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

Knesset Member Ofir Akunis presents Jared Kushner with a gift as Ivanka Trump, Israeli Opposition leader Benjamin Netanyahu and his wife Sara look on in Jerusalem, on Oct 11, 2021. PHOTO: REUTERS

Jared Kushner, Ivanka Trump in Jerusalem for Abraham Accords initiative

Israeli lawmakers flanked by former president Donald Trump's daughter and son-in-law launched an initiative in Jerusalem on Monday (Oct 11) to advance the Abraham Accords that saw Arab states normalise ties with Israel.

Jared Kushner, a former White House adviser married to Ivanka Trump, was a major architect of the deals between Israel and the United Arab Emirates, Bahrain, Sudan and Morocco.

At the launch of the Abraham Accords Caucus in Israel's parliament, the Knesset, Kushner said the agreements created a "new paradigm" in the region, which could have "very different outcomes" depending on the actions of current leaders.


UK's largest warship docks at Changi as two more warships sail into region

One of the two largest warships ever built for the British Royal Navy docked at Changi on Monday (Oct 11), carrying on its deck F-35B jets and helicopters, and accompanied by other warships further out at sea.

The HMS Queen Elizabeth carrier, on its maiden operational deployment, is here after sailing through 40 countries in the Mediterranean and the Indo-Pacific in what is the most significant show of maritime and air power to leave the United Kingdom in a generation.

Its movement comes amid fraught tensions in the region, with the South China Sea subjected to intensified wrangling by various countries in recent years.


Lava from La Palma volcano burns cement plant, prompting lockdown

A stream of red-hot lava gushing from the Cumbre Vieja volcano on the Spanish island of La Palma engulfed a cement plant on Monday (Oct 11), raising a thick cloud of smoke and prompting authorities to order people in the area into lockdown.

Local emergency service instructed residents in the towns of El Paso and Los Llanos de Aridane to remain indoors, and to shut their windows, shades and air conditioning devices to avoid inhaling toxic fumes from the burning plant as it was being gradually swallowed by the lava.

"Lock down, if possible, in the most inner rooms," the emergency service said via its Twitter account.


Not enough women Nobel laureates? 'No quotas,' says Academy

Although only one woman this year won a Nobel Prize compared to 12 men, Goran Hansson, the head of the Royal Swedish Academy of Sciences, on Monday (Oct 11) ruled out gender quotas.

Only 59 Nobel prizes have gone to women - 6.2 per cent of the total - since they were first awarded in 1901. Investigative journalist Maria Ressa of the Philippines shared the Nobel Peace Prize and was the only woman honoured this year.

Hansson, who heads the Academy that awards the chemistry, economics and physics prizes, defended the selection of Nobel laureates in an interview with AFP. His answers below to AFP questions have been edited for clarity.


Football: Werner double sees Germany qualify for Qatar World Cup

Germany continued their spotless record under new coach Hansi Flick and secured qualification for the 2022 World Cup as Chelsea striker Timo Werner scored twice in a 4-0 rout of North Macedonia on Monday (Oct 11).

Just months after they slumped to a shock 2-1 defeat to the same opponent on home soil, Germany cruised to a dominant win in Skopje to increase their lead at the top of Group J to eight points and secure their berth at next year's tournament in Qatar.

Werner's Chelsea team-mate Kai Havertz also got on the scoresheet and Jamal Musiala scored his first international goal as Germany made it five wins out of five under Flick, who took over from Joachim Loew after Euro 2020.


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