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Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong noted that when Singapore does have to make a stand, it is important that people understand that Singapore's choices are on its own behalf. PHOTO: MCI

Singapore must keep faith in globalisation, make system work for its people: PM Lee

At a time when globalisation is under pressure around the world, Singapore has to continue to bet on countries cooperating closely with one another, Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong said on Wednesday.

It has to up its game, raise its capabilities and bring in new investments that will connect it to centres of vibrancy and prosperity worldwide, and enable it to make a contribution to this growth, he added.

"We can do things in Singapore, which are not so easy to be done, all together in one place. That means we have to upgrade our companies, our people, education, skills, and have the environment where we can welcome in very high-quality investments, operations, R&D centres, places where high-quality people want to live, work, want to be," he said.

"It's not just costs, it's also the whole environment - the safety, the security, the confidence, the opportunities, the vibrancy."


China quarantines virus-hit Wuhan, shuts down flights, public transport

The Chinese city at the centre of a widening respiratory-virus outbreak suspended outbound flights and rail service, as China ramps up efforts to contain an illness that's killed at least 17 people and infected hundreds.

The travel halt by the city of Wuhan was reported by state broadcaster CCTV.

The city also suspended travel by bus, subway and ferry. Citizens shouldn't leave the city without special reasons, the report said.


France's Macron loses cool with Israeli security men in church tussle

When French President Emmanuel Macron visited Jerusalem's Old City on Wednesday, he also walked in the footsteps of one of his predecessors, Jacques Chirac, by engaging in a heated argument with Israeli security.

The altercation flared when Israeli police and domestic security agents pushed past the French detail and were first to enter the Church of Saint Anne, which is French territory under international treaties.

"Everybody knows the rules. I don't like what you did in front of me," an animated Macron told the Israeli personnel, speaking in English, in the crush to enter the building.


Bezos tweets photo of Jamal Khashoggi memorial after Saudi hacking report

Jeff Bezos remembered slain Saudi journalist Jamal Khashoggi with a simple tweet, hours after a United Nations panel accused the Saudi crown prince of possible involvement in hacking Bezos' phone.

Bezos on Wednesday tweeted the hashtag #Jamal, along with a photo of himself at a memorial service for Khashoggi held in Istanbul in October.

Khashoggi, a Saudi dissident who was living in self-imposed exile in the US, was murdered in Istanbul in October 2018 by agents of the Saudi government.


Weinstein defence says sex consensual, women's claims a 'mirage' as trial starts

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Harvey Weinstein, far from the predator described by prosecutors in his rape trial on Wednesday, was just a man who had consensual sex, the defence said in its opening statement.

"What you're going to see, the evidence from these witnesses, is that that's not true, he wasn't this master manipulator," attorney Damon Cheronis told a jury of seven men and five women in a hushed lower Manhattan courtroom.

Cheronis said the defence would show through the women's own testimony that the case is a "mirage" and that their accounts are undercut by messages at least two of them sent to Weinstein that included expressions of "affection" for him.


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