James Rodriguez's volley named as best World Cup goal

Colombian wonderboy, James Rodriguez.

He simply can do no wrong, can he?

As speculation mounts about his impending move to Real Madrid, James Rodriguez's volley against Uruguay was voted the best goal in a Fifa.com poll.

The 23-year-old collected a ball on the edge of the penalty area with his back to the Uruguay goal.

He chested the ball, turned and fired the volley into the goal via the underside of the crossbar.

 

The goal established the global reputation of the young playmaker, who cost Monaco 45 million euros (S$75 million) one year ago when he was signed from FC Porto of Portugal.

Marca newspaper said Real will pay 75 million euros straight away and up to five million more in add-ons.

If confirmed, the fee would make Rodriguez the fourth most expensive player in history behind Gareth Bale, Cristiano Ronaldo (both of Real) and Luis Suarez who joined Barcelona this month.

Robin van Persie’s diving header for Netherlands against Spain in Group B came second.

Source: AFP, YouTube

This abusive "Mama" cannot be charged

Mexican authorities Tuesday found nearly 600 people, most of them children, living in squalid conditions amid rats and insects in a residential facility, after complaints of abuse and kidnapping.
Mexican authorities found nearly 600 people, most of them children, living in squalid conditions amid rats and insects in a residential facility, after complaints of abuse and kidnapping.

Mexico will not prosecute the elderly director of a shelter, where more than 400 children were rescued after they suffered physical and sexual abuse.

Justice Minister Jesus Murillo Karam said that Rosa Verduzco, better known as "Mama Rosa," (below) has senile dementia and cannot be tried.

Police had raided the home, known as La Gran Familia, last week after reports that five kidnapped children were being held there.

What they found instead was even more shocking: More than 400 children and 200 adults living amid large piles of rotting food and trash in the shelter, the LA Times reported.

They slept in the company of rats and insects.

Other horror stories included children being forced to perform oral sex on adults.

"Mama Rosa" founded the shelter some 60 years ago. She was hospitalised due to hypertension and kept under police guard, pending charges after the raid.

By late Saturday, all charges were dropped and she was allowed to go free.

Local media reported that six of the eight workers who had been arrested with her were jailed.

The six are now in detention awaiting trial and two were freed.

Sources: AFP, LA Times

Tags: children and abuse

Baby attacked, killed by step-grandma's dog

Jonathon Quarles, Jr, was fatally mauled by his step-grandmother’s dog around midday Sunday.
Jonathon Quarles, Jr, was fatally mauled by his step-grandmother’s dog around midday Sunday.

A 7-month-old baby was mauled to death by a family dog over the weekend in Dayton, Ohio.

Local police released an emergency call from a neighbour who told the dispatcher a woman carrying a baby came to his door "and the baby’s not breathing”.

The child was not responsive by the time medical help arrived, said Chris Williams, superintendent of investigation for the Dayton police. 

An autopsy was under way on an Ohio infant who died this weekend after being attacked by a relative’s dog, a coroner’s office said Monday.

The baby, Jonathon Quarles Jr, was being cared for by his step-grandmother. 


Screengrabs: Wish-TV/YouTube

The dog resembles a pit bull, but was identified by its owner as an American Staffordshire terrier and has been removed from the home following the attack.

No charges have yet been filed, but police are investigating, Williams said. 

Preliminary autopsy findings could be available later Monday, a spokeswoman for the Montgomery County coroner’s office said.

Source: Reuters

Robert Downey Jr is Hollywood's highest paid actor

Robert Downey Jr. is Hollywood's highest paid actor for the second consecutive year.
Robert Downey Jr. is Hollywood's highest paid actor for the second consecutive year.

Robert Downey Jr, the star of Disney's Marvel superhero film franchises Iron Man and The Avengers is Hollywood's highest paid actor for the second consecutive year, with estimated earnings of US$75 million (S$93 million), according to Forbes.com.

The 49-year-old star made most of his money from June 2013 to June 2014 from Iron Man 3, which made US$1.2 billion (S$1.49 billion) at the box office and assured him the top spot again in the annual ranking.

"As Iron Man, he's the driving force behind four of Marvel's biggest hits, including The Avengers," Forbes.com said.

Former wrestler Dwayne 'The Rock' Johnson, 42, who starred in G.I. Joe: Retaliation and the Fast and Furious, films, jumped into second place this year from fifth in 2013 with earnings of US$52 million (S$64.5 million), followed by Hangover, star Bradley Cooper, 39, with US$46 million (S$57 million).

"His work in the lucrative Hangover franchise has given him the ability to take risks with smaller films like Silver Linings Playbook and American Hustle," Forbes said about Cooper.


Bradley Cooper (above) and Dwayne Johnson are both on the Forbes top ten highest earning list. Photos: Reuters, AFP

The Wolf of Wall Street star Leonardo DiCaprio, 39, had a lucrative year with two hit films and came in fourth at US$39 million (S$48.3 million) in earnings, while Australian Thor actor Chris Hemsworth, rounded out the top five with US$37 million (S$45.9 million).

