MORNING MINUTES: What will make headlines today, May 29, 2015

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.

PM Lee opens Shangri-La Dialogue as defence chiefs gather in Singapore

Defence chiefs from 26 nations - including the United States, China, Japan, Russia and countries from the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (Asean) - will meet today for the annual Shangri-La Dialogue as regional tensions worsen over the South China Sea.

The meeting will also take place against the backdrop of the strategic bookending of Asia by Japan and India amid the steady progress of the US rebalance towards the region. Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong will deliver the keynote address tonight, at the start of the annual three-day conference hosted by the International Institute for Security Studies. - RAVI VELLOOR

Bangkok conference on South-east Asia's boat people crisis


Senior officials from 17 mostly Asian countries as well as three international organisations gather today in Bangkok for a meeting to seek solutions to South-east Asia's ongoing boat people crisis. In recent weeks, thousands of Bangladeshi as well as Rohingya Muslims from Myanmar have been stranded in the Andaman Sea with little fuel and food after a Thai crackdown on human trafficking threw the illicit networks into disarray.

While Malaysia and Indonesia have since agreed to shelter the migrants temporarily, what's still lacking is a longer term solution to halt the exodus, especially of the Rohingya, who are denied citizenship in Myanmar. Three international organisations, including the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees, are proposing a 10-point action plan for regional governments. - TAN HUI YEE

SEA Games gets off to early start

The SEA Games competition unofficially begins today with two football group-stage matches at Bishan Stadium. Vietnam will be favourites to beat minnows Brunei in the opening game, while gold-medal favourites Thailand face Laos in the evening match.

Patrons, donors of Yellow Ribbon initiative to be honoured at gala dinner


Patrons and donors of the Yellow Ribbon initiative will be lauded at a gala dinner, which will be attended by President Tony Tan Keng Yam. The event will feature performances including a song performance by Eu Yan Sang group chief executive Richard Eu and a group of ex-offenders. - TEE ZHUO

Blockbuster science-art exhibition to open at Science Centre

A blockbuster science-art exhibition will be unveiled at the Science Centre. The centre has tied up with Ars Electronica Linz Gmbh from Austria for a showcase named Interplay that includes kinetic light sculptures. - CAROLYN KHEW

Nigerian leader Muhammadu Buhari to be sworn in as president


The inauguration of Muhammadu Buhari as Nigeria's president, two months after he defeated incumbent Goodluck Jonathan in the country's elections, will take place today. The 72-year-old will be sworn in at a ceremony from 9am local time (4pm Singapore) before world leaders and other dignitaries.

Those attending include South Africa's President Jacob Zuma, US Secretary of State John Kerry and French Foreign Minister Laurent Fabius. Security has been beefed up in and around Nigeria's capital, Abuja, ahead of the inauguration to prevent possible plans by insurgents to carry out attacks. Boko Haram Islamists waging a bloody, six-year insurgency in Nigeria's northeast have hit Abuja before, including twice in the space of a month last April and May, killing nearly 100 people.

Trial reopens in South Africa baby-snatching case

The trial of a woman charged with stealing a newborn baby girl from her sleeping mother 18 years ago reopens today in Cape Town. The 50-year-old suspect reportedly had a series of miscarriages before allegedly stealing the baby from her mother at Groote Schuur hospital in Cape Town three days after the baby's birth in April 1997.

She was arrested earlier this year and the girl - named Zephany by her biological mother before she was snatched - was returned to her parents. Her parents discovered they had found her after an astonishing coincidence saw Zephany attending the same school as one of her biological sisters and pupils noticed a startling resemblance between the two. A court in March had granted bail to the suspect, who cannot be named so as to protect the girl's identity.

Tat Hong full year results out

Tat Hong Holdings, supplier of cranes and heavy equipment, will be releasing its full year results today. - MARISSA LEE

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