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  1. #5543
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    Default Singapore scientists identify gene responsible for lung cancer

    10:25 AM Jan 06, 2012

    SINGAPORE - Singapore scientists have, for the first time, identified a gene responsible for lung cancer.

    The Agency for Science, Technology and Research (A*STAR) said the finding, reported in the advanced online issue of Cell yesterday, is a huge step towards finding a cure for the disease.

    The team is headed by Dr Bing Lim, associate director of Cancer Stem Cell Biology at the Genome Institute of Singapore (GIS), a research institute under the umbrella of A*STAR, and Dr Elaine Lim, medical oncologist affiliated with Tan Tock Seng Hospital (TTSH) and National Cancer Centre Singapore (NCCS).

    A*STAR said a small number of cells, known as cancer stem cells or tumour-initiating cells (TIC), are responsible for the promotion of tumour growth.

    And the team was successful in finding a marker, known as CD166, to identify these cells.

    With the finding of this marker, the team then made more inroads into the genomic study of the TICs, and discovered several genes that were important for the growth of cancer cells.

    The metabolic enzyme known as glycine decarboxylase (GLDC) is a normal occurring enzyme in cells, present in small quantities.

    The scientists discovered that in abnormal instances when the level of GLDC rises significantly, it causes changes in the behaviour of the cell, making it cancerous.

    CHANNEL NEWSASIA

  2. #5544
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    Default A confident Yale-NUS College announces two new programmes


    by Ng Jing Yng
    04:46 AM Jan 06, 2012

    SINGAPORE - An uncertain economic climate and concerns over job prospects have not prevented the first liberal arts college here from remaining confident that a broad-based education can take root here.

    The Yale-National University of Singapore (NUS) College, which will receive its first batch of 150 students in August next year, announced two new programmes in law and in environmental studies yesterday.

    In law, a combination of liberal arts and law studies can be pursued in five years, compared to the typical seven years required in the United States. The programme will accept its first intake of students in August next year. About 15 to 25 students are expected to be admitted into the programme each year.

    In environmental studies, meanwhile, students will graduate with Bachelor of Arts (Honours) or Bachelor of Science (Honours) degrees from Yale-NUS, and a Master of Environmental Science (MES) or Master of Environmental Management (MEM) degree from Yale University after five years of study. The programme will begin accepting students in December 2016.

    The introduction of a liberal arts education here has drawn questions over its practicability, with parents expressing concerns about their children's future job prospects.

    At a press conference yesterday, Professor Lily Kong, acting executive vice-president of academic affairs at Yale-NUS, argued that having a liberal arts degree would make students "recession proof". "The liberal arts degree prepares you for a whole range of careers if you did a professional degree, you are prepared for one career," she said.

    While the final ratio of local to international students has not been fixed, Prof Kong reiterated that the overall foreign student numbers in NUS would be capped at 20 per cent, in accordance with guidelines here.

    More details of the curriculum were also revealed yesterday. Students can choose among 14 majors, including anthropology and physical sciences, in their last two years of studies. Overseas exchange programmes and internships will also be available to students.

    The college will be finalising its tuition fees soon as applications start next month, but Prof Kong said yesterday that the fees would be costlier than those for other existing courses.

    Students, however, would not be denied because of their financial inability, she added, where selection is based on both academic and non-academic qualities.

    The college has also received more than 2,000 applications to join its faculty and it is in the midst of shortlisting them.

    Yale-NUS is planning to select 50 faculty members for its first batch of students and will add another 50 later when the student enrolment eventually goes up to 1,000.



    An artist's impression of the Yale-NUS College which will open its doors next year. PHOTO COURTESY NUS

  3. #5545
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    Default Singapore sailors win team title at Optimist world championships


    by Tan Yo-Hinn
    07:02 PM Jan 05, 2012

    SINGAPORE - The Singapore team of Ryan Lo, Kimberly Lim, Yukie Yokoyama, Jillian Lee and Jessica Goh have clinched the team racing event at the Optimist World Sailing Championships.

