While You Were Sleeping: 5 stories you might have missed, July 8 edition

Manila starts South China Sea case at Hague tribunal

The Philippines opened its case against China before an international arbitration tribunal, which it hopes will rule in its favour in an increasingly fraught territorial dispute with Beijing over the South China Sea.

"The case has started for the hearing on jurisdiction and admissibility before the arbitral tribunal," a source familiar with the hearing told AFP.

Manila in early 2013 submitted its case to the Hague-based Permanent Court of Arbitration, a 117-state body set up in 1899 to rule in disputes between countries, and private parties including companies.


‘Very, very, very tough’ Iran talks extended

Global powers wrestling for a historic nuclear deal with Iran gave themselves yet more time on Tuesday after foreign ministers failed to bridge what one diplomat called “very, very, very tough” remaining issues.

Iran and the P5+1 group – the United States, Russia, China, France, Britain and Germany – effectively gave themselves until Friday to agree a deal by extending the terms of a 2013 interim accord under which Iran has been curtailing its nuclear programme in return for sanctions relief.

A second diplomat said the new target date – the latest in a string of postponements in almost two years of talks seeking to end a 13-year standoff – is the “final” one.


Frenchwoman jailed for 3 years for Chile 'magic cheese' scam

A French court on Tuesday jailed a woman for three years for conning thousands of Chileans into buying a kit to make "magic cheese" they could sell back to French cosmetics firms for use in luxury beauty products.

Gilberte Van Erpe, 74, was given a six-year prison sentence - three years suspended - and a €250,000 (S$370,000) fine for her scam in which she told victims the product they could make at home was a prized ingredient used in creams favoured by celebrities such as Michael Jackson.

But the goop was worthless and the scam became one of the biggest pyramid schemes ever seen in South America.


Football: Keane impressed by 'sharp' Gerrard

Los Angeles Galaxy captain Robbie Keane is tipping Steven Gerrard to prove a success in Major League Soccer as the Liverpool legend prepares to make his debut in the United States.

Keane told reporters on Tuesday he had been impressed with the speed at which Gerrard had slotted into the Galaxy set-up since his arrival in California just over a week ago.

The former England captain is expected to make his debut in a friendly against Club America at the Galaxy's home in Carson, south of Los Angeles, on Saturday.


Tennis: Serena, Sharapova set for Wimbledon semi-final showdown

Serena Williams survived a scare to book a Wimbledon semi-final showdown with old rival Maria Sharapova as the world No. 1 battled back to defeat Victoria Azarenka 3-6, 6-2, 6-3 on Tuesday.

Williams was in danger of a shock quarter-final exit after a slow start on Centre Court, but the five-time Wimbledon champion eventually battered 23rd seed Azarenka into submission in two hours and three minutes with a barrage of 43 winners and 14 aces.

The 33-year-old American, aiming to win her fourth successive Grand Slam title and 21st in total, will face world No. 4 Sharapova on Thursday holding a 17-2 lead in their head to head record.