DOC: RARE BUT AGGRESSIVE CANCER

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What would you grab first if your house were on fire: your cat or your phone?

Smartphone users would rescue their phone from a fire before saving the family cat.

They would also sleep with their device, take it into the toilet and even into the shower.

These were the results of a survey of 7,112 people from seven countries – US, UK, Brazil, China, Spain, Mexico and India.

The findings on smartphone habits were released on Tuesday (July 28) by Motorola, the newly acquired division of Chinese electronics giant Lenovo.

Here's what it revealed:

Designed by Freepik | Infographic by Marie Lim

​Sources: AFP, NY Daily News

Wife finds out husband led life of drugs and gay sex

PHOTO ILLUSTRATION

For nearly 13 years, she was oblivious to her husband’s secret life of drugs and casual gay sex.

She knew nothing about him being HIV-positive or his postings on a gay social networking site.

Things only came to light in 2009 when she hired a private investigator to check on him after becoming suspicious of his late nights.

By then, she had given birth to triplets through in-vitro fertilisation (IVF).

These details emerged in a High Court judgment on the couple’s divorce that was released yesterday.

Justice Vinodh Coomaraswamy awarded the woman $1.9 million as her share of the matrimonial assets.

It included assets worth some $770,000 under her name, 60 per cent of proceeds from the sale of their marital home in Sembawang and a property in Serangoon worth $1 million.

The couple cannot be named to protect their children.

They were married in April 1996 after cohabiting in a Jalan Bahagia flat.

After joining the man’s family’s packaging business, the couple struck out on their own and set up various businesses including a piano shop and a spa.

The wife went through a series of painful and stressful fertility treatments in an attempt to have a baby.

After several attempts, she conceived triplets through IVF in 2003, said court documents.

In 2008, she noticed her husband acting oddly and withdrawn from the family. He often went out alone, returning home drunk late at night.

He also began sleeping separately from her.

In January 2009, she hired a private investigator, who discovered that her husband had been actively engaging in trysts with other men.

When she confronted him, he admitted that he was gay.

They decided to go for counselling to save their marriage. At the first session, the husband revealed that he was HIV-positive.

In late 2009, he began spending weekends and stretches of time away from home, which led the wife to conclude that he was not serious about trying to save their marriage.

MOVED OUT

She moved out of their home in January 2010, taking the triplets with her.

The next month, she applied for a personal protection order (PPO) against her husband who had beaten her on at least two occasions, including in front of colleagues at their workplace, court documents said.

He also used force on one of their children and had screaming rages against the other two.

During proceedings for the PPO, the husband, who did not have a lawyer, insisted on the children, then aged seven, giving evidence in court. They later testified via videolink.

“His decision, therefore, deliberately put his young children in a position where they would have to be subjected to cross-examination by their own father,” Justice Coomaraswamy wrote.

The woman was granted full custody of her children and her husband was allowed to see them for only two hours a week under supervision.

He had asked for this to be relaxed, but the judge ruled against it as he did not think it was in the children’s best interest for the man to be involved in the decision-making for their welfare.

“I say that because the husband has, at least since 2008, demonstrated a very poor ability to make decisions even for his own welfare.

“Indeed, what he has shown is an ability to make decisions which are positively detrimental to his own welfare,” the judge said.

He referred to the man’s four-month jail term for possession and consumption of drugs, including methamphetamine and ketamine; his promiscuous lifestyle where he solicited short-term sexual trysts on a social networking site for gay men; and the recklessness by which he was likely to have become HIV-positive.

Justice Coomaraswamy wrote that the man was also involved with a partner who leads a particularly “reckless and dissolute lifestyle”. In 2009, that partner was found under the bed of his then-lover, who had died from a drug overdose.

He added that he was not inclined to give the man more access because he did not take the initiative to visit his children since his release from prison in September 2013.

“I do not consider it in the triplets’ best interests to be exposed to the husband’s reckless and dissolute lifestyle so long as that lifestyle continues,” said the judge, adding that his visits needed to be supervised.

