Netball is her escape from stress

"Whenever I go for training, all the stress suddenly just goes away. When I’m playing netball, I feel like nothing else matters except for me and the game. It’s like an escape for me." - Dahlia Asni
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THE NEAR-PERFECT 11

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It's tough to attain perfection in team sports

OUTSTANDING: Neil Humphreys points out that Germany's 7-1 win over Brazil should retain its significance, even if they go on to lose the World Cup final.

Sporting perfection is so rarely accomplished.  

Only the privileged few are invited to participate and the achievement is usually reserved for individuals.

Don Bradman, Muhammad Ali, Ayrton Senna, Martina Navratilova, Tiger Woods, Roger Federer and Usain Bolt were blessed with those moments where flawless fantasy became exceptional reality.

At the risk of sounding trite, a sporting pinnacle is easier to reach alone, when the skill and will of one sportsperson come together to defeat another.

The glory is no less worthy and its magnitude not diminished in any way, but it's essentially a one-man show.

Team sports are an entirely different animal.

There are too many imponderables, possibilities and permutations to consider; too many moving body parts, too much room for human error.

It takes only one renegade BEAST to temper the collective BEAUTY.

The apple doesn't need to be rotten, just a little sour to spoil the whole barrel.

Those striving for competitive purity must also take into account their opponents and external forces beyond their control; the officials, the climate, the crowd, the setting, the cynical foul and the offside flag.

Nature and nurture must combine simultaneously and conspire in favour of a team seeking to walk among the immortals.

That's why they can be counted on one hand in World Cup history.

Read the full report in our print edition on July 10. Subscribe to The New Paper, now available in print and digital, at http://bit.ly/tnpeshop.

Brazil's hurt, but they will rise again

Brazil will recover, as they did after debacles in 
1950 and 1982 


LOOKING INTO THE FUTURE: A Brazil fan covering his head with a mask of injured star Neymar after yesterday's debilitating defeat.

Football is part of the national psyche.

That is why Brazil is hurting after the 7-1 drubbing by Germany.

But it is also why the nation always recovers.

After the heart-wrenching loss to Uruguay in 1950, the country regrouped and won three of the next five editions of the World Cup, featuring some of the greatest players in the history of the game like Didi, Pele, Garrincha, Tostao and Jairzinho and later Zico, Socrates, Falcao, Romario, Rivaldo and Ronaldinho.

Brazil's winning teams always feature stars who become members of the world pantheon.

The team of 2014 have none, but Neymar, Oscar and Thiago Silva can get there.

And the huge talent pool will inevitably throw up some more.

Brazil will inevitably rise again.

Read the full report in our print edition on July 10. Subscribe to The New Paper, now available in print and digital, at http://bit.ly/tnpeshop.

Humour in humiliation

GRAVE HOPES: This is the only way Brazil could have beaten Germany yesterday morning.
CRUSHED: A video of a German beer mug crushing a Brazilian cocktail drink.
CRUSHED: An angry Brazilian, restrained by his friend, throwing his TV set on the road after the loss.
BUTT OF JOKES: Memes of Pele (above) and Neymar becoming overnight hits.
BUTT OF JOKES: Memes of Pele and Neymar (above) becoming overnight hits.
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Lam's late charge just short

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Ho is four shots up

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NZ woman sexually assaulted by Malaysian aide speaks out

Tania Billingsley, 21, who was sexually assaulted by a Malaysian diplomat has come out to speak in public for the first time.
Tania Billingsley, 21, who was sexually assaulted by a Malaysian diplomat has come out to speak in public for the first time.

The New Zealand woman who was sexually assaulted by a Malaysian diplomatic aide has spoken out in public for the first time.

Warrant Officer 2 Muhammad Rizalman Ismail had allegedly followed Tania Billingsley, 21, back to her home on May 9 and is said to have assaulted her with the intent to rape.

Billingsley had worked with her lawyer to lift the court-ordered name suppression so she could openly help address the problem of sexual violence in the country, she told New Zealand media.

