Morning Minutes: What will make headlines, Jan 18, 2016

Singapore external trade figures for the month of December will be released on Jan 18, 2016.
Singapore external trade figures for the month of December will be released on Jan 18, 2016.PHOTO: ST FILE

Good morning! Morning Minutes is a round-up of stories that will break on Monday, Jan 18, and which we think you'd be interested in.

It appears on weekdays, available by 7am.

All eyes on Singapore's trade figures

Singapore's external trade figures for December will be released on Monday morning. The numbers will be keenly watched, especially given November’s disappointing data. November’s non-oil domestic exports (NODX) fell 3.3 per cent year-on-year, mainly due to a contraction in non-electronic shipments. NODX to all of the Singapore's top 10 markets - except the US, Japan, Thailand and South Korea - contracted.

Cyclists return after completing 1,000-km charity trip

Civil servant Saripin Samingan (left) and businessman Ivan Yeo are among the cyclists returning to Singapore after riding 1,000km to raise money for charity. ST PHOTO: ONG WEE JIN

Cyclists from all walks of life have joined forces over the last few days to help needy kidney patients. For the KDF Millennium Ride, which ends on Monday (Jan 18), 63 cyclists would have cycled at least eight hours each day, clocking 1,000km in four days. Among the difficulties faced during the gruelling journey from Perak’s Belum Rainforest to Singapore are varying terrain and inclement weather. 

Proceeds from the effort will go towards dialysis treatment for the kidney patients. They will be welcomed back to Singapore at a ceremony attended by Health Minister Gan Kim Yong.  - ZHAKI ABDULLAH

US Democratic candidates square off in final televised debate

Democratic presidential candidates (from left) Hillary Clinton, Bernie Sanders and Martin O'Malley waving to the crowd at Winthrop University on Nov 6, 2015 PHOTO: REUTERS

Democratic presidential frontrunner Hillary Clinton squares off in a debate on Sunday (Monday, Jan 18, Singapore time) against a surging Senator Bernie Sanders - whose campaign is hitting its stride two weeks before the first party nomination vote in Iowa - as well as former Maryland governor Martin O’Malley. The debate is the final televised showdown among the candidates and their performance could have a crucial impact on who wins Iowa, where Mrs Clinton and Mr Sanders are neck and neck in polls.