What's News: Jan 26, 2016

Australia need not wait for the reign of Queen Elizabeth (above) to end before cutting ties with the Crown, said one premier.
Australia need not wait for the reign of Queen Elizabeth (above) to end before cutting ties with the Crown, said one premier.PHOTO: AGENCE FRANCE-PRESSE


Singapore 'needs to evolve'

Singapore must evolve to keep up with the changing world and should re-examine its economic growth strategies and style of making decisions, said Acting Education Minister (Higher Education and Skills) Ong Ye Kung yesterday on the first day of the debate on the President's Address.


Lowest inflation in 3 decades

Singapore's consumer prices fell the most in almost three decades last year amid very low oil prices, lacklustre economic growth and the soft home rental market. Data out yesterday showed last month's consumer price index slid 0.6 per cent over December 2014.


Backlash over TV confessions

Public confessions on state television of suspected criminals in China appear to be aimed at shaping public opinion and intimidating critics, but analysts say these also cast serious doubts on President Xi Jinping's (photo) pledge to beef up the country's rule of law. The actions have caused a backlash, with lawyers questioning whether the confessions were made under duress, and media groups calling for overseas sanctions against Chinese state media.


Australia's state leaders support proposal for republic

Australian state leaders have thrown their support behind a proposal to cut ties with the British monarchy, with an Australian head of state to replace the reigning royal in London. The declaration was timed for Australia Day, the official national day. The British Crown's power in Australia is seen as largely symbolic and the monarchy is viewed by some as a colonial relic. But others point out there is no widespread support for replacing it. 


Breeding terror behind bars

Two men behind the Jan 14 terror attacks in Jakarta had served time in Indonesian prisons. They left prison not only unreformed, but also more radicalised than ever. Two researchers look at how terrorist convicts are using their time behind bars to recruit, regroup and spread extremist ideologies.


Hongbao 'going rate': $8-$10

Despite the bleak economic outlook, Singaporeans are not planning to cut back on their spending this Chinese New Year. A poll by The Straits Times has found the going rate for hongbao this year to be around the $8 to $10 mark.


Ministers share school stories

Acting Ministers for Education Ng Chee Meng and Ong Ye Kung have revealed their favourite subjects when they were at school - with Mr Ong relating how he struggled with learning English. They talked about their school days with the Ministry of Education's Contact magazine and detailed their hopes for Singapore's education system. 


Downtime in property sector

When the going in the real estate market gets tough, agencies and agents find ways to get going. Some individuals are holding a second job, while agencies are investing in staff training and technology.


adidas ends IAAF contract

German sportswear giant adidas has ended its 11-year sponsorship deal with the International Association of Athletics Federations (IAAF) four years early. The decision is likely to be a direct result of the doping and corruption scandal that emerged last month and continues to haunt the sport.


Fewer visitors to Art Stage

Premier art fair Art Stage Singapore (photo) saw a 20 per cent drop in visitor numbers for its sixth edition, which ended on Sunday. The fair at Marina Bay Sands Expo and Convention Centre drew 40,500 visitors this year, down from a record 51,000 visitors last year. This is the first time attendance has shrunk.


The Revenant tops box office

The Revenant surged to the top of the North American box office on its fifth weekend. The Leonardo DiCaprio movie, which took a leading 12 Oscar nominations this year, including for Best Picture and Best Actor, collected US$16 million (S$23 million). Its jump to No. 1 underscored the ticket-selling power of Oscar nominations. 

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on January 26, 2016, with the headline 'What'sNews'. Print Edition | Subscribe