Top stories from The Straits Times on Wednesday, Feb 28

Good morning! Here are our top stories to kickstart your Wednesday, Feb 28.


NUS applicants to get bonus points for 1st-choice courses


NUS is increasing the number of double majors to expand its graduates' career options as "the nature of work is changing very rapidly", says its provost Ho Teck Hua. ST PHOTO: LEE JIA WEN

Those applying for a place at NUS will be given 1.25 bonus points for their first choice - equivalent to going from C to B or B to A in an A-level H1 subject.

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GST hike, plight of elderly workers among issues as Budget debate kicks off


An elderly cleaner at Berseh Food Centre in Jalan Besar. PHOTO: ST FILE

From the impending GST hike to whether more of the reserves should be used to fund Singapore's growing needs, 28 MPs rose to speak on the debate's first day. 

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Cabinet reshuffle will give younger 4G ministers 'more responsibility': A closer look at 10 of them


Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong has said that he will reshuffle the Cabinet after Parliament prorogues to give younger ministers more exposure and responsibility. PHOTOS: ST FILE

"This way, my successor will be supported by a stronger and more experienced team, committed to leading Singapore to a better and brighter future," said Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong. 

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Generation Grit: Paralysed at 21, his will to live was unwavering


Mr Wong Zi Heng, 26, became paralysed from chest down when he was just 21-years-old after an accident. ST PHOTO: LAU FOOK KONG

A fun camp at the start of the university year in 2013 turned Wong Zi Heng's life upside down. But rather than give in to despair, the 26-year-old forged a new path for himself. 

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Talent crunch will set back transformation


ST ILLUSTRATION : MIEL

The Government's own schemes could be rendered less effective if it retains tight control on inflow of skilled talent, depriving companies of much-needed manpower. 

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Malaysian state fund 1MDB will be 'shut down' once debts are cleared: Chairman


A construction worker talking on the phone in front of a 1MDB billboard in Kuala Lumpur in 2016.PHOTO: REUTERS

Tan Sri Dr Mohd Irwan Serigar Abdullah said he was confident the scandal-plagued strategic investment arm would be able to repay all its debts through an ongoing rationalisation plan. 

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'My life is in danger': North Korea leader's half-brother Kim Jong Nam allegedly said


Mr Kim Jong Nam (pictured) told his friend Tomie Yoshio that his "life was in danger" during a previous visit to Malaysia.PHOTO: REUTERS

The poisoned half-brother of North Korean leader Kim Jong Un told a friend in Malaysia his life was in danger six months before he was killed, a police official told a court on Tuesday. 

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Fed's Jerome Powell nods to 'gradual' rate increases, close eye on inflation


Jerome Powell, chairman of the Federal Reserve, testifies before the House Financial Services Committee on Capitol Hill, in Washington, on Feb 27, 2018. PHOTO: NYTIMES

The Federal Reserve chairman has pledged to "strike a balance" between the risk of an overheating US economy and the need to keep growth on track. 

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Moon to get 4G mobile network in 2019


A plane silhouetted against the "super blue moon" over Cali, Colombia on Jan 31, 2018. PHOTO: AFP

Vodafone, Nokia and Audi are working together to support the mission, which will enable high-definition streaming from the lunar landscape back to earth. 

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Show stealers: Latest smartphones unveiled at the Mobile World Congress


(Clockwise from top left) Samsung S9/S9+, LG V30S, Sony XZ2 and Nokia 7 Plus. PHOTOS: LESTER HIO, DAVID ORR FOR THE WASHINGTON POST, REUTERS, NOKIA

ST's Tech team gives its first impressions on Samsung's latest S9 and S9+ phones, LG's updated V30S ThinQ, Sony's new XZ2 and old-school fan favourite Nokia's 7 Plus.

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