Russian national accused of plotting attack against US aircraft sentenced in Turkey

Turkish police officers escort Russian national Renat Bakiyev in Adana, Turkey © DHA-Depo Photos via AP

A Russian national was sentenced in Turkey to 6 years 3 months in jail.

ANKARA, August 11. /TASS/. A Russian national, allegedly plotting a drone attack against a US aircraft at the Incirlik airbase, was sentenced in Turkey to 6 years 3 months in jail, Sabah newspaper said on Friday.

According to the newspaper, Renat Bakiyev, 23 years old, was accused of involvement in the Islamic State terrorist organization (outlawed in Russia). The investigation said the Russian had plotted a terrorist attack at a place, where the US high-ranking officers could be, as well as at the center of the Alevis society. – TASS.

North Korea threat prompts Japan to review its missile defense

© EPA/KCNA

On August 10, North Korea revealed a plan to launch a missile towards Guam by mid-August.

TOKYO, August 11. /TASS/. The Japanese government is considering the possibility of deploying Patriot PAC-3 air defense systems in three of its prefectures and sending ships with the Aegis Combat System to the Pacific Ocean following North Korea’s warnings of a possible missile launch toward the US island territory of Guam, the Yomiuri newspaper said on Friday.

Japan relies on a two-layered system in its missile defenses. Four Congo-class and two Atago-class destroyers are equipped with Aegis SM-3 missiles, designed to engage missile in the mid-course phase. If this system fails, three battalions of land-based Patriot missiles will intercept missiles during the terminal phase.

Following Pyongyang’s claims of planning to launch four Hwasong-12 missiles that would fly in the Japanese airspace and splash down some 30-40 km from Guam, the Japanese government may send the Aegis-equipped destroyers to the Pacific Ocean, while land-based Patriot PAC-3 systems will remain on alert along the projected path of the missiles if the North Korean launch fails, Yomiuri reported.

When asked about the possibility of deploying missile defense systems in Kochi, Shimane and Hiroshima, Japanese Defense Minister Itsunori Onodera told reporters late on Thursday that “the Defense Ministry and the Self-Defense Forces, will take the necessary measures, taking various factors into account.” He gave no further details.

Earlier, the minister said that intercepting a North Korean ballistic missile was possible if three conditions are met: the launch should pose a direct threat to the country, there should be no other options and the minimal required amount of force is used.

The Korean Central News Agency (KCNA) reported on Thursday that the Korean People’s Army is drafting a plan for a preemptive missile strike against US military facilities in Guam, including the Andersen Air Force Base where B-52 strategic bombers are deployed. US President Donald Trump Trump told reporters that North Korea should not make any more threats to the US and its allies, vowing that Pyongyang’s threats “will be met with fire and the fury like the world has never seen.”

Later in the day, KCNA released details of the plan, expected to be finalized by mid-August. According to the agency, Pyongyang plans to launch four Hwasong-12 intermediate-range ballistic missiles, which are supposed to fly some 3,400 kilometers over Japan’s Prefectures of Shimane, Hiroshima and Kochi to splash down some 30-40 kilometers off Guam. – TASS.

Demand for bomb shelters spikes in US, Japan amid N.Korea tensions

© AP Photo/Damian Dovarganes

The Texas-based Rising S Company, offering underground shelters at a price between $45,000 and $8.35 million, reported a 90% surge in its sales in the past two weeks.

NEW YORK, August 11. /TASS/. The demand for underground bunkers and bomb shelters has spiked in Japan and the United States amid the growing tensions between Washington and Pyongyang, the TMZ news portal and other US media reported.

The South California-based Atlas Survival Shelters said it had sold more than 30 units in the last few days – as many as the company sold in 1 year, 6 years ago, TMZ reported. The price for products range between $10,000 and $165,000. Orders have been coming not only from the United States but also from Japan.

The Texas-based Rising S Company, offering underground shelters at a price between $45,000 and $8.35 million, reported a 90% surge in its sales in the past two weeks, Fox News said citing company owner Gary Lynch.

