Ibe saves reds blushes
Real show their class over Man City in Benitez's first win at the helm
REAL MADRID 4
(Karim Benzema 21, Cristiano Ronaldo 25, Pepe 44, Denis Cherychev 73)
MAN CITY 1
(Yaya Toure 45+3-pen)
Cristiano Ronaldo turned on a show as Real Madrid demolished Manchester City 4-1 before a record crowd in the International Champions Cup Australia final at the Melbourne Cricket Ground yesterday.
World Footballer of the Year Ronaldo showcased his sublime skills and was among the goalscorers as Real ripped apart the 2014 English Premier League champions in a blistering first-half performance before 99,382 fans at the vast stadium.
It was the MCG's biggest crowd for a football-only event.
The 10-time European champions revelled in the atmosphere, opening up City with dazzling touches, flicks and clinical finishing for three goals in the first half.
It was Rafa Benitez's first win in charge of the La Liga glamour side since replacing Carlo Ancelotti and clinched his first piece of silverware.
Real had a subdued game in the penalty shoot-out loss to AS Roma in the tournament opener last week.
The International Champions Cup may not take pride of place in the Spaniard's trophy cabinet, but Benitez was pleased with his forwards' ruthless demolition of a City side missing three leading central defenders.
"It has been a very good time here," Benitez said. "Really pleased with everything. Every day our physical condition is a little bit better. The team were playing with intensity, aggression."
"It's important to win and to play well is a positive thing for the future."
French striker Karim Benzema put the Spanish giants ahead with a spectacular finish in the 21st minute.
Benzema hooked in Gareth Bale's cross over his left shoulder in a brilliant piece of finishing following a fine run down the right wing by Daniel Carvajal in the lead-up.
Ronaldo pounced four minutes later, bringing down German Toni Kroos' long pass with a sublime first touch before poking home.
England goalkeeper Joe Hart was unable to keep the ball from crossing the line for a double Real sucker punch after shaky City defending as Ronaldo thrilled the crowd with his trademark goal celebration.
It got worse for City when central defender Pepe scored Real's third with an unmarked thumping header off Isco's corner just a minute before half-time.
Deep in first-half stoppage time, City got one goal back through a penalty for a Sergio Ramos hand-ball as he jostled with Raheem Sterling.
Yaya Toure slotted home the spot kick for City to trail 3-1 at the break.
Russian Denis Cheryshev made it four when he stabbed home an Isco cross with 17 minutes left.
City's night was further soured when new signing Fabian Delph injured his left hamstring and was carried off after just 18 minutes to be replaced by Jesus Navas.
Coach Benitez made four changes at half-time, bringing off Benzema, Luka Modric, Carvajal and Pepe, while Manuel Pellegrini left his City team unchanged.
Ronaldo, world football's highest paid player, turned on his party tricks for the appreciative MCG crowd, with his cheeky stepovers and flicks.
Edin Dzeko, the subject of transfer speculation, got his first run of the tournament for City, coming on in the 64th minute as Toure, Ronaldo and Ramos came off at the same time.
City's record signing Sterling had a quiet night and was well contained by Ramos before he was substituted midway through the second half.
City paid for the absence of key central defenders - Vincent Kompany left the tour early to be with his pregnant wife and Frenchman Eliaquim Mangala who became ill yesterday morning.
In their place, Pellegrini used Belgian Jason Denayer and youngster Cameron Humphreys in the heart of the defence.
"We knew before the game that it would be difficult to play against such a team of good attackers and missing three centre-backs," Pellegrini said.
"Mangala was sick this morning and he couldn't play and after Delph went off injured we had to make some changes but after that it was more about our weak defence."
Real Madrid now head to China where they will play Italian clubs AC Milan and Inter Milan from today to Thursday. - Wire Services.
Benzema Won'T Leave: Rafa
School of frock: Some do peek-a-boos, some play it safe
Lady stars were playing it safer than ever in a week without extreme winners or losers
CIARA ( B + )
NICKELODEON'S KIDS' CHOICE SPORTS AWARDS IN LOS ANGELES
Coat: Bouchra Jarrar
Yes, dear readers, your eyes are not deceiving you. Ciara in distressed ripped jeans, leopard print throwover and oozing sexy urban swaggery is somehow making everyone else's couture and cocktail dresses this week look amateurish. As the young people would say these days, she's on fleek!
