Six die of gas poisoning at Vietnam karaoke bar accident

Six people died and six more were left in a critical condition from suspected carbon monoxide poisoning at a karaoke bar in northern Vietnam, police said Tuesday.

The 12 men had apparently spent Sunday night at the karaoke bar in Quang Ninh province, which borders China, when there was a power failure, a policeman told AFP.

“The bar owner ran the generator and we believe the victims suffocated due to generator fumes,” he said, speaking on the condition of anonymity.

State media reported that the victims had been drinking heavily and had decided to sleep the night at the karaoke bar.

Carbon monoxide poisoning causes headaches, nausea and fatigue and prolonged exposure to the colourless, orderless gas can be fatal.

Portable generators release higher levels of the gas than an idling car and need to be properly ventilated to prevent a build up of the poisonous gas.

Karaoke is a popular form of entertainment in Vietnam, but many karaoke bars are not properly designed and do not meet minimum safety standards, especially in rural areas.

Vietnam’s karaoke bars are known for attracting heavy-drinking patrons and several establishments have been linked to prostitution, which is illegal in the communist country. - AFP

ISIS-linked tweets call on 'lone wolves' to slaughter Twitter staff

A series of tweets linked to terrorist group ISIS is telling followers to assassinate Twitter staff.

Terrorist group ISIS is not just going after political icons or reporters.

It is now calling for Twitter staff to be assassinated.

A group linked with the jihadist group (Islamic State in Iraq and Syria, or ISIS) issued the series of tweets on Sunday night — asking “lone wolves” in the U.S. and Europe to make Twitter employees the focus of their attacks.

The @dawlamoon account purportedly represents Al Nusra Al Maqdisia (The Supporters of Jerusalem), a group that pledged loyalty to ISIS.

CBS News reported that Twitter has suspended the account.

Online news website Vocativ said it was impossible to independently verify whether the account reflects official ISIS policy, but said the group is frequently referenced in online ISIS forums.

Sources: CBS News, Vocativ, Twitter

Tennis: US Open runner-up Nishikori says 'I can beat anybody now'

Kei Nishikori of Japan gestures against Marin Cilic of Croatia during their men's singles final match at the 2014 US Open.

Japan’s Kei Nishikori might have fallen at the final hurdle to Marin Cilic in straight sets but he has risen with a new-found confidence. 

Nishikori was defeated 6-3, 6-3, 6-3 to Marin Cilic in the title match, a battle of first-time Grand Slam finalists.

Nishikori shaking hands with Cilic after the match. Photo: AFP

Chants of “Kei, Kei, Kei” rang out in Arthur Ashe Stadium as fans tried to lift him.

But after dispatching three of the top five seeds in punishing encounters, he was no match for Cilic’s power and precision.

His run to the final – itself a first for an Asian man – included wins over world number one Novak Djokovic, third-seeded Australian Open champion Stan Wawrinka, and big-serving Canadian Milos Raonic, the fifth seed who was a Wimbledon semi-finalist. 

Kei Nishikori​ returning a shot. Photo: AFP

There is a lot of things, positive things, that I learned from these two weeks,” Nishikori said. 

“I played a long three matches, two five-sets and another against Novak. My body is heavy, but I am able to play. 

“I don’t think a few years ago would happen like this. I think I showed my potential,” he said. “I can beat anybody now. So if I can keep training hard I think I have more chances coming up.” 

Now he’ll turn his attention to making the ATP’s season-ending World Tour Finals.

And whatever he does, he can be sure a new legion of fans in Japan will be watching. 

“It’s great to bring great news to Japan,” he said. “Tennis has not been the biggest sport in Japan. Women’s, yes, but men never make it this far.

"I’m really happy to make a lot of history. Hopefully I can win next time and have something more.”

Source: AFP

Tags: Kei, nishikori and tennis

Meteor lights up Spanish skies

Early risers got an unexpected treat on Sunday in Spain, as a fireball whistled across the country – lighting up the morning sky.

