What's News: March 16, 2018


Big drop in foreign workers

There were fewer foreign workers and more locals employed here last year. The latest data released by the Ministry of Manpower showed that the number of foreigners working in Singapore fell by 32,000, the biggest drop since 2002. Overall, 21,300 more Singaporeans and permanent residents were in jobs last year than the year before.


PM Lee warns of trade war

Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong urged countries to continue promoting free trade, warning that moves by the US to protect domestic industries have raised the spectre of retaliatory responses. "If trust is broken and tit-for-tat trade wars break out, all countries, big or small, will suffer," he said ahead of his official visit to Australia.

India's Border Security Force soldiers patrolling along the India-Pakistan border.
India's Border Security Force soldiers patrolling along the India-Pakistan border. PHOTO: EPA-EFE


India-Pakistan tensions rise

India and Pakistan have traded charges that their diplomatic staff in Delhi and Islamabad are being harassed. Islamabad has listed around half a dozen specific instances of harassment over the past eight days. New Delhi said routine harassment of its staff had taken place over the past eight months. 


Trump picks new top adviser

US television commentator and conservative economic analyst Larry Kudlow will replace Mr Gary Cohn as Mr Donald Trump's top economic adviser. Mr Kudlow, 70, said that Mr Trump offered him the job of National Economic Council (NEC) director, and he accepted it.


Jokowi spreads his wings

As he prepares to run for a second term, Indonesia's president Joko Widodo is coming up with a series of foreign policy initiatives centred on building up his country's influence, says Indonesia bureau chief Francis Chan.


Childcare initiative on trial

A co-sharing initiative which sees infant and childcare services in the same premises is on trial at 12 My First Skool branches. Part of the Early Childhood Industry Transformation Map, the model is one of the recommendations to raise the quality of the early childhood sector.


MHA on new law's provisions

The Ministry of Home Affairs said the Public Order and Safety (Special Powers) Bill is "not meant for day-to-day policing", and there is no intention to use it to regulate peaceful public assemblies.


Lull in private home sales

The Chinese New Year lull hit new private home sales last month, with developers moving just 377 units, a 61.5 per cent drop from the 979 sold a year ago. Chinese New Year was celebrated at the tail-end of January last year.

Month-on-month, developer's sales in February dropped 28 per cent from the 524 units sold in January. 



Angela Lee refreshed to fight

Mixed martial arts (MMA) fighter Angela Lee believes she is reinvigorated by her almost year-long absence from competition, and says it will show when she defends her One Championship atomweight title against Japan's Mei Yamaguchi on May 18 at the Singapore Indoor Stadium.


Peek inside actress' bag

Inside the bag of actress and singer-songwriter Jean Goh, aka Jean Seizure, is a black meteorite necklace given by Mum. Ms Goh, 27, the daughter of 1970s Mandarin pop singers Wu Gang and Xia Hui, is now working on a neo-noir film about duality, where she plays the lead.


Hangout with ST

Alyssa Woo and Hairianto Diman chat about gritty Singaporeans, when Trump said, "You're fired" on Twitter and that world-famous eye-roll. http://str.sg/sthangout


'Frost boy' back in news

China's "frost boy" is back in the news. See why. str.sg/schoolboy

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on March 16, 2018, with the headline 'What's News'. Subscribe