    On Thursday, they edged out Peru 2-1 in a best-of-three final to claim the title at Hawke's Bay off the Napier Sailing Club in New Zealand.

    The regatta, an under-15 event, resumes on Saturday with the individual fleet racing, where Ryan, 14, leads with 14 points after six races.

  4. #5546
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    Default Top international scientists meet in Singapore

    Posted: 09 January 2012 1025 hrs


    SINGAPORE: Some 120 top international scientists including Nobel Laureates, Prof Ada Yonath and Prof Kurt Wuthrich are now in Singapore to discuss cross-disciplinary science.

    They are here for the 2nd Molecular Materials Meeting (M3) @ Singapore 2012 organised by A*STAR's Institute of Materials Research and Engineering (IMRE).

    Molecular materials science cuts across fields like chemistry, materials science, physics, biology, medicine and engineering.

    For example, by combining chemistry and physics know-how, molecular materials research is used to examine the structure, alignment of molecules and crystallinity of common materials, and alters them to produce new materials with unique properties.

    The speakers will cover research topics on Materials Synthesis, Assembly & Device Fabrication, Energy & Sustainable Materials, Optical & Electronic Materials, and Materials for Imaging & Sensing.

    The meeting is on from January 9-11 at Level 4, Matrix Building at Biopolis, Singapore.

    - CNA/cc

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    Default Polytechnic students develop healthcare devices

    By Wendy Wong | Posted: 08 January 2012 1605 hrs



    SINGAPORE: Students from a local polytechnic have come up with several devices that promise to help hospital patients recover with ease.

    The devices look set to help patients who're on physiotherapy treatment.

    Ashiq Yassin, a Mechanical Engineering student at Ngee Ann Polytechnic, said: "We were walking past the gym and we saw the pulley concept and we decided to take the concept into our device and create one."

    It's for patients with wrist problems, such as ligament tears.

    Patients can use the light weights to strengthen their wrists and their muscles in different motions.

    Another device dreamed up by the students is for shoulder exercises.

    It's to help patients who're recovering from an operation or stroke regain upper limb functions.

    Koh Pei Xin, a Mechanical Engineering student at Ngee Ann Polytechnic, said: "Usually, therapists would require a few exercise machines to provide a complete exercise regime for these patients. We worked with the physiotherapists from Singapore General Hospital and have now come up with an exercise machine that enables patients to do all these exercises with just one single device."

    And for those with lower back pains, this dynamic lumbar support system serves as a prop for good sitting posture.

    Twelve students from the polytechnic worked with the hospital to design and develop these prototypes.

    The devices for the wrist and back cost less than S$1,000 to develop, and the shoulder device around S$2,000.

    Unlike current physiotherapy equipment, they can be easily moved around.

    Dr Celia Tan, group director at Allied Health, SingHealth, said: "When we are working with the patients, we see some of their needs, so we will bring these ideas to the students and lecturers and they will come up with a device that will meet our needs. We will work quite closely with them to fine-tune the device so that the final product is something we can use in a clinical situation."

    Over the past six years, five such devices developed in collaboration with the school and hospital have been patented for clinical use.

    - CNA/cc


    Device developed by Ngee Ann Polytechnic students to help patients with wrist problems, such as ligament tears.
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    Default Saudi Arabia keen to work with S'pore to explore opportunities

    By Stefan Loe | Posted: 08 January 2012 2043 hrs



    Riyadh, Saudi Arabia: Saudi Arabia is keen to work with Singapore to explore new business opportunities in East Asia and Southeast Asia.

    Its finance minister, Dr Ibrahim Abdualziz Al-Assaf, expressed this interest when he met Singapore Emeritus Senior Minister Goh Chok Tong.

    Mr Goh, who's on an official visit in Saudi Arabia to renew bilateral ties, also discussed regional and international issues, including the Euro-debt crisis with Dr Ibrahim.

