Ferguson police chief apologises to parents of Mike Brown

Screengrab of the video the apology by the Ferguson police chief that was uploaded on Vimeo.

Six weeks after their son was shot six times by the police, the parents of Michael Brown finally received an apology from the Ferguson police chief. 

“For any mistakes I have made, I take full responsibility,” Ferguson Police Chief Thomas Jackson said in an online video statement which was uploaded onto Vimeo on Thursday (Sept 25). 

“I am truly sorry for the loss of your son,” he added, addressing Brown’s parents.

The college-bound teen was shot at least six times by white police officer Darren Wilson on Aug 9 and his body was left in the street for several hours before it was removed. 

“I’m also sorry that it took so long to remove Michael from the street,” Thomas added. 

“It was just too long and I’m truly sorry for that. Please know that the investigating officers meant no disrespect,” he said, adding “they were simply trying to do their jobs.”

The tragic incident sparked nightly protests in the small town, igniting a national debate about race relations.

Violence rocked Ferguson – a St. Louis suburb of 21,000 with an African-American majority and an overwhelmingly white police department and town council – prompting Missouri Governor Jay Nixon to briefly call in the National Guard to quell protests.

Some demonstrators complained that police used undue force against peaceful protests, which Thomas apologised for.

“If anyone who was peacefully exercising that right is upset and angry, I feel responsible and I am sorry,” he said.

“I’m also aware of the pain and the feeling of mistrust felt in some of the African-American community towards the police department,” he added.

“It is clear we have much work to do.”

Related stories​:  Thousands bid farewell to slain US teenager

                               Police identified officer in shooting of unarmed US teen

                              Teacher raises $188,000 for low-income students affected by Ferguson unrest​

                               Protesters defy curfew in riot-shaken US town           




Source: AFP

Tags: ferguson and riots

Iker Casillas and Keylor Navas: Best friends forever?

Navas making a save during Real Madrid's game against Elche.

Well, maybe not best friends but the pair's latest statements do pour cold water on any suggestions that the two Real Madrid goalkeepers are on bad terms with each other. 

Costa Rican Keylor Navas made his debut for Real Madrid in their comfortable 5-1 win against Elche.

What set tongues wagging was the fact that the 27-year was named in the starting 11 ahead of 33-year-old Spain and Madrid captain Iker Casillas.

Despite being dropped, Casillas had to listen to whistles from the crowd at the Santiago Bernabeu which was something which Navas was unhappy with. 

“The whistles are unfair, because he has had a great career with Madrid. The people who whistle at Casillas are unfaithful to the club. I ask the fans to cheer him,” said Navas after the match. 

Spanish news outlet, Marca,  reported that Casillas reciprocated by congratulating Navas on his debut.

"I want to hand it to my teammate Keylor on making his debut at the Bernabéu. Congratulations!" wrote Casillas on his website. 

Who will play in goal for Real Madrid in the weekend game against Villareal?

​Your guess is good as ours.

Coach Carlo Ancelloti said that he would not be revealing anything.

Source: Xinhua, Marca

​Related report: Cristiano Ronaldo scores four goals as Real routs Elche

ISIS terror group publicly kills female lawyer for her critical Facebook posts

Islamic State terrorists publicly executed a human rights lawyer after finding her guilty of apostasy, the United Nations said on Thursday.

Islamic State group militants seized a female human rights lawyer in the Iraqi city of Mosul on Sept 17.

They publicly executed her last week, allegedly for her critical Facebook posts about their destruction of landmarks in Mosul, the UN mission in Iraq said yesterday.

The group's self-styled Islamic court ruled that she had abandoned Islam.

She was tortured for five days, then sentenced to “public execution.”

Her Facebook page appears to have been removed since her death, media reports said.

Isis took hold of Mosul in June, implementing a harsh version of Islamic law.

In August, the group destroyed a number of historic landmarks in the town, including several mosques and shrines, claiming the landmarks promote apostasy.

Among Muslim hard-liners, apostasy is considered to be not just conversion from Islam to another faith, but also committing actions that are so against the faith that one is considered to have abandoned Islam.

