While You Were Sleeping: 5 stories you might have missed, Aug 4

US House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (left) waving beside Taiwanese President Tsai Ing-wen at the presidential office in Taipei, on Aug 3, 2022. PHOTO: AFP

China ramps up drills, sanctions in response to Pelosi's visit

China on Wednesday slapped sanctions on Taiwan in response to United States House Speaker Nancy Pelosi's visit to the island, as the People's Liberation Army continued military exercises in the Taiwan Strait.

Amid rising tensions over her visit to Taiwan, which China regards as a breakaway province that must be reunited with the mainland by force if necessary, Mrs Pelosi said the US will not abandon the island.

Taiwan President Tsai Ing-wen added that the island will not back down in the face of heightened military threats.

Beijing expressed its displeasure over the visit, which it views as a severe provocation, by displaying its military might and also tightening the economic screws on Taiwan.


US Senate backs Finland and Sweden joining Nato

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The US Senate approved on Wednesday Finland and Sweden’s accession to Nato, the most significant expansion of the 30-member alliance since the 1990s as it responds to Russia’s invasion of Ukraine.

The Senate voted 95 to 1 to support ratification of the two countries’ accession documents, easily surpassing the two-thirds majority of 67 votes required to support ratification of the two countries’ accession documents.

Sweden and Finland applied for Nato membership in response to the invasion of Ukraine by Russia, which has repeatedly warned both against joining the alliance.


Russian ceasefire, pullout must precede any talks, says Ukraine

Ukraine on Wednesday dismissed comments by former German Chancellor Gerhard Schroeder that Russia wanted a "negotiated solution" to the war and said any dialogue would be contingent on a Russian ceasefire and withdrawal of its troops.

Schroeder, a friend of Russian President Vladimir Putin and increasingly derided in Germany for his pro-Russia stance, said last month's agreement on grain shipments from Ukraine, aimed at easing a global food crisis, might offer a way forward.

The first grain ship since the war began more than five months ago passed through the Bosphorus Strait on Wednesday en route to Lebanon.


Scientists revive cells and organs in dead pigs

Scientists announced on Wednesday they have restored blood flow and cell function throughout the bodies of pigs that were dead for an hour, in a breakthrough experts say could mean we need to update the definition of death itself.

The discovery raised hopes for a range of future medical uses in humans, the most immediate being that it could help organs last longer, potentially saving the lives of thousands of people worldwide in need of transplants.

However, it could also spur debate about the ethics of such procedures - particularly after some of the ostensibly dead pigs startled the scientists by making sudden head movements during the experiment.


Golf: Mickelson, other golf pros sue PGA Tour in LIV fight

Phil Mickelson and 10 other golfers sued the PGA Tour over its decision to suspend them for playing the new LIV Golf circuit, according to an antitrust filing on Wednesday that revealed the Hall of Famer cannot apply for reinstatement until 2024.

The lawsuit was led by six-time major champion Mickelson and includes 2020 US Open winner Bryson DeChambeau, European Ryder Cup veteran Ian Poulter, Talor Gooch, Hudson Swafford and Matt Jones, among others.

“As part of its carefully orchestrated plan to defeat competition, the Tour has threatened lifetime bans on players who play in even a single LIV Golf event,” the golfers said in the complaint.


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