10 must-reads for today

Activists in Manila protesting against China, as tensions rise over Beijing's presence in the disputed South China Sea. PHOTO: AGENCE FRANCE-PRESSE
Activists in Manila protesting against China, as tensions rise over Beijing's presence in the disputed South China Sea. PHOTO: AGENCE FRANCE-PRESSE

1 Manila-Beijing dispute

The Philippines has filed a diplomatic protest against China after alleging that the crew of a Chinese fishing boat sank a Philippine vessel carrying 22 fishermen in the disputed waters of the South China Sea. 

2 Labour market turning soft

The first quarter of the year saw a rise in retrenchments, with the manufacturing sector reducing staff, and a drop in job vacancies for the first time in two years. Economists believe that the labour market is turning soft, and jobs may be harder to find and hold on to in the months ahead.

3 Lower mid-year bonus

Next month, civil servants will get a mid-year bonus of 0.45 month's pay, plus a one-off payment ranging from $200 to $300. The lower mid-year payments come as Singapore recorded lower-than-expected economic growth of 1.2 per cent in the first quarter of the year.

4 Two oil tankers attacked

The crews of two oil tankers were evacuated off the coast of Iran yesterday after they were reportedly attacked in the Gulf of Oman. The incident on the strategic sea lane comes just weeks after similar attacks in May, and amid tensions between Iran and the United States. 

5 French view of China

The French and other Europeans are flagging their worries about China's rise and shifting their security policies accordingly in Asia, says associate editor Ravi Velloor. 

6 Spotlight on safety at work

There would usually be barriers and warnings put up and workers warned of risks in places such as on the rooftop of One Raffles Place where an area had been cordoned off for cleaning works, say observers. A security guard for 1-Altitude bar died after falling into a 4m-deep pit on the rooftop on Sunday. 

7 NUS toughens sanctions

The National University of Singapore put into effect new and tougher sanctions for sexual misconduct yesterday. Victims will have a greater voice in the proceedings and hearings before the Board of Discipline when a new disciplinary process starts next month. 

8 Ex-teacher's $14b firm

Ms Zhong Huijuan quit her teaching job and got into the drug business. Her Hansoh Pharmaceutical Group, China's largest maker of psychotropic drugs, is set to list today in Hong Kong with a market value of US$10.4 billion (S$14.2 billion). 


9 Kenyan fails dope test

Kenyan Felix Kiptoo Kirwa, 23, is the second medal winner to fail a drug test at last year's Standard Chartered Singapore Marathon. The runner-up in the men's elite field was banned nine months for the positive test at the Dec 9 race, meeting the same fate as Lim Baoying, the local women's champion. 

10 Westworld to film in S'pore

A HBO spokesman has confirmed that filming locations for the third season of the science fiction drama series Westworld (2016 to present) will include Singapore. A trailer for the upcoming season has one quick scene featuring what seems to be Singapore. 


Facial recognition goes mainstream

A handful of eateries and hotels in Singapore have started using facial recognition to speed up their processes. The Straits Times finds out if they improve the user experience. http://str.sg/face


Overcoming adversity

Diagnosed with a severe and rare heart condition at birth, Ms Boo Kai Ni faced bullying by classmates who did not understand she was ill. In this segment of The Straits Times Generation Grit series, she talks about what motivated her despite her difficulties. http://str.sg/kaini

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on June 14, 2019, with the headline '10 must-reads for today'. Print Edition | Subscribe