While You Were Sleeping: 5 stories you might have missed, July 27

US President Joe Biden meets virtually with a delegation from South Korea's SK Group, on July 26, 2022. PHOTO: REUTERS

Biden busts out of Covid-19 isolation with gym session

Audio-bombed by a barking pet dog, wondering if he looks OK on video conference, and finally being allowed to hit the gym – Joe Biden may be the most powerful man in the world but the ups and downs of Covid-19 isolation are the same as for anyone else.

Tuesday was Biden’s fifth day confined to quarters and his doctor, Kevin O’Connor, said the president has now completed a five-day course of the therapeutic Paxlovid, with nearly all symptoms of the coronavirus gone.

While the doctor focused mostly on items like healthy oxygen saturation, pulse and temperature, the line really speaking to Biden’s state was that he “feels well enough to resume his physical exercise regime.”

“He asked last night to exercise,” press secretary Karine Jean-Pierre said on Tuesday. “He likes to do weights, he likes to do the treadmills.”


UK leadership live debate ends after presenter faints on air

A live debate between the two candidates vying to succeed Boris Johnson as British prime minister came to a dramatic end on Tuesday when the presenter fainted.

Foreign Secretary Liz Truss, the bookmakers' favourite to win the Conservative Party leadership election, and former finance minister Rishi Sunak were sparring over their plans when there was a loud crash in the studio.

The debate, which was being hosted by Talk TV and the Sun newspaper and broadcast live, cut away with Truss looking visibly concerned.


US blasts Beijing’s South China Sea ‘provocations’

The United States on Tuesday accused China of increased “provocations” against rival claimants in the South China Sea and said its “aggressive and irresponsible behaviour’ meant it was only a matter of time before a major incident or accident.

Jung Pak, deputy assistant secretary for East Asia at the State Department, told a US think-tank there was “a clear and upward trend of PRC provocations against South China Sea claimants and other states lawfully operating in the region,” referring to the People’s Republic of China.

She told the Centre for Strategic and International Studies Chinese aircraft had increasingly engaged in unsafe intercepts of Australian aircraft in international airspace above the South China Sea and in three separate incidents in the last few months had challenged marine research and energy exploration activities within the exclusive economic zone of the Philippines.


Russia doing better than expected despite sanctions: IMF

Despite damaging Western sanctions imposed on Moscow in the wake of the invasion of Ukraine, Russia's economy appears to be weathering the storm better than expected as it benefits from high energy prices, the IMF said on Tuesday.

The sanctions were meant to sever Russia from the global financial system and choke off funds available to Moscow to finance the war.

But the International Monetary Fund's latest World Economic Outlook upgraded Russia's GDP estimate for this year by a remarkable 2.5 percentage points, although its economy is still expected to contract by 6 per cent.


Clinical England thrash Sweden 4-0 to reach Women’s Euro final

Hosts England waltzed past Sweden into the Women’s Euro 2022 final with Beth Mead, Lucy Bronze, Alessia Russo and Fran Kirby all on target in a sensational 4-0 win in front of a frenzied sell-out crowd at Bramall Lane on Tuesday.

The Lionesses made a nervy start but once Mead produced a moment of brilliance to fire them ahead in the 34th minute it was one-way traffic for Sarina Wiegman’s side who became the first England women’s team to reach a major final since 2009.

England have now won 11 consecutive matches and will face either Germany or France, who meet on Wednesday, in a Wembley showdown on Sunday as they bid to win their first major trophy.


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