WATCH: Julia Roberts in the film Closer and director Mike Nichols' other works. He died, aged 83

ABC announced on Wednesday the late director, Mike Nichols died of cardiac arrest.
ABC announced on Wednesday that the late director, Mike Nichols died of cardiac arrest.

Tributes poured in for Oscar-winning director Mike Nichols, the creative force behind countless classic American films and plays including The Graduate.

He died on Wednesday (Nov 19) aged 83.

ABC said Nichols died of cardiac arrest.

The legendary filmmaker directed nearly two dozen movies in all, among them the timeless Who’s Afraid of Virginia Woolf? and lighter fare with a contemporary edge like Working Girl.

Nichols is one of the rare figures in American entertainment to have earned an EGOT, having been honored with at least one Emmy, Grammy, Oscar and Tony award.

“This is a seismic loss,” said fellow director Steven Spielberg.

“Mike was a friend, a muse, a mentor, one of America’s all-time greatest film and stage directors, and one of the most generous people I have ever known.”

Nichols was a member of American entertainment royalty, being married for many years to celebrated ABC television news presenter Diane Sawyer.

Photos: AFP, Reuters

Meryl Streep, who worked several times with Nichols, called him “an inspiration and joy to know... a friend without whom, well, we can’t imagine our world, an indelible irreplaceable man.”

Many other celebrities took to social media to pay their tributes to the late director.







The Nichols family will hold a small, private service for him later this week, and a memorial service at a later date.

Here are some of Mike Nichols' most popular movies:

  1. Who's Afraid of Virginia Woolf? (1966)

  2. The Graduate (1967)


  3. Working Girl (1988)


  4. The Birdcage (1996)


  5. Wit (2001)


  6. Closer (2004)


Sources: AFP, Twitter, YouTube

Boxer Pacquiao confident of beating American opponent Algieri

Philippine boxing icon Manny Pacquiao attending a pre-fight press conference in Macau on August 25.

A rejuvenated Manny Pacquiao will look to make short work of Chris Algieri on Sunday (Nov 20) as he defendd his World Boxing Organisation welterweight belt.

Success means raising his chances of a showdown with Floyd Mayweather.

Right now, Pacquiao is oozing confidence. Surrounded by a 300-plus entourage in Macau, few believe the eight-weight world champion, will be seriously troubled by Algieri.

Algieri, 30, is a capable and likeable former kickboxer from Long Island. The American (20-0) has a master’s degree and wants to be a doctor.

In June, he got up from the canvas twice in the first round to shock Russia’s formidable light welterweight champion Ruslan Provodnikov and take the WBO belt on a split decision.

Now he says he wants to pull off an almighty upset.

Doing so could end the fabled career of 36-year-old Filipino icon Pacquiao, who is a congressman from Sarangani province.

Felling 'Pacman'

The last man to make such a bold prediction was another American, Brandon Rios, at the same venue a year ago.

Rios instead received a lesson in boxing, speed, agility and power from “Pacman”.

Pacquiao, who once described Algieri as just an “okay” fighter, remains dismissive of his challenge.

"I know my opponent is excited to win, but I won’t let that happen," he said at the Venetian Macau venue.

Pacquiao, whose record stands 56-5-2 with 38 KOs, had a questionable build-up, in which he made his professional basketball debut in the Filipino league last month.

But he says he his fight preparations have helped him regain the aggression and power that put away world-class adversaries such as Oscar de La Hoya, Erik Morales, Marco Antonio Barrera, Juan Manuel Marquez, Ricky Hatton and Shane Mosley in his younger days.

Source: AFP

Sheffield Utd cut ties with convicted rapist Ched Evans

Screengrab of Ched Evans giving a statement after he was released from prison.

Sheffield United have withdrawn their controversial offer to let convicted rapist Ched Evans train with the League One club.

United announced eight days ago that their 25-year-old former striker would train with them - following a request from the Professional Footballers’ Association to allow him the opportunity to rebuild his fitness after his release from prison.

But the announcement provoked considerable public outcry.

Several well-known celebrities threatened to stand down as club patrons, while Olympic champion Jessica Ennis-Hill said she would want the stand named after her at Bramall Lane to be removed if Evans were to be re-signed by United.

Think before letting him play with you

Britain’s Deputy Prime Minister, Nick Clegg – who is a MP for a Sheffield constituency – also urged United to think “long and hard” before letting Evans play for the Blades again.

