Top stories from The Straits Times on Thursday, March 21

Good morning! Here are our top stories to kick-start your Thursday, March 21.

EU ready to grant Brexit delay if British parliament backs twice-rejected deal

PM Theresa May asked the European Union to allow Britain to delay its departure date by three months to June 30. PHOTO: EPA-EFE

Mrs Theresa May said she planned to ask parliament to vote a third time on her departure deal, which lawmakers have voted down twice. She did not say when the vote would happen.


Should people be trained to fight back during a terror attack? Experts weigh in

Afghan refugee and local resident Abdul Aziz (left) speaking with a man who came to thank him for his bravery during an interview with AFP in Christchurch on March 17, 2019, two days after he chased a gunman at Linwood Mosque. PHOTO: AFP

Currently, Singapore's SGSecure message does not include the element of confrontation. But some security experts said there is scope to equip civilians with skills like unarmed combat to fight back, when necessary.


Sim Lim Square ready to go en bloc after raising asking price to $1.3 billion

Sim Lim Square is a 99-year leasehold building with 492 units, and was completed in 1987, with a floor area of 22,007 sq m. ST PHOTO: LIM YAOHUI

The aim is to put the site for tender by the end of next month, said marketing agent SLP Scotia, which declined to reveal the reserve price.


Doomed Lion Air pilots searched handbook for fix but ran out of time, cockpit voice recorder shows

A Lion Air spokesman said all data and information had been given to investigators and declined to comment further. PHOTO: REUTERS

The Indian-born captain was silent at the end, while the Indonesian first officer said "Allahu Akbar", or "God is greatest".


Philippines turns to Singapore to ease water crisis in Metro Manila

Residents of Addition Hills in Madaluyong City, Metro Manila, queue to recieve water distributed on water tank truck and fire trucks on March 15, 2019. PHOTO: AFP

Taps are running dry because Manila Water, which supplies half of Metro Manila, does not have access to enough water sources to cover growing demand.


Seoul police arrest 4 for live-streaming, selling videos of 1,600 motel guests captured on spy cameras

The ultra mini cameras with a 1mm lens were installed in TV set-top boxes, hair dryer holders and sockets, among others places inside the motel rooms. The clips were live-streamed via a website server based overseas, police said. PHOTO: SOUTH KOREA NATIONAL POLICE AGENCY

The cameras were set up in 42 motel rooms at 30 motels in 10 cities in the North and South Gyeongsang and Chungcheong provinces between Nov 24 last year and March 2 this year.


Finland tops UN world's happiest countries list again, Singapore remains 34th

People enjoying a sunny day at the Esplanade in Helsinki, Finland. PHOTO: REUTERS

The report ranked 156 countries according to things such as GDP per capita, social support, healthy life expectancy, social freedom, generosity and absence of corruption.


Gardens by the Bay murder trial: Accused under pressure from wife, victim for money, says prosecution

Accused murderer Leslie Khoo Kwee Hock received multiple text messages from his wife and the late Cui Yajie demanding money from him. PHOTO: SHIN MIN DAILY NEWS

"Owe $ Pay $" was a text message that the wife of accused murderer Leslie Khoo Kwee Hock sent him in the days before he killed another woman, the High Court heard.


Bus full of children set alight by angry driver in Italy

A photo of the scene uploaded to social media. PHOTO: TWITTER

All 51 children managed to escape unhurt before the bus was engulfed in flames on the outskirts of Milan. 


Actor Benedict Cumberbatch severs business ties with Mahathir's son Mokhzani

Hollywood actor Benedict Cumberbatch severed business ties with the second son of Malaysian Prime Minister Mahathir Mohamad because of Dr Mahathir's anti-Semitic remarks. PHOTO: AFP

Cumberbatch was worried that Dr Mahathir's recent anti-Semitic remarks could have repercussions on their productions.