What's News: July 17, 2017

Chinese troops aboard a navy ship sailing off from the port of Zhanjiang last Tuesday.
Chinese troops aboard a navy ship sailing off from the port of Zhanjiang last Tuesday.PHOTO: REUTERS


Action to break poverty cycle

In a bid to break the poverty cycle, KidStart, a pilot scheme which aims to level the playing field for disadvantaged children, will be made permanent. It is one of several moves that the Government is taking to intervene earlier to prevent social problems, said Social and Family Development Minister Tan Chuan-Jin.


More cabs sitting idle

More cabbies have been giving up their taxis. For the first five months of this year, the average proportion of the taxi fleet sitting idle - also called the unhired rate - hit 9.1 per cent, said the Land Transport Authority . This is nearly double the average unhired rate of 5 per cent in the same period last year.


Chinese naval base in Africa

China's first overseas military base in Djibouti is possibly the first of more to come as the rising power's interests grow worldwide and it develops its blue-water navy - one that can operate globally - to protect those interests. China's efforts to boost its presence in the Indian Ocean will bring it up against the major power in the region, India.


China probes ex-party chief

A senior Chinese official who was considered a contender for top leadership has been put under investigation, according to sources. Mr Sun Zhengcai, 53, had been party chief of Chongqing, until an abrupt announcement last Saturday morning that he no longer had the position.


Risks of Macron's leadership

French President Emmanuel Macron's rise should not obscure the fact that his style of government amounts to a huge gamble which could fail, with grave consequences for all of Europe, writes Europe correspondent Jonathan Eyal.


Bilingual infants 'have an edge'

Bilingual infants are able to learn a third language more easily than monolingual infants, a study by National University of Singapore researchers has found. They are able to differentiate between words from a third language, unlike monolingual infants.


Happy with kids' schooling

More than 90 per cent of parents here feel that the education system is among the best worldwide and were satisfied with their children's primary school, says an Institute of Policy Studies survey. But parents felt stressed over exams, syllabuses, and the amount of homework.


SOR-pegged loans withdrawn

ANZ, the only bank that was offering home loans pegged to the swap offer rate (SOR), has now axed the product for new customers, years after other banks here stopped offering such loans. The Australian bank has halted several product lines as its retail and wealth management units in Singapore and four other regional markets are being integrated with DBS Bank.


No luring Ronaldo: Mourinho

Despite the fact that Manchester United manager Jose Mourinho is keen to bolster his squad, he has ruled out any attempt to bring Cristiano Ronaldo back to Old Trafford. After Manchester United opened their United States tour with a 5-2 rout of the Los Angeles Galaxy, Mourinho said luring his fellow Portuguese would be akin to a "mission impossible".


View collector's ceramic art

About 200 Shiwan ceramic figures are displayed in collector Ng Seng Leong's house in Kembangan. The 70-year-old, who has collected Shiwan ceramic art since 1989 and has amassed more than 300 pieces, has opened his home to visitors until the year end for free.


Build your own NDP

Mix and match acts and locations to create your own National Day Parade, and win tickets to the real thing. str.sg/ndpcreator


River of controversy

Plans to build a walking and bicycle lane along the Chao Phraya River has got river communities worried. http://str.sg/4RbB

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on July 17, 2017, with the headline 'What's News'. Print Edition | Subscribe