Top stories from The Straits Times on Saturday, Dec 2

Good morning! Here are our top stories to kickstart your Saturday, Dec 2.

Trump's former adviser Michael Flynn pleads guilty to lying to FBI over Russian links

A plea hearing for former national security adviser Michael Flynn had been set for 10.30am EST (11.30pm) on Friday. PHOTO: REUTERS

Former US national security adviser Michael Flynn pleaded guilty on Friday (Dec 1) to lying to the FBI about contacts with Russia and agreed to cooperate with prosecutors delving deeper into the actions of President Donald Trump’s inner circle before he took office in January.


Study painted 'misleading picture' of foreign domestic workers' employment here: MOM

Foreign domestic workers enjoying the carnival-like atmosphere at the May Day Domestic Employees Celebration at the Youth Park@ Somerset on May 7, 2017 .PHOTO: ST FILE

The Manpower Ministry has panned a study by an organisation which claimed that a majority of maids here are exploited by their employers and that more than one in five are victims of forced labour.


American Muslim preacher denied entry into Singapore for expressing divisive views: MHA

American Muslim preacher Yusuf Estes at the Baiturrahman Grand Mosque in Banda Aceh. ST PHOTO: ARLINA ARSHAD

American Muslim preacher Yusuf Estes was denied entry into Singapore on Nov 24  for having expressed views the authorities say are "unacceptable" and "contrary" to the values of Singapore's multiracial and multi-religious society.


US Senate Republicans lock up votes to pass tax Bill, says leader Mitch McConnell

Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell speaks with reporters on Capitol Hill in Washington, Dec 1, 2017. PHOTO: NYTIMES

US Senate Republicans said on Friday (Dec 1) they had gathered the votes needed to pass a sweeping tax overhaul, after last-minute negotiations to ease some senators' concerns about the Bill's impact on the federal deficit, health care and property taxes.


German police secure nail-filled package found near Potsdam Christmas market

Police patrolling at the entrance of one of Germany's oldest Christmas markets, in Nuremberg, Dec 1, 2017. PHOTO: REUTERS

German police on Friday (Dec 1) secured a device full of wires and nails found near an outdoor Christmas market in the city of Potsdam, but could not establish whether it had contained explosives.


North Korea's new missile not yet a breakthrough: Analysts

The newly developed inter-continental ballistic rocket Hwasong-15 was launched at an undisclosed location in North Korea on Nov 29, 2017. PHOTO: EPA-EFE

New worries have emerged as North Korea made a big leap testing its most advanced missile capable of striking continental United States, but analysts say it is far from being the "breakthrough" hailed by the regime, as it has yet to demonstrate key technologies including successful re-entry through the atmosphere.


World Cup draw: D is for Group of Death as Lionel Messi's Argentina face uphill task

Argentinian superstar Lionel Messi with the official match ball for the 2018 World Cup, named Telstar 18, during the unveiling ceremony in Moscow on Nov 9, 2017. The two-time champions are in a tricky group with Croatia, Iceland and Nigeria. PHOTO: EPA-EFE

After losing 0-1 to Germany in extra time at the last World Cup final, Argentina and their talisman Lionel Messi will be desperate to lift the trophy. But they will first have to navigate past a tricky Group D, after the World Cup draw was made at the State Kremlin Palace in Moscow on Friday (Saturday, Dec 2, Singapore time).


Families of couple who abused friend to death apologise, seek forgiveness

Tan Hui Zhen (left) was sentenced to 16½ years' jail, and her husband Pua Hak Chuan was given 14 years' jail and 14 strokes of the cane.  PHOTO: SPF 

The families of the couple who abused their flatmate until she died have apologised to the victim's family while urging the public not to let their outrage spill over to them.


$142 million in unclaimed prize money for 4-D, Toto and soccer bets in last 3 years

Some $142 million in prize money was left unclaimed in its last three financial years, a Singapore Pools spokesman said. PHOTO: LIANHE WANBAO

Did you claim your 4-D or Toto prize money? Many winners did not.

Some $142 million in prize money was left unclaimed in its last three financial years, a Singapore Pools spokesman said. Singapore Pools is the sole legal operator of lotteries and sports betting in Singapore.


Gong Cha reopens at SingPost Centre, draws long queues

Gong Cha Singapore chief executive Kang Puay Seng serves the first cups of bubble tea to student Daryl Yoon, who was the first person in the queue. ST PHOTO: KEVIN LIM

Queues started forming Thursday night (Nov 30), ahead of the opening of the new Gong Cha outlet at SingPost Centre in Paya Lebar at noon on Friday.