By the numbers

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Train faults hit services on 2 MRT lines

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This week in...2012

A look at Biritsh pop singer Rita Ora's rise up the music charts

DISCOVERED: Rita Ora was one of the first signees of US rapper Jay Z’s record label Roc Nation.

The Song

How We Do (Party)

The Artist

Rita Ora

The Lyrics

'Cause when the sun sets baby / On the avenue / I get that drunk sex feeling / Yeah, when I'm with you / So put your arms around me, baby / We're tearing up the town / 'Cause that's just how we do

The Results

This was the lead single off the British pop singer's debut album Ora and it went straight to No. 1 in the UK, selling over 100,000 copies.

She also became the first artist in 2012 to score three No. 1 singles on the UK charts, following Hot Right Now and R.I.P.

That was then...

Ora was one of the first signees of US rapper Jay Z's record label Roc Nation in late 2008 and made a cameo appearance in his music video for Young Forever in 2009.

Jay Z was so eager to promote his new protege that they visited New York's Z100 radio station together in February 2012 to premiere How We Do (Party).

PHOTO: AFP

This is now...

Fast forward to this year and the duo's working relationship has become strained.

Last December, Ora filed a lawsuit against Roc Nation, seeking release from her contract and claiming that they "orphaned" her as Jay Z's attention turned to new endeavours.

But the label counter-sued, seeking US$2.3 million (S$3 million) over claims that Ora allegedly failed to deliver an agreed-upon number of albums for the company.

Things got worse for Ora, 25, after Jay Z's wife, US singer Beyonce's latest album Lemonadesupposedly referenced Ora as the "other woman" - with the lyrics "Becky with the good hair" in the track Sorry - who allegedly had an affair with Jay Z.

Ora was forced to clear her name, tweeting: "I never usually address tabloid gossip but let me be clear, these rumours are false. I have nothing but the utmost respect for Beyonce."

Ora is filming Fifty Shades Darker, the sequel to the 2015 erotic drama Fifty Shades Of Grey.

In the first movie, she appeared for about a minute as the sister of male protagonist Christian Grey (Jamie Dornan), but it is said she will have more lines in the follow-up.

 

Foxes' success will never be bettered, says Neil Humphreys

Leicester's title triumph will never, ever be topped in the history of sport

DREAMY: Leicester fans will savour this moment for the rest of their lives.

Playboy owner Hugh Hefner is still a virgin. Simon Cowell will be the next British Prime Minister and Elvis works at the local supermarket.

Anything is possible. Insanity reigns. Logic belongs to yesterday because today belongs to Leicester City.

The world wakes to a dream. It's a glorious, delirious, dreamy reality that falls somewhere between fantasy and farce.

British bookmakers had greater faith in Hefner, Cowell and Elvis than they did the Foxes. The odds were shorter.

According to the bookies, there really was more chance of Elvis lifting cardboard boxes at a supermarket than Wes Morgan lifting the English Premier League trophy.

Just 12 punters backed Leicester to win the league before the season started at those infamous odds of 5,000 to 1 as we all waited for the inevitable fall.

Claudio Ranieri, the pizza-loving, bell-ringing favourite uncle, playing the fool for the cameras but crazy like a fox for his footballers, spoke often of Leicester's 40-point target.

But something funny happened on the way to Premier League survival. As the Foxes fought a relegation battle, they accidentally won the title.

And, in doing so, they slipped away with the finest upset, perhaps even the greatest achievement, in the history of sport.

Oh, there will be naysayers and sceptics who will pull out a Boris Becker or a Buster Douglas, the high-flying Greece at Euro 2004 or the Japanese South African slayers at the Rugby World Cup to suggest otherwise. But context is king.

Buster Douglas' odds of defeating Mike Tyson back in 1990 were still only 42-to-1 and for good reason.

Individual sports simplify matters; man against man always offers hope for the underdog. Just a single slip can take of business.

But team sports pose too many imponderables, too many moving parts on uneven playing fields, like multi-ball mayhem on a pinball machine, exciting to watch, often impossible to control.

The Greeks pulled off the impossible at Euro 2004, emulating the Great Danes of 1992 by downing the Goliaths that stood between them and immortality.

But they prevailed at knockout tournaments, sustaining their remarkable form long enough to outlast opponents for a month; a flurry of sharp shocks that endure forever.

CONSISTENCY

Leicester's fairy-tale has been written in consistent, captivating chapters for the best part of a year. The narrative never wavered, nor suffered a dip in quality.

