Top stories from The Straits Times on Monday, Nov 13

Good morning! Here are our top stories to kickstart your Monday, Nov 13.

7.3-magnitude earthquake hits Iran-Iraq border, killing 61 people and injuring 300

Damage from the earthquake that hit Kurdistan Region on Nov 13. PHOTO: TWITTER/GORRAN MOVEMENT HQ

At least 61 people were killed and 300 injured by a quake in Iran’s Kermanshah province on the Iraqi border on Sunday, state television reported.

The television quoted an emergency services official as saying that many of the victims were in the town of Sarpol-e Zahab, about 15 km from the border.


Beijing to work with Asean on peace in South China Sea

Chinese President Xi Jinping (right) shakes hands with Philippines President Rodrigo Duterte prior to their bilateral meeting during the Belt and Road Forum, at the Great Hall of the People in Beijing. PHOTO: REUTERS

As Asean leaders gather for their annual summits today, China is guaranteeing "safe passage" for all nations using the South China Sea. It is also willing to work with Asean to maintain peace in the strategic waterway, Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte told reporters after meeting Chinese President Xi Jinping in Danang last Saturday.


Most pipe leaks due to ageing, corrosion: PUB

Repairs being carried out after a water pipe burst in Upper Serangoon Road last month. PUB manages a 5,500km pipe network and checks on all pipes at least once a year. ST PHOTO: KUA CHEE SIONG

The vast majority of pipe leaks in Singapore are due to issues such as wear and tear from age, and corrosion from high salinity in the soil.

A smaller proportion - 17 per cent - happen at construction sites where works carried out damaged the pipes, said PUB.


Midday break for bourse makes return from today

The Singapore Exchange scrapped the 12.30pm to 2pm lunch break in 2011 to much acrimony from retail brokers, who lamented the loss of an opportunity to wine and dine clients, or to conduct research. However, now that the SGX is finally giving traders their lunch break back, few celebrated. ST FILE PHOTO

They clamoured for its return for six long years, but when the Singapore Exchange (SGX) finally gave traders their lunch break back, few celebrated.

From today, the Singapore stock market will take a midday break from noon to 1pm, a shorter pause than the previous 12.30pm to 2pm lunch interval which the SGX scrapped in 2011 to much acrimony from retail brokers.


Greater risk of academic fraud as competition grows: Experts

Academics who produced flawed papers include (clockwise from top left) Alirio Melendez, Dr Noel Chia, Dr Ravi Kambadur, Dr Mridula Sharma, Sabeera Bonala and Sudarsanareddy Lokireddy. PHOTOS: ST FILE, PHARMA NUTRITION, CENTRE FOR CELLULAR AND MOLECULAR BIOLOGY, HARVARD.EDU

Singapore is at far greater risk of academic fraud now, given the increasingly competitive academic environment here, say most of the eight scientists and researchers whom The Straits Times spoke to.

The danger has always been around, but the pressure to "publish or perish" has steadily been increasing in recent years, in the light of the rise of the National University of Singapore (NUS) and Nanyang Technological University (NTU) in international league tables, such as the closely watched Times Higher Education World University Rankings, over the past few years.


Tackling sexual harassment at the workplace

HR experts and lawyers in Singapore say that sexual harassment at the workplace is not uncommon, but they are unsure of the extent of its prevalence. PHOTO: THE NEW PAPER FILE

Samantha, 28, was speechless with shock when her senior manager placed his hand on her buttocks one night when she was working late.

She later found out he had cornered another woman colleague to try and kiss her. He had also touched another colleague's breasts, among other harassing acts.


How Japan's Black Widow baited and killed her prey

Japanese woman Chisako Kakehi arriving at the Kyoto district court on March 13, 2014. PHOTO: AFP

Less than two months after Mr Isao Kakehi, 75, donned a wedding kimono in 2013 for his second marriage, he collapsed and died.

His bereaved wife Chisako was inconsolable when police interviewed her. Given his age, the police were quite ready to close the case as a natural death until a sharp-eyed detective began to suspect Mrs Kakehi, 70: Could the grieving widow, who looked more like your neighbourhood granny, be a money-grabbing murderess instead?


Why public sees foreign workers as more helpful than locals

After a video circulated online showing foreign workers moving a car stuck on a flight of stairs at Waterway Point while Singaporeans looked on and snapped pictures, the foreigners were praised as being more helpful than Singaporeans. PHOTO: COURTESY OF GARETT LIM

In September, a group of foreign workers were hailed for helping to move a car that had been stuck on a flight of stairs at Waterway Point in Punggol - while Singaporeans looked on and snapped pictures with their phones.


Launch of picture book The Phantom Of Oxley Castle abruptly cancelled

A launch event for The Phantom Of Oxley Castle was to be held on Nov 18, but it was cancelled, with both the venue and publisher saying each other was responsible for the change in plans. PHOTO: LOCALBOOKS.SG

An event to launch a picture book titled The Phantom Of Oxley Castle has been cancelled less than a week before its scheduled date - with the publisher and the venue operator each saying the other was responsible for the cancellation.


The Life Interview With Karen Chan: Guardian of old films

Ms Karen Chan, executive director of the Asian Film Archive, gets great satisfaction when audience respond well to screenings of old classics preserved by the organisation. ST PHOTO: JAMIE KOH

In many ways, the story of the film The Lion City encapsulates why Ms Karen Chan does what she does.

The executive director of the Asian Film Archive (AFA) grows animated when she talks about the people who show up for screenings of the black-and-white romance, made in 1960.