Monday, 27 August 2012

Watz Online - 27 Aug 2012

Law Society applies for court order for Ravi to see psychiatrist

Lawyer files affidavit, says order is 'unnecessary, redundant and otiose'

The Law Society of Singapore has applied for a court order for lawyer M Ravi, who has bipolar disorder, to be medically examined by a psychiatrist at the Institute of Mental Health (IMH) to determine if he is fit to practise law.

Should the order be granted, Mr Ravi will have to comply within 14 days of the date of the order. Otherwise, the society will suspend his practising certificate.

Dated Aug 14, the originating summons - copies of which were distributed to the media by Mr Ravi at a press conference yesterday - states that a report by the IMH on Mr Ravi's fitness to practise must be submitted within two weeks after his medical examination. Should the report state that he is unfit to practise, his practising certificate will be suspended. 

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Former SPH exec pleads guilty to corruption, CBT charges

Former Singapore Press Holdings (SPH) senior executive Peter Khoo Chong Meng (picture) pleaded guilty yesterday to two counts of corruption and one count of criminal breach of trust.

Seven other similar charges have been taken into consideration.

Khoo, 49, was Senior Vice-President of the English and Malay newspapers division and also headed the committee that held events to raise funds for The Straits Times School Pocket Money Fund. He was dismissed from SPH in September 2010.

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Pastor questions jail term for false information

The penalty for giving false information under the Customs Act is a fine of up to S$5,000 or jail term of up to a year, or both, and Mr Ong argued Parliament did not prescribe a minimum sentence for the offence and had left it to the discretion of the courts.

The lawyer also drew similarities to the recent case of Woffles Wu, who was fined S$1,000 for giving false information to the police about his speeding offences.

In both cases, the false information given was to evade a small speeding fine or a "small amount of excise duty on petrol", said Mr Ong. 

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Minister says responses to Facebook posts show need for tolerance

Law Minister K Shanmugam has elaborated on why he chose to highlight a Singaporean’s racist email on his Facebook page, after online users questioned why he raised such a sensitive issue.

Channel NewsAsia reported that he said it was not a one-off case and while Singapore has done well as a tolerant society, its people cannot be complacent about it.

On his Facebook page on Tuesday, Mr Shanmugam said that he had received an email complaint from a Singaporean man “a few weeks ago” telling him about the “Indian sweaty smell and unwashed bodies” of the man’s neighbours. The minister found the man’s complaints about his Indian neighbours “quite disturbing”. 

Read report: Law Minister disturbed by Singaporean’s remarks on Indians

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Singaporeans, go forth and multiply


WHETHER in office or out of it, Lee Kuan Yew has this knack for capturing the headlines.

On Aug 12, Singaporeans woke up to the founding prime minister's familiar black-or-white argument: get married and have children, or "this place will fold up because there will be no original citizens left to form the majority".

You can't be more stark and scary than this. The statistics are there for all to see: 

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Living in the richest country

By most standards, it would be reason to bring out the champagne bottle, but because of the extraordinary circumstances, the majority of Singaporeans are not cheering.

WHILE celebrating their 47th National Day, Singaporeans received news that people anywhere would die to hear that their country is now the richest in the world.

Technically speaking, this transformation from a poor, squatter island in less than 50 years has been impressive.

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Critics slam Miss China’s victory at Miss World 2012

Many beauty pageant fans are upset with the results of this year’s Miss World competition which saw the host nation, China taking the coveted tiara.

Miss World’s official Facebook page has been inundated with numerous negative comments – some even suggesting that the competition was rigged.

Ira Atenas Peñaloza Reynoso wrote: “Many things are wrong about this! Who bought the contest?”

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Study shows that semen may ward off depression in women

A new study is claiming that having unprotected sex or giving oral sex makes women happier – a claim that will no doubt make men happier as well.

Researchers at the State University of New York were analysing the effects of semen properties, which showed that it contains mood-altering chemicals that fights depression (at least three anti-depressants including serotonin), enhances mood (oxycotin and estrone), increases affection (cortisol) and induces sleep (melatonin).

The Medical Daily, a US website, reported that the study tapped into an anonymous survey of 293 female students on the University of Albany campus, which found that women who had oral sex or unprotected sex were more contented than those who used protection.

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Oral sex not outstripping intercourse among US youths

A federal study on the sexual behavior of young Americans released on Thursday countered a widespread belief that oral sex was increasing and vaginal sex decreasing among teenagers due to fears of pregnancy and sexually transmitted diseases.