The Gulf Center for Human Rights said al-Nuaimi had worked on detainee rights and poverty.

The Bahrain-based rights organisation said her death “is solely motivated by her peaceful and legitimate human rights work, in particular defending the civil and human rights of her fellow citizens in Mosul".

Not the first

The Washington Post quoted a social worker who said: “Samira was not the first (female victim).”

Suha Oda, a 29-year-old social activist from Mosul, said four women have suffered a similar fate over the past month, including three doctors who were executed last week.

Iraqi media reports said the women had been killed because they refused to treat a wounded Islamic State fighter.

Sources: New York Daily News, Washington Post

Related report: Isis-linked group beheads Frenchman abducted in Algeria: video

Related report: Watch: Muslims denounce ISIS with #NotInMyName campaign


Billionaire gives away most of his $9.5b fortune, wants to be broke when he dies

Chuck Feeney, 83, a billionaire has sought to give away most of his fortune before he dies.
Chuck Feeney, 83, a billionaire has sought to give away most of his fortune before he dies.

American billionaire Chuck Feeney, 83, may be a stranger to most.

But he is the man behind the well-known and successful Duty Free Shoppers (DFS) stores that are often seen in airports all over the world.

Throughout his lifetime, he has amassed a hefty fortune of over US$7.5billion (S$9.53billion).

He worked hard to expand DFS, traveling all over the world to conquer different markets.

He wants to die broke

Yet, Feeney has been giving his money all away since 1982.

His ambition? To give away everything before he dies.

Just last week, his foundation made one of its final donations by pledging nearly US$41.8 million (S$51.8 million) to Northern Ireland.

Feeney, a simple man who wears a $18 Casio watch and does not own a car, said once: “I want the last cheque I write to bounce.

In 1984, he transferred his 37.5 per cent share of DFS to Atlantic Philanthropies, which was a charitable organisation he founded.

The most secretively generous billionaire

This effectively meant that his earnings go straight to this organisation - and this was done in secret. He wanted to maintain his anonymity.

Since then he has funnelled billions into education, science, health care, aging and civil rights in several countries most notably Ireland, which has seen a large proportion of his generosity.

He has also helped various organisations and universities in the US, Australia, Vietnam, Bermuda and South Africa.

In 1997, the cover was blown when DFS was sold to LVMH, a french Multinational luxury goods conglomerate.

The world then found out that his money did not in fact belong to Feeney - but to Atlantic Philanthropies.

The Independent reported that he has almost US$2 million (S$2.48 million), which is a tiny fraction of his earnings, left until he dies.

He explained his mindset in 2007: "I had one idea that never changed in my mind - that you should use your wealth to help people."

Feeney also said in an interview with Forbes: "I don't dislike money, but there's only so much you can use."

Source: The Independent, Forbes, Atlantic Philanthropies

Apple sorry for software glitch, defends new iPhones against #bendgate

Apple has been forced to issue an apology following its disastrous software update which rendered many phones unusable.

Check it out folks, Apple made a rare apology after its software update to its iOS operating system stopped many iPhone users from using their devices. 

Apple withdrew the update, iOS 8.0.1, after some users of its new phones complained of call service disruptions. 

“We apologise for the great inconvenience experienced by users,”  said Apple spokeswoman, Trudy Muller.

This comes after a slew of reports about their customers complaining about bending iPhones, and hours after withdrawing the glitch-ridden software update as the company struggles to restore momentum to the rollout of its latest phones.

The update, which was released and then pulled within hours on Wednesday, had been developed to add in fitness monitoring programs which were omitted from the iOS 8 platform released last week.

Apple has since released a new update, iOS 8.0.2.


The new phones also faced much criticism over their bendability, dubbed “bendgate”.

“With normal use, a bend in iPhone is extremely rare and through our first six days of sale, a total of nine customers have contacted Apple with a bent iPhone 6 Plus,” said Muller. 

But the effect of the reports cannot be scoffed at, not when Apple's shares closed nearly 4 per cent down, wiping out nearly US$23 billion (S$29 billion) in market value.

