Top stories from The Straits Times on Thursday, July 12

Good morning! Here are our top stories to kick-start your Thursday, July 12.

Thai cave rescue: Boys in good spirits as they wave for cameras in hospital

Boys rescued from the Thai cave wear masks and rest at a hospital in Chiang Rai, Thailand, in this video screengrab taken on July 11, 2018. PHOTO: REUTERS


The first videos released of the Thai boys rescued after 17 days trapped deep in a flooded cave showed them to be thinner but in good spirits, as they waved from their hospital beds.


Singapore can help with efforts to denuclearise Korea: South Korean President Moon Jae-in

South Korean President Moon Jae-in at a joint press conference with India's Prime Minister Narendra Modi (not pictured) after holding summit talks at Hyderabad House in New Delhi, India, on July 10, 2018. PHOTO: EPA-EFE


Singapore can continue to play a constructive role after hosting the historic United States-North Korea summit and has strengths that "will be of great help in materialising" the denuclearisation of the Korean Peninsula, South Korean President Moon Jae-in said this week.


Donald Trump tells Nato leaders to increase defence spending to 4 per cent

 US President Donald Trump arrives for a NATO Summit in Brussels, Belgium, on July 11, 2018.  PHOTO: EPA-EFE

US President Donald Trump told Nato leaders on Wednesday they should increase their defence spending to 4 per cent of their country's economic output, double the group's current goal of 2 per cent.


Ex-Malaysian PM Najib's bank account frozen; Umno considers claiming cash seized from his homes

Former Malaysian premier Najib Razak said he realised his account was frozen only when a cheque issued to pay for his daughter's medical treatment bounced. PHOTO: THE STAR/ASIA NEWS NETWORK


The personal bank account of former Malaysian premier Najib Razak has been frozen, a move he described as the "draconian actions by the government of the day".


World Cup: Stunned silence, then tears, as England fans realise it's not 'coming home'

England fans after their team lost to Croatia in the World Cup semi-final. ST PHOTO: BENJAMIN SEETOR


The English language has more than 170,000 words but on Thursday morning, as far as the 500-strong crowd of English fans at Boat Quay that watched England face Croatia in the 2018 FIFA World Cup semi-final were concerned, they only knew how to utter three: "It's coming home."


World Cup illegal betting is big business

A Hong Kong Jockey Club betting branch promoting football betting last month. PHOTO: REUTERS


As the 2018 World Cup enters its final stretch, bookies at gambling hot spots in Geylang, Hougang and Bukit Batok expect more business, as more may want to place a wager before the tournament ends.


Flood-ravaged Japanese district of Kurashiki picks up the pieces

Japan's Prime Minister Shinzo Abe yesterday visited a centre for people displaced by the recent flooding in Mabi, Okayama prefecture. PHOTO: AGENCE FRANCE-PRESSE


Complacency - and a lack of disaster awareness - might be why Mabi district was the hardest-hit local municipality in last week's deluge that battered western Japan.


Cooling Singapore project comes up with 86 ways to help island beat the heat

With global warming expected to nudge temperatures up by between 1.4 deg C and 4.6 deg C by the end of the century, making the outdoor environment cooler should become a national priority. PHOTO: ST FILE


These measures aim to make the Republic cooler through ways such as through design and the use of innovative materials.


SIA to launch non-stop flight to Los Angeles on Nov 2

The Singapore-LA service will be operated using the new Airbus 350-900ULR (ultra-long-range) aircraft - the same plane that SIA will use when it resumes flying non-stop to New York in October. PHOTO: SINGAPORE AIRLINES


Singapore Airlines will launch non-stop flights between Singapore and Los Angeles on Nov 2, and increase capacity on its flights to San Francisco - as part of plans to boost services to the United States.


Tennis: Defending Wimbledon champion Federer ousted, Nadal downs Del Potro in Wimbledon quarter-finals


It was a case of down but definitely not out as a Rafael Nadal kept picking himself off a slippery and dusty Centre Court surface to storm into the Wimbledon semi-finals with a pulsating 7-5 6-7(7) 4-6 6-4 6-4 over Juan Martin del Potro.