Bathtub tutorials and a baby-making contest on television? Why not, says Singapore's self-styled sex guru, Wei Siang Yu, nicknamed Dr. Love. \nAs the island-state grapples with falling birth rates, the flamboyant medical doctor is preparing to launch a midnight television talk show which will feature bathtub tutorials, hoping it can rekindle passions and encourage couples to have more children. \nWei told reporters the program will be launched in the second quarter of this year. \nThis will be followed in the third quarter by a reality television program called Dr. Love Superbaby Making Show in which couples from different nationalities will compete to be the first to conceive. \nWei's unique efforts to fire up libidos come after repeated urgings from Singapore's leaders for the affluent state's population of 4 million people to reverse the nation's reproductive slow-down. \nThe fertility rate fell to a historic low of 1.37 per woman in 2002 despite repeated government statements urging couples to procreate. This is well below the rate of 2.1 per woman which demographers say is necessary to replenish the population naturally. \n"We will have people come and talk about their love lives and private lives. We will also talk about their strategies on love, basically allowing them to talk, listen, understand and analyze," Wei said of the TV talk show. \nOne of the program's high-lights will be the bathtub tutorials involving real-life couples and conducted by Dr. Love himself. \n"We will teach couples how to massage each other in a bathtub," said Wei, an Australian-educated doctor whose previous novel programs to help ease the decline in the fertility rate have gained international publicity. \nWei said he did not foresee any conflict with the island's strict censorship laws as the tutorials will be carried out with decency by a trained medical professional. \n"We will not reveal the breast or the groin. Viewers will only see the back," he said. "This is not pornography, this is `edu-tainment.'" \nThe baby-making contest will be launched in the third quarter of this year, said Wei, whose US-based company Meggpower.com is co-funded by American and Asian partners. \n"This is a reality TV show with 10 couples from all over the world competing in Singapore to make a baby," he said. \nCouples will be given a time frame and will be judged on who will be the first one to report a conception. \nDr. Love will closely monitor the couples' hormonal cycles and recommend changes in their diets to aid conception. Seduction strategies will also be featured. \n"It's like a baby race," he said. \nWei, who is unmarried, shot to the spotlight last year when he launched iDream, where couples finding it difficult to have children board a "love boat" for a luxury resort with the sole purpose of baby-making. \nThe package, launched in April last year and costing up to S$1,000 (US$600) per night, includes sex counsellors on standby to advise the couples, fertility seminars aboard cruise boats as well as massage and aromatherapy. \nWei said SARS spoiled his business after only three months, as travel demand to Asia ground to a halt. He plans to re-launch the idea in March. \nWei revealed plans to follow the "love boat" package with a "love plane" which will ferry couples to romantic hideaways in Asia with the same intention. \nThis will be done through a tie-up with a regional airline. \nAn existing service where women receive mobile phone text messages to alert them ahead of their ovulation period, so they can make love during that time, is showing signs of success. \nWei said he had received e-mails from some of the women saying they were already pregnant. \nThe doctor said a government program giving cash incentives to encourage couples to have more children was inadequate. \n"Not everything can be addressed by a national kind of policy-making ... money does not solve everything," he said.
Over a few hours under gray skies, dozens of combat planes and helicopters roar on and off the flight deck of the USS Nimitz aircraft carrier, in a demonstration of US military power in some of the world’s most hotly contested waters. MH-60 Seahawk helicopters and F/A-18 Hornet jets bearing pilot call signs such as “Fozzie Bear,” “Pig Sweat” and “Bongoo” emit deafening screams as they land in the drizzle on the Nimitz, which is leading a carrier strike group that entered the South China Sea two weeks ago. US Rear Admiral Christopher Sweeney, who is commanding the group, said the tour
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