Showing posts from December, 2013

Malaysians still struggle on poverty line

Sixty percent of Malaysians still live on less than $1,600 each month and struggle to buy basic necessities like food.

How often do you check the prices of the food you are about to buy?

When I go to the supermarket and I need soup, I buy soup. I look for the gluten free cereal and avoid the wholewheat. Do I choose the extra virgin olive oil or the lemon flavoured one?

Could I tell you how much a litre of milk costs? No.

The only time I’ve looked at the price of something is to consider whether $11 dollars is too much for a small container of raspberries. It is.

But I’m well paid. I’m not one of the half million people in Malaysia living on the poverty line.

Rural poverty

Although the government has done an admirable job reducing poverty in the country since the Millennium Development Goals were introduced in 1990, there’s still a huge challenge ahead.

The goal then – halve the number of people living on less than a dollar a day by 2015.

That goal has already been achieved.

But over 60…

Interpreter at Mandela memorial dubbed a 'fake'

To those outside the deaf community, the sign language interpreter for Nelson Mandela's memorial may have looked like he was working hard, translating the spoken words into gestures for four hours.

But he has been dubbed "a fake," and his actions outraged deaf people, according to an association for the deaf community in South Africa.

The service to commemorate the revered statesman, who died last week at the age of 95, was broadcast to millions of viewers around the world.

While dignitaries addressed the crowd Tuesday at Johannesburg's FNB stadium, the unidentified suited man with a security pass produced a series of hand signals that experts say meant nothing.

The Deaf Federation of South Africa (DeafSA) said the "interpreter" was not a recognized professional, nor was he known by the deaf community in the country.

"The so-called 'interpreter' who interpreted at the official memorial service for late former president Nelson Mandela at FNB st…

United States Sends B-52s Over China Air Defense Zone

The United States sent two B-52 bombers over China’s Air Defense Zone, without notifying Beijing.

United States officials said on Tuesday, the two bombers went into a disputed area over the East China Sea challenging the country’s wish to expand its air zone.

Both countries have been at odds over China’s intentions and today’s actions are a clear indicator Washington will show Beijing that it will push back at Chinese attempts to claim the area.

The move by the United States also emphasizes the country’s strong relationship with Japan.

Americans are participating in military exercises this week and together with Japan they will challenge China to the vast portion of Ocean.

The United States and Japan have a long standing relationship dating back to after World War II and are giving China’s attempts at claiming that part of the sea a direct challenge.

On Tuesday, the United States flew the two Air Force bombers in direct defiance of Beijing’s express wishes that they be informed about…

Nelson Mandela: 10 surprising facts you probably didn't know..

He was loved and admired the world over, profiled in books and movies, and showered with awards and accolades. But even the most public of personalities have little-known facts buried in their biographies.
Here are 10 surprising facts you probably didn't know about Nelson Mandela:

1. He lived up to his name: Mandela's birth name was Rolihlahla. In his Xhosa tribe, the name means pulling the branch of a tree or troublemaker. (The name "Nelson" was given to him by his teacher on his first day of elementary school. It's not clear why she chose that particular name. It was the 1920s, and African children were given English names so colonial masters could pronounce them easily).

2. He had a cameo in a Spike Lee film: He had a bit part in Spike Lee's 1992 biopic "Malcolm X." At the very end of the movie, he plays a teacher reciting Malcolm X's famous speech to a room full of Soweto school kids. But the pacifist Mandela wouldn't say "by any m…

The world's most famous political prisoner

How the UK-based Anti-Apartheid Movement made Mandela a household name and struck a blow at South African segregation.

Peter Hain can still recall vividly the morning in 1972 when South African secret agents intended to kill him with a letter bomb sent to his home in London.

"Suddenly, in the middle of the family breakfast table was this terrifying, grotesque mixture of terminals and wires," Hain told. "We just sat there transfixed, and nothing happened. The police said we had been very lucky because there was a problem with the trigger mechanism."

Hain, whose family had left South Africa in the 1960s when he was a teenager, was by then one of the most recognisable faces of the UK-based Anti-Apartheid Movement (AAM).

In 1969 he had launched the Stop the Seventy Tour campaign, which used direct action tactics to disrupt the Springboks' rugby tour to the UK and ultimately forced the cancellation of the South African cricket team's 1970 series in England.


Rooftop romance in Minnesota

There are plenty of fish in the sea, but Nicole and Alex Altstatt didn’t find theirs until they both signed up to explore the waters of online dating.
Nicole, 28, found her fish on the first hook: “I signed up for a bunch of different sites and decided to go on one date per site,” she said. “I hated the idea in the first place but luckily I didn’t have to go any further!”
Alex was her first and last date from the dating site "Plenty of Fish," and the two knew quickly that this was the real thing.

“The first thing I noticed about her were her good looks and her kind attitude,” said Alex, 32. And Nicole saw a man who was masculine but had a soft side. “He’s still a guy’s guy but he made time for me. And he continues to do that. That definitely stood out for me.”

They dated for a little over two years, and then Alex decided it was time to ask for Nicole’s hand in marriage during a photo shoot with her family.

While taking pictures in front of Minneapolis’ iconic Spoonbridge an…