10 must-reads for today

Student Keith Kok, 11, playing the drum during a lion dance performance by the Singapore Hok San Association earlier this month.
Student Keith Kok, 11, playing the drum during a lion dance performance by the Singapore Hok San Association earlier this month.ST PHOTO: GIN TAY


1 S'pore's coy lions turn 100

Lion dance, one of the National Heritage Board's 88 living heritage elements, takes a coy form with Singapore's oldest lion dance troupe. The Singapore Hok San Association, which turns 100 next year, makes its members study the mannerism of kittens. "We are gentle, cautious and curious. We bite back when necessary," said one of its advisers, Mr Chan Yew Kay. 


2 Talks focus on free trade

Free trade and economic cooperation were at the forefront of the meetings between Chinese Premier Li Keqiang, Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe and South Korean President Moon Jae-in in the Chinese city of Chengdu. 


3 Twist to Altantuya murder 

Malaysia's top prosecutor will look into reopening the case of a murdered Mongolian woman allegedly linked to former premier Najib Razak, after Azilah Hadri, one of the convicted murderers, made a sworn statement saying Najib ordered the killing of Ms Altantuya Shaariibuu. 


4 US lauds Saudi sentence

The United States has welcomed the death sentences issued by Saudi Arabia against five people over the murder of Mr Jamal Khashoggi, saying it was an important step to make those responsible for the crime accountable. 


5 Support for US in Asia

Foreign and security policy analysts have welcomed Washington's bipartisan support for US engagement in the Asia-Pacific, after Congress allocated US$2.5 billion (S$3.4 billion) for the 2018 Asia Reassurance Initiative Act. 


6 S'pore's role in digital media

Singapore can leverage its talent, content and financing networks to work with regional partners to drive the digital media sector, says Infocomm Media Development Authority chief industry development officer Howie Lau. 


7 Study on binge drinking

You may be knocking back a few drinks this festive season, but here is a sobering reason to pace yourself. A local study has found that those in the habit of binge drinking had a higher likelihood of poorer mental health and quality of life. Female binge drinkers also tend to report anxiety disorders. 


8 Weak consumption in Asia

Easing trade tensions between the world's two biggest economies, an upturn in the tech cycle and easier financial conditions will spur growth in Asia next year. But weak consumption across most of the region is likely to keep the upswing a tepid one. 



9 Boost for local tennis

Singapore will get a chance to experience the Spanish methodology that has produced world beaters such as Rafael Nadal, when five-time Davis Cup winner Feliciano Lopez (above) opens his SportEd Tennis Academy here in February. 


10 S'pore to host Dota 2 Major

Singapore is set to welcome the world's top 16 Dota 2 teams for the first time next June, with the teams playing for a prize pool of US$1 million (S$1.36 million). The first Dota 2 Singapore Major will be organised by One Esports with the support of the Singapore Tourism Board and e-sports company PGL. 



Hady Mirza wins again

The former Singapore Idol winner has been named co-winner of the sixth season of Malaysian music reality show Gegar Vaganza. Here are five up and down moments the singer has been through over the years. str.sg/blurb125


Get more out of rewards cards

Most Singaporeans have either a cashback or rewards points credit card, or both. Find out how to get the most out of them. str.sg/blurb124

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on December 25, 2019, with the headline '10 must-reads for today'. Subscribe