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

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Hurricane Michael, among fiercest in US history, batters Florida Panhandle

Hurricane Michael, the strongest storm to hit Florida in a quarter century and the third-most powerful ever to strike the US mainland, roared into the state's Gulf coast on Wednesday (Oct 10) with tree-snapping winds and towering waves that flooded whole beach towns.

Michael, whose rapid intensification as it churned north over the Gulf of Mexico caught many by surprise, made landfall early in the afternoon near Mexico Beach, about 32km south-east of Panama City in Florida's Panhandle region, with top sustained winds reaching 249kmh.

The storm came ashore as a Category 4 hurricane on the five-step Saffir-Simpson wind scale. Its sustained winds were just 3.2kmh shy of an extremely rare Category 5.

"My God it's scary. I didn't expect all this," said Bill Manning, 63, a grocery clerk who left his camper van in Panama City, Florida, to move into a hotel where the power was already out. "Panama City, I don't know if there will be much left."


Christian bakery wins landmark 'gay cake' case in Britain

A bakery run by a Christian family in Northern Ireland on Wednesday won a landmark case in Britain's highest court over its refusal to make a cake decorated with the words "Support Gay Marriage".

The Supreme Court upheld the owners' appeal against a May decision that found them guilty of discriminating against gay rights activist Gareth Lee.

The bakery called the ruling a momentous day for religious freedom in Britain, while Lee condemned it as a profound blow for civil rights.


Dow ends brutal session with 3.1% loss, Nasdaq down 4%

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Wall Street stocks plunged on Wednesday, with major indices losing more than 3 per cent in a selloff prompted by the sudden jump in US interest rates.

When all the dust settled after a brutal session, the Dow Jones Industrial Average had lost 3.2 per cent or 830 points to finish at 25,498.74, in the biggest fall since February.

The broad-based S&P 500 slumped 3.3 per cent to end at 2,785.68, while the tech-rich Nasdaq Composite Index plummeted 4.1 per cent to finish the session at 7,422.05. The Nasdaq decline was its worst in percentage terms since the surprise Brexit vote in June 2016.


Marie Antoinette's jewellery on display in Dubai before auction

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Held in private collections for more than 200 years, jewellery that once belonged to France's ill-fated Queen Marie Antoinette has gone on display in Dubai ahead of its planned auction in Geneva next month.

Described by British auction house Sotheby's as "one of the most important royal jewellery collections ever to come to auction," the seven pieces are part of an exhibition entitled "Royal Jewels from the Bourbon Parma family" that also includes other items from the storied dynasty's rich history.

The French queen's jewels on view include a 49-karat natural pearl and diamond pendant, as well as necklaces, brooches, and earrings valued in total at between US$1.5 and 3 million (S$2 million to S$4 million).


Football: Ronaldo insists sex was 'completely consensual'

Cristiano Ronaldo insisted again on Wednesday that he did not rape a woman he met in a Las Vegas hotel in 2009 and that their sexual encounter was "completely consensual", said his lawyer.

"Ronaldo is forced to break his silence," said the Juventus and Portuguese star's lawyer Peter Christiansen in a statement released through Gestifute, the company which manages the player's affairs.

"Once again, for the avoidance of doubt, Cristiano Ronaldo's position has always been, and continues to be, that what happened in 2009 in Las Vegas was completely consensual."


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