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- Singapore Government stated last year that foreign companies would not sponsor or participate in gay rallies
- Gay pride rally in Singapore has gained recognition despite curbs this year
- 18 companies contributed in 2016, out of which 13 were multinationals like Alphabet Inc’s Google and Facebook
Singapore, June 02, 2017: This year Singapore’s gay pride rally attracted sponsorship from a record number of companies despite strict government regulations aimed at stopping foreigners from supporting it, organizers said on Wednesday.
Organisers of the Pink Dot rally have raised S$253,000 ($183,000) from more than 100 Singaporean companies for the July 1 rally at a “Speaker’s Corner” in a downtown park.
18 companies contributed last year, out of which 13 were multinationals like Alphabet Inc’s Google and Facebook. Organisers did not mention how much amount was raised last year.
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Days after last year’s rally conservative Singapore’s government stated that foreign firms would not be allowed to sponsor or participate in the rally.
Foreigners were not legally allowed to join rallies in the city-state, but many lurked around the restriction by observing such events.
However, changes to the law announced in October removed the distinction between “participants” and “observers”, organisers said, leaving them with the only decision of barring the foreigners.
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A Singaporean executive, Darius Cheung, who led the funding drive, said the rally gained recognition and this year’s sponsors were mostly small and medium-sized enterprises.
“The more important part is to engage local companies to finally cement the position that the LGBT community is very well respected and accepted here and I think we did it,” Cheung told Reuters.
The event has been celebrated since 2009. People attend the event by dressing in pink and glowing pink flashlights.
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Under Singapore law, sex between men is culpable by up to two years in jail, though prosecutions are rare.
Adeline Yeo said she was disappointed that she would not be able to attend with her Polish girlfriend.
“I feel let down … we were looking forward to attending together,” said Yeo.
“But this has definitely made us stronger,” she added, referring to the lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) community.
“It’s all the more reason to pull all your friends and colleagues together for the Pink Dot.”
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The LGBTQ movement in other conservative Asian countries has faced pressure this year.
Two men were last week publicly caned after being convicted by a Sharia court of engaging in gay sex in Indonesia. In another part of Indonesia, police have formed a special force to investigate LGBTQ activity.
On Sunday, Police in China detained nine gay activists after they tried to organise a gay rights conference, one of the activists told Reuters.
However, a court in Taiwan, last week legalised same-sex marriage, first ever in Asia.
– by Staff writer at Newsgram
Union Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman on Saturday asked the Directorate of Revenue Intelligence (DRI) to prevent dumping of toxic wastes in India. Speaking at an event to celebrate DRI's 64th foundation day, Sitharaman lauded DRI's compact strength of about 800 officers for their relentless efforts despite the imminent risks. The Finance Minister stated that the officers may be keeping a low profile, but they are acting like the frontline defence forces, doing spectacular work in safeguarding the economic frontiers of the country. "The recent smuggling attempts of huge quantities of narcotics, gold, red sanders, ivory, cigarettes etc. unearthed by DRI were appreciated by the Finance Minister," the Ministry of Finance said in a statement.
"Sitharaman said that the message through such enforcement actions should be such that these acts of brazen attempts at smuggling are nipped in the bud," the statement added. The Finance Minister also said that better coordination among the law enforcement and intelligence gathering agencies and sharing of actionable intelligence are the way forward in protecting the frontiers of the country more efficiently. "Sitharaman also asked the DRI to focus on interdicting dual use technology items as well as preventing the dumping of toxic wastes in our country," the statement said. (IANS/ MBI)
(Keywords: Directorate of Revenue Intelligence, Nirmala Sitharaman, India, Toxic Wastes)
Tech giant Amazon has expanded the sound detection capabilities of Alexa along with more features. Alexa can now identify the sounds of running water and appliances beeping, reports Android Central. This means users can set up an Alexa routine to notify themselves when the washer beeps to indicate that laundry is finished, the report said.
When Alexa detects that the faucet has been left open, it will send users a notification as well so they can take appropriate action, it added. Amazon previously said at its event in September that it would add the ability to programme Alexa to recognise custom sounds, but that feature has yet to arrive. Having said that, the two new sound detection capabilities not only help users save energy, but they also make it easier to avoid paying for unnecessary charges on your home utilities, the report said.
The retail giant has also announced ultrasound motion detection, which will allow you to set up "Occupancy Routines" on additional Echo devices. This feature allows your smart speaker to detect nearby motion and initiate a routine, such as turning on the lights. It is compatible with many of the best Alexa speakers including the 4th-gen Echo, Echo Dot and Echo Dot with Clock. (IANS/ MBI)
(Keywords: laundry, appliances, beeping, running water, Sound, Alexa , Amazon)
By Olivia Sarkar
Comforting Christmas cocktails help you enjoy the celebrations and get into the festive spirit. The Leela Palaces, Hotels, and Resorts offer distinctive cocktails ranging from Hot Toddies to Decadent Egg Nogs. Sit back and enjoy one martini at a time to make the festive season a little brighter.
Dirty Chai Eggnog:
30 ml Bourbon
30 ml Baileys
90 ml Hot milk tea
Sweet cream foam to top up
Cinnamon powder and star anise.
1. In a heavy bottomed med sauce pot, prepare tea with milk. Strain and let it cool.
2. In a cocktail shaker add egg white, Bourbon, Baileys with whole spices. Shake well.
3. Pour the tea in the glass followed by ingredients from cocktail shaker.
4. Garnish with nutmeg and cinnamon powder, whole star anise
Eggnog is a Christmas favourite that is accustomed to toasts for good health and prosperity.| Pikist
Inspired by the Christmas Spirits and holiday flavours is a wonderful concoction of warm whisky, sweet vanilla, and thick butter.
45 ml Butter fat washed Whiskey
20 ml Ginger bread syrup
15 ml Spiced Apple liquor
2 dashes of Bitters
1/2 teaspoon Vanilla extract
1. Pour all ingredients into a cocktail shaker
2. Shake well
3. Pour into an old-fashioned glass
4. Garnish with Gingerbread cookie
Inspired by the Christmas Spirits and holiday flavors is a wonderful concoction of warm whisky, sweet vanilla, and thick butter. | Flickr
(Keywords: Santa's Apple, Egg Nogs, December, Cocktail, Cocktail, Christmas, holiday, celebrations)