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Man Sentenced to 2.5 Years for S$120,000 Theft on Singapore Airlines Flight

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Man Sentenced to 2.5 Years for S$120,000 Theft on Singapore Airlines Flight

A man who stole approximately S$120,000 (US$88,700) from a jeweller on a Singapore Airlines aircraft was sentenced to two and a half years in prison on Friday.

Peng Hui, a 54-year-old Chinese national, initially told the court when he was charged that he did not acknowledge culpability, but later pled guilty to four offenses.

These are for theft, bringing more than S$20,000 in cash into Singapore without declaring it, changing some of the stolen cash into casino chips, and attempting to send money to China.

Four additional charges were considered during sentence.

Peng was aboard flight SQ899 from Hong Kong to Singapore on March 5 of this year, according to the court.

Another passenger on the plane was a Singaporean jeweller returning from trade shows in Bangkok and Hong Kong.

The victim carried over 1,000 notes of various denominations in his rucksack, including US$131,000 in hundred-dollar bills and HK$122,000 (US$15,630) in five-hundred-dollar notes.

During the trip, the jeweller left his suitcase in the overhead compartment, which is slightly behind his seat.

The compartment of the bag containing the cash was not locked, and the jeweller occasionally dozed off or used the restroom.

Peng had planned to steal from the victim, targeting him since he was carrying a substantial sum of money.

While the jet was in flight, Peng stole US$80,000 and another HK$70,000 from the victim’s backpack.

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When the victim landed, he went through the immigration checkpoint and declared the cash he was carrying.

However, when he arrived at his office around three hours after landing, he discovered that a big sum of cash had gone missing and went to report the incident.

Peng also landed at Changi Airport. He carried cash in various denominations, including the stolen sums, totaling S$124,473.

He booked into a motel and counted his money, knowing that the owner would shortly look for it.

He decided to exchange the currency for Singapore dollars since he knew from previous experience that casinos could convert foreign currencies into casino chips.

Peng traveled to Marina Bay Sands Casino, where he exchanged US$30,000 for casino chips and gambled some of them.

He eventually cashed out approximately S$42,400 worth of chips.

Peng also went to a remittance office in the People’s Park Complex and placed two orders to send approximately S$19,900 to his wife in China.

Because he did not have a work visa, the company refused to accept any more orders from him, so he went to another shop and attempted to send approximately S$9,500 to his brother in China.

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However, none of the remittances got through since the police stopped them.

Peng was arrested in the early hours of the next day following extensive police investigations that included a search of security camera footage and an ambush operation.

They retrieved approximately S$37,900 from remittance businesses that Peng attempted to wire to China, S$66,761 in cash from him, and HK$69,000.

Smaller sums of other currencies were also found from Peng. He was charged and remanded.

On Friday, Deputy Public Prosecutor Tung Shou Pin sought 32 to 37 months in prison for Peng, claiming he was a foreigner who targeted a Singaporean on a Singapore aircraft.

He described such offenders as “a scourge” since they undermine Singapore’s status as a crime-free country.

Detecting such thefts on airlines is tough since passengers frequently lose track of their goods and discover the theft only later.

According to Tung, the amount stolen by Peng is among the worst examples of airplane theft.

In mitigation, Peng apologized to the jeweler through a Mandarin interpreter.

“I have caused him monetary loss, even though it’s not much,” he told me. “But mentally it did affect him as well.”

He also asked for leniency, claiming that he had “damaged Singapore’s security reputation.”

He stated that he was over 50 years old, diabetic, and had only one kidney.

“I’m concerned that if I’m detained for too long, I won’t be able to withstand it. Finally, my mother is over eighty years old. I’m the lone child. I want to care for her, yet doing so would land me in jail. I’d like to send her on her final voyage, therefore I’m hoping that your honor will lower the jail sentence, and I realize I’m in the wrong,” he said.

Deputy Principal District Judge Ong Chin Rhu stated that the victim did not suffer “much loss” as a result of the investigators’ hard work in stopping Peng’s attempt to dissipate his unlawful earnings.

“But it is good also that Mr Peng did recognise that aside from the monetary loss, the victim would also have suffered a certain measure of mental distress on discovering the theft of his monies,” the ruling’s judge stated.

She advised Peng to communicate his medical issues to prison officials.

Arslan Mughal is a freelance writer for VORNews, an online platform that covers news and events across various industries. With a knack for crafting engaging content, he specializes in breaking down complex topics into easily understandable pieces.

