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US Air Force removes height requirement to attract more women pilots

US Air Force removes height requirement to attract more women pilots

WASHINGTON (NYTIMES) - The US Air Force has removed its minimum height requirement for prospective pilots in a move that it said would encourage a more diverse pool of applicants, particularly women.Previously, the Air Force had required officer applicants who wished to fly to be between 5-foot-4 and 6-foot-5 (162.6cm and 195.6cm), with a sitting height of 34 to 40 inches (86 to 102cm).Under the adjusted policy, which went into effect on May 13, applicants who are shorter than 5-foot-4 or taller than 6-foot-5 will no longer be required to submit a waiver.Although most height waivers were...

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21h ago
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Malaysia's health chief warns against discrimination of migrant workers amid coronavirus outbreak at detention centres

Malaysia's health chief warns against discrimination of migrant workers amid coronavirus outbreak at detention centres

KUALA LUMPUR (REUTERS, THE STAR/ASIA NEWS NETWORK) - New clusters of coronavirus infections have been detected at three detention centres for undocumented migrants in Malaysia in the past few days as the country battles to rein in the virus outbreak.This comes as Malaysia this month arrested more than 2,000 foreigners for not having permits that allow them to be in the country following raids in areas under lockdown. The centres they are detained in are often crowded, with dozens of migrants packed in a single cell, which makes social distancing impossible.Health ministry director-general...

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2d ago
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Australia's A$60 billion wage scheme gaffe prompts calls to extend economic life support

Australia's A$60 billion wage scheme gaffe prompts calls to extend economic life support

SYDNEY - Unions and small business groups have called on the Australian government to consider extending a scheme to protect the jobs of millions of workers during after an embarrassing disclosure by Treasurer Josh Frydenberg on Friday (May 22) that the government had made a A$60 billion "error" in tallying the cost of the scheme.The Government revealed that its flagship JobKeeper scheme, which gives employers affected by the downturn A$1,500 a fortnight per employee to keep staff employed, was being used to keep 3.5 million in work, rather than initial claims of 6.5 million.The higher...

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JONATHAN PEARLMAN
3d ago
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China 'open' to international effort to identify coronavirus origin: Chinese foreign minister

China 'open' to international effort to identify coronavirus origin: Chinese foreign minister

BEIJING (AFP, REUTERS, XINHUA) - China is "open" to international cooperation to but any investigation must be "free of political interference", China's top diplomat said on Sunday (May 24).Chinese State Councillor and Foreign Minister Wang Yi blasted what he called efforts by US politicians to and "stigmatise China".The United States and Australia have called in recent weeks for an investigation into the origins of the pandemic.Both US President Donald Trump and Secretary of State Mike Pompeo have accused China of a lack of transparency over the issue, and repeatedly pushed the theory that...

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2d ago
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North Korea discusses new policies for increasing ‘nuclear war deterrence’: KCNA

North Korea discusses new policies for increasing ‘nuclear war deterrence’: KCNA

SEOUL (AFP) - North Korea discussed new policies for increasing its "nuclear war deterrence" during a military meeting presided over by leader Kim Jong Un, state media reported Sunday (May 24).The meeting was Mr Kim’s first reported public appearance in more than three weeks and came after US media said Friday that the Trump administration had discussed holding the first US nuclear test in decades.Set forth at the meeting of the Central Military Commission were "new policies for further increasing the nuclear war deterrence of the country," the North’s official KCNA news agency said,...

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3d ago
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Luckin Coffee shares face wipeout in rush to sell after Nasdaq issues delisting notice

Luckin Coffee shares face wipeout in rush to sell after Nasdaq issues delisting notice

NEW YORK (BLOOMBERG) - Luckin Coffee Inc’s battered stock faces a renewed wave of selling on Wednesday (May 20), after Nasdaq said it planned to delist the onetime market darling that shocked investors with revelations of accounting fraud last month.The Chinese coffee chain’s shares, which have been suspended since tumbling more than 80 per cent in early April, will resume trading at 7am in New York. Luckin announced Nasdaq’s intention to delist the company in a statement on Tuesday, saying shares will remain on the exchange pending the outcome of an appeal hearing.The prospect of delisting...

