While You Were Sleeping: 5 stories you might have missed, Feb 10 edition

China confirms first imported Zika case - Xinhua

China confirmed its first imported case of Zika late on Tuesday, Xinhua reported, as fears mount over the fast-spreading virus that has been linked to severe birth defects mostly in Latin America.

Few cases of the mosquito-borne illness have been reported in Asia, but the World Health Organisation has declared a global health emergency to combat Zika as cases spread elsewhere.

Officials in China said a 34-year-old man was diagnosed with the virus after he returned from Venezuela on Jan 28 and reported a fever, headache and dizziness, according to Xinhua news agency citing health officials.


North Korea restarts reactor, may have plutonium within weeks: US

North Korea, which conducted its fourth nuclear test last month and launched a long-range rocket on Saturday, could begin to recover plutonium from a restarted nuclear reactor within weeks, the director of US National Intelligence said on Tuesday.

James Clapper said that in 2013, following its third nuclear test, North Korea announced its intention to “refurbish and restart” facilities at its Yongbyon nuclear complex, to include the uranium enrichment facility and its graphite-moderated plutonium production reactor shut down in 2007.

“We assess that North Korea has followed through on its announcement by expanding its Yongbyon enrichment facility and restarting the plutonium production reactor,” Clapper said in prepared testimony to the Senate Armed Services Committee.


Obama unveils record $5.7 trillion election-tinged budget

Barack Obama unveiled the last budget of his presidency on Tuesday, a record US$4.1 trillion (S$5.7 trillion) plan that is dead-on-arrival in Congress but could shape the 2016 White House race.

Legislatively, the future looks bleak for Obama's 2017 fiscal plan, which covers spending on everything from cybersecurity to the environment.

It includes big-ticket investments in America's creaking infrastructure - to the tune of US$320 billion over the next decade - and ramps up research into clean energy technologies and cancer.


Investigators unable to unlock US shooter's phone content, says FBI director

FBI director James Comey said on Tuesday that federal investigators have still been unable to access the phone contents belonging to one of the San Bernardino killers due to encrypted technology.

Comey told the Senate Intelligence Committee that the phenomenon of communications “going dark” due to more sophisticated technology and wider use of encryption is“overwhelmingly affecting” law enforcement operations, including investigations into murder, car accidents, drug trafficking and the proliferation of child pornography.

“We still have one of those killer’s phones that we have not been able to open,” Comey said in reference to the San Bernardino attack on Dec 2.


Berlin's three main orchestras staging free concert for refugees

Three of the world's top conductors, Simon Rattle, Daniel Barenboim and Ivan Fischer are teaming up for a free concert by Berlin's three main orchestras next month which will be free for refugees, they announced on Tuesday.

The three maestri will each conduct their own orchestra - Rattle the Berlin Philharmonic, Barenboim the Staatskapelle Berlin and Fischer the Konzerthaus Orchestra - in a special concert on March 1 in the German capital's Philharmonic Hall, they said in a joint statement.

The concert, which will include performances of a Mozart piano concerto and symphonies by Prokofiev and Beethoven, will be free to all refugees and aid volunteers, the statement said.