CARA DELEVINGNE ( B )
PAPER TOWNS PREMIERE IN NEW YORK CITY
Dress: Saint Laurent
Shoes: Alejandra G
This is pretty much the standard supermodel red carpet uniform of late - short, sparkly and slashed, with a slice of *insert token body part here* for our viewing pleasure.
RACHEL MCADAMS ( B - )
SOUTHPAW PREMIERE IN NEW YORK CITY
Shoes: Stuart Weitzman
Her LBD would've been a big snoozer if not for the midriff cut-out and criss-cross off-shoulder bodice, which elevated it to acceptable territory.
CHARLIZE THERON ( C + )
DARK PLACES PREMIERE IN LOS ANGELES
Top, skirt and clutch: Christian Dior
Shoes: Giuseppe Zanotti
One of Hollywood's fiercest goddesses has to promote a movie called Dark Places and she shows up in this twee thing? Theron is way better than milkmaid braids and poorly-darted, oddly-shaped outfits that give the illusion of a melting bust and fat rolls!
MONICA ( C )
THE BET PLAYERS' AWARDS IN LAS VEGAS
Can someone get her crotch situation under control? When you have a bulge as distracting as Monica's, I can't even do my job properly - which is to comment on the overall obnoxiousness of dressing up as an Oscar statue.
ASHLEY BENSON ( D - )
PIXELS PREMIERE IN NEW YORK CITY
Dress and shoes: Miu Miu
Every bridesmaid's worst nightmare is happening all at once here. Why is the satin so wrinkly? Why do her boobs need to be in slings? Why are there about five mismatched shades of pink on her from eye to toe? Most importantly, why does Benson hate herself so much?
SOUTHPAW PREMIERE IN NEW YORK CITY
Suit: Tom Ford
Not a fan of the slicked-back hair and facial scruff, but Gyllenhaal is all man in this well-tailored charcoal grey suit that fits him like a (boxing) glove.
WHO WORE IT BETTER?
Usually, Fan has no competition. But in the battle of the delightful Dolce & Gabbana rose print frocks, Delevingne blossomed just a bit more with her overall styling. I'll take her sexy red strappy heels over Fan's drag queen platform pumps any day, and the embellished gold headband was a nice romantic touch. I also prefer the youthful sleeveless short version - it has pockets too! - to Fan's more conventional, ladylike tea-length silhouette.
PAPER TOWNS PREMIERE IN NEW YORK CITY, JULY 21
LADY OF THE DYNASTY PRESS CONFERENCE IN BEIJING, JULY 22
One of my favourite funnywomen has just proven that 40-something mums don't have to dress their age all the time. Poehler's floral long-sleeve sheath is very much an expected wardrobe staple, but the conservative print and harsh make-up aren't doing her any favours. When she lightened and brightened up with a cute, fun graphic print romper and eye-catching accessories, that's when you notice a whole decade's been shaved off her.
INSIDE OUT GALA SCREENING IN LONDON, JULY 19
WET HOT AMERICAN SUMMER PREMIERE IN NEW YORK CITY, JULY 22
Playsuit: Beckley by Melissa
Clutch: Jimmy Choo
Shoes: Kurt Geiger
I am trying different styles, and while you can't climb a tree or jump on a crocodile in a dress, it is nice to get dressed up every now and then and kind of walk away from the khaki for a moment.
- Australian TV personality Bindi Irwin on how Grace Kelly is her fashion inspiration even though her late father Steve 'Crocodile Hunter' Irwin's khaki wardrobe is in her DNA
From beggar to undergrad – a human trafficking victim’s journey
When he was 6, Cambodian boy became a human trafficking victim, forced to beg in Thailand for six years
Your heart might have broken if you had seen Chhap Longdy when he was six.
He was diagnosed with polio when he was five and the Cambodian boy's legs were so skinny they looked as if they would buckle under his weight.
That same vulnerability made him a human trafficking victim for six years.
He spent those years begging in Thailand.
"We were really poor. We just got one meal a day," Mr Longdy, now 25, told The New Paper in halting English.
It was only with the intervention and help of non-profit anti-human trafficking groups like Hagar International that Mr Longdy is pursuing a psychology degree at the Royal University of Phnom Penh.
"My parents would tell everyone about it even though I got only a B for one of my subjects," the undergraduate said with a laugh.
Mr Longdy was in Singapore yesterday to be part of Hagar International's charity golf event, which raised $100,000 last night to help trafficked survivors.
