15 News Of 2008 – Part II.


2008 Singapore Grand Prix.

Either one’s in it or one’s out. People who went were of the following:
– big fans of racing;
– not big fans of racing but just wanted to catch the hype, and enjoyed it;
– not big fans of racing but just wanted to catch the hype, and were bored of it;
– rich, and just wanted to be in the scenes;
– rich, and nothing better to do;
– girls hoping for a one night stand with any racer, or group of racers, depending on situations.

Ah, ever glorious Singapore. The Singapore leg was the fifteen race of the 2008 Formula One season, and the first in Singapore and also to be held in the night, held at the street circuit built at Marina Bay, with some of Singapore’s beautiful city landscape and landmarks clearly visible – like the Esplanade, the Marina Bay floating stadium, the Padang and various others. Eventually, the night race was won by Fernando Alonso as first place; Nico Rosberg second; and the well-known Lewis Hamilton (I didn’t even have to check on his spelling when I type this) as third. Now where’s that pussycat?


China VS Tibet.

The fight for independence continued in 2008 for Tibet, as protests turned violent between Buddhist monks and other ethnic Tibetans, with the Chinese security forces. Reports of venues being burnt, people getting injuried and killed, and paramilitary police troops deployed, with demostrations even reaching Beijing, the capital city of China.

Tensions have persisted since People’s Republic of China was founded in 1949, with China claiming that Tibet was a part of them since the thirteenth century under the Yuan dynasty, a claim which infuriated many Tibetans. Meanwhile, Chinese government policies in Tibet have fed the conflict, inclusive of restrictions on cultural and religious freedoms of Tibetans; attempts to change the demographics of the region through migration of ethnic Chinese; and an unwillingness to open dialogue with Tibet’s exiled spiritual leader, the Dalai Lama.

Experts believe the dispute over Tibet will persist as long as China refuses to speak to the Dalai Lama, who has been in exile in neighboring India since 1959. China, however, has sought to bypass the 73-year-old Dalai Lama and concentrated instead on efforts to control the process that will determine his successor.

I ♥ Controversies: Ever the controversial artiste, Bjork, on the China leg of her concert tour, performed “Declare Independence” as her encore song, and nearing the end of the performance, she mentioned, a few times, the word “Tibet”, before continuing, provoking her live audience and netizens thereafter. Following after, China banned several artistes, inclusive of Bjork, after the controversial performance. To view, go here (video located at the bottom of the report).


Bangkok Airport closed; “King Taksin operation”.

From November 25 to December 3, the Suvarnabhumi Airport, Bangkok’s international airport, was a crowded scene, with flights being cancelled and tourists being stranded. The People’s Alliance for Democracy (PAD), armed with clubs, iron bars and knives, with some wearing black balaclavas, blockaded and seized the airport, occupying the departure lounge and blocking all possible exits, amounting to 3,000 stranded within the terminal and another 35,000 within Thailand. A period of unrest soon followed, with bombings, attacks towards the police armed forces, which the latter was assigned by the government to clear out the PAD forces. On December 2, the Constitutional Court dissolved the three parties of the government coalition, inclusive of the main target, Thaksin Shinawatra, the former Prime Minister of Thailand, and the PAD forces seized protests as of December 3, with flights continuing on December 4.


Olympics fever: China; Michael Phelps; Lin Miaoke who faked singing at the opening ceremony.

China’s in the news again, this time with the once-every-4-years hosting of the games. It was the most expensive games ever – with US$42 billion spent, with other games ranging below US$20 billion. The fanciful display, the fireworks, the opening and closing ceremony are all hypes to watch the games this year, with Zhang Yimou and Chen Qigang working on the latter two. However, it was revealed that not everything was all glitz and glamour – some of the spectacular seen on TV ha been digitally added, and how could one forget about the singing scandal. A girl by the name of Lin Miaoke, was hired to mime over actual singer Yang Peiyi’s singing, because the latter wasn’t as pretty and had uneven teeth. On a brighter note, Michael Phelps won the most gold medals, totalling to 8 for the games event.


Mumbai attacks; India’s home minister Shivraj Patil quits.

A series of coordinated attacks across India’s financial capital and its largest city, Mumbai, on 26 November, hitting commecial estates such as the Taj Mahal hotel, Cama Hospital, Oberoi Trident Hotel, and few others. At least 173 people were dead, inclusive of 9 terrorists and at least 308 were injuried. The attackers, with one captured alive, were “cool and composed” and “in no hurry”, in their early twenties and dressed in stylish jeans, shirts and tees. The first event occurred when they arrived in speedboats at two locations in Colaba, and told the Marathi-speaking fishermen who confronted them to mind their own business, and broke into smaller groups and walked in two different directions. The tip-off to the police by the fishermen aroused little action, and thereafter the attacks began, with shootings, bombings and hostages being held. It all ended on 29 November, with the police and security forces securing the attack sites.


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