GALLERY: Adorable animals celebrate Christmas all over the world

Animals are getting in on the holiday spirit in zoos all over the world and it's everything you expect it to be - adorable and heartwarming.

In South Korea, little cubs are spreading the Christmas cheer at a zoo where visitors can come and watch the baby lion and tiger as they play in Santa hats and reindeer antlers.

Zoo keeper Kim Gim Mok said: "This is the first Christmas for them, so we prepared a special event. As they're getting teeth, now it's the time their teeth are itching so we gave them presents such as wooden toys. We hope they have a happy Christmas."

In other zoos in France, China, Tokyo, Manila, Germany, Sydney and Scotland, animals were given Christmas trees and presents, all mostly filled with food.

A chimpanzee opens a Christmas package filled with food at the zoo in La Fleche, western France, on December 23, 2014.

A white tiger catches in his mouth a wrapped Christmas package filled with food at the zoo in La Fleche.

A white lion tries to open a wrapped package filled with food as a Christmas gift.

A zookeeper in a Santa Claus costume feeds ring-tailed lemurs at Tokyo's Ueno zoological garden.

An employee dressed as Santa Claus feeds monkeys ahead of Christmas at a zoo in Kunming, Yunnan province.

Zoo owner Manny Tangco feed reindeers during the Animal Christmas party at Malabon Zoo in Manila.

Manny Tangco holds snakes around his neck behind an Orangutan during the Animal Christmas party at Malabon Zoo in Manila.

Tian Tian, a giant panda prepares to eat a special Christmas panda cake crafted in the shape of a Christmas tree in the outdoor enclosure at Edinburgh Zoo ,Scotland.

Kamchatka Brown Bear Mascha stands beside a Christmas tree, decorated with fruits and fish, at Hagenbecks zoo in Hamburg.

People walk past a model of a dinosaur, with Santa Claus hat and gloves seen on it, at the "Dinosaurs Park" located in the Taiga area at the Royev Ruchey zoo in the suburbs of Russia's Siberian city of Krasnoyarsk.

A 13-month-old chimp named Fumo leaps onto a 'Christmas present' box, which contained food treats, during a Christmas-themed feeding session at Sydney's Taronga Park Zoo. Photos: Reuters, AFP

Sources: Reuters, AFP

WATCH: Monkey heroically attempts to resuscitate its electrocuted buddy

It was an endearing act of friendship.

A monkey was saved by its friend after being electrocuted by a high voltage cable on a train track in Kanpur, India. 

The heartwarming act, which was captured on video, showed a monkey doing everything it possibly could to wake its unconscious friend up. 

From biting to even dipping his buddy into a pool of water, the heroic monkey's attempts at resuscitation did not end in vain as its friend is seen moving again after some time. 


Source: Metro

Sony to release The Interview after all, but only in a few US theatres

General Manager Brandon Delaney putting letters on the marquee sign announcing that the Plaza Theatre would be showing the movie The Interview beginning Christmas Day in Atlanta, Georgia.

It's showing in theatres. It's not. No wait, it is. 

Sony Pictures, please make up your mind. Are you releasing The Interview or not?

The latest from the company is that the madcap comedy will be screened in a few theatres in the US on Christmas Day.

Sony chief executive Michael Lynton said: "We have never given up on releasing ‘The Interview’ and we’re excited our movie will be in a number of theaters on Christmas Day."

He added that the movie would be released on more “platforms” in the future.

The release will likely be limited to smaller movie chains and just 200 to 300 cinemas – a fraction of the estimated 2,500 theatres originally expected to screen the movie.

Freedom of speech

Sony's dramatic U-turn comes six days after it cancelled the film's opening, in a move decried as a defeat for freedom of speech.

The release was initially cancelled after a series of major US theatre chains said they would not show the film.

There have also been chilling threats by hacker group “Guardians of Peace” which suggested theatres screening the movie would be targeted with attacks.

The Interview is a screwball romp about a fictional plot by two US journalists embarking on a mission to assassinate North Korean leader Kim Jong-Un.

North Korea has been accused by the United States government of launching a crippling cyber attack on Sony which saw the release of a trove of embarrassing e-mails, scripts and other internal communications, including information about salaries and employee health records.

Pyongyang has repeatedly denied involvement in the hack but has applauded the actions of a shadowy online group which claimed responsibility for the cyber attack, the self-styled “Guardians of Peace".


US President Barack Obama applauded Sony’s decision to release the film.

"As the President made clear, we are a country that believes in free speech, and the right of artistic expression," White House spokesman Eric Schultz told reporters.

“The decision made by Sony and participating theatres allows people to make their own choices about the film, and we welcome that outcome.”

Comedian Seth Rogen, the movie’s co-director, lead actor and screenwriter, hailed Sony’s startling volte-face.




Co-star James Franco sounded an equally jubilant note, thanking Obama for his support for the film.



