The New Paper S.League podcast: Look back, look ahead

Whether it is in print or online, The New Paper is the best place to get your fix of Singapore football.

Join TNP sports writers Sazali Abdul Aziz and David Lee as they talk about the past, present and future of S.League.

The past season's highs, lows and what is in store for what looks like an invigorated and promising 2016 season.

...all that and David's obsession with Hougang United.

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Brussels cancels New Year's Eve celebrations amid terrorism fears

A Belgian soldier patrols along "Winter Wonders", a Christmas market in central Brussels.

​In the midst of fears of terrorist attacks over the year-end holidays, Brussels has opted to stay safe by cancelling its New Year's Eve celebrations.

Belgium is not alone - many European cities are on high alert amid terrorism fears. Turkish police detained two Islamic State suspects over a plot to attack its capital of Ankara.

Belgian authorities said that the planned firework display and festivities to welcome the New Year, which saw an attendance of 100,000 people last year, would not go ahead.

Mayor Yvan Mayeur said: "Unfortunately, we have been forced to cancel the fireworks and all that was planned for (New Year's Eve)... It's better not to take any risks."

Two people were arrested on Tuesday (Dec 29) on suspicion of preparing attacks on "emblematic sites" in Brussels during the celebrations.  On top of that, another man was questioned over links to last month's Paris attacks.

Belgian authorities have so far detained nine men they believe are linked to the Paris attacks, including four accused of helping Paris bombings' suspect Salah Abdeslam flee from the crime scene.

Meanwhile, adding to the woes in Belgium, Brussels police is investigating reports that soldiers and police held an orgy while their colleagues hunted for terror suspects following the lockdown after the Nov 13 Paris attacks.

Eight soldiers and two female police officers allegedly engaged in an "orgy" at a police station on Nov 21 at the Belgian capital, which was virtually shut down over fears of an imminent terrorist attack.

Following the Nov 13 attacks in Paris, Europe is on high alert.

Paris will also be calling off its annual fireworks display on the Champs-Elysees. Additionally, 11,000 police, soldiers and firefighters will patrol the French capital.

Moscow's Red Square, where people typically gather to ring in the new year, will be closed to party-goers. Vienna has also beefed up security ahead of the celebrations.

Source: AFP

Actor Bill Cosby charged with sexual assault

Actor and comedian Bill Cosby arrives with attorney Monique Pressley (right) for his arraignment on sexual assault charges at the Montgomery County Courthouse in Pennsylvania.

​American actor Bill Cosby, who has been plagued with accusations of sexual assault over the last few years, was charged on Wednesday (Dec 30) with sexually assaulting a woman after plying her with drugs and alcohol in 2004.

This is the only criminal case against a once-respected entertainer, whose father-figure persona has been dragged through the mud after dozens of similar sexual assault accusations from different women came to light in the past few years.

A feeble Cosby, who walked with a cane, was accompanied by two lawyers and appeared for his arraignment hours later at a courthouse just outside Philadelphia, where he posted a US$1 million (S$ million) bond.

Watch Surreal Video of Bill Cosby's Perp Walk

The case against Cosby, who is most known for his iconic Dr Cliff Huxtable role in sitcom The Cosby Show, was filed just before the statute of limitations deadline for criminal prosecution expires in January.

The charge stems from allegations leveled by Andrea Constand, 44, who settled a civil case against Cosby for an undisclosed sum in 2006. 

She is one of more than 50 women who have publicly accused Cosby of sexually assaulting them  in incidents that date back to the 1970s.

In an affidavit accompanying the charge, Constand was a guest at Cosby's home near Philadelphia in January 2004.

He had allegedly given her wine and urged her to take three blue pills, said prosecutors in a statement.

They said: "Shortly thereafter, the victim became incapacitated, and Cosby led her to a couch. The victim lay down... and Cosby positioned himself behind her. Cosby then fondled the victim's breasts, put his hands inside her pants, and penetrated her vagina with his fingers... The victim did not consent to any of these acts and reported that she was unable to move or speak and felt 'frozen' and 'paralysed'.

When Cosby was questioned by the police as to whether he had sex with the victim, he answered, according to the charging documents, "never asleep or awake". The statement contradicts Cosby's deposition in the civil case where he admitted that they had consensual sexual contact.

While Constand declined to speak to the media outside her home in Toronto, her lawyer Dolores Troiani issued a statement that said: "In that this matter is now being pursued in the criminal justice system, we will not comment further."

Ms Gloria Allred, a lawyer who has represented 29 of Cosby's accusers, said: "In Pennsylvania, there is now a journey to justice."

Source: Reuters

 





 

Man jailed, caned for robbing money changer at Raffles Place

Passers-by rush to apprehend the attacker and help his victim on 14 November 2014 at Raffles Place.

An Indonesian man was jailed 12 years and ordered to be given 24 strokes of the cane on Thursday (Dec 31) after he stabbed and robbed a money changer in the heart of Raffles Place last year.

Arun, 39, who only goes by one name and hailed from Batam, pleaded guilty to one charge of committing armed robbery with hurt on Nov 14, 2014.

The victim was Mr Kang Tie Tie, 37, an authorised money courier who was also from Batam.

The court heard that at about 1pm that day, Arun had repeatedly stabbed the right side of Mr Kang's body with a knife – which had a 12.5cm blade – just outside Raffles Place MRT. 

He then made off with Mr Kang's sling bag containing cash and cheques worth about $786,000.

