While You Were Sleeping: 5 stories you might have missed, Oct 28

People gather to celebrate the proclamation of Catalonia's independence in Barcelona, Oct 27, 2017.
People gather to celebrate the proclamation of Catalonia's independence in Barcelona, Oct 27, 2017.PHOTO: AFP

Spain sacks Catalan government after independence declaration

The Madrid government sacked Catalonia’s president and dismissed its parliament on Friday, hours after the region declared itself an independent nation in Spain’s gravest political crisis since the return of democracy four decades ago.

A new regional election will be held in Catalonia on Dec 21, Prime Minister Mariano Rajoy said in a televised address on a day of high drama.

As well as removing Carles Puigdemont as head of the autonomous region, he also fired its police chief and said central government ministries would take over the Catalan administration.

“Spain is living through a sad day,” Rajoy said. “We believe it is urgent to listen to Catalan citizens, to all of them, so that they can decide their future and nobody can act outside the law on their behalf.”


Italian man sentenced to 24 years for infecting dozens of women with HIV

An Italian man was sentenced to 24 years in prison for infecting more than 30 women with the HIV virus, after having unprotected sex with them despite knowing that he was HIV positive, a court ruled.

Valentino Talluto, a 33-year-old accountant, seduced dozens of women via social networks for a decade before his arrest in November 2015.

Police believe he had sex with at least 53 women during that time, passing on the virus that causes Aids to 32 of them.


Myanmar detains reporters on assignment for Turkish state TV

Myanmar police detained two journalists working for Turkey's state broadcaster TRT and their interpreter and driver for flying a drone near the parliament compound, amid tension between the two countries over the Rohingya crisis.

The journalists - Lau Hon Meng from Singapore and Mok Choy Lin from Malaysia - were being questioned at a police station in Myanmar's capital Naypyitaw after being detained in the morning, a local police officer told Reuters.

About 25 police staged an evening raid on the Yangon house of their Myanmar interpreter, well-known local reporter Aung Naing Soe, seizing his computer memory sticks and searching his documents.


Golf: Tiger Woods pleads guilty to reckless driving in Florida

Tiger Woods pleaded guilty in a Florida court to reckless driving and entered a programme for first-time offenders, avoiding a conviction on the charge of driving under the influence (DUI) last spring.

The 41-year-old professional golfer was found asleep in May behind the wheel of a Mercedes-Benz, which was parked alongside a road not far from his home on Jupiter Island..

Woods entered his plea and accepted the conditions, including 12 months of probation, by responding to questions from Florida Circuit Judge Sandra Bosso-Pardo. He will now enter a diversion programme offered in Palm Beach County for first-time DUI offenders.


Tennis: Federer forced to dig deep by Mannarino

Roger Federer survived a surprise test at the Swiss Indoors before making the semi-finals at his home event for the 14th time with a hard-fought 4-6, 6-1, 6-3 win over Adrian Mannarino.

The French seventh seed, who had dropped 10 straight sets in four losing matches against the world number two, shocked the home crowd at the St Jakobshalle by winning the first set.

Mannarino broke to love for a 5-4 lead to quickly establish early superiority. But Federer, who lost just eight games in his first two matches, rose to the occasion, levelling at a set each with two service breaks.