Singapore to ease Covid measures; drops outdoor mask mandate
Office workers walk out for lunch break at Raffles Place financial business district in Singapore on January 4, 2022. SINGAPORE — Singapore will ease Covid restrictions including outdoor mask mandates from March 29, Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong announced in an address on Thursday. The peak of the omicron wave in Singapore appears to have passed. As of Tuesday, 92% of the population has received two shots under the national vaccination program, while 71% have received boosters. Around 0.3% required oxygen supplementation over the last 28 days, and 0.04% were in the intensive care unit.cnbc.com
Harris rebukes China in speech on Indo-Pacific vision
U.S. Vice President Kamala Harris has delivered a sharp rebuke to China for its incursions in the South China Sea, warning its actions there amount to “coercion” and “intimidation” and affirming that the U.S. will support its allies in the region against Beijing’s advances.
U.S. sends air support to Afghanistan as Taliban seek order outside airport
At least seven people have died outside Kabul airport, including a toddler, as people remain desperate to escape the country. The U.S. is getting commercial airlines to help in the evacuation effort. Roxana Saberi reports.news.yahoo.com
US VP Harris: Focus must stay on Afghan evacuation
Vice President Kamala Harris asserted Monday that the U.S. must maintain its focus on evacuating Americans and vulnerable Afghans and shouldn’t get distracted by questions over what went wrong in the chaotic U.S. exit from Afghanistan. Speaking at a news conference in Singapore, Harris repeatedly declined to engage when asked what she felt should have been done differently in the withdrawal. Harris took questions alongside Singapore Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong after the two met for about two hours to discuss issues ranging from the COVID-19 response to cybersecurity and supply chain cooperation.news.yahoo.com
The Latest: 2 Chinese cities urge people to stay at home
Laura Kelly said Thursday that inmates will be vaccinated after health care workers and residents of long-term care facilities. The governor warned Friday that initially, the supply of vaccines available to people other than health care workers and nursing home patients will be very limited. The announcement came as many local officials argued it was time to distribute the vaccine beyond health care workers. The governor’s plan came as the state’s new COVID-19 cases continue to rise and ICU beds are nearly full. Shots also are still being given to health care workers, first responders and staff and residents at nursing homes and other long-term care facilities.
Asia Today: China city offers cash for tip on test evaders
A city in northern China is offering rewards of 500 yuan ($77) for anyone who reports on a resident who has not taken a coronavirus test. (AP Photo/Mark Schiefelbein)BRISBANE – A city in northern China is offering rewards of 500 yuan ($77) for anyone who reports on a resident who has not taken a recent coronavirus test. China on Friday reported 53 new cases, including 33 in Hebei. Quarantine workers would be tested for the virus daily. Authorities in Brisbane are locking Australia’s third-most populous city down for three days beginning Friday evening to contain the spread.
Singapore polls open; governing party set to extend power
Wearing masks and plastic gloves, Singaporeans began voting Friday in a general election that is expected to return Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong's long-governing party to power. The health crisis and concerns over an economic recession are a bonanza for Lee's People's Action Party, with voters likely to opt for stability. The younger Lee joined an opposition party last month but is not running in the election. The prime minister has said the polls are about securing the country's future, not his family feud. Polls will be open 12 hours and results are expected to begin arriving late Friday,___Ng reported from Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia.
Singapore governing party set to extend power in elections
Singapore Prime Minister and Secretary-General of the People's Action Party Lee Hsien Loong, second left, wears a face mask while talking to food vendors at a local market at Yio Chu Kang while on the campaign trail in Singapore July 3, 2020. (AP Photo/Ee Ming Toh)Singaporeans vote Friday in Southeast Asias first election since the coronavirus pandemic began, with the health crisis and a grim economy expected to bolster Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loongs party and extend its unbroken rule. Lee Hsien Loong is the country's third prime minister and has led the government since 2004. Singapore's elections follow polls in Mongolia last month and in South Korea in April, when governing parties in both countries scored resounding victories. Only ownself check ownself. This is dangerous for the future of Singapore, Lee Hsien Yang said in a final election message on Facebook.
Singapore election campaign begins, PM's brother not running
(AP Photo/Yong Teck Lim)Singapore Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong's estranged brother is not running in next month's general election but said Tuesday he hopes to be a catalyst for change" as campaigning began. I have chosen not to stand for political office because I believe Singapore does not need another Lee," Lee Hsien Yang said in a statement on Facebook. Prime Minister Lee, 68, told reporters after submitting his candidacy Tuesday that he wasn't worried about his brother's sway over voters. As for Lee Hsien Yang, I have no comment. The public will assess which ones are worth listening to, which ones make sense," the prime minister said.
Countries in lockdown should do what Singapore has done, says coronavirus expert
Countries under lockdown should do what Singapore has done to blunt the spread of the coronavirus, according to an infectious disease expert working with the World Health Organization. As of March 31, Singapore recorded a total of 879 cases of COVID-19 and three deaths, its health ministry reported. People walk past a poster reminding people to keep a safe distance from each other at the National Gallery of Singapore on March 30, 2020 in Singapore. Lockdown playbookWhile Singapore has implemented more restrictive measures in recent days, it has not gone into a total lockdown. So (a) lockdown is really any country's second chance it's not an intervention in itself.cnbc.com
Trump absent, ASEAN charts path for trade bloc led by China
RCEP aims to level trade barriers between ASEAN members and six other countries in a bloc encompassing nearly a third of all global trade. ASEAN also reported progress toward setting a code of conduct with China regarding disputed waters in the South China Sea. China and its allies in ASEAN, led by Cambodia, have opposed any attempt to use the annual meetings to vilify the Asian economic powerhouse. ASEAN members include Brunei, Cambodia, Indonesia, Laos, Myanmar, Malaysia, the Philippines, Singapore, Thailand and Vietnam. The proposed RCEP trade bloc aims to facilitate and set standards for trade among ASEAN and six other nations: China, Japan, India, Australia, New Zealand and South Korea.
Singapore PM Lee Hsien Loong on Hong Kong protests, businesses
Those ties with other countries would include those in financial services with Hong Kong, tourism, or trade, Lee said. Hong Kong's Chief Executive Carrie Lam leaves the chamber as she is heckled by pro-democracy lawmakers at the Legislative Council in Hong Kong on October 16, 2019. We hope Hong Kong will be able to overcome these problems. But, responding to a question from the audience on whether he has seen businesses moving from Hong Kong to Singapore, Lee said: "I haven't seen it happen yet. "I mean, we hope Hong Kong will calm down ... and that Singapore companies will be able to send people to go to Hong Kong and do business there," Lee said.cnbc.com