Friday, January 30, 2009

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Elliott Gibson has worked as a professional Prince Harry lookalike for many years. But now he told Daily Mail he has gone into hiding because of the unbearable attention he received ever since Prince Harry's split from Chelsy Davy.

Elliott Gibson said he has been plagued by crowds of screaming girls desperate to date him every time he leaves his house.
Elliott has worked for the Fake Faces lookalikes agency for many years and has appeared on many TV shows playing Prince Harry.

The real Prince Harry, 25, and Davy, 23, split last week after a five year romance.

The young couple decided to call time of their relationship 'amicably' after realising the logistics were making it too difficult.

Despite being in love with each other, Prince Harry has committed the next few years to his military career while Davy has been based in Leeds studying for a postgraduate law degree.

Prince Harry

Elliott Gibson

Prince Harry

Elliott Gibson

Prince Harry

Elliott Gibson

Thursday, January 29, 2009

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Asia One reports,

More than 6,000 employees of European semiconductor giant STMicroelectonics in Singapore will soon learn if they are to be hit by the company's plans to retrench some 10 percent of its 45,000-strong global workforce this year.

The company is grappling with dwindling tech spending worldwide.

A company spokesman told The Straits Times yesterday there are more than 6,000 workers in Singapore, but said it was "premature" to comment on the impact, if any, of the proposed job cuts.

STMicroelectronics' Singapore operations include the company's first Asian wafer fabrication plant in Ang Mo Kio which generates about 45 percent of its worldwide production. Singapore is also the site of the company's regional headquarters as well as its Asia-Pacific Design Centre.

However, the scale of the jobs cut in Singapore may be less than would have been the case if earlier plans had been implemented.

Last November, STMicroelectronics had said it wanted to shift more production to Asia, including places such as China and Singapore. It had said its production facilities were to be cut from 25 to 15, with the bulk of higher-cost factories in the West making way for increased production in Asia.

The move was designed to place additional work with the manufacturing hub here. Less than three months later, these plans seem to be on hold.

On the sidelines of a briefing yesterday, chief operating officer Alain Dutheil told Reuters: "What is new is that originally the idea was to cut capacity in high-cost areas like the US and transfer capacity to Asia. Today we re cutting the capacity in the US but we are not transferring this capacity to Asia."

The Switzerland-based company, which ranks fifth among global chipmakers, said the projected job cuts -3,500 in manufacturing and 1,000 in other departments - are aimed at cutting about US$700 million (S$1 billion) of costs.

On Tuesday, STMicroelectronics reported a fourth-quarter net loss of US$366 million last year, a marked deterioration on the US$20 million profit during the same period in 2007. The company's loses worsened last year with a net loss of US$786 million, compared to one of US$477 million in 2007.

It reported that net forth-quarter revenues fell 17 percent to US$2.28 billion with full-year net revenues at US$9.84 billion. STMicroelectonics also slashed its capital investment by 50 percent from last year to US$500 million this year.

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Singapore Singapore Investment Corp. and Temasek Holdings Pte were investing heavily in foreign banks at the start of current global financial crisis. Now Singapore Finance Minister Tharman Shanmugara said the worst is yet to come.

From AsiaOne,

SINGAPORE'S Finance Minister has warned that the worst of the credit crunch is yet to come.

The world's biggest banks still have toxic assets on their balance sheets, which are clogging up their ability to lend, Mr Tharman Shanmugaratnam said in an interview with Bloomberg Television on Wednesday.

The finance ministry oversees Government of Singapore Investment Corp. and Temasek Holdings Pte, each managing more than $100 billion. The state-owned funds invested about US$24 billion (S$36 billion) in UBS AG, Citigroup Inc. and Merrill Lynch & Co in the past 14 months, said Bloomberg,

Banks are still focusing on replenishing capital 'and estimates of the extent of bad assets on their books are still on the upswing,' said Mr Tharman. 'We haven't seen the worst yet.'

