Top stories from The Straits Times on Friday, March 16

Good morning! Here are our top stories to kickstart your Friday, March 16.


Critical to promote free trade amid US moves that increase protectionist pressure: PM Lee


Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong's remarks come amid a global firestorm sparked by tariffs on steel and aluminium imports announced by US President Donald Trump. PHOTO: AFP

Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong said recent moves by the US to protect domestic industries have raised the spectre of tit-for-tat trade wars. 

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Singapore Flyer still grounded ahead of 10th anniversary


Workers taking the opportunity to clean a capsule during the Singapore Flyer's downtime on Wednesday. Operations at the Flyer have been suspended since Jan 25 due to "technical issues". PHOTO: AZIZ HUSSIN FOR THE STRAITS TIMES

No date has been set for its reopening, after operations at the 165m-tall observation wheel were suspended on Jan 25 due to "technical issues".

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Commentary: Trust between government, people key in fighting fake news problem


PHOTO: THE NEW PAPER

Speakers at Thursday's hearing identified a willing audience of disaffected citizens as a key problem in the fight against deliberate online falsehoods. 

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Video: US hits Russia with new sanctions for election meddling, cyberattacks


Donald Trump speaks as US Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin looks on during a tour of the Boeing Company. PHOTO: AFP

The sanctions imposed by the Treasury Department represent the most significant taken since President Donald Trump assumed office in January 2017.

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Public order Bill not for day-to-day policing: MHA


Organised by art producer Lin Shiyun, a peaceful protest against rules on the playing of music during the annual Thaipusam festival was held at Hong Lim Park and drew close to 50 people. PHOTO: LIN ZHAOWEI FOR THE STRAITS TIMES

Local civil society groups had claimed that provisions in the Bill could lead to an abuse of power by the police and oppression against peaceful protesters.

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NZ family that unknowingly booked illegal Airbnb stay in Singapore turned away


The two-bedroom unit in Caribbean at Keppel Bay listed on the Airbnb website. PHOTO: AIRBNB

The Haynes family turned up at Caribbean at Keppel Bay for a four-night stay, only to be told that short-term rents were outlawed. 

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Car costs make Singapore world's priciest city, again


Singapore has avoided Asia's massive traffic jams by controlling vehicle ownership through a quota system under which a buyer must pay for a Certificate of Entitlement. PHOTO: ST FILE

A survey by the Economist Intelligence Unit has declared Singapore the world's most expensive place to live for the fifth year in a row. 

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Video: Several killed, cars crushed in Florida foot bridge collapse


A view of the collapsed pedestrian bridge at the Florida International University in Miami. PHOTO: EPA-EFE

Emergency personnel with sniffer dogs searched for signs of life amid the wreckage of concrete and twisted metal that rained from the collapsed structure. 

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Malaysia Elections 2018: The battleground states

With the elections round the corner, ST takes a look at five states - Kedah, Kelantan, Selangor, Johor and Sabah - expected to see fierce contests. 

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World Sleep Day: 5 interesting trends about Zzz


Singaporeans sleep just slightly more than seven hours day, says a 2016 study on sleep schedules. PHOTOS: ST FILE

People across the globe will wake up today to World Sleep Day, an annual celebration of sleep and a call to action on issues related to a good night's rest.

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