While You Were Sleeping: 5 stories you might have missed, Dec 8 edition


Fire breaks out on 17th floor of Farrer Park hotel under construction

A fire broke out in a room on the 17th floor of a high-rise building above Farrer Park MRT station.

According to eyewitnesses, the building is believed to be the Park Hotel Farrer Park, which is still under construction. It is slated to open in the first quarter of 2017.

There were no reported casualties. About 20 workers in the building self-evacuated before the arrival of the Singapore Civil Defence Force (SCDF).

The SCDF said the fire, which was extinguished using a single water jet, involved carpentry work inside the room. Photos and a video sent in by The Straits Times readers showed flames leaping out of the building.


Donald Trump to pick retired General John Kelly for Homeland Security

President-elect Donald Trump plans to nominate a third retired general for a top job in his new administration with the choice of a battle-hardened Marine commander to lead the agency set up after the Sept 11, 2001 attacks to protect the US homeland.

Trump is expected to name former Marine General John Kelly, 66, as head of the Department of Homeland Security, a source familiar with the decision told Reuters.

Kelly told Fox News on Wednesday that he has “been asked and would consider it an honour.”


Hospitals near Aceh quake zone overwhelmed with patients

Injured residents affected by the powerful earthquake that struck Indonesia's Aceh province have been swarming local hospitals to seek treatment, filling many of them to capacity.

The sole hospital in the Pidie Jaya district of Indonesia's Aceh province, which bore the brunt of Wednesday's quake, was quickly overwhelmed, with patients treated on the grass out front or sent to neighbouring districts with better facilities.

The district health office chief Said Abdullah said nearly 200 injured had arrived since the quake, but many would not enter the hospital for fear of aftershocks.


Woman said to be world's heaviest to be flown to India for treatment

A woman who is thought to be the world's heaviest at 500kg will be flown to India for weight reduction surgery thanks to the intervention of a doctor there.

Eman Ahmed Abd El Aty, 36, will be flown from her home in Egypt on a chartered plane to Mumbai where bariatric surgeon Dr Muffazal Lakdawala plans to operate.

The Indian embassy in Cairo initially denied her visa request as she was unable to travel there in person. But that changed after the surgeon sent a tweet to India's foreign minister.


David Beckham's 11-year-old son Cruz releases Christmas single, sparks 'exploitation' Twitter war

The youngest son of footballer David Beckham has released a Christmas single.

But in doing so, he triggered a war of words between his manager and TV host Piers Morgan over child exploitation, with Morgan saying that his "fame-hungry" parents were using him to promote "brand Beckham".

Cruz Beckham's recording of If Every Day Was Christmas received its first radio play on Wednesday before being made available online. Profits from the song's sales will go to Global's Make Some Noise charity, which supports disadvantaged young people in Britain.