While You Were Sleeping: 5 stories you might have missed, June 17 edition

PM Najib and wife Rosmah Mansor for an Asean summit in Manila, April 27, 2017.
PM Najib and wife Rosmah Mansor for an Asean summit in Manila, April 27, 2017.PHOTO: AFP

Malaysia’s first lady linked to $40 million worth of jewellery bought with 1MDB funds: Lawsuit filings

Nearly US$30 million (S$40 million) of funds stolen from scandal-hit 1Malaysia Development Berhad (1MDB) was used to buy jewellery for the prime minister’s wife, including a rare 22-carat pink diamond set in a necklace, according to the latest filings by the US Justice Department in a civil lawsuit.

The filings lodged at the US District Court in Los Angeles did not identify Prime Minister Najib Razak or his wife Rosmah Mansor by name, but said the jewellery purchases were for the wife of “Malaysian Official 1.”

Malaysian and US government sources have previously confirmed that “Malaysian Official 1” refers to Najib.

The diamond necklace set alone cost US$27.3 million, according to the latest filings in a lawsuit that was launched last July.

The accusations will provide further ammunition for Najib’s political rivals, who often criticise his wife for lavish spending, and come at an awkward time for the Malaysian leader, as he had been expected to call a snap election later this year.


Helmut Kohl, father of German reunification, dies aged 87

Former Chancellor Helmut Kohl, the architect of Germany’s 1990 reunification and mentor to Angela Merkel, has died at age 87, his Christian Democratic Union party (CDU) said.

The mass-selling newspaper Bild reported that Kohl died at 9.15am on Friday in bed at his home in Ludwigshafen, in western Germany, with his second wife, Maike Kohl-Richter, at his side.

Germany’s longest-serving post-war chancellor from 1982 to 1998, Kohl was a driving force behind the introduction of the euro currency, persuading sceptical Germans to give up the deutschemark, a cherished symbol of the “economic miracle” of the 1950s and 1960s.


Britain's Theresa May rushed away under police guard after meeting residents near deadly fire

British Prime Minister Theresa May was rushed away under heavy police guard as protesters shouted “Shame on you” after she met residents who live near a tower block in London where at least 30 people died in a fire.

May, already under pressure after a botched snap election, is facing widespread criticism for her response to the blaze. She has promised to set up a public inquiry and pledged five million pounds (S$8.8 million) to help the victims.

May, who on Thursday met emergency services at the fire site but did not meet locals, visited residents, volunteers and community leaders at a nearby church on Friday and was rushed away afterwards by police as an angry crowd outside shouted “Coward” and “You’re not wanted”.

Separately, hundreds of protesters stormed the local town hall chanting: “We want justice.”


Teenager who urged friend to kill himself is guilty of manslaughter

A young woman who sent a barrage of text messages to another teenager urging him to kill himself was found guilty of involuntary manslaughter in a case that many legal experts had expected to result in an acquittal.

The verdict, handed down by a judge in a nonjury trial, was a rare legal finding that, essentially, a person's words alone can directly cause someone else's suicide.

The judge, Lawrence Moniz, of Bristol County Juvenile Court in southeastern Massachusetts, said the conduct of the woman, Michelle Carter, toward Conrad Roy III was not only immoral but illegal. She faces up to 20 years in prison.


Golf: McIlroy heading home after erratic round

Rory McIlroy was left reflecting on a missed cut at the US Open for the second consecutive year after once again struggling to get to grips with the Erin Hills layout.

The world number two, who earlier in the week suggested players unable to find the fairways should “pack their bags”, is now contemplating an early exit following a second-round 71.

The one-under-par total was a substantial improvement on Thursday’s six-over-par 78, but with the cut projected at one-over-par, it was too little, too late for the popular Northern Irishman.