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


Facebook says it uncovers new meddling before 2018 US mid-term elections

Facebook has identified a new coordinated political influence campaign to mislead users and organise rallies ahead of November’s US congressional elections, taking down dozens of fake accounts on its site, the company said on Tuesday.

A Russian propaganda arm tried to tamper in the 2016 US election by posting and buying ads on Facebook, according to the company and US intelligence agencies. Moscow has denied involvement.

Facebook on Tuesday said had it removed 32 pages and accounts from Facebook and Instagram, part of an effort to combat foreign meddling in US elections, attempts that lawmakers have called dangerous for democracy.

The company said it was still in the early stages of its investigation and did not yet know who may be behind the influence campaign for 2018 elections that will determine whether or not the Republican Party keeps control of Congress.


Pompeo to urge Asean nations to keep up North Korea sanctions pressure

US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo will press south-east Asian nations in Singapore this week to maintain sanctions against North Korea, a US official said on Tuesday, amid concerns that fuel is being sold illegally to Pyongyang despite UN sanctions.

The senior State Department official, speaking to reporters to preview a trip by Pompeo to Singapore, Indonesia and Malaysia this week, declined to comment when asked whether Pompeo would meet North Korean officials while in Singapore for a meeting of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations this weekend.

The official, however, said that North Korea will participate in a 27-nation regional Asean forum on Saturday that Pompeo will also attend.


Chinese most at risk of death from deadly heatwaves, study says

Deadly heatwaves could kill people working outdoors within hours in China's most populous, agricultural region by 2100 as a result of climate change, scientists said on Tuesday.

The North China Plain, home to 400 million people, faces the greatest risk to human life from rising temperatures of any location on earth, the Massachusetts Institute of Technology said in the journal Nature Communications.

"Climate change is going to trigger deadly heatwaves," lead researcher Elfatih Eltahir told the Thomson Reuters Foundation. "The intensity of those heatwaves means that survival of humans would be questionable."


Attack on woman in Paris puts spotlight on sexual harassment

She was walking on a Paris street when it happened, not far from her home. In a scene that has shocked an entire nation, a man approached her in broad daylight, struck her in the face and somehow managed to get away.

Marie Laguerre, a 22-year-old architectural student, released CCTV footage of the incident on her personal Twitter account. It shows Laguerre rounding a corner, trailed shortly thereafter by a man who is clearly saying something to her, although the video has no audio component.

Laguerre keeps walking, but she eventually stops to confront the man, turning to look at him. He strikes her in the face, directly in front of a cafe terrace where a handful of people sit talking and smoking.


M*A*S*H star Alan Alda has Parkinson's disease

Alan Alda, who starred as wise-cracking army doctor Hawkeye Pierce in the long-running television comedy series "M*A*S*H," revealed on Tuesday that he has Parkinson's disease.

Alda, 82, said he was diagnosed with the nervous system disorder three and a half years ago.

"I decided to let people know I have Parkinson's to encourage others to take action," he said in a statement on Twitter. "My life is full. I act, I give talks, I do my podcast," he said.