What's News: Jan 17, 2017

The Beijing Railway Station was packed with passengers last Friday.
The Beijing Railway Station was packed with passengers last Friday.PHOTO: EUROPEAN PRESSPHOTO AGENCY


Rise in private home sales

Sales of new private homes defied the forecasters and rose last year as upbeat buyers ventured back into the market to take advantage of lower prices and still-low interest rates. Developers sold 8,136 new units last year - 9.4 per cent more than the 7,440 shifted in 2015.


Rainforest Park: Work begins

The new Rainforest Park in Mandai, which is being developed by Mandai Park Holdings, will feature a seemingly cage-less environment for animals when it opens in 2021. The company started work on the hub of five wildlife parks in Mandai yesterday. It includes the Bird Park ,which will open in 2020.


Smog may derail travel plans

An official from Chinese railway operator China Railway Corp has warned that rail services during the annual Spring Festival travel rush could be disrupted after smog returned to parts of central and northern China. Services could be cancelled and trains could be forced to slow down due to the poor visibility and the need to increase train maintenance as a result of the smog, he said. 


China nod for Lam and Tsang

China yesterday approved the resignations of Hong Kong's Chief Secretary Carrie Lam and Financial Secretary John Tsang, clearing the way for them to run in the city's Chief Executive Election in March. Mrs Lam has declared she would contest the election.


Risks of a trade war

President-elect Donald Trump may think the United States has the upper hand, but in this globalised world, even a partial trade war could spark a chain reaction that brings down the global economy, with effects that boomerang, says Professor John Wong. 


UK court orders boy's return

A five-year-old boy caught in a custody battle between his Singaporean father and Mongolian mother must be returned to his mother's care in the UK, a British judge has ruled. The man broke a UK passport order and returned here to file a bid for his son to stay.


Wee family buys up condo

Veteran banker Wee Cho Yaw has bought all 45 unsold units at the upmarket condominium, The Nassim, for $411.6 million. The bulk purchase gets developer CapitaLand off the hook over penalties that apply to unsold properties after a stipulated period.


Thomas sets PGA Tour record

American golfer Justin Thomas made history on Sunday at the Sony Open, firing a five-under-par 65 to set the PGA Tour's lowest four-round score of all time at 253.

He finished seven strokes ahead of Britain's Justin Rose to clinch the title. Tommy Armour had held the previous four-round record with a score of 254 at the Texas Open in 2003. 


Fringe Fest ticket sales down

While six productions at this year's M1 Singapore Fringe Festival were sold out, total ticket sales fell by 37 per cent compared with last year's figure, in part because fewer events were programmed this year. The arts festival ran from Jan 4 to Sunday, and had 21 ticketed shows compared with 29 last year.

What it should have been

Last Saturday's report, "Cyclist killed in bus crash a kind and helpful person", quoted a Shin Min Daily News report where Ms Wong Lai Cheng's husband was heard saying she was fighting cancer. Ms Wong's husband has said this is wrong. 

In Sunday's article, "Brought down by 'swallows' and 'ravens'", we reported that an American diplomat, Mr Kyle Hatcher, was caught in a "kompromat" operation in 2009. The report was wrong. The video-tape used against Mr Hatcher was a forgery, and the US State Department has said he was the victim of a smear campaign, which first surfaced in a Russian website and was subsequently picked up by other media outlets.

We are sorry for the errors.



Party in the city

It got its name from the Chinese clubs that used to line the street.

See photos of Club Street in 1983 and today at http://str.sg/clubstreet


Riding with danger

Watch motorcyclists travelling between lanes and other dangerous riding habits on a Singapore expressway.


A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on January 17, 2017, with the headline 'What's News'. Subscribe