What's News: January 13, 2017


Eight Indonesians under probe

Eight Indonesians were denied entry into Singapore at the Woodlands Checkpoint because immigration officers found images related to the Islamic State in Iraq and Syria (ISIS) in the cellphone of the group leader, including a photo of a "sandal bomb". The group was handed over to the Malaysian authorities and subsequently deported to the Riau Islands. They are now being questioned.


Sweeteners for condo sales

Developers of completed condominiums are again offering sweeteners to home hunters that proved successful in shifting unsold units last year. The Peak@Cairnhill II, a 60-unit freehold condo near Orchard Road, was launched for sale on Monday, offering a 15 per cent discount and an enhanced deferred payment scheme.



Abe seeks to woo Philippines

Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe was in Manila as the first head of state to visit the Philippines since President Rodrigo Duterte (both above) took office. Mr Abe sought to woo the Philippines with a US$9 billion (S$12.8 billion) aid package and assistance for Mr Duterte's anti-drugs campaign. Japan also offered to shore up the Philippines' military to help it fight terrorists and piracy.


Volkswagen to pay $6.1b fines

Volkswagen has agreed to pay a record US$4.3 billion (S$6.1 billion) in fines in the US to settle charges that it conspired for nearly 10 years to cheat on diesel emission tests. In total, it has agreed to spend up to US$22 billion in the US to address claims.


Moving past comfort women

Japan's enslavement of comfort women in wartime is a deep wound in the South Korean psyche, and yet, the time has come for both countries to bury old hatchets so that they can face down new regional threats together, writes associate editor Ravi Velloor.


Bike-hire plans at one-north

Industrial park one-north in Buona Vista could soon allow people to hire bicycles or electric scooters for travel on that "last mile" stretch that is not well served by public transport. JTC, which manages the park, called for a tender for the system on Wednesday.


Cat ban upheld after complaints

A letter to an HDB cat owner to say that pet cats were banned in flats was sent because of other residents' complaints that the cat was defaecating and urinating in common areas. The HDB is working with animal welfare groups to find the pet a new home.


Firms taking long-term view

Singapore companies say they are preparing long-term growth plans even as they deal with intense short-term pressure. According to a KPMG pre-Budget 2017 poll, some 70 per cent of respondents cited global economic volatility as their top business concern, a sharp rise from last year when only half said it was a top concern.


Lions' home venue: No deal yet

The 2019 Asian Cup football third-round qualifiers begin on March 28, but it is still not known if the Lions will continue playing their home games at the 55,000-capacity National Stadium. The Singapore Sports Hub and the Football Association of Singapore have yet to agree on extending their deal, and high costs are believed to be the factor.



Biennale artists win prizes

Two artists participating in the Singapore Biennale have received awards for their works. Thailand's Pannaphan Yodmanee (below) won the Benesse Prize, which comes with a cash reward of three million yen (S$37,400) and a commission to create a work of art.

The Soichiro Fukutake Prize was given to Singapore artist Zulkifle Mahmod, 42.


Tricks of the track

Stunt driver Russ Swift demonstrates how to park a car in the tightest of spots without slowing down. http://str.sg/stuntdriver



Big shopping in Little India

Five things to know about 24-hour superstore Mustafa, which will soon be reducing its floor space. http://str.sg/mustafa5


A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on January 13, 2017, with the headline 'What's News'. Print Edition | Subscribe