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

PM Prayut Chan-o-cha gestures in a traditional greeting as his arrives at a weekly cabinet meeting at Bangkok's Government House.
PM Prayut Chan-o-cha gestures in a traditional greeting as his arrives at a weekly cabinet meeting at Bangkok's Government House.PHOTO: REUTERS

Thai police say they have found plot to kill prime minister Prayut Chan-o-cha

Thai police said on Sunday (March 19) they had uncovered a plot to assassinate the country's prime minister after seizing a weapons cache belonging to a fugitive anti-junta activist.

It is the latest discovery of a weapons stockpile belonging to a member of the red shirt movement, a political group loyal to exiled Prime Minister Thaksin Shinawatra.

Police on Saturday found dozens of rifles and grenades, and thousands of rounds of ammunition, at a house belonging to red shirt leader Wuthipong Kochathamakun, who has been on the run since the military coup.


Brazil confronts fallout from rotten meat scandal; Singapore a major market

Brazil's president held crisis talks Sunday (March 19) with ministers and foreign ambassadors to try and limit the damage to trade from allegations that major Brazilian producers have been selling rotten meat worldwide, and Singapore is a major market.

Police allegations that meat producers bribed health inspectors for years to certify tainted food as fit for consumption has struck at the heart of the world's leading beef and chicken exporter.

Temer - whose government is already battered by a huge embezzlement scandal and Brazil's deepest recession in history - huddled first with meatpacking representatives, Agriculture Minister Blairo Maggi and Trade Minister Marcos Pereira.


Clashes rock Syria's capital after surprise rebel assault

Heavy clashes rocked eastern districts of the Syrian capital on Sunday as rebels and jihadists tried to fight their way into the city centre in a surprise assault on government forces.

The attack comes just days before a fresh round of UN-brokered peace talks in Geneva aiming at ending Syria's six-year war.

Rebels and government forces agreed to a nationwide cessation of hostilities in December, but fighting has continued across much of the country, including in the capital.


Football: Sergio Aguero leveller for Manchester City keeps Liverpool at bay in 1-1 draw

Sergio Aguero netted a 69th-minute equaliser in a gripping 1-1 draw with Liverpool on Sunday to prevent Manchester City losing ground in the battle for a top-four Premier League finish.

Liverpool looked poised to leapfrog City into third place after James Milner silenced the boos from fans of his former club to give the visitors the lead with a penalty early in the second half.

But Aguero's strike kept City a point above their rivals, who have played a game more, and provided a moment of solace after their mid-week Champions League elimination at Monaco's hands.


'Beauty' proves a beast in sales, smashing box-office record

 Disney's latest live-action version of Beauty and the Beast smashed box office records in its opening three-day weekend, taking in an unexpected US$170 million (S$238 million), according to industry estimates.

The film, featuring Harry Potter veteran Emma Watson as a charming Belle to the frightening Beast played by Dan Stevens of Downton Abbey fame, set a record for a March opening in North America, Exhibitor Relations reported.

The previous record was set last year by Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice, with US$166 million.