While You Were Sleeping: 5 stories you might have missed, Oct 15

US President Donald Trump vowed to swiftly destroy the Turkish economy if it continues down "this dangerous and destructive path."
US President Donald Trump vowed to swiftly destroy the Turkish economy if it continues down "this dangerous and destructive path."PHOTO: AFP

Trump hits Turkey with tariffs, threatens sanctions over Syria incursion

US President Donald Trump on Monday said he would authorise sanctions against Turkish officials, stop negotiating with Turkey on a US$100 billion (S$136 billion) trade deal, and boost tariffs on the country’s steel to 50 per cent over Ankara’s incursion into northeast Syria.

Turkey launched the cross-border assault on Kurdish YPG militia on Wednesday after Trump withdrew some US troops from the region, drawing sharp criticism from fellow Republicans who accused him abandoning allies who fought against Islamic State.

Trump’s statement promising an executive order “soon” did not specify individuals but said it would enable Washington to impose “powerful additional sanctions” on those who may be involved in serious human rights abuses, obstructing a ceasefire, preventing displaced persons from returning home and forcibly repatriating refugees.

“I am fully prepared to swiftly destroy Turkey’s economy if Turkish leaders continue down this dangerous and destructive path,” Trump said.


Saudi visit signals Putin's growing Middle East influence

Russian President Vladimir Putin signalled Moscow's growing Middle East clout on Monday on his first visit to Saudi Arabia in over a decade, buoyed by Russian military gains in Syria, strong ties with Riyadh's regional rivals and energy cooperation.

Moscow accrued power in the Middle East in 2015 by sending troops to Syria, where it and Iran have been key backers of President Bashar al-Assad amid civil war, while the United States pulled back. Saudi Arabia sided with Syrian rebels.

On the eve of Putin's trip, US troops abruptly retreated from northern Syria as Russian-backed government forces deployed deep inside Kurdish-held territory under a deal to help fend off a Turkish cross-border offensive.


Prince William and wife Kate arrive in Pakistan for five-day visit

Britain's Prince William and his wife Kate arrived in Pakistan's capital on Monday, beginning a five-day visit that will focus on boosting ties and addressing challenges such as climate change.

The Duchess of Cambridge wore a long pale blue variation of the shalwar kameez, a dress or tunic worn over trousers, Pakistan's traditional national outfit that many on social media and in the fashion industry had hoped she would don during her visit. Prince William wore a navy suit with a blue tie.

The trip has been described by Kensington Palace as the most complex the couple have undertaken due to security and logistical issues. It is the first by members of the British royal family in more than a decade.


England thrash Bulgaria 6-0 after game is halted over racist abuse

England bounced back from their first tournament qualifying defeat for 10 years with a 6-0 thrashing of toothless Bulgaria on Monday in a Euro 2020 Group A clash marred by racist incidents in the first half that stopped the game.

The match at the Vasil Levski stadium was temporarily halted by the referee in the first half under a three-step UEFA protocol to tackle racist abuse from the crowd.

Racist chanting was heard from the stands and reported by England players to manager Gareth Southgate, with the referee informed and a public announcement made on two occasions.


Authors Atwood and Evaristo jointly win Booker Prize

Margaret Atwood's "The Testaments" and Bernardine Evaristo's "Girl, Woman, Other" jointly won the Booker Prize in London on Monday, in a surprise announcement by the judges of the major literary prize.

"The Testaments," published last month, is the sequel to the Canadian author's best-selling 1985 novel "The Handmaid's Tale."

British author Evaristo's "Girl, Woman, Other" tells the stories of 12 characters, mainly female and black and aged 19 to 93, living in Britain.