The criticism has prompted the third tier outfit into a rethink.

The club said in a statement on Thursday (Nov 20):

“Sheffield United Football Club has decided to retract the opportunity for its former player, Ched Evans, to use the club’s facilities for training purposes, as was previously intended....The club initially accepted a request from the PFA for Ched Evans to be able to train.

The reaction to this has been at an intensity that could not have been anticipated when first announced.” - Sheffield United 

Evans was jailed in April 2012 for raping a 19-year-old woman in a hotel room in Rhyl, North Wales.

He denied the offence but was found guilty by a jury at Caernarfon Crown Court.

Evans admitted having sex with her but the woman told the jury she had no memory of the incident.

The prosecution said the woman, who cannot be named for legal reasons, was too drunk to consent to sexual intercourse.

An appeal against Evans’ conviction was rejected by three judges at the Court of Appeal in 2012.

But following his release from prison, he uploaded a video on his website protesting his innocence and vowed to clear his name.



The United statement said:

“The club condemns rape and violence of any kind against women in the strongest possible terms.

The club is aware that Ched Evans is pursuing legal recourse via the Criminal Cases Review Commission in the determination he has to clear his name. We trust that he will be afforded a fair hearing.”

Labour MP for Sheffield Central, Paul Blomfield, welcomed United’s decision.

“I’m pleased that they’ve listened to the majority and listened to people like Jessica Ennis and made the right decision,” he said in an interview with BBC Radio 5 Live.

“But I do think that some of the reactions this debate has generated has raised some really disturbing attitudes towards sexual violence and I think there are some bigger lessons to learn as well.”

Sources: AFP, Sheffield United, 

Johor politician: Those not well versed in Malay should be stripped of M'sian citizenship

Stir: Datuk Dr Shahruddin Salleh suggested to strip people who could not master the Malays language of their citizenship.

For Datuk Dr Sharuddin Salleh, language is the key to identity and nationality.

He thinks Malaysians who are not well versed in the Malay language should be stripped of their citizenship.

While it was unclear when and where he made the statements, The Star Online reported yesterday (Nov 20) that Datuk Dr Shahruddin said that there were "many students" who are not able to master the Malay language, even among the Malays themselves.

“Even my own neighbour whose father and mother are Malays but because their child goes to international school, the child is unable to converse in Malay,” he said.

The situation was prevalent in the local schools, he noted, due to the fact that students were more interested in learning and mastering English.

After he made the statement, another assemblyman suggested that the state government use Jawi in all official document in the Johor state.

The suggestion was however shot down by Md Jais Sarday, chairman of the Entrepreneur, Cooperative Development, Education and Information committee. 

Source: The Star Online

BLOG: Welcome back, coach Raddy

Our report DAVID LEE is glad to see former Singapore trainer Radojko Avramovic back in town for the Suzuki Cup, even if he is on the enemy’s side this time.

TNP's David Lee with former Singapore coach Raddy Avramovic.
TNP's David Lee with former Singapore coach Raddy Avramovic.

"No, that’s not what I said. That’s what you want me to say.
"Be careful of what you write in the papers. Otherwise I will not speak to you again."

Ah, never thought I would say this, but I miss the old man — mind games, embargo threats, and that unmistakable Serbian accent.

It has been almost two years since Radojko Avramovic signed off a decade of service by winning Singapore’s fourth Asean title — his third with the Lions.

As fate would have it, his Myanmar side have made it through the Suzuki Cup qualifiers to join Group B, which will be played in Singapore, his old stomping ground.

"Yes David, what you want?" is how the old man always greeted me with such warmth and affection (yeah right) whenever I called him.

But honestly, I wouldn’t blame him for wanting to wring my neck.

My first interview with Raddy started off on a benign enough note.

It was shortly after I joined The New Paper as an intern in 2008, when Singapore held a Harry Kewell-led Australia 0-0 (yes, those were the days). Since then, 10 per cent of my 3,000 stories featured the wily coach.

But when results started to go downhill, I had the unenviable task of going up to the grumpy-looking old man to talk about really unpleasant stuff.

In 2010, I had to ask him what he thought about an anonymous poison-pen letter that criticised his training methods and schedule during a training camp in Serbia. It also accused him of making the players "just hitting long balls and packing the defence".

What followed was what some Raddy-loyalists would call a two-year "witchhunt". 

