Tesla Model S Plaid Deliveries Start In First Gear; S&P 500 Hits High; Google, RH In Buy Zones| Investor’s Business Daily


Dow Jones futures rose slightly Friday morning, along with S&P 500 futures and Nasdaq futures. The stock market rally on Thursday shrugged off a hot inflation report, with the S&P 500 index hitting a record high and Treasury yields fresh lows.




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A bipartisan group of senators announced an infrastructure deal late, but will party leaders back it? Tesla CEO Elon Musk held a low-key, no-surprise Model S Plaid event Thursday night, announcing that deliveries will start with a slow ramp up.  Tesla stock rose slightly early Friday after reclaiming a key level Thursday.

In Thursday’s session, several stocks broke out or flashed buy signals, including RH (RH), Signet Jewelers (SIG), Zscaler (ZS), CrowdStrike (CRWD), Google parent Alphabet (GOOGL) and Adobe (ADBE).

Meme stocks sold off Thursday, including GameStop (GME), AMC Entertainment (AMC), Clover Health (CLOV), Bed Bath & Beyond (BBBY) and Workhorse Group (WKHS).

Some bounced back somewhat, including GME stock and AMC.


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Homebuilders fell sharply, including Century Communities (CCS), LGI Homes (LGIH) and D.R. Horton (DHI). That continues their weak performance despite sliding Treasury yields.

Several hot stocks sold off as share offerings priced, after the sale plans knocked them earlier this week. Those include Celsius (CELH), PLBY Group (PLBY) and Rev Group (REVG). All three lost 15% or more. CELH stock has a clearly failed breakout while PLBY stock wiped out an early entry. REVG stock broke below the low of a base.

Adobe and Google stock are on IBD Leaderboard and Long-Term Leaders. Google, CELH stock and CRWD stock are on IBD 50.

Bipartisan Infrastructure Deal?

A bipartisan group of 10 senators — five from each party — say they’ve reached a “tentative understanding” on an infrastructure spending deal without explicit tax increases. The package reportedly includes $579 billion in additional spending. Including baseline outlays, spending would be $974 billion over five years or $1.2 trillion over eight. The senators suggest indexing the gas tax to inflation, providing a de facto increase, and using unused Covid funds.

But it’s unclear if President Biden or congressional leaders from either party will go back it.

Dow Jones Futures Today

Dow Jones futures rose 0.25% vs. fair value. S&P 500 futures climbed 0.15% and Nasdaq 100 futures advanced 0.15%.

The 10-year Treasury yield kept sliding, dipping two basis points to 1.44% after hitting 1.43% overnight.

Copper futures rose 2%, a positive sign for various mining stocks.

Remember that overnight action in Dow futures and elsewhere doesn’t necessarily translate into actual trading in the next regular stock market session.


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Stock Market Rally

The stock market rally rallied at Thursday’s open but then pulled back in late morning, with the Nasdaq briefly turning negative. But the major indexes rebounded.

The 10-year Treasury yield initially rose modestly on the hot inflation report, but reversed lower to 1.46%, setting new three-month lows. Bond traders do not appear concerned with inflation or the Federal Reserve, which meets next week.

The Dow Jones Industrial Average edged up 0.1% in Thursday’s stock market trading, with Apple (AAPL) and Caterpillar (CAT) weighing on blue chips. The S&P 500 index climbed 0.5%. The Nasdaq composite advanced 0.8%. The small-cap Russell 2000 retreated 0.8%.

Among the best ETFs, the Innovator IBD 50 ETF (FFTY) retreated 1.7% due to some sharp individual losers. The Innovator IBD Breakout Opportunities ETF (BOUT) rose 0.5%. The iShares Expanded Tech-Software Sector ETF (IGV) gained 1.8%. ADBE stock is the No. 1 component in IGV, which also owns CRWD and ZS stock. The VanEck Vectors Semiconductor ETF (SMH) rose 1.3%.

SPDR S&P Metals & Mining ETF (XME) dipped 0.4% and Global X U.S. Infrastructure Development ETF (PAVE) slid 1%. U.S. Global Jets ETF (JETS) also fell 1%. SPDR S&P Homebuilders ETF (XHB) retreated 1.1%, with the ETF losses minimized because RH stock is the No. 1 component.

Reflecting more-speculative story stocks, ARK Innovation ETF (ARKK) popped 1.9% and ARK Genomics ETF (ARKG) 2.7%. ARKK closed just below its 50-day and 200-day lines, while ARKG reclaimed those levels on Wednesday. Tesla stock is the No. 1 holding for ARK Invest across its ETFs.


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Tesla Model S Plaid Event

Tesla (TSLA) finally held its Model S Plaid event Thursday night, touting the revamped luxury electric sedan.

The Model S Plaid can go from a rolling start to 60 miles per hour in just under two seconds. But Plaid deliveries will take a lot longer to pick up.

At the end of the brief event, Elon Musk said Tesla will begin deliveries of 25 Plaid sedans “now.” He said that’ll soon pick up to hundreds per week, reaching 1,000 per week in the third quarter.

The EV giant paused Tesla Model S and X production for months as it switched over to “Plaid” versions. Elon Musk originally said in late January that Model S Plaid deliveries would begin in February.

