What's News: April 11, 2018

Reporters at media centre of Boao Forum for Asia watch Chinese President Xi Jinping delivering his speech at the annual forum, in Boao, in the southern Chinese province of Hainan, China on April 10, 2018.
Reporters at media centre of Boao Forum for Asia watch Chinese President Xi Jinping delivering his speech at the annual forum, in Boao, in the southern Chinese province of Hainan, China on April 10, 2018. PHOTO: REUTERS


Xi vows to open markets more

Chinese President Xi Jinping has pledged to open up Chinese markets further, even as his government parries with the United States over trade disagreements. His conciliatory remarks made yesterday at the Boao Forum for Asia included the promise of more protection for intellectual property rights and the prospect of lower tariffs.


FB alerts users on shared data

Facebook has started letting its account holders know whether their data was improperly shared with political consultancy Cambridge Analytica. Those with affected accounts will see a notification at the top of their Facebook News Feed informing them how they are affected. This is the first time users will know if their data was shared improperly or not.



Syria open to probe on attack

President Bashar al-Assad's government has invited international inspectors to send a team to investigate an alleged chemical attack in the town of Douma in an apparent move to avert possible Western military action over the incident. United States President Donald Trump (above) has warned of a quick, forceful response once responsibility has been established. 


Dip in China-US investments

Two-way business investment is likely to be hit this year because of the more contentious relationship between China and the United States, a report has said. Fears of a looming trade war and investment curbs have already hit foreign direct investment between the world's two largest economies, it added.


Effect of collective sale fever

With 50 to 60 projects sold in collective sales since end-2016, en-bloc fever rages on. The new 20,000 units coming on stream are likely to set new norms of higher prices and smaller flat sizes, says correspondent Grace Leong.


Makeover for Great World City

Great World City will receive its first major refurbishment in 20 years, beginning in the middle of this month. The works, estimated to cost more than $50 million and projected to be completed by the third quarter of 2020, is being done ahead of the opening of the Great World MRT station in 2021.


Car inspection fees up by 10%

New tests included for vehicle inspections from April 1 have pushed fees higher by as much as 10 per cent. For instance, the High Idle Emission Test for cars registered from 2014 adds $6.42 to the $64.20 annual inspection fee.


Collective sales to peak: RHB

The collective sale frenzy will peak in a few months, according to property analyst Vijay Natarajan of RHB. While he believes collective sale values this year will exceed the $8.2 billion racked up last year, Mr Natarajan said the cycle should peak in the second or third quarter, with developers getting "very selective" on what sites to buy.


Indian paddlers make waves

The success of India's table tennis teams at the Commonwealth Games is no fluke, but the result of coach Massimo Costantini's efforts. When the Italian took over in 2016, he worked on improving the players' fitness and skill levels, as well as their mental game. Overseas stints also helped to build team unity, says star player Manika Batra. 



Virtual games get more real

Hong Kong-based Sandbox VR is the latest to offer gamers here the chance to immerse themselves in a virtual world, where they can shoot zombies or search for pirate treasure. Players are outfitted with not only equipment such as plastic weapons and goggles, but also a vest that vibrates when they are hit in-game - making it the first virtual reality centre here to do so.


Blast from the past

Sin Po Po and old-school eateries that you can still visit in Singapore. http://str.sg/ocEd


Last of the binjai trees

Mrs Lee Li-Ming, 81, speaks about her binjai tree, which has been given heritage tree status, and its fruit. http://str.sg/binjai

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on April 11, 2018, with the headline 'What's News'. Print Edition | Subscribe