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ADELAIDE – A social media prankster appeared in an Australian court on Wednesday (Jan 15) charged in relation to driving a car full of water to a liquor store during a heat wave and buying beer.

Michael Alexander Philippou, 28, who operates the RackaRacka YouTube channel with his twin brother Danny, faced the Christies Beach Magistrates Court in Adelaide on charges including driving in a reckless or dangerous manner, driving an unregistered vehicle and failing to wear a seat belt.

He posted video online of him and his companion Jackson O’Doherty wearing goggles and scuba regulators while driving the modified Ford Laser sedan in January last year.

The suspension of the leaking sedan clearly struggled with the weight of water as it drove to a drive-in liquor store where Philippou and O’Doherty bought two bottles of beer.

The video shows them drinking the beer underwater.

Another video posted in December showed police arresting Philippou over the stunt.

Magistrate Susan O’Connor on Wednesday relaxed Philippou’s bail conditions to allow him to travel interstate before he appears in court next in February.

Outside court, Philippou was surrounded by supporters and at one point pretended to get stuck in a door, Australian Broadcasting Corp reported.

“I’m confident as always. I’ve been ready for this. We’ve been training hard for this. It will be quick,” he told ABC.

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A man and a woman have died after falling from their room in an upscale waterfront apartment building in Hong Kong.

The pair were discovered on Wednesday morning in the outdoor seating area of a cafe on the fourth floor of the K11 Musea shopping centre in Tsim Sha Tsui, at about 10.45am.

A source said police were investigating whether the duo, who were British passport holders, committed suicide.

The source said two signed suicide notes had been found in the bedroom of the K11 Artus serviced apartment, along with a white powder on a desk which police suspect could be cocaine.

“We believe the two victims fell in the early hours of Wednesday when the restaurant closed, and their bodies were found when staff arrived for work,” the source said.

The notes, one in Chinese and one in English, made reference to the pair’s sadness at the ongoing anti-government protests, and their opposition to the now-withdrawn extradition bill. The woman also held a Hong Kong ID card.

Police were checking security footage to rule out foul play.

“We suspect it was a suicide pact,” the source said. “Further investigation is needed to confirm this.”

The serviced apartment is property of New World Development. The Post has approached New World Development for comment.

Hong Kong has been gripped by more than seven months of social unrest, sparked by opposition to an extradition bill, since withdrawn, which would have allowed the transfer of suspects to stand trial in mainland China, among other jurisdictions.

Demonstrations have repeatedly ended in clashes between anti-government protesters and police.

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Chinese companies will play a leading role in 5G technology in the long run despite restriction and fierce competition, Sina Finance reported on Saturday.

Huawei has withstood the first wave of attacks and will finally tackle the challenges caused by the technological ban imposed by the United States, the greatest uncertainty in telecommunications market in 2019, according to an insider.

Finnish telecommunications company Nokia announced 63 commercial 5G deals worldwide on its official website on Jan 9, indicating that these deals exclude other type of 5G agreements, such as paid network trials, pilots or demonstrations.

Chinese tech giant Huawei has signed over 60 5G commercial deals with global leading operators and sent 400,000 5G Massive MIMO AAU worldwide by the middle of October last year.

Huawei has been providing support to launch 35 5G commercial network by December.

Another Chinese telecommunication company ZTE has signed about 35 5G commercial deals, according to statistics released in November.

Swedish company Ericsson has signed 78 5G commercial agreements and deals globally and provided equipment for 24 officially operational 5G commercial networks by December.

Chinese companies’ discourse power has been further increased and has entered key-standards setting arena, although fierce competition for 5G deals will continue, the report said indicating that the competition of 5G equipment providers will turn white-hot in 2020.

Nokia boasts to be the only 5G network (equipment) provider chosen by the United States’ all four major operators, Korea’s all three leading operators and Japan’s all big three operators nationwide and obtained more than 2,000 essential patents for 5G.

