Movie Review: Bridget Jones's Baby (NC16)

BRIIDET JONES"S BABY

Twelve years have passed since we last saw Bridget Jones (Renee Zellweger) on the big screen, but she has not changed much.

Sure, she is older and she has lost some weight.

But just when she has come to accept the life of a spinster, she finds herself pregnant after two flings.

Is the baby’s daddy the handsome and romantic billionaire Jack (Patrick Dempsey) or her ex-flame, the cool and sophisticated Mr Darcy (Colin Firth)?

This is not a rom-com for everyone. It is more for those who have read the Bridget Jones’s Diary books and watched the two earlier films.

Zellweger makes a welcome return as the affectionate klutz we have come to love, and the two men are equally dreamy.

The comedy is pretty strong and the physical gags are hilarious.

It is not fantastic, but it offers a warm and fuzzy feeling, which is more than enough.

Verdict: 3/5

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From former bunk-mates to fierce F1 rivals

Mercedes cautious as Rosberg and Hamilton prepare for a tough GP in downtown Singapore

Lewis Hamilton ( left ) and Nico Rosberg ( right )

They were buddies and bunked together for two years as teammates in the European karting championships 14 years ago.

They remained friends after graduating to Formula 1 in 2006 and 2007, respectively.

Over the last couple of years, though, the relationship between Nico Rosberg and Lewis Hamilton has become frayed amid the tussle for the drivers' championship.

If they remain pals, it has been put firmly on the backburner, as motor racing's biggest show gets set for this weekend's 2016 Formula 1 Singapore Airlines Singapore Grand Prix.

The Mercedes racers have dominated the season so far, winning 13 of the 14 Grands Prix, with Red Bull's Max Verstappen the only other driver to claim victory when he took the chequered flag in Spain.

With seven races to go, including Sunday's night contest along the streets of downtown Singapore, and only two points separating leader Hamilton and Rosberg, there is much at stake for the two drivers, who have turned the campaign into a two-way scrap.

But, like all street tracks, the 5.065km Marina Bay circuit is tricky, with overtaking notoriously difficult.

In the heat and humidity, it is possibly the most torturous race for the drivers, with the bumpy terrain merciless in sapping the energy of the pilots.

It is why Mercedes team boss Toto Wolfe was guarded about their chances.

CRITICAL

"As we have seen before, it's a race where a single problem can cascade into many more as the weekend progresses," Wolfe said, in a Mercedes press release after touching down in Singapore.

"We have to optimise everything to get a solid result. We didn't manage it last year and, although we believe we now understand why, only performance on the racetrack can prove our conclusions right."

The mighty German outfit was in a similarly dominant position this time last year, but failed to appear on the podium here, after Hamilton retired midway because of a faulty power unit, while Rosberg only managed fourth spot.

The race ended with Ferrari's Sebastian Vettel and Kimi Raikkonen finishing first and third, and Red Bull's Daniel Ricciardo second.

Mercedes did win in 2014 when Hamilton won for the second time at Marina Bay, but Rosberg had to retire with an electrical problem.

HEAT IS ON

There is huge pressure on Rosberg.

The German is still chasing his maiden title and his mental strength has come under scrutiny after blowing what was at one stage a 43-point gap over his arch-rival.

The 31-year-old has returned to form after winning the last two races in Belgium and Italy and a triumphant result under trying conditions here on Sunday will set him up nicely for a final flourish.

PHOTOS: REUTERS, AFP

"Singapore is a race that's been up and down for me," said Rosberg.

"I got my second ever podium way back in 2008, but haven't been up there again since, so the target is to change that on Sunday. Of course, it won't be easy. This is a Red Bull track and we weren't so strong here last year."

Hamilton has been his long-time nemesis.

In their karting days, the Briton edged the German to the 2000 Formula A European title.

In the higher category Formula Super A the following year, Rosberg finished 16th, again a place behind his teammate.

