Singapore air pollution hits record high

Associated Press in Singapore

Air pollution in Singapore has soared to a record high for a third consecutive day, as Indonesia prepares to send planes and helicopters to battle the fires blamed for hazardous levels of smoky haze in three countries.

The blazes in peat swamp forests on Indonesia's Sumatra island have sent huge plumes of smog across the sea to neighbouring Singapore and Malaysia, both of which are growing impatient with Indonesia's response to the problem that occurs nearly every year.

Singapore is suffering its worst haze in history. Its main index for air pollution hit a measurement of 401 at midday on Friday, exceeding record highs of 371 on Thursday, and 321 on Wednesday. Those measurements were classified as hazardous and could aggravate respiratory ailments.

Plagued by the stifling smell of burning vegetation that wafted into homes and offices in the city-state, residents flocked to pharmacies to buy protective face masks after Singapore's prime minister, Lee Hsien Loong, urged people to remain indoors.


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Foreigners will need a non-criminal record certificate to work in Beijing

Monday, June 17, 2013 | By: Weijing Zhu

In addition to the new visa regulations that will take effect in July, foreigners who work in Beijing will also need to prepare criminal record clearances to receive work authorizations. Applicants will have to provide a “police clearance certificate” (non-criminal record) from their country to apply for work permits. The same applies to foreigners in China who transfer to work in Beijing. KTA elaborates on the details regarding this new regulation:“The certificate must be issued by the relevant public security or judicial authority in the applicant’s country of nationality, and must show that the applicant has no criminal record from the age of 18 through the present. The certificate must be legalized by a Chinese diplomatic post in the country of issuance. The Beijing Labor Bureau has not provided guidance with respect to applicants who reside in a country other than their country of nationality, except to advise that the regulations are still in development. The certificate will be required during the first stage of the application process. For standard work permit applications, it will be required when the employment license application is filed. For applications sponsored by a representative office of a foreign company, the certificate will be required when the work permit application is filed, as employment licenses are not required in these cases. “KTA goes on to say that Beijing is the first city in China to require this certificate, but it is unclear whether other cities will follow. If you are working or planning to work in Beijing, perhaps you should start looking up ways to obtain a (non)criminal record from your country, and figure out how to get it notarized by your embassy after you receive it.

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