What's News: October 31, 2015

Commuters at Serangoon MRT station during a service disruption on Oct 26, 2015.
Commuters at Serangoon MRT station during a service disruption on Oct 26, 2015. PHOTO: LIANHE WANBAO


Private school enrolments fall

Fewer students are taking up private education in Singapore, new figures suggest.

There are an estimated 77,000 locals and 29,000 foreigners enrolled in private commercial schools.

This is down from about 100,000 locals and about 35,000 foreigners three years ago.


737 seek new housing grant

A total of 737 Housing Board resale flat buyers have applied for a new housing grant for those who buy units near their parents or married children. More than one in five resale flat buyers have applied for the Proximity Housing Grant since it was rolled out in August.


Iran joins talks on Syria

Top diplomats from 17 countries, plus the United Nations and European Union, gathered in Vienna yesterday to look for a political solution to the devastating war in Syria. Iran joined in the talks for the first time in a sign of growing diplomatic clout after a landmark nuclear deal with world powers, as the participants deliberated over what to do with Syrian President Bashar al-Assad.

The USS Lassen, a guided-missile destroyer, sailed near one of China's artificial islands in the South China Sea on Tuesday. PHOTO: AGENCE FRANCE-PRESSE


Provocative acts by US could spark conflict: China

China's naval commander, Admiral Wu Shengli, has warned that the United States' "provocative acts" in the disputed South China Sea could spark a conflict between the two superpowers in the sea and the air.

Adm Wu made the comments during a video teleconference with US chief of naval operations, Admiral John Richardson, on Thursday.


Milestone congress in N. Korea

North Korea will hold a congress of its ruling Workers' Party for the first time in 35 years in May.

Observers say the forum, last held under the rule of leader Kim Jong Un's grandfather, will be a chance to signal major policy shifts or reshuffle the leadership.


War over S. China Sea 'unlikely'

Tensions in the South China Sea rose this week as a US destroyer sailed within 12 nautical miles of Subi Reef, which China claims. But war is unlikely, writes Professor Barry Desker, as the two sides will manage their differences even as they rebalance towards the Pacific.


Hawkers urged to show prices

The consumers' watchdog is hoping to ensure that hawkers display prices of the food they sell, after carrying out a survey which found that around one in six does not do so. Most were at privately owned coffee shops and eateries.


No testing on Sunday nights

The Land Transport Authority said yesterday that it would stop testing trains during off-service hours on Sunday nights, to minimise any possible fallout on train services during rush hour the next day. This comes after a disruption on the North East Line on Monday, after a fault sparked by a test train.


Little cheer for factories

Manufacturers here are bracing themselves for a tough few months ahead, according to an Economic Development Board survey of 400 companies. It found that 26 per cent of respondents expect business conditions to worsen in the next six months. Only 10 per cent expect an improvement.


All eyes on star tennis duo

With top seed Simona Halep eliminated, second seed Garbine Muguruza and third seed Maria Sharapova are the clear favourites for the WTA Finals Singapore title.

Both have perfect 3-0 records from round-robin play and in the semi-finals, Muguruza takes on Agnieszka Radwanska while Sharapova faces Petra Kvitova.


Swift sues ex-radio host

Pop star Taylor Swift  has demanded that a former radio host, whom she accuses of groping her, be put on trial. She asked for the trial in a legal counterclaim against Mr David Mueller, who last month sued her as he charged that he had been wrongly dismissed from his job at a Denver radio station over the June 2013 incident.

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on October 31, 2015, with the headline 'What's News: October 31, 2015'. Subscribe