Top stories from The Straits Times on Wednesday, Jan 17

Good morning! Here are our top stories to kickstart your Wednesday, Jan 17.


VIDEO: Increase in reports of popped tiles, about 700 cases in first half of January alone: HDB


Half the tiles in Woodlands resident Lewis Sua's living room have popped and cracked. The tiles in his flat began popping on Jan 14, 2018.PHOTO: LEWIS SUA

The Housing Board said this is "consistent with the experience of previous years" where there tends to be a higher number of feedback on the dislodgement of tiles during the colder months.

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VIDEO: Careful planning needed to reap full benefits of JB-Singapore RTS Link

While the 4km Rapid Transit Link is expected to be a boon for Singaporeans and Malaysians now caught in traffic snarls along the Causeway, there are a few wrinkles that need to be ironed out for it to reach its full potential.

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VIDEO: Burst water pipe causes partial closure of MCE on Tuesday night


Water from what is believed to be a burst water pipe cascading down inside the MCE tunnel, on Jan 16, 2018.PHOTO: TELEGRAM/SG NO.1 ALL IN 1 SHARING / UPDATES

A section of the eastbound Marina Coastal Expressway tunnel between the Central Boulevard Exit and the Marina Boulevard entrance was closed for about two hours before reopening at 11.25pm. 

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Generation Grit: She put herself through school after dad walked out on family


After Miss Angel Ng’s father walked out on her family, the 21-year-old worked part-time as a waitress to put herself through polytechnic. To keep herself going, she finds motivational quotes to encourage herself. PHOTO: DON WONG FOR THE STRAITS TIMES

After Miss Angel Ng’s father walked out on her family, she worked part-time as a waitress to put herself through polytechnic. Denying herself leisure time or a treat became routine. 

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Singaporeans beginning to buy less ringgit as currency strengthens


Malaysia's stronger trade performance and higher oil prices have helped lift the currency after a prolonged period of decline.ST PHOTO: FELINE LIM

The ringgit was trading at RM2.99 to the Singdollar on Tuesday after 14 months of being comfortably above RM3, with money changers reporting slower sales of the currency. 

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Ex-Trump adviser Steve Bannon subpoenaed in Russia probe


Bannon arrives at a House Intelligence Committee closed-door meeting, on Jan 16, 2018 in Washington.PHOTO: AFP

The US President's former chief strategist has been subpoenaed by Special Counsel Robert Mueller to testify before a grand jury in a probe into alleged ties between Russia and Donald Trump’s 2016 presidential campaign.

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The rising global tide against bribery


ST ILLUSTRATION: MIEL

Companies that bribe do so at greater peril than before, as laws and enforcement agencies go global, and a new wave of anti-corruption activists actively expose such practices.

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Rainy weather may have extended the year-end flu season


The recent cold weather could have allowed viruses to survive longer, said a doctor.PHOTO: ST FILE

Polyclinics saw an average of 3,158 patients with acute respiratory infections every day in the first week of January - higher than the 2,836 patients seen in the same period last year. 

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Death and renewal for iconic Mount Vernon


Mount Vernon's iconic columbarium features slabs of niches which have been laid out in a palm shape or stacked around in various levels of a pagoda that has since become the neighbourhood's landmark.ST PHOTO: BENJAMIN SEETOR

My Turf, a fortnightly series that shares untold stories of Singapore's neighbourhoods, takes a look at Mount Vernon Sanctuary, which will soon be redeveloped.

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VIDEO: Say hello to smart gadgets


Ubtech robots including the First Order "Stormtrooper" (left) and the Amazon Alexa voice assistant enabled "lynx" (centre) at CES 2018 in Las Vegas.PHOTO: AGENCE FRANCE-PRESSE

Voice-controlled gear take centre stage at the Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas, along with bigger, smarter TVs and wearable medical devices. 

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