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Raymond Han

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VIRUS ALERT: 69 SARS cases reported here so far.

LATEST: 2 deaths

The WEATHER on THURSDAY (27 Mar 2003): Showers with thunder over many areas in the afternoon.  WEATHER OUTLOOK:  FRIDAY & SATURDAY: Afternoon showers expected.     WATER TIDES (this month)  SUN Sunrise  7.07am    Sunset  7.14pm   MOON  Moonrise  2.52am   Moonset  3.12pm    PSI: 36 (good)   TEMPERATURE: 24-34 degrees Celsius (The weather is updated daily before 8am Singapore time) For more information, call Meteorological Service Singapore Tel: (65) 6542 7788.

Yesterday     2003     2002     2001     2000     1999

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Closure of schools in Singapore

As an additional precautionary measure in response to concerns expressed by parents on the recent SARS cases, the Ministry of Education (MOE) and Ministry of Health (MOH) have decided to close all primary schools, secondary schools, junior colleges and centralised institutes from Thursday, 27 March 2003 to Sunday, 6 April 2003.

All schools have been adhering closely to MOH's advisories since school re-opened after the March holidays. They have been screening their students every day since school re-opened. On purely medical grounds, there are currently no strong reasons for closing all schools.

However, principals and general practitioners have reported that parents continue to be concerned about the risk to their children in schools. MOE and MOH hope that this additional precautionary step to close schools will address parents' concerns and further reassure them.

All school competitions and co-curricular activities scheduled between now and 6 April will be cancelled or postponed. The current school term, Term 2, will be extended into the June school holidays, to make up for losses in curriculum time.

The universities, polytechnics and Institute of Technical Education will continue to operate as normal. These institutes of higher learning have a different system of operation from our national schools. Furthermore, the students in our post-secondary institutions are older and are better able to understand the situation and take the necessary precautions.

MOE will advise the pre-school centres to close for the same period. Similarly, the Ministry of Community Development and Sports will be closing childcare centres while the People's Association will be closing the playgroups and tuition classes at community centres/clubs and residents' committees.

Student Care Centres are advised to do likewise. Special education schools, as advised by the National Council of Social Services, and madrasahs, as advised by Majlis Ugama Islam Singapura, will also close during this period.

MOE urges employers to exercise flexibility in allowing their employees affected by the closure of schools to take urgent leave to make alternative child care arrangements.

The Ministry of Education and Ministry of Health will review the SARS situation before the end of next week.

On the closure of the childcare and student care centres, the public can call the MCDS hotline at Tel: 1800-2580677. 

Updates on Sars cases in Singapore

Ministry of Education & Ministry of Health Joint Press Release 26 Mar 2003

Promotion at Library@esplanade

Want to get that dizzy, light-headed, lovey-dovey  feeling ? Now there’s no need to go to a ladies night and get a hangover.

Just borrow 4 items at library@esplanade between 17th March & 27th March, and enter our Punch Drunk Love quiz.

You could win a pair of tickets to Paul Thomas Anderson’s newest film and rediscover what true love is all about. Bring your borrowing receipt to the customer service counter to enter.

Punch Drunk Love tied for the Best Director Award at Cannes  in 2002.  Adam Sandler, as you've never seem him before, stars as Barry Egan, a small-business owner with 7 sisters whose abuse has kept him isolated and unable to love, until a harmonium and a truly lovely woman (Emily Watson) enter his life and his romantic journey begins. The film also stars Philip Seymour Hoffman and Luis Guzman.

PS: Even if you aren't entering the contest, please see this film, it is truly beautiful, different and uplifting. For more information, call (65) 6332 3255 or click HERE!

Headline News from The New York Times


Support us! Help to keep our Web site running online.

NEW WEB SITES  is the Web site of the Sidek Clinic for Women run by Dr Saifuddin Sidek, an obstetrician and gynaecologist with about 20 years' experience practising in the eastern part of Singapore. Services include pregnancy checkups, delivery, abortion and sterilisation. Fees are within SMA guidelines and special circumstances will be considered.

