10 must-reads for today

Facebook chief executive Mark Zuckerberg testifying before the US House Judiciary Subcommittee on Antitrust, Commercial and Administrative Law on online platforms and market power, at Capitol Hill, Washington, on Wednesday.
Facebook chief executive Mark Zuckerberg testifying before the US House Judiciary Subcommittee on Antitrust, Commercial and Administrative Law on online platforms and market power, at Capitol Hill, Washington, on Wednesday. PHOTO: AGENCE FRANCE-PRESSE

1 Big tech hard to break up

Several hours of a hearing of the US House antitrust subcommittee with four of the tech world's most powerful CEOs ended with congressmen seemingly convinced the tech giants should be broken up. But doing so will be a long process as the laws themselves will need to be tweaked to deal with the new data-based giants, says US Bureau chief in Washington Nirmal Ghosh.


2 RTS Link project resumes

Singapore and Malaysia officially resumed the cross-border Rapid Transit System (RTS) Link between Woodlands and Johor Baru with a ceremony to mark the occasion, one day ahead of a final deadline following multiple postponements to the project. The RTS will now be a light rail transit system.


3 0.3% of virus patients in ICU

Covid-19 cases in Singapore have surged past 50,000, but only 0.3 per cent have been admitted to an intensive care unit (ICU) as of Monday. Experts said years of investment in healthcare and a well-executed strategy to keep infection numbers low have helped to ensure Singapore has one of the world's lowest ICU admission and fatality rates. 


4 Sabah to face snap polls


PHOTO: REUTERS

Malaysia's Sabah state will face a snap election after its state assembly was dissolved yesterday, following attempts by a former chief minister to form a new government after securing several defections. Chief Minister Shafie Apdal (below) announced the state assembly's dissolution, saying the state's Governor Juhar Mahiruddin has consented to the dissolution.


5 Cold War 2.0's shifting sands

As Sino-Russian suspicions mount in the Arctic with the United States casting a watchful eye, the world may be about to witness a reset of Washington-Moscow ties, says associate editor Ravi Velloor (below). 


6 Pritam clears the air on pay

Workers' Party chief Pritam Singh has clarified that he will set aside half the pay increase he will get as Leader of the Opposition for donations to his party, residents and charities. He said that after income tax deductions, the amount he will give away works out to less than $96,000. 


7 Detention order upheld

The High Court upheld a short detention order handed down last year to a former Singapore Management University graduate for filming a woman in the toilet. Such an order has a deterrent and retributive effect, even though it is a community-based sentencing option, said the judge. 


8 Local bank shares sold off

Investors sold off shares of DBS Group Holdings, OCBC Bank and United Overseas Bank after Singapore's central bank asked lenders to cap dividends this year to ensure they can support businesses and individuals in the face of significant uncertainties ahead. The three banks account for nearly 40 per cent of the Straits Times Index. 


9 Suzuki Cup postponed

Organisers of the Suzuki Cup, originally scheduled for Nov 23 to Dec 31, have been forced to postpone to next year the Asean Football Federation tournament, as Covid-19 is still spreading across South-east Asia, and with the safety of all stakeholders being the top priority. 


10 Behind Instagram selfies

Instagram feeds have been overrun by black-and-white images of women both famous and not. These photographs are often posed and filtered, taken from flattering angles and accompanied by captions about "supporting women". The premise of the trend is that these photos promote female empowerment. But there are critics who say it means little. 


WEB SPECIAL

Covid-19 in Hong Kong and South Korea

Hong Kong correspondent Claire Huang and South Korea correspondent Chang May Choon trace how both places saw a spike in Covid-19 cases despite initial success in curbing the outbreak. 


PODCAST

Food Picks

From incredibly soft and fluffy breads and cakes, to flavoursome handmade snacks and North Indian bento meals, here are some of the best eats this week.

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on July 31, 2020, with the headline '10 must-reads for today'. Print Edition | Subscribe