Bank losses worldwide from US-originated bad assets may reach US$2.2 trillion, the International Monetary Fund said on Wednesday, more than the US$1.4 trillion it predicted in October. US President Barack Obama's administration and federal regulators are considering setting up a 'bad bank' that would absorb illiquid assets from otherwise healthy financial firms.

Governments across Europe have injected capital into banks to ensure that lending to companies and consumers doesn't freeze up. European Union regulators yesterday approved France's plan to increase its funding for recapitalisation of banks including

BNP Paribas SA and Societe Generale SA to 11 billion euros (S$21.6 billion), from an initial proposal for 10.5 billion euros.

Ireland's government last month said it would invest 2 billion euros in Allied Irish and Bank of Ireland, the country's biggest lenders.

'Foot the bill'

'It's right that governments are focusing on recapitalisation in the West and they're trying their best to incentivise new lending,' Mr Tharman said. 'It's too early to say how successful this will be. Governments have to take more risk, and that means taxpayers have to be willing to foot part of the bill.'

The IMF report released on Wednesday signalled that writedowns and losses at banks totaling US$1.1 trillion so far are only half of what's to come. Losses on that scale would leave banks needing at least US$500 billion in fresh capital to restore confidence in their balance sheets, the fund said.

Singapore's leaders have defended the performance of the city's state-owned investment companies after a plunge in the value of their stakes in Citigroup, Merrill Lynch and other global banks.

GIC, which manages the country's reserves, invested about $18 billion in UBS and Citigroup since December 2007. Temasek, which has a $130 billion portfolio, increased investments in Merrill Lynch and Barclays Plc as the credit market collapsed in 2007 and 2008.

Temasek was the biggest shareholder in Merrill Lynch before the securities firm was taken over by Bank of America Corp. It is also the largest shareholder of banks including London-based Standard Chartered Plc and Singapore's DBS Group Holdings Ltd, and has holdings in India's ICICI Bank and other lenders in Indonesia, South Korea and Pakistan.

Temasek and GIC remain 'well diversified' enough in their portfolios to offer the long-term returns the government seeks, Mr Tharman said.

'We would be very worried if global banks comprise a large proportion of the portfolios of GIC or Temasek, or for that matter, any of the highly vulnerable industries globally,' the minister said. 'But these are diversified portfolios.'

Temasek and GIC have performed 'credibly by international standards,' he said. Temasek had an average 18 per cent annual return on investment since its inception in 1974. GIC said in September that annual returns in the past 20 years averaged 7.8 per cent in US dollar terms, compared with about 6 per cent for the MSCI World Index.

GIC last year also said it's boosting investments in emerging markets, private equity and other asset classes to raise returns after cutting back stocks and holdings in developed nations.

'I'm comfortable with the actions both Temasek and GIC have taken early in this crisis to reduce risk, to move into more liquid asset allocation and to prepare for opportunities in this downturn,' Mr Shanmugaratnam said. 'We've got to make sure we maintain that record of prudent investments for the portfolio as a whole, diversifying risks, and being prepared for crises from time to time.'

Wednesday, January 28, 2009

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I really think she should not be doing this - pretending to be Posh. Look at the picture and judge yourself.

These picture first appeared in Daily Mail.


She said she first became aware that she had what Posh had while working as a dancer in a nightclub.

'Customers started telling me how much I looked like Posh, and that I should become a lookalike,' she said.

'At the time, I was a single mum and struggling financially, so I contacted some agents and was soon being booked to open clubs and appear in magazines.

'I could earn between £18,000 and £20,000 a year.' It wasn't until two years ago that the Posh popularity started to wane.

Mrs Adams appeared in a local paper opening a charity event - which led to a stream of abusive emails to the newspaper's website.

One emailer wrote: 'Who does she think she is?' Another stated: 'She's a joker! She's a wannabe!'

