While You Were Sleeping: 5 stories you might have missed, Sept 18

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EMA investigating blackout that hit 19 areas across Singapore; power restored within 38 minutes

Several parts of Singapore were hit by a blackout as electricity supply was disrupted early on Tuesday morning (Sept 18), affecting close to 150,000 residential and commercial customers.

Affected residents said their homes were plunged into darkness, while some motorists navigated roads without streetlights.

The outage also prompted the Energy Market Authority (EMA) to investigate.


Russia, Turkey agree to create buffer zone in Syria's Idlib

Russian and Turkish troops are to enforce a new demilitarised zone in Syria's Idlib region from which "radical" rebels will be required to withdraw by the middle of next month, Russian President Vladimir Putin said on Monday (Sept 18) after a meeting with his Turkish counterpart.

Russia, the biggest outside backer of Syrian President Bashar al-Assad in his fight against rebels, has been preparing for an offensive on the city of Idlib, which is controlled by rebels and now home to about 3 million people.

But after Putin's talks with Turkish President Tayyip Erdogan, who has opposed a military operation against the rebels in Idlib, Russian Defence Minister Sergei Shoigu told reporters there would not be an offensive now.


Trump says high court nominee 'on track,' accuser offers to testify

President Donald Trump said on Monday (Sept 17) his nomination of Brett Kavanaugh to the US Supreme Court remains "on track" despite a woman's allegation that the judge sexually assaulted her in 1982, while the accuser and the nominee both offered to testify publicly.

In careful remarks at the White House in which he did not offer his view on the actual allegation against his nominee, Trump called for the Senate to go through a "full process" and accepted a small delay in the process, though warned that "it shouldn't certainly be very much."

"If it takes a little delay, it will take a little delay," said Trump, who dismissed as a "ridiculous question" a reporter's query about whether Kavanaugh, who earlier in the day issued a fresh denial of the allegation against him, had offered to withdraw his name from consideration.


US, Russia clash at UN over North Korea sanctions

The United States on Monday (Sept 17) accused Russia of "cheating" on UN sanctions against North Korea with plans for a railway project, oil transfers and ongoing business dealings with Pyongyang.

Russia shot back and charged that Washington was blocking steps to foster cooperation between North and South Korea and using a UN sanctions committee "as a select channel to punish" North Korea.

US Ambassador Nikki Haley told a Security Council meeting that the United States has evidence of "consistent and wide-ranging Russian violations" of the tough economic penalties imposed on North Korea.


US stocks tumble as Trump hints China tariffs imminent

Wall Street stocks finished decisively lower Monday (Sept 17) after President Donald Trump said an announcement on new tariffs on China was imminent.

The Dow Jones Industrial Average fell 0.4 per cent to close at 26,062.12, near its session low.

The broad-based S&P 500 dropped 0.6 per cent to 2,888.80, while the tech-rich Nasdaq Composite Index slid 1.4 per cent to 7,895.79.


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