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    Sunday, September 3, 2017 - 16:27

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    [Updated Sept 3]: Starbucks responded to the girl's post at 2.06pm today.

    They wrote:

    "Starbucks welcomes all customers and looks to find the right balance between freeing up seats for everyone's use while making sure everyone can linger and enjoy their Starbucks experience in the way that works best for each individual. In this case, we should have managed it better and we sincerely apologise for that. We will be in touch via PM to hear more about your visit.

    "We've also noticed the reactions within this post and also through previous feedback about table turn in Starbucks. We encourage all patrons to share the space so that everyone can enjoy their visit. Finally, we would like to ask for your consideration to share your thoughts and comments with respect and refrain from offensive personal attacks on [the girl] or any other member of our community. Thank you."

    A student took to Facebook to complain about how she was asked to leave one of the outlets she was studying at only to have it backfire on her.

    She wrote on Starbucks' Facebook page asking," Where has The Starbucks Experience gone?"

    She wrote:

    "Today I was asked by a Starbucks waiter to leave while I was working on an assignment there. I was there for only less than an hour and yet to finish my drink. It was an unpleasant and embarrassing experience. There are many better ways to do this. But what I have experienced today was definitely one of the worst."

    She probably could not have anticipated the backlash her post received with the majority of the close to 800 comments slamming her for being "self-entitled".

    The post also earned over 880 reactions and 286 shares since it was published on Sep 1.

    Rycel Wong wrote: "You are precisely the reason that deprive other customers from enjoying the Starbucks Experience. Still got the cheek to ask...go study corner la!"

    MrEddietan chimed in: "And btw to all pests studying at Starbucks, why don't you do us customers a favour and go [to] a magical studying place called, "THE LIBRARY" yea? Have you heard of it? Yea [it's] a place for people who want to S.T.U.D.Y."

    Many of the netizens praised Starbucks for making an effort to ask students to leave to make space for patrons who wanted to enjoy a drink.

    Pearson Wu wrote: "The Starbucks experience is to drink coffee and talk with your friends and chill there.

    "Not a place for you to study and take up an entire table with just a 6.40 cup of [cappuccino] for over an hour."

    Sunday, September 3, 2017 - 19:16

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    Leading digital content site AsiaOne and the digital platforms of Lianhe Zaobao, the Chinese flagship newspaper of Singapore Press Holdings Ltd, collaborate with Zoomin.TV to get access to high quality video content that engages Generation Z. 

    The collaboration between the largest publisher of Singapore and the world’s leading digital media company will include video content in two languages. Zoomin.TV’s Southeast Asia video content in English will be published on AsiaOne, whereas the digital platforms of Lianhe Zaobao will publish Zoomin.TV’s Chinese content.

    On an average day, 59 per cent of Singaporeans over 15 read one of SPH’s news publications in print copies or one of their digital platforms, giving Zoomin.TV’s content a wide reach among the population.

    “Zoomin.TV is very successful in reaching Generation Z; the generation that consumes information and communication almost exclusively on their digital and mobile devices,” says Eric Snelleman, Managing Director APAC for Zoomin.TV.

    “We deliver content through the eyes of 3,500 video journalists around the globe across seven key verticals including First2Know, LocalHeroes and FuturePlanet. These video stories are inspired by our mission Dare, Care, Share and strongly appeal to the younger generation. 

    “The partnership with the largest local publisher in Singapore is a big stamp of approval on our content. We are very pleased and see great potential,” said Snelleman.

    on SPH Brightcove

    Monday, September 4, 2017 - 11:34

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    The brightly coloured Siamese fighting fish glared at one another from inside adjacent glass jars, flaring long, wavy fins and tensing up as if to pounce, during a tournament in Singapore. 

    Many in Asia have long enjoyed keeping the tiny fish, which are highly territorial and so aggressive that putting two males together in a tank inevitably leads to a clash, which is often fatal. 

    They are native to Thailand, and the most beautiful can fetch huge sums at auction.

    Last year one of the creatures sporting the red, white and blue stripes of the Thai flag sold for 53,500 baht (S$2,190). 

    Public fights are sometimes still staged despite attempts to curb the practice but many owners prefer to take them to beauty pageant-style shows, where they are not harmed, such as the recent one in Singapore. 

    At the tournament, collectors of the fish - which typically grow to only 6.5 centimetres (2.5 inches) - got the chance to showcase about 600 of them from countries including China, Indonesia, the Philippines and Taiwan. 

    "I like the fighting fish because of its aggressiveness. When it flares its fins, it's so beautiful," said Chan Kean Yap, 28, owner of the show's grand champion. 

    They were placed in glass jars next to one another, and judges observed them for their fighting posture, as well as size and vibrancy of their colours. 

