Divorcee's war against 'mistresses'
SINGAPORE: She leaves her four-room HDB flat in Clementi early in the morning and takes a bus to Chinatown, where she will spend the day.
It is a ritual she faithfully carries out four times a week. Her mission: To seek out "odd" couples, or rather, mainland Chinese women with middle- aged Singaporean men.
And when she spots "those suspicious ones", she whips out her digital camera, a voice recorder and a notepad. Madam Tay Wanqing, 46, is not a private investigator tailing and spying on adulterous men. She is out for revenge.
"It's war," she declared to The New Paper at her flat, "against these women who break up other people's families."
Stacked neatly in one bedroom, which is locked whenever Madam Tay leaves her home, are boxes of what she calls "incriminating evidence against the cheap women".
The boxes are separated into three groups: "Case Closed", "In Progress" and "Given Up".
She declined to show its contents. What started out as a personal vendetta against mistresses has turned into an obsession for the housewife and mother of a teenager.
Unable to convince her to give up her obsession, her family members recently stopped all contact with her.
In a separate interview, her brother, Mr Tay Wantian, said: "Of course I love my sister, but it's like my parents and I have given up hope on her.
"We feel that she's gone off the deep end."
Madam Tay is aware of her family's objections and unhappiness. But she insists that she, too, is helpless.
"My brother keeps saying that I've gone mad, but if I stopped what I'm doing, I'd really go crazy," she said.
"I lost my husband after 25 years of marriage and I lost my son. What else do I have to live for?"
She was spurred into playing vigilante by her husband's previous affairs - three, she claimed - with Chinese nationals in 10 years.
Crisis triggers online panic
TOKYO: The Internet had one overwhelming message for the world from Japan on Tuesday - we're terrified of a nuclear meltdown and desperate to get out.
News that low levels of radioactivity were drifting toward Tokyo triggered major panic among many users of popular social media websites, even as the Japanese government called for calm and said radioactivity was nowhere near danger levels.
"PLEASE pack up your family, important papers, family mementos, and get out of there," wrote one user on Twitter.
"Go south, to Taiwan, or if you can, Australia. If you cannot afford to leave Japan, at least go as far southwest in your country as you can. Put as much distance between the affected area and your temporary relocation area, as possible."
Tokyo has been gripped by a panic buying spree, with some shops swept clean of flashlights, radios, candles and sleeping bags amid the world's most worst nuclear accident since the Chernobyl disaster in Ukraine in 1986.
"I have ... 3 boxes of water, and a full tank of gas. I filled a bathtub with water so I could still flush the toilet, bathe, etc. if the water gets cut off," wrote another Twitter user.
"The situation at the nuclear plants in Fukushima is getting worse and worse, and I am getting very afraid of it. Now, I am going out for grocery shopping with my sick child in search for more water and other supplies," wrote Junko Yabe on Facebook.
Other locals and expatriates were leaving the country, with the number of stranded passengers at Tokyo's main international airport at Narita rising. Multinational companies have said they were considering plans to move outside of Tokyo.
"Luckily I have been able to get a seat on a flight to Okinawa today. I am catching the 2000 flight from Haneda (Tokyo)," wrote a user on mixi, a Japanese social networking website. "Those still around, be careful not to get rained on."
News that power plant operator TEPCO has pulled hundreds of its workers from the power plant stoked fears.
"The specialists in the nuclear sites are getting less and less - who will be left to work on them ? Leave Tokio and go south for now - at least and take the OLD People with you!" added Angie Badelt on Facebook.
One popular message repeated across social media websites read: "Pray for us."
"INFORMATION IS HIDDEN"
Many people have criticized the government's handling of the crisis, saying it has failed to provide enough information on the incident.
Much of the social media traffic focused on cross-checking information on websites, email and other outlets, with people exchanging information on shower and food locations, underscoring many people's distrust of the government.
"Don't believe government reassurances radiation levels are safe - get out of Japan now," said one Twitter user.
On China's Twitter-like Weibo microblog site, many users reposted a map showing how nuclear contamination could possibly spread over much of China's east coast, triggering debates about whether it was genuine.
The Chinese government said it has detected no abnormal radiation anywhere in China, though it has stepped up monitoring.
"2012 has come early, and humanity has brought it upon themselves!" wrote Weibo user called 'Coffee or Garlic', referring to a prophecy about an impending Armageddon in 2012, which was made into a film in 2009 depicting the end of the world triggered by global earthquakes and tsunamis.
Others were more sanguine.
"Have to run if the nuclear plant blows up but don't have anywhere to flee to and no gas," said Naru0428taka, who identified herself as a first-year student at the junior college in Fukushima. "So just have to accept it."
Phone apps join 'inflation basket'
BRITAIN: Phone apps are now so popular they have been added to the list of a typical Brit's buys used to track inflation, along with smartphones.
