While You Were Sleeping: 5 stories you might have missed, Nov 10


Trump signs order limiting migrant asylum at US-Mexico border

US President Donald Trump on Friday signed an order that effectively will suspend the granting of asylum to migrants who cross the US border with Mexico illegally, but rights groups rushed to court to try to block the policy.

The order, which goes into effect on Saturday, means that migrants will have to present themselves at US ports of entry to qualify for asylum.

Immigrant advocates have said the Trump administration has deliberately slowed the processing of migrants at official ports, forcing them to wait for days or weeks to request protection.

"I just signed the proclamation on asylum - very important," Trump told reporters on Friday before leaving for Paris. "People can come in but they have to come in through the points of entry."


Macron's proposal for EU army 'very insulting', says Trump, as he arrives in France

French President Emmanuel Macron's suggestion for a joint European army is "very insulting," Donald Trump said on Friday on arriving in Paris for ceremonies to mark the end of World War 1.

"President Macron of France has just suggested that Europe build its own military in order to protect itself from the US, China and Russia," the US president tweeted as his plane landed in the French capital.

"Very insulting, but perhaps Europe should first pay its fair share of Nato, which the US subsidizes greatly!," he added.


US presses China to halt militarisation of South China Sea

Standing side by side, top US officials urged their Chinese counterparts on Friday to halt militarisation of the disputed South China Sea, drawing a rebuke from the Chinese for sending US warships close to islands claimed by Beijing in the strategic waterway.

During a round of high-level talks in Washington, the two sides aired in sometimes blunt terms many of their main differences, including a bitter trade dispute, freedom of navigation in Asia-Pacific waters, self-ruled Taiwan, and China’s crackdown on its Muslim minority.

Two visiting senior Chinese officials also seized the opportunity to warn publicly that a trade war between the world’s two largest economies would end up hurting both sides and to call for keeping channels of communication open to resolve an issue that has unsettled global financial markets.


Kardashians among celebrities fleeing as Malibu burns

Kim Kardashian, Alyssa Milano and Oscar-winning director Guillermo del Toro were among thousands fleeing from their homes in and around Malibu on Friday, as a fast-moving wildfire forced evacuations from the celebrity-packed area.

Celebrity website TMZ reported that the Malibu ridge home of Caitlyn Jenner, America’s best-known transgender person, was destroyed by the flames on Friday. Her publicist could not confirm the status of her house, but told Reuters that Jenner was safe.

TMZ also reported that the fire had reached the grounds of the mansion in nearby Calabasas owned by Kardashian and husband Kanye West. Kardashian posted on social media late on Thursday that she “had just one hour to pack up and evacuate our home.”


Rare pink diamond set to make US$50 million

The Pink Legacy, an exceptionally large pink diamond, is set to go under the hammer at Christie's in Geneva next week, when it is expected to bring in up to US$50 million (S$68 million).

At nearly 19 carats, the vividly coloured gem is extraordinary, Jean-Marc Lunel, an international jewellery specialist at Christie's, told AFP.

The gem, which on Nov 13 will be offered at auction for the first time, has been estimated at between US$30 million and US$50 million, and Lunel suggested it could hit the high end of that range.