Inmates cook up a storm in Changi catering kitchen as part of training, rehab programme, Courts & Crime News & Top Stories

SINGAPORE – When father-of-two Faruk was sentenced to seven years and 10 months’ jail in 2017 for drug-related offences, he did not expect to find a passion for decorating cakes or learning how to fold pastries while behind bars.

The 38-year-old, who declined to give his full name, spends six days a week in a kitchen as part of his work programme during his incarceration in the Changi Prison Complex.

While his family has yet to try his creations, the former mechanic hopes to make his sons, aged 12 and 13, their favourite strawberry cheesecake, when he is released.

“My family was surprised that I could bake cakes. I could see from their faces that they are happy I’m learning because I have never done this kind of thing before,” said Faruk in a phone interview on Wednesday (Oct 7). “(In the kitchen,) I learnt how to be patient, relax, and come up with more ideas to decorate (the cakes).”

He hopes to work in a pastry shop after his release.

About 30 or so inmates are chosen every year to work in The Changi Tearoom, after they have attended correctional programmes that support their rehabilitation.

They are chosen based on interest or prior experience working in the food and beverage sector. Other programmes include tailoring workshops and working in call centres.

Located in the prison complex, the catering kitchen serves as an industry-standard training ground for offenders.

It is managed by YR Industries, a subsidiary of the Yellow Ribbon Singapore. While the public can usually order catering services from the kitchen, it currently serves only prison staff in the light of Covid-19 safety measures.

Another offender, who wanted to be known only as Michael, said he refined his skills in The Changi Tearoom kitchen.

He is serving a 5½ years’ jail term for drug-related offences. The 29-year-old had previously worked as a chef for a decade before his incarceration in 2018.

Singapore Chefs’ Association chef mentor Dexter Lim (left) plating a course created with Michael. PHOTO: SINGAPORE PRISON SERVICE

He said: “I feel very lucky and very blessed to have this opportunity because there are only so many of us and (I am) able to gain something during this time.”

Michael plans to cook his family and friends a three-course feast after his release. “They deserve everything since I put them through so much and they’ve stood by me, so I want to do what I can for them.”

Faruk, Michael and the other chefs are in the midst of rolling out six-course meals for an online silent auction on Oct 22.

Four sets, each enough to feed four, will be delivered to the highest bidders, with all proceeds going to the Yellow Ribbon Fund.

The menu includes main course options of chicken roulade served with carrot mash and confit asparagus, or seared salmon with butter glazed vegetables, roast potatoes and oriental celery pesto. Dessert will be a florentine blueberry vanilla cheesecake.

They are being mentored by the Singapore

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The White House is proposing a $400 federal unemployment benefit as part of stimulus package

  • The White House is proposing a $400-a-week federal unemployment benefit as part of its stimulus package.
  • It would be retroactive to September 12, Roll Call first reported.
  • There appears to be early agreement among lawmakers and the White House that any federal benefit should pick up where an administration program left off.
  • “I think a lot of it is probably cost, and some of it is trying not to interact with a really weird program we don’t fully understand,” unemployment expert Michele Evermore told Business Insider.
  • Visit Business Insider’s homepage for more stories.

The White House is proposing to restore federal unemployment benefits at $400-per-week as part of its $1.6 stimulus plan offered to Democrats on Wednesday, Bloomberg reported.

The plan would be retroactive to September 12, per Roll Call, which first reported the details of the Trump administration’s spending proposal, and expire on January 1.

It means payments would be dated just over a week after the Federal Emergency Management Administration said it was capping funding for six weeks of $300 jobless benefits for states taking up the federal “Lost Wages” program through September 5. President Donald Trump enacted it in early August through an executive order.

There appears to be early agreement among lawmakers and the White House for the federal government to pick up where FEMA left off. Democrats are proposing reviving a $600 federal benefit that expired in the summer through January, making it retroactive to September 6.

Read more: Stimulus talks press on as dealmakers push for another boost to unemployment payments. Here’s everything you need to know about the rescue package.

Michele Evermore, a senior policy analyst at the National Employment Law Project, said lawmakers are likely trying to avoid technical hurdles that could emerge if payments were retroactive to August, such as a jobless person receiving double the unemployment benefits from overlapping federal programs.

