10 must-reads for today

A vet and a volunteer taking care of a koala affected by fires at the Kangaroo Island Wildlife Park south-west of Adelaide in Australia yesterday. PHOTO: REUTERS
A vet and a volunteer taking care of a koala affected by fires at the Kangaroo Island Wildlife Park south-west of Adelaide in Australia yesterday. PHOTO: REUTERS


1 Aussie fires hit animals

Images of animals charred by massive fires in Australia have flashed around the world and come to symbolise a nation and an environment buckling under the weight of a crisis fuelled by climate change. The population of less visible creatures, such as frogs, insects, invertebrates and reptiles is also expected to have been devastated.  


2 Iran denies downing jet

The prime ministers of Canada, the United Kingdom and Australia said a passenger jet that crashed near Teheran was probably brought down by an Iranian missile, allegations Iran's government has denied as a lie and "psychological warfare".  


3 Britain on course to exit EU

Lawmakers in the British House of Commons have passed a long-elusive milestone on the road to Brexit by approving a Bill authorising the country's departure from the European Union. The passage of the Withdrawal Agreement Bill on Thursday sets out the terms for Britain's departure from the 28-nation bloc.


3 killed in Thai mall robbery

A masked gunman killed three people, including a two-year-old, while robbing a gold shop in a shopping mall in central Thailand yesterday. The attack lasted only a minute, with the gunman fleeing on a motorcycle after that. A reward has been offered for information leading to his arrest. 


5 Gender pay gap in S'pore

Recent research shows that Singapore has an adjusted gender median pay gap of 6 per cent, lower than the United States and Canada. Women have made progress, but there is still reason to look at how social norms and policies can change to reduce the gap, says Associate Professor Jessica Pan. 


6 VR used to boost training

For almost a year now, the Singapore Prison Service and the Immigration and Checkpoints Authority have been using virtual reality simulations for training. At the Home Team Academy, trainee prison officers engage with "prisoners" in a virtual Changi Prison, where they deal with situations such as a fight in the prison yard.


7 Boy, 14, sexually attacked

A 14-year-old resident at The Salvation Army's Gracehaven home was attacked by a group of boys on two occasions in 2018. He was sexually penetrated with different objects by a boy, once at the home's independent living unit and another time in a dormitory.


8 Retail sales fail to pick up

Even huge shopping events like Singles' Day and Black Friday failed to lift retail sales in Singapore last November, marking the 10th straight month of decline. Experts said consumers had shopped more online, which hit sales at brick-and-mortar outlets.  


9 The new Invincibles

Former Liverpool hero Luis Garcia believes the Reds' confidence and momentum will see them emerging as the new Invincibles, and that the league leaders will eclipse the 49-game record set by Arsenal in the Premier League in 2004. 


10 Chinese festival for youth


Visitors to the Singapore Chinese Cultural Centre this weekend can explore an exhibition inspired by Haw Par Villa's other-worldly characters along with other events in Remix, the centre's first festival organised for youth. Other highlights include an urban art exhibition featuring contemporary portrayals of Chinese mythology (below) and a getai show starring the cast of Ah Boys To Men. 

Straits Times Digital


Aussie wildlife casualties

Many distressing images of animals injured or killed by Australia's bush fires have been seen on social media, with experts saying that as many as one billion animals may have died. str.sg/blurb151


Chef Kang's noodles

We talk about chef Ang Song Kang's springy bamboo pole wonton noodles and his decision to open his stall, Chef Kang's Noodle House, at a simple office-cum-storage complex in Toa Payoh. str.sg/blurb152

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on January 11, 2020, with the headline '10 must-reads for today'. Subscribe