Top stories from The Straits Times on Tuesday, March 13

Good morning! Here are our top stories to kickstart your Tuesday, March 13.

Licensing Grab, Uber may curb car population

Second Minister for Transport Ng Chee Meng raised the prospect of a licensing scheme for private-hire car firms in Parliament last Wednesday during the Budget debate when he said the Government was reviewing regulations on the private-hire car sector. PHOTOS: EPA-EFE, BLOOMBERG

Private-hire car companies Grab and Uber may be required to pay for a licence to operate in Singapore to control the population of such cars, say observers, similar to the arrangement in London.


VIDEO: Highly likely Russia behind spy attack: British PM Theresa May

Britain's Prime Minister Theresa May delivering a statement to members of parliament in the House of Commons on the nerve agent attack against Russian double agent Sergei Skripal in Salisbury last week, in London on March 12, 2018.PHOTO: AFP

In a dramatic escalation of diplomatic tensions over the attack on Sergei Skripal and his daughter on March 4, Mrs May said the nerve agent that poisoned them was a military-grade type developed by Russia.


Trump signs order prohibiting Broadcom takeover of Qualcomm

Qualcomm has rebuffed Broadcom's US$117 billion (S$154 billion) takeover offer.PHOTOS: REUTERS

The US president issued an order prohibiting Singapore-based Broadcom's proposed takeover of Qualcomm on grounds of national security.


Perks give QR code payments more bite

Customer Neo Ann Chee, 36, paying for her lunch at the Tanjong Pagar Plaza Market and Food Centre using the QR code payment system offered at the stall. Of the 50 stalls there, 45 display the Nets QR code and have Nets' card readers to let consumers use their ATM cards.ST PHOTO: ALPHONSUS CHERN

The future of cashless payment at hawker centres and coffee shops could involve scanning a quick response (QR) code that looks like a mesh of pixelated squares, with the Government pushing for this.


VIDEO: At least 50 killed in Bangladeshi passenger aircraft crash near Kathmandu airport

Nepali rescue workers gather around the debris of an airplane that crashed near the international airport in Kathmandu on March 12, 2018.PHOTO: AFP

The plane, operated by US-Bangla Airlines, was on a flight from Dhaka when it hit an airport fence and burst into flames, an official said.


VIDEO: Collagen from fish scales may spur wound healing

(From left) NTU's Associate Professor Andrew Tan, research fellow Wang Jun Kit and Assistant Professor Cleo Choong are part of a team that has found a way to modify collagen from fish scales to make it water soluble and potentially hold drugs to further boost healing.PHOTO: NTU

Beneath the hard exterior of fish scales is a trove of collagen that can be used to hasten the healing of wounds.


Husband and wife face death penalty on terror charges in Indonesia

Former Indonesian migrant worker Anggi Indah Kusuma (centre) is now facing the death sentence along with her husband for planning terror attacks and making explosives in a rented house in Bandung.ST PHOTO: WAHYUDI SOERIAATMADJA

A former Indonesian migrant worker, who last year was deported from Hong Kong after she posted a Facebook video of her pledging allegiance to ISIS, is now facing the death sentence along with her newly-wed husband.


Why some folk readily accept supernatural explanations


One of the main reasons could be simply that people want to believe in the paranormal.


One-third of students affected by theft of A-level scripts opt to take the paper again

Students checking their A-level result slips in Nanyang Junior College, one of the four schools affected by the theft of exam scripts for Chemistry Paper 3, on Feb 23, 2018.ST PHOTO: KHALID BABA

About one-third of the 238 students whose scripts for an A-level chemistry paper were stolen in Britain last year have opted to sit the exam again.


VIDEO: French fashion designer Hubert de Givenchy dies aged 91

Hubert de Givenchy set the template for ladylike chic in the 1950s and 1960s, and his restrained style still informs the way Britain's Queen Elizabeth II and older American and Chinese socialites dress.PHOTO: AFP

Hubert de Givenchy, the aristocratic French fashion designer famous for the "Little black dress" and styling Audrey Hepburn and Jackie Kennedy, has died aged 91.