After selling mobile phone business, Nokia has been focused on 5G business and the company has taken a leading role in software development, IoT deployment and wireless connection, said Bhaskar Gorti, president of Nokia Software, as reported by the 21st Century Business Herald.

In 5G market, Ericsson last year co-operated with many global operators including Qatar telecom operator Ooredoo, Saudi telecommunications company STC and Russian operator Tele2.

In Chinese market, Ericsson has closely worked with domestic operators and terminal manufactures and explored landing scenarios by opening a smart factory last November.

Compared with the two European companies, Chinese companies Huawei and ZTE have more complete industrial chain in 5G technology with a wider coverage, including chips, terminals, systems, and specialised end-to-end 5G solutions.

In addition to 5G base stations, Huawei and ZTE have also launched many terminal products, including multiple 5G mobile phones and 5G CPE.

Statistics from Huawei show the shipment volume of Huawei’s 5G base station modules increased 300 per cent from May to October last year, up from 100,000 to 400, 000.

In September, Huawei also took the lead to deliver an end-to-end 5G Standalone independent networking model.

Despite being blocked by the United States, Huawei said at the end of September that it had started producing 5G base stations without US components.

The company is two-three years ahead in some core components of base stations, a Huawei insider told the 21st Century Business Herald reporter.

Huawei is currently in co-operation with many countries including Switzerland, United Kingdom, Monaco, France, Malaysia and Russia.

ZTE’s market in 5G is also recovering and the company is in co-operation with operators including Telefónica, Orange, WindTre, and Austrian Hutchison Drei.

It is projected that China’s base stations will have hundreds of thousands of demand, and the global demand will reach millions in 2020, the report said.

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Visitors looking to explore some of Kuala Lumpur’s famous food districts on a budget can consider taking the train. As part of Visit Malaysia 2020 (VM2020), the MyCity Pass and KL Heritage Food Trails were launched recently.

The initiative – a collaboration between Tourism Malaysia, Prasarana Malaysia and MRT Corp – is one of the many VM2020 campaign initiatives to boost tourist arrivals, and spending, in the country.

The MyCity Pass which targets non-regular commuters, especially tourists, lets passengers enjoy unlimited rides on Prasarana’s integrated rail – the LRT, MRT and monorail – as well as bus rapid transit (BRT) network within a short travelling period.

The passes are currently offered at a discounted fee of RM10 (S$3.30) for a one-day unlimited travel and RM25 for three days. First-time users will need to pay an additional RM5 for the card cost and a minimum store value of RM5.

Tourism Malaysia director general Datuk Musa Yusof said tourists will now have greater access to KL and Selangor, which is served by a network of rail and BRT.

“This will allow them to travel seamlessly as the pass covers major railways including LRT, MRT and BRT, which make up a huge network within the Greater Klang Valley area, ” he said, during a launch event at the Pasar Seni MRT station in KL.

Some popular tourist haunts along the rail network include the Petronas Twin Towers, Central Market and Bukit Bintang.

Along with the passes, Tourism Malaysia also developed the KL Heritage Food Trails package which focuses on three foodie hotspots: Kampung Baru, Petaling Street and Brickfields.

“We have worked with local agents to highlight the best of our heritage and food culture, centred within these three hubs, ” Musa said, adding that visitors will get to try a host of Malaysian cuisines like nasi lemak, banana leaf rice and yong tau foo.

Accompanied by an experienced tour guide, tourists will be taken on a sightseeing experience where they will get to dine like locals and feast their eyes on beautiful heritage buildings along the route.

Malaysia is targeting 30 million tourist arrivals and RM100billion tourist receipts for this year.

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Sembawang Hot Spring Park has been open for less than two weeks, and the display of inconsiderate behaviour from some visitors has yet to stop.

If you thought pieces of egg shells floating in the hot spring water was bad, another visitor has taken things up a notch.

Not content with dipping his feet in the foot bath, a middle-aged man recently sat down in the lowest tier of the park’s cascading pool.

Although the pool was shallow, he managed to submerge the lower half of his body in the hot spring water.