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Risk-Averse Companies Choose CrowdStrike for Cybersecurity. The Software is Causing chaos.

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CrowdStrike
(AP Photo/Haven Daley)

(VOR News) – Airlines, banks, hospitals, and other risk-averse institutions worldwide have chosen cybersecurity firm CrowdStrike to protect their computer systems against hackers and data breaches.

But all it took was one misplaced CrowdStrike software update to cause worldwide havoc on Friday, including flight cancellations, Closure of banks and media outlets, and the interruption of hospitals, shops, and other services.

According to Cornell University assistant professor of engineering Gregory Falco, “This is a consequence of the highly homogeneous technology that provides the foundation for our entire IT infrastructure.”

“The root of this crisis is the fact that we are dependent on a small number of companies, and everyone employs the same individuals, resulting in a collective collapse.”

CrowdStrike says there was no hacking or cyberattack.

The business issued an apology and said that a fix was being prepared. But it turned out to be a difficult problem to fix. Analyst for Gartner Eric Grenier said that cleanup required “boots on the ground.”

Grenier said, “The fix is functional; however, it is a highly manual process and there is no magic key to unlock it.” “I believe that is the most significant challenge that companies are currently facing.”

Among the most well-known cybersecurity companies are CrowdStrike and its Falcon platform, which is not available to everyone. This is especially true for the banking and transportation industries, where the efficiency of computer systems is critical.

“They are typically risk-averse organizations that prefer something that is not only workable but also provides a safety net in the event of a mishap.” Falco said, “That is the essence of CrowdStrike.”

“They are observing their colleagues in other sectors and remarking, ‘Oh, you know, this company also uses that, so I’m going to need them, too.'”

It is hardly new to voice concerns about the susceptibility of an international technology ecosystem. This is the same thing that raised concerns in the 1990s about a possible technological glitch that might cause widespread chaos come the new year.

An Australian cybersecurity analyst named Troy Hunt said on the social media site X that “this is essentially what we were all concerned about with Y2K, except it’s actually happened this time.”

Worldwide computer systems began to display the “blue screen of death” on Friday, signaling a problem with Microsoft’s Windows operating system.

Falco clarified, though, that the current circumstance is unique as “these companies are even more entrenched.” “We like to believe that we have a large pool of players at our disposal.”

Despite that, CrowdStrike’s biggest companies use the same technology.

Established in 2011, CrowdStrike claims to have “reinvented cybersecurity for the cloud era and transformed the way cybersecurity is delivered and experienced by customers” in its yearly report to financial authorities. It highlights the use of artificial intelligence in enabling it to maintain its competitiveness.

One of the most well-known cybersecurity companies in the world, with its headquarters located in Austin, Texas, makes large marketing investments, which include Super Bowl commercials.

At cybersecurity conferences, the business is well-known for its expansive booths whereby they showcase massive action-figure statues that symbolize different state-sponsored hacking groups. CrowdStrike technology is meant to take on these kinds of organizations.

George Kurtz, the CEO of CrowdStrike, is among the highest paid people in the world with nearly $230 million in remuneration over the last three years. In addition, Kurtz drives for a team of auto racers that CrowdStrike sponsors.

Kurtz issued an apology in a follow-up social media post on Friday and on NBC’s “Today Show” following criticism of his previous comments addressing the matter for lacking remorse.

“We are profoundly sorry for the inconvenience and disruption and comprehend the gravity of the situation,” he said on X. Richard Stiennon, a cybersecurity industry analyst,

Claims that CrowdStrike made a historic error.

According to Stiennon, who has spent 24 years keeping an eye on the cybersecurity industry, “this is unquestionably the most severe technical error, faux pas, or glitch of any security software provider in history.”

He said that even if there is a simple technical solution to the problem, there may be long-term effects for some companies. “It is exceedingly challenging to interact with millions of machines.” In a few weeks, the CEO will return from his trip to the Bahamas, and since many others are now on holiday, he won’t be able to access his computers.

Stiennon said the outage did not point to a larger problem with Crowdstrike or the cybersecurity sector.

“The markets will forgive them, the customers will forgive them, and this will be resolved,” he said.

SOURCE: USN

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Bob Newhart, Iconic Comedian and TV Star, Dies at 94

Too Soon For Comedy? After Attempted Assassination Of Trump, US Politics Feel Anything But Funny

California Representative Adam Schiff urges Biden to relinquish his position.

