Turkish Astrophysicist Faces Prison for Objecting to Headscarves

A senior astrophysics professor in Turkey appears to be the latest target of what academics and scientists in that country say is an ongoing campaign by its conservative government to intimidate secular intellectuals.


Read more: http://news.sciencemag.org/scienceinsider/2013/02/turkish-astrophysicist-faces-pri.html

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The Norwegian prison where inmates are treated like people

On Bastoy prison island in Norway, the prisoners, some of whom are murderers and rapists, live in conditions that critics brand ‘cushy’ and ‘luxurious’. Yet it has by far the lowest reoffending rate in Europe

Read more: http://www.guardian.co.uk/society/2013/feb/25/norwegian-prison-inmates-treated-like-people

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Singapore moves to develop satellite and space technology industry

Spurred on by China’s recent launch of an astronaut, Singapore is planning to put its own men into orbit.
This is necessary to maintain Singapore’s technological reputation in Asia, said Colonel Tai Kong Ren, the newly-appointed chief of the Relaunching Singapore Committee of the Agency for Science, Technology and Research (A*Star).


Read more: http://sgforums.com/forums/8/topics/61841

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Bertha Harian

What’s there not to like about Budget 2013? That depends on what’s your instinctive reaction after hearing/reading DPM Tharman speech yesterday?

Aspiring first-time car owner: “What? Forty per cent cash down for a car? How can? Can those China-made cars please come back? Wait, the COE will be higher than the price of the car..’’

Rich guy: “How dare they tax my second home at the Sail, my third at Sentosa Cove and my fourth in Bukit Timah! Time to buy a building at Iskandar.’’

Befuddled economist/pseudo economist: “The government is paying employers to pay workers who get a pay rise? Why not just implement a minimum wage scheme?’’

Sandwiched class: “Damn! More income support for the lower-income. From MY taxpayer money. Why don’t just cut GST and everyone will be happy since it’s most regressive tax around and G made so much surplus already?’’

Big -flat homeowners: “Again five-roomers…

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Singapore budget focuses on foreign workers

Singapore has said it will impose more limits on numbers of foreign workers and has called upon businesses to help upgrade skills of the local workforce.
The limits include more levies on firms that employ low-skilled foreign workers, a cut in foreign worker quotas and stricter qualification guidelines.


Read more: http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/business-21572205

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Big drop in number of students taking literature

The decline in the number of students taking literature as a subject in school has to do with new subjects that have been introduced over the years, said Ms Indranee Rajah, Senior Minister of State for Education and Law.
She was responding to questions from Nominated Member of Parliament Janice Koh who asked for the main reasons for the decline.
There are currently only about 3,000 students taking literature, compared to 16,970 in 1992.
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Saying ‘no’ to seemingly harmless sexist views

Few Singaporeans may intend to be sexist or think of themselves as such. But some instances show that sexism and violence against women have become so normalised that when people joke about rape, others accept it as funny.


See more at: http://www.aware.org.sg/2013/01/saying-no-to-seemingly-harmless-sexist-views/#sthash.VddBaglF.dpuf

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