While You Were Sleeping: 5 stories you might have missed, Oct 31

A view of the Sydney Harbour bridge. Australia is the sixth nation to formally ratify the CPTPP deal.
A view of the Sydney Harbour bridge. Australia is the sixth nation to formally ratify the CPTPP deal.PHOTO: AFP

Asia-Pacific trade pact CPTPP to start at end-2018 after six members ratify

A landmark 11-member trade deal aimed at slashing barriers in some of Asia-Pacific's fastest growing economies will come into force at the end of December, the New Zealand government said on Wednesday.

The deal would move forward after Australia informed New Zealand that it had become the sixth nation to formally ratify the deal, alongside Canada, Japan, Mexico and Singapore.

"This triggers the 60 day countdown to entry into force of the Agreement and the first round of tariff cuts," said New Zealand Trade and Export Growth Minister David Parker.

His country is responsible for official tasks such as receiving and circulating notifications made by members of the pact.


Trump visits synagogue in Pittsburgh attack as protesters march

US President Donald Trump, shrugging off objections from some critics that he was unwelcome, on Tuesday offered condolences at the Pittsburgh synagogue where 11 Jewish worshipers were shot to death as thousands of mourners attended the first funerals for victims of the massacre.

The president, who opponents say has stoked a toxic political climate conducive to acts of violence, paid a brief visit to the Tree of Life temple, the scene of Saturday’s attack, accompanied by first lady Melania Trump.

They were greeted by Rabbi Jeffrey Myers, who led them inside the temple. Emerging about 18 minutes later, the president went to a memorial outside the building, where the first lady placed a flower and the president placed a small stone on a marker for each of the shooting victims.


German nurse admits to killing 100 patients as trial opens

Former nurse Niels Hoegel admitted on Tuesday (Oct 30) to killing 100 patients in his care, on the first day of his trial in the biggest serial killing case in Germany’s post-war history.

Hoegel, 41, has already spent nearly a decade in prison on a life term for other patient deaths, and is accused of intentionally administering medical overdoses to victims so he could bring them back to life at the last moment.

As the proceedings opened in the northern city of Oldenburg, presiding judge Sebastian Buehrmann asked whether the charges against him were accurate. Hoegel replied quietly “yes”.


Couple die in Yosemite National Park while apparently taking selfie

An Indian couple who fell to their deaths in California's Yosemite National Park were apparently taking a selfie, according to a family member and media reports.

Vishnu Viswanath, 29 and Meenakshi Moorthy, 30, died last week after falling from Taft Point - a popular overlook at the park that does not have a railing - and their bodies were recovered by park rangers.

Viswanath's brother told local media in India that he believes the couple were taking a selfie when the tragedy happened.


Apple puts final nail into Home button's coffin with new iPad Pros

Apple has unveiled its new iPad Pro tablets which have ditched two mainstays of the company's previous slates - the Home button and the Lightning port.

The iPhone maker announced at a special event held at the Howard Gilman Opera House in New York City on Tuesday  that the new iPad Pros use Face ID, Apple's face detection technology, for biometric authentication instead of the Home button or Touch ID.

The iPad Pros are the last Apple mobile gadgets to remove the Home button.