While You Were Sleeping: 5 stories you might have missed, Aug 19

Concerns about a possible US recession have begun to drive financial markets and seem to put administration officials on edge about whether the economy would hold up through the 2020 presidential election campaign.
Concerns about a possible US recession have begun to drive financial markets and seem to put administration officials on edge about whether the economy would hold up through the 2020 presidential election campaign.PHOTO: AFP

White House says no recession in sight, pushes China trade talks

White House officials pushed back on Sunday (Aug 18) against concerns that economic growth may be faltering, saying they saw little risk of recession despite a volatile week on global bond markets, and insisting their trade war with China was doing no damage to the United States.

Trump administration economic adviser Larry Kudlow said trade deputies from the two countries would speak within 10 days and "if those deputies meetings pan out...we are planning to have China come to the USA" to advance negotiations over ending a trade battle that has emerged as a potential risk to global economic growth.

But even with the stalks stalled for now and the threat of greater tariffs and other trade restrictions hanging over the world economy, Kudlow said on Fox News Sunday the United States remained "in pretty good shape."


Over two dozen rescuers try to save trapped cavers in Poland

More than two dozen rescue workers are battling to save two cavers trapped in a cavern in Poland's Tatra mountains after a narrow tunnel flooded with water, blocking their exit.

Members of a rescue team boarding a helicopter in Zakopane, Poland, on Aug 18, 2019, to join the search operation for two cave climbers trapped in the country's Tatra mountains. PHOTO: REUTERS

A representative of the mountain rescue service said on Sunday (Aug 18) that it has not yet been possible to establish contact with the two cavers and concern is growing due to their long exposure to extreme conditions.

Rescuers are preparing to use explosives to open a route to access the two but the process will not be quick.


Wildfire forces 4,000 to evacuate in Spain's Canary Islands

Flames and smoke from a forest fire are seen in the village of Valleseco, in the Canary Island of Gran Canaria, Spain, on Aug 18, 2019. PHOTO: REUTERS

Around 4,000 people were evacuated Sunday (Aug 18) because of wildfires that, for the second time in a week, ravaged the countryside of one of Spain's Canary Islands.

The latest blaze broke out on Saturday afternoon near the town of Valleseco on Gran Canaria island in the Atlantic Ocean archipelago.

By Sunday afternoon, the fire had taken two different directions, burning more than 1,700 hectares (4,200 acres) as it continued advancing, the provincial government said in a series of tweets.


CO2 row over climate activist Thunberg's yacht trip to New York

Swedish climate activist Greta Thunberg (left) and German captain Boris Herrmann wave from aboard the Malizia II racing yacht off the coast of Plymouth, England, on Aug 14, 2019. PHOTO: AFP

The team behind teenage climate activist Greta Thunberg's yacht voyage to New York on Sunday (Aug 18) fended off claims that her trip will create carbon emissions because team members will take transatlantic flights.

The 16-year-old Swede, whose school strikes have inspired children across the world to protest against global warming, refuses to fly because of the carbon emissions caused by planes.

But she has been offered a lift on the Malizia II racing yacht, and set off on August 15 along with her father Svante and a filmmaker to document the journey, in order to attend the UN talks in September with a clear conscience.


Golf: Woods misses chance to defend Tour Championship title

Tiger Woods is disappointed not to get a chance to return to the scene of one of the most memorable victories of his career. PHOTO: AFP

There will be no defending champion at next week's Tour Championship after Tiger Woods failed to qualify for the season-ending event.

Only the top 30 players on the PGA Tour's FedEx Cup points list are eligible to play at East Lake in Atlanta, where a staggering US$15 million (S$20.77 million) will be up for grabs for the winner.

In order to qualify, Woods needed to place about sixth at the BMW Championship on Sunday (Aug 18), but was destined to finish much further back after a final-round of even-par 72 at Medinah in suburban Chicago. He finished at seven-under 281, tied in a provisional 38th place with the leaders still to complete their rounds.