Dear passengers, this is your Captain and his daughter speaking...

Peter Elliott and his daughter, Laura, flew together for the first time earlier this month.

He's been flying for 30 years, but Captain Peter Elliott finally got to fly with someone extra special. 

He made a special announcement on Feb 6 to passengers traveling from Birmingham to Tenerife that he was flying with his daughterSenior First Officer Laura Elliott.

Although she'd been flying for six years, she never got the chance to fly with her father, who inspired her to fly when she was 18.  

Photo: Thomas Cook Airlines/Twitter

"It's a dream come true to be able to fly with my Dad, even if he was still checking up on me," said the 30-year-old from Birmingham. 

She hopes she will be able to fly with her father again before he retires. 

They didn't know if they would ever be able to fly together as Miss Elliott had learnt to fly Airbus planes while her father flew Boeings. It was only when she changed companies and her father retrained to work on the Airbus fleet were they able to co-pilot their first flight by chance. 

"Becoming a pilot was never something I had considered, even though Dad had been a pilot since before I was born. It was only when my Dad bought me on a trial flight as a birthday present that I got the bug."

Miss Elliott said flying with her father was like going for a driving lesson with him and she was initially nervous. However, the flight went well and they both hope to get the chance again.  

Source: Daily Mail


Afghan central bank branch robbed - by their own employees!

The Afghan central bank was robbed last Thursday by members of its own staff.

Staff at a branch of Afghanistan’s central bank in southern Kandahar province may have got away with as much as US$1.4 million (S$1.9 million) when they robbed their own bank and ran off, an official said on Feb 21.

Security cameras showed the bank’s vault had been cleaned out, but investigators were waiting to gain access before confirming the total amount missing, he said.

“Yesterday, we could only open one of the treasury’s doors. We hope to open the next one today,” the central bank director for Afghanistan’s southwestern region, Mr Fazel Ahmad Azimi, said.

Weak regulation undermines confidence in Afghanistan’s fragile banking system, which has yet to fully recover from a 2010 scandal over a bank that collapsed, triggering a financial crisis.

An international financial watchdog last year threatened to place Afghanistan on a blacklist and has since warned it needs to do more to enforce laws to regulate its banking sector.

The Kandahar raid is believed to have been carried out by a senior official at the bank, an employee of nine years, with the help of his son and brother-in-law who were also on staff, according to Mr Fazel Ahmad.

The robbery at the branch in Spin Boldak near the border with Pakistan, was discovered on Feb 19 and investigators believed the culprits have escaped to Pakistan.

The group had removed CCTV recordings before fleeing, Mr Fazel Ahmad said, but investigators were hopeful that footage might be recovered from the memory chip of the security cameras.

Source: Reuters

S'pore Budget 2015: Find out what goodies you'll get this year

Deputy Prime Minister and Finance Minister Tharman Shanmugaratnam will be delivering the Budget 2015 speech at 3.30pm today (Feb 23).

6pm: DPM Tharman has ended his Budget speech

From personal income tax rebate of 50 per cent (capped at $1,000) to reduced maid concessionary levy, we take a look at several measures to help households cope with the cost of living.

For more on what goodies you and your family can look forward to, read the full report in our print edition on Feb 24. 

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Personal income tax rates of top earners to increase

Affects top 5 per cent of earners: Increase of 2 percentage points to 22 per cent for the highest income earners, with a chargeable income above $320,000.

To take effect from YA 2017.

RECAP: Keeping costs of living affordable through:

*Personal income tax rebate

*Reduced maid levy

*Cut educational costs

*Make childcare more affordable

*Help households through GST vouchers

*S&CC rebates, depending on flat types

Foreign Domestic Worker Concessionary Levy

*Cut to $60/ month.

*Extended to households with children ages 16 and below (previously was 12 and below)

Personal Income Tax Rebate

GST vouchers: Quantum to increase. Cash component to go up by $50 across the board.

5.15pm: Help for families by keeping childcare/ education costs affordable

*Affordable childcare, reduced fees at participating childcare centres.

