LG staff accused of vandalising Samsung’s washing machines at trade fair

A policeman walking past the headquarters of LG Group in Seoul on Dec 26.

How to make your competitor look bad? Sabotage their products on display.

That's what executives of LG Electronics apparently did.

In what sounds like a childish plot better left to comedies, the firm’s staff members allegedly vandalised their rival Samsung’s washing machines at a trade fair in Germany.

South Korean prosecutors raided the Seoul headquarters of LG on Friday following the allegations.

Samsung Electronics had filed a lawsuit accusing the LG executives of defamation, property damage and obstruction of business and said LG home appliance division president Jo Seong-Jin was among those who damaged machines at the September event in Berlin.

Under scrutiny

Investigators seized documents and computer hard disks during the raid, Yonhap news agency said, adding that the company’s home appliance factory in the southern city of Changwon was also searched.

An LG spokesman said: "Our office is under scrutiny by investigators."

Samsung said surveillance video footage from the fair showed several men – which they later identified as LG executives – destroying door hinges on the washing machines.

Samsung has also accused LG of making slanderous claims that its washing machines were defective.

LG rejected the accusations in a statement, saying the company is “concerned that its business activities and brand image will be severely damaged because of the competitor’s unilateral and unreasonable opinion”.

Samsung and LG have for years locked horns in the home market over a series of bitter PR disputes regarding the supremacy of their products and technology patent lawsuits.

Source: AFP

Inuka the polar bear celebrates 24th birthday with 'ice kachang' cake

If you visited the zoo on Boxing Day, you might have caught a glimpse of Inuka munching on its birthday cake.

The polar bear turned 24 on Friday (Dec 26) and was given an 'ice kachang' cake made of its favourite food, including salmon, blueberries, watermelon and strawberries topped with whipped cream.

Inuka is the first polar bear born in the tropics.

It was born in its mother's den at the Singapore Zoo in 1990. At age 24, the male polar bear is well into its senior years.

The Wildlife Reserves Singapore said Inuka now tips the scale at more than 500kg. It consumes close to 30 kg of meat, fish, fruits and vegetables every day.

Sources: Xinhua, Wildlife Reserves Singapore

US radio DJ says Idris Elba can't be James Bond as he's not white

Daniel Craig may be the reigning James Bond, but after e-mails from Sony were leaked, we now know that Idris Elba could possibly be the next actor to play the role. 

Rush Limbaugh, a popular radio talk show host in the US, felt he needed to offer his opinion on the matter. 

"James Bond is a total concept put together by Ian Fleming. He was white and Scottish. Period. That is who James Bond is," Limbaugh said.

"But now they are suggesting that the next James Bond should be Idris Elba, a black Briton, rather than a white from Scotland. But that's not who James Bond is."

"I know it's racist to probably point this out."

During an online Q&A, Elba said that he would accept the role if it was offered to him, but admitted in a later interview that he was concerned over how he would be perceived.


Photos: YouTube, Reuters

"I just don't want to be called the first black James Bond. Do you understand what I'm saying? Sean Connery wasn't the Scottish James Bond and Daniel Craig wasn't the blue-eyed James Bond. So if I played him, I don't want to be called the black James Bond."

Source: E! Online, Reddit, NPR

Van Gaal: Our goal is still to be champion

Manchester United manager Louis van Gaal insists that winning the Premier League title remains a goal for him and the players despite being 10 points adrift of leaders Chelsea heading into Friday’s (Dec 26) Boxing Day fixtures.

The 63-year-old Dutchman – who originally said when he took over after the World Cup this year that he foresaw a three year rebuilding process – has overseen a revival in the club’s fortunes in recent months after Manchester United's worst start since the 1986/87 season.

However, he takes United into the home game with Newcastle on Friday on the back of a run of six wins and a draw.

"Our goal is still to be the champion at the end of the season. It is always to be first," Van Gaal said.

Achieve more

Van Gaal, who earlier this year guided the Dutch to the World Cup semi-finals where they lost on penalties to Argentina, has spent £150 million (S$308,500) on new players and says that United can do better than the target set by the board at the outset of the season.

The board’s goal was for United to finish fourth and qualify for the Champions League which is something they failed to achieve last term under the disastrous stewardship of David Moyes, who was sacked towards the end of the season and replaced temporarily by Ryan Giggs.

"With my players and all the staff, we are trying to achieve more than they expect," said van Gaal.

Source: AFP

WATCH: Shaquille O'Neal flies into Christmas tree during NBA halftime show

It seems that the unstoppable force has met its match - the immovable Christmas tree. 

