Top stories from The Straits Times on Saturday, Oct 20

Good morning! Here are our top stories to kick-start your Saturday, Oct 20.

Saudi Arabia admits Khashoggi died in consulate, fires two senior officials

An activist holds an image of Khashoggi during a protest outside the White House, Oct 19, 2018. PHOTO: REUTERS

A statement from the Saudi public prosecutor said a fight broke out between Khashoggi and people who met him in the consulate and led to his death.


Singapore, European Union sign landmark free trade, partnership agreements

Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong (second from left) signing the EU-Singapore Free Trade Agreement with European Council President Donald Tusk, European Commission President Jean-Claude Juncker and Austrian Chancellor Sebastian Kurz on Oct 19, 2018. ST PHOTO: ONG WEE JIN

The new FTA will further free up access for each side to the other's market and offer opportunities for Singapore companies to bid for jobs with European government entities including at local levels, and vice versa.


Air taxis to be tested in Singapore skies mid-2019

The flight tests are designed to validate and verify the ability of German aviation start-up Volocopter's air taxis to operate in Singapore's urban environment. PHOTO: VOLOCOPTER

The flight tests are designed to validate and verify the ability of Volocopter's electric vertical take-off and landing vehicles to operate in Singapore's urban environment.


Sylvia Lim admits to breaching rules by not calling tender

Workers' Party chairman Sylvia Lim arriving at the Supreme Court yesterday. She said she had exercised her authority to act on behalf of the town council to waive the tender, "in circumstances of urgency". PHOTO: LIANHE ZAOBAO

Town council rules stipulate that tenders must be called for services that are estimated to cost more than $70,000, and should be waived only "under very special circumstances and must be fully justified".


Next summit for Trump, North Korea's Kim likely early next year, says senior US official

A meeting between Trump (left) and Kim is likely sometime after the first of the year, an official told reporters. PHOTO: AFP

US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo said on Friday he hopes to meet his North Korean counterpart soon to lay the groundwork for a "big step forward" on denuclearisation during the next summit.


US says Russia, China, Iran seeking to disrupt elections

Early voting for the upcoming US midterm elections takes place in Atlanta, Oct 15, 2018. PHOTO: NYTIMES

Influence operations from those nations include use of social media to amplify divisive issues, seeding disinformation about political candidates and sponsoring content in English-language media, four intelligence and law enforcement agencies said in a joint statement.


Tourism breathes new life into Hong Kong fishing village Tai O

Tai O's temple, rural committee office and school are located in the same area, a reflection of the community's close-knit ties. Below: The name Tai O refers to water channels and the once-bustling village that was one of Hong Kong's most vital fishing ports for over 200 years. ST PHOTO: CLAIRE HUANG

Nicknamed the "Venice of Hong Kong", Tai O is home to boat people who live in stilt houses dating as far back as the 19th century. Questions remain as to whether or how the ageing village of about 3,000 residents can cope with an even bigger influx of tourists.


Bus cuts across 3 lanes of traffic, driver to be taken to task by SBS Transit

In a video posted to Facebook, the bus can be seen cutting leftwards across three lanes of traffic towards a bus stop. It then veers again, two lanes to the right. PHOTOS: SCREENGRABS FROM FACEBOOK/FREDDY CHENG

In a video posted to Facebook, the bus can be seen cutting leftwards across three lanes of traffic, then veering again two lanes to the right.


Man jailed for 4 months after sending e-mail about bogus NDP suicide bombing plot

Khor Chye Siew pleaded guilty to giving false information to a public servant. ST PHOTO: WONG KWAI CHOW

Unhappy with the Singapore Government after he was jailed and caned here over an immigration offence, Khor Chye Siew went to a cyber cafe in Thailand and sent a hoax e-mail to the SingGov Feedback account in 2005.


This shelf used to be the wall of an Indonesian house: How furniture makers are going green

A living room that features a teak coffee table from Ethnicraft Online. PHOTO: ETHNICRAFT ONLINE

What makes furniture eco-friendly? Owners of interior design stores that carry environmentally friendly pieces say that there are a few things to look out for, including ethically sourced materials and production methods that minimise waste.


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