While You Were Sleeping: 5 stories you might have missed, Oct 30

Iraqi Kurdish leader Masoud Barzani says he will be stepping down by Nov 1, 2017.
Iraqi Kurdish leader Masoud Barzani says he will be stepping down by Nov 1, 2017. PHOTO: REUTERS

Barzani to step down as Kurdish leader in Iraq 

Massud Barzani, the president of the autonomous Kurdish region in Iraq, told a closed-door session of parliament Sunday (Oct 29) he was stepping down amid the fallout from a controversial independence referendum. 

Also Sunday, the Kurds agreed to surrender to Iraqi forces the strategic border post of Fishkhabur, through which oil export pipelines pass to Ceyhan in Turkey. 

“After Nov 1, I will no longer exercise my functions, and I reject any extension of my mandate,” the 71-year-old Barzani said in a letter read out to parliament in the Kurdish capital Arbil, a copy of which was obtained by AFP. 


Saudis to allow women into sports stadiums from 2018: Authorities

Saudi Arabia will allow women into three sports stadiums for the first time from next year, authorities said Sunday (Oct 29), in a landmark move that would open up the previously male-only venues to families.

The kingdom, which has some of the world’s tightest restrictions on women, has long barred women from sports arenas by strict rules on segregation of the sexes in public. 

The announcement is in line with powerful Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman’s ambitious reform drive shaking up the ultra-conservative kingdom, including the decision to allow women to drive from next June. 


#Metoo campaign moves to French streets

Several hundred people took the "Me too" online campaign against sexual harassment and assault started by the Harvey Weinstein affair onto the streets of France Sunday (Oct 29).

In Paris, the mostly female demonstrators in Republique square waved placards bearing the "#Metoo" hashtag used by tens of thousands of women in the past two weeks to share accounts of being pestered or abused.

"Metoo by a colleague", read a sign carried by one woman. "Metoo by a fellow activist" read another.


Formula One: Hamilton takes fourth title despite collision

Lewis Hamilton became Britain’s first four-times Formula One world champion at the Mexican Grand Prix on Sunday (Oct 30) despite enduring his worst race of the season. 

In a race won by Red Bull’s Dutch 20-year-old Max Verstappen, the 32-year-old Mercedes driver fought back from last place to ninth after a first lap collision with Ferrari rival Sebastian Vettel. 

Vettel, the only man who could have denied him the championship, started on pole position and finished fourth after having to pit for a new front wing at the end of the first lap and dropping to 19th. 



Football: Real suffer shock defeat to Liga minnows Girona in Catalonia 

La Liga champions Real Madrid suffered a shock 2-1 defeat in their first ever league visit to Catalan side Girona on Sunday (Oct 29), conceding two goals in quick succession and falling eight points behind leaders Barcelona.

Spain midfielder Isco tapped in a rebounded shot from Cristiano Ronaldo to open the scoring in the 12th minute in Real Madrid's first visit to Catalonia this season amid the worst political crisis in Spain's 39 years of democracy.

The home side struck the woodwork twice before the break but rallied in the second half and Uruguay international Christian Stuani fired them level in the 54th minute.