Headlines: Bringing life to the world

 

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On 7th April, while it was really early in the morning, three SCDF officers managed to successfully deliver a baby and “brought life into the world”.

It was around 7.45 am when it happened. Pregnant 29 year old, Keryn Toh, suddenly suffered an intense contraction in her flat in Novena and became paralyzed with pain. Her husband, Mr Ho, immediately alerted the paramedics and started pacing worriedly in the carpark. By the time they arrived, it was too late. Ms Toh’s water bag had burst and the baby’s head could already be seen. There was no time to take her to the hospital and they had to deliver the baby right then and there.

Mr Ho was in good hands despite his concerns of the paramedics’ experiences. At 8.15 am, they delivered a healthy baby boy. Shortly after the incident, Mr Ho attempted to send these three SCDF officers a hamper. However, they rejected it, saying that SCDF does not accept gifts. Mr Ho then took to social media to pen down his gratitude to the officers.

In my opinion, I fully understand what Mr Ho was trying to do. I think that we should try to be more appreciative towards our defence officers, in this case the SCDF officers. Most of the time, we don’t really thank or notice the people who make our country as peaceful and safe as they can be. However, if we actually start to appreciate these officers, we can see how much time and effort they sacrifice for our country. We can learn to be grateful as well in this process.

Just like how we say ‘thank you’ to our canteen uncles and aunties or to our cleaners in our school, we can do so too to our officers. Although it would be weird to say ‘thank you’ to a patrolling police officer, we can say a silent ‘thank you’ and be thankful that we have such officers protecting our country.

Rachel Lie

1 Purity

Kim Jong-un’s half-brother ‘assassinated by two female agents using poisoned needles’ in Malaysia

khuA shocking, horrific and appalling event happened recently. It took place right at our doorstep – Malaysia. Kim Jong-un’s half-brother was ‘assassinated by two female agents using poisoned needles’ in Malaysia.

Shocking images show Kim Jong-nam slumped in a chair having been poisoned.

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South Korean intelligence claims that Kim Jong-un ‘ordered’ half-brother’s killing and that North’s foreign ministry and ministry of national security had recruited the two female suspects in his murder. South Korean lawmaker Kim Byung-kee said in a televised address, “The assassination of Kim Jong Nam was an act of systematic terror ordered by Kim Jong Un.”

 

Kim Jong Nam was accosted by two women at Kuala Lumpur International Airport on February 13, while on his way to board a plane to the Chinese-territory of Macau.

He died on his way to hospital, less than 20 minutes later, according to Malaysian investigators, who said the women had attacked him with a VX nerve agent.

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One of the suspects.

Autopsy results from Kim Jong Nam’s body showed that he had died within 15 to 20 minutes after the assault. Even though the Indonesian suspect, 25-year-old Aisyah, told the Indonesian deputy ambassador to Malaysia that she believed she was taking part in a prank when she rubbed the substance on Kim’s face and believed it was baby oil but Malaysian police chief Khalid Abu Bakar has firmly rejected her story, saying both women were “trained to swab the deceased’s face.”

Despite all evidences pointing to the fact that North Korea initiated the assassination,  North Korea has consistently denied any involvement in Kim Jong Nam’s killing and accused South Korean media of publishing “false reports.”

Malaysian authorities are still holding Kim’s body and won’t turn it over until they receive a next-of-kin DNA sample, dental profiling and body marks to identify the victim.

Personally, I was appalled at this sudden news because it happened at our door step – Malaysia. Kim Jong-un inhumane act made me questioned humanity because no matter how much hate he harboured against his half-brother, how could he commit such an abhorrent crime? This reflects badly on his character to show how he can be so heartless and brutal when it comes to assassinating his potential rivals.

Ming Ting

3Unity

 

Headlines- ‘I only have half a brain’

A girl named Jodie was three when she started having seizures, and she was diagnosed with a rare disease, Rasmussen’s encephalitis.

Jodie had her first seizure when she was at her day care playing,and the next thing she knew she was in an ambulance. Lynn Miller, Jodie’s mother, said she went to the hospital and just watched Jodie. Jodie had a seizure again the next day, but nothing the doctors did worked.

Jodie then started having seizures regularly, constantly falling to the left and it got really bad that one of her family members had to be at her left side all the time. Jodie even started having seizures every three minutes!

Jodie’s condition causes chronic inflammation of the brain, usually in one hemisphere. The doctors explained that there was only one way to treat her, and it was to take out the half of the brain that was affected. The doctors hoped that if they removed Jodie’s right side of her brain, the left side would compensate and take over the right side’s functions.

Jodie had the operation the same year, when she was three. It was a success and her seizures stopped. Before the operation, her  rain might have even started to rewire itself! However, the signs of what had happened was limited movement in Jodie’s left arm and a limp. Jodie is still very positive despite only having half a brain.

