Top stories from The Straits Times on Friday, Dec 8

Good morning! Here are our top stories to kickstart your Friday, Dec 8.

Former S-League player Gaye Alassane first caught eye of investigators in 2009

Mali-born Gaye Alassane is accused of offering bribes to football players when he was in El Salvador and Salt Lake City, Utah.PHOTO: FACEBOOK/GAYE ALASSANE

Then sporting dreadlocks and donning a jacket that said 'Mali' on the back, Alassane was secretly photographed in a hotel room in El Salvador allegedly offering €100,000 to players to lose a match.


Video: Clashes in West Bank and Gaza Strip over Trump's Jerusalem move ahead of Friday's 'Day of Rage' protests

Palestinians protest against the US decision to recognise the city of Jerusalem as the capital of Israel, in Gaza City, Gaza Strip, on Dec 6, 2017. PHOTO: REUTERS

On Friday’s “Day of Rage,” rallies and protests are expected near Israeli-controlled checkpoints in the West Bank and along the border with Gaza.


Video: I kept telling myself not to let go, says tenant who rescued maid from ledge in Bukit Panjang

The maid climbs out of the window of the room (above); she walks along the ledge towards the tenant in the corridor outside the unit; the tenant and a police officer grab the maid and try to pull her over the railings; and she is finally pulled to safety by four police officers, the tenant and a neighbour. PHOTO: SCREEN GRABS FROM VIDEO, COURTESY OF ANITA SAHARI

When she got hold of the arms of a maid from Myanmar dangling from the fifth floor of a Housing Board block in Bukit Panjang, Jane was certain about one thing: She was not going to let go.


Driver mounts divider, ploughs into 4 pedestrians at Tanjong Pagar Road

The driver of the Mercedes-Benz, accompanied by police officers, at his car after the accident outside Amara Hotel yesterday. ST PHOTO: NG SOR LUAN

The Mercedes-Benz mounted a divider on Tanjong Pagar Road, hit a lorry on the other side, then ploughed into four people waiting to cross the road on the traffic island.


Uni students push for use of green starch bags

Green Boulevard founders Jacob Koh (left) and Matthew Ong are trying to convince event organisers and retailers to switch to starch bags. PHOTO: DIOS VINCOY JR FOR THE STRAITS TIMES

While they look and feel like plastic bags, starch bags are made from tapioca flour, which makes them biodegradable in both water and soil.


Novena Church begins charging for parking

The Novena Church in Thomson Road, known officially as the Church of St Alphonsus, introduced charges for its carpark on Monday. Cars are now charged $1.50 for the first hour or less, and 50 cents for every subsequent 15 minutes, whether the vehicles belong to churchgoers or not. PHOTO: DIOS VINCOY JR FOR THE STRAITS TIMES

Known officially as the Church of St Alphonsus, the church introduced charges for its carpark to deter non-worshippers from parking on its premises.


Causes Week 2017: Poly students give voice to those seeking aid

Temasek Polytechnic students (from right) Vishnupriya Raja Mohan, 17, Belinda Abraham, 18, and Megan Tan, 17, speaking to a single mother to understand her situation better. They have put the information in an advocacy report, which will be sent to agencies to support her application for financial aid. ST PHOTO: SEAH KWANG PENG

This is part of an initiative by Beyond Social Services, a charity that helps children and youth from less privileged backgrounds escape the poverty cycle.


Oon Jin Teik in driver's seat for Sports Hub CEO post

Sports Hub chief operating officer Oon Jin Teik joined the project in 2014. The 54-year-old Singaporean has been serving as the Sports Hub's acting CEO since May after former CEO Manu Sawhney left. PHOTO: SINGAPORE SPORTS HUB

It has been almost seven months since Manu Sawhney resigned abruptly as the chief executive of the Singapore Sports Hub, and SportsHub Private Limited has yet to name his successor.


Football: Ronaldo pips Messi to win Ballon d'Or for joint-record fifth time

Ronaldo posing with the 2017 Ballon d'Or trophy in Paris. PHOTO: AFP

Portugal’s Cristiano Ronaldo was awarded the Ballon d’Or for world player of the year for a joint-record fifth time, going level with Barcelona forward Lionel Messi as the player to have won the prize the most times.


Video: Stand-up fun in East Coast with new slew of activities

Ms Joon Chyi Huey goes to Aloha Sea Sports Centre at least once a week to windsurf. PHOTOS: MARK CHEONG, LAMC

It is time to get splashy at East Coast Park, where several new attractions have opened to cater to the beach and water lover in you.