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Singapore beats U.S. in table tennis

Posted by jtsmyth8 on August 13, 2008

Singapore table tennis team eased to a 3-0 win over seventh-ranked United States on Wednesday.

Wang Yuegu beat Gao Jun 11-6, 7-11, 11-8, 11-4 in 39 minutes.

Fang Tianwei got the better of Wang Chen 11-2, 8-11, 11-4, 15-13 in 36 minutes.

The duo of Li Jiawei and Wang Yuegu breezed past the US team of Huang Xi and Gao Jun 11-5, 11-9, 11-7 in just 17 minutes in the final game.

The Americans are regarded as Singapore’s toughest opponent in Group B with their trio of China-born paddlers, two of whom are top-ranked players (Wang Chen, world no. 20 and Gao Jun, world no. 25). (story)


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Singapore small but carries a big stick

Posted by jtsmyth8 on March 10, 2008

As a small state, Singapore cannot ignore the dangers to its sovereignty and must view the world clearly, even clinically, President SR Nathan said. ‘It is critical to have a clear and clinical assessment of the world – seeing the world as it is and not as we hope or think it ought to be,’ he said on Monday at the launch of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs’ (MFA) Diplomatic Academy.

His speech focussed often on the way Singapore’s size and vulnerabilty has shaped its foreign policy, for instance, its distinct pragmatism and search for international space.

Pragmatism has allowed the 640 sq km-island to transcend its size and limits, he noted.

‘We knew very well that we had very little influence over our external environment, immediate and beyond,’ he said.

‘We dealt with the business of foreign relations without sentiment, ideology or illusion.’

In parallel, Singapore chose ‘to wrap ourselves in something larger’ – be it Asean, the United Nations or international legal regimes. (story)

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“Sorry for punching you, I’m an American sailor”

Posted by jtsmyth8 on December 17, 2007

The United States Navy has apologized verbally to the motorist who was punched in the face and thrown against two cars in the Orchard Road shopping belt last Friday by an American sailor. The American Embassy has also pledged that the US Navy sailor will have to face the music from his ship’s commanding officer. If he is found “guilty”, the sailor could have his pay, rank and other privileges docked.

‘Under US military law, the Commanding Officer of the ship can impose any combination of any of the following: confinement, hard labour, restriction, loss of wages, loss of rank, and discharge – punitive or administrative. The disposition depends on the investigation,” the spokesman told The Straits Times on Monday.

‘Generally, these types of incidents result in punitive action with the member’s career, liberty, and pay affected.’

Mr K.M. Ho, the motorist who was assaulted, said his lawyers are taking up his case with investigators from the US Navy’s Naval Criminal Investigative Service.

If the matter goes to court, it will be at Mr Ho’s expense and could amount to several thousand dollars. (story)

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US security measures prevent some from travelling

Posted by jtsmyth8 on November 28, 2007

United States-bound travellers recently had their holiday plans disrupted when they were told at Changi Airport that they either had to get a new passport or a visa to enter the country. The Straits Times understands that in the last few weeks, an average of at least one traveller a day has been turned away by check-in staff because of passport problems.

Under US immigration laws, Singapore passport holders do not need a visa if their passports fall in one of three categories:

Passports issued, renewed or extended on or after Oct 26, 2006 must be biometric – containing a computer chip embedded with the passport holder’s thumbprint and unique facial features. (story)

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UN demotes Singapore official

Posted by jtsmyth8 on October 19, 2007

After 21 months of being investigated for fraud and corruption, United Nations Assistant Secretary-General Andrew Toh, who is Singaporean, has this week been demoted to director and denied two months of his salary.

The rub is that UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-Moon is punishing him thus although two UN administrative tribunals have unequivocally cleared him of any such wrongdoing.

Sources said a demotion at the UN is very rare, and those demoted must have done something grave like misjudged a situation, resulting in the UN losing millions of dollars.


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