The Model S Plaid looks very similar to the decade-old Model S on the outside. But the interior has been refreshed somewhat. Elon Musk touted the new screens and sound system, as well as the Plaid’s video game capabilities.

On Wednesday, Tesla raised the price of its high-end Plaid by $10,000 to $129,990. But that top-of-the-line Plaid won’t hit 200 mph, as previously claimed, until the right tire and wheel mix is available in the fall.

On Sunday, Musk canceled the Plaid Plus, saying the Plaid is “so good.” The Plaid Plus, which was priced well above the Plaid, was supposed to have a range topping 500 miles.

The Model S Plaid Plus cancellation could reflect further trouble with mass producing 4680 battery cells. If so, that would be a bad sign for the Tesla Semi and Cybertruck, both of which are slated to use the 4680 cells.

The Plaid event had no surprises about batteries, the Cybertruck or any other Tesla vehicle or project.

Tesla stock climbed slightly in premarket trade.

On Thursday, Tesla stock popped 1.9% to 610.12, reclaiming its 200-day line. TSLA stock remains below its sliding 50-day line.

RH Stock

RH stock surged 16% to 707.14, rebounding from its 50-day line and breaking a trend line. The upscale furniture retailer reported booming earnings and revenue growth, guiding higher on sales and margins. RH stock is 8.1% above its 10-week line, so it’s actionable here. But investors could wait to see if it forms a handle. RH stock is on track to have a base with a 733.15 buy point after Friday.

Signet Stock

Signet stock vaulted from its 50-day line to a record high, clearing a flat base with a buy point of 68.39/68.46. Shares hit an intraday high of 74.80 but then slashed gains before rebounding somewhat. Signet stock closed up 14% to 69.58.

The relative strength line for SIG stock hit a new high. The RS line, the blue line in the charts provided, tracks a stock’s performance vs. the S&P 500 index.

Zscaler Stock

Zscaler stock popped 4.55% to 204.91, moving above a double-bottom buy point of 199.60, after hitting resistance multiple times at just below 200. The last time was on May 26, following strong Zscaler earnings. ZS stock broke a tiny trend line earlier in the week.

The RS line for Zscaler stock is off the February peak but is at a three-month high.

CrowdStrike Stock

CrowdStrike, another cybersecurity play with a similar chart to ZS, jumped 6.85% to 228.60, breaking past resistance right around 227. CRWD stock was actionable from a short trend line break; again, much like ZS stock. The official buy for CRWD stock is 251.38.

Adobe Stock

Adobe stock rose just over 4% to 535.52, a record close and clearing a 525.54 early entry in a nine-month consolidation. ADBE stock is 5.8% above its 10-week line, which can be an attractive buying area for Long-Term Leaders. But, Adobe earnings are due June 17, giving new investors little time build a cushion in ADBE stock.

The RS line for Adobe stock is trending higher again, but has fallen significantly since last September.

Google Stock

Google stock edged up 1.1% to 2,435.13, edging past a 2,431.48 buy point from a flat base. The RS line hit a record high along with GOOGL stock, giving the weekly MarketSmith chart a very bullish blue dot.

GME Stock

GME stock plunged 27% to 220.39. GameStop stock is now down 11% for the week despite rising in the prior three sessions.

Late Wednesday, GameStop topped earnings views and named two Amazon execs to be its CEO and CFO. But it also said it might sell 5 million shares of GME stock, at a time when investors are punishing stock offerings. GameStop also disclosed an SEC probe related to trading in the stock.

Executives also again didn’t take questions in a brief GameStop earnings call.

Other Meme Stocks

Clovis Health slumped 15% to 14.34 after reversing from record highs Wednesday to close down 24%. While CLOV stock hasn’t erased Tuesday’s 86% gap-up surge, it has fallen below that day’s low. So anyone who actually bought CLOV stock on Tuesday is now down.

AMC stock skidded 13% to 42.81. Since the wild June 2 gap up, AMC stock has remained within that day’s trading range.

WKHS stock slid 11%. BBBY stock fell 8%.

Most investors should avoid meme stocks. The wild moves offer the potential for huge gains but also massive losses. Given the weak fundamentals and often-poor company prospects, most of these stocks are likely to see huge declines over time.

But if you’re going to play meme stocks, buy them as they clear some plausible resistance on a chart. Do not chase them. Consider using options so you can size your potential loss up front. Consider at least partial profits quickly and be ready to cash out before seeing a massive gain turn into a loss.

Market Rally Analysis

The S&P 500 index finally moved above its early May peak to an all-time high, despite the late morning wobble. The Dow Jones and Nasdaq are closing in on record territory. The Russell 2000 is pulling back but after a strong run.

However, the S&P 500 has been nudging higher, not showing real power in the past couple of weeks. Tracking volume on the major indexes is tricky when meme stocks are in play, with CLOV stock trading more than 700 million shares on Tuesday.

But new buying opportunities continue to appear, as RH, Zscaler and even Adobe stock show. Some stocks rebounded bullishly from early losses, including Roblox (RBLX). Miners and many other stocks are quietly forming positive consolidations.

