While You Were Sleeping: 5 stories you might have missed, April 7 edition

Iceland coalition names agriculture minister as new PM: MP

Iceland’s governing centre-right coalition has decided to appoint Sigurdur Ingi Johannsson as new prime minister, Progressive Party MP Hoskuldur Thorhallsson told reporters in parliament on Wednesday.

Johannsson, of the Progressive Party, is the minister of fisheries and agriculture.

The appointment comes after former Prime Minister Sigmundur David Gunnlaugsson stepped aside after the so-called Panama Papers leak of documents showed his wife owned a firm with claims on the island’s collapsed banks, sparking wide-spread protests.


Panama Papers: London revealed as centre of 'spider's web'

As-well as shining a spotlight on the secret financial arrangements of the rich and powerful, the so-called Panama Papers have laid bare London's role as a vital organ of the world's tax-haven network.

The files leaked from Panama law firm Mossack Fonseca exposed Britain's link to thousands of firms based in tax havens and how secret money is invested in British assets, particularly London property.

Critics accuse British authorities of turning a blind eye to the inflow of suspect money and of being too close to the financial sector to clamp down on the use of its overseas territories as havens, with the British Virgin Islands alone hosting 110,000 of the Mossack Fonseca's clients.


Self-drive trucks 'future of Europe's busy highways'

Six convoys of semi-automated "smart" trucks arrived in Rotterdam's harbour on Wednesday after an experiment its organisers say will revolutionise future road transport on Europe's busy highways.

More than a dozen self-driving trucks made by six of Europe's largest manufacturers arrived in the port in so-called "truck platoons" around midday, said Eric Jonnaert, president of the umbrella body representing DAF, Daimler, IVECO, MAN, Scania and Volvo.

"Truck platooning", similar to concepts with self-driving cars, involves two or three trucks that autonomously drive in convoy and are connected via wireless with the leading truck determining route and speed.


Harry Potter author's chair sells for $530,000

The chair on which British author J.K. Rowling sat to write the first two volumes of her best-selling Harry Potter series sold at auction in New York on Wednesday for US$394,000 (S$530,000).

The modest, 1930s-era oak chair was part of a mismatched set of four that Rowling was given for free when she was a single mother living in subsidised housing in the Scottish city of Edinburgh.

Heritage Auctions said it sold for US$394,000, including taxes - nearly 14 times the price that it last fetched at auction in 2009.


Football: Wolfsburg shock Real Madrid 2-0 to crown big European night

Real Madrid suffered their first defeat in the Champions League this season when they were surprisingly beaten 2-0 at VfL Wolfsburg in their quarter-final first leg on Wednesday.

The Germans were celebrating a memorable last-eight debut after Ricardo Rodriguez’s penalty in the 18th minute and Maximilian Arnold’s strike in the 25th stunned the visitors only four days after their Clasico win in Spain over Barcelona.

Despite making just one change to the lineup that started against Barca, Real coach Zinedine Zidane’s team will now go into the return leg in Madrid next week with a clear disadvantage.