What's News: October 19, 2016


Better town council oversight

Wide-ranging changes have been proposed to the Town Councils Act that will give the Ministry of National Development (MND) more regulatory oversight and clarify the role of town councils, among other things. Town councils could be penalised in future for not handing in their audited financial reports or withholding details from MND.



Rare documents on show

Singapore's constitutional documents have gone on public display for the first time, in an exhibition launched yesterday at the National Gallery. They are among more than 20 documents from the National Archives of Singapore and the National Library's collection to be showcased.


Anti-ISIS forces make gains

Iraqi forces say they made gains on the second day of an unprecedented offensive to retake Mosul from the Islamic State in Iraq and Syria (ISIS), securing some 20 villages on the outskirts of the last major ISIS stronghold in Iraq yesterday. ISIS' defeat in Mosul would deal a fatal blow to its "caliphate" declared two years ago.


China warms to Duterte

Chinese media and analysts have urged Beijing to reciprocate the goodwill of Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte, who is now in China for a state visit. One suggestion is to consider introducing a "flexible fishing policy" to allow Filipinos to fish in Scarborough Shoal waters.


Bonds and a question of trust

The spotlight is on how high-yield corporate bonds are sold here, after some investors lost their life savings. Marissa Lee looks at what needs to change to help clients make more informed decisions and ensure fair dealing.


Building on high-tech push

The Building and Construction Authority has come up with a new road map to get the construction industry to develop, adapt and adopt technologies in areas such as robotics and 3D printing. This is aimed at raising productivity.


Eco-friendly oil at FairPrice

FairPrice now carries two cooking oil products from certified sustainable sources. The move was praised by volunteer group People's Movement to Stop Haze, which said it showed that sustainable palm oil products can be introduced without significant price increases.


Ezra seeks leniency on bonds

Ezra Holdings has joined a growing list of embattled oil and gas firms asking bond holders for leniency as their bonds approach maturity. Ezra said yesterday it wants to loosen covenants on $150 million bonds maturing in 2018, and is in discussions with various parties on its financial obligations.

David de Gea keeping United in the game with a stunning one-handed save during Monday's league match against Liverpool. PHOTO: REUTE


Drab display by league rivals

It was a drab goal-less draw at Anfield, but Jose Mourinho chose to highlight Liverpool's shortcomings instead of focusing on Manchester United's failings. Despite the Reds dominating play in Monday's league game, they did little, but two big saves from David de Gea earned United a point.


Tribute to HK film-maker

Hong Kong film-maker Fruit Chan, who is known for making realistic films about his native Hong Kong with strong socio-political overtones, will be receiving an honorary award at the upcoming 27th Singapore International Film Festival. The award recognises individuals who have made exceptional and enduring contributions to Asian cinema.



Bollywood star says sorry

Bollywood actress Priyanka Chopra on Monday apologised for a travel magazine cover after it sparked outrage among social media users who accused her of being insensitive to refugees and migrants. She is featured on Conde Nast Traveller India wearing a white T-shirt with the words "refugee", "immigrant" and "outsider" crossed out, leaving only the word "traveller".

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on October 19, 2016, with the headline 'What's News'. Print Edition | Subscribe