More Patients At A&E Departments The Day After Christmas And New Year

2 Jan

SINGAPORE : The Accident and Emergency (A&E) departments of hospitals generally see more patients the day after Christmas and New Year, according to Singapore's public hospitals.

They see patients with problems such as food poisoning and allergies.

With most general practitioners closed during the holiday period, doctors said patients should head to the nearest A&E department, if they think their condition will worsen, even though it is not life-threatening.

Singapore's major public hospitals – like Changi General Hospital, Tan Tock Seng Hospital and Singapore General Hospital – see an average of 400 patients a day at their A&E departments.

But they said this number goes up some 20 per cent the day after Christmas and New Year.

Dr Gan Han Nee, associate consultant at the A&E department of Changi General Hospital, said: “They wait until the next working day to see a family practitioner or a polyclinic doctor, and when they are seen by these doctors, they are deemed not suitable enough to be treated by these outpatient settings, meaning they are ill enough to be referred to us.”

Besides illness, injuries from falls and drink-driving are common cases attended to at A&E departments during the year-end holidays.

Non-emergency cases can take up to three hours before one gets to see a doctor.

– CNA/ms

Channel News Asia

Body Found Floating On Woodlands Lake

2 Jan

SINGAPORE : The body of a man was found floating on a lake at Woodlands Town Garden.

He was pronounced dead at about 4.30pm on Saturday.

It is understood the body was lying face down on the water, but did not appear decomposed.

The man has yet to be identified.

Police have classified the case as unnatural death.

– CNA/ms

Channel News Asia

Man Struck By Lightning While Playing Golf

2 Jan

SINGAPORE : A man in his early 60s was struck by lightning at about 3.40pm on Saturday, while playing golf at Laguna National Golf and Country Club.

Police said he was with friends who called an ambulance.

None of the others were injured.

The victim is being treated at Changi General Hospital.

– CNA/ms

Channel News Asia

IPhone 4 Users, Did Your Alarm Go Off Today?

2 Jan

SINGAPORE : Some iPhone 4 users got off to a bad start in the New Year when the alarm function of their phones failed to go off, apparently due to a bug in the smart phone's operating system.

The problem was first reported in Australia and New Zealand, which were the first countries to ring in the New Year.

And complaints have come fast and furious on sites such as Twitter.

iPhone user Ameer Assik Shahrir was one of those tripped up by the bug.

He had set his alarm for 7.30am, but woke up only at 8.30am.

He said: “This morning, I was late for breakfast by one hour, I was supposed to meet a few friends.

“If this was a school day, I would have been late by one hour and it wouldn't be good.”

And it wasn't good at all for those who had to work on New Year's Day.

One of them called the Channel NewsAsia hotline.

Alex Lam said: “I set my alarm last night for 6.30 this morning. I only received a call from my colleague at 8am, and that was when I realised I was already late for work.

“I immediately went to work and noticed my colleagues were also late because their iPhone alarms also did not go off.”

According to tech websites, users can avoid the problem by setting the alarm to the “repeat” mode.

The alarm function can apparently revert to normal on January 3.

Sites such as 9to5 Mac also report that only iPhones using specific versions of the iOS 4 operating system – in particular, the 4.2.1, 4.1 and 4.0.2 versions – may be affected. However, the extent of the problem is still unclear.

IPhone maker Apple has not made an official comment yet. But it had promised an upgrade of the operating system soon, following similar glitches in November when the phone's clock failed to register the switch from daylight savings time.

– CNA/wk/ms

Channel News Asia

Cricket: India Ready To Make History In Final S.Africa Test

2 Jan

CAPE TOWN: Indian captain Mahendra Singh Dhoni said on Saturday that his team were ready to make history when they face South Africa in the series-deciding third and final Test starting at Newlands on Sunday.

“The good thing with this side is that we know why we can win a series in South Africa,” said Dhoni.

