Evening Update: Today's headlines from The Straits Times on Dec 31

Good evening! Catch up on some of the main headlines on Tuesday, Dec 31. 


Singapore has to stay open, resist temptation to turn inwards: PM Lee Hsien Loong


PM Lee Hsien Loong at the recording of his New Year Message at The Bicentennial Experience. PHOTO: MINISTRY OF COMMUNICATIONS AND INFORMATION

"A Singapore turned inwards cannot survive," said Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong in his New Year Message.

READ MORE HERE

Lucky Plaza accident: Woman who died was sole breadwinner; family at a loss



Mr Jhef Umoquit Leste said that the death of his mother, Ms Abigail Danao Leste, 41, shocked his family. PHOTO: JHEF UMOQUIT LESTE/FACEBOOK

Ms Abigail Danao Leste was one of two women who died after a car careened into the sidewalk where she and five of her close friends were having a picnic.

READ MORE HERE

6,000 warnings given in December to those riding e-scooters on footpaths, almost double November's number



A man on an e-scooter on a footpath outside Our Tampines Hub on Dec 31, 2019. ST PHOTO: LIM YAOHUI

From Wednesday, those caught riding on footpaths can be fined up to $2,000, jailed for up to three months or both.

READ MORE HERE

Ignore scam message on tax refunds circulating via WhatsApp, warns taxman



The image of the scam shows an e-mail with Iras' logo and title, informing victims of a tax refund of "236.51 $" they can receive. PHOTO: INLAND REVENUE AUTHORITY OF SINGAPORE

The image of the scam shows an e-mail with Iras' logo and title, informing victims of a tax refund of "236.51 $" they can receive.

READ MORE HERE

Lucky Plaza accident: Ministry explains why victims were not taken to Mt Elizabeth Hospital, just 200m away from scene



Tan Tock Seng Hospital was the nearest hospital equipped with the necessary resources, equipment and specialist medical support to deal with such complexities of care, not Mount Elizabeth Hospital, said MOH and SCDF. PHOTO: LIANHE WANBAO

Mount Elizabeth Hospital has a 24-hour walk-in Emergency department, but it is "not equipped or staffed to manage all forms of emergency cases", said the Ministry of Health.

READ MORE HERE

Thousands trapped on Australia beach encircled by fire, with some taking to the sea



As many as 4,000 people are trapped on the foreshore of the encircled seaside town of Mallacoota. PHOTO: BLUESFESTBLUES/TWITTER

Thousands of holidaymakers and locals were trapped on a beach in fire-ravaged southeast Australia, as blazes ringed a popular tourist area leaving no escape by land.

READ MORE HERE

Hong Kong New Year protests start with calls to 'persist in 2020'



Protesters hold up their smartphone lights during a rally in Hong Kong, on Dec 30, 2019.PHOTO: AP

Hong Kong pro-democracy protesters began staging New Year’s Eve rallies around the city, as police prepared to deploy more than 6,000 officers, according to local media. 

READ MORE HERE

Singapore Government officials rebut Bloomberg, South China Morning Post articles on Pofma



With online falsehoods and manipulation now a serious problem, societies everywhere look to the mainstream media, including global players like Bloomberg, to maintain high standards of integrity and objectivity, said Ms Ho Hwei Ling. PHOTO: ST FILE

Government officials have rebutted articles by Bloomberg and the South China Morning Post on Singapore's fake news law, the latest in a series of such responses to media outlets.

READ MORE HERE

Scammers turning to bitcoin machines to avoid police detection



Police officers from Bukit Merah East Neighbourhood Police Centre prevented at least two victims from buying bitcoins under the instructions of scammers in separate cases. PHOTO: SHIN MIN DAILY NEWS

Last month, police officers prevented at least two victims from buying bitcoins under the instructions of scammers in separate cases.

READ MORE HERE

Top 10 podcasts in 2019 by The Straits Times and The Business Times



#PopVultures, Money Hacks and Health Check emerged as the top three consistent podcast series from The Straits Times and The Business Times in 2019. PHOTOS: ST FILE, SINGAPORE INTERNATIONAL FILM FESTIVAL

#PopVultures, Money Hacks and Health Check are the top three series.

READ MORE HERE