    Mr Goh, who also met several Saudi leaders, called on the Speaker of Saudi Arabia's Shura Council, Dr Abdullah Bin Mohammed Ibrahim Al Al-Sheikh.

    He was briefed on the role of the council in addressing geopolitical and economic issues that Saudi Arabia faces.

    The Speaker extended a rare invitation to Mr Goh to be in the audience of a Shura Council session.

    The Shura Council Building is one of the places visited by Mr Goh during his trip to Saudi Arabia.

    The Shura Council functions as a legislative body that advises the King on national issues, including education and health.

    Mr Goh, who visited Riyadh from 7 to 8 January, met Saudi Minister of Commerce and Industry Dr Tawfiq bin Fawzan Al-Rabiah.

    He also met the Chairman of Riyad Bank Rashed Abdulaziz Al-Rashed.

    Mr Goh will meet the Saudi Co-Chair of the Singapore-Saudi Business Council, Sheikh Abdullah Zaid Al Meleihi, and be hosted to dinner by Chairman of Kingdom Holding Company, Prince Al-Waleed bin Talal bin Abdul Aziz Al-Saud.

    Mr Goh, who's visiting Saudi Arabia as part of Singapore's efforts to maintain bilateral relations with a key partner in the Middle East, leaves for Jeddah on Monday.

    He's accompanied by senior officials from the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Monetary Authority of Singapore and International Enterprise Singapore.

    - CNA/ck

  7. #5549
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    Default Esplanade explores expansion plans on 10th birthday

    By Qiuyi Tan | Posted: 08 January 2012 1535 hrs



    SINGAPORE: The Esplanade celebrates its 10th birthday in October this year, and it's exploring expansion plans, said its CEO Benson Puah.

    Every year, the Esplanade brings stellar choreographers and artists from all over the world to perform on the Singapore stage.

    And its success in ticket sales is a testament to the Singapore appetite for world-class art.

    It also wants to tap into the hunger for local performances.

    "It's not so much now just bringing in international artists, which is an important part for us to have that exposure and exchange. But we're not defined by international artists. The local component has always been a critical backbone of what we do, so we've never shifted focus," said Mr Puah.

    One of the Esplanade's birthday wishes is expansion, to add medium-sized spaces with a capacity of 500 to 900 seats to its existing theatres.

    "Because it was understood that to support and develop local works, and to able to generate responses with our local community, you need medium-sized spaces. And no matter what, a big stage is a high expense. So it prohibits the sort of - I won't say experimentation - diversity that you need," he added.

    The Esplanade currently has a 1,600 seat concert hall, a 2,000 seat theatre, and two small studios.

    The idea of mid-sized venues for the Esplanade was also raised by a government committee that's charting the map of Singapore's cultural development until 2025.

    But Channel NewsAsia understands that concrete discussions are still in the early stages.

    A preliminary draft of the Arts and Culture Strategic Review released in August 2011 recommended the government to invest in mid-sized venues at the Esplanade, to enable the arts centre to incubate Singaporean artists and present them on an international performance platform.

    The draft is expected to be finalised and submitted to the Ministry of Information, Communications and the Arts for review in early 2012.

    Ten years on, a key achievement for the arts centre is its homegrown technical crew and arts administrators, who have become some of the most sought-after professionals in the Asia-Pacific.

    It's also seeing a shift in how its audiences relate to art - not just for entertainment, but also for inner development.

    "Singapore has tremendous soul. But we need more mirrors for us to reflect, and this is what we do. To provide the many mirrors for the many individuals that may reflect differently," said Mr Puah.

    In January, the Esplanade kicks off its first decade with its annual Chinese Festival of Arts - Huayi.

    - CNA/cc

    Tourists on a tour boat ride past the Esplanade in Singapore (file picture
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    Default GCE O-Level Exam results out

    Posted: 09 January 2012 1505 hrs


    SINGAPORE: Three students have topped last year's GCE O-Level examinations with 10 A1s each.