Chip-gear makers and many medicals had solid sessions.

But it’s still a tricky stock market rally.

Homebuilders are breaking down despite falling Treasury yields. Financials are struggling. After opening higher as the 10-year yield nudged up, they retreated once again as interest rates hit fresh lows.

The brutal sell-offs in CELH stock and others announcing and pricing share offerings is something to note. Sometimes, stocks quickly shake off share offering news, but not always. With a lot of new IPOs in recent months, investors have to be ready for share offerings and lock up expirations.


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What To Do Now

Buying as close to the buy point as possible, at least with your initial position, is crucial in the current market environment. As a stock gets extended, don’t chase it.

To avoid missing out, do your homework. Build up those watchlists, taking a closer look at a select handful of nearly actionable stocks. Stay engaged with the market, using alerts when possible to catch breakouts as they’re happening. That way, you can buy the right stocks at the right time.

Even if you do everything right, some of your buys are going to struggle or fail. The key is to keep those losses small.

Read The Big Picture every day to stay in sync with the market direction and leading stocks and sectors.

Please follow Ed Carson on Twitter at @IBD_ECarson for stock market updates and more.

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Updated daily, McDonald’s on alert


Multiple Chemist Warehouse stores, McDonald’s restaurants and a popular tram route have been added to Victoria’s list of Covid-19 exposure sites.

The Department of Health issued the tier 2 public health alerts on Monday night following nine new local cases of coronavirus.

Anyone who has visited the following locations must urgently get tested for the virus and isolate until a result has been received.

  • SOUTH MELBOURNE: Chemist Warehouse 310 Clarendon Street; June 6 between 10.10am-10.20am; Tier 2
  • SOUTHBANK: IGA 151 Sturt Street Plus Liquor; June 5 between 12.45pm-1pm; Tier 2
  • MARIBYRNONG: 7 Eleven 32 Raleigh Road & Navigator Street; June 4 between 8.05pm-8.20pm; Tier 2
  • PORT MELBOURNE: United West Gate South (Southbound) 2 West Gate Freeway; June 4 between 2pm-2.30pm; Tier 2
  • YARRAVILLE: 7 Eleven Yarraville Cnr Williamstown and Somerville Roads; June 3 between 6.30am-6.50am; Tier 2
  • SOUTHBANK: Chemist Warehouse Southbank Shops 2 and 3, 153 to 159 Sturt Street; June 6 between 10am-10.10am; Tier 2
  • SOUTHBANK: Chemist Warehouse Southbank Shops 2 and 3, 153 to 159 Sturt Street; June 5 between 12.30pm-1pm; Tier 2
  • CAMPBELLFIELD: Subway Campbellfield BP Service Station, 1489 Hume Highway; June 3 between 3.35pm-4.05pm; Tier 2
  • MELBOURNE CBD: Lanzhou Beef Noodle Bar 379 Elizabeth Street; May 30 between 2.10-2.45pm; Tier 2
  • COBURG NORTH: Pho Noodle House 1087 Sydney Road; May 30 between 4.15pm-4.45pm; Tier 2
  • GLENROY: Bardali Dine Restaurant and Bar 82 Wheatsheaf Road; May 30 between 3.45pm-4.15pm; Tier 2
  • STRATHMORE: Red Rooster Pascoe Vale 504 Pascoe Vale Road; May 30 between 3.40pm-4.10pm; Tier 2
  • FLEMINGTON: McDonald’s Flemington 260 Racecourse Road; May 30 between 3pm-3.30pm; Tier 2
  • MELBOURNE CBD: Twenty & Six Espresso 594 Queensberry Street; May 30 between 2.30pm 3pm; Tier 2
  • MELBOURNE CBD: Sinjeon Food Sys Shop C2/550 Lonsdale Street; May 30 between 2.20pm-2.50pm; Tier 2
  • CAMPBELLFIELD: McDonald’s Campbellfield 1603 Hume Highway; June 3 between 3.45pm-4.03pm; Tier 2
  • PTV: Metro Tram 1919 Tram to North Coburg (Collins St/Elizabeth St (stop #2) to Coburg Market/Sydney Rd (stop #33); June 3 between 3:32pm-4:10pm; Tier 2
  • MICKLEHAM: Honker Burgers Merrifield Merrifield City, Shop 14/270 Donnybrook Road; May 30 between 6:10pm-6:45pm; Tier 2

There are 310 locations in total, with Victorians have been urged to check the state government’s website for the full and frequently changing list.

Anyone who visited a tier 1 site are required to get tested immediately and quarantine for 14 days.

The Department of Health will confirm how many new local cases of coronavirus recorded in the past 24 hours later on Tuesday.

Melbourne entered a second week of a fourth strict lockdown on Monday, which is due to end at 11.59pm on Thursday.

