Barca rescind player's contract hours after signing him over offensive tweets

Sergi Guardiola (centre) was sacked by Barcelona just hours after signing for their B team because of his offensive anti-Barca tweets.
Sergi Guardiola (centre) was sacked by Barcelona just hours after signing for their B team because of his offensive anti-Barca tweets.

He might share the same surname as Barcelona legend Pep Guardiola even though they're not related.

But Sergi Guardiola's name will go down in infamy in the La Liga giants' history books for all the wrong reasons after his contract was rescinded over offensive anti-Barcelona messages on his Twitter account.

The 24-year-old midfielder had just penned his deal in the afternoon with the Barcelona's B team when officials took the drastic action after discovering Guardiola's offending tweets from 2013.

The messages contained vitriol against the club and Catalonia as well as "Hala Madrid", a phrase used by supporters of Barca's bitter rivals Real Madrid.

Guardiola, who last played for Madrid-based second-tier side Alcorcon, accepted the decision and apologised to the club and their parent region for the offensive messages.

However, the player insisted in an interview with Spanish radio station Cope that they were not his words and that his friends were responsible for pulling a prank on him.

Guardiola isn't alone in losing a contract in Spain over old social media posts.

In July, Deportivo La Coruna were set to sign Julio Rey from a third-division side only to back out of the deal a day later when they learnt of his tweet which read "**** DEPOR, **** RIAZOR (the club's home stadium)".

Sources: The Guardian, 101 Great Goals

Man who spent 11 years on death row gets $277,000 compensation

A man who was wrongly accused of murder and spent 11 years on death row was awarded 1.27 million yuan (S$277,000) compensation by a Chinese court on Monday (Dec 28), Xinhua news agency reported.

Mr Zeng Aiyun was condemned to death three times for killing a fellow graduate student.

Each time, the verdict was set aside by China's Supreme People’s Court and a new trial was ordered.

At his fourth trial at Xiangtan Intermediate People’s Court in July this year, Mr Zeng was finally exonerated.

Mr Zeng was a graduate student at Xiangtan University in Hunan province in 2003 when he was accused of murdering a fellow student.

He was first convicted in 2004, and again in 2005 and 2010 during two retrials.

At his third retrial in mid 2015, the court found another student, Chen Huazhang, to be the sole killer.

Chen, who had previously been sentenced to life imprisonment as Zeng’s accomplice, poisoned the victim out of jealousy, Xinhua said, and laid a false trail to implicate Mr Zeng.

Mr Zeng said he was not satisfied with the compensation and would go back to court to seek more, the Beijing Times reported on Tuesday (Dec 29).

Source: AFP

Woman bites man who saved her

Ah Heong (in a light blue T-shirt) helping to restrain a woman who was behaving suspiciously at Penang Bridge.

A Good Samaritan was bitten by the woman he helped save at Penang Bridge in Malaysia.

The man, who wanted to be known only as Ah Heong, spotted the 30-year-old woman behaving suspiciously on the 13.5km toll bridge at around 11am on Monday (Dec 28).

"The woman stopped her Perodua Viva by the road side and had wanted to jump," he said. "I quickly managed to pull her to safety."

Ah Heong, who works for a tow truck company, said the woman was very emotional and kept sobbing.

"She tried to escape and bit me on my arm.

"I was forced to tie her legs to calm her down.

"I asked for her family member’s phone number but she would not tell me," he said, adding that the woman, who is from Kedah, was later handed over to the police.

Ah Heong also saved another person, a 24-year-old man, on the same bridge in June last year.

Source: The Star

How should you ring in the New Year? Here are some ideas

Can't decide between staying at home or going out during this new year's eve? TNP's list of ideas might help you decide.

The pressure of where exactly to spend New Year's Eve can be suffocating.

After all, it wouldn't be wise to start the new year on a bad note.

Who wants to usher in the new year crammed with hundreds of other people on a train? You've got the rest of the year for that.

So how about spending a new year where you're not stuck underneath someone's armpit.

Here are some fantastic (and affordable) options to welcome 2016!

1. Celebrating local talent 

Good Times NYE

It's New Year's Eve, so the SG50 celebrations aren't technically over.

And the annual Good Times NYE party is doing its very best to showcase local talent - and making sure everyone has a good time while at it.

The line-up features local bands like Spacedays and The Psalms, DJs and producers like FZPZ and Kiat. These acts will play across three floors at Blu Jaz Cafe in Bali Lane.

Tickets are just $20, which includes a free housepour drink.

There's no better way to celebrate local talent and have a good time.

The Goodfellas

Well-known local band The Goodfellas will be playing their last gig this new year's eve at Timbre at The Substation.

The band have been a regular at the bar circuit for many years - so this gig should not be missed by fans.



These last few Timbre gigs have been a real treat for us - just like good the old days. We play our last two gigs this...

Posted by Goodfellas SG on Monday, 28 December 2015


2. Staying at home

If you're not up for dancing, you need not worry.

Some people may tell you otherwise, but staying at home is a perfectly fine option too.

