Angela Merkel to tap rumoured successor for top party roleBERLIN (AFP) - The popular female premier of tiny Saarland state is set to take over as secretary general of Angela Merkel's conservative party, sources said on Monday (Feb 19), fuelling speculation the chancellor is lining up her potential successor
Bangladesh says to meet with Myanmar on Rohingya trapped at borderRepresentatives from Bangladesh and Myanmar will meet on Tuesday to discuss the repatriation to Myanmar of more than 6,500 Rohingya Muslims trapped on a strip of unclaimed land between the two countries, Bangladeshi officials said. "It is about taking them back to Myanmar," Relief and Refugee Repatriation Commissioner Mohammad Abul Kalam, told Reuters on Monday.
South African budget to set out "tough" measures to repair post-Zuma economySouth Africa's finance ministry is set to spell out "tough decisions" in its 2018 budget on Wednesday to plug a revenue gap and narrow the deficit, providing an early look at how new President Cyril Ramaphosa plans to repair the ailing economy. Africa's most industrialised economy, hurt by nine years of mismanagement under the scandal-plagued Jacob Zuma, faces a 50.8 billion rand ($4.36 billion) revenue gap in 2017/18 fiscal year. Tax hikes, including higher value added tax (VAT), could help plug the shortfall, analysts say.
Afghan political crisis deepens as second governor refuses to resignA governor in northern Afghanistan has become the second in the region to defy an order by President Ashraf Ghani to step down, deepening a political crisis facing the US-backed government in Kabul. Abdul Karim Khadam, the governor of northern Samangan province, was sacked along with four other provincial governors last week. Noor's refusal to step down has turned the so-called "King of the North" into one of Afghanistan's most infamous politicians and a potential contender in presidential elections due in 2019, while underscoring the weakness of Ghani's government.
Budget 2018: 10% increase in tobacco excise duty from Feb 19SINGAPORE: The Government will impose a 10 per cent increase in tobacco excise duty in a bid to discourage consumption, Finance Minister Heng Swee Keat said during his Budget speech on Monday (Feb 19).
Mr Heng said the higher excise duty will be implemented across all tobacco products with effect ...
Budget 2018: Ten per cent increase in tobacco excise duty from todaySINGAPORE: The Government will impose a 10 per cent increase in tobacco excise duty in a bid to discourage consumption, Finance Minister Heng Swee Keat said during his Budget speech on Monday (Feb 19). Mr Heng said the higher excise duty will be implemented across all tobacco products with effect fr...
Medals not the only valuable Olympic memoriesInside the Pyeongchang venues the world's finest winter sports athletes battle it out for medals, but outside the atmosphere is friendlier as athletes and collectors gather to trade the Olympic pins that are made as mementos of each Games.
Iraqi oil minister to visit Turkey - statementIraqi Oil Minister Jabbar al-Luaibi will visit Turkey at the end of the week at the invitation of his Turkish counterpart to discuss the resumption of oil exports through Turkey's Ceyhan port, the Iraqi oil ministry said in a statement on Monday.
Olympics: Togo trailblazer Petitjean says Africa warming to winter sportsPYEONGCHANG, South Korea: Togo's trailblazing cross-country skier Mathilde-Amivi Petitjean is glad she is no longer the "new kid on the block" at the Winter Olympics and says the record number of African countries competing in Pyeongchang proves the continent is warming to sports on snow and ice ...
Too early to comment on doping scandal: KremlinMOSCOW: Dmitry Peskov, a spokesman for Russian President Vladimir Putin, said on Monday (Feb 19) it was too early to comment on an investigation into suspected doping at the winter Olympics by a Russian sportsman.
Alexander Krushelnitsky, a bronze-medallist along with his wife in mixed-doubles ...
