While You Were Sleeping: 5 stories you might have missed, March 7


Republican pushback on Trump tariffs gathers steam, talk of modifications emerges

Republican lawmakers stepped up calls on Tuesday for President Donald Trump to pull back from proposed tariffs on steel and aluminium imports as Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell added to an avalanche of criticism of the measures, saying they risked igniting a trade war and damaging the US economy.

McConnell's comments came after House of Representatives Speaker Paul Ryan criticised the proposed 25 per cent duty on steel and 10 per cent on aluminium as too broad. Although the measure is designed to hit China, its main impact will be on US allies like Canada.

The White House has said the measures will protect industries and jobs from unfair competition and that across-the-board tariffs are needed because countries like China use third countries for shipping steel to the United States, disguising its origin.

Opponents charge that the tariffs could destroy more jobs than they create, risk alienating US allies and that American consumers will end up paying more for a range of products from cans of beer to cars.


Show could not go on for Evita on Tuesday, after technical issues stopped performance

The performance of the international hit musical, Evita, now on at Marina Bay Sands, had to be cancelled about half an hour after it had begun on Tuesday night, owing to unspecified "technical issues".

Audience member Vicki Chen said the interruption came after the "first couple of songs".

"A woman was singing, and then she stopped and an announcement came on apologising for a technical fault," said the multimedia designer, 31, who had gone to the show alone. "We waited in the theatre for about 15 minutes before an announcement came on saying there would be an intermission."


Einstein letter fetches US$100,000 at Jerusalem auction

A letter penned by legendary physicist Albert Einstein discussing one of his groundbreaking theories sold in Jerusalem on Tuesday for over US$100,000 (S$130,000) as part of trove of documents that went under the hammer.

The handwritten missive, sent in 1928 by Einstein from Berlin to a mathematician about the formalisation of the "Third Stage of the Theory of Relativity", was snapped up by an anonymous buyer for US$103,700.

The letter was written during one of the "most exciting, feverish periods of Einstein's scientific career" as he worked to hammer out one of the major scientific breakthroughs of the last century, auction house Winner's said.


Fiorentina's Astori died of cardiac arrest, autopsy finds: Reports

Italian footballer Davide Astori likely died from a cardiac arrest linked to the slowing of his heart rate, local media reported on Tuesday following the initial results of his autopsy.

Fiorentina and Astori’s former club Cagliari announced they will retire his number 13 shirt in honour of the 31-year-old Italy international, who was found dead in his hotel room on Sunday ahead of a Serie A match at Udinese.

Doctors who carried out the player’s autopsy referred to a “cardiac arrest without a visible explanation, in all likelihood due to a bradyarrhythmia (slow heart rate)”, Corriere dello Sport and Tuttosport reported.


Chanel attacked for felling trees for Paris fashion show

Karl Lagerfeld created a spectacular mid-winter wood for his Paris catwalk on Tuesday, but immediately fell foul of environmental activists who accused him of felling century-old trees for the show.

The veteran German creator turned the Grand Palais into a forest, with tonnes of dead leaves strewn on mirrored steps and nine tall mossy trees planted down the middle of its vast nave.

Trees had also been chopped down for the rows of benches for his guests, including Hollywood star Keira Knightley, British pop singer Lily Allen and former French first lady Carla Bruni Sarkozy.