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Saturday, April 30, 2011

Jackson's concert-tribute to thrill S'pore


Thriller Live dazzles with a crackerjack team of singer-dancers.

Whether you’d known him for his moonwalks or his multiple nose-jobs, there is no denying that the late Michael Jackson was the rightful King of Pop.
From the packed Lyric Theatre at the West End in London during a recent staging of Thriller Live, a concert-tribute dedicated to celebrating the legend’s greatest hits, I found myself immersed in a delightful mix of whimsical numbers and thumping pop hits in a show led by a crackerjack team of springy singer-dancers.
This Tuesday, Thriller Live opens at the Marina Bay Sands’ Grand Theatre in Singapore.
 
The show in London kicked off with the funky, youthful energy the Jackson 5 years, taking the crowd through their hummable melange Motown-era singles such as I Want You BackABC and the early solo smash Ben before combusting into some of the pop icon’s biggest hits like Billie Jean and Beat it.

Strangely, my mirthful intrigue was underlined by a sense of melancholy the whole time. On one hand, I was reminded that Jackson was indeed one of the greatest performers who’d ever lived as the cast, all prettied-up and sequined, sought to relive his magic.
On another, while the show made no mention of it, one must go through it knowing the troubles that had plagued him unto death.
More so than ever now, in an age of manufactured pop idols, one begins to appreciate his craft. Jackson was an artiste in every sense of the word.
Amid the chorale glee on Thriller Live, it struck me as truly tragic that in life, especially in the years preceding his death, that the once-revered icon was reduced to some bogeyman-like figure.
But Thriller Live was having none of that. In place of a lurid musical tell-all, the production promises a celebration of only Jackson’s finest and it delivers.
Laden with pitch-perfect vocals and bouts of fanciful choreography, it got me pumped up enough to even start dancing a little at one point. But let’s not go there.
Though none of the cast looked like Jackson, the male leads actually did sound a great deal like the American megastar.
Most of them even boasted some impressive moonwalks. But while they were entertaining to watch, they inevitably lacked the presence and prowess of the late king.
Indeed, as said before, he is often imitated but never duplicated.
“Michael was at the forefront of a musical revolution,” said producer Paul Walden during an exclusive interview before the show.
“He didn’t just make songs, he changed the way music was conceived, enjoyed and consumed by the public.”
In fact, his 14-minute Thriller video, which saw the unprecedented merge of filmmaking and music sparked a whole new MTV generation, said Walden. 
“He was always trying to create something different and exciting. He did Thrillereven before artistes were looking to create pop videos.”
In celebration of his career, Thriller Live creator Adrian Grant started the annual Michael Jackson tribute or fan day in 1991.
The event in London was met with tremendous response, attracting up to 3,000 fans every year. Jackson himself attended the 10th anniversary show, which he described as “beautiful and incredible”.
Drawing on the inspiration, Grant developed the show further and put Thriller Liveinto production in 2005.
Two years later, he teamed up with the music publishing company Flying Music and took the show through a series of dates in Britain and a subsequent tour in Europe.
Following the show’s success, Thriller Live began its West End run in 2008. Backed by a 15-member cast and a six-piece live band, the set has since been performed in 25 countries, including China and South Africa.
To date, over one million people have seen the production.
Now, the production makes its South-East Asian debut at The Grand Theatre in Marina Bay Sands, in Singapore.
Brought by BASE Entertainment Asia, Lunchbox Productions and Flying Music, the show boasts an eclectic cast of six leading singers, including a female vocalist and a young boy.
In the absence of a plotline and an all-encompassing moral-of-the-story, Walden said the two-hour concert-style fare aims to remind people of what a truly great performer Jackson was.
“He was a class of his own and his legacy will not vanish anytime soon.”
‘Thriller Live’ opens on May 3 at the Grand Theatre, Marina Bay Sands, in Singapore for a limited run of 16 shows until May 15. Performance schedules are Tuesday to Friday (7.30pm), and Saturday and Sunday (1.30pm and 7.30pm).
Tickets, ranging from S$70 (RM170) to S$170 (RM410), are available at sistic.com.sg / hotline 02-6348 5555. Corporate bookings at 02-6688 8826. For more information, log on to marinabaysands.com. By Fiona Ho

