What's News: February 13, 2018

President Joko Widodo with young diplomats.
President Joko Widodo with young diplomats.PHOTO: INDONESIA MINISTRY OF FOREIGN AFFAIRS


China tourists take top spot

China was the biggest source of visitors to Singapore last year, taking the top spot for the first time and ending Indonesia's 20-year reign. Chinese tourists were also the biggest spenders for the third year in a row. The overall number of arrivals increased year on year by 6.2 per cent to 17.4 million, based on preliminary estimates.


Smugglers use S'pore flag

The Malaysian authorities have foiled an attempt to smuggle $841,850 in cigarettes and liquor into the country using a boat that had flown the Singapore flag. The seizure was the biggest so far in Johor waters. Nine Indonesians on board the vessel were arrested.


Jakarta 'should aid others'

President Joko Widodo has told Indonesian diplomats that it is high time the country stops receiving aid and instead lend a helping hand to others in need. Mr Joko said that as home to more than 260 million people and the largest Muslim population in the world, Indonesia has a responsibility to be part of the solution to global issues.


Car thieves go high-tech

A frequency-hacking device that is available in Malaysian electronic stores as well as online could let car thieves unlock cars with keyless entry systems and start the engines within minutes. Costing just $50, the device is capable of hacking 110 models from 27 car manufacturers, according to Europe's largest auto club.


Secret to innovation success

In the global race to excel as an innovation hub, other than R&D spending, countries must also be open to new ideas and talent, says A*Star chairman Lim Chuan Poh.


SMU's living, learning spaces

From August, undergraduates from Singapore Management University can stay at the Prinsep Street Residences - just eight minutes on foot from campus. The residences will have 23 shared apartments, with living rooms and communal spaces for 255 students.


Man on death row acquitted

A man on death row was acquitted by the apex court in a rare 2-1 decision. Malaysian Gopu Jaya Raman successfully proved that he did not know controlled drugs were hidden in the motorcycle he was riding through Woodlands Checkpoint on March 24, 2014.


Cars, tech lift Dec retail sales

Surging car sales and a brisk trade in mobile devices helped the retail sector end last year on a robust note. Total retail takings grew 4.6 per cent in December compared with the same month a year earlier. But the performance remains patchy despite stronger economic growth as consumers are still holding back on some discretionary expenditures, economists say.


Mourinho praises Newcastle

Manchester United manager Jose Mourinho seldom compliments the opposition, but he was effusive in his praise for struggling Newcastle after they pulled off a shock home win in the English Premier League. He said the Magpies fought "like animals", while lamenting United's poor finishing and lack of desire as his team stayed 16 points behind leaders Manchester City.



Jin Yong's books in English

The thrilling tales of Chinese author Jin Yong's Legends Of The Condor Heroes series are now accessible to English readers.

The books are getting their first official English translation from British publisher MacLehose Press, with the first volume, A Hero Born, just released.


Sweet as sugar

Can you taste the difference between real sugar and its substitutes? ST Life editor Tan Hsueh Yun and two food scientists find out. str.sg/oiJ7


Firebikers to the rescue

SCDF firebikers not only handle fire and rescue incidents, but are also trained to deal with medical emergencies. str.sg/oiUK

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on February 13, 2018, with the headline 'What's News'. Print Edition | Subscribe