“The husband has on previous occasions deliberately failed to return the triplets to the wife after unsupervised access.

“In his oral submissions before me, without a trace of irony, the husband himself used the term ‘kidnap’ to refer to his actions.”

The man is appealing the decision.

Not a fan of the official NDP Theme song? Here are some 'unofficial' SG50 songs

Gentle Bones sang SixtyFive, which was used for the movie 1965.

There are two things Singaporeans are sure to do when National Day is around the corner.

Fight tooth and nail for the National Day Parade (NDP) tickets and... complain that the year's NDP theme song is not as good as the seminal favourite Home.

Despite this year being the all-important SG50, things weren't all that different.

Dick Lee, who penned Home, composed and performed this year's song Our Singapore.

The song however received mixed reviews - mostly because it was mellow and didn't sound celebratory given that this is an important year.

 

 

Fortunately, JJ Lin came to the rescue. The pop star turned the song, with admittedly touching lyrics, into a more upbeat one.

And while Dick Lee's video showed the work of our pioneer generation, JJ Lin's video shows how the younger generations appreciate the hard work of those before us: Taking selfies. 

Many praised this new arrangement. One commenter on YouTube said: "JJ's amazing voice and this superb upbeat arrangement really gives this song a nice vibe".

And even if you didn't like JJ Lin's version, don't worry.

There are many alternative SG50 songs - although they are "unofficial".

Some ordinary Singaporeans have come up with their own songs - and well, let's just say that these could very well be the official versions too.

That's how good these songs are.

1. Do you remember by Jon Chan

 

 

Easily a song that can be heard at the NDP, this is a sweet song, written by Nicholas Chia and performed by Jon Chan, that is more personal that many other songs we've heard over the year.

The equally great video produced by SteadiProductions features both new and old footage of different generations and the experiences they had growing up.

And if that's not selling it, it sounds like a great Mumford & Sons song.

SixtyFive by Gentle Bones

 

 

Gentle Bones, also known as Joel Tan, goes bigger and grander for this song, which was written for the movie 1965, which is out in theatres now.

I could do without the overly dramatic and abstract video - but the song could just be timeless and is a reminder of the sacrifices made for the success of the country.

There's no place like home by Charlyn Too and Audris Ho

 

 

If you wanted a song that's similar to Kit Chan's Home, this might be it.

Available in both English and Chinese, it's a nice, emotional ballad that tells us what we already know - That there is no place like home.

Of course, it doesn't hurt to have a reminder. 

These are the days by Lee Chin Sin and performed by Farisha Ishak

 

 

This song is the winner of MediaCorp's SG50: The Gift of Song songwriting competition - and rightly so.

Lee is a full-time chef and has no plans for a musical career, which is a surprise given that this song sounds like it belongs at the Padang. 

With a great singalong chorus, and a great message to always take advantage of opportunities and pursue your dreams, this is the perfect SG50 song.

 

 

Survivor: ISIS edition

Reality TV show under fire for taking participants to ISIS war zones in Syria

DANGEROUS: Ms Vuga and Mr Jackson scrambling for cover after mortar rounds hit the abandoned school in which they are filming.
DANGEROUS: (From left) Go Back To Where You Came From participants Andrew Jackson, Kim Vuga and Nicole Judge on location in Syria.

Reality TV shows have been known to go to extreme lengths for entertainment.

But Australian public broadcaster SBS may have gone too far and put the lives of its participants in danger.

Yesterday, SBS was forced to defend Go Back To Where You Came From, a reality show where participants are shot at by Islamic State in Iraq and Syria (ISIS) militants in Syria as part of a trip retracing the journey taken by refugees.

SBS said they had extensive security preparations, reported AFP.

It was to have aired the first episode of the three-part series yesterday evening, with the programme taking "ordinary Australians" to Syria, Baghdad and Myanmar to expose them to asylum-seekers and refugees' experiences.

In footage released by the broadcaster, three of the six participants are seen running and sheltering behind buildings amid the sound of mortar rounds in Syria.

