While You Were Sleeping: 5 stories you might have missed, March 12

US President Donald Trump's US$4.7 trillion (S$6.38 trillion) budget was immediately panned by Democrats in Congress.
US President Donald Trump's US$4.7 trillion (S$6.38 trillion) budget was immediately panned by Democrats in Congress.PHOTO: EPA-EFE

Trump budget boosts military and wall but targets social services

US President Donald Trump on Monday called for spending more money on the military and a US-Mexico border wall while overhauling social programs for the poor in a budget plan that sets the stage for his next fight with the US Congress.

The Republican president's US$4.7 trillion (S$6.38 trillion) budget was immediately panned by Capitol Hill Democrats, who blocked his push for a border wall during a standoff last year that led to a five-week partial shutdown of the federal government.

Like past presidential budget proposals, Mr Trump's plan was highly unlikely to become law, especially with Democrats in control of the House of Representatives. But it does serve as an early manifesto of his 2020 re-election campaign.

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Football: Real Madrid reappoint Zidane as coach to replace Solari

Real Madrid have reappointed Zinedine Zidane as coach on a three-year deal following the sacking of Santiago Solari, the club said on Monday (March 11), after the European champions' season collapsed inside a week.

"Real Madrid's board met today and decided to end the contract linking Santiago Solari to the club as first team coach and, at the same time, have offered to keep him at the club," Madrid said in a statement.

"The board have named Zinedine Zidane as the new coach to be incorporated immediately for the rest of the season and the next three, until June 30, 2022."

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British PM Theresa May expected in Strasbourg in late bid for Brexit breakthrough

British Prime Minister Theresa May is expected to travel to Strasbourg on Monday (March 11) for talks with European Union leaders, in a last-ditch bid to strike a Brexit deal on the eve of a crucial vote in Britain's parliament.

Mrs May is set to meet top EU officials following a weekend of deadlocked talks and with less than three weeks to go before Britain's scheduled departure from the bloc.

The embattled British leader is scrambling to formalise changes to her divorce deal, which was overwhelmingly rejected by MPs in January, in the hope of winning a new vote on the agreement in parliament on Tuesday (March 12).

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11 dead as Brazil's largest city flooded

Intense floods in Latin America's business hub Sao Paulo killed at least 11 people, turned roads into rivers and tossed cars atop buildings and into trees, with authorities bracing for more rain Monday evening (March 11).

Five people drowned. The others, including at least one infant, were buried alive in mudslides, according to the Sao Paulo state security secretariat.

Nearly 110 millimetres - over 4 inches - of rain fell from Sunday afternoon to Monday afternoon, 70 per cent of the amount expected for the entire month of March, authorities said.

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Diplomacy with North Korea very much alive, says US special envoy Biegun

American diplomacy with North Korea "is still very much alive" and President Trump remains open to another meeting with Chairman Kim Jong Un despite the abrupt end to last month's summit in Hanoi, said US special envoy on North Korea Stephen Biegun on Monday (March 11).

The US will also continue to engage with North Korea diplomatically to see if there are opportunities to reach agreements on confidence building measures like opening liaison offices, he added.

But North Korea has not yet committed to full denuclearisation, and the US will not accept partial denuclearisation, said Mr Biegun as he outlined the state of US-North Korea diplomacy and its stumbling blocks in his first public comments since the Hanoi summit.

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