While You Were Sleeping: 5 stories you might have missed, Feb 14 edition

US President Donald Trump and Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau shake hands during a press conference at the White House on Monday (Feb 13, 2017).
US President Donald Trump and Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau shake hands during a press conference at the White House on Monday (Feb 13, 2017).PHOTO: AFP

US President Donald Trump vows to build 'bridges of commerce' with Canada

US President Donald Trump on Monday called for "reciprocal" trade with Canada and to build bridges of commerce across the border, appearing to tone down previously harsh rhetoric on trade.

"America is deeply fortunate to have a neighbor like Canada," Trump told a joint press conference with visiting Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau at his side, hailing the opportunity to "build even more bridges" of commerce.

"We understand that both of our countries are stronger when we join forces in matters of international commerce," Trump said.


Blast kills at least 13, injures 82 in Pakistan's Lahore

A police officer stands beside the bodies of victims at the scene of a powerful explosion in Lahore on Monday (Feb 13, 2017). PHOTO: AFP

At least 13 people were killed and 82 injured when an apparent Taleban suicide blast ripped through a protest in Lahore on Monday, Pakistani officials said, shattering the city's growing sense of security.

Police cordoned off the area near the crowded Mall Road, one of the city's main arteries, as witnesses fled in fear of a second explosion. Local media showed images of the injured being carried away.

The road had been packed with hundreds of people, mainly chemists, protesting provincial government plans to further regulate the medical sector.


Taiwan tour bus flips over, killing at least 32, says national fire agency

Cranes hoist the frame of a bus early this morning (Feb 14, 2017) which crashed after an accident on a highway in Taipei.PHOTO: REUTERS

A Taiwan bus reported to have been taking local tourists home from visiting seasonal cherry blossoms careered off a highway Monday night leaving 32 dead, the national fire agency said.

Local media said the passengers had been returning from a trip to a farm in central Taichung when the bus came off the road in eastern Taipei.

The national fire agency said 32 people had been killed, with 13 still being treated in hospital, most with serious injuries.


ISIS leadership targeted in airstrike, fate of its leader Baghdadi unclear - Iraqi military

An image grab taken from a propaganda video allegedly shows ISIS leader Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi. PHOTO: AFP

The Iraqi airforce carried out a strike on a house where Islamic State in Iraq and Syria (ISIS) leader Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi was thought to be meeting other commanders, Iraq's Iraqi military said in a statement on Monday (Feb 13), without making clear whether he had been hit.

The statement said Iraqi F-16s had targeted the house in western Iraq on Saturday. It also published the names of 13 ISIS commanders it said had been killed in the airstrike but the list did not include Baghdadi.

Three other ISIS positions in western Iraq were targeted in the same wave of air strikes, killing 64 fighters, the statement said.


Pollution tainting even the deepest reaches of earth's oceans, study reveals

Man-made pollutants have been found in this shrimp-like creature, Hirondellea gigas, in the deepest reaches of the Pacific Ocean.PHOTO: REUTERS

Banned chemicals are tainting tiny crustaceans that inhabit the deepest ocean, a study said Monday (Feb 13) - the first evidence that humans are polluting even the farthest reaches of our planet.

Even at depths of nearly 11 kilometres these scavengers could not escape "extraordinary" levels of contamination with chemicals used in coolants and insulating fluids, researchers said.

The pollutants likely came from plastic waste and dead animals sinking to the ocean floor, they wrote in the journal Nature Ecology & Evolution.