"Righto, that's rounds coming in. Stay down, okay," says the voice of a person escorting them in the video clip.

SBS said in promotional material that those taking part were "escorted under security to the Syrian frontlines by Kurdish soldiers as they defend a village under threat by ISIS... and come under fire by nearby ISIS insurgents".

The broadcaster added that the safety of the participants and crew was "paramount", after an Australian security consultant reviewed the footage and said there was "substantial risk... with the deployment" and "appropriate controls were not implemented".

The consultant, former army officer Justin Bowden, told the Sydney Morning Herald yesterday that the three Australians should have been given helmets in addition to the ballistic vests they were wearing.

PRIVATE SECURITY

SBS said in a statement the group was also accompanied by a private security firm during their Syria trip.

The statement said: "The situation captured on camera where the group were shot at was not planned, but not unexpected in a war zone. The armed security team were prepared for an event like this, and quickly took action to move the participants and crew to a safer location."

It added that one crew member chose not to travel to the Syrian frontline after a security briefing. A cameraman was also left behind to reduce the group's size for security reasons.

The documentary series, in its third season and which won an international Emmy for non-scripted entertainment in 2013, previously took people to Afghanistan, Somalia and Indonesia.

The programme's executive producer Michael Cordell said the makers were trying to "put a human face to a pressing global problem".

Singapore company to raise $68,500 to fly endangered rhino to "Noah's Ark"

The staff at Quotient TravelPlanner are determined to raise $68,500 to save at least one endangered rhino from poachers in Africa.

They are neighbouring countries in Africa.

Botswana bans animal poaching but South Africa does not.

Rhino conservation project Rhinos Without Borders is trying to help save the endangered animal by relocating 100 rhinos to Botswana.

But each rhino that moves across the border between the two countries costs US$50,000 (S$68,500).

The cost is so high because it takes months to prepare the rhinos for the flight as they have to be quarantined first to rid them of parasites and other illnesses.

The process of transporting them also requires up to 60 people per time. 

Since last year, Rhino Without Borders has successfully managed to relocate a few of the animals with the goal of moving 25 by this year's end.

Now, a Singapore company has pledged to save the rhinos from being poached by contributing to the project.

Travel company Quotient TravelPlanner has started a two month long contest, Give A Wild A Go, to get Singaporeans involved in the cause.

The quiz, which can be found on their website and Facebook page, requires participants to answer one question on wildlife.

For each person who enters the contest, the company will donate S$1 to Rhinos Without Borders.

Participants stand to win a safari trip for two to Africa.

The travel agency's goal?

When the rhinos are flown to Botswana and are protected from poachers, it will be like a modern day "Noah's ark" that will hopefully help to seed the population of rhinos.

Rhinos await release in a park in northern Botswana after being transported from a crowded park in South Africa. PHOTO: NATIONAL GEOGRAPHIC/ BEVERLY JOUBERT

Ms Lim Hui-Juan, co-founder and director of Quotient TravelPlanner, told The New Paper: "Over the years, we have developed good relations with many partners around the world, particularly in Africa.

"Rhinos Without Borders is an initiative by andBeyond and Great Plains Conservation, two entities in Africa that we not only know well but are genuinely and highly passionate about what they do.

"Rhinos are also not the most attractive of species, and a number of rhino species are threatened, vulnerable or endangered. One northern white rhino just died on Monday, making it only four left in the world."

On why she chose this project instead of those closer to home, she said that she wanted to lend support to an established and credible initiative.

Ms Lim said she has set an 18-month deadline to raise the money and is confident that it will be met.

"No donations are sought from the public.

"We are also organising a private fundraising event where proceeds from wildlife-themed merchandise, fine-print photography from acclaimed National Geographic photographers and travel offers will go towards our cause.

"We have been invited by Rhinos Without Borders to witness the release of one of the rhinos (in Botswana).

"We will be joining the land management team, rhino monitors and anti-poaching unit to witness this."

According to the National Geographic, rhinos are being poached at an alarming rate and only 25,000 are left in the world.

