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

Police officers are seen outside a residential address in Amesbury, southern England, on July 4, 2018.
Police officers are seen outside a residential address in Amesbury, southern England, on July 4, 2018.PHOTO: AFP

Two people in Britain poisoned with Novichok nerve agent near where Russian spy was struck down

Two British citizens were critically ill in hospital on Wednesday after they were poisoned with the Novichok nerve agent which struck down a former Russian agent and his daughter in March, Britain’s top counter-terrorism officer said.

The British pair, a 44-year-old woman and a 45-year-old man, were hospitalised after being found unwell on Saturday in Amesbury, just a few kilometres from Salisbury where former double agent Sergei Skripal and his daughter Yulia were attacked in March.

“I have received test results from Porton Down (military research centre) which show that the two people have been exposed to the nerve agent Novichok,” Neil Basu, Britain’s most senior counter-terrorism officer, told reporters.

British counter-terrorism police are now leading the investigation, though Basu said it was unclear how the two people came into contact with the nerve agent or whether they had been specifically targeted.


Scientists create embryos to 'bring back' near-extinct white rhino

Months after the death of Sudan, the world's last male northern white rhino, scientists said on Wednesday they have grown embryos containing DNA of his kind, hoping to save the subspecies from extinction.

With only two northern white rhino (NWR) known to be alive today - both infertile females - the team hopes their breakthrough technique will lead to the re-establishment of a viable NWR breeding population.

"Our goal is to have in three years the first NWR calf born," Thomas Hildebrandt, head of reproduction management at the Leibniz Institute for Zoo and Wildlife Research in Berlin, told journalists of the work. "Taking into account 16 months (of) pregnancy, we have a little more than a year to have a successful implantation."


US offers German car bosses 'zero tariffs' solution to trade row: Report

The US ambassador to Germany has told German car bosses that President Donald Trump would suspend threats to impose tariffs on cars imported from the European Union if the bloc lifted duties on US cars, a German newspaper reported on Wednesday.

Handelsblatt said Ambassador Richard Grenell told executives from Daimler, Volkswagen and BMW during a meeting that in exchange Trump wanted the EU to annul duties on US cars imported to the bloc.

Trump threatened last month to impose a 20-per-cent import tariff on all EU-assembled vehicles, which could upend the industry’s current business model for selling cars in the United States.


Tennis: Wozniacki crashes out, tells opponent, ‘You won’t go far’

Caroline Wozniacki suffered fresh Wimbledon woe as the world number two suffered a shock 6-4, 1-6, 7-5 defeat against Ekaterina Makarova in the second round on Wednesday before telling the Russian: “You won’t go far.”

Wozniacki, plagued by an invasion of flying ants during the Court One clash, saved five match points but has now failed to get past the last 16 in 12 visits to the All England Club.

It was a bitter defeat for the 27-year-old Dane, who was expected to challenge for the Wimbledon title after winning her maiden Grand Slam crown at the Australian Open in January.


Fendi channels shimmering scales and latticework at catwalk show

Italian fashion label Fendi played with textures in its Haute Couture collection in Paris on Wednesday, overlaying see-through bodices with fur trimmings and creating shimmering, scaly skirts.

Elaborate winter coats and dresses in apricot pink and lavendar hues melded together chiffon, mink and other fabrics such as cashmere, to create cascading effects. Some looks included intricate, sequin-filled latticework.

Rome-based Fendi has long been known for its furs, and has continued to put them forward at a time when many other brands are dropping them from collections, under pressure from changing consumer tastes and animal rights campaigners.