“I think a lot of it is probably cost, and some of it is trying not to interact with a really weird program we don’t fully understand,” Evermore told Business Insider. 

She added: “At this point, even small technical difficulties are a really big deal since state systems have been through so much.”

The White House’s unemployment program is still distributing jobless payments in many states, and experts don’t know how many people are receiving them since states aren’t required to report those figures, Evermore said. 

Congress and President Trump in March enacted a $600 federal supplement to state unemployment benefits that many experts say helped people buy groceries and pay rent while also propping up the economy. Lawmakers have been fiercely divided on a replacement amount.

Many Republicans argue that the $600 federal payments discourage work among the unemployed, a claim that numerous studies have challenged. 

New jobless claims have plateaued in recent weeks, regularly topping 800,000 over six months into the pandemic. Around 26.5 million Americans are receiving unemployment benefits, per Labor Department data.

Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin said on Wednesday during a Fox Business Interview that

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The Pantry Kitchen Challenge is back! Take part in Round 1 of our fall season with these 4 ingredients

Stefanie Loh

We’re back! The beginning of fall brings a new season of The Seattle Times Pantry Kitchen Challenge — with a new twist!

The inaugural season of the challenge went five rounds and culminated in a champions round in July that Alea Abrams won with her shrimp and grits recipe.

Now, we’re starting over in Season 2 and hoping to inspire everyone to get creative with fall ingredients.

We’ll go another five rounds and the top three finishers in each round will be invited to participate in the champions round sometime in December. The winner of the champions round will receive a $50 gift card to a grocery store of their choice!

Rules are basically the same, with one new caveat, in the interest of keeping things fresh — think about all the different iterations of the long-lasting TV show “Survivor”! — we’ll add a new “wild card” rule to each round. This can be anything from a prep time limit, to a course (say: “dessert” or “entrees”), a dietary restriction (“vegan” or “gluten-free”) or something else our judges manage to concoct.

So, definitely read the rules before submitting.

And here we go!

The four ingredients for Round 1 (“The Weeknight Challenge”) of the fall season are:

  • Apples
  • Squash (of your choosing)
  • Soda
  • Nutmeg


  • You have to use all four ingredients, but you can use as many additional ingredients as you desire.
  • Wild card rule for Round 1: The prep time for your dish of choice cannot exceed 30 minutes!
  • Deadline: Create a dish, tell us how successful you were and email photos (JPG files preferred!), your recipe and a description of your dish to food editor Stefanie Loh ([email protected]) by Friday, Oct. 2.
  • Judging will be based on creativity, how well you incorporated the four ingredients, presentation and adherence to the wild card rule. We’ll name the top three and select several of the most interesting submissions to be published in a future edition of The Mix.

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End-of-Season Garden Recipes: Part 2


Zucchini Gratin & Soup pic

© Provided by Davenport-R Island-Moline KWQC
Zucchini Gratin & Soup pic

(“Chef Steph”) Stephanie Godke, Mississippi River Distilling Co., comes back to PSL to delight viewers with terrific recipes for the end-of-the-garden vegetable season. The emphasis is on tomatoes and zucchini. YUM! Watch the interview segment for all the nuanced details related to preparing the selected dishes.


  • 1 squash cut into 1/2 dice ( zucchini and summer squash)
  • 2 tomatoes diced
  • 3 assorted sweet peppers (I used red, yellow, orange and green)
  • 1/2 cup white or yellow sweet corn
  • 1 large onion diced
  • 3 cloves garlic minced
  • 2 ribs of celery diced
  • One can or jar of green salsa or green enchilada sauce
  • Cumin, crushed red peppers and cilantro to taste

Sauté the vegetables in a dab of olive oil in a heavy pot. Pour in the sauce and season with a tsp of cumin and a handful of cilantro. Let this cook down and serve with tortilla chips. Maybe a dab of sour cream.

Tomato Jam

  • 4 cups ripe, fresh, Italian plum tomatoes, peeled and coarsely chopped
  • 2 lemons , peeled, sliced thin, and seeded
  • 4 cups sugar
  • 3 tablespoons freshly chopped ginger root
  • 2 cinnamon sticks (optional)

Combine all ingredients in a large pot over low heat, stirring until the sugar dissolves. Or use the crock pot. Simmer until the jam is thick and clear, about 1 to 1-1⁄2 hours. Toward the end of the cooking time, stir often to prevent scorching. Remove cinnamon; pour jam into sterilized jars leaving ¼-inch head space and seal. Process 10 minutes in boiling water. Makes about 2 pints.


