Tuesday, 12 December 2017

Total Recall: Secrets of Memory Revealed

Memory varies in quality from person to person - some individuals are so good at recollection they compete in memory championships, others must make constant notes to retain basic information. Long-thought to be an accident of birth, new research suggests it's a matter of technique - and anyone can learn how to improve their powers of reminiscence.

Boris Nikolai Konrad, a memory coach and recollection athlete who holds a world record for remembering (he committed 201 names and faces to memory in a mere quarter of an hour), was as intrigued as the next person as to why some of his "memory athlete" peers can memorize a deck of cards or pages of text within seconds. To unravel the mystery, he teamed up with Professor Martin Dresler, neuroscientist at Radboud University in the Netherlands.

The duo recruited 23 of the top 50 memory competitors in the world, and university scientists then conducted scans of their brains — while they were relaxing, and while memorizing a list of 72 words. The results of the study, published in the journal Neuron, were surprising for the team — memory athletes' brains seemingly aren't constructed any differently from an average person's.

read more

Monday, 11 December 2017

Trump Did Not Bring Jerusalem Crashing Down

After President Trump’s announcement recognizing Jerusalem as Israel’s capital on Wednesday, the Palestinian militant group Hamas called for three “days of rage” to protest the decision. Many people answered that call.

In Gaza, the Palestinian territory governed by Hamas a few hours south of Jerusalem, Israeli fire killed at least one Palestinian protester, according to The Associated Press. Journalists have reported a march of thousands of people in Amman, Jordan, roughly 40 miles from Jerusalem as the crow flies. Other protests are happening as far away as Indonesia, Malaysia, and Pakistan.

But Jerusalem—the political and geographical center of the debate—stayed relatively quiet. Although the comparative calm of Palestinians here may seem surprising, they, unlike Muslims in faraway places, may have more to lose from major protests.

read more

Donald J. Trump‏ @realDonaldTrump Dec 6

I have determined that it is time to officially recognize Jerusalem as the capital of Israel. I am also directing the State Department to begin preparation to move the American Embassy from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem...

read more

Trump naming Jerusalem as Israel’s capital affects S’poreans
President Donald Trump named Jerusalem as Israel’s capital on Dec. 6, 2017

This sparked yet another controversy and fulfilled a campaign promise he made previously.

This unilateral act by the United States does not reflect international consensus and is seen as deciding on an issue that was supposed to be left to negotiations.

It also overturned 70 years of US foreign policy on this matter.

read more

Trump Recognizes Jerusalem As Israel Capital, Pledges To Move Embassy

President Donald Trump reversed decades of U.S. policy on Wednesday and recognized Jerusalem as the capital of Israel, despite warnings from around the world that the gesture further drives a wedge between Israel and the Palestinians.

In a speech at the White House, Trump said his administration would also begin a process of moving the U.S. embassy in Tel Aviv to Jerusalem, which is expected to take years.

The status of Jerusalem — home to sites holy to the Muslim, Jewish and Christian religions — has been one of the thorniest issues in long-running Mideast peace efforts.

read more

Donald Trump officially recognises Jerusalem as Israeli capital despite warnings of new conflict

Donald Trump has announced the US will officially recognise Jerusalem as the capital of Israel, boasting that previous presidents had promised to do so, but "failed to deliver."

It comes amid warnings that the move will plunge the Middle East - and the world - into "a fire without end."

In a speech from the White House, Trump said: "In 1995, Congress adopted the Jerusalem Embassy act, urging the federal government to relocate the American Embassy to Jerusalem and to recognise that city - and so importantly - as Israel’s Capital. this Act passed Congress by an overwhelming bipartisan majority, and was reaffirmed by a unanimous vote of the Senate only six months ago."

read more

My Jerusalem: Two tales 
The neighbourhood of Silwan suffers from high levels of poverty and unemployment

Donald Trump's decision to move the Israeli embassy to Jerusalem has provoked a crisis in the region.

By appearing to give US support for total Israeli control of a city that both Palestinians and Israelis stake a claim to, he risks ending decades of peace negotiations.

In the wake of the President's decision, protests have broken out across the Arab world, while Israelis have celebrated the news.

