10 must-reads for today

Social distancing at the Berlin Cathedral yesterday. The spike in cases has raised concerns that the outbreak could slip out of control.
Social distancing at the Berlin Cathedral yesterday. The spike in cases has raised concerns that the outbreak could slip out of control.PHOTO: AGENCE FRANCE-PRESSE
Jonathan Eyal.
Jonathan Eyal.
A customer at Samsung's flagship store in Seoul in March.
A customer at Samsung's flagship store in Seoul in March. PHOTO: BLOOMBERG

1 More cases in Germany

New coronavirus infections and deaths declined in France, Italy and Spain, while cases accelerated again in Germany, as the countries gradually ease the lockdowns imposed to tame the pandemic. Despite more than 150,000 deaths in Europe, its leaders are feeling the heat to restart an economy headed for recession.

2 Tech to help workers

With the management of foreign workers in dormitories entering the recovery phase, the workers are being given help to monitor their health. About 8,000 pulse oximeters have been distributed so far, and a further 12,000 will be given out.

3 Big S. Korean firms do well

The coronavirus outbreak has shuttered many small businesses in South Korea, but conglomerates behind household names such as Samsung, LG and Hyundai fared reasonably well in the first quarter. Some found fresh demand for existing products due to hygiene concerns and work-from-home measures, while others adjusted their business models.

India's new app gets flak  

 Aarogya Setu, India's new mandatory app that tracks if a user has come in contact with a  Covid-19 patient, has come under flak. Critics say that it has inadequate data security and  is not effective, as less than a fifth of the population own a mobile phone.

5 US, China both suffering

Is China's power rising amid the coronavirus pandemic as America's is dented? Not so. Both countries are suffering serious blows, with neither able to show global leadership, says global affairs correspondent Jonathan Eyal.

6 Translating words of support

Words of support from Singaporeans for the foreign worker community battling Covid-19 tend to get lost in translation, but a new initiative by local creative agency BlkJ, called Love Translated, is helping the message get through.

7 250 kids to get new laptops

Nearly 250 students in Singapore will receive new laptops that can aid in their learning in an initiative rolled out by United Overseas Bank (UOB) and its partners, including Singtel and Singapore Press Holdings. A Covid-19 relief effort, UOB My Digital Space is a regional programme that aims to support students' digital learning amid the outbreak.

8 Keeping productivity up

Companies have had to adjust to new ways of keeping productivity up, with most staff now toiling away at home. Some have turned to using software tools for target setting and keeping track of staff productivity, while some place the onus on employees to take charge of their own output.

9 S'pore athletes give back

Singapore athletes have been doing their bit for charity with food giveaways and a fund-raiser amid the circuit breaker curbs. Footballers, including national goalkeeper Izwan Mahbud, were involved in a briyani drive, while silat world champions, such as Sheik Farhan, have been raising cash for the Sayang Sayang Fund.

10 Maternal heart disease here

The number of women with heart disease while pregnant in Singapore is increasing, according to the Women's Heart Health Clinic at the National University Heart Centre, Singapore. Maternal heart disease complicates 1 per cent to 2 per cent of pregnancies and is one of the most important causes of maternal death, according to data from the United States and Britain.

StraitsTimes Digital


Tales of love and hope

Here are stories that have tugged at the heartstrings of readers over the years, from a uniquely Singaporean interracial romance to a man who bounced back from multiple amputations to inspire others. str.sg/blurb363


Around the world in seven breads

Three cookbook writers share their favourite types of bread and what they are baking at home during the Covid-19 lockdown. str.sg/blurb364

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on May 11, 2020, with the headline '10 must-reads for today'. Print Edition | Subscribe