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Cr Henk van de Ven estimates up to 40 illegal U-turns being performed daily near his Albury business | The Border Mail


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A long held push for No U-turn signage at the Wilson-Young street intersection in central Albury has reared its head again with one councillor prepared to hand over his own CCTV footage to build the case for the signage to be installed. Cr Henk van de Ven, operates a business at the intersection, said there was up to 40 illegal U-turns performed daily and there was no need for council staff to do more counts in a bid to justify the No U-Turn signage to Transport for NSW. Cr John Stuchbery, in his role of local traffic committee chairman, said the recent opening of Harris Farms on Young Street had led to more illegal U-turns. “I can inform Cr Stuchbery with a great deal of certainty that the number of U-turns at that intersection has been pretty constant over the last 10 years and been no increase since Harris Farms opened,” Cr van de Ven said. “If police or Traffic for NSW wish to avail themselves of my CCTV footage they will be able to work out on a daily basis how many people do U-turns. “It is approximately 35 to 40 per day and nobody seems to want to do anything about it. “The most annoying part is when turning left into Young Street from Wilson Street and someone is doing a U-turn, they actually toot you because you are not giving them right of way.” IN OTHER NEWS Cr Stuchbery didn’t hold high hopes Transport for NSW would agree to signage. “I’m not confident Transport for NSW is going to do anything either sensible or in any reasonable timeframe,” he said. “They are more or less flatly refusing to put up a no U-turn sign (at the Wilson-Young street intersection) because it will create some sort of precedent.” The debate took place at council this week. Meanwhile, a 10km/h speed limit is coming for the Monument Hill surrounds in a move that also rankled Cr van de Ven. He said 10km/h was “barely walking pace” and the step being pushed by Transport for NSW was not enforceable. “I’m just wondering what the point is,” he said. “Have police been involved in this decision making process and have they indicated it is possible to enforce the 10km/h limit?” But, Cr Graham Docksey, who is also the Albury RSL sub branch president, supported the speed limit introduction. Our journalists work hard to provide local, up-to-date news to the community. This is how you can continue to access our trusted content:

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Kelly Wilkinson was in contact with police daily before her alleged murder, sister says


The sister of Kelly Wilkinson, who was allegedly murdered by her estranged partner, says the mother of three was in contact with police and support services on a daily basis in the last few weeks of her life.

“I know she was in contact with somebody daily and making statements nearly every second day, just going to the station,” Danielle Carroll told 7.30.

Queensland police had previously revealed Ms Wilkinson had gone to local Gold Coast police stations at least twice before she was allegedly set on fire by her former partner Brian Earl Johnston on April 20.

Ms Carroll also revealed her sister was “absolutely scared” after police released Mr Johnston on bail just over a week before her death after he was charged with a number of serious offences.

“That’s when she was really getting into police contact daily and just asking, screaming for that help,” she said.

“If their hands were tied for him, why was there no safeguard for her? She was never offered a safe house, she was never offered some sort of security, she was basically left to fend on her own.”

The Queensland Police Service has launched an internal review into the matter.

Assistant Commissioner Brian Codd acknowledged the family’s claims that Ms Wilkinson’s pleas for help were effectively ignored.

“That’s not how it’s recorded with us, but I want to be open to the examination of revealing just exactly what did occur,” he told 7.30.

“The system has let her down and failed her because she came to us seeking assistance, and we did provide her with assistance.

“We immediately responded to her needs, and immediately implemented a police protection notice,” he said.

“She did reach out to us to express some concerns about potential breaches … that were related to contact being made with her by phone, [but] the determination by the investigating police was it didn’t meet the threshold warranting prosecution for a breach.”

Assistant Commissioner Codd admitted it was a difficult situation.

“I don’t want to add to any trauma by the family because they’re fully entitled to ask questions,” he said.

The Assistant Commissioner said one of the critical elements for his review will be the decision by police to release Mr Johnston on bail.

“It quite rightly needs to come under scrutiny,” he said.

“And of course now with hindsight … that certainly calls that into question.”

Ms Carroll and her husband Reece are now caring for Ms Wilkinson’s three children, in addition to their own five children.

“The best thing about it all is just seeing those kids interacting together and knowing that they’re safe and happy and that really is helping us through the whole thing as well,” Reece Carroll said.

The family have set up a GoFundMe page to help with the support of the children. 

Ms Carroll says she finds strength through her sister Kelly.

“Kelly has done her part, she’s told the whole world, she was a strong woman,” she said.

“I just look at those children and I think we’ve got to change things for those kids — future generations.”

Watch this story on 7.30 on ABC TV and iview.

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Your Daily Horoscope for Thursday, May 6



Free daily horoscope for each star sign from renowned Astrologer Hedy Damari. Forecasts for the day ahead in life, love and career.

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Home Affairs Minister says India COVID travel ban being reviewed daily


Home Affairs Minister Karen Andrews says the government is reviewing the temporary travel ban to India “every single day”.

The government has come under sustained criticism for implementing the ban, which — for the first time ever — has made it a criminal offence for citizens and permanent residents to return to Australia if they have been in India in the last 14 days.

The temporary ban is due to end on May 15, with the Prime Minister and other senior government ministers saying it is to give quarantine facilities like Howard Springs time for the high number of positive cases to come down.

Ms Andrews said she understood people’s concerns, but that the ban was an “appropriate measure” given the rates of COVID-19 in travellers arriving from India.

“These are temporary measures, we will be reviewing them,” she said.

