Live from Singapore, the essential business news as it breaks and a look ahead to the news that will shape the business day.
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This is BBC News.
Our top story - the US says it
agrees with Britain that Russia
was behind the nerve agent attack
that poisoned a former spy
and his daughter on UK soil.
Moscow's ambassador to the UN denied
Russian involvement in the attack.
Earlier, Britain announced
the expulsion of 23
Tributes have been paid
to the world famous scientist,
Stephen Hawking, who popularised
in a best-selling book,
A Brief History of Time.
He's died at the age of 76.
And video of the American student
gun protest is trending on BBC.com.
In the US, tens of thousands
of students staged a series
of classroom walkouts to demand
tighter gun safety laws.
The protests were led by survivors
of the Florida school shooting
in which 17 people were killed
by a former student.
Stay with BBC News.
And another top story
here in the UK -
Toys R Us is closing all 100
of its UK stores in the next six
weeks after administrators
failed to find a buyer.
Don't panic, don't do anything
drastic. Recognise him? He is the
new economic adviser for President
Trump. Singapore tops that economic
index for the fifth year in a row,
but which cities are the most
expensive to live in?
Good morning, age, hello, world.
Glad you could join us. We start off
with US President Donald Trump and
he has appointed his new economic
adviser, and it is a familiar face
to many of you who watch business
television. Larry Kudlow has been a
TV commentator for decades. His
predecessor resigned last week in a
disagreement over tariffs on steel
and aluminium imports. The incoming
economic adviser said China has
earned a tough response from the US.
China has not played by the rules
for a long time. I have talked about
that, intellectual property rights,
corporate technologies, other
barriers, Trans each month -- ship
was to get around things. I don't
think you should punish your friends
to try to punish your enemies in
necessarily see eye to eye on Sun
economic issues, so why did Donald
Trump pick him? I asked the question
to Joe Miller.
He is really good on
TV, and that counts for a lot. The
President watches a lot of
television, watches his friend on
television, and what is striking is
as you saw in that clip, Larry
Kudlow has been critical of Donald
Trump's tariffs on steel and
aluminium that he announced last
week, and that was the reason that
Larry Kudlow's red assessor left the
White House over a disagreement over
Donald Trump's tariffs, and now he
has been replaced with someone who
has been equally critical of those
tariffs. He is a very good
communicator, he is very good on TV
and he is broadly supportive of the
economic agenda and has been for
some time. It makes sense that he
has been chosen for this role.
from trade tariffs, where does Larry
Kudlow stand on other issues such as
He is a traditional free
trade person, he is someone who
worked in the Reagan administration,
he has always been traditionally for
open markets, for low taxes, and in
that way, he is very supportive of
Donald Trump's tax policies. It is
not really a departure from the very
standard Republican agenda when it
comes to the economy, and he has
softened his stance but towards some
of Donald Trump's less free trade
and more protectionist agenda.
that was Joe Miller in New York. We
have add news from Toys R Us. It is
closing all of its UK and US stores.
We will find out why it from my
colleague. Doing so well here in
Asia, but in the Western countries,
it is not.
That's right. We know
Toys R Us is a very successful
chain, but in the UK and US they
have been struggling for quite
sometime. Shoppers are going to
online shopping, like Amazon, and
also children are choosing
electronic gadgets over toys, and as
parents we can attest to that. In
the UK, they are closing the
remaining 75 stores in the next six
weeks and that will result in the
job losses of about 3000. The number
is worse in the US. We understand
they are closing all of its 885
stores, and if that is true, it
could risk for two 33 thousand jobs.
They have been looking for a buyer
and it is reported that Toys R Us
will file for bankruptcy later
In Q4 that update. Hong Kate
-- Hong Kong are interested to buy
the shares it doesn't own the Toys
"R" Us Asia franchise. Thank you
very much. Moving on now. To India,
which has set itself an ambitious
target. By 2022, they want to insult
renewable energy capacity and that
is four times more than the country
is currently out. The sources for
renewable energy include wind, water
and the sun. While the push of the
two business opportunities for these
industries, it is an uphill task or
solar panel produces.
It is meticulous work. 36 of these
cells need to be strung together to
make a working solar panel. With the
government mandate and rising demand
for clean energy, many will think
that means bright prospects for the
solar industry here.
are struggling. We are making good
quality solar panels. The toughest
thing we are facing is from the low
quality imports of solar panel and
components from the neighbouring
countries, particularly in China.