    They are Lim Min from Crescent Girls' School, and Zhong Yingyi and Chai Yung Ci - both from CHIJ St Nicholas Girls' School.

    The Education Ministry said they are among the 99.9 per cent of students awarded certificates for achieving one or more GCE O-Level passes.

    A total of 36,955 school candidates sat for the examination.

    95.3 per cent achieved three or more passes, while 81.9 per cent got five or more GCE O-Level passes.

    In other results released Monday, Nur Fatima Baginda Ali from Bukit Panjang Government High School is the top Malay student with 7 A1s and 2 A2s.

    Six students with 9 A1s each are the Top Indian Students
    .

    They are Ritika Ramesh from Crescent Girls', S Manoj from Gan Eng Seng School, N Karthik, Sai Surya Yarlagadda and Varun Moorthy from St Joseph's Institution, and G Kiran from Victoria School.

    The top Eurasian student is Keren Ann Henry from Methodist Girls' - with 7 A1s and 1 A2.

    Amanda Chia Siew Hui from Holy Innocents' High School and Khoo Chit Hui from Monfort Secondary topped the Secondary 5 category with 4 A1s and 1 A2 each.

    The Ministry said 48 schools also had at least one student scoring 7 A1s or more.

    - CNA/cc

  9. #5551
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    Default S'pore sailor emerges top winner at Optimist World Championships

    Published on Jan 9, 2012
    Singapore sailor Kimberly Lim has been crowned world champion at the Optimist World Championships in Napier, New Zealand. The 15-year-old emerged tops over 209 other sailors after 11 races. -- PHOTO: MATIAS CAPIZZANO

    By May Chen

    Singapore sailor Kimberly Lim has been crowned world champion at the Optimist World Championships in Napier, New Zealand. The 15-year-old emerged tops over 209 other sailors after 11 races.

    Kimberly, an Asian Games silver medallist and the reigning Asian champion, also won the top overall female trophy.

    Singapore, which had already taken the team racing title earlier on Thursday, also won the Miami Herald Trophy, awarded to the best performing nation at the annual regatta. A total of 48 nations took part this year.

    Singapore's Ryan Lo finished fourth overall in the standings. This is Singapore's best performance at the world championships. The Republic had taken the team racing title in 2006, when Griselda Khng finished second overall (and top female) in the individual category.
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    Default Rail Corridor re-opens for public use from Monday

    Published on Jan 9, 2012

    The 26km Rail Corridor is open to the public from Monday onwards, with the exception of four areas. -- ST PHOTO: ALPHONSUS CHERN


    By Grace Chua

    The Rail Corridor - the snaking, 26km tract of former Keretapi Tanah Melayu (KTM) railway land - is open to the public from Monday, with the exception of four areas.

    For the past half-year, the authorities had been removing old railway tracks and equipment as well as levelling and turfing over the land parcel, which runs from Tanjong Pagar to Woodlands.

    Now, it is open for public use, except for three sites earmarked for improvement works. These are at Jalan Hang Jebat, Ghim Moh Road and Kampong Bahru Flyover. Once works are done, they will be opened for interim community use from April. The historic Tanjong Pagar Railway Station, which has been designated a national monument, remains closed as well for maintenance works and structural inspection.

    Background story

    Additional information:


    For more information on the Rail Corridor, log onto http://www.ura.gov.sg/railcorridor.


    KTM train services to Tanjong Pagar stopped last June. The KTM railway land was returned to Singapore in July as agreed with Malaysia, in exchange for land parcels in Marina South and Ophir-Rochor.
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    Default Kimberly crowned world champion

    Optimist sailors sweep all four titles in New Zealand and Tan now plots Olympic success


    by Tan Yo-Hinn
    04:46 AM Jan 10, 2012

    SINGAPORE - Led by Kimberly Lim, Singapore enjoyed an unprecedented sweep at the Optimist World Sailing Championships in Napier, New Zealand.

