Top stories from The Straits Times on Friday, May 18


Good morning! Here are our top stories to kickstart your Friday, May 18.


Malaysian police seize 284 luxury bags, 72 bags of cash and valuables from Najib-linked apartments


A police truck being loaded with orange boxes, the signature colour of the French luxury brand Hermes, on May 18, 2018. ST PHOTO: ARIFFIN JAMAR

Five police trucks were loaded with hundreds of orange boxes containing Hermes Birkin bags. “The total sum worth of items cannot be ascertained now.”

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NS deaths and 99-year HDB flat leases: Answers to 2 key issues, but some questions remain


(From left) Third Sergeant Gavin Chan, 21, Corporal First Class Dave Lee, 19, and Corporal Kok Yuen Chin, 22. PHOTOS: MINISTRY OF DEFENCE, FACEBOOK/JASMINE YEO H L, INTERVIEWEE

While the issues of National Service and HDB flats are admittedly different, both are politically sensitive matters that can affect the social compact between the Government and the people.

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Donald Trump says North Korea summit still on, offers Kim Jong Un strong ‘protections’


US President Donald Trump is scheduled to meet North Korean leader Kim Jong Un in Singapore on June 12, 2018. PHOTO: EPA-EFE

The US President said he was “willing to do a lot” and offer the North Korean leader “protection” if he were to make an agreement at the June 12 summit.

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Anwar Ibrahim says ‘shattered’ ex-Malaysian PM Najib called him twice on election night


Mr Anwar Ibrahim (left), who was pardoned and released from his five-year jail term for sodomy on May 16, said he had received two calls from ousted former premier Najib Razak on the night of the election. PHOTOS: REUTERS, AFP

“When he called on the night of the election, I advised him as a friend to concede and move on,” said Mr Anwar.

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There is still value in older HDB flats: Lawrence Wong


National Development Minister Lawrence Wong pledged that the HDB will do more, including providing more information on available flats in the market and helping people make more informed decisions. PHOTO: ST FILE

The National Development Minister noted that owners of older HDB flats today have become “overly anxious” about how much their flats can fetch in the resale market.

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Changi Airport Group, Singapore Airlines most sought after employers, survey shows


It is the second consecutive year that Changi Airport Group topped the Singapore list by recruitment agency Randstad, followed by Singapore Airlines. ST PHOTO: LIM YAOHUI

The annual ranking by leading recruitment agency Randstad collated views from more than 175,000 respondents in 30 countries worldwide.

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Bamboo trees in Kyoto’s iconic Arashiyama forest defaced by tourists


Bamboo trees defaced by carvings are seen in Arashiyama bamboo grove. The carvings were made in English, Chinese and Korean. PHOTOS: FACEBOOK/EBISUYA ARASHIYAMA

At least 100 trees in the Unesco World Heritage Site were found with carvings in English, Chinese and Korean alphabet. 

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Summit of Hawaii’s Kilauea volcano erupts, spewing ash cloud 9,000m high


An image of falling ash from Hawaii’s Kilauea volcano, as captured by the Hawaii Volcano Observatory’s webcam on May 17, 2018. PHOTO: USGS

Authorities have urged area residents to take cover, and maintained a code red aviation alert – meaning no air traffic permitted – first signalled on Tuesday. 

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New lease of life and management for homegrown fashion label M)phosis


Once considered as among Singapore’s most successful homegrown fashion labels, M)phosis had more than 30 outlets in 11 countries at its peak. PHOTO: FACEBOOK/MPHOSISOFFICIAL

Known for its clean-cut pieces in basic colours, the label is making its comeback at Century Square mall in Tampines on June 6.

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Meghan Markle’s wedding dress: Britain’s best-kept secret


Britain’s Prince Harry and his US fiancee Meghan Markle arrive to attend a service of commemoration and thanksgiving to mark Anzac Day in Westminster Abbey in London on April 25, 2018. PHOTO: AFP
 

Will it be white? Satin or lace? British or foreign made? The tightly-guarded secret will finally be revealed on Saturday. 

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