Top stories from The Straits Times on Thursday, Dec 27

Good morning! Here are our top stories to kick-start your Thursday, Dec 27.

Singapore ofo users seeking refund hit bump

Ofo, which had been allowed to operate 25,000 two-wheelers under the Land Transport Authority's licensing scheme, later requested that this number be slashed to 10,000. It had cited difficulty in meeting its financial obligations.
Ofo, which had been allowed to operate 25,000 two-wheelers under the Land Transport Authority's licensing scheme, later requested that this number be slashed to 10,000. It had cited difficulty in meeting its financial obligations. ST PHOTO: LIM YAOHUI

With bike-sharing start-up ofo facing an uncertain future in China, users here are wondering what will happen to its operations in the Republic.

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Senior citizens living with family, but still feeling lonely


Local research is finding that for seniors, having a companion their own age makes a big difference to their health and mental well-being. ST PHOTO: LIM YAOHUI

Most of Madam Teek Mohmod's life has revolved around her family, especially caring for her parents towards the end of their lives.

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In a first, Trump makes surprise visit to US troops in Iraq


Donald and Melania Trump greet military personnel at Al Asad Air Base in Iraq. PHOTO: REUTERS

President Donald Trump made a surprise Christmas visit to US troops in Iraq on Wednesday, his first trip to a conflict zone nearly two years into his presidency and days after announcing a pullout of American troops from neighboring Syria.

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Wall Street roars back to life in best session in 9 years


Traders work on the floor of the New York Stock Exchange, Dec 26, 2018. PHOTO: REUTERS

Wall Street stocks roared back to life on Wednesday, shaking off four straight routs following strong retail sales data and White House reassurances that Fed Chair Jay Powell won't be fired.

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Blogger Leong Sze Hian files defence and countersuit against PM Lee


Financial adviser and blogger Leong Sze Hian is seeking compensation for damage to his reputation as well as costs. PHOTO: THE NEW PAPER

Financial adviser and blogger Leong Sze Hian has filed a defence and countersuit against Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong, claiming PM Lee's defamation suit against him is an abuse of the process of the court.

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Carrots and sticks may stop mass food poisonings


ST ILLUSTRATION: MIEL

Mass food poisoning incidents have rocked Singapore in the past month and a half. The incidents occurred in quick succession, and it has since been found that hygiene lapses and negligence in food preparation led to hundreds of people falling ill.

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Money transfer sector heats up with tech

Besides having branches, remittance firms are making their costs transparent and letting customers use mobile phones to transfer money.
Besides having branches, remittance firms are making their costs transparent and letting customers use mobile phones to transfer money. ST PHOTO: KUA CHEE SIONG

The once-stodgy remittance market has burst into life as increasing numbers of companies - from start-ups to legacy banks - fight to get a slice of the booming market in international money transfers.

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Netanyahu shows why he is a champ in politics


Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu attends a Knesset (parliament) session in Jerusalem, on Dec 26, 2108. PHOTO: AFP

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu is a world champion of political slalom. It was just another example of his ideological pliability that he bestowed Israel with a very special gift on Christmas Eve: early election.

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Singapore Works: Caring for 2 million trees no easy feat


Almost 30 per cent of Singapore's urban areas are covered by greenery - more than in cities such as Sydney and Vancouver. PHOTO: MUHAMMAD AZIM AZMAN

Singapore is one of the world's top cities for its urban greenery. When it comes to urban tree density, Singapore stands tall - it outshone 16 cities around the world in a study by researchers from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology and the World Economic Forum.

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Movie review: Mary Poppins Returns is a safe homage


It has been a long wait - 54 years, the longest between two films in a series - but the sequel to Mary Poppins is finally here. PHOTO: THE WALT DISNEY COMPANY (SEA)

It has been a long wait - 54 years, the longest between two films in a series - but the sequel to one of Disney's most beloved musicals is finally here.

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