Morning Briefing: Top stories from The Straits Times on Jan 14

Good morning! Here are our top stories to kick-start your Tuesday, Jan 14.

Manila shuts down, thousands evacuated amid volcano eruption fears

Residents evacuate as Taal volcano erupts in Batangas province in the Philippines, on Jan 12, 2020. PHOTO: AP

Schools and government offices will remain closed on Tuesday.


Eruption upends lives in Philippine city that depends on volcano

A family evacuates to safer grounds after an eruption of the Taal volcano on Jan 13, 2020. PHOTO: AP

Tagaytay, an upland resort city about two hours' drive south of the Philippine capital, Manila, owes much of its prosperity to Taal, a small volcano that, while very active, has not really been a threat.


Raffles City hit by two-hour power outage, lights back on after 10pm

Raffles City said in a Facebook post at 8.14pm that it was alerted to the "partial power outage" at about 8pm, and was working to restore supply. ST PHOTO: ARIFFIN JAMAR


Mall security officers, who were stationed at the entrance to guide shoppers, said the blackout was due to a power trip.


Thailand confirms first case of mystery virus from Wuhan, Chinese woman quarantined

In a photo taken on Feb 20, 2018, passengers wait to board their plane at Suvarnabhumi Airport in Bangkok. PHOTO: ST FILE

The Thai Health Ministry said that of 12 travellers quarantined since Jan 3, lab results show that a 61-year-old Chinese woman carried a strain of the coronavirus.


Singapore's lost palaces: Researcher locates 20 former istanas

Heritage researcher Sarafian Salleh holding an undated picture of Istana Engku Khalid when Radin Mas Primary School was operating out of it. The Pearl@Mount Faber condominium now occupies the spot. Mr Sarafian learnt that Singapore was once home to as many as 30 istanas after studying archival research and conducting interviews. ST PHOTO: KELLY HUI

Singapore was once home to as many as 30 istanas, some of which were located in heartland areas, such as Bedok, Serangoon Road and Telok Blangah.


US removes currency manipulator label for China ahead of trade deal signing

The United States formally retracted its accusation that China manipulates its currency to gain unfair trade advantages, two days before Beijing and Washington are due to sign a partial trade deal. PHOTO: AFP

It was a sign of easing tensions between the economic powers after nearly two years of conflict.


Malaysia police nab PH state lawmaker and two aides to top officials in anti-drug raid

Dengkil (Selangor) state assemblyman Adhif Syan Abdullah was among four men detained during a police bust at an office space in Puchong, Selangor state, following complaints of loud noise. PHOTO: ADHIF SYAN ABDULLAH/FACEBOOK

The embarrassing arrests come at a time when Pakatan Harapan's popularity has nosedived as it struggles to fulfill its election promises.


Case against Pofma corrections should be heard in open court: SDP

The Manpower Ministry ordered correction directions under the Protection from Online Falsehoods and Manipulation Act over two of the Singapore Democratic Party's Facebook posts and an article on its website that the ministry said contained falsehoods. PHOTO: GOV.SG

The Singapore Democratic Party which has had three correction directions issued against it under the fake news law, will request to have its case challenging the corrections heard in an open court.


Britain's Queen Elizabeth agrees Prince Harry and Meghan can exit senior royal roles

In a file photo taken on June 26, 2018, (from right) Britain's Queen Elizabeth, Prince Harry and Meghan, pose for a group photo at Buckingham Palace in London. PHOTO: AP

The couple will now begin a “period of transition” that will see them split their time between Britain and Canada.


Oscars 2020 nominees: Joker aces nominations but The Farewell is shown the door

Joker picked up 11 Oscar nominations, while Once Upon a Time... in Hollywood, 1917 and The Irishman scored 10 nominations each. PHOTOS: WARNER BROS, SONY PICTURES RELEASING SINGAPORE, UIP, NETFLIX

Joker bagged 11 nominations including best picture and best actor for Joaquin Phoenix.