While You Were Sleeping: 5 stories you might have missed, Oct 25


Boris Johnson calls for Dec 12 election to break Brexit deadlock

Prime Minister Boris Johnson called on Thursday for a general election on Dec 12 to break Britain’s Brexit impasse, conceding for the first time he will not meet his “do or die” deadline to leave the European Union next week.

Johnson said in a letter to opposition Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn he would give parliament more time to approve his Brexit deal but lawmakers must back a December election, Johnson’s third attempt to try to force a snap poll.

Labour said it could only back an election when the risk of Johnson leading Britain out of the European Union without a deal was off the table, and other opposition parties rejected the offer, casting doubt over its chances of success.

Just a week before Britain was due to leave the European Union, the bloc looks set to grant Johnson a Brexit delay, something he has repeatedly said he does not want but was forced to request by parliament.


Jeff Bezos set to lose his crown as world's richest person

Jeff Bezos is about to relinquish the title of world's richest person to Bill Gates, as Amazon.com stock tumbled in late trading on Thursday.

Shares of the biggest online retailer dropped 8.1 per cent to US$1,637 in extended trading at 4.24pm in New York.

At that price, Bezos would have a net worth of US$102.8 billion (S$140 billion), ranking him second, and almost US$5 billion behind Gates, according to the Bloomberg Billionaires Index.


US senators call for security probe of China video app TikTok

Two senior US senators called for the government to study national security risks possibly posed by Chinese-owned video app TikTok, saying it could leave American users vulnerable to Beijing's spying.

Senate Democratic Leader Chuck Schumer and Republican Senator Tom Cotton asked the Directorate of National Intelligence to "conduct an assessment of the national security risks" posed by TikTok.

"With over 110 million downloads in the US alone, TikTok is a potential counterintelligence threat we cannot ignore," they said.


Man United finally win away but Roma frustrated in Europa League

Manchester United claimed their first away win in any competition since March as they beat Partizan Belgrade 1-0 in the Europa League on Thursday but AS Roma were denied by a stoppage-time equaliser from Borussia Moenchengladbach.

In the early kickoffs on matchday three there were also wins for Wolverhampton Wanderers, AZ Alkmaar and Young Boys.

While United have made a dismal start to the Premier League season and sit 14th they at least top Europa League Group L after two wins and a draw from their three games. They also ended an 11-match streak without a win on the road.


Movie fans flock to Joker steps in New York

Tourists are flocking to a flight of stairs in the Bronx area of New York that Joaquin Phoenix dances down in an iconic but controversial scene from hit movie Joker.

Film buffs have even had to queue before being able to snap photos of themselves recreating the character's pose that appears on the poster of the Todd Phillips-directed blockbuster.

"It looks even better than in the movie," Tasula Ceballos, a young Russian living in Miami, told AFP, slightly disappointed that the crowds meant her photos didn't come out quite as she had hoped.