  • 3 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
  • 2 onions halved, sliced
  • 4 cloves garlic minced
  • 2 zucchini (1 pound, cut into 1/4″ slices)
  • 2 summer squash ( 1 pound, cut into 1/4″ slices)
  • 7 small tomatoes (1 pound, cut into 1/4″ slices)
  • 1/2 teaspoon sea salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon fresh ground black pepper
  • 2 teaspoons (1 each herb) thyme and oregano
  • 2 ounces goat cheese crumbled

Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Spray bottom of 13x9x2 inch casserole dish with cooking spray or brush lightly with oil.

Heat 1 tablespoon oil in large skillet; add onions and saute until translucent; add garlic and sauté another minute; transfer to casserole dish and spread to cover the bottom of the dish. Sprinkle with 1 teaspoon Thyme and Oregano combined.

Alternately layer zucchini, summer squash and tomato in casserole dish. Drizzle remaining olive oil on top. Season with salt, fresh ground black pepper and remaining herbs. Cover dish with foil and bake for 40 minutes; uncover dish, sprinkle goat cheese on top and continue baking, uncovered, for another 30-35 minutes, until browned.

Copyright 2020 KWQC. All rights reserved.

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Florida Panthers part ways with Kitchen after alleged kicking incident

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The Florida Panthers have parted ways with veteran assistant coach Mike Kitchen after he allegedly kicked a Panthers player on the bench during a game this season, multiple sources have told TSN.

Kitchen did not immediately respond to a request for comment. The Panthers said in a news release on Tuesday evening only that “Mike Kitchen will not return as assistant coach,” and declined to offer further comment, citing company policy on personnel matters.

A National Hockey League official confirmed the league has been apprised of an internal investigation by the Panthers.

According to sources, the alleged incident occurred in the third period of Florida’s win in Minnesota on Jan. 20. A Panthers player threw a water bottle on the bench in frustration, dousing Kitchen, who allegedly kicked the player in response.

One source described Kitchen’s kick as “full on,” saying he “reared back and booted [him] in the lower back in anger,” as a result of being soaked.

“This certainly wasn’t a friendly tap of encouragement,” the source said. “There’s no place for anything like that in the game.”

Sources said now former Panthers GM Dale Tallon and head coach Joel Quenneville were notified of the alleged incident immediately following the game.

Tallon was not present at the game, a source said, but no disciplinary action was taken when Tallon rejoined the team the following day in Chicago, ahead of Quenneville’s first game back coaching against the Blackhawks.

That next night was also Kitchen’s first game back in Chicago after helping the Blackhawks to two Stanley Cups in 2013 and 2015 as Quenneville’s top lieutenant.

Kitchen, 64, has been on or behind an NHL bench for more than 3,000 games as a player, assistant coach and head coach – almost consecutively since 1990, including 27 of the last 29 seasons. He has coached the Maple Leafs, Blues, Blackhawks and was on his second stint in South Florida.

Kitchen replaced Quenneville as the Blues’ head coach for parts of three seasons (2004-2006), compiling a 38-70-4-19 record. The two later joined forces again in Chicago, before reuniting in Florida last summer.

After the alleged incident, Kitchen was permitted to continue coaching without apparent punishment through to the NHL pause March 13 as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic.

Kitchen then opted out from participating in Florida’s qualifying-round series against the New York Islanders in the Toronto bubble in August.

At the time, Kitchen said in a statement that not participating was a “difficult decision to say the least, but the right decision for me and my family.” The Panthers said then they “fully support this decision.”

Quenneville recently told reporters that he expected his entire coaching staff to return for the 2021 season, saying Kitchen was involved in coaching when the Panthers returned home from the bubble.

“I know Kitch, and in a lot of ways, I know exactly what makes him work and I think we’ve got a great working relationship,” Quenneville told reporters.

Tallon and the Panthers “mutually agreed

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Man Blows Up Part Of House While Trying To Swat Fly

A man who was chasing a fly with an electric swat accidentally blew up part of his house on Sept. 4 in the village of Parcoul-Chenaud in Dordogne, in Southwest France.

