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MARCH 15, 2019
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Singapore Press Holdings
(English/Malay/Tamil Media group)
V.K. Santosh Kumar
Marketing Team Head
Woman escapes death after bid to
get Rs2,000 note from metro track
A woman narrowly escaped death after
she jumped onto the train tracks to
retrieve a Rs2,000 note at Dwarka Mor
metro station in New Delhi on Tuesday.
As the 26-year-old jumped to pick up
the note, a few coaches of an
approaching train passed over her.
When the train departed from the
station, she was rescued with minor
injuries and taken to the hospital.
She was detained by the police for
the rash act and subsequently wrote an
apology for disruption of services on the
blue line of the Delhi Metro before she
was let off.
Sex scandal in Tamil Nadu
A sex scandal in Tamil Nadu’s Pollachi
town has caused widespread outrage in
the state. The matter came to light when
a 19-year-old college student came
forward with her story.
Four men had forcibly removed her
dress in a car near Pollachi and
videographed her on Feb 12.
The police arrested
K. Thirunavukkarasu, N. Sabarirajan,
N. Sathish and T. Vasanthakumar in
connection with the case. They later
recovered four videos from the arrested
men involving other victims.
It is feared that more women have
been preyed on by the men.
Archaeologists have found a massive
burial site dating back to the Harappan
civilisation in Gujarat’s Kutch district.
The site is home to 250 graves, out of
which 26 have been excavated.
A human skeleton, 1.83m in length
and believed to be about 5,000 years
old, was dug up during the excavation.
It has been sent to Kerala University
to determine its age, gender and
possible cause of death.
Uber study finds Bengalurans
Bengaluru has been ranked first in the
list of the “most forgetful” cities in India.
It is followed by New Delhi, Mumbai, Hy-
derabad and Kolkata.
A lost-and-found study by cab-aggre-
gator Uber showed that passengers in
Bengaluru have left behind items such as
live fish, milk sachets, prams, ukuleles,
bananas, yoga mats, knee pads and saris
in Uber cars last year. Phones, cameras,
bags, wallets, keys, clothing and umbrel-
las topped the list of items left behind in
Uber cars across India.
United States to build six nuclear
plants in India
The United States and India on
Wednesday agreed to strengthen
security and civil nuclear cooperation,
including building six nuclear power
plants in India.
The agreement came after two days
of talks in Washington involving Indian
Foreign Secretary Vijay Gokhale and
the US Under Secretary of State for
Arms Control and International
Security Andrea Thompson.
Pittsburgh-based Westinghouse had
been negotiating to build reactors in
India for years, but progress was slow,
partly because of India’s nuclear
Goa bridge scaffolding collapses,
Four people were injured after a
scaffolding erected for the construction
of a major bridge in Goa across the
Zuari river collapsed on Wednesday.
The incident occurred in the
afternoon when the metal scaffolding
supporting a concrete slab collapsed,
injuring four workers at the site.
An investigation has been launched
to find out the cause of the collapse.
Bengaluru top pick for
Bengaluru has been found to be the top
destination for migrant workers seeking
jobs in delivery, security, facility
management and beauty.
The city is followed by Delhi,
Mumbai, Pune and Chennai.
According to a survey by the
blue-collar job aggregator BetterPlace,
which studied 11 lakh respondents, job
seekers flock to Bengaluru from
neighbouring states such as Andhra
Pradesh and Telangana and even
further like Rajasthan. Many go to the
city for work from Nepal too.
First transgender to bag
government job in MP
Ms Sanjana Singh Rajput has made
history by becoming the first
transgender to be employed by a
government department in Madhya
She has been hired as a personal
secretary to social justice department
director Krishna Gopal Tiwari.
The Times of India reported the
Bhopal born as saying: “This is as good
as it gets and a step towards bringing the
transgender community into the
Chef pays tribute to heroic air force pilot
Chef Jitender Singh carved out the face of Indian
Air Force Wing Commander Abhinandan
Varthaman on a watermelon as a tribute to his
heroism during the 14th edition of Culinary Art
He carved Abhinandan’s “iconic” moustache
on the watermelon, along with “Jai Hind” in
Devanagari script and a couple of army men.
The pilot had shot down a Pakistan Air Force
F-16 fighter aircraft on Feb 27 during an aerial
engagement, but his plane was hit and he landed in
Pakistani territory, where he was captured. He was
later released by Pakistan as a “peace gesture”.
Paying tribute to Abhinandan was more
important to Mr Singh than winning the
competition. He won a silver.
“What Abhinandan did for our country is
beyond courage and bravery. Through this fruit
carving, I wanted to pay a tribute to our brave
pilot,” Mr Singh said.
It was supposed to be a dream family va-
An immigrant grandfather eager to
set foot on African soil after an absence
of 30 years. A doting mother deter-
mined to show her Canadian daughters
where she came from. And two teenage
girls giddy at the prospect of seeing ani-
mals on safari in Kenya.
