While You Were Sleeping: 5 stories you might have missed, May 19

A man looks out of his apartment, damaged by shelling, in the Saltivka district of northern Kharkiv, on May 15, 2022, PHOTO: AFP

EU floats idea of massive aid to rebuild Ukraine

Top EU officials on Wednesday urged member states to be ambitious in helping Ukraine rebuild after the war, including through possible joint borrowing to cover the massive costs.

With the war still raging, the extent of Ukraine's reconstruction needs is not known, but the European Commission, the EU's executive arm, believes the damage already done is already in the hundreds of billions of euros.

To help pay for this, officials are floating a repeat of the EU's post-pandemic recovery fund, the €800 billion (S$1.16 trillion) in fiscal stimulus that is being financed by common debt among the EU's 27 member states.

The fund, officially known as Next Generation EU, overcame deep reticence by so-called "frugal" member states such as the Netherlands and Denmark to come into being.


Ukrainian flag on summit of Everest

On the roof of the world, Antonina Samoilova held up a blue and yellow panel emblazoned "Stand With Ukraine" while her father and brother were serving in the army defending their country against Russia's invasion.

The 33-year-old had tears in her eyes as she unfurled the Ukrainian flag on the summit of Mount Everest last week, she said on Wednesday after returning to Kathmandu.

The world's attention was turning away from her country's plight following Russia's invasion, she worried.


Why monkeypox cases are rising in Europe

A handful of cases of monkeypox have now been reported or are suspected in the United Kingdom, Portugal and Spain.

The outbreaks are raising alarm because the disease mostly occurs in west and central Africa, and only very occasionally spreads elsewhere.

Here's what scientists know so far.


Tom Cruise swoops into Cannes, igniting film festival

Tom Cruise rolled into the Cannes Film Festival on Wednesday – jet planes in tow – cranking up festivities with action, star power and autograph signings on the red carpet.

Fans greeted him with whoops and hollers and the French Air Force aerobatic team Patrouille de France flew overhead, spraying the sky with coloured smoke trails in red, white and blue.

Cruise was in the city to promote the long-awaited Top Gun: Maverick movie sequel, which was held back for two years because of the Covid-19 pandemic.


It's gonna be all right, Taylor Swift tells NYU graduates

Singer-songwriter Taylor Swift received an honorary doctorate from New York University on Wednesday and told graduates that everything would be all right, echoing the sentiments of her hit single Shake It Off.

The 32-year-old urged students to make the most of their choices.

She also praised them for taking on the challenge of attending college during a pandemic.


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