What's News: November 19, 2016

Singapore's Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong leaves after the Apec CEO Summit session, part of the broader Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (Apec) Summit in Lima, on Nov 18, 2016.
Singapore's Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong leaves after the Apec CEO Summit session, part of the broader Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (Apec) Summit in Lima, on Nov 18, 2016.PHOTO: AFP


Preserve free trade gains: PM

Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong has said countries in the Asia-Pacific should not turn back the clock on free trade despite political pressures to do so. Addressing the Apec CEO summit yesterday, he said the grouping has brought prosperity to the region since it was formed in 1989 to strengthen economic cooperation.


Abe upbeat about ties with

US Japan's Prime Minister Shinzo Abe emerged from a meeting with US President-elect Donald Trump on Thursday sounding an optimistic note on the future of bilateral ties, even as both sides kept mum on whether progress had been made on major disagreements.

A satellite image showing Vietnam's upgraded runway in the South China Sea. PHOTO: CSIS/AMTI DIDITALGLOBE


Longer Viet runway in Spratlys

Vietnam is extending a runway on an island it claims in the South China Sea in an apparent response to China's building of military facilities on artificial islands in the region, a US think-tank reported. Satellite images showed that Vietnam's runway on Spratly Island has expanded from less than 760m to over 1km.


Bribery: Bank to pay $375m

JP Morgan Chase has agreed to pay US$264 million (S$375 million) to settle a foreign bribery case, in which the bank gave prized jobs to friends and relatives of China's elite. The bank admitted to getting more than US$100 million worth of new business after the hirings.


Perils of cynicism

Cynicism about, for example, startling turns in global affairs, can be toxic for individuals, warns Professor David Chan, who says cynics suspect other people only seek their self interest. A dose of healthy scepticism is a much better approach, he writes.


Plan for new fostering agency

A third agency will be set up by June next year to place vulnerable children in foster care. As of September, a third of about 1,100 children who needed homes were placed in foster care, while more than 600 went to children's homes.


Spotlight on stroke

One in 10 stroke patients here is aged under 50, latest figures show. Last week, a 36-year-old Singaporean businesswoman died after having a stroke in a Hong Kong hotel. Doctors say factors like high blood pressure and high cholesterol can put people at risk.


Drop in stamp duty collected

The Inland Revenue Authority of Singapore has collected less stamp duty over the last two years, amid a slowdown in the property markets.

For the year ended March 31, 2016, stamp duty assessed totalled $2.96 billion, a 28 per cent slide from $4.11 billion two years ago.

James Harden of the Houston Rockets driving past Pau Gasol of the San Antonio Spurs at the AT&T Centre in Texas last week. PHOTO: AGENCE FRANCE-PRESSE


Houston Rockets' success ascribed to team 'chemistry'

According to player James Harden of the Houston Rockets, "it's the chemistry" - and he is not talking about laboratory experiments. He says his team are a "special group of guys, coaching staff included". Harden posted his third triple-double in five games to power the Rockets to victory over the Portland Trail Blazers 126-109 in the NBA league on Thursday. It was Harden's 12th career triple-double.

Volunteer Ng Wai Sen with "garbage enzymes" made from food waste. PHOTO: GIN TAY FOR THE STRAITS TIMES


Don't rubbish this idea

People who ferment unwanted fruit peels into "garbage enzymes" for cleaning purposes - such as mopping the floor and washing vegetables - say this is good for the environment.

Experts advise users to test the enzymes on small areas first, to make sure that they can clean effectively.


Coldplay embracing change

Singer Chris Martin says that while A Head Full Of Dreams will be the last album for his band Coldplay, they are not breaking up. Instead, the band is looking at new ways to release music. Coldplay will perform at the National Stadium on April 1.

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on November 19, 2016, with the headline 'What's News'. Subscribe