While You Were Sleeping: 5 stories you might have missed, July 11

A supporter gestures while holding the final edition of the Apple Daily in Hong Kong, China June 24, 2021.
A supporter gestures while holding the final edition of the Apple Daily in Hong Kong, China June 24, 2021.PHOTO: REUTERS

US and allies condemn crackdown on Hong Kong's Apple Daily

The US and allies including Germany, Japan and Britain criticised a crackdown by Hong Kong authorities on the outspoken Apple Daily newspaper and its staff.

In a joint statement issued on Saturday by the 21-country "Media Freedom Coalition," the governments condemned the use of a China-imposed National Security Law in Hong Kong to shut down the paper and arrest owner Jimmy Lai and staff.

They expressed "strong concerns" about the closing and warned about the potential of increased media censorship if further legislation is passed.

"The use of the National Security Law to suppress journalism is a serious and negative step which undermines Hong Kong's high degree of autonomy and the rights and freedoms of people in Hong Kong," according to the statement released by the US State Department.

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Colombian ex-soldier killed in Haiti was hired as bodyguard: Sister

A Colombian former soldier killed during a gun battle with Haitian police and accused of involvement in the assassination of President Jovenel Moise had been hired as a bodyguard, his sister said on Saturday.

Haitian authorities said Moise was killed early on Wednesday by foreign, trained assassins: 26 Colombians and two Haitian Americans.

But at least two relatives of the Colombians have raised doubts over the authorities' report in comments to journalists, saying the men had been hired as bodyguards.

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90-year-old in Belgium infected with 'two virus variants at once'

A 90-year-old woman who died after falling ill with Covid-19 was infected with both the Alpha and Beta variants of the coronavirus at the same time, researchers in Belgium said on Saturday, adding that the rare phenomenon may be underestimated.

The unvaccinated woman, who lived alone and received at-home nursing care, was admitted to the OLV Hospital in the Belgian city of Aalst after a spate of falls in March and tested positive for Covid-19 the same day.

 While her oxygen levels were initially good, her condition deteriorated rapidly and she died five days later. When medical staff tested for the presence of any variants of concern, they found that she was carrying both the Alpha strain, which originated in Britain, and the Beta variant first detected in South Africa.

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Barty ends Australia's long wait for Wimbledon title

Ashleigh Barty joined an illustrious list of Australian names etched on Wimbledon silverware as she beat Karolina Pliskova in a nerve-shredding final to become the first woman from Down Under to win the singles title for 41 years on Saturday.

The 25-year-old world number one looked on course for an embarrassingly easy triumph as Pliskova suffered one of the worst starts ever seen in a Wimbledon final, but eventually needed her best to claim a 6-3 6-7(4) 6-3 victory.

After Pliskova struck a backhand into the net following one hour and 55 minutes of see-sawing action, Barty sank to her knees in realisation of fulfilling a childhood dream.

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Lea Seydoux tests Covid-19 positive ahead of Cannes appearances

James Bond actress Lea Seydoux, who was to appear next week at the Cannes Film Festival, where organisers are trying to keep Covid-19 contagion in check, has tested positive for Covid-19 in Paris, entertainment site Variety reported on Saturday.

The world's biggest cinema showcase, which kicked off on the French Riviera on July 6 and has so far drawn stars from around the world despite health crisis restrictions, was cancelled in 2020 due to the pandemic.

French actress Seydoux is one of the big stars of this year's edition, with four films showing at Cannes, and three in its main competition, including Wes Anderson's The French Dispatch, which is to premiere on Monday.

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