DiCaprio was a driving force behind The Wolf of Wall Street which made US$395 million (S$490 million) worldwide and he also starred in The Great Gatsby which took in US$351 million (S$435 million) globally.

Mark Wahlberg, 43, who was in fourth place last year thanks to the comedy hit Ted just made the top 10 this year along with actor Will Smith, 45. Each actor earned an estimated US$32 million (S$39.7 million).

Forbes.com compiled the rankings and estimated earnings by talking to managers, producers and agents. - Reuters

Want a better quality of life? Work three days a week, says world's richest man

Mexican billionaire Carlos Slim, now the world's richest man, suggests a three-day working week for a better quality of life.
Mexican billionaire Carlos Slim, now the world's richest man, suggests a three-day working week for a better quality of life.

The world's richest man, Mexican billionaire tycoon Carlos Slim, says you should work just three days a week.

He presents this solution as a way to improve people's quality of life and create a more productive workforce. 

Speaking at a business conference in Paraguay, the telecommunications mogul suggested that a shorter working week, but with longer hours and a later retirement.

The benefits far outweigh the costs, said Slim, who took Bill Gates' spot as the richest man in the world last week.

He said: "With three work days a week, we would have more time to relax; for quality of life."

What do you think? Would you support a three-day working week? 

Sources: The Guardian, Mail Online

MH17

Angry Dutch father of MH17 victim pens a letter to Putin: 'Thanks for murdering my child.'

Dutch father, Hans De Borst, wrote an angry letter to those responsible for shooting down MH17 last Thursday.
Dutch father, Hans De Borst, wrote an angry letter to those responsible for shooting down MH17 last Thursday.

A grieving Dutch father has written an ironic open letter to those responsible for downing the Malaysia Airlines MH17 flight.

Last Thursday's crash killed 298 people including 193 Dutch.

Hans de Borst's 17-year-old daughter Elsemiek was on her way to a holiday in Malaysia with her little brother, her mother (De Borst's ex-wife) and her step-father when they perished in the doomed flight.

He said: 

 "Thank you very much Mr (Russian President Vladimir) Putin, separatist leaders or the Ukranian government, for murdering my dear and only child."

He continued:

"Suddenly she's gone. Shot out of the sky in a foreign war-torn country."

The crash has been widely blamed on a missile, allegedly supplied by Russia, filed by pro-Russian rebels.

De Borst also added that Putin had destroyed his young daughter's life.

"Elsemiek was going to finish school next year with her best friends Julia and Marine (who were not on the flight), and she was doing well. She wanted to study civil engineering at Delft University, and she was really excited. I hope that you're proud to have destroyed her young life and that you can look yourself in the mirror. "

He also said: "I hope that you're proud to have destroyed her young life and that you can look at yourself in the mirror."

De Borst ended the letter by saying: "Thanks again!"

Source: AFP

Aussie tycoon to give away $232m

Tycoon giving away $232m
Casino tycoon's $232m gift to arts, education

He is Australia’s third richest man, with a personal fortune worth billions.

And he's giving A$200 million (S$232.8 million), for good causes like the arts and indigenous education.

Casino tycoon James Packer, who runs worldwide gambling empire Crown, announced the setting up of the National Philanthropic Fund today (July 22) at Crown's Melbourne casino.

The Sydney Morning Herald reported that the pledge was made to 10 Sydney arts institutions such as the Sydney Theatre Company, Art Gallery of New South Wales and the Museum of Contemporary Art last November after Crown received approval from the NSW government for a billion-dollar casino and hotel to be built at Barangaroo.

Half of the money, to be donated in A$20 million installments for the next 10 years, will come from Crown Resorts, he said. The rest of the will come from the Packer family.

Sister is "driving force"

His sister and fund administrator Gretel said: "This exciting collaboration between Crown Resorts and our family creates a platform from which to contribute towards strengthening communities in Australia and developing our artistic future."

Philanthropy Australia chief executive Louise Walsh said she hoped it would encourage more of the country’s corporate boards and wealthiest people to do the same.

The son of late media baron Kerry Packer, James Packer is one of Australia’s wealthiest people, with a personal fortune estimated at A$7.2 billion.

He followed in another billionaire's footsteps.

Alex Waislitz

Media reports yesterday said Melbourne investor Alex Waislitz planned to give A$50 million to charity over the next 10 years.

Sources: AFP, The Sydney Morning Herald

Tags: casino, tycoon and charity

Don't try this at home: Man sends wife spreadsheet of all her excuses not to have sex

A man sent his wife a spreadsheet detailing the excuses she gave when he initiated sex.
A man sent his wife a spreadsheet detailing the excuses she gave when he initiated sex.

Frustrated about the number of times he was rejected after he tried initiating sex, he sent his wife a spreadsheet of all her excuses.

The 26-year-old man had been taking down these notes for about six weeks before he collated the information into an spreadsheet.