*Account top-ups for young Singaporeans in: Child development/ EdusavePost-secondary Education accounts

*Full fee waiver for Singaporean students taking national exams (PSLE, GCE 'N', 'O' and 'A' levels) in government-funded schools.

Helping the elderly: Silver Support

Supplement incomes in "modest but meaningful way".

For bottom 20 - 30 per cent of Singaporeans.

Cash supplements (averaging $600, paid quarterly) for life for eligible Singaporeans aged 65 and above. 

No need to apply (automatic eligibility assessment).

MOM to implement this around 1st quarter 2016.

On retirement assurance:

People walking past the CPF Building logo at the foot of the building along Robinson Road. Photo: SPH/ ST

*Raise CPF salary ceiling from $5,000 to $6,000 from 2016: Expected to benefit 544,000 CPF members.

*Increase Supplementary Retirement Scheme (SRS) contribution cap.

*Raise CPF contribution rates - between 2 and 0.5 percentage points - for older workers aged above 50 years.


4.45pm: On retirement adequacy

Singaporeans to get greater assurance in retirement.

Four pillars of social security system: home ownership, CPF, healthcare and Workfare.

Extension of Wage Credit Scheme to 2016 and 2017:

Government will co-fund 20 per cent of wage increases given to Singaporean employees earning a gross monthly wage of $4,000 and below.

More on SkillsFuture study awards:

About 2,000 awards to be introduced - to support individuals acquiring specialised skills for future growth clusters.

About 100 fellowships (to help S’poreans achieve mastery in their respective fields) to be introduced from 2016.

For workers to upgrade:

Investments in people through SkillsFuture credit.

Each Singaporean 25 years old and above will receive an initial credit of $500 from 2016.

Further top-ups at regular intervals.

Office workers crossing a road at Robinson Road. Photo: SPH/ ST

Don't rush to use the credits.

These credits will not expire, but can only be used for education and training.

Also, mid-career Singaporeans aged 40 years old and above to get minimum 90 per cent training subsidies.

For seniors:

Govt will introduce Silver Support Scheme to help low-income seniors. Details to be announced later. 

Today, more than 95 per cent of young adults complete post-secondary education.


Over last 5 years, median household incomes grew by 18%

Over past 5 years, median S’porean worker income grew by 11% after inflation

Deputy Prime Minister and Finance Minister Tharman Shanmugaratnam will be delivering the Budget 2015 speech at 3.30pm today (Feb 23).

Find out what goodies are in store for you and your family.

The New Paper will be bringing you updates. Stay tuned to for more to come.

Kirk Cameron 'wins' big at the Razzie awards

Director Kirk Cameron 'won' Worst Actor and Worst Picture for Saving Christmas.

While the Oscars may be the award ceremony everyone has been looking forward to, there is one more annual awards that people might have forgotten about.

The 35th annual Razzies, or Golden Raspberry Awards 'winners' were announced the day before today's Oscars and there are some big names that 'won'.

The awards, which are meant to showcase the worst movies and performers of the year, saw Kirk Cameron as the big 'winner'. The director received four awards, including Worst Picture for his film Kirk Cameron's Saving Christmas which made US$2 million. 

Cameron Diaz, who starred in The Other Woman and Sex Tape, won one Razzie for Worst Actress. 

This year, the Razzies saw a new award given out, the Razzie Redeemer Award. Ben Affleck had the honour of winning it as a step up from his movie Gigli in 2003 to creating and acting in big movies like Argo and Gone Girl. 





Check out a complete list of winners for the 2015 Razzies below.

