Top stories from The Straits Times on Saturday, Sept 14

Good morning! Here are our top stories to kick-start your Saturday, Sept 14.

3 Zika cases in Serangoon Gardens the first cluster this year

All three cases of locally transmitted Zika virus infection in the cluster in Hemsley Avenue involve residents in the vicinity. ST PHOTO: MARK CHEONG

The NEA noted that the Zika cluster is near a dengue cluster of eight cases that formed last month in Bridport Avenue, Cowdray Avenue, Huddington Avenue, Portchester Avenue and Tavistock Avenue.


Hazy start to the weekend in Singapore after air quality nears unhealthy levels

Haze over central Singapore at around 11.15am on Sept 13, 2019. ST PHOTO: JASON QUAH

NEA said that based on wind direction, it is smoke haze from Sumatra that has been affecting Singapore.


Ipoh cancels flights to Singapore and Johor due to haze; Scoot flights from Changi diverted, re-timed

Stranded passengers at Sultan Azlan Shah Airport in Ipoh after flights have been cancelled due to haze, on Sept 13, 2019. PHOTO: BERNAMA

Three areas in Perak in northwestern Peninsular Malaysia recorded an air pollutant index reading of more than 100, the unhealthy level, on Friday night.


China buys more soya beans from US ahead of trade talks next month

A farmer checks the quality of their 2018 soya bean crops on the family farm near Colfax, North Dakota. PHOTO: REUTERS

The purchases came as reports from China on Friday indicated that Beijing would exempt soya beans and some other American agricultural products from tariffs.


'Erroneous' to suggest satire is covered by Pofma: Shanmugam on Media Literacy Council post

Law and Home Affairs Minister K. Shanmugam speaks to the media on Sept 13 about a recent Facebook post by the Media Literacy Council which was widely criticised for calling satire a type of "fake news". ST PHOTO: GIN TAY

The post had featured a graphic which highlighted six types of "fake news": false context, imposter content, manipulated content, misleading content, clickbait and satire.


Engineer's texts after PIE viaduct collapse suggested incident was due to design mistake

The viaduct collapsed in the early hours of July 14, 2017, resulting in the death of 31-year-old Chinese worker Chen Yinchuan. Ten other workers were hurt, two seriously. PHOTO: MINISTRY OF MANPOWER

Professional engineer Robert Arianto Tjandra is facing five charges under the Building Control Act and the Workplace Safety and Health Act.


A tale of two burning rainforests: How fires in the Amazon and Indonesia can affect Singapore

A photo taken on Sept 9 shows a forest fire lighting up the night sky in Kampar, in Indonesia's Riau province. PHOTO: AFP

Tropical rainforests help to take up planet-warming carbon dioxide from the atmosphere, locking the carbon in tree biomass such as trunks and roots.


Muslim unity the key as former rival parties Umno and PAS join forces

The "Himpunan Penyatuan Ummah" or "Unity Gathering of the Muslim Faithful" organised by Umno and PAS kicked off in Kuala Lumpur yesterday with a series of town halls and rallies that claimed the Malays and their religion were being sidelined by the policies of the Pakatan Harapan government. PHOTO: BERNAMA

They have agreed to set aside their four-decade-old enmity and are set to sign their political cooperation charter in Kuala Lumpur.


Singapore draws more tourists from South Korea's Busan after start of direct flights

A giant Merlion slide was part of the activities featured in the "Summer with Singapore in Busan" festival organised by the Singapore Tourism Board in August. PHOTO: SINGAPORE TOURISM BOARD

The Singapore Tourism Board said visitor arrivals from the greater Busan area grew 2.3 per cent between May and July compared to a year ago.


Air restrictions, road closures to be put in place for F1 Singapore Grand Prix

In a photo taken on Sept 16, 2018, Mercedes driver Lewis Hamilton leads the pack at the Formula One 2018 Singapore Airlines Singapore Grand Prix, which was held at the Marina Bay Street Circuit. PHOTO: ST FILE

The LTA said road closures for the night race will begin on Sept 18 and end on Sept 24 to facilitate the setting up and dismantling of the race infrastructure.