Another players on the US bomb shelter market are Vivos and Safecastle. The first company offers to dig 30 feet underground at a starting price of $35,000. However, its bunkers can be customized at extra cost to include a full size kitchen, spa and pool tables. The Safecastle manufacturer offers bunkers at the starting price of $19,000.

The situation on the Korean Peninsula has remained extremely tense amid Pyongyang’s vigorous efforts to develop its missile program. In July, North Korea tested ballistic missiles twice, which sparked criticism from the US, Japan and South Korea. Washington has repeatedly stated that it does not rule out any options to solve the North Korean problem, including the military one.

On Tuesday, Trump told reporters that North Korea should not make any more threats to the US. He vowed that Pyongyang’s threats “will be met with fire and the fury like the world has never seen.” The Korean Central News Agency (KCNA) later reported that the Korean People’s Army is drafting a plan for a preemptive missile strike against US military facilities in Guam, including the Andersen Air Force Base where B-52 strategic bombers are deployed. – TASS

LOVE CONQUERS ALL

 

In memory of my late wife who was called to the Lord in April 2014.

Often marriages are put to the test when couples are confronted with financial problems or if a spouse is stricken with chronic illnesses. All marriage will go through good and bad times. But if couples stick to one another during those rough times, the relationship will improve steadily as time goes by.

I was a caregiver to my late wife, Doris Lau who was stricken with schizophrenia at the tender age of 17. My wife passed away 3 years ago after she lost the battle to pneumonia.

Be mindful of the symptoms of schizophrenia
Coping with the symptoms of schizophrenia can be extremely difficult for family members who remember how active a person was before he/she became ill. This illness is terrifying because it is unpredictable. After caring for Doris for 40 years, I became more alert to the warning signs of schizophrenia.

A reason to love, a reason to marry

Many people find it very hard to believe that I married Doris despite her mental illness.

So why did I marry Doris?
Unlike the many girls that I dated, Doris was very down-to-earth. I found her to be sincere and caring. This was the woman that would change my life -dramatically.

I told myself that the woman I marry, whoever she is, I will love forever. I believe that Doris are I were fated to be husband and wife. She was born on All Saints’ Day and I am born on Valentine’s Day. Undoubtedly, Good Friday has special significance to both my wife and I. By some strange coincidence, 12th April 1974 was the day that I first met my wife. And it happened to be on Good Friday.

And though it was an arduous and painful journey for me to manage my wife’s dreaded schizophrenia for more than three decades, I often draw my strength and compassion from Jesus. Can you imagine what will happen to Doris if she had married the wrong man?

My wife had a total of five illnesses, including schizophrenia, arthritis, diabetes, high cholesterol and incontinence. Being the sole caregiver to my wife for more 4 decades was no easy feat and I suffered burnout so many times.

Memories are made of this

But strange as it may seem, I had grown to love Doris more and more as I saw her struggle with so many illnesses. And it was such a joy for me to see my wife enjoy life to the fullest despite the suffering that she had to go through.

As we celebrated our wedding anniversaries through our 40 years of blissful union, I recollect the scenes when I took my marriage vows in 1972 when we got married.

“Will you Raymond Anthony Fernando take Doris Lau Siew Lang to be your wedded wife, to live together in the estate of matrimony? Will you love her, honour her, comfort her, and keep her in sickness and in health, forsaking all others, be true to her as long as you both shall live?”

These marriage vows and my Catholic teachings had given me the strength and courage to love and care for my wife despite the arduous journey of being her sole caregiver. And when you are looking after a loved one with mental illness, you must be prepared to walk alone in the dark because there is still so much discrimination and prejudice against the mentally ill. That’s the bad news.

But the good news is that through my love, encouragement and support, I had managed to turn Doris into an author of not one, but 8 books. This is a remarkable achievement for someone suffering from a serious mental disorder.

Through the many talks that I have given, I have always mentioned that people with mental illness just need one person to love them and with medication, they will recover.
Love conquers all

During the SARS outbreak in 2003, Doris suffered her 10th relapse. It was another very difficult period in my life. I had no choice but to admit Doris into the Institute of Mental Health (IMH), but at the back of my mind, I feared that the government in wanting to stop the spread of SARS , would close all doors for hospital visits.

