While You Were Sleeping: 5 stories you might have missed, Aug 19 edition

A selection of news stories that happened overnight, Aug 19, 2015.

Bangkok blast: Thai authorities focus on suspect seen in video footage at blast site

Thai authorities said on Tuesday they were looking for a suspect seen on closed-circuit television (CCTV) footage near a popular shrine where a bomb blast killed 22 people, nearly half of them foreigners.

Jangling nerves in the capital on Tuesday, a small explosive device was thrown from a bridge towards a river pier, sending a plume of water into the air, but no one was injured.

Major-General Werachon Sukhondhapatipak said there were similarities between Monday's deadly blast and the smaller, Tuesday explosion, but added the authorities had not established links between the two.


Indonesia airline safety hurt by inadequate staff - sources

 Indonesia scored poorly on a 2014 safety audit by the United Nations aviation agency largely because its Ministry of Transportation is understaffed, said two sources familiar with the matter, as the country struggles to cope with the expansion of air travel.

Indonesia's patchy aviation safety record worsened on Sunday when a passenger plane crashed in eastern Papua province killing all 54 people aboard, the third major plane crash this year in the Southeast Asian archipelago.

The UN's Montreal-based International Civil Aviation Organisation (ICAO) sets safety standards for international flights. Its audits evaluate countries' ability to oversee their airlines, including how well they conform to those standards.


Muslim forum in Egypt urges moderation in issuing fatwas

Leading Muslim clerics meeting in Cairo on Tuesday called for moderation in issuing religious edicts, in an attempt to counter extremist fatwas that sanction extremist atrocities.

The muftis - often chief interpreters of Islamic law in their c.ountries - and clerics agreed at the conclusion of the two-day conference on training for Muslim scholars and coordination on issues of Islamic law.

"You do not need to be reminded that leniency (in dealing) with fatwas that excommunicate" Muslims has resulted in "murder and bloodshed", Ahmed al-Tayyeb, head of the prestigious Cairo-based Islamic Al-Azhar institution, told the conference.


Russian President Vladimir Putin dives in mini-sub to shipwreck off Crimea

Russian President Vladimir Putin burnished his action man image on Tuesday by diving down in a mini-submarine to explore a shipwreck off the coast of the Crimea peninsula that Moscow seized from Ukraine last year.

Putin - wearing a beige pantsuit - plunged down to a depth of 83 metres seated alongside the pilot in the glass-bubble cabin of the Dutch-made vessel.

"83 metres is a pretty substantial depth," Putin told journalists in televised comments after the dive. "It was interesting."


Basketball legend Michael Jordan testifies in US$10 million brand case

Basketball superstar turned billionaire pitchman Michael Jordan took the stand in federal court on Tuesday to testify in his lawsuit seeking millions from a grocery chain that used his name and jersey number in an ad, without permission.

Jordan claims he should be paid US$10 million (S$14 million), which he says is fair market value for a full page ad in a 2009 Sports Illustrated commemorative magazine celebrating his career, taken out by now-defunct Dominick's Finer Foods, a division of Safeway .

A judge previously ruled that Dominick's is liable for using Jordan's identity without his permission. The jury in the trial before US District Judge John Blakey, which began a week ago, now must decide what the grocery chain will have to pay Jordan.