One person wrote: 'I knew she was starving herself to look like Posh, how sad. Does she not realise she looks hideous?'

'When I read the comments, I shook with anger,' said Mrs Adams, who at 5ft 5in weighs nine stone and insists she has a healthy balanced diet.

'My friends were horrified when I told them about the grief I was getting over the job, but they encouraged me to stick at it.'

Even those in her home town of Clacton-on-Sea, Essex, seem to have tired of her dressing up as David Beckham's wife and driving around in a convertible.

'At first, I think people really thought I was Posh, but when they realised it was just me, they started shouting: "Imposhter! Who do you think you are?''' she said.

'One woman threw a lit cigarette at me and it bounced off my jacket.'
Mrs Adams said her husband Brett, 29, a personal trainer, remains a fan - but of her rather than Posh. 'He thinks I'm prettier,' she said.

Tuesday, January 27, 2009

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AL ARABIYA: Mr. President, thank you for this opportunity, we really appreciate it.

PRESIDENT OBAMA: Thank you so much.

AL ARABIYA: Sir, you just met with your personal envoy to the Middle East, Senator (George) Mitchell. Obviously, his first task is to consolidate the cease-fire, but, beyond that, you've been saying that you want to pursue actively and aggressively peacemaking between the Palestinians and the Israelis. Tell us a little bit about how do you see your personal role, because, you know, if the President of the United States is not involved, nothing happens – as the history of peacemaking shows. Will you be proposing ideas, pitching proposals, parameters, as one of your predecessors did? Or just urging the parties to come up with their own resolutions, as your immediate predecessor did?

PRESIDENT OBAMA: Well, I think the most important thing is for the United States to get engaged right away, and George Mitchell is somebody of enormous stature. He is one of the few people who have international experience brokering peace deals.

And so what I told him is start by listening, because all too often the United States starts by dictating - in the past on some of these issues - and we don't always know all the factors that are involved. So let's listen. He's going to be speaking to all the major parties involved, and he will then report back to me. From there we will formulate a specific response.

Ultimately, we cannot tell either the Israelis or the Palestinians what's best for them. They're going to have to make some decisions. But I do believe that the moment is ripe for both sides to realize that the path that they are on is one that is not going to result in prosperity and security for their people, and that instead, it's time to return to the negotiating table.

And it's going to be difficult, it's going to take time. I don't want to prejudge many of these issues, and I want to make sure that expectations are not raised so that we think that this is going to be resolved in a few months. But if we start the steady progress on these issues, I'm absolutely confident that the United States – working in tandem with the European Union, with Russia, with all the Arab states in the region - I'm absolutely certain that we can make significant progress.

AL ARABIYA: You've been saying essentially that we should not look at these issues - like the Palestinian-Israeli track and separation from the border region - you've been talking about a kind of holistic approach to the region. Are we expecting a different paradigm in the sense that in the past one of the critiques - at least from the Arab side, the Muslim side - is that everything the Americans always tested with the Israelis, if it works. Now there is an Arab peace plan, there is a regional aspect to it, and you've indicated that. Would there be any shift, a paradigm shift?



PRESIDENT OBAMA: Well, here's what I think is important. Look at the proposal that was put forth by King Abdullah of Saudi Arabia…

AL ARABIYA: Right.

PRESIDENT OBAMA: I might not agree with every aspect of the proposal, but it took great courage...

AL ARABIYA: Absolutely.

PRESIDENT OBAMA: ...To put forward something that is as significant as that. I think that there are ideas across the region of how we might pursue peace.

I do think that it is impossible for us to think only in terms of the Palestinian-Israeli conflict and not think in terms of what's happening with Syria or Iran or Lebanon or Afghanistan and Pakistan. These things are interrelated. And what I've said, and I think Hillary Clinton has expressed this in her confirmation, is that if we are looking at the region as a whole and communicating a message to the Arab world and the Muslim world, that we are ready to initiate a new partnership based on mutual respect and mutual interest, then I think that we can make significant progress.

