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When others come to us with their troubles, it is common that we start providing advice and responding with our own stories from our own experiences. Perhaps when your friend shared that he or she was struggling in relationships, you responded with your personal struggles with relating to your best friend. Or when your family shared with you about their busy day at work, you responded with an ever-ready phrase ‘me too’. Continue Reading…

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Margaret Atwood is Canada’s most eminent novelist and poet, and also writes short stories, critical studies, screenplays, radio scripts and books for children; her works have been translated into over 30 languages. She is perhaps best known, however, for her novels, in which she creates strong, often enigmatic, women characters and excels in telling open-ended stories, while dissecting contemporary urban life and sexual politics. Her first novel was The Edible Woman (1969), about a woman who cannot eat and feels that she is being eaten. This was followed by: Surfacing (1973), which deals with a woman’s investigation into her father’s disappearance; Lady Oracle (1977); Life Before Man (1980); Bodily Harm (1982), the story of Rennie Wilford, a young journalist recuperating on a Caribbean island; and The Handmaid’s Tale (1986), a futuristic novel describing a woman’s struggle to break free from her role. She subsequently published Cat’s Eye(1989), dealing with the subject of bullying among young girls; The Robber Bride (1993); Alias Grace (1996), the tale of a woman who is convicted for her involvement in two murders about which she claims to have no memory; The Blind Assassin (2000), a multi-layered family memoir; and Oryx and Crake (2003), a vision of a scientific dystopia, which was shortlisted for the 2003 Man Booker Prize for Fiction and for the 2004 Orange Prize for Fiction. Alias GraceThe Handmaid’s Tale and Cat’s Eye were all shortlisted for the Booker Prize for Fiction; The Blind Assassin won this prize in 2000.

Some of Margaret Atwood’s books have been adapted for stage and screen. A television series based on Alias Grace was broadcast in 2017, and a television film for The Robber Bride appeared in 2007. The Edible Woman has been staged, while The Handmaid’s Tale has been adapted for screen by Harold Pinter in a film directed by Volker Schloendorf, released in 1990, staged as an opera by Poul Ruders – the British Premiere was performed by English National Opera at the Coliseum, London, in April 2003 – and became a television series in 2017.

Recent books are: Stone Mattress (2014), a collection of short stories; MaddAddam (2013), concluding the dystopian trilogy started with Oryx and Crake (2003) and The Year of the Flood (2009); The Heart Goes Last (2015) and Hag-Seed (2016). In 2011, she published a book of essays about science-fiction, entitled In Other Worlds: Science Fiction and The Human Imagination.

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Iconic Author Margaret Atwood on Abortion, Twitter, and Predicting Everything We’re Doing Wrong

Why should you read “The Handmaid’s Tale”? – Naomi R. Mercer


Source: https://www.poetryfoundation.org/poets/margaret-atwoodhttps://literature.britishcouncil.org/writer/margaret-atwood

Picture: The very talented Jacqui Oakley https://jacquioakley.com/

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Article source: https://mothership.sg/2019/05/fake-news-bill-passed/?fbclid=IwAR2N-BK-fiq5F-8P6SquRRBocdgBkS1lFfKuDq2YWsIEREDoaKwxmvtm4jM
by Sulaiman Daud


The Protection from Online Falsehoods and Manipulation Bill passed in Parliament.

Following a marathon two-day debate, Members of Parliament (MPs) voted on the Bill at around 10 pm on Wednesday, May 8.

Ministers’ case for the Bill

According to the media reports, 72 parliamentarians voted yes, 9 opposition parliamentarians voted no, and three nominated MPs abstained.

The debate opened with a two-hour long speech from Minister for Home Affairs and Law K Shanmugam, who addressed public concerns raised by the Bill.

He also gave international examples of how fake news undermined societies and damaged trust in their institutions, which the Bill is intended to combat.

Senior Minister of State for Law Edwin Tong expounded on the technicalities of the Bill, and confirm that it could be applied to “closed” messaging services like WhatsApp and Telegram.

Opposition votes

However, all nine members of the Workers’ Party (WP) voted against it, including their six MPs and three Non-Constituency MPs.

Yesterday, WP chief Pritam Singh announced in his speech that his party would oppose the Bill.

Pritam suggested that courts should be the decision-makers, instead of ministers.

Low Thia Khiang, the elder statesman of the WP, opined that the Bill could help the ruling PAP achieve “political monopoly” by deterring criticism.

Abstentions

Three Nominated MPs abstained from voting. They were NMPs Walter Theseira, Anthea Ong and Irene Quay.

The three NMPs happened to be the same ones who formally proposed several amendments to the Bill before the debate.

According to Today, the three NMPs called for a vote on their amendment despite a point-by-point clarification by Shanmugam in his speech.

They asked Parliament to lift the whip so that MPs could vote on their amendment, which proposed limitations on the scope of powers granted to ministers under the Bill.

 


According to a street survey conducted by a group of social workers and volunteers in March 2017, they found that there were 180 persons sleeping on the streets on one night across 25 sites. While this is the minority of the population, it is unthinkable that Singapore is one of the most affluent countries in the world with a high rate of homeownership and accessibility to public housing for most Singaporeans, still has homeless people. So, who are the homeless and destitute? Where do they live? What could have caused them to be in such a circumstance?

 

  • Most of the homeless surveyed were single, widowed or divorced men.
  • Some have limited social support.
  • No more than 20% of them seek out social services for help.
  • They are out in the streets because of family conflict, economic disadvantage and lack of housing options.
  • 60% of those surveyed were working mostly full-time with the rest in part-time or casual employment. However, these jobs were mostly low-paying and irregular jobs, making them financially insecure.
  • They slept at public benches, pieces of cardboard on the ground, public walkways and 24-hour fast food restaurants near their workplace.

Here are a few hurdles the homeless have to jump over to get off the street:

  • Temporary shelters give priority to families with children or elderly parents, and they are often operating at full capacity.
  • While public rental housing from the Housing and Development Board is made accessible by needing just two unrelated individuals to share a one-room flat, there is always friction between two strangers co-residing in a small space, discomfort due to poor ventilation, hygiene or noise from neighbours.
  • When the homeless person checks himself into a welfare home voluntarily, they may not legally leave without permission. This risk of losing their freedom causes them much anxiety.

What then we do to help them?

Check out Homeless Hearts of Singapore

They are a group of young people who organizes fortnightly outreach to reach out to the homeless in Singapore.

Do you have a heart for the homeless in Singapore?

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Homeless, But I’m not a Bum

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Free Ebooks by F. Scott Fitzgerald

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The Great Gatsby, a novel by F. Scott Fitzgerald, published in 1925. The novel is famous for capturing the mood of the 1920s, especially the moral void of a post-war society America obsessed with wealth and status. Although hardly a success upon its release, the novel is considered an American classic today, and many adaptations of the story have been made for stage, film, radio, and television. An operatic version of the story premiered in 1999. Continue Reading…