Top stories from The Straits Times on Wednesday, Oct 24

Good morning! Here are our top stories to kick-start your Wednesday, Oct 24.


Disadvantaged Singapore students do well globally, but find it harder to match their top peers: OECD report


The OECD report found that Singapore ranks third in the world in terms of its share of students in the bottom socio-economic quarter who score well in objective measures of science, maths and reading. PHOTO: ST FILE

Singapore ranks third in the world - behind Macau and Hong Kong - in terms of its share of students in the bottom socio-economic quarter who score well in objective measures of science, maths and reading.

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Singaporean paraglider who helped to rescue Sulawesi quake victims dies in India accident


Paraglider Ng Kok Choong, 53, was found dead on Tuesday, a day after he went missing. PHOTO: COURTESY OF NG KOK CHOONG

A Singaporean died in a paragliding accident in India, less than a month after he survived a 7.4-magnitude earthquake in Indonesia’s Central Sulawesi province.

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Website lets sellers decide property agents' worth

Mr Michael Cho launched his website Urban Agents last week. It connects home sellers to agents and lets them pay what they think the agent deserves.
Mr Michael Cho launched his website Urban Agents last week. It connects home sellers to agents and lets them pay what they think the agent deserves. PHOTO: URBAN AGENTS

A new website that connects home sellers to property agents will allow users to pay what they think the agent deserves.

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Reducing class size is good, but mind the costs


Two influential studies have shown that smaller classes do improve learning, especially for students from low-income families. But whether Singapore should go with it depends on the current situation facing schools and asking if the projected benefits outweigh the costs. ST PHOTO: KEVIN LIM

Some felt that the current class size of about 33 to 34 in schools was too large and called for studies to evaluate whether a reduction might be beneficial, while others argued that there were other ways to improve student learning.

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VIDEO: Court hears harrowing account of SCDF pump well death, as first of five officers gets jailed


Mohammad Nur Fatwa Mahmood, a staff sergeant, admitted to pushing Corporal Kok Yuen Chin into the well on May 13, 2018, at Tuas View Fire Station. ST PHOTO: WONG KWAI CHOW

SCDF regular Muhammad Nur Fatwa Mahmood, 34, admitted to the fatal push that resulted in Corporal Kok Yuen Chin drowning.

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VIDEO: US to 'demand answers' after Turkish president's account of journalist's death



Pence speaking during an event hosted at the White House on Oct 17, 2018. PHOTO: REUTERS

US Vice-President Mike Pence vowed to press Saudi Arabia for answers over journalist Jamal Khashoggi’s “brutal murder”.

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Malaysia's ex-Treasury chief Irwan and ex-PM Najib to face 1MDB-linked charges on Thursday


It could not be confirmed if Tan Sri Mohd Irwan Serigar Abdullah and his former boss Najib Razak will be charged separately or jointly. PHOTOS: THE STAR/ASIA NEWS NETWORK, AFP

Malaysia's former Treasury secretary-general Mohd Irwan Serigar Abdullah is expected to be hauled to court on Thursday in connection with the 1Malaysia Development Berhad scandal.

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VIDEO: Generation Grit: Picking up the pieces after falling into an escalator shaft


Ms Azlin Amran her colleagues at SPD, where she now works in the same programme that had helped her during her recovery process. ST PHOTO: KELVIN CHNG

Ms Azlin Amran became paralysed from the waist down after the accident, and it took a year before she could even think about the future.

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SIA likely to fly non-stop to Seattle from next year


Seattle will become SIA's fourth non-stop destination to the US, as the airline moves to capitalise on a growing demand for Singapore-US flights. ST PHOTO: ONG WEE JIN

If all goes well, Seattle will become SIA's fourth non-stop destination to the US, as the airline moves to capitalise on a growing demand for Singapore-US flights and the availability of a new, more fuel-efficient aircraft - the Airbus 350-900.

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Why Jet Li said yes to Mulan


In April, Mulan's producers announced that Jet Li would be joining the cast, alongside stellar names such as Donnie Yen and Gong Li. PHOTO: THE NEW PAPER

Martial arts hero Jet Li had to concede defeat after a verbal duel with his daughter.

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