What's News: October 01, 2015


Population crosses 5.5m

Singapore's total population hit 5.54 million in June, five years after crossing the five million mark, even though population growth in the 12-month period since June last year has sunk to an 11-year low. The increase in total number of people was just 1.2 per cent, slower than 1.3 per cent in the previous year, an official report released yesterday showed.


Pre-schools to raise fees

The two largest pre-school operators here, PAP Community Foundation and NTUC My First Skool, will raise childcare fees at most of their centres next year, by an average of $28 to $34 a month. They say that the fee hike is to help them deal with soaring costs, including teachers' salaries.

A soldier surveying a canal dug by the Indonesian military to prevent the spread of fires in Central Kalimantan yesterday. ST PHOTO: SEAH KWANG PENG


Fires could turn Indonesia's forests into wastelands

As thousands of hectares of flammable peatlands go up in smoke in Sumatra and Kalimantan, Indonesia is facing another crisis caused by decades of unbridled forest clearance to develop oil palm and pulpwood plantations - subsidence. Massive former forest lands are slowly subsiding and could become flooded wastelands unable to grow food or timber products.



Testing time for tourist spots

Haunted by the fatal stampede in Shanghai last New Year's Eve, China's tourist spots are bracing themselves for the sternest test in managing millions of holidaymakers during the week-long National Day holidays starting today. Under new guidelines, all tourists hot spots have to slow the pace of visitors once they are 80 per cent full.


Doing cha-cha on ageing?

Singapore is dancing the cha-cha with the issue of its rapidly ageing population, says Senior Health Correspondent Salma Khalik. It takes steps forward and backward, but essentially remains in the same position in spite of the flurry of movements.


HMV shuts its last store here

Music store HMV closed its last shop here yesterday without announcing a new location, sparking talk it may be pulling out of Singapore altogether.

Its first store at The Heeren was the biggest here but suffered after the rise of digital platforms.


Tools for active ageing

An active ageing toolkit available from next week is aimed at helping retirees assess their well-being.

It will also tell them where they can find self-improvement courses and programmes in areas such as IT, health and finance.


Emerging markets' outflow

Investors pulled US$40 billion (S$57 billion) out of emerging markets in the third quarter - the worst funds outflow since the global financial crisis, according to the Institute of International Finance. Fund managers' concerns include the China slowdown and the worsening commodities slump.


WTA Finals spots hotting up

The qualification battle for the WTA Finals in Singapore is set to intensify, with the remote possibility that two of the top three may not play. Serena Williams' coach has hinted that she should probably wait till next year to compete again if she was not fully motivated, while Maria Sharapova may not recover in time.



New chief for Substation

Artist-curator Alan Oei (above), who persuaded home owners to allow strangers to troop through their living rooms to gawk at art for his kooky Open House tours, has been named The Substation's fifth artistic director after a nine-month search.


S'pore-linked film to star Yam

Singapore-listed regional film producer mm2 Entertainment will be investing in and co-producing an adaptation of a best-selling novel by Giddens Ko, the Taiwanese writer-director of the 2011 box-office hit You Are The Apple Of My Eye. The movie, The Tenants Downstairs, will star actors Simon Yam, who plays a creepy landlord, and Lee Kang-sheng, who plays a homosexual lessee.

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on October 01, 2015, with the headline 'What's News: October 01, 2015'. Subscribe