While You Were Sleeping: 5 stories you might have missed, April 13 edition

US House speaker (again) rules out presidential run

Republican US House speaker Paul Ryan ruled out a late run for the presidency on Tuesday (April 12), squelching speculation that he could be in contention at an eventual contested party nominating convention in July.

"I made a really clear choice not to run for president. Therefore, I will not be nominated," Ryan told a radio talk show host in his home state of Wisconsin.

"It will not be me. I don't know how I can be clearer than that," Ryan said in the interview, parts of which were aired by MSNBC.


Liza Minnelli’s ex-husband David Gest found dead in London

David Gest, the US television personality and ex-husband of actress Liza Minnelli, was found dead in a five-star London hotel on Tuesday (April 12) in unexplained circumstances, police and a friend said.  

Gest’s body was found at the Four Seasons Hotel in the Canary Wharf district of the British capital.  The 62-year-old had been due to tour Britain in an autobiographical musical show, “David Gest Is Not Dead But Alive With Soul”, later this year.

“It is with great sadness that I can confirm that David Gest has died today,” his friend Imad Handi said in a statement released to media.


Rio's Zika outbreak matches Asian virus: Study

The mosquito-borne Zika virus behind last year's outbreak in Rio de Janeiro closely resembles another strain from Asia and may have been introduced by Pacific Island athletes, researchers said on Tuesday (April 12).

Their report in the journal PLOS Neglected Tropical Diseases offers the first detailed analysis of the outbreak in a Latin American city, and gives further weight to the hypothesis that Zika may have been brought to Brazil by foreign visitors who came to compete in a canoe championship in late 2014.

The researchers also raised new concerns about the potential for an even worse Zika outbreak during this summer's Olympic Games in Rio, saying many of those studied did not remember being bitten by mosquitoes and that transmission of Zika infection in clusters of people appeared to be commonplace.


Facebook brings 'chat bots' to Messenger

Facebook on Tuesday (April 12) extended its reach beyond online socialising by building artificial-intelligence powered "bots" into its Messenger application to allow businesses to have software engage in lifelike text exchanges.

The move announced at the leading online social network's annual developers conference in San Francisco came as the number of monthly users of Messenger topped 900 million and the Silicon Valley company works to stay in tune with mobile Internet lifestyles.

"We think you should be able to text message a business like you would a friend, and get a quick response," Facebook co-founder and chief Mark Zuckerberg said as he announced that developers can build bots that could even be better than real people at natural language text conversations.


Football: Ronaldo hat-trick fires Real Madrid into semis

Cristiano Ronaldo inspired Real Madrid to a record sixth successive Champions League semi-final with a hat-trick as the Spanish giants overturned a 2-0 first leg deficit, beating Wolfsburg 3-0 on Tuesday (April 12).

Ronaldo struck twice in just over a minute to bring Madrid level in the tie inside 17 minutes.

Yet, the 10-time winners were forced to wait until 13 minutes from time to find the winner when Ronaldo's dipping free-kick escaped the clutches of Diego Benaglio to find the bottom corner.