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

Republicans want billions for Taiwan military aid to counter China

US Republican lawmakers introduced legislation on Thursday (Nov 4) seeking to provide US$2 billion (S$2.7 billion) a year and other assistance to bolster’s Taiwan’s defences as it faces rising pressure from China.

The legislation, reviewed by Reuters, would authorise US$2 billion a year in Foreign Military Financing – US grants and loans that enable countries to purchase weapons and defence equipment produced in the United States – through 2032 for the self-ruled island.

While the Bill is sponsored only by Republicans, the minority party in the Senate, it adds to pressure from Congress on Democratic President Joe Biden for bolder action to strengthen ties with diplomatically isolated Taiwan.

The US is the main military supplier for the democratic island nation.


Mexico beach shooting leaves two dead, sows panic

A shooting involving rival gangs on a beach near Mexico’s Caribbean resort of Cancun left two suspected drug dealers dead on Thursday, prosecutors said, sparking panic among foreign tourists.

“There was a confrontation between members of opposing groups of drug dealers on a beach in Bahia Petempich, Puerto Morelos,” the Quintana Roo state attorney general’s office tweeted. “Two of them lost their lives.”

Tourists staying in hotels next to the beach said people ran for cover after shots were fired.


Oxford scientists find gene that doubles risk of dying from Covid-19

Scientists identified a specific gene that doubles the risk of respiratory failure from Covid-19 and may go some way to explaining why some ethnic groups are more susceptible to severe disease than others.

Researchers from the University of Oxford found that a higher-risk version of the gene most likely prevents the cells lining airways and the lungs from responding to the virus properly.

About 60 per cent of people with South Asian ancestry carry this version of the gene, compared with 15 per cent of people with European heritage, according to the study published on Thursday.


Air taxis promised to fly above potholes of Rome

With streets filled with potholes, buses erupting in flames and soul-crushing traffic on the ground in the Eternal City, some say the only way is up.

A new electric air taxi could be transporting passengers from Rome’s Fiumicino Airport to the city centre within three years, according to German company Volocopter, Rome’s airport operator ADR and transportation infrastructure holding company Atlantia.

The project, called VoloCity – which is also planned for Paris and Singapore – promises to whisk people from the airport to the city in 20 minutes, with no traffic and zero emissions, travelling at a maximum speed of 110kmh.


Conte enjoys winning start with Spurs in frantic Vitesse clash

Antonio Conte got a crash course in what he can expect as Tottenham Hotspur’s new manager after the Italian’s first game in charge ended in a 3-2 home victory over Vitesse Arnhem in the Europa Conference League on Thursday.

Conte, who replaced Nuno Espirito Santo this week after the Portuguese was sacked 10 Premier League games into his first season, watched his side tear into a 3-0 lead after 28 minutes with Son Heung-min and Lucas Moura on target plus an own goal.

He then watched Vitesse score twice in seven minutes before halftime in a frantic tie complete with three red cards and an outbreak of crowd trouble amongst the visiting supporters.


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