Eyes wide shut: The S$2.3 billion Indian bank fraud that went unnoticedNEW DELHI/MUMBAI — The Punjab National Bank branch in south Mumbai sits just down the road from both the Bombay Stock Exchange and the Reserve Bank of India, at a physical centre of one of the world's fastest growing major economies. The branch, clad in a stately colonial edifice, is
Langkawi cable car malfunction: Unforgettable experience for stranded victimsALOR STAR: It was an experience to remember for the more than 1,000 people who were stranded on Gunung Machinchang in Langkawi yesterday evening. One of the victims, Yong Sook Fun, 26, from Kuala Lumpur, said he would not easily forget the experience of being stuck at the first station for eight hours until about 10pm last night. Despite the malfunction yesterday, visitors were seen lining up at the Langkawi SkyCab.
Marines drink cobra blood in US-Thai war drillsCHON BURI, Thailand: US and Thai marines slurped snake blood and ate scorpions in a jungle survival programme on Monday (Feb 19) as part of the two nations' annual Cobra Gold war games.
Now in its 37th year, Cobra Gold is one of the largest military exercises in Asia, bringing thousands of troops ...
Munich Airport hires humanoid robot to help flyersOver the next few weeks, flyers traveling through Munich Airport will be greeted by a humanoid robot named Josie Pepper, who will be able to field questions about flight operations, and the nearest restaurant or loo.
TODAY's evening brief: Budget 2018Good evening! Finance Minister Heng Swee Keat on Monday (Feb 19) delivered a Budget Statement aimed at re-positioning Singapore for the future. He also announced details of the impending GST hike, a one-off bonus for all Singaporean adults above 21, as well as Singapore
British police arrest woman over 'move your van' note on ambulanceLONDON: A woman who left an angry note on an ambulance responding to an emergency call telling the paramedics to "move your van" has been arrested, British police said on Monday (Feb 19).
The handwritten message was left on the vehicle which was left in a parking space outside a home in Stoke-on ...
Togo trailblazer Petitjean says Africa warming to winter sportsPYEONGCHANG, South Korea: Togo's trailblazing cross-country skier Mathilde-Amivi Petitjean is glad she is no longer the "new kid on the block" at the Winter Olympics and says the record number of African countries competing in Pyeongchang proves the continent is warming to sports on snow and ice ...
France urges UN's top court to dump E. Guinea caseFrance on Monday urged the UN's top court to throw out a case brought against it in a bitter diplomatic row with oil-rich Equatorial Guinea over French accusations of top-level corruption. "France has not accepted the jurisdiction of this court under any title whatsoever to entertain those facts on which Equatorial Guinea seeks the court to rule," the French representative Francois Alabrune told the International Court of Justice (ICJ). Malabo has accused Paris of violating the diplomatic immunity of its vice president, Teodorin Obiang, after he was prosecuted by a French court on charges of embezzling 150 million euros ($180 million) of public funds to finance his jet-set lifestyle.
Marines drink cobra blood in US-Thai war drillsUS and Thai marines slurped snake blood and ate scorpions in a jungle survival programme on Monday as part of the two nations' annual Cobra Gold war games. Now in its 37th year, Cobra Gold is one of the largest military exercises in Asia, bringing thousands of troops from the United States, Thailand and other countries for 10 days of field training on Thai shores. On Monday, several dozen US and Thai marines took park in an annual jungle survival drill on a Thai navy base in Chonburi province, where troops took turns drinking blood from a severed cobra before grilling and eating the snakes.
Billionaire Richard Branson unveils hyperloop plans for IndiaMUMBAI (BLOOMBERG) - British tycoon Richard Branson-backed Virgin Hyperloop One is proposing to build a super-fast transportation system in India that would connect the city of Pune with the planned new airport in Mumbai in 25 minutes, saving about three hours
'No indications' Russia government meddled in US election: KremlinMOSCOW: The Kremlin said on Monday (Feb 19) that US charges against 13 Russians and three Russian companies accused of meddling in the 2016 US presidential election campaign did not contain any proof that the Russian state had been involved in such activity.
Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov told ...
Higher Buyer’s Stamp Duty for residential properties valued above S$1mSINGAPORE – Buyers of residential properties valued at more than S$1 million acquired on or after tomorrow (Feb 20) will have to pay higher stamp duties. The Buyer's Stamp Duty rate is computed on the purchase price or the property's market value, whichever is higher. A new 4 per cent
Developers turning more cautious when replenishing landbanks, says DBSSINGAPORE (Feb 19): DBS says developers are turning more choosy in adding to their Singapore landbank. Property sales were off to a good start in January as total transactions — primary and secondary markets — doubled compared to a year ago, says lead analyst Derek Tan in a Monday report. A tota...
