Top stories from The Straits Times on Monday, Feb 12

Good morning! Here are our top stories to kickstart your Monday, Feb 12.

11,000 households get $211m in proximity housing grants to buy resale flats: HDB

The 12,000 households tapping on the Proximity Housing Grant represents about a quarter of the 50,000 resale transactions registered between Aug 24, 2015 and Dec 31, 2017.ST PHOTO: LIM YAOHUI

Since August 2015, HDB said some 11,000 households have tapped on a government grant to buy resale flats to live with or near their parents or married child. 


ICA investigators bust elaborate web of sham marriages involving six couples

(Clockwise from top left) Nguyen Thi Kim Pha, Ho Thi Be Ba, Choy Yong Hui Elvison, Wong Kean Mun, Chan Teng Seng, Kang Ah Hock, Adrian Kin Zheng Keat, Liu Jianwei Andrew, Vo Thi Ngoc Thao and Nguyen Thi Bich Dan.PHOTOS: ICA

A Singaporean "groom" would be flown to Vietnam for a wedding photo shoot with his Vietnamese "bride" as part of a ruse to make their "marriage" look genuine.


Video: Russian passenger plane crashes near Moscow, killing all 71 on board

Emergency services working at the scene where a short-haul regional Antonov AN-148 plane crashed after taking off from Moscow's Domodedovo airport, on Feb 11, 2018. PHOTO: REUTERS

The Antonov An-148 plane operated by Saratov Airlines crashed minutes after taking off, killing everyone on board in one of the country's worst ever aviation disasters.


South Korea's Moon watches concert with Kim Jong Un's sister as protesters burn North's flag outside venue

South Korean President Moon Jae In (right) talks with North Korean leader Kim Jong Un's sister Kim Yo Jong (centre) as they watch a concert of Pyongyang's Samjiyon Orchestra at a national theatre in Seoul on Feb 11, 2018.PHOTO: AFP

The show was the final set-piece element of the North Korean delegation's landmark visit, the diplomatic highlight of the Olympics-driven rapprochement between the two halves of the peninsula. 


Video: SCDF firebikers help save lives as first responders in accidents and emergencies

Singapore Civil Defence Force firebikers not only handle fire and rescue incidents, but are also trained to deal with medical emergencies. ST PHOTO: ZAIHAN MOHAMED YUSOF

Over two days, The Straits Times joined Singapore Civil Defence Force Staff Sergeant Md Hilmi Md Fuad and learnt what it takes to be a firebiker.


Beware non-Singaporean bosses who flee without paying foreign workers' salaries

Migrant Workers' Centre chairman Yeo Guat Kwang said people need to beware of unscrupulous employers who are non-Singaporeans, who would run away when times get difficult.PHOTO: ST FILE

In the past 1½ years, there have been at least six cases involving non-Singaporean employers who absconded without paying their foreign workers, according to the Migrant Workers' Centre. 


Singapore wholesalers turning tech-savvy in expanding online and regional market

A worker at Song Fish passing a fish fillet through a deboning machine.ST PHOTO: MARK CHEONG

All it took was 10 minutes for business development manager Abbie Chen to send in her order online for threadfin and salmon, and a day for it to reach her doorstep.


Third virtual mobile telco Zero1 enters market, offers unlimited mobile data plan

Zero1, which leases from Singtel, is the third virtual mobile telco to enter Singapore after Circles.Life and Zero Mobile.PHOTO: ST FILE

Zero1, the third virtual mobile telco to enter Singapore after Circles.Life and Zero Mobile, is eyeing a slice of the pie with its $19-a-month plan that will be launched next month.


Video: Meet Malik Mazlan, Chinese calligrapher

Mr Malik Mazlan (left), who does Chinese calligraphy, and his mentor acclaimed calligrapher Yong Cheong Thye.ST PHOTO: LIM YAOHUI

Since winning the Goh Chok Tong Youth Promise Award in 2016, the up-and-coming artist has been commissioned by government agencies and cultural institutions to produce calligraphy and carvings.


Two's Company: Brothers take Three Legs Cooling Water to modern times

Behind today's Wen Ken Group, which had four founding families, are a pair of third-generation brothers - Fu Siang Jeen (right) and Fu Shou Jeen - whose family culture is similarly traditional.ST PHOTO: NG SOR LUAN

Behind today's Wen Ken Group, whose signature product is the popular drink said to relieve "heatiness", are a pair of third-generation brothers determined to modernise the 81-year business.