What's News: March 18, 2017


Export data signals recovery

Singapore's non-oil domestic exports expanded for the fourth straight month in February. Shipments surged 21.5 per cent over a year earlier, beating economists' expectations of a 12.5 per cent expansion. Economists said it remains to be seen whether the momentum will spill over to the service sector, which accounts for about two-thirds of the economy.


Dynamic pricing for taxis

Four taxi companies will offer commuters the option of dynamic pricing - a fixed fare based on demand - from as early as next week. SMRT, Trans-Cab, Premier and HDT Singapore Taxi have tied up with ride-hailing app Grab and received the green light for the pricing system yesterday.

Mr Tillerson with his South Korean counterpart Yun Byung Se at a news conference in Seoul.
Mr Tillerson with his South Korean counterpart Yun Byung Se at a news conference in Seoul. PHOTO: REUTERS


US patience with N. Korea over

US Secretary of State Rex Tillerson has indicated that military action against North Korea is an option when push comes to shove, as he declared that his country's policy of "strategic patience" is over. He was in Seoul yesterday amid rising tension on the Korean peninsula following Pyongyang's repeated nuclear and missile tests.


Entry price up for foreigners

Penang has raised the minimum price for foreign purchases of landed properties from RM2 million to RM3 million (S$632,000 to S$948,000), even as the federal Malaysian government is mulling over increasing the floor price for foreigners. The move, it says, will protect local buyers' interest.


How Asean was born

The story of how fear, luck and golf helped to bring countries of this region together to form Asean is told by Kishore Mahbubani, who describes the group as a geopolitical umbrella that Singaporeans would be daft to poke holes in.


Air-con ledge controversy

Some 200 home owners in a condominium in Sengkang are upset about huge air-conditioning ledges in their homes. They say a loophole allows developers to build these ledges without adding them to the gross floor area, yet they can charge home buyers for them.


New trend in volunteering

Infant-care teacher Priscilla Ong, 35, started her own initiative in 2015 to distribute food and groceries to households. She is part of a new trend - more people are volunteering but doing so informally or through ground-up initiatives.


Oakwood finds foothold here

US-based Oakwood Asia-Pacific has launched its first serviced apartment here, a freehold property off Orchard Road under the Oakwood Studios brand. This comes after Mapletree Investments acquired Oakwood Worldwide earlier this year for an undisclosed sum, as part of efforts to expand its corporate housing and serviced apartment business.


Crucial Premier League clash

Implicit in the upcoming Premier League clash between Manchester City and Liverpool is that each side must attempt to prove that form is temporary while class is permanent. Although Pep Guardiola's side are third on the ladder and Jurgen Klopp's men are just one rung below, the losing side at the Etihad Stadium will have suffered a major blow.



When paint is the solution

Remodelling a house on a tight budget and schedule is a challenge, but award-winning designer Jamie Durie (photo) says paint is the solution. His latest gig is the reality interior design show The Apartment: Rising Stars Edition. It pits 12 contestants against one another to design different spaces. Filmed in Johor Baru, it premiered on Sony Channel on Thursday.


Softer side of Villes

The guys of Villes rehearsed for seven hours to perform acoustic versions of their metalcore songs for ST Sessions. str.sg/villes


Super bowls

Poke and grain bowls seem like all the rage among the health-conscious crowd. We look at the best places to get your fix. str.sg/grainbowl

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