While You Were Sleeping: 5 stories you might have missed, July 20 edition

Wang Yang, China's vice premier, speaks during a reception ahead of the US-China Comprehensive Economic Dialogue meeting in Washington, D.C., US, on July 18, 2017.
Wang Yang, China's vice premier, speaks during a reception ahead of the US-China Comprehensive Economic Dialogue meeting in Washington, D.C., US, on July 18, 2017. PHOTO: BLOOMBERG

US-China economic talks: Outcome clouded by cancelled news conferences, US demands for 'more fair' trading ties

Senior US and Chinese officials concluded contentious economic talks on Wednesday (July 19) but the outcome was clouded by the cancellation of closing news conferences and US demands for a “more fair” trading relationship with Beijing.  

US Treasury and Commerce Department officials declined immediate comment on the annual summer dialogue between Washington and Beijing, while the Chinese delegation’s leader, Vice Premier Wang Yang, left the Treasury building without speaking to reporters.  

Investors interpreted the negative signals from the talks and lack of new trade announcements as making it more likely that the Trump administration would forge ahead with broad steel tariffs or quotas based on a national security review, sending steelmakers’ shares soaring.  


Supreme Court: Grandparents, grandkids exempted from Trump travel ban

The Supreme Court dealt President Donald Trump's government a fresh setback on Wednesday (July 19), saying its controversial travel ban cannot be applied to grandparents and other close relatives of people living in the US - for now.

The court accepted a Hawaii district judge's ruling last week that the Trump administration had too narrowly defined what constitutes "close family relationships" to determine exceptions to the ban on travellers from six mainly Muslim countries - Iran, Libya, Somalia, Sudan, Syria and Yemen.

That left in place the judge's wider definition, which included grandparents, grandchildren, nieces, nephews, and cousins of people living in the United States.


Donald Trump urges Senate Republicans to keep trying on healthcare bill

US President Donald Trump pushed Senate Republicans on Wednesday (July 19) to take another stab at repealing or overhauling Obamacare, urging them at a White House meeting to keep their campaign promises and find a new healthcare approach.

“We’re close. We’re very close,” Trump said at the start of the lunch meeting, a day after the seven-year Republican quest to repeal and replace Democratic former President Barack Obama’s signature healthcare law collapsed in the 

Trump scolded the senators for failing to reach agreement on a healthcare plan that can pass Congress and urged them to stay in Washington and not leave town for a planned August recess until they did.


Billions of tons of plastic trash accumulating on Earth

The world has a plastic problem.

More than 9.1 billion tons of it have been produced on Earth, with most dumped into landfills or the oceans, US researchers said Wednesday (July 19).

The report in the journal Science Advances is described as "the first global analysis of all mass-produced plastics," and warns that an even more dire scenario lies ahead.


Diving: Malaysia pips China in 10m platform for historic gold

Cheong Jun Hoong won Malaysia's first ever diving gold medal at the aquatics world championships in Budapest on Wednesday (July 19) in the women's 10 metre platform event.

"My god, I'm a world champion!" said Cheong who came first with 397.50 points.

"I hoped for a medal, but I didn't think I could beat the Chinese divers," she said.