While You Were Sleeping: 5 stories you might have missed, Oct 11

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Catalan leader stops short of formal independence declaration to allow talks

Catalonia's leader stepped back from a formal declaration of independence from Spain, claiming a mandate to launch secession but saying he would delay doing so to allow time for talks with Madrid on the region's future.

Carles Puigdemont's speech to the autonomous region's parliament disappointed thousands of pro-independence supporters gathered outside in hopes of hearing the assembly adopt a unilateral proclamation of independence.

Puigdemont had been under intense pressure from all sides. The Spanish government had threatened tough action, possibly including imposing direct rule on Catalonia from Madrid, if he had gone ahead with breakaway moves.

Both Spanish Prime Minister Mariano Rajoy's government and European Council President Donald Tusk had urged Puigdemont not to proclaim independence.


British royal Kate makes first public appearance since pregnancy revealed

Kate, Britain's Duchess of Cambridge, made her first public appearance since it was announced she was pregnant, joining husband Prince William and his brother Harry at events to mark World Mental Health Day.

Last month, William and Kate announced they were expecting her third child and that as with her two previous pregnancies, she was suffering severe morning sickness.

However, Kate, showed no sign of the sickness that has forced her to cancel all engagements since then when she, William and Harry hosted a reception at Buckingham Palace to celebrate the efforts of those working Britain's mental health sector.


Da Vinci portrait of Christ expected to fetch over $100 million at auction

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The last privately owned Leonardo da Vinci painting and one of fewer than 20 by the Renaissance artist known to still exist is hitting the auction block, Christie's announced.

"Salvator Mundi," an ethereal portrait of Jesus Christ which dates to about 1500, is expected to sell for about US$100 million (S$135 million) at Christie's in November, making it among the most highly-valued works ever to be sold at auction.

"This is truly the Holy Grail of art rediscoveries," said Alan Wintermute, Christie's senior specialist for Old Master paintings, explaining that the portrait sometimes called the male Mona Lisa had long been thought to have been lost or destroyed.


Football: Hong Kong fans jeer China's national anthem

Hong Kong soccer supporters again jeered China's national anthem as tensions between sections of the city's population and the mainland Chinese authorities continue to simmer.

A group of fans at Hong Kong Stadium for the Asian Cup qualifying match against Malaysia booed during The March Of The Volunteers in a continuing show of defiance that began in the aftermath of the city's pro-democracy protests in 2014.

Hong Kong Football Association chairman Brian Leung declined to comment on the behaviour of the supporters.


Hollywood mogul Harvey Weinstein accused of rape

Italian film star Asia Argento and two other women claim that disgraced Hollywood producer Harvey Weinstein raped them, in a bombshell New Yorker expose published on Tuesday.

The women's allegations against the 65-year-old movie mogul, according to the magazine, include unwanted oral sex and forced oral and full sex. Weinstein denies all charges, according to a statement from his spokeswoman Sallie Hofmeister, circulated among US media.

The investigation was published as fresh misconduct allegations emerged from Hollywood A-listers such as Angelina Jolie, Rosanna Arquette and Gwyneth Paltrow.


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