10 must-reads for today

Protesters demanding the resignation of Thai Prime Minister Prayut Chan-o-cha, in front of Bangkok's Democracy Monument yesterday.
Protesters demanding the resignation of Thai Prime Minister Prayut Chan-o-cha, in front of Bangkok's Democracy Monument yesterday.PHOTO: REUTERS
Jonathan Eyal.
Jonathan Eyal.

1 Prayut faces hurdles

Private sector leaders are set to join Thai Prime Minister Prayut Chan-o-cha's Cabinet and help steer the economy, which is facing a downturn owing to the pandemic. While tackling bread-and-butter issues, Bangkok needs to also grapple with the longer-term question of how it will engage the assurgent students' movement, says Indochina bureau chief Tan Hui Yee.

2 Global virus cases top 16m

The global number of coronavirus cases crossed 16 million yesterday, surging by one million new cases in just four days. More than half of the cases are in the Americas and the Caribbean. Cases in Singapore, meanwhile, crossed the 50,000 mark yesterday with 481 new cases announced.

3 S'pore-Malaysia travel

Singapore and Malaysia have finalised arrangements for long-term pass holders and travellers on essential or official business to cross the border - applications for which will kick off on Aug 10. Operational details of the reciprocal green lane and periodic commuting arrangement will be published in the next few days.

4 N. Korea locks down town

North Korean leader Kim Jong Un declared an emergency and a lockdown in a border town after a person suspected of being infected with the coronavirus returned from South Korea after illegally crossing the border, state media said yesterday.

5 Pompeo's quixotic quest

US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo's recent call for an alliance of democracies against China suffers from many problems, including fundamental questions about membership of the club, says global affairs correspondent Jonathan Eyal.

6 Sentencing sparks debate

The case of the National University of Singapore student who attacked his former girlfriend has raised questions over how the judgment was made, as well as drawn criticism over what many consider to be a disproportionate sentence. Legal experts weigh in on penalties given to him.

7 S'pore, France ink treaty

Singapore and France have secured cooperation in the prevention and suppression of crime, with both parties signing a mutual legal assistance treaty at a virtual ceremony last Wednesday. It provides a framework for both countries to make requests for legal assistance in each other's criminal matters, and is Singapore's first mutual legal assistance treaty since 2005.

8 Firms urged to offer clarity

Companies have been urged to provide high-quality financial statements amid the pandemic, focusing on areas like asset valuations and going-concern assessments, to keep investors well informed. Interim financial reports for the period ended June 30 may be the first reports since Covid-19 took hold.

9 Westwood to skip

US events Foreign PGA Tour golfers now need not quarantine themselves in the United States for two weeks, but that will not entice some like former world No. 1 Lee Westwood to fly there to play. The 47-year-old Englishman says he is slightly asthmatic and is concerned about travelling as the US is still a coronavirus hot spot.

10 Baby-Sitters Club on TV

It is rare for screen adaptations to satisfy fans of the source material, but Netflix's The Baby-Sitters Club - based on the binge-able books of the same name - has been largely embraced by viewers and critics, many of whom read the novels growing up. The books may have been published decades ago, but they were modern and inclusive for their time and their themes are still relatable today.

StraitsTimes Digital


Interview with Liu Thai Ker

Former chief planner Liu Thai Ker says there is more to urban planning than just a number, and what Singapore has achieved is the result of hard work. str.sg/blurb495


Helping couples to have babies

Dr Ann Tan is one of Singapore's top fertility experts and has delivered thousands of babies in her career. She is a strong advocate of social egg freezing, by which a woman can store her eggs until she is ready for pregnancy. str.sg/blurb496

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on July 27, 2020, with the headline '10 must-reads for today'. Print Edition | Subscribe