Top stories from The Straits Times on Friday, July 13

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

SMRT says asbestos not used in its network

SMRT was responding to queries from The Straits Times about a statement it sent to one of several commuters who had complained about a burning smell on trains and station platforms. PHOTO: ST FILE

Rail operator SMRT has come out to assure the public that its trains do not contain asbestos, a material that is highly hazardous to health and which is banned in Singapore.



GIC records 3.4% long-term return above global inflation

GIC invests directly and through external fund managers in technology start-ups and growth companies, while also providing seed capital via venture capital funds. PHOTO: REUTERS


Sovereign wealth fund GIC continues to deliver steady long-term returns, but warned of a challenging climate ahead.


Primary 1 registration: Children hoping to get into 11 popular schools may have to ballot

Red Swastika School (above), Pei Hwa Presbyterian Primary School and Gongshang Primary School were among the oversubscribed schools when Phase 2A2 closed on July 12, 2018. PHOTO: THE NEW PAPER

Children applying to 11 popular schools may need to face a ballot, at the third of seven phases in the Primary 1 registration exercise.


Automated post offices, grocery delivery on the cards as SingPost shifts focus to e-commerce

SingPost group chief executive Paul Coutts, who joined the firm in June 2017. ST PHOTO: SONG TAO


There are plans to grow its network of POPStation parcel lockers,which may eventually double as unmanned post offices, SingPost group chief executive Paul Coutts told The Straits Times.


Thai cave rescue: Water level surged as rescue nearly ended in disaster

Commander Chaiyananta Peeranarong, a former Thai Navy Seal who took park in the rescue operation for the 12 boys and their football coach at Tham Luang cave, was the last diver out of the cave. PHOTO: AFP

The water pumps failed, and Commander Chaiyananta Peeranarong heard shouts of alarm as the final stage of an unprecedented operation to rescue 12 Thai boys and their coach from a flooded cave almost tipped into disaster.


Liquidators of oBike urge affected customers to submit deposit claims online

oBike owes $6.3 million in user deposits, as well as more than $140,000 in fines to town councils. ST PHOTO: JONATHAN CHOO

Users of oBike with unrefunded deposits can submit their claims online to liquidators, the Consumers Association of Singapore said on Thursday.


Wildlife consultant threatens to pull out of Mandai developer talks after roadkill incidents

Veteran wildlife expert Subaraj Rajathurai believes the roadkills happened because the developer did not take enough care to reduce environmental impact during the works - a claim the developer is disputing. PHOTO: ST FILE


A veteran wildlife expert has said he will pull out of environmental impact discussions with the developer of the Mandai nature precinct, if he is made to sign a non-disclosure agreement barring him from speaking publicly.


RSAF marks 20 years of training at French air base

Defence Minister Ng Eng Hen and his wife with France's Secretary of State to the Minister for the Armed Forces Genevieve Darrieussecq (on Dr Ng's right) and Singapore's Chief of Air Force Mervyn Tan (right) with family members of 150 Squadron at Cazaux Air Base yesterday. Behind them is the commemorative tail flash of an M-346 aircraft, which was unveiled yesterday during the celebration to mark 20 years of the RSAF detachment at Cazaux Air Base. ST PHOTO: KELVIN CHNG


190 pilots have trained in Cazaux since 1998, and 191 babies have been born to staff there.


Tennis: Seven-time champion Serena Williams to face Angelique Kerber in Wimbledon final

Williams celebrates winning her semi -inal match against Germany's Julia Goerges. PHOTO: REUTERS

Seven-time champion Serena Williams reached the Wimbledon final for the 10th time on Thursday and will face Germany's Angelique Kerber for the title.


Singapore's Chin Han and Tan Pin Pin joining Oscars body

Ng Chin Han and film-maker Tan Pin Pin will be eligible to vote in the Oscars once they are members of the Academy Of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences. PHOTOS: AFP, THE NEW PAPER

Two Singaporeans, actor Ng Chin Han and film-maker Tan Pin Pin have been invited to join the body that oversees the Academy Awards. Both have accepted the invitations and once they are members of the Academy Of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences, they will be eligible to vote in the Oscars.