While You Were Sleeping: 5 stories you might have missed, March 3 edition

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu speaks during the American Israel Public Affairs Committee (AIPAC) 2015 Policy Conference on Monday in Washington, DC. -- PHOTO: AFP 
Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu speaks during the American Israel Public Affairs Committee (AIPAC) 2015 Policy Conference on Monday in Washington, DC. -- PHOTO: AFP 

Israeli PM Benjamin Netanyahu cites a moral obligation to speak out on Iran deal

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said he will tell the United States Congress that he has "a moral obligation to speak out" against an Iranian regime that threatens to destroy Israel.

"The days when the Jewish people are passive to the threats of annihilators - those days are over," the Israeli leader told the American Israel Public Affairs Committee in Washington on Monday. He said the US disagrees with Israel on how to stop Iran from obtaining a nuclear weapon.

The speech provided a preview of an address Netanyahu will deliver to a joint session of Congress on Tuesday, where he will explain why he's trying to sink a potential Iran nuclear deal in a direct challenge to President Barack Obama.

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Bill Gates tops Forbes rich list, Michael Jordan joins

Bill Gates stands atop Forbes magazine's annual list of the world's richest people, as Facebook Inc's Mark Zuckerberg joined the top 20 and basketball star Michael Jordan plowed new air by making the list for the first time.

Gates' net worth rose to US$79.2 billion (S$108.13 billion) from US$76 billion a year earlier, putting the Microsoft Corp co-founder at the top for the 16th year in the last 21, Forbes said on Monday.

Mexico telecommunications mogul Carlos Slim Helu ranked second, worth US$77.1 billion, while Berkshire Hathaway Inc chief Warren Buffett was third, at US$72.7 billion.

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Nemtsov murder witness Ganna Duritska says blocked from leaving Russia

The chief witness to the murder of Russian opposition leader Boris Nemtsov - the Ukrainian model who was his girlfriend and was at his side when he was shot - complained Monday of being kept under guard in Moscow.

Ganna Duritska, 23, said she had given all the information she could to investigators but they were preventing her from leaving Russia, citing concerns for her security.

"For three days they have escorted me in police cars to the Investigative Committee," Duritska told the Dozhd television channel, referring to the agency in charge of the probe. "They don't explain when I will be let go or for what reason I am kept here."

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Ancient Chinese vase set to fetch more than S$10 million in Hong Kong

A simple Chinese vase made over 800 years ago and unveiled in Hong Kong Monday is expected to fetch HK$60 million (S$10.6 million) when it goes under the hammer next month, Sotheby's said.

The plain octagonal piece, tinted a milky blue, was created during the Southern Song Dynasty - which ruled southern China from 1127-1279 - and is just 20 centimetres tall.

Despite its simplicity it represents the most coveted art of the period, Sotheby's said, since it is part of a rare collection crafted for the imperial court, known as "guan yao" or "official ware".

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Pop icon Madonna announces dates for Rebel Heart tour

Madonna will begin an international tour to promote her new album Rebel Heart with a concert at the American Airlines Arena in Miami in August, her promoters, Live Nation, said on Monday.

The Aug 29 show will kick-start the North American leg of the tour that will include appearances in New York, Boston, Chicago, Philadelphia, Vancouver and San Juan, Puerto Rico.

The 56-year-old pop star will begin the European and British segment of the tour with a concert in Cologne, Germany on Nov 4 followed by dates in London, Paris, Barcelona and other cities.

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