• Kirk Cameron's Saving Christmas - winner
• Left Behind
• The Legend of Hercules
• Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles
• Transformers: Age of Extinction

• Kirk Cameron, Kirk Cameron's Saving Christmas - winner
• Nicholas Cage, Left Behind
• Kellan Lutz, The Legend of Hercules
• Seth MacFarlane, A Million Ways to Die in the West 
• Adam Sandler, Blended

• Kelsey Grammer, Expendables 3, Legends of Oz, Think Like a Man Too, Transformers: Age of Extinction• Mel Gibson, Expendables 3 - winner
• Shaquille O'Neal, Blended
• Arnold Schwarzenegger, Expendables 3
• Kiefer Sutherland, Pompeii 

• Cameron Diaz, The Other Woman and Sex Tape - winner
• Drew Barrymore, Blended
• Melissa McCarthy, Tammy
• Charlize Theron, A Million Ways to Die in the West
• Gaia Weiss, The Legend of Hercules 

• Megan Fox, Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles - winner

• Cameron Diaz, Annie
• Nicola Peltz, Transformers: Age of Extinction
• Susan Sarandon, Tammy
• Brigitte Ridenour (née Cameron), Kirk Cameron's Saving Christmas 

• Michael Bay, Transformers: Age of Extinction - winner

• Darren Doane, Kirk Cameron's Saving Christmas
• Renny Harlin, The Legend of Hercules
• Jonathan Liebesman, Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles
• Seth MacFarlane, A Million Ways to Die in the West 

• Annie - winner

• Atlas Shrugged: Who Is John Galt?
• The Legend of Hercules
• Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles
• Transformers: Age of Extinction 

• Kirk Cameron & His Ego, Kirk Cameron's Saving Christmas - winner

• Any Two Robots, Actors (Robotic Actors), Transformers: Age of Extinction
• Cameron Diaz & Jason Segel, Sex Tape
• Kellan Lutz & Either His Abs, His Pecs or His Glutes
• Seth MacFarlane & Charlize Theron, A Million Ways to Die in the West 

• Kirk Cameron's Saving Christmas - winner

• Left Behind
• Sex Tape
• Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles
• Transformers: Age of Extinction

• Ben Affleck, from Gigli to Argo and Gone Girl - winner

• Jennifer Aniston, from four-time Razzie nominee to Cake
• Mike Myers, from The Love Guru to directing Supermensch
• Keanu Reeves, from six-time Razzie nominee to John Wick
• Kristen Stewart, from six-time Razzie winner for Twilight to Camp X-Ray 

Sources: E! Online, Razzie awards


Related report: POLL: Is Transformers: Age of Extinction the worst movie of 2014? Here are 7 more candidates

WATCH: Tourist survives fall off mountain in Sri Lanka

Luckier than winning Toto: Mr Mamitho Lendas (left), 35, fell off the 1,219 m World's End mountain in Sri Lanka after he stepped back too much while trying to take a picture of his new bride (right). He became the first person to survive the fall. How did he do it?

He was a newlywed who was too eager to capture a shot of his new bride atop Sri Lanka's main tourist attraction, the 4,000 feet (1,219 m) mountain called World's End.

The Daily Mail reported that the smitten Dutch man stepped back a little too much to get a better view of his wife through the camera lens.

Mr Mamitho Lendas, 35, ended up plummeting off the edge of the mountain into the wilderness below.

Everyone before him who had suffered the same fall ended up dead.

But thanks to a tree that broke his fall, Mr Lendas narrowly escaped death.

Watch as Sri Lankan troops come to Mr Lendas' rescue:



Brigadier Jayanath Jayaweera, a spokesman for the Sri Lankan Army, said: "He was extremely lucky because he fell on top of a tree about 130 feet from the top.

"He is the first person to survive a fall from World's End."

Around 40 soldiers were involved in the rescue which included using ropes to reach Mr Lendas and carrying him for 4.8km before he could be sent to the hospital.

His wife, Linda, said she was very thankful he was alive. After Mr Lendas fell, a Canadian couple spent hours talking to him and comforting her until help arrived and the couple thanked the two of them as well as their rescuers.

Mr Lendas, who didn't suffer from any major injuries, said: "It was very scary and very painful as well.

"Then I sat there for three and a half hours - the longest three and a half hours of my life."

