While You Were Sleeping: 5 stories you might have missed, March 20

Farrera-Brochez speaks with media before a hearing in Kentucky, Feb 18, 2019.
Farrera-Brochez speaks with media before a hearing in Kentucky, Feb 18, 2019.ST PHOTO: ARDEN BARNES FOR THE STRAITS TIIMES

US trial date set for Mikhy Farrera-Brochez after he pleads not guilty

Mikhy Farrera-Brochez, the American at the centre of Singapore’s HIV database leak, pleaded not guilty to three charges related to stolen identification documents from Singapore on Tuesday in a Kentucky federal court.

His not guilty plea means the case will now proceed to trial on May 7.

The trial is expected to last three days, said US government prosecutor Dmitriy Slavin.

Farrera-Brochez, 34, was named by the Ministry of Health as the person behind the online leak of Singapore’s HIV registry in January. His partner, Singaporean doctor Ler Teck Siang, had access to the database as head of the National Public Health Unit.


Trump forges bond with Brazil's Bolsonaro in White House visit

US President Donald Trump and Brazil's new far-right leader Jair Bolsonaro forged a bond over their shared brand of conservative and populist politics on Tuesday, with Trump pledging to give more US support to Brazil's global ambitions.

In a joint news conference in the White House Rose Garden, Trump said he told Bolsonaro he would designate Brazil a major non-Nato ally and possibly go further by supporting a campaign to make Brazil "maybe a Nato ally."

Bolsonaro, a former army captain who rode to the presidency with a brash, anti-establishment campaign modelled on Trump's 2016 run, has declared himself an unabashed admirer of the US president and the American way of life.


California university says students tied to admissions scam could face expulsion

The University of Southern California (USC) said it may expel students tied to a brazen US college-admissions scam after reviewing their records, which could lead the college to throw out Full House actress Lori Loughlin's two daughters.

The school said it has already "placed holds on the accounts of students who may be associated with the alleged admissions scheme," preventing them from registering for classes or acquiring transcripts.

It did not name specific students, but Loughlin and her fashion designer husband Mossimo Giannulli are among 50 people charged last week with participating in what federal prosecutors called a US$25 million (S$34 million) bribery and fraud scam.


Bill Gates joins Jeff Bezos as the only two members of the US$100 billion club

Bloomberg tracks the fortunes of some 2,800 billionaires. Of those, 145 are worth at least US$10 billion (S$13 billion), making them decabillionaires. Now, the world contains two centibillionaires simultaneously.

Microsoft co-founder Bill Gates, once the world's richest person, has again eclipsed the US$100 billion threshold, joining Amazon.com's Jeff Bezos in the exclusive club, according to the Bloomberg Billionaires Index.

Gates' fortune, now US$100 billion on the nose, hasn't reached such heights since the dot-com boom, when Bezos was only beginning his march up the world's wealth rankings.


Google pushes into video games with Stadia service

Google is getting into gaming in a serious way.

The Alphabet unit unveiled on Tuesday a new game streaming service called Stadia at the Game Developers Conference in San Francisco.

The announcement marks a major new foray into the US$180 billion (S$240 billion) industry for the Internet giant.