After all, comfort is key. And you can truly be yourself at home.

No fake air-kissing acquaintances at parties, and more importantly, no having to clean up after your drunk friends. Score!

So what are you waiting for?

If you needed any more persuading, here are some of the better holiday movies you can watch alone at home. 

Best holiday movies:

Love Actually

What would a holiday movie marathon be without at least one screening of the beloved Love Actually?

Let's try to put away the fact that this movie has been a holiday staple for 12 years now. This movie continues to charm with its different stories about love including Andrew Lincoln's character's iconic declaration of love to Keira Knightley's character.



How many proposals have been modeled after that, I wonder?


And if you're feeling a little down during the festive season, maybe this Stephen King classic can help.



After watching James Caan getting tortured by Kathy Bates, suddenly one has a lot to feel grateful for even if you're moping about at home.

3. Renting an Airbnb

​If you're trying to book a hotel in the central area of Singapore for this New Year's eve, you might be well out of luck.

Another option, which could also be more affordable, is simply booking a room with Airbnb.

Not quite the posh Marina Bay Sands hotel, but this apartment at the Marina Bay area may suffice. 


Marina Bay 1 Bedroom Apt 61 K

Singapore, Singapore

Living in Marina Bay District is one of the most sought-after, conveniently located and luxury service apartment in Singapore's financial and business center.

Holiday Apartment Rentals in Singapore


And it's only $280 per night!

You may even be able to catch the fireworks!

4. Watching fireworks for free

You don't need to be put up at a hotel or apartment in the CBD to enjoy the fireworks for free.

Below are some options where you don't have to jostle with hundreds of people to snap a decent photo of the fireworks for your Instagram feed.

Shaw Towers Carpark

​100 Beach Road

Head to the 11th floor of the carpark of Shaw Towers (perhaps after a nice dinner) to get a good view – you may even have the whole area to yourself, if you are lucky.

But while you are able to catch most of the display, your view would unfortunately be partially blocked by buildings such as Suntec City.

Block101, Bukit Purmei

Marina Bay is not the only area that has a fireworks display on New Year’s Eve.

Another option is the Mount Faber fireworks, which you can watch from a corridor in the nearby Bukit Purmei.

Just be neighbourly and don’t disturb the residents.

5. Drink and be merry!

How about being merry at a bar (or two) with great vantage points of the fireworks?

Smoke & Mirrors at the National Gallery



The bar has a gorgeous view of the Padang and is a prime spot to catch the fireworks.

Do make a reservation though, it is set to be a hot spot this new year's eve.

1-Altitude at 1 Raffles Place



#Singapore from above

A photo posted by ANTON KOPYLOV (@antoncopy) on


This is the country's highest bar and it offers everything you need with a perfect view of the CBD district (read: fireworks!). You are also guaranteed a great view of the skyline.






Motörhead frontman Lemmy Kilmister dies, aged 70

Ian "Lemmy" Kilmister, the frontman of iconic British heavy metal band Motorhead, has died aged 70 of a sudden, aggressive cancer.

Beloved heavy metal icon Lemmy Kilmister, lead singer and bassist of the legendary Motörhead, has died at the age of 70.

He died on Monday (Dec 28) after a brief battle with cancer. 

A statement was posted on Motörhead's Facebook page: "There is no easy way to say this... our mighty, noble friend Lemmy passed away today after a short battle with an extremely aggressive cancer.

"He had learnt of the disease on December 26th, and was at home, sitting in front of his favourite video game from The Rainbow which had recently made its way down the street, with his family," said the statement.

The band also said: "We will say more in the coming days, but for now, please... play Motörhead loud, play Hawkwind loud, play Lemmy's music LOUD."

Kilmister was known for his exceptionally distinctive gravelly voice and his skill on the bass.

His look was uncompromising. Facial hair and facial warts, two of them on his left cheek.

Born Ian Fraser Kilmister, his nickname supposedly came from his tendency to ask people "Lemme borrow a quid". 

He was a member of space-rockers Hawkwind. During that time he wrote the song Motorhead. (It was covered by many younger bands, including Primal Scream in 1997). 

He then formed the band Motörhead in 1975 and was its sole remaining original member.

The band have released a total of 22 albums, including the classic Ace of Spades, which spawned the hit single and to some extent, Motorhead's theme tune.



Besides his hard-hitting music, Kilmister was also known for his larger-than-life personality.

He was controversially fond of collecting – and wearing – Nazi memorabilia.

In his apartment, there was a huge assortment of Nazi daggers, flags, medals and uniforms.

Kilmister also had a great appetite for excess, and with that came issues with drugs and alcohol.

He took amphetamines to battle exhaustion when tours went on for months at a time.

Though he cut down in the 90s  as his health began to feel the toll of his lifestyle.

It was said that Kilmister boasted that he had drank a bottle of Jack Daniel's every day since he turned 30.

That was until he gave up alcohol in 2013 for health reasons.

He said in an interview with Rolling Stone in January 2014: "I suddenly realised I was waking up in pools of other people's vomit, and I had no recollection of them. That's a bit much."

