While You Were Sleeping: 5 stories you might have missed, May 21

Rockets are launched towards Israel from Gaza City, on May 20, 2021. PHOTO: AFP

Israel and Hamas agree Gaza truce to end 11 days of conflict

Israel and Hamas will cease fire across the Gaza Strip border as of 2am on Friday (5am Singapore time), the Palestinian Islamist faction and Egyptian state TV said, bringing a potentially tenuous halt to the fiercest fighting in decades.

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu's office said his security cabinet had voted unanimously in favour of a "mutual and unconditional" Gaza truce proposed by Egypt, but added that the hour of implementation had yet to be agreed.

Within minutes of the announcements, in the countdown to the ceasefire, the sides were trading blows again. Sirens warned of incoming rockets in Israeli border communities, and a Reuters reporter heard an air strike in Gaza.


Indian rescuers use ships, planes in search for 26 missing after cyclone

India's army and navy deployed ships and aircraft as they searched for 26 people still missing more than three days after a powerful cyclone sank a barge off the country's west coast, killing 49 people on board.

Cyclone Tauktae, the most powerful storm to barrel into the west coast in two decades, has killed at least 46 others after wreaking havoc in the states of Gujarat, Maharashtra, Goa, Karnataka and Kerala.

"Ships and aircraft continue to search for the remaining crew," Navy spokesman Mehul Karnik said in a statement on Thursday (May 20) evening.


France to open Covid-19 vaccination to all adults from May 31: PM Castex

France will make Covid-19 vaccinations available to everyone over 18 from May 31, two weeks earlier than the initially planned date of June 15, French Prime Minister Jean Castex said on Thursday (May 20).

The government has recently relaxed conditions and age limits for getting the vaccine in order to stay on track to meet its vaccination targets.

On Wednesday, France had already given more than 21 million people, or 32 per cent of the total population and 41 per cent of the adult population a first injection and and more than 9 million people have also received a second shot.


Eiffel Tower to reopen on July 16 as France eases Covid-19 curbs

The Eiffel Tower will reopen on July 16 after several months of closure due to the coronavirus pandemic, the Paris landmark's operator said on Thursday (May 20).

Visitor numbers will be limited to 10,000 a day to meet social distancing requirements, fewer than half of their pre-Covid levels, operator Sete told AFP.

All floors of the monument will be accessible to visitors, except some areas where renovation work is ongoing.


Formula One: Vettel laps Monaco with tears in his eyes

Sebastian Vettel lapped the unforgiving Monaco street circuit with tears in his eyes during Thursday's (May 20) second practice after something irritated his vision.

The four-times Formula One world champion was later jokingly presented with a makeshift eye patch by his Aston Martin team mates.

"I had the first run and something got into my eye, and then it got worse on the second run," the German told reporters.


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