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7d ago
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US military will no longer ban Covid-19 survivors from serving

US military will no longer ban Covid-19 survivors from serving

WASHINGTON (AFP) - The Pentagon on Thursday (May 21) announced that the US military would no longer bar people who had been hospitalised with Covid-19 from serving in its ranks.Defence Department personnel head Matthew Donovan said he had "rescinded" rules on the matter, which the military had put in place in early May out of concern over long-term respiratory damage from the disease."There was some interim and draft guidance... that I rescinded," Donovan told reporters during a press conference.He noted that the revision was just one part of a larger update and that health professionals...

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5d ago
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US family turns in US$1 million found on street

US family turns in US$1 million found on street

WASHINGTON (AFP) - A sheriff's department in the US state of Virginia praised a family who turned in two large mail bags they found in the middle of the road - filled with nearly US$1 million (S$1.4 million) in cash.Emily Schantz told local television station WTVR that her family was out driving on Saturday (May 16) when they ran over one of the bags.At first, the family thought they had hit a bunch of trash.Then they found another bag in a nearby ditch.It was only after they returned home that they realised they had nearly US$1 million in cash in the back of their pick-up truck, wrapped in...

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5d ago
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Trump blames China for 'mass worldwide killing'

Trump blames China for 'mass worldwide killing'

WASHINGTON (AFP) - US President Donald Trump on Wednesday (May 20) again lashed out at China over the coronavirus pandemic, blaming Beijing for "mass worldwide killing".His early morning tweet, which also referred to an unidentified "wacko in China", was the latest heated rhetoric from the White House, where Trump is making attacks on Beijing a centrepiece of his November re-election bid."It was the 'incompetence of China', and nothing else, that did this mass Worldwide killing," the president tweeted.The virus first appeared in the Chinese city of Wuhan last December and spread rapidly...

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6d ago
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China's new coronavirus outbreak shows signs the virus could be changing

China's new coronavirus outbreak shows signs the virus could be changing

BEIJING (BLOOMBERG) - Chinese doctors are seeing the coronavirus manifest differently among patients in its new cluster of cases in the north-east region compared to suggesting that the pathogen may be changing in unknown ways and complicating efforts to stamp it out.Patients found in the northern provinces of Jilin and Heilongjiang appear to carry the virus for a longer period of time and take longer to recover, as defined by a negative nucleic acid test, Dr Qiu Haibo, one of China's top critical care doctors, told state television on Tuesday (May 19).Cases in the north-east also appear to...

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7d ago
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Mother, 48, obtains diploma while fighting stage 4 cancer

Mother, 48, obtains diploma while fighting stage 4 cancer

Nia Sarah AzmySINGAPORE () - Even as she battled breast cancer and metastatic cancer that had spread to her spine and liver, Ms Evelyn Chua stayed focused and true to her pursuit of a diploma in business practice (business administration) from Temasek Polytechnic (TP).The 48-year-old is one of TP's Continuing Education and Training graduates this year.Ms Chua, who also has a diploma in business translation and interpretation skills from Nanyang Technological University's Confucius Institute, was first diagnosed with stage 2 breast cancer in 2015.Despite the initial shock, the mother of an...

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7d ago
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Coronavirus: It took a pandemic, but 7-Eleven in Japan is letting stores take a break

Coronavirus: It took a pandemic, but 7-Eleven in Japan is letting stores take a break

TOKYO (NYTIMES) - On April 14 in a residential neighbourhood of Kawasaki, Japan, Takehiro Shimada did the unthinkable. He turned off the lights and locked the doors of the 7-Eleven he has owned and operated for over 20 years.As recently as January, the decision would have seemed like a radical act of defiance against one of the country's most powerful and ubiquitous companies and its long-standing commitment to 24-hours-a-day, seven-days-a-week operations.But when Shimada, 54, closed his shop to wait out the coronavirus outbreak, he became the first of a growing number of 7-Eleven...

