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10 must-reads for today

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1 Cases surge again in US

The number of new coronavirus cases in the United States is surging once again after growth slowed in late summer. Cases are trending upwards in most states, many of which are setting weekly records for new cases. The pandemic is also shifting to the Midwest and more rural areas. 

2 Wage cuts okay to save jobs

Employers have been given the green light by the National Wages Council to implement temporary wage cuts if it means saving jobs. They should seek employees’ support before doing so, and make only the cuts necessary to minimise retrenchments, according to updated guidelines that will apply from Nov 1 to June 30 next year. 

3 Tax collection set to drop

Taxpayers contributed more to the Government’s coffers in the past financial year, but analysts caution that the pace could slow down on the back of the Covid-19 pandemic. The Inland Revenue Authority of Singapore collected $53.5 billion in taxes in the fiscal year 2019/20, 2.1 per cent more than a year earlier. 

4 China targets Aussie cotton

Industry officials said China has been discouraging its spinning mills from using Australian cotton, the latest product being targeted by Beijing as relations between the two countries continue to sour. Australia’s cotton exports to China are currently worth about A$1 billion (S$963 million) a year. 

5 Updating data security

It is time for changes to the data protection regime in Singapore. Law don Simon Chesterman says there are three questions worth keeping in mind as Parliament prepares to debate the new law. 

ST PHOTO: KELVIN CHNG

6 3 retailers stop sales ads

Those who have recently visited ABC Bargain Centre, ValuDollar or ABC Express outlets will have noticed that the seemingly permanent signs for sales are nowhere to be seen. Yesterday, the Competition and Consumer Commission of Singapore said the owners and operators of the three brands have voluntarily ceased the use of these advertisements from Sept 30. 

7 2 charged over voucher theft

A man and a woman linked to a series of thefts of Budget 2020 Grocery Vouchers from Housing Board letterboxes across Singapore were charged in court yesterday. Miqheul Wahyudean Abdullah, 24, was charged with three counts of theft, while Irwani Nur Amira Azami, 23, was charged with two counts of theft. 

8 Non-oil exports rise 5.9%

Exporters had another good month in September, but the slower pace has prompted analysts to warn that the road to recovery remains bumpy. Non-oil domestic exports rose 5.9 per cent over the same month last year, but it was markedly down on August’s 7.7 per cent expansion and missed the 11.5 per cent rise forecast by economists in a Bloomberg poll. 

9 Soh drops case against SA

The high-profile spat between marathoner Soh Rui Yong and Singapore Athletics (SA) is over after the two-time SEA Games champion agreed to withdraw his lawsuit against SA, which followed his non-selection for the 2019 SEA Games. The ceasefire is a boost for the new SA management team, who were elected on Sept 25. 

10 Advisories for Disney films

Classic Disney animated movies Peter Pan, The Aristocats and Dumbo have been given content advisory notices warning viewers that the films contain outdated or stereotyped depictions of people of colour. The advisories come in the form of a short graphic on Disney+ as some of the older films are selected for viewing. 


VIDEO

More grant and loan support to help firms

Companies looking to increase productivity, expand overseas or simply pivot and grow will soon be able to tap bigger grants and expanded loan schemes. str.sg/blurb637

PODCAST

Game Of Two Halves

Football Association of Singapore general secretary Yazeen Buhari talks about how the national football body worked towards a restart of the local professional league and what fans can expect once kick-off arrives. str.sg/blurb638