Morning Briefing: Top stories from The Straits Times on Aug 25

Good morning! Here are our top stories to kick-start your Thursday, Aug 25.


Masks optional on taxis and in most indoor settings from Monday: 7 things you need to know

Where do you need to keep your mask on, and where can you unmask?

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No masks required on some SIA flights and in Changi Airport

Only passengers travelling to or from destinations that require a mask on flights will need to wear one.

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Taxi and private-hire drivers surprised at change in mask-wearing rule, worried about Covid-19 transmission

They also say there could be potential conflict if some drivers insist that their passengers wear a mask.

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Tanjong Pagar crash: Deaths of 5 men in burning car ruled a traffic-related misadventure

The State Coroner said the case serves to remind motorists not to operate vehicles under the influence of alcohol.

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Parents 'race against time' to raise $3m to save baby with rare genetic disorder

The boy, who was born in July, has a neuromuscular disorder that causes muscles to weaken.

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Najib supporters' push for royal pardon draws opposition from civil society groups

The move for a pardon came less than 24 hours after Najib's graft conviction was upheld. 

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Residents in China's hottest city Chongqing crank up the air-con; power cuts for factories, malls

The extreme heat in Chongqing, where temperatures hit 43 deg C on Monday, melted the soles of ST China correspondent Danson Cheong's shoes. He had to buy a new pair for 53 yuan.

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Biden forgives millions of student loans; critics fear inflation

The actions are “for families that need them the most - working and middle class people hit especially hard during the pandemic,” Biden said.

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Chinese 'spy ship' visit shows Rajapaksas still run Sri Lanka

Anyone who believes their power on the island is over only needs to examine the circumstances of the visit by the Chinese tracking ship to the port of Hambantota – seat of the family’s political base, says associate editor Ravi Velloor.

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British-Belgian teen becomes youngest round-the-world solo flier

Mack Rutherford, who comes from a line of pilots, covered 54,000km across 30 countries.

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