Apple's closing price on Wall Street yesterday. Source: Yahoo

The only way an iPhone may have bent is if someone put it in their back pocket and sat on the phone for a very long time, said Laban Roomes, chief executive of Goldgenie, which customizes and gold plates iPhones.

Related report: Gasp! Is the iPhone 6 plus bending in people's pockets?

Source: Reuters, AFP

Tags: Apple and iPhone

Kim Kardashian gets attacked by celebrity prankster at Fashion Show

Remember that annoying character that sneaked up America Ferrera's gown at the Cannes Film Festival this year?

And that same guy who ambushed Brad Pitt at Angelina Jolie's Maleficent premiere in May, tried to kiss Will Smith at the Men in Black 3 premiere and hugged Bradley Cooper at the SAG Awards?

Well Vitalii Sediuk has done it again and this time it's creepy. It seems his stunts just keep getting progressively more dramatic and scary.

Kim Kardashian was his latest victim at the Balmain Fashion Show for Paris Fashion Week. 

The reality star was getting out of her car when the Ukrainian prankster grabbed her legs, attempting to bring her down.



Vitalii kissing Will Smith at the Men in Black 3 premiere. Photos: YouTube

Kim's bodyguards immediately tried to get her free while her mother, Kris Jenner yells at Vitalii to stop.

Husband Kanye West was unfortunately on the other side of the car and couldn't do anything as there were just too many fans around him.

Vitalii, who had told The Hollywood Reporter in July after getting arrested that he was done with the pranks, explained why he did the earlier stunts.

“The motivation behind all my pranks was always positive even when some of them went wrong and were not understood by the public,” he said.

"Basically, I'm changing my life. I would like to say sorry for celebrities that had to deal with my stunts and thank them for being tolerant to me all this time."

Well, clearly that didn't last long.

Sources: Ryan Secrest, The Hollywood Reporter

Related report: Pitt: The nutter put his head on my crotch

S Africa trip changed my life: New UNAIDS goodwill ambassador Victoria Beckham

Victoria Beckham speaks during a news conference at the U.N. headquarters in New York.
Victoria Beckham speaks during a news conference at the U.N. headquarters in New York.

The United Nations program on HIV/AIDS (UNAIDS) on Thursday named fashion designer and former Spice Girl Victoria Beckham a goodwill ambassador.

Beckham, who said she was inspired to help after a "life-changing" visit to HIV clinics in South Africa, will focus on working toward ensuring that all children are born free from HIV and that children and women who are living with and affected by HIV have access to medicines and care, UNAIDS said.

“South Africa was a huge turning point for me. And I don’t know, why has it taken for me to get to 40 years old to realize, I need to stand up? I need to use what I have to make a difference,” she said.

The former Spice Girl, who has four children with husband David Beckham, turned 40 in April.

Victoria Beckham with young pregnant women and new mothers from mothers2mothers (M2M). Photo: The Outnet

"It's taken me getting to 40 years old to realize I have a responsibility as a woman, as a mother, I have a voice that people will listen to."  

-- Victoria Beckham, talking at a news conference at the United Nations on the sidelines of the UN General Assembly, after being appointed as an UNAIDS international goodwill ambassador.

"I'm not going to sit here and pretend to know everything right now, I don't, I'm learning," said Beckham, adding that she planned to take field trips to learn more about the problem and how she could help.​

Sub-Saharan Africa is the region hardest hit by HIV, with 24.7 million HIV-positive people in 2013. Women account for 58 percent of those with HIV in the region, which is also home to 85 percent of pregnant women with HIV, according to UNAIDS.

Victoria Beckham poses with Michel Sidibe, executive director of UNAIDS. Photo: Reuters

Last month, Beckham auctioned off 600 pieces of clothing, including several evening dresses, to raise money and awareness for mothers living with HIV in sub-Saharan Africa.

According to The Guardian, she also skipped the opening of her flagship store in London to attend the talk while husband David took her place at the event.

UNAIDS said that in 2013, one third of pregnant women living with HIV did not have access to the life-saving medicines and some 240,000 children became infected with HIV. But in the past five years access to antiretroviral medicines for pregnant women with HIV helped 900,000 children to be born without HIV.

