Top stories from The Straits Times on Sunday, March 18

Good morning! Here are our top stories to kickstart your Sunday, March 18.


Asean and Australia sign deal to combat terrorism together


Australian Foreign Minister Julie Bishop and Asean Secretary-General Dato Lim Jock Hoi signed a Memorandum of Understanding to cooperate on fighting extremism and terrorism financing. ST PHOTO: NG SOR LUAN

Australian Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull warned that terrorists are using digital technology in innovative ways to finance, plan and conduct their attacks.

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Bad launderette behaviour just won't wash


CCTV image of children turning a self-service laundromat into a playground. Instawash Laundry Services says children are often seen squeezing themselves inside the machines. PHOTO: INSTAWASH

With no staff on hand, 24-hour self-service launderettes are a magnet for homeless people, couples who use the space as a dating spot and a "playground" for kids. 

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Young and pregnant: Two abortions by the age of 16


Ms Michelle Lim with her three-year-old son. The 23-year-old, who runs her own logistics business, does not feel that laws stipulating a minimum age for abortion or parental consent will help teenage mums like herself. She says she would not have had her two abortions when she was a teen if she had "not felt all alone back then". ST PHOTO: ARIFFIN JAMAR

Now 23 and a mum, Michelle Lim talks about the need to raise awareness of support avenues for teenagers who get pregnant. 

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Lease for Chinese Garden turtle museum to be extended, owner says


Museum owner Connie Tan said the National Parks Board has agreed to extend the lease while she searches for a suitable new home for the turtles, tortoises and terrapins. PHOTO: ST FILE

The extension by NParks will give Connie Tan more time to relocate her Live Turtle & Tortoise Museum, which is due to be evicted at the end of March.

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Commentary: Airbnb rules, Singapore-style


ST ILLUSTRATION: CEL GULAPA

With the Government soon to publicly share its proposed short-term rental rules, Opinion editor Chua Mui Hoong gives her take on what might make for a reasonable set of rules. 

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It Changed My Life: Architect builds on housing the homeless


Mr Prasoon on a visit to Diggi Tanda village in India. billionBricks has worked on about eight projects and settled at least 4,000 homeless in several countries. Mr Prasoon Kumar at his office in Fusionopolis, with the all-season weatherHYDE tent that he and his team designed for the homeless. In the foreground is a miniature model of the solar version called the powerHYDE, which he is working on now. PHOTO: LIN ZHAOWEI FOR THE SUNDAY TIMES

Prasoon Kumar gave up a cushy job and fat pay to start billionBricks, a non-profit organisation to tackle homelessness.

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NPC 2018: China's Parliament unanimously re-elects Xi Jinping as president


Chinese President Xi Jinping (centre, right) shakes hands with newly elected Chinese Vice-President Wang Qishan at the fifth plenary session of the National People's Congress (NPC), on March 17, 2018. PHOTO: REUTERS

Mr Xi was elected to a second term with 100 per cent of the vote, days after the lifting of presidential term limits allowed him to stay in office indefinitely.

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Russians vote on new Putin term as tensions flare with West


Pictures of presidential candidates are seen at a polling station in Borovsk some 10 km outside Moscow. PHOTO: EPA-EFE

Russian President Vladimir Putin - seeking a fourth term - is expected to be handed an easy victory, which will keep him in power until 2024. 

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ST Run to return to Sports Hub this year on Sept 23


The ST Run is returning to the Singapore Sports Hub this year for its sixth instalment on Sept 23, 2018. PHOTO: ST FILE

The sixth instalment of the The Straits Times Run promises to be the most fun yet, with activities like cooking and yoga classes lined up in the run-up. 

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Take the quiz: Uncle, who are you calling auntie?

We all have some auntie- or uncle-ness in each of us. Take this quiz to find out how much.

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