“Quite frankly, they’re being looked at every single day as we look at what the options are to support the Indian community here in Australia and to do our best for all Australians.

One of the issues flagged by Chief Medical Officer Paul Kelly was that there needed to be an improvement in the pre-flight testing system.

All travellers are required to present a negative COVID-19 test before they board a repatriation or commercial flight.

But despite that, people were returning from India and testing positive for the disease.

Health authorities and the government have said Howard Springs’ infection rate reached 15 per cent, seven times higher than the goal of 2 per cent.

Ms Andrews said as well as improving testing systems, one of the other avenues the government was considering was how to deal with travellers from India who were vaccinated.

“How we’re going to know who has been vaccinated, which vaccination they have had, which countries they have come from, whether it will be hotel quarantine when they get here, whether it will be home quarantine — those are all the issues that are being discussed across government,” she said.

‘Nobody’s going to be jailed’

Unlike some of the other travel bans the government has enforced since the beginning of the pandemic — from China and most recently from Papua New Guinea — travelling from India carries with it the threat of five years in jail or a $66,000 fine.

Despite putting out a release late last Friday making clear the potential consequences, senior government ministers including the Prime Minister and Deputy Prime Minister have now walked back the idea that anyone would face the sanctions.

“Obviously there needs to be a hard line taken as far as the overall [Biosecurity] Act being in place, but nobody’s going to be jailed at this time, the Prime Minister’s made that quite clear,” Deputy Prime Minister Michael McCormack said.

The federal opposition has questioned why, if there was no plan to enforce the sanctions, they were introduced and publicised by the government.

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Yesterday, Scott Morrison said it was unlikely anyone would be charged for breaching the ban, and that he expected it to be implemented “proportionately”.

The ban was introduced under the Biosecurity Act, in a determination made by Health Minister Greg Hunt.

In March last year, the Governor-General declared a “human biosecurity emergency” in response to the emerging pandemic, which gave the health minister and government the power to make such emergency determinations to try to keep COVID-19 out of Australia.

But any kind of new rule or offence must abide by certain criteria, including that it is “no more restrictive or intrusive” than it needs to be, and that it is only in place for as long as it is necessary.

Lawyers are preparing to challenge the legality of the ban in court.

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Woman ‘going crazy’ over daily piano sounds from next door: Nuisance neighbours and what you can do


SINGAPORE: At first, Ms C (not her real name) thought it was “quite nice” to hear piano music coming from her neighbour’s home during the “circuit breaker” period, when people were ordered to stay in to curb the spread of COVID-19. 

Then about six months later, from October 2020, her next-door neighbour began playing the same song daily, between 7am and 11pm.  

“She was waking us up every single day,” Ms C, who is pregnant and in her 30s, told CNA. 

It got so bad that she and her husband started hearing the song in their heads even when it was not being played. They live in a condominium in western Singapore.

Ms C said she tried several ways to resolve the issue, including reaching out to the neighbour. She claimed the woman was “quite adamant” that she could continue what she was doing and that it was “her right to play the piano”.

After her husband spoke to the neighbour’s husband, the woman switched to playing a second song, but did so over and over again, said Ms C.

When she contacted the condominium’s managing body, she said she was told that they could not do anything, as there is no by-law stating a specific time when the neighbour could or could not play the piano.

“But the by-laws do say that all residents are given the right to peace and quiet … so if music is penetrating into my house, even with all the doors and windows closed, shouldn’t that be an issue? But the MCST was just quite not helpful,” said Ms C.

The sound of the piano can be heard loudly in the corridor just outside Ms C’s home, and at a lower volume in Ms C’s bedroom, according to audio clips that she provided to CNA.

There are other pianists in the condominium, but only their next-door neighbour creates such a noise, she said. According to Ms C, the neighbour who lives above the piano player also experienced the same issue.

“It’s like to the point where – whenever there is peace and quiet, my husband and I will second-guess ourselves whether she’s playing the music, because we can hear the whole song in our head, because she plays it over and over again,” said Ms C. 

“It’s actually the mental part that really got to us … I think if she plays different songs throughout the whole day it wouldn’t be so bad, but it’s because she plays the same exact piece the whole day that … I think we are going crazy.”

She had contacted CNA after reading about a trial between two condominium neighbours. The case involves a woman who took her upstairs neighbour to court in a private prosecution, alleging abusive behaviour such as repeatedly splashing water down into her home and deliberately bouncing a ball. No verdict has been reached and the trial continues in July.

READ: Condominium neighbours in court over woman’s alleged splashing of water, bouncing of basketball

Ms C said she read up on her issue and thinks the police would tell such victims to solve the matter themselves. In the meantime, she mitigates the problem by turning up the volume on her television. 

She is considering moving out.

NUMBER OF NEIGHBOURLY DISPUTES ROSE IN 2020

According to a spokesperson from the Ministry of Law, which oversees the Community Mediation Centre (CMC) that handles neighbourly disputes, the number of such cases rose in 2020 from the year before.

Most of the disputes registered in 2020 were related to noise, unacceptable conduct or cigarette smoke, said the spokesperson.

She said the increase could be attributed to more residents staying at home during the COVID-19 pandemic, particularly during the circuit breaker months, as well as increased awareness of CMC’s services.

