While You Were Sleeping: 5 stories you might have missed, May 20 edition

Malaysia, Indonesia and Thailand to meet on boatpeople crisis

Malaysia's foreign minister was to host his Indonesian and Thai counterparts on Wednesday for urgent talks on South-east Asia's boatpeople crisis, with pressure mounting on them to help thousands of starving migrants.

The three nations have sparked outrage by turning away vessels overloaded with migrants from Myanmar's ethnic Rohingya minority and with poor Bangladeshis.

Nearly 3,000 such migrants have swum to shore or been rescued off Malaysia, Indonesia and Thailand over the past week after a Thai crackdown prompted some people-traffickers to abandon their human cargo at sea.

The three-way meeting comes as Myanmar - a fellow member of 10-country Asean - also has come under global criticism for its poor treatment of the Muslim Rohingya, which is blamed for helping to fuel the mass migration.

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British historian claims discovery of Shakespeare portrait

A British historian announced Tuesday he had discovered the only portrait of William Shakespeare made while the famous playwright was alive, a claim met with scepticism by some.

The portrait showing a young and handsome figure was found by botanist and historian Mark Griffiths in a 1,484 page book on plants, The Herball, from the 16th century.

The print, which Griffiths says shows Shakespeare aged 33, portrays four people previously thought to be imaginary figures. Griffiths argues the figures are real people, with the flowers and plants around them a code revealing their true identities, a kind of riddle popular in the time of Queen Elizabeth I.

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Takata doubles US airbag recall to a largest in history 34 million vehicles

Japanese auto parts maker Takata will double the recall of US cars using its faulty airbags to a record nearly 34 million vehicles, US officials said Tuesday.

After refusing to for years, Takata is also admitting for the first time that its airbags installed in the cars of 11 major automakers are defective, US Transportation Secretary Anthony Foxx announced.

The problem airbags "have been responsible, we believe, for at least five deaths", Foxx said.

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Prince Charles shakes hands with former leader of IRA political wing Gerry Adams

Prince Charles on Tuesday became the first British royal to meet Irish republican leader Gerry Adams, on a visit that will take him to the scene of his great-uncle's murder by the IRA.

Charles, the heir to the British throne, shook hands with Adams, the veteran president of Sinn Fein, the political wing of the now-defunct Irish Republican Army paramilitary group.

The Prince, 66, met Adams at the National University of Ireland's campus in Galway on the west coast, shortly after starting a two-day visit to the republic.

Adams has always rejected allegations that he was a key figure in the IRA, which killed Charles' beloved great-uncle and mentor Earl Mountbatten in 1979.

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Cannes denies high-heel rule for women on red carpet

Cannes Film Festival organisers denied a report on Tuesday that they were enforcing a strict high-heel rule for women on the event's legendary red carpet after a storm of protest on social media.

In what was meant to be a good year for women at cinema's top showcase, British trade magazine Screen Daily said that "a handful of women in their 50s were turned away" by Cannes ushers from a Sunday night gala screening, even though some apparently had medical conditions.

As the story sparked hundreds of angry tweets, festival director Thierry Fremaux quickly took to Twitter to set the record straight. "The rumour that the festival requires high heels for the women on the steps is baseless," he wrote, referring to the entrance of the main Cannes venue.

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