Source: AFP

Related reports:

Sony Pictures cancels release of The Interview, suggests it won't even be on DVD

The Interview not opening in Singapore​

Australian charged over terrorist plot targeting government

 Police patrolling the street in Sydney's central business district on Wednesday.
Police patrolling the street in Sydney's central business district on Wednesday.

An Australian man was charged on Wednesday with possessing documents connected to a planned terrorist attack on government targets in Sydney.

But the police insisted that people should not be afraid.

Sulayman Khalid, 20, who also goes by the name Abu Bakr, was arrested following raids last week which uncovered a large number of documents, a rifle, and two shotguns.

He was charged with being in “possession of documents designed to facilitate a terrorist attack”, while a 21-year-old, who cannot be named for legal reasons, was accused of breaching a control order that prohibited him making phone calls.

Their arrests come on the back of a series of pre-dawn raids across Sydney and Brisbane in September as concern mounts about the flow of people to Iraq and Syria to join the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria group and other jihadists. 

“Certainly the documents talked a little bit about potential government targets,” said Australian Federal Police Deputy Commissioner for National Security Michael Phelan.

Targets in Sydney

He said the targets were in Sydney, but did not go into detail.

“I am confident that we’ve disrupted the activity that they were planning. And that is all I’m prepared to say at this particular point.”

Khalid and the second man were both remanded in custody and will face court again in February.

Source: AFP


Van Gaal fuels Bale speculation

Louis van Gaal did not quash rumours that Manchester United were set to launch a £120 million bid for Gareth Bale.
Louis van Gaal did not quash rumours that Manchester United were set to launch a £120 million bid for Gareth Bale.

Here's a possible early Christmas present for Manchester United supporters hoping for another superstar arriving at Old Trafford.

Louis van Gaal has fuelled speculation that the Red Devils are interested in Real Madrid star Gareth Bale.

The Dutchman was quizzed about news in Spain which suggested that United are preparing to launch a record-breaking £120 million ($247m) bid to bring the Welsh wizard back to the English Premier League.

While van Gaal refused to discuss any potential offer for the former Tottenham and Southampton man, the United boss did not quash the idea and deny it as most managers do.

The former Holland coach said: "I cannot discuss that with you.

"I discuss that with my CEO (Ed Woodward) and not with anyone of the media."

Long-term admirers

United have been long-term admirers of Bale.

Sir Alex Ferguson admitted to trying to secure a teenaged Bale's services from Southampton before his move to Tottenham Hotspur in 2007 while Real Madrid smashed the world transfer record to beat the Red Devils to the Welsh winger's signature last year at the start of David Moyes' doomed tenure as manager.

While Bale has been a hit in Spain, the possibility of him leaving the Santiago Bernabeu may not be a huge blow to the Madrid faithful.

According to a poll on Spanish news website, 54 per cent of more than 30,000 readers indicated that they would approve of Bale's departure to Man United if a £120m bid were to materialise.

Sources: Mail Online,

Indian girl, 16, dies while trying to stop alcoholic father from drinking

A 16-year-old girl in India died while trying to stop her alcoholic father from going for a round of booze with his friend, Tamil Nesan reported.

The teenager reportedly chased a truck her father was riding in to prevent him from going to a liquor shop.

As the truck sped off, the girl and her younger brother gave chase on a motorcycle.

The siblings managed to overtake the truck, but the driver was unable to brake in time and rammed into the motorcycle.

The boy was injured and the girl was killed on the spot.

Stop drinking

The incident happened on Sunday night in the northern Indian state of Uttar Pradesh​.

Witnesses grabbed the driver, identified only as Mr Jeetu, and handed him over to the police.

Neighbours in Pehua village in Bareilly said the girl had repeatedly tried to get her father  known only as Mr Netrapal – to stop drinking.

On the night of the accident, she had reportedly pleaded with her father not to leave the house, but he did not listen.

The girl’s mother refused to lodge a police report, saying she had lost a child and did not want her husband in jail.

The girl's uncle made a police report.

Source: The Star Online

Ho ho ho: 6 reasons why Teo Ser Luck, Xiaxue and SMRT Ltd (Feedback) are winners in our books

Here is our list of quirky awards, just in time for the end of the year.

Since it's the Christmas season, we are in the giving spirit.

More accurately, we are in the mood to give out some imaginary awards.

1. Best creative use of laugh- and cringe-inducing hashtags: 

Teo Ser Luck




While MP Baey Yam Keng is known as the selfie king, we proclaim Minister of State (Trade and Industry) Teo Ser Luck to be the hashtag king.

His hashtags are long, goofy and of no use whatsoever but they sure make us laugh.


2. Best motivation to clean up our Facebook accounts: 

SMRT Ltd (Feedback)

Hmm, is Jover Chew still receiving pizzas?


3. Best diet-killer:

ieatishootipost (for constantly posting amazing food photos)




Thank you for the constant reminders that cheaper, non-cafe food still exist.