The unidentified Frenchman, in his 80s, was piqued by the buzzing sound the fly was making while he was having his dinner. The man then picked up the electric racket designed to kill bugs and took an aim at the fly, while being unaware of a gas cylinder leakage at his home.

The gas, upon coming into contact with the swat, caused an explosion, and part of his kitchen was blown up as a result. The blast also damaged the roof partly and the home was left inhabitable, Sky News reported.

The man, who could potentially die, managed to escape with just a burn to his hand, according to the publication. The man is since residing at a local campsite while his family is working to repair his house, according to French news outlet Sud-Ouest.

What happened to the fly remains a mystery.

On Sep. 6, a mother-of-three in Texas, Kate Wise, suffered severe burns after her hand sanitizer allegedly caught fire. The bottle exploded after coming into contact with the flames of the candle that she lit at her home. She immediately ran away from the home with her disabled daughter and pets, while her other two daughters alerted the neighbors. Wise was rushed to a hospital with severe burns to her entire body and remained in the Intensive Care Unit as of Sep. 4.

Flying Ant Photo of a flying ant Photo: Pixabay

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Man blows up part of house while chasing fly

Stock photo of a fly

image copyrightGetty Images

image captionThe man had become irritated by a fly

A man has blown up part of his house in France while trying to swat a fly.

The man, who is in his 80s, was about to tuck into his dinner when he became irritated by a fly buzzing around him.

He picked up an electric racket designed to kill bugs and start swatting at it – but a gas canister was leaking in his Dordogne home.

A reaction between the racket and the gas caused an explosion, destroying the kitchen and partly damaging the roof of the home in Parcoul-Chenaud village.

According to local media, the unnamed man had a lucky escape, sustaining just a burn to the hand.


the fate of the fly is not known, news outlet Sud-Ouest notes.

He has since checked into a local campsite while his family repair the house.

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How to Sell a House by Owner by Employing Real Estate Investor Secrets – Part 2

In How to Sell a House by Owner, Part 1, we pointed out the all important hand painted, pink fluorescent signs. They work! I have had as many as 250 flyers taken from the flyer box in a single weekend. For me, that has been the magic bullet on how to sell a house by owner and get a swift house sale.

It requires considerable time to create the signs, and to stick them on all of the corners within your neighborhood, but trust me when I say to you, your problem will not be, “not bringing in enough lookers”.

In case you are at all like me, or wish to be like me, in the sense that you do not want to use a Realtor to sell your property, as soon as you get the buyers looking through your house, then you definitely have some different techniques to select from.

Listed here are the ways savvy Real Estate Investors intelligently and creatively attempt selling their homes repeatedly without using a Realtor. In this down real estate market it just could be time for you to utilize some of the same secrets.

* First: Once you have had the lookers walking through your house, now it is time to make the best deal that you can, and then fill out a Purchase & Sales Agreement and open up escrow.

* The second method gets a bit more creative. This is called The 9-Day Highest/Best Bidder Sale. Your home will sell in 9 days. You merely do not know exactly how much the price will be.

Have a minimum of two one-hour open houses during two weekends and 1-open house in the middle of the week. Take bids on the house and on the last day at 5 pm, you start the rebidding process and then sell to the highest bidder (if you choose to accept their offer).

* The third technique is the Transferable Seller Financing Approach. This gets considerably more in-depth and very creative, but it is just another tool you can make use of if you need to be creative to get a quick sale.

* The fourth technique is the use of a Lease with an Option to Purchase. This approach will get a person into the property quickly, alleviating you from the burden of having to make the house payments, and it gives the potential buyer a given time frame to actually purchase the house.

* And, the fifth technique, should you be behind on your house payments, is utilizing a Short Sale.

That is one way on how to sell a house (by owner), and get a quick house sale, without using a Realtor (however, with the Short Sale, a Realtor might be included in this approach). Of course, if you are looking to get the very best possible price for your home, then your home should be in “Model Home” condition. Anything less will attract a lesser sum for your house. If your home …

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Planning Your Garden Part 1

Soil Conditioning

The soil conditioning is largely dependent on how large your garden will be. So before I go into what's important, make sure you have an idea of ​​how big your garden will be. If you are doing a relatively small garden (4×4 feet- 10×10 feet) you won't have to worry about drainage, or turning the soil every season. For example, if you are doing a raised bed garden you won't have to till up the grass in your yard to do so, you can just build the bed and fill it with dirt & compost. The compost is a great medium for plants to grow in and does not require extra work to get great results, also it will drain just fine on its own.