    They were grouped into different divisions, according to their finnage, colour and size, with a winner picked from each division and a grand champion selected from among those victors.

    on SPH Brightcove

    Monday, September 4, 2017 - 21:42

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    A woman was caught on video climbing over a parapet at Anchorvale Cove last Sunday (Sept 3).

    Facebook user Yusliena Zulkifli Smith posted the video and photos after she spotted the woman from her apartment's service balcony.

    She was alarmed when she saw the woman climbing over the parapet on the third floor and called out to her, "Be careful!"

    The woman ignored Yusliena as she continued to ask her what she was doing and where she stayed.

    on Facebook


    Posted by Shin Min Daily News 新明日报 on Monday, 4 September 2017

    Yusliena asked the woman what she was doing and where she stayed but the woman completely ignored her as she appeared to inspect a shoe shelf by the side of the corridor.

    Afraid to approach the mysterious woman, Yusliena asked her neighbour to talk to her.

    According to her post, the woman ran away when her neighbour told her that Yusliena had called the police.

    She added that the police arrived at the scene soon after and were searching the area and asking questions.

    In response to Stomp's media queries, a police spokesman provided the following statement:

    "On Sep 3 at 1.36pm, the police were alerted to a case of intentional alarm at 336B Anchorvale Crescent.

    "A 21-year-old woman was arrested in relation to the case.

    "Police investigations are ongoing."

    Monday, September 4, 2017 - 16:38

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    HONG KONG - Hong Kong and Singapore are seeking to snare a bigger share of the $540 trillion (S$730 trillion) global derivatives business, taking advantage of tough new UK and European banking rules and uncertainty created by Britain's plans to leave the European Union.

    Over the past five months, regulators from the two Asian financial centres have been separately holding talks with the Asia Securities Industry and Financial Markets Association (ASIFMA), which represents global lenders in Asia, five people with direct knowledge of the matter told Reuters.

    At the centre of the discussions is what kind of regulatory changes would be needed in Hong Kong and Singapore to get more banks to book their derivatives business in one of the two places.

    If the Hong Kong Monetary Authority (HKMA) and the Monetary Authority of Singapore (MAS) are successful, they could lure billions of dollars of banking business and eventually create what could amount to thousands of jobs in Asia.

    These derivatives would include products such as interest rate swaps or foreign exchange derivatives, which allow companies and investors to hedge their exposure to interest rate rises and currency swings.

    Asia has traditionally accounted for less than 10 per cent of the global over-the-counter derivatives market, according to Bank for International Settlements data.

    Global banks have typically held the majority of Asia-related trades on their European balance sheets, with London being a major booking centre for such deals. This has allowed them to gain economies of scale by aggregating their capital and infrastructure in one or two locations, while London also has a deep talent pool of employees with expertise in managing and processing the trading book.

    During the past three years, though, many banks have begun to review their Asia trade booking arrangements because of new UK and European rules that have made Britain less attractive as a global hub for Asian risk.

    Brexit has made the situation more urgent by prompting many banks to move some of their operations, including trading books, out of London. This has sparked broader internal discussions over whether more of the London book holding Asia trades should also be moved to Asian financial centres, the sources said.

    Banks looking to book more trades in Asia include HSBC , Standard Chartered, UBS and Credit Suisse, one of the sources said.

    In a statement, HSBC said it would support clients as they pursued opportunities in Asia: " Hong Kong is one of the world's leading financial centres and continues to be at the heart of HSBC's growth plans." UBS, Standard Chartered and Credit Suisse declined to comment.


    Booking derivatives trades in Hong Kong and Singapore is currently expensive for global banks because they are not yet allowed by the HKMA and the MAS to use their own internal risk-management models, which typically allow banks to hold less capital against such trades than standard models used by regulators.

    Now, though, regulators are considering approving these internal capital calculation models.

    For Hong Kong and Singapore, grabbing a much larger chunk of the global derivatives market would promote their status as global financial centres by helping them diversify away from asset management and offering them other benefits, according to one of the sources.

    These would include boosting demand for consultancy and IT services, and potentially boosting fees for local clearing houses that sit in between trades to guarantee payment.

    But it would also increase the overall level of financial risk, potentially leaving the authorities on the hook in the event a bank gets into trouble. "The HKMA has been in discussion with ASIFMA and its member institutions to explain the HKMA's supervisory policies and processes with regard to the establishment of a derivatives hub in Hong Kong," a spokeswoman for the HKMA said in a statement.

    Adding: "The HKMA welcomes banks to establish a derivatives hub in Hong Kong on the understanding that the risks associated with the activity will be properly managed."