It passed through eight regions, travelling the length of the country, leaving a trail of smoke in its wake.



The Spanish Meteor Network confirmed the fireball had passed over the country; however, they did not know where it had originated, the Local reported.

It was also visible over Barcelona; which it passed at 6.55am local time.

Source: RT News, Twitter




Tags: Meteor and Spain

Thieves in Australia steal 1.5 tonnes of avocados

A lot of avocados were stolen in Australia recently.

Yes, you read that right,1,500kg of avocados are stolen. 

That's a lot of guacamole.

Photo: ST file photo.

The avocados were stolen from 20 trees that were growing on a property in South Australia, reported Australia news outlet, SBS news. 

The avocado heist is believed to have happened some time between Aug 24 and Sept 4. 

According to the Police, the total weight of the avocados amounted to a whopping 1,500kg, that is heavier than a 2014 model 1.5 litre Honda Jazz.

While no value was given to the total values of avocados stolen, Singapore FairPrice sells one avocado for $1.50.

If one average size avocado weighs about 150g, it means that somewhere in southern Australia, some thieves are potentially holding on to about 10,000 stolen avocados.

This is not the first time though that such a large amount of avocados were hijacked, last August, 1,000 avocados were stolen from a farm in New Zealand 

Leading police there to warn New Zealanders of "suspicious avocado selling activity",  reported 3 News. 

Avocado theft is a thing, who knew?

Source: SBS News, Honda, Avocado Central, 3 News, FairPrice



RIP, little dude! 15kg cat dies and FB fans from M'sia to Taiwan grieve

At 15kg, "Little Dude" made headlines for his girth and became an Internet sensation.

In life, he's bigger than his cat-peers.

At 15kg, super-sized kitty “Little Dude” made headlines.

Now in death, the Internet sensation is still drawing eyeballs - through his Facebook memorial page.

Little Dude died in an animal hospital on Saturday, from pneumonia-related complications, said Angela Jackson-Brunning. She had been fostering him at her home in California.

He was 10. Sadly, he never hung on long enough to find new owners.

“I do a lot of fostering,” she said Sunday through tears. “But there was something special about him.”

Little Dude first arrived at WAGS Pet Adoption in Westminster about two weeks ago, when his owners claimed they couldn’t afford pet rent that their landlord enforced. She began fostering him on Thursday.

One look at a picture of the super-size cat, she said, was all that it took to draw her in.

“There was an immediate bond,” she said. “He was such a doll.”

Efforts to get Little Dude back to a healthy weight were underway, including placing him on a diet and feeding him through a tube to make certain his vital organs got essential nutrients.

His girth limited his ability to walk more than a few steps - and his heartbeat was barely audible through his layers of fat.

But Little Dude’s health problems captured caring hearts of thousands.

By Sunday, a Facebook page created for the feline by Jackson-Brunning had earned nearly 2,000 likes. His admirers also donated about US$600 (about S$750) toward his medical expenses, which were growing as he received more and more treatment.

When news of his death reached social media, dozens posted condolences on the Facebook page.

“It’s so amazing that his story touched so many people worldwide,” Jackson-Brunning said. “People as far away as Malaysia, France and Taiwan.”

While heartbroken, Jackson-Brunning said she has no plans to stop fostering animals.

“Even though there are very hard things to deal with, it’s one of the most rewarding things you can do,” she said.

Sources: Orange County Register, Facebook

Tags: cat, Fat, fans and super-sized

Man killed by shark at Byron Bay, a popular Australian beach holiday spot

 A man was killed on Tuesday in a suspected shark attack at a popular Australian beach after being bitten on the leg while swimming, officials said.

The man, in his 40s, was in the water at Byron Bay on the New South Wales north coast, a popular tourist destination, when he was spotted floating with a wound to his leg.