Source: Daily Mail, YouTube


Allardyce blasts Kane over last-gasp penalty

Hammers boss frustrated at Spurs equaliser

HAMMER BLOW: Tottenham’s Harry Kane scores on the rebound after West Ham keeper Adrian saved the striker’s last-minute penalty at White Hart Lane.
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Lending a hand to make S’pore clean

JOINT EFFORT: Denver, 12, occasionally helps his dad, Mr Barry Heng, to pick up litter at their HDB block in Sengkang.
JOINT EFFORT: Gladys, 12, also usually helps her dad.
MAKING THEIR ROUNDS: Mr Tan Ken Jin (centre) with two members of the Singapore Glove Project at a self-organised run at Marina Bay in 2013.
ACTIVE: Bartley Secondary School students picking up litter as part of a school initiative.

Teacher Tan Ken Jin has the tendency to pick up any litter he sees.

The 37-year-old does it without fuss — he picks up the trash with his bare hands before washing them at the nearest basin.

It all started in 2012 when he was training for a marathon and was frustrated by the litter he saw along his route.

Mr Tan decided to act and began the Singapore Glove Project, a community initiative where people would walk or jog with gloves on and pick up litter along their path at the same time.

“I was moved by all the trash around me to start something larger than myself, as I knew I could not do it alone,” he said.

“The aim of the movement is to encourage Singaporeans to stay active by exploring the many corners of our beautiful country, while at the same time helping to beautify it.”

Mr Tan said onlookers often get confused when they see members of the Singapore Glove Project at work and assume they are doing a Corrective Work Order.


“We just explain that we are performing a civic duty and encourage them to join us or not litter,” he added.

But Mr Tan thinks their biggest challenge is to get naysayers to feel they need to be part of the solution.

“There is sadly a group of people who still point fingers at foreigners, be they tourists or workers, saying that they are the problem.

“While I do not doubt that some foreigners contribute to the problem, there are many foreigners who help out with the Singapore Glove Project as well. On the flip side, we have also seen locals littering and we do our best to educate them.”

Mr Tan, who is the head of department of student development at Bartley Secondary School, hopes to inspire his students to do the same.

Recalling how a friend praised him for being “brave” when he politely told a litterbug to pick up his cigarette butt, Mr Tan wishes that more people would do the same.

“Going up to a fellow countryman to help keep Singapore clean shouldn’t be seen as bravery. It should be seen as something natural and I wish all of us would have the motivation to remind one

India thrash S Africa

Defending champions win by 130 runs to hand Proteas their heaviest World Cup defeat

"South Africa are such a good side, so I think that makes it an even more satisfying win. I felt the bowlers bowled well in the right areas and the spinners varied their pace." - India captain Mahendra Singh Dhoni (above, second from right)
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Catching up with model mum Huda Ali: 'I was told I was big-headed'

MODEL TO MUM: Former supermodel Huda Ali now spends most of her time with her only child, four-year-old Raoul.
FASHIONISTAS: (Clockwise from top left) Past and present models Lum May Yee, Serena Adsit, Nadya Hutagalung, Wendy Jacobs, Gina Tan, Huda Ali and Junita Simon appear in the ION Orchard and Elle Singapore magazine calendar.
BACK: Former supermodel and mother of one Junita Simon is featured in the calendar.

She was a prominent face in the modelling scene in the 90s and was among the top Singapore supermodels then.

These days, Huda Ali, 39, devotes her energy towards her four-year-old son Raoul with her Italian entrepreneur husband..

Looking back, one of the things she said she learnt during her modelling days was that it was okay to make mistakes in her youth.

"A lot of people told me I was getting big-headed. I was at the peak of my career from when I was 15 till I was in my early 20s and at that age, the success can be overwhelming. But I grew up and learnt that you have to always work hard to prove yourself," she said.

Huda joined other top Singapore models like Junita Simon, Lum May Yee, Sheila Sim and Wendy Jacobs for the ION Orchard and Elle Singapore magazine SG50 2015 calendar.

For Simon, who enjoyed a successful modelling career in the 90s, a memorable moment in her career was meeting the late fashion designer Yves Saint Laurent in Paris.

Read the full report in our print edition on Feb 23.

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