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

British Prime Minister Boris Johnson leaves Houses of Parliament in Central London.
British Prime Minister Boris Johnson leaves Houses of Parliament in Central London.PHOTO: EPA-EFE

British lawmakers reject PM Boris Johnson's request for snap election

The British parliament voted on Wednesday  to prevent Prime Minister Boris Johnson taking Britain out of the European Union without a deal on Oct 31, but rejected his first bid to call a snap election two weeks before the scheduled exit.

After wresting control of the day's parliamentary agenda from Johnson, the House of Commons backed a Bill that would force the government to request a three-month Brexit delay rather than leave without a divorce agreement.

Opposition Labour party leader Jeremy Corbyn said he would agree to hold an early election once the Bill passed the upper house of parliament, the House of Lords, and became law, something that could happen on Monday.

He did not, however, say whether he agreed with Johnson's choice of date.

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'We need help': Rescuers in Bahamas face a ruined landscape

Rescue crews in the Bahamas fanned out across a blasted landscape of smashed and flooded homes on Wednesday, trying to reach drenched and stunned victims of Hurricane Dorian and take the full measure of the disaster. The official death toll stood at seven but was certain to rise.

A day after the most powerful hurricane on record ever to hit the country finished mauling the islands of Abaco and Grand Bahama, emergency workers had yet to reach some stricken areas.

Dorian, meanwhile, pushed its way northward off the Florida shoreline with reduced but still-dangerous 165kmh winds on a projected course that could sideswipe Georgia and the Carolinas.

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Bangkok tops in 2018 for international visitors: Report

Bangkok ranked first in 2018 for the fourth straight year as the city with the most international visitors, according to an annual report by Mastercard released on Wednesday.

With almost 23 million international visitors last year, the Thai capital outpaced both Paris and London, which were second and third with just over 19 million visitors.

Other top cities in order were: Dubai, Singapore, Kuala Lumpur, New York, Istanbul, Tokyo and Antalya, Turkey.

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Copies of the sequel to The Handmaid's Tale released early by mistake

Copies of Margaret Atwood's long-awaited sequel to The Handmaid's Tale were mistakenly sent to readers early, the publisher said on Wednesday, sending fans of the Canadian author into a frenzy and angering independent booksellers.

Penguin Random House had instructed retailers to keep The Testaments strictly under wraps until its official release on Sept 10, but several online customers have already received the much-anticipated novel.

Britain's Guardian newspaper reported that the error was made by Amazon, which sent out around 800 copies early to customers in the United States.

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Scarlett Johansson stands by Woody Allen: 'I believe him'

Scarlett Johansson says she's standing by Woody Allen because, "I believe him."

Much of Hollywood has distanced itself from the filmmaker since the MeToo movement prompted a re-examination of child sexual abuse allegations from his now-grown daughter, Dylan.

Michael Caine, Timothee Chalamet and Greta Gerwig are among the actors who have publicly expressed regret over working with him.

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