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Topics - MariaSharpie

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Robert Mueller has fired his first shots at the White House in the Russia investigation, with a former adviser to U.S. President Donald Trump's campaign admitting he met with  purported intermediaries of the Kremlin then lied about it to the FBI,  and the campaign's former chair facing charges over his secret lobbying for allies of Russian President Vladimir Putin.

The indictments, released Monday by the Special Counsel's office, reveal the strongest evidence so far of ties between Mr. Trump's circle and the  Putin regime that allegedly interfered in last year's election to help  Mr. Trump win. And they put the President's claims that there was no collusion on increasingly thin ice as the investigation intensifies.
As part of a deal with prosecutors, George Papadopoulos, a foreign-policy adviser to the Trump presidential campaign, pleaded guilty to making false statements to investigators and is now co-operating with Mr. Mueller's probe. Former chair Paul Manafort and his business associate, Rick Gates, pleaded not guilty to 12 charges that included conspiracy against the United States, failing to register as agents of Kremlin-backed former Ukrainian president Viktor Yanukovych and laundering $75-million (U.S.) in payments through offshore bank accounts.

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New Zealand will ban foreigners from buying existing  homes, joining a growing list of nations trying to make property more affordable for their citizens.

“Foreign speculators will no longer be able to buy houses in New Zealand from early next year,” Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern said at press conference in Wellington Tuesday. “We are determined to make it easier for Kiwis  to buy their first home, so we are stopping foreign speculators buying houses and driving up prices. Kiwis should not be outbid like this.”
House prices have surged in recent years, driving the average value in the nation’s biggest city, Auckland, to more than NZ$1 million  ($685,000) and putting property out of reach for many younger Kiwis. While New Zealand joins other countries in restricting or heavily  taxing sales of existing homes to foreigners, such measures have done little to curb prices in places like Hong Kong and neighboring Australia.

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Two foreign preachers, Ismail  Menk and Haslin Baharim, have been banned from entering Singapore for  their divisive views on religion, the Ministry of Home Affairs (MHA)  said Monday (30 October).

Ismail and Haslin have been engaged to preach on a religious-themed cruise departing and ending in Singapore from 25 to 29  November 2017, MHA said in a statement.

Ismail has been known to “preach segregationist and divisive teachings”, for example, by saying that it is “the biggest sin and crime for a Muslim to wish a non-Muslim Merry Christmas or Happy Deepavali”. Haslin has described non-Muslims as “deviant”.

“Such divisive views breed intolerance and exclusivist practices that will damage social harmony, and cause  communities to drift apart. They are unacceptable in the context of  Singapore’s multi-racial and multi-religious society,” MHA said.

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A banker who was snared by paedophile hunters trying to meet a 14-year-old girl for sex has been jailed for 15 months.

Citibank business manager Balachandran Kavungalparambath travelled over 100 miles to meet the teen in Birmingham, warning 'the first time is always painful' after grooming her online.

But the 38-year-old was met by the Internet Interceptors group, who had been posing as the underage girl and live streamed the confrontation for more than 130,000 viewers on Facebook.

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ZHUZHOU, China: A futuristic transport system featuring "trackless trains" that run on virtual rail  lines has been put to the test on the streets of Zhuzhou, Hunan Province.

Dubbed as the world's first smart train, the new Autonomous Rail Rapid Transit (ART) system has a maximum speed of  70kmh and carry up to 300 passengers in three carriages, reported local  news outlet People's Daily Online on Monday (Oct 23). 

The system was first unveiled in June 2017.

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Apple has reportedly dismissed an engineer after his daughter’s iPhone X hands-on video went viral on YouTube. Brooke Amelia  Peterson published a vlog earlier this week, which included a trip to the Apple campus to visit her father and see an unreleased iPhone X. Peterson’s video was quickly picked up by sites like 9to5Mac, and it spread even further on YouTube.

Peterson now claims her father has been fired as a result of her video. In a tearful video, Peterson explains her father violated an Apple company rule by allowing her to film the unreleased handset at Apple’s campus. Apple reportedly requested that Peterson remove the video, but it was clearly too late as the content spread further and  further.
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Chit Chat Corner / Unpleasant experience at Kidzania Singapore
« on: October 30, 2017, 02:56:19 pm »
My son is 6 years old and is diagnosed with Autism.

We visited Kidzania a couple of days ago and it wasn't a pleasant experience towards the end.

My son was rather frustrated by the wait (he had been waiting for his turn at previous stations and remained calm throughout but got slightly agitated after a while), so he decided to shout in protest.

I was about to calm him down when one of the staff who was stationed in a camera shop actually reacted by shouting back. Now I am not sure if that was a reaction to show her surprise or she was trying to shush my child.

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Students from St Joseph's Institution and SJI International who want to pursue further studies at Cambridge University can get some support with a new scholarship.

The SJI Foundation - a registered charity that supports Lasallian schools here and in the region - partnered the British university's Christ's College earlier this month to set up a bond-free scholarship for students.

The foundation will award up to two scholarships a year, starting next year. These are for candidates to pursue a full-time undergraduate degree at Christ's College, one of the 29 colleges of Cambridge.

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News, Current Affairs Discussions / The world's best workplaces
« on: October 29, 2017, 02:23:51 pm »
Sure, your company may have free snacks, but is it one of the world's best workplaces? To compile this list of the globe's top companies to work for, Fortune partner Great Place to Work surveyed employees in offices across the planet. The result is a list of the multinationals where employees like coming to work in the morning the most. At the top? San Francisco's own Salesforce. It's also joined by players like H&M in Sweden, and SAP in Germany--all with employee-friendly offices around the world.

