What's News: March 31, 2016


On-track safety boosted

Safety measures have been put in place in the wake of last week's accident that killed two SMRT employees who were working on the track near Pasir Ris station. As of today, no trains should be driven in automatic mode on sections of the track where workers are on an adjacent walkway.


'Bolster bonds with Muslims'

Home Affairs and Law Minister K. Shanmugam yesterday called on Singaporeans to reach out to their Muslim neighbours and build social cohesion, saying they are obliged to do so as the recent string of terror attacks threatens to fray the trust between communities here. He also underlined the need to thwart Islamophobia from developing.

Taiwanese President Ma Ying-jeou meeting President-elect Tsai. PHOTO: EUROPEAN PRESSPHOTO AGENCY


Taiwan power-transfer talks

With Taiwan facing challenges like a struggling economy, its current and incoming presidents pledged yesterday to set aside differences to ensure a smooth transfer of power. But both leaders did not refer directly to Beijing, which wants Ms Tsai Ing-wen to recognise the one-China principle.


Mr Htin Kyaw (left) receiving the presidential seal from outgoing leader Thein Sein at the presidential palace in Naypyitaw yesterday. PHOTO: REUTERS


Myanmar President sworn in

Mr Htin Kyaw was sworn in yesterday as Myanmar President, taking power amid high public expectations of reforms in a country recently loosened from the military's iron grip. Ms Aung San Suu Kyi, who handpicked Mr Htin Kyaw for the top post, is in charge of foreign affairs, education, electric power and energy, and is also Minister in the President's Office.


Stop 'reserving' bright kids

Direct School Admission lets secondary schools take in pupils who excel in non-academic areas, before they sit the PSLE. Instead, many use it to give places to those with academic talent. The Ministry of Education should stop schools from using the scheme to "reserve" bright kids, says Sandra Davie.


Shorter wait for cabs in city

Waiting times at some of the city's busiest taxi stands have been falling. New data from the Land Transport Authority shows that of 28 stands it surveys monthly, 12 registered drops of between one and five minutes last year.


Customer satisfaction dips

Customer satisfaction levels dipped slightly last year after hitting a high in 2014. There were poorer performances in the finance and insurance and healthcare sectors, according to the Institute of Service Excellence.


$250m boost for cleantech

The local cleantech sector has received a significant boost, with industry leader Renewable Energy Corporation announcing a $250 million investment yesterday. The firm said it will use the bulk of the funding to boost production of new high-performance solar panels at its Tuas plant.



New boss, new targets

With a new national football coach to take over the helm of the Lions soon, it also spells fresh targets for former players who have fallen by the wayside. One of them is Isa Halim (below, centre), the tough-tackling midfielder last called up in 2013. Others aiming for a recall include Hafiz Rahim and even veteran Daniel Bennett.


5 authors vie for $10k award

Stephanie Ho from Singapore is among five authors vying for the $10,000 first prize that comes with the Scholastic Asian Book Award, to be given out in May. The Singapore Book Awards, which recognises the best in book publishing here, will return the same month for the first time since 2012.


Second child for Andy Lau

Singer-actor Andy Lau, 54, and his wife Carol Choo, 50, are expecting a second child. The pregnancy was reported by Next Magazine yesterday, with a cover photo of Choo and her apparent baby bump. Lau neither denied nor confirmed the report when contacted by Apple Daily.

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on March 31, 2016, with the headline 'What's News: March 31, 2016'. Print Edition | Subscribe