What's News: December 15, 2015

German Chancellor Angela Merkel speaking at the Christian Democratic Union party congress in Karlsruhe, Germany, yesterday.
German Chancellor Angela Merkel speaking at the Christian Democratic Union party congress in Karlsruhe, Germany, yesterday.PHOTO: AGENCE FRANCE-PRESSE


Jitters over Fed rate hike

Stock markets and commodity prices tumbled as jittery investors fret over the United States Federal Reserve making its first move to increase interest rates since 2006. Market watchers are all but convinced that the US central bank will lift rates from ultra-low levels tomorrow (Thursday morning Singapore time), as the US economy seems to be on the mend.


Making Singapore greener

Singapore is doing its part to halt climate change but can still do more in the long term, said experts. While it no longer uses oil and coal in energy generation, it will need to phase out natural gas by 2050 and replace it with cleaner and renewable energy sources, in particular solar power.



Japan may have double polls

A tax concession made by Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe (above) to coalition partner Komeito raises the odds of rare double polls being called next year. As a quid pro quo for his promise to maintain the sales tax rate on food and drinks when the levy is hiked in 2017, he may be able to persuade his ally to agree to snap Lower House elections on the same day as Upper Chamber polls. 


Merkel pledges to reduce refugee influx

German Chancellor Angela Merkel has pledged to "noticeably" reduce a massive refugee influx into the country at a pivotal party congress of her Christian Democratic Union. But Dr Merkel refused to give in to the demand of the party's right wing for a cap on the number of newcomers, insisting Germany would live up to its "humanitarian responsibilities". 


Terror strikes may hit the soul

Terrorist attacks can scar people in insidious ways, making them paranoid and suspicious of strangers, stirring xenophobia.

Dr Chong Siow Ann reflects on how individuals and societies must guard against such coarsening of their souls. 


Countdown at Marina Bay

Marina Bay will be lit up with fireworks at the countdown celebration on New Year's Eve, in a show that will match last year's. There will also be more locations for viewers to catch the action, especially with the opening of the Jubilee Bridge, said organisers. 


SMRT's help-us-hire carrot

Transport operator SMRT is offering bigger cash rewards to staff who help it recruit new hires for positions such as bus drivers or engineers. It is offering up to $3,000 for each successful new recruit. 


Access to private equity deals

Investors can now get access to private equity deals under a new programme set up by DBS Private Bank, called PE Access.

The bank will offer details of such deals to its high-net-worth clients, who will then do further due diligence. The minimum deal size is $5 million.


Rookies' winning attitude

Two consecutive defeats at the Mission Foods Nations Cup have not dampened the spirits of Chinese Taipei's netball team.

The players believe that just being able to make the trip to host nation Singapore is an achievement in itself.

The national squad, made up mainly of former basketball players, was formed only last year and the team's primary goal is to gain experience. 


HK's Yung Kee in legal peril

Tomorrow, the 74-year-old Yung Kee Restaurant - a go-to eatery for local families and pilgrimage site for tourists - could be putting its woks and ovens in storage.

The families of two feuding sons of the late founder, Kam Shui Fai, have been ordered by the courts to reach an agreement over their competing stakes.

If they do not, the company will be liquidated. 

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on December 15, 2015, with the headline 'What's News: December 15, 2015'. Subscribe