read more

Full Coverage:
Protests turn deadly following Trump's Jerusalem decision
Muslims pray outside White House to protest Trump Jerusalem move
Trump's Jerusalem move: Deadly clashes erupt after Friday prayers
Trump Did Not Bring Jerusalem Crashing Down
The real reason Trump declared Jerusalem the capital of Israel was ...
Trump transcript in full: Jerusalem is Israel's capital
The Latest: White House says president has called for calm
Who's Playing Politics on Israel?
Haley slams UN for treatment of Israel in face of strong criticism
Is Donald Trump correct about the history of the Jerusalem Embassy Act?
IDF war planes hit Hamas targets in Gaza in response to rockets
Jerusalem for Dummies, Part 2: What the Palestinians Want
Jerusalem Denial Complex
Israel strikes Gaza Hamas sites after rocket attacks
Despite furore over Jerusalem move, Saudis seen on board with US peace
14 Security Council member criticize US action on Jerusalem
President has shown once again that he is a lunatic
Trump's Jerusalem decision lights touchpaper across Muslim world
What will Trump's declaration on Jerusalem mean to Palestinians?
Muslims pray outside White House to protest Trump Jerusalem move
Chaos at Jerusalem protests, the flash point after Trump's embassy decision
Two Palestinians shot dead and one critical in riots after Trump speech
Trump's Jerusalem Decision May Lead to Permanent Peace in Israel
Trump's evangelism over Jerusalem will not bring peace
Tel Aviv Diary: Jerusalem is a Distraction from Scandals
Malaysians, Indonesians, Pakistanis protest Trump's Jerusalem move
Trump tweet touts Jerusalem move, taunts past presidents
Amid row, hundreds of cops deploy in Jerusalem before Muslim prayers
Palestinian official: Pence is not welcome in Palestine
Trump's Jerusalem move: Anger in Ramallah and Israeli delight
White House to release results of Trump's next physical after slurred speech
Palestinian Calls For 'Day Of Rage' Against Trump Move On Jerusalem
White House says questioning Trump's health based on slurring is 'ridiculous.'
At East Jerusalem enclave, Jews happier with Trump than with Netanyahu
US says Jerusalem decision 'reflection of ground realities'
Legal impact of Trump's Jerusalem decision still murky
Trump has scheduled a physical, slurred speech was caused by a dry throat
Hamas calls for Palestinian uprising over Trump's Jerusalem plan
Hadid Speaks Out Against Trump's Decision Move US Embassy to Jerusalem
For Trump, an Embassy in Jerusalem Is a Political Decision, Not a Diplomatic
State Dept still won't allow US citizens born in Jerusalem to record Israel
Former Ambassador Dan Shapiro: Trump's Jerusalem Announcement
EDITORIAL: Trumpeting Jerusalem
Dry mouth? Social media reacts to Trump slurring during Jerusalem speech
My Jerusalem: Two tales of a city
Jordan voices full support to Palestine on Jerusalem issue
Palestinians will not meet with Pence, after Jerusalem recognition
Palestinians 'ready to sacrifice' for Jerusalem
EU vows to make Jerusalem capital for Palestinians too
Hamas calls new 'intifada' after Trump's Jerusalem move amid 'days of rage'
Does Trump have 'a full understanding' of his new Israel policy?
Jordanians demand closure of US embassy in Amman
Middle East on edge after Trump's 'dangerous' Jerusalem move
Religious Leaders Divided Over Trump's Jerusalem Decision
Gloom and defiance on the streets of East Jerusalem
Palestinians call 'Day of Rage' over Trump's Jerusalem move
Israel-Palestine peace process rendered irrelevant
What to expect next after Trump's Jerusalem move
Powerful allies molded Trump's view on Jerusalem
Nasrallah calls for support of new Palestinian intifada
The recognition of Jerusalem as Israel's capital is reckless
Who really wants Trump to recognize Jerusalem? His evangelical supporters
world reacts to Donald Trump's recognition of Jerusalem as Israel's capital
Middle East media reacts to 'slap of the century'
Donald Trump's Jerusalem move sparks Christian dispute
Trump Announces US Recognizes Jerusalem as Capital of Israel Protests
Abbas, King Abdullah meet to discuss Trump decisions
Trump didn't seem to have complete understanding of Jerusalem decision
Protest erupts as Hamas calls for uprising in Israel after Trump's Jerusalem
US to immediately start process to move embassy to Jerusalem
In rare rebuke, Saudis condemn 'irresponsible' Trump Jerusalem shift
US not peace sponsor any more after Trump declaration: Palestinian PM
Newly crowned by US as Israel's capital, Jerusalem is unique
Trump recognizes Jerusalem as Israel's capital, reversing longtime US policy
Israel army deploys more troops after Trump Jerusalem move
Theresa May to challenge Trump over 'unhelpful'  recognise Jerusalem
EU's top diplomat warns of 'darker times' over Trump Jerusalem decision
Trump says US recognises Jerusalem: The speech in full
Jerusalem status: World condemns Trump's announcement
Kushner bets he can have it both ways on Jerusalem move
World leaders react to Trump's Jerusalem announcement
White House officials: Jerusalem decision could hurt peace process
Exclusive: US Asks Israel to Restrain Response to Jerusalem Move
What does Trump's Jerusalem move mean for the peace process?
Hamas says Trump's Jerusalem decision 'opens the gates of hell'
Trump's 'ill-considered' Jerusalem decision wide-reaching repercussions
Trump has proven how little he understands Middle East with his Jerusalem
Analysis: Legal limbo… Jerusalem is yours, except, perhaps, parts
Trump Is Right: Jerusalem Is Israel's Capital — But It Is A Divided One.
Rallying Cry of Jerusalem May Have Lost Force in Arab World
Can the Middle East peace process survive Trump's Jerusalem decision?
Trumplomacy: Key takeaways from Jerusalem policy shift
Trump flouts warnings, formally recognizes Jerusalem as capital of Israel
Trump recognizes Jerusalem as Israel's capital in historic move
Tel Aviv or Jerusalem? Victorian political leaders make the issue business
The Selfish Motive Behind Trump's Jerusalem Decision
Jerusalem: Trump move prompts negative world reaction
From Cairo to Kuala Lumpur, Muslims vent fury at Trump's ...
'Muslims around world UNITE against Trump' Malaysia PM ...
Analysts: Recognising Jerusalem as Israel's capital may dampen BN ...
Trump's Jerusalem move bad, say politicians and NGOs
Thousands of protesters take to the streets in Asian cities
After Trump's Jerusalem Announcement, Malaysians March on US Embassy
Muslims in Asia Rally Against Trump's Jerusalem Move
From Cairo to Kuala Lumpur, Muslims vent fury at Trump's Jerusalem stance