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Bob Newhart, Iconic Comedian and TV Star, Dies at 94

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Bob Newhart, Iconic Comedian and TV Star, Dies at 94

Bob Newhart, the deadpan accountant-turned-comedian who became one of the most popular TV personalities of his time after striking gold with a classic comedy album, died at 94.

Bob Newhart’s publicist, Jerry Digney, says the actor died Thursday in Los Angeles following a series of brief illnesses.

Bob Newhart, best known today as the star of two famous 1970s and 1980s television sitcoms bearing his name, began his career as a stand-up comedian in the late 1950s.

He rose to national prominence when his routine was recorded on vinyl in 1960 as “The Button-Down Mind of Bob Newhart,” which won the Grammy Award for album of the year.

While other comedians of the day, such as Lenny Bruce, Mort Sahl, Alan King, Mike Nichols, and Elaine May, regularly garnered laughs with their forceful attacks on current norms, Bob Newhart was an exception.

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His attitude was modern, but he rarely spoke above a timid, even stammering tone. His only prop was a telephone, which he used to pretend to converse with someone on the other end of the line.

In one memorable skit, he played a Madison Avenue image-maker who urged Abraham Lincoln to stop tampering with the Gettysburg Address and stick to the script written by his speechwriters.

“You changed four scores and seven to 87?” Newhart asks in disbelief. “Abe, that’s supposed to be a grabber…” It’s like Mark Antony saying, ‘Friends, Romans, countrymen, I’ve got something to tell you.'”

Another favorite was “Merchandising the Wright Brothers,” in which he attempted to persuade the aviation pioneers to launch an airline despite acknowledging that the distance of their first flight might limit them.

“Well, see, that’s going to hurt our time to the Coast if we’ve got to land every 105 feet.”

Bob Newhart initially hesitated to join a weekly television series, thinking it would overexpose his material. Nevertheless, he accepted an enticing offer from NBC, and “The Bob Newhart Show” debuted on October 11, 1961.

Despite receiving Emmy and Peabody awards, the half-hour variety program was canceled after one season, but it became a source of Newhart’s gags for decades afterward.

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He waited ten years before doing another “Bob Newhart Show” in 1972. This was a situation comedy starring Newhart as a Chicago psychotherapist who lives in a penthouse with his schoolteacher wife, Suzanne Pleshette.

Their neighbors and his patients, particularly Bill Daily, an airline navigator, were a crazy, neurotic group who provided an excellent backdrop to Newhart’s deadpan remarks.

The series, one of the most celebrated of the 1970s, ran until 1978.

Four years later, the comedian debuted another show, “Newhart.” This time, he was a successful New York writer who decided to reopen a Vermont inn that had been closed for many years. Again, Newhart stood out as the calm, rational man among strange locals. Again, the show was a big success, spanning eight seasons on CBS.

It ended unforgettably in 1990, with Newhart waking up in bed with Pleshette as his old Chicago psychologist character, wincing as he tells her about his bizarre dream: “I was an innkeeper in this insane tiny hamlet in Vermont. The handyman continued missing the point, and then there were three woodsmen, but only one spoke!”

The stunt was a parody of a “Dallas” episode in which a main character was killed off and then revived when it was discovered that the death was a dream.

Two subsequent series were comparative duds: “Bob,” 1992-93, and “George & Leo,” 1997-98. Despite multiple nominations, his only Emmy was for a cameo appearance on “The Big Bang Theory.” “I suppose they think I am not acting. That it’s simply Bob being Bob,” he moaned at not receiving television’s highest prize during his prime.

Newhart has also appeared in several films, most of which are comedies. Among them are “Catch 22,” “In and Out,” “Legally Blonde 2,” and “Elf,” as the small father of adoptive full-size son Will Ferrell. More recent work includes “Horrible Bosses,” the TV series “The Librarians,” and the “The Big Bang Theory” spin-off “Young Sheldon.”

After his fourth sitcom ended, Bob Newhart continued appearing on television occasionally and swore to work as long as possible in 2003.

“It’s been so much, 43 years of my life; (to quit) would be like something was missing,” remarked the actor.

Source: AP News

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Too Soon For Comedy? After Attempted Assassination Of Trump, US Politics Feel Anything But Funny

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Political jokes: is it too soon?

Many quarters responded with a loud yes at midweek, days after an assassination attempt on Republican former President Donald Trump shook the nation over decades of political violence in the United States.

Several late-night shows that rely on political humor instantly modified their plans, with Comedy Central’s “The Daily Show” canceling its Monday show and intending to broadcast from the Republican National Convention in Milwaukee this week. Its host, Jon Stewart, and his guests gave sad monologues.

