What's News: December 28, 2015

Singapore's 50th year of independence is just drawing to a close, but Finance Minister Heng Swee Keat is already planning for the next 50 years.
Singapore's 50th year of independence is just drawing to a close, but Finance Minister Heng Swee Keat is already planning for the next 50 years. ST PHOTO: KUA CHEE SIONG

TOP OF THE NEWS

Singapore beyond SG50

Singapore's 50th year of independence is just drawing to a close, but Finance Minister Heng Swee Keat is already planning for the next 50 years.

He indentified two key focus areas - strengthening the sense of "one people", and keeping the economy vibrant - and called on Singaporeans to take part in shaping the country's future.

TOP OF THE NEWS

ISIS chief issues new message

The reclusive leader of Islamic State in Iraq and Syria (ISIS) has resurfaced after seven months of silence with a defiant audio message.

Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi said in the message posted on ISIS' social media accounts that recent losses and air strikes have not weakened  the extremist group.

WORLD

Curbs on TV preachers

Islamic clerics who preach on Indonesian TV will soon be subjected to certification under guidelines drawn up by the authorities. The measure is part of the government's bid to rein in the spread of intolerance among the country's TV stations.


Excavators and trucks at the site of a landslide which hit an industrial park in Shenzhen, Guangdong province. PHOTO: REUTERS

WORLD

Probe into waste sites after deadly landslide

China's southern province of Guangdong will check all construction waste sites in the wake of a deadly landslide that is feared to have killed about 70 people. The Dec 20 incident is deemed to have been a man-made disaster apparently caused by inappropriate handling of construction waste.

OPINION

Europe still holding together

Reports of the impending disunion of Europe are much exaggerated, says Europe correspondent Jonathan Eyal. Whether going by economic or strategic influence, the old continent remains a global force. As for its troubles over the euro, these have in fact proven to be a glue that holds Europe together.

HOME

A Hive of activity

A 90-strong team of data scientists and software engineers is working on government services - carrying out IT functions that had previously been outsourced. The Straits Times takes a look at the "Hive".

HOME

Teens harming themselves

Help groups say they are seeing more teenagers self-harming in an effort to cope with emotional stress and frustration, with the worrying trend becoming more apparent among boys and younger children. However, some social workers believe that youngsters are more willing to come forward and seek help for their problems.

BUSINESS

How the Singdollar has fared

It has been a roller-coaster ride for many of the major currencies this year as various forces, including central bank actions, buffeted them. Just how has the Singdollar fared against key currencies?

SPORT

Tough challenges for FAS

After a beleaguered year for local football, the Football Association of Singapore's delayed annual general meeting tomorrow is expected to discuss a host of issues, including the direction for the sport.

Also on the agenda are subsidies for S-League sides who sign former LionsXII players after the team's exit from Malaysian football.

LIFE

Mum's Mandarin portal

Local host Diana Ser's two older children's reluctance to speak Mandarin spurred her to set up an online portal, Crazy About Chinese (www.dianaser.com).

The website is filled with articles and videos to encourage parents to teach their children the Chinese language through daily activities.

LIFE

Star Wars set to break record

Star Wars: The Force Awakens was poised to pass US$1 billion (S$1.4 billion) in worldwide ticket sales over the weekend and become the first picture to reach that mark so quickly. Before it, the movie to cross that threshold in the shortest time was Jurassic World, which did it in 13 days this past June. Yesterday was The Force Awakens' 12th day in theatres.

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on December 28, 2015, with the headline 'What's News: December 28, 2015'. Print Edition | Subscribe