Top stories from The Straits Times on Thursday, Aug 16

Good morning! Here are our top stories to kick-start your Thursday, Aug 16.

Major initiative to help all hawkers to go cashless

Currently, even when hawker stalls accept cashless payments, they are littered with a jumble of payment systems that do not talk to each other, thus requiring customers to carry multiple cards or e-wallets. ST PHOTO: KEVIN LIM


One, or at most two, firms will be appointed in the biggest step yet to bring cashless payments to all 12,000 stalls at hawker centres, canteens and coffee shops here.


Italy motorway collapse: PM Conte declares 12-month ‘state of emergency’ in Genoa

A resident views the Morandi motorway bridge after it partially collapsed in Genoa, Italy, on Aug 15, 2018. PHOTO: BLOOMBERG


Prime Minister Giuseppe Conte called the collapse, which killed at least 39 people, a tragedy that is unacceptable in a modern society. 


Brand-new clothes and bags 'often went missing' at Changi Airport Group chairman Liew Mun Leong's home

Madam Ng Lai Peng (left) said they found items that were missing in boxes left behind by their maid Parti Liyani after she was asked to leave. ST PHOTOS: WONG KWAI CHOW


Parti Liyani, who had worked for Mr Liew's family for eight years, faces four theft charges involving more than $50,000 worth of valuables. 


O-level cheating trial: Private tutor says she threw away phone because of photos of illegal pangolin pet

Private tutor Fiona Poh Min (pictured) faces 27 cheating charges and one of instigating Chinese national student Chen Yi to leave Singapore to avoid being investigated by police. ST PHOTO: WONG KWAI CHOW


Fiona Poh Min, who is accused of helping six Chinese nationals to cheat during their O-level exams, had thrown away her phone before she went to the police on Oct 26, 2016.


She gets National Orchid Garden all ready for visitors... before 10am

Ms Sheryl Koh, 25, Manager of National Orchid Garden, Singapore Botanic Gardens, National Parks Board, at The Mountains. ST PHOTO: LIM YAOHUI 


The garden, nestled within the leafy compounds of the Singapore Botanic Gardens, is the result of year-round care and cultivation - manager Sheryl Koh can attest to that.


NS training deaths: Train hard, yet safe - striking a balance.


When soldiers die during training, the spotlight is put on whether overzealousness in training is compromising safety.


Women accused of assassinating Kim Jong Nam in Malaysia face key court ruling

Vietnamese defendant Doan Thi Huong (right) and Indonesian defendant Siti Aishah (second from left) are escorted by Malaysian police personnel at the low-cost carrier Kuala Lumpur International Airport 2 in Sepang, on Oct 24, 2017. PHOTO: AFP


After months of hearing the prosecution's case, the families of Siti Aisyah from Indonesia and Vietnam's Doan Thi Huong are hoping they will be acquitted and return home.


Ryde's new on-demand courier service RydeSend gets warning from LTA

With RydeSend, users can send items via Ryde's pool of drivers for delivery to recipients. Charges will be based on Ryde's RydeX private-hire car fares but with an additional surcharge of $6. PHOTO: ST FILE

The Land Transport Authority said private-hire drivers are not allowed to do delivery jobs and that Ryde did not consult them prior to launching the service.


Ground-Up Initiative will stay open after death of founder Tay Lai Hock

Founder of Ground-Up Initiative Tay Lai Hock collapsed on Aug 14, 2018, at work, and was found unconscious by a friend he was supposed to have met. ST PHOTO: KHALID BABA


Speaking at Mr Tay's wake, a council member said: "I am here in GUI because I believe in it. Most of our lives have changed because of Lai Hock - why shouldn't we continue?"


JJ Lin's Sanctuary World Tour one of the best concerts of the year

JJ Lin made a dramatic entrance for his JJ Lin Sanctuary World Tour at the Singapore Indoor Stadium, on Aug 15, 2018. ST PHOTO: KHALID BABA


Stirring vocals, a parade of hit songs and top-notch stage production were on display in the first of four sold-out shows by the home-grown Mandopop star.