10 must-reads for today

China's national flag flying at half-mast at Tiananmen Square in Beijing yesterday, as a mark of respect to the late former premier Li Peng. PHOTO: REUTERS
China's national flag flying at half-mast at Tiananmen Square in Beijing yesterday, as a mark of respect to the late former premier Li Peng.PHOTO: REUTERS

1 Top tribute to Li Peng

National flags flew at half-mast in parts of Beijing yesterday as China paid the highest tribute to the late former premier Li Peng, who died at the age of 90 last week. Reviled by many for his role in the 1989 Tiananmen crackdown, Mr Li was eulogised by state media as an "outstanding revolutionary". He was cremated in western Beijing yesterday.

2 Help for downturn ready

Businesses and workers will receive help through a package of measures should the world economy take a nosedive, Deputy Prime Minister Heng Swee Keat, who is also Finance Minister, told a group of Malaysian journalists, who are part of this year's Malaysian Journalists Visit Programme.

3 S'pore's talent strategy

Minister for Trade and Industry Chan Chun Sing said the most important element of the country's talent strategy is to cultivate and grow the Singaporean talent pool, with the top tier stretched to excel to their potential. Talent from overseas will also be welcomed to work alongside Singaporeans in globally competitive teams.

4 KL may rescind Lynas order

Malaysia is likely to withdraw a demand that Australian miner Lynas export tonnes of feared radioactive waste as a condition for renewing the company's licence, which expires in September. The Straits Times understands that the country will instead ask the company to build a permanent disposal facility as a condition for the renewal of its license to operate its plant in Pahang.

5 Should robots have rights?

As computers surpass human intelligence and take on greater responsibilities, should they also be given legal and ethical rights? Law professor Simon Chesterman poses this question in the By Invitation column.

6 Boost taxi apps, tech skills

Manpower Minister Josephine Teo urged taxi companies to improve their apps, and drivers to pick up digital skills. This will help them capitalise on a commuter base that is more willing to spend on taxi services nowadays.

7 Sephora online data breach

Singapore's privacy watchdog is investigating international beauty retailer Sephora, which reported a breach of its online users' data, affecting customers in Singapore as well as those in Malaysia, Indonesia, Thailand, the Philippines, New Zealand and Australia. The company said that no credit card information was accessed and that it had "no reason to believe that any personal data has been misused".

8 New Honestbee chief

Grocery and delivery start-up Honestbee has appointed a new chief executive. Mr Ong Lay Ann, who is Singaporean, takes over from interim CEO Brian Koo, whose family controls South Korean technology giant LG.

9 Hamilton fights to get well

Lewis Hamilton cancelled all appearances in a bid to recover fully for this weekend's Hungarian Grand Prix, after driving while ill and struggling to 11th place in bad weather at the German race on Sunday. However, the Mercedes Formula One ace would surely have been cheered by his Alfa Romeo rivals' penalties, which handed him two points.

10 Prize-winning short story

What is it like to have your loved one taken away? Singaporean writer Yu-Mei Balasingamchow, 45, explores this in her short story The Prisoner, which won the Mississippi Review Fiction Prize in March.


Up your NDP Instagram game

Multimedia journalists Yeo Sam Jo and Rachel Quek offer tips on how to look stylish at Instagrammable locations around the Padang, where the National Day Parade will be held. http://str.sg/Insta-NDP


Inmates' training academy

The Singapore Prison Service has introduced new rehab programmes to help former offenders reintegrate into society. We visit Changi Prison to see how inmates are benefiting from these initiatives. http://str.sg/inmate-rehab

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on July 30, 2019, with the headline '10 must-reads for today'. Subscribe