While You Were Sleeping: 5 stories you might have missed, July 28 edition

A member of the Malaysian Navy standing guard as a truck carrying Bangladeshi and Rohingya migrants from a temporary detention centre arrives at a naval base in Langkawi on May 13, 2015.
A member of the Malaysian Navy standing guard as a truck carrying Bangladeshi and Rohingya migrants from a temporary detention centre arrives at a naval base in Langkawi on May 13, 2015.PHOTO: AFP

US blasts Thailand, rewards Malaysia on trafficking

Migrant workers holding up their identity cards as a Thai authority officer checks them at a port in Samut Songkhram province, Thailand. PHOTO: REUTERS

Washington accused Russia and Thailand of failing to tackle human trafficking on Monday, while praising progress in Malaysia and Cuba, in a report on a global scourge decried as "modern slavery".

Venezuela, Iran, Libya, Syria, Yemen, North Korea, Zimbabwe and others joined Russia and Thailand at the bottom of an annual ranking compiled by the State Department and announced by Secretary of State John Kerry.


Oil prices slide after Shanghai stock market dives

A man walking past a screen that shows share prices in a security firm in Hangzhou, east China's Zhejiang province. PHOTO: AFP

Oil prices slid for a fourth straight day on Monday as the steepest drop in Chinese equities since 2007 fuelled fresh fears about reduced demand in the world's top energy consumer.

United States (US) benchmark West Texas Intermediate for September delivery fell 75 cents to US$47.39 (S$64.97) a barrel on the New York Mercantile Exchange.


35 of Cosby's alleged victims speak out


Thirty-five women who allege they were sexually assaulted by US comedy legend Bill Cosby were united on Monday on a magazine cover to tell startlingly similar stories of abuse.

They include models, waitresses, Playboy bunnies and women who used to work in show business. One says he raped her while she was grief stricken over the recent death of her six-year-old son.

The New York magazine cover story is the largest expose yet of alleged abuse from nearly 50 women who have publicly accused Cosby of assault from the 1960s to 1996 across the US.


Saudi Arabia accuses Iran of making threats to neighbours

Saudi Foreign Minister Adel al-Jubeir accused Iran of making threats against Bahrain. PHOTO: AFP

Saudi Foreign Minister Adel al-Jubeir on Monday accused Iran of making threats against Riyadh's ally, Bahrain, which he said showed that the Islamic republic was harbouring hostile designs against its Middle Eastern neighbours.

Speaking at a joint news conference with visiting European Union foreign policy chief Federica Mogherini, Mr Jubeir said Saudi Arabia had raised the issue with her.

He said the comments showed that Teheran was intervening in its neighbours' internal affairs. "It does not represent the desire of a state for good neighbourly relations but that of a state which has aspirations in the region and which carried out hostile act like this," he added.


'Third world' New York's LaGuardia Airport to be rebuilt

Governor Andrew Cuomo announcing a major reconstruction project of New York's LaGuardia Airport on July 27, 2015. PHOTO: REUTERS

New York's LaGuardia Airport, famously likened to a "third world country" by Vice-President Joe Biden, is to be rebuilt from the ground up, officials announced Monday.

"We want a globally renowned airport for the next century that is worthy of the name New York," Governor Andrew Cuomo announced in a Manhattan hotel ballroom alongside Biden.

The Guide to Sleeping in Airports rated LaGuardia as the 10th worst airport in the world in 2014, singling out security lines, drab decor, lackluster cleanliness and unhelpful staff.