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

Singapore's current deal with F1 owners Liberty Media was supposed to end after this year's race. ST FILE PHOTO

S'pore F1 Grand Prix cancelled for second year over Covid-19

The Singapore Airlines Singapore Grand Prix has been cancelled for the second year running, announced race organiser Singapore GP, "due to ongoing safety and logistic concerns brought about by the Covid-19 pandemic".

It noted that the "evolving and unpredictable pandemic situation around the world" had made it "increasingly challenging to stage a complex multi-faceted event for tens of thousands of local and overseas spectators".

The event was slated to take place from Oct 1-3 and would have been the 16th race in the 2021 season's 23-stop series.

"To cancel the event for a second year is an incredibly difficult decision, but a necessary one in light of the prevailing restrictions for live events in Singapore," said Colin Syn, deputy chairman of Singapore GP, in a statement on Friday night.


Putin says wants to find ways with Biden to improve ties

Russian President Vladimir Putin said on Friday he is hoping to improve deeply damaged relations with the United States when he holds his first summit with US counterpart Joe Biden later this month.

The face-to-face meeting in Geneva on June 16 comes amid the biggest crisis in ties between the two countries in years, with tensions high over a litany of issues including hacking allegations, human rights and claims of election meddling.

"We need to find ways to regularise these relations," Putin told the Saint Petersburg International Economic Forum, adding that bilateral ties are currently at a "low level".


Facebook bans former US president Donald Trump for 2 years

Facebook on Friday set its ban on former US president Donald Trump for two years, saying he deserved the maximum punishment for violating platform rules over a deadly attack by his supporters on the US Capitol.

The two-year ban will be effective from Jan 7, when Trump was booted off the platform, and comes after Facebook's independent oversight board said the indefinite ban should be reviewed.

Facebook also said it will no longer give politicians blanket immunity for deceptive or abusive content at the social network based on their comments being newsworthy.


Microsoft's Bing raises concerns over lack of Tiananmen 'tank man' results

Microsoft's Bing search engine showed no image results for the query "tank man" in the United States and elsewhere on Friday, users reported, raising concerns about possible censorship around the Tiananmen Square crackdown anniversary.

"Tank man" is often used to name an unidentified person famously pictured standing before tanks in China's Tiananmen Square during pro-democracy demonstrations in June 1989.

Microsoft said the issue was "due to an accidental human error and we are actively working to resolve this."


Serena powers into French Open fourth round to boost record hopes

Serena Williams sent out a warning to the rest of the depleted women's draw on Friday, with a dominant straight-sets win over Danielle Collins to reach the French Open last 16 for the first time since 2018.

The 39-year-old, still one short of Margaret Court's all-time record of 24 Grand Slam singles titles, saw off fellow American Collins 6-4, 6-4.

Williams is now the highest seed left in her half of the draw, with all of the world's top four absent from the second week.


Join ST's Telegram channel and get the latest breaking news delivered to you.