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

NSP's Steve Chia withdraws from MacPherson SMC contest, citing online abuse

The National Solidarity Party's (NSP) on-again, off-again, on-again bid to contest MacPherson SMC in the coming polls took another surprising twist early on Sunday when council member Steve Chia put up a Facebook post declaring that he was no longer contesting the seat.

The abrupt U-turn, the second by NSP this week, appears to stem from online criticism Mr Chia received since he pushed for the party to renege on its deal to avoid a three-cornered fight with the Workers' Party (WP) and the People's Action Party (PAP) by steering clear of the ward.

"The Trolls have won," he wrote in a Facebook post put up at around 1am.


Explosion at chemical plant in eastern China, 9 injured: State media

An explosion hit a chemical plant on Saturday night in eastern China, the official Xinhua state news agency said, citing local authorities.

No fatalities were reported, Xinhua said, citing local police, although nine people were injured and taken to hospital.

The explosion occurred at a factory which produces adiponitrile, a colourless liquid that releases poisonous gases when it reacts with fire, the People’s Daily said, citing the state-run Beijing Times.


Obama calls three Americans, commends 'extraordinary bravery' in France train attack

US President Barack Obama on Saturday called the three Americans who overpowered a gunman on a Paris-bound train and congratulated them on their "extraordinary bravery," the White House said.

Spencer Stone, Aleksander Skarlatos and Anthony Sadler tackled, disarmed and subdued the assailant on Friday after he fired shots and burst into their railroad car with an assault rifle.

The Moroccan suspect has been identified as 25-year-old Ayoub El Khazzani, who was first flagged by Spanish authorities as a potential extremist and had reportedly travelled to Syria.


Seven killed as jet crashes into cars at UK airshow

Seven people were killed on Saturday at an airshow on the English seaside when a military jet failed to pull up out of a loop and crashed into a busy road.

The historic Hawker Hunter aircraft, taking part in the Shoreham Airshow on the south-east coast, hit several cars, creating a fireball and sending thick black smoke billowing into the sky.

Footage of the crash showed the jet carrying out a loop manoeuvre high in the air. The plane banked up steeply, turned over but did not complete the loop in time to avoid hitting the ground. The jet ploughed into bushes by the roadside.


Macedonia allows all 1,500 migrants at border to enter from Greece

More than 1,500 mostly Syrian refugees, trapped in no-man's land for three days, entered Macedonia from Greece on Saturday without any attempt by the police to stop them, an AFP reporter said.

Macedonian police had earlier used stun grenades and batons in a bid to stop hundreds of refugees breaking through barbed wire fencing on its southern border with Greece, but in the evening they allowed all the migrants into the country.

Police officers were seen guarding the frontier but not a single person remained in the strip of land between the Greek-Macedonian border where more than 2,000 people, including women and children, had been stuck since Thursday.