Morning Briefing: Top stories from The Straits Times on Jan 13

Good morning! Here are our top stories to kick-start your Monday, Jan 13.

Thousands evacuated, flights cancelled after 'small but dangerous' volcano spews ash near Manila

Villagers prepare to board rescue vehicles after a volcano eruption in the Philippines on Jan 13, 2020. PHOTO: EPA-EFE

The Philippines is on alert for the “explosive eruption” of the Taal volcano south of Manila, which officials said could be imminent.


Retail sales not all sparkling at Jewel Changi Airport despite the crowds

Stores at Jewel Changi Airport that offer unique concepts or are exclusively located at Jewel seem to be doing better than retail chains that have multiple outlets in more accessible areas of Singapore. ST PHOTO: JASON QUAH

Nine months after the opening of the 10-storey development, which boasts more than 280 shops and food and beverage outlets, some retailers say business has been slow.


Taiwan President Tsai Ing-wen's win won't help Hong Kong protests: Analysts

An attendee holding a flag in support of Hong Kong at a rally of Taiwan President Tsai Ing-wen's Democratic Progressive Party in Taipei on Saturday. PHOTO: BLOOMBERG

Taiwan President Tsai Ing-wen's landslide victory may have raised the hopes of anti-government protesters in Hong Kong, but some observers believe her newly minted win is unlikely to re-energise the city's ongoing protests.


Move to raise private-hire firms' service, safety standards

Vehicles on the PIE on March 15, 2019. Rules and regulations for the point-to-point (P2P) regulatory framework are being finalised. PHOTO: ST FILE

Under rules effective from June, private-hire cars will have to undergo inspections annually.


Protesters demand Iran’s leaders quit after military admits it hit plane

In a photo taken on Jan 9, rescue workers search the scene where a Ukrainian plane crashed in Shahedshahr, Iran. PHOTO: AP


Protests erupted across Iran for a second day, piling pressure on the leadership after the military admitted it had mistakenly shot down a Ukrainian airliner at a time when Teheran feared US air strikes.


More trees and plants at over 80 new HDB estates as part of greening plans

Greenery integrated into new housing projects at Dawson Estate. PHOTO: HDB

All new HDB developments must have a "green plot ratio" of at least 4.5, meaning the total "leaf area" of all the plants has to be 4.5 times the site area.


Lucky Plaza accident: 2 Filipino maids still in hospital now in stable condition

Members of the public, many of them domestic workers, at a makeshift memorial at the site of the accident on Jan 5, 2020. ST PHOTO: ARIFFIN JAMAR

Ms Arceli Nucos, 56, and Ms Egnal Layugan Limbauan, 43, have been moved to normal wards.


Bak kwa customers not put off by higher prices for CNY

Lim Chee Guan says it has increased its sliced bak kwa prices from $52 a kg during the non-festive period to $62 now because pork prices have been rising. ST PHOTO: MARCELLIN LOPEZ

High demand and costlier pork are among reasons for the rising price of the festive treat.


Firms in China remain wary despite US trade deal

A man walks in a shipping container area in Shanghai on May 11, 2012. PHOTO: REUTERS

As Chinese Vice Premier Liu He travels to Washington from Monday to Wednesday to seal the deal, manufacturers and suppliers say they fear the agreement could be upended even after it is signed.


A man of his word: Jay Chou settles bills for fans at Atlas bar

Mandopop king Jay Chou paid the bill for fans that he met at Atlas bar on Jan 11, 2020. PHOTO: SCREENGRAB FROM JAYCHOU/INSTAGRAM

The Mandopop king, who held concerts at the National Stadium on Friday and Saturday, had promised to treat fans if they said hi after bumping into him at any restaurant.