    Kimberly, 15, was crowned world champion when she finished first in a field of 210 sailors, collecting 70 points from 11 races, ahead of the Netherlands' Bart Lambriex (74) and Peru's Javier Arribas (77).

    The final day of racing yesterday was cancelled due to poor weather and team-mate Ryan Lo just missed out on a medal when he ended up fourth (78).

    Kimberly was also named the competition's top female sailor, while the five-strong Singapore team - including 14-year-olds Ryan, Jessica Goh and Yukie Yokoyama, and Jillian Lee, 15 - claimed the team racing title last Thursday.

    The Singapore Optimist team also bagged the Miami Herald Nations' Cup for being the best performing nation out of the 48 competing countries.

    While SingaporeSailing president Ben Tan acknowledged the feat of the young sailors yesterday, his thoughts quickly turned to success at the senior level, primarily at the world championships and the Olympic Games.

    Mindful that Singapore's sailors have yet to taste medal success at the highest level, he vowed the association would do all in their power not to let the latest batch of young talent slip through the net.

    Speaking to Today, he said: "At the Optimist level, we're even better than teams like Britain and Australia. But that's where it ends. By the Olympic stage, they're the best, while we're nowhere.

    "This victory means we now have the world's best Optimist sailors and the programmes to get them there. We cannot afford to make the same errors and let them slip through the net again."

    SingaporeSailing's Olympic Pathway Taskforce (OPT), formed in February last year, will meet tonight to discuss plans to reduce the attrition rate among their sailors.

    Right now, sailors regularly consult with sports and career counsellors from the Singapore Sports Council (SSC) to plan their sporting, academic and work careers in advance.

    Presently, there are 179 sailors in the national Optimist squad, 89 in the national squad - including the Byte and 420 classes - and three in the Olympic team. The OPT aim to increase the Optimist strength to 260 sailors, 156 in the national team and 39 in the Olympic squad by 2016.

    "The sailors must understand sailing has a very long runway and they must stay for the long haul in order to succeed," said Tan, who won gold in the men's Laser at the 1994 Asian Games.

    "If they drop out even for half a year, it's very difficult to get back and catch up. That's why their sailing career must develop concurrently with their school term, National Service and work, not one or the other."

    For the current fiscal year, SingaporeSailing will receive over S$1.5 million in funding from the SSC, but the association requires an estimated S$4 million for all its programmes.

    "We've met a few companies about being our partners and have met various stakeholders like the Education Ministry, schools and parents to chart a seamless Olympic pathway for the sailors," said SingaporeSailing CEO Tan Wearn Haw.

    National Optimist coach Fernando Alegre described the performance at the world championships as "Singapore's best ever".

    "The federation must now look into how to keep them in the programme. I believe that if there is a good plan, Kimberly can finish in the top 10 at the Rio Olympics in 2016, and even win a medal by 2020," said the Peruvian.


    Kimberly Lim (pictured here with team-mate Yukie Yokoyama, right, after winning the team racing event) battled tricky conditions to win the Optimist World Sailing Championships in Napier, New Zealand, becoming the first Singaporean to do so. PHOTO COURTESY MATIAS CAPIZZANO
    Last edited by Loh; 01-09-2012 at 09:41 PM.

  12. #5554
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    Default CHIJ St Nicholas continues O-level winning streak

    Published on Jan 10, 2012



    By Amelia Tan & Stacey Chia

    CHIJ St Nicholas Girls' School has extended its winning streak in producing the top O-level student for the fourth year running.

    Of the three candidates who scored 10 A1s in last year's exam, two - Zhong Yingyi and Chai Yung Ci - came from the school while the other, Lim Min, is from Crescent Girls' School.

    The three, who pipped the nearly 37,000 students who sat the test, were active in co-curricular activities (CCAs) too.