The Singapore arm of Hagar International, Hagar Singapore, has been trying to raise awareness about human trafficking, said its executive director Michael Chiam. (See report on facing page.)
Mr Longdy's trafficking nightmare started with a broker who suggested that he beg in Thailand for a living. People would take pity on a child with a disability, the broker told the boy's mother.
She also promised that he would be fed properly and would live in a better house. Mr Longdy was six at the time.
"My mother talked to me about it. Initially, I was a little scared. The broker came to me and said I would be happy staying in Thailand. As a kid, the idea of going to Thailand was interesting. I thought it would help my family," he said.
It was a perilous three-day journey that saw him crawl through a forest at times before he crossed the border into Thailand.
Mr Longdy's hometown is in Banteay Meanchey, a province in Cambodia that shares an international border with Thailand.
But the real nightmare began when Mr Longdy started his "job".
"It was nothing like what the broker had promised," he said quietly. He cannot remember where he was taken to in Thailand.
On average, he collected 500 (S$20) to 600 baht daily, but only 30 per cent of what he collected was sent to his mother, he said.
When he collected less than usual, the broker would lay a guilt trip on him, reminding him of his family's dire financial situation.
He would also be given less food.
Every few weeks, to prevent him from getting help from locals and getting close to them, he was moved to a different house and made to beg at different locations.
The only time he returned home was when he was caught by the police and deported after spending two days in jail.
Although he was happy to be reunited with his family, he also felt guilty because he knew he was the family's breadwinner.
That guilt trapped Mr Longdy in the vicious circle. Each time he was approached by a broker to beg in Thailand, he would agree to it.
This went on for another six years before non-governmental organisations like the International Organization for Migration and Hagar Cambodia intervened.
Calling himself a "bad kid" who was rude and bad-tempered, he stopped bullying other children only when he saw the patience and effort put in by Hagar's case workers to change him.
Hagar Cambodia's counselling project manager Seng Mang said Mr Longdy's behaviour could be due to being exposed to "traumatic experiences" from young.
"At that age, most children are developing. So he probably remembered how he was treated, like being beaten up, and did that to others as well," he explained.
Through Hagar's economic empowerment programme, Mr Longdy's family is also earning enough to get by.
Said Mr Longdy with a smile: "They are not rich, but at least they now have three meals a day, with a snack in between. They have also stopped drinking and gambling."
He hopes to be the same inspiration to other victims by working for Hagar, where he is an intern counsellor.
"Another plan I have is to hopefully work with the United Nations," he added.
Wrong to withhold maid's passports
BTO flat owners turn to Facebook to share anxiety and fears
Instead of decor ideas, future BTO flat owners are engrossed with defect news
Concerned flat owners have taken to Facebook to express anxieties about on-going Build-To-Order (BTO) flat defects.
Private Facebook groups were set up for owners of new BTO projects to connect but uneasiness, instead of excitement, is dominating the talk.
Their concerns stem from recent reports of defects found in flats, ranging from corridors too narrow for comfort, to water seepage after a downpour.
Flat owner Kathleen Dragon, 26, who is in the Facebook group for a Toa Payoh BTO project, said there are already reminders to be vigilant when checking for defects in the flat. Her four-room flat is expected to be completed in 2017.
Ms Dragon, 26, said: "The general sentiment is that everyone is feeling worried and expecting this (slew of problems) to happen (to their flats).
"This is especially so as our general contractor is the same one for the recent executive condominium (EC) that had a problem."
The fashion and marketing student at Nanyang Academy of Fine Arts was referring to QingJian Realty, the contractor for RiverParc Residence.
Ms Dragon conceded that she is not expecting a 100 per cent perfect flat. She attributes her mindset to her working experience in the retail industry prior to her studies.
"When you have a bag of clothing, maybe five to 10 per cent will be defective. Even Chanel has made defective bags.
"The only difference is for a defective jacket, you can return it to the manufacturer. But how do you return a flat?
"The only thing you should expect is for the problems to be rectified," Ms Dragon said.
Ms Sarah Wang, 27, who works in the healthcare industry, feels that HDB should keep a tighter watch when it comes to quality control of each unit's workmanship.
''Owners should not be burdened with the responsibility of spotting defects in what is supposed to be a new flat,'' she said.
Read the full report in our print edition on July 25.
Subscribe to The New Paper, now available in print and digital, at http://bit.ly/tnpeshop.