While You Were Sleeping: 5 stories you might have missed, Dec 16

COP24 President Michal Kurtyka reacts during a final session of the COP24 UN Climate Change Conference.
COP24 President Michal Kurtyka reacts during a final session of the COP24 UN Climate Change Conference.PHOTO: REUTERS

Global action plan to limit global warming adopted after marathon talks

A global action plan to deal with climate change was adopted by almost 200 nations on Saturday night, a day after talks were scheduled to conclude, following a two-week marathon involving delegates spending days and nights poring over the fine print.

"The overall impact of this package is positive to the world," said Mr Michal Kurtyka, Polish president for COP24, during the final plenary session of the UN climate change conference in Katowice.

"It will move us one major step closer to realising the ambition enshrined in the Paris Agreement."

The action plan, or the Katowice Rulebook, provides guidance on what countries can and should do to keep global warming well below 2 deg C above pre-industrial levels - a target set out in the Paris Agreement drawn up three years ago.


Trump hails judge’s ruling against Obamacare as ‘great’

President Donald Trump on Saturday (Dec 15) hailed a court decision against Obamacare as “a great ruling for our country,” while a US government official said the decision by a Texas judge would have no immediate impact on health coverage.

US District Judge Reed O’Connor in Fort Worth, Texas, on Friday said that Obamacare, known formally as the 2010 Affordable Care Act (ACA), was unconstitutional based on its mandate requiring that people buy health insurance.

In a decision that could reach the US Supreme Court, O’Connor sided with a coalition of 20 states that argued requiring people to pay for insurance coverage is illegal because a change in tax law last year eliminated a penalty for not having health insurance.


Egypt unveils 'one of a kind' ancient tomb, expects more finds

Egypt unveiled a well-preserved 4,400-year-old tomb decorated with hieroglyphs and statues south of Cairo on Saturday, and officials expect more discoveries when archaeologists excavate the site further in coming months.

The tomb was found in a buried ridge at the ancient necropolis of Saqqara. It was untouched and unlooted, Mostafa Waziri, secretary-general of the Supreme Council of Antiquities, told reporters at the site.

He described the find as "one of a kind in the last decades".


Western tourists trickle into Saudi Arabia as it tries to open up

Western tourists, a rarity in Saudi Arabia, visited this weekend under a new visa system, as one of the world's most inaccessible countries tries to open up its society and diversify its economy away from oil.

Thousands of fans flocked to Riyadh's historic Diriyah district for Formula E, a motor sports tournament using electric vehicles, and concerts including by David Guetta and Black Eyed Peas.

Most were Saudis still unaccustomed to such entertainment in their own country, where cinemas and public concerts were banned until changes by Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman in the past two years.


Football: Jesus shines as City regain top spot, Eriksen fires Spurs

Manchester City swept back to the top of the Premier League as Gabriel Jesus struck twice in the champions’ 3-1 win over Everton, while Christian Eriksen kept Tottenham in the title hunt in a last-gasp 1-0 victory against Burnley on Saturday.

Jesus hadn’t scored a Premier League goal since August, but the Brazilian striker ended that drought to put Everton to the sword at the Etihad Stadium.

The 21-year-old’s goals and a strike from Raheem Sterling put City two points ahead of second-placed Liverpool, but Jurgen Klopp’s team can regain top spot if they beat bitter rivals Manchester United at Anfield on Sunday.