    Background story

    Best of the crop

    Top Secondary 4 students:

    Lim Min, Crescent Girls' School: 10 A1s
    Zhong Yingyi, CHIJ St Nicholas Girls' School: 10 A1s
    Chai Yung Ci, CHIJ St Nicholas Girls' School: 10 A1s

    Top Secondary 4 Malay students:

    Nur Fatima Baginda Ali, Bukit Panjang
    Government High School: 7 A1s and 2 A2s
    Nadiah Muhamad Nasir, Cedar Girls'
    Secondary School: 7 A1s and 1 A2
    Haziah Asyran Mohamed A, Dunman
    Secondary School: 7 A1s and 1 A2

    Top Secondary 4 Indian students:

    Ramesh Ritika, Crescent Girls' School: 9 A1s
    S. Manoj, Gan Eng Seng School: 9 A1s
    N. Karthik, St Joseph's Institution: 9 A1s
    Sai Surya Yarlagadda, St Joseph's Institution: 9 A1s
    Varun Moorthy N., St Joseph's Institution: 9 A1s
    G. Kiran, Victoria School: 9 A1s

    Top Secondary 4 Eurasian student:

    Keren Ann Henry, Methodist Girls'
    School (Secondary): 7 A1s and 1 A2

    Top Secondary 5 students:

    Amanda Chia Siew Hui, Holy Innocents'
    High School: 4 A1s and 1 A2
    Khoo Chit Hui, Montfort Secondary: 4 A1s and 1 A2


    Yung Ci, 16, who is from Malaysia and enrolled in St Nicholas Girls' on an Asean scholarship, plays the cello and was vice-president of her school's string orchestra.


    Zhong Yingyi (below, left) and Chai Yung Ci from CHIJ ST Nicholas Girls' are two of the three top scorers. -- ST PHOTOS: TED CHEN, LAU FOOK KONG
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    Last edited by Loh; 01-09-2012 at 10:07 PM.

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    Default Special GCE O-Level performers

    By Qiuyi Tan | Posted: 09 January 2012 1505 hrs



    SINGAPORE: It was a day of anticipation and relief for students who sat for the GCE O-Level examinations last year as they collected their result slips on Monday afternoon.

    A total of 36,955 school candidates sat for the examination.

    95.3 per cent achieved three or more passes, while 81.9 per cent got five or more GCE O-Level passes.

    Amongst them are some special performers who have overcome physical disabilities and other challenges.

    Diagnosed with Duchenne muscular dystrophy since he was four months old, Shalom Lim has very limited upper body movement.

    That did not stop him from scoring two A1s and three A2s at the O-Levels.

    The Victoria School student said he could not have done it without support from his school and the Presiding Examiner.

    "He was there all the time, and he helped me a lot by placing my hand on the table. Because of my weakness, I was unable to do it myself, but he was always there to help me, and make sure I was comfortable before I started the paper. I am very thankful for that," said Shalom.

    Shalom told Channel NewsAsia he is applying for a business course at a local polytechnic.

    Success did not come easy for Victoria School's top student either. Jervis Ong lost his father and grandfather in 2010, so the ASEAN Scholar had to go home to Malaysia for a few months during the school term.

    Jervis said: "After I came back, I missed out a lot of lessons and I actually have to thank many teachers who stayed after their work time, their normal school time to help me, especially in subjects I was weaker in."

    Putting in the extra miles himself, Jervis scored 10 A1s. He said he is applying for a humanities course at Raffles Junior College.

    Top three spots for the cohort all went to girls - who each scored 10 A1s.

    They are Lim Min from Crescent Girls' School, and Zhong Yingyi and Chai Yung Ci - both from CHIJ St Nicholas Girls' School.

    The early years were tough for China-born Yingyi, who moved to Singapore at the age of 10.

    She said: "Because I (couldn't) speak English, so I (felt) like I (wasn't) 'one of them'. Luckily I had a lot of friends who (were) willing to help me."

    In other results released on Monday, Nur Fatima Baginda Ali from Bukit Panjang Government High School is the top Malay student with 7 A1s and 2 A2s.