Two days after Doris was admitted to hospital, the Ministry of Health (MOH) imposed the no-visitors ruling at all public hospitals and I could not visit my wife for one solid month. Doris was shattered, I was shattered. My heart was torn apart.

Usually I would visit Doris every day and spend as much time as I could with her as emotional support plays a big part in her recovery. This time around, the picture was totally different. My wife’s biggest fear became a reality. In her disoriented state, Doris “believed” that I had abandoned her. Left her for another woman.

After one month, through several appeals, I managed to see my wife. When I saw her from a distance, I ran as fast as I could. I tripped and fell. My knees were badly bruised, but I did not feel any pain because when I spotted Doris, all pain — physical and emotional seemed to go away. Indeed, love conquers all.

When Doris returned for home leave 4 weeks later, she was still not out of the woods. She had to continue her ECT (Electro Convulsive Therapy) and she was only 50% recovered. It was close to our 29th anniversary and I wrote her a poem entitled “Ring on your finger” framed it on an A1 size poster and mounted it on the wall. The moment she saw it, her eyes lit up and so did her heart. She kept reading the poem, over and over again, until it brought about her total recovery. She hugged me and told me, that the delusion that I had abandoned her was not true and I really loved her. Once again, the healing power of love reunited us.


Ring on your finger

A poetic tribute to my lovely wife, the late Doris Lau Siew Lang

My Dearest Doris,
It was placed on your finger many years ago
That wedding ring now in our home, still glows
Though you are safe with God, my love for you, Doris, continues to flow
This, I am sure, my love, you already know

The colour gold of the ring reminds me of how pretty you are
Your inner beauty that is sparkling like an evening star
The shape of the ring
Reminds me of one thing
You have carved our destiny
Through happy times, and amid uncertainty

The ring bears my name
It remains the same
The words have not faded
And our love has been upgraded
It reminds me that I will always belong to, Doris
It is a documented promise

The ring stood out on your finger that was so tender
It reminded me of how fragile you are
This ring on your finger reminded me that we have come this far
You will always have a place deep in my heart Doris, my eternal partner
And even if I have to start life all over again,
I will still choose you, Doris
And no other

RAYMOND ANTHONY FERNANDO

PROFILE OF THE WRITER

raymond-still

Raymond Anthony Fernando is a motivational speaker, poet, author, trainer, songwriter, freelance television actor, ghostwriter, media celebrity, regular newspaper forum page writer and an advocate for the mentally ill.

He is a volunteer with the Institute of Mental Health. The author of 32 books was married to Doris Lau Siew Lang, herself an author of 8 books. Doris was called to the Lord in April 2014. This Model Caregiver 2007 and Mental Health Champion 2010, who is born on Valentine’s Day, has contributed 31 years of service to the public sector, 15 years of experience in public relations work, and received several awards and commendations from government organisations.

Raymond attributes his success to his beloved wife, Doris, who has always been his greatest inspiration.

Motivate jobless Singaporeans to attend training courses by providing a training allowance: An open proposal to the Singapore Government

In an effort to get all Singaporeans to upgrade their skills in an ever-fast changing world to meet global challenges, the Singapore Government has come up with a skills future credit in which those who attend training courses need not have to fork out cash, but can use the skills credits to pay for a wide range of approved courses.

Time and again government leaders have been reminding Singaporeans to attend training courses.

Unfortunately, the take-up rate for the skills credit scheme for training courses is weak, and there is a dire need to examine why many unemployed Singaporeans are not taking advantage of this scheme.

It was only when I attended a training course that I now fully understand why this is so. Let me recap my experience.

I am 67 years old, a Singapore citizen and have been unemployed for more than 10 years. I recently attended an 8-day full-time course (4 modules) that was conducted by Asia Gold Bell Singapore in Paya Lebar. This is to equip me with the necessary skills to get back into the workforce.

The 4 modules included:

(a)Maintain personal presentation at supervisory level.

(b) Communicate and relative effectively.

(c) Work in a team.

(d) Solve problems and make decisions at operational level.

