While You Were Sleeping: 5 stories you might have missed, Aug 30

People stand in queue to receive free meal along a street in Multan on June 11, 2022. PHOTO: AFP

IMF releases over $1.63 billion in Pakistan bailout funds

The International Monetary Fund (IMF) board approved the seventh and eighth reviews of Pakistan’s bailout programme, allowing for a release of over US$1.1 billion (S$1.63 billion) to the cash-strapped economy, the fund and the government said on Monday (Aug 29).

The IMF agreed to extend the programme by a year and increase the total funding by 720 million special drawing rights, or about US$940 million as per the current exchange.

The funds will be a lifeline to the South Asian country suffering from devastating floods which have inflicted damage of at least US$10 billion according to the country’s planning minister.

In a statement, IMF Deputy Managing Director Antoinette Sayeh said adhering to scheduled increases in fuel levies and energy tariffs is “essential” as Pakistan’s economy “has been buffeted by adverse external conditions.”


China dismisses Taiwan complaints on drone harassment

China on Monday dismissed complaints from Taiwan about repeated harassment by Chinese drones very close to Taiwanese-controlled islands as not anything "to make a fuss about", prompting Taipei to label Beijing as nothing more than thieves.

Since China began war games and military drills near Taiwan earlier this month after the visit of US House Speaker Nancy Pelosi to the Chinese-claimed island, the government in Taipei has reported repeated flights by drones on islets it controls close to the Chinese coast.

Video from at least two of these drone missions has circulated widely on Chinese social media.


India's Adani is first Asian to become world's third-richest person with $191.8b fortune

Few outside of India had heard of Gautam Adani a couple of years ago.

Now the Indian tycoon, a college dropout who first tried his luck as a diamond trader before turning to coal and eventually building one of the biggest conglomerates, has become the world's third-richest person.

It's the first time an Asian has broken into the top three of the Bloomberg Billionaires Index - fellow citizen Mukesh Ambani and China's Jack Ma never made it that far.


Greenland already locked in to major sea level rise: Study

Even without any future global warming, Greenland's melting ice sheet will cause major sea level rise with potentially "ominous" implications over this century as temperatures continue to rise, according to a study published Monday.

Rising sea levels - pushed up mainly by melting ice sheets on Greenland and Antarctica - are set to redraw the map over centuries and could eventually swamp land currently home to hundreds of millions of people, depending on humanity's efforts to halt warming.

The Greenland ice sheet is currently the main factor in swelling the Earth's oceans, according to NASA, with the Arctic region heating at a faster rate than the rest of the planet.


Tennis: Murray, Medvedev through to US Open second round

Andy Murray powered into the second round of the US Open with a comfortable 7-5 6-3 6-3 win over Argentine Francisco Cerundolo on Monday, as the former world number one rolled back the years at the scene of his first Grand Slam triumph a decade ago.

The 35-year-old Scot, who has battled various injuries in recent years, raced to a 5-2 lead early in the match but dropped his level slightly before edging a tight first set and breaking quickly in the next to put 24th seed Cerundolo under pressure.

Murray staved off a comeback attempt by Cerundolo to take the second set for a commanding lead and showed little signs of stepping off the gas pedal, as his opponent continued to make life difficult for himself with unforced errors.


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