Thousands Muslims in Malaysia, Indonesia protest agains Trump's Jerusalem
Malaysians protest outside US embassy over Trump's Jerusalem decision
Malaysia US Protest
Malaysians protest at US embassy
Asian countries protest Trump's decision on Jerusalem
Trump's Jerusalem decision will cause 'explosion' in Arab states ...
Richard Haass on Trump Recognition of Jerusalem
Trump mocks other presidents for being all talk on Jerusalem promise
After Jerusalem recognition, Trump signs waiver delaying embassy ...
A VERY stylish Ivanka joins Jared and the kids at the White House ...
Protests sweep Muslim world against Trump's Jerusalem move
President Trump Taunts Past Presidents For Failing To Recognize ...
Hundreds rally against Trump's Jerusalem declaration
Trump Jerusalem move sparks Palestinian protests, clashes
Supermodel Bella Hadid joins protest against Donald Trump's move ...
Bella Hadid condemns Donald Trump's recognition of Jerusalem
'I cry for the many generations of Palestine': Bella Hadid condemns ...
President Trump Taunts Past Presidents For Failing To Recognize ...
Trump calls out Clinton, Bush and Obama on Jerusalem
From Cairo to Kuala Lumpur, Muslims vent fury at Trump's ...
Asian countries protest Trump's decision on Jerusalem
Thousands of Muslims in Malaysia, Indonesia protest against ...
Donald Trump slurs speech during Jerusalem announcement ...
Trevor Noah Slams Donald Trump for Jerusalem Decision
Trump's deputy assistant speaks on the Jerusalem crisis
Trump hails Jerusalem decision at White House Hanukkah party
Armageddon? Bring It On: The Evangelical Force Behind Trump's ...
Muslim clerics criticise Donald Trump over Jerusalem decision
Iranians rally against Trump's Jerusalem move, burn US flags: TV
Swiss government: Trump's Jerusalem policy is an 'obstacle to peace'
'What approach is this?': world leaders rebuke Trump over ...
Perak politicians, Islamic activists rally against Trump to 'Save ...
Trump recognises Jerusalem as Israel's capital, defying allies, foes
Wag the Embassy
Trump Orders US Embassy Move from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem
Donald Trump officially recognises Jerusalem as Israeli capital ...
Russia says Trump's Jerusalem declaration 'defies common sense'
Turkish government slams Trump over Jerusalem decision
An Israeli dream might come true if Trump declares Jerusalem the ...
Trump recognises Jerusalem as Israel's capital, in reversal of policy
'Muslims around world UNITE against Trump' Malaysia PM ...
Trump's Jerusalem move bad, say politicians and NGOs
Trump Recognizes Jerusalem as Israel's Capital
Timeline: The aftermath of Trump's Jerusalem announcement
Thousands of Tunisians protest against Trump's Jerusalem decision
Thousands Take To Streets To Protest Trump's Jerusalem Decision
ANC condemns Trump recognising Jerusalem as Israel's capital
ANC condemns Trump's #Jerusalem decision
UN, European Union and Pope Criticize Trump's Jerusalem ...
American Christian Organizations Split in Response to Trump's ...
[WATCH] Trump recognises Jerusalem as Israel's capital
Merkel 'does not support' Trump's Jerusalem announcement
On Trump's Jerusalem move, Merkel says Germany sticking to UN ...
For many evangelicals, Jerusalem is about prophecy, not politics
Trump 'opens door to hell' with Jerusalem move
Trump Says US Recognizes Jerusalem as Israel's Capital
Trump's Plan for Jerusalem Embassy Leaves Key Details Unresolved
Marines ready to deploy in wake of Trump's Jerusalem announcement
At a Jerusalem market, Trump's capital announcement met by grins ...
On Jerusalem, Trump delivers for supporters at home
Arabs, EU, UN reject Donald Trump's recognition of Jerusalem as ...
Macron, world leaders regret Trump Jerusalem declaration
With Jerusalem Recognition, Trump Crushes Vestiges of Palestine
Trump's Jerusalem speech will foster the liberal Jewish awakening
Donald Trump has exposed the sham that is American policy on ...
In break with decades of US policy, Trump to recognise Jerusalem ...
Shields and Brooks on Franken's resignation, Trump's Jerusalem ...
SitRep: Trump Jerusalem Decision Sparks Day of Rage Across ...
Demanding Trump Backtrack on Jerusalem, Iraq Summons US ...
Iraqi militia group says Trump decision on Jerusalem could be ...
Iraq militia threatens US forces over Trump Jerusalem move
Pro-Iran Iraqi militia says 'Trump's stupid decision' on Jerusalem ...
Iraq militia threatens US forces after Trump Jerusalem move
Iraq demands US backtrack on Jerusalem, summons ambassador
Mandla Mandela slams Donald Trump over “act of aggression” on ...
'God is weeping over Donald Trump': Archbishop Tutu on Jerusalem ...
Did President Trump slur his Jerusalem speech? You be the judge
'It is time to officially recognise Jerusalem as the capital of Israel ...
For evangelical leader, Trump now like 'Cyrus'
Trump Had No Clue What He Was Doing With His Disastrous ...
White House: Trump appeared to slur during Jerusalem ...
White House says Trump slurred during his speech about Jerusalem ...
Trump's Jerusalem Move Will 'End Up Strengthening Iran' – Political ...
Trump Recognizes Jerusalem As Israel Capital, Pledges To Move ...
Trump to recognize Jerusalem as Israel's capital, but won't move ...
Palestinian protesters burn images of Trump and the US flag ahead ...
After Trump's Jerusalem Move, US Issues Worldwide Travel Caution ...
Rav Aharon Bina on Trump's Jerusalem Proclamation
Leader Of The Palestinian US Delegation Reacts To Trump's ...
MCA: Trump's Jerusalem move may reignite conflict
Jimmy Carter: Trump's Jerusalem decision 'exacerbates tensions' in ...
UK foreign secretary skips passage in speech criticizing Trump on ...
France's Macron regrets Trump's 'unilateral' Jerusalem decision
Reform movement's rejection of Trump call on embassy move to ...
Trump's declaration on Jerusalem an 'act of aggression' - Mandla ...
Trump's Jerusalem Decision Called 'Provocative,' Counterproductive
Jerusalem Is Just The Latest Example Of Trump's Nonsensical ...
Muslim 'day of rage' against Trump turns deadly: Two Palestinians ...
With Jerusalem Recognition, Trump Gives Netanyahu a Great Tool ....
Donald Rumsfeld: Trump's decision to recognize Jerusalem as ...
Why is President Trump recognizing Jerusalem as the capital of ...
Trump Trades Jerusalem Triumph For Hanukkah Clichés At White ...
President Trump On Retainer?
Week In The News: Franken's Fall, Trump's Jerusalem Nod ...
Reactions From Israel To Trump's Decision To Recognize ...
Iran calls Trump's idea to move US embassy to Jerusalem ...
Iran's Supreme Leader Blasts Trump's Jerusalem Declaration ...

