Top stories from The Straits Times on Thursday, April 5

Good morning! Here are our top stories to kickstart your Thursday, April 5.

Personal data of most of Facebook's 2 billion users was collected, shared with outsiders

Public profiles were scraped by outsiders without the users’ explicit permission. PHOTO: REUTERS


Facebook's admission that users likely had their public profiles scrapped without explicit permission dramatically raises the stakes in the privacy controversy. 


US not in a trade war with China, says Donald Trump

The White House said that bringing China into line on “fair and reciprocal” trade will be good for the US and the international trading system.


Police ask US preacher who allegedly made anti-Muslim comments to return to Singapore for interview

It is not known if American preacher Lou Engle, who is alleged to have made anti-Muslim statements at an event here last month, intends to comply with the request. PHOTO: FACEBOOK/KINGDOM INVASION SINGAPORE


Mr Lou Engle is alleged to have made anti-Muslim statements at a Christian conference here last month, and left Singapore shortly after the event ended.


Social service staff to get another pay rise, with monthly salary for social workers starting at $3,400

The latest pay guidelines cover a host of staff in the sector, from social workers to therapists and executives, across varying levels of seniority. PHOTO: ST FILE

The pay increase was first announced in March during the Ministry of Social and Family Development's budget debate.


Justify rising costs before raising transport fares

The Bukit Panjang LRT is being overhauled because it is facing "obsolescence" after a mere 19 years. If the line had been more robust in its engineering and if its design had taken into account the terrain, its obsolescence would not have arrived so soon. PHOTO: ST FILE 


Before deciding whether the apparent gap between public transport costs and fare revenue is a valid reason for tweaking the fare formula, we should first look at why cost had soared in the first place.


Umno's plans to field new faces in Malaysia elections lead to pushback

In recent weeks, dozens of Umno division chiefs, rattled by the prospect of being bypassed as candidates, have been actively lobbying close aides to party president Prime Minister Najib Razak and his deputy. PHOTO: EPA-EFE

Faced with an unprecedented challenge to its dominance over the ethnic Malay majority, Umno is planning to nominate first-timers for up to 40 per cent of the seats. 


Ignore SMSes from scammers claiming they have kidnapped your loved ones: Police

In a statement on April 4, the police said they have received numerous reports from the public over SMSes claiming that they have kidnapped the recipient's loved ones.P HOTO: FACEBOOK/SINGAPORE POLICE FORCE


The scammers will also ask for money to be transferred to a bank account to "ensure" the safety of a recipient's loved ones.


It's a dog's life with Uber's departure from Singapore, say pet owners

Mr Joe Havely with his dog Scooby. With Uber's exit from Singapore, a group of pet owners are now left without an on-demand pet taxi service. More than 1,000 people have started a petition to ask Grab to retain the UberPet service. ST PHOTO: SEAH KWANG PENG

With the UberPet service set to disappear, pet owners are lobbying for Grab to offer a pet transportation option after the takeover.


Is Netflix the new cineplex?

Film studio Paramount opted not to give sci-fi movie Annihilation, starring Natalie Portman (above), a widespread theatrical release and sold the distribution rights to streaming service Netflix instead. PHOTO: NETFLIX


The trend of pedigree movies such as Annihilation bypassing cinemas and going straight to streaming has subscribers cheering and some industry players jeering. 


Football: Liverpool stun Man City with 3-0 Champions League win at Anfield

Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain celebrates with team mates, scoring Liverpool's second goal. PHOTO: AFP

A devastating first-half display was crowned with goals from Mohamed Salah, Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain and Sadio Mane.