The course was full funded by the Government using the skills credit. The trainer, Keith Yuen was very good. Kudos to Yuen for motivating the 20 participants.

I was told that people like myself are not allowed to claim a training allowance through workfare. I have been unemployed for more than a decade. On the other hand, those who are currently employed can claim the training allowance through the workfare scheme. There were several participants who are unemployed.

May I ask if the government is prepared to review the scheme to provide a training allowance for the total number of training hours for Singaporeans who want to upgrade themselves. In my case, this work out works out to 36 training hours?

The course started on Monday 17th July and ended on Wednesday 26th July 2017. It does not make sense to me that those who are employed can be given a training allowance while those who are out of work can’t make any claim whatsoever.

Participants had little or no choice but to take their meals which include breakfast and lunch at the Kopi Tiam Food Court at this place. It is expensive to eat at the food court and the meals cost at least $10 per day, which works out to around $80 for the 8 days training. Then what about transport cost? For Singaporeans who are unemployed, it will be a financial strain on them. This amount can be used for 2 weeks marketing for those who are jobless. More so when the cost of living is skyrocketing.

On the 19th July 2017, I wrote to the Employment & Employability Institute, e2i as well as phoned one of the staff there, but at first no one was willing to give me a reply. I then had to write an email to Mr Heng Chee How in his capacity as Deputy Secretary of NTUC and copied it to Mr Chan Chun Sing, the Secretary General of NTUC, having to explain myself all over again.

Mr Heng who is a fine gentleman and who cares about my welfare and that of all Singaporeans took the imitative and informed the management of e21. This is the kind of leader Singapore needs.

On Thursday 27th July, a Ms Irene, coach at e21 phoned me to apologize for the delay in replying to me as she informed me she was on leave.

In striving for excellence, let us not just implement a scheme or policy without studying the implications. Moreover, the media has an important role to play in highlighting constructive and useful suggestions. Forums letters that can help make improvements to any policy or scheme should be published with a mindset that active citizenry plays an important role in nation-building.

Policies that are outdated or not fine-tuned will not help to build a better society. We cannot have a “one-size fit all” scheme that benefits some Singaporeans, and does not provide the much-needed support for another group of Singaporeans.
I would therefore urge the Singapore Government to consider reviewing the skills credit scheme to allow unemployed Singaporeans to be given the same training allowance that employed Singaporeans get when they attend such courses.

I have every confidence that if such an allowance can be given to unemployed Singaporeans, much more jobless Singaporeans will be motivated to attend training courses to upgrade themselves, and the scheme will become a success story.

The Ministry of Manpower and NTUC could undertake a brainstorming project to fully understand why the skills credit scheme is not working as well as it ought to. Civil servants must feel ‘comfortable’ to give their points of view and provide useful suggestions to improve the lives of all Singaporeans.

RAYMOND ANTHONY FERNANDO

PROFILE OF THE WRITER

raymond-still

Raymond Anthony Fernando is a motivational speaker, poet, author, trainer, songwriter, freelance television actor, ghostwriter, media celebrity, regular newspaper forum page writer and an advocate for the mentally ill.

He is a volunteer with the Institute of Mental Health. The author of 32 books was married to Doris Lau Siew Lang, herself an author of 8 books. Doris was called to the Lord in April 2014. This Model Caregiver 2007 and Mental Health Champion 2010, who is born on Valentine’s Day, has contributed 31 years of service to the public sector, 15 years of experience in public relations work, and received several awards and commendations from government organisations.

Raymond attributes his success to his beloved wife, Doris, who has always been his greatest inspiration.

15-Year-Old, Raped Allegedly By Neighbour, Delivers Baby In School, Accused Arrested

A Class 10 student delivered a premature baby inside the washroom of a government school.

The girl told the police that she was raped four-five times by her 51-year-old neighbour during the past one year.

NEW DELHI:  A 15-year-old girl delivered a premature baby inside the washroom of a government school in North Delhi; her neighbour who had allegedly raped her repeatedly over a period of one year has been arrested, police said.

The class 10 student had gone to the school in Mukherjee Nagar on Thursday to give an exam. She reportedly experienced stomach ache and went to the washroom, where she gave birth to the baby.

