Top stories from The Straits Times on Saturday, Nov 4

Good morning! Here are our top stories to kickstart your Saturday, Nov 4.

Video: Younger leaders ready to drive Workers' Party forward, says Low Thia Khiang

WP secretary-general Low Thia Khiang signing copies of the party's 60th anniversary commemorative book, Walking With Singapore, at the celebratory dinner Nov 3, 2017. Mr Low, who entered politics in 1988, would have led the party for 17 years when he steps down from his post next year. ST PHOTO: JONATHAN CHOO 

In a surprise announcement, Mr Low Thia Khiang said he will not contest the post of secretary-general of the Workers' Party at its next Central Executive Council election, due next year.


Some SMRT staff own up to lapses during 'amnesty'

A train in the flooded tunnel between the Bishan and Braddell MRT stations on Oct 7. The flooding, caused by a gap in maintenance operations, disrupted North-South Line train services for about 20 hours. PHOTO: ST READER 

Staff from at least one department in SMRT have admitted to lapses in their work, in response to a company call to own up - without penalty - before a wide-scale audit is launched.


Foreign bank duped into transferring $4.4m to wrong account in Singapore

Ambrose Dionysius controlled the Bank of China account here which received the transfers by RBC Royal Bank (Trinidad and Tobago). He was sentenced to five years' jail. ST PHOTO: WONG KWAI CHOW 

Employees of a bank in the Caribbean were duped into transferring more than $4.4 million of their client's money into a Singapore bank account in 2013.


NParks to offer garden plots for rent as interest grows

Plants on display at the Community Garden Festival. NParks aims to build 1,000 "allotment gardens" in 10 parks by 2019. PHOTO: LIANHE ZAOBAO

Amid the backdrop of an increasingly eco-conscious Singapore, the National Parks Board will for the first time be leasing out garden space in its parks for anyone to grow their own plants.


Video: Donald Trump to extend Asia trip, attend East Asia Summit

US President Donald Trump boards Air Force One for travel to Hawaii, on his way to an extended trip to five countries in Asia. PHOTO: REUTERS 

"We're actually staying an extra day in the Philippines," Mr Trump said as he embarked on his first trip to Asia, after an earlier decision to skip the East Asia Summit raised questions about his interest in the region.


Video: Spain issues arrest warrant for Catalan leader

Ousted Catalan President Carles Puigdemont appears on a monitor during a live TV interview on a screen in a bar in Brussels, Belgium, on Nov 3, 2017. PHOTO: REUTERS 

Spain has issued an arrest warrant on sedition and other charges for former Catalan president Carles Puigdemont, who went to Brussels after his government was sacked following a declaration of independence.


Video: Writers Fest features 300 events for goodness' sake

Poet-musician Deborah Emmanuel performing festival-commissioned song Ocean Free at the opening of the Singapore Writers Festival on Nov 3, 2017. ST PHOTO: TIMOTHY DAVID 

The 10-day festival of over 300 programmes is meant to contemplate ethical quandaries and moral conundrums, as writers and artists ask what it truly means to be good.


Construction worker writes memoir about working here

Mr Md Sharif Uddin, who used to run a bookshop in Bangladesh, wrote about his journey to Singapore, how he misses his family and how upset he gets when employers ill-treat foreign workers. The book will be launched on Saturday (Nov 4) at the National Library. PHOTO: SHARON LUM 

Mr Md Sharif Uddin, a construction safety supervisor, has written several hundred diary entries and poems in a memoir style in chronological order since he first arrived here in 2008.


Video: Winners of this year's Architectural Heritage Awards kept history alive

The main lobby of The Warehouse Hotel. PHOTO: DARREN SOH, THE WAREHOUSE HOTEL 

In a statement, the Urban Redevelopment Authority said The Cathedral of the Good Shepherd has been "delicately restored" and took note of The Warehouse Hotel's "thoughtful restoration and sensitive integration of the old and new".


Former St Andrews School was carefully restored with the help of photographic records

The building was designed in 1939 by British architect Frank Wilmin Brewer, who was also responsible for the Cathay Building in Handy Road. ST PHOTO: NG SOR LUAN 

It has been a long time since the loud voices and footsteps of boisterous boys rang through 1 Francis Thomas Drive, but its hallowed halls are still fondly remembered by St Andrew's alumni.