Hamilton had the upper hand after arriving at Mercedes in 2013, especially in the last two seasons when Rosberg played bridesmaid to his successive championship wins.

Despite the challenge of racing at Marina Bay, Hamilton, 31, is brimming with confidence.

"When you look at how far we've come as a team this season, from the position we were in, then I realise I'm in a phenomenal position," said the Briton, in the Mercedes press release.

"We're still leading both world championships and there are still so many great things to achieve together, even before this season is through.

"Singapore is a challenge with the heat and humidity, but it's a street circuit, which I love."

While he has never won in Singapore, Rosberg has been a steady hand in the tight street circuit and has pulled off some exceptional overtaking manoeuvres over the years.

If he has any advantage over his Mercedes teammate, then it will be Hamilton's win at all costs mentality.

It is exciting and stirs up much fuss in the stands, but it also leads to mistakes, like in 2010 when he collided with Red Bull's Mark Webber and was forced to retire.

But Hamilton has won twice in Singapore, the first with McLaren in 2009, and his racing style has led to three titles.

Nevertheless, Rosberg is optimistic.

"I approach each weekend aiming to win the race. The points gap has gone up and down but I've taken it one race at a time," he said.

"That's the best way for me, as you can see by how the gap is now."

Queen will raise bedlam at the Padang 24 hours before the main action gets underway, fitting perhaps, because a pair of Mercedes drivers could rock and roll on Sunday along Marina Bay.

Ferrari and Red Bull will be on it I'm sure, so we've got a big fight on our hands if we are up at the front. I love a battle, so I'm excited to see how it plays out.

— Drivers' championship leader Lewis Hamilton

Singapore is a cool city and a great place for Formula 1. the track looks spectacular under the lights and it's always buzzing in town around the race weekend, so I'm really looking forward to getting out there.

— Nico Rosberg, just two points behind Hamilton in the drivers' standings

 

Tags: Formula 1

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Man jailed six months for avoiding TB treatment

DPP says such people are a threat to society

ESCAPE: Zaini absconded from this centre three times.

Sick with pulmonary tuberculosis (TB), Mohamed Zaini Parman gambled with the lives of those around him by avoiding medical attention.

After being diagnosed on Jan 3, 2014, he absconded from the Communicable Disease Centre (CDC) three times.

Yesterday, Zaini was jailed six months for breaching an isolation order under the Infectious Diseases Act and giving police false information on June 3, 2015.

District Judge Chay Yuen Fatt said before sentencing Zaini, 54, that punishing him would be in the interest of society in deterring like-minded people from breaking such orders.

Zaini had failed to turn up for an assessment with the Tuberculosis Control Unit on Jan 13, 2014. He was again a no-show on Mar 26 that year.

In May 2014, an isolation order was served to Zaini, requiring him to be detained and isolated at CDC at Tan Tock Seng Hospital till the end of his TB treatment.

Between May 23, 2014 and June 19, 2015, Zaini absconded thrice from the CDC.

Zaini also gave false information to the police when he was screened at a spot check at Bedok Reservoir Road on June 3, 2015. He lied, telling the police officers he was Abdul Rab Md Taib residing in Bedok North Avenue 4.

But one of the officers recognised Zaini and he was detained.

Deputy Public Prosecutor (DPP) Bagchi Anamika told the court that people like Zaini who discontinue such treatment were a threat to society. His behaviour greatly increases his risk of infecting others.

DPP Bagchi said incomplete TB treatment means TB germs in the body that survive continue to grow and multiply, and they may develop resistance to the first-line TB drugs. While evading the authorities, Zaini had sought his cousin's and niece's help to tell authorities he could not be found.

In urging the court for a total sentence of six months' jail, DPP Bagchi reminded the court there were aggravating factors in Zaini's case.

These include Zaini's infectious state, his intentional evasion from the authorities and the difficulty in detecting him.

