While You Were Sleeping: 5 stories you might have missed, April 4 edition

Russian President Vladimir Putin (centre) lays flowers outside the metro station rocked by the blast on April 3, 2017.
Russian President Vladimir Putin (centre) lays flowers outside the metro station rocked by the blast on April 3, 2017.PHOTO: EPA

St Petersburg metro blast: Suspect linked to radical Islamists, report says

A suspected suicide bomber thought to be responsible for a deadly blast in the St Petersburg metro on Monday had links with  radical  Islamist groups banned in Russia, a law enforcement source told Interfax news agency, as Russia opened a probe into a suspected "act of terror" on Monday (April 3).

The source added that remains found at the scene of the blast that killed 11 people and injured more than 40 suggested that a suicide bomber was responsible but that final conclusions would be made after DNA tests had been conducted.

Authorities shut down the metro system in Russia's second city for several hours as security services said they had also defused a bomb at a second metro station.


St Petersburg metro blast: The windows 'blown out, no light, blood', says survivor

The explosion in the St Petersburg metro went off between two stations with a "thundering clap", a survivor of the metro blast said on Monday (April 3).

The student, who gave her name only as Polina, was in the neighbouring car when the blast - which Interfax news agency said was caused by a bomb filled with shrapnel - went off.

At least 11 people were killed and more than 40 injured when the blast tore through a train carriage in the underground system on Monday, between the Technology Institute station and the Sennaya (Ploshchad) station.


US President Donald Trump hails Sisi's 'fantastic job' in Egypt in landmark meeting

US President Donald Trump set human rights scandals aside to welcome Abdel Fattah al-Sisi to the White House on Monday  the first such visit from an Egyptian president in almost a decade.

Greeting Sisi warmly in the Oval Office, Trump heaped praise on the former general's leadership and unleashed a charm offensive designed to mend ties strained by crackdowns, revolution and revolt.

"You have a great friend and ally in the United States and in me," Trump told Sisi, sweeping aside his predecessor Barack Obama's concerns about the Sisi government's purge of political opponents and rights activists.


Democrats in US Congress have enough votes to stall Trump Supreme Court pick Neil Gorsuch

Democratic Senator Chris Coons on Monday announced opposition to President Donald Trump's Supreme Court nominee, ensuring Democrats can block a US Senate confirmation vote to give Neil Gorsuch the lifetime job.

Coons' announcement put the number of Democrats opposing Gorsuch at 41, the tally needed to use a procedural hurdle called a filibuster that requires 60 votes to allow a confirmation vote in the 100-seat Senate.

Republicans control the Senate 52-48. If Democrats mount a successful filibuster and block the confirmation vote Senate Republicans planned to hold on Friday, Republicans would then be expected to try to change the chamber's longstanding rules to allow confirmation by a simple majority.

Tesla now world's second largest automaker as competitors' sales falter

Tesla on Monday became the world's second-largest car maker in terms of market capitalisation, displacing Ford, whose sales are lagging amid concerns about the ability of the US market to keep growing.

Many major auto makers reported sharp US sales declines in March compared to a year ago, but Tesla over the weekend said it saw a huge jump in sales in the first three months of the year.

That was enough to send the electric car maker's stock soaring Monday, even as investors punished major car brands for reporting lower-than-expected sales last month.