What's News: March 12, 2018

Anwar Ibrahim's home constituency of Permatang Pauh has been held by him or his wife Wan Azizah Wan Ismail since 1982.
Anwar Ibrahim's home constituency of Permatang Pauh has been held by him or his wife Wan Azizah Wan Ismail since 1982.PHOTO: ARLINA ARSHAD


Xi can be president for life

China’s Parliament has passed a constitutional amendment to abolish presidential term limits with 99.79 per cent of votes, amove that will allow President Xi Jinping to stay in office indefinitely and give him unfettered power that could lead to political risks.


Trump presses EU on trade

President Donald Trump has renewed his demand that the European Union halts its trade barriers to US products in order to spare his allies new steel and aluminium tariffs. Mr Trump made his comments after crunch talks in Brussels between EU negotiators and US Trade Representative Robert Lighthizer in an effort to defuse the bitter row.


Stiff fight for Penang seat

The home constituency of jailed Malaysian opposition leader Anwar Ibrahim will see a stiff three-cornered fight in the coming elections, but residents say the Permatang Pauh seat will likely remain the stronghold of the Anwar family. The ward has been held by Anwar or his wife, Dr Wan Azizah Wan Ismail, since 1982.


Low turnout in HK by-elections

Low early turnout in Hong Kong by-elections yesterday raised alarm in the city's pro-democracy camp. Fifteen candidates are running to fill four Legislative Council seats once held by pro-democracy lawmakers who were ousted from public office.


Risks of a Trump-Kim summit

A meeting between US President Donald Trump and North Korean leader Kim Jong Un is not without risks or potential rewards, but Washington should also consider the fallout on its relations with its allies South Korea and Japan, says Jonathan Eyal.


Lift pits teeming with life

Rats, cats, birds - even snakes and missing 4-D tickets - are all in a day's work for lift technicians, who find all sorts of surprises in lift pits. They said most do not cause lifts to malfunction, and some items are even causes for celebration when returned to lift users.


Database of dug-up artefacts

A new database, the first in the region, lists artefacts uncovered in an excavation 15 years ago which included fragments of 14th-century pottery used in cooking. About 5,000 artefacts from the dig will be listed on the site, developed by NUS Press Singapore.


S'pore banks under scrutiny

Singapore's three local banks are facing greater scrutiny for giving loans to fund the building of coal-fired power plants in the region. Some critics say that these power plants will be bad for the climate while others say that alternative sources of energy such as renewable energy cannot meet the demand for power.


Win for S'pore para-shuttler

Para-shuttler Tay Wei Ming won his first title of the season yesterday when he beat Turkey's Ilker Tuzcu 21-18, 21-11 to win the men's singles SU5 title at the Spanish Para-Badminton International in Alcudia. The 29-year-old also won the men's doubles SU5 title - which is for athletes with upper-limb impairment - with Indonesian Suryo Nugroho at the Para-Badminton World Championships last November.


Bespoke scents from $46k

Exclusive French perfumery Henry Jacques has opened its first standalone boutique at Marina Bay Sands. A bespoke perfume starts at $46,000, while a fragrance from the commercial ready-to-buy range, Les Classiques, starts at $770 for a 15ml bottle.


Cleaners speak out

Three cleaners who work at eateries talk about why people refuse to clear their trays. str.sg/oSCi


Fruit fright

Listeria-tainted rock melons, bad apples and lethal lychees. Here's how some fruit can bite back. str.sg/fruit

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on March 12, 2018, with the headline 'What's News'. Print Edition | Subscribe