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

A health worker administers a nasal swab test at a drive-in Covid-19 testing site in El Paso, Texas. PHOTO: AFP

US authorises first at-home Covid-19 test

The United States on Tuesday authorised its first rapid at-home test for Covid-19, which is available over-the-counter and produces a result in around 20 minutes.

The test, made by California-based Ellume, will sell for around US$30 (S$40) and the company plans to roll out three million units in January 2021, and millions more in subsequent months.

Stephen Hahn, commissioner of the Food and Drug Administration (FDA), said the emergency use authorisation represented a "major milestone."

"We are helping expand Americans' access to testing, reducing the burden on laboratories and test supplies, and giving Americans more testing options from the comfort and safety of their own homes," he said.


Canadian fashion mogul indicted in US on sex trafficking charges

The Canadian fashion mogul Peter Nygard was charged on Tuesday with sex trafficking, racketeering and other crimes targeting dozens of women and underage girls over a quarter century in three countries, US authorities said.

Canadian police arrested Nygard in Winnipeg, Manitoba, on Monday at the US government's request under the countries' extradition treaty.

Acting US Attorney Audrey Strauss in Manhattan said Nygard, 79, had since 1995 used his influence and businesses to "recruit and maintain" victims in the United States, Canada and the Bahamas to sexually gratify himself and his associates.


Jeff Bezos' ex-wife gives US$4.2b to charity in 4 months

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MacKenzie Scott is giving away her fortune at an unprecedented pace, donating more than US$4 billion (S$5.3 billion) in four months after announcing US$1.7 billion in gifts in July.

The world's 18th-richest person outlined the latest contributions in a blog post on Tuesday, saying she asked her team to figure out how to give away her fortune faster.

Scott's wealth has climbed US$23.6 billion this year to US$60.7 billion, according to the Bloomberg Billionaires Index, as Amazon.com, the primary source of her fortune, has surged.


Harry and Meghan to produce and host podcasts for Spotify

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Britain's Prince Harry and his wife Meghan will produce and host podcasts for Spotify's streaming service, the Swedish company said on Tuesday, starting with a holiday special that will be released this month.

Under a multi-year agreement, the couple's newly formed Archewell Audio will produce programming that "uplifts and entertains audiences around the world" and features "diverse perspectives and voices," Spotify said in a statement.

The podcasts will be available free through Spotify, the company that leads the streaming music market.


NBA: Antetokounmpo agrees record five-year deal with Bucks

Milwaukee Bucks superstar Giannis Antetokounmpo ended speculation about his future on Tuesday after agreeing a new long-term deal reported to be the biggest in NBA history.

Antetokounmpo, who would have been able to enter free agency next year, said in a statement on Twitter he had agreed a five-year deal with the Bucks.

"This is my home, this is my city," the 26-year-old two-time NBA MVP said. "I'm blessed to be able to be a part of the Milwaukee Bucks for the next 5 years. Let's make these years count. The show goes on, let's get it."


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