Sources: Reuters, The Guardian

Related report: Buy a Victoria Beckham dress, help mums with HIV

Guess how many places Singaporeans can visit without a visa!

Did you know there are 170 countries and territories​ Singaporeans can visit without a visa?

That makes the Singapore passport the fifth best-rated passport in the world.

The passport rankings were released in the latest Henley & Partners Visa Restrictions Index, an annual global ranking of countries based on the freedom of travel enjoyed by their citizens.

Singapore moved up one spot in this year's rankings.

"Aside from the pure total numbers, the Singapore passport also allows easier access to key destinations like the US, Canada, Australia, India and China", stated the company's press release.

Here are the countries in the top five ranks.

Rank Country Score*
1 Finland, Germany, Sweden, UK, US 174
2 Canada, Denmark 173
3 Belgium, France, Italy, Japan, South Korea, Luxembourg, Netherlands, Portugal, Spain 172
4 Austria, Ireland, Norway 171
5 New Zealand, Singapore, Switzerland 170

*Number of countries and territories which can be entered without a visa by a citizen of the respective country.

If you're wondering which country is at the bottom, it's Afghanistan. It is ranked 94 with just 28 countries and territories its citizens can be enter without a visa.

The ranking was based on visa regulations effective on May 20 this year. A total of 199 countries and territories were examined.

Dr. Juerg Steffen, head of Asia Pacific at Henley & Partners, said: "Visa policies are also an expression of the relationships between individual nations and generally reflect the relations and status of a country within the international community."

To see the full list of rankings, click here.

Who cares about #bendgate? KFC introduces a fried chicken iPhone case

KFC Japan introduced a fried chicken iPhone 5s case.
KFC Japan introduced a fried chicken iPhone 5s case.

If your dream is to have finger lickin' good fried chicken in the palm of your hands, KFC Japan just made your dreams come true.

They recently introduced a KFC fried chicken iPhone case - and trust me, that's one huge drumstick.

It's a little kooky, even for Japan, but it's a great marketing plan.

Imagine someone whipping out a giant drumstick on the train. Whatever your original destination is, your next stop would surely be KFC.

funny animated GIF

This is not the first time KFC Japan has introduced such quirky goodies.

They also introduced a KFC-themed (of course) keyboard, USB drive and a mouse.

I dare you to not crave for some KFC now.

Sources: CNet, Kotaku, KFC Japan


Tags: kfc and iPhone

Asamoah Gyan denies ritually killing his friend to further his career

Asamoah Gyan issued a statement through his lawyer denying that he had killed his friend. Here he is seen challenging for a ball during an AFC Champions League game earlier this month.

Ghana captain Asamoah Gyan has broken his silence to defend himself and family against “wild and ludicrous” media reports that he was involved in an alleged ritual killing of a rapper friend who had disappeared.

The striker used his Twitter account to post a link to a statement issued through a lawyer to set the record straight after the disappearance in July of the rapper Castro, whose real name is Theophilus Tagoe,​ and girlfriend Janet Bandu.

The pair were on holiday with Gyan in the Ghanaian coastal town of Ada when they disappeared while using a jet ski, which was recovered without any trace of their bodies.

“Sadly, the expression of empathy during a person’s moment of grief and utter dismay does not sell in the media. What sells in the media, and what indeed sold and is still selling in the media in Ghana are wild allegations and rumours directed especially at Asamoah Gyan ranging from the absurd...and ending with the ludicrous – that he sacrificed him spiritually to enhance his career.”  

--  Kissi Agyebeng, lawyer to Asamoh Gyanin a statement to the media.

The statement said that Gyan, who plays for Al Ain in the United Arab Emirates after a stint at Premier League Sunderland, and family had previously kept their silence because they did not want to interfere with police investigations. 

The allegations does not seem to have affected his performance though, while his lawyer and his family were holding the press conference in Ghana on Wednesday (Sept 24), he scored one goal and assisted in two others in his debut game as the captain of Al Ain on Wednesday, reported Gulf news. 

Source: Reuters, Twitter, Gulf News