The colossal Shaquille O'Neal was sent crashing into a Christmas tree after his fellow studio analyst Kenny Smith gave him a light shove during the NBA on TNT's halftime report.

The duo's antics left half of Shaq buried under the tree, much to the amusement of the NBA on TNT crew, who are no strangers to horsing around on camera.

Source: Bleacher Report

 

 

 

  

 

Flame Awards: Jaspers Lai, transformer of the year

‘My blood, sweat and tears’

Jaspers Lai, won TNP's Transformer Of The Year for his 10kg weight loss this year.

“I really think miracles do happen.”

This was what acting newcomer Jaspers Lai blurted out when he was told the results.

The formerly chubby 27-year-old, who lost 10kg and shed three inches off his waist this year, beat fellow nominees Kelly Poon and Hong Qiu Ting to be the celebrity who had the biggest physical transformation this year.

Lai got 147 votes, compared to Hong (83 votes) and Poon (73 votes).

The chatty rookie actor, who is 1.75m tall and weighs 66kg now, said: “I am really surprised.

“Perhaps the fans remember how I used to look in (local director Jack Neo’s two-part film) The Lion Men (released earlier this year) and saw how I had transformed into who I am today, so they wanted to show their support by voting for me.”

Lai, who made his big-screen debut as the ruthless, scheming leader of lion dance troupe Black Hawk in The Lion Men, will next star in Neo’s film Ah Boys To Men 3: Frogmen.

He revealed that he lost the weight by following a strict low-carb diet and rigorous exercise regimen.

He admitted there were times when he wanted to take the easy way out, by taking slimming pills or going for surgery.

However, he is glad that he chose to work at it as he can now set a good example for his fans.

Of the Transformer Of The Year medal, he said dramatically: “This medal has all my blood, sweat and tears.”

Tips 

Lai offered some tips to readers who hope to shed some kilos in the new year.

“Drink lots of water. I drink up to five litres daily. Eat food that is not fried and eat more protein and less carbohydrates,” he said.

“Eat several small meals a day and exercise regularly. I used to exercise five times a week.”

In 2015, the comedian hopes to get more acting jobs.

He also hopes to inspire others and said: “No one ever thought that I could become an actor, but I did." 

“I want to lead by example and give back to society so that others will not be afraid to follow their dreams.”

Of course, Lai has not forgotten about his physical looks, saying that another New Year resolution is to “achieve a hot bod with six-pack abs”, even though he reckons that it will be quite difficult.

He laughed and said: “That way, you guys can nominate me again for Transformer Of The Year 2015!”

Flame Awards: Pan Lingling, shocker of the year

She hopes to inspire others

Local actress Pan Lingling's cancer revelation won TNP's Shocker Of The Year for Flame

2014 has been a roller-coaster ride for actress Pan Lingling. Her father died of lung cancer in February.

A month later, the 44-year-old mother of two revealed to the public that she had battled breast cancer in private last year.

Pan, who is now cancer-free, went public with her illness when she released photos of herself with little to no hair to the media during a press conference in April.

Readers felt this was the most shocking celebrity news of the year and cast 190 votes for Pan’s story, ahead of Qi Yuwu’s and Joanne Peh’s secret nuptials (164 votes).

Pan told TNP: “I never expected to win.

Maybe the readers have been wondering what happened to me, since I hadn’t appeared on TV for quite a while.

I honestly thought that Joanne Peh’s and Qi Yuwu’s wedding news was more shocking. Even I was shocked by it.”

Pan hopes that her story will give other cancer patients courage and let them know that they are not alone.

“I appreciate my best friends and family who have supported me throughout. I hope everyone will know that they can overcome all obstacles.”

Despite the dark moments in her life this year, there were also happy moments.

She recounted how nervous and excited she was when she met her two biggest idols — football superstar David Beckham and former prime minister Lee Kuan Yew — on the same day, Sept 19.

Pan’s best friend had arranged for her to meet Beckham for dinner at a Japanese restaurant when he was in town for some promotional events that month.

Pan bumped into Mr Lee, who was celebrating his birthday at the same restaurant.

Pan said: “Never in my life would I have thought that I would see my two idols in one day at the same place. I told my husband, ‘I have no more regrets after seeing them today’.

“This year had been so meaningful and eventful for me and I am ending off the year with this award. I hope to start the new year with a healthy life and to stay pretty and happy.”

Flame Awards: Munah and Hirzi, favourite viral music video

Munah and Hirzi with the for Favourite Viral Music Video for Flame Awards.

It was a close fight.

When voting was first opened, singer Taufik Batisah was leading by a mile.

But at the last minute, votes surged in favour of YouTube darlings Hirzi Zulkiflie and Maimunah Bagharib, who were nominated for their hilarious Minahconda parody video of Nicki Minaj’s Anaconda.