William pays tribute to Diana


LONDON: Prince William made sure his mother Princess Diana in his own words did not “miss out” on the ceremony and celebrations for his wedding to Kate Middleton.
His bride wore Diana's engagement ring, a hymn from his late mother's funeral was sung at the service and guests for the wedding included Elton John who sang Candle in the Wind at Diana's funeral in the abbey.
Fourteen years ago, the eyes of the world watched as William, then 15, walked solemnly behind the coffin of his mother as it was taken through the packed streets of London to her funeral.
In loving memory: A picture of William and Diana left at a memorial above the Alma underpass, where she died on Aug 31, 1997, in Paris on Thursday. — AP
William wed Middleton in front of almost 2,000 guests and an audience of millions worldwide. But the one person conspicuous by her absence was Diana, who died in a Paris car crash in 1997.
From the moment the couple announced they were getting married last November, William has deliberately ensured that Diana's memory would not be forgotten, giving Middleton his mother's large blue oval sapphire and diamond engagement ring.
“It's very special to me,” William told reporters in November. “It's my way of making sure my mother didn't miss out on today and the excitement and the fact we are going to spend the rest of our lives together.”
The build-up to the day and the ceremony itself has been littered with reminders of Diana.
“The only downside is the sad side,” said Joan Lunden, a US TV host who covered Diana's wedding in 1981 and is part of the Fox News royal wedding team.
“That thought of Gee, I wish Diana was here'.”
Before the wedding, the couple were reported to have visited Diana's resting place, an island at her family's Althorp estate in central England.
“It was very important for William to take Kate to visit his mum just before their wedding day,” a source told the Daily Mirror newspaper.
“It is tragic that she won't be there to see the wedding and that she never got to meet his bride.” - Reuters

Africans walk away with RM7mil in diamonds


PETALING JAYA: A group of Africans, posing as customers, walked away with an estimated RM7mil worth of diamonds at a shopping mall near here.
The loose diamonds were in a bag that was stolen from a jewellery promotional counter at about 10.30pm Friday when the Africans approached the counter staff.
Petaling Jaya OCPD Asst Comm Arjunaidi Mohamed confirmed the incident when contacted and said the men managed to steal the bag and leave without the staff noticing.
“The staff were busy closing up the counter at the time and did not notice the theft,” he said.
The CCTV in the shopping mall recorded the incident and police would be investigating the case with the help of the CCTV footage, he said on Saturday.
ACP Arjunaidi urged anyone with information to contact the nearest police station immediately. - theStarOnline

Friday, April 29, 2011

CONGRATULATION! Duke & Duchess of Cambridge on your wedding



The couple kissed twice on the balcony

Prince William and Kate Middleton have kissed twice on the balcony of Buckingham Palace after their wedding service in Westminster Abbey.
They were watched and cheered by thousands of well-wishers who gathered outside the palace, as an RAF fly-past took place.
Some 1,900 guests watched the couple exchange their vows in the abbey, with many millions watching at home.
Kate Middleton will now be known as the Duchess of Cambridge.
The Queen is now hosting a buffet reception at the palace for 650 guests.
Below are some nice pictures to be shared. These will be kept as memorable moments for both of them, so sweet and charming....love to watch their wedding.
Kate Middleton arrives at Westminster Abbey at the Royal Wedding in London Friday, April 29, 2011. (AP Photo/Gero Breloer) - 29 April, 2011
Kate Middleton, left, and accompanied by maid of honour Pippa Middleton as they arrive at Westminster Abbey at the Royal Wedding in London Friday, April 29, 2011. (AP Photo/Alastair Grant) - 29 April, 2011
Michael Middleton, Kate Middleton, Britain's Prince William and Britain's Prince Harry stand at the alter at Westminster Abbey for the Royal Wedding in London on Friday. - APpix - 29 April, 2011
Britain's Prince William and Kate Middleton exchange rings in front of the Archbishop of Canterbury at Westminster Abbey, London, Friday April 29, 2011. - APpix - 29 April, 2011
Britain's Prince William, foreground left, and his wife Kate, the Duchess of Cambridge, foreground right, best man Britain's Prince Harry, back left, and maid of honour Philippa Middleton, back right, accompany them following their wedding service at Westminster Abbey in London, Friday, April 29, 2011. (AP Photo/Kirsty Wigglesworth, Pool) - 29 April, 2011
Britain's Prince William and his wife Kate, Duchess of Cambridge stand outside of Westminster Abbey after their Royal Wedding in London Friday. - APpix - 29 April, 2011
Prince William his bride Kate, Duchess of Cambridge, leave Westminster Abbey, London, following their wedding, Friday April. 29, 2011.(AP) - 29 April, 2011
Britain's Prince William and Kate, the Duchess of Cambridge, wave as they travel in the 1902 State Landau carriage along the processional route to Buckingham Palace, London, Friday April 29, 2011. (AP Photo/Damien Meyer, Pool) - 29 April, 2011
Britain's Prince William salutes and his wife Kate, the Duchess of Cambridge, bows her head, as they approach the Cenotaph, the memorial to Britain's war dead, following their wedding in London's Westminster Abbey, Friday, April, 29, 2011.(AP Photo/Jon Super) - 29 April, 2011
source & photos from BBC News & AP

