MORNING MINUTES: What will make headlines today, Feb 25, 2015

Good morning. Morning Minutes is a round-up of stories that will break today and which we think you'd be interested in. It appears on weekdays, available by 7am.

Budget 2015: Impact of SkillsFuture Credit

In a Budget 2015 measure, every Singaporean aged 25 and above will get an initial $500 of SkillsFuture Credit from the Government, which will be topped up at regular intervals and will not expire. This can be used for a short course or be accumulated to pay for more substantial training in the future. Eligible adults, employers and training providers talk about how this will affect them. - AMELIA TAN AND JOANNA SEOW

Budget 2015: Economic Society of Singapore forum

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The Economic Society of Singapore will hold a forum to discuss the Singapore Budget 2015 that was presented by Finance Minister Tharman Shanmugaratnam in Parliament on Monday. - WONG WEI HAN

Hong Kong Budget Day

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Financial Secretary John Tsang will announce Hong Kong's annual Budget today - the first since the "Occupy Central" movement ended on Dec 15.

Mr Tsang is expected to roll out some one-off measures to help sectors affected by the pro-democracy campaign which saw major road blockades in Admiralty, Mong Kok and Causeway Bay for 79 days. This could include industries such as logistics and catering.
There is also anticipation of other sweeteners including an income tax rebate. Together, the goodies could be worth more than HK$20 billion (S$3.51 billion), local media has reported, citing government sources.

Hong Kong's Budget Day comes two days after Singapore's, during which Deputy Prime Minister Tharman Shanmugaratnam announced a surprise move to hike the top marginal tax rate for top income earners from 20 to 22 per cent. The two cities have always kept a close look on each other's tax regime to ensure they remain relatively competitive to investors and businesses. - LI XUEYING

The Straits Times Athlete of the Year nominee Bernie Chin

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Singapore sailor Bernie Chin capped a miraculous comeback when he won the Byte CII gold at the Youth Olympic Games last year. He opened his campaign with two disastrous races, but slowly clawed his way back with three straight podium finishes. Read about how he dealt with these setbacks and eventually earned a nomination for The Straits Times Athlete of the Year award. - CHUA SIANG YEE

Teaching Chinese using other languages

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The National Institute of Education is launching a new master's degree course for teaching Chinese using other languages. This is meant to help bilingual teachers better educate students, especially those from countries where Chinese is not commonly used. - PEARL LEE

Chan Chun Sing to attend the REDAS Inaugural Mentorship Programme

Minister for Social and Family Development and Second Minister for Defence Chan Chun Sing will attend the REDAS Inaugural Mentorship Programme. The Real Estate Developers' Association of Singapore will be hosting the programme to celebrate the nation's 50th anniversary. - RENNIE WHANG

Takeda Pharmaceutical's new office in Biopolis

Takeda Pharmaceutical inaugurates its new office in Biopolis. This event formalises the relocation of its Emerging Markets Business Unit to Singapore, as well as streamlines its Singapore operations into a centralised space that provides greater agility to address evolving market needs in Asia. - JACQUELINE WOO

Philippines marks 29th anniversary of "People Power Revolution"

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The Philippines will celebrate today the 29th anniversary of the "People Power Revolution" that ended decades of brutal rule by dictator Ferdinand Marcos.

Unlike in previous years, this year's celebrations have been toned down as President Benigno Aquino faces mounting calls for him to step down over a botched police raid on Jan 25 which killed Malaysian terrorist Marwan but also cost the lives of 44 commandos.

The anti-Aquino coalition, which counts among its leaders Mr Aquino's own uncle, former Representative Jose Cojuangco, is set to hold rallies today in hopes that they will grow into a mass movement as large as the one that ousted Mr Marcos in 1986. - RAUL DANCEL

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