4. Best online drama that made us want to grab some popcorn: 

Xiaxue vs Gushcloud

No one does a take-down expose here better than Xiaxue.

Pick your side #FaithinXiaxue vs #FaithinGushcloud, sit back and watch.


5. Best neighbourhood that is not located near a rat-infested hill:

Every estate other than Bukit Batok (for now)



6. Best surprise of the year:

Sports Hub (for making the country interested in watching grass grow)

With star players like Carlos Tevez and Neymar gracing our new stadium this year, you'd think the celebs are hot topics.

But no... surprisingly, conversation centered on the state of the grass at the pitch (until Brazil scored four goals against Japan).

Man travels from France to Britain to buy curry for Christmas Day dinner

File photo of chicken curry.

A British man missed his curry so much that he took a ferry from France to Britain to get it.

Mr Roy Buchan, 63, who moved from Hampshire to Normandy 10 years ago, spent about $200 on a meal.

Then, he asked the staff at The Akash restaurant in Southsea, Portsmouth, for a doggy bag, Mail Online reported.

When the staff asked him where he was taking the food to, he said: “Back home to France, about 480km away.”

Instead of trying to keep the meal warm, Mr Buchan packed it in a large cool bag for his overnight return trip to Caen. 

He said the food arrived back in France “without a hitch”, and is now sitting in the freezer waiting for Christmas Day. 

Source: Mail Online


Merry Christmas EPL! 20 presents for 20 managers: Part 1

It's beginning to look a lot like Christmas, so here's a bunch of ideas for anyone shopping for gifts to give the 20 managers of the English Premier League. It's the top half of the table in Part 1...

1. JOSE MOURINHO (CHELSEA) - A DVD of his best lines
For some reason, Jose Mourinho doesn't quite seem like Jose Mourinho this season. Usually good for a quote, the Special One hasn't been so special in his verbal volleys lately despite his team doing well. Time for a return to form, Jose.

2. MANUEL PELLEGRINI (MANCHESTER CITY) - Replacement hamstrings for Sergio Aguero / A new brain for Eliaquim Mangala
Look, Manchester City have one of the finest strikers in the world in Sergio Aguero and it doesn't help that the superb Argentinean's hamstrings keep breaking down. Pellegrini will surely wish he had ready-made replacements for Aguero that he could just snap on whenever the old ones wear out. The Chilean boss also probably wouldn't mind having replacement grey matter for £32 million ($66m) man Eliaqium Mangala, Britain's most expensive defender who looks more like he cost 32 pence.

3. LOUIS VAN GAAL (MANCHESTER UNITED) - A brand new hospital / A rejuvenation potion for Robin van Persie
A no-brainer given the Red Devils' ridiculously atrocious injury problems. Alternatively, LVG might want a salve that will make his footballing godson RVP a full 10 years younger.

Given West Ham's lofty position, Big Sam might want the anvil to help him stay grounded lest his head gets too big.

They might have beaten Everton to stop their slide, but Koeman might need a parachute just in case...

Please Santa. Just give the Gunners what they really, really need. Please.

7. MAURICIO POCHETTINO (TOTTENHAM) - Huge statues of the numbers '2' and '1'
Since 2-1 seems to be the scoreline Spurs love these days.

8. GARRY MONK (SWANSEA) - Boxing gloves
To go with his boxing analogy after Swansea failed to kill off Spurs and succumbed to a (you guessed it) 2-1 defeat.

The Magpies seem to have recovered well from their disastrous start, but Pardew must be wishing for a better owner than Mike Ashley. Any kind oil barons/despots/arms dealers around?

No, not THE sack. Just a sack for ol' Brendan to put over his head for their next defeat. Assuming he actually comprehends the notion of being embarrassed.

*Click here for Part 2

Tags: Football, epl and christmas

Kedah hotel sets up Christmas tree with recycled materials

The tree was decorated with recycled items including water bottles
The tree was decorated with recycled items including water bottles

Christmas is not always about giving presents and merry-making. 

It’s also a good time to care about Mother Nature.

A hotel in Alor Setar, in the Malaysian state of Kedah, has set up two Christmas trees using only recycled materials to usher in the festive season.

StarCity Hotel manager Eugene Dass, 44, told The Star he went to Kuala Lumpur to search for ideas to decorate the hotel.

He said: “Every year, we will hold a meeting on the themes and decorations during the festive period.

“I saw many big hotels using various types of recycled items to decorate their lobby, including water bottles. I submitted the idea and it was accepted. A team was then formed to carry out the project.”

Mineral water bottles

Mr Dass said the hotel staff were told to salvage mineral water bottles from guest rooms and the restaurant.

He said he used recycled items from their storeroom and began arranging the two trees on Dec 10.

He said it took them three hours to complete the two trees.

Mr Dass said it was the first time the hotel has carried out the eco-friendly project.

He has already firmed up plans for next year: A much bigger and taller tree.

Source: The Star