While You Were Sleeping: 5 stories you might have missed, Aug 1

Anthony Scaramucci arrives for an event in New York on July 28, 2017.
Anthony Scaramucci arrives for an event in New York on July 28, 2017.PHOTO: REUTERS

Donald Trump removes Anthony Scaramucci as communications director after 10 days

US President Donald Trump has decided to remove Anthony Scaramucci from his position as communications director, the White House confirmed on Monday (July 31).

The news comes just days after Scaramucci unloaded a crude verbal tirade against other senior members of the president's senior staff.

Scaramucci's abrupt removal came just 10 days after the wealthy New York financier was brought on to the West Wing staff, a move that convulsed an already chaotic White House and led to the departures of Sean Spicer, the former press secretary, and Reince Priebus, the president's first chief of staff.

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China's UN ambassador says it is up to US and North Korea to ease tensions

China's United Nation's ambassador Liu Jieyi said on Monday (July 31) that it is up to the United States and North Korea, not China, to try to reduce tensions and resume negotiations to denuclearise the Korean Peninsula.

"They hold the primary responsibility to keep things moving, to start moving in the right direction, not China," Liu told a news conference to mark the end of China's July presidency of the UN Security Council.

"No matter how capable China is, China's efforts will not yield practical results because it depends on the two principal parties," he said.

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Life unlikely on other planets as they may never be as hospitable as Earth: Study

Scientists dealt a blow Monday (July 31) to the quest for organisms inhabiting worlds besides Earth, saying our planet was unusual in its ability to host liquid water - the key ingredient for life.

It was thought likely that distant worlds orbiting stars similar to our Sun would go through water-rich phases.

This would happen when the young, dim star of an icy, lifeless planet - such as early Earth - starts warming, becomes Sun-like, and melts the ice on planets orbiting it at just the right distance - the so-called "Goldilocks" zone.

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Small odds of reaching 2 C climate goal, say researchers

There is a five-per cent chance of limiting average global warming to under two degrees Celsius, the target set in the 2015 climate-rescue Paris Agreement, researchers said on Monday (July 31).

And chances of meeting the lower, aspirational 1.5 C goal, also listed in the 196-nation pact, were a mere one per cent, they wrote in the journal Nature Climate Change.

A US-based expert team used projections for population growth to estimate future production, and related carbon emissions from burning fossil fuels. 

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Los Angeles to host 2028 Summer Olympics, paving way for Paris in 2024: Olympic officials

Los Angeles will host the 2028 Summer Olympics Games after reaching a deal with Olympic organisers, Olympic officials announced on Monday (July 31).

The decision paves the way for the 2024 Summer Games to be awarded to Paris.

The deal will bring the Summer Olympics to Los Angeles for a third time, after the city staged the Games in 1984 and 1932.Both cities were competing for the 2024 Games after several other candidates withdrew from contention, and the stage was set for Paris to win its bid when the International Olympic Committee (IOC) confirmed that Los Angeles had agreed to the later date of 2028.  

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