Instagram to blur 'sensitive' content

SINGAPORE: Some changes to Instagram are coming your way. In a blog post on Thursday (Mar 23), the photo-sharing application said users may soon notice a screen over “sensitive” photos and videos when they scroll through their feed, or visit a profile. 

“While these posts don’t violate our guidelines, someone in the community has reported them and our review team has confirmed they are sensitive,” Instagram said. “This change means you are less likely to have surprising or unwanted experiences in the app.” 

Users who would like to see a post that has been blurred out can simply tap to reveal the photo or video, it added. 

An example of a blurred out photo or video within an Instagram user’s profile. (Photo: Instagram)

Instagram also revealed that two-factor authentication is now available to all its users. To activate it, one can tap on the gear icon in their profile and choose “Two-Factor Authentication”. This means that users will be required to enter a code each time they log into the app. 

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Apple iPhone 6 Plus Gold 64GB Unlocked Smartphone (Certified Refurbished)

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What’s in the box: Certified Refurbished iPhone 6 Plus Gold 64GB Unlocked , USB Cable/Adapter. Comes in a Generic Box with a 1 Year Limited Warranty.This Certified Refurbished product has been tested and certified to work and look like new, with minimal to no signs of wear, by a specialized third-party seller approved by Amazon. The product is backed by a minimum 90-day warranty, and may arrive in a generic brown or white box. Accessories may be generic and not directly from the manufacturer.
Factory unlocked iPhones are GSM models and are ONLY compatible with GSM carriers like AT&T and T-Mobile as well as other GSM networks around the world. They WILL NOT WORK with CDMA carriers like Sprint, Verizon and the likes. The phone requires a nano SIM card (not included in the package).

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China says hopes new Japanese carrier doesn't mark return to militarism

BEIJING: China said on Thursday that it hoped the entry into service of Japan’s second big helicopter carrier, the Kaga, did not mean a return to the country’s past militaristic history.

The ship, along with its sister the Izumo, gives Japan’s military greater ability to deploy beyond its shores as it pushes back against China’s growing influence in Asia.

Chinese Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Hua Chunying said that in recent years Japan had exaggerated the “China threat” as an excuse to expand its military.

“I also want to say that the Kaga was sunk by the U.S. military in World War Two. Japan should learn the lessons of history,” Hua told a daily news briefing.

“We hope the return of the Kaga is not trying to be the start of the ashes of Japanese militarism burning once more.”

Japan’s two biggest warships since World War Two are potent symbols of Prime Minister Shinzo Abe’s push to give the military a bigger international role. They are designated as helicopter destroyers to keep within the bounds of a war-renouncing constitution that forbids possession of offensive weapons.

Ties between China and Japan, the world’s second- and third-largest economies, have been plagued with a territorial dispute over a group of tiny East China Sea islets and the legacy of Japan’s wartime aggression.

(Reporting by Ben Blanchard; Editing by Nick Macfie)

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Malaysian singer Yuna talks about dressing as a Muslim and life in Trump’s America

JAKARTA: When Yuna arrives for this interview, she turns heads down the dim hotel hallway. Her 1.7m-tall frame is decked out in UK-based fashion label Monki, boosted by heels and completed with her iconic headdress – a lavender-blue ombre turban that she regularly uses in place of her hijab.

Her style is an antithesis to the fashion in America’s R&B and pop music scene, where revealing clothes and the sex factor are often de rigueur. Yuna – whose real name is Yunalis Mat Zara’ai – stays true to her Islamic faith by dressing modestly, doing her best to make sure her aurat (intimate parts) are covered in accordance with Islamic law.

Yet, till today, she has to explain ad nauseam to people at home and abroad why she chooses not to sacrifice either her music success or her religious identity for the other, and why she can do both.

“I have had a lot of people telling me what to wear, what not to wear, and I imagine, ‘Oh my god, like this is actually what girls are going through today’,” she said in an interview with Conversation With, which airs Thursday (March 23) at 8.30pm.

Females – though not Yuna herself – are often told that “if you want to be an artiste, you have to wear sexy clothes, you have to wear short skirts”.  She added:  “I’m glad I didn’t have to go through that.  Hopefully, what I’m doing now is changing the way people see the industry. It’s not just about sex appeal.”

