While You Were Sleeping: 5 stories you might have missed, March 10

Director of national intelligence Avril Haines testifies before a House Intelligence Committee hearing on "worldwide threats to U.S. security", on Capitol Hill in Washington. PHOTO: REUTERS

China doesn’t want a war over Taiwan, US spy chief says

The US intelligence community assesses that China doesn’t want a military conflict over Taiwan, even as it is determined to bring the independently governed island under its control, officials told a House of Representatives hearing on Thursday.

“It’s not our assessment that China wants to go to war,” director of national intelligence Avril Haines told the House Intelligence Committee as part of an annual briefing on worldwide threats faced by the US.

Central Intelligence Agency director William Burns testified at the same hearing that President Xi Jinping has been “sobered” by US and allied support for Ukraine in response to Russia’s invasion a year ago.

“That’s something that President Xi has to weigh as he comes out of Zero Covid, tries to restore Chinese economic growth, tries to engage with the rest of the global economy,” Mr Burns said.


Ex-Goldman banker sentenced to 10 years prison in 1MDB case

Former Goldman Sachs banker Roger Ng was sentenced to 10 years in prison on Thursday, after he was convicted of helping loot billions of dollars from Malaysia’s 1MDB sovereign wealth fund.

A jury in Brooklyn federal court last April found Ng, Goldman’s former head of investment banking in Malaysia, guilty of helping his former boss, Tim Leissner, embezzle money from the fund, launder the proceeds and bribe government officials to win business.

The charges stem from some US$6.5 billion (S$8.78 billion) in bonds that Goldman helped 1MDB, which was founded to finance development projects in Malaysia, sell in 2012 and 2013.


Hamas gunman wounds three in attack before police kill him

 A Palestinian gunman opened fire in Tel Aviv on Thursday, wounding three people before being killed by police in what Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu labelled a “terror attack” amid rising unrest in the West Bank.

The Islamist militant group Hamas claimed the shooter, a 23-year-old from the occupied West Bank, as a member.

Police cordoned off a corner of Dizengoff street in the city centre, where the attack took place.


Republican Mitch McConnell treated for concussion after fall

US Senate Republican leader Mitch McConnell, one of the most powerful figures in Washington, is being treated for a concussion and will remain hospitalised for a few days after tripping and falling, his spokesperson said on Thursday.

Mr McConnell, who is 81 and was first elected to represent Kentucky in the Senate in 1984, “tripped at a dinner event on Wednesday evening and has been admitted to the hospital and is being treated for a concussion,” spokesman David Popp said in a statement.

“He is expected to remain in the hospital for a few days of observation and treatment,” Mr Popp added.


Fiddler On The Roof star Topol dies in Israel aged 87

Israeli actor and singer Chaim Topol, best known for his role as Tevye the dairyman in the musical Fiddler On The Roof, has died in Israel aged 87.

Topol, known by his last name alone, won worldwide fame talking and singing and dancing his way through If I Were A Rich Man and other hits from the show on stage and on screen in the 1971 film version.

“My wife and I, and all the citizens of Israel, with deep pain are parting from our dear Chaim Topol – loved by the audience and one of the great artists of Israel,” Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu wrote on Twitter.


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