Top stories from The Straits Times on Saturday, Dec 15

Good morning! Here are our top stories to kick-start your Saturday, Dec 15.

SCDF rides on data for faster response time, with ambulances now also at community clubs

An SCDF ambulance parked outside Bukit Merah Community Centre, as part of a new initiative by SCDF to quicken response time by deploying ambulances outside their bases. PHOTO: SCDF

Help will now arrive even sooner in medical emergencies, with the Singapore Civil Defence Force turning to data to decide where to deploy its ambulances at peak periods.


No links found between food poisoning cases; strong evidence of 'severe contamination' in Mandarin Orchard case

In a joint statement released on Dec 14, 2018, the authorities said they have completed investigations into the recent gastroenteritis incidents, including at Mandarin Orchard Hotel (top), and found no links between them. PHOTO: ST FILE

Investigations find hygiene lapses, and enforcement action will be taken, the authorities said.


Investment victims claim $407k seized from firm's account

Lee Song Teck is now a wanted man after skipping town in January 2013. The money was seized from one of his companies that the police probed - Asia Pacific Bullion (APB), of which he was the sole director and shareholder. ST FILE PHOTO

The Bentley-driving businessman claimed to be worth $30 million, and said he was planning to make $200 million and give 90 per cent to charity. 


Mannequin on Clementi HDB ledge gets to stay for Christmas after town council gives nod

Mr Philip Sobrielo Gene, 38, with his Christmas decorations outside his mother's house in Clementi. ST PHOTO: KHALID BABA

It is a Christmas-spirited twist to what could have been a dampener on festivities.


SMRT CEO Neo Kian Hong says company takes investigation into workplace accident 'very seriously'

SMRT Group CEO Neo Kian Hong at the train workshop after a familiarisation tour of the new Choa Chu Kang bus interchange on Dec 14, 2018. ST PHOTO: MARK CHEONG

Mr Neo said a board of inquiry into the incident has been convened and that the investigation into the matter has to take its course.


Couple's missing winning 4-D ticket found and returned by Nanyang Polytechnic student

Mr Bryan Lee, 18, returned the missing 4-D ticket to its owners and received a red packet containing $200 in return. PHOTO: BRYAN LEE

Thinking it was a piece of litter no one wanted, the student picked up the 4-D ticket from the floor of the bus to throw it away as he prepared to alight.


Toyota to supply Grab with hybrid cars fitted with 'black box' recorders

Toyota Motor and Grab will make a formal announcement of the initiative next week. PHOTO: LIANHE ZAOBAO

Fleet of 1,500 will have black-box recorders to help the Japanese carmaker gain insights into how its cars are being used.


Catching the bus with less fuss thanks to smart tech at new Choa Chu Kang interchange

The new interchange has been designed to be inclusive with CCTV cameras installed that use artificial intelligence to spot wheelchair users who may need help. ST PHOTO: KELVIN CHNG

Smart technology will aim to make commuters' journeys safer and more comfortable when the new Choa Chu Kang bus interchange opens on Sunday.


Trump taps budget director Mulvaney as acting White House chief of staff

Mr Mick Mulvaney (above) is director of the Office of Management and Budget. PHOTO: REUTERS

The announcement came after former New Jersey Governor Chris Christie abruptly withdrew from consideration for the post.


Cosplay festival in Singapore draws 105,000 anime fans

Cosplayer Eiji Wong, who works as a photography assistant at a studio in Kuala Lumpur, at the Anime Festival Asia, which took place from Nov 30 to Dec 2 at the Suntec Singapore Convention and Exhibition Centre. PHOTO: ADAM WAN BOK YEN

A home-grown festival celebrating cosplay has become a magnet for fans of anime.