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How to revive a 500-year-old dying language
19 March 2017 - Until two years ago, university student Kevin Martens Wong had never even heard of his ancestral tongue, let alone spoken it. The Singaporean linguist was researching endangered languages when he stumbled upon Kristang in a book. As he dug deeper, he realised it was the language of his maternal grandparents. But today there may be as little as 50 fluent speakers left, according to researchers' estimates. ... But Mr Wong and a group of language enthusiasts hope to change things. (more)

Singapore's tourists abandon casinos for shopping malls
12 December 2016 - Singapore's casinos are so 2015. After luring tourists for half a decade, they're now losing out to the mall. Shopping has overtaken gambling as the biggest earner in Singapore's tourism industry for the first time since 2012, surging 44 percent in the six months through June from a year ago, official data show. Among all visitors, those from China, Indonesia, and India were the top three spenders in the second quarter of 2016, clocking up 40 percent of all tourist receipts. (more)

Singapore, China strengthen diplomatic ties with Xi's visit
6 November 2015 - Singapore welcomed Chinese President Xi Jinping on Friday with a state banquet featuring local favorites, as the two countries pledged to strengthen economic links and cooperation in regional and international affairs. Despite Singapore's small size -- it has a population of 5.5 million, a fraction of China's 1.4 billion -- it is a strong investor in China, and its first Prime Minister, Lee Kuan Yew, often played the role of interlocutor between China and the West. (more)

Singapore factory activity growth at 3 1/2-year high
4 November 2014 - Singapore's manufacturing activity expanded at the fastest pace in 3 1/2 years in October on a rise in new orders and new export orders, a survey showed on Tuesday. The Singapore Institute of Purchasing & Materials Management's Purchasing Managers' index (PMI) rose to 51.9 in October, the highest since April 2011. (more)

Greenlots and BMW Group Asia partner to provide Singapore's first electric vehicle network
12 August 2014 - California-based Greenlots, a global provider of open standards-based technology solutions for electric vehicle (EV) networks, has partnered with BMW Group Asia to provide Singapore with its first Home and Public Charging network as part of BMW's 360º ELECTRIC programme. (more)

Singapore approves bill to fine domestic, overseas air polluters
5 August 2014 - Singapore's parliament passed a bill on Tuesday proposing fines for companies that cause haze pollution regardless of whether the companies operate on the island. Under the bill, companies found guilty of causing haze could be fined up to S$100,000 ($80,347) for each day they pollute, with the maximum aggregate amount being S$2 million. They will also be subject to civil claims from parties who say they have suffered damage caused by haze. The bill will go to the President who will sign it into law. (more)

Singapore: Monastery encourages people to be kind to animals on Vesak Day
13 May 2014 - Some Buddhist devotees think that handing their pets to a monastery is a liberation of life. But the Kong Meng San Phor Kark See Monastery points out that this is a misconception. As its premises are not suitable for keeping pets, it has put up 30 abandoned dogs for adoption at a shelter in Pasir Ris. On Vesak Day, or Buddha's Day, the monastery took the opportunity to encourage devotees to be kind to animals. The birth, enlightenment ,and passing away of Buddha is celebrated on the full moon of the month of Vesākha, usually in May. (more)

Singapore: Walking in Copenhagen's footsteps
6 April 2014 - Urban planning that prioritizes the needs of cyclists and pedestrians is one of the main reasons why Copenhagen is Monocle magazine's World's Most Liveable City for 2013, said Professor Jan Gehl, guest speaker at a Centre for Liveable Cities lecture on Friday in Singapore. Gehl, an academic from the Royal Danish Academy of Fine Arts and founding partner of Gehl Architects, highlighted that Singapore is close to achieving a similarly high degree of liveability. (more)

Singapore takes the lead in green building in Asia
16 December 2013 - By encouraging the adoption of innovative architectural design and energy-saving technologies, Singapore has emerged as a model of green building in Asia -- an important development in a region that is urbanizing more rapidly than any other in the world. (more)

