Cowen_&_Co._estimated in 2019 that the U.S. marijuana sales could reach $80 billion by 2030 if the federal government legalized the plant. In Canada, legal recreational cannabis sales in 2019 could reach $4.34 billion, according to Deloitte. Big alcohol companies, after long fretting about how legal cannabis would affect sales, and other drink-makers are joining forces with the industry. Those companies hope people will drink to get high rather than drunk. Cannabis executives say the plant could eventually replace things like sleep aids and pain meds. Floods Indonesia 

Indonesia flood, landslide death toll hits 70

JAKARTA (AFP) – Floods and landslides that battered Indonesia’s Sulawesi island have killed at least 70 people, the authorities said on Tuesday (Jan 29), as aerial footage underscored the scale of the disaster with whole villages wiped off the map. Lashed by heavy rain, rivers swelled and burst their banks, inundating dozens of communities across 12 districts as well as parts of the provincial capital Makassar. The bodies of 70 victims have been found, while six are still missing, Mr Syamsibar, head of South Sulawesi’s disaster mitigation agency, who like many Indonesians…

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Singapore rises to third place in annual ranking of least corrupt countries

SINGAPORE – Singapore has moved up three notches to third spot in an annual ranking of countries deemed to have the least corruption in the public sector, with Denmark and New Zealand ahead of it. The Republic scored 85 on graft watchdog Transparency International’s 2018 Corruption Perceptions Index, which uses a scale that goes from zero, for highly corrupt, to 100, for very clean. The index released on Tuesday (Jan 29) also shows that, globally, most countries continue to fail in reining in corruption significantly, said Berlin-based Transparency International. Similar to…

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Singapore 

Singapore bicentennial: Why 2019 is history in the making

200 years after getting colonised On Dec. 31, 2017, PM Lee announced the government’s intent in 2019 to commemorate the bicentennial — meaning, 200 years anniversary — of Sir Stamford Raffles’ founding. Rather than being a celebration, however, the bicentennial is meant to be a reflection on Singapore’s journey so far. The year 1819 is widely accepted as when modern Singapore was founded by Raffles. However, Singapore already had a thriving population 500 years prior to 1819, as these formative years lend context to our formation. What events can we expect? The…

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News Thailand 

Thailand to hold general election on March 24

BANGKOK – Thailand’s much delayed general election will be held on March 24, with a new government expected to be in place “by the middle of the year”. The confirmation by Thailand’s Election Commission was announced on Wednesday (Jan 23) afternoon, hours after a royal decree declaring an election was released. The upcoming election will end military rule that has been in place since 2014, when then army chief Prayut Chan-o-cha led a coup that toppled the Pheu Thai Party-led government and took over as premier. A new Constitution enacted in 2017 allows the interim premier…

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Six killed, thousands displaced in South Sulawesi floods

Six people died and 10 went missing in a flood that hit Makassar City and six other districts in South Sulawesi on Tuesday. The previous day, dozens of houses and several bridges were destroyed hours after torrential rainfall hit. The six people were from Gowa district, which was inundated because of rising water levels in the Jenebarang River. Gowa Regent Adnan Purichta Ichsan said some of the victims died because of electric shock while others were buried by landslides. “We are continuing to evacuate and assist residents affected by the flood,” he said as quoted by Antara.…

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Singapore wildlife 

Jurong Bird Park is first wildlife park to successfully breed endangered Solomon Islands bird

SINGAPORE – Four baby Santa Cruz ground doves were born at Jurong Bird Park in recent weeks, making the park the first zoological institution in the world to successfully breed the highly threatened bird species under human care. Wildlife Reserves Singapore (WRS) said in a statement on Wednesday (Jan 23) that the first of the Santa Cruz ground dove chicks hatched on Dec 31 last year. The bird is listed as endangered in the International Union for Conservation of Nature’s Red List. In August last year, 60 of them –…

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Education Health Singapore 

Singapore firm’s new product may help diabetics avoid sugar spike from food

A home-grown company has created a product that adds fibre to food and may lower the glycaemic index (GI) of high carbohydrate meals, preventing them from causing the sudden spike in blood sugar levels that is so damaging to people with diabetes. Food companies such as Han’s, Lim Kee Food Manufacturing, Gardenia and Tan Seng Kee Foods are now testing the product by local food-tech start-up Alchemy Foodtech. Alchemy said at the launch of its new laboratory yesterday that the product lowers the GI without changing the taste, colour or…

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News Singapore 

Singapore retains top spot in Asia Pacific index for talent competitiveness

SINGAPORE-Singapore has topped the Global Talent Competitiveness Index in Asia-Pacific for the sixth straight year, coming second in the global rankings behind Switzerland and ahead of the United States, which was third. Released on Monday (Jan 21) in Davos, ahead of the World Economic Forum, the yearly index measures how 125 countries are able to attract, nurture and retain talented people, and was compiled by French business school Insead in partnership with the Adecco Group and Tata Communications. In the same index for cities, Singapore ranked 17th. Singapore’s stellar ranking…

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Economy Singapore 

Banks kept at ‘overweight’ by UOB on Fed’s dovish stance, dividend yield

SINGAPORE (Jan 18): UOB Kay Hian is maintaining Singapore’s banking sector at “overweight” after the US Fed calmed the nerves of investors with its dovish disposition, which subsequently generated a relief rally. “We maintain ‘buy’ for both DBS and OCBC, although we prefer OCBC,” says analyst Jonathan Koh in a Friday report. The research house has target prices of $28.50 and $13.82 respectively. Fed’s narrative took a dovish turn in mid-Nov when Fed Chairman Jerome Powell highlighted potential headwinds buffeting the US economy in 2019, including a slowdown in growth…

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News Singapore 

Motorcyclist taken to hospital after getting hit by car and run over by van on AYE

SINGAPORE – A 29-year-old motorcyclist was taken to hospital after she was run over by a van on the Ayer Rajah Expressway (AYE) on Thursday (Jan 17). Footage of the incident shows a car colliding with the motorcycle on the rightmost lane of the expressway, apparently while trying to change lanes. The motorcyclist is knocked off her bike, which skids across three lanes. The impact also sends her sprawling into the path of a van, which appears to have swerved to avoid the car. Unable to stop in time, the…

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