While You Were Sleeping: 5 stories you might have missed, Oct 14

In her statement, Carrie Lam said that media outlets have clearly shown that anti-government protesters "conducted violent and vandalistic acts on many occasions in Hong Kong in recent months."
In her statement, Carrie Lam said that media outlets have clearly shown that anti-government protesters "conducted violent and vandalistic acts on many occasions in Hong Kong in recent months."PHOTO: REUTERS

Hong Kong leader Carrie Lam says US senator Ted Cruz's criticism 'not based on facts'

Hong Kong Chief Executive Carrie Lam has rejected US Senator Ted Cruz's claim that she cancelled a meeting with him because he refused to meet under "closed door" terms.

In a statement issued Sunday (Oct 13) night, a spokesman for Lam called the Republican lawmaker's assertion that demonstrators had acted non-violently in the last five months of protests "baffling."

"While we respect the freedom of speech of foreign politicians, we consider that comments should be based on facts," the statement said.

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Pentagon says up to 1,000 US troops to withdraw from northern Syria

The Pentagon said Sunday (Oct 13) US President Donald Trump had ordered the withdrawal of up to 1,000 troops from northern Syria - almost the entire ground force in war-torn country - amid an intensifying Turkish assault on Kurdish forces.

Defense Secretary Mark Esper said the move came after the US learned that Turkey was pressing further into Syria than had been expected.


Defense Secretary Mark Esper said the move came after the US learned that Turkey was pressing further into Syria than had been expected. PHOTO: AFP
 

And the Kurdish-led Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF) are seeking a deal with the Syrian regime and Russia to counter-attack against the Turks in the north, Esper added.

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China reports new African swine fever outbreak in northwest province


This picture taken on Sept 24, 2019, shows a quarantined pig farm in Hebei, outside Beijing. PHOTO: AFP

China reported another outbreak of the African swine fever on Sunday (Oct 13) in its northwestern province of Gansu, the Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Affairs said on its website.

The virus, fatal to pigs but not contagious to human beings, has significantly slashed pig output in the world's largest herd since the deadly disease was first detected in August last year.

The latest outbreak occurred in a breeding cooperative in a county in Gansu's Dingxi City, with 265 of the 287 infected pigs dying.

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Macron, Merkel call for end to Turkish offensive in Syria


A Turkey-backed Syrian rebel fighter fires a weapon in the town of Tal Abyad, Syria, on Oct 13, 2019. PHOTO: REUTERS
 

France's President Emmanuel Macron and German Chancellor Angela Merkel called Sunday (Oct 13) for an end to Turkey's offensive against Kurds in northern Syria, warning of dire humanitarian consequences and a boost for the Islamic State group.

"Our common wish is that the offensive must cease," Macron told a joint press conference with Merkel, who said she had spoken to Turkish leader Recep Tayyip Erdogan for an hour on Sunday and told him: "We must put an end to this Turkish invasion".

"There are humanitarian reasons for this," Merkel told journalists, adding: "We can no longer accept this situation against the Kurds. Another solution must absolutely be found."

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Athletics: Brigid Kosgei shatters women's world record at Chicago Marathon


Kenyan Brigid Kosgei set a blistering pace from the start to shatter the previous record of 2:15:25 which Briton Radcliffe set in 2003. PHOTO: REUTERS
 

Kenyan Brigid Kosgei broke Paula Radcliffe's women's marathon world record when she ran two hours, 14 minutes, four seconds at the Chicago Marathon on Sunday (Oct 13).

Kosgei set a blistering pace from the start to shatter the previous record of 2:15:25 which Briton Radcliffe set in 2003.

Kenyan Lawrence Cherono sprinted past Ethiopian Dejene Debela to win the men's race.

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