10 must-reads for today

Spanish firefighters battling the blaze near the town of Flix yesterday as a forest fire raged out of control in north-eastern Catalonia. PHOTO: AGENCE FRANCE-PRESSE
Spanish firefighters battling the blaze near the town of Flix yesterday as a forest fire raged out of control in north-eastern Catalonia. PHOTO: AGENCE FRANCE-PRESSE

1 Wildfires in Catalonia

Spanish firefighters struggled to douse wildfires in north-eastern Catalonia yesterday, amid a heatwave across swathes of western Europe. The raging blaze, among the worst in Catalonia in 20 years, destroyed thousands of hectares of land, but no casualties were reported.

2 Boost for digital economy

With a review of the Electronic Transactions Act, Singaporeans and businesses can look forward to changes such as buying and selling properties completely online and cross-border trade documentation going electronic as the Government looks to change a key digital economy law.

3 New risk found in B-737 Max

US regulators have found a new safety risk in Boeing's 737 Max jet that must be addressed before the model can return to service. The Federal Aviation Administration did not elaborate, but the finding is a setback for the best-selling plane, which has been grounded since March after two deadly crashes within five months.

4 Huawei's military ties

Employees at Huawei have worked on research projects with Chinese military scientists, indicating closer ties with China's military and government than previously acknowledged by the technology giant. The collaboration spanned the last decade.

5 Unify rail operations here

The recent move by SMRT and SBS Transit to formally work together with ST Engineering on repair and maintenance is a good start. In fact, having a single rail operator makes sense as well, says senior transport correspondent Christopher Tan.

6 Reflect on tech use: SM Teo

There is a need to reflect on how well and how wisely technology is being used, even in the rush to respond to the rise of artificial intelligence, cyber attacks and asymmetric warfare, Senior Minister Teo Chee Hean said at a defence technology summit yesterday.

7 Many don't know how to relax

Three in 10 people, out of 600 Singaporeans and permanent residents polled, said they did not know how to relax, and almost half said they were stressed out by the thought of doing nothing. But 52 per cent in the survey conducted online in April said they felt stuck in a daily routine, while 74 per cent wished they could spend more time with their families.

8 Challenger buyout blocked

In a dramatic move, the delisting of homegrown IT retailer Challenger Technologies was blocked by minority shareholders yesterday. The investors, representing 11.4 per cent of voters present, rejected the offer price of 56 cents a share, which many deemed too low. The level of opposition was enough to stymie the proposed $183 million buyout.

9 Silat gains ground in US

Nearly 10 years after its formation, the USA Pencak Silat Federation organised the first national open championships in Virginia, with the Singapore team returning with the lion's share of titles. The association wants to promote the sport to neighbouring countries and also become a hub for silat in the Americas.

10 New Chinese music fest

In a push to boost Singapore's Chinese music scene and foster the development of young musicians, the Singapore Chinese Music Federation has spearheaded a new festival. The inaugural Singapore Chinese Music Festival, which will run from July 21 to Sept 8, will feature about 15 concerts.


Cooking blind with tech

Masseuse Rosie Wong, who is blind, uses "talking" kitchen gadgets so she can cook safely. More special needs people like her are using assistive technologies to live more independently. http://str.sg/assistive-tech


Hangout with ST

We discuss how to spot deepfake videos with tech artist Eugene Soh, founder of Dude Studios and Mind Palace, and glean career tips from consultancy Achieve Group's chief executive, Mr Joshua Yim. http://str.sg/hangout70

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on June 28, 2019, with the headline '10 must-reads for today'. Print Edition | Subscribe