Morning Minutes: What will make headlines, Dec 31, 2015

the Asean logo on a balloon next to flags of member countries.
the Asean logo on a balloon next to flags of member countries. PHOTO: EPA

Good morning! Morning Minutes is a round-up of stories that will break on Thursday, Dec 31, and which we think you'd be interested in.

It appears on weekdays, available by 7am.

 

Asean to declare formation of Asean Economic Community (AEC) today

The 10-member Asean is set to declare the formation of the Asean Economic Community (AEC) on Thursday (Dec 31) in its pursuit of a single market and production base as well as a highly competitive economic region.The AEC aims to integrate South-east Asia by reducing barriers to cross-border trade and investment, and allowing freer flow of professionals to work in other markets in the region. 

Data for unemployment in the US to be released today

Data for the number of Americans filing for unemployment benefits and those currently receiving unemployment benefits will be released in the United States today. As many as 267,000 sought benefits last week, a tad lower than previous figures while the number of continuing beneficiaries had also fallen by the middle of the month. The figures will reflect the strength of the US jobs market and is also a measure of the economy which can have an impact on the financial markets. 

Countdown to 2016


Fireworks light up the sky with the Central Business District (CBD) and the Marina Bay waterfront during New Year's Day celebrations on Jan 1, 2014. PHOTO: ST FILE

Singapore will count down to the New Year tonight, with multiple celebrations taking place islandwide. Close to 300,000 revellers are expected to pack the Marina Bay area, where the festivities will culminate in an eight-minute fireworks display.  There are parties at Zouk, Siloso Beach on Sentosa and at Sengkang Riverside park, among others. - NG HUIWEN

World on high alert for celebrations


 An armed French soldier patrols in front of Notre Dame Cathedral in Paris, France. PHOTO: REUTERS

Security officials around the world are on high alert in the wake of terror attacks in cities, including Paris, as people join crowded celebrations when the clock strikes 12 tonight. Moscow's Red Square, traditionally a place where people gather to ring in the New Year, will be closed to revellers today.