While You Were Sleeping: 5 stories you might have missed, July 6


Trump’s scandal-hit environment chief Scott Pruitt resigns

US President Donald Trump on Thursday announced the departure of his environment chief, Scott Pruitt, who faced ever-growing scandals over his spending and conduct in office.

“I have accepted the resignation of Scott Pruitt as the Administrator of the Environmental Protection Agency,” tweeted the president, ending months of speculation about the future of the man he tasked with dismantling Barack Obama’s green legacy.

“Within the Agency Scott has done an outstanding job, and I will always be thankful to him for this,” added Trump, who gave no reason for Pruitt’s departure.

Trump said Pruitt’s deputy, the former coal lobbyist Andrew Wheeler, would take over Monday as acting head of the agency.


One dead, dozens of Chinese tourists missing as Thai boat capsizes

One man died and dozens of Chinese tourists remain missing after a boat capsized as high winds whipped up rough seas off the Thai island of Phuket, officials said late on Thursday, confirming the rescue had been suspended for the night.

The Phoenix was carrying around 90 passengers when it began to keel over after it was hit by massive waves, prompting a rescue operation that stretched into the night and left authorities scrambling to react.

The body of a man wearing a life jacket with the logo of the Phoenix boat was pulled from the sea late on Thursday.


Fireworks explosions kill 19 in central Mexico

At least 19 people were killed in a series of explosions on Thursday at fireworks warehouses in the town of Tultepec in central Mexico, including rescue workers who died saving others’ lives, officials said.

The initial explosion occurred around 9.30 am (10.30pm Singapore time), then spread to other warehouses just as police and firefighters began attending to the first victims in the town, which is known for its artisanal fireworks – and a history of deadly accidents.

At least 19 people were killed – including a minor – and 40 wounded, said state Interior Minister Alejandro Ozuna.


Statue of Liberty climber pleads not guilty after immigration protest

A New York woman who scaled the stone pedestal of the Statue of Liberty to protest US immigration policy pleaded not guilty to trespassing, disorderly conduct and interfering with governmental administration in her first court appearance on Thursday.

Therese Patricia Okoumou, 44, was arrested on Wednesday after she climbed the statue’s pedestal and began a three-hour standoff with police that led to the evacuation of the landmark on the Fourth of July holiday, celebrating US independence.

After her brief arraignment on the three misdemeanor charges, Magistrate Judge Ona Wang ordered Okoumou to be released from federal custody.


Tennis: Defending champion Muguruza falls in Wimbledon second round

Garbine Muguruza’s Wimbledon title defence was hijacked by Alison van Uytvanck as the little-known Belgian produced a fearless brand of hard-hitting tennis to topple the champion with a 5-7 6-2 6-1 victory in the second round on Thursday.

Muguruza came from a break down to survive a nervy first set but there was no let off in the next two with the third seed shaking her head in disbelief as van Uytvanck bombarded her with serves that often exceeded 110mph, with the fastest at 115mph.

But it was not just the serve that caused Muguruza problems.The Spaniard slipped and fell heavily on her shoulder while chasing down a drop shot as the final set ran away from her in the blink of an eye, a netted service return ending her ordeal.