Top stories from The Straits Times on Thursday, Nov 29

Good morning! Here are our top stories to kick-start your Thursday, Nov 29.

Publicity builds up as Orchard Rd smoke-free date nears

About 40 designated smoking areas have been set up as of Nov 22 at suitable locations to ensure that the main Orchard Road pedestrian thoroughfare would be free of cigarette smoke. PHOTO: ST FILE

Orchard Road will go smoke-free from Jan 1 next year, when lighting up in public areas will be allowed only within designated smoking areas and there will be no more smoking corners in eateries within the precinct.


KL authorities zoom in on culprits behind temple riot

Policemen at the site of the Maha Mariamman Temple, where a riot broke out on Monday. In the background are some cars that were badly burnt in the incident. Prime Minister Mahathir Mohamad warns that those responsible will face stern action.
Policemen at the site of the Maha Mariamman Temple, where a riot broke out on Monday. In the background are some cars that were badly burnt in the incident. Prime Minister Mahathir Mohamad warns that those responsible will face stern action. PHOTO: BERNAMA


Malaysian Home Minister Muhyiddin Yassin blamed lawyers for property developer One City Development for hiring thugs, whose actions sparked a riot at a Hindu temple on Monday.


ST Global Outlook Forum: US-China tensions not about trade, but leadership and dominance

(From left) Ms Bhagyashree Garekar, Deputy Foreign Editor, ST, Professor Danny Quah, Dean and Li Ka Shing Professor in Economics, Lee Kuan Yew School of Public Policy, National University of Singapore, Ms Selena Ling, Head of Treasury Research & Strategy and Member of OCBC Wealth Panel, OCBC Bank, Mr Vikram Khanna, Associate Editor, ST and Ms Goh Sui Noi, East Asia Editor, ST, during the panel discussion at The Straits Times Global Outlook 2019. ST PHOTO: KELVIN CHNG


Panellists believe that the US-China trade war is about strategic leadership and political presence in the world.


ST Global Outlook Forum: Identity politics will remain in Malaysia, Indonesia; needs deft handling

(From left) ST Malaysia bureau chief Shannon Teoh; Iseas–Yusof Ishak Institute fellow Norshahril Saat; ST assistant foreign editor Lim Ai Leen; former Malaysian Cabinet minister Khairy Jamaluddin; Prof Joseph Liow of NTU's S.Rajaratnam School of International Studies; and ST Indonesia bureau chief Francis Chan.


Identity politics which zooms in on race and religion will bea feature of the Malaysian and Indonesian political landscape and it is important the issues associated with it are deftly managed, panellists cautioned.


Kids who had food poisoning after lunch in holiday camp have recovered, back at school

The outbreak of food poisoning traced to the consumption of food prepared by FoodTalks Caterer & Manufacturer is currently being investigated. PHOTO: FOODTALKS CATERER & MANUFACTURER


Some children among the 131 people who came down with food poisoning while attending a holiday camp have returned to school, said parents who spoke to The Straits Times.


Five takeaways from debate over hawker-centre models

Jurong West Hawker Centre, which is run by Hawker Management by Koufu, is one of seven hawker centres here that are currently managed by private social enterprises and cooperatives. PHOTO: ST FILE


Much discussion on hawker culture has been generated in recent weeks, with hawker-centre operators coming under fire for onerous contracts imposed on hawkers. Taking a step back from the debate that raged from August, here are five takeaways.


Teacher allegedly misappropriated about $40,000 meant for students' learning materials

Maslinda Zainal allegedly misappropriated more than $21,000 in cash at the school in Woodlands Avenue 6 between Jan 1 and Dec 31, 2016. ST PHOTO: JONATHAN CHOO


Students at Woodgrove Secondary School had handed over cash for learning materials but their English Head of Department allegedly pocketed about $40,000 of the money.


Extreme Brexit could be worse than financial crisis for Britain: Bank of England

Mark Carney, governor of Bank of England, gestures while speaking during the Financial Stability Report news conference at the central bank in the City of London, on Nov 28, 2018. PHOTO: BLOOMBERG


Hours after the government issued its own stark warning about a no-deal Brexit, the BoE said the economy could shrink by as much as 8 per cent in about a year.


New version of Robin Hood is a social and political commentary on the present day

British star Taron Egerton is the latest in a long line of actors to play Robin Hood. PHOTO: ENCORE FILMS

With its story of robbing the rich to give to the poor, Robin Hood has always been one of the more Marxist fairy tales out there - and a new version starring Taron Egerton as Robin and Jamie Foxx as Little John continues in that vein.


Tennis: Singapore puts in bid to host men's season-ending ATP Finals from 2021

The ATP Finals is a season-ending tournament featuring the top eight singles players and doubles parings of any given year, and it has been hosted to great acclaim at London's O2 Arena since 2009. PHOTO: AFP


Singapore lost the hosting rights for the women's tennis season-ending WTA Finals but, in 2021, the Republic could well welcome the top men's stars.