What's News: February 8, 2017


Water prices to rise

Water prices are set to go up in Singapore for the first time in 17 years. The cost of producing and supplying water has increased because of reliable but more expensive methods, such as desalination, and the need to renew ageing infrastructure.


Rules for private-hire firms

Private-hire operators will have to ensure their drivers are properly licensed and have appropriate insurance, or they will face stiff penalties after changes to the Road Traffic Act were passed yesterday.

They can be fined or suspended for up to a month if their drivers flout the rules. The new law also includes rules that will govern autonomous vehicles such as driverless cars.



Trump vows anti-terror action

President Donald Trump vowed on Monday that America and its allies would defeat the "forces of death" and keep radical militants from gaining a foothold on US soil, during his first visit to the US Central Command in Tampa, Florida. However, he did not offer details about his strategy to defeat the ISIS terror group.


Opposition eyes Felda settlers

Ethnic Malay farmers who have benefited under Malaysia's Federal Land Development Authority land schemes are now disgruntled after seeing their incomes fall. This gives the oppaosition a chance to breach these voter banks ahead of the next polls due by August next year.


US exiting TPP: Pros and cons

The United States' withdrawal from the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) has its pros and cons, argues economist Shin Jang-Sup. It is a wake-up call to global elites obsessed with free trade dogma, but it also stirs unease among US trade partners, he adds.


Disabled-friendly Budget

Budget 2017 will include more support for persons with disabilities to participate productively in the workforce, Senior Minister of State for Finance and Law Indranee Rajah said yesterday.


Last farewell to pioneer leader

About 50 family members and friends bade farewell to former trade union leader and political detainee Fong Swee Suan at a funeral service at Mandai Crematorium yesterday.

Mr Fong, a pioneer in Singapore's early politics, died last Saturday at the age of 85.


Buyout offer for Auric Pacific

The Riady family has offered to buy out Auric Pacific Group - the maker of Sunshine Bread and owner of Food Junction foodcourts and Delifrance cafes - for $1.65 a share and take it private. The offer was made by an investment vehicle jointly owned by Dr Stephen Riady and his son-in-law Andy Adhiwana, who are controlling shareholders of Auric Pacific.


Badminton champs coming

Olympic badminton champion and world No. 2 Carolina Marin of Spain has confirmed her attendance for the OUE Singapore Open. Defending champion Ratchanok Intanon, the world No. 5, will also be taking part in the April 11-16 event at the Singapore Indoor Stadium. Registration for the tournament closes on Feb 28.



Ungu making a comeback

Ungu, one of Indonesia's popular pop-rock bands, have been lying low after their frontman, Pasha, entered politics. Now that he is settled into his job as deputy mayor of the Central Sulawesi city of Palu, Ungu are making a comeback and will celebrate their 20th anniversary with a show at the Esplanade Concert Hall on Feb 25.


Get to know NS-speak

What is "Stand by universe"? National servicemen can tell you what this and other NS lingo mean. http://str.sg/nslingo



Whisky without age

Life journalist Anjali Raguraman finds out about No Age Statement whisky and why it is gaining popularity. http://str.sg/noagewhisky

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on February 08, 2017, with the headline 'What's News'. Print Edition | Subscribe