While You Were Sleeping: 5 stories you might have missed, Feb 13

Donald Trump Jr. and his wife Vanessa speak with Jared Kushner during inauguration ceremonies for the swearing in of Donald Trump as the 45th president of the United States on the West front of the US Capitol in Washington on Jan 20, 2017.
Donald Trump Jr. and his wife Vanessa speak with Jared Kushner during inauguration ceremonies for the swearing in of Donald Trump as the 45th president of the United States on the West front of the US Capitol in Washington on Jan 20, 2017. PHOTO: REUTERS

Trump's daughter-in-law taken to hospital after receiving 'suspicious' mail 

US President Donald Trump's daughter-in-law Vanessa was taken to a New York hospital on Monday (Feb 12) as a precaution after a "suspicious package" containing an unidentified powder arrived at her home, police said.

The letter was sent to Donald Trump Jr, the president's eldest son, and contained a mysterious substance, according to police.
 
"The powder was tested and was found not to be hazardous," a spokeswoman told AFP. 
 

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White House releases 2019 budget proposal, seeks funds for wall, military

President Donald Trump released his second budget on Monday (Feb 12), seeking to bolster military spending and requesting funds for infrastructure, construction of a wall along the border with Mexico and opioid treatment programmes.
 
The US$4.4 trillion (S$5.8 trillion) budget plan, which is viewed by Congress as little more than a suggestion, will likely draw criticism from conservatives who worry that Republicans are embracing deficit spending.
 
The proposal for fiscal year 2019 includes US$200 billion for infrastructure spending and more than US$23 billion for border security and immigration enforcement. It also provides for US$716 billion in spending on military programmes and for maintaining the US nuclear arsenal.
 

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State broadcaster says South Africa's Jacob Zuma agrees to go, spokesman denies

South Africa's SABC state broadcaster reported on Monday (Feb 12) that Jacob Zuma had agreed to resign as head of state, citing sources, but the embattled leader's spokesman quickly dismissed this as "fake news".
 
The rand, which had gained as much as 1 per cent on expectations Zuma was on his way out, surrendered some of its gains after the rebuttal by the spokesman but remained 0.5 per cent stronger on the day to the dollar.
 
Standing outside a meeting of the top leadership of the ruling ANC, SABC correspondent Tshepo Ikaneng cited"authoritative sources" saying 75-year-old Zuma had agreed to step down and formalities on how to tell the nation were being discussed. The broadcaster also tweeted the report on its Twitter handle @SAfmnews.
 

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White House denies settlement annexation talks with Israel

The White House on Monday (Feb 12) flatly denied Israeli claims that talks are underway to annex land claimed by Palestinians, in a rare public show of disunity.
 
Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said he had been in talks with Washington about annexing settlements in the occupied West Bank, a move that could shatter a peace process that is already on life support.
 
That was denied by White House spokesman Josh Raffel, who works closely with Jared Kushner.
 
 

Man City squad most expensive in history: Report

Premier League leaders Manchester City have the most expensive squad in history, according to a report published on Monday by the Swiss-based CIES Football Observatory.
 
The research values Pep Guardiola's squad at 878 million euros (S$1.4 billion), with Paris Saint-Germain second on 805 million euros, after a January transfer window in which City acquired centre-back Aymeric Laporte from Athletic Bilbao for 65 million euros.
 
Neymar's world-record signing from Barcelona accounts for more than a quarter of the PSG total but Kylian Mbappe is only on loan, despite an anticipated transfer fee of up to 180m euros to be paid to Monaco at the end of the season.