10 must-reads for today

The Mona Lisa on display temporarily at the Louvre's Medici Gallery. Visitors have to view the 0.76m-tall painting from a distance of 4.6m. PHOTO: NYTIMES
The Mona Lisa on display temporarily at the Louvre's Medici Gallery. Visitors have to view the 0.76m-tall painting from a distance of 4.6m. PHOTO: NYTIMES

1 Limited view of Mona Lisa

The Louvre's Salle des Etats, where the Mona Lisa has hung since 2005, is under renovation, so the da Vinci masterpiece has been relocated to another gallery in the Paris museum, where it is causing a commotion. The reason: There is only one way in - up three escalators and through a single doorway - and 30,000 visitors a day to accommodate. 

2 GDP growth forecast cut

The full-year growth forecast for Singapore has been cut again. The Ministry of Trade and Industry expects gross domestic product growth to come in between 0 per cent and 1 per cent, with the final figure pegged at around the midpoint of the range. The previous forecast range was 1.5 per cent to 2.5 per cent. 

3 Negative views on China

Public attitudes in the United States towards China have turned negative, with more Americans now seeing China as a threat, a new survey has found. Almost a quarter of those surveyed named China as the country or group that poses the greatest threat to the US in the future, according to research from the Pew Research Centre.

Nora Anne Quoirin's body being wheeled out of a helicopter in Seremban, Malaysia. PHOTO: REUTERS

4 Irish teen's body found

Malaysian police have found the naked body of an Irish teenager who went missing from a rainforest resort 10 days ago. The body of Nora Anne Quoirin, 15, was found in a hilly area of a Seremban jungle, just 2km away from the Dusun resort where she was holidaying with her family. 

5 Thai coalition in trouble

A member of Thailand's coalition government has announced its decision to withdraw support for the government, signalling the first sign of trouble for Prime Minister Prayut Chan-o-cha.

6 Alarm bells for HK economy

The impact of continuing protests in Hong Kong is already being felt by some sectors. Beyond that is the reputational damage to the city. The troubles have also made it harder to manage a downturn at a time when the economy is already wilting, says associate editor Vikram Khanna.

7 Closer eye on car financing

Car loans given by financial and non-financial institutions will be monitored by the authorities to detect attempts to circumvent car financing rules. The move comes after a report in The Sunday Times on a loophole in the regulations that lets buyers get a 90 per cent car loan just by registering a company. 

8 Missing, but still being paid

A man who has been missing for 23 years has been getting Central Provident Fund payments and other assistance, amounting to a total of about $15,000 in cash and CPF top-ups. This is because Mr Boo Meng Hock, who was reported missing in 1996, has not been officially declared dead. 

9 S-E Asia reaps BRI gains

South-east Asia is seeing a recovery in investments linked to China's Belt and Road Initiative (BRI). This comes as Chinese firms relocate their manufacturing facilities to South-east Asia amid the United States-China trade war.

10 Wallabies set for NZ clash

Australia are expecting chastened New Zealand to raise the level of their physical game at their Eden Park fortress on Saturday as the world champions look to bounce back from the Perth upset and retain rugby's Bledisloe Cup. The Wallabies thrashed the All Blacks 47-26 last Saturday, which gave them a huge boost ahead of the World Cup next month. 


Beyond Batam, Bintan

A 7km sea bridge linking Batam and Bintan that will be built from next year is set to bring growth to "forgotten" villages. We take a look at how it will impact residents in neighbouring Tanjung Sauh and Ngenang islands. http://str.sg/seabridge


Robots at the workplace

From carrying out tasks in libraries and schools to helping out in security, find out how robots are improving efficiency at the workplace. http://str.sg/workrobots

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on August 14, 2019, with the headline '10 must-reads for today'. Print Edition | Subscribe