While You Were Sleeping: 5 stories you might have missed, Oct 14


Italy toughens restrictions as daily Covid-19 cases hit highest since March

Italian Prime Minister Giuseppe Conte on Tuesday imposed new restrictions on gatherings, restaurants, sports and school activities in an attempt to slow a surge in novel coronavirus infections.

The latest steps marked the second time in a week that the government has toughened its measures, though overall they remain less severe than those in other European countries such as Britain and Spain, where infection rates are far higher.

“We must avoid plunging the country into a general lockdown, the economy has started to move fast again,” Conte told a news conference.

The government decree, which will take effect within 24 hours and be valid for 30 days, bans parties in restaurants, clubs or in the open air and strongly recommends that people do not hold parties in their homes or host more than six guests at any time.


UK Labour opposition leader Keir Starmer calls for ‘circuit breaker’ coronavirus lockdown

Britain’s opposition Labour leader Keir Starmer called on Tuesday for a two to three week “circuit breaker” lockdown, stepping up pressure on Prime Minister Boris Johnson who is struggling to sell his own plan to tackle Covid-19.

Dropping what his party has described as its “constructive opposition” towards government attempts to flatten a growing number of new coronavirus cases,

Starmer said “there’s no longer time to give this prime minister the benefit of the doubt”. 


White House advances drone and missile sales to Taiwan: Sources

The White House is moving forward with more sales of sophisticated military equipment to Taiwan, telling Congress on Tuesday that it will seek to sell MQ-9 drones and a coastal defensive missile system, five sources familiar with the situation said.

These possible sales follow three other notifications first reported by Reuters on Monday that drew China’s ire in the run-up to the Nov 3 US election.

China considers Taiwan a wayward province that it has vowed to reunite with the mainland, by force if necessary.


Singapore Apple fans can pre-order the new iPhone 12 and 12 Pro this Friday

As expected, tech giant Apple has announced four iPhone 12 models during a special “Hi, Speed” virtual event on Tuesday.

They are the 5.4-inch iPhone 12 mini, 6.1-inch iPhone 12, 6.1-inch iPhone 12 Pro and 6.7-inch iPhone 12 Pro Max. And all comes with 5G connectivity.

During the event, Apple CEO Tim Cook said: “Today is the beginning of a new era for iPhone. We are bringing 5G to iPhone.”


Football star Cristiano Ronaldo tests positive for Covid-19

Portuguese forward Cristiano Ronaldo has tested positive for Covid-19, Portugal’s Football Federation said in a statement on its website on Tuesday.

The 35-year-old Juventus striker will miss Wednesday’s Uefa Nations League game against Sweden but is “well, has no symptoms and is in isolation”, the federation said.

The federation added that the rest of the Portugal squad had undergone tests as a result of Ronaldo’s positive, but that they had all tested negative and would be available for the Sweden match.