While You Were Sleeping: 5 stories you might have missed, July 13 edition

United States urges all countries to adhere to South China Sea ruling

The United States said on Tuesday that an arbitration court ruling that China has no historic title over the waters of the South China Sea should be treated as final and binding and not as a reason to raise tensions.

"We certainly would urge all parties not to use this as an opportunity to engage in escalatory or provocative action,"White House spokesman Josh Earnest told reporters in a briefing aboard Air Force One.

The Permanent Court of Arbitration in The Hague announced its ruling on Tuesday that there was no legal basis for China to claim historic rights to resources within much of the South China Sea, which has been subject to territorial disputes by several countries. 


US Presidents Obama, Bush join hands and voices to praise slain Dallas officers

 President Barack Obama on Tuesday praised Dallas police officers including the five slain at a protest against police violence last week for saving lives during the deadliest day for US law enforcement in almost 15 years.

"We know that the overwhelming majority of police officers do an incredibly hard and dangerous job fairly and professionally," Obama told a memorial service for the slain police officers. "They are deserving of our respect and not our scorn."

"And when anyone, no matter how good their intentions may be, paints all police as biased or bigoted, we undermine those officers we depend on for our safety," Obama added.


US Senator Bernie Sanders endorses former rival Hillary Clinton for president

After months of bitter campaigning, Bernie Sanders on Tuesday offered his long-awaited endorsement for Democratic presidential hopeful Hillary Clinton, saying he would work hard to help his former rival win the White House.

The joint appearance at a high school in Portsmouth, New Hampshire was the culmination of weeks of talks between the two campaigns aimed at unifying the party in preparation for taking on Republican Donald Trump in November.

"Secretary Clinton has won the Democratic nominating process, and I congratulate her for that," Sanders told a cheering crowd, with Clinton at his side.


United States hails Sri Lanka's post-war reconciliation efforts

The United States on Tuesday praised Sri Lanka's steps taken under a United Nations resolution to address alleged human rights abuses in the final phase of a 26-year war with Tamil Tiger rebels, and said it would do what it could to see through the process.

Washington along with other Western nations had long demanded an international investigation into the alleged killing of thousands of ethnic minority Tamils in the final weeks of the war, in 2009, under then Sri Lankan leader Mahinda Rajapaksa.

Two senior US State Department officials visiting Colombo welcomed its steps in implementing the UN resolution adopted in September last year calling in part for an inquiry into missing people and progress in post-war reconciliation.


S&P and Dow hit records as growth bets boost Wall Street

A broad rally lifted the S&P 500 and Dow industrials to record highs on Tuesday, with a sharp rebound in crude prices boosting energy shares, while the Nasdaq turned positive for the year.

Cyclical sectors like technology, materials and energy posted the largest gains on the S&P, backed by the view that the US economy, despite a slow start to the year, is on solid footing.

Cyclicals are seen taking the lead in stocks for the rest of the year after utilities, telecoms and consumer staples led the way in the first half.