What's News: May 18, 2017


Singapore exports down 0.7%

Exports had been on a winning streak in the past few months, but an unexpected slump in the volatile pharmaceutical segment stalled the recovery last month. Non-oil domestic exports contracted 0.7 per cent in April over the same month a year earlier.


Another cyber attack on NUS

Just weeks after it discovered hackers trying to get into its networks, the National University of Singapore (NUS) was hit by another cyber attack. This occurred earlier this week. Phishing e-mails were sent to computers and at least two employees were compromised. NUS said that no malware was detected.

North Korea is said to have sent its digital soldiers to other countries to cloak their identities. PHOTO: REUTERS


Spread of North's cyber troops

Since the 1980s, North Korea has been known to train digital soldiers to engage in electronic warfare and profiteering exploits against its perceived enemies, most notably South Korea and the US. In more recent years, cyber-security experts say, the North Koreans have spread these agents across the border into China and other Asian countries to help cloak their identities.


New fissure in PKR-PAS ties

Malaysia's opposition party Parti Keadilan Rakyat (PKR) has asked its representatives in the Kelantan state government ruled by Islamic party Parti Islam SeMalaysia (PAS) to step down, as the rupture in ties between the two parties looks irreparable.


Uni places: To cap or not?

Weighing in on a debate over caps for university places, Senior Education Correspondent Sandra Davie says the uni route is not for everyone, but until the pay gap between degree and non-degree holders closes, parents will remain unconvinced.


Several firsts for NDP 2017

The National Day Parade (NDP) 2017 will see a series of firsts. The theme, #OneNationTogether, will incorporate a hash tag (#) to enable Singaporeans to share the rallying call via social media. There will also be a live 360-degree stream of the parade on YouTube.


More water pipelines to come

Some 60km of new potable water pipelines, including one in Punggol, will be built underground over the next two years to meet the demands from new developments, national water agency PUB said yesterday. New ones are also slated for Tampines, Tuas and Tengah.


Firms 'to keep focus local'

Larger firms here will focus on maintaining their competitive edge locally rather than expanding overseas, according to a new survey by American Express, which also found that uncertainty over world markets in the wake of events like Brexit are prompting bosses to put foreign forays on hold.


Askren sure of quick win

Mixed martial arts exponent Ben Askren has not fought for over a year. But the former US Olympic wrestler is assured of his fighting style and is confident of keeping his 15-0 unbeaten record when he defends his One Championship welterweight title in Singapore on May 26.

In fact, he is sure that he will knock out Malaysia's Agilan Thani in the first round at the Singapore Indoor Stadium.



Watches changing hands

The market for pre-owned luxury watches in Singapore is flourishing. In addition to scores of pawnshops, there are more than 20 outfits selling such watches. The boom is driven by several factors, chief among which is the Internet and the rise of social media.


Bottled or tap?

There are at least 12 brands of bottled water in Singapore, but are they better than the stuff that comes out of your tap? str.sg/botwater


Super special delivery

From skateboards to drones, food-delivery methods are heading in interesting directions. str.sg/fooddelivery

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on May 18, 2017, with the headline 'What's News'. Print Edition | Subscribe