What's News: July 18, 2017

Secretary of State Rex Tillerson with Sheikh Tamim bin Hamad al-Thani in Doha.
Secretary of State Rex Tillerson with Sheikh Tamim bin Hamad al-Thani in Doha.PHOTO: AGENCE FRANCE-PRESSE


S'pore exports pick up steam

Singapore exports picked up in June - following two months of lacklustre performance - to grow 8.2 per cent from a year earlier.

Despite the surge, economists are concerned that the electronics sector, which has been a key economic growth driver, might lose steam in this half of the year.


Mandatory safety meetings

All contractors, sub-contractors, consultants and safety officers will soon need to attend a mandatory daily safety meeting before any construction work can be done, the Ministry of Manpower said yesterday. This follows the collapse of a 40m viaduct section that killed a worker in Changi last week.


UAE behind Qatar hacking: US

The United Arab Emirates (UAE) orchestrated the hacking of Qatari government news and social media sites in order to post incendiary false quotes attributed to Qatar's emir, Sheikh Tamim bin Hamad al-Thani, in late May, according to US intelligence officials.

The officials said it was unclear if the UAE carried out the hacks itself or contracted to have them done.


Merkel to run for full term

German Chancellor Angela Merkel has said she plans to serve a full term if re-elected. "I made clear when I announced my re-election bid that I would run for four years," she said in a television interview.

The election is set to take place in September. A full fourth term would extend her chancellorship to 16 years, through to 2021.


Psychology of self-cutting

Why do some young people cut themselves? Psychiatrist Chong Siow Ann says these may be symptomatic of other mental illnesses. Parents and schools need to watch out for signs.


Taxi numbers hit 8-year low

The taxi population has fallen to an eight-year low of 25,699, declining since the arrival of ride-hailing apps. Cabbies are also leaving the trade. The proportion of idle or unhired taxis hit 9.1 per cent in May, almost double what it was at the same time last year.


Marriage void after sex change

A Singaporean couple had their 16-month marriage voided by the Registry of Marriages (ROM) after the man had a sex-change operation and became a woman. ROM said: "Singapore law does not recognise a marriage where both parties are of the same sex."


Jump in new home sales

The strong uptrend in new home sales continued last month, even as analysts forecast better times ahead for the property market. Developers sold 820 new homes in June, a 53 per cent jump over the same month last year, when only 536 new private homes were bought. June is usually a lull period for the market due to the school holidays.



Klopp cool amid transfers

Jurgen Klopp (above) has said he has "no intention to be spectacular in the transfer season", as he played down the Reds' low-key activity in acquiring stars. While Manchester United, Manchester City and even Everton have splashed out on big names, Liverpool have made just two first-team signings - Dominic Solanke and Mohamed Salah.


Celebrating NS50 through art

When artist Terence Teo, who is president of the Singapore Art Society, was asked to collaborate on an exhibition to celebrate 50 years of national service, he had one condition - "Don't ask our artists to produce a poster," he said. The resulting exhibition, titled Commemorating NS50 Through Art, has about 140 artworks by 53 artists that pay tribute to NS.

Straits Times Digital


Squeezing out the right choice

Is freshly squeezed juice better than blended juice? Take the quiz to see how much you know about healthier choices. str.sg/fruitquiz


Drones light up the night

Look up to the sky at the National Day Parade for a dazzling light show by 300 drones. Here is a preview. str.sg/ndpdrones

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on July 18, 2017, with the headline 'What's News'. Print Edition | Subscribe