MORNING MINUTES: What will make headlines today, Aug 20, 2015

A tour guide (left) speaking to tourists from China.
A tour guide (left) speaking to tourists from China. ST PHOTO: CAROLINE CHIA

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

It appears on weekdays, available by 7am.

Upgrading for tourist guides in Singapore

New initiatives will be introduced soon to improve training and professionalism of tourist guides in Singapore. The Tourist Guide Tripartite  Taskforce, set up in November 2013, will reveal these measures today. The taskforce – which comprises representatives from the Singapore Tourism Board, Singapore Workforce Development Agency and Employment and Employability Institute – had consulted various industry stakeholders before coming up with the recommendations. - MELISSA LIN

Deal to alleviate migrant crisis

A migrant climbs over a fence in Coquelles, near Calais northern France, to get to the railway tracks that head to the Eurotunnel terminal on August 12, 2015. PHOTO: AFP

France’s Interior Minister Bernard Cazeneuve and his British counterpart Theresa May will sign a deal today aimed at alleviating the migrant crisis in the northern port of Calais. The deal will focus on securing the area where thousands of people desperate to get to Britain have gathered, tackling human trafficking rings and improving humanitarian aid for migrants, France’s Interior Ministry said. Mr  Cazeneuve will then travel to Berlin to meet his German counterpart Thomas de Maiziere for talks on  Europe’s migration policies. 

Chinese and Russian joint naval exercises

China and Russia have held five such drills over the past decade. PHOTO: REUTERS

The Chinese and Russian navies will start their largest-ever joint exercises today  in the Pacific with a total of 23 vessels and two submarines. The Joint Sea 2015 II exercises will run until Aug 28 in the Sea of Japan and off the coast of Vladivostok. China and Russia have held five such drills over the past decade, with observers saying the operations have increased in size and sophistication during recent years.