MORNING MINUTES: What will make headlines today, March 13, 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.

Government Budget for 2015

Today, Parliament will give the nod to the Government's Budget for Financial Year 2015, which starts on April 1.

Earlier in the day, Minister for Social and Family Development Chan Chun Sing will speak on the spending plans and policies of his ministry.

It will be the last time Mr Chan will speak in that capacity before he joins the labour movement full time next month.

The House is also expected to pass four new Bills, including the Community Disputes Resolution Bill.

It is also set to pass the Police Force (Amendment) Bill, which will give civilian officers powers to assist police officers, prevent abuse of police insignia, and raise penalties for those who evade road blocks. - ZAKIR HUSSAIN

Labour market report for 2014


The Manpower Ministry will release its labour market report for the fourth quarter last year.

The report will include employment figures, unemployment rates and real median incomes for the whole of 2014. The Ministry will also release information on the labour outlook this year. - JOANNA SEOW

SG50 celebrations at Sentosa


Sentosa will kick off its SG50 celebrations with a birthday party bash for those born in 1965. Fifty Singaporeans who turn 50 this year have been selected to party with their families and friends on the island today.

Sentosa will also unveil a series of events, packages and promotions to celebrate SG50. - MELISSA LIN

India and Sri Lanka to hold talks


Prime Minister Narendra Modi will hold talks with Sri Lankan President Maithripala Sirisena today, in a continuing effort to improve ties that were strained over the increasing Chinese presence in recent years in the island nation.

The visit by Mr Modi, the first by an Indian prime minister in 28 years, is expected to put the momentum back in bilateral ties at a time when Colombo is reviewing China-funded projects and has suspended a port city project. He will deliver an address to the Sri Lankan Parliament and attend a business meeting today. - NIRMALA GANAPATHY

Greek financial crisis


Greece is due to pay the International Monetary Fund the second of four loan installments of 310 million euros today. Amid Greece's cash squeeze as bailout funds are put on hold, Greek Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras will meet European Commission chief Jean-Claude Juncker in Brussels today to discuss "how Greece can utilise European funds" to give financial support to the poorest Greeks, according to Mr Tsipras' office. - JEREMY LEE

Oscar Pistorius' hearing continues

The latest hearing in the long-running case of paralympic athlete Oscar Pistorius is due to open today in Pretoria, South Africa. Though he is currently serving a five-year jail sentence for shooting dead his girlfriend Reeva Steenkamp, state prosecutors have appealed the conviction, seeking to upgrade his crime from manslaughter to murder.

The hearing set for today is a bid by Pistorius' lawyers to block prosecutors by appealing against the judge's decision to allow their appeal. - JEREMY LEE

Stabilising office rents in the Central Business District

Office rents over the next 12 months may weaken as tenants vacate existing premises to occupy new office space in a "flight to quality" - CHERYL ONG

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