Friday, November 12, 2010

Singapore Overtakes Malaysia

By Shamim Adam - Nov 11, 2010 (from Bloomberg.com)

Forty-five years after Singapore’s expulsion from a union with Malaysia left Lee Kuan Yew in tears on national television, the economy of the city-state he led to independence is poised to overtake its neighbor.

Singapore’s gross domestic product will cap its fastest annual growth this year since independence, rising as much as 15 percent to about $210 billion, while the economy of Malaysia, a country 478 times its size, will expand 7 percent to $205 billion, government forecasts show. The nations are scheduled to release their 2010 data by February.

The island that former economic adviser Albert Winsemius once said was considered a “poor little market in a dark corner of Asia” is now ranked by the World Bank as the easiest place to do business, has the world’s second-busiest container port, and boasts the highest proportion of millionaire households, according to the Boston Consulting Group.

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Drop, Gorgeous and Dead Calendar

ROME – Something raunchy is going on at a Polish funeral parlour.

Its owners have turned their caskets into "sexy" props for their 2011 calendar.

The lingerie-clad models draped themselves over coffins, while one even posed topless.

Each of the women’s shots was inspired by a film scene, from movies such as James Bond, Reservoir Dogs and The Godfather.

On one month, a couple are seen apparently making love on top of a coffin, while another shows a curvy topless blonde posing in front of a mirror.

British daily Metro quoted company spokesman Bartek Lindner as saying: "It has a sort of Hollywood feel with a darker edge."

But the calendar, titled Drop Dead Gorgeous, has sparked controversy in Catholic Poland.

A church spokesman Father Tadeusz Rybnik in Warsaw said: ‘This is simply tasteless and shocking.

Death is not sexy and the connotations presented in this calendar are disturbing to say the least.

Last year’s coffin calendar sold over 3,000 copies, and Lindner says he’s hoping to sell more this year.

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