Top stories from The Straits Times on Sunday, Dec 31

Good morning! Here are our top stories to kickstart your Sunday, Dec 31.

New code of practice for crowd-funding sites to be launched in Jan to prevent fraud, boost donor trust

Websites such as Give.Asia, Simply Giving, and Ray of Hope Initiative will be required to verify the legitimacy of the fund-raising appeal, and state clearly the service fee or cut they are taking from the amount raised, among other things. PHOTOS: SCREENGRABS FROM GIVE.ASIA, SIMPLY GIVING.COM AND ROHI.SG

A code of practice for crowd-funding platforms will be launched next month to ensure that those who give online can do so with greater peace of mind, the Commissioner of Charities said.


Count down with lights at Marina Bay

A visual spectacle takes place on the facades of The Fullerton Hotel Singapore, Merlion (above) and ArtScience Museum on the hour from 8pm tonight. One of three projection towers around the Merlion from which the light show is projected. ST PHOTO: NG SOR LUAN

If you are heading to the Marina Bay area to usher in the new year tonight, look out for the visual extravaganzas happening on the facades of The Fullerton Hotel Singapore, the Merlion and the ArtScience Museum.


Living with a rare disease: One mother's very special boy

Straits Times correspondent Amelia Teng, 29, with her one-year-old son Christopher and husband, Geoffrey Toi, 33. The cheapest option of the lifelong medication needed for Christopher costs $5,000 a month and the drug has to be procured from Australia. ST PHOTO: KUA CHEE SIONG

My husband and I discovered we had something else in common this year, our fourth year of marriage - a bad copy of the same gene.


Marawi: Rising from the rubble

Children play a game similar to sepak takraw in Saguiaran town. Marawi was emptied of its population of more than 200,000 when Muslim militants stormed the city on May 23. PHOTO: RAUL DANCEL

More than two months have passed since the Philippine government declared victory over a well-armed, well-organised and highly motivated cabal of Muslim militants that laid siege to Marawi.


Singaporean ISIS fighter appears in another ISIS video, shown executing a man

Megat Shahdan Abdul Samad was seen on another ISIS video, where he was seen executing three men by shooting with two other men. PHOTO: SCREENGRAB FROM VIDEO

A second propaganda video by terror group Islamic State in Iraq and Syria featuring Singaporean Megat Shahdan Abdul Samad has surfaced.


More Singapore couples seeking surrogacy services

At least 15 children born this year were brought back to Singapore and passed off as children born to the couples overseas, and not a surrogate. PHOTO: ST FILE

A gay Singaporean doctor's failed bid to adopt his American-born biological son is the first application by a single to adopt his own child conceived through surrogacy here, the Ministry of Social and Family Development told The Sunday Times.


Singapore Khalsa Association re-opens after $12 million upgrading

The new Singapore Khalsa Association (SKA) building was officially opened on Dec 30, following a two-year renovation amounting to about $12 million. ST PHOTO: KEVIN LIM

The Singapore Khalsa Association officially re-opened its doors on Saturday after a two-year renovation which began in November 2014.


On the trail of dad's Singapore racing legacy

British racer Chris Proffitt-White posing for a Castrol oil advertisement in the old days. PHOTO: COURTESY OF TIM PROFFITT-WHITE.

To Mr Tim Proffitt-White and his sister Victoria, their father was a loving hero figure with a good sense of humour. But more than 50 years ago - years before they were born - their father Chris Proffitt-White was also a hero on the motor racing circuit in Singapore.


From Singapore with love: Balikbayan boxes

Freelance video editor Dinx Carin filling her balikbayan box with Singapore-themed items such as instant laksa and bak kut teh spice mixes. During the holidays, Filipinos living overseas send boxes of goods to their families in the Philippines, usually filled with a variety of items that are difficult to get in the country. PHOTO: GIN TAY FOR THE SUNDAY TIMES

When Philippine national Toni Ariza was a child, she used to love opening the huge gift boxes that her mother would send home from the Middle East, where she worked.


Where to go in 2018

Seoullo 7017, a new sky garden with cafes, bars, stages, libraries and 24,000 plants. PHOTO: KOREA TOURISM ORGANISATION

Pack your bags, it is a new year. As 2018 rolls around, the possibilities for travel are expanding with new flight routes, exciting events and imaginative concepts by tour companies.