Newsbites – F1 supremo accused of bribery, and other news

F1 supremo accused of bribery deal in Singapore

Formula One boss Bernie Ecclestone has been accused of bribery by German banker Gerhard Gribkowsky. Gribkowsky was convicted of taking US$44 million to facilitate the sale of Munich-based bank Bayern LB’s 47% share in F1 to a buyer of Ecclestone’s choice. Ecclestone had allegedly approached Gribkowsky suggesting the deal be made in Singapore, as “Ecclestone knew a lot of people there, among them the head of police”, Gribkowsky testified. Ecclestone denied the accusations, saying he was blackmailed, but Gribkowsky claimed otherwise.


70 dead in Turkey coal mine accident

An explosion and a fire at a coal mine in Turkey yesterday killed at least 70 workers and trapped more than 200 others underground. Rescue operations are underway.


North West CDC starts emergency fund for residents

North West Community Development Council (CDC) has launched a Emergency Relief Fund with S$200,000 in donation. The Fund is meant to help residents with sudden emergencies – such as home fires and sudden death of sole bread-winners – in instances where they do not qualify for national assistance schemes due to income level criteria.


Hawkers to renew their lease

Leases for four hawker centres under the Stall Ownership Scheme will expire on 31 May, and their owners will be receiving letters from the National Environment Agency to ask if they are still keen to continue business. While there are still no details about any new management model pertaining to the new leases, NEA has provided a three-year tenancy agreement to ensure certainty on rentals.


More calls made to problem gambling helpline

Calls made to the National Problem Gambling Helpline has increased four-fold since the helpline was first set-up in 2009, with about 21,000 calls made every year for the past three years. Counsellors say the increase is due to greater public awareness and waning social stigma for the need to seek help.


Insurance to protect reputation online?

Insurance company AXA will be introducing a new plan in Singapore by the end of this month, which aims to help individuals and families deal with cyber risks, including the damage to one’s “electronic reputation”.