Changes to criminal code, China's might and en bloc fever

This is a fortnightly round-up of FAQs, pegged on news events, published on The Straits Times' website. Go to for more.

The topics covered by ST Explainers this past fortnight ranged from the law (Singaporean and American) to the animal kingdom. China's military parade on July 30 offered a rare glimpse of its military machine while money matters, from Apple's cash hoard to the return of en bloc fever in Singapore, were fodder for more explainers.

Proposed changes to criminal code The Ministry of Law has proposed some 50 legislative changes to the Criminal Procedure Code (CPC) and Evidence Act. The changes affect the powers of investigators, court procedures and evidence, and sentencing as well as other powers of the court. ST Explainers looks at nine key changes which seek to enhance the fairness of existing procedures as well as ensuring the accuracy and equity of outcomes in the criminal justice system.

The public can offer comments and feedback on the proposed changes till Aug 24. Before that, read our list of 10 things to know about the proposed changes, from the basics of the CPC to who will be affected by the changes.

China shows off military might China flexed its military muscles on July 30 with a massive parade at Inner Mongolia's Zhurihe military training base to mark the 90th anniversary of the founding of the People's Liberation Army. The parade featured 12,000 troops, more than 100 aircraft and 500 pieces of military equipment. More than half of the hardware had never been paraded in public. We look at some of the newest domestically built military hardware that the country showed off.

Key figures who left Trump's administration

White House communications director Anthony Scaramucci was sacked on July 31 after just 10 days on the job. We track the key figures who have quit, or been fired from, US President Donald Trump's administration in a timeline.

A discussion of the President's power to pardon was sparked by the Washington Post's report that Mr Trump and his legal team had discussed the possible use of presidential powers to pardon aides, family members and possibly even himself as a way to limit or undercut the investigation overseen by special counsel Robert Mueller. We look at the scope and limits of presidential power at

What Apple's billions can buy How much money does Apple have exactly? US$261.5 billion (S$354 billion). We did a quick comparison to Singapore's GDP and what that hoard can buy the cash-rich tech company.

The Consumers Association of Singapore (Case) highlighted an "alarming rise" in the amount of prepayments lost by consumers in the past 31/2 years as businesses folded. Case offered some pointers on how to avoid losing your money and we recap five tips.

Return of en bloc fever

En bloc fever seems to be back in Singapore as seven collective transactions this year, totalling $2.5 billion, have more than doubled last year's tally of $1 billion. We look at the numbers and which other developments are looking to go en bloc.

River Safari's icon turns 3 tomorrow Canola, the River Safari's manatee, will turn three tomorrow. The River Safari celebrated Canola's birthday on July 26, and we look at little-known facts about the species, which is closely related to the elephant.

End of the road for Global Yellow Pages

Printed telephone directories will officially go the way of the dodo next year. Global Yellow Pages announced on Tuesday that it will cease publication. For the young ones who have never heard of the tagline "Let your fingers do the walking", we explain what this quaint artefact is all about.

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on August 05, 2017, with the headline 'Changes to criminal code, China's might and en bloc fever'. Print Edition | Subscribe