Officials hope Miss Universe pageant boosts Bahamas tourism - Officials in the Bahamas are hoping this year's Miss Universe pageant will add some beauty to an ugly year for tourism.
Tourism Minister Vincent Vanderpool-Wallace says he expects every hotel room on Paradise and New Providence islands to be filled for the Aug. 30 competition.
The minister told reporters that the event will inject millions of dollars into the struggling economy.
This year's pageant will be at the Atlantis resort, which recently laid off 10% of its staff due to the global economic slowdown. (usatoday.com)
Pageant Tragedy as Reported by Critical Beauty - Allan Ooi, who was first runner-up in Mister Singapore 2001, was found dead below a busy bridge in Melbourne, Australia on Tuesday. He had disappeared for months, including having gone AWOL (absent without official leave) from the army since October last year. The SAF (Singapore Air Force) had tried unsuccessfully to contact him, according to a spokesman. He was 28. A family friend, who declined to be named, said it was known that Ooi had been unhappy at work 'for a long time'. He had been serving his term with the SAF and left friends and family bewildered when he left without a word. His death is suspected to have been a suicide. Melbourne police are still speaking to witnesses and are preparing a report that will be sent to the Melbourne Coroner's Court. A spokesman for the Melbourne police said Ooi was seen getting out of his car on the bridge before 4am on Tuesday. (The Straits Times, Singapore)
Family lost touch after October - The family of Captain (Dr) Allan Ooi, who was found dead under a bridge in Melbourne on March 3, heard from him a month after he went absent without official leave from the armed forces last October.
The 27-year-old ignored their cellphone calls as well as their text and e-mail messages for a month before finally sending a short response by e-mail.
'He said he loved us and he was doing well, and he told us not to look for him,' his sister, Ms Lynette Ooi, 24, told The Straits Times yesterday.
The family had been in a tizzy since they received a call from the Singapore Armed Forces (SAF) informing them that he had not turned up for work.
Ms Ooi said their parents, obstetrician and gynaecologist Alex Ooi and general practitioner Lucy Ooi, were then in London with her. Their brother, Adrian, 28, was working in the Singapore General Hospital.
Private investigators were hired and a missing persons report lodged with the police, but all they knew at the end was that he had left Singapore on Oct 13.
That day was the last time Ms Ooi heard from him before the AWOL incident. He had sent her birthday greetings via a text message.
'I thought it seemed a little strange because usually he would call me and we would catch up a bit,' said Ms Ooi, a lawyer.
Family and friends flooded his e-mail inbox, pleading with him to return or asking what help he needed to start a new life. They received no word from him.
In 2000, Capt (Dr) Ooi, then 18, took up an SAF scholarship to study medicine at the National University of Singapore. In return, he was to serve a 12-year bond. (straitstimes.com)
Beauty Tragedy as Reported by Criticalbeauty - Fabiola Celadón Faoro, who was a finalist in the Miss Venezuela 1993 representing the department of Trujillo, died in a plane crash on March 1st in Boconó, Trujillo. She was 33. She was travelling on a private plane with five other people who also perished. Fabiola came from a rich family; in 1993 Osmel Sousa, his assistants and his delegates traveled to the Dominican Republic to film a special, but instead of traveling with the group, Fabiola flew in a private jet. (El Aragueño).