Morning Minutes: What will make headlines, March 11, 2016

The new livery for public buses under the Government contracting model will be unveiled today at a bus carnival at Ngee Ann City Civic Plaza.
The new livery for public buses under the Government contracting model will be unveiled today at a bus carnival at Ngee Ann City Civic Plaza.ST PHOTO: ONG WEE JIN

Good morning! Morning Minutes is a round-up of stories that will break on Friday, March 11, and which we think you'd be interested in.

It appears on weekdays, available by 7am.

Tan Cheng Bock to reveal whether he will run for president

Dr Tan Cheng Bock, who lost the 2011 presidential election, will announce today whether he will make another bid for the presidency. PHOTO: ST FILE

Dr Tan Cheng Bock, who lost in the 2011 Presidential Election, looks set to announce today a possible second bid for the presidency. Dr Tan, 75, is scheduled to hold a press conference at 10.30am at the MHC Asia Healthcare building in Commonwealth.

The former People’s Action Party (PAP) MP for Ayer Rajah from 1980 to 2006 lost the 2011 election to President Tony Tan Keng Yam by 7,382 votes – or 0.35 percentage point – in a four-way contest. The next presidential election must be held by August next year.


The new livery for public buses under the Government contracting model will be unveiled today at a bus carnival at Ngee Ann City Civic Plaza. Commuters had cast votes for the two choices: bright red or lush green.  The chosen colour will make its debut on buses to be used by Anglo-Australian company Tower Transit.

Japan marks 5th anniversary of March 11 Tsunami

A man stands on the shore at tsunami-devastated Arahama in Sendai, Miyagi Prefecture on March 10, 2016. PHOTO: EPA

Japan today marks five years since a massive earthquake and tsunami flattened coastal communities, causing nearly 19,000 deaths and disappearances, and 160,000 people to lose their homes and livelihoods. The magnitude-9.0 earthquake sparked a 10m-high tsunami that crashed into a Fukushima No. 1 nuclear power station, causing multiple meltdowns and radiation leaks, in the worst nuclear crisis since Chernobyl.

Even now, the damage has yet to be contained. The radiation at the plant is still so powerful that it has proven impossible to get into its bowels, and find and remove the extremely dangerous blobs of melted fuel rods. A subterranean “ice wall” around the crippled plant – meant to stop groundwater from becoming contaminated – has yet to be finished.

The disaster shut down dozens of nuclear reactors in Japan, and the government's bid to restart them has become entangled in a web of lawsuits amid anti-nuclear sentiment among the Japanese, who fear another Fukushima-style accident. On Wednesday, A Japanese court issued an injunction to halt operations at Kansai Electric Power's Takahama No.3 and No.4 nuclear reactors, national broadcaster NHK said on Wednesday (March 9), siding with local residents worried about the safety of the plant. 


The Dalai Lama will be giving a speech at the Geneva Graduate Institute today. PHOTO: REUTERS

With the Dalai Lama set to give a speech at the Geneva Graduate Institute today, China has written to diplomats and United Nations officials urging them not to attend the event, which is sponsored by the United States and Canada. The event also features Nobel laureates from Iran and Yemen, and is taking place on the sidelines of the annual session of the UN Human Rights Council, which monitors and examines violations worldwide. The Nobel Peace Prize winner fled into exile in India in 1959 after an abortive uprising against communist rule. China views him as a separatist, but the monk says he only wants genuine autonomy for Tibet.


The United States will release its import and export prices data today, a report which has been consistently weak in negative mid-single digits. The stronger US dollar is making imports cheaper but the export side has been hurt by falling global demand for US products. Analysts see import prices falling 0.8 per cent in February and export prices down 0.5 per cent.