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

Singapore hopes US can stabilise its relations with China, says PM Lee

Singapore hopes the United States is able to stabilise its relationship with China, because Asia depends on stable ties between the two countries to have a secure and predictable environment to prosper, said Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong on Tuesday.

He made the point in an online interview when American businessman David Rubenstein had asked him what he would say to an incoming US president seeking advice on how to strengthen the country’s relationship with Asia.

PM Lee said he would also encourage the next President, be it Republican President Donald Trump who is running for re-election or his Democratic rival Joe Biden, to develop a bipartisan consensus on US-Asian relations so that American foreign policy would last beyond the President’s administration.

He cited how the previous Obama administration’s rebalance towards Asia had been supported by many Asian countries, but the Trump administration had a different take on the issue, wanting Japan and South Korea to pay more for the US troops stationed on their soil.

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Half of Mumbai’s slum residents have had coronavirus, study shows

Over half the people living in the slums of Mumbai have had the coronavirus, according to a city-commissioned study released on Tuesday that raises fresh doubts about India’s official case numbers.

India is already the third worst-hit country after the US and Brazil, with nearly 1.5 million cases though experts have previously said the lack of testing could mean the true tally is much higher.

Blood tests on 6,936 randomly selected people conducted by Mumbai’s city authorities found that 57 per cent of slum-dwellers and 16 per cent of non-slum residents had virus antibodies.

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MacKenzie Scott donates US$1.7b of wealth since split with Jeff Bezos

MacKenzie Scott, ex-wife of Amazon.com’s billionaire chief executive Jeff Bezos, has donated US$1.7 billion (S$2.3 billion) of her wealth in the past year to causes including racial equality, LGBTQ rights, public health and climate change, she said in a blog post on Tuesday.

Scott, who was previously known as MacKenzie Bezos, also announced her new last name, which she said was taken from her middle name.

Last year, Scott signed the Giving Pledge in a commitment to donate the majority of her fortune after her split from Bezos – the world’s richest man – left her with a 4 per cent stake in Amazon.

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Virgin Galactic shows off new space plane’s cabin

Billionaire Richard Branson’s space tourism firm Virgin Galactic revealed the interior of its centrepiece space plane on Tuesday, showing off a cabin with new custom seats and a “space mirror” in a virtual tour of what its passengers can expect to experience on flights to the edge of space.

For US$250,000 (S$340,000) a ticket, passengers who have signed up for the suborbital flight aboard the air-launched plane VSS Unity will strap into six tailored, teal-coloured seats and peer out of the cabin’s 12 circular windows as they ascend some 97km above Earth. The plane has five other windows up front.

“We have amazing seats that will be tailored to each person, and that move during the flight to maximise people’s comfort,”Virgin Galactic chief space officer George Whitesides told Reuters, adding that passengers can unbuckle themselves at peak altitude to float around the cabin in zero-gravity conditions.

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Watchmen, Maisel, Ozark, Succession lead diverse lineup for Emmys

HBO’s dystopian superhero drama Watchmen and the 1960s comedy The Marvelous Mrs Maisel led nominations on Tuesday for the Emmy Awards, in a list strong on diversity and fresh contenders for the highest awards in television.

Watchmen scored 26 nods, including best limited series, while Amazon Studio’s The Marvelous Mrs Maisel got 20, including a best actress nod for star Rachel Brosnahan.

Netflix led all networks with a record 160 nominations for shows or stars that included Stranger Things, Tiger King, rape drama Unbelievable and Jewish saga Unorthodox.

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