Top stories from The Straits Times on Friday, Sept 14

Good morning! Here are our top stories to kick-start your Friday, Sept 14.


Indonesia and Singapore will exchange financial data to curb tax evasion


Indonesia has met all requirements, including confidentiality and data protection safeguards, to kick-start the arrangement on Sept 30. PHOTO: BLOOMBERG

Indonesia and Singapore will start exchanging financial data on taxpayers by the end of this month, with an eye on cracking down on tax evasion.

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Religious groups welcome tighter land tender process


The issue of businesses placing bids for religious land surfaced in 2014, when commercial entity Eternal Pure Land won the bid for a Fernvale Link plot. In January 2015, the authorities said they would review and tighten the land tender process for places of worship. The plot was eventually awarded to Thye Hua Kwan Moral Society, which is now building a temple on the site (above). ST PHOTO: DESMOND WEE

Leaders say most groups facing space crunch do not have enough funds to outbid businesses.

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One year with President Halimah


President Halimah with members of the Inter-Religious Organisation at a buffet brunch in the Istana's Reception Room on Sept 28 last year. With the President are (clockwise from centre left) Sister Theresa Seow (back facing camera), Mr Kuek Yi Hsing, Mr Shriniwas Rai, Mr Gurmit Singh (partially hidden), Dr H.M. Saleem, Mr Ameerali Abdeali, Mr Ben Benjamin, Mr K. Kesavapany, Mr Ling Kin Huat, Rabbi Mordechai Abergel, Bishop Terry Kee and Mr Rustom Ghadiali. PHOTO: ST FILE 

Singapore's eighth and first woman head of state has made it one of her priorities to make the Istana more accessible to ordinary Singaporeans, beyond the five traditional open houses during Chinese New Year, Hari Raya Puasa, Deepavali, Labour Day and National Day.

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Thousands evacuated in the Philippines ahead of super typhoon Mangkhut


Filipino residents riding on a makeshift raft ahead of an impending super typhoon in Bacoor city, south of Manila, Philippines, on Sept 12, 2018. PHOTO: EPA-EFE

A powerful typhoon is expected to make a landfall in the Philippines’ main Luzon island on Saturday, prompting authorities to place 17 areas on alert and start evacuations.

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VIDEO: Hawker culture nomination does not mean it belongs to or exists only in Singapore: NHB


While hawker food and centres can be found in neighbouring countries, how they operate and what they mean to each nation differ greatly, the National Heritage Board said in a video. PHOTO: FACEBOOK/NATIONAL HERITAGE BOARD

Choosing to nominate hawker culture for Unesco recognition does not mean it belongs to, originates from, or exists only in Singapore, said the National Heritage Board in a video.

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VIDEO: China welcomes US invitation for trade talks


The Trump administration had invited Chinese officials to restart trade talks, news that gave a lift to Asian stocks, including Chinese shares and the yuan currency. PHOTO: REUTERS 

China said it welcomed an invitation by the United States to hold a new round of trade talks, as Washington prepares to further escalate the US-China trade war with tariffs on US$200 billion (S$274 billion) worth of Chinese goods.

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Police arrest Maserati driver who drove against traffic at high speed for dangerous driving


In a video posted on Facebook, a car can be seen swerving to the right, scraping the road divider and just missing the traffic light pole, before continuing to drive against the flow of traffic on the other side of the road. PHOTO: FACEBOOK/BEH CHIA LOR-SINGAPORE ROAD

A man who drove against the flow of traffic to overtake a lorry has been arrested for dangerous driving, the police confirmed on Thursday.

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Asian fashion labels on the rise


(Clockwise from top left) Doublet, Minjukim, Rokh, Ji Won Choi. PHOTOS: FEMALE

Just like the model line-up on runways, the mix of design geniuses in fashion is becoming increasingly inclusive. 

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Athletics: Pole vaulter Rachel Yang seeks compensation from Singapore Athletics after botched Asian Games bid



National pole vaulter Rachel Yang is attempting to recover the costs she had incurred in training and preparing overseas for the Aug 18-Sept 2 Games, as well as for the loss of income as she had taken no-pay leave from her job to prepare for the competition. PHOTO: ST FILE

National pole vaulter Rachel Yang is attempting to recover the costs she had incurred in training and preparing overseas for the Aug 18-Sept 2 Games, as well as for the loss of income as she had taken no-pay leave from her job to prepare for the competition.

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VIDEO: Live rat at McDonald's outlet in Ang Mo Kio has been removed: Spokesman


In a video posted to Twitter, the rat can be seen moving frantically on a table beside a tray of what appears to be french fries. PHOTO: SCREENGRAB FROM TWITTER/MELLYSALATIFF

In a video posted to Twitter, the rat can be seen moving frantically on a table beside a tray of what appears to be french fries.

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