    Six students with 9 A1s each are the Top Indian Students.

    They are Ritika Ramesh from Crescent Girls', S Manoj from Gan Eng Seng School, N Karthik, Sai Surya Yarlagadda and Varun Moorthy from St Joseph's Institution, and G Kiran from Victoria School.

    The top Eurasian student is Keren Ann Henry
    from Methodist Girls' - with 7 A1s and 1 A2.

    Amanda Chia Siew Hui from Holy Innocents' High School and Khoo Chit Hui from Monfort Secondary topped the Secondary 5 category with 4 A1s and 1 A2 each.

    The Ministry said 48 schools also had at least one student scoring 7 A1s or more.

    - CNA/cc/ck/ms
    Jervis Ong
    Shalom Lim
    Zhong Yingyi
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    Last edited by Loh; 01-09-2012 at 10:19 PM.

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    Default Singapore sailors win Australian 420 Youth Championships

    Published on Jan 10, 2012





    National 420 sailors Darren Choy (white life jacket) and Nathan Tang (black life jacket), both 17, have won the 420 title at the Australian Youth Championships in Brisbane. -- PHOTO: SINGAPORESAILING


    By May Chen

    National sailors Darren Choy and Nathan Tang have won the 420 title at the Australian Youth Championships in Brisbane.

    The 17-year-olds beat Australian pair Carrie Smith and Ella Clark for a slender one-point lead in the standings after 10 races in the five-day regatta at the Royal Queensland Yacht Squadron.

    This is the pair's second victory of the year, a week after they won the Australian 420 National Championships last week.
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    Default 7% of places in secondary schools taken up by DSA

    Posted: 10 January 2012 0013 hrs



    SINGAPORE: Between 2009 and 2011, an average of 870 students were admitted to secondary school through sports via the Direct School Admission (DSA) scheme.

    The sports for which the most students were admitted via the DSA scheme were basketball, badminton, table-tennis, track & field and volleyball.

    The number of students admitted under each individual talent area, whether sports or performing arts, basketball or badminton, varies from year to year, depending on the range of talent and the number of niche areas offered by the schools.

    Between 2009 and 2011, an average of seven per cent of places in the independent schools and schools offering Integrated Programmes were taken up by students with sporting excellence under DSA.

    The majority of the places in these schools are available for students who participate under the Secondary One Posting Exercise.

    Education Minister Heng Swee Keat outlined these developments in a parliamentary reply on Monday, in response to questions from Member of Parliament Hri Kumar Nair.

    Mr Heng said overall, the DSA scheme has broadened the definition of success and promoted holistic education by reducing the emphasis on national examination results.

    He said the education ministry will continue to develop multiple pathways to cater to the different educational needs of our children.

    The DSA scheme, introduced in 2004, seeks to promote holistic education by recognising a more diverse range of student achievements and talents as criteria for school admissions, other than performance at the national examinations.

    Participating schools are given the flexibility to admit students on the basis of their strengths in stated niche areas where the school has programmes to further develop the students' talents.

    - CNA/ck
    Heng Swee Keat
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  16. #5558
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    Default Upsizing Stamford Canal not best solution: expert panel

    By Evelyn Choo/Tan Qiuyi | Posted: 10 January 2012 1515 hrs


    SINGAPORE: The panel of experts appointed to review Singapore's flood protection measures submitted its report on Tuesday, after a six-month consultation period.

    It proposed that national water agency PUB collect high-resolution data to get a better idea of Singapore's flood modelling profile, and the government look into new ways to tackle the surface runoff upstream rather than focus all efforts on the downstream.

    The panel said a general widening of drains and canals in Singapore is not the best long-term solution for flood prevention. This holds true for the Stamford Canal which, the panel noted, had been designed to the standards in place at that time rather than standards more typical today.

    It said the canal no longer has the capacity to drain away the volume of rainfall generated by storms like those in June 2010 and June 2011.