Now, Israel is a strong ally of the United States. They will not stop being a strong ally of the United States. And I will continue to believe that Israel's security is paramount. But I also believe that there are Israelis who recognize that it is important to achieve peace. They will be willing to make sacrifices if the time is appropriate and if there is serious partnership on the other side.

And so what we want to do is to listen, set aside some of the preconceptions that have existed and have built up over the last several years. And I think if we do that, then there's a possibility at least of achieving some breakthroughs.

AL ARABIYA: I want to ask you about the broader Muslim world, but let me – one final thing about the Palestinian-Israeli theater; There are many Palestinians and Israelis who are very frustrated now with the current conditions and they are losing hope, they are disillusioned, and they believe that time is running out on the two-state solution because, mainly because of the settlement activities in Palestinian-occupied territories. Will it still be possible to see a Palestinian state – and you know the contours of it – within the first Obama administration?

PRESIDENT OBAMA: I think it is possible for us to see a Palestinian state - I'm not going to put a time frame on it - that is contiguous, that allows freedom of movement for its people, that allows for trade with other countries, that allows the creation of businesses and commerce so that people have a better life.

And, look, I think anybody who has studied the region recognizes that the situation for the ordinary Palestinian in many cases has not improved. And the bottom line in all these talks and all these conversations is, is a child in the Palestinian Territories going to be better off? Do they have a future for themselves? And is the child in Israel going to feel confident about his or her safety and security? And if we can keep our focus on making their lives better and look forward, and not simply think about all the conflicts and tragedies of the past, then I think that we have an opportunity to make real progress.

But it is not going to be easy, and that's why we've got George Mitchell going there. This is somebody with extraordinary patience as well as extraordinary skill, and that's what's going to be necessary.

AL ARABIYA: Absolutely. Let me take a broader look at the whole region. You are planning to address the Muslim world in your first 100 days from a Muslim capital. And everybody is speculating about the capital. (Laughter.) If you have anything further, that would be great.

How concerned are you – because, let me tell you, honestly, when I see certain things about America – in some parts, I don't want to exaggerate – there is a demonization of America.

PRESIDENT OBAMA: Absolutely.

AL ARABIYA: It's become like a new religion, and like a new religion it has new converts - like a new religion has its own high priests.

PRESIDENT OBAMA: Right.

AL ARABIYA:It's only a religious text.

PRESIDENT OBAMA: Right.

AL ARABIYA: And in the last – since 9/11 and because of Iraq, that alienation is wider between the Americans and - and in generations past, the United States was held high. It was the only Western power with no colonial legacy.

PRESIDENT OBAMA: Right.

AL ARABIYA: How concerned are you and – because people sense that you have a different political discourse. And I think, judging by (inaudible) and Zawahiri and Osama bin Laden and all these, you know – a chorus.

PRESIDENT OBAMA: Yes, I noticed this. They seem nervous.

AL ARABIYA: They seem very nervous, exactly. Now, tell me why they should be more nervous?

PRESIDENT OBAMA: Well, I think that when you look at the rhetoric that they've been using against me before I even took office .

AL ARABIYA:I know, I know.

PRESIDENT OBAMA: ...What that tells me is that their ideas are bankrupt. There's no actions that they've taken that say a child in the Muslim world is getting a better education because of them, or has better health care because of them.

In my inauguration speech, I spoke about: You will be judged on what you've built, not what you've destroyed. And what they've been doing is destroying things. And over time, I think the Muslim world has recognized that that path is leading no place, except more death and destruction.

Now, my job is to communicate the fact that the United States has a stake in the well-being of the Muslim world, that the language we use has to be a language of respect. I have Muslim members of my family. I have lived in Muslim countries.

AL ARABIYA:The largest one.