She said: "I'm hoping that in revealing who I am and having a face to put to this alleged victim that I'll be able to help address some of the issues around sexual violence in this country."

Rizalman has since left Wellington for Malaysia, which deeply upset Billingsley.

'Frustrated'

On July 2, Malaysia decided to send the accused back to New Zealand although the no concrete details of his departure have been confirmed.

She said: "I found out that he was going to leave the day that he left.

"Obviously, I was frustrated and I was angry because I had, from the very beginning, said that I wanted him to stay in New Zealand and be held accountable here."

She did not know until two days after the attack that he was a diplomatic aide. 

New Zealand officials mishandled the case

Billingsley also expressed her deep discontent with New Zealand officials for mishandling the case - particularly Foreign Affairs minister Murray McCully

She has called for his resignation after claiming that he failed to take proper action after hearing about the case.

"He obviously doesn't take sexual assault as a serious thing to consider," said Billingsley.

Sources: 3 News, New Zealand Herald, The Star

Typhoon Neoguri makes waves around the web

Nearly 600,000 Japanese have evacuated as Typhoon Neoguri bears down on mainland Japan.
Nearly 600,000 Japanese have evacuated as Typhoon Neoguri bears down on mainland Japan.

Typhoon Neoguri was downgraded from a super typhoon to a storm by late Wednesday after losing strength, reported CBC News.

But it toppled trees, flooded cars and bent railings in Okinawa, which experienced strong winds and its heaviest rainfall in a half century.

According to The Japan Times, at least four people have died while the Okinawan raised the injury toll to 30. 

Some 593,000 Japanese have evacuated their homes as the nation prepares for it to make landfall on Thursday on Kyushu Island. 

Advisories have been issued for families to stay indoors. Photo: AFP

Major cities of Osaka, Kyoto and Tokyo could yet be affected.

Here are some moments of the storm we captured around the web: 

Raw footage showing the effects of the strong winds, such a car being flipped over.

Waves ravaged the Japanese shores as the typhoon is expected to make landfall on Thursday.

A beautiful shot of the typhoon from space.

People are also sharing their stories on this Facebook group

​ Sources: CBC News, The Japan Times, Twitter, YouTube

Justin Bieber gets probation, anger management class for egg pelting

Canadian pop singer Justin Bieber in police custody in Miami Beach, Florida. Photo: Reuters
Canadian pop singer Justin Bieber in police custody in Miami Beach, Florida. Photo: Reuters
Canadian pop singer Justin Bieber in police custody in Miami Beach, Florida. Photo: Reuters
Canadian pop singer Justin Bieber in police custody in Miami Beach, Florida. Photo: Reuters

Pop star Justin Bieber pleaded no contest to misdemeanor vandalism on Wednesday for pelting a neighbor's home with eggs and was sentenced to two years probation, the Los Angeles County District Attorney said.

The 20-year-old Bieber, who was not present in Los Angeles Superior Court for his arraignment, was also ordered to pay US$80,900 (S$100,400) in restitution, serve five days community service and complete an anger management program in what the district attorney called a negotiated settlement.

"Justin is glad to get this matter resolved and behind him," Bieber's representatives said in a statement. "He will continue to move forward focusing on his career and his music."

The singer, whose hit songs include Boyfriend, was accused of throwing eggs at a neighbor's home in an upscale Calabasas, California, neighborhood during a dispute in January.

Problems

Investigators searched Bieber's home following the incident and arrested a friend, aspiring rapper Lil Za, for drug possession at the house.

The incident was the first in a string of arrests and legal problems for the former teen idol, who was later arrested and charged with driving under the influence in Miami Beach as well as being charged with assaulting a limo driver in Toronto.

It is not known how the sentence could influence the Miami Beach and Toronto cases.

The singer could have faced a felony charge if damage to the home was greater than US$20,000 (S$24,800).

Bieber has since moved from the gated community.

- Reuters

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