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Social, economic spending before possible election

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Given the greater spending needs ahead, Singapore’s government could outline additional ways to grow revenue in the coming budget speech, economists said.

The government has floated the idea of a “sugar tax” on manufacturers and importers of packaged sweet drinks. Such a tax could make its appearance in Monday’s budget speech, potentially adding 140 million to 500 million Singapore dollars to the country’s annual revenue, Citi analysts estimated.

Another source of new revenue could be the taxation of digital services, also known as the “Netflix tax.” Finance Minister Heng said in last year’s budget speech that such a tax would come into effect from 2020, so analysts are expecting more details to come this year.

“Importantly, the inclusion of more e-commerce transactions would allow the government to capture significant tax revenue opportunities (or close the loop on tax leakages) from this fast-growing segment,” Citi analysts said.

They added that taxing goods and services in the e-commerce industry could result in additional revenue of 500 million to 570 million for Singapore in financial year 2020.

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Obama told me that he was ‘close to starting a big war with North Korea’

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President Donald Trump (R) gestures as he meets with North Korea's leader Kim Jong Un (L) at the start of their historic US-North Korea summit, at the Capella Hotel on Sentosa island in Singapore on June 12, 2018.

Saul Loeb | AFP | Getty Images

President Donald Trump (R) gestures as he meets with North Korea’s leader Kim Jong Un (L) at the start of their historic US-North Korea summit, at the Capella Hotel on Sentosa island in Singapore on June 12, 2018.

WASHINGTON — President Donald Trump claimed Friday that the Obama administration “was so close to starting a big war with North Korea” when asked for details of the second summit between the U.S. and North Korea.

“When I came into office, I met right there in the Oval Office with President Obama. And I sat in those beautiful chairs, and we talked, it was supposed to be 15 minutes, as you know, it ended up being many times longer than that. And I said what’s the biggest problem? He said by far, North Korea,” Trump explained from the Rose Garden.

“I don’t want to speak for him, but I believe he would’ve gone to war with North Korea. I think he was ready to go to war. In fact he told me he was so close to starting a big war with North Korea,” Trump said.

The president then said that “a lot’s been accomplished” since meeting in June with North Korean leader Kim Jong Un in Singapore. Trump continued by saying that the relationship with Pyongyang has since improved.

“Where are we now? No missiles, no rockets, no nuclear testing. We’ve learned a lot. But much more importantly than all of it, much more important, much much more important than that, is, we have a great relationship,” Trump added.

On the heels of Trump’s remarks, Ben Rhodes, a top Obama national security aide, wrote on Twitter that the U.S. was not “on the brink of war with North Korea.”

Since 2011, the North Korean leader has fired more than 90 missiles and conducted four nuclear weapons tests, which is more than what his father, Kim Jong Il, and grandfather, Kim Il Sung, launched over a period of 27 years. In 2017 alone, Kim launched 24 missiles and carried out North Korea’s largest nuclear test.

North Korea is the only nation to test nuclear weapons this century.



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Political uncertainty a barrier to global investment, CEO says

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Nigel Wilson, CEO of financial services firm Legal and General, discusses the global economy, investment demand, and political uncertainty.

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