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Singapore gets creative with solar in clean energy push
16 April 2021 - Singapore is betting on floating solar farms and vertical panels to increase its clean-energy supplies and cut carbon emissions, a model that could work in other densely populated cities, urban experts said. The clean-energy push is part of Singapore's Green Plan, unveiled last month, that also includes measures such as planting more trees, adding electric vehicle charge points, and ceasing new registrations of diesel cars and taxis from 2025. (more)

Singapore embarks on a million-tree planting spree to protect its future
11 October 2020 - Singapore has launched a new nature park that covers 400 hectares (990 acres), in an area that serves as a refueling site for migratory birds and a home to oriental hornbills, otters, and crocodiles. The initiative is part of a larger effort to plant 1 million trees across the city-state by 2030. In addition to adding wildlife habitat, researchers say reforestation will help sequester carbon, lower the temperature of the city, and provide buffers against erosion and a rising sea. (more)

Singapore considers electric harbor boats to cut carbon emissions
23 September 2020 - Singapore is seeking proposals on the electrification of small vessels known as harbourcraft as the industry transitions towards a low-carbon future, the Maritime and Port Authority of Singapore (MPA) said in a joint statement on Wednesday [23 September]. (more)

Singapore aims to phase out petrol and diesel vehicles by 2040
19 February 2020 - Singapore aims to phase out petrol and diesel vehicles by 2040, making a bigger bet on electric cars as part of its efforts to cut greenhouse gases and fight climate change, the finance minister said on Tuesday [18 February]. (more)

Singapore tops new 'citizen-centric' global smart city index
3 October 2019 - Singapore is the 'smartest' city in the world in 2019, according to the new and uniquely 'citizen-focused' ranking of global urban areas, which reveals the necessity of aligning policy with the lives and needs of citizens. The IMD Smart City Index 2019 (SCI) ranked 102 cities worldwide, uniquely focused on how citizens perceive the scope and impact of efforts to make their cities 'smart', balancing 'economic and technological aspects' with 'humane dimensions'. (more)

Australian billionaire to back $14 billion solar power supply to Singapore: AFR
25 September 2019 - Atlassian Corp PLC co-founder Mike Cannon-Brookes has pledged to help fund a A$20 billion ($14 billion) project to supply solar power from northern Australia to Singapore by a subsea cable, an Australian newspaper reported on Wednesday [25 September]. (more)

British vacuum cleaner company to build electric vehicle factory in Singapore
23 October 2018 - Dyson is taking another step toward making an electric vehicle. The British vacuum cleaner company has announced that it will build an automotive factory in Singapore, where it will assemble its first electric car. The company, which first announced plans for an electric car in September 2017 after years of rumors, is hoping its battery expertise will translate into the automotive space. (more)

Singapore: NUS researchers pioneer water-based, eco-friendly and energy-saving air-conditioner
8 January 2018 - All-weather friendly cooling technology works without mechanical compressors or chemical refrigerants, and generates drinking water. A team of researchers from the National University of Singapore (NUS) has pioneered a new water-based air-conditioning system that cools air to as low as 18 degrees Celsius without the use of energy-intensive compressors and environmentally harmful chemical refrigerants. This game-changing technology could potentially replace the century-old air-cooling principle that is still being used in our modern-day air-conditioners. Suitable for both indoor and outdoor use, the novel system is portable and it can also be customised for all types of weather conditions. (more)

Singapore turns vacant space into urban farms
29 June 2017 - Resource-scarce Singapore is turning vacant pockets of land into space for urban farming as the island city strives to ease its reliance on imported food. The wealthy Southeast Asian city-state imports more than 90 percent of its food, much of it from neighboring countries, which can leave it exposed to potential supply chain disruptions. Edible Garden City, a company with a grow-your-own-food message, has designed and built more than 50 food gardens in the tropical city for clients ranging from restaurants and hotels to schools and residences. (more)

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)

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)

Short Summaries of Top Stories

Half of Singapore's migrant workers in dormitories have had COVID-19
17 December 2020 - Nearly half of Singapore's migrant workers residing in dormitories have had COVID-19, according to the government, indicating the virus spread much more widely among those living in these accommodations than the official case tally shows. ... The prevalence rate of COVID-19 in the dormitories is currently 47percent, including the serology test results, the manpower ministry said in a statement. Outside the dormitories, the virus's prevalence rate in Singapore was about 0.25 percent based on a serology sampling study of 1,600 people, according to a health ministry official. (more)

Singapore smog worst in three years as forest fires rage
14 September 2019 - Singapore's air quality deteriorated to 'unhealthy' levels on Saturday [14 September] for the first time in three years, data from the National Environment Agency (NEA) showed, threatening to deepen a regional dispute over forest fires. Every dry season, smoke from fires to clear land for palm oil and pulp and paper plantations in Indonesia clouds the skies over much of the region, raising concerns about public health and worrying tourist operators and airlines. (more)

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)


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