More than a thousand rhinos are slaughtered a year so that their horns can be sold in China and Vietnam in the black market.

The horn is marketed as a cure for many illnesses even though Western scientists have said that eating the rhino's horn is akin to chewing one's own fingernails.

Other hunters (pictured below) kill rhinos for sport.

Dentist Walter Palmer (front), poses with a rhino he hunted. He is currently in the news for hunting and killing Zimbabwe's most famous lion, Cecil. PHOTO: TROPHY HUNT AMERICA

As such, Rhinos Without Borders — a joint initiative by National Geographic explorers-in-residence husband and wife team Derek and Beverly Joubert and tourism groups Great Plains Conservation and andBeyond — is a relocation project launched a few months ago to fly 100 rhinos to safety from South Africa to Botswana.

With a human population of 2 million, Botswana is considered relatively safe for rhinos because human pressure is reduced when compared to South Africa which has a human population of 53 million.

Botswana's government has also enlisted the military to defend against poachers and if a poacher should try to kill a rhino, the military will employ the controversial "shoot to kill" policy against them.

A rhino runs free after it is released at Botswana. PHOTO: NATIONAL GEOGRAPHIC/ BEVERLY JOUBERT

​Source: National Geographic, The Star Online

An insight into Jennifer Pan: the girl who hired hitmen to kill her parents

Jennifer Pan was jailed for life earlier this year for the murder of her mother and the attempted murder of her father.

Bich Ha and Huei Hann Pan were both refugees who moved from Vietnam to Canada in search of a better life.

They met in their new home country, married and had two children – Jennifer in 1986 and Felix three years later.

Madam Ha and Mr Pan were labourers at an auto parts manufacturer, reported The Washington Post.

The duo worked hard to provide for the family and pushed their children to excel in school.

Frivolous events like parties or school dances were a big no-no in the Pan household.

And by all accounts and appearances, Jennifer was their "golden" child: A straight 'A's student who bagged a scholarship and got into a prestigious programme at a university.

Except these achievements were just part of a meticulously woven web of lies.

Jailed for life

Jennifer was a talented pianist who won multiple trophies at a young age, reported Toronto Life. But her secondary school grades were just average.

She never attended university, let alone obtained a scholarship.

In 2010, she and her boyfriend hired hitmen to kill her parents.

She was jailed for life earlier this year for the murder of her mother and the attempted murder of her father.

Her father and brother requested that she never speak to them again. The request was granted by the court.

Last week, Jennifer's former schoolmate Karen K. Ho gave an insight into her teenage years in a piece entitled "Jennifer Pan’s Revenge: the inside story of a golden child, the killers she hired, and the parents she wanted dead".

Ms Ho wrote: "The more I learned about Jennifer’s strict upbringing, the more I could relate to her. I grew up with immigrant parents who also came to Canada from Asia (in their case Hong Kong) with almost nothing, and a father who demanded a lot from me."

She added: "I felt like a hamster on a wheel, sprinting to meet some sort of expectation, solely determined by him, that was always just out of reach."

This is Jennifer's story.

Sources: Toronto Life, The Washington Post

Chris Pine to play 'damsel in distress' to Wonder Woman?

Star Trek star Chris Pine has sealed a deal to join the DC Cinematic Universe, but not as a superhero.

The 34-year-old will play Wonder Woman's (Gal Gadot) love interest Steve Trevor when the Amazon princess makes her upcoming big screen debut.

Pine has reportedly signed a multi-picture deal that includes sequel options.

This latest casting news now casts doubt on whether Pine will portray Green Lantern Hal Jordan in the recently announced Green Lantern Corps movie (2020).

There has been speculation of a role reversal in the Wonder Woman film in which Pine will be the "damsel in distress", but The Wrap reported that Pine will be "no mere love interest" for Gadot's character as "there will be plenty of action to keep him busy".

If this is indeed the case, then it's likely that the film's version of the character will be similar to DC's New 52 (the company's 2011 mass reboot of its comic books) Trevor.

Wonder Woman, helmed by director Patty Jenkins, will hit theatres in 2017.