Imagine taking out half of your brain. Life may be a bit awkward for you if people know that you only have half a brain, but according to Jodie, her life was no different than anybody else. She has been married for four years and has been living with her husband. Jodie is very grateful to her parents for what they did, because if she had the surgery any later, she might not be alive today.

I think that Jodie’s story is really touching. Despite only having half a brain she is still positive and thinks that her life is no different than a normal person’s life. We should all learn to be like Jodie, to be positive and never give up.

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Reference: http://www.bbc.com/news/magazine-39117532

 

-Desiree Lim

1 Grace

Headlines: More than 600 animals, including a cheetah, were born last year in Singapore wildlife parks

Wildlife parks in Singapore welcomed more than 600 baby animals last year, including a cheetah and some endangered species native to Southeast Asia (SEA). Saving a cheetah cub, Deka, was one of the highlights at the Singapore Zoo, said Wildlife Reserves Singapore (WRS) in a press release on Wednesday (Feb 15) that revealed the births.

The zoo, Jurong Bird Park, Night Safari and River Safari make up the four parks managed by WRS.Deka was abandoned by her inexperienced first-time mother after she was born on Oct 3.Vets and keepers made the decision to save the cub by hand-raising her. Starting out weak and malnourished, Deka spent her first four days in the animal hospital. Vets and keepers then worked tirelessly to provide round-the-clock care for the next two months until she was strong enough to be independent, said WRS. Today, she is an active and healthy juvenile that enjoys sprinting about her play area.

Cheetahs are considered a vulnerable species with only 7,100 left in the wild.

Dr Cheng Wen-Haur, WRS deputy CEO and chief life sciences officer, Wildlife Reserves Singapore, said: “Each animal baby born and hatched in our parks is an ambassador in their own right. Individually, they represent their wild counterparts, but collectively they embody the need to conserve not just each individual species but the environment as a whole. “Examples of the threatened SEA animals are the Sunda pangolin, painted terrapin, proboscis monkey, Bali mynah and black-winged starling, WRS said.

The Singapore Zoo has also seen the birth of 30 proboscis monkeys since 1999, the highest number outside of their native Indonesia. Nine painted terrapins, one of SEA’s most endangered freshwater turtle species also hatched in April last year.

The Night Safari’s newborn included three fennec foxes and two Sunda pangolins. The parents of the foxes were kept illegally as pets before they were confiscated by the Agri-Food and Veterinary Authority of Singapore. The foxes will make their debut in the park’s Creatures of the Night show as ambassadors against keeping exotic pets. The Sunda pangolin is considered one of the most trafficked mammals in the world and the Night Safari has been successful in caring for and breeding them.

Over at the Jurong Bird Park, four Bali mynahs and three black-winged starlings hatched last year. Both species are popular in the illegal songbird trade and are critically endangered. Animal families in the River Safari also expanded, with the births of a manatee calf, four baby otters, an emperor tamarin and three ocellate river stingrays.

Dr Cheng said: “We have a mission to protect and conserve biodiversity in Singapore and the region, and are happy to report that our animal care team did well in breeding some of the rarest South-east Asian animals in 2016.”

Rachel Tay

2H

 

 

Headlines : AYE Car Crash

carOn the morning of 19 December 2016, an massive accident occurred on AYE involving four cars, a motorcycle and a bus. It had left one dead and four injured. A Mercedes car had gone against traffic as seen from the dashcam video that had captured the entire accident with the car sitting on the left-most lane, facing the wrong direction. The deceased, a 37-year-old man was found trapped in the driver’s seat of a car and was pronounced dead by paramedics. Another two women and two men were taken to National University Hospital. One woman was a passenger of another car while the man and the woman were riding on the motorcycle. The 53-year-old male car driver, Lim Chai Heng, was arrested for causing death by rash act.

Personally, I feel very put off by the selfish act that had caused this accident. Just because of Lim Chai Heng’s decision to drive against the traffic flow, not to mention the fact that he was sober at that time, he caused a woman to lose her husband, a mother to lose her son. He probably even caused financial problems for the injured victims. This shows that there is a chain effect for every decision one makes and I really hope that Singaporeans will take this as a learning opportunity and a warning not to make rash and insensible decisions in future.

 

References : http://www.straitstimes.com/singapore/accident-on-aye-leaves-of-trail-of-destruction-with-one-dead-and-three-taken-to-hospital

Rachael Fong

3T

 

Vine

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Late last year, Twitter’s controversial announcement to shut down Vine, without a reason, was met with much anger and disappointment.

Vine, launched in 2013, was a six-second video sharing app, and had defined a new era of video revolution in many social media networks, as well as a being a huge source of humorous videos, memes, and even experimental movies. It had helped shape a huge part of the pop culture we see today. And to discontinue it without a valid reason had triggered many critique response from the Vine community.

