10 must-reads for today

Candidates (from left) Michael Bloomberg, Elizabeth Warren and Bernie Sanders taking part in a debate in Las Vegas on Wednesday.
Candidates (from left) Michael Bloomberg, Elizabeth Warren and Bernie Sanders taking part in a debate in Las Vegas on Wednesday.PHOTO: AGENCE FRANCE-PRESSE


1 Bloomberg under attack

Presidential hopeful Michael Bloomberg's steady rise in nationwide polls had been remarkable, aided by the fractured and unsettled Democratic race. But the initial honeymoon phase of his campaign came to an end at his debut debate on Wednesday, after verbal attacks from his rivals that closely scrutinised his record and credentials. 


2 Income inequality down

Income inequality in Singapore has fallen to its lowest level in nearly 20 years, according to the Department of Statistics. The Gini coefficient - which measures income inequality from zero to one, with zero being most equal - fell to 0.452 last year, lower than 0.458 in 2018, and the lowest since 2001.


3 PH talks may calm jitters

Expected showdown talks at the leadership meeting of Malaysia's ruling Pakatan Harapan (PH) today may calm some jitters over the near-term stability of the government, but uncertainty over if and when Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim will replace Prime Minister Mahathir Mohamad is set to continue swirling. 


4 Backlash over new curbs

The British government's tighter immigration controls are facing backlash from business leaders, as they prevent low-skilled workers from entering the country. The new system is targeted at attracting "the brightest and the best from around the globe". 


5 Bloomberg good for Asia

Associate editor Ravi Velloor (below) says that a nomination for former New York mayor Michael Bloomberg will be good for Asia, because he knows Asia better than any candidate in the United States presidential field and he is not a unilateralist. 


6 Property tax rebate boost

Property tax rebates are an integral part of the $4 billion Stabilisation and Support Package, say analysts. The package is aimed at helping businesses and workers in sectors hit by the coronavirus outbreak ride out the downturn this year. 


7 Push for clean public spaces

Amid the increased emphasis on cleaning public spaces following the coronavirus outbreak, an existing grant that improves productivity in the environmental service sector has been enhanced and extended, Senior Minister of State for the Environment and Water Resources Amy Khor said yesterday. 


8 Fintech investments soar

The financial technology sector in Singapore saw investments more than double last year to US$861 million (S$1.2 billion). The number of deals closed also jumped by 52 per cent to 108 last year, from 71 in 2018. 


9 Yip back in the fast lane

Paralympic champion Yip Pin Xiu (above) is in much better form heading into the Tokyo Games in six months than she was a year ago. A switch in coach led to better timings and two golds at last September's world meet, and her rebound has also garnered her a nomination for The Straits Times Athlete of the Year award. 


10 Nic Tse closes cookie chain

Amid twin disruptions from the recent months of anti-government protests and the current coronavirus outbreak, singer Hins Cheung has had to shutter his cake shop in Hong Kong. Now, actor-singer Nicholas Tse's cookie business is crumbling too, with news of the closure of his flagship store and pop-up outlets. 


Key Budget points

A slew of Budget measures to deal with short-term challenges as well as long-term development were introduced by Deputy Prime Minister Heng Swee Keat on Tuesday. Here are 10 things to take note of. str.sg/blurb227


Health Check

Our hosts talk to Ms Alvernia Chua (centre), a senior dietitian at the National Healthcare Group Polyclinics, as she answers questions about a popular weight-loss approach called intermittent fasting. str.sg/blurb228

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on February 21, 2020, with the headline '10 must-reads for today'. Print Edition | Subscribe