What's News: Oct 18, 2017

Iraqi militia, the Popular Mobilisation Forces, celebrate on the outskirts of Kirkuk, Iraq.
Iraqi militia, the Popular Mobilisation Forces, celebrate on the outskirts of Kirkuk, Iraq.PHOTO: REUTERS
 Mike Ashley


Militias retake Raqqa

United States-backed militias have taken control of the Syrian city of Raqqa, the de facto capital of the Islamic State in Iraq and Syria (ISIS) terror group. The city has not been cleared of mines and possible ISIS sleeper cells, but celebrations have already begun in a city where residents had lived in fear.


Peek at HSR station designs

Malaysian Prime Minister Najib Razak unveiled design concepts for the seven stations on the Malaysian side of the Kuala Lumpur-Singapore High Speed Rail (HSR) link. Each station is inspired by a different local element - be it Islamic architecture, Melaka's history or the traditional Johor dance kuda kepang.


US seeks to calm divided Iraq

The United States is straining to leverage its influence to avert a full-blown conflict between Iraqi and Kurdish forces it has armed and trained, with Washington calling for calm. President Donald Trump has declared that the country was not taking sides as Iraqi government forces captured territory claimed by the independence-seeking Kurds.


Governor's speech slammed

New Jakarta Governor Anies Baswedan has come under fire for his inauguration speech, which some said stoked hatred against minorities. But others, including Indonesian Vice-President Jusuf Kalla, came to Mr Anies' defence, noting that he was talking about colonialism when he referred to himself as pribumi.


Time to regulate bike-sharing

Bike-sharing free-rides on parking spaces that are typically paid for by corporations and commuters. Before bike-sharing becomes ubiquitous, it is time to regulate it, says Andrew Delios.


Tourist's death 'unfortunate'

A coroner's court has found the drowning of a Chinese national in a hotel swimming pool in May to be an "unfortunate misadventure". The 23-year-old saleswoman, who was on her first visit to Singapore, had been drinking alcoholic beverages before she drowned.


China can do more: US admiral

China needs to do more to curb North Korea's weapons testing. At the same time, Beijing needs to end its provocative actions in the East and South China seas, said Admiral Harry Harris, commander of the United States Pacific Command, at the Fullerton Lecture here.


Changi Garden sold for $248m

Freehold Changi Garden, located at the junction of Upper Changi Road North and Jalan Mariam, was sold to mainboard-listed construction and property development group Chip Eng Seng Corp for $248.8 million, about 27 per cent above the asking price. The site attracted nine bidders.


Magpies boss wants out

Newcastle's under-fire owner Mike Ashley has put the English Premier League club up for sale, amid intense speculation that it could be the latest European side to be acquired by Chinese interests, even though there has been no firm offer.

It is in the first season back in the top flight, after being relegated twice since the sports retail tycoon took charge 10 years ago.


Lifeline for Weinstein Co

Weinstein Co has found a financial lifeline - and a possible new owner - from an investor with experience in distressed Hollywood assets. The studio, reeling from sexual harassment allegations against co-founder Harvey Weinstein, has reached a preliminary agreement with Colony Capital.


Wae Rebo's conical unity

Follow us on a tour of this quaint Indonesian village with conical-shaped houses that signify the unity of its people. http://str.sg/rebo


China congress kicks off

For comprehensive coverage of the Chinese Communist Party's most important political meeting, which starts today, go to http://str.sg/congress

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