While You Were Sleeping: 5 stories you might have missed, Aug 29

The latest draft text had expressed "grave concern" over military activities around Ukrainian power plants, including Zaporizhzhia. PHOTO: NYTIMES

US blasts 'cynical' Russia for blocking UN nuclear text

The United States on Sunday denounced Russia's "cynical obstructionism" after Moscow blocked adoption of a joint declaration on nuclear non-proliferation following lengthy international negotiations at the United Nations.

The Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty (NPT), which 191 signatories review every five years, aims to stop the spread of nuclear weapons, promote complete disarmament and promote cooperation in the peaceful use of nuclear energy.

Russia on Friday prevented the declaration's adoption, saying it took issue with "political" aspects of the text - a step criticised by Washington.

"After weeks of intensive but productive negotiations, the Russian Federation alone decided to block consensus on a final document" at the conclusion of the four-week NPT review conference, State Department deputy spokesman Vedant Patel said in a statement.


Outrage in India over release of 11 convicted of gang rape during 2002 riots

There is growing anger in India over the release of 11 convicts who were jailed for life over the horrific gang rape of a woman and the murder of her family members in Gujarat during the 2002 riots, which left more than 1,000 people, mostly Muslims, dead.

Ms Bilkis Bano, the survivor, was 21 back then and five months pregnant.

Fourteen members of her family were killed, including her three-year-old daughter, who was snatched out of her arms and whose head was smashed against the ground.


China's growth prospects weaken as economists cut 2023 forecasts

Economists are turning more bearish about China's economy, downgrading their growth forecasts further for 2022 and seeing lingering risks into next year as turmoil in the property market and Covid outbreaks persist.

The economy is now projected to grow just 3.5% this year, down from a previous forecast of 3.9%, according to Bloomberg's latest quarterly survey of economists.

Growth projections for the first three quarters of next year were also lowered - by 0.1-0.4 percentage points - although the median for the whole of 2023 remained unchanged at 5.2%.


Mickey Mantle baseball card sold for record-breaking $17.6 million

A mint condition Mickey Mantle baseball card became the most valuable piece of sports memorabilia to be sold at auction, notching US$12.6 million(S$17.6 million) early Sunday.

The card, issued by collectible company Topps in 1952, features Mantle, the most powerful switch-hitter in baseball history. It would have been sold at the time in a wax-wrapped pack that cost either a penny or a nickel, said Chris Ivy, director of sports auctions at Heritage Auctions, which sold the item.

Now, the card has become the first sports item to be sold at auction for eight figures. "We always knew this card would shatter records and expectations," Ivy said in a statement. "But that doesn't make it any less of a thrill."


Motor racing: 'Untouchable' Verstappen cruises in Belgium to tighten grip on title

World champion Max Verstappen blew away his rivals with a command performance at the Belgian Grand Prix on Sunday to extend his lead in this year’s drivers’ title with Sergio Perez finishing second for a Red Bull 1-2.

The 24-year-old Dutchman, who started from 14th on the grid, scorched through the field with devastating pace and elan to deliver crushing proof of his and Red Bull’s superiority.

In front of a packed crowd at the spectacular Spa-Francorchamps circuit, including many fans from the nearby Netherlands, Verstappen came home 17.841 seconds clear of Perez with race pole-sitter Carlos Sainz finishing third for Ferrari.


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