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

Syrian talks appear doomed as air strike kills dozens in market

Syrian peace talks appeared all but doomed on Tuesday (April 19) after air strikes killed about 40 people in a crowded vegetable market in rebel territory, with the opposition saying a truce was finished and it would keep out of negotiations indefinitely.

A monitoring group said it believed the strike on the market in Maarat al-Numan in Idlib province was the deadliest single attack since a partial ceasefire took effect on Feb 27.

The main opposition HNC described the attack as a "dangerous escalation" which reinforced its decision a day earlier to suspend negotiations. France described the bloodshed as "another massacre".


Last month was hottest March in modern times: US

Last month marked the hottest March in modern history and the 11th consecutive month in which a monthly global temperature record was broken, US officials said on Tuesday (April 19).

Officials at the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) said that the string of record-setting months is the longest in its 137 years of record-keeping.

The globally-averaged temperature over land and ocean surfaces for March 2016 "was the highest for the month of March in the NOAA global temperature dataset record, which dates back to 1880," the agency said.


Baby boy for Princess Sofia of Sweden

Princess Sofia of Sweden, married to third in line to the throne Carl Philip, gave birth to a baby boy on Tuesday (April 19), the palace announced.

"For my wife and me, this is a great day full of emotion," Carl Philip told a press conference following the birth of the couple's first child, who will be fifth in line to the Swedish throne.

The baby weighed in at 3.6 kilograms and measured 49 centimetres, the prince added.


Fifa's Gianni Infantino: Russia says economic crisis won't affect World Cup

Fifa President Gianni Infantino said on Tuesday (April 19) he had received assurances from the Russian government that the economic crisis convulsing Russia would not affect preparations for the 2018 soccer World Cup.

Russia, which faces a second straight year of recession after its gross domestic product fell 3.7 per cent last year due to lower global oil prices and Western sanctions, plans to cut state spending by 10 per cent on average in 2016.

Its World Cup budget has been repeatedly slashed and was limited to 620.9 billion roubles (S$12.6 billion) in February.


Olympics: Rio will be spectacular despite crisis, says IOC president

Despite the political and economic crisis currently faced by Brazil, the Rio Games will be a spectacular success, International Olympic Committee president Thomas Bach predicted on Tuesday (April 19).

Speaking at the SportAccord convention in Laussane, Bach was emphatic in his conviction everything would come together.

"We know the current economic and political situation in Brazil will continue to make the final preparations challenging," he admitted.