Top stories from The Straits Times on Wednesday, Jan 24

Good morning! Here are our top stories to kickstart your Wednesday, Jan 24. 


VIDEO: Flood mitigation measures to be introduced at 4 locations on East-West MRT line


One of two radar sensors that are able to measure water levels without contact, and automatically send out SMS alerts to SMRT staff in high water level situations.ST PHOTO: ZHAKI ABDULLAH

Rail operator SMRT will be introducing flood mitigation measures - put into place at the Bishan MRT station to prevent a repeat of October's flooding incident - at four other locations by April this year.

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VIDEO: US attorney-general Jeff Sessions questioned in special counsel Russia probe


Attorney-General Jeff Sessions during a prison reform discussion at the White House, Jan 11, 2018. PHOTO: NYTIMES

The interview marked the first time that Special Counsel Robert Mueller’s office is known to have interviewed a member of President Donald Trump’s Cabinet. 

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New FTA with Sri Lanka a boon for Singapore firms large and small

Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong and Sri Lankan President Maithripala Sirisena witnessing the signing of the FTA yesterday between Minister of Trade and Industry (Industry) S. Iswaran and Sri Lankan Minister for Development Strategies and International
Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong and Sri Lankan President Maithripala Sirisena witnessing the signing of the FTA yesterday between Minister of Trade and Industry (Industry) S. Iswaran and Sri Lankan Minister for Development Strategies and International Trade Malik Samarawickrama. The FTA comes at a time when trade with Sri Lanka is growing, with bilateral trade reaching $2.7 billion last year. Singapore is also Sri Lanka's seventh-largest foreign investor. ST PHOTO: TIMOTHY DAVID

The newly signed free trade agreement was welcomed on Tuesday by companies and observers, who said it was a comprehensive, high-quality deal.

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TPP-11 deal a major boost to Pacific Rim economies


Delegates chat after a gathering of Trans-Pacific Partnership member countries in Hanoi on May 21, 2017. PHOTO: REUTERS

The renamed Comprehensive and Progressive Agreement for TPP (CPTPP) caps a trade pact over 10 years in the making, with its roots in an agreement between Singapore, Brunei, Chile and New Zealand.

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VIDEO: Indian PM Modi makes investment pitch at World Economic Forum in Davos


Indian PM Narendra Modi speaking during a plenary session in the Congress Hall on the opening day of the World Economic Forum, in Davos, Switzerland, on Jan 23, 2018. PHOTO: EPA-EFE

Delivering the opening address at this year’s World Economic Forum meeting in Davos, he said the world needed not only more wealth, but also enhanced wellness, peace as well as prosperity, while societies needed to seek "wholeness".

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The hype and reality of blockchain


ST ILLUSTRATION: MIEL

Tracking diamonds, use of photos online, or property ownership - these are some of the ways blockchain can change the world. But much of the buzz now is hype.

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Community-themed messages add fresh touch to traditional Chinese New Year greetings

The annual festive light-up, which will kick off this year's Chinatown celebrations for Chinese New Year, features 2,188 handcrafted lanterns, of which 88 depict dogs to mark the Year of the Dog. The lanterns were designed in collaboration with the S
The annual festive light-up, which will kick off this year's Chinatown celebrations for Chinese New Year, features 2,188 handcrafted lanterns, of which 88 depict dogs to mark the Year of the Dog. The lanterns were designed in collaboration with the Singapore University of Technology and Design for the seventh year in a row.ST PHOTO: BENJAMIN SEETOR

The traditional handcrafted lanterns which hang over the streets of Chinatown carry the usual Chinese New Year messages such as wishing people prosperity and a happy new year.

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VIDEO: The Lives They Live: Tiong Bahru Market's 'chicken boy'

Mr Chan Lay Boo, 82, has been selling chickens at Tiong Bahru Market and its predecessor, the Seng Poh Road Market, for over 60 years and even met his wife - the daughter of a vegetable seller near his stall - there.
Mr Chan Lay Boo, 82, has been selling chickens at Tiong Bahru Market and its predecessor, the Seng Poh Road Market, for over 60 years and even met his wife - the daughter of a vegetable seller near his stall - there.ST PHOTO: TIMOTHY DAVID

Mr Chan Lay Boo, 82, has been selling chickens at Tiong Bahru Market and its predecessor, the Seng Poh Road Market, since the 1950s, earning him the moniker "gai zai", or chicken boy, in Cantonese.

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Oldest employee of McDonald's Singapore dies aged 90


Madam Goh Gwek Eng, who has worked for McDonald's for close to 20 years, died on Jan 22 from stomach cancer.PHOTOS: LIANHE WANBAO/ST FILE

Madam Goh Gwek Eng, who worked at the fast-food chain for close to 20 years, died on Monday. Her son said she had grown frail in recent years.

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Interactive quiz: Man races animal - who is faster?

Take our quiz to find out how humans fare against crocodiles, wild boars, otters and other animals in terms of speed.

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Oscar nominations: The Shape Of Water leads with 13 nods


Fantasy drama The Shape of Water led the Oscar nominations on Jan 23 with 13 nods.PHOTO: TWENTIETH CENTURY FOX

The fantasy romance about a woman who falls in love with a strange river creature led the nominations in a wide-ranging list that embraced stories about and by women and people of colour.

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