While You Were Sleeping: 5 stories you might have missed, March 22

Members of the Druze community hold Syrian and Druze flags during a rally marking the anniversary of Israel's annexation of the Golan Heights in the Druze village of Majdal Shams, in the Israeli-occupied Golan Heights, on Feb 14, 2019.
Members of the Druze community hold Syrian and Druze flags during a rally marking the anniversary of Israel's annexation of the Golan Heights in the Druze village of Majdal Shams, in the Israeli-occupied Golan Heights, on Feb 14, 2019.PHOTO: REUTERS

Trump: US should 'fully recognise' Israeli sovereignty over Golan Heights

US President Donald Trump on Thursday (March 21) announced the United States should recognise Israeli sovereignty over the Golan Heights, an area seized from Syria and annexed in a move never recognised by the international community.

"After 52 years it is time for the United States to fully recognise Israel's Sovereignty over the Golan Heights," Mr Trump said in a tweet.

Mr Trump called the territory "of critical strategic and security importance to the State of Israel and Regional Stability!" This is the second recent diplomatic bombshell dropped by Washington, which is Israel's main backer, in seeking to redraw the fraught Middle East map.

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Brazil's ex-president Michel Temer arrested in 'Car Wash' probe

Brazil's ex-president Michel Temer was arrested Thursday (March 21), an official said, as part of a sprawling anti-corruption probe that has already claimed dozens of political and corporate scalps.

Police arrested Temer, the 78-year-old predecessor of current far-right President Jair Bolsonaro, in Sao Paulo, a spokesman for the federal prosecutor's office in Rio de Janeiro told AFP.

Former mines and energy minister Moreira Franco was also detained along with six others, including business people, G1 reported.

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At least 93 killed as overloaded ferry sinks in Iraq's Tigris river

The death toll of the ferry sinking incident in Tigris river in Iraq's northern city of Mosul on Thursday (March 21) rose to 93, most of them women and children, the Interior Ministry said.

"We have 93 people killed in the sinking ferry in Mosul, and the search operations continued for more possible victims," Saad Maan, a ministry spokesman, said in a press release.

No accurate figures are available yet about the number of people the ferry was carrying when the accident happened.

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China's Xi Jinping arrives in Italy amid Silk Road unease

Chinese President Xi Jinping arrived in Rome on Thursday evening (March 21) at the start of a whistlestop European tour amid growing Western unease over the economic giant's new Silk Road project.

Mr Xi descended from his Air China Boeing 747 with first lady Peng Liyuan at Rome's Fiumicino airport before being whisked off to their hotel in the Italian capital, AFPTV reported.

Prime Minister Giuseppe Conte is to sign a memorandum of understanding with Mr Xi on Saturday for Italy to join the US$1 trillion (S$1.35 trillion) Belt and Road Initiative, the first G7 member to do so.

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Wall Street powers world stocks; dollar up on Brexit woes

Wall Street led global stocks higher on Thursday (March 21) on the back of upbeat economic data, while the dollar rallied despite the Federal Reserve's uber-dovish stance as Brexit worries weighed on the euro and sterling.

The British currency tumbled 0.73 per cent against the US dollar on a rising probability of a "no-deal" Brexit that would likely slow economic growth.

A day after the Fed flagged an economic slowdown, US data showed jobless benefit applications fell more than expected while mid-Atlantic factory activity rebounded, triggering gains in technology stocks, and the Wall Street benchmark closed at its highest in over five months.

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