The Vine website is now only an archive of the videos previously created, and Vine users can save them before January 17, when Vine Camera is activated.

The format of Vine Camera is nearly identical to that of Vine, except it is not a platform, but merely a tool. Likes and comments have become non-existent, and videos created are either shared on Twitter, or saved to the user’s device. However, it is much harder to find videos on Twitter compared to the video- friendly Vine, and fans might have trouble looking for the videos they liked.

The people who suffered the greatest impact were definitely the stars who rose to fame with their six-second videos, who established their bases at Vine. Many have now taken to other platforms such as Snapchat, Instagram or YouTube, but it is just not the same anymore.

However, knowing pop culture, the termination of Vine will definitely bring on a new concept for social media platforms soon, and I anticipate what is yet to come.

 

Chen Yu Yang (2T)

 

Sources: https://thenextweb.com/apps/2017/01/05/vine-will-shut-down-for-good-this-month/

http://topexaminer.com/2017/01/24/vine-website-is-now-an-archive-of-short-looping-videos/

Headlines: Underwater Life around Sisters’ Islands

 

Underwater life around the offshore Sisters’ Islands will now be better protected, after Parliament passed laws to designate the area as a public park.

This new law states that it will be an offence to fish, collect corals or moor boats within the Sisters’ Islands Marine Park without the approval of the National Parks Board (NParks). Currently, the terrestrial areas of the islands are already protected under the law, and the latest change makes clear that the marine and foreshore areas, too, are to be safeguarded. Also, it is an offence for people to release animals into water bodies outside nature reserves, to prevent the introduction of non-native species, which can upset the balance of the natural ecosystem and harm native species

Senior Minister of State for National Development Desmond Lee said that protecting the reefs at the Sisters’ Islands Marine Park is crucial to our coral conservation efforts, and that NParks will make new rules specific to marine parks in due course, such as imposing restrictions on diving, and the movement of vessels. This will be done in consultation with the marine conservation community and other stakeholders, such as boat operators.

Mr Lee also said his ministry would work with nature groups and use science and technology to determine if other areas should be designated as marine parks. He added that the Sisters’ Islands site was chosen based on the richness of species and habitats there, as well as its importance as a source of coral larvae. Scientists had found that the reefs there are the “mother reef” of sorts, and the waters around them are the likely source of Singapore’s coral diversity.

Another amendment to the law allows NParks officers to have the power to enter private premises to check on the condition of trees and plants if there are public safety concerns. The officers can also issue notices requiring private property owners to carry out pruning or engage an arborist to conduct detailed inspections, among other thing

Germaine Ong

3P

Headlines – Sea Level Hit Record Highs in 2015 due to Climate Change

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It has been half a year since 2015 ended, but climate and environmental problems are still bugging the Earth, raising even more concerns as the annual State of the Climate report consolidated 450 scientists from around the world was released.

Reviewing last year’s climate conditions, global warming was definitely the sole cause of the hottest weather by far since 1950. El Nino, an ocean heating trend that further worsens the heating up of our weather, can be especially felt in Singapore’s hot weather.

The increase in greenhouse gases introduced into our environment has had large impacts on the worsening climate has which in turn caused a domino effect whereby ocean surface temperatures rise melting of our icebergs occur at a faster rate, thus causing the steady rise in sea levels. This can be illustrated by situations in The Arctic, which is one of the most vulnerable to the effects of climate change and continues to warm, which has led to thinner sea ice cover. Water levels are rising fast in the Western Pacific and Indian Ocean too, following in the footsteps of a 3.3mm average increase in sea level. Did you know that snow cover in the northern hemisphere marked the second lowest in a 49-year satellite record in June?

While this happens, more areas experience severe droughts such as South Africa which experienced the hottest temperature of 48.4 degrees Celsius along with Russia and China. In the Antarctic, however, temperatures take on an opposite turn and are plunging instead.

Statistics on some of the other situations affecting the world due to El Nino show that the number of tropical cyclones hitting the earth was well above our average of 82 by around 20 and the Eastern and Central Pacific have been affected by the most number of storms in a year since the 20th Century. Furthermore, algal blooms due to warm temperatures have been observed to be spreading from central California all the way to British Columbia, Canada. Warm waters is therefore one of the most worrying impact of the El Nino which can prove to be detrimental to marine life, coastal resources and in turn all these would affect us as we are the consumers of our resources.

Global warming and climate change is really taking a toll on our environment and these results are just a very recent and updated proof of it. Thus, let us all strive to improve our environmental conditions as much as we can before 2016 ends!

 

References:

http://www.straitstimes.com/world/united-states/global-heat-sea-level-hit-record-highs-in-2015

Image credits: http://thecrusaderschs.org/rising-sea-levels-dangerous-threat-to-the-next-generation/

 

Renee Ong (2J)

 

Headlines – Brexit

Recently, the Brexit took place; it is when Britain left the European Union. A referendum took place on 23rd June and everyone of voting age took part in it.