His impromptu soak was captured by Ryan Tyras, who uploaded the photo on Facebook.

In his post, Tyras said that the man’s actions drove visitors away from the water feature.

“Yes, you can wipe down your body with a towel and a pail (of hot spring water) but you shouldn’t dip your whole body (in it),” he wrote.

While visitors are welcome to collect hot spring water to make their own onsen eggs, Tyras said the pool was not meant for the man to “boil his ‘eggs’ (testicles).”

Just like the hot spring water, the man’s behaviour has got netizens steaming.

PHOTO: Facebook screengrab

“If the temperature of the hot spring water could be adjusted, I’d boil the water and cook him there,” an enraged Facebook user wrote.

Another said that the park needs to put up clear signs indicating what is allowed and what is not there.

PHOTO: Facebook screengrab

Several users said they were disgusted by the man’s behaviour and added that they would reconsider taking foot baths or cooking eggs at the park.

Others suggested educating visitors on hot spring etiquette, such as cleaning themselves with soap and water or rinsing themselves off before getting into the water.

According to NParks, bathing in the hot spring is a no-no in its books. The washing and drying of clothes at the facility is not allowed either.

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Ketam bertaburan atas jalan

January 16, 2020 | News | No Comments

LEBIH 500 kilogram (kg) ketam hidup bertaburan di atas jalan raya selepas lori yang membawa hasil laut itu terbabas dan terbalik di Batu 4, Jalan Apas, di Tawau, semalam.

Pemandu lori terbabit, lelaki berumur 50 tahun tidak mengalami sebarang kecederaan.

Ketua Polis Daerah Tawau, Asisten Komisioner Peter Umbuas berkata, kejadian ketika lori dipandu lelaki itu dari arah Jalan Apas menuju ke Lapangan Terbang Tawau, kira-kira 8 pagi.

Katanya, apabila melalui buatan, lelaki itu dikatakan cuba mengelak sebuah kereta yang berada di hadapannya yang berhenti secara mengejut.

“Pemandu lori cuba mengelak ke arah sebelah kanan jalan menyebabkan dia hilang kawalan, sebelum lori yang sarat membawa muatan ketam itu terbalik,” katanya dalam kenyataan, hari ini.

Jelas Peter lagi, siasatan awal di tempat kejadian mendapati kemalangan berpunca daripada kecuaian pemandu lori yang tidak menjaga jarak pemanduan ketika mengekori kenderaan di hadapan.

“Kes disiasat mengikut Rule 10 LN59/166 kerana memandu dengan cuai sehingga menyebabkan kemalangan.” katanya.

Sementara itu, orang ramai yang berada di tempat kejadian membantu mengutip ketam yang bertaburan itu.

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Chinese New Year is approaching, and while many families in China gather to kick the new year off with a bang, it would appear one kid took the saying literally.

Whilst on holiday, an eight-year-old boy in Dunhuang, China, stuck a lit firecracker through the edges of a manhole cover on a street and landed himself in the hospital after an explosion sent him flying into the air.

Surveillance cameras captured the moment of the explosion on Jan 10. The force of the blast sent the child flying into the air before he landed next to the manhole. Fortunately, the manhole cover crashed down several metres away from the boy and shattered into several pieces.

An elderly passer-by who heard the sound of the blast had thought a heating pipe had burst. When he checked out the area, he was greeted with the sight of the child laying on the ground.

After wiping the blood off the boy’s mouth, he yelled for his wife to help find the child’s parents. When he got no response, the man quickly carried the child away and took him to Dunhuang Hospital for treatment.

Despite increased warnings, such accidents have continued to happen. Over the past few years, there have been several reports of children throwing lit firecrackers into septic systems and causing explosions in China. Septic tanks contain methane gas which is flammable and combustible.

In 2017, two women and a child were severely injured after the youngster slipped a lit firecracker into an underground septic tank despite warning signs, causing the street to rupture, burying them in concrete rubble.

Another boy was sent flying after pulling the same stunt in 2018.

