Why It Matters

Every day on Page 2 of The Straits Times, reporters write about why certain news reports matter to readers. This is a weekly round-up of the columns.

Official labour market figures show more residents out of work for at least 25 weeks. Manpower reporter Joanna Seow noted that this is worrying, especially as economic forecasts have also been cut. Workers will have to brace themselves for tough times ahead. http://str.sg/4AyD

Singapore Airlines (SIA) and Lufthansa have been given approval for a partnership to plan flights and schedules, as well as price and sell seats for Asia-Europe routes. Aviation correspondent Karamjit Kaur said such tie-ups could become critical for carriers like SIA as competition becomes stiffer. http://str.sg/4Aru

Hong Kong correspondent Joyce Lim observed that whoever wins the hot seat of Hong Kong's Chief Executive will have to win over both Beijing and the Hong Kong public. This balancing act has become more difficult as the city's politics become more polarised. http://str.sg/4Abh

Despite a slowing economy and a gloomy global economic outlook, Singapore's triple-A rating has been reaffirmed by credit ratings agency Moody's. Economics correspondent Chia Yan Min noted that it is reassuring that Singapore's creditworthiness has remained steady amid this year's volatility. http://str.sg/4A2m

Indonesia bureau chief Francis Chan said that the ban on the cultivation of peatland in Indonesia has the potential to reduce carbon emissions by up to one gigatonne annually, as well as reduce the mass forest fires that cause the toxic haze. But Indonesia must follow through with rigorous enforcement. http://str.sg/4A7p

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on December 17, 2016, with the headline 'Why It Matters'. Print Edition | Subscribe