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REPORT ON PAGES 8 & 9
MCI (P) 078/03/2019
SINGAPORE, WEEKEND OF FRIDAY,
JUNE 21, 2019
TO SHARE SCREEN
AFTER 15 YEARS
‘Every 20 seconds, one Indian
suffers a brain stroke’
Every 20 seconds, one Indian suffers a
brain stroke and the numbers are
increasing alarmingly due to changing
At this rate, about 1.54 million
Indians are affected by strokes every
year and what is worse is that 90 per
cent of stroke patients fail to reach
hospital on time.
These revelations came to light at the
three-day Fourth Congress of Society of
Neuro Vascular Intervention Mumbai
2019, with international participation,
Prominent speakers said the message
was simple but alarming – that in India
the numbers of brain strokes are
increasing and it would not be wrong to
say they are “life-style related”.
Seven die cleaning hotel
Seven people suffocated to death while
cleaning a hotel septic tank without
safety gear in Gujarat’s Vadodara
district last Saturday.
The hotel owner has been charged
with causing death due to negligence
following the incident.
“One person entered the tank, but
when he did not come out and did not
respond to calls, three other cleaners
went inside to help him,” said Vadodara
fire officer Nikunj Azad, who led the
“When all four did not emerge after
some time, three hotel employees also
entered the tank, and all seven lost their
lives in the process.”
Ban on liquor, non-vegetarian food
around Varanasi temples
A ban has been imposed on the sale and
consumption of liquor and
non-vegetarian food within a 250m
radius of all temples and heritage sites
Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Yogi
Adityanath had in April announced a
ban on liquor shops and sale of
non-vegetarian food at all places of
worship including Varanasi, Vrindavan,
Ayodhya, Chitrakoot, Deoband, Dewa
Sharif and Misrikh-Naimisharanya.
UP highways to have herbal
plantations for clean air
The national and state highways in
Uttar Pradesh will soon have clean and
bacteria-free air as the state
government is planning to plant herbal
Ayurvedic plants along the highways in
the state to improve air quality and
promote Ayurveda. A pilot project has
been launched in 18 districts.
According to Deputy Chief Minister
Keshav Maurya, Uttar Pradesh will be
the first state in India to implement this
Air India flight delayed after spat
over pilot’s lunch box
The captain and a crew member of an
Air India flight nearly came to blows
when the pilot allegedly ordered the
junior staff to wash his lunch box.
The incident occurred on Monday at
the Bengaluru airport onboard the
Bengaluru- Kolkata flight in front of
passengers. This delayed the flight by
more than two hours.
Consequently, Air India is likely to
ban pilots from carrying their own food
on board an aircraft.
Headless corpse recovered from
near Kamakhya temple
Ahead of the much-awaited
Ambubachi festival, a headless body of
a woman was recovered from near the
Bandurga temple, located close to the
historical Kamakhya temple atop
Nilachal hill, in Guwahati, Assam.
Some locals spotted the headless
body of the woman around 7pm on
Wednesday, police said. The witnesses
also spotted some material used in
rituals near the body.
The police said the head is yet to be
recovered. Investigations are ongoing.
Report: Mumbai motorists waste
most time in jams
A recent global study based on
statistical analysis of GPS data has
found that Mumbai motorists face the
worst traffic jams.
The report stated that commuters in
the city spend 65 per cent more time on
the roads during peak hours than when
the roads are free.
The result puts the city ahead of
Bogota, Lima, New Delhi and others as
the most congested city on its TomTom
Traffic Index 2018.
In comparison, a New Yorker spends
36 per cent more time on the roads
during peak hours.
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Mr Chanchal Lahiri being lowered into the river.
Indian Houdini drowns after ‘magic’ act
Police on Monday recovered the body of a
magician who drowned while trying to replicate
an underwater Houdini-inspired stunt – tying his
hands and legs with chains and ropes and being
lowered into the Hooghly river in Kolkata.
Rescue workers found the body of
Mr Chanchal Lahiri, 42, washed up around 2km
from the site of the incident. According to Indian
media reports, his hands were free but his legs
were still bound by chain and rope when he was
Authorities had initially believed that the
vanishing act could be part of the stunt but
immediately mobilised help to rescue him.
Mr Lahiri had reportedly obtained permission
from authorities to perform the stunt on a boat
but had not mentioned that it would have a
“connection with water”. Police are still
Hotels in India’s southern city of Chen-
nai are rationing water for guests amid
searing heat, while companies limit
showers as the city of 4.6 million faces
its worst shortage in years.