“Others swimmers pulled him onto the beach with a very serious bite to his leg,” a NSW ambulance spokeswoman told AFP. “It is suspected to be from a shark.”

A doctor was on a beach in the area at the time and tried to save the man but he was pronounced dead soon after.

Experts say attacks by sharks, which are common in Australian waters, are increasing as the population rises and water sports become more popular.

Before Tuesday’s incident, the last fatal shark was in April at Tathra Beach about 350 kilometres south of Sydney.

Only the swimming cap and goggles of the woman who was taken were recovered. - AFP

Soon, you can buy stuff directly from Twitter


Twitter on Monday began testing “buy buttons” that let people make purchases directly from marketing posts fired off at the globally popular one-to-many messaging service.

The move comes as Twitter works to ramp up its appeal to people curious about what is happening at any given moment and to advertisers eager to connect with them.

“This is an early step in our building functionality into Twitter to make shopping from mobile devices convenient and easy, hopefully even fun,” group product manager Tarun Jain said in an online post.

“In our test, the entire purchase can be completed in just a few taps.”


The test was limited to a small group of Twitter users in the United States who access the service from mobile devices powered by Apple or Android software, according to Jain.

Users will have the option of having payment and shipping information encrypted and stored to speed up future purchases.

“We’ll be starting the test with a group of artists, brands and nonprofit organizations, so follow them now and look out for great products over the coming weeks,” Jain said.

The list of launch partners included Home Depot, Burberry, The Nature Conservancy, Soundgarden and Twenty One Pilots.

Advertisers will be able to pay to “promote” Twitter messages featuring buy buttons the same way other marketing tweets can be more prominently displayed.

Source: Reuters

Tags: twitter, tech and e-commerce

Ride and fight: Duelling cyclists disqualified as Alberto Contador win

Cyclists Ivan Rovny and Gianluca Brambilla engaging in a bit of combat during the race.

Professional cyclists have been known to get quite competitive while on the saddle, but this video shows that sometimes, the heat of competition can result in outright violence.

Russian Ivan Rovny and Italian Gianluca Brambilla came to blows during the 16th stage of the Vuelta a Espana in Spain on Monday (Sept 8).

The two riders were seen swinging wildly at each other during an early breakaway up a slope during the 160.5 km-long mountain stage, reported British media The Guardian. 

This happened after team Omega Pharma-Quick Step rider Brambilla apparently became annoyed with Rovny (riding for team Tinkoff-Saxo) for changing pace during the break, reported The Independent. 

Unsurprisingly, both cyclists fell off the pace as the group they were in pulled away - while they engaged in mortal combat. 

Even more unsurprising was the fact that officials later disqualified the pair.

The fight overshadowed team Alberto Contador's win. Rovny's team-mate extended his overall lead over Chris Froome by 1 minute and 36 seconds.

There are five stages to go, with the last day of racing slated for Sunday (Sept 14).

Sources: The Independent, The Guardian, Cycling news, Reuters

Tags: cycling and fighting

M'sia woman reportedly the brains behind love scam

Love scam: Conmen targeted victims looking for love online.

She targets women and cheats them out of millions.

A Malaysian woman, in her 30s, is believed to be behind the online “love scam” syndicate. Her name was not released.

Authorities arrested five Nigerians linked to the syndicate on Friday and Saturday.

Sungai Buloh OCPD Supt Junaidi Bujang said that all the suspects were in their 30s.

“The syndicate looks out for lonely victims within or outside of the country via Facebook," he said. “After getting to know the victims, who are mostly women, they will start to send romantic messages to them.”

Supt Junaidi said among the victims who had been duped by the syndicate was a bank manager, who lost RM223,000 (S$88,000).

As many as 1,750 Malaysians have fallen prey to Internet “love scams” since Jan 2013 and have been cheated of RM68.3 million, Harian Metro reported.

Most victims were women.

Sources: Star Online, Harian Metro