What's News: July 27, 2016


EP salary criterion raised

Foreign professionals will have to be paid at least $3,600 a month, up from $3,300 now, if firms want to hire them on Employment Passes. The change, which takes effect from January, was announced yesterday by the Ministry of Manpower. It said the move was to keep pace with rising local wages.


Disappointing factory output

Singapore factories turned in yet another disappointing report card last month, as the volatile pharmaceutical segment proved a drag on growth. Total factory output shrank 0.3 per cent in June over the same month a year ago, lower than economists' expectations of a 0.5 per cent increase.



Round the world in solar plane

A solar aircraft has completed its epic journey to become the first sun-powered plane to circle the globe without a drop of fuel. The Solar Impulse 2 yesterday ended its 40,000km journey across four continents, two oceans and three seas in Abu Dhabi.


US backs Beijing-Manila talks

US Secretary of State John Kerry said he supports the resumption of talks between Beijing and Manila over competing South China Sea claims, even as Australia, Japan and the United States jointly urged Beijing to abide by an arbitral tribunal ruling that went against it.


Big data and workplace

Big data is transforming human resource practices, says writer Leong Chee Tung. Deloitte has experimented with a wearable gadget that tracks the movement and conversations of every worker with consent, to study the behaviour of its best performers.

Duty-free shops at Changi Airport. Asia is the only region where traveller spending rose last year, according to a retail consultancy.
Duty-free shops at Changi Airport. Asia is the only region where traveller spending rose last year, according to a retail consultancy. ST PHOTO: STEPHANIE YEOW


Changi ranked No. 3 in airport retail sales

Changi Airport has been ranked third in the world for airport retail sales, after South Korea's Incheon Airport and Dubai airport. Last year, it raked in more than US$1.5 billion (S$2 billion) in duty-free and transit sales.


Man banned from GrabCar

A man was banned from using the GrabCar platform for harassing drivers on the ride-sharing service. SMRT driver Peter Quek would make bookings at odd hours of the night and put down bogus pick-up locations or destinations.


McDonald's eyes franchising

McDonald's is looking for franchise partners in Singapore and Malaysia, as the fast-food giant embraces franchising to restructure its international operations. The adoption of a development licensee model for the two countries is part of efforts to unlock speedier growth, a spokesman said.


Self-belief propels Olympian

After windsurfer Leonard Ong failed to qualify for the London Olympics, he enlisted for national service and did not sail competitively for almost two years. But he conquered self-doubt, returned to the sport and finally earned his Rio slot. He said: "I learnt that if I wanted something, I had to do something about it."



Band app hits high note

Mr Meng Ru Kuok, a Singaporean with a mathematics degree from Cambridge, is behind BandLab, a music app whose downloads have reached six figures. The free app allows musicians to record their work without going to a studio.


Hollywood's unsung singer

Marni Nixon, American cinema's most unheralded singer who anonymously dubbed three of the best-loved heroines in Hollywood musicals - Deborah Kerr in The King And I, Natalie Wood in West Side Story and Audrey Hepburn in My Fair Lady - died on Sunday from breast cancer. She was 86.

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on July 27, 2016, with the headline 'What's News'. Print Edition | Subscribe