Singapore Q3 GDP likely rose 5.3 per cent on year as manufacturing recovers
19 November 2013 - Singapore's economy likely expanded more than initially expected in the third quarter as electronics manufacturing rebounded, lending weight to the view that full-year growth could exceed the government's target range of 2.5 to 3.5 per cent. Gross domestic product (GDP) grew 5.3 per cent in July-September from a year earlier. (more)


Success of Maharishi's Programmes
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Singapore: New centre for the Transcendental Meditation programme established
6 September 2013 - The first Maharishi Invincibility Centre for Singapore, offering the Transcendental Meditation programme, was recently established. Singapore, a city-state south of the Malay Peninsula in Southeast Asia, is a thriving financial and cosmopolitan centre. Located in a dignified area near the centre of Singapore, and situated at the highest elevation with beautiful panoramic views, the Maharishi Invincibility Centre is an ideal venue for the Transcendental Meditation programme. (more)

Singapore: Tuning into sounds of silence
1 September 2006 - Research demonstrates that Transcendental Meditation benefits both mind and body. (more)


Flops
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Alcohol, police lapses at fault in Singapore's Little India riot
30 June 2014 - A fatal bus accident and alcohol, not foreign workers' living conditions, were to blame for Singapore's first major riot in 40 years, according to the report of an inquiry into the incident released on Monday. Some 400 migrant workers went on the rampage in the Little India district one Sunday evening last December, setting fire to cars and clashing with police after a construction worker was knocked down and killed by a bus. It was the worst social unrest in Singapore since the 1960s and shocked many in the Southeast Asian island nation, which has one of the lowest crime rates in the world and cracks down quickly on signs of public disorder. A four-man Committee of Inquiry (COI) chaired by a former supreme court judge said the riot was caused by misperceptions about the traffic accident, alcohol and cultural issues that meant some rioters may have had a desire for 'street justice'. Poor police communication and slow deployment of the force's special operations unit, it said, extended the time needed to restore order. (more)

Singapore: Violent video games may be tied to aggressive thoughts
24 March 2014 - Playing violent video games may be linked to violent thoughts and behaviour among kids, according to a new study. The report, based on data from Singapore, found that kids who often play violent video games end up showing more aggression later on, and more often believe hitting is acceptable, than kids who don't play them. Parental monitouring of gaming didn't seem to lessen the association. 'Just like children's bodies can be affected by what they eat, their brains can be affected by what they repeatedly do,' US researcher Douglas A Gentile told Reuters Health in an email. Violent video games are a divisive area of research, said Michele Ybarra, of the Centre for Innovative Public Health Research in San Clemente, California. But she thinks the new study does accurately characterize the relationship between video games, thoughts, and actions. 'It seems odd to me that you would say there's no problem with showing kids violent media,' she said. (more)

Singapore, Malaysia face economic hit from prolonged smog
24 June 2013 - Singapore and Malaysia could face a bigger economic impact than from their worst air pollution crisis 16 years ago if slash-and-burn fires in Indonesia continue to rage in the coming weeks, turning off tourists and raising business costs. Restaurants, tourist attractions, and some other businesses are already feeling the pain as haze envelopes the Southeast Asian neighbours, from Singapore's upscale shopping districts to Malaysia's popular beach resorts. Much depends on how long the haze lasts and which way the wind blows the smoke that is coming mostly from fires set on palm oil plantations on Indonesia's Sumatra island. Singapore Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong has said the haze, which eased over the weekend and on Monday in the city state, could last a few weeks or until the dry season ends in Sumatra in September or October. Extinguishing the fires, which smoulder deep within peat, depends almost entirely on levels of rainfall. (more)

Singapore fumes after pollution hits 16-year high.
18 June 2013 - Singaporeans rolled back military training, kept cough-stricken children indoors and considered wearing protective masks to work Tuesday after a smoky haze triggered by forest fires in neighbouring Indonesia caused air pollution to briefly hit its worst level in nearly 16 years. The Pollutant Standards Index, Singapore's main measure to determine air quality, crept into the 'unhealthy' classification Monday as smoke from roaring blazes on Indonesia's Sumatra island drifted across the sea and cast a gray pall over the city-state's skyscrapers. The index reached a reading of 155 Monday night, the highest level since late 1997, when officials reported a 226 reading. On Tuesday, the reading mostly hovered between 104 and 123, still within the 'unhealthy' range of between 101 and 200. Smoke haze is a nearly annual problem for Singapore and its northern neighbour Malaysia, often beginning in the middle of the year when farmers in Indonesia seek to clear land cheaply by starting fires. The issue sometimes strains ties between the countries. (more)

