Brain tumour turns couple's sweet angel into little monster

PATIENT: During this interview, Bianca hit her parents several times but they never lost their cool. Mr and Mrs Lai's son is in the background.
AWARENESS: The Lais say they hope Singaporeans will be more understanding of brain tumour conditions like Bianca's.

She was a sweet and loving girl doted on by the family. But complications from a brain tumour surgery turned Bianca Lai into a "little monster" overnight.

The seven-year-old was diagnosed with craniopharyngioma, an uncommon benign brain tumour, three years ago.

After her second surgery, her behaviour changed drastically and she started having extreme mood swings.

One moment, she would be happy and then suddenly, she would be upset. She would even hit her parents as a coping mechanism.

In light of Brain Tumour Awareness Day today, Bianca's parents, Mr and Mrs Gary Lai, share their struggles in coping with Bianca's condition.

Read the full report in our print edition on Nov 1.

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Police arrest 18 people during anti-loan sharking blitz

Police arrested 18 people for their suspected involvement in loan sharking activities in three separate cases this week.

In the first case, officers arrested two teenagers near Bukit Batok Street 21 on Thursday at about 1.10am.

The duo, aged 16 and 17, is believed to have helped loan shark syndicates scribble graffiti on walls and lock the main gates of debtors' residences with bicycle locks in order to earn money.

Two mobile phones, a marker pen and a bicycle lock were seized.

The pair carried out their illegal activities near Marsiling and Bukit Batok public housing estates, stated a police press release on Friday.

They will be charged in court on Saturday (Nov 1).

ATM cards seized 

In the second case, officers arrested a 32-year-old man near Bukit Gombak MRT station on Thursday at about 3.55pm.

Initial investigations revealed that the man helped loan shark syndicates in order to earn more money.

He is believed to have obtained Automated Teller Machine (ATM) cards from debtors and used them to perform transactions.

Five ATM cards, two bank tokens, one mobile phone and $1,520 in cash were seized.

He will be charged in court on Saturday (Nov 1).

Island-wide operation

Police also carried out an island-wide operation from Tuesday (Oct 28) to Thursday (Oct 30) covering Bukit PanjangBukit BatokJurong West, Telok BlangahHougangToa Payoh and Ghim Moh public housing estates.

Ten men and five women, aged between 19 and 64, were arrested.

They are believed to have opened bank accounts and given away their ATM cards and Personal Identification Numbers (PINs) to loan sharks to facilitate their businesses. 

Investigations against all 15 people are ongoing.

Immigration-related offences

Separately, police also conducted a series of raids near Geylang and Joo Chiat on Thursday.

Officers nabbed 78 men and 24 women for various offences including immigration-related offences.

S.League: Drama as Warriors take home record ninth title

Brunei DPMM trip up on final day of the season to hand record ninth S.League title to Warriors FC

Warriors FC took home their 9th S.League title on Friday night (Oct 31) after defeating Albirex Niigata 1-0 at Choa Chu Kang Stadium.

For most of the Great Eastern-Yeo's S.League season, Brunei DPMM were head and shoulders above their rivals. 

But on Friday night (Oct 31) when it mattered most, the Wasps fluffed their lines.

Their 2-1 defeat to Tampines Rovers at the Jalan Besar Stadium, coupled with Warriors FC's 1-0 win over Albirex Niigata in a match played simultaneously at the Choa Chu Kang Stadium, meant the title went Warriors' way on the final day of the season.

It is a kick in the teeth for DPMM, who end the season boasting the league's best scoring and defensive records, and headed into last night's match needing simply to equal Warriors' result.

But, by failing to hold up their end of the bargain, sleeping giants Warriors now have a record ninth S.League title in the bag.

Before last night, the S.League's most successful team last triumphed in the league in 2009.

But a goal by attacking midfielder Hafiz Rahim in the 48th minute sent them on their way.

They were further boosted when Tampines' Jozef Kaplan fired his side ahead in the 65th minute.

And when Miljan Mrdakovic doubled the Stags' lead at Jalan Besar just eight minutes later, there was no question the title was headed on its way to Choa Chu Kang.

Read the full report in our print edition on Nov 1. 

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113 suspected drug offenders arrested during two operations this week

The Central Narcotics Bureau (CNB) arrested 113 suspected drug offenders and seized drugs worth more than $163,000 during two separate operations this week.

The first operation, which started on Sunday (Oct 26), was a five-day island-wide blitz covering Boon Lay, Bukit BatokGeylangJoo ChiatJurong, Marine Parade, MarsilingOutramPunggolSerangoon and Woodlands.

Officers nabbed 103 suspected drug abusers and six suspected drug traffickers.