All four reservoirs that supply Chen-
nai, known as the Detroit of south Asia
for its flourishing automobile industry,
have run dry this summer, largely be-
cause of poor monsoon rains last year.
The Cholavaram, full capacity 1,081
million cubic feet (mcft), and Redhills
(3,300 mcft) reservoirs, which cater to
Chennai’s water needs, are dry.
The storage at Poondi reservoir is 24
mcft as against the full capacity of 3,231
mcft, according to the Chennai Metro-
politan Water Supply and Sewerage
The Chembarambakkam lake (full ca-
pacity 3,645 mcft) has a water level of a
mere 1 mcft.
Chennai is one of 21 Indian cities
that a government think-tank warned
last year could run out of ground water
This year’s monsoon is delayed, fur-
ther compounding problems across a
swathe of western and central India.
Employees in Chennai-based compa-
nies such as Fiat Chrysler, Tata Consul-
tancy Services, Wipro and Cognizant
said they had been asked to cut back on
water use in canteens and restrooms.
Cognizant, which employs thou-
sands in the city, said it had cut down on
water at its canteen and gym.
“We have also switched to biodegrad-
able plates in all our cafeterias, tempo-
rarily closed shower facilities in our
gyms and minimised the washing of
utensils in our campuses by our cafete-
ria vendors,” the company said in a
Water storage levels in the city’s four
major reservoirs were one-hundredth of
what they were this time last year – and
at a mere 0.2 per cent of capacity, ac-
cording to state government data.
Chennai is entirely dependent on the
northeast monsoon which begins in Oc-
In the last three months of last year,
the city received lower than average
rainfall, with the deficit rising to as
much as 80 per cent in December, ac-
cording to India’s weather office.
Ananda, a small hotel in southern
Chennai, had a notice at its entrance
warning of water shortage.
“It’s not just us, all the hotels run the
risk of shutting down because there’s
hardly enough water,” said Mr P. Chan-
drasekhar, a supervisor at the hotel.
Facing severe water shortage and
high vegetable prices, restaurants and
hotels serving south Indian meals are
mulling ways to tackle the situation, in-
cluding stopping lunch meals.
“It is a major crisis faced by the ho-
tels in Chennai and also in other parts
of the state. With rains failing, the prices
of vegetables have gone up. Further,
with the severe water shortage, the hote-
liers are facing a very tough situation,”
said Mr R. Srinivasan, secretary, Tamil
Nadu Hotels Association.
State authorities said they have been
stepping up water supplies to the city
each year. “In 2017, we were supplying
450 million litres of water. Now we are
supplying 525 million litres per day,”
said Mr S. P. Velumani, the minister for
Across the city, residents could be
seen holding buckets and crowding
around water tankers in temperatures of
over 40 degrees Centigrade, as the me-
dia reported scuffles.
Reuters, Indo-Asian News Service
Taps run dry in Chennai
A man uses a hand-pump to fill a container with drinking water in Chennai.
June 21, 2019
Singapore topped the world in life ex-
pectancy in 2017 with an expected life-
span at birth of 84.8 years, surging
ahead of traditional chart-topper
Japan by more than half a year.
The average Singaporean also en-
joys the longest span of living in good
health – 74.2 years – but there has also
been a rise in the number of unhealthy
years people here live.
The Burden of Disease in Singapore
1990-2017 report, by the Institute of
Health Metrics and Evaluation in the
United States in collaboration with the
Ministry of Health (MOH), said: “The
years that Singaporeans have gained
are too often spent coping with age-re-
lated health problems.”
What it means is that Singaporeans
born in 2017 can “expect to live for
84.8 years, but that 10.6 of those years
would be spent in poor health”, ac-
cording to the recently-released re-
Those born in 1990, however, are
expected to suffer only nine years of
poor health. The biggest culprits for
disability and early deaths are cardio-
vascular diseases, cancer, muscu-
loskeletal disorders and mental illness.
However, since 1990, the disabilities
that have grown most rapidly are in-
creases in hearing and vision loss fol-
lowed by neurological disorders such as
dementia and musculoskeletal disor-
ders – all age-driven problems.
Professor Chia Kee Seng, an epidemi-
ologist at the Saw Swee Hock School of
Public Health at the National Univer-
sity of Singapore, said many of the dis-
abilities do not stop people from living
“Many of these chronic diseases like
diabetes, hypertension and high blood
lipids are asymptomatic conditions un-
less complications set in,” he said.