With larger gardens (10×20 feet- 1 acre or more) the ability to just fill it in with compost becomes very expensive, time consuming, and can still have flooding that will kill your plants. With a larger garden tilling up the grass or dirt is the first step. The ground needs to be broken up, once its broken up it can be planted in. Many people use a tiller or a disc to break up the ground but depending on the size, you can easily rent equipment or invest in buying some equipment to prepare the soil each year. Once you have turned the soil a bit and have it broken down to small chunks smaller than your fist and at least 5 inches deep you should focus on preparing for drainage. Take a step back and look for low spots in the landscape and either make a small ditch or buy drainage pipe to put in the ground before you get all the plants in the ground. This is a CRITICAL step, do not overlook it or ignore it, one hard rain could kill half of your garden in a matter of a day or two and there will be nothing you can do (yes its happened to me). Since the ground is tilled up and loose digging a drainage ditch or putting in plastic piping is very easy. Depending on the size you may need just a shovel and a couple hours or you may need heavy equipment to dig the ditch.

As I said before, planning for all of this can be the difference between success or failure. Taking a few hours to take a step back, look at what you want to do and where, and then seeing it before its there is a powerful way to become successful the first time rather then suffer through trial and error.

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Famous Interior Designers and Their Styles in Interior Design – Part 1


This series of 4 articles takes a brief but informative look at 21 of the most famous and Interior Designers, from the earliest pioneers right through to the most celebrated modern day designers.

The Pioneers of Interior Design

Jean-Henri Jansen (1854-1928)

Dutch designer, Jean-Henri Jansen, launched one of the first ever international interior design companies 'Maison Jansen' (House of Jansen) in 1880, which became renowned for designing and creating exceptionally beautiful and high quality furniture which would be utilized in a multitude of interior decoration projects. House of Jansen opened branches in 8 of the major cities of the world. Jansen worked closely with the talented interior designer Stephane Boudin whom he made director of the company. The clients of House of Jansen included Royalty and the rich and famous.

Elsie de Wolfe (1865-1950)

The first lady of interior decoration, Elsie de Wolfe considered herself an 'ugly child'. This Victorian stage actress was a rebel of her times and was credited by many to be the inventor of the modern profession of interior design, even though there were already established interior designers in her time. Elsie disliked Victorian tastes altogether, her designs were therefore generally made up of light and bright colors, contrary to the drab and gloomy Victorian décor coupled with unnecessary excesses such as heavy velvet draperies. This was a pioneering departure from the contemporary designs of the time. Elsie's influence continues to be felt in the modern world of interior design.

Ogden Codman (1863-1951)

American interior decorator and architect, Ogden Codman spent his childhood in his birthplace of Boston before heading to France in his youth for a period of time. Codman had two uncles who influenced him tremendously – architect John Hubbard and decorator Richard Ogden. Some of Ogden Codman's works include Edith Wharton's Newport home, Land's End, the Rockefeller family estate of New York client John D. Rockefeller, Jr. and the Newport summer home of Cornelius Vanderbilt II. Along with novelist Edith Wharton, Codman co-authored a guidepost of American interior design, 'The Decoration of Houses' in 1897.

Frances Elkins (1888-1953)

Born in Milwaukee, Frances Adler Elkins was one of the most prominent interior decorator and designer of the previous century. Sister of the famed Chicago architect David Adler, Elkins was known for her futuristic designs that brought together different styles and elements from various periods. They included country French styles, chinoiserie and art deco. The furnishings featured in her designs included designers such as Jean-Michel Frank and Alberto Giacometti. The career of Elkins that spanned over three decades is glittered with many high profile commissions in Hawaii, the Midwest and northern and southern California, none more interesting than the restoration of the 1830s structure, Casa Amesti in Monterrey, California.

Frank Lloyd Wright (1867-1959)

Frank Lloyd Wright was an interior designer and architect whose career included more than 1000 projects, 500 of them that have been complete. Wright was known for his promotion of organic architecture, an example of which is Fallingwater. The Robie House …

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