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Singapore student sex blog draws scandal

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SINGAPORE — A young Malaysian couple have sparked a scandal in Singapore and Malaysia after posting a sexually explicit blog that challenges conservative values in both countries.

Alvin Tan, 24, a law student at the National University of Singapore (NUS), and his Malaysian girlfriend Vivian Lee, 23, have been denounced by critics over their X-rated blog called “Sumptuous Erotica”.

In it the couple posted erotic photographs and videos of their lovemaking as well as close-ups of their genitals — and despite an outcry remained unrepentant, claiming they had done no wrong.

Pornography is illegal in Singapore and Malaysia, with even men’s magazines like Playboy and Penthouse banned.

In the blog, which went offline Tuesday — but not before some images had been posted on other websites — the couple declared that sex is a natural reproductive process that does not deserve the stigma attached to it.

The NUS confirmed Friday that it will question Tan at a disciplinary board hearing, with Singaporean netizens demanding his expulsion from the university and the cancellation of his government-funded scholarship.

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“The University does not condone posting of offensive content online by any member of the NUS community,” a spokesperson told AFP.

Singapore’s education ministry, which administers scholarships, said in a statement emailed to AFP that it “takes a serious view of the conduct of the student concerned”, and also branded the blog offensive.

Senior Malaysian officials have also waded into the fray after the blog became a hot issue in the country’s media.

Information Minister Rais Yatim said Malaysia has “legal redress” under the Communications and Multimedia Act, which governs Internet content in the country.

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“But we would rather not use that first until and unless we get the results of what the Singaporean authorities are pursuing first,” Rais was quoted as saying by the Star newspaper.

In Singapore, government officials have not issued any comment but social media sites were filled with calls to revoke Tan’s scholarship.

“NUS, pls expel the kid and someone pls revoke his scholarship. This is not the kind of things we want to promote in (Singapore) and definitely, we should discourage it,” Yvonne Wong posted on Facebook.

Viewers who try to access the blog are now being asked to submit their names and email addresses if they want updates from the couple.

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In a video posted on YouTube, Tan and Lee, both fully dressed, explained their decision to take the blog offline.

“We actually shut down the blog because of family pressure,” Lee said.

Tan added: “Yes, we will continue doing what we love doing. But it’s more of a question of timing. We probably won’t continue again so soon from now.”

[Couple kissing via Shutterstock]

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DOJ money laundering probe of Deutsche Bank includes Kushner transactions: report

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The U.S. Department of Justice (DOJ) is conducting a criminal investigation of possible money laundering violations by Deutsche Bank, and the New York Times is reporting that the probe will include taking a look at some 2016 transactions involving Kushner Cos. — the business owned by the family of Senior White House Advisor Jared Kushner, President Donald Trump’s son-in-law.

In banking, reports of possibly suspicious activity are known as “suspicious activity reports,” and the DOJ is investigating why Deutsche Bank prepared such alerts for activity involving Kushner Cos. but did not file them. A key figure in the DOJ’s investigation is whistleblower Tammy McFadden, who helped prepare suspicious activity reports for Kushner Cos.-related transactions. McFadden is a former compliance officer for Deutsche Bank.

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2020 Election

Joe Biden promises to answer questions about his son’s overseas business dealings — after he’s elected

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Joe Biden refused to answer questions about his son's overseas business dealings.

The Democratic presidential frontrunner has been criticized for conducting diplomatic work as vice president in countries were his son, Hunter Biden, was engaged in business, but he refused at two campaign stops Monday to take questions about the controversy, reported ABC News.

Instead, his campaign promised that Biden would issue an executive order "on his first day in office" to "address conflicts of interest of any kind."

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US Justice Dept. tells court migrant children in federal concentration camps don’t need soap or toothbrushes

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The Trump administration's Justice Dept. lawyers say migrant children detained in federal concentration camps do not need soap or toothbrushes despite a settlement agreement that requires the U.S. Government to keep them in "safe and sanitary" facilities. The DOJ also argues that the children, detained in the Southern border camps, can continue to sleep on cold concrete floors in overcrowded cells without being in violation of the agreement.

The DOJ made the argument Tuesday before a three-judge panel of the Ninth Circuit, Courthouse News reports, noting the judges appeared "incredulous" with the government's claims.

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