Top stories from The Straits Times on Thursday, April 11

Good morning! Here are our top stories to kick-start your Thursday, April 11.

EU offers May Brexit pause to Oct 31: Diplomats

European Council President Donald Tusk (left) and British Prime Minister Theresa May at the start of a special EU summit on Brexit, on April 10, 2019. PHOTO: EPA-EFE

The 27 EU leaders agreed their joint stance during talks in Brussels and their chairman, Donald Tusk, has now taken it to the British Prime Minister Theresa May for her approval.


Three killed in fire at Bangkok's Central World complex

The fire broke at Centara Grand@CentralWorld Hotel at Bangkok’s Ratchaprasong Intersection on April 10, 2019. PHOTO: THE NATION/ASIA NEWS NETWORK

Flames and smoke from the blaze at a document storage room on the eighth floor of the hotel was visible from a distance, prompting many people to dash to the hotel's parking space in a panic to get their cars out.


Move to have a more inclusive pre-school education

Occupational therapist Tan Sey Ing with pupil Ashtin Roy Chong Selvan at My First Skool@Block 209A Punggol Place yesterday. The new workgroup will study ways to strengthen support for children with moderate to severe developmental needs in pre-school
Occupational therapist Tan Sey Ing with pupil Ashtin Roy Chong Selvan at My First Skool@Block 209A Punggol Place. The new workgroup will study ways to strengthen support for children with moderate to severe developmental needs in pre-schools, and extend good practices to more centres. ST PHOTO: CHONG JUN LIANG

A workgroup will be set up by the Ministry of Social and Family Development to look at how to better integrate children with learning needs into pre-schools.


The real deal: Astronomers deliver first photo of black hole

The first photograph of a black hole and its fiery halo, released by Event Horizon Telescope astronomers provided by the European Southern Observatory on April 10, 2019. PHOTO: AFP

Locking down an image of M87's supermassive black hole at such a distance is comparable to photographing a pebble on the Moon.


Private stays at community hospitals: Patients pay cash deposits despite insurance cover

Ms Stephanie Kong was asked to pay a deposit of more than $19,000 to be moved from Singapore General Hospital to Sengkang Community Hospital. ST PHOTO: KEVIN LIM

Insurers are in talks with the Ministry of Health about providing letters of guarantee for clients who need to be admitted to community hospitals, the way they do now when clients go to an acute hospital.


Trash clogs corridors as residents vacate Pearl Bank homes

Pearl Bank Apartments has 288 units, and all residents have to vacate the apartments by the end of this month. Many residents discarded items in the corridors and entryways when they moved out. PHOTOS: LIANHE WANBAO, JOY PANG

Pearl Bank Apartments, the iconic horse-shoe shaped residential block located in Outram Park, has been turned into a dumping ground for defunct electrical goods and old furniture.


Test of strength between royal households and Mahathir looms

Since Datuk Osman resigned on Monday, Tun Dr Mahathir and the Johor palace have given sharply different opinions on who will get to decide on his replacement. PHOTO: REUTERS

Sharp exchange of words in public between Malaysian PM and Johor palace raises spectre of constitutional crisis.


India on high security alert as voting begins

Indian election officials check polling material and Electronic Voting Machines at a distribution centre in Hyderabad on April 10, 2019. PHOTO: AFP

India went on high security alert ahead of the start of its marathon elections after a campaign focused on Prime Minister Narendra Modi's leadership and national security.


Singapore bull run: Panther, hippo and other famous animal escapees over the years

A bull is literally on the run after escaping from a dairy farm in Lim Chu Kang on April 9, 2019. ST PHOTO: CHONG JUN LIANG

While the hunt for a bull on the loose is still ongoing, here's a look at instances of animals on the run that have been reported in Singapore in the past.


Marquee for all, Singapore's newest and largest nightclub


Singapore's largest nightclub, Marquee Singapore, will open at Marina Bay Sands on April 12. The 2,300 sq m venue will house an indoor ferris wheel with a photo booth in each pod and a three-storey-high slide. ST PHOTO: GIN TAY

Singapore's newest and largest nightclub, Marquee Singapore, which boasts an indoor Ferris wheel and a pair of three-storey slides, wants to be a fun place for all.