What's News: December 22, 2015

The landslide, believed to be the first that has hit Shenzhen, buried factories, low-rise buildings and workers' dormitories on Sunday.
The landslide, believed to be the first that has hit Shenzhen, buried factories, low-rise buildings and workers' dormitories on Sunday.PHOTO: REUTERS


S'pore's economic future

A 30-man committee has been formed to chart the future of the Singapore economy.

Drawn from various sectors of the economy, the committee, which will be led by Finance Minister Heng Swee Keat, will look at a range of things, from new growth areas to the impact of demographics and technology on jobs. 


DTL2 'needs time to stabilise'

Expect teething problems when the new section of the Downtown Line opens on Sunday, Transport Minister Khaw Boon Wan warned yesterday. Engineers have said the system needs a "bedding-in" period of a few months to stabilise. 


Indonesia steps up manhunts

Indonesian police are stepping up manhunts (above) for Islamic State in Iraq and Syria militants following the interrogation of nine Islamists, including a suicide bomber, arrested on Friday and Saturday. The militants were planning attacks in several cities this month, targeting vital facilities and people of different faiths. Among the cities were two in Java and one each in Sumatra and Kalimantan. 


Shenzhen landslide: More rescuers rushed to site

China has doubled the number of rescuers searching for landslide survivors in southern Shenzhen, with at least 85 people missing under mud and wreckage. Nearly 3,000 men have been deployed to sift through the rubble of 33 buildings in an industrial park in Guangming New District. Improperly dumped soil behind the park could have led to the tragedy. 


People-centric policies

2015 can be described as the year when government policies were truly "PC", or people-centric, with schemes such as SkillsFuture and the Pioneer Generation Package. There are other "PC" ways to make people-centric policies, such as focus on people's concerns and on policy communication, says psychology don David Chan. 


Easier SingPass sign-up

Signing up for SingPass' new two-factor authentication (2FA) to make e-government transactions safer is now easier, with two steps instead of three. The sign-up deadline is end-June next year. 


Wildlife group exposes sales

As many as 156 online listings of exotic animals for sale as pets were uncovered in a six-month probe by wildlife rescue group Acres (Animal Concerns Research and Education Society). It also found smuggled wildlife, including an Asian leopard cat, in recent sting operations. 


Tour projects before building

Building owners, designers and contractors can now see their planned projects at a new centre that uses 3D technology to execute blueprints on screen. Clients can also use virtual reality headsets to take a "tour" of their buildings.


SGX bulletin on rule breaches

The Singapore Exchange has begun publishing a bulletin that details its rulings on the private disciplinary actions imposed on firms and industry professionals that breached listing rules. The list does not name firms or individuals but spells out what rules were broken, pinpoints common pitfalls and the actions taken, among others. 


New coach for Japanese club

Former All Blacks hooker Mark Hammett was yesterday named coach of new Japanese club the Sunwolves, with just over two months until the 2016 Super Rugby season kicks off. The Sunwolves, set to play three home ties in Singapore, will be part of an expanded 18-team competition next year.


Star Wars a force at box office

Star Wars: The Force Awakens earned roughly US$517 million (S$730 million) in worldwide ticket sales through Sunday. It was the largest opening weekend in North America (above), with US$238 million in ticket sales.

Avatar (2009), considered the highest-grossing film in history, took in US$85 million over its first three days in domestic release. 

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on December 22, 2015, with the headline 'What's News: December 22, 2015'. Print Edition | Subscribe