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PUBLIC transport ridership grew last year by 4.6 per cent to hit a record 6.65 million trips per day as the population grew and the number of cars shrank.

Top of The News

NINE hundred dancers showed off skirts made of plastic "We Love SG" flowers at the opening of this year's Chingay last night, transforming Marina Bay into a sea of lights and colours.
LONDON - The families of murdered hostages said they looked forward to seeing Mohammed Emwazi, the man believed to be "Jihadi John", brought to justice as Prime Minister David Cameron vowed to defeat such extremists and defended Britain's secret services.
UNITED States intelligence officials are listing cyber attacks among its top global threats, warning lawmakers that such strikes are increasing in frequency, scale, sophistication and impact.

Singapore

THE calibre of students entering polytechnics this year after completing the O levels has improved, reflecting the better performance of the cohort last year and the rising popularity of polytechnics.
MOST of the eight British universities which have been removed from Singapore's pool of accredited law schools have expressed their disappointment.
IT IS one of the more physical celebrations of SG50. Fifty staff and students from the Institute of Technical Education (ITE) will take turns in running 50km a day over 50 days.

Asia

THE art of taxation, declared King Louis XIV's Minister of Finances Jean-Baptiste Colbert, is in "so plucking the goose as to obtain the largest amount of feathers with the least amount of hissing".
HONG KONG - A Hong Kong woman was jailed for six years for beating and starving her Indonesian maid and keeping her prisoner.
SEOUL - Four people, including a policeman, were killed in the second shooting incident within three days in South Korea, triggering plans to tighten gun ownership laws.

World

A GREEK tragedy has been averted - for now - as Germany voted in favour of lending its European counterpart a helping hand.
WASHINGTON - The discovery of another bright light on the dwarf planet Ceres has Nasa scientists perplexed as the US Dawn probe prepares to enter the orbit of the largest object in the asteroid belt and possibly resolve the mystery.
PARIS - Brazilian astronomers say they have found two star clusters forming in a remote part of our Milky Way galaxy where such an event was previously thought impossible.

Money

IN A tough market, some modestly good news emerged for developers yesterday as development charges (DCs) for condo and other non-landed sites fell again.
NEW fees to be imposed on foreign buyers of Australian real estate are unlikely to deter Singaporeans from house hunting Down Under, property investment firm IP Global said.
FOURTH-QUARTER sales in 2014 rose 4.7 per cent year on year, slightly lower than the growth experienced in the first half of 2014, as additional revenue from longer operating hours was no longer a contributing factor since Sheng Siong started this initiative in the fourth quarter of 2013.

Life!

Visitors to the Verandah House in Bukit Timah might get a little wet when crossing between the two wings of the two-storey bungalow during the rainy season.
At first glance, Chinese artist Ding Yi's latest works look like aerial photos of cities after dark, lights twinkling on the urban grid.
The life of former prime minister Lee Kuan Yew is reinterpreted in two exhibitions of pop art and picture book-style illustrations.

Insight

CALLS for Singapore's companies to work harder, better and faster - but with fewer employees - have come up against their struggles to cope with rising business costs.
THE greying population. The changing face of the education system. The challenges of starting a family. The country faces a juggling act as it tries to manage the diverse needs of its families and respond to changes in society.
TO TRANSFORM Singapore from a hierarchy of grades earned early in life, to a meritocracy based on skills: that is Deputy Prime Minister Tharman Shanmugaratnam's lofty plan in this year's Budget to secure well-paying, long-term jobs for Singaporeans.

Opinion

IN A recent dialogue session, Defence Minister Ng Eng Hen was asked about female conscription, and he answered that it should not be for reasons of equity. In other words, it should be only for demographic reasons - if there are not enough young men to defend the country. To start young women thinking about this possibility, a volunteer corps has been started.
JAPAN is again seeking to enact laws to enable its Self-Defence Force to operate far from home and with a bigger role that could include backing up friendly countries in situations that impinge on Japan's security. It is now constrained by the need to either seek parliamentary approval for each mission or wait for a United Nations Security Council resolution before moving.
ON THURSDAY, the five-member Federal Communications Commission (FCC) in the United States voted in favour of the toughest rules yet to protect a "neutral Internet", potentially setting the stage for further global reforms.

Forum Letters

OUR seniors should emulate their Hong Kong counterparts, who embrace lifelong learning ("School doors open for HK's elderly"; Wednesday).
SINGAPORE is studying Hong Kong's scheme to encourage the elderly to re-enter the classroom ("School doors open for HK's elderly"; Wednesday).
IN WEDNESDAY'S report ("Memorising answers won't score you the As"), interviewees said last year's O-level chemistry paper included questions based on the A-level chemistry syllabus.

Sports

A TROPHY will be won tomorrow. Yet that is not the reason why it ranks as arguably the most important day in the season so far.
LONDON - The English Premier League's woeful week in continental competition plumbed new depths on Thursday when Liverpool and Tottenham Hotspur crashed out of the Europa League.
LONDON - Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger has called on his side to show a strong response against Everton in the English Premier League tomorrow after their miserable Champions League defeat by Monaco.