While You Were Sleeping: 5 stories you might have missed, Sept 14

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Hurricane Florence's winds slap Carolina coast, flooding threat looms

The outer edges of Hurricane Florence began lashing coastal North Carolina with heavy winds and flooding roads on Thursday, hours before expected landfall that will bring walls of water and lingering downpours.

The centre of Florence is expected to hit North Carolina's southern coast around midnight on Friday (noon, Singapore time), then drift south-west before moving inland on Saturday, enough time to drop as much as 1m of rain in places.

About 10 million people live in the storm's path and more than a million people had been ordered to evacuate the coasts of the Carolinas and Virginia.

Thousands have taken refuge in emergency shelters.


Trump's Supreme Court pick hit by last-minute allegations

The Republican-led Senate Judiciary Committee set a vote for next week on President Donald Trump's US Supreme Court pick, while a Democratic senator said she sent unspecified new information about nominee Brett Kavanaugh to "federal investigative authorities."

Senator Dianne Feinstein, the committee's top Democrat, said she had received the information about Kavanaugh from a person she declined to identify.

The New York Times, citing two people familiar with the matter, reported that the information related to "possible sexual misconduct" involving Kavanaugh and a woman when they both were in high school.


Volkswagen to end iconic 'Beetle' cars in 2019

Volkswagen announced it would end production of its iconic "Beetle" cars in 2019 after adding a pair of final editions of the insect-inspired vehicles.

The curvy-topped sedans, which shook off Nazi origins to become a global auto phenomenon, are being sidelined as Volkswagen emphasises electric cars and larger family-oriented vehicles.

But company officials, still trying to completely turn the page after 2015's costly "dieselgate" scandal, opened the door to reviving the model at some point.


Amazon's Jeff Bezos unveils US$2b philanthropic fund

Amazon founder Jeff Bezos, the richest person on the planet, is creating a philanthropic fund to help homeless families and launch preschools in low-income communities, committing an initial US$2 billion (S$2.7 billion) to the cause.

Bezos made the announcement on Twitter a year after asking for ideas on how he could use his personal fortune - now estimated at more than US$160 billion - for charitable efforts.

The "Bezos Day One Fund" created by Bezos and his wife MacKenzie will focus on two areas: helping "existing nonprofits that help homeless families" and funding "a network of new, nonprofit, tier-one preschools in low-income communities," he wrote.


Hollywood stars Emma Stone, Jonah Hill turn to TV in Netflix's Maniac

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Actors Emma Stone and Jonah Hill join the list of Hollywood stars turning to television with Netflix's Maniac, a dark comedy mini-series looking at human connection.

Oscar winner Stone and The Wolf Of Wolf Street star Hill play Annie and Owen, two strangers with personal problems who take part in a pharmaceutical drug trial.

A trailer shows the two characters in multiple, sometimes fantastical, settings during the experiment where they are told by the doctor leading the trial that "pain can be destroyed, the mind can be solved".


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