While You Were Sleeping: 5 stories you might have missed, July 12


Angela Merkel's shaking episodes fuel debate about German power handover

German Chancellor Angela Merkel's bouts of shaking at public events are firing up a debate among some of her Christian Democrats about whether she should pass power to her protege sooner than a planned handover in 2021, senior party sources say.

Merkel, 64, suffered her third shaking episode in as many weeks on Wednesday at a ceremony to receive Finland's prime minister. Breaking with protocol, the chancellor opted to sit rather than stand at a similar welcome for Denmark's premier in Berlin on Thursday.

Merkel showed no sign of tremors at Thursday's ceremony and smiled broadly. She later gave broad assurances about her health, while declining to give any details.

"I am aware of the responsibility of my office," Merkel, asked about her health, told a news conference after meeting Danish Prime Minister Mette Frederiksen. "I behave appropriately as far as my health is concerned... I look after my health."


Air Canada flight makes emergency landing in Hawaii

Shocked passengers described being tossed around an Air Canada passenger jet as it hit a pocket of turbulence on its way to Australia on Thursday and was forced to make an emergency landing.

Flight AC33 from Vancouver to Sydney hit trouble around two hours beyond Hawaii and diverted back to the US island chain's capital Honolulu, the company said in a statement.

The Boeing 777-200 landed "normally" at 6.45am (12.45am on Friday, Singapore time), the statement went on, adding that "approximately 35 people appear to have sustained minor injuries."


Jailed financier seeks house arrest in Manhattan mansion

American financier Jeffrey Epstein on Thursday asked a federal judge to let him out of jail and allow him to remain under house arrest in his Manattan mansion while he awaits trial on charges of sex trafficking underage girls.

In a filing in federal court in Manhattan, Epstein's lawyers argued that home confinement, along with electronic monitoring, surveillance and a bond secured by a mortgage on the Upper East Side home which they valued at US$77 million (S$100 million), would ensure that he does not flee the country.

A spokesman for New York-based federal prosecutors declined to comment. On Monday, prosecutors said at a court hearing that they will oppose Epstein's release on bail under any conditions.


Cricket: Finch rues 'one of the worst' performances by Australia

Australia have made significant progress in the last one year but ended up producing one of their worst performances of the World Cup in Thursday's semi-final against England, captain Aaron Finch said on Thursday.

Australia stumbled through a dreadful 2018 following the Cape Town ball-tampering scandal which earned former skipper Steve Smith and his deputy David Warner lengthy bans.

They ended a six-series losing streak with back-to-back series victories over India and Pakistan and, bolstered by the return of Smith and Warner, finished second in the group stage of the World Cup.


New Lion King movie lands with a critical whimper

The much-anticipated new version of animated movie classic The Lion King landed with a whimper rather than a roar on Thursday with critics hailing it as visually impressive but tame in terms of character and storytelling.

The Lion King, Walt Disney's latest remake of its own beloved animated films, shows off advanced techniques that blend virtual reality, live action and digital imagery to bring a hyper-real feel to the animals and African settings.

But early reviews said the overall result was a letdown, although most critics conceded the movie will perform well at the box office where some analysts are predicting an opening weekend of around US$150 million when it arrives in North American theaters on July 19.