‘Rocket Man’ Vs ‘Dotard’ in War of Words
A man watches a TV screen showing U.S. President Donald Trump, left, and North Korean leader Kim Jong Un during a news program at the Seoul Train Station in Seoul, South Korea, Aug. 10, 2017.

In the first official comments from North Korea after Trump had issued his starkest warning yet to Pyongyang, Ri said, "There is a saying that goes: 'Even when dogs bark, the parade goes on.'"

Ri told reporters near the UN headquarters in New York, "If they are trying to shock us with the sound of a dog's bark they are clearly having a dog dream."

Asked by reporters what he thought of Trump calling North Korean leader Kim Jong Un "rocket man," Ri said, "I feel sorry for his aides." Ri is expected to make a UN speech on Friday.

read more

Trump and the Russian connection
People walk past a mural on a restaurant wall depicting U.S. Presidential hopeful Donald Trump and Russian President Vladimir Putin greeting each other with a kiss in the Lithuanian capital Vilnius on May 13, 2016

Russian intelligence agencies have allegedly recently digitally broken into four different American organizations that are affiliated either with Hillary Clinton or the Democratic Party since late May. All of the hacks appear designed to benefit Donald Trump’s presidential aspirations in one fashion or another.

When asked about this, and his affection for Russian president Vladimir Putin, Trump said any inference that a connection exists between the two is absurd and the stuff of conspiracy. “I have ZERO investments in Russia,” he tweeted after the Democratic National Committee was apparently hacked by Russia and the emails released by Wiki Leaks on the eve of the DNC convention to nominate Clinton as its 2016 presidential candidate.

Most of the coverage of the links between Trump and Putin’s Russia takes the GOP presidential nominee at his word—that he has lusted after a Trump tower in Moscow, and come up spectacularly short. But Trump’s dodge—that he has no businesses in Russia, so there is no connection to Putin—is a classic magician’s trick. Show one idle hand, while the other is actually doing the work.

read more


‘Rocket Man’ Vs ‘Dotard’ in War of Words
Playing the 'Trump' card against China
Trump and the Russian connection
Time names Trump 2016 'Person of the Year'
Trump tweets conversation with Taiwanese leader but not Singapore’s
TPP: Trump Pacific Palisades
Congratulations to President-Elect Donald Trump!
Donald Trump wins the US’s 45th presidency
Donald Trump’s ‘P---y’ Comment: 'Sexual Violence or Sexual Assault'

Sunday, 10 December 2017

Human Rights Day 2017

Human Rights Day

Human Rights Day is observed every year on 10 December. It commemorates the day on which, in 1948, the United Nations General Assembly adopted the Universal Declaration of Human Rights. In 1950, the Assembly passed resolution 423 (V), inviting all States and interested organizations to observe 10 December of each year as Human Rights Day.

This year, Human Rights Day calls on everyone to stand up for someone's rights! Many of us are fearful about the way the world is heading. Disrespect for basic human rights continues to be wide-spread in all parts of the globe. Extremist movements subject people to horrific violence. Messages of intolerance and hatred prey on our fears. Humane values are under attack.

We must reaffirm our common humanity. Wherever we are, we can make a real difference. In the street, in school, at work, in public transport; in the voting booth, on social media.

read more

International Human Rights Day commemoration in Singapore

Human Rights Day (10 Dec) was commemorated in small but meaningful ways by civil society.

It began with the screening of the documentary “1987: Untracing the Conspiracy” by Jason Soo at The Projector. About half of the 22 people who were arrested and imprisoned in the alleged security operation known as “Operation Spectrum” in 1987 were present for the Q & A session that followed.

Various thoughtful questions were posed by the young audience. They wanted to know if the 22 people who were detained knew each other, what they were doing in the 1980s, what was the impact of the detention on them and their families and were they really Marxists.

related: Joint statement by Singapore NGOs on the prosecution of Jolovan Wham

read more

Human Rights Day
Human Rights Day is observed every year on 10 December.

It commemorates the day on which, in 1948, the United Nations General Assembly adopted the Universal Declaration of Human Rights.

In 1950, the Assembly passed resolution 423 (V), inviting all States and interested organizations to observe 10 December of each year as Human Rights Day.

read more

Human Rights Day

Human Rights Day is celebrated on December 10, 2016. The date was chosen to honor the United Nations General Assembly's adoption and proclamation on 10 December 1948, of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights (UDHR), the first global enunciation of human rights and one of the first major achievements of the new United Nations.

Human Rights Day is normally marked both by high-level political conferences and meetings and by cultural events and exhibitions dealing with human rights issues. In addition, it is traditionally on 10 December that the five-yearly United Nations Prize in the Field of Human Rights and Nobel Peace Prize are awarded. Many governmental and nongovernmental organizations active in the human rights field also schedule special events to commemorate the day, as do many civil and social-cause organisations.

The Declaration of Human Rights arose directly from the experience of the Second World War and represents the first global expression of rights to which all human beings are inherently entitled. It consists of 30 articles which have been elaborated in subsequent international treaties, regional human rights instruments, national constitutions and laws. The Guinness Book of Records describes the UDHR as the "Most Translated Document" in the world.

read more

Human Rights Day

Human Rights Day is observed by the international community every year on 10 December. It commemorates the day in 1948 the United Nations General Assembly adopted the Universal Declaration of Human Rights

The formal inception of Human Rights Day dates from 1950, after the Assembly passed resolution 423 (V) inviting all States and interested organizations to adopt 10 December of each year as Human Rights Day.

When the General Assembly adopted the Declaration, with 48 states in favor and eight abstentions, it was proclaimed as a "common standard of achievement for all peoples and all nations", towards which individuals and societies should "strive by progressive measures, national and international, to secure their universal and effective recognition and observance". Although the Declaration with its broad range of political, civil, social, cultural and economic rights is not a binding document, it inspired more than 60 human rights instruments which together constitute an international standard of human rights. Today the general consent of all United Nations Member States on the basic Human Rights laid down in the Declaration makes it even stronger and emphasizes the relevance of Human Rights in our daily lives.

read more

Human Rights Day

Human Rights Day is commemorated every year all over the world on 10th of December. It was first announced to be celebrated every year by the United Nations General Assembly on 10th of December in the year 1948. It is celebrated at this particular date annually to honor the United Nations General Assembly for declaring the human rights universally. Human rights day was officially established in the meeting of United Nations General Assembly on 4 of December in 1950.

All the member states and interested organizations were invited to celebrate this day. The High Commissioner office of the Human Rights was awarded by the Guinness World Record for the collection, translation (around 380 languages) and distribution of the worldwide announcement of the Human Rights.

At this event celebration, a global discussion on the human rights is also hosted by the High Commissioner through the social media websites.

read more

Human Rights Day

December 10 is Human Rights Day, a United Nations (UN) campaign that calls for people to know and push for their rights no matter where they are in the world.

