Morning Briefing: Top stories from The Straits Times on Dec 17

Good morning! Here are our top stories to kick-start your Tuesday, Dec 17.

Expect a wet, cool Christmas with temperatures in Singapore likely to dip to 23 deg C in later half of December


For the rest of the month, expect moderate to heavy thundery showers in the afternoon on eight to 10 days, with these showers continuing into the evening on some days. ST PHOTO: LIM YAOHUI

The daily temperature is forecast to range between 24 and 33 deg C on most days.

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Malaysia's annual flooding hits Johor hard; total evacuees in country more than double to exceed 10,000


As of Dec 16, the number of people evacuated in Johor state had more than doubled to 9,348, from 3,934 on Dec 15, 2019. PHOTO: BERNAMA

Torrential rain has been forecast in Johor, Terengganu and Pahang until Tuesday, while heavy downpour is expected to drench Sabah until Wednesday.

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Govt calls out Washington Post for 'perpetuating false allegations' over Pofma article


The Washington Post article had pointed out that Pofma, among other things, could have a "chilling effect on online free expression" - points which Mr Ashok Kumar Mirpuri, Singapore's ambassador to the US, has rebutted. PHOTO: SCREENGRAB FROM WASHINGTONPOST.COM

The American newspaper ran only parts of a letter from Singapore's ambassador to the United States.

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HDB lease top-up proposal has drawbacks: Observers


An automatic lease extension for HDB flats was one of several policies that property consultant Ku Swee Yong, veteran architect Tay Kheng Soon and economist Yeoh Lam Keong introduced last month in what they termed a "citizen's non-partisan policy proposal" to address and offer solutions to key public housing issues. ST PHOTO: KUA CHEE SIONG

A policy proposal for a one-time automatic lease top-up for ageing flats may be hard to stop, they say of idea put up at forum.

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Boeing will halt Max 737 production in January, following two fatal crashes


The decision, made by Boeing's board after a two-day meeting in Chicago, follows news last week that the Federal Aviation Administration would not approve the plane's return to service before 2020. PHOTO: REUTERS

The decision follows news last week that the Federal Aviation Administration would not approve the plane's return to service before 2020.

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Commercial kitchens turn to CCTVs to ensure food safety


A closed-circuit television camera (above) installed in TungLok's kitchen in Tai Seng. All TungLok Group restaurants and its catering kitchen are fitted with CCTV systems. In November last year, its catering arm's catering licence was suspended for 62 days after 190 food poisoning cases were reported. The food was prepared on site for an event. ST PHOTO: ONG WEE JIN

The Singapore Food Agency is considering new rules to tackle food hygiene and safety after a rise in food poisoning cases last year.

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Tuberculosis case reported at Bukit Batok pre-school; MOH says no risk of further exposure


Symptoms of active TB include a persistent cough, chest pain when breathing or coughing, tiredness, fever, night sweats and loss of appetite or weight. PHOTO: AFP

The infected patient was placed on medical leave immediately after the diagnosis was made and is being treated, said a Health Ministry spokesman.

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Former Malaysian commando claims Najib told him to kill Mongolian model Altantuya


Azilah Hadri (right), who was sentenced to hang for killing model Altantuya Shaariibuu (left), claims the ex-PM gave him an explicit order to kill her. PHOTOS: AFP / MONGOLIAN CONSULATE

In a statutory declaration, convicted murderer Azilah Hadri said he and his former colleague killed Altantuya Shaariibuu following an explicit "shoot to kill" order by Najib.

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Over 2,800 food delivery riders to get e-scooter trade-in grant: Lam Pin Min


Food delivery riders at Anchorvale Community Club on Nov 12. They were there to meet Senior Minister of State for Transport Lam Pin Min and voice their concerns over how they would be affected by the ban on using e-scooters on footpaths. ST PHOTO: DESMOND FOO

The $7 million grant was introduced in mid-November to help food delivery riders replace their electric scooters with bicycles, power-assisted bicycles or personal mobility aids.

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E-Sports: First global body to be headquartered in Singapore, SNOC sec-gen Chris Chan to be president


Minister for Culture, Community and Youth Grace Fu (centre), in a group photo with board members at the launch of the Global E-Sports Federation on Dec 16, 2019. ST PHOTO: GIN TAY

The Global E-Sports Federation said its vision is to be "the voice and authority for the worldwide e-sports movement".

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