What's News: December 30, 2017

Packaged rice in a Kuala Lumpur supermarket. Most rice brands are linked to national rice agency Bernas.
Packaged rice in a Kuala Lumpur supermarket. Most rice brands are linked to national rice agency Bernas.ST PHOTO: TRINNA LEONG
Zoe Long Range


S'pore petrol usage revs up

While Singapore's vehicle population has shrunk, its petrol consumption is rising. A record 6,453,600 barrels of petrol is set to be used this year, 3 per cent more than last year. Experts attribute the phenomenon to the proliferation of private-hire cars.


Men and the law on modesty

Singapore's law on insult to modesty protects only women, District Judge Kenneth Yap said when he explained why he rejected the public prosecutor's appeal against a 10-week jail term given to Teo Han Jern, who covertly took obscene videos and photographs of 33 men in toilets. The prosecution had urged for a six-month jail term.


Malaysia rice farmers cry foul

The monopoly of Malaysia's national rice agency Padiberas Nasional, or Bernas, over the country's rice supply has become a hot-button issue among some farmers in the upcoming general election, after complaints about alleged unfair trade practices committed by the company, which is controlled by tycoon Syed Mokhtar al-Bukhary.


New Aussie security unit

Australia has brought together its spies, police, border and immigration officials under one roof, despite critics warning the new supersized security unit is counterproductive. Launched last week, the department aims to improve coordination in tasks such as tracking militants returning from the Middle East.


Post-US order dawns in Asia

The Trump administration's narrowly defined "America First" approach towards Asia has effectively ceded US leadership in the region to a rising China, says Professor Hugh White.


Names for merged schools

The names for the three pairs of secondary schools and seven pairs of primary schools that will be merged in 2019 have been settled. The Ministry of Education announced that each of the merged schools will bear the name of the school where it will be located.


ELD celebrates milestone

Mr Puteh Mahamood, 84, has been with the Elections Department (ELD) since it was formed and has worked behind the scenes in 69 elections. He received a special mention in Deputy Prime Minister Teo Chee Hean's speech at the ELD's 70th anniversary celebration.


Couple wins case against AIA

An elderly Indonesian couple has won a marathon legal suit against insurer AIA over a fake US$5.06 million (S$6.8 million) policy sold to them by a rogue AIA agent. The High Court also dismissed AIA's counter-claim that the couple had conspired with the agent to defraud the insurer. It found AIA vicariously liable for the fraud, and awarded the couple $1.6 million.


Divided views on Sanchez

Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger was cheered by Alexis Sanchez's double in the 3-2 win over strugglers Crystal Palace on Thursday, considering it proof that the unsettled Chile striker is committed to the Premier League side. But the more cynical Gunners fans saw his return to form merely as the perfect advertisement for big teams to acquire his services.


Electric dreams come true

Electric cars will finally make inroads into Singapore, with at least half a dozen brands preparing to launch battery-powered models over the next 18 months. First off is Hyundai, with its Ioniq Electric, to be unveiled on Jan 11. Renault will launch its Zoe Long Range at around the same time.


Animal antics

From nimble monkeys to slithering pythons, news of animals in our urban spaces has caused a stir online. Here are the top 10 animal moments of the year. str.sg/ooX4


Taste of New York nightlife

Lavo Singapore, a flashy Italian-American restaurant and nightclub, will open on the rooftop of Marina Bay Sands next year. str.sg/ooBp

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on December 30, 2017, with the headline 'What's News'. Print Edition | Subscribe