Human rights are our basic rights or freedoms. They include our right to live, our right to health, education, freedom of speech and thoughts, and equal rights. Some groups organize protests on Human Rights Day to alert people of circumstances in parts of the world where human rights are not recognized or respected, or where these rights are not considered to be important.

Cultural events and photo exhibitions are also held to inform people, especially today's youth, of their rights and why it's important to hold on to them.

read more

Human Rights Day

The evolution of the human rights movement clearly illustrates humanity's ongoing struggle toward creating a better world.

Throughout history, societies have usually been structured with a powerful minority deciding the course of the lives of the majority. Through the ages, people have worked to change those systems so that they are fairer for everyone. As the world has become more global and interconnected, the human rights movement has been able to spread throughout the world, winning rights for people everywhere. Many victories have been won, but there is still a long way to go: Today there are still 27 million people in slavery ... Torture is still used by more than 80 governments ... More than 1 billion people do not have access to clean water ... and many other injustices.

After the horrors of World War II, the United Nations was created to provide a forum for countries to work out their problems peacefully, and to help nations work together to create a more peaceful, just and sustainable world for all. Protecting and promoting human rights is one of the foundations of the goals of the United Nations.

Wednesday, 6 December 2017

How Hackers Can Break Into Your Accounts

Without Your Password

In the wee hours of Wednesday morning, a host of prominent Twitter accounts were compromised and, as a result, began spouting swastika-laden propaganda in support of Turkey's president Recep Erdoğan ahead of a referendum next month which could consolidate his power. So yeah: Now's a good time to check your own accounts and make sure you close the backdoor that let this happen to other people.

These professional and verified accounts, including Duke University, Forbes, and Amnesty Inernational, were likely protected by pretty robust security measures such as two-factor authentication and strong passwords. Those are important precautions, and ones you should take, too. But that wasn't enough because hackers have another way: app permissions.

If you've ever logged into an app or service by using your Google/Facebook/Twitter account in lieu of creating a new username and password, you've opened up the app permissions hole. This feature is fine and good-it lets you worry about fewer passwords and sometimes is necessary for apps that work directly with your other account. But it's also a security liability.

read more

Monday, 4 December 2017

The Surprising Truth About The Homeless In Singapore

A True Story

As I was walking through Chinatown last week, I passed a man. His shirt was dirty. He smelled bad. He looked sick and was maybe developmentally challenged. He seemingly carried all his possessions in two plastic bags.

Yes, there are homeless people even in prosperous Singapore.

As he passed I thought about the $50 bill I had in my wallet that I was saving for milk, lunch or a taxi. After a few seconds, I turned around to go give it to him but he was gone.

read more

Six things you did not know about the homeless in Singapore
The destitute in Singapore City

The sun has set and the offices are empty, but not everybody has gone home. In prosperous Singapore, there are people who sleep on the streets each night.

A group of youth from a local church have been befriending the homeless in North-East and Central Singapore for the past 1½ years. They visit over 40 homeless people once a week, each time bringing food and water while checking on their health and well-being. I joined them on six visits and met over 25 homeless people over three months.

Here are six things about the homeless in Singapore that I learnt:
  • Not all are actually homeless
  • Their generosity put me to shame
  • People steal from the homeless
  • They love to have conversations
  • You may not be helping by giving them money
  • They hide in plain sight

read more

You won’t believe how many homeless people there are in S’pore

Singapore is known as a well-developed country where the basic needs of people are met. Singapore is one of the richest country in the entire world with one of the highest number of millionaires living within a country and we are also proud of the fact that Singapore only took a measly 50 years to develop from a poor, third world country to a country with a first-world economy.

Public housing is adequate thanks to HDB,  and the CPF scheme gives Singaporean couples the ability to buy their first home. There are also schemes to provide assistance to the poorer groups of the population. Sounds perfect, right?

So, if we were to tell you that there are homeless people in Singapore, and not just one or two, but a pretty significant number of people, will you be shocked? Well, here’s what you got to know.

read more

180 found sleeping on streets
Of the 180 people found sleeping outdoors by volunteers over a 5-hour period in March, 21 had been sleeping outdoors for more than a year and 18 for more than 5 years. ST FOTO: DESMOND WEE

Over a 5-hour stretch, 100 volunteers found 180 people sleeping outdoors across 25 locations in Singapore. Most were men aged above 50, & a good proportion had jobs.

This point-in-time survey is believed to be the 1st of its kind here. It was done in March by volunteer welfare organisation Montfort Care & volunteer group SW101, which focuses on issues facing low-income individuals.

Of the 180 people, 84 answered some or all of the survey questions, which ranged from personal particulars, like age & educational background, to home ownership. The rest declined or were already asleep. Those sleeping outdoors were found mainly in parks such as East Coast Park and at HDB blocks.

read more

Homeless stereotypes busted: Most hold jobs, have been destitute for over a year
24-hour fast-food outlets, malls & public parks are some of the places where the homeless sleep at night

3 in 5 of those surveyed hold jobs, many full-time; 1 in 4 on the streets for more than 5 years; and half are aged 41-59

Most of them have jobs, & more than a quarter have a flat in their name, primarily rental flats.

And yet, the majority have been sleeping in public places for upwards of a year or beyond.

read more

Homeless in Singapore

Singapore is many things — it’s a fine city, it’s a garden city, and it’s one of the most expensive cities in the world to live in. But peer through its clean, shiny veneer and you’ll find something else: the homeless among us.

In March this year, a first-of-its-kind street survey on the homeless in Singapore was conducted by volunteer welfare organization Montfort Care and volunteer group SW101, which helps low-income individuals. Over the course of five hours — from 9pm to 2am — 100 volunteers found 180 people (mostly men) sleeping outdoors in 25 locations across the island, mainly at parks, shopping centres, and HDB blocks.

The Straits Times reported that out of the 180 people, 84 gave responses to the survey questions, which included ones on personal particulars and home ownership. The others either declined or were fast asleep. About 21 of them had been sleeping outdoors for over a year, while 18 had been doing so for more than five years.

read more

More complex than meets the eye, Singapore’s homeless struggle to find support
For the last 4 months, odd-job worker Chua Teo Aik, 64, has been wandering the streets by day & sleeps by the waterfront in the Marina Bay area at night. Foto: Nuria Ling/TODAY

Homeless people are dirty, lazy, & probably crazy, many may subconsciously think.

