Jaya Utara MP also called on the Ministry of Energy, Green Technology and Water must also stop all extraordinary and non-operational payouts in water concessionaires.

On Wednesday, Klang MP Charles Santiago questioned the RM33.4 million remuneration, which included a RM20 million retirement gratuity, given to Rozali in 2012 for his services.

The revelation on the remuneration last week invited criticisms against the company, which is the majority shareholders of Syarikat Bekalan Air Selangor Sdn Bhd (Syabas), the concession which manages water in the Klang Valley.

However, Syabas has defended itself against the attacks and is considering legal action, while a report in The Malay Mail quoted minority shareholders, Puncak Niaga (PNHB) Minority Shareholders Watchdog Group (MSWG), as saying that the amount was “deserved” and was approved in the company’s annual general meeting on June 26.

Pua expressed shock that the group would defend the remuneration package, given that the company has allegedly not been doing well financially in the past five years.

“On paper, PNHB recorded a net profit of RM233 million for the financial year 2012. However, it should be highlighted that PNHB achieved profitability only because it recognised a RM1.02 billion ‘water tariff compensation’ from the Selangor State Government,” said Pua.

This compensation, said Pua, was never agreed to by the Selangor government because PNHB and its subsidiary, Syabas, “failed to fulfil its obligations under the water concession agreement|.

“The failure includes but is not limited to SYABAS’s failure to repair and replace aging pipes, and consequently to reduce the percentage of non-revenue water in Selangor,” he said.

The amount was also being disputed in court and Pua argued that it should not be recognised as “revenue” for PNHB in the first place.

If the Selangor state compensation was removed from the equation, Pua said that PNHB would have made massive losses of up to RM791 million.

“Given such underlying performance in the company, does the PNHB-MSWG really believe that Rozali fully deserves the RM33.4 million payoff?”

“In fact under normal circumstances, they should logically be calling for the company’s top management to be axed, and not in this case, lucratively rewarded!”

Pua said in 2011, PNHB made net losses of RM83 million, despite recognising RM458 million in “water tariff compensation”, meaning total losses without the “compensation” would have been as high as RM541 million.

Going back further, PNSB made losses of RM92 million (2010) after recognising “water tariff compensation” of RM419 million (2010), he said.

- Teoh El Sen via Astro Awani