What's News: December 17, 2015

Malaysian Prime Minister Najib Razak at the annual UMNO assembly in Kuala Lumpur on Dec 10.
Malaysian Prime Minister Najib Razak at the annual UMNO assembly in Kuala Lumpur on Dec 10. PHOTO: REUTERS


Big boost for space ambitions

Singapore made history last night, sending into space six home-grown satellites to take it closer to fulfilling its space ambitions. Launched from Andhra Pradesh in India, the satellites - a result of collaboration between industry and academia - will orbit space for the next six months to five years, for uses from scientific research to border and maritime security.


Seniors' suicide rate rising

A rising number of over-60s have been taking their own lives here. Suicide prevention agency Samaritans of Singapore fears elderly people are losing a sense of purpose, and those that call its hotline often express concerns about ill health, financial and relationship issues and loneliness.



US admiral criticises China

A senior United States naval commander, Admiral Scott H. Swift, has accused China of creating "so-called military zones" close to artificial islands it has built in the South China Sea, countering an assertion by Chinese President Xi Jinping that Beijing did not intend to pursue militarisation of the islands.


'Najib didn't address issues'

Former Malaysian prime minister Mahathir Mohamad says he was "very disappointed" with Umno president and Prime Minister Najib Razak's speech at the close of the five-day Umno general assembly, asserting that it did not address issues worrying the public.


Wildlife trafficking and terror

Wildlife trafficking generates billions of dollars each year for syndicates and is linked to other forms of serious crime, including the drug trade and terrorism. Singapore must help stop such trade in its tracks, writes Audrey Tan.

Temasek Polytechnic students Dolly Khung (left), 23, and Ong Pei Shan, 19, with their prize-winning robotic fireman. PHOTO: TEMASEK POLYTECHNIC


Poly students' security innovations win awards at contest

A spiked roadblock that can stop getaway cars, a remote-controlled car that can help Customs officials check for contraband and a robotic fireman have won prizes at a competition organised by the Ministry of Home Affairs. The winners, all students from Temasek Polytechnic, were praised by Home Team judges, who are considering implementing their ideas.


Spotlight on laundromats

The consumer watchdog has placed the laundry sector under the spotlight after many complaints, mainly about laundromats refusing to pay compensation for lost and damaged garments. Investigations have found that many outlets do not explain their terms and conditions clearly to customers.


SGX cancels 'error trades'

Trades involving some 52.3 million shares of Singapore Exchange-listed New Silkroutes Group have been cancelled, a result of confusion over the share price after a recent consolidation of the firm's shares.


Star boost for S'pore Open

The SMBC Singapore Open got a boost yesterday when two former Major champions confirmed their participation for the Jan 28-31 tournament. Northern Irishman Darren Clarke and South Korean Yang Yong Eun will add star power to the field, already headlined by world No. 1 Jordan Spieth.


Madonna's Singapore gig on?

Local Madonna fans are all abuzz, thinking that they can buy tickets today, to her first concert here on Feb 28. After all, it says as much on her website, www.madonna.com/ tour. But IMC Live, the concert promoter in talks to bring her show here, says it has no comment.



Celebs out in full Force

At the Los Angeles world premiere of Star Wars: The Force Awakens, there were many A-listers in attendance, but security was unusually heightened. Even stars such as Modern Family actress Sofia Vergara (with husband, actor Joe Manganiello), who wore her hair in Princess Leia-like buns, had to wait in line for her cellphone after the screening.

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on December 17, 2015, with the headline 'What's News: December 17, 2015'. Print Edition | Subscribe