While You Were Sleeping: 5 stories you might have missed, Aug 23


US sanctions Chinese, Russians over North Korea support

The United States slapped sanctions on 16 Chinese and Russian individuals and companies, accusing them of supporting North Korea’s nuclear programme and attempting to evade US sanctions.

The sanctions are part of a broader US effort to disrupt the flow of cash funding North Korean weapon’s programmes and target companies that have dealt in natural resources such as coal and minerals or engaged in financial transactions for North Korean interests.

“It is unacceptable for individuals and companies in China, Russia and elsewhere to enable North Korea to generate income used to develop weapons of mass destruction and destabilise the region,” Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin said in a statement.

China later urged the US to "immediately correct its mistake".

The sanctions unveiled on Tuesday effectively block those targeted from accessing much of the global financial system and freeze any US assets as well. The move follows a war of words between Washington and Pyongyang over recent missile tests that show North Korea is capable of reaching the US mainland.


Suspect admits killings in Finnish stabbing spree

The main suspect in last week's stabbing attack in Finland admitted to killing two people and injuring eight others but denied any intent to murder, his lawyer said.

The Turku district court placed Abderrahman Mechkah, an 18-year-old Moroccan citizen, in formal custody after he made his statement to the court via video link from hospital, where he is being treated for a police gunshot wound to the thigh. The stabbing is being investigated as Finland's first terror attack.

Police have said that Mechkah - an asylum seeker who arrived in Finland in early 2016 - targeted women in the Friday rampage at a market square in the south-western port city of Turku.


Wife of US Treasury chief in social media scrap over wealth, status after tagging designer gear

The wife of US Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin was forced to apologise on Tuesday after she posted an Instagram photo and comments that were slammed as tone deaf and elitist.

Louise Linton, 36, who is also a Scottish actress, posted a photo to the social network on Monday night that showed her descending with Mnuchin from an official US government plane. She tagged her designer clothing and accessories, including Tom Ford sunglasses, an Hermes scarf and Valentino heels.

The husband and wife had just returned from a trip to Kentucky, where Mnuchin addressed the Louisville Chamber of Commerce and visited the US Bullion Depository at Fort Knox. The Commerce Department estimates that about 18.5 per cent of Kentuckians live in poverty.


Saudi police detain teenage boy for dancing in the street to 1990s hit song Macarena

Saudi police said they had detained a 14-year-old boy who was filmed dancing to the 1990s hit song Macarena at a street crossing in the coastal city of Jeddah, in a clip that was widely shared on social media.

The teenager, whose name and nationality were not given, was being questioned because he had shown "improper public behaviour" and disrupted traffic, a statement from Mecca police said. It was not clear whether he would be formally charged.

In the 45-second video, a teenager wearing a striped T-shirt, grey sports shorts and brightly coloured shoes strides to the middle of a crosswalk. He starts dancing to the catchy tune in front of five lanes of cars stopped at a traffic light.


Mark Wahlberg named world's highest-paid actor in 2017

Mark Wahlberg soared to the top of the world's highest paid actors on an annual Forbes magazine list that highlighted a huge disparity between male and female Hollywood stars.

Wahlberg, 46, earned an estimated US$68 million (S$92 million) in 2017, thanks to his pay days for movies Daddy's Home 2 and Transformers: The Last Knight, according to the Forbes ranking released on Tuesday.

The rapper-turned-actor knocked 2016 leader Dwayne "The Rock" Johnson into second place, with estimated 2017 earnings of US$65 million.