While You Were Sleeping: 5 stories you might have missed, Feb 20

Nikolas Cruz appears in court for a status hearing before Broward Circuit Judge Elizabeth Scherer in Fort Lauderdale, Florida, US on Feb 19, 2018.
Nikolas Cruz appears in court for a status hearing before Broward Circuit Judge Elizabeth Scherer in Fort Lauderdale, Florida, US on Feb 19, 2018. PHOTO: REUTERS

Accused Florida shooter appears in court

The former student accused of killing 17 people at a Florida high school appeared in court Monday (Feb 19) for a procedural hearing, his first public appearance since he was held without bond on charges of premeditated murder. 

Nikolas Cruz, dressed in orange prison garb, sat with his head bowed during the brief hearing before Judge Elizabeth Scherer in Fort Lauderdale, Florida. 

The hearing dealt with whether to unseal a defense motion related to access to their client, a minor point in what is certain to be a lengthy prosecution and trial. 

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Oxfam apologises to Haiti government over sex scandal

Oxfam formally apologised to Haiti on Monday (Feb 19) over the prostitution scandal rocking the aid charity, expressing its "shame" and vowing to do better as it handed over a damning internal report into the allegations.

Made public earlier in the day, Oxfam's 2011 report into the behaviour of aid workers sent to Haiti following a devastating earthquake revealed that a former top official admitted to paying for sex and that three staff physically threatened a witness.

"We came here to share the report with the minister and express our shame and apologies to the Haitian government and to the Haitian people," said Simon Ticehurst, Oxfam's regional director for Latin America and the Caribbean.

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Latvia's banking sector rocked by US probe, central bank chief's detention

Latvia's ABLV Bank sought emergency support on Monday (Feb 19) after US officials accused it of helping breach North Korean sanctions while the country's central bank chief faced bribery allegations, turning up the spotlight on its financial system.

The Baltic country, which is a member of the euro zone and shares a border with Russia, has come under increasing scrutiny recently as a conduit for illicit financial activities.

Last year, two Latvian banks were fined more than 2.8 million euros (S$4.6 million) for allowing clients to violate sanctions imposed by the European Union and United Nations on North Korea. Three others received smaller fines.

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Chicken shortage shuts hundreds of KFC stores in Britain

US fast-food chain KFC said on Monday (Feb 19) it had shut hundreds of British stores as German delivery supplier DHL left them short of fowl and customers without their "fried chicken fix".

KFC said that more than 700 of its 900 Britain-wide chicken shops had been forced to close since the weekend, while others were offering a downsized menu or shorter opening hours.

"We've brought a new delivery partner onboard, but they've had a couple of teething problems - getting fresh chicken out to 900 restaurants across the country is pretty complex," KFC said in a statement.

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Bill Gates says billionaires should pay 'significantly' more taxes

Bill Gates says he has paid more than US$10 billion (S$13 billion) in taxes over a lifetime but billionaires like him should pay "significantly" more because they benefit more from the system.

The Microsoft co-founder, the world's second richest man after Amazon's Jeff Bezos, was critical of a recent US tax overhaul that slashed corporate taxes and lowered the top bracket for individual income.

"I've paid more taxes, over US$10 billion, than anyone else, but the government should require the people in my position to pay significantly higher taxes," he said in an interview Sunday with CNN.

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