While You Were Sleeping: 5 stories you might have missed, Oct 17

The study questioned 20,000 commuters in 31 cities around the world about their journeys to work.
The study questioned 20,000 commuters in 31 cities around the world about their journeys to work.ST PHOTO: LIM YAO HUI

Asian metropolises, including Singapore, top list of world's greenest commuter cities

Three Asian metropolises - Tokyo, Beijing and Singapore - are the world's leading environmentally-friendly commuting cities, a report to be released by data insight company Kantar on Thursday says.

The three rank highly because their huge populations mostly walk to work or use public transport, with relatively few commuters travelling by car.

The study questioned 20,000 commuters in 31 cities around the world about their journeys to work. Seoul boosted the Asian showing, coming in in seventh place.

Four European cities, London, Copenhagen, Amsterdam and Moscow, are also in the top ten, along with Nairobi and Sao Paulo. No North American city made the higher rankings.

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Boris Johnson to go to Brussels early Thursday for 'useful' Brexit meetings

British Prime Minister Boris Johnson will go to Brussels early Thursday in a move to have some useful meetings for a Brexit deal, Beth Rigby, Sky News political editor, said in a tweet on Wednesday.

Citing a senior ministerial source, Rigby added that a "dawn dash" is likely and a deal is close but Northern Ireland's Democratic Unionist Party is "still not over line".

European Council President Donald Tusk is set to chair a summit of EU leaders in Brussels, including Johnson, on Thursday and Friday.

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Trump leaves Turkey and Syria 'to argue it out', defends US pullout

US President Donald Trump on Wednesday said he had no problem if Russia helped Syria in a conflict with Turkey and rejected criticism of his withdrawal of US troops from Syria that exposed Kurdish allies, calling it "strategically brilliant."

Trump's decision to pull out American forces ahead of a Turkish offensive into northern Syria has shattered the relative calm there and he has been criticised for abandoning Kurdish militia who helped the United States defeat Islamic State militants in the region.

Speaking to reporters as he met with Italian President Sergio Mattarella in the Oval Office and then later during a joint news conference, Trump said the Kurds were "not angels" and he said it might be necessary for Russian-backed Syria and Turkey to "fight it out."

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Obama endorses Trudeau ahead of closely fought election

Former US President Barack Obama endorsed Justin Trudeau in his re-election bid, with polls showing the Canadian prime minister locked in a tight race with his Conservative rival.

"I was proud to work with Justin Trudeau as President. He's a hard-working, effective leader who takes on big issues like climate change," Obama tweeted on Wednesday.

"The world needs his progressive leadership now, and I hope our neighbors to the north support him for another term."

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Paris zoo unveils the 'blob', an organism with no brain but 720 sexes

A Paris zoo showcased a mysterious new organism on Wednesday, dubbed the "blob", a yellowish unicellular small living being which looks like a fungus but acts like an animal.

This newest exhibit of the Paris Zoological Park, which goes on display to the public on Saturday, has no mouth, no stomach, no eyes, yet it can detect food and digest it.

The blob also has almost 720 sexes, can move without legs or wings and heals itself in two minutes if cut in half.

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