The zany duo bagged the award with 172 votes, just 14 votes more than for Taufik’s #AwakKatMane.

Local rapper Shigga Shay garnered 71 votes for his music video for Lion City Kia.

What did Hirzi, 25, and Maimunah (better known as Munah), 26, have to say?

“Eh, why is there only one medal?”

Oops.

“Thank you to all our supporters. We didn’t expect to win this, we thought Taufik would win this. Funnily enough, we said we wanted to be nominated for Anugerah Planet Muzik. So I guess it’s a draw,” Hirzi said, jokingly.

Taufik had dominated the annual regional Malay music awards ceremony in October with three wins.

OUTRAGEOUS
Minahconda, their comeback video after Hirzi’s six-month stint in Los Angeles and a timely tie-in with their sixth anniversary, created a storm online for its outrageous and wacky song-and-dance routine about “a hungry minah”.

“We want to localise music parodies and still talk about things that are very relevant to Singaporeans. We realised that no one has branded themselves like that,” said Hirzi, who looks to American YouTube stars like Bart Baker and Miranda Sings for inspiration.

For Munah, the hype that followed the release of Minahconda in October came as a big surprise.

“People would tag us in photos and videos with the #Minahconda hashtag.

It was really fun to see,” she said.

It is the duo’s most successful music parody, with more than 555,430 views at press time.

The duo have also done parodies of Shake It Off by Taylor Swift and Bang Bang by Ariana Grande, Nicki Minaj and Jessie J.

So what can we expect from them in 2015?

A similar “troll parody” of Problem by Ariana Grande and Iggy Azalea and continued hopes for their own reality show.

One thing’s for sure — you will see a lot more of their “minah” caricatures and alter egos Syasya and Kathee.

“2015 will be a ‘minah’ invasion (on our social media channels) all the way, no holds barred any more. It will probably be the most mature part of our journey, but no less fun,” said Hirzi.

Woman says 'I do' to two cats and has marriage certificate to prove it

Yes, this is fur-real.

A 48-year-old woman from north London married her two cats after failing to find true love with a human being.

Barbarella Buchner decided to tie the knot with felines Lugosi and Spider - after her seven year relationship with an actual man failed to bring her true happiness. 

She told The Sun newspaper: "I realised no human had ever or could ever make me feel as happy and loved as them."

The three of them have already gone on a honeymoon to Lanzarote and she has even tattooed the initials of their names on her leg.

She said:

"Some people call me a bigamist for marrying two cats, but why shouldn’t I?" 

Recognised certificate

Surprisingly, her marriage is 'recognised' - with a certificate from a website, which aims to help people marry their pets.

While Barbarella's family claim that she is "raving mad", Barbarella feels they need to accept it.

She is now preparing to live happily ever after with her chosen ones in their north London home.

Sources: Metro, The Sun

Hackers kill Christmas for online gamers playing Sony PlayStation and Xbox Live

They came, they saw and they killed off connection for Microsoft Corp’s Xbox Live and Sony Corp’s PlayStation Networks online games.

A hacker group has claimed responsibility for user connection problems that gamers suffered on Christmas Day.

The group, called Lizard Squad, could not be reached for comment, and the affected companies did not give a reason for the connectivity issues.

The group's Twitter site said: “I have the nation on strings.”

It also said it would put the sites back online if enough people retweeted its messages.

Both companies expected heavy usage as people who received Microsoft Xbox players or Sony PlayStations on Christmas tried to hook up.

But Sony’s decision to let consumers download the controversial movie The Interview through Xbox Video as well as other online sources may have worsened the problems.

“Are you having a rough time signing in to Xbox Live?,” a service alert on the Microsoft product’s website asked.

“We’re working to get this figured out right away. We appreciate your patience.”

Two hours after the message was posted, the Xbox Live site said technicians were still “hard at work trying to reach a solution.”

PlayStation Network’s status page said: 

“We are aware that some users are experiencing difficulty logging into the PSN.
“We will update this article with any changes that occur in regards to this issue. Thank you for your patience.”

Three Xbox platforms were affected by the service problem: Xbox One, Xbox 360 and Xbox on other devices, Microsoft’s status website said.

 


Photos: AFP

Gamers vented their disappointment at the outage on - where else - social media.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Earlier on Thursday, Microsoft Xbox spokesman Sean McCarthy declined to give details of how the company is preparing for security breaches.

“Of course, it’s safe to say Holiday season is always a very busy time of year for any consumer electronics company, so we work hard to ensure the stability of our infrastructure when so many consoles are activating for the first time.” - Reuters

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