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

Remote video URL

Fed cuts rates, signals it may not need to do more

The Federal Reserve cut interest rates on Wednesday to shore up the economy against risks including global weakness, but the head of the US central bank said he did not view the move as the start of a lengthy series of rate cuts.

Fed chairman Jerome Powell cited global weakness, simmering trade tensions and a desire to boost too-low inflation in explaining the central bank's decision to lower borrowing costs for the first time since 2008 and move up plans to stop winnowing its massive bond holdings.

Financial markets had widely expected the Fed to reduce its key overnight lending rate by a quarter of a percentage point to a target range of 2 per cent to 2.25 per cent, but many traders expected a clearer confirmation of forthcoming rate cuts.

In a statement at the end of its latest two-day policy meeting, the Fed said it had decided to cut rates "in light of the implications of global developments for the economic outlook as well as muted inflation pressures."


'Please stay with me,' kidnapped Romanian girl begged police

The family of a 15-year-old Romanian girl kidnapped earlier this month and now presumed dead has released recordings of her desperate calls for help to authorities whose handling of the case has caused public outrage and dismissals of officials.

A mechanic from Caracal in south Romania has confessed to killing Alexandra Macesanu, who went missing on July 24, and another 18-year-old girl last seen in April.

"Please stay with me on the line, I'm really scared," Macesanu told a policeman while crying during her third and last call, according to a transcript released on Facebook by her uncle Alexandru Cumpanasu.

"I can't stay on the line with you, miss, I have other calls," replied the officer, Vasilica Viorel Florescu, according to the transcript and audios. "Stay there, a police car will come without fail, in 2-3 minutes... what the hell, calm down, the car is en route."


Can diet help cancer treatment? Study in mice offers clues

Diet is already a key part of managing diseases like diabetes and hypertension, but new research adds to a growing body of evidence that it could help cancer treatment too.

The study, published in the journal Nature, found restricting intake of an amino acid found in red meat and eggs significantly enhanced cancer treatment in mice, slowing tumour growth.

The study focused on restricting intake of the amino acid methionine which is key to a process called one-carbon metabolism that helps cancer cells grow.


Golf: Thompson 'sorry' after misplaced passport leaves 38 golfers without clubs

World number three Lexi Thompson has apologised to her fellow competitors after a caddie carrying 38 LPGA players' bags from France to the Woburn Golf Club for the Women's British Open was delayed because she had left her passport in her golf bag.

The caddie, Ian Wright, was forced to stop en route and wait until Thompson's own caddie met up with him to retrieve the misplaced passport.

Wright, who was carrying the clubs of nearly a quarter of the field, missed the ferry as a result of the three-hour delay and the players were unable to practise on Monday because he arrived only after the course was closed.


Harold Prince, producer of some of Broadway's biggest hits, dead at 91

Remote video URL

Harold "Hal" Prince, who won a record 21 Tony Awards as producer and director of some of Broadway's biggest hits of the second half of the 20th century including The Phantom Of The Opera, West Side Story, Fiddler On The Roof, Cabaret and Evita, died on Wednesday at age 91.

Prince died after a brief illness in Reykjavik, Iceland, his publicist said.

Prince was famed for his dynamic collaborations with two composers, American Stephen Sondheim and Briton Andrew Lloyd Webber and had been a protege of legendary Broadway showman George Abbott.


Join ST's Telegram channel and get the latest breaking news delivered to you.