Must-reads

Researchers looking for the two rare orchids in Clementi Forest last week.
Researchers looking for the two rare orchids in Clementi Forest last week.ST PHOTO: MARK CHEONG
Virus crisis in Japan may take a turn for the worse
Virus crisis in Japan may take a turn for the worseST PHOTO: WALTER SIM

SCIENCE

NParks on mission to save two critically endangered orchids

The Straits Times ventured into Clementi Forest with plant experts from the National Parks Board (NParks) in search of two rare orchid species whose numbers have dwindled sharply following the recent influx of hikers into the forested area. NParks aims to nurture these two critically endangered plants at the Singapore Botanic Gardens to ensure their survival.


THE BIG STORY

Border to be open for travel on compassionate grounds

Travel on compassionate grounds between Singapore and Malaysia will be allowed from May 17. But given the escalating Covid-19 situation in both countries, other arrangements such as an air travel bubble and short-term visits for business, as well as an in-person meeting in Singapore between top leaders, will be put on hold.


THE BIG STORY

Virus surge can be brought under control here: Experts

Singapore is experiencing its worst spate of Covid-19 community infections in close to a year. But if contact tracing, testing and quarantine protocols are as effective as before, and people do not let their guard down, the current situation could be brought under control within the next week or so, experts said.


THE BIG STORY

9 Customs workers sacked in NZ after refusing vaccine

The New Zealand authorities have sacked nine Customs workers over their refusal to be inoculated against Covid-19. The dismissal was ostensibly because alternative roles could not be found for the workers and came as more trouble hit the New Zealand-Australia travel bubble overnight.


WORLD

Virus crisis in Japan may take a turn for the worse

A drastic turn for the worse may be just around the corner, Nippon Medical University Hospital's Dr Shoji Yokobori warned as he urged Japan to rethink how to bring Covid-19 under control. Japan is in its third state of emergency, but many businesses have stayed open and millions of travellers have gone ahead with their vacations.


SINGAPORE

Migrant workers' living conditions in spotlight

The conditions that migrant workers live under are once more the subject of debate. Ahead of the next Parliament session, MP Alex Yam has filed questions for the Ministry of Transport, asking if it will consider requiring employers to transport their workers in minibuses or buses with compulsory seat belts.

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on May 03, 2021, with the headline 'Must-reads'. Subscribe