Today's Singapore News

The following are stories that are making the headlines over at Topix Singapore News today, edited by yours truly.

-Why that 80% rule?: It may be a wheelchair-accessible bus, but if the bus stops along the route are not at least 80 per cent wheelchair-friendly, the wheelchair-bound commuter will not be allowed to board the bus in the interest of his or her safety.
-Layoff? FairPrice hiring more: Singapore's largest supermarket chain NTUC FairPrice says it will not retrench any of its 6,400 employees, even though the global economy is sliding into what many say could be the worst recession since 1929.
-Police scrap Emergency scheme: The Emergency Communication System (ECS), installed at 65 Neighbourhood Police Posts (NPPs) across the island, will be progressively scapped from Dec 1 (2008).
-More "die-logues" expected as govt considers changes to AMD: The government is considering amending the law to encourage more Singaporeans to sign the Advance Medical Directive (AMD).
-Singapore sees FY08 deficit at triple estimate: Singapore's budget deficit will be significantly larger in fiscal year 2008, at nearly three times the estimated S$800 million ($526.7 million). Singapore, already in recession, is set to announce final third-quarter GDP data on Friday.
-NEWater is safe: To ensure safety standards, the Public Utilities Board has taken several stringent measures, including 'a multi-barrier approach' in the design of the NEWater plants, comprehensive preventive maintenance programme and equipping plants with sensitive on-line instruments to constantly monitor water quality.
-PAP aims to click with young online: Singaporeans can now go online to watch short videos of People's Action Party (PAP) MPs at events on the party's revamped website that was launched yesterday. It is a new way to reach out to young and IT-savvy voters.
-More accuracy, greater comfort for eye patients: More accurate and comfortable laser surgeries to correct your vision — that is the promise for Lasik patients here, thanks to a new system launched this month at the Singapore National Eye Centre (SNEC).
-Help for firms to get loans: The Government will take measures to help companies secure loans as it expects some 'inevitable' credit tightening among banks.
-2 town councils invested S$12m in Lehman-related structured products: The financial health of two Singapore town councils remains in the black despite their investments in failed Lehman-linked structured products.
-Singapore may weaken currency in recession: Singapore may change its exchange- rate policy in April to favor a weakening currency after exports last month slumped the most in six years, according to UBS AG.


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