10 must-reads for today

Pro-democracy students doing the three-fingered Hunger Games salute in front of police, during a rally in Bangkok yesterday. PHOTO: AGENCE FRANCE-PRESSE
Pro-democracy students doing the three-fingered Hunger Games salute in front of police, during a rally in Bangkok yesterday. PHOTO: AGENCE FRANCE-PRESSE

1 Thai right-wing mobilises

About 200 Thai right-wingers have launched a group to counter student-led protests that have called for the departure of the government and reform of the monarchy. Meanwhile, a Thai court has issued arrest warrants for six pro-democracy activists involved in the recent rallies.

2 Second nature park network

More than 400ha of wetlands, marshes, nature parks and eco-corridors along the northern coast, which include Sungei Buloh Wetland Reserve, the Kranji Marshes and the upcoming Mandai Mangrove and Mudflat Nature Park, have collectively become Singapore's second nature park network - the Sungei Buloh Nature Park Network.

3 Parliament appointments

The People's Action Party has reappointed Dr Janil Puthucheary as party Whip and Ms Sim Ann as deputy party Whip. Separately, the government parliamentary committees (GPCs) have also been formed, and nine of the 12 GPCs will have new chairmen.

4 Join vaccine effort: WHO

The World Health Organisation (WHO) has urged all countries to join its global shared vaccine programme, in a letter sent by its director-general, and also spelt out who would get its eventual coronavirus jabs first.

5 Covid-19's risks to elderly

A recent article in a local medical journal saying Covid-19 is not more deadly for older people than other respiratory diseases has sparked some discussion. How should people assess the risks to the elderly, senior health correspondent Salma Khalik (below) asks experts.

6 Diverse board a boon

A study of the management boards of charities has found that greater diversity of board members shows better financial performance for the charity. The study collected data on the board composition and financial performance metrics of 204 Institutions of a Public Character, or IPCs - charities that are allowed to collect tax-deductible donations.

7 Focus on digital inclusion

Ensuring digital inclusion of vulnerable groups in society will be the theme for next year's President's Challenge, an annual fund-raiser for the less fortunate. President Halimah Yacob announced the theme "Building a Digitally Inclusive Society" yesterday.

8 Guoco's new luxury condo

GuocoLand's Guoco Midtown, currently the largest Central Business District project under development, has unveiled its latest addition. A second condominium project, Midtown Modern, will offer more than 500 luxury apartments.

9 Track chief hits back


Singapore Athletics president Tang Weng Fei has defended the professional independence of the management committee after national marathoner Soh Rui Yong (above) questioned the association's integrity in a blog post last Saturday.

10 $120k raised to aid bar staff

A group formed to aid bars hit by the pandemic has raised $120,000 to help up to 240 affected bar staff. Eligible bar employees whose monthly pay is $3,400 or less can each get up to $500 in relief. The Singapore Cocktail Bar Association said half of the amount came from corporate sponsors, with the rest matched by the Singapore Business Federation Foundation.


The Big Story

We talk about how the resumption of transit flights at Changi Airport can benefit Singapore's aviation sector, and Malaysia's claim that a new coronavirus strain is 10 times more infectious.


Thai anti-govt protests

More than 10,000 people joined the biggest protest in Thailand since a 2014 coup on Sunday to demand that the government step down and bring in a new Constitution for fresh elections.

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A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on August 20, 2020, with the headline 10 must-reads for today. Subscribe