While You Were Sleeping: 5 stories you might have missed, July 28

The blood moon at the maximum eclipse at 4.20am on July 28, 2018.
The blood moon at the maximum eclipse at 4.20am on July 28, 2018.ST PHOTO: MARK CHEONG

Stargazers in Singapore catch cosmic event of the century

Hundreds of hopeful stargazers flocked to Marina South Pier early on Saturday morning to catch the cosmic event of the century - the longest total lunar eclipse and the alignment of Mars with the Earth and Sun.

In a community-led event organised by the Maritime and Port Authority of Singapore and the local astronomy community SingAstro, members of the public were invited to watch the celestial events at Marina South Pier's roof garden throughout the night.

More than 16 telescopes were provided by SingAstro for the public to freely see these heavenly bodies, which also included the planets Saturn, Venus and Jupiter.

SingAstro estimated that more than 500 people had turned up at the roof garden.


Trump hails US economic growth spurt, promises more ahead

President Donald Trump on Friday hailed roaring US economic growth as a “miracle,” and said the quickest expansion in almost four years was a vindication of his economic agenda.

With the size of the American economy now surpassing US$20 trillion (S$27 trillion), GDP expanded by 4.1 per cent in the April-June quarter, making the United States the fastest-growing of advanced country, according to a government report.

“We’re on track to hit the highest annual average growth rate in over 13 years,” Trump said in remarks at the White House. “Everywhere we look, we’re seeing the effects of the American economic miracle.”


Twitter's stock plunges 21% after reporting drop in user numbers

Twitter lost one million monthly active users in the second quarter, the company said in its earnings report on Friday, signalling that it's paying a price for implementing an aggressive new campaign to suspend fake and suspicious accounts.

The earnings report was Twitter's first since The Washington Post reported three weeks ago that the company was suspending accounts at a rate of roughly a million a day after implementing new tools for detecting accounts that might be involved in disinformation or other activity, such as spam, not permitted on the platform.

Twitter had 335 million average monthly active users in the second quarter, down from 336 million the previous quarter.


Migrants land on Spanish beach, then flee as tourists look on

More than 30 illegal migrants, pursued by a police boat, landed their packed dinghy on a Spanish beach on Friday then scattered into the surrounding sand dunes and woodland.

Video footage showed the migrants, mostly young men, throwing their life-jackets overboard as they approached the shore and jumping onto the beach as sunbathers looked on.

The migrants landed on a beach near Tarifa after crossing the Strait of Gibraltar - the narrow body of water separating Morocco from mainland Europe that has become a key route for migrants.


Footage of late Carrie Fisher to feature in next Star Wars movie

The late actress Carrie Fisher will be featured in the next Star Wars movie, using previously unseen footage she recorded for the 2015 movie Star Wars: The Force Awakens, Walt Disney studio said on Friday.

Actor Mark Hamill, whose Luke Skywalker character appeared to die in last year’s Star Wars: The Last Jedi, will also appear in the next movie, which will start filming in London on Aug 1, Disney said in a statement.

Fisher, who played Princess Leia, died suddenly in December 2016 at age 60 after suffering a heart attack just as she was enjoying a career revival with the re-invigorated Star Wars movie franchise that reunited her with Hamill and Harrison Ford in The Force Awakens.