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

Olympics: Brazil police consider charging US swimmers with vandalism, false testimony

Brazilian police are considering charging a group of US Olympic swimmers with vandalism and giving false testimony, Rio’s police chief said, accusing them of lying about an incident that has marred South America’s first Games.

Three of the four swimmers involved in the incident at a Rio gas station are being prevented from leaving the country pending the outcome of the police investigation. The fourth, gold medallist Ryan Lochte, returned to the United States on Monday.

Police chief Fernando Veloso said investigations had revealed that the swimmers’ taxi had pulled into the station where they behaved in a hot-tempered way and damaged the station’s bathroom.

Police began investigating the incident after Lochte told US television they had been robbed by gunmen impersonating police officers who pulled over their taxi in the early hours of Sunday, as they returned to the Athletes’ Village from a party. However, said Veloso, “There was no robbery as the swimmers described it."


Obama to head to China, Laos for last visit in his 'rebalance' push

US President Barack Obama in September will make what is expected to be his final trip to Asia, a region at the centre of his administration's foreign policy, to meet Chinese President Xi Jinping and other world leaders, the White House said.

During his time in the White House, Obama has sought to "rebalance" America's defence and economic policy to counter China's rising influence.

During the trip from Sept 2-9, Obama will attend the Group of 20 summit in Hangzhou, China, where he will also meet privately with Xi, the White House said in a statement. He also will travel to Laos to participate in the Asean summit and East Asia Summit, where leaders have grappled with China's territorial claims in the South China Sea.


Zika virus infection may harm adult brain, study shows

Research using lab mice has shown for the first time that infection with the mosquito-borne Zika virus may damage adult brain cells, not just developing foetuses, said a study.

Adult cells involved in learning and memory can be destroyed by the viral infection, which is also blamed for a surge in the birth defect microcephaly, according to the findings in the journal Cell Stem Cell.

"Zika can clearly enter the brain of adults and can wreak havoc," said co-author Sujan Shresta.


Two more base-jumpers die in Switzerland

Base-jumping, regarded as one of the world's most dangerous sports, has claimed two more victims after a Briton and an Italian plunged to their deaths in central Switzerland. Both accidents occurred near Lauterbrunnen in the Alps.

Police in the Swiss canton of Bern said a 30-year-old Italian man jumped from the "Black Line" peak at Stechelberg but lost control of his route before hitting the cliffside and dying. Italian media identified him as Uli Emanuele.

The other fatality was a 49-year-old Briton who jumped from the "High Ultimate" peak at Muerren and who also crashed into a cliff.


Football: Liverpool agree to sell Benteke to Palace - BBC

Liverpool have agreed to sell Belgium striker Christian Benteke to Premier League rivals Crystal Palace, the BBC said.

The clubs have agreed a fee of 27 million pounds (S$47 million) plus extras that could see the deal rise to more than 30 million.

The BBC said 25-year-old Benteke was travelling to London to have a medical and finalise personal terms.