What's News: April 7, 2017


S. Sumatra vows to avert haze

Dry weather may be on the cards later this year, but South Sumatra governor Alex Noerdin has promised that there will be no haze blowing in from the province as there will be no fires. Peatlands have been dampened by blocked canals and farmers have been educated on ways to clear land without using slash- and-burn methods, he said.


Four ways to spur innovation

Minister Ong Ye Kung spelt out four principles to support innovation in the public service: Remember that innovation is bottom-up, ensure policies are optimal nationally, do not boil the ocean, and preserve trust between political leaders and civil servants.



Duterte to visit Spratlys chain

President Rodrigo Duterte  is planning to raise the Philippine flag on Thitu Island, which his country occupies in the disputed waters of the South China Sea. The plan is unlikely to sit well with Beijing. He has also ordered his military to fortify the nine islands and reefs that the Philippines has claimed in the Spratlys chain in the southern half of the South China Sea.


Behind Bannon's ouster

As the White House dowanplays the ouster of controversial chief strategist Stephen Bannon from the National Security Council, critics of the media mogul's role on the council said Washington had given too much weight in decision-making to someone who lacked foreign policy expertise.


Winning back trust in HK

If Hong Kongers mistrusted the communist government of Beijing at the 1997 handover, they trust it even less now, 20 years later. Beijing needs to back off on politics and engage economically to win back trust, analysts tell Goh Sui Noi.


Job placement help for PMETs

Professionals, managers, executives and technicians (PMETs) who lose their jobs or have been unemployed for at least three months will get more help to find work - Workforce Singapore has appointed two overseas placement firms under a two-year pilot.


60 humanoid robots sold here

SoftBank Telecom Singapore, the local distributor of a $14,000 humanoid robot which stands 57cm tall, has sold about 60 units here. The robot can perform a range of tasks, from providing information drawn from its database to even dancing.


CDL issues first green bond

City Developments (CDL) has issued the first green bond by a Singapore company, tapping into the fast-growing demand for socially responsible investment products. The two-year senior secured green bond raised $100 million at a fixed rate of 1.98 per cent due in 2019.



Blues 'can't let guard down'

Chelsea manager Antonio Conte is urging caution, despite the fact that the Blues are seven points ahead of Tottenham Hotspur in the race to the English Premier League title. He has told his players to assume that Spurs could win all their remaining games, and says his side need at least six victories from their last eight games to be assured of the title.


Chanel opening pop-up cafe

French fashion house Chanel is launching its second pop-up concept in Singapore tomorrow. For nine days, Coco Cafe, located at the Visual Arts Centre in Penang Road, will offer shoppers free makeovers, manicures and hand massages as well as desserts. The brand hopes to connect with millennials and beauty junkies through the cafe.


The big summit

One is brash, the other tough. Here is all you need to know about the first face-to-face meeting of the two presidents. str.sg/xitrumpsum


Slow and stylish

Watch the six steps in the Japanese bassen printing technique used to make cloth for artisanal label 45R. str.sg/bassenprint

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on April 07, 2017, with the headline 'What's News'. Print Edition | Subscribe