MORNING MINUTES: What will make headlines today, June 3, 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.

Month-long Hari Raya celebration at Geylang Serai

From June 13, Geylang Serai will host a display of lights and cultural activities to celebrate the Muslim fasting month of Ramadan which will culminate in Hari Raya Puasa on July 15. The organising committee will give details of the light-up and activities today. It is led by Manpower Minister Tan Chuan-Jin and Associate Professor Fatimah Lateef, both Members of Parliament for Marine Parade GRC, which Geylang Serai falls under. - LOOK WOON WEI

Major religions and PUB organise water exhibition

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The Inter-Religious Organisation, with representatives from 10 main faiths here, and national water agency PUB will launch an exhibition on water and the environment today. The event will showcase both items from PUB as well as rarely displayed religious artifacts. Minister of State for National Development Desmond Lee will be the guest of honour. - TIMOTHY GOH

Huawei Consumer CEO to unveil P8 smartphone here

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Mr Richard Yu, CEO of Huawei Consumer Group, is in Singapore to launch Huawei's flagship smartphone - the P8 - at CommunicAsia. He will also meet the media to discuss the company's plans for Singapore. - FELICIA CHOO

US Defence Secretary Ashton Carter to hold talks with Indian Defence Minister

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United States Defence Secretary Ashton Carter, on a three-day visit to India, will meet with Indian defence minister Manohar Parrikar today to hold talks with the country's top leadership and and sign the new 10-year defence framework. Mr Carter began his visit on Tuesday afternoon after arriving at Vishakhapatnam, the port city and base of the Eastern Naval Command in Andhra Pradesh. Mr Carter will meet with Mr Parrikar at around 8.30 pm Singapore time today.

As part of his visit, Mr Carter will also meet with India's National Security Advisor and the External Affairs Minister, the DNAIndia news website reported. He is also expected to call on Prime Minister Narendra Modi. The visit is Mr Carter's first to India as Defence Secretary, after his two previous visits as Deputy Secretary of Defence in 2012 and 2013.

The US-India defence framework was first unveiled in January during US President Barack Obama's meeting with Mr Modi in New Delhi, where they vowed to deepen defence ties and announced four deals - including the joint production of Raven drones and systems for Lockheed's C-130 transport planes.

Indonesian pulp-paper maker to release forest conservation policy ahead of fire season

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As the annual fire season looms, APRIL, one of the world's largest pulp and paper company that operates out of Indonesia, will be releasing its Forest Conservation Policy today. Today's announcement comes after its competitor, Asia Pulp and Paper (APP), in February revealed its own findings of how it has fared in its no-deforestation policy. APP - Indonesia's largest pulp and paper company - had said then it had made "moderate progress" in its two-year-old commitment to stop rainforest clearance and end conflict with local communities, according to an audit commissioned by the firm.

The moves by the two paper processing giants come as part of a wider race among pulp and paper companies to outdo each other to show that they are adopting green policies. Indonesia has several other large pulp and paper firms, and green campaigners say some of them have been forced to improve their practices because of pressure from buyers or lenders. Indonesia typically sees fire and haze episodes during the dry season in June. - ZUBAIDAH NAZEER

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