Of the cases that went to mediation, more than 80 per cent were resolved amicably, said the ministry.


The Ministry of National Development (MND) previously said that HDB received an average of 3,400 reports or feedback per year on “social disamenities” between neighbours from 2015 to 2019.

From January to September 2020, HDB received about 11,400 cases of feedback on noise from residents’ daily activities. This is an increase from the 3,600 cases logged for the same period in 2019.

There were about 500 cases of feedback per month from January to March 2020, increasing to about 1,800 cases per month from April to July 2020, especially during the circuit breaker period when most people had to stay home. 

The number of feedback cases fell to 1,300 per month from August 2020, likely due to people returning to work and school.

HOW THE LAW PROTECTS RESIDENTS FROM NUISANCE NEIGHBOURS

Lawyers told CNA that residents are protected from neighbourly acts that cause nuisance under two laws – the Civil Disputes Resolution Act (CDRA), which prohibits causing unreasonable interference with a neighbour’s enjoyment or use of his home, and the Protection from Harassment Act (POHA).

Mr Alvin Lim, a partner at WongPartnership in specialist and private client disputes practice, said the CDRA was specially enacted to address the problem of nuisance neighbours. 

Examples of “unreasonable interference” by neighbours include: Causing excessive noise, smell, smoke, light or vibration, littering in the vicinity of the resident’s home, obstructing the home, interfering with the person’s movable property, conducting surveillance on the resident’s home and trespassing.

“In addition, it is not uncommon for a neighbour’s pet to be a nuisance,” said Mr Lim. The CDRA also protects against a situation where a neighbour allows his pets to trespass on the resident’s home and cause excessive noise or smell or to defecate or urinate near his home.

POHA, on the other hand, protects an individual from acts that cause harassment, alarm or distress, and a wayward neighbour may be subject to criminal sanctions and civil claims, said Mr Lim.

It is an offence for a person to use threatening, abusive or insulting words or behaviour that cause a victim to suffer harassment, alarm or distress. If a resident makes a police report against their neighbour, authorities will investigate and decide whether to prosecute the neighbour.

If not, the resident can also consider filing a magistrate’s complaint to pursue a private prosecution against the neighbour. 

WHAT CAN RESIDENTS WITH NUISANCE NEIGHBOURS DO?

There are several avenues for residents to seek recourse. Mr Lim said the first port of call should be through mediation at the CMC.

This is a consensual and private process where a trained neutral third party – a mediator – helps the neighbours to understand each other’s unhappiness and guide them to arrive at a mutually acceptable solution.

“The collaborative and solution-orientated approach of CMC mediation has resulted in a high success rates,” said Mr Lim. “It is also a cost-effective option, and can preserve the neighbourly spirit. If a solution can be reached at the mediation, the neighbours will record it in written form and agree to abide by their chosen solution.”

However, if the neighbour does not want mediation or if it is unsuccessful, the victim may have no choice but to take the dispute to court. If a person files a police report but it is not deemed a police case, there are a few legal avenues open.

hdb flats (2)

A view of an HDB block of flats in Singapore. (Photo: TODAY/file photo)

A person can file a magistrate’s complaint and pursue a private prosecution if the neighbour has potentially committed a criminal offence, or file a claim under the Protection from Harassment Act if they have suffered harassment, alarm or distress. 

Lawyer Joel Wong, an associate from Eugene Thuraisingam, LLP said a magistrate’s complaint seeks punishment for the offender, while a civil suit seeks compensation.

In magistrate’s complaints, the person filing it will have to bear his own legal costs, while costs in a civil suit are decided at the end based on “blameworthiness”.

The same legal recourse is available regardless of housing type, Mr Lim said.

“However, the nature of high rise apartment living and greater common spaces in HDB flats and condominiums have the potential to give rise to more neighbourly disputes. For example, disputes may arise from a neighbour’s love for karaoke, cooking of pungent dishes or renovation of his unit, especially where these are done thoughtlessly or taken to an extreme,” he said.

With condominium residents, rules and by-laws are an additional factor, as they may impact the rights or obligations of a neighbour and may involve the MCST.

For landed properties, some of the more common neighbour disputes involve landscaping issues, such as a tree that grows from one resident’s home and overhangs his neighbour’s. Mr Lim cited a case his law firm saw where the neighbour offered to engage a gardener to have the tree pruned, and the brewing dispute was resolved.

“If the parties’ differences cannot be reconciled with mediation, they may make an application to the Community Dispute Resolution Tribunal (CDRT) as an avenue of last resort to resolve their dispute,” said a spokesperson for the Law Ministry.

WHAT IF THE NEIGHBOUR DOESN’T COMPLY?

Lawyer Cory Wong of Invictus Law said the CDRT is a court specially created for the accompanying act.

Similar to the Small Claims Tribunal, the CDRT allows for simplified court processes with minimal fees, and is meant to provide easy access to the man on the street for such cases, he said. 

However, a trade-off means that parties cannot be represented by lawyers in the CDRT.