Luckily on March 4, 2016, Zaini was located and detained by Ministry of Health Officers.

In mitigation, Zaini, who was not represented by a lawyer, said he was currently going through the TB treatment and asked the judge for a second chance.

For breaking the isolation order under the Infectious Diseases Act, Zaini could have been fined a maximum of $10,000 and jailed not more than six months, or both.

Zaini could have been jailed up to a year and fined not more than $5,000, or both, for giving false information to a public servant.

She took $123k from clinic to pay off husband's debts

Clinic manager gets 21 months' jail for criminal breach of trust involving $123k

GUILTY: Claudia Chua Hui Peng was found guilty of misappropriating $123,422 from the clinic, located within Gleneagles Hospital.

She was entrusted with collecting payments and maintaining the clinic's accounts.

But Claudia Chua Hui Peng, a former manager of Chris Ong Clinic at Gleneagles Hospital, did misappropriated $123,422 from the clinic instead.

Yesterday, Chua, 38, was found guilty of taking the clinic's money between January and December 2013 and was sentenced to 21 months' jail.

District Judge Chay Yuen Fatt said he accepted "lack of personal gain" as one of the factors for consideration during Chua's sentencing.

Defence lawyer Jason Goh had argued that the bulk of the money his client had misappropriated was used to pay her husband's gambling debts.

Chua had resorted to her crimes because she feared loan sharks would target her family if she did not help to settle her spouse's debts.

Mr Goh added that Chua's case was unlike other cases where misappropriated money was used for personal benefit by those convicted of criminal breach of trust.

Chua and her husband, who left the family shortly after Chua surrendered to the police in April 2014, have three children aged between five and 19.

FEARED FOR FAMILY

Mr Goh said: "As Claudia (Chua) feared for the safety of her elderly mother and her children who were living with her, whom her husband had informed her would be harassed by loan sharks if his debts were not paid, she felt compelled to comply with her husband's numerous demands for money."

But Deputy Public Prosecutor (DPP) Nicholas Lim argued there were aggravating factors.

DPP Lim, who recommended a jail sentence of between 22 and 24 months, said "a substantial amount of money" had gone missing from the clinic over a one-year period.

He pointed to a large degree of premeditation on Chua's part as she had edited payment accounts. Her crime was also hard to detect and was uncovered only 11 months later.

She had joined the clinic in 2005 and was responsible in collecting payments and maintaining the clinic's accounts.

Chua had used two methods to misappropriate the funds.

When a cash payment was made by a patient, she would keep the money aside. At the end of the day, Chua reflected a smaller amount in the clinic's records.

Alternatively, when it came to depositing cash sales into the clinic's bank account, Chua would edit the time and date entries in the clinic's records and deposit a smaller sum into the account. She would pocket the difference, the court heard.

But in December 2013, the game was up for Chua.

A patient visited the clinic for a follow-up medical check-up, but the clinic had no details of the patient. It was discovered the patient had bought a full antenatal package by paying in cash. But Chua had not entered the transaction into the clinic's account.

Court documents stated that Chua admitted taking the clinic's money to pay monthly instalments of $1,359 for her Honda Stream car worth about $72,000 from May 2013 to January 2014.

The money was also used to pay for a domestic helper, and settle her husband's debts owed to unlicensed and licensed moneylenders and banks.

The clinic's director had given Chua a grace period to make full repayment of the sum misappropriated but she was not able to meet the April 15, 2014 deadline.

During mitigation, her lawyer said Chua was remorseful for her actions and that she has since made partial restitution of $7,119.

Under the law, Chua could have been jailed up to 15 years and fined for criminal breach of trust.

As Claudia (Chua) feared for the safety of her elderly mother and her children who were living with her, whom her husband had informed her would be harassed by loan sharks if his debts were not paid, she felt compelled to comply with her husband's numerous demands for money.

- Defence lawyer Jason Goh

Tags: Crime, money and Singapore

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