What's News: March 16, 2016

Children aged five to nine from Sheng Hong Arts Institute will perform a dance set to Chinese operatic music this Saturday.
Children aged five to nine from Sheng Hong Arts Institute will perform a dance set to Chinese operatic music this Saturday.PHOTO: SHENG HONG ARTS INSTITUTE


No-frills insurance plan

A standard, no-frills medical insurance plan pegged at the private B1 class in public hospitals will be rolled out from May 1. All five insurers offering private medical insurance plans integrated with MediShield Life will offer the new standard B1 Integrated Shield Plan. The move is meant to make it easier for Singaporeans who want private treatment but at more affordable rates.


Htin Kyaw Myanmar president

An old friend of democracy icon Aung San Suu Kyi has been elected to be the first civilian president of Myanmar in decades, in what has been called a "triumph" for the National League for Democracy leader. Mr Htin Kyaw, 69, was one of the few allowed to see Ms Suu Kyi during her years of detention, and was chosen for his loyalty to her, among other things. 



No housing bubble risk: China

China's top housing official has dismissed fears that the country is at risk of being caught in a housing bubble like Japan in the late 1980s. Mr Chen Zhenggao said measures to control soaring home prices in first- and second-tier cities were already gaining traction.


2 Aussie newsmen deported

A diplomatic row has been diffused after two Australian journalists, facing charges in Sarawak for trying to question Malaysia's Prime Minister, were instead deported yesterday. Kuala Lumpur seemingly distanced itself from the flap when a minister appeared to blame Sarawak's state government.


More help for the bold

There are hints that next week’s Budget includes goodies to help local SMEs go global. But why the lack of global champions all these years and will more government help do the trick? Chong Koh Ping has the back story.


Big childcare unit in Punggol

A jumbo childcare centre that can take in 375 children, instead of the usual 100 in centres at HDB void decks, has opened in Punggol. NTUC's My First Skool at Waterway Point mall was officially launched yesterday. 


ST poll on founders' memorial

A Straits Times poll of 50 people found that Fort Canning and Gardens by the Bay are seen as equally good locations for a memorial to honour Singapore's founders, even though a committee in charge of the memorial preferred the second location. 


New private home sales down

Developers sold 301 new private homes last month, a 6.8 per cent fall from January and 22.8 per cent weaker than a year back, according to Urban Redevelopment Authority figures. Last month's new homes sales tally was the lowest in over a year - since 230 were sold in December 2014. 


Tampines Rovers keep spot

Tampines Rovers remained at the top of Group E in the Asian Football Confederation (AFC) Cup, despite being held to a 1-1 draw by Philippines side Ceres La Salle at the Jalan Besar Stadium last night.

Singapore’s other AFC Cup representative, Balestier Khalsa, lost to another Filipino outfit, Kaya FC, 0-1 in Group F.


Chinese opera with a difference

Chinese opera is usually associated with a more mature audience, but some opera troupes here are hoping to broaden its appeal by including young performers in their productions. On Saturday, 26 children aged between five and nine from the Sheng Hong Arts Institute will perform a dance set to Chinese operatic music as part of Opera Extravaganza 2016. 



Woodley all for sisterhood

Actress Shailene Woodley is all for gender equality in Hollywood, although again, she is careful to add that this does not mean men should not headline movies too. She has said that "my biggest thing is sisterhood, more than feminism". She stars in Allegiant, the third instalment of the Divergent series of movies, which opens tomorrow.

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on March 16, 2016, with the headline 'What's News: March 16, 2016'. Print Edition | Subscribe