Top stories from The Straits Times on Thursday, May 16

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

Trump bars US companies from using foreign telecoms posing security risk, effectively blocking Huawei

Washington believes equipment made by Huawei could be used by the Chinese state to spy. PHOTO: REUTERS

The executive order invokes the International Emergency Economic Powers Act, which gives the president the authority to regulate commerce in response to a national emergency that threatens the US.


Why have there been so many extreme weather events in Singapore?

Thunderstorms are common in Singapore at this time of the year, with the Republic experiencing around 167 thunderstorm days and 185 lightning days each year. ST PHOTO: CHONG JUN LIANG

Extreme weather events may happen by chance but they could also signal a dangerous, human-made shift in the earth's climate, said Professor Benjamin Horton, chair of NTU's Asian School of the Environment.


Singapore, Malaysia committee on maritime boundaries delimitation held first meeting

Part of the Johor Baru port as seen from Tuas on Dec 5, 2018. A committee set up to resolve the maritime boundaries delimitation issue met for the first time on May 13. PHOTO: ST FILE

The dispute over the maritime boundaries was sparked late last year when Malaysia unilaterally extended the Johor Baru Port limits off Tanjung Piai, which overlap with Singapore's port limits off Tuas.


More Singaporeans cleaning up, but hawker centres are still the dirtiest places: Survey

Despite patrons becoming more diligent about bussing their own tables, however, only 71.4 per cent of respondents were satisfied with the cleanliness of hawker centres. ST PHOTO: CHONG JUN LIANG

The second Public Cleanliness Satisfaction Survey conducted last year found that 48.7 per cent of Singaporeans cleared their tableware at hawker centres most or all of the time.


Stronger measures right way to go: Students, MPs on NUS proposals to toughen penalties for sexual misconduct

The National University of Singapore is considering a range of possible actions, including a minimum year-long suspension and expulsion. PHOTO: LIANHE ZAOBAO

The NUS committee has proposed a minimum one calendar year suspension period from the university, and expulsion in the case of severe offences.


Indonesia faces political stand-off as vote count nears finish

Mr Prabowo Subianto's supporters protesting last Friday against alleged vote-rigging. Mr Prabowo has rejected interim results which indicate that President Joko Widodo has won by a comfortable margin. PHOTO: AFP

The country's General Elections Commission must complete the vote count by May 22. Presidential hopeful Prabowo Subianto has been adamant that he will not accept its results.


New private home sales slip in April on fewer launches

Developers released for sale 444 private homes in April, down 33 per cent from 664 units year on year. ST PHOTO: LIM YAOHUI

April saw a big pullback in new home launches as developers turned cautious despite relatively resilient sales in March.


Manpower Minister Josephine Teo warns public of fraudulent website using her name

Manpower Minister Josephine Teo said that all statements attributed to her about launching the online platform were completely false. PHOTO: JOSEPHINE TEO/FACEBOOK

She said that the website attributed comments to her in order to get users to sign up for an online platform, provide their credit card or bank details and to make a deposit.


Beacon of hope or missed opportunity? Pearl Bank redesign gets mixed reception

Pearl Bank Apartments was vacated on April 30 following a $728 million collective sale acquisition by CapitaLand in February last year. ST PHOTO: LIM YAOHUI

After seeing the artistic renderings of the building, some in the heritage and architectural fraternities said they expected a more innovative design.


Basketball: Singapore Slingers lose 84-81 to CLS Knights Indonesia, wait for first ABL title goes on

Singapore Slingers’ John Fields dunking the ball during the match against CLS Knights Indonesia at the OCBC Arena, on May 15, 2019. ST PHOTO: KEVIN LIM

The Slingers have now lost three Finals in four years and their hunt for that elusive first ABL title continues into the 10th season next term.