    The MAS said in a statement that banks were looking to book more financial activity in Singapore due to the rapid growth of Asian markets and client preferences, among other reasons.

    "In order to meet MAS' validation standards for the use of more advanced approaches in capital computation, (financial institutions) must demonstrate that they have robust risk management systems and processes to measure and validate the accuracy and consistency of all relevant risk components," the statement added.

    A spokeswoman for ASIFMA declined to comment.

    The MAS and HKMA are not working together on their separate initiatives.

    The HKMA is increasing staff with the technical expertise necessary to handle the model approval process, and may also hire external professional advisors if necessary. It is also planning to issue some guidance to banks on the matter, according to two of the sources.

    The regulator is also reviewing section 87 of the Hong Kong Banking Ordinance, which currently limits banks' ability to hold large amounts of equity derivatives exposure in the city.

    Banks will have to demonstrate that they will not only book the trades in Hong Kong, but also have risk management and back office staff on the ground in the city too, the people added.

    Monday, September 4, 2017 - 17:18

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    It was supposed to be a day of joy for him last Sunday (Sept 3), but a motorcyclist never got to live a day past his 37th birthday.

    After celebrating his birthday, the man was giving a 43-year-old female colleague a lift home when they were killed in an accident, Shin Min Daily News reported.

    While riding along Tampines Expressway, he lost control of his motorcycle.

    Both motorcyclist and pillion rider fell onto the road and sustained serious head and chest injuries.

    They were taken to Khoo Teck Puat Hospital where they later succumbed to their injuries, the police said in a statement.

    Photo: Courtesy of deceased's family

    The man's widow told the Chinese daily that he had intended to have a family meal with his mother and their two children to celebrate his birthday, but he never had the chance to return home.

    He left behind a son and a daughter, aged four and six respectively.

    Before his death, the man held two jobs. He refueled ships in the morning and made deliveries in the afternoon.

    His 29-year-old wife said that although he was busy with work, he doted on his family and took them out for meals every week.

    Photo: Shin Min Daily News

    Although she thinks that her $1,800 salary as a project coordinator may suffice for now, the widow is worried about her family's expenses once their children start attending school.

    "My husband is now gone but I will carry on for the sake of our children," she said.

    Police investigations are ongoing.


    Tuesday, September 5, 2017 - 17:49

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    While Whatsapp remains the chat app of choice among Singaporeans, Telegram has been fast rising as an app to be reckoned with.

    Recently, we wrote about an NSF-built Telegram bot that, like the most on-the-ball friend you could have, pushes us notifications whenever MRT lines experience a disruption.

    More than just a chat platform, Telegram has been an enabler of such bots and even channels, which, as compared to the one-on-one nature of bots, is a tool to broadcast public messages to large audiences.

    Channels can also have an unlimited number of members, and new members would also be able to see the entire message history in a channel once they join.

    With the rising attention and usage of the app, it's probably then no surprise that our Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong also decided to jump onto the platform to better reach out to Singaporeans - especially smartphone-toting millennials.


    PM Lee is no social media recluse, and often shares both important announcements and snippets of his daily life on his Facebook page.

    on Facebook

    A photo to celebrate Valentine’s Day. :) A belated Happy Valentine’s Day to all at home! (MCI Photo by Kenji Soon)

    Posted by Lee Hsien Loong on Monday, 15 February 2016

    Of course, it's not just a case of social media FOMO - social media platforms give him a means to reach out to those who might not be following the often 'heavy' political scene.

    In an interview with ASEAN journalists, he admitted that since "people were spending more time on social media platforms like Facebook and Twitter, […] he wanted to have an online presence there too".

    His social media posts also help in 'softening' the stoic image of politicians and leaders.

    Thus, it was only a matter of time that PM Lee and his office took this engagement to the next level.


    Created on the 11th of August this year, PM Lee's Telegram channel, managed by the Prime Minister's Office, posted its first update on the 18th.

    Since its inception, the channel has been pushing updates - both announcements and also PM Lee's more personal posts - to its (currently) 695 members.

    Following the popularity of Telegram stickers, the team has also created a sticker pack that Telegrammers can use in their other conversations.

    Interested to follow updates from PM Lee on Telegram? Join the channel here!

    Tuesday, September 5, 2017 - 16:49

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    Minister for Social and Family Development Tan Chuan-Jin will be the Speaker of Parliament with effect from next Monday (Sept 11).

    Mr Tan was nominated by Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong. As the Speaker cannot be elected from members who are office holders, the 48-year-old will resign from his ministerial position.

    According to the Prime Minister's Office (PMO), Mr Lee has briefed members of parliament from the People's Action Party (PAP) on his nomination and "received their full support".