But Arun did not get far as passers-by jumped to Mr Kang's rescue and helped apprehend and detain him until the police arrived.

Mr Kang was given 23 days' hospitalisation leave and 19 days' outpatient leave. 

Read the full report in our print edition on Jan 1. 
Subscribe to The New Paper, now available in print and digital, at http://bit.ly/tnpeshop

Singapore sports' peaks and troughs of 2015

LIM SAY HENG and DAVID LEE highlight the peaks and troughs of Singapore sports for 2015

MAKING A SPLASH: Singapore (left) clinch gold in the synchronised swimming team free combination event.
Agnieszka Radwanska’s
SUPPORT: MCCY Minister Grace Fu mingles with Singapore’s para-athletes at the Asean Para Games
(Above) Players from Singapore Rugby Union at a promotional event for next year’s Singapore Rugby Sevens tournament.
CELEBrAtIoN: Singapore Athletics president Tang Weng Fei (above, in black) shows off the new Home of Athletics.
The Singapore Bowling Federation also has a new 38-lane facility (above) at Temasek Club.

SOUTH-EAST ASIA GAMES

Singapore's first hosting of the biennial Games since 1993 started and ended with a bang.

Many sports - such as netball and synchronised swimming - won their first-ever SEA Games golds on home ground, as the hosts won a historic medal haul of 84 golds, 73 silvers and 102 bronzes to finish just behind Thailand (95/83/69) in the medal table.

The swimmers also brought in their best SEA Games haul of 23 golds, 
12 silvers and seven bronzes to top the sport's medal tally.

APPOINTMENT OF GRACE FU AS MCCY MINISTER

Ms Grace Fu was appointed to lead the Ministry for Culture, Community and Youth after the General Election in September.

It is the first time a female minister has been tasked to helm a ministry in Singapore, although Lim Hwee Hua has the honour of being the Republic's first female minister, when she was made a minister in the Prime Minister's office in 2009.

ASEAN PARA GAMES

There were concerns that Singapore's first staging of the biennial multi-sport Games for the disabled would be overshadowed by June's SEA Games.

But these worries were largely unfounded, as the performances and heroics of para-athletes such as Theresa Goh and Yip Pin Xiu (swimming), Jason Chee (table tennis) and Khairul Anwar (cerebral palsy football) were embraced by many Singaporeans, who either saw them live in action, or through viral videos online.

They were celebrated, because they were truly extraordinary.

WTA FINALS SINGAPORE

The grand finale of professional women's tennis had been won by powerful players such as the Williams - Serena and Venus - sisters, Maria Sharapova and Amelie Mauresmo for almost 15 years, until Agnieszka Radwanska's (left) victory at the Singapore Indoor Stadium in end-October.

The 26-year-old Pole relies on intelligent court craft, rather than powerful volleys, and her win is one for the romantics in women's tennis, which is increasingly dominated by power, rather than technique.

NEW HOMES FOR SPORTS

Singapore Athletics (SA) and the Singapore Bowling Federation (SBF) ended 2015 with new bases of operation, after seeing their athletes shuttle to various training locations.

SA launched its new Home of Athletics at the Kallang Practice Track in March, while SBF opened the doors of its new 38-lane facility at the new Temasek Club, situated at Rifle Range Road, in September.

Also, five Centres of Expertise in disability sports - starting next year with one each in Toa Payoh and Jurong West - will be set up at ActiveSG centres.

RUGBY

The Singapore Rugby Union (SRU) scored a coup when it beat 25 other cities to win the bid to host a leg of the 10-stop World Rugby Sevens Series for four years, starting from 2016.

The Singapore Sports Hub's 55,000-seater National Stadium will host rugby heavyweights such as New Zealand, Australia, Fiji and England in a two-day affair in April next year, ahead of the Rio Olympics in August, when the sevens version of the sport will make its Olympic debut.

Crossing sea mammal seals off California highway

INSISTENT: Motorists tried directing the elephant seal back to the water, but to no avail.

An elephant seal repeatedly tried to cross a highway in California from nearby waters on Monday, causing traffic jams in the area for two days.

This followed a stand-off in which wildlife experts used horns and paddles to try to encourage the animal back into the water, BBC reported.

Officials said they have no idea why the seal, nicknamed "Tolay" by the rescue crews after the inlet it showed up in, was so determined to get away from the bay, ABC News reported.

California Highway Patrol officer Andrew Barclay said that motorists stopped to try to help the elephant seal, but "it did not want their help".

He said: "There's no water or food on the other side and we checked all along the freeway for anything she might be looking for. There's nothing."

Rescue crews managed to tranquilise the seal on Tuesday.

Officials plan to take the seal to Point Reyes, where they will release it back into the wild, the San Francisco Chronicle reported.

 

 

He tweets photos of dead children

Rugby star in Twitter storm after visit to Syrian refugee camp

UNDER FIRE: Sonny Bill Williams, star of rugby team All Blacks, was criticised for tweeting graphic photos of dead Syrian children.
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Boy orphaned in Christmas Day crash

As 2015 comes to a close, The New Paper looks back at the top stories from our pages and offers a glimpse behind the scenes

TRAGEDY: The scene of the horrific car crash in Johor on Christmas Day that killed three members of a Singaporean family.
TRAGEDY: The scene of the horrific car crash in Johor on Christmas Day that killed three members of a Singaporean family (above).
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'He' pleads guilty to sex with minor

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Man charged with killing cat

ABUSED: This cat, which was one of several found abused in Yishun, has two badly fractured legs.
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