While You Were Sleeping: 5 stories you might have missed, March 3 edition

Huge quake strikes off Indonesia, tremors felt in Singapore

A massive 7.8-magnitude quake struck on Wednesday off the Indonesian island of Sumatra, a region devastated by the 2004 Indian Ocean quake and tsunami, but initial fears of another region-wide disaster faded as tsunami warnings were cancelled.

A National Search and Rescue Agency official gave an initial report of some deaths, but later withdrew those comments.

The tremors from the quake could be felt in parts of Singapore. One Sengkang resident said she felt the ground shake for about 15 seconds at 8.52pm. "I could feel my bed moving and I saw the wind chimes swaying even though my windows were shut. I suspected it's tremors from a quake in a neighbouring country because this was what happened some years back during the Sumatra earthquake," said the 39-year-old civil servant.


UN imposes harsh new sanctions on North Korea over its nuclear programme

North Korea faces harsh new UN sanctions to starve it of money for its nuclear weapons programme following a unanimous Security Council vote on Wednesday on a resolution drafted by the United States and Pyongyang’s ally China.

The resolution, which dramatically expands existing sanctions, follows North Korea’s latest nuclear test on Jan 6 and a Feb 7 rocket launch that Washington and its allies said used banned ballistic missile technology. Pyongyang said it was a peaceful satellite launch.

US Ambassador Samantha Power said the sanctions go further than any UN sanctions regime in two decades and aim to cut off funds for North Korea’s nuclear and other banned weapons programmes.


Trump triumphs amid Republican divisions, Clinton's Democrats coalesce

Donald Trump's triumphal march towards the Republican presidential nomination left his party in disarray on Wednesday as Democrats coalesced around their White House front runner Hillary Clinton after her slew of Super Tuesday victories.

Both candidates emerged the clear winners after party nominating contests in a dozen states, piling up delegates on the biggest, most pivotal day of primaries in the race to replace President Barack Obama.

Trump was victorious in seven of 11 states, weakening but not eliminating his rivals, while Clinton equalled that score with wins in seven states against Bernie Sanders, absorbing a formidable challenge from the left.


Indicted former CEO of Chesapeake Energy dead in car crash

The former head of Chesapeake Energy, the second largest US gas company, was killed in a one-car crash in Oklahoma on Wednesday, a day after he was indicted for bid-fixing, police told AFP.

Aubrey McClendon's car rammed into a bridge wall in north-east Oklahoma City on Wednesday morning, said Sergeant Gary Knight, a spokesman for the city's police.

McClendon, 56, died at the scene, Knight said. "Single car, single occupant."


Madonna custody battle over son Rocco returns to New York court

Lawyers for pop singer Madonna and her ex-husband, British film director Guy Ritchie, return to a New York court on Wednesday in a bid to resolve a custody dispute over the couple's 15 year-old son Rocco.

Neither Madonna nor Ritchie is expected to attend the Manhattan Supreme Court hearing in person, a court official said.

It follows Rocco's refusal in December to return to New York with his mother.