1. North Korea: Youth brigades are mobilised for construction labour, but the North Korean state is finding it increasingly difficult to recruit willing parties.

“State media painted an inspiring picture of patriotic students braving harsh weather, eating frozen rice, and ignoring supervisors’ worries about their health in order to work harder on the huge building site.

Kim has visited Samjiyon, near the Chinese border, at least five times for inspections over the past year.

He envisages a “socialist utopia” with new apartments, hotels, a ski resort and commercial, cultural and medical facilities by late 2020, barely four years after Kim ordered modernisation of the “sacred land of the revolution”.

North Korean defectors and human rights activists say such mass mobilisations amount to “slave labour” disguised as loyalty to Kim and the ruling Workers’ Party. Young workers get no pay, poor food and are forced to work more than 12 hours a day for up to 10 years in return for better chances to enter a university or join the all powerful Workers’ Party.”

Read the full article on Channel NewsAsia: North Korea’s mass labour-hungry ‘socialist utopia’ threatened by a growing market economy

  1. Employment of female caregivers: NTUC looking into ways to improve employment rates of middle-aged women

NTUC deputy secretary-general Heng Chee How said the mindset of employers must also be changed to increase their willingness to hire part-time employees and workers with flexible schedules.

But he said that “unions can only do so much” as jobs and how jobs are structured are determined by employers.

Besides changing mindsets, the labour movement believes strengthening know-how and devising the right incentives are important.

“I am not promoting a switch from full-time to part-time work for the sake of it. I am promoting it so that those who have no work can at least work part-time,” said Mr Heng.”

Read the full article on The Straits Times: NTUC to look at ways to increase employment rates of middle-aged women who are caregivers

  1. Passengers privacy: SIA passengers were concerned over newly embedded cameras in the inflight entertainment systems.  

“The aircraft with cameras embedded in the inflight entertainment systems include SIA’s A350-900s (medium-haul, long-haul and ultra-long-range), A380s, Boeing 777-300ERs and 787-10s.

In all, there are 84 aircraft with cameras embedded in the inflight entertainment systems.

Passengers have also raised concerns that the cameras may be used by SIA to record or store information.

“I am sure Singapore Airlines are using those cameras to collect data about our habits when watching videos. Very likely. Very interesting,” wrote Twitter user Callsign.

Some users said the cameras should be physically covered up.”

Read the full article on The Straits Times: Cameras on inflight entertainment systems have been ‘permanently disabled’: Singapore Airlines

Picture credits: https://pixabay.com/photos/workers-construction-site-hardhats-659885/