While You Were Sleeping: 5 stories you might have missed, Feb 8

A newborn baby undergoes treatment after being pulled alive from the rubble of a quake-hit home in northern Syria, still attached by umbilical cord to her mother. AFP

Syria newborn pulled alive from quake rubble

Extended family members pulled a newborn baby alive from the rubble of a home in northern Syria, after finding her still tied by her umbilical cord to her mother, who died in Monday’s massive quake, a relative said.

The infant is the sole survivor of her immediate family, the rest of whom were all killed when the 7.8-magnitude quake that struck Syria and neighbouring Turkey flattened the family home in the rebel-held town of Jindayris, Mr Khalil al-Suwadi said.

“We heard a voice while we were digging,” Mr Suwadi told AFP on Tuesday. “We cleared the dust and found the baby with the umbilical cord (intact) so we cut it and my cousin took her to hospital.”

Video of the rescue went viral on social media.


US approves US$10b sale of Himars to Poland

The United States on Tuesday announced its approval of a US$10 billion (S$13 billion) sale of 18 Himars precision rocket launchers plus ammunition and other equipment to Poland, a Nato ally that borders conflict-hit Ukraine.

Himars launchers have played a key role in Ukraine’s fight against Moscow’s invasion, allowing Kyiv’s forces to carry out precision strikes on supply dumps and other Russian positions.

The announcement on the sale of the rocket launchers to Poland – which shares a long border with Ukraine – comes nearly a year after the start of Russia’s invasion.


Situation with China ‘tense’, after balloon shootdown

US Senate Democratic leader Chuck Schumer said relations with China were strained and the Biden administration is looking at other actions it can take after shooting down what it called a Chinese surveillance balloon over the weekend.

“Tense,” Mr Schumer said, when asked to describe the state of bilateral relations.

The appearance of the Chinese balloon over the United States last week caused a political uproar in Washington and prompted the top US diplomat, Mr Antony Blinken, to cancel a Sunday-Monday tip to Beijing that both countries had hoped would steady their rocky relations.


Inflation starting to slow but long, ‘bumpy’ road ahead: Powell

US inflation is starting to cool but the road ahead will likely be long and bumpy, Federal Reserve chairman Jerome Powell warned on Tuesday, adding that stronger-than-expected economic data could bring more rate hikes.

The US central bank has in recent months tempered its aggressive campaign to rein in surging inflation, opting for smaller increases to the benchmark lending rate after multiple steep hikes.

Its decisions came as a disinflationary process takes place, mainly in the goods sector, but latest government data showed on Friday that the jobs market remains hotter than policymakers like, adding stress to the inflation fight.


Football: La Liga files complaint over Vinicius racist abuse

La Liga on Tuesday said it had filed a complaint with a local court in Mallorca over racist abuse targeted at Real Madrid forward Vinicius Junior.

At least one fan could be heard shouting racist abuse at Vinicius in footage, published by DAZN, from Mallorca’s 1-0 win over Real Madrid on Sunday.

La Liga said it was the sixth complaint it had filed for “racist insults or chants” against Vinicius.


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