While You Were Sleeping: 5 stories you might have missed, April 6 edition

Panama Papers: Iceland's prime minister resigns over offshore holdings

Iceland’s Prime Minister Sigmundur David Gunnlaugsson has resigned, his party said on Tuesday, the first major political casualty after the leak of the so-called Panama Papers financial documents.

“The Prime Minister told (his party’s) parliamentary group meeting that he would step down as prime minister and I will take over,” the Progressive party’s deputy leader and agriculture minister, Sigurdur Ingi Johannsson, said in a live broadcast.

The junior member of the centre-right government coalition, the Independence Party, still has to approve the switch.


Barack Obama trashes Donald Trump's plan to force Mexico to pay for wall

President Barack Obama on Tuesday dismissed as "half-baked" a reported plan by Donald Trump to force Mexico to pay for a giant wall along the southern US border.

The Republican frontrunner's promise to build the wall, in an effort to stop illegal immigration, and force Mexico to foot the estimated US$8 billion (S$10.8 billion) bill is a cornerstone of his under-fire campaign to win the US presidency.

In a memo that The Washington Post said the flamboyant New York tycoon handed over, the candidate said he would force Mexico's hand by threatening to cut off billions of dollars sent home by Mexican immigrants.


WhatsApp strengthens encryption in wake of iPhone case

Facebook on Tuesday announced it had bolstered the default encryption settings for the more than one billion users of its popular WhatsApp messaging service so that all messages will now be accessible only to the sender and recipient.

The update arrives amid a heightened international debate over how much access law enforcement should have to digital communications and follows a high-profile showdown between Apple and the FBI over an encrypted iPhone linked to one of the San Bernardino shooters.

WhatsApp began working on developing full end-to-end encryption on its messages about two years ago with the help of software provided by Open Whisper Systems, a security nonprofit.


Chair used by Harry Potter author JK Rowling up for auction

A wooden dining chair used by author J.K. Rowling while she wrote the first two Harry Potter books is up for grabs at auction in New York and is expected to fetch tens of thousands of dollars.

Hand-painted and signed by the novelist, the oak chair comes with a letter marked as having been sent by "Owl Post", in which Rowling described the chair's history.

"It was given to her with a group of chairs and this was the most comfortable," James Gannon, director of rare books at Heritage Auctions, told Reuters.


Athletics: Russian Olympic hammer champion suspended for doping

Russia's Olympic and double world hammer throw champion Tatyana Beloborodova has been provisionally suspended for doping, the International Association of Athletics Federations (IAAF) said on Tuesday.

Beloborodova, who previously competed under her maiden name Lysenko, won world titles in 2011 and 2013 and Olympic gold at London 2012.

"The IAAF can confirm that Tatyana Beloborodova (Lysenko) is provisionally suspended. As with all ongoing cases the IAAF will not comment further until its conclusion," world athletics' governing body told Reuters.