The girl was rushed to a hospital by the school authorities and the police was informed.

She reportedly told the police that she was raped four-five times by her 51-year-old neighbour during the past one year. The accused used to give money to the girl asking her not to inform about his activities to anyone, police said.

The accused was later identified by the girl and arrested yesterday. He hails from Bihar and works as a autorickshaw driver in Delhi, they said.

The man told the police that he gave the girl some abortion pills after she told him about her stomach pains but did not realise that they failed to work, a police official said.

The pills created complications due to which the girl delivered the premature baby in its 26th week only, the official said.

Even the girl’s parents did not realise that their daughter was pregnant and ignored it thinking that her stomach problem was merely a gastric ailment.

Seychelles discovers possible plane debris, notifies Malaysia

Few traces of Flight MH370 have turned up over more than three years of searching since it disappeared in March 2014 with 239 passengers and crew aboard soon after take-off from Kuala Lumpur, the Malaysian capital, bound for Beijing. — Picture by Yusof Mat Isa

VICTORIA, July 14 — Seychelles reported yesterday the discovery of two pieces of debris that seemed to be from an aircraft and said it had notified Malaysia, whose Flight MH370 vanished in 2014 with 239 people aboard.

The Seychelles Civil Aviation Authority (SCAA) said scientists researching birds and turtles had found the debris washed up on Farqhar, one of the islands that make up the tropical Indian Ocean nation.

“The direction of flow of the sea currents make it likely that the (debris) came from the general direction where other parts (of MH370) have been found in Indian Ocean countries,” a senior SCAA official who asked not to be named told Reuters.

Michael Payet, a spokesman for the state agency that manages all Seychelles islands, said the largest of the two bits of debris was about 120 cm (3.94 feet) long and 30 cm (one foot)wide and appeared to be made of aluminium and carbon fibre.

“It could be part of an engine cover,” he said.

The SCAA was in contact with Malaysian authorities, “who have shown an interest, and with whom we expect to work closely”, the aviation authority said in a statement.

Few traces of the Boeing 777 airliner have turned up over more than three years of searching since it disappeared in March 2014 with 239 passengers and crew aboard soon after take-off from Kuala Lumpur, the Malaysian capital, bound for Beijing. — Reuters

1,428 fraudulent online business transactions reported this year

KPDNKK’s Enforcement director Datuk Mohd Roslan Mahayudin said action could be taken against untrustworthy sellers online in addition to cooperation with the MCMC to block access to fraudulent websites. — AFP pic

PUTRAJAYA, July 14 —  The Ministry of Domestic Trade, Cooperatives and Consumerism (KPDNKK) received 1,428 complaints regarding fraudulent online transactions this year.

KPDNKK’s Enforcement director Datuk Mohd Roslan Mahayudin said of the total, 50 advertisement content on the online marketplace was blocked.

“The most popular cases are that of buyers receiving different items from what they had initially ordered. For example, there was a case where a buyer had purchased a handphone online, but instead received a mortar and pestle.

“Another common case is the goods received are not the same as the items advertised,” he told a press conference, here yesterday.

He said that last year the number of complaints received were 2,279 cases and some have been taken action on.

Mohd Roslan said the most unique case of advertising on an online market site last year was involving a man who rents his father’s house.

“The deposit was given to the man and when the tenant wanted to move in, it was still occupied by the father of the man. Apparently the house was advertised without his father’s knowledge,” he said.

However, he said the case was resolved and the deposit was returned to the tenant.

Mohd Roslan said action could be taken against untrustworthy sellers online, under the Consumer Protection Act 1999 and Trade Description Act 2011, in addition to cooperation with the Malaysian Communications and Multimedia Commission (MCMC) to block access to fraudulent websites.

He said currently, the ministry does not require any online marketplace operator such as Mudah.my, Lazada, Auctions and 11street to check the seller’s identity card number before allowing them to advertise items for sale.

Mohd Roslan said the ministry only required them to store and maintain the name, address and telephone number of the seller under the Consumer Protection (Electronic Trading Transaction) Regulations 2012 so that the authorities could detect the seller if there was any consumer issues.

