10 must-reads for today

The Shady Fire closing in on homes in California's Santa Rosa yesterday as the Glass Fire forced evacuations in nearby Napa Valley.
The Shady Fire closing in on homes in California's Santa Rosa yesterday as the Glass Fire forced evacuations in nearby Napa Valley.AGENCE FRANCE-PRESSE


1 Fire forces evacuations

A wind-driven wildfire that erupted in California's Napa Valley on Sunday has forced the evacuation of a hospital and hundreds of homes. It was the hospital's second wildfire-related evacuation in a month, after a massive cluster of lightning-sparked blazes swept through counties north of the San Francisco Bay region last month. 


2 Property loophole plugged

A loophole in the private property market has been plugged to make sure that buyers do not end up committing to new homes they cannot afford. The move is aimed at encouraging financial prudence among home buyers amid Singapore's worst recession.


3 Judge blocks US TikTok ban

US President Donald Trump's ban on TikTok was blocked temporarily by a federal judge, dealing a blow to the government in its showdown with the Chinese-owned app that it says threatens national security. The judge granted a preliminary injunction against the ban on new downloads of the app. The ban would have gone into effect at the end of day on Sunday. 


4 Malaysia's jobless rates fall

New opportunities have emerged for job seekers in Malaysia amid the pandemic, which has taken lives and livelihoods around the world. The country's jobless rates are falling as its economy sputters back to life after months of movement curbs that had sent unemployment figures soaring. 


5 Hollywood's Mulan missteps

Beyond Mulan's many cultural crossover mistakes, American film-makers face a larger problem of changing Chinese tastes and being caught up in Sino-US tensions, says China bureau chief Tan Dawn Wei (below). 


6 LTA buys 40 new trains

The Land Transport Authority (LTA) yesterday bought 40 new trains for the North-South and East-West MRT lines, as renewal works for its two oldest train lines continue apace. The trains, costing about $337.8 million, will replace the second-and third-generation trains that have been running for at least two decades. 


7 Aim: 10,000 e-car chargers

Home-grown solar power company Sunseap Group has set up an electric mobility unit called Charge+, with an aim to install 10,000 electric-vehicle charging points here by 2030. The number is more than one-third of the 28,000 that the Government said Singapore would have by the end of the decade. 


8 PayNow raises transfer limit

PayNow users will now be able to send a higher amount of money to others on the service. All of the nine participating PayNow banks will allow ad hoc transactions of up to at least $5,000. PayNow users were previously able to make daily transactions of up to $1,000 in total without adding the recipient as a payee. 


9 Man City's problems pile up

Portuguese Ruben Dias' (below) arrival at Manchester City shortly for €68 million (S$109 million) from Benfica will not solve all their backline issues, going by their awful display in the 5-2 drubbing by Leicester in Sunday's Premier League game. City fared little better up front, with injuries forcing players out of position. 



10 Visitors return to museums

Visitors are returning to museums although attendances have not recovered to pre-pandemic levels, according to the National Heritage Board and National Gallery Singapore. Museums reopened on June 26 after eight weeks of closure as part of measures to curb the spread of Covid-19. 



A million lives lost to Covid-19

In the eight months since China recorded its first Covid-19 death, more than one million people have died from the disease. We show how daily deaths from the coronavirus have evolved over time. str.sg/blurb605


Significant easing

Covid-19 safety measures in Singapore are being relaxed significantly as the country reopens the economy further amid low community case numbers. Here is a rundown of the changes you can expect. str.sg/blurb606

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on September 29, 2020, with the headline '10 must-reads for today'. Print Edition | Subscribe