Kremlin says charges over US election tampering prove nothingThe Kremlin said on Monday that U.S. charges against 13 Russians and three Russian companies accused of meddling in the 2016 U.S. presidential election campaign did not contain any proof that the Russian state had been involved in such activity.
Three Egyptian soldiers killed in Sinai campaignEgypt said Monday three of its soldiers had been killed in the Sinai Peninsula during a wide-ranging operation against the local branch of the Islamic State group. It was the first military death toll announced since the army started its campaign on February 9. It says it has killed about 60 jihadists and arrested hundreds of suspects since the operation began.
Islamic State kills 12 Iraqi militiamen near KirkukKIRKUK, Iraq: Islamic State militants ambushed a convoy of government-backed militia fighters near the northern Iraqi city of Kirkuk late on Sunday, killing at least 12 of them, police and militia commanders said on Monday.
At least 10 other fighters from the Popular Mobilisation Forces (PMF) are ...
Alibaba, Tencent rally troops amid US$10b retail battleSHANGHAI: China's tech giants Alibaba Group Holding Ltd and Tencent Holdings Ltd, worth a combined US$1 trillion, are on a retail investment binge, forcing merchants to choose sides amid a battle for shoppers' digital wallets.
Since the start of last year, the two companies have between them spent ...
Singapore Budget 2018: GST to rise to 9 per cent sometime in 2021-2025The Goods and Services Tax (GST) will be raised to 9 per cent from 7 per cent sometime from 2021 to 2025, Finance Minister Heng Swee Keat announced on Monday (19 February). The exact timing of the GST increase will depend on Singapore’s economy, expenditure growth and existing taxes, Heng said in...
Schools cannot be used as platforms for partisan politics: MOESINGAPORE: Schools should be free of partisan politics and they do not invite Members of Parliament (MP) or political parties to speak at school events.
That was the response given by Senior Minister of State for Education Janil Puthucheary in his reply to a parliamentary question by Non ...
Photos from SMRT's postIt feels like the festive holiday started earlier last week with our Management from #SMRT Buses diving into the festive mood and showering greetings on our SMRT staff and bus captains at the bus interchanges and depots. Our staff were all smiles and hyped up to welcome the Lunar New Year.
The festivities in our network did not simmer down as we usher in the Year of Dog! Joining PM Lee Hsien Loong on the first day of Lunar New Year, SMRT Chairman Seah Moon Ming, SMRT CEO Desmond Kuek and special guests visited our staff at Tuas Depot to thank them for their hard work. They included Second Minister for Transport Mr Ng Chee Meng 黄志明, Secretary-General of NTUC Mr Chan Chun Sing, Executive Secretary of NTWU Mr Melvin Yong 杨益财 and President of NTWU Mr Rosmani Bin Juraini. That morning, SMRT CEO Desmond Kuek also popped by our Train and Bus Operations Control Centres, depots and bus interchanges to rally support for our staff who are working hard to keep the system up and runnin
Thai ex-PM Thaksin calls for party unity ahead of promised electionBANGKOK: Fugitive former Thai Prime Minister Thaksin Shinawatra met lawmakers from his Puea Thai Party in Hong Kong where he called for party unity ahead of an approaching general election, party members said on Monday (Feb 19).
Many are watching to see how Puea Thai Party performs in a vote which ...
Olympics - Sleepless nights for Kramer after 10km failurePYEONGCHANG, South Korea: Dutch speed skater Sven Kramer is still having sleepless nights over his failure in the Olympic 10,000 metres race but is trying to take consolation from his record-breaking 5,000 performance.
The 31-year-old became the first male speed skater to get a third consecutive ...
Motor racing - Red Bull launch new F1 car with temporary liveryLONDON: Red Bull became the first of Formula One's top three teams to lift the covers off their new-look car on Monday, a week before pre-season testing starts in Spain, but kept some secrets under wraps.