PRESIDENT OBAMA: The largest one, Indonesia. And so what I want to communicate is the fact that in all my travels throughout the Muslim world, what I've come to understand is that regardless of your faith – and America is a country of Muslims, Jews, Christians, non-believers – regardless of your faith, people all have certain common hopes and common dreams.

And my job is to communicate to the American people that the Muslim world is filled with extraordinary people who simply want to live their lives and see their children live better lives. My job to the Muslim world is to communicate that the Americans are not your enemy. We sometimes make mistakes. We have not been perfect. But if you look at the track record, as you say, America was not born as a colonial power, and that the same respect and partnership that America had with the Muslim world as recently as 20 or 30 years ago, there's no reason why we can't restore that. And that I think is going to be an important task.

But ultimately, people are going to judge me not by my words but by my actions and my administration's actions. And I think that what you will see over the next several years is that I'm not going to agree with everything that some Muslim leader may say, or what's on a television station in the Arab world - but I think that what you'll see is somebody who is listening, who is respectful, and who is trying to promote the interests not just of the United States, but also ordinary people who right now are suffering from poverty and a lack of opportunity. I want to make sure that I'm speaking to them, as well.

AL ARABIYA: Tell me, time is running out, any decision on from where you will be visiting the Muslim world?

PRESIDENT OBAMA: Well, I'm not going to break the news right here.

AL ARABIYA: Afghanistan?

PRESIDENT OBAMA: But maybe next time. But it is something that is going to be important. I want people to recognize, though, that we are going to be making a series of initiatives. Sending George Mitchell to the Middle East is fulfilling my campaign promise that we're not going to wait until the end of my administration to deal with Palestinian and Israeli peace, we're going to start now. It may take a long time to do, but we're going to do it now. We're going to follow through on our commitment for me to address the Muslim world from a Muslim capital. We are going to follow through on many of my commitments to do a more effective job of reaching out, listening, as well as speaking to the Muslim world.

And you're going to see me following through with dealing with a drawdown of troops in Iraq, so that Iraqis can start taking more responsibility. And finally, I think you've already seen a commitment in terms of closing Guantanamo, and making clear that even as we are decisive in going after terrorist organizations that would kill innocent civilians, that we're going to do so on our terms, and we're going to do so respecting the rule of law that I think makes America great.

AL ARABIYA: President Bush framed the war on terror conceptually in a way that was very broad, "war on terror," and used sometimes certain terminology that the many people - Islamic fascism. You've always framed it in a different way, specifically against one group called al Qaeda and their collaborators. And is this one way of...

PRESIDENT OBAMA: I think that you're making a very important point. And that is that the language we use matters. And what we need to understand is, is that there are extremist organizations – whether Muslim or any other faith in the past – that will use faith as a justification for violence. We cannot paint with a broad brush a faith as a consequence of the violence that is done in that faith's name.

And so you will, I think, see our administration be very clear in distinguishing between organizations like al Qaeda – that espouse violence, espouse terror and act on it – and people who may disagree with my administration and certain actions, or may have a particular viewpoint in terms of how their countries should develop. We can have legitimate disagreements but still be respectful. I cannot respect terrorist organizations that would kill innocent civilians and we will hunt them down.

But to the broader Muslim world what we are going to be offering is a hand of friendship.

AL ARABIYA:Can I end with a question on Iran and Iraq then quickly?

PRESIDENT OBAMA: It's up to the team...

AL ARABIYA: Will the United States ever live with a nuclear Iran? And if not, how far are you going in the direction of preventing it?

PRESIDENT OBAMA: You know, I said during the campaign that it is very important for us to make sure that we are using all the tools of U.S. power, including diplomacy, in our relationship with Iran.

Now, the Iranian people are a great people, and Persian civilization is a great civilization. Iran has acted in ways that's not conducive to peace and prosperity in the region: their threats against Israel; their pursuit of a nuclear weapon which could potentially set off an arms race in the region that would make everybody less safe; their support of terrorist organizations in the past – none of these things have been helpful.