    In a Facebook post this afternoon, Mr Lee wrote that he had first discussed with Mr Tan after Madam Halimah Yacob told him that she was resigning to run for President in the upcoming Presidential Election to be held on Sept 23. 

    Mr Lee explained his decision: " Chuan-Jin has the temperament and personality for this role. Since entering politics, he has built up good links with a diverse range of NGOs, VWOs and interest groups."

    He added that Mr Tan has taken a deep interest in social issues, and in helping the needy and disadvantaged.

    on Facebook

    I have nominated Tan Chuan-Jin to be the next Speaker of Parliament. I first discussed this with Chuan-Jin after Mdm...

    Posted by Lee Hsien Loong on Tuesday, 5 September 2017

    Mr Lee also announced office changes and new portfolios of Cabinet members today.

    Mr Desmond Lee will be appointed Minister for Social and Family Development (MSF). He will continue as Second Minister in the Ministry of National Development, but will relinquish his appointments in the Ministry of Home Affairs (MHA) and the PMO.

    Mrs Josephine Teo will be appointed as Second Minister in MHA, and will relinquish her appointment in the Ministry of Foreign Affairs. She will continue as Minister in PMO and Second Minister in the Ministry of Manpower.


    Tuesday, September 5, 2017 - 18:19

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    SINGAPORE - "I would rather die than amputate my hand!" This was Mr Chang Fook Tin's reply when doctors advised him to amputate his hand to prevent the cancerous cells from spreading late last year.

    That was not the ex-teacher's first encounter with cancer.

    Back in 2011, Uncle Chang discovered a small lump in his lower arm, which turned out to be Sarcoma, a rare form of muscle and soft tissue cancer. Fortunately, the retiree recovered after undergoing surgery and radiation therapy.

    Little did he know that cancer would creep back into his life on that fateful night in 2015, when he woke up with an intense pain in his right arm. An X-Ray confirmed it was a relapse. The cancer had now entered his bone, fracturing his lower arm bone into many pieces. To stop the cancerous cells from spreading further, doctors advised him to amputate his arm.

    He refused to heed the doctor's advice. "I am already 84-year-old this year, how scary can death be?"

    Within six months, the fractured arm was infected with pus. It had also started to rot and turned black. Still, Uncle Chang did not change his mind. Eventually the pain was too unbearable and the elderly man finally relented, and had his dominant hand amputated.

    Writing, eating and getting dressed are just some of the basic skills Uncle Chang had to learn from scratch at age 85. Still suffering from "phantom arm pain", a common medical condition among amputees experiencing pain in the limb that is no longer there, Uncle Chang wishes to inspire others with his positive outlook in life.


    The elderly man has a simple dream of lending a helping hand to others. "I hope that they can all be like me, optimistic and happy. Regardless of what illness you have, you have to keep telling yourself that the bad days will pass. Don't over-think and leave the treatment to the doctors. Focus on the positive and you will be happy. When you are happy, your route to recovery will be faster and smoother."

    When he was hospitalised, Uncle Chang felt sad whenever he saw young patients bedridden and tormented by illnesses. "They are so young, and yet they are sick at such a young age, I hope I can help them in any way." A grandfather of five, he hopes that he can help bring more joy into their lives and provide a momentary relief from their physical pain.

    Host Ken Low arranged for Uncle Chang to meet The Caring Clowns, a group of volunteers who don clown costumes and put on comedic performances at hospital wards.


    With only the less dominant hand left, Uncle Chang already faces challenges in his daily life. Coupled with old age, his fingers have become less nimble. It is nearly impossible for him to master all the magic tricks and comedic performances in time for the hospital visit the coming weekend.

    Nonetheless, Uncle Chang gives his all, simply because he wishes to bring joy to the children. Yet, he is worried about one thing - "I am afraid I will scare the kids with my missing arm."

    Volunteers at The Caring Clowns have another concern. They are afraid that Uncle Chang will feel hurt or offended if the children laugh at his arm. Uncle Change heartily replies, "as long as I can make them happy, it is not a problem!"

    Can he surpass his physical limitation and master the tricks before their hospital visit? Watch the video to find out.

    For more stories on "Live Your Dream", please visit: www.zaobao.com/zvideos/live-your-dream

    About "Live Your Dream"

    "Live Your Dream"(完成一个梦) is one of 10 SPH-produced short-form digital video series as part of a pilot Public Service Broadcast initiative. In this 13 episode series, host Ken Low Yong Kian (Digital Content Producer, Chinese Media Group Digital) will try his best to fulfil people's dreams no matter how challenging it may be. All episodes come with English subtitles.

    This series is also available on zaobao.sg website, as well as the mobile app.

    Tuesday, September 5, 2017 - 18:26

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