The four times world champions, third overall last year after winning three of the 20 races ...
Fatal abuse of Indo maid: Remand on 60-year-old woman extendedPENANG — The remand on a 60-year-old woman, who was detained in connection with the fatal abuse of an Indonesian maid here, has been extended by seven days. Seberang Perai Tengah district police chief Assistant Commissioner Nik Ros Azhan Nik Abdul Hamid said the extension order was ap
Weekend beauty looks from the London catwalksLondon Fashion Week got into its stride over the weekend, with standout Autumn/Winter 2018 catwalk beauty looks served up by Gareth Pugh, Matty Bovan and Preen by Thornton Bregazzi. It was all about the glitter at Preen by Thornton Bregazzi, where the models had their hairlines, foreheads and eyelids sprinkled with a dusting of iridescent gold, turquoise and red shimmer. The dreamy approach was paired with scrubbed-clean complexions and tousled waves that were tucked into collars for a celestial aesthetic.
Singapore to impose carbon tax from 2019Singapore said Monday it would impose a carbon tax from next year to cut its greenhouse gas emissions and make companies more competitive as global agreements on climate change take effect. Finance Minister Heng Swee Keat said the tax would be levied on all facilities producing 25,000 tonnes or more of greenhouse gas emissions a year. The tax, to be applied to all sectors, will be Sg$5.0 ($3.8) per tonne of greenhouse gas emissions from 2019 to 2023, after which the levy will be reviewed and possibly raised to between Sg$10 and Sg$15 per tonne by 2030.
Florida students to march on Washington in call for gun reformWASHINGTON: Students who survived a mass shooting at their Florida school on Sunday (Feb 18) announced plans to march on Washington in a bid to "shame" politicians into reforming laws that make firearms readily available.
The March for Our Lives will take place on Mar 24, with sister rallies ...
'Love is love': Televised gay kiss lights up OlympicsPYEONGCHANG, South Korea: Gay freestyle skier Gus Kenworthy said it was a moment that he "never dreamed" possible as a child after he was filmed kissing his partner on live television at the Olympics.
It has been hailed by some as a landmark moment in Games history and the footage went viral on ...
Fire razes makeshift dormitory of Dengkil tahfiz school [NSTTV]DENGKIL: A group-of students’ act of performing ‘solat jemaah’ (congregational prayer) for Zohor ended up saving them from a fire, which razed the Tahfiz Al Ridzuan Madrasah community hall in Kampung Dato’ Ahmad Razali today. The 17 students, along with local residents, were praying at the As-Syarif Mosque, which is nestled in the same location as the community hall and a dormitory building.
Fire razes makeshift dormitory of Dengkil tahfiz schoolDENGKIL: A group-of students’ act of performing ‘solat jemaah’ (congregational prayer) for Zohor ended up saving them from a fire, which razed the Tahfiz Al Ridzuan Madrasah community hall in Kampung Dato’ Ahmad Razali today. The 17 students, along with local residents, were praying at the As-Syarif Mosque, which is nestled in the same location as the community hall and a dormitory building.
Merkel to tap rumoured successor for top party roleThe popular female premier of tiny Saarland state is set to take over as secretary general of Angela Merkel's conservative party, sources said Monday, fuelling speculation the chancellor is lining up her potential successor.
GST will rise by 2%: Finance Minister confirms at Budget 2018Finance Minister Heng Swee Keat announced that the Goods and Services Tax will increase by 2 per cent, as he delivered Budget 2018, this afternoon. This tax hike will raise the GST from 7 per cent to 9 per cent and will be implemented sometime between 2021 and 2025, most likely after the next Genera...
Pro-regime forces to enter Syria's Afrin 'within hours': state mediaPro-government fighters will enter Syria's Afrin "within hours" to take a stand against a Turkish-led offensive on the enclave, state media reported on Monday. AFP correspondents in the area and the Kurdish forces holding Afrin could not immediately confirm any imminent deployment. "Popular forces will arrive in Afrin within a few hours to support its people's stand against the Turkish regime's attack on the area and its people," state news agency SANA said, citing its correspondent in Aleppo.
