Top stories from The Straits Times on Friday, June 21

Good morning! Here are our top stories to kick-start your Friday, June 21.

Great Singapore Sale cut to five weeks, will feature pop-up stalls and film screenings


The annual Great Singapore Sale, which kicks off on Friday (June 21) and ends five weeks later on July 28, is now GSS: Experience Singapore. ST PHOTO: MARK CHEONG

Retailers and the public told the organiser of the shopping event that they felt GSS should be more than just discounts because sales happen all year round in Singapore.

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China keen to play role in Korean denuclearisation

Chinese President Xi Jinping with North Korean leader Kim Jong Un in Pyongyang yesterday, in this screengrab taken off a video released by China's state broadcaster CCTV.
Chinese President Xi Jinping with North Korean leader Kim Jong Un in Pyongyang yesterday, in this screengrab taken off a video released by China's state broadcaster CCTV. PHOTO: AFP

Chinese President Xi Jinping has backed efforts to ease tensions in the Korean peninsula, but also said that North Korea's security concerns should be addressed.

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CDAC to revise income eligibility criteria for its programmes and help more needy families


Education Minister and CDAC board chairman Ong Ye Kung said that last year, the CDAC managed over 800 cases that gave customised help to vulnerable families. PHOTO: ST FILE

The monthly income threshold will be lifted from $1,900 to $2,400, from January next year.

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Hong Kong braces itself for more protests over unmet demands

(From left) Hong Kong's Civil Human Rights Front representatives Lee Cheuk-yan, Figo Chan, Jimmy Sham and Wong Yik-mo holding a press conference before making an official complaint against the excessive use of force by the police against protesters o
(From left) Hong Kong's Civil Human Rights Front representatives Lee Cheuk-yan, Figo Chan, Jimmy Sham and Wong Yik-mo holding a press conference before making an official complaint against the excessive use of force by the police against protesters on June 9 and 12, outside the Hong Kong Police Headquarters yesterday. ST PHOTO: LIM YAOHUI

Demonstrators are calling for a formal withdrawal of the extradition Bill and a probe into alleged police abuse.

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Unauthorised drones at Changi Airport: Tech, regulations can help avoid drone disruptions, say experts


The flying of drones within 5km of airports or military airbases, or at altitudes above 61m, without a permit is an offence. PHOTO: ST FILE

With drones becoming more common, measures must be taken to regulate their use and ensure these devices do not disrupt air traffic in Singapore, say industry observers.

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Asean leaders gather for summit in Bangkok as geopolitical waters turn choppy


Thai police officers keep watch in front of a large poster welcoming ASEAN leaders to the 34th ASEAN Summit in Bangkok, Thailand, 20 June 2019. PHOTO: EPA-EFE

Asean must adopt a united voice on the Indo-Pacific concept to weather the US-China trade storm, experts tell ST Indochina bureau chief Tan Hui Yee.

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SCDF ragging death: Witness says can't recall details, after testimony of earlier attempt to get NSF into well


First Warrant Officer Mulifatullah Atan said he recalled someone mentioning the word kolam during Corporal Kok's cake-cutting ceremony, which he understood to mean that Cpl Kok would be taken to the pump well. ST PHOTO: WONG KWAI CHOW

Among the various points he made on the stand, the witness was unable to back some up or said he had remembered the details wrongly when grilled during cross-examination.

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SP Group's mobile unit powers up when the power fails

(From left) Technical officer Mohamed Nasir Mohamed Ismail, 42, technician Muhammad Fhaizal Gasali, 37, and senior technician Nobraham Abdul Rashid, 46, are part of SP Group's 20-strong team which operates in three-men groups around the clock.
(From left) Technical officer Mohamed Nasir Mohamed Ismail, 42, technician Muhammad Fhaizal Gasali, 37, and senior technician Nobraham Abdul Rashid, 46, are part of SP Group's 20-strong team which operates in three-men groups around the clock. ST PHOTO: DESMOND WEE

Mobile generators are being deployed in a matter of minutes as a stopgap measure during outages.

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Chinese cuisine chain Paradise has appetite for expansion

Ms Joyce Lao, Paradise Group's head of business development, says the Chinese cuisine chain has opened an average of 20 outlets a year, both locally and overseas, since 2016. To stay relevant, the group adapts to changing consumer tastes and introduc
Ms Joyce Lao, Paradise Group's head of business development, says the Chinese cuisine chain has opened an average of 20 outlets a year, both locally and overseas, since 2016. To stay relevant, the group adapts to changing consumer tastes and introduces novel concepts to draw new customers. ST PHOTO: JASON QUAH

Paradise Group is targeting 150 outlets worldwide, with a focus on Singapore.

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Guo Pei, designer of Rihanna's omelette dress, weaves culture into her elaborate gowns


World-renowned Chinese couturier Guo Pei with one of her embroidered creations at the Asian Civilisations Museum on June 14, 2019. ST PHOTO: MARK CHEONG

Couturier Guo Pei is showcasing her Chinese roots through her gowns, some of which are on display at an exhibition at the Asian Civilisations Museum.

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