Top stories from The Straits Times on Monday, Dec 9

Good morning! Here are our top stories to kick-start your Monday, Dec 9.

Hundreds of thousands take part in massive Hong Kong march hours after pistol and bullets seized by police

People marching in Hong Kong on Dec 8, 2019. The rally went smoothly but tensions notched up at night when hundreds of protesters in face masks and helmets started building barricades in areas such as Central and Causeway Bay to slow down riot police stationed metres away. PHOTO: REUTERS

The march to mark Human Rights Day drew a crowd of 800,000, said the organiser behind the biggest protests in the city.

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Over half of pupils who receive tuition start at 7 or younger: ST poll

Tutor Calister Ng Jing Ni, 25, with pupils at EduFirst Learning Centre. Families spent about $1.4 billion last year on tuition for their children, according to the Household Expenditure Survey released in July. ST PHOTO: GIN TAY

Some tutors are observing more younger children going for extra classes. At one centre, the youngest pupil is a three-year-old.

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US engagement in South-east Asia vital: Ng Eng Hen

Minister for Defence Dr Ng Eng Hen (left) and US Secretary of Defense Mark Esper sign the Memorandum of Understanding concerning the establishment of a Republic of Singapore Air Force Fighter Training Detachment at Andersen Air Force Base, Guam, on the sidelines of the 7th Reagan National Defense Forum. PHOTO: MINDEF

This is why Singapore has allowed US to use its military air and naval bases for decades.

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Secure early-bird perks and get ST News Tablet in time for Christmas

The wait is over. From today, readers can register online at stsub.sg/earlybird to secure their early-bird privileges as part of The Straits Times News Tablet subscription deal.

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Taking informed consent for major medical procedures: How much should a doctor tell his patient?

A Ministry of Health workgroup is looking at ways to improve the taking of informed consent from patients and to provide more clarity on how to properly advise patients. PHOTO: ISTOCKPHOTO

Doctors face the challenge of how truthful to be with older patients as such decisions often involve their families, who may ask to withhold bad news.

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Hundreds of Asian openbill storks spotted in Singapore in rare sighting with possible climate change link

Nature Society (Singapore) member Veronica Foo saw the first flock of more than 150 Asian openbill storks at the Kranji Marshes at about 7.15am on Dec 7, 2019. PHOTO: VERONICA FOO

Dr Yong Ding Li, an ornithologist, said the unseasonally dry conditions in the Mekong basin could have driven the birds farther south on the peninsula, including Singapore.

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PKR congress: Azmin asserts loyalty in show of strength at his own meeting in Kuala Lumpur

Parti Keadilan Rakyat deputy president Azmin Ali at an unofficial meeting in Kuala Lumpur on Dec 8, 2019. ST PHOTO: SHANNON TEOH

Like his ally and PKR vice-president Tian Chua, who was booed for warning party members against blind loyalty, Mr Azmin said members should not be obsessed with defending their leader, but focus on being builders of a new Malaysia.

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Gym-on-wheels: Muay thai coach drives mobile gym to neighbourhoods across Singapore

Nine-year-old Kaedee Eng doing pad work with Mr Ace Tan after a warm-up session at Block 813 Yishun Ring Road, where the Fitstop truck is parked for the session. Mr Tan says he tries to make training more fun by joking during class. ST PHOTO: KELVIN CHNG

Mr Ace Tan, 46, wanted to provide others with an easy access to a fit and healthy lifestyle.

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SEA Games: Shuttler Loh Kean Yew upsets top seed to march into men's singles final

Loh Kean Yew after beating Soong Joo Ven to reach the quarter-finals. He faces another Malaysian, world No. 14 Lee Zii Jia, in the final today. PHOTO: SNOC

The first Singapore men's singles finalist since 2007 will have to produce another upset for gold.

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New K-pop scandal: Entire line-ups of X1 And Iz*One reportedly decided before public voting

Evidence has surfaced that the line-ups of X1 (top) and Iz*One were already finalised by producers of Korean TV shows to unearth new singing talent before the viewers cast their votes. PHOTOS: 1OFFICIAL101/INSTAGRAM, IZ.ONE/FACEBOOK

The producers were hauled up when some viewers raised questions over the selection of trainees, wondering why certain names, deemed to be hot favourites, did not make the final cut.

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