But I do think that it is important for us to be willing to talk to Iran, to express very clearly where our differences are, but where there are potential avenues for progress. And we will, over the next several months, be laying out our general framework and approach. And as I said during my inauguration speech, if countries like Iran are willing to unclench their fist, they will find an extended hand from us.

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Thursday, January 22, 2009

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Jobs Credit

C.2. To sustain jobs for Singaporeans, we will introduce a Jobs Credit which will encourage our businesses to preserve jobs as much as is possible in the downturn.

Everybody has a part to play

C.3. Everybody has to make adjustments in this downturn. Workers are already facing cutbacks in bonuses, reduced overtime and in some instances, involuntary no-pay leave. The National Wages Council has recommended that companies may implement a wage freeze or wage cut to remain competitive and save jobs. Workers will therefore be making significant adjustments in this crisis to allow businesses to survive and to keep their jobs.

C.4. But wages are only part of the total cost of doing business. We expect businesses to find every way to cut unnecessary costs in their operations, improve efficiency so as to reduce overheads without having to retrench workers. As NTUC Secretary-General Lim Swee Say has urged, businesses should cut costs to save jobs, not cut jobs to save costs.

C.5. The Government will however, provide a significant incentive for companies to retain existing workers, and where their business warrants, to employ new ones. The Jobs Credit will provide every employer with a cash grant to reduce their costs of employing Singaporean workers during the crisis.

Jobs Credit will have broadest impact

C.6. The Jobs Credit that an employer receives will comprise 12% of the first $2,500 of the wages of each employee who is on the CPF payroll. It will be given in four quarterly payments, with each payment being based on the workers who are with the employer at the time. This will therefore provide incentive for employers to retain their local workers. For example, for a worker whose wage is $2,500, an employer will get $900 a quarter, or $300 a month.



Annex A

To sustain jobs for Singaporeans, the Government will introduce a Jobs Credit which will encourage all businesses to preserve jobs in the downturn. This is a temporary one-year scheme for 2009. Details of the scheme are as follows:

• Employers will receive a 12% cash grant on the first $2,500 of each month’s wages for each employee on their CPF payroll.

• The Jobs Credit is for one year, and employers will receive the Jobs Credit in four
payments: March, June, September and December 2009.

• For each payment, employers will receive Jobs Credits on the employees that are
on their CPF payrolls at the start of the quarter in which the payment is made. The
wages paid to these employees in the previous quarter will be the qualifying wages used to calculate the 12% cash credit that employers will receive.
o For example, for the first payment to be received at the end of March 2009, businesses will receive Jobs Credit on the employees that are on their payrolls in January 2009. The wages paid to these employees in October to December 2008 will be the qualifying wages used to calculate the 12% cash credit that employers will receive.

• Employers will not need to apply for the Jobs Credit. They can expect to receive
the first payment by 31 March 2009 from the Inland Revenue Authority of Singapore (IRAS).

• All active employers, with the exception of local and foreign government organisations, are eligible for the Jobs Credit.

Illustration

• Company A has three employees with monthly wages $1,000, $2,500 and $5,000
respectively.


• Assuming that there are no changes in Company A’s payroll information, Company A will also be eligible for the same quantum of Jobs Credit for subsequent payments to be paid out in June, September, and December 2009. In total, Company A will receive $8,640 of Jobs Credit in 2009 (four payments of $2,160 each).

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From Asia1,

Finance Minister Tharman Shanmugaratnam announced the government's $20.5 billion Resilience Package at today's Budget speech in Parliament.

He said that Singapore was likely to experience the deepest recession since independence, arising from the worst global economic decline in 60 years.

The Resilience Package has three major aims: to save jobs to maximum possible extent, to help viable companies stay afloat, and to prepare Singapore to return with strength.