1. Salesforce

What employees say:
“The CEO is an amazing, visionary leader, who understands that business is not just about profit margins but also about improving the state of the world. If all CEOs and companies had the same perspective, the world would be a better place for all.” --Employee in the UK

“This is an extraordinary, special place that really cares about their employees, customers, and community alike. We are strongly encouraged to give back to the community. I have done everything from working in a soup kitchen to working in a children’s hospital in Morocco--all supported by the company. We have many opportunities to do the best work of our careers, be recognized for it and advance. I feel I can be creative and offer solutions that really help the company be successful. Most importantly I look forward to coming to work everyday, working with our wonderful community and doing satisfying challenging work.” --Employee in the U.S.

Headquarters located in: United States
Industry: Information Technology
No. of Employees: 28,000
Countries where it ranks near the top: Australia, India, Ireland, Japan, Singapore, United Kingdom, United States
Read the Great Place to Work review.

2. The Adecco Group

What employees say:
“The freedom given for you to contribute is unique. Managers don’t work in a controlling way, but show you trust in your ability to execute your work well.” --Employee in the U.S.

“What makes Adecco a great place to work is the genuine effort taken to be better, in all aspects of the business, every day.” --Employee in Canada

Headquarters located in: Switzerland
Industry: Professional Services
No. of employees: 33,000
Revenue: $26.6B
Countries where it ranks near the top: Belgium, Canada, Denmark, Germany, Ireland, Italy, Luxembourg, Spain, The Netherlands, Norway, Turkey, United Kingdom
Read the Great Place to Work review.

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Chit Chat Corner / Bell curve prayer to god
« on: October 29, 2017, 02:16:31 pm »

SINGAPORE — Months after committing to a global initiative to curb tax avoidance, Singapore has again come under the spotlight for its regime that allows companies to legally but artificially shift profits across borders to keep overall corporate taxes low.

A new report, titled “Tax Battles: the dangerous global race to the bottom on corporate tax,” was released on Monday (Dec 12) by United Kingdom-based charity organisation Oxfam, which examined the extent to which countries encourage corporate tax avoidance. Oxfam named Singapore the fifth worst corporate tax haven for its lack of withholding taxes, its range of tax incentives, and evidence of substantial profit shifting.

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In a Facebook post today, a mother named Justina Ong told netizens about her experience with her child enrolled at My First Skool on Serangoon North Avenue.

According to Justina, her child’s preschool had lost track of their student, and that they were completely unaware of the child’s whereabouts for a certain period of time.

What made matters worse was that Justina's child is autistic, and could have thus explained why the student wandered off.

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Chit Chat Corner / Ridiculous things school teachers once said
« on: October 29, 2017, 12:32:56 am »
What are the odds of encountering one or two oddball, batty teachers (even principals) during one's ten to sixteen years typically spent pursuing a formal education in Singapore schools? Well, obviously not so improbable. Read: the nasty, weird poot or advice spewing out of the mouths of some of these folks who were supposed to enlighten the eager bright young minds of tomorrow aka you the student. Oh yes, the horrors, the horrors indeed. More than a handful over at Reddit Singapore "affectionately" reminisced about the ridiculous (perhaps bordering on crazy), at times unintentionally entertaining and possibly thoughtless remarks their innocent(?) ears had to endure once upon a time in the classroom:

By chongccino:

"In secondary school, I got caught for folding back my skirt during an open house event. Normally I wouldn't do such a thing and I tried to explain that it was because the hook fell out. But the discipline mistress cut me off really rudely, told me I was setting a bad example for the juniors (another one who I never spoke to in my entire life was caught alongside me for folding her skirt) and exclaimed: “do you want the public to think our girls are cheap [people]?”

Back then I was afraid of any further repercussions but in retrospect I should have complained and not let that slide because that was plain insulting and rude. What a bitch."

By uniscent:

"Last year one teacher in my school was helping out a group of girls with their geography project (during a camp) and requested they enter into a room to complete things; when the girls declined he laughed and said : “ Why are you so scared? It's not like I’m gonna rape all 3 of you at once.” "

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The Australian deputy prime minister, Barnaby Joyce, and four senators have been ruled ineligible to sit in parliament by the high court, with only the National party’s Matt Canavan and NXT’s Nick Xenophon surviving a challenge that has hung over seven parliamentarians since their dual citizenship was discovered in July and August.

The court’s unanimous decision to uphold a strict reading of the constitutional disqualification of foreign citizens will trigger a byelection in the New South Wales seat of New England, won comfortably by Joyce, the National party leader, at the 2016 election. The court’s ruling also forced the deputy National party leader, Fiona Nash, and One Nation’s Malcolm Roberts out of the Senate. Two Greens senators, Scott Ludlam and Larissa Waters, who had already resigned, were confirmed as ineligible by the court.

Joyce’s exit strips Malcolm Turnbull’s government of its one-seat majority in the House of Representatives for now, but he could return through a byelection on 2 December.

At a brief media conference in Canberra on Friday, Turnbull insisted his government still had a majority – it holds 75 of 149 seats in the lower house although one sits in the Speaker’s chair – and enjoyed the support of several crossbench MPs who could guarantee confidence and supply.

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FC Barcelona's coach has refused to be drawn into a growing political crisis, after Catalonia's regional parliament declared independence from Spain.

Ernesto Valverde said: "It's not for me to draw conclusions, but like everyone I have my own opinion on the matter."

Barcelona are Catalonia's top club. Their El Clásico matches against Real Madrid are watched by millions of fans.

Spain's football chief earlier warned Catalonia's clubs would leave La Liga should the region become independent.

Javier Tebas said: "Barcelona cannot choose where it plays if there is an independence process in Catalonia."

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