What's News: February 18, 2016

An earlier satellite image of Woody Island showing building work including a runway.
An earlier satellite image of Woody Island showing building work including a runway. PHOTO: GOOGLE


China raises heat in sea row

Reports emerged that China has deployed surface-to-air missiles on Woody Island, part of the Paracel chain of disputed islands that are also claimed by Taiwan and Vietnam.

Beijing did not confirm or deny the accusation, but said that it was entitled to "limited and necessary self-defence facilities" under international law.


Bonus link to boost service?

SMRT may link a bigger portion of staff bonuses to how well train and bus services are run, through new team-based incentives. Maintenance and operation crews will be evaluated as a team, with the aim of driving better service.



HK students form party

Student activists in Hong Kong are forming a political party to participate in local elections this year, with the long-term objective of holding a referendum to allow Hong Kong to split from China after 2047. Activist leader Joshua Wong  said Hong Kong people need to take back their future.


Riau acts early against fires

Indonesia's Riau province is preparing for the next dry season expected in late May, as it aims to prevent forest fires. Jakarta has pledged to get tough on firms that burn land for replanting instead of hiring excavators that would cost them over six times as much.


Why we must save our forests

Posts on social media suggest strong support for calls for the Cross Island MRT line to go round the Central Catchment Nature Reserve, but among the men in the street, the response is largely indifference. This may be due to a nature deficit, writes Audrey Tan.


Shashlik eatery back in March

The Shashlik restaurant is back, and will reopen early next month. It will now come under the leadership of second-generation owners - Mr Derrick Tan and his brother Alan - as well as their friend, Mr Lee Say Yeow.


Student attacked 5 workers

An ITE College East student who had a "hatred" for Indian nationals assaulted five construction workers in the space of nine months, a court heard. Razmy Abdul Rahim, 20, was sentenced to reformative training after a judge described his offences as "deplorable"and "inexcusable".


Building secure banking jobs

A Financial Sector Tripartite Committee has been set up by the Monetary Authority of Singapore and the labour movement. The goal is to build a resilient workforce with deep, cross-functional skills, as market headwinds and technologies transform the sector's manpower needs, MAS managing director Jacqueline Loh said.

Real Madrid's Cristiano Ronaldo was upset by a question about his inability to score away goals since Nov 29 last year. PHOTO: REUTERS


Ronaldo leaves news conference in a huff

Cristiano Ronaldo walked out angrily from a Champions League press conference on Tuesday, riled by a question about his inability to score away goals. Ronaldo, who has not scored an away goal since Nov 29, replied before leaving abruptly: "Name one player who has scored more than me."



Madonna concert cost: $14m

Madonna's upcoming Rebel Heart concert at the National Stadium on Feb 28 costs US$10 million (S$14.1 million) to stage, including air freight for the pop star's 27 containers holding the stage, lighting and wardrobe set-ups. The show will also be the first concert at the venue that will require a reconfiguration of the seating.


Band lay Paris attacks to rest

American band Eagles Of Death Metal appeared on stage in Paris on Tuesday in front of the survivors of the Nov 13 Bataclan massacre in which 90 of their fans died. Deafening cheers and applause rang out as they began their set, viewed as a key moment in reviving morale in Paris and helping the survivors to turn the page.

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on February 18, 2016, with the headline 'What's News: February 18, 2016'. Print Edition | Subscribe