While You Were Sleeping: 5 stories you might have missed, Oct 12


Trump says US, China have reached substantial phase-one trade deal

The United States and China agreed on Friday to the first phase of a trade deal covering agricultural purchases, currency and some aspects of intellectual property protections, and averting a threatened tariff hike, but US President Donald Trump said more needed to be negotiated.

The preliminary, partial deal was the biggest step toward resolving a 15-month tariff war between the world’s two largest economies that has roiled financial markets, disrupted manufacturing and has slowed global growth.

Trump told reporters at the White House that the two sides are very close to ending the trade war and it will take up to five weeks to get the deal written. He spoke after talks with Chinese Vice-Premier Liu He.

US Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin told reporters Trump had agreed not to proceed with a hike in tariffs to 30% from 25% on about US$250 billion (S$343 billion) in Chinese goods that was supposed to have gone into effect on Tuesday.


Malaysia aims to lure investments amid sluggish economy and US-China tensions

Malaysia is rolling out incentives to lure foreign investors seeking shelter from the persistent US-China trade war.

"The protracted trade war creates a unique opportunity for Malaysia to again be the preferred destination for high value-added Foreign Direct Investments," said Finance Minister Lim Guan Eng in presenting the annual budget speech on Friday.

Approved FDI in the first half of the year surged by 97 per cent to RM49.5 billion (S$16.2 billion), compared with RM25.1 billion in the first six months of last year.


Brexit deal in sight as negotiators start to thrash out details

Britain and the European Union signalled a Brexit deal is in sight, with negotiators heading into three days of intensive talks in Brussels.

On Friday, EU officials said that British Prime Minister Boris Johnson had indicated he was prepared to make sufficient concessions to allow detailed talks to begin.

Teams from both sides will work over the weekend to explore whether they can arrive at the basis of an accord ahead of a summit of EU leaders that begins Thursday.


Wind-driven Los Angeles wildfire leaves 1 dead, forces 100,000 to flee

A fierce, wind-driven wildfire swept through foothills and canyons along the northern edge of Los Angeles on Friday, engulfing homes, closing roads and engulfing acre upon acre of dry brush and chaparral as 100,000 residents were forced to flee.

At least one death was attributed to the fire, a man who authorities said suffered a heart attack while trying to battle encroaching flames.

The blaze, dubbed the Saddleridge fire, had charred more than 4,700 acres by Friday morning, 12 hours after it ignited and then grew quickly into the largest and most ferocious among a spate of wildfires across Southern California.


Euro 2020: Czechs upset England to end 10-year run in qualifiers

England suffered their first tournament qualifying defeat for 10 years as they lost 2-1 away to the Czech Republic in their Euro 2020 qualifying Group A clash on Friday.

Substitute Zdenek Ondrasek grabbed the winner five minutes from time when he confidently fired past keeper Jordan Pickford after Lukas Masopust burst down the right and picked him out.

Harry Kane had put England ahead with a penalty in the fifth minute after Raheem Sterling was brought down by Masopust.