Top stories from The Straits Times on Saturday, Jan 26

Good morning! Here are our top stories to kick-start your Saturday, Jan 26.

Hundreds of people at wake of Aloysius Pang to pay their respects

The body of Aloysius Pang arriving at his wake in MacPherson Lane, on Jan 25, 2019. ST PHOTO: DESMOND FOO

Hundreds of people turned up at home-grown actor Aloysius Pang's wake on Friday night, hoping to pay their respects even before the public memorial was due to start on Saturday.


Trump agrees on short-term deal to reopen government; Democrats claim victory

Trump announces a deal to end the partial government shutdown as he speaks in the Rose Garden of the White House. PHOTO: REUTERS

President Donald Trump and Congress leaders agreed on Friday to reopen the government for three weeks while they negotiated his demands for border wall funding, ending the political deadlock that had led to America’s longest partial government shutdown and increasingly strained its national infrastructure and economy.


Aloysius Pang dies: SAF needs to probe deeper into safety culture

(From left) Mindef's director of manpower Lee Chung Wei, Chief of Army Goh Si Hou, Chief of Defence Force Melvyn Ong, Combat Service Support Command Commander Terry Tan and Chief Army Medical Officer Edward Lo Hong Yee at the ministry's press conference on the death of CFC (NS) Aloysius Pang on Thursday. ST PHOTO: DESMOND FOO

The SAF has shown that it can get things right, based on the four years of zero fatalities. What it needs to do is to study what went right then and what has gone wrong since 2017.


NTUC calls for more internships at Temasek-linked firms

Minister for Culture, Community and Youth Grace Fu (left) and Ms Denise Phua, Mayor of Central Singapore District, at one of the booths at the Todo Todo Skills Marketplace fair yesterday. Todo Todo is a career support initiative started by NTUC and the People's Association two years ago. ST PHOTO: TIMOTHY DAVID

The labour movement wants Temasek-linked companies to offer more internships so that young people can get a leg-up in their job search amid the uncertain business environment.


Cross Island MRT: A unique line with great potential

Transport Minister Khaw Boon Wan (second from left) looking at a map showing Phase 1 of the Cross Island Line during a visit to Bright Hill station yesterday. With him are (from left) Ms Cheng Li Hui, a member of the Government Parliamentary Committee (GPC) for Transport; Senior Parliamentary Secretary for Transport Baey Yam Keng; and GPC for Transport members Melvin Yong and Ang Wei Neng. ST PHOTO: CHONG JUN LIANG

Besides increasing connectivity, new Cross Island Line could be used to transport freight.


Record 71 HDB flats sold for more than $1 million even as resale prices slip for 5th straight year

The majority of such million-dollar flats are non-standard ones such as DBSS flats like The Peak in Toa Payoh, the CBD-located estate of Pinnacle@Duxton (pictured), or rare terrace houses in Jalan Bahagia or Stirling Road. ST PHOTO: KUA CHEE SIONG

The number of such million-dollar flats has been increasing exponentially, with two such transactions in 2014, and 46 in 2017. This came as resale prices slipped for a fifth straight year, hitting a seven-year low.


To weather global headwinds, Singapore should stay united and think long term, says Heng Swee Keat

 Finance Minister Heng Swee Keat noted that with the rise of populism worldwide, there is a sense that unity and solidarity have been lost in many parts of the world. PHOTO: MINISTRY OF FINANCE

Singapore is not shielded from global headwinds and the best way to tackle this is to stay united, said Finance Minister Heng Swee Keat on Friday after a packed four days of meeting world and business leaders at the World Economic Forum.


Zuckerberg plans to integrate WhatsApp, Instagram and Facebook Messenger

The move will reportedly require thousands of Facebook employees to reconfigure how WhatsApp, Instagram and Facebook Messenger function at their most basic levels. ST PHOTO: JOYCE FANG

Mr Mark Zuckerberg, Facebook's chief executive, plans to integrate the social network's messaging services - WhatsApp, Instagram and Facebook Messenger - asserting his control over the company's sprawling divisions at a time when its business has been battered by scandals.


Australian Open: Singapore-born Astra Sharma through to mixed doubles final

Astra Sharma is an Australian citizen who was born and raised in Singapore, speaks Singlish now and then at home, and is an athletic resident of the tennis court. PHOTO: EPA-EFE

The fourth-fastest serve in the women's draw at the Australian Open was delivered by a young woman who is partly powered by Hainanese chicken rice. Well, her mum taught her how to cook it. And, she adds with a grin, roast pork rice as well.


8 festive plants to spruce up your home this Chinese New Year

Opt for non-seasonal plants so these can be displayed at home all-year round. ST PHOTO: KELVIN CHNG

Beyond traditional picks, some people are going for non-seasonal plants that will not look out of place beyond the festive season and can be displayed all-year round.