One of drug traffickers was a 46-year-old man who was caught near Kaki Bukit Road 1 on Wednesday with about 590g of heroin, 12g of Ice and 22 Erimin-5 tablets as well as more than $3,300 in cash.

Second anti-drug operation

In the second operation, which was carried out on Thursday, CNB officers recovered about 450g of heroin, 210g of Ice and 1,000 Erimin-5 tablets from a 49-year-old Singaporean man who was in a car near Teban Gardens in Jurong.

His travelling companion, a 50-year-old Singaporean man, was found with $1,760 in cash on him.

Officers raided the 49-year-old man's hideout at Changi Road and found about 180g of Ice, 22 Ecstasy tablets, 43 Erimin-5 tablets and drug paraphernalia.

Two female foreigners aged 30 and 43 were also arrested at the unit.

Investigations against all suspects are ongoing.

Enforcement pressure

A total of about 1.2kg of heroin, 440g of Ice, 58 Ecstasy tablets and 1,189 Erimin-5 tablets were seized during both operations. They are estimated to be worth more than $163,000.

CNB director Ng Ser Song said in a press release on Friday: "The 1.2 kg of heroin seized in the two operations could have fed the addiction of almost 589 drug abusers for a week.

"CNB will continue to maintain the enforcement pressure on the ground."

More than 260 music performers bring joy to hospital patients

Homegrown thespian Sebastian Tan was one of the many performers at Singapore General Hospital.

The Singapore General Hospital (SGH) Campus came alive with the sound of music on Friday (Oct 31) for MusicFest at SGH 2014.

The entire SGH campus was transformed into a huge performance space with an array of musical activities.

Professional and amateur artists, students and staff serenaded patients and visitors with over 40 hours of music in different places such as chemotherapy treatment rooms.

More than 260 artists from 40 groups performed at the most unexpected spots such as the lobbies, wards, specialist outpatient clinics and gardens.

Ms Mumtaj Ibrahim, Community Relations Manager, SGH, said.  “Music has a therapeutic impact on our patients and visitors, and it is through such efforts that we hope to bring happiness to them, creating a soothing hospital environment.” 

She also appreciated the contributions made by the arts community and volunteers.

One aim

Into its second year, the performers had one aim -  to bring the joy of music to those who might not be able to access it at a time they need it most.

Ms Nathalie Ribette, Artistic Director of Sing'theatre and producer, said: "We are thrilled to welcome back Sebastian Tan and Jonathan Leong.

 “And very excited to bring to the hospital new acts like the acclaimed Tribute to ABBA by Cat Ong & Friends that wowed the audience just a few weeks ago at the Esplanade for the concert finale.”

The music fest is a free event, open to all, and is supported by Novartis.


Want to tickle a lion's tummy? Visit this zoo in Chile

A child inside a cage taking a photo of a lion being fed at the Safari Lion Zoo in Rancagua, Chile, on Oct 30.

Ever wanted to tickle the belly of a lion? Or touch its menacing claws?

A zoo in Chile gives visitors a chance to get up close and personal with the king of beasts.

In a bit of a role-reversal, humans are put in a cage while the majestic felines roam free above and around them.

The lions are lured on top of the cage by slabs of fresh red meat.

The cage is mounted on a safari truck, which travels through a 2ha enclosure that is home to six lions.

The Safari Lion Zoo in Rancangua is the first of its kind in Chile and one of few in Latin America.

The idea behind it is to allow people to see animals in their natural habitat.

The lions are free to decide what they want to do: amble up for a sniff, climb atop to eat the meat and look at the cowering humans below, or even lie down for a rest.

We're still a tad wary about sticking our fingers through the holes in the metal grates.

But if you want to touch the king of the jungle's tummy, you just got to risk it.

Source: AFP

Father allegedly has disabled infant daughter buried alive

Police in north China's Shanxi Province have detained a man, identified as Wang, on Thursday (Oct 30) for allegedly having his disabled newborn buried while she was alive. 

According to Xinhua, police said the baby was found alive in a paper box on the morning of Oct 18 in Fengkou Village, Zhangdian Township in Pinglu County. 

The discovery was made by a shepherd who said he noticed someone disturbing the earth on Oct 16.

However, he only decided to investigate the site two days later.

Police said they believe the infant was buried by three friends of Wang.


Wang, along with one of his friends, identified as Tian, who is suspected of burying the baby, were detained on Monday (Oct 27).

Cao and Zheng, Wang's two other friends, have remained under house arrest, said police.  

During his wife's pregnancy, Wang was made aware of his daughter's probable complications by doctors.

On Oct 16, Wang's daughter was born with a missing right earflap.

Fearing that more complications would follow, Wang informed his friends that his baby had died.