Last year, a similar accident tore up the pavement and damaged several cars, but the boy who set off the explosion escaped unscathed.

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TikTok and its Chinese equivalent Douyin ranked as the world’s second most downloaded app last year, but the short video platform operated by ByteDance is facing challenges from both upstart rivals and established players that are starting to embrace short-form content.

TikTok and Douyin amassed a combined 740 million downloads last year, overtaking Facebook and Messenger to become the world’s second most downloaded app behind WhatsApp, according to market analyst Sensor Tower.

One of its smaller rivals, Likee, a short video platform owned by Singapore-based Bigo, made its debut among the top 10 with over 330 million installations, half of those from India, according to Sensor Tower, whose report included worldwide downloads for iPhone, iPad and Google Play but excluded Apple apps and Google pre-installed apps.

It also did not include Android downloads from third-party stores mostly used by Chinese because Google Play is blocked in China.

“Short video has been popularised by TikTok for sure, but bigger social networking platforms like Facebook and Instagram are aware of it and are doing something about it,” said Meenakshi Tiwari, an analyst at technology market research firm Forrester, who pointed to Instagram’s TikTok-like video-music remix feature “Reels” launched in Brazil two months ago.

Another challenge for TikTok is WhatsApp, which has not yet monetised its user base but might do so this year, Tiwari said.

TikTok, owned by ByteDance, has its own monetisation challenges because most of its Beijing-based parent’s revenue is generated in China, despite the app’s rapid international expansion.

For example, Beijing-based Chenjin Culture operates an account featuring a pair of twins on both Douyin and TikTok.

The Douyin account, with nearly 5 million followers, earns between 50,000 yuan (S$9,700) and 100,000 yuan for each short video ad it produces for clients wanting to associate their product with the account, but the TikTok version has not been able to generate any income despite having more than 1.6 million followers, said Joey Wang, Chenjin’s co-founder and chief executive.

A TikTok spokeswoman did not comment on the app’s monetisation strategy.

TikTok is reportedly looking at luring advertisers by launching a new feed that would include curated content from TikTok users or original videos created by professional publishers, mimicking rival Snap that has a specific channel that supports video advertisements, according to a Financial Times report on the weekend citing sources familiar with the matter.

TikTok’s efforts may placate the concerns of brands and advertising agencies that worry their commercials could run alongside distressing or even illegal user-generated content on the platform.

TikTok was also thinking about allowing users to shop directly from links embedded in brand advertising, Blake Chandlee, head of the platform’s US ads partnership programme, told the Financial Times in December.

In a response to the report on the new monetisation plan a US TikTok spokeswoman said it was “exciting to see the creativity coming from our publisher community and the successes they’ve experienced creating custom and native content for TikTok. We’re looking forward to continuing to work with them as this community grows”.

Besides competition, another major challenge facing TikTok is the resistance shown by US lawmakers over privacy and security issues.

In response, the app has made efforts to distance the platform from politics, including implementing a ban on political ads and overhauling community guidelines, which spell out the type of content considered “misleading”.

TikTok chief executive Alex Zhu was expected to talk with US lawmakers in the second week of December to address these concerns, but the meetings were cancelled at the last minute and no new time has been scheduled.

Although TikTok is trying to be apolitical, its users in India are doing the opposite.

During ongoing protests against the country’s controversial Citizenship Amendment Act, related hashtags like #caa have amassed more than 47 million views, with young people using the app to express their political opinions.

In TikTok’s first ever transparency report published in late December, the app operator revealed that the most requests to remove or restrict content in the first half of 2019 came from India.

Tiwari said operating in the India market can present a big challenge for social media companies given the country’s diverse culture and religion.

In response, the TikTok spokeswoman said the app’s users “can post videos on whatever is interesting and expressive to them, aside from things like hate speech or other violations of our community guidelines”.

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KUALA LUMPUR – Badminton world No. 1 Kento Momota has been injured in a car accident in Malaysia, with the driver of the vehicle killed in the crash.

