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AFTER a year of speculation, the Communist Party has formally launched disciplinary investigations against former security czar Zhou Yongkang, setting a precedent for other retired senior leaders who may now face the same fate.

Top of The News

HEAVY rain battered Singapore yesterday afternoon, toppling trees and causing flash floods and accidents in many locations.
CHINA began new military live-fire drills in the East China Sea yesterday as reports surfaced that it has established a military command centre for the area amid rising tensions with neighbouring Japan over a territorial dispute.
SOME 25,000 Singapore residents aged 45 to 85 would soon be invited to take part in an unusual government study of retirement and health needs.

Singapore

CRACKS have appeared in the glass ceiling of the Kallang Wave shopping mall at Singapore Sports Hub - just a month after it opened.
IT TOOK about a decade to grow Bottle Tree Park from a largely empty plot of land to a rustic watering hole that drew a loyal crowd attracted to its simple kampung feel.
NEW home-grown technology firms will be given preference over established companies when applying for Government contracts under a new scheme, it was revealed yesterday.

Asia

SEATTLE - China is conducting an anti-monopoly investigation into Microsoft over its Windows operating system, as American technology companies from Apple to Qualcomm face increased scrutiny in the world's second-largest economy.
BEIJING/TOKYO - A new food scandal has hit China, this time involving a buffet eatery in Beijing.
NEW YORK - In the early 1980s, Mr Sheldon Lavin, a banker who became a burger tycoon, returned from a trip to China with big plans for his food-processing company OSI Group. "I don't care if we sell the erasers off pencils, we are going to China," he told his staff, according to a 2012 story in National Provisioner, an industry publication.

World

GENEVA - Ebola, the killer of more than 670 people in four West African countries since February, has spread beyond Africa only once. That does not mean it cannot happen now, infectious disease experts warn.
LIVORNO (Italy) - For years, roboticists have yearned to develop a flexible machine that can explore tight spaces, repair dangerous equipment and potentially even conform to the human body.
ISRAEL-GAZA BORDER - The curved concrete top of the tunnel grazes the dark-brown buzz cut of Lieutenant-Colonel Oshik Azulai, putting it about 1.7m above the sand floor.

Money

OCBC Bank has succeeded in its $6.23 billion bid to acquire Hong Kong's Wing Hang Bank, a triumphant conclusion to the biggest takeover the Singapore lender has ever launched.
RESALE prices of private homes slid back last month after a surprise rebound that turned out to be short-lived, new data out yesterday showed.
HOMEGROWN developer Keppel Land has made its first investment in the United States, in one of New York's poshest areas.

Life!

Actress Zoe Saldana rolls her eyes a little when she is told that the biggest movie of the summer Transformers: Age Of Extinction features a female lead whose main job is to scream and show off her posterior.
San Francisco - Star Wars fans waiting for the next episode in the saga to hit movie screens late next year are about to meet a new band of ragtag rebels trying to defeat the Empire.
This one hits high scores on the checklist of crimes that bad comedies commit.

Insight

"IMPROVE the returns on people's CPF savings" is a common refrain these days, one that was picked up by experts speaking at a forum on CPF and Retirement Adequacy on Tuesday, but they varied over how to achieve this.
ROY NGERNG: Now that we know that the CPF is invested in the GIC, is it also possible to know what is the interest earned in Singapore dollar terms since inception?
AS MUCH as half of Singapore's working population, many of them graduates in the middle-income group, may not have enough in their Central Provident Fund (CPF) accounts to tide them through their golden years.

Opinion

MR NARENDRA Modi's new government in New Delhi has restored the sense of excitement about India's potential both as an economic powerhouse and as a key regional power.
IT WAS unavoidable that the shoot-down of the Malaysia Airlines plane has been conflated with the Ukraine civil war. What is less clear is the effect the interplay of events would have on relations between Russia and the United States, already strained over the meddling in Georgia and Ukraine that happened well before the air tragedy. These ex-Soviet republics form part of Russia's buffer line, but also happen to be America's new limits of spreading influence.
In a significant reversal, the Narendra Modi government has laid to rest fears that just to score political points, it would kill a transformational technology for good governance.

Forum Letters

I HOPE the hard-earned victories of our national shuttlers and paddlers have vindicated the decision of our national sports associations to bring foreign-born sports talent into our national teams ("Shuttlers pick themselves up to land unexpected bronze" and "S'pore glue on crown holds"; yesterday).
GOING around Punggol, especially the north and north-west of the new town, one cannot fail to notice the large number of new flats being built, which means the population in this region will increase in density in the near future. However, the facilities are sorely lacking.
THE Transport Ministry and Land Transport Authority (LTA) have done a great job in improving our transport infrastructure.

Sports

NOW that Joseph Schooling has delivered Singapore's first-ever Commonwealth Games swimming medal - a silver in the 100m butterfly, how much further can he go?
GLASGOW - His entries into the pool at the Commonwealth Games are usually muted, with just a quick smile and a wave.
"I AM not the next Bolt. I am just Kemar Bailey-Cole." In that short utterance, one can grasp the extent of inner demons and external pressure facing the new 100m king of the Commonwealth Games.