Malawi cholera cases pass 500, eight people deadBLANTYRE: Cholera cases in Malawi have tripled and four more people have died, the Ministry of Health said on Monday, a month after the spread of the disease from Zambia was thought to have been contained.
Ministry of Health spokesman Joshua Malango said the number of cases had increased to 527 ...
15 passengers hurt as bus jumps divider, ends in ditchMERSING: A total of 15 passengers were injured when a bus driver lost control of the vehicle, went over the divider and ended up in a ditch at Km17 of the Nitar Road – Mersing near the Felda Farm in Nitar at 12.35pm last night. The accident occurred when the bus driver, 59, was en route from Melaka to Mersing with 32 passengers, including 10 students from Johor Mersing Polytechnic (PMJ), were on their way to their respective hostels after Chinese New Year celebrations. Others injured received treatment at Felda’s Health Clinic Nitar 1 and at Mersing Hospital.
7:45 PM Is left hand give right hand and then you give back the Govt. There is no hongbao really, you have paid a lot more in GST, they give you the few hundreds for you to song only, later you give back.
7:45 PM Eddy Edward, I agree. A stiff sentence will deter drivers to look at this issue with triviality.
A few years jail and permanent driving ban will change behaviour.
7:45 PM We are opening up an avenue for cases like this.... Stay tuned.
7:45 PM Why not consider construction tax for cross boarder infrastructures. Why are we subsidising businesses and wealthy people for using the facilities
7:45 PM If this is not a criminal charge, I hope the Chinese boy's parents sue the pants off the two bullying boys and their parents.
The only way to teach "those people" is to hit them where it hurts the most - their pockets.
7:45 PM This cut-off time initiative seems to have caused what it was supposed to prevent in the first place 🙄
7:45 PM Without those older generation building this nation up, I don’t think Singapore will be where it is. Have some respect man
7:41 PM Star Trek Msian Yeo just declared few days back that she is from Langkawi....but without the cable cars.....lol
7:41 PM Since when zebra crossings are meant for cyclists? Zebra crossings are meant for pedestrians! Cyclists have to dismount and push the bicycle across! Just by raising his hand, all cars must give way to him? Who is he,anyway! He deserved it!
7:41 PM Beng Huat Low
In case you haven’t been following the news, all of Singapore’s MRT and public bus infrastructure just transitioned to a concession-based model where the government owns and pays for the infrastructure. This means that all MRT and LRT trains, all public buses, the tracks, viaducts, and tunnels MRT and LRT trains run on, the stations buses and trains call at, etc. are now all paid for and owned by the government - private companies are now solely responsible for the operation and maintenance of the services. If you noticed, LTA just announced a few days ago that SBS Transit’s North-East MRT Line, and their Sengkang and Punggol LRT Lines, had just been transferred to the New Rail Financing Framework, which is basically LTA’s fancy name for the concession model for MRT and LRT lines. SMRT’s lines - North-South, East-West, Circle and Bukit Panjang - had already transitioned to this model some time ago, while the Downtown and upcoming Thomson-East Coast Line has been under this model since the beginning. For the record, SBS Transit runs Downtown Line while SMRT will be running Thomson-East Coast.
Besides, tax revenue is what the government needs to get new MRT lines or extensions started - neither SBS Transit or SMRT pays a single cent for their construction. It is only well into the construction of new MRT lines that LTA calls for a tender for private companies to operate these lines. For extensions, obviously LTA will put it under whoever is already operating the line that the extension is connected to, but otherwise the operators pay nothing - at least not directly - for the construction of these extensions.
And for buses, the whole Bus Contracting Model is basically the name for the concession model for buses here. Again, the government now owns and pays for all new buses, as well as any infrastructure to service them, such as depots, interchanges, and bus stops. For existing buses bought by the private companies themselves, ownership of them were all transferred to the government not too long ago through a lease deal. All public bus services - not just those belonging to the three packages that were tendered out - has also been transitioned to this concession model too - the only difference between those that were tendered out and those that weren’t was that those routes were granted to the existing operators through negotiations, for a set amount of time and set fee. When the time is up these bus routes will also be tendered out just like those belonging to the Bulim, Loyang, and Seletar bus packages.