This stereotypical image does not seem to fit Singapore’s homeless, going by what a recent survey report found.

In findings released last week, volunteer group SW101 and volunteer welfare organisation Montfort Care revealed that among 180 people found sleeping on the streets one night in Singapore, almost two-thirds of those interviewed have a job, and more than a quarter have a flat to their name. 1 in 4 are even married.

read more

A fresh look at homelessness

Homelessness is a complex issue without a quick or 1-size-fits-all solution. Some displaced people reject intervention by the authorities because they do not want to be compelled to continue living with families or co-tenants. These strained relationships cannot just be blamed on personal traits as they may be born out of deeper conflicts.

Volunteers have also found that a number of displaced people exhibit some form of mental or physical disability, & these people face challenges adapting to life in shelters.

Even the concept of a home for a displaced person may be different. For some, it is not about "owning" a place or having a roof over their heads for the night. It is about having a place where they feel safe, in control & surrounded by people they get along with.

read more

7 Children and 18 Grandchildren, but 80-Year-Old Ah Ma Sleeps on the Streets of Chinatown

Mdm Tan is neatly dressed, carries a clutch bag and pushes a trolley. From appearances, it’d be hard to tell that this 80-year-old ah ma sleeps on the streets of Chinatown – most would think she’s just lepak0ing there to while away the time.

Mdm Tan usually sleeps on a stone bench in front of the CK department store in the area.

This, despite having 7 children and 18 grand-children. Speaking in Hokkien (the only language she knows), Mdm Tan said that she used to run a kway teow noodle stall in the Orchard Road area. But her husband, who’s 20 years older than her, passed away 11 years ago. She sleeps on the street as she is not on good terms with her children.

“It’s uncomfortable and I can’t even lie down and sleep so I just sit down and slowly fall asleep. I only hope now that someone can help me find a place to stay.” Mdm Tan says she has no money, and her handphone is always running out of battery. But, she says she’s lucky that there are people who give her 3 meals a day for sustenance.

read more

He's 35 and homeless: Eight years of destitute living

The first time I meet Ben & we shake hands, I am immediately assailed by the scent of cologne. Over lunch, the intense fragrance almost overpowers the aroma of roasted coffee beans.

“Actually,” he says casually as he twirls his straw, “I haven’t bathed for a week.” Oh, I think, as I give him my best unfazed nod and an “I see”.

He peers at me for a good three seconds, then breaks into a huge smile. “Wah, your poker face is damn good. Usually people will be grossed out. “But I’m joking lah. I did shower,” he adds gleefully. “You actually believed that?”

related: Homeless stereotypes busted

read more

Once bitten, twice shy homeless man chose not to get rental flat
In the Spotlight: Once bitten, twice shy homeless man chose not to get rental flat

For the last 4 months, odd-job worker Chua Teo Aik, 64, has been wandering the streets by day. He sleeps by the waterfront in the Marina Bay area at night.

Mr Chua chose not to come under the Government’s Joint Singles Rental Scheme after a bad experience with his first roommate, who was trying all means & ways to kick him out of the house. He is one of at least 3 “regulars” TODAY found in the vicinity of the Esplanade in Marina Bay.

These days, Mr Chua can usually be spotted wheeling a pink, cabin-sized piece of luggage around Singapore’s city centre. The luggage contains all his worldly possessions: a jacket, some oranges, 3-in-1 instant coffee sachets, neatly filed photographs of himself, some old letters, and his passport.

read more

Homelessness in Singapore: How much do you know?

The issue of homelessness is a complex and multi-faceted one. It will require a multi-pronged approach to better manage the situation. For a start, I strongly believe that the number of homeless cases can be further reduced significantly through the enhancement of some of the HDB’s housing policies, which to some extent inadvertently contribute to the risk of this group of vulnerable people ending up homeless.

For example, at my Meet-the-People Session, I met a family of six who became homeless partly due to HDB’s 30-month debarment policy. Mr A, an owner of a 3-room HDB flat, is his family’s sole breadwinner who earns about $1500 a month. He has a wife and four young children to support. He was advised by HDB to sell his house to clear his housing arrears. After he sold his flat and cleared his arrears, he applied for a rental flat under the HDB’s Public Rental Scheme but was rejected due to the 30-month debarment policy.

Mr A had no choice but to rent a flat through the open market. After a while, he exhausted his savings and could no longer pay the monthly rent. As a result, he and his family had to camp by the beach. Fortunately for him, an NParks officer referred his case to the relevant agency and after a while, the family was located in a temporary shelter. According to Mr A, six months after residing in the shelter, his family was granted the flat he currently stays in.

read more

This Singaporean Woman Has Been Living At Changi Airport For EIGHT Years

Homelessness is a real problem in Singapore, and surprisingly enough, you'll see it in a place as polished as Changi Airport.

This woman in her 50s, who preferred to remain anonymous, has been living in Changi Airport for eight years. She is among more than 10 "regulars" at the airport. She was hit by the 2008 financial crisis, and had cash flow problems. She was desperate, she said, and so rented out her three-room flat in Tampines and "moved" to the airport.

At first, she was just going to stay for a few nights, but it became eight years. Now, she has a trolley full of clothes, toiletries, food and other daily necessities. She eats at the airport food court and finds living there quite convenient as there is a supermarket, showers, air-conditioning and free Wi-Fi.

read more

A void deck is home, a marble bench a bed

For nearly 2 years, home for Mr Lim Cheng Teck, 76, was the void deck of a block of 1-room flats in Bedok South. His bed was a marble bench.

One half of the bench held his essentials: a few bottles of talcum powder bottles (the empty ones doubling up as incense-sticks holders), food, utensils, lighters & a few other knick knacks.

He sat, had his meals & slept on the other half, using the elevated middle section of the bench as a pillow.

read more

Man who sleeps at Woodlands void deck daily referred to welfare organisations: Town Council

A young man who has been sleeping daily at the void deck of Block 892B at Woodlands Drive has been referred to welfare organisations, a town council spokesperson said.