By Tuesday, the comic rock duo Tenacious D, comprised of Jack Black and Kyle Gass, had canceled the remainder of their global tour “and all future creative plans” after Gass proclaimed onstage his birthday wish: “Don’t miss next time.” Gass apologized.

Too Soon For Comedy? After Attempted Assassination Of Trump, US Politics Feel Anything But Funny

Democratic President Joe Biden, no stranger to criticizing Trump, contacted his wounded competitor, paused his political advertisements and messaging, and urged the country to “cool” the rhetoric.

So, if comedy is tragedy plus time, when is joking acceptable again? And who gives a thumbs up, given that the shooter who targeted Trump also killed former fire chief Corey Comperatore while protecting his family?

The attempted assassination on Saturday, or any of the bloodshed that has afflicted the United States since its inception, is not funny. Trump was smacked in the ear while speaking to rallygoers in Pennsylvania. A Trump supporter and the gunman were dead, while two onlookers were injured. The attack sparked severe concerns about security shortcomings. It was the most recent example of political violence in America, where attacks on politicians date back to at least 1798 when two legislators from opposite parties brawled in the United States House.

Other examples abound in history texts, but the list from this century is particularly striking. Former Arizona Representative Gabby Giffords, D, was shot in the head in 2011. Republican Rep. Steve Scalise of Louisiana, the current House majority leader, was shot and badly injured in 2017. On January 6, 2021, a mob of Trump supporters invaded the US Capitol, preventing Congress from certifying Biden’s election. Paul Pelosi was bludgeoned at his home in 2022 by a guy looking for his wife, former House Speaker Nancy Pelosi.

In addition to that, unwavering fears about Biden’s fitness for office following his catastrophic debate performance, Trump’s conviction on 34 felony counts, and American politics in 2024 appear anything but hilarious.

However, political comedy is as old as politics and administration.

It softens the impact of democratic decisions and is a powerful tool for politicians aiming to alleviate or increase concerns about themselves or their opponents. And in recent years, Trump has been the focus of more jokes than anyone else. According to a 2020 study by George Mason University’s Center for Media and Public Affairs, late-night hosts made 97% of their jokes about Trump.

“It’s never too soon, unless it’s not funny,” Alonzo Bodden, a 31-year-old stand-up comedian, said in a phone interview Wednesday. He is not a Trump supporter but stated that comedians “will always make it funny no matter what happens.” That is what we do. “It is how we communicate.”

“In this case, Donald Trump is such a character and the fact that he wasn’t killed, the jokes started immediately,” said Bodden. “And I don’t believe he minds. He’s one of those persons who is always happy to be mentioned.”

Humor humanizes large figures.
Perhaps most effectively, political humor can make arrogant leaders appear more human or at least self-conscious.

Consider “covfefe,” Trump’s strange middle-of-the-night tweet in 2017 that went viral, prompting Jimmy Kimmel to despair that he’ll never write something funnier. “Make the Pie Higher,” a poem by late Washington Post cartoonist Richard Thompson, was composed solely of President George W. Bush’s botched words and was published for his inauguration in 2001.

“It is a very complicated economic point I was making there,” Bush said with a smirk at the Radio and Television Correspondents Dinner a few months later. “Believe me, what this country needs is taller pie.”

Before the debate, Biden attempted to use humor to bring the age issue to the forefront, but it became evident that the concern was more about his cognitive ability. “I know I’m 198 years old,” Biden declared, to wild laughter and clapping.

 

Too Soon For Comedy? After Attempted Assassination Of Trump, US Politics Feel Anything But Funny

Humor is such an effective campaign tactic that candidates flock to guest appearances on late-night shows, which have risen in political prominence. However, following the assassination, a pause settled over everything, as indicated by Stewart’s serious address on Monday.

“None of us knows what’s going to happen next other than there will be another tragedy in this country, self-inflicted by us to us, and then we’ll have this feeling again,” Stewart told the crowd.

“The Late Show’s Stephen Colbert recalled his astonishment at the attack, joy that Trump had survived, and “grief for my great country.”

“Though I could just as easily start the show moaning on the floor,” he laughed, “because how many times do we need to learn the lesson that violence has no role in our politics?”

As is customary for social media, it was acting more freely. “I think it’s ironic that Trump almost died from a gun today because he was too far right-leaning,” comedian Drew Lynch remarked on YouTube. “Alright. That’s all I have. I believe my neighbors might be listening.”

SOURCE | AP

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