He then asked his friends to bury her without his wife's knowledge. 

Source: Xinhua, via Global Times

China executes man who killed toddler after quarrel over parking space

File photo of a parking lot. A Chinese man who killed a two-year-old girl after a row with her mother over a parking space was executed on Friday, a Beijing court said.

A Chinese man who killed a two-year-old girl after a row with her mother over a parking space was executed on Friday, a Beijing court said.

Han Lei was convicted of taking the child from her pram and throwing her to the ground after her mother refused to make way for him to park his car in the capital of China.

He and a friend in the vehicle drove away and the toddler died two days later of her injuries

Public outrage

The incident, which happened in July last year, provoked widespread public outrage.

Han, 40, was sentenced to death two months after the incident.

He tried appealing against the penalty, but was unsuccessful.

China’s Supreme Court approved the sentence and he was executed on Friday, the Beijing No. 1 Intermediate People’s Court said on a verified microblog account.


Han had reportedly told prosecutors last year he felt so guilty and distressed that he wanted to die, according to previous Chinese media reports.

"I caused such a calamity for the child... please make sure that I am sentenced to death," he was quoted as saying. "I don’t want to live any more."

Han was sentenced to life in prison in 1996 for stealing a car but was released 2012 after the sentence was commuted, the reports said.

Source: AFP

Ex-guide in tussle over widow's $40m assets charged with falsifying company's accounts

Former China tour guide Yang Yin was charged in court on Friday.

Former China tour guide Yang Yin was charged in court on Friday for falsifying the accounts of his company.

This is the latest drama involving Yang, who is embroiled in a legal tussle over the about $40 million worth of assets of 87-year-old widow Madam Chung Khin Chun.

Yang, 40, was slapped with 11 charges for falsifying the accounts Young Music and Dance Studio between 2009 and 2014.

He allegedly created receipts for payments which did not exist.

If found guilty, he can be jailed for up to 10 years and/or fined.

Brief history of tussle over $40m assets

Yang befriends Madam Chung while acting as her personal guide on a trip to Beijing

Yang starts living with Madam Chung at her $30m bungalow off Yio Chu Kang Road
He sets up Young Music and Dance Studio with her and obtains an Employment Pass

Yang becomes a Singapore permanent resident

Madam Chung grants Yang a Lasting Power of Attorney (LPA), which gives him say over her financial assets

Yang's wife and two children, now aged two and eight, move into Madam Chung's bungalow

Madam Chung's niece Madam Hedy Mok, 60, sues Yang and his wife for allegedly manipulating her aunt
Yang's wife Weng Yandan returns to China
Yang is arrested for suspected criminal breach of trust
Court issues a temporary suspension of Yang's legal powers

US plane crashes into FlightSafety building, killing three in a flight simulator

Smoke billows from a building at at Mid-Continent Airport shortly after a twin-turbo airplane crashed into a building killing several people including the pilot in Wichita Kansas.
Smoke billows from a building at at Mid-Continent Airport shortly after a twin-turbo airplane crashed into a building killing several people including the pilot in Wichita Kansas.

Four people were killed, including the pilot, and five injured when a small airplane crashed into a building at Mid-Continent Airport in Wichita on Thursday, setting off an explosion and huge fireball, officials said.

The authorities said they had accounted for four people who had been listed as missing after the airplane, which officials said carried only the pilot, struck a building where pilots train on the airport grounds.


“I heard a big, loud noise, but it was muffled. I saw smoke and flames. I rushed over." - Lana Johnson, 65, who was in a post office near the airport when the plane crashed.


The pilot of the twin-engine turbo-prop Beechcraft King Air 200 reported losing engine power just after taking off from the airport and crashed as it tried to return, the Federal Aviation Administration said.

“The pilot did report that he did have left engine damage,”National Transportation Safety Board investigator Leah Yeager told an evening news conference.

At a news conference, authorities said they have not released the identities of the victims.

One of the injured was listed in serious condition and the four others were treated and released from Via Christi St. Francis Hospital, spokeswoman Maria Loving said.

Deaths in flight simulator

Three of the dead were in a flight simulator and one was on the roof, airport officials said. Their bodies had not yet been recovered because of concerns about the building’s safety.

Fire Chief Ron Blackwell said the plane appeared to strike the top of the building, sparking an intense fire.

Parts of the airplane were found on the roof and on the ground, he said.

The authorities said more than 100 people were believed to have been in the building, which was operated by FlightSafety International, a Berkshire Hathaway Inc company.

Crews had searched three of four flight simulators in the building, but could not get into the fourth due to concerns about potential structural collapse, Crisp said.

The National Transportation Safety Board will lead the investigation, the FAA said. - Reuters