While You Were Sleeping: 5 stories you might have missed, April 23

Special Envoy for Iran Brian Hook said nations can do business with the United States and the whole global financial system or import oil from Iran, but they cannot do both.
Special Envoy for Iran Brian Hook said nations can do business with the United States and the whole global financial system or import oil from Iran, but they cannot do both. ST PHOTO: NIRMAL GHOSH

Sanctions are working, says special envoy on Iran, as US ends waivers for countries buying Iranian oil 

The United States has been assured by Saudi Arabia that it will compensate for Iranian oil taken off the market as a result of US sanctions, Special Envoy for Iran Brian Hook said, minutes after Secretary of State Mike Pompeo announced the end of waivers for countries importing Iranian oil on Monday morning (April 22).

"Anybody who wants oil can get it at the volume, grade and compatibility that they want," Mr Hook told The Straits Times in an interview. "The oil market is an entirely different place than six months ago when we had to grant oil waivers. Countries have been given a year to make the transition. More than 20 countries have already made the transition to zero from all over the world."

"We think what we're asking for is not unreasonable," Mr Hook maintained. "We are giving nations a choice - you can do business with the United States and the whole global financial system or you can import oil from Iran, but you can't do both.


Trump sues to block US Congress subpoena for his financial records

President Donald Trump on Monday (April 22) filed suit to keep US lawmakers from obtaining his financial records, the first salvo in what promises to be an escalating legal battle with Democrats in Congress.

The suit seeks to block a subpoena issued by the Democratic chairman of the US House Oversight Committee for information about Trump's personal and business finances, alleging Democrats have launched "all-out political war" on Trump with subpoenas as their "weapon of choice".

The committee's subpoena sought eight years of documents from Mazars USA, an accounting firm long used by Trump to prepare financial statements, related to its investigation of allegations Trump inflated or deflated financial statements for potentially improper purposes.


Samsung delays public rollout of Galaxy Fold phone

Smartphone maker Samsung Electronics Co Ltd said on Monday (April 22) it will delay the public rollout of its Galaxy Fold without giving a new release date. 

The announcement comes days after some reviewers of the splashy US$1,980 (S$2,685) foldable handset reported problems with their test units after just a day or two of use. Samsung postponed media events for the device planned for this week in Hong Kong and Shanghai. 

“To fully evaluate this feedback and run further internal tests, we have decided to delay the release of the Galaxy Fold.  We plan to announce the release date in the coming weeks,” a Samsung spokesperson said. 


Tesla touts power of self-driving microchip in cars, working on software

Chief Executive Elon Musk unveiled on Monday (April 22) a microchip for self-driving vehicles that the electric car company hopes will give Tesla Inc an edge over rivals. 

Musk invited investors and analysts to its Silicon Valley headquarters to persuade them its massive investment in autonomous driving technology will pay off. The presentation comes two days before Tesla is expected to announce a quarterly loss on fewer deliveries of its Model 3 sedan, which represents Tesla’s attempt to become a volume car maker. 

Global carmakers, large technology companies and an array of startups are developing self-driving – including Alphabet Inc’s Waymo and Uber Technologies Inc – but experts say it will be years before the systems are ready for deployment. 


Football: Chelsea held 2-2 by Burnley, denting Champions League hopes

Chelsea suffered a setback in their push for a Champions League spot when they were held to a 2-2 draw at home to Burnley in the Premier League on Monday (April 22).

Jeff Hendrick gave Burnley an early lead before goals from N'Golo Kante and Gonzalo Higuain put the home side ahead by the 14th minute. However, the Londoners failed to hold on to the lead as Ashley Barnes drew the visitors level 10 minutes later.

After Tottenham Hotspur, Manchester United and Arsenal all lost at the weekend, Chelsea had an opportunity to tighten their grip on the Premier League's top four places.