10 must-reads for today

Residents watching smoke billowing from a forest fire raging near Montana Alta on the island of Gran Canaria, Spain, on Sunday.
Residents watching smoke billowing from a forest fire raging near Montana Alta on the island of Gran Canaria, Spain, on Sunday.PHOTO: AGENCE FRANCE-PRESSE
PHOTO: SHELL

1 Wildfires hit Spanish isle

At least 8,000 people have been evacuated as wildfires raged out of control on the Spanish island of Gran Canaria yesterday. Flames from the fires, which broke out last Saturday, rose so high in some parts that even water-dropping planes were unable to operate, the authorities said.

2 CPF rate-hike contributions

Both employers and employees will contribute to the increases to the Central Provident Fund (CPF) contribution rates for older workers from Jan 1, 2021, with the additional money to be paid into the Special Account.

3 Search for kayaker ends

Malaysia has ended search operations for missing Singaporean kayaker Tan Eng Soon, 62, after 10 days of scouring the sea from north Johor to Terengganu on the east coast of peninsular Malaysia. Search efforts were terminated as of 9pm on Sunday.

4 Violent protests in W. Papua

Three policemen were injured during violent protests yesterday in Indonesia's restive West Papua province, which saw demonstrators setting fire to public facilities and blocking roads. The protesters had been angered by what they saw as the excessive use of force by the police during an arrest at the weekend of ethnic Papuan students in Surabaya.

5 Asia's new nuclear arms race

As the shackles of arms control treaties fall apart, Russia, the US and China are gearing up for more nuclear weapons in a revival of Cold War power play, says Emeritus Professor Hugh White. OPINION A19

6 Power up at Shell

Electric vehicles (EVs) can power up at Shell as it becomes the first fuel retailer in Singapore to offer electric vehicle charging points at its stations. A station in Sengkang has been equipped with a 50kW direct current fast-charger, and nine other stations across the island will have this facility by October.

7 Bicentennial show extended

The team behind the bicentennial showcase at Fort Canning Centre said the demand for tickets has far exceeded initial expectations of around 300,000 visitors. The showcase, which tells 700 years of Singapore history, was initially scheduled to run from June 1 to Sept 15, but it has now been extended to the end of the year.

8 Trans-Cab's new ventures

Taxi operator Trans-Cab will be venturing into car financing and leasing as competition from private-hire cars threatens to eat further into its traditional cab business. The group is investing $30 million in Trans Credit, and another $5 million in Trans Leasing, said founder Teo Kiang Ang.

9 Big World Cup goal for FAS

Thinking big is good, but if the Football Association of Singapore wants people to believe in the quest to qualify for the 2034 World Cup, then it has to sell people a believable plan, and then execute it, says assistant sports editor Rohit Brijnath.

10 A very S'porean Carmen

The Singapore Lyric Opera's staging of Bizet's Carmen will feature six Singaporeans in the 11-member main cast. According to the company, this is the largest number of local performers it has cast in the leading ensemble. The show is on at the Esplanade Theatre from Aug 30 to Sept 1.


INTERACTIVE

Shaping Singapore

From Jewel at Changi Airport to the Greater Southern Waterfront, here is an interactive look at key infrastructural projects featured in National Day Rally speeches. http://str.sg/ndr-2019-transformSG

VIDEO

NZ winter wonderland

Enjoy scenic views, exciting festivals and tranquil retreats in New Zealand. Fewer crowds and lower off-peak prices are the icing on the cake for a wintry adventure. http://str.sg/wintryNZ

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on August 20, 2019, with the headline '10 must-reads for today'. Print Edition | Subscribe