While You Were Sleeping: 5 stories you might have missed, Sept 29 edition

Singapore announces new programme on sustainable development at United Nations

Singapore announced the launch of a new programme where it will work with partners to focus on issues of development during the United Nations Sustainable Development Summit 2015. 

Speaking at the summit on Sunday (Sept 27), Minister for the Environment and Water Resources Vivian Balakrishnan said a factor in Singapore's sustainable development journey is collaborative partnerships and "as a responsible global citizen, Singapore will continue to give back to the international community". 

This year,  the summit adopts the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development - a long-term global development framework with a set of 17 goals. 


Iraq steps up anti-ISIS coordination with Iran, Syria, Russia

Iraq, Russia, Iran and Syria have agreed to set up an intelligence committee in Baghdad, a spokesman said on Sunday, a further sign of Moscow's growing role in the region's conflict.

Iraq welcomed the creation of the cell as a chance to help harmonise often competing efforts in the fight against ISIS (Islamic State in Iraq and Syria).

"It's a committee coordinating between the four countries, with representatives of each country, in the field of military intelligence and aimed at sharing and analysing information," Mr Saad al-Hadithi, a spokesman for Prime Minister Haider al-Abadi's office, said.


Separatists win absolute majority of seats in Catalan vote in Spain: Exit poll

Separatists pushing to make Catalonia independent from Spain were on track to win an absolute majority of parliamentary seats in a regional election on Sunday, an exit poll showed.

A poll released by Catalan television channel TV3 gave pro-independence parties between 74 and 79 seats out of a total 135.

TV3 said pro-independence parties had won 49.8 per cent of the vote.


Pope meets victims of clergy sex abuse, says 'God weeps' for them

Pope Francis on Sunday met five adults who were abused by members of the Catholic clergy when they were children and vowed to hold responsible all involved in the crime or cover-ups.

While the Pope has met victims of sexual abuse in Rome, this was his first meeting with them on a foreign tour.

Philadelphia has been the most publicly scarred in the US Church abuse scandal out of any of the cities visited by Pope Francis, who ends his six-day US tour later in the day.


Rugby: Keith Earls equals World Cup record as Irish trounce Romania

Keith Earls scored two tries to equal Brian O'Driscoll as Ireland's leading World Cup try scorer as they eased to a 44-10 victory over Romania on Sunday.

The 27-year-old, who took his tournament total to seven tries, saw fellow wing Tommy Bowe also score two tries with Rob Kearney and Chris Henry getting the others.

Ireland's second successive easy victory - in front of a record World Cup crowd of 89,267 at Wembley - sets them up nicely for more challenging Pool D matches against Italy and then France.