10 must-reads for today

Naomi Osaka with coach Sascha Bajin at the Brisbane International women's quarter-final match at the Pat Rafter Arena on Jan 3.
Naomi Osaka with coach Sascha Bajin at the Brisbane International women's quarter-final match at the Pat Rafter Arena on Jan 3.PHOTO REUTERS


1 Shock split with coach

The tennis world is stunned by Japanese star Naomi Osaka's parting of ways with her coach just 16 days after completing her feat of winning consecutive Grand Slams. German Sascha Bajin helped her to the US Open and Australian Open titles as well as the world No. 1 ranking, but their relationship apparently soured earlier this year. 


2 Gan explains MOH’s actions

Health Minister Gan Kim Yong said in Parliament that the authorities knew Mikhy Farrera Brochez had the confidential information in the HIV Registry only in 2016. The ministry, whose priority was the well-being of the people affected, had to decide whether to inform them and whether to make a public announcement.


3 HDB launches 3,739 flats

The Housing Board, in this year’s first sales exercise, launched 3,739 flats – including 3,162 Build-To-Order units – in five projects across Kallang/Whampoa, Jurong West and Sengkang. The two projects in Kallang/Whampoa are likely to be the most popular.


4 Hopeful sign for trade talks

US President Donald Trump wants to meet his Chinese counterpart, Mr Xi Jinping, “very soon” in an effort to end the trade war between their countries, the White House has said. Negotiators from both sides are meeting this week in Beijing, but concerns are mounting that the talks are faltering as a March 1 deadline for a hike in US tariffs approaches.


5 Insects face extinction

Nearly half of all insect species are in rapid decline and a third could disappear altogether in a “mass extinction”, according to a new study that warns of dire consequences for crop pollination and natural food chains. Habitat change is the biggest cause of the insect decline and extinction threat.


6 Looking back for the future

The bicentennial is a good time to pause and take stock of our past as we prepare for the future, says Speaker Tan Chuan-Jin, whose office in Parliament lies in an area from which 700-year-old artefacts have been dug up.



7 New initiatives by SMU

Singapore Management University is looking at getting its students to declare their life missions, SMU president Lily Kong (above) announced yesterday. Students will be guided by faculty mentors to build a resume that will enable them to fulfil their mission.

Professor Kong also said students can expect more global exposure opportunities with the setting up of global centres.


8 Law change welcomed

Making attempted suicide no longer a crime has been welcomed by observers. The Criminal Law Reform Bill proposed in Parliament will amend the Penal Code to decriminalise suicide, but abetment of attempted suicide will still be an offence.


9 Slide in Dec retail takings

The muted holiday spending put a dampener on retailers in Singapore, with sales well down last December. Takings were 6 per cent below those of the same month in 2017, a sharper fall than the 3.6 per cent slide forecast by economists.


10 Game to be parents?

A new game in China puts players in control of the most fearsome of characters: Mum and Dad. The mission? Raise a son or daughter from cradle to college. Since its release in September, Chinese Parents has found a huge audience on Steam, an online marketplace run by American game maker Valve Corp.

Straits Times Digital



Budget over the years

Over the years, Singapore’s Budgets have reflected the economic development at home and external trends. Here are some key policies marking major turning points for the local economy. http://str.sg/budget19historical


Quake-proof homes

See how Indonesia, a country that is prone to natural disasters, has come up with ways to build stronger houses that are resistant to earthquakes and tornadoes. http://str.sg/crackproof

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on February 13, 2019, with the headline '10 must-reads for today'. Print Edition | Subscribe