China, Malaysia and Taiwan supplier
the majority of solar panels to
India, which are much cheaper to
produce an Indian units. That is
largely down to its senses the
government has offered them. Indian
producers are subject to strict
politic controls and face higher
domestic service, making it
impossible to compete with overseas
players. India is an entirely of
clean energy because of this
pollution. Delhi is one of the most
polluted cities in the world. The
last three years, Indian solar panel
manufacturers have been able to
double their production. But it is
the import from China of cheaper
solar rocks that has gone up by
600%. To try and get a foothold in
this market, now Indian solar panel
manufacturers are demanding to
impose a duty on these products. The
Indian government is considering a
70% tariff on imported panels. But
solar power installer say a tariff
would make the generation of solar
power much more expensive. The
government says the benefits of
import duties will outweigh the
When people buy, they look at
who offers the low prices, so they
be the Chinese, the militias, the
Taiwanese. But we do want to look at
Local manufacture, we have
gone on policy. India recently
hosted the first official meeting of
the International solar Alliance in
Delhi, a treaty to promote the use
of solar energy. Taking the lead
there signals in the's ambition to
take pole position in a switch to
clean energy. At a dispute over
tariffs at home could derail Prime
Singapore has been topping the cost
of living index for some time and it
is still the most expensive city for
expats. It has topped the list for a
fixed consecutive year. For example,
the goods and services or 16% more
inner-city public stake in PT New
York. Paris has jumped to second
place due to a stronger euro. As for
Hong Kong, it has slipped to number
four slot. Tel Aviv is now in the
top ten due to higher transportation
cost and so too has Sydney. The
strong Aussie dollar raises the cost
of living into other cities,
Brisbane and Adelaide. The study
takes into account price of 160
products and services including
rent, utility bills, private schools
as well as household supplies.
Earlier I spoke to Simon Baptist
from the EI you and he explained why
Singapore remains at the top of the
Singapore is about 4% more
expensive than Paris, which is in
second place, and Singapore does
come up as very high at cost concern
categories. The biggest one is
owning and running a vehicle. It is
the most expensive thing about
living in Singapore. Also, alcohol
and cigarettes are also quite
It will get more
expensive here in Singapore because
over the next three to four years,
the government will raise the goods
and services tax.
There might be
some tax increases here, although I
am not sure they will be faster than
elsewhere. It might not affect the
ranking. Singapore is actually more
in line with the Asian business city
average in some other categories. It
is a cheap place to buy food, and it
is also a fairly cheap place to get
domestic help and also for personal
How critical are changes
in currency valuations of the cost
Currencies are one of the
most important that it is. If you
are an international company, moving
people around the world, looking at
how much you are an international
company, moving people around the
world, looking at how much it will
pay to hire or for allowances of
people travelling, then the currency
is one major driver. Other big
drivers are taxation and
regulations, as you brought up, and
demand and supply.
Singapore might top the list for the
world for the most expensive cities,
but unfortunately, for those of us
here, it has not taken the number
one spot as the world's happiest
nation. That title goes to Finland.
The annual report has been released
ranking 156 countries buy happiness
levels, taking into account such
factors such as income and life
expectancy. Australia, and Canada
made the top ten. The US came in at
number 18. Singapore was in 30
Fourth Place. Let's have a quick
look at their markets and currently
as you can see on the Asian market
boards they are all in negative
territory due to a fall in the Dow
and the NASDAQ. To pounds, Hong Kong
and Australia in the red in
mid-morning trade. Thank you for
investing your time with us. Sport
Today is coming up next.
The top stories this hour -
the US says it agrees with Britain
that Russia was behind the nerve
agent attack that poisoned a former
spy and his daughter on UK soil.
Russia has dismissed the allegation.
The world has paid tribute
to Professor Stephen Hawking,
the world famous
physicist and author,
at the age of 76.
Almost 800,000 people
who live here in the UK
speak little or no English.
Now, the government is planning
to spend 50 million pounds
to try to change that
and to encourage social integration.
Five councils in England have been
selected for special help -
and Waltham Forest in London.
Judith Mortiz sent this
report from Bradford.
What about this one?
What sound does that give?
One sound at a time,
these women are learning English.
Whilst their children are at school,
they're studying too,
wanting to improve their language
for lots of reasons.
It would be easier
for me and my husband
to establish our own business.
I've got four children.
Need to help with the children.
You want to help your children?
To do homework.
I'm really clever and I'm good
at my work and I can do anything.
But I can't be my 100% if I don't
have my skill of English.
Empowering marginalised women
and boosting language skills
are amongst new government plans
to tackle segregation.
Bradford is one of five areas
which have been selected.
We've got florists, we've got
artists, we've got tailors,
we've got women with a plethora
of experiences that they come
with, but unfortunately,
they can't engage
in the local society
because of the lack of the language.
Now, if the language is there,
just open one barrier,
we'll open a whole field full
of opportunities for these women.
Bradford was at its lowest ebb
in 2001 when race riots erupted
and segregated communities were
shown to be leading parallel lives.
17 years on, tackling segregation
here is still a work in progress.
But what Bradford has achieved
has now earned it extra funding
and a chance to show
other areas how to improve.
Two years ago, a report warned
that segregation and social
exclusion were at
worrying levels in Britain.
Its author has long been calling
on the government to take action.
Some of these communities
that we're worried about,
these very isolated communities,
have abject poverty
and that will take money.
I'm not sure that 50 million
over two years will be enough.
The government says its plans
are designed to get more people
to mix together, live
together and play together.
Judith Moritz, BBC News, Bradford.
Toys R Us is closing all 100
of its UK stores in the next six
weeks after administrators
failed to find a buyer.
3,000 jobs will be lost as a result.
Some 25 stores have either
already closed in recent days
or are due to close by tomorrow.
Jim Molan best known as the
presenter of the game-show Bullseye
has died at the age of 80. He was
inspired to try stand-up comedy
after seeing Ken