While You Were Sleeping: 5 stories you might have missed, June 26

Demonstrators and riot police in Hong Kong on June 12, 2020. PHOTO: NYTIMES

US Senate approves sanctions Bill over Hong Kong

The US Senate on Thursday unanimously approved a Bill that would lay out sanctions on Chinese officials who undermine Hong Kong's autonomy as Beijing pushes forward with a controversial security law.

The House of Representatives still needs to pass the Bill, which would allow sanctions in the United States against Chinese officials and the Hong Kong police as well as banks that conduct "significant transactions" with them.

The vote comes as China presses forward with a security law that would enforce punishment over subversion and other perceived threats in Hong Kong, which saw massive protests last year in support of maintaining the financial hub's freedoms.

"They are moving forward in their process to take away the liberties of the people of Hong Kong. So time is of the essence," said Senator Chris Van Hollen, a Democrat who helped lead the charge on the bipartisan Bill.


Lightning kills at least 107 in India monsoon

At least 107 people died from lightning strikes in northern and eastern India on Thursday, officials said, during the early stages of the annual monsoon season.

Some 83 people were killed in the impoverished eastern state of Bihar after being struck by lightning, and another 24 died in northern Uttar Pradesh state.

Dozens more were injured, officials said.


Russia plans to take first tourist on space walk in 2023

Russia's Energia space corporation said on Thursday it will take the first tourist on a space walk in 2023, under the terms of a new contract with a US partner.

Energia has inked a contract with Space Adventures, which promises to take two space tourists to the International Space Station that year.

"We plan that one of the participants of the expedition will do a space walk from the Russian segment, together with a professional Russian cosmonaut," said Energia, which is part of Russia's space agency Roscosmos.


Fourth time lucky? Danish PM forced to postpone wedding again

Denmark's Prime Minister Mette Frederiksen thought she had finally found a date for her wedding, but has now had to postpone it for a third time due to an EU summit, she said on Thursday.

Many a wedding plan has been upended by the Covid-19 pandemic and it seems not even world leaders are immune.

"I am really looking forward to marrying this fantastic man," Frederiksen wrote in a Facebook post alongside a photo of herself and her fiance Bo.


Football: Liverpool win Premier League title with seven games to spare

Liverpool's 30-year English title drought ended on Thursday as they were confirmed as Premier League champions courtesy of second-placed Manchester City's 2-1 loss at Chelsea.

The result at Stamford Bridge means Liverpool have an unassailable 23-point lead over City with seven games left.

Liverpool were last champions of England when they won the old First Division title in 1989-90 after which a decline in fortunes saw Manchester United and Arsenal, then Chelsea and Manchester City seize power.


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