While You Were Sleeping: 5 stories you might have missed, Sept 19 edition

Japan passes controversial security Bills into law

In a major shift in Japan's security policy, the nation's Parliament in the early hours of Saturday enacted laws that enable its troops to fight overseas for the first time since World War II.

After holding more than 200 hours of deliberations in both chambers of the Diet, the Upper House plenary session passed a pair of government-sponsored Bills into law with the backing of Prime Minister Shinzo Abe's Liberal Democratic Party and its coalition partner, the Komeito party, as well as three minor opposition parties.

The final vote was 148 for and 90 against, according to President of the upper house Masaaki Yamazaki.


Malaysian bomoh seeks divine guidance to tackle country's haze

Prominent Malaysian bomoh Ibrahim Mat Zin - who first gained infamy after staging rituals to help in the hunt for the missing Malaysia Airlines plane - has come under the spotlight again after performing another ritual to battle the country's haze.

The 81-year-old self-described faith healer had attracted widespread ridicule last year after he and his assistants wielded large green coconuts over their heads and used bamboo binoculars as part of a ritual to locate the missing flight MH370.

The bomoh and his assistants have now performed a prayer ritual to rid the country of the haze, with video of their antics generating another viral sensation among Malaysians.


Trump under fire for failure to rebut anti-Muslim backer

Democratic presidential candidates joined the White House in slamming Donald Trump Friday for failing to challenge a questioner who wrongly claimed President Barack Obama was a Muslim and not a US citizen.

The campaign trail exchange triggered the latest uproar over the Republican frontrunner’s regard for minorities in America and prompted at least one Republican presidential hopeful to say he would have corrected the man immediately.

And in a move uncharacteristic of the media-savvy billionaire, Trump cancelled a public appearance scheduled for Friday.


Football: Tripped-up Syrian boy gets Real Madrid tour, meets Ronaldo

The Syrian refugee family whose plight was made famous when they were tripped by a Hungarian camerawoman were greeted by the stars of Real Madrid, including Cristiano Ronaldo on Friday.

Osama Abdul Mohsen and his two sons Mohammad, 18, and Zaid, seven, have been brought to Spain due to the initiative of Miguel Angel Galan, the director of a football coaching school in the Getafe suburb of Madrid.

“Little Zaid got to know his idol, Cristiano Ronaldo, with whom he was photographed on the pitch,” the club said in a statement.


London kicks off fashion week with new venue - a car park

London kicked off five days of catwalk shows and presentations on Friday, with a new car park venue adding an urban twist to the glitz and glamour of fashion week.

With New York shows wrapped, fashionistas descend on the British capital for the next leg of spring/summer 2016 collections.

This season, they head to the Brewer Street Car Park, a white and green art deco building, in central Soho - temporarily cleared of vehicles - to see designers' latest offerings.