While You Were Sleeping: 5 stories you might have missed, Oct 15 edition

It is unclear how many consumers have continued using the phones despite the recall and warnings from safety officials to stop using them.
It is unclear how many consumers have continued using the phones despite the recall and warnings from safety officials to stop using them.PHOTO: BLOOMBERG

US bans recalled Samsung Note 7 phones from planes, threatens fines

US officials on Friday (Oct 14) banned all Samsung Galaxy Note 7 smartphones from aeroplanes, saying anyone attempting to travel with the recalled handsets may face fines and have the devices confiscated.

The South Korean electronics giant has recalled all Note 7 phones, including replacements, following reports of exploding batteries and fires, which have led to numerous injuries. Samsung has also stopped producing the flagship handset.

But it remained unclear how many consumers have continued using the phones despite the recall and warnings from safety officials to stop using them.

US Transportation Secretary Anthony Foxx said an emergency order banning the devices would take effect at 1600 GMT on Saturday (midnight on Sunday, Singapore time).

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New York surgeons separate 13-month-old boys conjoined at head

Surgeons at a New York City hospital on Friday (Oct 14) separated a pair of 13-month-old boys who were congenitally joined at the head, completing a rare operation that carried a risk of death and severe brain damage, their mother said.

Jadon and Anias McDonald of Coal City, Illinois, underwent 16 hours of surgery at the Children's Hospital at Montefiore Medical Centre in the Bronx before the surgical team, led by Dr James Goodrich, fully detached their skull and brain tissue, Nicole McDonald wrote on Facebook.

While the twins survived the surgery, the outlook for their health is unclear.

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Trump campaign reels over new groping allegations

Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump said on Friday (Oct 14) that accusations of sexual misconduct against him were part of a plot to discredit him after two more women came forward with allegations that he had groped them.

The accusations – including one from a contestant on his reality show, The Apprentice - coincided with the release on Friday of a Reuters/Ipsos opinion poll taken on Oct 7-13 showing him trailing Democrat Hillary Clinton by seven percentage points among likely voters in the Nov 8 election.

Summer Zervos, who competed on the television show’s fifth season in 2006, gave a news conference with celebrity attorney Gloria Allred in Los Angeles, saying Trump kissed her, touched her breast and tried to get her to lie down on a bed with him during a 2007 meeting about a possible job.

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Obama eases restrictions on Cuba, lifts limits on rum and cigars

Americans travelling to Cuba will be allowed to bring home more of the communist-ruled island's coveted cigars and rum under new measures announced by the US government on Friday (Oct 14) to further ease trade, travel and financial restrictions that have been in place for decades.

The steps are part of President Barack Obama's effort to make his historic opening to Cuba "irreversible" by the time he leaves office in January.

The latest in a series of new rules since the two former Cold War foes began normalising relations in 2014 will allow Cubans to buy certain US consumer goods online, open the door to Cuban pharmaceutical companies to do business in the United States and let Cubans and Americans engage in joint medical research.

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Migrant dead after being hit by French train

An Iraqi migrant was killed and two others injured on Friday (Oct 14) after being mowed down by a freight train near a camp in the northern French port of Dunkirk, authorities said.

The accident occurred as the migrants were trying to cross the railway tracks near the Grande-Synthe humanitarian camp on the outskirts of Dunkirk.

One of the injured was treated in hospital for shock while the other suffered a minor hip injury, the authorities said.

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