Top stories from The Straits Times on Monday, Oct 1

Good morning! Here are our top stories to kick-start your Monday, Oct 1.


Sulawesi quake: Death toll crosses 1,200 as rescuers race to reach victims


A general view of a tsunami-devastated mosque in Talise beach, Palu. PHOTO: EPA-EFE

The number is set to go up further as rescuers finally reach Donggala, which was cut off from them until Sunday because roads leading to the regency were damaged and communications were down.

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How two paragliders from Singapore and Belgium saved a family during the Palu quake


Belgian paraglider Francois de Neuville (left) with the young girl he and Singaporean paraglider Ng Kok Choong (right) rescued at Mercure Hotel in Palu, Indonesia. PHOTOS: NG KOK CHOONG

An Indonesian woman and her young daughter were trapped by a fallen concrete slab in a half-collapsed hotel, where the two paragliders were staying, after the earthquake struck Palu on Friday.  

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Typhoon Trami pounds Japan, dozens injured


A car passes a tree uprooted due to strong winds generated by typhoon Trami in Itoman, on the southern island of Okinawa, on Sept 29, 2018. PHOTO: EPA-EFE

Typhoon Trami has already snarled travel in the world’s third-biggest economy, with bullet train services suspended, more than 1,000 flights cancelled and Tokyo’s evening train services scrapped.

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Housing agents turning to videos to make their pitch


An Instagram preview of this video of women having tea in a four-room HDB flat helped property agents Diana Teow and Felicia Cai to sell the flat in just a week. PHOTO: RISING NORTH PROPERTIES

Savvy realtors are eschewing listings with static photographs on traditional property portals, and turning to snappy videos - filled with jump cuts and trendy graphics - to give potential buyers a better sense of the house they might call home.

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A changing North Korea: Through foreign eyes

 Tourists shopping for souvenirs at a shop located in North Korea's side of
The 60m-tall Arch of Triumph, built in 1982 as a tribute to the Korean Resistance against Japan from 1925 to 1945, is modelled after the Arc de Triomphe in Paris, but is 10m taller. ST PHOTO: LIM YAN LIANG

 

Since the North started opening up in the past few months, it has attracted more mainstream tourists, whose numbers are threatening to overwhelm its underdeveloped infrastructure.

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Anti-377A movement holds town hall, calls for political engagement


(From left) Mr Johannes Hadi and Mr Glen Goei speak at the Ready4Repeal town hall on Sept 30, 2018. ST PHOTO: CHONG JUN LIANG

The group behind the latest attempt to repeal Section 377A has urged the public to contact their MPs, marking the first time the lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender movement has asked its supporters to engage with politicians on a large scale.

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White House denies 'micromanaging' inquiry into high court pick


Supreme court nominee Brett Kavanaugh testifies before the Senate Judiciary Committee on Capitol Hill in Washington, DC, US, on Sept 27, 2018. PHOTO: REUTERS

Trump administration officials appearing on television Sunday said the terms of the Kavanaugh inquiry were set by the US Senate, not by the president, but confusion was rife as to the scope of the new investigation.

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More trials before switch to electronic marking of exam scripts


File photo of students checking their A-level result slips in Nanyang Junior College, on Feb 23, 2018. PHOTO: ST FILE

The Singapore Examinations and Assessment Board believes having markers go through digitised versions of the hard copies will reduce the risk of scripts being lost or stolen, as well as cut the time taken to count them.

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Man jumps into Rochor Canal to flee police after allegedly harassing churchgoers


A video circulating on messaging platform WhatsApp shows the man and a police officer in Rochor Canal. 
PHOTO: SCREENGRAB FROM YOUTUBE

The man had approached some women in the church and made them uncomfortable with his actions. One of the women was shocked by the encounter and ran out of the church building. 

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Story Of Yanxi Palace alters lives of cast members


Charmaine Sheh is the step-empress Hoifa-Nara in Story Of Yanxi Palace (above). PHOTO: STARHUB

Even if you are not a fan of Chinese period dramas, chances are you would have heard about Story Of Yanxi Palace.

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