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7d ago
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NEA launches new $1.76 million fund to help organisations treat and recycle food waste

NEA launches new $1.76 million fund to help organisations treat and recycle food waste

SINGAPORE - The National Environment Agency (NEA) has committed $1.76 million to a new fund that will help alleviate the problem of food wastage in Singapore.The agency on Thursday (May 7) announced the Food Waste Fund, which will cover the cost of implementing food waste treatment solutions for businesses.The fund will be open for applications to organisations such as companies, non-profit organisations and managing bodies like management corporation strata titles (MCST)  from May 18 to Feb 28, 2021.NEA said that the fund is in line with "efforts to secure Singapore's climate resilient...

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JEAN IAU
May 7
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Sars antibodies can block Covid-19 infection: Study

Sars antibodies can block Covid-19 infection: Study

PARIS (AFP) - An antibody from a patient who recovered from Sars has been shown to block Covid-19 infection in a laboratory setting, researchers said on Monday (May 18) in another potential breakthrough in the search for coronavirus treatment.Scientists based in Switzerland and the United States previously isolated the antibodies from the patient in 2003, following the Sars outbreak that killed 774 people.They experimented with 25 different types of antibodies - which target specific protein spikes on viruses - to see if they could prevent cells becoming infected with Covid-19.Both Sars and...

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May 18
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Americans are giving Made-in-China the cold shoulder

Americans are giving Made-in-China the cold shoulder

WASHINGTON (BLOOMBERG) - It's not quite a new Cold War yet. Just the cold shoulder.Some 40 per cent of Americans said they won't buy products from China, according to a survey of 1,012 adults conducted May 12-14 by Washington-based FTI Consulting, a business advisory firm.That compares with 22 per cent who say they won't buy from India, 17 per cent who refuse to purchase from Mexico and 12 per cent who boycott goods from Europe.The poll also found: 55 per cent don't think China can be trusted to follow through on its trade-deal commitments signed in January to buy more US products, 78 per...

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May 17
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Singapore scientists part of project to map human brain by 2024

Singapore scientists part of project to map human brain by 2024

More than 1,000 scientists in the Asia-Pacific region are harnessing particle accelerators to look deep into the human brain.The ambitious effort has far-reaching implications, including unlocking more effective treatments for neurodegenerative conditions such as Alzheimer's disease.Using the extremely powerful X-rays generated by the massive machines, the scientists aim to produce a first-of-its-kind ultra-high resolution 3D comprehensive map of the human brain at unprecedented speed.Initiated by scientists from the National University of Singapore (NUS), the groundbreaking brain map...

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JOYCE TEO
Jan 17
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EU, Britain denounce Myanmar violence at UN Security Council

EU, Britain denounce Myanmar violence at UN Security Council

UNITED NATIONS (AFP) - UN Security Council European member states and Britain on Thursday (May 14) denounced violence in Myanmar and expressed concern over in the country, in a document China refused to endorse, diplomatic sources said.Britain, which initiated the session, said it was concerned about "the heavy toll" an escalation of violence between thewas "taking on civilians at the time of a global Covid-19 crisis."The country's north-west has been embroiled in between the military and Arakan Army rebels demanding more autonomy for the region's ethnic Rakhine Buddhists."The conflict has...

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May 15
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South Korean coronavirus test maker Osang ready to ship 100 million kits to US

South Korean coronavirus test maker Osang ready to ship 100 million kits to US

SEOUL (REUTERS) - Osang Healthcare Co, the first South Korean maker of coronavirus test kits to win preliminary approval from the US Food & Drug Administration, is ready to ship kits that can test 100 million people in the United States, an executive said on Friday (May 15).Fast-track approval, followed by and intensive contact tracing, is credited with helping South Korea slow the disease and avoid strict lockdowns, while the United States has been criticised for a slow response.Osang is in talks with US distributors to source its test kits to different states, said the executive, Lee...

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May 15
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Proposed changes to Singapore's data protection law seek stiffer penalties for info leaks

Proposed changes to Singapore's data protection law seek stiffer penalties for info leaks

SINGAPORE - In case of a data breach, organisations may soon be slapped with fines of up to 10 per cent of their annual gross turnover, or $1 million, whichever is higher, if proposed amendments to go through.Currently, companies are liable for a fine of only up to $1 million, but the authorities are seeking stronger deterrents for data breaches.The stricter penalty will be aligned with the law in other jurisdictions, such as the European Union, said the Ministry of Communications and Information (MCI) and privacy watchdog Personal Data Protection Commission (PDPC) in their fourth public...

