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

Britain's Prime Minister Boris Johnson is seen on Downing Street in London, Oct 29, 2019.
Britain's Prime Minister Boris Johnson is seen on Downing Street in London, Oct 29, 2019.PHOTO: REUTERS

British lawmakers approve plan for Dec 12 snap general election

Britain will hold its first December election in almost a century after Prime Minister Boris Johnson won approval from parliament on Tuesday for an early ballot aimed at breaking the Brexit deadlock.

As the European Union granted a third delay to the divorce that was originally supposed to take place on March 29, the United Kingdom, its parliament and its electorate remain divided on how, or indeed whether, to go ahead with Brexit.

Johnson, who had promised to deliver Brexit on Oct 31 “do or die”, demanded a Dec 12 election after parliament – where he has no majority – frustrated his attempts to ratify the last-minute divorce deal he struck with the EU earlier this month.

In a rare parliamentary success for Johnson after a string of defeats, his short Bill calling for a Dec 12 election was approved 438 to 20 in the House of Commons. The Bill now goes to the House of Lords.


J&J says new tests find no asbestos in FDA-tested baby powder

Johnson & Johnson said on Tuesday that 15 new tests from the same bottle of its baby powder previously tested by the US Food and Drug Administration found no asbestos.

The test results mark J&J's latest defence against allegations its baby powder contains asbestos, a known carcinogen that has been linked to deadly mesothelioma.

Earlier this month, Johnson & Johnson recalled around 33,000 bottles of baby powder in the United States after US health regulators found trace amounts of asbestos in samples taken from a bottle purchased online.


UK truck deaths: Tragedy reignites calls for nail bar slavery to be tackled

The deaths of 39 migrants found in a refrigerated truck in Britain has reignited calls for efforts to tackle slavery in the nail bar sector, a common destination for trafficked Vietnamese.

Most of the people discovered in the truck are believed to be from Vietnam, one of the top source countries for victims of modern slavery in Britain - accounting for about 10 per cent of 7,000 suspected slaves referred to the government for support in 2018.

Police are still investigating the case and it is not yet clear why the victims were travelling to Britain.


Pilot is killed after Cessna plane hits US home

A small plane had been spotted flying low on Tuesday morning just before it fell from the sky and through the roof of a suburban New Jersey home, officials said.

Fog and light drizzle blanketed the township of Woodbridge as the plane plummeted, clipping the tops of trees and the roof of one home before slamming into another, Mayor John E. McCormac said.

The plane pierced the roof of the second home before coming to rest in the basement, igniting a fire that quickly engulfed the two-storey structure and spread to two adjacent homes, McCormac said.


Game Of Thrones creators withdraw from Star Wars trilogy

The creators of Game Of Thrones have pulled out of making a Star Wars trilogy because the pair want to focus on their Netflix work, dealing a blow to Disney.

David Benioff and DB Weiss said they were "regretfully stepping away" from the upcoming trio of movies in the blockbuster space saga, the first of which was originally scheduled for release in 2022.

"There are only so many hours in the day, and we felt we could not do justice to both Star Wars and our Netflix projects," they said in a statement sent to US media.