What to do if you have a nuisance neighbour

After satisfying the legal requirement that states a neighbour is someone who lives in the same building or within 100m of the complainant, the next question is whether the interference is unreasonable and whether there is evidence to prove it, he said.

There are different types of “unreasonableness” and evidence to prove it depending on the type of interference. For example, noise disturbances will typically involve audio recordings and audiometers to record the loudness of the noise, but soft ambient noises that affect rest can also form a case.

If a person has evidence of the unreasonable interference, they can apply under the CDRA for various court orders: For damages such as compensation, injunctions such as a restraining order, specific performance such as compelling the neighbour to do certain things, apologies, or any necessary order.

READ: Woman admits placing raw beef on neighbour’s doorstep because she thought he molested her

Whether the court will grant the order is subject to factors such as the outcome of mediation between the parties, whether the evidence is sufficient, the impact on the neighbour, the tolerance level of a reasonable person living in Singapore, and whether it is fair to grant such a court order.

If the court order is granted and the neighbour complies, all is well, said Mr Wong of Invictus Law.

But if the neighbour disobeys the order, the resident can apply to the court for a special direction for the neighbour to comply with the disobeyed order. A breach of such a special direction can be punished with jail of up to three months, a fine of up to S$5,000, or both.

If the neighbour disregards this special direction as well, the resident can apply for an exclusion order for the neighbour to be excluded from his or her home. The granting of such an order is subject to very strict requirements, Mr Wong added, especially the impact on the neighbour and whether it is fair to grant such an order.

Breaching an exclusion order can be punished with up to three months’ jail, a fine of up to S$5,000, or both.

ARE MOST DISPUTES RESOLVED?

However, Mr Wong said most of his firm’s neighbour-dispute consultations did not go beyond the initial court order. Referring to the piano-playing incident, he said it “is certainly not a stretch to say that the reasonable person would definitely think twice about playing the piano loudly at home if it could attract a fine or jail time pursuant to a court order”.

Mr Joel Wong from Eugene Thuraisingam, LLP, said whether getting a stiff penalty in court is enough to stop a neighbour depends on their personality and demeanour.

“In general, yes – an adverse court ruling is likely to deter the neighbour from causing further nuisance,” he said.

Mr Lim gave a practical tip for the resident to keep a detailed and contemporaneous record of each and every nuisance act.

“The record should state the date, time, and description of the nature and severity of each incident, together with photographs, audio or video recordings and CCTV footage where appropriate,” he said. 

“This is known as the evidence gathering process, and is an often overlooked aspect when a complainant is in the midst of a heated dispute and emotions are running high. This body of evidence is important as it will substantiate the complainant’s claims in court, if matters reach that stage.”

However, he said one issue is the perception of the time that the court process may take to “solve the problem”. 

“It may seem ineffective to a neighbour on the receiving end of daily nuisance acts, whilst legal proceedings take their course in court,” he said. “Ultimately, the reality is that court sanctions or penalties may deepen divisions between neighbours and further deteriorate the already sour neighbourly relationship.” 

He added: “It is not difficult to imagine a scenario where a neighbour who is unhappy with the court outcome may commit other anti-social acts in order to ‘get back’ at the complainant or otherwise antagonise the complainant. 

“While the law plays an important role in punishing undesirable behaviour, a holistic approach of building a strong community ethic and neighbourly spirit is required to address the problem of nuisance neighbours.”

The spokesperson for the Law Ministry said “a good degree of understanding, consideration and compromise goes a long way towards maintaining harmonious neighbour relations”.
 
“We encourage everyone to be more considerate towards one another, and communicate with their neighbours before disputes arise,” she said.

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India sets record of 386,000 daily coronavirus cases

India has set another global record with 386,452 daily coronavirus cases.
The Health Ministry on Friday also reported 3,498 deaths in the last 24 hours, bringing the total to 208,330. Experts believe both figures are an undercount, but it’s unclear by how much.
India’s pandemic response has been marred by insufficient data. An online appeal — signed by over 350 scientists Friday afternoon — asks the government to release data about the sequencing of virus variants, testing, recovered patients and how people were responding to vaccines.
The appeal says the “granular” data on testing was inaccessible to non-government experts and some government experts too.
India has set a daily global record for more than a week with an average of nearly 350,000 infections. Daily deaths have nearly tripled in the past three weeks, reflecting the intensity of the latest surge.
Meanwhile, families continued to flood social media and messaging apps with pleas for help: oxygen, beds, medicines, intensive care units and wood for funeral pyres.
India has reported more than 18.7 million cases since the start of the pandemic, second only to the United States. Globally, total deaths rank fourth.
Japan said Friday it will send 300 ventilators and 300 oxygen concentrators in response to the Indian government request. “Japan stands with India, our friend and partner,” the Foreign Ministry said.
France, Germany, Ireland and Australia have also promised help, and Russia sent two aircraft carrying oxygen generating equipment. The Indian air force also airlifted oxygen containers from Singapore, Dubai and Bangkok.
Chinese state media said the first batch of 25,000 oxygen concentrators pledged by Beijing to India also arrived Friday. There was no immediate comment by India but it could be a step in thawing tensions between the two countries.
The reports said China has already sent 5,000 ventilators and 21,000 oxygen generators to India.

