10 must-reads for today

Iranian women at a polling station set up at the Shah Abdul Azim shrine during the parliamentary elections in Teheran yesterday.
Iranian women at a polling station set up at the Shah Abdul Azim shrine during the parliamentary elections in Teheran yesterday.PHOTO: EPA-EFE

1 Hardliners set for victory

Iranians cast their ballots yesterday in parliamentary elections likely to help hardline loyalists of the Supreme Leader tighten their grip on power, as the country faces mounting United States pressure over its nuclear programme and growing discontent at home. 

2 S. Korea outbreak worsens

South Korea rushed to contain the severe community spread of the coronavirus, as its prime minister said the nation had an emergency on its hands and the number of infections swelled fourfold over two days to reach 204. Experts warned that the figure could jump further in Daegu, the epicentre of local transmissions originating from a church, as more than 500 church members are showing symptoms. 

3 KL to revive auto industry

Malaysia launched a new road map yesterday to revive its stagnant automotive industry, aiming to more than double the sector's contribution to the economy from 4.2 per cent of gross domestic product in 2018 to 10 per cent by 2030. WORLD A12

4 Big plans for Trump in India

Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi is pulling out all the stops for United States President Donald Trump's first visit to India on Monday. Despite tensions between the two countries, they are strategically aligned in their objective to counter China's rising influence in the Indo-Pacific region. 

5 Medical whistle-blowers

There is a long tradition of whistle-blowing in medical fields, when doctors or other medical personnel publicly expose wrongdoing in an organisation, says Professor Chong Siow Ann. Whistle-blowers are often ostracised or harmed, yet they continue to expose wrongdoing, even when doing so comes at great risk to themselves. 

6 Murder charges reduced

Two men who were allegedly linked to last July's Orchard Towers killing have had their charges reduced from murder to assault yesterday. Four others also had their charges reduced from murder, leaving just one alleged offender still facing a murder charge. 

7 Inequality in Singapore

Singapore's Gini score puts it ahead of Britain and the United States, but it still lags behind several developed countries such as Japan, Germany and Sweden. But differences in economic and wage structure, as well as social and tax policy, could account for why Singapore has a relatively higher measure of inequality, say experts. 

8 OCBC Q4 profit jumps 34%

OCBC Bank reported a 34 per cent jump in its net profit for the fourth quarter to $1.24 billion, compared with $926 million a year ago. The increase comes on the back of stronger trading income, sale of investment securities and its wealth management business, said the bank yesterday. 

9 Cheetahs upbeat

Hougang United coach Clement Teo, upbeat after his side's best-ever third place in the Singapore Premier League last season, is undeterred by the loss of four key players. Ahead of today's Community Shield clash against Tampines Rovers, he expects their two new experienced forwards to deliver the goods with veteran Croat Stipe Plazibat. 

10 Firms toast to going green

More home-grown firms are finding eco-friendly ways to make and serve spirits and beer. Many have signed up to use a spirits distribution system that reduces the use of glass bottles. The Straits Times checks out their green efforts.

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on February 22, 2020, with the headline '10 must-reads for today'. Subscribe