Tue, Sep 04, 2018 - Page 7 News List

World News Quick Take

Agencies

MALAYSIA

Rail project postponed

The government has agreed with Singapore to postpone the development of a high-speed rail service by two years, as the nation looks to review mega projects to cut its massive debt. Business weekly the Edge on Saturday cited sources confirming both nations agreed to postpone the project to May 31, 2020, at no penalty to either, to allow the government time to review its finances. Minister of Economic Affairs Mohamed Azmin Ali yesterday confirmed that both sides had agreed to postpone the project at no penalty, and that details would be made clear when a new agreement is signed soon.

FRANCE

Phones banned in schools

Children who were going back to school yesterday after summer vacation would have to do so without their mobile phones. The government passed a law banning phone use in all primary and middle schools for the entire day, including during breaks — with exceptions in cases of emergency and for disabled children. Pupils are requested to shut down their mobiles or put them in a locker. High schools can also voluntarily implement the measure. Minister of Education Jean-Michel Blanquer said it aims to help children focus on lessons, socialize better and reduce social media use.

ISRAEL

Man gets general’s number

A businessman said he received calls and messages from senior Israeli and foreign military officials after he was assigned the former phone number of the nation’s military chief of staff. A report yesterday by Israeli Army Radio identified the man only as Yossi. He said that when he began receiving messages, “a red light went on... if it got in the hands of another citizen I don’t know what would happen.” It was not entirely clear how Lieutenant General Gadi Eisenkot’s number was passed on to a private citizen. The report said military phone numbers are often reassigned for security reasons. It said the military returned the number to the mobile provider about a year ago. The provider said the number was not classified and was reassigned to another customer.

UAE

Da Vinci exhibit delayed

The unveiling of Leonardo da Vinci’s painting Salvator Mundi at the Louvre Abu Dhabi has been indefinitely postponed. The Department of Culture and Tourism yesterday tweeted about the delay, saying: “More details will be announced soon.” It did not respond to a request for comment. The Renaissance oil painting of Christ sold for a record-breaking US$450 million at an auction in New York at Christie’s in November. It was to be displayed from Sept. 18.

UNITED STATES

Yakult soars on teen comedy

Dairy producer Yakult Honsha Co is finding that the power of product placement is so potent it works even when it is mistaken. Viewers of Netflix’s romantic comedy To All the Boys I’ve Loved Before have noticed the main character’s sister drinking a yogurt out of a distinctive little bottle and are talking about it on Twitter, said Mark Bachman, head of research firm M Science’s TickerTags. In the movie, the drink is called a “Korean yogurt smoothie,” but audiences have clearly spotted Yakult’s “distinct red foil top,” Bachman said in a note to clients on Friday. Shares of the stock, which have dropped about 6 percent this year amid slower sales growth, climbed more than 2.6 percent since the movie was released on Aug. 17.

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