The news in 5 minutes


Beijing stands firm on reforms

BEIJING stood firm yesterday on the electoral reform proposals it endorsed for Hong Kong, even after the package was voted down in the former British colony. Discussions about any political reform are off the table now for the 2017 elections, officials said.

Racist gunman kills nine

A YOUNG white man went on a racist rant before killing nine black worshippers in a historic church in Charleston, South Carolina. The massacre was designated a hate crime by the United States government.


Greece faces 'painful' exit

GREECE would face a "painful" exit from the euro zone, and even the European Union, if no deal is reached between Athens and its international creditors, the country's central bank said in its first stern warning.

Top cop wants casinos

THAILAND'S national police chief did not shy away from declaring his support for legal casinos, saying he has come to terms with his countrymen's gambling habit. Casinos could bring in up to 400 billion baht (S$16 billion) in the first year, according to an academic.

Manila to join naval drill

THE Philippines will flex its muscles next week in simultaneous naval drills with the United States and Japan, as China continues its reclamation projects in disputed waters in the South China Sea. Held regularly, the exercises are not directed at Beijing, a Philippine spokesman said.

China's growth focus

CHINA stressed its commitment to boosting economic growth yesterday by listing its investment projects in the coming years, as data showed that stimulus measures have had some effect, with property prices rebounding.


No need to fear AIIB

THERE is no need to fear the China-led Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank (AIIB), writes Amitav Acharya. Rather than ushering in a Chinese Asian fiefdom, the new bank puts China under intense pressure to deliver. Success may well require abandoning expansive territorial claims.


The setback suffered by the Trans-Pacific Partnership in the United States Congress signals the need for Washington to take a clear look at its larger interests and responsibilities in Asia.

The TPP goes beyond trade and is a part of American strategy in Asia.


'Spinning away'

SELF-SERVICE laundromats are springing up in housing estates to cater to the growing number of renters who do not have a washing machine.

They are also getting the thumbs-up from locals who want their laundry washed and dried in quick time.

Making flypast history

FIGHTER pilot Lee Mei Yi will be the first woman in the traditional jet flypast for the National Day Parade.

This year, 20 F-16 jets will form the number 50 as they fly over the Padang.

Sharper 'eyes' on road

SURVEILLANCE cameras at road junctions will be upgraded to give the authorities a better picture of any incidents that occur. The so-called J-Eyes will also be installed at 100 new locations. Before them, officers relied on public alerts.


Greenback slides

THE US dollar skidded yesterday following dovish signals from the Federal Reserve about the likelihood of an interest rate hike, but most regional stock markets failed to get a lift amid concerns over lower Asian exports after the Fed cut economic growth projections.


Neymar sent off

NEYMAR was sent off for a post-game altercation as Colombia beat Brazil 1-0 in a shock defeat on Wednesday. The Brazilian captain risks a two-match Copa America ban following his head-butt against Colombia goal-scorer Jeison Murillo after the final whistle.


Top model 'overweight'

JUDGES on Asia's Next Top Model implied she needed to lose some weight, but local model Aimee Cheng-Bradshaw, 19, was unruffled. The Singapore permanent resident of English and Chinese heritage was the second runner-up in the third and latest season of the reality TV show.

Show Lo in love

TAIWANESE pop star Show Lo, 35, has been photographed having a rendezvous with Chinese social media celebrity Zhou Yangqing, 26, in Shanghai. She is the first girlfriend that Lo has acknowledged in his 20 years in the limelight.


10 things about Ramadan

THE first day of Ramadan started on Wednesday evening.

Here are 10 things to know about the holy month.


Battle against trans fats

UNITED STATES food companies have until 2018 to rid their products of trans fats under a new Food and Drug Administration ruling. Why are trans fats harmful? How does one cut down on them?

Break-up of Pakatan Rakyat

MALAYSIA'S three-party opposition alliance Pakatan Rakyat has split up. What led to the rupture and what may happen next.

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on June 19, 2015, with the headline 'The news in 5 minutes'. Print Edition | Subscribe