While You Were Sleeping: 5 stories you might have missed, Oct 7

Trump ends coronavirus stimulus talks with Democrats until after election

US President Donald Trump on Tuesday called off talks on a new stimulus plan until after the election, accusing Democrats of not negotiating in good faith.

“I have instructed my representatives to stop negotiating until after the election,” he wrote in a tweet.

The decision sent Wall Street stocks plunging and upended recent progress made in the long-stalled talks after Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin and House Speaker Nancy Pelosi restarted negotiations last week.

The two sides were trying to reach an agreement on the size of the new stimulus package following the expiration of parts of the US$2.2 trillion (S$3 trillion) CARES Act passed as the coronavirus pandemic hit.


Chemical weapons body confirms Novichok found in Navalny’s blood

Blood samples taken from Kremlin critic Alexei Navalny confirmed the presence of a nerve agent from the banned Novichok family, the global chemical weapons watchdog said on Tuesday.

The Organisation for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons (OPCW) said in a statement that the biomarkers in his blood and urine had “similar structural characteristics as the toxic chemicals belonging” to the Novichok group.

The findings confirm results released by Germany, where Navalny was treated after falling ill on a flight in Siberia on Aug 20. Berlin asked the OPCW to take samples from Navalny and test them after German doctors concluded he had been poisoned with Novichok.


‘There’s no one left’: Violent floods sweep bodies from cemetery in France

Corpses from a cemetery in southern France were swept down a mountainous valley by a violent storm, with some believed to have washed up on Italy’s Mediterranean shore, officials said.

In the village of Saint-Dalmas-de-Tende, surging flood waters washed away dozens of graves and family tombs.

Much of the cemetery has disappeared, swallowed up by the raging river. A headstone stands atop a muddy bank that now cleaves its way through the graveyard; some vaults lie broken where the waters of the Roya River have receded.


Scientists detect ‘mass death’ of sea life off Russia’s Kamchatka

Pollution off the Pacific shoreline of the remote Kamchatka peninsula has caused the mass death of marine creatures, Russian scientists said on Tuesday.

Locals sounded the alarm in late September as surfers experienced stinging eyes from the water and sea creatures including seals, octopuses and sea urchins washed up dead on the shore.

Coming on the heels of a massive oil leak in Siberia, the latest incident has sparked a large-scale investigation with fears that poisonous substances in underground storage since the Soviet era could have leaked into the water.


Rock legend Eddie Van Halen dies after long battle with cancer

Eddie Van Halen, of the legendary hard rock group that bore his family name, died on Tuesday following a long battle with cancer, his son announced.

“I can’t believe I’m having to write this, but my father, Edward Lodewijk Van Halen, has lost his long and arduous battle with cancer this morning,” Wolf Van Halen wrote in a message on Twitter with a picture of the rocker who was 65.

“He was the best father I could ever ask for,” he added. “Every moment I’ve shared with him on and off stage was a gift.


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