The pre-dawn vehicle collision took place along the Maju Expressway early Monday morning (Jan 13), just hours after he secured his first victory of the season at the Malaysia Masters. 

The Japanese shuttler was with three other players en route to Kuala Lumpur International Airport when the hired van they were in rammed into the rear of a 30-tonne truck, the local fire and rescue department said in a brief statement. Pictures showed the front of the van crushed against a lorry but the back section appeared intact.

The driver of the van, named as N. Bavan, was killed in the accident. The fire and rescue department said it was still working to extricate the driver’s body from the wreckage. 

Momota and the others – named as the Japanese player’s compatriots Yu Hirayama, Morimoto Arkifuki and Englishman William Thomas by official news agency Bernama – suffered slight injuries, the department said. 

Malaysian daily The Star said Hirayama, 35, and Morimoto, 42, are part of the Japanese coaching team while Thomas is a Badminton World Federation (BWF) court official.

The vehicle crashed into the back of a lorry, which was travelling slowly, Bernama reported.

“The victim’s body and all the injured” were sent to hospital in the administrative capital Putrajaya, fire and rescue department senior official Norazam Khamis was cited as saying.

The injured “were able to walk out of the van by themselves with some scratches”, he added. 

The survivors were reportedly in a stable condition, according to a statement from Serdang police.

This was confirmed by Malaysian Tan Kim Her, who is the men’s doubles coach for the Japanese national team. 

“They are in stable condition but are currently under observation for another six to seven hours to see if they are okay,” The Star quoted him as saying.

“It’s truly tragic, especially involving a badminton icon like Momota,” Malaysian sports minister Syed Saddiq told reporters after visiting the injured in hospital. But he added those hurt were “recovering well, (and) all four are also in stable condition”.

The others hurt suffered facial, leg, hand and head injuries, according to the police.

The Badminton Association of Malaysia said in a statement it was “saddened” by what happened.

The incident has cast a pall over Momota’s celebrations after he had captured the Malaysia Masters title with ease on Sunday, when he beat Denmark’s Viktor Axelsen 24-22, 21-11.

It remains to be seen if the accident will affect his preparations for the upcoming Olympics, where he is bidding to win a first gold at his home Games – the only major individual title to elude him so far.

The reigning world champion had told reporters that he was eyeing more success in 2020 after Sunday’s victory.

Momota, currently the best player on the planet, enjoyed a stellar 2019, winning a record 11 titles including the World Championships, Asia Championships and All England Open. 

“My condition was not perfect coming into this tournament, but I was focused on this week and was able to play calmly,” said the Japanese star, who pocketed US$30,000 (S$40,500).

“I do not think I am the strongest, but I am sharp and confident especially after winning the World Tour Finals last year. I know when to focus on attack and defence.” 

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The man didn’t stop driving when a woman blocked his way, so she hopped onto the bonnet of his Mercedes Benz.

The sight on Friday (Jan 10) afternoon surprised other motorists on the road who recorded the incident on their mobile phones and dashboard cameras.

In one of the clips circulating on social media, the woman was seen stepping in front of a car that had pulled to a stop on the leftmost lane along Rochor Road.

Despite his warning honk, the woman continued to stand in the driver’s way and banged on the bonnet to ask him to stop.

When she was pushed backwards as he drove on at a slow speed, she decided to hop onto the car’s bonnet.

The Mercedes drove off with the woman hanging on its front windscreen, surprising other motorists as it travelled further down the road to Bugis Junction, as shown in another clip shared on Reddit.

It is unclear how far the car had travelled that way.

The bizarre scene had netizens calling the driver out for driving recklessly. Some said that he should’ve called the police for assistance while others wondered if the woman was trying to scam the driver by faking an accident.

AsiaOne has contacted the police for comment.

Last year, a 34-year-old man was sentenced to 11 weeks’ jail and disqualified from driving for two years for a rash act that endangered life.

He had driven off at speeds up to 70kmh with his lover’s husband hanging onto his front windscreen for more than seven kilometres in Kovan.

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