Click New Web sites for the rest of the list.

Eye on Singapore

It's about people!

News & Happenings in Singapore

Space Clearing Workshops by Karen Kingston

Taking control of our own lives

United Airlines announces further details to travel policies

Singapore Fashion Festival 2003

Minister David LIM speaks on censorship

Consular advice for Singaporeans travelling to Middle East

Census of law firms and lawyers in Singapore

"The Expat Wife" returns for another season

Updates on new contagious mysterious disease SARS

New killer virus causes atypical pneumonia

OG People's Park reopens

Labour Market 2002 Report

Heritage Festival 2003  

Development Plans for Sentosa

Blue One Love Asia Tour 2003

We welcome cub reporters from tertiary institutions

Revised list of recognised foreign universities & medical schools

Results of 2002 Singapore-Cambridge GCE A Level Exams

The Majestic reopens  

Revenue improvement for United Airlines with new business fares

French movies at the Alliance Française in March

Using the staring ploy to commit robbery

Comgraph 2003 - 4th Asia-Pacific Digital Art & Animation Competition

Results of 2002 Singapore-Cambridge GCE O Level Exams

Cultural Rediscovery at the National Library

Restructuring of HDB

PM GOH Chok Tong launches NEWater

SM LEE Kuan Yew speaks to university students on the future for their generation  

Singapore Crime Situation 2002

Wellness talk on liver cancer & hepatitis - In Mandarin

Comments by MFA spokesman on Mahathir's comments in Bernama report 14 Feb 2003

Consumer Price Index for 2002


Singapore-Malaysia Updates

Private Clients: Get a Personal Assistant to do your errands in Singapore.

We are now 5138 pages thick and growing.

Public Holidays GOOD FRIDAY is the next public holiday. It falls on 18 Apr 2003.


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27 March 2003

Thursday's News


A new blueprint named "Connected Singapore" launched yesterday by the Infocomm Development Authority of Singapore (IDA) aims to create 3,000 new jobs and S$100 million of new projects. IDA said yesterday it wants to grow the contribution of the infocomm industry to Singapore's GDP from about 7 per cent in 2001 to 10 per cent in 2012 - the target set by the ERC's services sub-committee. The industry has been expanding at an average rate of 13 per cent since 1986, with total revenue for 2001 hitting S$28 billion. (A20)

The recently released results of surveys conducted by NUS and NTU showed that only 64 per cent of the arts graduates from the class of 2002 had a job by the end of the year. The employment rate was 67 per cent for science graduates. Employment rates for engineering, accountancy, architecture and building graduates were in the 70 to 80 per cent range despite the recession. The employment rate for BA honours graduates was 82 per cent, while for BSc honours, it was 87.9 per cent. Honours graduates also made about S$5,000 more a year than basic degree holders. (H3)

Results of a survey of 5,853 students, aged 13 to 17, from nine schools polled by the Northeast Community Development Council (CDC) and Fei Yue Counselling Centre, showed that five out of every 100 secondary school students said they had been "forced" to have sex. 259 students said someone had tried to get them to have sex in the past 12 months, and 83 gave in. (H9)

From 1 April 2003, importers of all processed food brought into Singapore are required to register with the Agri-Food and veterinary Authority (AVA). Currently, only importers of fresh produce such as vegetables, meat and fish need to be registered. (H9)


Tokyo: Japan is preparing to launch two spy satellites tomorrow, marking the country's first military use of space and beginning its shifting of intelligence agencies away from dependence on the US. The satellites, one containing an optical sensor and the other a radar system that can peer through the dark and clouds, will be launched by a Japanese H-2A rocket from Tanegashima island in the Pacific Ocean. (A1)


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To assist you in tracing the above news articles in The Straits Times, we have provided the section and page numbers at the end of each news article. Therefore, (12): main section page 12; (S4): sports section page 4; (A10): asia section page 10; (L3): life section page 3.

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