On Nov 16, a resident wrote in to citizen journalism website Stomp expressing concern for the man's safety & health after observing that he has been sleeping at the block's void deck for several nights in a row.

Here is the Town Council's response in full: "We have brought the case up to the attention of Ms Serene Tan, Manager, Woodgrove Zone 5 Residents' Committee

read more

Our homeless sleeping in public places

Last Fri night as I was leaving the coffee shop after my sojourn, I suddenly noticed that there was a surge in the homeless sleeping on the benches at the concrete shade. It was about 1am. A quick count showed more than 10 persons sleeping there. Their ages ranging from early 40s to 70s.

Most of them carried a bag and used it as headrest. They didn’t look like foreign workers. They appeared to be locals. I believe this scenario is repeated all over our country. Just go to the Chinatown Buddha Tooth Relic temple vicinity, there is much more there but those are elderly folks living nearby.

I believe there are two types of homeless sleeping in public places. Those who have got a flat but choose to sleep in a public place vs those who are really homeless who have no choice but to sleep in a public place.

read more

Hope for resettled homeless through Project 4650

The problem of families found living in public parks and beaches peaked in 2009, at the height of the Asian financial crisis. A project to get the East Coast Park homeless resettled has garnered positive results. Project 4650, started in 2010, has helped about 230 families so far.

What is the percentage of the 230 families to the total number of homeless families?

Since "On a daily basis we usually identify about 5 to 10 at that time and what we saw were families with very young children and it was a concern to us" - does it mean that the number in just a year may be about 2,738 families (7.5 a day times 365 days)?

read more

Homeless in the City of Possibilities

The homeless from Sembawang Park were told to dismantle their tents and were issued summons. They were also ordered to leave the area immediately. After TOC suggested that they be given more time, the officers from MCYS promised to give them a further three days to leave the park – this despite some of the campers having valid camping permits. (You can read a more detailed account of what happened here.)

The campers had, on that following Monday, gone to the MCYS office to discuss the matter of alternative accommodation with the officers, as previously arranged. After the discussion, they returned to Sembawang Park to pack up their belongings. They were greeted with the presence of workmen at the camping area who apparently were there to seal off the site. Indeed, Nparks seem eager to have the homeless leave the area as soon as possible, given how swiftly it had arranged for the workers to be there. The day after the campers left, the camping area at the park was cordoned off for “maintenance”.

Over at Changi beach, the homeless were treated just as badly. After the minister of MCYS’s visit, the campers were harassed for days, sometimes two or three times a day by Nparks officers, the campers told us. It is believed that these officers included those from other Nparks branches, such as East Coast, who were roped in to help rid Changi beach of the campers and the homeless, apparently.

read more

A van called home

After divorcing his first wife 2 years ago, an operations executive has been living out of a van at East Coast Park.

The van belongs to the cleaning company that the man, who wanted to be known as Mr Ahmad, 50, works for.

Mr Ahmad's current wife, who wanted to be known as Madam Rose, 30, joined him in February, with his daughter and son, to live out of the van at Carpark F2.

read more

Homeless in Singapore?

Where do the homeless go? There seems to be a perception that people in homeless shelters normally don’t get evicted, I have come across many cases of eviction and notice of eviction from homeless shelters. Perpetual queue of homeless? As I understand it, homeless shelters are almost invariably always full, with new homeless people all the time. So, unless one is evicted or threatened with eviction, they wouldn’t know actually whether they can fend for themselves, as most people will not volunteer to leave a homeless shelter.

Interim Housing Scheme - Those in the Interim Housing Scheme also get evicted because they cannot pay their rental. How many homeless in shelters? By the way, how many homeless shelters are there in Singapore, how many people are housed in total, and who runs them? In this regard, I understand that homeless shelters do not have signboards or names, telephone numbers or web sites.

Homeless rising? I also understand that the last time it was reported in Parliament, the number of homeless picked up by the authorities, had increased by 50 per cent or something.

read more

Homeless in Singapore’s Island Paradise

You may recall that I wrote about the sad case of Rebecca Loh and the tragic consequences of our government’s callous policy of self- reliance at all costs. Recently I was saddened again by the plight of another victim of similar callousness though as yet still mercifully without the same tragic consequences.

I know of Madam L’s case because she had called our office to ask for help. Yesterday I met up with her along with the assistance of one of our Hokkien speaking members. Before this our means of communication had been restricted to Malay. (My generation of Singaporeans were taught in English but non-Chinese learnt Malay as a second language.)

I will tell her story as she told it although we are still working on her case and no doubt more details will emerge. I believe it is not atypical.

read more

'Sleepers' in Singapore
  • "There are no homeless, destitute or starving people [in Singapore]…Poverty has been eradicated." - Kishore Mahbubani, Singapore's permanent representative to the UN
  • "You go down New York, Broadway. You will see the beggars, people of the streets...Where are the beggars in Singapore? Show me." - Lee Kuan Yew
  • "There are no homeless people in Singapore because they are called SLEEPERS Singapore is ingenious we have gotten rid of homelessness without spending a single cent" - Lucky Tan
Everytime I work late and pass by the bus interchange near my place, I notice the growing number of homeless at the bus interchange. Each pillar at the bus interchange now as a permanent resident (PR). You ever wonder why the homeless sleep next to pillars....so that the tired people coming back from work don't step on them when they sleep. Since every pillar is now occupied, I wondered where a new homeless person would go. The Sunday Times has the answer.

read more

Homeless – the ‘invisible’ people in Singapore

“I have lived in several different countries in my life. However, living in Singapore is the closest thing to paradise that I have ever experienced”, exclaims an expatriate in a blog post and adds “I thought it was interesting that I did not see a single homeless person during my entire stay in the country. I am sure there are homeless people in Singapore”.

The expatriate is surely not alone in ‘not seeing a single homeless person here’. The homeless among us are ‘invisible’ to many Singaporeans as well. So where do they live.