    The panel does not believe that the whole-scale upsizing of the Stamford Canal is the best long-term solution to addressing flood risks on Orchard Road.

    It suggested the government look into ways to store water in the Orchard Road area further upstream, such as through the use of roof tops, a water retention pond, storage tanks along the Stamford Canal's route to relieve its burden or a diversion canal to bring the water elsewhere.

    New buildings should have water-retention roofs to make up for increased urbanisation and existing buildings should be retrofitted, said the panel.

    Pavements could also be made porous to absorb some water and preventing all of it from rushing into canals, added the 12-member panel comprising local and international experts.

    These measures control flooding at the source, said a member of the panel, Professor David Balmforth.

    The panel acknowledged that these measures and the gathering of more accurate higher-resolution data on water drainage will require significant investment.

    But Professor Balmforth, MWH UK's executive technical director, said: "What the experience in the rest of the world shows...is that the overall cost of doing it that way is generally significantly less than if you concentrate on trying to increase conveyance capacity all the time."

    The panel said Singapore should also look into drainage systems that can deliver multiple benefits, for instance, water storage solutions that can serve as a source of water in times of drought.

    The panel was appointed on June 30 last year to review drainage design and flood protection measures that will be implemented in Singapore over the next decade. It is chaired by Professor Chan Eng Soon, dean of the faculty of engineering at the National University of Singapore (NUS).


    - CNA/cc/ir
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    Quote Originally Posted by Loh View Post
    Published on Jan 10, 2012



    By Amelia Tan & Stacey Chia

    CHIJ St Nicholas Girls' School has extended its winning streak in producing the top O-level student for the fourth year running.

    Of the three candidates who scored 10 A1s in last year's exam, two - Zhong Yingyi and Chai Yung Ci - came from the school while the other, Lim Min, is from Crescent Girls' School.

    The three, who pipped the nearly 37,000 students who sat the test, were active in co-curricular activities (CCAs) too.

    Background story

    Best of the crop

    Top Secondary 4 students:

    Lim Min, Crescent Girls' School: 10 A1s
    Zhong Yingyi, CHIJ St Nicholas Girls' School: 10 A1s
    Chai Yung Ci, CHIJ St Nicholas Girls' School: 10 A1s

    Top Secondary 4 Malay students:

    Nur Fatima Baginda Ali, Bukit Panjang
    Government High School: 7 A1s and 2 A2s
    Nadiah Muhamad Nasir, Cedar Girls'
    Secondary School: 7 A1s and 1 A2
    Haziah Asyran Mohamed A, Dunman
    Secondary School: 7 A1s and 1 A2

    Top Secondary 4 Indian students:

    Ramesh Ritika, Crescent Girls' School: 9 A1s
    S. Manoj, Gan Eng Seng School: 9 A1s
    N. Karthik, St Joseph's Institution: 9 A1s
    Sai Surya Yarlagadda, St Joseph's Institution: 9 A1s
    Varun Moorthy N., St Joseph's Institution: 9 A1s
    G. Kiran, Victoria School: 9 A1s

    Top Secondary 4 Eurasian student:

    Keren Ann Henry, Methodist Girls'
    School (Secondary): 7 A1s and 1 A2

    Top Secondary 5 students:

    Amanda Chia Siew Hui, Holy Innocents'
    High School: 4 A1s and 1 A2
    Khoo Chit Hui, Montfort Secondary: 4 A1s and 1 A2


    Yung Ci, 16, who is from Malaysia and enrolled in St Nicholas Girls' on an Asean scholarship, plays the cello and was vice-president of her school's string orchestra.


    Zhong Yingyi (below, left) and Chai Yung Ci from CHIJ ST Nicholas Girls' are two of the three top scorers. -- ST PHOTOS: TED CHEN, LAU FOOK KONG
    I really am at a loss at why the ethnic origin of students should have so much importance in academic results. It really comes up with a lot of regularity. Why the emphasis? It subtly enhances differences in society.

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