Top stories from The Straits Times on Monday, Oct 22

Good morning! Here are our top stories to kick-start your Monday, Oct 22.

At least 18 dead after train derailed in Taiwan's worst rail disaster in decades

The train went off the tracks between the Dongshan and Suxin stations at about 5pm on Oct 21, 2018. PHOTO: EPA-EFE

A passenger said the train shook violently moments before it derailed, adding that it braked several times on the tracks inexplicably before the accident happened.


Applications for Lasting Power of Attorney soar

16,279 people applied for an LPA in the first eight months of 2018, according to the Office of the Public Guardian. PHOTO: LIANHE ZAOBAO

This, among other factors, has prompted the authorities to plan for an online system for LPA applications, to cut the processing time and make it more convenient for applicants.


Commercial spots see more crime than residential areas; Orchard and Marina Bay top list

Orchard neighbourhood police centre recorded 158 reports of the five crimes used by the police to collate crime statistics. PHOTO: ST FILE

There are more opportunities to commit crimes such as outrage of modesty in commercial areas, as they are heavily populated with venues such as shopping malls, said an expert.


Amid scepticism, Saudi official provides another version of Khashoggi death

The Saudi consulate in Istanbul. Mr Jamal Khashoggi vanished after entering the consulate on Oct 2, 2018, and it is now confirmed that he was killed while in the building. PHOTO: REUTERS

The latest account, provided by a Saudi official who requested anonymity, includes details on how the team of 15 Saudi nationals sent to confront Mr Khashoggi on Oct 2 had threatened him with being drugged and kidnapped.


Singapore's sole right-hand expressway exit to be replaced

Works to replace Exit 26A, which is on the right side of the westbound PIE, will be completed by the fourth quarter of 2021.
Works to replace Exit 26A, which is on the right side of the westbound PIE, will be completed by the fourth quarter of 2021. PHOTO: LIN ZHAOWEI FOR THE STRAITS TIMES

Works are under way to build an underpass exit on the left to replace the Pan-Island Expressway's Exit 26A. The move was prompted by a regular review of the road network, as well as feedback from road users.


Collective-sale fever cools for large residential sites

Three condominium sites at different stages of collective sales: (From left) Chuan Park condo could not get an 80 per cent mandate for a $900 million collective sale by an Oct 13 deadline; Windy Heights' tender closed on Oct 10 without a taker at $806.2 million and its owners are in the process of lowering the price to $750 million; and Cairnhill Astoria was relaunched for sale at $196 million. PHOTOS: ST FILE PHOTO, KNIGHT FRANK, COLLIERS INTERNATIONAL

While such deals remain strong, more sites have been unable to find buyers, analysts say.


Bus stop benches in Singapore cost between $500 and $1,500, excluding installation costs: LTA

The Land Transport Authority was replying to media queries on the cost of bus stop benches after earlier reports about a man who got into trouble with the law for taking home such a bench. PHOTO: ST FILE

Benches at bus stops are expected to last at least 20 years with minimum maintenance, and the cost of a bus stop bench depends on its features and materials.


Community Policing Unit officers, volunteers walking, cycling to keep neighbourhoods safe

Staff Sergeant Sritharchana R. Jayaprakas (right) talking to a teenager at a void deck in Hougang after she saw him smoking.
Staff Sergeant Sritharchana R. Jayaprakas (right) talking to a teenager at a void deck in Hougang after she saw him smoking. ST PHOTO: ZAIHAN MOHAMED YUSOF

First introduced in May 2012, CPU officers, who wear polo T-shirts and Bermuda shorts, are different from regular police officers who focus more on attending to cases. In contrast, CPU officers focus more on engaging the community.


US mulls revoking recognition of transgender people: Report

Vermont Democratic gubernatorial first-time candidate Christine Hallquist at the Tunbridge World's Fair in Tunbridge, Vermont, on Sept 14, 2018. PHOTO: AFP

The department's proposed definition of gender would define sex as either male or female, unchangeable, and determined by the genitals that a person is born with.


Cabby gives tongue-in-cheek account of encounter with tree branch as lesson for motorists

Taxi driver William Lee posted a tongue-in-cheek account of the incident on Facebook group Singapore Taxi Driver, which quickly gained the attention of social media users. PHOTO: SCREENGRAB FROM FACEBOOK/WILLIAM LEE

The cabby said in his post, without any mention of the tree branch, that his taxi was scratched and he decided to make a U-turn to confront the "culprit". He added that "the culprit was there mocking me, sitting by the kerb in the most disgusting manner" and that he had "grabbed the culprit by the throat".


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