What's News: December 30, 2015

The authorities will seek public views  on raising the minimum legal age for buying and using tobacco from 18 to 21.
The authorities will seek public views on raising the minimum legal age for buying and using tobacco from 18 to 21.PHOTO: ST FILE


Anti-smoking proposals

The Health Promotion Board is seeking public feedback on four proposals to make it tougher for Singaporeans to light up. These include raising the legal buying age from 18 to 21, banning the sale of menthol cigarettes and other flavours, and changing the packet packaging to a plain design.


SMEs expect tough 6 months

Small and medium-sized enterprises are expecting slow growth, weak market sentiment and rising domestic cost pressures in the first half of next year. The pessimism was registered in a quarterly index compiled by the Singapore Business Federation and DP Information Group.



Beijing turns to rap, cartoons

Cartoons and rapping - those are the new ways in which China is pushing its propaganda online. To extol a long list of achievements by a reform group, China's state broadcaster recently released an animated rap video that praised a high-powered committee for its anti-corruption campaign and reforms of the economy, legal system and state-owned enterprises.


Beginning of the end of ISIS?

After the successful retaking of the provincial capital of Ramadi, Iraqi Prime Minister Haider al-Abadi has triumphantly declared that the coming year will see the defeat of the Islamic State in Iraq and Syria (ISIS) militant group.


Reality of US-China relations

In a piece two weeks ago, Professor Linda Lim said it was a mistake to view developments such as the Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank as a "US versus China battle for hegemony". International relations scholar Khong Yuen Foong offers a rebuttal.

Dr Aryel Beck (left) and Professor Nadia Thalmann doing a demo with Nadine, a ''receptionist'' at Nanyang Technological University. ST PHOTO: ALICIA CHAN


Meet Nadine and Edgar, the robots

Meet Nadine and Edgar - two robots built by researchers at Nanyang Technological University's (NTU) Institute for Media Innovation. Nadine is a companion robot, a possible solution for an ageing population and shrinking workforce. Edgar is a bot that supplies information.


Funeral for Johor crash victims

Three members of a Singaporean family killed in a Christmas Day car crash in Malaysia were cremated yesterday. The accident's sole survivor - a three-year-old boy - remains in hospital and has yet to be told the tragic news.


Residential land released

Two parcels of land for residential development were released by the Government yesterday.

Moderate interest is expected for the 1.84 ha executive condominium plot in Yio Chu Kang Road that can yield about 520 units. The other is on the reserve list: a 2.71ha plot in Sumang Walk in Punggol.


Buzz returns to S-League

The buzz the S-League is enjoying with the return of the LionsXII players could be short-lived, with the Asean Super League set to start in 2017. But Football Association of Singapore chief Zainudin Nordin says participating in the regional ASL will benefit clubs, players and the national team in the long term.


Online tributes to actress

Since actress Tiffany Leong died from cancer at age 30 on Monday, the Channel 8 stars she had worked with have been paying tribute to her online. Leong was a host and model in Malaysia before crossing over to star in Singapore TV shows. In 2013, she was diagnosed with a hereditary disorder that can lead to the development of malignant tumours.



HK actress Myolie Wu marries

Hong Kong actress Myolie Wu and businessman Philip Lee married amid razzmatazz on Monday, after dating for a year. In the morning, he and his 23 groomsmen pulled up at her home in nine cars, including a Ferrari, a Porsche and two Rolls-Royces. Her 11 bridesmaids included actresses Nancy Wu, Elaine Yiu and Selena Li.

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on December 30, 2015, with the headline 'What's News: December 30, 2015'. Print Edition | Subscribe