The Package has five main components:

1) Jobs for Singaporeans: $5.1 billion to preserve jobs
2) Stimulating bank lending : extend $5.8 billion government capital for risk sharing initiative (SRI). Some are to be used for provisions of losses.
3) Enhance business cash flow & competitiveness $2.6 billion
4) Supporting families $2.6 billion
5) Building a home for the future: $4.4 billion

Jobs for Singaporeans

The government will also be spending another $4.5 billion on a jobs credit scheme to provide companies with cash grants to retain workers.

Jobs credit will provide a cash grant for employers consisting 12% of the first $2,500 of each employee on CPF payroll.

Government will be giving $150 million help lower income workers through a special Workfare Income Supplement Scheme (WIS) payment.

Another $150 million will be spent on enhancing the Skills Programme for Upgrading and Resilience (SPUR) to help re-train Singapore workers.

In addition, the civil service will be taking this opportunity to attract talent. The finance minister announced that 18,000 public sector jobs to be made available in next 2 years.

Stimulating bank lending

The government has decided to take on a significant share in the risks of bank lending. They will do so under a new Special Risk-Sharing Initiative (SRI), which will have two components:

New bridging loan programme

The new programme will substantially enhance the original scheme introduced in November. This will cater to loans of up to $5 million (up from $500,000 currently). This should meet the working capital needs of most small to mid-sized firms, as well as some bigger ones.

The new BLP will apply to all new loans from 1 February 2009, and will include refinancing of existing loans when they fall due. The scheme will be in operation for one year in the first instance and cater to loans of up to four years maturity.

The new BLP will apply to all new loans from 1 February 2009, and will include refinancing of existing loans when they fall due. It will be in operation for one year, with a possible extension of one year if the situation warrants. The scheme will cater to loans of up to four years maturity.

Trade financing

The Government will step in to share the risk for trade financing, including 75% for trade loans. This is important for companies that already have orders, who need loans to fulfill their orders as well as insurance against the risk of their buyers defaulting on payments..

The Finance Minister will also extend the tax deduction on loss provisions made pursuant to Monetary Authority of Singapore (MAS) Notice 612 for banks, as well as other equivalent MAS notices for finance companies and merchant banks, for three Years of Assessment.

This will "encourage banks to continue making adequate loan impairment provisions and bolster their financial strength to underpin continued lending in the downturn."

The SRI and other enhancements the government is making could lead to $11 billion of loans this year, including $5.8 billion of government capital. The government expects the banks to take advantage of the schemes and play their part to ensure that viable companies get adequate funding to see them through the crisis.

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From CNA,

SINGAPORE: The government will introduce a Jobs Credit which will encourage businesses to preserve jobs as much as is possible in the downturn.

Finance Minister Tharman Shanmugaratnam said: "The Jobs Credit will provide every employer with a cash grant to reduce their costs of employing Singaporean workers during the crisis.

"The Jobs Credit that an employer receives will comprise 12% of the first $2500 of the wages of each employer who is on the CPF payroll. It will be given in four quarterly payments, with each payment being based on the workers who are with the employer at the time.

"This will therefore provide incentive for employers to retain their local workers..... Employers will receive the first payment at the end of March this year....The Jobs Credit of 12% of wages will be equivalent to a 9 percentage point CPF cut."

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CNA reports,

SINGAPORE: Finance Minister Tharman Shanmugaratnam has said the government will implement a major fiscal package to respond to economic crisis.

Singapore is likely to experience the deepest recession since its independence, arising from the worst global economic decline in 60 years, he said when presenting the Singapore Budget in Parliament on Thursday.

He said: "Budget 2009 will deliver a Resilience Package totalling $20.5b this year, to help Singapore see through this period of exceptional difficulty. The package aims to save jobs to the maximum extent possible in the recession, and to help viable companies stay afloat. It also prepares Singapore to emerge with strength when the global economy recovers, and enhances our capabilities and competitiveness for the long term.

