Top stories from The Straits Times on Tuesday, March 6

Good morning! Here are our top stories to kickstart your Tuesday, March 6.


Parliament: Tighter rules to support Singaporeans and raise quality of foreign workforce

For one thing, more companies will have to give Singaporeans a chance to apply for higher-skilled jobs by advertising these on the national Jobs Bank for at least 14 days before they can hire a foreigner for the role.

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Australian rock melons from listeria-linked source recalled in Singapore: AVA

Two consignments of rock melons from a farm in Australia linked to a deadly listeria outbreak were imported and available for sale in Singapore from Feb 12 to March 2.

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Parliament: 10,000 more students to benefit from financial support, bringing total to 90,000 a year

Another 10,000 students will be eligible for financial help from the government, bringing the total number to around 90,000 a year with the Education Ministry relaxing its qualifying criteria.

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Parliament: Call for MOE to remove 'sacred cow' of PSLE

Education Minister (Schools) Ng Chee Meng rejected the proposal, arguing that this would only transfer the pressure on parents and students to other parts of the education system.

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Airbnb willing to make concessions in Singapore, says its policy chief

Strict rules in Singapore make the city state one of the toughest markets in which Airbnb operates. While Singapore is not a large market for Airbnb, it serves as its headquarters for Asia Pacific.

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Parliament: Guidelines on hiring freelancers launched to help reduce disputes

The Tripartite Alliance for Dispute Management will also extend voluntary mediation services to all self-employed workers who have payment disputes with businesses.

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Call for more cord blood donations for minority races

Umbilical cord blood donations have grown to more than 13,000 units here since they started in 2005, but Singapore's only public cord blood bank says there is dire shortage for minority races in the public inventory.

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US tariffs: Global trade war the real worry for Singapore

World's reaction to aluminium and steel tariffs will determine how the Republic is affected, say analysts.

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Xi and the lessons from China's past

Why did President Xi Jinping drop term limits for the presidency? Look to his keen sense of history and the upheavals that rocked China at critical junctures.

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Former Russian spy critically ill in Britain after exposure to unidentified substance

Former Russian spy Sergei Skripal once a colonel in Russia's GRU military intelligence service. Relations between Britain and Russia have been strained since the murder of ex-KGB agent Alexander Litvinenko with radioactive polonium-210 in London in 2006.

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