While You Were Sleeping: 5 stories you might have missed, Aug 7

Fireball near Bologna airport after road crash explosion

A tanker truck ploughed into a lorry on a motorway near Bologna airport in northern Italy on Monday (Aug 6), exploding in flames and sending a huge ball of fire and black smoke into the sky. 

At least two people were killed and more than 60 injured, according to local authorities. 

Police closed off the road where the crash took place as well as the surrounding area of Borgo Panigale, on the outskirts of the city of Bologna. 


Renewed US sanctions target Iran’s economy, Teheran cool on talks

The United States aims to cripple Iran’s economy further with sanctions it is reimposing this week, administration officials said on Monday (Aug 6), but Iran’s leader said economic pressure alone would not force Teheran to the negotiating table. 

The so-called snapback sanctions, due to come into force early on Tuesday (Aug 7), will target Iranian purchases of US dollars, metals trading, coal, industrial software and its auto sector. 

Foes for decades, the United States and Iran have been increasingly at odds over Iran’s growing political and military influence in the Middle East since Trump took office in January 2017. 


Earth risks tipping into 'hothouse' state: Study

The planet urgently needs to transition to a green economy because fossil fuel pollution risks pushing the Earth into a lasting and dangerous "hothouse" state, researchers warned on Monday (Aug 6).

If polar ice continues to melt, forests are slashed and greenhouse gases rise to new highs - as they currently do each year - the Earth will pass a tipping point.

Crossing that threshold "guarantees a climate 4-5 Celsius (7-9 Fahrenheit) higher than pre-industrial times, and sea levels that are 10 to 60 metres higher than today," cautioned scientists in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences.


Robert Redford retiring from acting at 81 

Robert Redford, the screen legend and Oscar winner, has announced that he's retiring from acting at the grand old age of 81, with upcoming movie The Old Man & The Gun his last gig in front of the camera.

The actor, director and founder of the Sundance Institute and its film festival began his career on stage 60 years ago, before moving into TV and film, and eventually into directing.

"Never say never, but I pretty well concluded that this would be it for me in terms of acting," he told Entertainment Weekly. "(I'll) move towards retirement after this 'cause I've been doing it since I was 21," he said.


Women more likely to die of heart attack if doctor is male: Study

Women suffering heart attacks in hospital emergency rooms in the United States are more likely to die if their doctor is a man than a woman, warned a study on Monday (Aug 6).

The study was based on more than 500,000 patients admitted to hospital emergency departments for acute myocardial infarction - a medical term for heart attack - in Florida between 1991 and 2010.

Researchers at Harvard University found a "stark" difference in survival according to whether the patient's and doctor's gender matched.