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YIP WAI YEE
May 14
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Coronavirus: Trump contradicts nurse who reports shortages of protective gear

Coronavirus: Trump contradicts nurse who reports shortages of protective gear

WASHINGTON (BLOOMBERG) - President Donald Trump contradicted a nurse who said during a meeting with him at the White House on Wednesday (May 6) that some parts of the country are still experiencing shortages of protective medical gear, insisting the US supply is "tremendous."The exchange happened during an Oval Office event to recognise National Nurses Day.A reporter asked Luke Adams, whom the White House identified as a "volunteer nurse" from New York state, whether he had sufficient supplies of personal protective equipment, or PPE. He said yes.But another participant, Sophia Thomas,...

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May 6
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Phoenix Commodities goes into liquidation

Phoenix Commodities goes into liquidation

DUBAI • Phoenix Commodities, a trader of agricultural products with offices in Dubai and Singapore, is being liquidated after amassing more than US$400 million (S$567 million) in potential trading losses, according a document prepared by the liquidators seen by Reuters.The business founded 20 years ago grew into a company generating US$3 billion in revenue last year trading grain, coal, metals and other products, but it unravelled when the coronavirus outbreak upset financial markets.Phoenix blamed the liabilities on currency volatility caused by the onset of the coronavirus, affecting...

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May 11
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Taiwanese prefer US over mainland China by nearly 2 to 1: Pew survey

Taiwanese prefer US over mainland China by nearly 2 to 1: Pew survey

WASHINGTON - Taiwanese rated the United States more favourably than mainland China by a nearly two-to-one margin, according to a survey done late last year and released on Tuesday (May 12)."Overall, just 35 per cent of adults give positive marks to mainland China, while about six in 10 hold unfavourable views," said the report by the Pew Research Centre."There is widespread support for increased economic and political ties with Washington; enthusiasm for similar relations with mainland China is much more muted," the report said.Economic ties are a different matter. "Still, even as people...

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NIRMAL GHOSH
May 12
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Logitech sales rise nearly 14% as work from home boosts demand

Logitech sales rise nearly 14% as work from home boosts demand

BENGALURU (REUTERS) - Logitech International reported a 13.6 per cent rise in fourth-quarter sales on Tuesday (May 12) as more people used its products while working from home due to the coronavirus crisis.Logitech, which makes webcams, keyboards, mouses as well as video conferencing devices and software, said its fourth-quarter sales rose to US$709.2 million (S$1 billion), compared with US$624.3 million a year ago.Non-GAAP operating income rose 23.3 per cent to US$79 million in the quarter that ended in March.For the full year, the company reported a rise of 6.7 per cent in sales, meeting...

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May 12
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Phoenix Commodities in liquidation with $565m in trading losses, blamed on coronavirus

Phoenix Commodities in liquidation with $565m in trading losses, blamed on coronavirus

DUBAI (REUTERS) - Phoenix Commodities Pvt Ltd, a trader of agricultural products with offices in Dubai and Singapore, is being liquidated after amassing more than US$400 million (S$565 million) in potential trading losses, according a document prepared by the liquidators seen by Reuters.The business, founded 20 years ago, grew into a company generating US$3 billion in revenue in 2019 trading grain, coal, metals and other products but it unravelled when the coronavirus outbreak upset financial markets.Phoenix blamed the liabilities on currency volatility caused by the onset of the...

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May 11
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Amazon deforestation surges, fuelling fears of more wildfires

Amazon deforestation surges, fuelling fears of more wildfires

RIO DE JANEIRO • It has not had much attention, with the world focused on the coronavirus, but deforestation has surged in the Amazon rainforest this year, raising fears of a repeat of last year's record-breaking devastation - or worse.Deforestation in the Brazilian Amazon hit a new high in the first four months of the year, according to data released on Friday by Brazil's National Space Research Institute, which uses satellite images to track the destruction.A total of 1,202 sq km of forest - an area more than 20 times the size of Manhattan - was wiped out in the Brazilian Amazon from...

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May 9
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