I do agree that hospital bills could be subsidised further. Healthcare costs in many other developed countries are often cheaper than what we have here; in some places people pay essentially nothing for many essential health services. But, again, the subsidies for all of these have to come from somewhere; countries with completely free healthcare often have much higher tax rates than Singapore too. Also, factor in the fact that Singapore is a rapidly ageing society, and with that it means more and more Singaporeans are going to suffer from chronic diseases that require lifelong care. My own dad suffered a mild stroke a few years ago and now has to take medication to control his risk of a repeat stroke, as well as his heart condition that was also diagnosed at the same time. He’s in his 60’s this year, and in the coming years more and more Singaporeans will reach his age and start developing health problems of their own. Healthcare costs aren’t cheap too - medication, health equipment, training, infrastructure, doctors and nurses, all of it doesn’t come cheap, and that’s not mentioning the cost of keeping up with the latest advances in medical technology (which translates to better medication, better therapies, less invasive surgeries, and more holistic healthcare overall). All of these are ongoing costs, and given our situation, they are not going to get cheaper over time. The money for all of it will again have to come from somewhere.
7:40 PM Last time still had 10 sticks pack selling in Sg,then THEY say ban all the small packs cuz it will discourage ppl from smoking.
Now everybody got have to buy the bigger pack which has 20 sticks.so indirectly u get ppl to smoke more...
Then now slowly slowly increase the taxes!!!
Very good marketing skills lah.
7:40 PM Joseph Tan. Well if the school children don’t think and just dash across, the Court may not hold the driver entirely responsible or at all.
7:40 PM So unfair!! Why penalize Singaporeans who own multiple properties?!! We contributed to the growth of the country too!
7:40 PM Vibrant ageing society? Send them to Malaysia, let them vibrate there. Sg is a small country no one wants to pay from their pockets so that others can "vibrate"...
7:40 PM Why do people who earning more than 100K still need bonus??? Just take that $100 that’s for them and give it to the poorer! No need to try and please everyone with grand gestures just genuinely help those in need can?
7:39 PM Casey Li you should know the “breed” over at Changi village. 😂
7:39 PM In Singapore if you're a cyclist, you need to dismount the bicycle and cross. The driver is not 100% to be blamed. William Anthony
7:39 PM Guo Xiongwei I don’t think middle class can afford residenial property above $1m.
If you could afford it and choose to buy it, you probably don’t need that $100.
7:39 PM Someone lost it in investments... I guess....
7:38 PM If we had growing reserves why the need to raise tax?
7:38 PM Only Ong Teng Cheong dare to asked how much reserves we have .. this current 1 , only yes man ..
7:38 PM fucking useless pap gov. raise gst without consulting the people first. to hell those who vote for pap.
7:38 PM Keep the money lah. In the end also Govt take back. Lol.
7:38 PM Don’t be clever to suggest, there are already an over supply of ministries in the cabinet. Yet the ministries are not empty shelves, they are all filled up to the brims with all kinds of cronies, supposedly working in there.
7:38 PM All u Singapoorean suckers... FT are gonna over take your nation 👍🏻
7:37 PM Only Ong Teng Cheong dare to asked how much reserves we have .. this current 1 , only yes man ..
7:37 PM Shawn Lim omg baobei I will remember. This is the right way to protect ourselves.
7:37 PM Wah, only the aged get sick meh? Only the aged get disabled meh? Got think one or not?
7:37 PM 100-300... For all citizens small change for them.. Later gao gao take back your money, increase erp, increase utilities increase here n there... Then chut pattern, come election all become mouse to citizens. Whats new?
7:36 PM When we talk about tax increase, everyone chastise the government. But then it is GST and carbon tax, and there is the bonus. And we talk about crumbs. If there is anyone in the opposition, or people who tc like me or those on non mainstream websites, or those dropouts who became tuition teacher, hey raise up your hand and forward the proposal for everyone to see.
7:36 PM Just wondering... Will this news appear in other countries newspaper
7:36 PM Just wondering... Will this news appear in other countries newspaper