Instead, the three generations of an In-
dian-origin Canadian family died when
Ethiopian Airlines flight ET 302 crashed
last Sunday – killing 157 people.
They were on their way to a vacation
in Kenya when the plane crashed min-
utes after take-off from Addis Ababa,
killing passengers and crew from more
than 30 countries.
Prerit Dixit, 43, and Kosha Vaidya,
37, their daughters Ashka Dixit, 14, and
Anushka Dixit, 13, and Vaidya’s parents
Pannagesh Vaidya, 73, and Hansini
Vaidya, 67, were among the 18 Canadi-
Pannagesh and Hansini were Indian
nationals. They lived in Brampton, a
“This is terrible and tragic,” Mr Man-
ant Vaidya, brother of Kosha, told
“It feels as if my whole support sys-
tem has disappeared. I have no idea how
we will cope with this tragedy.”
In Brampton, a multi-cultural subur-
ban city where Punjabi is the second-
most spoken language after English, the
tight-knit South Asian community was
Within hours of the crash, the mayor
ordered that flags at city hall be lowered
to half-staff to honour the family. Flags
were also lowered at the girls’ schools.
The Dixit-Vaidya family was flying to
Kenya so that Kosha, who became a
Canadian permanent resident in 2003,
could show her Canada-born daughters
the country of her birth, Mr Manant said,
adding his parents were returning there
for the first time in more than 50 years.
“They thought the March break was
the perfect time for them to go over
there, have fun. It was going to be a really
great trip for everybody,” he said.
Mr Manant added that his parents in-
sisted that they also wanted to go on the
“I asked my dad why he wanted to go
and he told me that in his life he wants to
go one more time,” said Mr Manant, who
works for Reuters’ parent company
He said his brother-in-law worked
seven days a week in order to pay for the
He plans to fly to Ethiopia tomorrow
and from there to Mumbai for the final
rituals of the deceased.
Prerit worked at medical-testing com-
pany LifeLabs as a lab technician and as
a lab professional for Public Health On-
In e-mail statements, both organisa-
tions remembered his helpful and pleas-
ant demeanour, sense of humour and
dedication to the family.
Kosha was a human resources adviser
for the Canadian Hearing Society since
2017, the organisation said in a website
statement, adding she would be “remem-
bered for her intelligence, professional-
ism and dynamic personality.”
The other Indians who died in the
plane crash were Shikha Garg, a consul-
tant with India’s ministry of environ-
ment, who was travelling to attend a
United Nations Environment Pro-
gramme conference in Nairobi, and
Nukavarapu Manisha, a young doctor
from Andhra Pradesh studying in the
United States, who was on her way to
Nairobi to visit her elder sister.
Mr Manant Vaidya (right) and his wife Hiral hold a photograph showing the six members of
their family who died in the Ethiopian Airlines crash.
Three generations killed in air crash
March 15, 2019
Singapore and Malaysia agreed yes-
terday to jointly suspend overlap-
ping port claims in the waters off
Tuas, saying this was vital to end a
stand-off which has seen at least one
collision in the waters since the dis-
pute began in December.
A joint statement by Singapore’s
Foreign Minister Vivian Balakrish-
nan and his Malaysian counterpart
Saifuddin Abdullah after their meet-
ing yesterday morning said they
agreed to implement the suspension
of overlapping port limits with imme-
diate effect. Singapore and Malaysia
will instead apply their port limits in
effect prior to Dec 6 and Oct 25 re-
spectively, undoing the overlap, and
work to start talks to delimit their
maritime boundary in the area.
The measures, both ministers
said, “demonstrate the commitment
of both countries to work together to
preserve a strong and positive bilat-
eral relationship on the basis of equal-
ity and mutual respect, and to re-
solve bilateral issues amicably in ac-
cordance with international law”.
Malaysia had on Oct 25 gazetted
an extension to Johor Baru port lim-
its beyond territorial claims made in
its 1979 map, and anchored govern-
ment vessels in the area.
Singapore on Dec 6 extended its
port limits to the extent of its territo-
rial waters in response. Yesterday’s
meeting at the Malaysian Foreign
Ministry in Putrajaya followed one
by the ministers in Singapore on Jan
8 to de-escalate the situation and find
a way forward to resolve the matter.
The suspension of overlapping
port limits was one of five recommen-
dations agreed to by both countries
at the meeting.
The other recommendations are:
Both parties will suspend and not
authorise any commercial activities
in the area.
Both sides will not anchor govern-
ment vessels in the area.
Singapore and Malaysia vessels
will operate in the area “in accor-
dance with international law includ-
ing the United Nations Convention
on the Law of the Sea (Unclos)”.
“The relevant agencies on both
sides will work out practical modali-
ties to avoid untoward incidents in
the area,” the statement said.