12-year-old girl and boy, 11, caught for motorcycle theft


GEORGE TOWN: Not only are motorcycle thieves getting younger, but the fairer sex is getting into the act as well.
A 12-year-old girl and an 11-year-old boy had been caught for stealing three motorcycles in the past two weeks.
Police arrested the two primary school pupils while they were riding one of the stolen machines at Taman Sahabat in Teluk Kumbar near here on Tuesday.
Balik Pulau deputy OCPD Deputy Supt Lai Fah Hin said the girl, who was the rider, was the mastermind of the thefts which occurred at a few places in Teluk Kumbar.
He said they stole the motorcycles for joyrides until the machines ran out of fuel, adding that police had recovered the other two motorcycles dumped by the roadside.
“They loitered at apartment blocks and looked for motorcycles with keys left in the ignition,” DSP Lai said at the Balik Pulau police station yesterday.
He said they also used modified keys and a small knife to start the stolen motorcycles. - theStarOnline

Neighbour from hell fined RM2,000


JOHOR BARU: An unemployed man, who previously owned up to threatening to kill his neighbour, was fined RM2,000 for igniting firecrackers at his neighbour’s house with the intention to burn it down.
High Court judge Kamardi Hashim ordered Liow Joo Swee, 41, to pay the fine for trying to set off 20 firecrackers in front of Pua Keng Siang’s house in Skudai between 2am and 3am on Feb 8, 2006.
Pua’s family was startled when they heard loud firecracker noises coming from outside their house.
They then found a box of firecrackers, tissues and a box of matches outside their house, which was later traced to Liow.
Justice Kamardi Hashim, in making the decision, overturned the acquittal granted to Liow by a magistrate’s court on Oct 25 last year.
At the lower court, Liow was charged under Section 7A of the Explosives Act, which carries a maximum jail term of two years and a fine not exceeding RM2,000.
The prosecution had appealed against the acquittal.
Liow had also previously admitted that he had threatened to kill Pua on two occasions and was fined RM2,000. - theStarOnline

Thursday, April 28, 2011

Housewife who fainted on flight a drug mule


KUALA LUMPUR: A housewife who fainted on a flight back to Malaysia from a neighbouring country was a drug mule who had swallowed three capsules containing heroin.
Kuala Lumpur police narcotics chief ACP Kang Chez Chiang said the 56-year-old woman passed out on April 17.
He said once the plane landed at the Kuala Lumpur Low-Cost Carrier Terminal, the woman was rushed to the Putrajaya Hospital.
She was unconscious for five days, he added.
“Unsuspecting medical staff treated the unconscious woman for a few days.
“On the fifth day, when she passed motion, they found three capsules containing a total of 26gm of heroin,” he said, adding that the hospital called the police.
It is believed that the heroin leaked out of the capsules into her stomach, added ACP Kang.
“If one of the capsules had ruptured, she could have easily died from an overdose,” he said.
The woman is now under remand and is being investigated under Section 39B of the Dangerous Drugs Act. - theStarOnline

Wednesday, April 27, 2011

Man cannot cope with wife's sex demands


The man entered the police station, followed by his wife
The man entered the police station, followed by his wife

A man ran into a police station in Taiwan holding his pants in his hands.

Wearing only a shirt and underwear, he begged the cops for help. Minutes later, his wife entered the police station in a sexy bra and red panties.

The wife told Kaohsiung police she suspected that her husband was having an affair, but had no evidence.
Then, she put to practice her friend's suggestion to have sex with her husband everyday so that he would have no energy for other women.
Recently, she asked for a second round after having sex with her husband, but he refused.
She then "played" with his genitals and performed oral sex on him for over an hour.

The man, who was worn out by then, grabbed his pants and ran to the police station to seek help.
After some advice from the cops, the couple left and returned home.
Source: Apple Daily

Fanatics' fury at muslim playgirl



A muslim actress has caused a storm by posing naked for Playboy.


Sila Sahin has been branded a "whore" and a "western slut" after appearing topless on the cover of the German edition of the men's magazine. 

And Islamic fanatics have posted threatening Internet messages.

Sila, raised in Germany by conservative Turkish parents, says she fears being "spat at" and "shamed".

Her parents are said to have reacted with "horror" at the 12-page coverage, and her mother has apparently cut off all contact.

Sila, 25 - star of German soap Good Times, Bad Times - claimed the shoot was a reaction to the "slavery" of her youth.

She added: "What I want to say with these photos is, 'Girls, we don't have to live according to the rules imposed upon us'.

"For years I subordinated myself to various societal constraints. The Playboy photo shoot was a total act of liberation."

