What's News: January 16 2016

Singapore's Parliament House.
Singapore's Parliament House. PHOTO: ST FILE


President on S'pore's outlook

President Tony Tan Keng Yam yesterday sketched a sobering picture of the outlook for Singapore at the opening of the 13th Parliament. Singaporeans cannot expect an easy journey ahead, he said, as he outlined the Government's programmes over the next five years and beyond, and pointed out that good policies will require good politics.


New home sales up last year

Sales of new private homes appeared to have ended last year with a whimper, with December's number half that of November's. But there was some reason to cheer as the full-year tally of 7,529 was 2.9 per cent up on 2014's figures.



China 'remodelling marines '

Recent drills of Chinese marines in the western deserts of Xinjiang, more than 2,000km from the nearest ocean, suggest that China is building an elite force capable of deploying on land far from mainland China. It is part of China's plan to create a military modelled after that of the United States, the world's most dominant power projection force, analysts say.


Delhi govt hails car curb trial

Delhi's first experiment with private vehicle restrictions came to an end after a 15-day trial, with the city's government hailing it as a "success" and planning a thanksgiving event. Experts, however, cautioned that it was just a small step in the effort to clean up the city's pollution.


Thailand set for tough year

Constitutional machinations and the ongoing tussle between a monarchist elite and democratic forces look set to put Thailand on track for another difficult year, says By Invitation columnist Thitinan Pongsudhirak.


Throttle ban hits elderly users

A ban on throttles, which enable motorised bike users to move without pedalling, has hit elderly users. Some had the devices taken out after the authorities announced stiffer penalties. They now find it hard to pedal without the device.


Man jailed over underage sex

A 25-year-old who represented Singapore in a global Pokemon trading card competition last year was yesterday given 11 months' jail for having sex with a minor. Xavier Chua Cheng Hao had asked the girl to have sex with him though he did not want to enter into a relationship with her.


Boost for construction sector

The public sector looks set to pump-prime the construction industry. The Building and Construction Authority yesterday said construction demand could come in at between $27 billion and $34 billion this year. About 65 per cent of this is expected to be from the public sector, in its highest share of the demand since 2002.

Serena Williams taking part in a practice session on Thursday, ahead of the Australian Open tournament in Melbourne. PHOTO: AGENCE FRANCE-PRESSE


Serena faces tricky Italian challenge in Australian Open

Tennis world No. 1 Serena Williams will face the hard-hitting Camila Giorgi of Italy in the first round of the Australian Open, which starts on Monday. Her previous Grand Slam match, at last September's US Open, was a loss to Italian Roberta Vinci, ending her calendar-year Grand Slam hopes.



Life with motor neuron illness

Home-grown actor Chew Chor Meng has released his autobiography, Stages Of Life, in the hope that his life story - from growing up with an abusive father to living with incurable motor neuron illness - will inspire and encourage others. Chew, 47, was diagnosed in 2008 with spinal and bulbar muscular atrophy, or Kennedy's disease.


Netflix blocking proxy access

Netflix users in Singapore are unhappy over the American content streaming company's announcement that it is blocking proxy access here to its service in other countries. This means they will no longer be able to view content available on Netflix platforms overseas.

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on January 16, 2016, with the headline 'What's News: January 16 2016'. Print Edition | Subscribe