He then attached the document to a sarcastic email he sent her while his wife was on the way to the airport, where she was flying off for a ten-day business trip.

The 26-year-old woman, who posted the spreadsheet on Reddit, said:

"I open (the email), and it's a sarcastic diatribe basically saying he won't miss me for the 10 days I'm gone. Attached is a SPREADSHEET of all the times he has tried to initiate sex June 1, with a column for my 'excuses,' using verbatim quotes of why I didn't feel like having sex at that very moment."

Clearly, the couple have much to talk about.

But do you think he should have sent her this passive aggressive spreadsheet? 

 

Sources: Reddit, Huffington Post

Tags: sex

Johns Hopkins Hospital settles lawsuit with women filmed by doctor

Dr. Nikita Levy filmed women during their gynecological exams at the Johns Hopkins Hospital.
Dr. Nikita Levy filmed women during their gynecological exams at the Johns Hopkins Hospital.

Johns Hopkins Hospital has agreed to pay US$190 million (S$235.5 million) to at least 8,500 women who were secretly filmed by a doctor during gynecological exams. Some of the patients were children.

The proposed settlement, announced Monday, came in a class action lawsuit filed last year in Baltimore city court over the conduct of Dr. Nikita Levy, who worked at the hospital for 25 years. He was accused of secretly filming and taking photos of 12,000 women, often using a camera hidden in a pen.

Levy committed suicide last year as authorities weighed whether or not to bring criminal charges against him.

Prosecutors said Levy had more than 1,200 video clips and images showing patients in various states of undress in a collection of recordings started about 2005, the Baltimore Sun reported in March. He used hidden surveillance cameras including one hidden in a pen he carried. Investigators found no evidence Levy shared the images online, the newspaper reported. No criminal charges were filed.

Some of Levy’s patients were children, 62 of whom are still minors, Howard Janet, an attorney for the victims, said Monday in an emailed statement.

Compensation and closure

“When breaches of trust like these occur, no amount of compensation can erase the memories or ease the grief of victims,” Janet said. “Reaching a settlement at this stage allows the healing process to begin that much sooner.”

Johns Hopkins officials first learned of allegations against Levy in February 2013 after an employee reported seeing the doctor wear recording devices while examining patients, the hospital said last year. Levy killed himself at his home in Towson, Maryland, later that month after being fired from the hospital where he worked since 1988.

An amended class-action complaint filed in October alleged Johns Hopkins should have known Levy was engaged in illegal conduct. The hospital system negligently failed to investigate, credential, monitor and supervise Levy, according to the complaint.

Jonathan Schochor, who represents the patients, said in a statement that the women were distraught over being filmed.

"Now, with this proposed settlement, we can begin the process of healing our community," he said.

Source: Reuters, Washington Post

No loo break today? Here's $1.24 reward

Stop bathroom harassment
Six-minute toilet break a day: Upset workers protesting against what they saw as bathroom harassment.

It's toilet harassment, outraged workers said.

A Chicago company pays staff US$1 (S$1.24) a day - for not going to the loo. Otherwise, they're allowed only 6 minutes a day to use the bathroom.

Workers staged a demonstration in front of the company  headquarters earlier this month.

The union also filed a complaint against the employer WaterSaver Faucet Co. and its sister company Guardian Equipment Inc.

Members of the Teamsters Local 743 who build sink stations told The Chicago Tribune that workers have been disciplined for exceeding their allotted bathroom time of 30 minutes per week, or 6 minutes per workday.

"They offered $1 per day for anyone who doesn’t go to the bathroom at all," said Mr Nick Kreitman, senior business agent for Teamsters Local 743.

Tracking your bathroom break

So far, 19 people have been disciplined, with written or oral warnings, he said.

The union contract currently allows for a 7.5-hour workday, including a 10-minute break in the morning, a 30-minute lunch break, a 15-minute afternoon break and a 5-minute cleanup period before the shift ends, according to Steven Kersten, owner and president of WaterSaver Faucet.

The company installed a bathroom tracking system, in which employees swipe their ID cards to get into the bathroom, earlier this year.

Company representatives say the discipline began only after workers ignored previous pleas to use bathroom times wisely.

Owner Kersten said there is no bathroom “allotment” beyond scheduled breaks and workers were only disciplined when the tracking system showed they were taking excessive bathroom breaks.

Going to the loo = lost productivity?

He cited one worker who was tracked using the bathroom six times in one shift, including two minutes before his scheduled morning break. 

“Our point of view is that anyone can go to the washroom when they need to but what bothers us is extended periods of time and multiple trips that cause lost productivity,” Mr Kersten said.

Under the company's reward system, workers can earn a gift card of up to $20 each month ($1 a day) if they don't use the bathroom at all during work time, CNN.com reported.

The union, which represents 140 employees of the companies, is currently negotiating a new contract.

"It creates a lot of job stress," said Mr Kreitman. "The owner buys your time and [the owner] doesn’t buy your time with bathroom breaks."

Sources: CNN.com, The Chicago tribune

Tags: Chicago, toilet and break

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