 

Sources: The Wrap, Vanity Fair

 

911 dispatcher hangs up on caller trying to save 17-year-old friend's life

A 911 dispatcher hang up on caller trying to save her friend Jaydon Chavez-Silver's (above) life.

A 911 dispatch operator has quit his job after facing massive backlash for, well, doing the exact opposite of what his job requires of him.

Matthew Sanchez resigned after he told a teenage caller to "deal with it yourself".

The teen had called in after her 17-year-old friend Jaydon Chavez-Silver was shot in a drive-by on June 26.

In an audio file obtained by New Mexico news station KRQE, the girl can be heard desperately pleading with Chavez-Silver to stay awake while speaking to the dispatcher.

 

 

The dispatcher first asks the girl: "Is he not breathing?"

She answers: "Barely."

The girl then tells Chavez-Silver: "Stay with me. Stay with me, okay. Good job Jaydon."

Sanchez asks once again: "Is he breathing?"

The girl swears at the dispatcher and says: "He's barely breathing. How many times do I have to f****** tell you?"

Sanchez then replies: "Okay, you know what ma'am? You can deal with it yourself. I'm not going to deal with this, okay."

She pleads with him: "No, he's going to die".

And the call ends.

However, a spokeswoman for the Albuquerque Fire Department said that an ambulance was already en route to Chavez-Silver's location before Sanchez, who has been with the department for 10 years, hung up on the girl.

Sanchez had worked as a dispatcher for three years.

Chavez-Silver's mother said in a statement: "We heard rumours about the 911 operator hanging up on the caller when Jaydon was shot but had no other information. After hearing the call today, it is heartbreaking to listen to. Right now, we just want to find the people responsible for this violent, deadly crime."

The teenager's killer is still at large. 

Source: Gawker, Huffington Post, New York Daily News

Is new plane debris from MH370? MAS working with authorities to determine origins of plane part

A policeman and a gendarme stand next to a piece of debris from an unidentified aircraft found in the coastal area of Saint-Andre de la Reunion, in the east of the French Indian Ocean island of La Reunion, on July 29, 2015.

A piece of plane wreckage about 2m in length washed up on the beach of La Reunion, an island east of Madagascar, on Wednesday (July 29).

Speculation has been rife that the plane part, a wing component, belongs to missing Malaysia Airlines flight MH370.

Malaysia’s prime minister Najib Razak said in a statement on Thursday (July 30): "Initial reports suggest that the debris is very likely to be from a Boeing 777, but we need to verify whether it is from flight MH370."

Boeing 777 is the aircraft model of MH370, which is the only 777 plane unaccounted for.

 

 

 

 

Malaysia Airlines (MAS) said it was working with authorities to determine the origin of the debris.


La Reunion island. PHOTO: GOOGLE MAPS
 

Deputy prime minister of Australia Warren Truss said that while "other possibilities" exist, "clearly we are treating this as a major lead".

Malaysia and France are both sending teams down to La Reunion, which belongs to France, to examine the wing component, which has been identified as a flaperon.

The flaperon reportedly has a number stamped on it which could help in determining if the debris is from a Boeing 777.

Mr Najib said: "To find out as fast as possible (if it is from flight MH370), the debris will be shipped by French authorities to Toulouse, site of the nearest office of the BEA, the French authority responsible for civil aviation accident investigations."

A damaged suitcase was also found near where the plane debris was recovered. It is unclear if it has any link to the MH370 tragedy.

 

 

MH370 disappeared without a trace in March last year carrying 239 passengers and crew. It had been en route from Kuala Lumpur to Beijing.

Search efforts led by Australia have focused on a broad expanse of the southern Indian Ocean off Australia.

"In the event that the wreckage is identified as being from MH370 on La Reunion Island, it would be consistent with other analysis and modelling that the resting place of the aircraft is in the southern Indian Ocean," Mr Truss said in a statement.


Rough location of search area in relation to where debris was found. PHOTO: GOOGLE MAPS

Source: Reuters, Twitter

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