While You Were Sleeping: 5 stories you might have missed, Nov 9


Trump says has not agreed to roll back tariffs on Chinese goods

President Donald Trump on Friday said he has not agreed to rollbacks of US tariffs sought by China, sparking fresh doubts about when the world’s two largest economies may end a 16-month trade war that has slowed global growth.

Officials from both countries on Thursday said China and the United States had agreed to roll back tariffs on each others’goods in a “phase one” trade deal.

But the idea of tariff rollbacks met with stiff opposition within the Trump administration, Reuters reported later on Thursday.

Those divisions were on full display on Friday, when Trump - who has repeatedly described himself as “Tariff Man” - told reporters at the White House that he had not agreed to reduce tariffs already put in place.


Vaping illnesses linked to vitamin E acetate, CDC says

Vitamin E acetate, an ingredient added to THC-based products, has been identified as a "very strong culprit" in the vaping-related lung injuries that have sickened 2,051 people and killed more than three dozen, the Centres for Disease Control and Prevention said on Friday.

But the agency left open the possibility that other chemicals or toxins could also be causing the severe respiratory ailments.

The report is based on finding the vitamin compound in fluid samples taken from the lungs of 29 patients who had the lung disease.


Senior French official accused of drugging women to watch them urinate

A senior official in France's culture ministry has been charged with sexual assault and drugs offences for drugging women with diuretics to make them urinate in front of him, judicial sources said on Friday.

Christian N, former human resources director in the culture ministry, is accused of preying on over 200 women, mostly job candidates, between 2009 and 2018, Liberation newspaper reported.

In a lengthy report on the affair, Liberation quoted five women who described how, during a job interview, Christian N offered them a cup or tea or coffee and then invited them on a long walking tour of sights near the culture ministry in Paris.


British tourist's hand is found inside a shark

Warm Indian Ocean waters have sent predators onto the so-called shark highway linking South Africa and Australia, and one stop is notable for drawing in tourists and sharks alike: Reunion Island.

A Scottish tourist was snorkeling in a lagoon's idyllic waters east of Madagascar on Saturday when he vanished, prompting a days-long search that included capturing and opening up tiger sharks to find signs of a human.

An autopsy of one of the sharks has revealed the man's fate. His severed hand was found inside one of them, and his wife identified it by the wedding ring still on his finger.


French ex-model accuses director Roman Polanski of raping her as a teen

A French former model and actress on Friday accused Oscar-winning director Roman Polanski, whose new film on the persecution of French Jewish army officer Alfred Dreyfus premieres next week, of raping her in a Swiss ski resort when she was a teenager.

It is the latest accusation against the 86-year-old Polish-born director who fled to France in 1978 from the US after admitting the statutory rape of a 13-year-old girl.

She said the alleged rape was "extremely violent", adding: "He pummelled me until I gave in and then raped me, making me do all sorts of things."