ST Explainers: Eye on China's economy; tennis star's failed test

Sharapova (above) addresses the media about her failed doping test.
Sharapova (above) addresses the media about her failed doping test.PHOTO: AGENCE FRANCE-PRESSE

This past fortnight, the explainers focused mainly on hard news. The China economy, keenly watched this year as turmoil rocked its stock market and caused ripples in global markets, was big news as Beijing published its 13th Five-Year Plan.

Doping scandals, which has dogged sports ranging from athletics to cycling, hit tennis when Grand Slam champion Maria Sharapova revealed she failed a doping test in January.

March 11 was the occasion for a sombre memorial for Japan as it remembered nearly 20,000 victims of the 2011 Tohoku earthquake and tsunami.

For most Singapore readers, news that a price war had broken out among the three local telcos was likely the most welcomed. But for mobile users who want to know how to better manage data usage, we offered five tips.

China's draft of the 13th Five-Year Plan

China published the draft of its 13th Five-Year Plan on March 5, a keenly watched event given the stock market turmoil and murmurs of a hard landing for the economy amid overheated growth figures. The 148-page document covers a lot of ground, but here is a quick rundown of 10 targets set out in the paper.

Tennis star in drug scandal

Grand Slam tennis champion Maria Sharapova caused an uproar with the revelation that she failed a doping test in January this year. But she insisted she had been taking meldonium for 10 years, and was unaware that it had been added to the World Anti-Doping Agency's list of banned substances on Jan 1. Read about the drug and its effects.

Price war between existing telcos

A price war has broken out between the existing telcos, with all three dangling attractive data subscription plans to customers. Tech editor Irene Tham notes that the average Singaporean uses slightly over 3GB of mobile data a month, so the 4GB data package seems to be the baseline plan. Users can better manage their usage with her five tips.

Remembering victims of Japan's tsunami, earthquake

March 11 was the fifth anniversary of the massive earthquake and tsunami that claimed thousands of Japanese lives and wrecked the Fukushimi nuclear plant, triggering the worst nuclear disaster since Chernobyl in 1986. The 9.0-magnitude quake struck offshore and sparked a tsunami which killed nearly 20,000 people. Here is a recap of the events and an update of what has happened to the nuclear plant and the town's residents.

You can also compare images of Japan's Tohoku region taken after the disaster and what it looks like today.

This is a fortnightly round-up of FAQs, pegged on news events, published on The Straits Times' website. Go to for more

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on March 19, 2016, with the headline 'ST Explainers: Eye on China's economy; tennis star's failed test'. Print Edition | Subscribe