The Ministry of Social & Family Development said in Parliament last year that they “regularly patrols beaches and public areas to identify and provide assistance to persons who may be homeless”. Yes, some homeless individuals and families live along our coastal shores.

read more

Out In The Cold: A documentary bringing light to the homeless

A group of ex-temasek polytechnic (TP) students did a film about the less known, less talked about, sometimes seen, and always leaving people wondering: The Homeless People.

Titled "Out In The Cold", it is a documentary bringing light to people and circumstances that sometimes can’t be help.

The ex-students from TP who had to do a final year project for their Diploma in Moving Images formed the team of four for the documentary. They are Tan Yi Wilfred, the director, Nur Shahirah A. Latif, the producer, Sing Valerie, the director of photography and Anisa Bte Abdul Latiff, the editor.

read more

A fresh look at homelessness

Homelessness is a complex issue without a quick or one-size-fits-all solution. Some displaced people reject intervention by the authorities because they do not want to be compelled to continue living with families or co-tenants. These strained relationships cannot just be blamed on personal traits as they may be born out of deeper conflicts.

Volunteers have also found that a number of displaced people exhibit some form of mental or physical disability, & these people face challenges adapting to life in shelters.

Even the concept of a home for a displaced person may be different. For some, it is not about "owning" a place or having a roof over their heads for the night. It is about having a place where they feel safe, in control & surrounded by people they get along with.

read more

Raiding the homeless – in the middle of the night
Raiding the homeless – in the middle of the night

They have been camped out there for months, but no one from the government agencies seem to have known about them – perhaps until The Online Citizen’s report on 13 January

TOC had reported that some 15 homeless families were camped out in tents at Sembawang Park. Three days after TOC’s revelation, on 16 January, Saturday, at around 10pm, officers from the Ministry of Community Development, Youth and Sports (MCYS), and NParks, together with some 10 policemen, swooped down on the park.

When TOC arrived at the scene at about 10.50pm, there were two police cars and a pick-up van. Some of the homeless were seen dismantling their tents. When queried about why they were being asked to do so, the NParks officers said the campers had broken “rules and regulations”, even though most of them still had valid camping permits. The summons referred to Section 9(1)(a) of the Parks and Trees Regulation Act 2005 which makes it an offence to conduct a barbeque without a permit, among other things. The camping permit does not include permission to barbeque, apparently.

read more

Meet Singapore’s nomad families

For four years, the newly-weds lived on the beach. From 2003 to 2007, they lived off their catch from the sea, did odd jobs, and washed in public toilets.

At 16, Madam Siti (not her real name), a Primary 4 dropout, married Mr Osman (not his real name), 25, despite parental objections. They were ostracised by both their families.

They lived in a series of pitched tents at Changi, East Coast, then Sembawang beach. When Madam Siti gave birth, her sister and in-laws took them in for a few months before conflicts drove them out to the beach. This went on till last year.

read more

The Poor & Homeless in Singapore

One day, there was an article about Singaporeans queuing up and buying many masks at one go. When asked why they were buying so many, most said that they were buying them for their friends and family members, and that they did not know when the haze would end.

And, on another day, there was an article about a Singaporean who could not afford a mask, has to cycle to send her children to school every day and sell curry puff in the haze. She could not even afford to switch on the fan, for she wanted to save on the PUB bill.

And in case you're wondering, yes, both articles are in the same national newspaper, not some online news site. What is the first thought that comes to you?

read more

Other Side of The Singapore Story

A former political detainee who was held for almost two decades launched his memoir yesterday.

In the 406-page book, Dr Poh Soo Kai, former assistant secretary- general of Barisan Sosialis, recounts his personal and political history, and counters the official version of facts that led to his being detained twice, for 17 years in all.

The book, titled Living In A Time Of Deception, also recollects Dr Poh's younger days as a grandson of Chinese community pioneer Tan Kah Kee - his mother's father - and as an activist against the colonial authorities in his student days at the then University of Malaya in Singapore.

read more

Tent Village: Singapore’s nomad families
More than 10 families live in East Coast Park’s ‘Tent Village’

Chinese newspaper Zaobao reported that East Coast Park is now a “tent village” where not only more than a dozen people have set up camp, but is also headed by a 29-year-old “village headman”. Most campers were forced into this “temporary shelter” while they wait for their rental HDB flat.

Newspaper received readers informed that the area along the east coast there are many large tents, as a self-sufficiency of the “village.”

According to the newspaper, the  “Tent Village” is in a location which is hidden from most members of the public, not far from a construction site, but near public toilets, which is convenient for the campers.

read more

More than 900 displaced individuals, families identified between 2013-2015
Between 2013 & 2015, the Social and Family Development Ministry has helped 543 individuals & 374 families. Around 80 per cent had low income and weak social support

The Social & Family Development Ministry (MSF) has identified more than 900 displaced individuals and families between 2013 & 2015.

While East Coast Park is where many Singaporeans go to unwind after work, it is also a temporary home for a small group of people.

Some occupants have made homes out of the makeshift tents dotting the park. Some Channel NewsAsia spoke with said they are waiting to be allocated housing, like HDB rental flats, & have no place to stay.

read more

The Surprising Truth About The Homeless In Singapore
Tent Village: Singapore’s nomad families
Singapore: Best Place to Live and Work
Plight Of The Tissue Peddlers
Collecting Cardboards "a form of exercise" & "protecting our environment"
Have you ever Spoken to a Cardboard Uncle or Aunty?
Singapore’s Story: What comes next
Singapore at 50: From swamp to skyscrapers
Singapore Good Old Times
The Poor & Homeless in Singapore
Support for the Needy and Elderly
The Singapore Story
Other Side of The Singapore Story

ChasingThe Singapore Dream
To Be Or Not To Be Singaporeans
Longing for the good old days
Singapore: A Sampan or a Cruise ship?
Singapore at 50: From swamp to skyscrapers
Singapore is ‘World’s Costliest City To Live In’
Coping with Inflation & Cost Of Living
COL goes Up, Up, Up!
Singapore “Swiss” Standard of Living
Tackling poverty the 'kuih lapis' way
Callings for a Poverty Line
Setting a poverty line may not be helpful
A minimum wage for Singapore?

No homeless,destitute starving people in S'pore:Poverty eradicated
Growing Up With Less
Singapore Is The World’s Most Expensive City
Singapore still the best country for expats