Threats

But Islamic internet sites are being monitored by the BND - the German intelligence agency - after threats were posted about her "shaming Muslim womanhood" and "prostituting herself for money".
Source & Images: The Sun


10 Malaysians nabbed in NZ for drugs in shoes


WELLINGTON: A group of 10 Malaysians were arrested attempting to enter New Zealand with methamphetamines hidden in their shoes, customs officials said Wednesday.
The alleged smugglers, eight men and two women ranging from their early 20s to late 60s, were intercepted at Auckland airport on Tuesday after arriving with a tour group on a flight from Malaysia, New Zealand Customs said.
Customs drug investigations manager Mark Day said the arrests represented the most drug couriers ever caught in a single bust at the New Zealand border.
"By embedding themselves in what appear to be legitimate tour groups, these criminals are trying to assume normal travel patterns so that they will not be targeted as high risk," he said.
Day said each of the alleged couriers were carrying between 800 grams and 1.0 kilograms (1.8-2.2 pounds) of methamphetamine in their shoes and put the estimated street value of the haul at around NZ$10 million ($8.1 million).
All 10 were charged with drug offences and are due to face court later Wednesday. - AFP

Cyber crooks target gamers


SERI KEMBANGAN: Cyber crooks have now set up fake gaming sites to steal information from Internet surfers.
They are also stealing personal information from online gamers and selling virtual gaming items like weapons to other players.
Cybersecurity Malaysia, which is an agency under the Science, Technology and Innovation Ministry, said cyber criminals were targeting gaming websites and had spread their wings to Malaysia, with five cases reported so far.
“Gaming websites have already become a lucrative business for cyber criminals in South Korea and China,” said Cybersecurity Malaysia vice-president (cyber security responsive services) Adli Abd Wahid.
“Gamers are spending more money on online gaming, purchasing ‘battle tanks’, ‘avatars’ and other virtual gadgets and tools needed to advance to higher levels of a certain online game.
“Cyber crooks can steal the usernames and passwords of users who have advanced to a certain level in a game, and sell the account to buyers who want to continue playing the game from that level.”
Adli said that since many gamers preferred not to waste time starting from the lowest levels, they were willing to buy from cyber crooks.
The crooks could also steal the virtual weapons and gadgets from compromised accounts and sell them to other players.
Adli estimated that 99% of phishing websites targeting Malaysians were created and operated overseas, with foreign syndicates often hiring locals as “money mules” to transfer stolen money to foreign bank accounts.
The number of phishing sites detected in Malaysia rose from 634 cases in 2009 to 1,426 reports that were lodged last year.
IDC Market Research (M) Sdn Bhd associate analyst Devtar Singh said there were currently an estimated 7.3 million online gamers in Malaysia.
International anti-phishing service provider Internet Identity (IID) reported that the attacks were expected to rise with the global online gaming industry generating over US$15bil (RM44bil) annually, making it a strong target for criminals. - theStarOnline

‘Hubby’ bolts when woman declared dead by doc


JOHOR BARU: A man who took a woman he claimed to be his wife to a clinic bolted when the doctor pronounced her dead.
Apparently, he took her to the clinic in Bandar Baru Uda at about 3am yesterday when she fell unconscious following an asthma attack.
When the doctor said there were strangulation marks on her neck and that she had died, the man expressed shock and said he wanted to make a call.
But he disappeared from the clinic instead.
Johor Baru (North) OCPD Asst Comm Ruslan Hassan said the case had been classified as sudden death.
“However, we are exploring all angles pending a post-mortem report,” he said.
The body has been sent to Hospital Sultan Ismail.
“We are also studying CCTV footage from cameras on shops in the vicinity to ascertain the identity of the man,” he said.
ACP Ruslan added that the woman had no identification papers on her.
He urged those with information to contact 07-221 2999 or lodge a report at the nearest police station. - theStarOnline

Tuesday, April 26, 2011

Human cannonball plunges to his death


A human cannonball was killed in a freak accident in the United Kingdom.

The Sun reported his safety net collapsed after he was fired into the air.

A crowd of 2,000 watched as the 23-year-old stuntman was catapulted 50ft into the air before crashing head first on to the ground.

The victim lay motionless on his side with blood pouring from his mouth.

He was taken to to the hospital where he died later.

Rob Hutchinson, 42, of Tenterden, Kent, was with his wife and two young children.

He said: "The net was already up. He climbed out on top, climbed down into the tube, they gave this countdown then he came out of the tube.

"He turned over and then you can see the net is flat on the floor, not up in the air, and he is coming down head-first towards the ground. I saw him hit the floor and bounce. It was like a dummy being thrown."

The victim, who has not yet been formally named, was called Matt the Manx Crank.
Images & Source: The Sun

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