Top stories from The Straits Times on Friday, March 15

Good morning! Here are our top stories to kick-start your Friday, March 15.


All quiet at Ground Zero in Pasir Gudang, where toxic fumes made hundreds of people sick


SK Taman Rinting 2 primary school, a 20-minute drive from Pasir Gudang, has been closed since March 13, 2019. A sign in Malay on the gate says that it is not certain when school will re-open. ST PHOTO: ZAIHAN MOHAMED YUSOF

The only signs of life were children playing at one corner of the restaurant's parking area despite warnings from the Malaysian Health Ministry to stay indoors.

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British lawmakers overwhelmingly back 3-month Brexit delay


An anti-Brexit protester wears an EU flag outside Parliament in London, March 14, 2019. PHOTO: REUTERS

However, the extension is not automatic, an EU Commission spokesman reiterated – all 27 of the remaining EU member states must unanimously approve it.

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Facebook blames server problem for massive outage


The outage affected users for some 12 hours in most areas of the world, with the biggest impact in North America and Europe. PHOTO: AFP

The outage was believed to be the worst ever for the Internet giant that reaches an estimated 2.7 billion people with its core social network, Instagram and messaging applications.

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Mercedes Benz cars used by North Korea in Trump-Kim Singapore summit may have been obtained illegally: UN report


A report released last week by the panel on its investigations into North Korea's breach of UN sanctions also claimed that "there may have been a sanction violation" by Singapore for allowing North Korea officials to come on a study trip of its port facilities. ST PHOTO: GAVIN FOO

The report also claimed that "there may have been a sanction violation" by Singapore for allowing North Korea officials to come on a study trip of its port facilities.

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HIV data leak: Ler Teck Siang's medical registration suspended for nine months


Ler Teck Siang, the doctor at the centre of the HIV Registry data leak, has had his medical registration suspended for nine months and could face further disciplinary action, the Singapore Medical Council said in a statement on March 12, 2019. PHOTO: ST FILE

The suspension, which came into effect last Thursday, was ordered to maintain public confidence in the medical profession while the legal proceedings involving Ler were ongoing.

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Are pilots afraid to fly? A key question to ask after 2 crashes involving same plane model

The cockpit of a Boeing 737 Max 8. Over the years, advancements in automation and technology have made planes smarter and safer, with backups for everything. The problem is when an over-reliance on these systems makes pilots less confident of their o
The cockpit of a Boeing 737 Max 8. Over the years, advancements in automation and technology have made planes smarter and safer, with backups for everything. The problem is when an over-reliance on these systems makes pilots less confident of their own abilities and competencies, the writer says. PHOTO: REUTERS

Pilots must be able to keep up with state-of-the art systems and computers installed in planes that they operate, so that if need be, they can take over instead of panicking when something goes wrong.

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Woman pleads guilty to causing friend's death in Bukit Timah accident after birthday celebration


The SMRT bus and the Mercedes car after the accident, which took place at the junction of Jalan Anak Bukit and Jalan Jurong Kechil in April 2018. ST PHOTO: POON CHIAN HUI

Honami Lam Qixin, 25, started moving before the right-turn green arrow appeared at a junction. 

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Bike firm ofo allegedly charged dozens of users without authorisation, cases still unresolved


At least dozens of former ofo users are awaiting refunds for what they say are unauthorised charges from the Chinese bike firm, which took place between last November and February this year. ST PHOTO: KEVIN LIM

Out of more than 20 affected ofo customers ST spoke to, only one has received a refund from ofo.

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Hangout with ST: Boeing 737 Max ban and Seungri scandal


Join multimedia journalists Alyssa Woo and Hairianto Diman as they talk about the hottest topics this week. ST PHOTO: JAMIE KOH

In this episode, multimedia journalists Alyssa Woo and Hairianto Diman also discuss whether Singapore's roads are safe. 

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Badminton: Malaysian ace Lee Chong Wei likely to postpone comeback from cancer again


Malaysian badminton player Lee Chong Wei training at the Carrara Indoor Sports Centre before the start of Commonwealth Games 2018 in Gold Coast, Australia, on April 3, 2019. PHOTO: ST FILE

The three-time Olympic silver medallist has been on the sidelines since July last year and is now targeting the Sudirman Cup mixed-team event in China in May.

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