Like an engrossing novel, the Foxes carefully captured the world's imagination and refused to let go, with each unlikely cliffhanger proving more ludicrous and more sensational than the last.

They stretched the boundaries of credibility sometime after Christmas, but refused to revert to the underdog's cliche, wallowing in pitiful tears and winning a nation's hearts by losing the race. 

They would not break.

In the end, they became familiar to millions. Their flaws only made them more attractive, more identifiable.

When aspiring footballers watch Lionel Messi, they see who they want to be. But when they watched Leicester, they saw who they could be.

From non-league journeyman to Hollywood subject, Jamie Vardy wrote the ending for his upcoming movie with a title-winning party at his home yesterday morning (Singapore time).

Perhaps it was a trick of the eye, but the shaky phone camera footage showed not detached, deluded multi-millionaires floating away on Planet Football, but regular, appreciative guys celebrating their sporting miracle.

UNBELIEVABLE

In the brief clip, Vardy, Riyad Mahrez, Robert Huth, Wes Morgan and Shinji Okazaki, all huddled together, arm in arm, lost in the moment. They looked just like you and me.

They couldn't believe it either.

A team that had spent 140 days marooned at the bottom of the table last season, that nearly went out of business in 2002 and have spent less money in their entire 132-year existence than Manchester United in the last two years, had won a league they were simply not allowed to win.

The EPL was founded in 1992 to make rich clubs even richer and proved to be phenomenally successful, producing only five champions before yesterday morning.

Four were grotesquely wealthy piggy banks and the other was Blackburn Rovers, who were briefly wealthy in a poorer league 21 years ago.

Until yesterday morning, the EPL was a closed shop; a private members club with no riff raff allowed, except through the service entrance to hand over three points to a self-satisfied elite gorging at the global cash buffet.

But Leicester's glorious commoners have spectacularly gate-crashed the party and kicked out the aristocracy.

The insurrection may be temporary, but it really doesn't matter. 

The Foxes' unique achievement will never be surpassed.

Thunder stun Spurs to level series

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HELP MENTOR, INSPIRE STUDENTS

The People's Action Party (PAP) candidate for the Bukit Batok by-election is on the lookout for volunteers to run a youth mentoring programme that he wants to start if he is elected.

Lawyer Murali Pillai, 48, told reporters yesterday that he hopes to have a pool of volunteers to mentor and inspire students.

"The programme is to make sure our children remain on the path to maximise their opportunities and potential.

"Sometimes, they get negative influences and unfortunately, they don't carry on in the way that they should. Alternatively, they are not given the support to do well," he said.

For the programme to succeed, it requires the help of volunteers and voluntary welfare organisations, he added.

They can even help guide parents if the children are still young, to "strengthen their parenting skills", said Mr Murali.

While the mentorship programme will focus on reaching out to children from low-income backgrounds first, he said he hopes to open it to as many residents as possible.

- The Straits Times.

SDP: OUR PLANS ARE BETTER

The Singapore Democratic Party (SDP) highlighted how some of its plans for Bukit Batok were "better" than the programmes proposed by the People's Action Party's candidate Mr Murali Pillai.

HELP ONE ANOTHER

Households in Bukit Batok are encouraged to adopt a low-income or needy household.

SDP chief Chee Soon Juan said: "I'm a strong believer in the adage 'it is better to give than to receive' and I am sure there are many of you who feel the same way. When we give, we reinforce that idea that we are one in this world."

SDP's Prof Paul Tambyah said: "Mr Murali's other proposals on care for students and the elderly are somewhat similar to our social programmes.

"The difference is that we do not want to depend on government handouts to fund them, we want to mobilise you, the residents of Bukit Batok, to activate out 'gotong royong' (Malay for community spirit) so we can help each other out, empower one another and make Bukit Batok a model town."

RETRENCHMENT AID

Dr Chee yesterday outlined how the plan would work: The scheme pays a retrenched worker 75 per cent of his last drawn salary for the first six months, 50 per cent for the second six months and 25 per cent for the final six months.

The payout stops once the individual is re-employed or 18 months after retrenchment.

The payout is capped at the prevailing median wage (about $4,000 a month).

Employees will pay a small amount each month which will be deducted from their CPF and the Government should foot the remainder of the bill.

The Ministry of Manpower will assist the retrenched individual to seek re-employment.

The individual can reject only up to three job offers.

Such a scheme is meant to provide temporary and limited assistance to retrenched workers to help them through the difficult time until they find another job.

Dr Chee argued that Mr Murali's job placement programme will not be effective because the People's Action Party is "not creating jobs for Singaporeans".

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