India were in the same situation four years ago when they came to Newlands with the series level at one-all – but Dhoni said the mood in the side was much more confident this time around. South Africa won by five wickets on that occasion and India have yet to win or even share a series in South Africa.

“The dressing room is much better now,” he said. “It doesn't mean that it was bad four years ago but I can say this is the best dressing room that I have felt in the last five years. Most of the guys have achieved a lot in their long Test careers.

“They enjoy their cricket and they enjoy each and every practice session. It feels a very complete dressing room, a very happy dressing room. A lot of credit must go to everyone, including each and every one of the support staff.”

Dhoni said India's success in reaching number one on the Test rankings was based on attention to detail. “We focus on the small things, we prepare well, we make good plans and then we go out to execute those plans.”

It is India's fifth Test tour of South Africa and Dhoni acknowledged: “It's a chance to create history. We did that when we won the first Test in Johannesburg in (December) 2006 when we won in South Africa for the first time.

“We have the talent and the temperament to achieve success in South Africa, although I always say it's not about the past, it's all about the next five days.”

Dhoni said South Africa would be under some pressure. “They are feeling a bit of it because we are the home team and we won the last match.”

South African captain Graeme Smith said his team needed to perform better than they did in the second Test in Durban, which India won by 87 runs. “We were not as focused as we should have been and we lacked a bit of discipline at key moments.”

Smith said the main reason for the loss in Durban was the failure of the batsmen but he said he was confident they would bounce back. “We have had a lot of success as a batting unit but in Durban we seemed to lose our minds. We have spoken a lot about what needs to be done.”

Unseasonal rain swept across Newlands on Saturday morning and South Africa were forced to cancel a scheduled practice although the sun came out later when it was India's turn to train.

There is a 30 per cent possibility of more rain on Sunday morning but the weather is expected to be clear for the rest of the match.

Groundsman Evan Flint said he had hoped for a full day of sunshine to finalise his pitch preparation. “The pitch might be a bit slower and softer than usual at the start of the game but it should be a good batting wicket,” he said.

– AFP/fa

Channel News Asia

Nigerian Leader Vows To Rid Country Of 'terrorists'

2 Jan

ABUJA: President Goodluck Jonathan vowed Saturday to rid Nigeria of “terrorists” after a bomb ripped through a crowded market in Abuja on New Year's Eve, killing four people in the latest of a spate of attacks.

Speaking at a New Year church service, Jonathan said late Friday's bombing in the capital Abuja bore the hallmarks of a series of attacks on Christmas Eve that left about 80 people dead, including after reprisals.

“They (attacks) will never stop Nigeria from where we are going to, we must work and reproduce a country … where there will be no space for terrorists, a country where there will be no bombers and people with explosives to deter us,” he said.

The four people killed in the blast near a military barracks in Abuja included a pregnant woman, Defence Minister Adetokunbo Kayode said. Twenty-six people were wounded, 11 seriously.

There has been no claim of responsibility.

All the dead and most of the wounded are civilians, the minister told reporters. A soldier was among those hurt, the president's office said.

It was the second such attack in the capital since twin car bombings on Independence Day on October 1 killed 12 people.

The bombings were claimed by the Movement for the Emancipation of the Niger Delta (MEND) which says it is fighting for a fairer distribution of oil revenue in Nigeria's oil-rich but impoverished Delta region.

Jonathan said such attacks were “road bumps” in the country's development.

“For us to get where we want to go as a nation, we will have our obstacles,” Jonathan told the church service.

US President Barack Obama extended his “deepest condolences to the families of those killed and wounded”, saying the attack targeted “innocent civilians who were simply gathering — like so many people around the world — to celebrate the beginning of a New Year”.

The bomb exploded around 7:00 pm at a popular eating and drinking spot on the fringes of the Mogadishu military barracks in a heavily fortified area of the city.

The site was cordoned off Saturday and dozens of security officials, including soldiers, stood guard or patrolled the area.

Kayode, the defence minister, said it was not yet clear who may have been behind the bombing.