The European Union – often known as the EU – is an economic and political partnership involving 28 European countries. It has since grown to become a “single market” allowing goods and people to move around, basically as if the member states were one country. The single market is seen as the EU’s biggest achievement and one of the main reasons it was set up in the first place. Britain was a member of a free trade area in Europe before it joined what was then known as the common market. In a free trade area, countries can trade with each other without paying tariffs – but it is not a single market because the member states do not have to merge their economies together.

The European Union single market, which was completed in 1992, allows the free movement of goods, services, money and people within the European Union, as if it was a single country. It has its own currency, the euro, which is used by 19 of the member countries, its own parliament and it now sets rules in a wide range of areas – including on the environment, transport, consumer rights and even things such as mobile phone charges.

Those who voted to leave won by 52% to 48%. The referendum turnout was 71.8%, with more than 30 million people voting. It was the highest turnout in a UK-wide vote since the 1992 general election.

Cameron or his successor needs to decide when to invoke this – that will then set in motion the formal legal process of withdrawing from the EU, and give the UK two years to negotiate its withdrawal. Mr Cameron has said he will be stepping down as PM by October.

EU law still stands in the UK until it ceases being a member – and that process could take some time.

The UK will continue to abide by EU treaties and laws, but not take part in any decision-making. Is Britain moving too fast? Was Brexit a smart decision? We’ll have to wait and see.

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References: www.bbc.com/news  

Giselle Cho (2 Faith)

Pokémon Go: The Gaming Phenomenon

pokego.pngMany people’s’ childhood show have officially come to life. Through the use of augmented reality and geo-tagging, many people are sent running around trying to “catch em all”. Even though it was launched less than a month ago on the 6th of July, and in only a few territories, Pokémon Go is already making waves all around the world.

Based on the popular franchise, Pokémon Go is a virtual simulation of Pokémon – in real life. As its name suggests, Pokémon Go is a game that requires people (or trainers in this case) to go around catching Pokémon and training them. Pokémon Go uses Google Maps data to put digital creatures into the player’s surroundings. As the individual walks, the GPS in his smartphone would track his position in the world, and it reflects on his smartphone whenever he gets close to one of these virtual critters. Once you’ve travelled to the area a Pokémon is hiding out, you simply tap on the creature on the map and the camera on your phone renders it into the environment. Once he captures it and trains it, he could use it to battle in Gyms, just like in the anime.

When you combine the number of downloads of this free-to-play app on iOS and Android, the total number downloads increases by more than fifty in just one mere second alone. To date, the estimated number of times Pokémon Go has been downloaded is about 30 million, with approximately 26 million users going online per day. This whooping number is set to increase once the game is released to other territories; however, the international release of the mobile game has been delayed due to the incredible number of downloads in the United States, America and New Zealand which caused it to crash.

In spite of numerous controversies and several technical glitches, the game is making an estimated $1.6 million a day from iPhone users in the US alone, and searches on Google for Pokémon Go have also outstripped those for “porn”. As further testimony to its popularity, many celebrities, such as the likes of Jimmy Fallon, Demi Lovato and Ellen DeGeneres, have also fallen in love with this hit game. Just recently, Justin Bieber even chased a Pokémon down the streets of New York City, and nobody could recognize him – reason being that everyone was hooked on catching the rare Pokémon in NYC’s Central Park.

While the game makes for great entertainment, there are many real dangers in this fake Pokémon world as well. Such include trespassing, stopping in the middle of a highway, cars crashing into trees, and many more, all because players are hell bent on catching that one Pokémon. Police departments in the United States are regularly posting reminders about the dangers of Pokémon Go. “Don’t catch and drive” messages have been popping up on many public safety Twitter and Facebook feeds, and highways have even begun to put up emergency notices that read, “Don’t Pokémon and Drive.”

Personally, I feel that, while it’s alright to have fun, it becomes a concern once the game endangers players’ lives. Playing in moderation is fine, but it seems that people in the European countries have gotten addicted to Pokémon Go and are going overboard. If the game were to be released in Singapore, much less in Asian countries, hopefully the people here would not take this trend too far and know their limits.

 

Germaine Lee

3T

 

References:

http://www.thedailybeast.com/articles/2016/07/16/pokemon-go-is-the-new-texting-driving.html

http://venturebeat.com/2016/07/19/sensor-tower-pokemon-go-has-already-passed-30m-downloads-and

http://www.telegraph.co.uk/technology/0/pokmon-go-how-to-download-it-in-the-uk-and-everything-you-need-t/-35m-in-revenue/

http://expandedramblings.com/index.php/pokemon-go-statistics/2/