He said, in order to seek damages in case of any fraud, the victim could lodge a claim with the Tribunal for Consumer Claims and some platforms also provide their own online dispute resolutions and redress channels mechanisms such as Lazada, 11Street, Ebay and Amazon.

He also called for buyers to be smart when shopping online by comparing the price of items and conducting checks on the seller’s record. — Bernama

Escaped convict case: Eight cops released on police bail

Some of the police officers being taken to the George Town magistrate’s court yesterday. — Picture by Sayuti Zainudin

GEORGE TOWN, July 14 — Eight policemen who were remanded to assist in the investigation of a detainee who escaped on Sunday were released on police bail after their remand period expired.

Penang police chief Datuk Chuah Ghee Lye the policemen, aged between 27 and 59, were suspended from work pending investigation of the case.

“The remand order of a 56-year-old fisherman who was also detained has been extended for another three days for further investigation while the policemen will be charged in court if found to be involved,” he told reporters after attending an Aidilfitri function at the Penang contingent level here yesterday.

In the 2am incident on Sunday, three convicts were brought out from their prison cell in Bayan Baru on the pretext of seeking medical attention. However, investigation revealed that the convicts were brought to meet their families in Sungai Ara.

One of the convicts, a 43-year-old detainee held under Section 39B of the Dangerous Drugs Act 1952, fled when he was believed to have met up with a friend in Sungai Nibong after meeting his family in Sungai Ara.

“To date, the statement of 15 witnesses who have information on the incident, including the family members of the escaped convict have been recorded. I believe that the investigation paper will be completed soon,” he said, adding that the report would be submitted to Bukit Aman and Penang’s head of prosecution unit for further action.

Meanwhile, in another incident, Chuah said a female student, aged 21, from a private college in Penang who worked as a part-time hostess at an entertainment centre claimed to have been molested by the 40-year-old special assistant of a state assemblyman, at a parking lot outside the premises in Lebuh Pantai, yesterday. — Bernama

Aston Martin Valkyrie moves closer to production

Until now, the Aston Martin Valkyrie has gone under the codename RB-001. — Handout via AFP

LONDON, July 13 — Hyper cars from the world’s most iconic manufacturers are all well and good, but we only get really interested in them if they can be driven on the road, even though most of us will never be able to afford one. Hearing about the latest Le Mans car is mildly interesting, but a Porsche 918 or a McLaren P1 really gets us excited. That’s why it’s such a big deal Aston Martin has just revealed information and images of a more production-ready version of the Valkyrie, which is the hyper car the British manufacturer has been teasing us with for the last couple of years.

Until now, the car has gone under the codename RB-001, but the legendary UK sports car builder has now caved in and started officially referring to the car as the Valkyrie. This latest incarnation is a lot closer to being a genuine retail offering as it now features such road-going luxuries as headlights and taillights, a fully finished interior with a steering wheel, seats and instrumentation, and also a few aerodynamic tweaks.

Of course, to add all the features needed to turn a track-focused prototype into a road-legal car also means adding a great deal of weight, which in turn would have an adverse effect on performance, and that’s not desirable. In order to minimise the amount of extra weight, Aston Martin has gone to some extraordinary lengths.

For a start, the headlights are said to be as much as 30- to 40-per cent lighter than those fitted to any existing Aston Martin. Although the taillights are not especially remarkable in the grand scheme of things, the third brake light is pretty special. The manufacturer is claiming it to be the smallest ever made, and as it measures in at less than a quarter of an inch wide and four-tenths of an inch tall, that’s not a difficult claim to believe. As if that weren’t enough, Aston has also come to the conclusion that a normal company badge would also be too heavy, and a sticker just wouldn’t be upmarket enough for the brand. So, the solution is a laser-etched aluminium badge that’s just 70 microns thick. When you consider a human hair is around 100 microns thick, it really does put into perspective how far this obsession with weight-saving has gone.

When it does eventually go on sale, the limited run Valkyrie is expected to cost at least US$3 million (RM12.9 million). — AFP-Relexnews