The report said the main modifiable
risk factors for poor health here stem
from diet, smoking, high blood pressure
It said: “Singapore faces a challenge
shared by many nations: how to in-
crease LE (life expectancy) while simul-
taneously decreasing the amount of
time people spend in poor health.
“This goal of longer lifespans and
less time spent living with illness has
not yet been achieved consistently by
The Straits Times
Singapore tops in
life expectancy at 84.8 years
Jordan’s King Abdullah II arriving with President Halimah Yacob at the inaugural
International Conference on Cohesive Societies at Raffles City Convention Centre.
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Watchdog to keep an eye on
charities that run businesses
The charities watchdog will be paying
more attention to groups that venture
into business, flagging conflicts of
interest that may arise and the need for
enhanced guidelines to protect the
interests of charities.
In its 2018 annual report released
last Thursday, the Commissioner of
Charities said it will provide guidance
to charities that engage in
non-charitable activities such as setting
up business subsidiaries.
Although there are existing
guidelines on how charities can engage
in business, the watchdog plans to
enhance them to better protect the
interests of such organisations.
Unauthorised drones around
Changi Airport delay flights
At least 37 flights were delayed and
one of Changi Airport’s two runways
saw operations affected for 10 hours
after unauthorised drones were
spotted flying in the vicinity of the
airport on Tuesday and Wednesday.
The Civil Aviation Authority of
Singapore (CAAS) noted that Changi
Airport continued to operate with one
runway while operations on the other
runway were suspended.
A multi-agency team that includes
the CAAS, Changi Airport Group, the
Singapore Armed Forces and the
police has been activated for
Change in virus strain poses risk
to former dengue patients
More than 50,000 people who came
down with dengue fever between 2013
and 2015 may have to take extra
precautions against being bitten by the
Aedes aegypti mosquito, as the
dominant virus type circulating now is
different from the one in those years.
They are likely to have been
infected by the Den-1 virus and could
become severely ill if they are infected
now by Den-2, the current dominant
Studies show that Den-2 is more of
a problem for people who have been
infected before, said Professor Ooi Eng
Eong, deputy director of the Emerging
Infectious Diseases Programme at
Duke-NUS Medical School.
This could explain the severity of
the illness this year, he said.
New code to strengthen town
Town councils will have to hire
auditors to look into their processes
and impose term limits for committee
chairmen who oversee areas like
finance, audit and risk management.
They will also have to ensure they
have sufficient resources to support
their goals over a five- to 10-year
period, according to a new code of
governance launched by the Ministry
of National Development (MND) on
Wednesday. The new code for the 16
town councils will kick in next April.
Shift to new ERP system starts
next year with IU swop
Motorists can expect to have their
vehicles’ Electronic Road Pricing
readers replaced from next year, in
preparation for the roll-out of the next
generation of the ERP system.
The Land Transport Authority
(LTA) said that the existing ERP
in-vehicle units (IUs) will be replaced
with new on-board units (OBUs)
“progressively from next year”.
The first replacement, likely to be
done at vehicle inspection centres and
appointed workshops, will be free of
Every global challenge in the 21st cen-
tury demands that countries and people
resist hatred and exclusion, said Jor-
dan’s King Abdullah II, who also made
the call for the world’s “single most” im-
portant threat to be tackled – the attack
on interfaith harmony, mutual respect
“Economic growth, peacemaking,
protecting the environment, global se-
curity, inclusive opportunity – all these
critical goals require that we cooperate
and combine our strengths to our com-
mon benefit,” he said yesterday at an in-
ternational conference on interfaith un-
derstanding and social cohesion.
The King, a global leader in promot-
ing interfaith understanding and dia-
logue, spelt out three areas which war-
rant special attention: Gathering to-
gether those who seek peace and har-
mony; taking advantage of the tools of
the modern world; and making a com-
mitment for the long term.
He was speaking at the inaugural In-
ternational Conference on Cohesive So-
cieties held in Singapore.
Around 1,000 academics, govern-
ment officials and members of religious
and civil society groups from close to
40 countries are attending the three-
The event opened on Wednesday
with a dinner and opening address by
Singapore’s President Halimah Yacob.
More than 250 religious organisa-
tions in Singapore have made a commit-
ment to safeguard religious harmony at
a time of growing divisions along faith
lines around the world.
In her speech at the dinner, Presi-
dent Halimah said she was glad that the
religious leaders had “come together to
affirm a commitment to safeguard reli-
gious harmony, in which they encour-
age day-to-day positive interactions so
that people continue to talk with one
another, work together and live to-
gether as one united people”.
The Straits Times
Faith groups pledge
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