While You Were Sleeping: 5 stories you might have missed, July 4

Attendees walk past a Facebook logo during the company's developers conference in San Jose, California.
Attendees walk past a Facebook logo during the company's developers conference in San Jose, California.PHOTO: REUTERS

Facebook, Instagram and WhatsApp suffer global outage

Users across the world reported problems with Instagram, WhatsApp and parent company Facebook on Wednesday evening.

Facebook began experiencing disruptions around 10pm, according to tracking website downdetector.com, with Instagram and WhatsApp experiencing disruptions around the same time.

The site's outage map reflected that several parts of North America and South-east Asia were affected. Besides Singapore, Malaysia also seemed to be affected.

Facebook later said in a statement that it was aware of the issues and was working on a fix.


US waste driving global garbage glut, study shows

The United States is driving a worldwide waste boom that poses a severe risk to human health, the environment and the economy, according to a new study of global garbage trends published on Wednesday.

Data on the combined solid, plastic, food and hazardous waste of 194 countries showed that the world now produces an average of 2.1 billion tonnes of trash each year - enough to fill more than 820,000 Olympic-sized swimming pools.

Just 16 per cent of this (323 million tonnes) is recycled, while 950 million tonnes is disposed of "unsustainably", according to risk management firm Verisk Maplecroft.


Volcano erupts on Italian island of Stromboli, kills one person

A volcano on the Italian island of Stromboli erupted on Wednesday, releasing hot trapped magma in a powerful explosion, killing one person and enveloping the popular tourist destination in ash, witnesses and local officials said.

The person, believed to be a tourist, was killed by falling stones during a walk, a rescue service official said. A second person was injured.

The unexpected eruption started fires on the western side of the small Mediterranean island, which lies north of Sicily, off the toe of Italy.


Tennis: Gauff, 15, reaches Wimbledon third round

Coco Gauff, the 15-year-old schoolgirl who stunned five-time champion Venus Williams in the first round, continued her Wimbledon dream debut on Wednesday when she eased into the last 32 and claimed: "I can beat anyone."

Gauff, ranked 313 in the world, defeated 2017 semi-finalist Magdalena Rybarikova of Slovakia 6-3, 6-3 in the first match played entirely under the new Court One roof.

She is the youngest player to make the third round since US compatriot Jennifer Capriati went all the way to the semi-finals in 1991.


Rapper Nicki Minaj to perform in Saudi Arabia

US rapper Nicki Minaj will perform in Saudi Arabia this month, organisers said, triggering a storm on social media as the ultra-conservative kingdom loosens decades-old restrictions on entertainment.

Minaj, known for her profanity-laced lyrics and raunchy music videos, will perform in the western city of Jeddah on July 18, organisers of the ongoing Jeddah Season cultural festival announced on Twitter.

The news was widely welcomed in a country where two-thirds of the population is under 30, with one Twitter user posting a picture of Minaj and writing: "My dream has come true." But it also triggered outrage from conservative quarters.