While You Were Sleeping: 5 stories you might have missed, Feb 1

US Secretary of Health and Human Services Alex Azar (right) looks on during a briefing with members of the president's Coronavirus Task Force in Washington. PHOTO: AFP

Wuhan virus: US declares coronavirus a public health emergency

The Trump administration on Friday declared a public health emergency over the coronavirus outbreak and said it would take the extraordinary step of barring entry to the United States of foreign nationals who have travelled to China.

Starting on Sunday, US citizens who have travelled to China's Hubei Province within the last 14 days will be subject to a mandatory 14-day quarantine, Health and Human Services Secretary Alex Azar told a media briefing at the White House on Friday.

The administration will also limit flights from China to seven US airports, he said.

Centres for Disease Control and Prevention director Robert Redfield said there were six confirmed cases of coronavirus in the United States.


Brexit Britain cuts loose from EU with joy, anger and indifference

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The United Kingdom leaves the European Union on Friday with a mixture of joy, anger and indifference, casting off into the unknown in one of the biggest blows yet to Europe's attempt to forge unity from the ruins of World War II.

The EU's most powerful leaders, German Chancellor Angela Merkel and French President Emmanuel Macron, cast Brexit - due at 2300 GMT (7am on Saturday, Singapore time) - as a sad moment that was a turning point for Europe.

The EU warned that leaving would be worse than staying.


Two women arrested after running checkpoints near Trump's Florida resort

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Two women were arrested in Florida for running two security checkpoints near Mar-a-Lago on Friday in a police car chase that was unrelated to US President Donald Trump's resort, officials said.

Trump was in Washington at the time, but was scheduled to leave for his Palm Beach resort later on Friday.

The vehicle's driver, identified as Hannah Roemhild, 30, initially attracted police's attention for dancing on top of a car, Palm Beach County Sheriff Ric Bradshaw told reporters.


Accuser says Weinstein raped her, likens former producer to 'Jekyll and Hyde'

A onetime aspiring actress told a Manhattan jury on Friday (Jan 31) that Harvey Weinstein raped her in a hotel room while she was in an "extremely degrading" relationship with the movie producer.

The woman, Jessica Mann, said she told no one about what had happened.

"I was so embarrassed," she said, crying on the witness stand.


Basketball: Helicopter in Kobe Bryant crash lacked certificate to fly in fog

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The company whose helicopter crashed and killed basketball star Kobe Bryant, his daughter and seven others on Sunday was not certified to fly in foggy conditions requiring pilots to use only cockpit instruments, US officials said on Friday.

Island Express Helicopters, which owned the Sikorsky S-76B that crashed, was limited to operating under visual flight rules, meaning pilots must be able to see clearly outside the aircraft in daylight, said Keith Holloway, a National Transportation Safety Board spokesman.

The aircraft was equipped for instrument flying, however, multiple media reports said.


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