15 News Of 2008.

A look at what happened around the world, both entertainment and seriousness, in the last 365 days of the year 2008.

A sad note deprived upon researching through the news of 2008: signs of conflicts, wars and uneasy; and attacks are going on around the world, as though on a normal day-to-day basis. People are fighting and getting hurt for all the wrong reasons. Here’s hoping 2009 will see lesser of those and more of peacemaking.


Celebrity Marriages:
Make up or break up.
(Either way, good tabloid news!)

Till death do ’em apart: Beyonce & Jay-Z; Ashlee Simpson & Pete Wentz; Mariah Carey & Nick Cannon; Kelly Chen & Alex Lau; Scarlett Johansson & Ryan Reynolds; Ellen DeGeneres & Portia de Rossi; Jewel & Ty Murray; Nelly Furtado & Demo Castellon; Michael Ballack & Simone Lambe; Jessica Alba & Cash Warren; Nicole Appleton & Liam Gallagher; Katherine McPhee & Nick Cokas; Carla Bruni & Nicolas Sarkozy.

Goodbye, my (ex-)lover: (only those that got married are mentioned) Madonna & Guy Ritchie; Cynthia & Alex Rodriguez; Morgan Freeman & Myrna Colley-Lee; Bill Murray & Jennifer Butler Murray; Shania Twain &  Robert Lange; Liv Tyler &  Royston Langdon; Robin Williams & Marsha Garces Williams; Dylan McDermott & Shiva Rose; Quan Yifeng & Hon Rong.

Lesson learnt: Think twice before getting married, otherwise the process of divorcing, costs and emotions attached, especially for those with kids, can be a strenuous. Probably to take advice from Oprah Winfrey, and not to marry; or Andre 3000, to stay single as long as possible and be horny.


The Singapore Flyer starts to turn on February 11.

Spinning around: Call it either another revenue for the government to suck more money from the commercial romantic locals or the travelling foreigners, or just another copycat piece of art from elsewhere (*cough* The London Eye *cough*), the Singapore Flyer, located on the southeast tip of the Marina Centre reclaimed land, is here to stay. The first capsule was installed on 2 October 2007, and was officially opened to the public on March 1, with ticket pricing on the first three nights at SGD8,888 – an auspicious number; also a big hole in the pocket for the most of us or just “peanuts” for the riches.


Jennifer Hudson’s mother, brother & nephew dead.

I Should Be So… Unlucky: Darnell Donerson, 57; Jason, 29; and Julian King, 7, were shot to death on October 24, with the latter’s body found only on October 27 in a 1994 Chevrolet Suburban. A suspect, William Balfour, aged 27, the estranged husband of Hudson’s sister Julia, was arrested and later on charged for three counts of murder. During this period, Jennifer had returned home, and got the moral support from fellow artiste colleagues and friends; now she is reportedly heading back to work in the midweek of December. Hope that she is coping well. It seems like whenever she is on the verge of something beautiful, it all comes tumbling down – remember her performance on American Idol and how she was eliminated earlier in the competition?

Advice: Be fierce. Bite ass. Earn big money. Stay strong, independent woman.


A particular bank’s backlash with the gay community.

Where got?: A particular bank in Singapore made a decision to contribute a sum of their credit cardholders’ spendings, reportedly up to SGD15,000 to support a children and learning project by Focus on the Family (FOTF). The US organization regards homosexuality as a “sinful moral choice and psychological problem”, and the local offshoot promoted the activities of Liberty League, describing queer sexuality with terms like “sexual brokeness” and “addiction and abuse”. On December 2, the bank recanted its campaign after an outrage and strong pressure from its angry gay customers who have been making their displeasure to the bank heard via e-mails and calls.

Lesson learnt: Being neutral sometimes can be the safest ground.


Former Taiwanese President Chen Shui-bian detained.

A Messy Affair: Cheers and boos to the drama behind Taiwan’s politics. On 11 November, Chen Shui-bian was formally detained for being allegedly involved in overseas money laundering and graft, with the detain decision made by the Taipei District Court a day earlier. Him, together with his family members and top proteges, have been the subjects of a six-month probe into scandals that they laundered money and made illegal use of a “special leadership fund” during his eight years in power from 2000 to 2008. He and his wife left the Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) in August, after depreciating the image of the party.


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