Dating agency fees have also made it into the "national shopping basket" for the first time - as two thirds of singles now use online introduction sites, reports The Sun.
The Office of National Statistics uses the items on the list to measure what is happening to the prices of 650 of Brits' most common purchases.
It has updated the Retail Price Index every year since 1947, giving a glimpse into changing tastes, the paper said.
Sparkling wine has made it for the first time this year. It is joined by high heels, hair conditioner and designer specs - apparently showing Brits are getting more glam.
And researchers will check TV sets with screens larger than 32in separately as giant tellies become must-haves.
Booted out for no longer reflecting Brits' spending habits are the four-pack of lager, rosebushes, cigs from vending machines, the local evening paper, pork shoulder joints and vet bills for cat spaying.
Statistician Phil Gooding said yesterday: "Many of these new items show the way technology is changing our lives."
Why is no one having coffee with Karan?
MUMBAI: TV Channel will have to resort to re-runs, as Johar ponders over who to invite for the last few episodes of this season
Koffee with Karan, the popular television chat show is in a bit of a crisis. About five episodes are still left to be shot for this season, but there is nothing in the bank to fall back on. Insiders blame Karan Johar's constant visits to New York that has pushed them behind schedule, but sources reveal that Johar is also out of ideas on whom to invite for the few remaining shows.
The channel which hosts the show might now play re-runs of episodes.
According to a source in the film industry, the problem of not having enough episodes shot beforehand has arisen out of two reasons.
The source said, "It isn't only because of Johar's frequent foreign visits. He has also brought together almost every conceivable pair of guests on the show. When he invited Amitabh Bachchan, he got daughter Shweta to come along. And when Madhuri Dixit came on the show, she was paired with Sonakshi Sinha. But now Johar is out of ideas. He can get anyone he wants. But he is unsure of how to make them appear fresh and untried on the show."
Sources reveal that after Johar got Ajay Devgn to appear on the show, he is convincing Salman Khan to make an appearance. Dharmendra is apparently being wooed to come along with Hema Malini. Imran Khan and his wife are likely to be guests too in what will be their first interview as a couple.
"I'm not confirming any names till I have recorded episodes with them. Yes, I went to NY and we ran out of episodes. But I have a life beyond Koffee With Karan. I have a script to write and a film to direct. There will be some re-runs till I record fresh episodes," Johar said.
Meanwhile, Johar's frequent visits to NY have sparked off rumours that he is dating someone in the city. When asked Johar said, "Yes I have a secret love in NY. I love the city itself. Nowadays I romance places not people."
The director also confirmed that he will take a break from the chat show for at least two years. "I'm done with Koffee and my other extra-curricular activities for now. In case people have forgotten, I'm a filmmaker."
'Earthquake', 'tsunami' most searched terms on Yahoo!
ASIA: The words "earthquake" and "tsunami" were the most searched terms in the immediate aftermath of the Japan earthquake which happened on March 11.
In data released by Yahoo! Search Trends, which aggregated searches from all over the asia-pacific region (including Korea, Taiwan, Hong Kong, India and Southeast Asia), search volume for these words increased 80,000 per cent in Taiwan.
People also made specific keywords searches with some variations such as "Japan earthquake", Japan tsunami?, "earthquake 2011", "Japanese tsunami 2011".
In Singapore and Malaysia, the keyword "Japan tsunami" had an increase of 30,450 per cent and 9,100 per cent respectively just within a day after the tsunami struck.
Yahoo! Search Trends findings also revealed that this unfortunate tragedy has reminded users of Ukraine's Chernobyl Nuclear disaster in 1986.
Searches on Chernobyl disaster, explosion, Chernobyl radioactive clouds were also present.
Philippine searches included "ring of fire? and "fault line map", illustrating the growing concern of the Filipinos.
Doctor puts his career on hold to climb Mount Everest
SINGAPORE: HE WILL be taking a year off from work.
And that will cost him his place in the hospital residency programme and delay his five-year service bond with the Ministry of Health.
But these are just some of the sacrifices Dr Kumaran Rasappan, 27, will make in order to pursue his goal - to reach the summit of Mount Everest in April 2012.
Dr Kumaran is currently doing his rotation at the accident and emergency department of Tan Tock Seng Hospital.
He will stop working in July to start preparing for his climb.
Scaling the world's highest mountain has been his goal since climbing Mount Kilimanjaro in Tanzania in 2008.
He embarked on the expedition with a group of five friends after being inspired by the stories and pictures of an exchange student from Romania.
But the group was unprepared for the rigours of a high-altitude climb.
Dr Kumaran, who graduated from the National University of Singapore last year, said: "We were all shell-shocked. That climb taught us humility."
The group was running behind schedule and the sun had already started to rise, melting the ice and making the already perilous journey even more dangerous.
"We should have turned back but two of my friends and I insisted on reaching the peak," said Dr Kumaran.
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