What's News: February 18, 2017


Singapore economy grew 2%

The Singapore economy expanded 2 per cent last year, slightly stronger than earlier estimates of 1.8 per cent - and marginally up from 2015's 1.9 per cent. The better-than-expected showing was driven mainly by a year-end turnaround in manufacturing, which makes up one-fifth of the economy.


Reducing stress on victims

A new, private centre in the Police Cantonment Complex will allow victims of alleged rape to be examined by specialists without having to go to a public hospital.

This and other new measures to reduce stress on sexual crime victims were announced by the Government yesterday.



Samsung chief arrested

The de facto leader of Samsung, Mr Lee Jae Yong (photo), has been arrested on bribery charges, a dramatic turn in South Korea's struggle to end collusive ties between the government and powerful chaebols.

The special prosecutor's office said it will indict him on charges including bribery, embezzlement, hiding assets overseas and perjury.


Trump's pick turns down post

Retired vice-admiral Robert Harward, who was President Donald Trump's top choice to replace his ousted national security adviser, has turned down the post, claiming financial and family issues.

This is the latest setback for a White House already in turmoil.


Asia's role in a confusing world

Professor Tommy Koh offers his guide to a confusing world. Asia, he says, should keep calm and keep faith with the principles and values which have served it well, including free trade and an openness to immigrants. It should also champion the liberal world order.


Bike-sharing market hots up

The bicycle-sharing scene here is hotting up with the entry of Chinese company ofo, which has launched about 1,000 bikes. Existing player Obike already has "a few thousand" bikes islandwide after it launched a month ago.


Cars top complaint list again

The car industry remained the top source of consumer complaints for the fifth year in a row last year, said the Consumers Association of Singapore yesterday. Complaints about cars stayed about stable at 2,916, while those about defects were up slightly to make up about half of industry complaints.


Limited damage in Q4 for UOB

United Overseas Bank (UOB) beat expectations in the fourth quarter, thanks to its capacity to limit damage from souring loans to the beleaguered oil and gas sector.

Net profit for the three months to Dec 31 was down 6.2 per cent from a year earlier to $739 million, as revenue eased 2.5 per cent to $2.03 billion.


Boost for spexBusiness

A free mobile application to bolster the Sports Excellence Business (spexBusiness) scheme, which pairs local athletes with prospective employers, was launched yesterday. The Singapore Sports Institute unveiled nine new spexBusiness partners, taking the total to 39 partners from 22 industries.


Saving Kyoto heritage houses

If not for three Singaporeans and a Malaysian, two traditional wooden townhouses in Kyoto, Japan, would have been demolished. The two-storey houses, with timber floors, clay partitions and baked tile roofs, have survived the two world wars. The four bought and turned the houses into serviced lodging.


Link to the past

Check out then and now photos of the Causeway to see how much or little has changed since 1983. http://str.sg/causewayslider


Survivors of war

Mrs Vilma Howe, 88, (far left) and Ms Olga Henderson, 84, remember life in Changi Prison during World War II. http://str.sg/warsurvivors

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on February 18, 2017, with the headline 'What's News'. Print Edition | Subscribe