Top stories from The Straits Times on Tuesday, Oct 8

Good morning! Here are our top stories to kick-start your Tuesday, Oct 8.

Real risk of PMD ban, but it will be difficult to enforce, say observers 

A complete ban on personal mobility devices would be difficult to enforce because of their widespread use, say observers. About 90,000 e-scooters have been registered with the Land Transport Authority as of August. ST PHOTO: KELVIN CHNG

Calls to ban PMDs have grown significantly louder in the last two weeks, after a 65-year-old cyclist who was seriously injured in an accident with an e-scooter died.


Parliament updates law to uphold religious harmony

While the level of religious harmony in Singapore remains high, updates to the MRHA are timely amid rising religiosity and increasing violence fuelled by hate speech globally, said Mr Shanmugam. PHOTO: ST FILE

The changes allow for higher penalties and swifter action to be taken over offensive statements.


More hardline measures to come from Hong Kong government, not Beijing, say experts

A People's Liberation Army soldier holding up a yellow placard to warn anti-government protesters during a demonstration on Sunday. Protesters had gathered at the PLA barracks in Hong Kong and shone laser pointers at troops. PHOTO: REUTERS

They believe that the deployment of People's Liberation Army troops or the People's Armed Police, a paramilitary force, to quell the unrest remains a remote possibility despite the provocation by protesters on Sunday.


PM Lee to meet Jokowi today for leaders' retreat

Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong (right) meeting Indonesian President Joko Widodo in Sochi, Russia, on May 21, 2016. PHOTO: PRIME MINISTER'S OFFICE

They will take stock of progress in bilateral ties ahead of Indonesian President Joko Widodo's swearing-in for his second and final term in office. 


New rules on drone usage coming soon; Bill with stiffer penalties for offences introduced in Parliament

A drone operator flying without an activity permit or other required aviation safety instruments can be jailed up to two years for the first offence, and up to five years for subsequent offences. PHOTO: ST FILE

The regulations, including compulsory registration of all devices with a take-off weight of above 250g and a minimum operator age of 16, could be implemented "as soon as the end of this year".


Why Yale-NUS course on dissent was scrapped: Ong Ye Kung

Education Minister Ong Ye Kung said educational institutions should internalise these "guiding principles" that he outlined in Parliament on Oct 7, 2019. PHOTO: GOV.SG

Academic freedom should not be abused to turn Singapore's educational institutions into platforms for political activism, the Minister for Education said in Parliament.


Trump threatens to ‘obliterate’ Turkey’s economy if it takes ‘off-limits’ action in Syria

In a photo from Sept 8, 2019, US troops walk past a Turkish military vehicle during a joint patrol with Turkish troops in the Syrian village of al-Hashisha on the outskirts of Tal Abyad town along the border. PHOTO: AFP

The US military withdrawal from key positions along Syria’s northern border came after the White House said it would step aside to allow for a Turkish operation.


Parliament: Family of girl in Chin Swee Road murder case said she was in relatives' care, says Desmond Lee

The Chin Swee Road flat where the remains of the girl were found. The case gripped Singapore as the toddler's death was not detected for five years. PHOTO: ST FILE

The girl's parents were charged in court on Sept 17 with murdering their two-year-old daughter. Her remains were found in a pot in a Chin Swee Road flat.


Baby girl found trapped between mattress and bed rail died of suffocation: Coroner

A photo illustration of a baby's feet. Seven-month-old Yuri Chua Le En died after she was trapped in a gap between a mattress and the bed rail. PHOTO: UNSPLASH

The baby's parents had arranged for their daughter to sleep alone in a bedroom since December last year to allow her to transition to the next stage of her development.


Demolition work to start for Dakota Crescent and Pearl Bank Apartments

As announced in 2017, six blocks (10, 12, 14, 16, 18 and 20) around the Dove playground (above) and courtyard in Dakota Crescent will be retained. PHOTO: ST FILE

Parts of the 1958 Dakota Crescent estate will be torn down by the first half of next year. Works are scheduled to be completed by the second half of 2021.