What's News: December 18, 2017

(From left) hTetro used for cleaning of floors, and sTetro, which can climb and clean staircases.
(From left) hTetro used for cleaning of floors, and sTetro, which can climb and clean staircases. ST PHOTO: SEAH KWANG PENG


Shape-shifting robot cleaners

Shape-shifting robots may no longer just be the stuff of fantasy movies. A team from the Singapore University of Technology and Design have come up with robots that disassemble and reassemble into various shapes to clean different areas of hawker centres.


Male molestation cases up

The number of male victims of molestation has risen, though they still make up a small group. This could be a result of more professionals, such as teachers and social workers, being trained to spot victims, experts say.

Fishermen taking out their catch in Gwadar, a Pakistani fishing town, on which China is lavishing vast amounts of aid. PHOTO: REUTERS


Chinese aid for Pakistan town

China is lavishing vast amounts of aid on Gwadar, a small Pakistani fishing town, to win over locals and build a commercial deep-water port that the United States and India suspect may also one day serve the Chinese navy. Beijing has built a school, sent doctors and pledged about US$500 million (S$674 million) in grants to the town.


Good year for AirAsia boss

This year has been a good one for Mr Tony Fernandes, who tied the knot with his Korean wife in October and saw his AirAsia Group named world's top budget airline again. In a recent interview, he said he had popped the question to his wife at a Parisian restaurant where they first met.


EU's mixed martial ambitions

The European Union has announced plans to be play a bigger role as a military power on the world stage. It will find it hard to fulfil its goals, given its lack of clarity of mission, says Jonathan Eyal.


E-payment of wages for maids

Foreign domestic workers can now opt to receive their wages via electronic payments at one of three centres run by the Centre for Domestic Employees. They can sign up for a special POSB account that does not require an initial deposit or a monthly minimum sum.


Better tests for eye diseases

More accurate screening for eye diseases could be available by the end of next year, thanks to an artificial intelligence system being developed. It uses a technology that can be programmed to classify images of the retina into those with and without these eye diseases.


Dealmaking in region hits high

Dealmaking in Singapore, Malaysia and Indonesia saw a high from December last year to November this year. Singapore accounted for the bulk of volumes, with 842 deals worth US$101.9 billion (S$137.4 billion) for the period this year, compared with 800 deals worth US$88.1 billion in the same period last year.


S'pore Athletics loses sponsor

In another setback for Singapore Athletics (SA), Australian sporting apparel brand 2XU has terminated its sponsorship with the association. One of the reasons cited is that it was displeased that national marathoner Soh Rui Yong cut holes in his singlet for the SEA Games marathon in August. SA president Ho Mun Cheong said the association is currently looking for new sponsors.



Japanese chain opens here

Kushikatsu Tanaka - a famous chain specialising in fried skewered meats and vegetables - launched its first Singapore outlet at Clarke Quay last Wednesday. Ms Hiroe Tanaka and Mr Keiji Nuki opened a kushikatsu restaurant in Tokyo in 2008 after the former stumbled upon her late father's recipe.


Foodie hits

Some of ST Food's greatest online hits this year were videos about a self-heating mala hotpot and a guide to making perfect soft-boiled eggs. str.sg/o485


Lights on, lights off

This year's Orchard Road light-up is on from 3pm. Can you tell? Take our quiz. str.sg/xmaslights

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on December 18, 2017, with the headline 'What's News'. Print Edition | Subscribe