Top stories from The Straits Times on Friday, Jan 19

Good morning! Here are our top stories to kickstart your Friday, Jan 19.


Video: Kidnap scares: Police rule out abduction attempts, say drivers were trying to be helpful by offering lifts


Tanglin Trust School at Portsdown Road on Jan 17. Police have investigated and said the cases involving students at Tanglin Trust School and United World College of South East Asia were not kidnap attempts. ST PHOTO: KUA CHEE SIONG

The two incidents on Jan 11 and Jan 16 in which international school students claimed they were being lured into vehicles were not cases of attempted kidnapping, said the police after thorough investigation. 

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Machines in Singapore sold out of bitcoin as prices drop below US$10k

A customer paying for her coffee with cryptocurrency at Ducatus Cafe in Robinson Road. The bitcoin ATM at the cafe was sold out of the currency yesterday.
A customer paying for her coffee with cryptocurrency at Ducatus Cafe in Robinson Road. The bitcoin ATM at the cafe was sold out of the currency yesterday. PHOTO: REUTERS

Bitcoin machines at Ducatus Cafe in Robinson Road and Tiong Bahru Plaza were sold out of the cryptocurrency on Thursday as enthusiasts piled in when prices fell more than 23 per cent this week.

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StanChart robbery suspect, now held in Britain, to contest extradition to Singapore


David Roach, 28, was detained by the British authorities on Jan 11, following a request from Singapore. PHOTO: BANGKOK POST

The case of Canadian David James Roach, who is accused of robbing StanChart Bank's Holland Village branch of $30,000 in July 2016, was heard at the Westminster Magistrates' Court in London on Thursday. 

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Video: More than 60 evacuated and 2 taken to hospital after Serangoon North Avenue 1 fire


Flames coming out of a second-floor unit at Block 147 Serangoon North Ave 1 on Jan 18. PHOTO: COURTESY OF K. TAN

The fire broke out in a second floor unit at Block 147 Serangoon North Avenue 1 on Thursday evening, with two woman in a neighbouring flat who complained of breathlessness taken to hospital. 

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Row over alleged defects at Marina Bay condo The Sail to go to court


The row has been festering for about four years, with The Sail@Marina Bay residents pointing to a range of alleged defects at the 1,111-unit project. PHOTO: ST FILE

A bitter and long-running dispute between owners at the posh condominium and City Developments (CDL) over alleged defects - including a problematic rubbish chute system - will finally be heard in court next month.

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China economy rebounds in 2017 with 6.9% growth


The reading comes as China kicks its war on pollution into full gear, halving industrial production for some steel smelters and mills this winter. PHOTO: AFP

The recovery was helped by stronger global trade that boosted exports and strengthened the manufacturing sector, say analysts, with robust consumer spending also playing a big part. 

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Peace in Korean peninsula? Don't hold your breath


ST ILLUSTRATION : MANNY FRANCISCO

While recent developments have fired up imaginations on the Korean peninsula, it is worth remembering a few things before you get misty-eyed and reach for the tissue paper. 

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Video: California couple plead not guilty to charges of imprisoning and torturing their 13 children


David Turpin (second, right) and Louise Turpin (second, left) appear in court for their arraignment in Riverside, California, on Jan 18, 2018. PHOTO: REUTERS

David Allen Turpin and his wife Louise Anna are accused of holding their 13 children captive, with prosecutors saying the malnourished victims were allowed to shower just once a year. 

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Tennis: Shenzhen aced deal to host WTA Finals with market, fund size

Latvia's Jelena Ostapenko with her fans after winning a match at the WTA Finals held at the Singapore Indoor Stadium in October last year. Shenzhen will host the event for the next 10 years after Singapore's contract as host ends this year.
Latvia's Jelena Ostapenko with her fans after winning a match at the WTA Finals held at the Singapore Indoor Stadium in October last year. Shenzhen will host the event for the next 10 years after Singapore's contract as host ends this year. PHOTO: REUTERS

Size matters, and it was Shenzhen's larger financial muscle and population that saw the Chinese city secure a 10-year deal to host the WTA Finals after Singapore's contract as host ends this year.

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An itch to stitch: More take up sewing to make customised outfits

Ms Linda Ng and her daughter, Ms Lorencia Kan, wearing cheongsam that Ms Ng made. Fashion Makerspace, founded by (from left) Ms Hailey Lim, Ms Shareen Lim and Mr Ken Low, offers classes from basic sewing to pattern making.
Fashion Makerspace, founded by (from left) Ms Hailey Lim, Ms Shareen Lim and Mr Ken Low, offers classes from basic sewing to pattern making. ST PHOTO: ARIFFIN JAMAR

A growing number of people are taking up sewing to make and customise their own outfits, with some viewing it as creative therapy. 

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