Two in every three young Americans have engaged in oral sex, about the same percentage as those who have engaged in vaginal intercourse, the study by the Center for Disease Control and Prevention's Center for Vital Statistics found.

It also showed that the rates of both practices among the U.S. youth have dropped since a decade ago.

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Porn film production on hold after syphilis cases

(LOS ANGELES) A porn industry trade group has announced a U.S. moratorium on production of adult sex films after several reported cases of syphilis among adult film actors, adding to the pressure on porn producers to require the use of condoms on sets.

The actors can return to work in 10 days after taking antibiotics, and doctors have recommended treating all adult film actors as a precaution, the Los Angeles-based Free Speech Coalition said in a statement on its website late on Monday.

It added that filming had been halted since the weekend.

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US gynaes alarmed by genital plastic surgery trend

LOS ANGELES - Trained as a gynecologist and reconstructive surgeon, Dr. John Miklos calls himself a "medical tailor," specializing in surgery to reshape a woman's private parts.

The Atlanta surgeon, who has performed gynecological surgery for nearly 20 years, cites cases of patients who say their sexual response improved after vaginoplasty, a procedure to surgically tighten a vagina stretched by childbirth or aging.

"Women come to me and say they don't have the urge to have sex anymore because they don't feel anything," Miklos said. "I guarantee that if a man didn't feel anything, he wouldn't have sex either." 

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New AIDS-like disease in Asians, not contagious

NEW YORK - Researchers have identified a mysterious new disease that has left scores of people in Asia and some in the United States with AIDS-like symptoms even though they are not infected with HIV.

The patients' immune systems become damaged, leaving them unable to fend off germs as healthy people do. What triggers this isn't known, but the disease does not seem to be contagious.

This is another kind of acquired immune deficiency that is not inherited and occurs in adults, but doesn't spread the way AIDS does through a virus, said Dr Sarah Browne, a scientist at the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases.

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Japan, China and their 'history problem'

When the Democratic Party of Japan took power three years ago, it promised a radical overhaul of foreign policy.

It wanted to rebalance relations with the United States and China, by addressing its "over-dependence" on the former and its strained relations with the latter. In a world moving from US unipolarity to multipolarity, in the words of Mr Yukio Hatoyama, then Prime Minister, Japan would rediscover Asia as its "basic sphere of being".

It was a grand vision. Today it lies in shreds. That became clearer this week with Tokyo's replacement of its ambassador to Beijing after a flare-up in Sino-Japanese tension. 

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UPDATE 1-Jury didn't want to let Samsung off easy in Apple trial-foreman

SAN FRANCISCO, Aug 25 (Reuters) - Jurors felt Samsung Electronics Co Ltd should pay significant damages in the landmark patent trial against Apple Inc, even though they viewed Apple's demands as too high, according to the foreman.

Apple won a sweeping victory against Samsung on Friday in a federal courtroom in San Jose, California.

A nine-member jury found the Korean company had infringed on several Apple features and design patents and awarded the iPhone maker $1.05 billion in damages, which could be tripled because the jury also decided the Korean firm had acted willfully. 

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Sovereign wealth fund not always the correct answer

Dr Balding cited Singapore's Temasek as an example of a non-commodity-based fund. Temasek requires the country to amass current account and fiscal surpluses of 30% of gross domestic product to endow the fund.

"In countries without such clear funding sources, it is unclear that establishment is a wise idea due to the incredibly distortive policies it requires," he said.

"Sovereign wealth funds can simply become public savings that need to be paid for. In the absence of existing national wealth such as natural resources, countries should seriously review the distortion they introduce."

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Two S’poreans in world’s most powerful women list

This year’s Forbes Magazine’s top 100 World's Most Powerful Women list includes two Singaporeans.

SingTel group chief executive officer Chua Sock Koong was ranked 74th. Ms Chua started working at SingTel in 1989 and climbed the ranks to Group CEO in 2007.

Temasek Holdings’ CEO Ho Ching fell four places from last year to be ranked 76th this year.

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S'pore one of the least corrupt countries, says CPIB 

With the recent spate of scandals involving top civil servants, and a slip in ranking on a corruption index, is Singapore becoming more corrupt?

Not so, asserts the Corrupt Practices Investigation Bureau (CPIB).

Singapore slipped from 1st to 5th on the Transparency International's Corruption Perception Index last year.

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