While You Were Sleeping: 5 stories you might have missed, July 14

Police officers patrol the square in front of Id Kah Mosque in Xinjiang's Kashgar in May 2021. PHOTO: REUTERS

US ramps up warnings of business risks in China's Xinjiang region

The US government on Tuesday strengthened its warnings to businesses about the growing risks of having supply chain and investment links to China's Xinjiang region, citing forced labour and human rights abuses there.

"Given the severity and extent of these abuses, businesses and individuals that do not exit supply chains, ventures, and/or investments connected to Xinjiang could run a high risk of violating US law," the State Department said in a statement.

Signalling broader US government coordination on the issue, the Department of Labour and the US Trade Representative's Office joined in issuing the updated advisory, first released on July 1, 2020 under the Trump administration by the State, Commerce, Homeland Security and Treasury departments.

The new advisory strengthens warnings to US companies, noting they are at risk of violating US law if their operations are linked even "indirectly" to the Chinese government's "vast and growing surveillance network" in Xinjiang. The warning also applies to financial support from venture capital and private equity firms.


Ransomware gang REvil's websites become unreachable

Websites run by the ransomware gang REvil suddenly became unreachable on Tuesday, sparking widespread speculation that the group had been knocked offline.

The Russia-linked cybercrime ring has collected tens of millions of dollars in ransom payments in return for restoring computer systems it has hacked.

In recent weeks it claimed responsibility for a sprawling ransomware outbreak that affected an estimated 800 to 1,500 businesses worldwide.


Italy bans cruise liners from Venice, after years of hesitation

Italy on Tuesday banned cruise liners from Venice lagoon to defend its ecosystem and heritage, moving to end years of hesitation and putting the demands of residents and culture bodies above those of the tourist industry.

The government decided to act after the United Nations culture organisation Unesco threatened to put Italy on a blacklist for not banning liners from the World Heritage site, Cabinet sources said.

The ban will take effect from Aug 1, barring ships weighing more than 25,000 tons (22,000 metric tonnes) from the shallow Giudecca Canal that leads past Piazza San Marco, the city's most famous landmark.


Roger Federer withdraws from Tokyo Olympics with knee injury

Switzerland's Roger Federer became the latest big name in tennis to withdraw from the Tokyo Olympics after the 20-times Grand Slam champion said on Tuesday that he had picked up a knee injury during the grasscourt season.

Federer, who turns 40 next month, had two knee surgeries in 2020 which resulted in more than a year of rehabilitation, with the Swiss returning to action in March - 13 months after his Australian Open semi-final exit last year.

He withdrew from the French Open last month despite winning his third round match to save himself for the grasscourt season, where he sought a record-extending ninth title at Wimbledon but was beaten in the quarter-final by Hubert Hurkacz.


The Crown, The Mandalorian top Emmy nominations at 24 each

Remote video URL

Netflix's latest season of British royal drama The Crown and Star Wars television series The Mandalorian on Disney+ topped this year's Emmy nominations unveiled on Tuesday with 24 nods each.

The two shows dominated the drama category, while fellow Disney+ series WandaVision scored the most limited series nods with 23, and Apple TV+ comedy Ted Lasso landed 20 on its debut season.

Hulu's dystopian drama The Handmaid's Tale scored 21 nods as did Emmys perennial Saturday Night Live, which extended its all-time record number of nominations to 306.


Join ST's Telegram channel and get the latest breaking news delivered to you.