While You Were Sleeping: 5 stories you might have missed, March 8


Britain says Russian double agent poisoned with nerve agent

Police believe a nerve agent was used to deliberately poison a former Russian double agent and his daughter, Britain’s top counter-terrorism officer said on Wednesday, in a case that threatens to further damage London’s ties with Moscow.

Sergei Skripal, once a colonel in Russia’s GRU military intelligence service, and his 33-year-old daughter, Yulia, were found slumped unconscious on a bench outside a shopping centre in the southern English city of Salisbury on Sunday afternoon.

Both remain critically ill and a police officer who attended the scene is also in a serious condition in hospital.

“This is being treated as a major incident involving attempted murder by administration of a nerve agent,” London Assistant Commissioner Mark Rowley told reporters. Rowley declined to elaborate on the specific nerve agent, nor would he give specific details about how it was used to poison Skripal, 66, and his daughter.


White House eyes tariff exemptions for Mexico, Canada on national security grounds

The US may exempt countries based on national security considerations from steep tariffs on steel and aluminium imports that President Donald Trump plans to impose, White House Press Secretary Sarah Sanders said on Wednesday.

“There are potential carve outs for Canada and Mexico based on national security and possibly other countries as well. That would be a case-by-case and country-by-country basis,” Sanders told reporters at the White House.

Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin said Wednesday in an interview with Bloomberg TV that the administration is drafting the official paperwork for the tariffs, and they could be announced as soon as Thursday, but also possibly Friday.


Four people seriously hurt in knife attacks in Vienna

Four people were seriously injured in two knife attacks in one district of the Austrian capital Vienna on Wednesday evening but any motive or connection between the assaults was unclear, a police spokesman said.

The stabbings – the first of which took place at 7.45pm (2.45am on Thursday, Singapore time), occurred in Vienna’s Second District, which includes the famous Prater park as well as the Praterstern transport hub. It also houses much of Vienna’s small Jewish community.

“A man attacked a family – a father, a mother and their 17-year-old daughter – with a knife. The three people were seriously injured and their lives are in danger,” the spokesman said. “And half an hour later there was another attack... at Praterstern and here a person was also seriously injured and their life is in danger,” he said.


Man who yelled 'get out of my country' before killing Indian immigrant pleads guilty, faces life sentence

A Kansas man pleaded guilty on Tuesday to opening fire in a bar last year, killing one Indian man and injuring two other people in a crime that sparked international outrage and federal hate crime charges.

Adam W. Purinton, 52, pleaded guilty to one count of premeditated first-degree murder and two counts of attempted premeditated first-degree murder in connection with the shooting at Austin's Bar and Grill in Olathe, Kansas, in February of last year, according to Johnson County District Attorney Steve Howe.

He will be sentenced in May, and is likely to spend the rest of his life in prison under a plea agreement.


Football: Higuain and Dybala stun Spurs to send Juventus through

Juventus produced a Champions League smash-and-grab raid as Paulo Dybala's goal earned them a 2-1 victory over Tottenham Hotspur at Wembley to send the Italians through to the quarter-finals 4-3 on aggregate on Wednesday.

Son Heung-min's first-half effort had put Tottenham in control after they had drawn 2-2 in Turin last month and there was little sign of a Juve response until Gonzalo Higuain and Dybala struck in three second-half minutes.

Higuain poked in from close range to equalise in the 64th minute before fellow Argentine Dybala, who missed the first leg with an injury, curled past Hugo Lloris after bursting clear.