What's News: April 21, 2017

Mr Basuki Tjahaja Purnama at a post-election press conference on Wednesday.
Mr Basuki Tjahaja Purnama at a post-election press conference on Wednesday.PHOTO: REUTERS


28 schools to be merged

The knock-on effect of a falling birth rate is that by 2019, the junior college intake is likely to drop by a fifth, and the number of JCs will shrink from 23 to 19, the Education Ministry revealed. Seven pairs of primary schools and three pairs of secondary schools will also merge in the exercise.


Deal on 1MDB debts

Malaysia and Abu Dhabi have reached a settlement on a dispute involving billions of dollars in debt obligations of scandal-scarred 1Malaysia Development Berhad that is at the centre of an international money-laundering probe. Under the proposed settlement, Malaysia must repay Abu Dhabi US$1.2 billion (S$1.7 billion) before year-end.


Ahok plays host to successor

Jakarta governor Basuki Tjahaja Purnama hosted his election rival Anies Baswedan at City Hall yesterday, with the sting of defeat at Wednesday's polls undoubtedly still fresh on his mind.

The visit was organised to prepare for the imminent handover of Mr Basuki's administration to Mr Anies come October.


Thai separatists turn up heat

Over a dozen bombings took place across southern Thailand on Wednesday night, the second wave of attacks this month. While no one has claimed responsibility, analysts say the blitz was timed to press a demand by separatist insurgents for fresh terms in peace talks.


Time for soul-searching

Perhaps the best thing about Jakarta's polls for governor is that they are finally over, says associate editor Ravi Velloor, as he weighs the impact of a divisive campaign that saw hardline Islamists rally against a Chinese-Christian incumbent seeking re-election.


E-commerce sites team up

In anticipation of the launch of Amazon here, online shopping sites Lazada and RedMart have teamed up with other online services to launch a membership programme. LiveUp offers users benefits such as rebates and discounts for Netflix, Uber and Taobao Collection.


Professor admits shoplifting

An engineering professor from Nanyang Technological University pleaded guilty to shoplifting yesterday. Er Meng Joo, 55, stole items such as toiletries from two petrol stations. He was caught after the manager of both stores reviewed the CCTV footage.


Help for SMEs to adopt tech

Smaller firms have tended to lag behind when it comes to technological innovations but a new initiative was launched yesterday to help small and medium-sized enterprises get up to speed. The Tech Depot is a website that lists readily adoptable technology solutions that are eligible for funding support.


Westbrook's feat falls short

Russell Westbrook's 51 points, 10 rebounds and 13 assists contained the highest-scoring total for a triple-double in the history of the NBA Play-offs. But it was still not enough for the Oklahoma Thunder, as the guard faded down the stretch and the Houston Rockets made up a big deficit to win 115-111 and take a 2-0 lead in the Western Conference first-round series.



Singer Tay Kewei pregnant

Singers Alfred Sim, 35, and Tay Kewei, 33, are expecting their first child.

The couple, who tied the knot in 2015, had been trying to start a family for about a year when Tay discovered the good news on the first day of Chinese New Year. They decided to make the announcement now because she is out of the first trimester.

Straits Times Digital


Hug for a life saver

Watch the moment when eight-year-old Ryssa meets the man who saved her life - her bone marrow donor Phil Tan. str.sg/donormeet


Life on the street

They might face a ban in Bangkok, but street vendors still thrive in these five places around the world. str.sg/stvendors

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on April 21, 2017, with the headline 'What's News'. Print Edition | Subscribe