While You Were Sleeping: 5 stories you might have missed, Aug 15

Donald Trump speaking to the media during a visit to Monaca, Pennsylvania..
Donald Trump speaking to the media during a visit to Monaca, Pennsylvania..PHOTO: AP

Trump sees Fed rather than trade war as source of market turmoil

With global markets flashing concern about the fallout from the US-China trade war and the near-term strength of the American economy, US President Donald Trump on Wednesday targeted Federal Reserve policy as the culprit for recent market turmoil.

In raising interest rates four times last year "the Federal Reserve acted far too quickly, and now is very, very late," in reversing itself and cutting borrowing costs, Trump tweeted.

"Too bad, so much to gain on the upside!"

Earlier on Wednesday, White House trade adviser Peter Navarro told Fox Business Network the US central bank should cut rates by half a percentage point "as soon as possible," an action he claimed would lead "to 30,000 on the Dow."


Dow plunges 800 points, 3.1% in US stocks rout

It was an ugly day for Wall Street, as stocks plummeted on Wednesday amid worsening economic fears after US Treasury yields briefly inverted, flashing a warning sign for a coming recession

But President Donald Trump once again blamed the Fed for the economic woes and the yield curve inversion, saying the US central bank is a bigger threat than China and is "clueless."

The Dow Jones Industrial Average fell 3.1 per cent to finish at 25,479.42, a loss of about 800 points - its worst day of 2019.


As New York legal window opens, child sex abuse victims sue Church, others

Scores of people in New York state who were sexually abused as children sued institutions, including the Roman Catholic Church, on Wednesday, the first day a new law temporarily enabled them to file lawsuits over decades-old crimes.

Nearly 400 people had filed lawsuits against the Church in courts across New York state by the afternoon, according to state court records.

Most of them accuse priests of sexually abusing them as children and Church leaders of covering up the priests’ crimes.


'Punch in the gut' as scientists find micro plastic in Arctic ice

Tiny pieces of plastic have been found in ice cores drilled in the Arctic by a US-led team of scientists, underscoring the threat the growing form of pollution poses to marine life in even the remotest waters on the planet.

The researchers used a helicopter to land on ice floes and retrieve the samples during an 18-day icebreaker expedition through the Northwest Passage, the hazardous route linking the Pacific and Atlantic oceans.

"We had spent weeks looking out at what looks so much like pristine white sea ice floating out on the ocean," said Jacob Strock, a graduate student researcher at the University of Rhode Island, who conducted an initial onboard analysis of the cores.


Teenage activist Greta Thunberg takes climate campaign to the high seas

With the wind in her hair and TV cameras pointing at her, Swedish teenager Greta Thunberg began a trans-Atlantic crossing in a racing yacht on Wednesday to further her campaign for stronger action against climate change.

The 16-year-old activist, who shot to global fame last year after she started missing school every Friday to demonstrate outside the Swedish parliament, is bound for New York, where she will take part in a United Nations climate summit.

Standing on a pontoon in a marina in Plymouth, south-west England, Thunberg gave a news conference in front of a throng of TV crews and photographers just before setting sail under a typically English grey sky on the 60-foot yacht Malizia II.