While You Were Sleeping: 5 stories you might have missed, July 4 edition

Solar Impulse 2 approaching Hawaii, near Kalaeloa Airport, on its solar-powered round-the-world flight.
Solar Impulse 2 approaching Hawaii, near Kalaeloa Airport, on its solar-powered round-the-world flight.EPA

Defiant PM rejects Grexit fears as he rallies ‘No’ vote

Greece’s Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras got a rock-star welcome at an Athens rally late Friday as he sought to revive support for a “No” vote in a referendum called to bolster his stance in his struggle with international creditors.

His typically charismatic turn on the stage came as the latest polls suggested that Sunday’s plebiscite was too close to call, with his EU nation of 11 million people evenly divided.

Countering EU leaders’ warnings that a “No” could cause Greece to crash out of the euro zone, Tsipras told the crowd of 25,000 cheering supporters: “We are not simply deciding to remain in Europe – we are deciding to live with dignity in Europe. I call on you to say ‘No’ to ultimatums and to turn your back on those who would terrorise you."


Solar Impulse 2 pilot becomes aviation legend

At 62 years of age, Swiss Solar Impulse 2 pilot Andre Borschberg has made aviation history with a record breaking solo flight across the Pacific that he has called "an interior journey".

After travelling more than 8,000km on the latest leg of the round-the-world trip, he arrived in Hawaii Friday.

His Pacific flight from Japan totalled 118 hours, almost five full days, smashing the previous record for the longest non-stop solo flight of 76 hours and 45 minutes set by US adventurer Steve Fossett in 2006.


Restored World War II Spitfire to be auctioned for charity

A restored World War II Spitfire which was shot down over northern France in 1940 is expected to raise about US$3 million (S$4 million) for charity when it goes up for auction in London next week.

The wreckage of the Vickers Supermarine Spitfire Mk.1A was recovered in 1980 from a beach at Calais, northern France.

It had crash-landed there after it was shot down on May 24, 1940, during the evacuation of Dunkirk and over the years was washed over by tides, sinking deeper into the sands, auctioneer Christie's said.

It is one of two remaining Mk.1 models restored to the original specification and that can still fly, Christie's said.


Tennis: Serena survives almighty Watson scare to advance

World No. 1 Serena Williams survived an almighty scare at Wimbledon on Friday, battling back to beat inspired Briton Heather Watson in three sets and stay on course for a 21st grand slam title.

Williams, who has lifted this year’s Australian and French Open crowns, was forced to dig deep in front of a raucous home crowd after an error-strewn showing against the superb Watson, recovering from 3-0 down in the final set to win 6-2 4-6 7-5.

The 33-year-old will face her sister Venus in the last 16 – their 26th career meeting – as she continues her bid for a sixth Wimbledon crown.


Formula One: Rosberg fastest in British GP practice

The home crowd were cheering for Lewis Hamilton but Mercedes team mate Nico Rosberg was the man on top of the timesheets in both free practice sessions for the British Grand Prix on Friday.

The German was a mere 0.070 faster than the double Formula One world champion in a troubled morning session but comfortably quicker in the afternoon when Hamilton was fourth and behind the Ferraris.

Rosberg, 10 points behind double world champion Hamilton after eight of the season's 19 races, lapped with a best time of one minute 34.274 seconds on a bright and hot morning at Silverstone and 1:34.155 in the afternoon.