"The Resilience Package will not get us out of the recession, as long as the global economy continues to contract. But it will help avert an even sharper downturn, and more lasting damage to the economy."

The Resilience Package will include S$5.1b to help companies retain Singaporean workers, S$5.8b to help free up lending, S$2.6b to enhance business cash flow and competitiveness, S$2.6b to support households, and S$4.4b in infrastructure spending, the minister said.

Wednesday, January 21, 2009

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Seen on Youtube.

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Tuesday, January 20, 2009

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If you can't watch the video, just click here to got Fox News Videos.

Related Post: First Photo of Plane Hitting the Hudson

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There are only two posts in a Singapore based tech star-up company call FusionGarage. Both posts are posted on today date. But it seems this is just a beginning of a new age for FusionGarage which power TechCrunch Prototype B tablet CrunchPad.

Today TechCrunch unveiled a low-cost tablet CrunchPad on their website. According to the blog post, CrunchPad is a single-button device with iphone-like touchscreen keyboard designed to bypass notebook for easy surfing and emailing.



One amazing thing is that Singapore-based little know tech startup FusionGarage is powering up the Crunchpad with drivers and software.

Monday, January 19, 2009

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Saturday, January 17, 2009

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This dramatic photo taken with a cell phone by witness Roy Gates from the Henry Hudson Parkway
shows Flight 1549 hitting the water. From www.nbcphiladelphia.com

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Friday, January 16, 2009

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TechCrunch has a blog post which it says was the worst promotional video ever made by Microsoft.
In the promotional video released by Microsoft Research, a girl is featured singing and using a song making application called SongSmith released by Microsoft Research and works only on Windows.

Everything is ok until and except that the acting of the girl dad is a bit funny. Here comes the bomb. A user noticed and informed TechCrunch that the notebook the girl using SongSmith which is supposed to work only on Windows, is in fact a Mac. But it appears the Mac logo was covered up the stickers.



Well may be they purposely did that. Otherwise nobody will bother to actually talk about a Microsoft video.

Thursday, January 15, 2009

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Below is the Katrina Darrell who wore a bikini to American Idol auditions in Phoenix and received her golden ticket.

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Alex Angulo moved through four foster homes during his short lifetime and finally found foster parents who might eventually adopt him. But Alex Angulo was mauled to death by Rottweiler while he was in the backyard of his foster family's home on 3800 block of West 61st Street, Chicago's Southwest Side.

Chicago police said he was left unattended while a caregiver for him used a snowblower in a back alley. The caregiver later he discovered the injured boy.

Alex was taken to Holy Cross Hospital, where he was pronounced dead about 4:15 p.m.


It's still unclear if more than one dog attacked the boy but all three dogs were euthanized.

Saturday, January 10, 2009

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Liberate your blogs. Google has lunched Google Blog Converters 1.0 which let you move your blog posts and comments from one blog engine to another.

From Google blog.

Blog authors around the world, Google would like to remind you that it's your blog, your data. Now that Blogger allows users the ability to export all contents of their blog, the Data Liberation team would like to announce the Google Blog Converters project. This new Open Source project provides the ability to easily move blog posts and comments from service to service. This initial release provides Python libraries and runnable scripts that convert between the export formats of Blogger, LiveJournal, MovableType, and WordPress.

In addition, the source code includes templates for hosting these conversions on Google App Engine. Future additions to the project will include support for BlogML and synchronization tools between various services that do not provide a import/export feature but do provide APIs for accessing and modifying blog contents.

We're excited to provide this level of control for your personal blog data. Contributions to the project are always welcomed and encouraged, so check out our source code (download, 2.7 MB zipped) and let us know what you think. We look forward to your feedback in our discussion group.

Sunday, January 4, 2009

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Flying a plane without turning the engine on! Check out the video!

Saturday, January 3, 2009

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Friday, January 2, 2009

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THE DAY THE EARTH STOOD STILL - 1951 Clip - The funniest home videos are here