But she has her fair share of haters within Asia as well, who sometimes take umbrage with her progressive and trendy versions of modest dressing. She took to Instagram in July 2016 lambasting conservatives who criticised her for exposing her neck in a 2014 Barney’s ad campaign.  

“They are telling me, ‘Oh, you shouldn’t wear the turban, you should wear the scarf, like the full scarf,” she said.

“But I am over that. I turned 30 this year so it is kind of weird that I let that bother me for a very long time throughout my 20s.”


Los Angeles-based Yuna also spoke passionately about failure and rejection in the music scene, parental approval, and life in an America under Donald Trump who, in 2015, called for a “total and complete shutdown of Muslims” entering the US.

But Yuna doesn’t see her Muslim identity or her hijab as under threat.

“I am in Los Angeles and there is a lot of diversity. People are more open to new cultures.

“I don’t see it (the scarf) as a barrier. If you want to think of it as something difficult… you will feel extremely uncomfortable, and I try to not think about that when I do my work,” she said.

Yuna broke into Malaysia’s music scene in 2006, playing guitar while attending law school and uploading her music to her MySpace page. Her blend of English and Malay indie-folk songs, backgrounded by her ukulele, made her the poster child of the café culture kids and young hipsters in Malaysia, Indonesia and Singapore, while winning local and regional awards.

Yuna’s image on a NASDAQ billboard (Photo: Yuna Zarai Twitter)

Her 2011 debut EP got her international attention, and caught the eye of hip-hop mogul Russell Simmons. Her production credits today include collaborations with artistes such as Pharrell Williams, DJ Premiere and a creative partnership with Usher, culminating in her transition from indie-folk to R&B with her album, Chapters.


The Kedah-born artiste also confessed during the web-exclusive interview with CNA Insider that she was a Disney fangirl. But she revealed a geekier side when asked what superhero she would be.

WATCH: Yuna sings Disney and talks nasi lemak (3:06)

“I’d be a Jedi in Star Wars,” she said. “Because I am battling evils.”

The choice of lightsaber presented more of a dilemma. “I like red but I can’t have (a) red (lightsaber) though; red is like the Dark Side. Whatever. I would be like red, but still on the good side, you know?”

Yuna admits that her choice of favourite Star Wars installment would probably rile die-hard Star Wars fans. But – as she has done throughout her professional career – she stands firm on her choice.

“It is kind of embarrassing, but you know what… I was really young when I watched this, so, I really like Episode One,” she said. “I know a lot of people are going to, like, hate me for that.”

Watch the full interview with Yuna on the season finale of Conversation With on Thursday, March 23, 8.30pm (SG/HK)

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OtterBox DEFENDER SERIES Case for iPhone 5/5s/SE – Retail Packaging – KEY LIME (GLOW GREEN/SLATE GREY)

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The OtterBox Defender Series case for iPhone 5/5s/SE provides heavy duty protection against drops, dust and damage without taking away from the usability of your phone’s features. The Defender Series case offers triple-layer protection and is built from a high-impact polycarbonate shell, durable silicone slipcover and a built-in screen protector, making it one of the toughest cases on the market. Why else do you think we called it the Defender Series?Compatible with iPhone 5, 5s AND SE!
Robust, 3-layer protective case, with a built-in screen protector, withstands scratches, drops, bumps and shock.
Belt-clip holster included that doubles as a kickstand for hand-free media viewing.
Port covers keep out dust and debris – May not be compatible with 30-pin to Lightning Adapters or non-Apple branded USB to Lightning cables.
Includes OtterBox 1-year case warranty (see website for details) and 100% authentic.

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PM Lee opens Mapletree Business Centre in Ho Chi Minh City

HO CHI MINH CITY: Singapore developer Mapletree on Wednesday (Mar 22) launched a new office tower, Mapletree Business Centre, in Ho Chi Minh City as part of its expanding investments in Vietnam.

The project was launched by Singapore Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong, who is in Vietnam on the second day of his official visit

Located in the city’s affluent District 7, the office tower is part of a bigger project – Saigon South Place Complex – that includes a mall named VivoCity. 

The 17-storey tower has 28,384 sqm of gross floor area, according to Mapletree. Its tenants include corporations such as Standard Chartered Bank, Uniben, Far Eastern Polytex and SCC UK. 

