What's News: Jul 12, 2018

Mr Shinzo Abe visiting flood victims at a shelter in Mabi, Okayama.
Mr Shinzo Abe visiting flood victims at a shelter in Mabi, Okayama. PHOTO: AGENCE FRANCE-PRESSE


Merits of meritocracy

Education Minister Ong Ye Kung said Singapore should not lose faith in meritocracy, even though it may seem to have paradoxically led to systemic unfairness within the education system. "We should not cap achievement at the top, but continue to strive to lift the bottom," he said during a debate in Parliament. 


Ways to beat urban heat

Researchers from a Cooling Singapore project have come up with 86 possible measures across seven key areas to help Singapore beat the urban heat island effect. These measures aim to make the Republic cooler through factors such as design and use of innovative materials. 


Japan flood toll rises to 179

The overall death toll in deadly rain in Japan last week has risen to 179 and is likely to go up further, with 87 people still unaccounted for. Prime Minister Shinzo Abe visited Okayama prefecture yesterday and said the central government will do all that it can to financially support disaster recovery efforts, including the construction of temporary housing. 


Pakatan says it can clear debt

Malaysia's new government is optimistic it can balance the books despite losing goods and services tax revenue and uncovering RM 1 trillion (S$338 million) in liabilities. Sources said the Pakatan Harapan coalition is confident it can make ends meet. 


Fallout from property curbs

The latest round of property curbs has come as a surprise to buyers. For first-time condo buyers, the tighter loan limits will likely mean having to lower expectations and look to the cheaper HDB resale market, says housing correspondent Rachel Au-Yong. 


Kreta Ayer's cultural heritage

The Kreta Ayer Heritage Gallery, set to open early next year, will be the first to focus on the intangible cultural heritage of the area and the Chinese community. The gallery will showcase, among other things, Chinese opera, painting and calligraphy, and Nanyin music.


SIA ramps up flights to US

Singapore Airlines is increasing its services to the United States with the launch of its non-stop flights to Los Angeles on Nov 2 and the increase in capacity on its flights to San Francisco. The airline will fly to the two US cities with the new Airbus 350-900ULR aircraft. 


Koufu IPO at 63 cents a share

Foodcourt operator Koufu has launched its initial public offering (IPO) for a mainboard listing at 63 cents a share. The issue will raise net proceeds of $70.5 million. Upon its debut, Koufu will have a market cap of $349.8 million. 


Belgium's Cup exit no surprise

Football Association of Singapore technical director Michel Sablon says Belgium did not do enough to break down a defensive France side, leading to the Red Devils' World Cup exit. As Les Bleus crowded the midfield, Belgium needed to use the wings better. 


NUSChoir nabs top award

The National University of Singapore's NUSChoir has won the top prize at Welsh music festival Llangollen International Musical Eistedfodd. It is the first Singapore choir to do so. 

What it should have been

In Tuesday's report, "Malaysia chose not to review water pact in 1987, says Vivian", we reported that Johor earns a profit of RM46 million a year from selling treated water that it bought from Singapore. That figure was obtained from the 2003 booklet, Water Talks, when the 1961 and 1962 water agreements were in force. The 1961 agreement lapsed in 2011. The booklet also stated that Johor had bought 37 million gallons a day (mgd) - 20 mgd more than its entitlement under both agreements. Updated figures of the profit earned by Johor were unavailable from published sources or the relevant authorities.

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Healthier hawker fare

More than 4,000 stallholders offer healthier eats, from thosai to bak kut teh. Here is where to find them. http://str.sg/healthy-food-map


Trump's trade tussles

From the "largest trade war in economic history" to other commercial spats - here is a summary of United States President Donald Trump's trade conflicts. http://str.sg/oQZi

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on July 12, 2018, with the headline 'What's News'. Print Edition | Subscribe