10 must-reads for today

Firefighters and residents watching smoke rise from a bush fire outside Nana Glen, a village in New South Wales, Australia, yesterday. PHOTO: DPA
Firefighters and residents watching smoke rise from a bush fire outside Nana Glen, a village in New South Wales, Australia, yesterday. PHOTO: DPA

1 Bush fires rage on

Bush fires broke out in Sydney yesterday, fanned by strong winds and soaring temperatures as Australia's largest city faced its first ever "catastrophic" fire danger. Fires also broke out in suburbs of the city, shrouding the skyline with an acrid smoke haze.

2 8,170 HDB flats for sale

In the year's last Build-To-Order (BTO) sales exercise, the Housing Board launched 4,571 new BTO flats, mostly in the upcoming Tengah estate. Under the Sales of Balance Flats, 3,599 units in mature and non-mature estates are also up for sale. Together, the total number of 8,170 units for sale makes this the biggest HDB flat launch this year.

3 200 AXA agents join GE

Poaching activity in Singapore's life insurance industry has come full circle for key players with their own financial advisory arms, with the first mass migration taking place amid tightened industry guidelines. Sources say about 200 agents from insurer AXA have moved to Great Eastern Financial Advisers. 

4 Key US-Turkey summit

Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan arrives in Washington today for a summit with US President Donald Trump. The meeting could well prove crucial to the security of not only the Middle East, but also Europe. 

5 EU's next trade czar

From fixing the World Trade Organisation to trade ties with the United States to negotiations over Brexit, Mr Phil Hogan has his work cut out for him when he takes over as European Union Trade Commissioner next month, says associate editor Vikram Khanna (above). 

6 Adapt to ageing workforce

The private sector is slow in changing corporate culture to meet the needs of Singapore's rapidly ageing population, putting firms at commercial risk, said an expert in a paper released yesterday. The 15-page paper says the Republic needs to change the way things are done to seize the advantages that longer lives bring. 


7 First Campus' $3m boost

Singapore's second-largest pre-school operator - NTUC First Campus - will be spending $3 million in the next three years to help develop children aged three and younger. The funds are to help teachers hone their craft, and for research focusing on children in that age group. 

8 Retail sales slip 2.2% in Sept

Takings at the till fell for the eighth consecutive month in September, slipping 2.2 per cent compared with the same month last year. But a turnaround could be on the cards soon, say analysts. 

9 Road closures for marathon

Minimal disruption is expected for those affected by road closures for the first evening edition of the Standard Chartered Singapore Marathon from Nov 29 to Dec 1. This follows a nearly year-long communication process by the organisers with stakeholders. 

10 Review of YouTube Music

Journalist Vincent Chang highlights the pros and cons of the new YouTube Music service, which was launched in Singapore last week. The music streaming platform takes on rivals such as Spotify and Apple Music.


App way to beat Manila traffic

Motorbike ride-hailing app Angkas has a big presence in Manila, with three million downloads and more than 27,000 riders roaming the capital. And the person behind it? Singaporean Angeline Tham. str.sg/blurb51


Next giant leap

Work is under way at the Kennedy Space Centre in Florida for the next big leap into space - putting a man and a woman on the Moon in 2024, followed by a crewed mission to Mars. str.sg/blurb52

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on November 13, 2019, with the headline '10 must-reads for today'. Print Edition | Subscribe