Following a string of disappointing results, beginning with his first, and only, group-stage elimination from the Suzuki Cup in Dec 2010, I kept asking whether he would step down as Singapore coach.

I was also there in 2011 when he was sent off for confronting Lebanese referee Andre El Haddad, who had robbed Singapore of a historic World Cup qualifier win in China by awarding two spot-kicks to the hosts and dismissing a cast-iron penalty appeal by the Lions.

Raddy was fined and banned for four matches by Fifa for the incident, and confided in me his regret.

In the months that followed, each time there was a poor result, he gamely fielded my questions about his future in his signature cryptic way even though it appeared I had regularly undermined his position with stories about potential successors.

But it was clear he wanted to end his tenure on his own terms, on a high.

And when he sensed that an unprecedented fourth Asean title was in sight, he stopped at nothing to make sure his team delivered.

Including using me as a target board.

I had reported, factually, a war of words between Raddy and Philippines coach Michael Weiss before the first leg of the 2012 Suzuki Cup semi-finals in Manila. Raddy demanded respect after Weiss missed the pre-match press conference, and insisted his team need not kowtow to anyone.

At a crowded press conference at Jalan Besar for the return leg, Raddy fingered me as the culprit who tried to stir s***.

Good thing I had a good sense of humour and saw through his ploy of deflecting attention from his team before a tense encounter.

In the end, one Khairul Amri goal sent Singapore through to the finals, which the Lions subsequently won after beating Thailand 3-2 on aggregate.

After the triumph in Bangkok, we shared a laugh as I offered him the champagne (his preferred diet remains cigarettes and coffee) I had presumptuously bought at the duty-free store two days before the second leg.

And then it struck me.

It’s over between me and him.

And it seemed like a little part of me died because I did grow to be quite fond of the old man who would stay up in the wee hours to meticulously pore over videos to plot a way for the Lions to beat superior sides.

With his unrivalled record, he neither had to give pesky reporters like me the time of day, nor his invaluable insights to both the Lions and their opponents. 

Nor his mobile number, which the current national coach has quite understandably kept unknown to the media.

But Raddy did.

And he did a lot more for Singapore football, which perhaps hasn’t been adequately capitalised on.

Which is why I’m happy to see him in town again.

But I understand if Singaporeans are not half as pleased as me because he could be the one to kill our hopes on Wednesday.

Regardless, I hope Raddy gets a hero’s welcome he deserves for spending 10 years of his life here and giving us some truly unforgettable triumphs.

WATCH: Burglar taught a painful lesson after breaking into paratrooper's home

Robber gets roughhoused by paratrooper after attempting to break in.

Do not mess with soldiers, let alone, a veteran paratrooper. 

This burglar was given a tough lesson about why breaking into people's homes may not pay.

Mr Andrew Myers, a veteran of the 82nd Airborne Division, recently move into Seattle after serving two tours in Afghanistan.   

One day, he realised that a video equipment had been stolen from his home.

So he decided to beef up on security measures, anticipating that the burglar could return.

True enough, he did. 

What was captured next on CCTV was a complete annihilation of the robber as Mr Myers effortlessly overpowered the criminal. 

Knocked out

Said the army veteran: "I switch to elbows. He eats one elbow and his left leg shoots straight out stiff and he was unconscious for 20 to 30 seconds. 

"When he woke up, I started explaining to him that he can lay here or you can lay here and get punched. The cops are on their way."

Source: WSBT, YouTube

Vettel in, Alonso out

Four-time world champ Sebastian joins Ferrari and vows to emulate Schumacher's success

ON THE MOVE: Sebastian Vettel (above, left) is delighted to join the Scuderia, who release Fernando Alonso (above).
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Hunger Games inspired toy tops danger list

ON THE LIST: The Hunger Games inspired Air Storm Firetek Bow and the True Legends Orcs Battle Hammer (above).
ON THE LIST: The Hunger Games inspired Air Storm Firetek Bow (above) and the True Legends Orcs Battle Hammer.
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Mentally ill man stabs and kills six nurses

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He stabbed strangers

Man jailed, caned for intimidation, causing hurt and drug-related offences

STABBED: Ong Eng Huat stabbed Mr He Jinzhu (photo) in the back with a pair of scissors last year.
STABBED: Ong Eng Huat (above) stabbed Mr He Jinzhu in the back with a pair of scissors last year.
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