Singapore, Malaysia choke as illegal Indonesia forest fires rage
17 June 2013 - Air pollution in Singapore and Malaysia rose to unhealthy levels on Monday thanks to illegal forest clearing in Indonesia, prompting Singapore to advise people against staying outdoors for long and to urge Indonesia to do something to stop it. In usually clear Singapore, the pollutant standards index hit the highest level in nearly seven years, with the taste of smoke hitting the back of the throat even in air-conditioned offices and the subway. In Malaysia, the air quality reached unhealthy levels in several northeastern states as well as the southern state of Malacca, a UNESCO heritage site popular with tourists, the country's Department of Environment said. The illegal clearing of forests by burning is a recurrent problem in Indonesia, particularly during the annual dry season that typically stretches from June to September. In 1997 and 1998, the smog disrupted air and sea traffic, causing an estimated $9 billion in terms of economic, social and environmental losses. (more)

Climate change spawns the incredible shrinking ant
17 October 2011 - Plants and animals are shrinking because of warmer temperatures and lack of water, researchers said on Monday, warning it could have profound implications for food production in years ahead. 'The worst-case scenarios ... are that food crops and animals will shrink enough to have real implications for food security,' Assistant Professor David Bickford, of the National University of Singapore's biological sciences department, said. They cited an experiment showing how shoots and fruit are 3 to 17 per cent smaller for every degree Celsius of warming in a variety of plants. Each degree of warming also reduces by 0.5 to 4 per cent the body size of marine invertebrates and 6 to 22 per cent of fish. (more)

Stagnant wages, immigration fuel Singapore squeeze
17 February 2011 - Tens of thousands of Singaporeans are having difficulties making ends meet, despite of the fact that the tiny island nation boasts one of the world's highest levels of GDP per person. A flood of cheap immigrant labor -- and stiff competition for manufacturing jobs from Asian neighbours like China and Viet Nam -- has kept wages stagnant for many and widened the gulf between a very wealthy minority and the island's poorest. Housing prices have skyrocketed as rapid population growth outstrips supply. At the same time, ostentatious signs of the wealth enjoyed by the elite have multiplied. That has put the government under pressure to loosen its tightfisted stance on welfare in the next national budget Friday as it tries to defuse criticism its policies have worsened the plight of ordinary Singaporeans. (more)

Sleep duration and cardiac death link seen in study
20 December 2008 - New research from a Singapore - U.S. team provides more evidence that sleeping too little, or too much, may be bad for your heart. The investigators also noted that diabetes and hypertension may contribute to this relationship. Among 58,044 men and women 45 years of age or older without heart disease at study entry, those who slept 5 hours or less or 9 hours or more, were significantly more likely to die from cardiovascular disease over the next several years than people who logged 7 hours a night. People who slept for 5 or less or 9 or more hours were more likely to have several different heart disease risk factors than those who slept for 7 hours, such as smoking and eating fewer fruits and vegetables and more fat and cholesterol. (more)

Singapore: Chinese New Year exodus as cultural rituals abandoned
30 January 2008 - Rather than spending New Year at home with extended families in what is traditionally the year's one guaranteed family reunion, Chinese Singaporeans, some 77 per cent of the population, are fleeing their New Year in droves. Experts say the trend of abandoning traditional wider family obligations for short breaks overseas has accelerated as the economy booms and as Asia's budget airline networks encourage soaring leisure travel. (more)

Singapore assailed for barring activists
15 September 2006 - Singapore breached an agreement by barring at least two dozen activists from entering the country to attend the annual meetings of the World Bank and the International Monetary Fund. The dispute highlighted tension over Singapore's strict controls on politics and expression, and also threatened to taint Singapore's efforts to showcase its economy and hospitality on a global stage. (more)

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