Morning Briefing: Top stories from The Straits Times on Feb 19

Good morning! Here are our top stories to kick-start your Wednesday, Feb 19.


10 things to know, from cash payout for S'poreans to GST not going up in 2021

Deputy Prime Minister and Finance Minister Heng Swee Keat arrives at Parliament House to deliver the Budget speech on Feb 18, 2020. ST PHOTO: KUA CHEE SIONG

A slew of measures to deal with short-term challenges such as the coronavirus outbreak and long-term economic development were introduced by Deputy Prime Minister Heng Swee Keat on Tuesday.

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Budget sets out three big, audacious goals for future

A view of Singapore's financial district on Jan 2, 2020. PHOTO: AFP

It was a sterling Budget - concise and assured in delivery; and substantive in tackling the current virus crisis, while never losing sight of the long-term big picture.

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Coronavirus: WHO praises Singapore's response to outbreak

WHO chief Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus at a coronavirus press conference in Geneva on Feb 17, 2020. PHOTO: EPA-EFE

World Health Organisation officials praised the efforts of Singapore in tackling cases of coronavirus and said other countries should follow its example.

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Coronavirus: 4 new cases including 3 linked to Grace Assembly of God church; 21 cases now linked to the cluster

The Grace Assembly of God church's premises in Tanglin. The church now accounts for 21 people, or a quarter of the coronavirus cases here. ST PHOTO: GAVIN FOO

Five coronavirus patients were discharged, including the one-year-old boy evacuated from Wuhan.

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Coronavirus: Death toll in China passes 2,000 as Hubei province reports 132 new fatalities

In a photo taken on Feb 6, 2020, medical workers in protective suits attend to a novel coronavirus patient at an isolated ward of a designated hospital in Wuhan. PHOTO: REUTERS

In its daily update, the province's health commission also reported 1,693 new cases of people infected with the virus.

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GST hike to still take place by 2025, amid the need to invest in healthcare

In a photo taken on Feb 10, 2020, laboratory technicians at the Agency for Science, Technology and Research's Diagnostics Development Hub work on a diagnostic kit to test whether patients have the coronavirus. ST PHOTO: KELVIN CHNG

The coronavirus outbreak has reinforced the importance of continued investment in Singapore's healthcare system, said Deputy Prime Minister Heng Swee Keat.

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Interactive: Breakdown of revenue and expenditure estimates in Budget 2020

Money set aside to help enterprises and households tide over rising global uncertainties and the rapidly evolving coronavirus outbreak pushes Singapore's Budget 2020 into its deepest-ever deficit.

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KL-based fraud syndicate that cheated Singapore Internet love scam victims of $700k busted

The syndicate is suspected to be involved in impersonation phone scams targeting banks and Internet love scams across various jurisdictions. PHOTO: THE NEW PAPER

The transnational fraud syndicate, busted by the Singapore and Malaysia police forces, is suspected to be involved in impersonation phone scams targeting banks and Internet love scams.

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Babysitter on trial for allegedly giving sleeping drug and other 'poisons' to 2 babies under her care

One of the babies was hospitalised for several days after her mother found her to be "very drowsy" and "cranky". PHOTO: ST FILE

The babysitter allegedly gave an assortment of medication or "poisons", including those used to treat insomnia and anxiety disorders, to two babies under her care.

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Can foldable smartphones flip phone makers' fortunes?

Samsung launched its new Galaxy Z Flip last Tuesday (Feb 11) to follow up on its Galaxy Fold from last year. PHOTO: EPA-EFE

Seeing a new innovation sprout up is certainly good news for the smartphone industry, which has been experiencing stagnant sales, said analysts.

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