ST Explainers: From stock woes to hot batteries

ST Explainers addressed the questions of why global markets have been in turmoil, why Apple is resisting a US federal court order to break into an iPhone 5C belonging to the San Bernardino gunman, and why you should never leave your gadgets plugged in to charge overnight.

Fire in Parry Avenue a wake-up call not to leave electronic gadgets to charge overnight

A coroner's court heard recently that a dramatic fire in Parry Avenue last year, which claimed two lives, could have been caused by drone batteries left to charge overnight. Tech editor Irene Tham explains that lithium-ion batteries, which supply power to personal electronic devices such as smartphones and tablets, are notorious for overheating. So it is never a good idea to leave gadgets to charge overnight. Read the full explanation at

Issues at stake in Apple's fight with the US government over its demand for "backdoor" entry

Syed Rizwan Farook, along with his wife, killed 14 people in a December shooting in San Bernardino, California. Now, the US government wants Apple's help to break into Farook's iPhone 5C. But Apple says that providing the government with the technical assistance it wants could give the government the means to create a "backdoor" to any Apple device, raising privacy concerns. Read about the implications of the battle, and watch a video clip of the press conference with White House Press Secretary Josh Earnest at

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

Why global markets went into freefall suddenly earlier this month

The second week of February proved a tumultuous one for stock markets all over the world as a wave of selling gripped investors. Assistant money editor Yasmine Yahya offers six reasons why the markets suddenly went into freefall. Among them are falling oil prices, exacerbating concerns about energy firms' profits; the strengthening yen which caused disinflation worries; and worries over China's economic slowdown and recessionary fears over the US economy. Read the explainer at

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on February 20, 2016, with the headline 'ST Explainers: From stock woes to hot batteries'. Subscribe