ST Explainers: Focus on jobs, elections and shock sacking

French President-elect Emmanuel Macron celebrating at his victory rally, on May 7, 2017.
French President-elect Emmanuel Macron celebrating at his victory rally, on May 7, 2017.PHOTO: REUTERS

French and Korean election fever, and United States President Donald Trump's firing of Federal Bureau of Investigation director James Comey dominated world headlines in the past fortnight, providing fodder for ST Explainers.

Closer to home, jobs was the main focus of Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong's May Day Rally speech, and the fate of brick-and-mortar retail was also a topic of interest in ST Explainers.

Macron joins ranks of youthful world leaders

France went to the polls on May 7 and elected one of the world's youngest leaders: Mr Emmanuel Macron, 39.

In the run-up to the election, ST Explainers provided a breakdown of France's election day ( as well as a precis on why this particular election is a watershed for France and Europe (

You can read about Mr Macron's inner circle of advisers at, among whom is Mrs Brigitte Macron, the new First Lady of France who is 24 years older than the President-elect.

Mr Macron is France's youngest leader since Napoleon, and he joins an exclusive coterie of youthful world leaders who took office in their 30s and 40s.

Find out who they are at

South Korean voters over the Moon

South Koreans voted for their new leader on May 9, just over a month after former president Park Geun Hye was arrested on corruption charges.

The front runner was 64-year-old Moon Jae In, a human rights lawyer and former student activist.

Here is a quick comparison of the candidates at

For a short rundown of President Moon's policy positions, read, and go to for an introduction to the key figures who are likely to take up posts in his administration.

Experts also offered their takes on Mr Moon's win and the challenges he will face at

Upcoming elections around the world

There is a whole slew of other elections coming up around the world. We look at 10 other elections to watch in the coming months, from Germany and Iran to Italy and Malaysia .

FBI chief's shock firing and Trump's motives

US President Donald Trump fired FBI director James Comey on May 9. ST Explainers looks at key questions that this shock move has raised, from the issue of political motive to the fate of the FBI investigation into Russia's interference in the US election.

Highlights of PM Lee's May Day Rally speech

Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong laid out three strategies for Singapore's economy in his May Day Rally speech: Create new jobs, find new options for displaced workers and train workers to grow in their jobs.

Go to for eight key highlights of the speech.

How old-school businesses keep up with the times

There has been much talk about the sagging retail scene in Singapore, and the need to revitalise Orchard Road. But not everything is doom and gloom.

For shopaholics at least, new technologies are offering amazing new ways to shop, from virtual reality shopping to robot shopping assistants

There are also old-school, family-run businesses which have retooled successfully to survive in today's tougher shopping climate.

ST Explainers highlights eight companies, from home-video retailer Poh Kim Video to kitchenware specialist Tools Of The Trade, and looks at how they changed to keep up with the times.

Even a traditional footwear brand like Bata, familiar to generations of school-going Singaporeans, is looking for a new millennium makeover.

We look at the history of the shoe company, which recently held a fashion show, at

Of talcum products and ovarian cancer

Johnson & Johnson was told to pay more than US$110 million (S$154 million) to a woman in the US state of Virginia who said her ovarian cancer was due to the company's talcum products. What exactly is talc and is it carcinogenic?

We answer some basic questions at

The seven Rs of a Redeeming Apology

Some very high-profile people have recently been in the soup, and apologised publicly on their own or their corporations' behalf. But how do you say "sorry" in a way that will mollify people?

Professor David Chan from the Singapore Management University explains the seven Rs of a Redeeming Apology at

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on May 13, 2017, with the headline 'ST Explainers: Focus on jobs, elections and shock sacking'. Subscribe