Top stories from The Straits Times on Saturday, May 18

Good morning! Here are our top stories to kick-start your Saturday, May 18.

Polls open in climate-dominated Australia election

People wait in line to vote in the Australian fedral election outside the Malvern Early Voting Centre in Melbourne, on May 17, 2019. PHOTO: EPA-EFE 

Australian Prime Minister Scott Morrison's conservative Liberals have closed the gap on Labor on the eve of the vote, but differences over climate may prove the difference between the two parties.


US lifts steel, aluminium tariffs on Canada and Mexico in boost for trade pact

Removing the tariffs on steel and aluminium imports from Canada and Mexico could help the three countries' trade pact secure ratification in the US Congress. PHOTO: AFP 

The United States struck deals to lift tariffs on steel and aluminium imports from Canada and Mexico, the three governments said, removing a major obstacle to legislative approval of a new North American trade pact.


Secondary school dropout becomes first ITE graduate to get into NUS medical school

Mr Nicholas Chan, 23, always entertained thoughts of being a nurse or a doctor so he could help people, partly because of his grandmother who had taken care of him when he was sick as a child. ST PHOTO: KHALID BABA 

Nicholas Chan, 23, is the first Institute of Technical Education graduate to make it to the National University of Singapore's Yong Loo Lin School of Medicine.


PUB takes over Tuaspring desalination plant from Hyflux

The transfer came after the water purchase agreement with Tuaspring was terminated on May 17, 2019. PHOTO: ST FILE 

PUB said in a statement on Saturday that the move was "to safeguard Singapore's water security".


Local architects and industry insiders pay tribute to I.M. Pei

In Singapore, the late I.M. Pei designed Raffles City, The Gateway in Beach Road and the OCBC Centre in Chulia Street. PHOTO: NYTIMES 

Mr Pei, whose high-profile projects include the glass pyramid that serves as an entry for the Louvre in Paris, was hailed by many as one of the most prolific architects of the 20th century.


Retired businessman makes second $500,000 donation in two years to ST School Pocket Money Fund

Retired businessman Mr Loh Kiong Poot (left) giving the mock cheque to Mr Warren Fernandez, chairman of The Straits Times School Pocket Money Fund at The Straits Times newsroom on May 17, 2019. ST PHOTO: ARIFFIN JAMAR 

Loh Kiong Poot, 75, had made his first donation to the fund in August last year.


More home owners decorating their kids' rooms in fun and stylish ways

Ms Friska Frederica and her daughter Elora in the latter's room, which Ms Frederica designed. ST PHOTO: SHINTARO TAY 

Parents are picking stylish concepts for children's rooms, instead of themed ones, for greater flexibility and longevity.


'Without my rifle, I'd feel lost': national shooter Jasmine Ser

Jasmine Ser and her 10m air rifle, which weighs 5kg and has over 300 precise parts. ST PHOTO: JONATHAN CHOO 

In the first of a multi-part, fortnightly series which explores the relationship between athletes and their equipment, Rohit Brijnath speaks to national shooter Jasmine Ser about her air rifle.


Me And My Car: Air stewardess-turned-businesswoman abandons German limos for Toyota MPV

Ms Kua Hwee Cheng replaced her German cars with the Toyota Alphard, which is her first Japanese car and the biggest she has driven. ST PHOTO: KUA CHEE SIONG 

Ms Kua Hwee Cheng has had quite a few careers. Her choice of cars has been equally varied.


Gong Li said to have married 70-year-old French composer

Rumours are rife that Chinese actress Gong Li and French composer Jean-Michel Jarre have said "I do" to each other, based on recent lovey-dovey sightings. PHOTO: REUTERS 

Rumours are rife that they have said "I do" to each other, based on recent lovey-dovey sightings.