A joint committee to delimit mar-
itime boundaries will be set up to en-
sure these steps are implemented
within a month. Negotiations for
new boundaries to resolve the over-
lapping claims will commence within
a month after that.
The committee will be headed by
the Permanent Secretary of Singa-
pore’s Foreign Ministry, Mr Chee
Wee Kiong, and the Secretary Gen-
eral of Malaysia’s Foreign Ministry,
Datuk Sri Muhammad Shahrul
Ikram Yaakob, both of whom also led
the bilateral working group that
made these recommendations.
Both ministers also discussed the
1962 Water Agreement between Sin-
gapore and Malaysia.
They noted that both sides have
differing views on the right to review
the agreement, and that their attor-
neys-general will continue discus-
sion on the matter with a view to find-
ing an amicable way forward.
The Straits Times
Visitors to S.E.A. Aquarium at Resorts World Sentosa
can now witness first-hand the intelligence of reef manta
rays – the aquarium’s largest and most iconic species –
and their close bonds with aquarists in a one-of-its-kind
enrichment session designed to enhance the well-being
of these marine residents.
After a few years of positive conditioning sessions,
aquarists can now get up close and even syringe-feed the
manta rays underwater. This is considered a feat in terms
of animal care in the aquarium world.
Through daily interactions and close observations,
aquarists at S.E.A. Aquarium have deepened their under-
standing of the unique behavioural characteristics of the
three male manta rays.
Visitors to the S.E.A. Aquarium can observe the
manta enrichment presentation titled Manta Moments,
as part of S.E.A. Aquarium’s Ocean Dreams sleepover
The aquarium will host a series of talks and engage-
ment sessions to raise awareness on the threats facing
manta rays. These include community events in collabo-
ration with the National Library Board to increase aware-
ness of manta rays and ocean conservation through story-
telling and arts-and-crafts sessions.
Retrenchments fall to 7-year low in 2018
The labour market improved on several fronts
over the whole of last year, with retrenchments
down to the lowest level since 2011.
Total employment growth last year was the
highest since 2014, with an increase of 38,300
people with jobs.
More local residents – meaning Singaporeans
and permanent residents (PRs) – were in jobs,
and the annual average unemployment rate and
resident long-term unemployment rate fell
slightly, compared with the year before.
Singapore suspends operations of B-737
Singapore has temporarily suspended the
operation of all variants of the Boeing 737 Max
aircraft, following two fatal accidents involving
the aircraft in less than five months.
The ban affects Singapore Airlines’ regional
arm, SilkAir, which has six of the jets, and four
other airlines that operate the B-737 Max to
Singapore. The announcement by the Civil
Aviation Authority of Singapore comes after a
B-737 Max 8 crashed in Ethiopia on Sunday,
killing all 157 people on board. India has also
joined in grounding its Boeing 737-Max planes.
New heritage trail on Singapore’s
A new heritage trail on Singapore’s maritime
history will be launched on March 29, said
Senior Minister of State for Transport Janil
Puthucheary on Wednesday.
The new Singapore Maritime Trail will offer
participants “a glimpse into maritime trade and
activities in the past, and how these have shaped
Singapore’s culture, language and identity”, he
Pasir Gudang chemical spill: Singapore
says no air, water anomalies detected
Singapore authorities yesterday said they have
not detected anomalies in the Republic’s air and
water quality following the chemical spill
incident in Pasir Gudang, adding that they will
continue to monitor the situation closely.
They also said that seawater quality in the
vicinity of Pulau Ubin was within normal levels
yesterday afternoon. More than 500 people
have been sickened by what is believed to be the
dumping of toxic waste in Sungai Kim Kim in
Pasir Gudang, Johor.
MRT train leaves Ang Mo Kio station with
Passengers in one of the trains on the
North-South Line on Monday evening were
shocked when a door was left open when the
train was travelling between stations.
One side of a carriage was open fully as the
train was moving from Ang Mo Kio station
towards Yio Chu Kang station.
The station manager was inside the train and
at the door handling a train door fault when he
made an error that allowed the train to move off
from Ang Mo Kio station with its door open.
He was suspended with immediate effect.
Doctor loses appeal against conviction
Ler Teck Siang, the Singaporean doctor whose
American partner is at the centre of the HIV
registry leak, lost his appeal on Monday against
his conviction and two-year jail sentence for
helping his partner dupe authorities into issuing
him a pass to work in Singapore.
The 37-year-old sought to disavow two
statements he had given to the police in which
he confessed to submitting his own blood in
place of that of HIV-positive Mikhy
Farrera-Brochez to pass medical tests. His
explanations were rejected by Justice Chua Lee
Ming. Ler was ordered to start his sentence on
One of three manta rays at S.E.A. Aquarium interacts with an aquarist who can syringe-feed it underwater.
Singapore, Malaysia agree to
suspend overlapping port claims
Aquarists syringe-feed manta rays
March 15, 2019
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