While You Were Sleeping: 5 stories you might have missed, Aug 11

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Crimea air base damage tally contradicts Kremlin assertions

Damage from a series of explosions at a Russian air base in Crimea appeared to be greater than the Kremlin has described, as officials on the Russia-occupied peninsula on Wednesday declared a state of emergency and said that dozens of nearby homes and commercial structures had been hit.

After the explosions on Tuesday, which a senior Ukrainian military official said were the work of Ukrainian forces, Russia's Defence Ministry moved quickly to play down the extent of the damage, saying no equipment had been destroyed and no casualties reported.

The assertions were contradicted by a video from the scene and by a tally of the damage by officials in Crimea, a strategic peninsula in southern Ukraine that Russia illegally annexed in 2014.

The Kremlin-installed leader of Crimea, Sergei Aksyonov, said on Wednesday that 252 people had been relocated to shelters because of damage to their homes.


Biden 'cautious' on China tariffs after Pelosi's trip to Taiwan

House Speaker Nancy Pelosi's visit to Taiwan has made geopolitics with China "particularly complicated" as President Joe Biden weighs the future of tariffs on more than US$300 billion (S$400 billion) in goods from the US rival, according to his commerce chief.

"Certainly, it has made it a little more challenging," Gina Raimondo said in an interview on Bloomberg Television's "Balance of Power With David Westin" on Wednesday (Aug 10).

"It's harder, but I am hopeful that we will get beyond that and get back to a place where we can have more of those discussions."


Landfills release a lot of planet-warming methane

Decomposing food waste is releasing thousands of tonnes of planet-warming methane gas at landfills in Buenos Aires, Delhi, Mumbai, and Lahore, new research has found.

With about 570 million tonnes of the greenhouse gas emitted every year from both industrial and natural processes, the concentration of methane in the atmosphere has been increasing at a record pace, according to the US National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration.

In some countries, the biggest source is agricultural fields and farm animals - particularly cows but also livestock and chickens.


In scorched UK, source of River Thames dries up

At the end of a dusty track in south-west England where the River Thames usually first emerges from the ground, there is currently scant sign of any moisture at all.

The driest start to a year in decades has shifted the source of this emblematic English river several miles downstream, leaving scorched earth and the occasional puddle where water once flowed.

It is a striking illustration of the parched conditions afflicting swathes of England, which have prompted a growing number of regional water restrictions and fears that an official drought will soon be declared.


Real beat Eintracht for record-equalling fifth Uefa Super Cup

 Champions League winners Real Madrid outclassed Eintracht Frankfurt 2-0 on Wednesday (Aug 10) to clinch the Uefa Super Cup for a record-equalling fifth time.

A first half goal from David Alaba and another from Karim Benzema in the 65th that lifted him to second in Real's all-time scoring list with 324 goals, wrapped up the title for the Spaniards.

Europa League winners Eintracht had offered some resistance in the first half and had chances to score but were eventually overrun by the Spaniards.


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