Saigon South Place Complex is a mixed-used project, with a serviced apartment and high-rise residential block expected to be completed by the end of this year. 

The Mapletree Business Centre located within the 4.4-hectare Saigon South Place Complex. (Photo: Mapletree Investments)

“Mapletree entered Vietnam more than 12 years ago, and we have grown our portfolio of properties in tandem with the expansion of Vietnam’s economy and pace of urbanisation,” said Mapletree Investments chairman Edmund Cheng. 

There are also plans for two more office towers in the precinct, the developer said. 

Singapore is the top foreign investor in Ho Chi Minh City. Mr Lee on Tuesday hailed Singapore’s strong ties with the city and urged more Singaporeans to invest overseas.

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Is there life after 60 for the EU?

BRUSSELS: As the EU turns 60 amid a divorce from Britain and other mid-life crises, the question is increasingly not how it can bounce back, but how it can survive.

Today’s European Union is the product of efforts led by France and Germany in the wake of World War II to bring peace to a continent that had seen centuries of war.

But the political and economic union ushered in by the March 1957 Treaty of Rome that leaders will celebrate this week is in many ways less united than ever.

Divisions abound over migration, populism and the economy, combined with worries about its place in the world and life after Brexit.

While the mantra of EU founding father Jean Monnet was that Europe would be forged in crisis, fears are now that it may be fatally weakened.

“This mantra, you couldn’t hear it any more during the last years in the Brussels bubble,” said Stefan Lehne, visiting scholar at Carnegie Europe. “There is not just one big crisis but a multiplicity of very severe and complicated challenges, and I think this changes things,” Lehne told AFP.

Lehne said it was more likely the EU would eventually cease to be in its current form, becoming an “ever looser union” instead of an ever closer one, as the EU’s treaties famously envisaged.


“I think sometimes of the Holy Roman Empire that continued to exist for hundreds of years after it had sort of died politically,” he added.

In Rome on Saturday, EU leaders are set to endorse a “multispeed” Europe that allows some countries to push ahead with cooperation while others lag behind, but which some call a slow disintegration.

After years of burying their heads in the sand, European leaders have finally acknowledged they face an existential crisis.

New European Parliament chief Antonio Tajani said this week that the “European project has never seemed so far away from the people as it does today”.

But what makes today’s crises different from those that the organisation formerly known as the European Economic Community faced in its early years?

In the 1960s there was the ’empty chair crisis’ when France under General de Gaulle blocked decision making, and de Gaulle’s repeated ‘non’ to Britain joining.

Then the oil crisis in the 1970s and repeated referendums on the treaties all posed major challenges.

Still, Europe managed to emerge triumphant from the Cold War and then rapidly expanded in the early 2000s.

It has also pushed through with major projects like the euro and the Schengen passport-free area – but increasingly tensions over these big achievements are what is driving the EU apart.

“The crises we face today fundamentally call into question the point of the European project,” said Frederic Allemand of Luxembourg University. “Clearly peace is still the frontispiece, but apart from that, what kind of social and economic model do we want in Europe?”


The last decade has in particular brought one setback after another.

Following the 2007-8 financial crisis, growth has remained sluggish and unemployment high. The eurozone debt crisis almost forced Greece out and German-led austerity has caused a legacy of bitterness.

Europe has also failed to halt the carnage in Syria and the conflict in Ukraine, both sources of tension with Russia, while a series of Islamist terror attacks have transformed the security environment.

A wave of 1.4 million asylum seekers in 2015 and 2016, largely sparked by the Syria war, has meanwhile shattered the EU’s facade of solidarity as Eastern Europe blamed Germany’s open-door policy for the influx.

“Never before have I seen such fragmentation and also such little convergence in our union,” European Commission chief Jean-Claude Juncker said last year.

Many in Brussels hope that unity in the face of Brexit negotiations, and clarity after key elections in France and Germany, will help to focus minds by the end of 2017. But they are already divided over what comes next.

Some want to push ahead with defence, especially amid insecurity over new US President Donald Trump’s commitment, or the economy, while others in the former Soviet east want to ease off on integration.

But most will still want to keep the advances that the last 60 years have brought, said Hendrik Vos, a professor at the University of Ghent.

“It is not the most efficient and not the most beautiful way to escape from a swamp – but you can escape a swamp by muddling through and that’s the way the EU operates,” he said.

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