What's News: December 27, 2017


Factory output up in Nov

Singapore manufacturers are ending the year on a high, with factory output expanding 5.3 per cent last month over the same month last year, according to data out yesterday.

This was a strong showing but still came in below economists' forecasts of an 8.1 per cent increase, largely because of a production dip in the volatile biomedical sector.


More COEs being extended

Land Transport Authority figures show a significant increase in the number of certificates of entitlement extended this year, with five-year revalidations making up the bulk of extensions.

The Chinese-controlled North Island is part of the Paracel Islands group in the South China Sea. PHOTO: REUTERS


'More change' in S. China Sea

China's large-scale land reclamation around disputed reefs and shoals in the South China Sea is "moving ahead steadily" and is on track to use giant "island-builders" to transform even more of the region, said a report that appeared on Haiwainet, a website under the Communist Party's flagship newspaper the People's Daily.


Charges against duo dropped

Myanmar police said yesterday they would drop pending charges against Singaporean cameraman Lau Hon Meng and Malaysian reporter Mok Choy Lin as they did not mean to endanger national security by flying a drone over a Parliament building. They were jailed last month for violating an aircraft law.


Bitcoin's unpredictable price

Will bitcoin rise to US$100,000 (S$134,000) in a year or collapse to US$1,000? The cryptocurrency may be limited in supply but has other rivals. Its price trajectory is just unpredictable, says associate editor Vikram Khanna.


Dynamic pricing for taxis?

Uber Singapore has raised the possibility of ComfortDelGro taxis charging fares that fluctuate according to demand if booked through the app UberFlash. The app, already launched in other countries such as Malaysia, will dispatch the nearest car or taxi to passengers.


MOH battles healthcare costs

The Ministry of Health is opening up more facilities next year to meet greater demand from an ageing population, and will also be introducing benchmarks for fees to help patients guard against overcharging.


Year of calm seas for shipping

After years of blood-letting and a never ending race to the bottom, global shipping lines have enjoyed a calmer 12 months. But industry observers are fully aware that the toxic issues that have been roiling the sector - price wars and overcapacity - are lurking just over the horizon, ready to wreak more havoc.


Durant's late blocks crucial

Twice Kevin Durant won defensive plays against LeBron James late in the Christmas Day game between last season's NBA finalists, helping the Golden State Warriors to a 99-92 win over the Cleveland Cavaliers. That lifted the champions to the top of the Western Conference, after the Houston Rockets lost their third straight game - 107-112 to the Oklahoma City Thunder.



No concerns over student role

Taiwanese actress Vivian Sung is donning a school uniform again in her latest movie Take Me To The Moon, two years after she played a goofy student in the hugely successful film Our Times. Despite the apparent similarities between the two roles, the 25-year-old actress has no concerns about being typecast. She said: "The role in the new movie is not the same. Her personality is very different."


Unlikely star of GE2011

Former Returning Officer Yam Ah Mee explains his monotonous reading of election results and shares what he thinks of the many memes he inspired. str.sg/oof8


Year-end round-up

From a gift of life to a tearful reunion, here are the inspirational tales that trended on The Straits Times' social media and video platforms this year. str.sg/oow2

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on December 27, 2017, with the headline 'What's News'. Print Edition | Subscribe