10 must-reads for today

Protesters in Hong Kong's Hennessy Road yesterday. Demonstrators rang in the new year with a mass march through downtown areas.
Protesters in Hong Kong's Hennessy Road yesterday. Demonstrators rang in the new year with a mass march through downtown areas.PHOTO: BLOOMBERG

1 HK rally turns violent

Hong Kong protesters blocked downtown roads after police abruptly stopped a massive New Year's Day march as violence broke out on the sidelines. Protesters threw petrol bombs, vandalised shops, trashed HSBC branches in several locations, and also targeted the High Court.

2 Budget Day on Feb 18

The annual Budget will be unveiled in Parliament on Feb 18, a Tuesday, by Deputy Prime Minister and Minister for Finance Heng Swee Keat. He said in a Facebook post yesterday that the Budget is a strategic financial plan to address near-and long-term issues.

3 US sends troops to Mid-East

Charging that Iran was "fully responsible" for an attack on the United States Embassy in Iraq, US President Donald Trump ordered the deployment of about 750 US soldiers to the Middle East as about 3,000 more prepared for possible deployment in the next several days. 

4 Ghosn's mysterious escape

Former head of Nissan and Renault Carlos Ghosn, who was awaiting the first of two trials in Tokyo, evaded almost round-the-clock surveillance to flee to Lebanon. His escape followed weeks of planning, media reported. 

5 Widening uni entry criteria

The National University of Singapore and Nanyang Technological University are broadening admissions criteria and looking beyond grades. But they need to do this faster, says senior education correspondent Sandra Davie. 

6 Somerset Belt masterplan

The plan to turn Somerset into a youth-oriented area will be guided by the three key themes of "urban culture", "adaptable architecture" and "future ready", using feedback gathered from young people at roadshows and an online poll. The finalised masterplan on the Somerset Belt will be revealed in the next three months. 

7 Changi on track for record

Changi Airport appears to be on track to bust 2018's record traffic of 65.6 million passengers, handling a total of 61.9 million passengers between January and November last year, despite global economic headwinds and turbulence in geopolitics. 

8 SMEs invest for future

Despite a turbulent 2019 for manufacturers with the uncertain global economy dampening prospects, some Singapore small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) took the opportunity to invest in research and development and have plans to build on these foundations this year. 

9 Thumbs up for new ATP Cup

The ATP Cup may be missing Roger Federer, Andy Murray and Kei Nishikori, but other tennis stars such as Novak Djokovic and Nick Kyrgios are excited about the inaugural men's team event starting tomorrow in Australia. The world No. 2 Serb says "it will be a very nice and proud moment to represent my country". 


10 Verdicts on 2 new dramas

American crime drama The Outsider, based on a Stephen King book, is a solid watch with top-notch performances, while fantasy drama The Witcher, which stars Henry Cavill (above), pales in comparison with Game Of Thrones, says journalist Alison de Souza.

Straits Times Digital


First meal of 2020

Take a look at what newsmakers and ST readers had for their first meals this year, as they share photos using the hashtags #firstmeal2020 and #straitstimesfood. str.sg/blurb135


The hydroelectric projects of Laos

A hydropower dam collapse in 2018 left many dead and homeless in southern Laos. Months later, many dam projects are being restarted. Watch this video of the residents' reactions. str.sg/blurb136

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on January 02, 2020, with the headline '10 must-reads for today'. Subscribe