Read about this here: http://www.bbc.com/news/world-europe-32895048
A Singaporean youth has been detained under the Internal Security Act (ISA) for terrorism-related activities since April this year, the Ministry of Home Affairs (MHA) announced on Wednesday (May 27).
Additionally, another youth was arrested in May under the ISA for further investigations into the extent of his radicalisation.
The youth detained since April, M Arifil Azim Putra Norja’i, a 19-year-old post-secondary student, is the first known self-radicalised Singaporean to harbour the intention to carry out violent attacks in Singapore, said MHA.
Investigations showed that he had made plans to join the terrorist group, Islamic State in Iraq and Syria (ISIS), and that his radicalisation began around 2013 when he started viewing terrorist propaganda online, said MHA.
The ministry said Arifil then grew to support the radical ideology and violent tactics of ISIS, and befriended individuals online whom he thought could help him join the terrorist group. Arifil also actively surfed the Internet for information on travel routes to Syria so that he could engage in armed violence there, and had done research on making improvised explosive devices.
Arifil also revealed that if he was unable to join ISIS in Syria, he intended to carry out violent attacks in Singapore, said MHA. He had put “considerable thought” into how he would attack key facilities and assassinate Government leaders. If he was unable to carry out these plans, Arifil planned to carry out attacks in public places “in order to strike fear within our society”, using “easily available” weapons such as knives, added the ministry.
His intentions to carry out violent attacks were subsequently corroborated by several persons who said he had tried to recruit them to help carry out these plans, according to the MHA. Investigations showed that while these people did not fall prey to Arifil’s attempts to recruit them, they also did not alert the authorities about him, it added.
“Fortunately, another person who knew Arifil noticed the changes in him, and had brought him to the attention of the authorities, who were then able to investigate the matter and take action before he could carry out his violent attack plans in Singapore,” said MHA.
The ministry added that another radicalised Singaporean post-secondary youth, 17, was arrested in May under the ISA for further investigations into the extent of his radicalisation. His family was informed of his arrest, and will be kept informed of the outcome of the investigations. Read More
www.bbc.co.uk/23rd May 2015
The first gay marriages are now likely to take place in the early autumn.
Diarmuid Martin, the archbishop of Dublin, said the Church in Ireland needed to reconnect with young people.
The referendum found 62% were in favour of changing the constitution to allow gay and lesbian couples to marry.
The archbishop told the broadcaster RTE: “We [the Church] have to stop and have a reality check, not move into denial of the realities.
“We won’t begin again with a sense of renewal, with a sense of denial. I appreciate how gay and lesbian men and women feel on this day. That they feel this is something that is enriching the way they live. I think it is a social revolution.”
The archbishop personally voted “No” arguing that gay rights should be respected “without changing the definition of marriage”.
“I ask myself, most of these young people who voted yes are products of our Catholic school system for 12 years. I’m saying there’s a big challenge there to see how we get across the message of the Church,” he added.
Ireland is the first country in the world to legalise same-sex marriage through a popular vote, and its referendum was held 22 years after homosexual acts were decriminalised in the Republic of Ireland.
Among those voicing their approval of the outcome was UK Prime Minister David Cameron who tweeted: “Congratulations to the people of Ireland, after voting for same-sex marriage, making clear you are equal if you are straight or gay.” Read More
The Singapore Government will offer an initial contribution of US$200,000 (S$267,000) through ASEAN to support the efforts of countries such as Thailand, Malaysia and Indonesia that have been aiding Rohingya refugees, said Foreign Affairs Minister K Shanmugam on Saturday (May 23).
Singapore is concerned about the situation and welcomed efforts by countries, in particular Malaysia and Indonesia, which agreed to provide temporary shelter for the Rohingyas, said Mr Shanmugam.
He said the financial aid is part of an ASEAN-led initiative, adding that Singapore is prepared to consider further assistance, if there are specific requests.
Mr Shanmugam said the Rohingya crisis has raised two key issues – one is how to help those currently on boats and stranded at sea, while the other is the need to deal with the problem at its source.
This would require looking at living conditions created by countries of origin as well as the criminal organisations putting them on boats, subjecting them to terrible conditions. That, he added, is a “more serious problem” because tens and thousands of refugees could potentially suffer.
Mr Shanmugam stressed that the countries where the refugees originated from should take responsibility, and both ASEAN and the international community needs to address this issue.
Singapore’s contribution comes days after the Government said it is unable to accept any refugees or those seeking political asylum because it is a small country with limited land.
Over the past week, countries such as Thailand, Malaysia and Indonesia have provided shelter to Rohingya refugees who have landed on their shores. Food and medical aid were also provided.
Up to 2,000 migrants are thought to be stranded in the Bay of Bengal, many at risk of falling victim to people smugglers. Most are Muslim Rohingyas from the western Rakhine state in Myanmar.
United Nations Secretary General Ban Ki-moon has said finding and saving the lives of those migrants should be a “top priority”.
Silicon Valley attracting women to technology
21 May 2015 Last updated at 05:18 BST
For years women have been a minority in the high-tech world of Silicon Valley. Geeky, laddish culture has come to dominate.
But the voice provided by social media, books by high-powered women in tech, and the realisation that it is bad business to discriminate against half of the world’s biggest brains is forcing change.
Traditionally in both the tech boardroom and on the coding floor there have been far more men, but all-women projects to help support and mentor entrepreneurs are having an impact.
BlackBox Connect brings together company founders from all over the world to introduce them to the energy, the ethos, and hopefully the money of Silicon Valley.
They’ve held their first all-female course as part of the growing momentum for equality in the world of tech.
Dublin, Ireland (CNN)/22nd May 2015
Irish voters were choosing Friday whether to change the country’s constitution to allow same-sex marriage.
It’s a landmark referendum that, if passed, would make Ireland the first country in the world to adopt same-sex marriage through a popular vote.
Ireland’s voters will be asked to approve this statement: “Marriage may be contracted in accordance with law by two persons without distinction as to their sex.”
If more say “yes” than say “no,” the change to the constitution will give gay and lesbian couples the right to civil marriage, but not to be wed in a church.
As in many other countries around the world, the issue is a polarizing one. And the referendum will be a test of whether in Ireland, a majority Catholic nation, more liberal thinking wins out over conservative, traditional leanings.
Opinion polls in the run-up to the vote suggest the “yes” vote is on track to come out on top — but that the gap is narrowing.
It wasn’t hard to find evidence of the divide in the streets of Dublin on the eve of the vote.
The Straits Times/May 19 2015
PETALING JAYA (THE STAR/ASIA NEWS NETWORK) – The sacred bowl of rice that used to save lives could now be harmful – and even deadly.
Plastic rice laced with poisonous resin has reportedly reached the shores of several Asian nations. The rice is said to stay hard after it has been cooked.
The plastic rice, reportedly made from potatoes, sweet potatoes, with synthetic resin moulded into the shape of real rice, is said to have made its way into countries with large rural populations such as India, Indonesia and Vietnam.
One latest rumour said that the fake rice had entered Singapore, although a thorough check revealed this allegation to be at least five years old
Health experts and dieticians have warned that consuming such fake grains could be lethal or seriously damage the digestive system.
News of the fake rice, commonly sold in Chinese markets, especially in Taiyuan in Shaanxi province, has been circulating on popular social media platforms such as WhatsApp and Facebook.
But the Malaysian Agriculture and Agro-based Industry Ministry has said it has not received any reports on fake rice. Read More