Top stories from The Straits Times on Friday, March 9

Good morning! Here are our top stories to kickstart your Friday, March 9.


Video: 11 nations say CPTPP strong signal against protectionism after signing revamped trade deal without US


Representatives of the 11 countries pose for the family picture before signing the pact. PHOTO: EPA-EFE

The trade bloc, which includes Singapore, accounts for 13.5 per cent of the world's GDP and covers a market of nearly 500 million people.

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Video: Donald Trump signs order on metal tariffs but Canada, Mexico get reprieve


Trump holds up a proclamation during a White House ceremony to establish tariffs on imports of steel and aluminum. PHOTO: REUTERS

The US President defied warnings of a global trade war to sign an order imposing the tariffs, which will take effect in 15 days. 

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CPTPP more crucial than ever in the face of rising protectionism


Minister for Trade and Industry (Trade) Lim Hng Kiang signing the the Trans-Pacific Partnership in Santiago, Chile, on March 8, 2018. PHOTO: REUTERS

While the revamped pact is unarguably diminished by the loss of its largest partner, it is nonetheless a significant achievement - and perhaps of greater importance than before. 

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askST: What should I know about the new riders of MediShield-linked Integrated Shield Plans?


PHOTO: ST FILE

With the Ministry of Health issuing requirements for new riders of Medishield-linked Integrated Shield Plans, ST's Salma Khalik answers some commonly asked questions on the issue. 

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Video - Parliament: Marathon 52 hours as MPs debate budgets for longest time in five years


The 530 questions prepared by MPs for the eight-day Budget debate were allocated a total of 52 hours, the highest over the past five years. PHOTO: SCREENGRAB FROM YOUTUBE

Leader of the House Grace Fu, in her closing speech, said the marathon debate underscores the "breadth and gravity" of the issues Singapore faces. 

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AVA recalls all rockmelons from Australia amid listeria fears


New information from the authorities in Australia suggests that more contaminated melons could have found their way into Singapore. PHOTO: WIKIMEDIA COMMONS/TOBY HUDSON

The Agri-Food and Veterinary Authority noted that there has been no reported case of listeriosis linked to the consumption of rockmelons here. 

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Video: Extension for Chinese Garden turtle museum lease being considered


Museum owner Connie Tan had rejected an option to relocate to Kusu Island in May 2016. She said it would be "impossible to sustain" the museum on Kusu Island. PHOTO: ST FILE

Government agencies are checking if they can give the museum, which has to vacate its current site on March 30, more time to secure suitable premises.

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Over 100 Mount Kinabalu climbers rush to safety after earthquake strikes Sabah


There were no reports of any casualties or damage after a 5.2 magnitude earthquake hit Sabah's Ranau area. PHOTO: THE STAR/ASIA NEWS NETWORK

Residents in the Ranau area said they felt a strong shake that lasted a few seconds, although there were no reports of any casualties or damage. 

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Iron Man director Jon Favreau to create Star Wars TV series


Actor and director Jon Favreau. PHOTO: REUTERS

Disney is developing the series for a family-oriented, direct-to-consumer streaming service it plans to launch next year. 

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Video: Art festival i Light Marina Bay returns with 22 light installations


ST PHOTOS: SEAH KWANG PENG

Who says it has to get dark when the sun goes down? Here are eight highlights at the sustainable light art festival, which opens today.

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