While You Were Sleeping: 5 stories you might have missed, Sept 11 edition

Air quality hits 'very unhealthy' range on Thursday night, hazy conditions can be expected on Friday: NEA

The haze worsened on Thursday, with the three-hour Pollutants Standard Index (PSI) rising into the "very unhealthy" range, hitting 207 at 11pm.

At midnight the reading was 211.

A reading of 201 to 300 indicates that air quality is very unhealthy.


Obama orders US to admit 10,000 Syrian refugees

President Barack Obama has ordered his team to admit at least 10,000 Syrian refugees next year, the White House said Thursday, amid criticism that the United States has not done enough.

Spokesman Josh Earnest said Obama had asked staff to "scale up" the number of refugee admissions from around 1,500 in this fiscal year, to 10,000 in the next, beginning Oct 1.

With global public opinion shocked by images of drowning refugees, the United States is under political pressure to act quickly.


'Mama Merkel' cheered by Syrians at refugee centre

Chancellor Angela Merkel won a hero's welcome as she visited a Berlin migrant centre on Thursday, with Syrians cheering and taking selfies as Germany threw open its doors to thousands of refugees.

"We are so happy Mrs Merkel came to see us today," said a joyful Ramadan Salah, a 35-year-old Syrian Kurdish refugee the migrant refugee centre in western Berlin.

"She is like a mother to us, she has helped many refugees," he said. "It's a dream come true for me to take my picture with Mrs Merkel."


Americans so-so on knowledge of science: Poll

Americans' knowledge of basic scientific facts is just average, says a poll out on Thursday that also revealed differences by education level, gender, race and age.

Seventy-three per cent knew the difference between astronomy and astrology.

But only 34 per cent knew that the temperature at which water boils - which is linked to atmospheric pressure - is lower at a higher altitude setting than at sea level.


Lady Gaga's infamous meat dress heads to museum

Lady Gaga's meat dress, which sparked intense controversy when she wore it to the 2010 MTV Video Music Awards, went back on view Thursday at a museum exhibition.

The Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in Cleveland said that the dress would be on display until the end of the year to mark the fifth anniversary of one of fashion's most-discussed recent incidents.

The dress - sewn from several layers of Argentinian beef in a design by Franc Fernandez - was bought by the museum after the awards and preserved in a meat locker.