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WA Premier Mark McGowan criticises Gladys Berejiklian’s suggestion states should stop daily COVID-19 case updates — as it happened



Vaccine fertility question?

Hello! I am 30 and several of my female friends around my age are concerned that the COVID vaccine will impact their fertility. I haven’t seen any credible info on this but my friends’ continue to mention ‘reputable sources’. I saw it mentioned on the blog recently that women in their 30s as a group have the highest percentage of people who are anti-vaxxers or hesitant to get the vaccine. I think concerns around fertility may be a key factor in this. Can you please get your journos to look into this and write a fact checker? Thanks!

-MKM

Hi MKM, as a woman nearing that age group myself I definitely understand you and your friends’ concerns. There is also a lot of misinformation out there, and a lot of people who may try to exploit your totally reasonable concerns about a future family. 

We have done a couple of fact-checks about pregnancy, fertility and vaccines. This is a comprehensive one from a few weeks ago, written by an infant feeding consultant for the World Health Organisation and an adjunct associate professor in the Western Sydney University School of Nursing and Midwifery. 

A few days ago we wrote another fact check piece debunking some prevailing concerns about womens’ fertility and vaccines. These questions below are answered by Archa Fox, a molecular biologist specialising in RNA, the genetic code behind viruses and many of the COVID-19 vaccines, and Christopher Blyth, an associate professor in paediatrics at the University of Western Australia and co-director of the Wesfarmers Centre of Vaccines and Infectious Diseases. You can’t get much more reputable than those. This is what they said:

Do the vaccines affect fertility?

Dr Fox: There’s no evidence to suggest that the vaccine affects fertility. There is also no scientific reason to suspect that the vaccines might affect fertility. It will be possible within the next year to measure if there is any drop in fertility rates because millions of people around the world have now received the vaccines.

Dr Blyth: No vaccines impact fertility and importantly, that applies to COVID vaccines. It’s absolutely safe for people planning pregnancy.

Is it safe to get the vaccine if I’m pregnant?

Dr Fox: Pregnant people were not included in the phase three clinical trial — that’s very common practice, for pregnant people not to be included in clinical trials of anything. The current advice is if you’re not in a high-risk group, it’s better to wait until we have more research. But that’s only because of an absence of data, it’s not based on any suggestion there is a risk. The data will come soon because all around the world people are getting vaccinated, including pregnant people, and those who want to go on and become pregnant.

Do the vaccines affect breastfeeding?

Dr Blyth: The COVID vaccines are safe for anyone breastfeeding. The recommendation is that you can receive COVID-19 vaccines at any time while breastfeeding.

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Israel records ZERO daily Covid deaths for first time in ten months as it closes hospital coronavirus wards with more than 80% of adults vaccinated



For the first time in 10 months, Israel have not recorded a single death related to Covid-19.

Israel continues to lead the world in its vaccination drive, with the country having recently hit the landmark or having 80 per cent of its adult population vaccinated.

The drive appears to be having an impact, with zero coronavirus deaths having been reported on Thursday, according to government statistics. 

Data shows that Israel did not record a single death related to coronavirus, with their national total staying on 6,346.

With only one death having been recorded the day before, it appears as though the rate at which people are dying from the virus in Israel is slowing. 

Israeli columnist Nadav Eyal Tweeted about the landmark achievement yesterday.

In the Tweet he said: ‘For the first time in 10 months, no Israeli died of Covid-19 in the last 24 hours. 

‘Special Corona wards have closed in all hospitals and share of positive cases stands now on 0.4% with dozens of thousands of tests per day, in a 9M population. #Covid_EndGame.’

The last time that Israel managed to record zero coronavirus deaths was 299 days ago on June 29, 2020, following a series of lockdown restrictions which helped contain the first wave of the virus. 

To date, Israel has recorded 837,892 cases of coronavirus, with 6,436 deaths 

Coronavirus reached its peak in Israel in January this year and has been slowly easing up since, with the government now relaxing measures as vaccines continue to be rolled out.

Last week, the Israeli government announced that it had dropped its almost year-long outdoor mask mandate as it inches towards total immunisation of its adult population.

The restriction, which required masks to be worn outdoors unless exercising, was lifted on Sunday as Reuters reported that the country had vaccinated around 80 per cent of its adult population. 

‘The rate of infection in Israel is very low thanks to the successful vaccine campaign in Israel, and therefore it is possible to ease [restrictions],’ Health Minister Yuli Edelstein said on Thursday, adding that masks will still be required indoors. 

More than five million people have now received at least their first dose of a coronavirus vaccine.

And the health ministry has also said that more than 53 per cent of the total population had been fully inoculated. 

The drive has drastically cut hospitalisations and deaths from coronavirus.

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu obtained millions of Pfizer/BioNTech vaccines and the vaccines have transformed life in Israel. In mid-January the country had a peak of some 10,000 new infections a day but the rate is now about 200 cases a day.

The rate of new infections has remained low even after in-person learning resumed and restrictions were loosened on bars, restaurants and indoor gatherings.

Strict measures also remain in place for anyone entering the country with citizens and foreigners alike required to self isolate.

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