What's News: November 12, 2015

Alibaba CEO Daniel Zhang revealing the company's total value of goods transacted on Singles' Day was 91.2 billion yuan.
Alibaba CEO Daniel Zhang revealing the company's total value of goods transacted on Singles' Day was 91.2 billion yuan. PHOTO: REUTERS


SMEs gloomy about revenue

The bulk of small and medium-sized enterprises expect falling or flat sales on the back of a weak global economy, a new survey showed. The annual SME Development Survey by DP Information Group found 47 per cent of respondents do not expect turnover growth this year. Six per cent of those polled expect to see sales decline.


Record Singles Day sales

Chinese consumers smashed records, spending over $16.5 billion on online goods yesterday during sales to mark Singles Day, an annual shopping event by e-commerce giant Alibaba. Top-sellers included baby-related and nutritional products, as well as apparel.

Mr Narendra Modi (left) with BJP president Amit Shah, who crafted the strategy for the Bihar state elections that the party lost. PHOTO: REUTERS


Modi facing revolt in party after loss in state polls

In the first signs of trouble in India's Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) since it came to power, Prime Minister Narendra Modi is facing a revolt by party veterans after an electoral setback in the state of Bihar. In the crosshairs is BJP president Amit Shah, Mr Modi's most trusted aide, who crafted the campaign strategy and whose post is up for review in two months.



Lifetime defying the odds

Former German chancellor Helmut Schmidt, who died on Tuesday, spent a lifetime defying the odds stacked against him. The only chancellor of modern Germany to have served as a soldier in World War II, Mr Schmidt was a close friend of Singapore's late founding Prime Minister Lee Kuan Yew and last visited him in Singapore in May 2012.


Future of private schools

Student enrolment figures and the number of schools in the private education sector are declining. Senior Education Correspondent Sandra Davie proposes that the government look into how private schools can be co-opted into the SkillsFuture movement.


NIE courses to go online

National Institute of Education (NIE) International will launch one or two courses with education provider Coursera by the end of next year. NIE's business consultancy unit said this would benefit educators worldwide who are interested in its programmes.


Man abused friend's son, 7

A roti prata seller who offered a friend just out of prison a job and a place to stay had his kindness betrayed when the man sexually abused his seven-year-old son. The man was jailed six years for forcing him to perform oral sex on him.


Surbana invests in two firms

Urban developer Surbana Jurong has a US$60 million stake (S$85.4 million) in a Chinese firm to expand its presence in Africa, where demand is high for affordable housing. It also bought an 8.4 per cent stake in Flux Factory, a US-based software company, Surbana Jurong said yesterday.



Phelps 'didn't want to be alive'

American swimmer Michael Phelps , the most successful Olympian, has revealed that he was "in a really dark place" after being arrested last year for drink driving - and admitted "not wanting to be alive any more". He says he has not touched alcohol since and will stay dry till the Rio Games are over.


Ex-Reds, Devils still fired up

The former Liverpool and Manchester United players in Saturday's Battle of the Reds in Singapore may have long retired.

But their rivalry and desire to beat each other have not diminished over the years and for the likes of Jerzy Dudek and Paul Parker, this is one game they do not want to lose.


F4's Vic Chou weds

Actor Vic Chou married his girlfriend of four years, actress Reen Yu, on Tuesday. Chou, 34, is the second member of Mandopop phenomenon F4 to wed. The couple met on the set of the 2009 crime drama Black & White. He starred as a playboy detective and she played a fast-food joint waitress his character was indebted to.

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on November 12, 2015, with the headline 'What's News: November 12, 2015'. Print Edition | Subscribe