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

Drowned refugee boys buried in Syria; crackdown crumbles in Hungary

A relative mourns over the body of three-year-old Aylan Kurdi, one of the two Syrian toddlers who drowned with their mother, during a burial ceremony in the northern border town of Kobani, Syria, on Sept 4, 2015. PHOTO: REUTERS

A Syrian father buried his wife and two little boys, who drowned as they tried to flee to Europe, while hundreds of migrants fled from a detention camp and escaped a train stranded under police siege in Hungary.

Hungary's hardline leader said Europeans could end up a minority on their own continent as a crackdown appeared to crumble in his own country, the main entry point for tens of thousands of refugees and migrants reaching the EU by land over the Balkan peninsula.

Hungary has cancelled all trains to western Europe to prevent migrants from travelling on and seeking sanctuary in richer countries north and west.


G20 dodges devaluation dispute as China preaches Yuan stability

An employee at a currency exchange store counts Chinese one-hundred yuan banknotes next to a pile of U.S. one-hundred dollar bills in Hong Kong, China. PHOTO: BLOOMBERG

Group of 20 ministers smoothed tensions over China's August currency devaluation as the nation's central bank suggested the move will not be repeated any time soon.

"China is definitely trying to play a constructive role," Canadian Finance Minister Joe Oliver said in an interview. "It is the second largest economy in the world and so when it slows down it has global implications. That is what I think we are dealing with."

The deepening slowdown in the world's second-largest economy is dominating discussion among ministers and central bankers meeting on Friday and Saturday in Ankara.


Formula One: Hamilton stays on top as Mercedes dominate again

Mercedes' Lewis Hamilton in action during qualifying at the British Grand Prix 2015. PHOTO: REUTERS

Lewis Hamilton continued his domination of Formula One by topping the times ahead of Mercedes team-mate Nico Rosberg in Friday's second free practice ahead of this weekend's Italian Grand Prix.

The newly-blond defending two-time world champion, in his 50th Grand Prix for Mercedes, clocked a best lap in one minute and 24.279 seconds on a warm, if overcast, afternoon at the high-speed Autodromo Nazional where Mercedes' new engines reigned supreme.

Hamilton had been fastest in the morning's opening free session ahead of Rosberg as the Mercedes pair took early control and demonstrated their speed advantage.


Google hopes to re-enter China by fall

A Chinese-language version of Google Inc.'s search engine web page. PHOTO: BLOMBERG

Google Inc expects to return to mainland China as early as this fall following a five-year absence, tech website The Information reported on Friday.

The company hopes to get Chinese government approval for a China version of its Play store mobile app, The Information reported, citing people familiar with the plan.

The tech giant is also planning to extend support of a version of Android for wearable devices in the country.


Toyota getting in gear with smart cars

Japanese auto giant Toyota Motor's fuel cell vehicle Mirai is displayed at the Smart Community exhibition in Tokyo on June 17, 2015. PHOTO: AFP

Toyota on Friday announced plans to invest $50 million into building artificial intelligence into cars, an indication it could be joining the race to develop driverless vehicles.

The joint research with Stanford University and the Massachusetts Institute of Technology will take place over the next five years, Toyota Motor Corporation said, emphasising its interest in technology that could be used by people as they grow old or become less able to drive safely.

"We will initially focus on the acceleration of intelligent vehicle technology, with the immediate goal of helping eliminate traffic casualties and the ultimate goal of helping improve quality of life through enhanced mobility and robotics," Toyota's research and development chief Kiyotaka Ise said in a statement.