What's News: June 14, 2016

Corals destroyed by bleaching at Lizard Island on the Great Barrier Reef last month.
Corals destroyed by bleaching at Lizard Island on the Great Barrier Reef last month.PHOTO: EUROPEAN PRESSPHOTO AGENCY
Dr Merkel and Mr Li met at the Great Hall of the People yesterday.
Dr Merkel and Mr Li met at the Great Hall of the People yesterday.PHOTO: AGENCE FRANCE-PRESSE
Vettel (front) finished behind Hamilton (back) in the Canadian GP.
Vettel (front) finished behind Hamilton (back) in the Canadian GP.PHOTO: EUROPEAN PRESSPHOTO AGENCY


Unemployment down

Unemployment fell in the first quarter of the year - from 3 per cent last December to 2.6 per cent in March. But it went up for older workers, for whom the unemployment rate rose for the fourth quarter in a row.

The long-term unemployment rate also edged up to 0.7 per cent from 0.5 per cent in March last year.


MAS fights money laundering

The Monetary Authority of Singapore will set up dedicated departments to combat money laundering and strengthen enforcement, as part of global efforts to clamp down on illicit financing activities. The moves will take effect on Aug 1, said the central bank yesterday. 


China 'doesn't want trade war'

China does not want a trade war with Europe, Premier Li Keqiang said yesterday at a news briefing with German Chancellor Angela Merkel. The German leader said she was sure a solution could be found to tensions over Beijing's status in the World Trade Organisation.


Aussie PM pledges $1 b to protect Great Barrier Reef

Australian Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull, facing a tight re-election battle, yesterday pledged a A$1 billion (S$1 billion) fund for the Great Barrier Reef. The move came after a report last month claimed that mass coral bleaching had destroyed at least 35 per cent of the northern and central Great Barrier Reef. 


Duterte's challenges

Despite the bad press over his outbursts, Mr Rodrigo Duterte has amassed a diverse, pro-business Cabinet as he gets down to business as the Philippine President-elect. His focus is on domestic priorities, but international relations issues may arise, says Barry Desker.


Checks on Sengkang lift

A lift in a block of flats in Sengkang has been shut down for more thorough safety checks, after residents reported that it would stop and move randomly. This comes after a series of injuries from lift accidents this year. 


Health services rated highly

People are happier with public healthcare services here, going by the annual patient satisfaction survey. Last year, 86 per cent of patients said care at public hospitals, specialist centres and polyclinics was good or excellent, up from 79 per cent in 2014. But gripes over the wait for a hospital bed remain. 


Insurers' 'opportunity in Asia'

The world is grappling with issues like funding the older generation amid a period of ultra-low interest rates, but there is a wealth of opportunity in Asia for insurers, Deputy Prime Minister Tharman Shanmugaratnam said yesterday.


Suspension raises tension

The suspension of the Golden State Warriors' Draymond Green has led to escalated tension between the defending NBA champions and the Cleveland Cavaliers. Green, suspended for flagrant fouls, will be keenly missed in today's key Game 5 while Cleveland's LeBron James is fending off questions over showing on-court disrespect to Green. 


Vettel let down by tactics

Judging by the Canadian F1 Grand Prix on Sunday, Ferrari have to win a race soon. Their upgraded car is as fast as the dominant Mercedes, but their tactics let them down in Montreal, where Sebastian Vettel took two pit stops and lost the lead to Lewis Hamilton, who won with a single stop. 


3 maestros in SCO showcase

Three conductors with key roles in developing Singapore's orchestral music scene will take up the baton in a Singapore Chinese Orchestra (SCO) showcase next month for its 20th anniversary. They are SCO music director Yeh Tsung; its first conductor and music director Hu Bing Xu; and Singapore Symphony Orchestra founder Choo Hoey.

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on June 14, 2016, with the headline 'What's News'. Print Edition | Subscribe