Despite his lifestyle, Kilmister's lack of serious illness gave him an aura and reputation as some near-indestructible being.

The news of his death shook the music world.

Some of the biggest names in rock have paid tribute to him online.

'Fast' Eddie Clarke, the former Motorhead guitarist said: "The world seems a really empty place right now... He will live on in our hearts RIP Lemmy!"










Man charged with killing a cat in Yishun

A man was charged in the State Courts for killing a cat on Dec 29. File photo of Cat feeders in Yishun have been patrolling the streets till 4am to make sure the strays are not harmed.
Stray cat in Yishun that are being looked after by cat feeders. A 40-year-old man was charged with killing a cat in Yishun in the State Courts on Dec 29.

A 40-year-old man was charged with killing a cat in Yishun in the State Courts earlier today (Dec 29).

Lee Wai Leong is facing one charge of throwing an adult Mackerel Tabby domestic shorthaired cat from the 13th storey of a Yishun Ring Road HDB block to its death.

No plea was taken from Lee, who was remanded at the Institute of Mental Health for further assessment.

Lee is expected to be back in court on Jan 12.

If found guilty of causing unnecessary to the animal, he faces up to 18 months' jail and a fine up to $15,000.

The Agri-Food and Veterinary Authority (AVA) said in a statement that the investigations into the other cat abuse cases in Yishun are ongoing.

Read the full report in our print edition on Dec 30.

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Manchester United continue winless streak; Van Gaal not quitting

Manchester United manager Louis van Gaal vowed to fight on after the team's 0-0 draw against Chelsea.

Louis van Gaal vowed to fight on as Manchester United manager after his team's 0-0 draw against Chelsea.

United stretched their winless run to eight matches after their seventh goalless stalemate of the campaign.

The Red Devils are in their lowest position at this stage of the season in 26 years, but there were enough encouraging signs for Van Gaal to deny he would quit, as he suggested he might after the 2-0 loss at Stoke on Boxing Day.

United put on their best display of the season in the first 45 minutes, rattling the woodwork on two occasions and drawing two superb saves from Thibaut Courtois.

United were unable to find the net, but Van Gaal, who was applauded as he entered and left the pitch on Monday, was in a boisterous mood post-match.

"Inside of the club the players are willing to fight for every metre, the manager is willing to fight, the members of staff are willing to fight and the board is very confident in the staff and the manager so it (the negativity) is not inside Manchester United," the United manager said.

A few United fans made it clear they wanted Jose Mourinho in the home dugout, rather than Van Gaal. Red scarves with Mourinho's face on them were being sold by unofficial vendors outside the stadium before kick-off.

A handful of fans snapped them up for the asking price of #10 and inside the stadium, one fan held up a placard that read: "Leave, Vanish, Go".

But for the most part, the United fans appreciated the attacking football on display in the first half. The full-backs overlapped the wingers, the forwards ran at Chelsea's defence and the tempo was much higher.

Van Gaal admits he is powerless to stop the board acting if they want to make a change, but he did not seem terribly worried about his future.

"I cannot have any influence on that," he said.

"I can only work with my players and you have seen that the players are fighting for me; they have given a good performance.

"After this result the fans were applauding. I cannot say that I am very much concerned, but in this football world you never know.

"When the players can give such a performance with this lot of pressure then it is not any reason to resign for me.

"I am under contract so it's not a question of staying, it is a question of fulfilling my contract."

Van Gaal was happy on the whole with his team's display.

"I think it was a very good performance but you have to score a goal and we didn't," he said.

"Against Stoke in the first half we didn't dare to play but that's a big difference today - we dared to play and pressed a lot. We were the dominant team, we created chances, we shot on goal and only gave three chances away. Against a team like Chelsea, with such attackers, that's not bad."

The Dutchman's only disappointment was with referee Martin Atkinson, who failed to award United two penalties.

The first came when Juan Mata went down in the box following a challenge by Cesar Azpilicueta and then Willian's handball went unnoticed by the officials.

"We had two penalty cases, one the foul on Mata, the other the handball of Willian," Van Gaal said.

"When I was on the bench I thought it was not on purpose but when you see on the video, you see the hand is going to the ball and not the ball is going to the hand and then you can only say we are unlucky."

United may have been the better side, but Chelsea had their chances too. David de Gea saved well from John Terry, Azpilicueta and Pedro to keep the visitors at bay and Nemanja Matic wasted a good chance when through on goal.

Guus Hiddink was happy to take a point back to Stamford Bridge.

"Everyone knows we have some problems in our striker's position due to suspension and injuries," said the Chelsea manager, who was without Diego Costa, Loic Remy and Radamel Falcao.

"We have not won, but now we are three games (unbeaten) and that is important."

Source: PA Sport

Mbokani seals vital victory for Canaries

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Pardew frustrated by Swans stalemate

Palace held after Bamford wastes chance

PLAYMAKER: Jason Puncheon tries to get a Crystal Palace move flowing during their goalless draw with Swansea City at Selhurst Park.
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