While You Were Sleeping: 5 stories you might have missed, Oct 23

Honduran migrants taking part in a caravan heading to the US, aboard a truck in Metapa on their way to Tapachula, Chiapas state, Mexico, on Oct 22, 2018. PHOTO: AFP

Trump vows to cut Central America aid, calls migrant caravan an emergency

President Donald Trump on Monday (Oct 22) vowed to begin curtailing the tens of millions of dollars in American aid to three Central American nations and called a caravan of migrants bound for the United States a national emergency as he sought to boost his party's chances in Nov 6 congressional elections.

"Guatemala, Honduras and El Salvador were not able to do the job of stopping people from leaving their country and coming illegally to the US. We will now begin cutting off, or substantially reducing, the massive foreign aid routinely given to them," Trump wrote in a series of Twitter posts.

Trump and his fellow Republicans have sought to elevate the caravan, currently in southern Mexico inching toward the distant US border, and immigration as campaign issues ahead of the midterm elections, in which his party is fighting to maintain control of the US Senate and House of Representatives.


Russia pledges to 'restore' military balance if US quits nuclear arms pact

Russia said on Monday (Oct 22) it would be forced to respond in kind to restore the military balance with the United States if President Donald Trump carried through on a threat to quit a nuclear arms treaty and began developing new missiles.

But Moscow signalled it may be willing to give some ground, with a senior official telling Trump's national security adviser John Bolton that Russia was ready to address US concerns about how the 1987 Intermediate-Range Nuclear Forces Treaty was being implemented.

In Washington, the US president reiterated his concern about the treaty, telling reporters: "Russia has not adhered to the agreement. ... When they do, then we'll all be smart and we'll all stop."


Trump says remains unsatisfied with Saudi accounts on Jamal Khashoggi

Khashoggi, a Washington Post columnist and critic of Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman, the kingdom's de facto ruler, disappeared three weeks ago after he entered the Saudi consulate in Istanbul to obtain documents for his upcoming marriage.

Riyadh initially denied knowledge of his fate before saying he was killed in a fight in the consulate, a reaction greeted sceptically by several Western governments, straining relations with the world's biggest oil exporter.


Mars likely to have enough oxygen to support life: Study

Salty water just below the surface of Mars could hold enough oxygen to support the kind of microbial life that emerged and flourished on Earth billions of years ago, researchers reported Monday (Oct 22).

In some locations, the amount of oxygen available could even keep alive a primitive, multicellular animal such as a sponge, they reported in the journal Nature Geosciences.

"We discovered that brines" - water with high concentrations of salt - "on Mars can contain enough oxygen for microbes to breathe," said lead author Vlada Stamenkovic, a theoretical physicist at the Jet Propulsion Laboratory in California.


Football: Aubameyang, Ozil star as Arsenal make it perfect 10

Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang and Mesut Ozil stole the show as Arsenal swept to their 10th successive win with a dominant 3-1 victory against Leicester on Monday (Oct 22).

Unai Emery's side trailed to Hector Bellerin's first half own goal at the Emirates Stadium.

But Ozil, captaining Arsenal on his return to the side after back spasms, produced a majestic display to lead the Gunners' impressive fightback.


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