But Jonathan said preliminary analysis indicated the attack was “identical with the ones that happened in Jos” on Christmas Eve.

Chief of defence staff Air Marshal Oluseyi Petirin also said the blast appeared similar to the multiple attacks in the central city. “It's the same type of incident we had in Jos,” he said.

“It's unfortunate that some people planted a bomb where people were relaxing,” he added.

An Islamic sect calling itself Jama'atu Ahlus-Sunnah Lidda'Awati Wal Jihad has claimed responsibility for the Jos attacks.

Boko Haram, which launched an uprising in Nigeria last year, had previously said it wanted to be known as a group that goes by that name.

Police in northern Nigeria said Thursday they had arrested 92 suspected Boko Haram members, including a man in his 70s they believe is the main financier of the group's activities.

– AFP/fa

Channel News Asia

Football: Arsenal Maintain Title Charge Against Birmingham

2 Jan

BIRMINGHAM: Arsenal succeeded where Manchester United failed days earlier to become only the second team to win at St Andrew's in 30 games with a 3-0 victory over Birmingham City here on Saturday.

Their success saw Arsenal stay within two points of both Premier League leaders Manchester United, top on goal difference, and Manchester City.

It was the perfect response to the disappointment of throwing away points in a midweek draw against Wigan on Wednesday and the taunts of Sir Alex Ferguson, who had provocatively claimed following United's 1-1 draw that no team gets an easy game against Alex McLeish's combative Birmingham side.

In stark contrast to United's troubles though, this was as facile a victory as Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger could have wished for as Cesc Fabregas and Samir Nasri's telepathic understanding was elevated to new heights against opponents who seem to have relished causing the Gunners discomfort and embarrassment in recent meetings.

Wenger, criticised for making eight changes to the side that defeated Chelsea for the game against Wigan, reverted to the starting XI that saw off the champions 3-1.

The Frenchman found further proof of his side's new found maturity and mental strength as Birmingham were picked apart.

Robin van Persie started the demolition before Nasri's 13th goal of the season and a comical own-goal from Roger Johnson epitomised Birmingham's miserable day.

Arsenal's recent visits to St Andrew's have rarely been short on controversy. The mental scars of the broken leg suffered by Croatian striker Eduardo, almost three years ago, still remain and there is a barely hidden contempt from Wenger for the confrontational style of McLeish's team.

Wenger complained about everything last season, from the pitch, to McLeish's attitude after Kevin Phillips' late equaliser and he was shaking his head again on Saturday following Johnson's over-aggressive lunge on Arsenal captain Fabregas inside the first ten minutes.

Fabregas was fortunate to escape serious injury and Johnson equally fortunate to see yellow and not red from referee Peter Walton.

But Wenger's sense of injustice was eased by a slice of good fortune, when van Persie's free-kick, after Johnson's tug on his shirt, deflected off Lee Bowyer on the end of the defensive wall and wrong-footed Ben Foster to give the Dutch striker his first league goal of an injury interrupted season.

He should have doubled that advantage, but completely failed in his attempt to lift his shot over Foster from close range after Fabregas and Nasri weaved intricate passing patterns on the edge of the area.

The understanding between the pair was a joy to behold and left Birmingham disoriented, such was the speed of their exchanges.

And the Gunners pair saw their interplay rewarded with Arsenal's second goal just before the hour mark.

No Birmingham player went with Nasri's run for the second return pass and he was allowed to shoot unchallenged past Foster from the edge of the area.

Arsenal's ability to move the ball and switch play left Birmingham's players dizzy on New Year's Eve and another passage of mesmeric possession between Fabregas and Nasri generated Arsenal's third goal.

This time it was Fabregas who ended up having the final shot, after twice exchanging passes.

Foster beat out the effort at his near post but it bounced against the legs of Scott Dann. rebounded off the shins of Johnson and went into the goal.

– AFP/fa

Channel News Asia