While You Were Sleeping: 5 stories you might have missed, March 2

Mahathir places blame on Muhyiddin and Anwar for Pakatan Harapan’s downfall

Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad has apportioned blame on Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin, the president of his Parti Pribumi Bersatu Malaysia (Bersatu) party, and his Parti Keadilan Rakyat ally Anwar Ibrahim for the fall of the Pakatan Harapan (PH) government.

Speaking to Bersatu members in a closed-door meeting on Sunday, Dr Mahathir said Mr Muhyiddin, who was sworn in as the country’s Prime Minister earlier in the day, wanted to leverage Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim’s desire to be prime minister and create a political crisis, The Star reported.

Dr Mahathir, the former prime minister, whose chairmanship of Bersatu is also in question, said the “real” crisis only happened when Mr Muhyiddin took the party out of the PH coalition.

“The closed-door meeting was streamed live on Parti Amanah Negara’s Facebook page before it was taken down, the New Straits Times reported. 

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Coronavirus: Italy’s death toll rises to 34, government prepares economic support

 The death toll from an outbreak of coronavirus in Italy has risen to 34, five more than a day earlier, officials said on Sunday, as the government prepared to boost spending to help the fragile economy.

The head of Italy’s Civil Protection Agency said the cumulative number of confirmed cases of the virus had jumped to 1,694 from 1,128 on Saturday, virtually all of them coming to light since Feb 20 in the worst such contagion in Europe.

Of that number, 83 people had fully recovered, while 140 patients were in intensive care. The vast majority of those who have tested positive have few, if any symptoms.

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British PM Johnson says expects more cases as UK steps up coronavirus planning

Britain announced a jump in coronavirus cases on Sunday, with 12 new infections taking the total to 35, and Prime Minister Boris Johnson said he expected the number to rise further.

Johnson will chair a meeting of the government’s emergency response committee on Monday, signalling a step up in attempts to tackle a virus that began in China, where authorities estimate it has killed almost 3,000 people worldwide.

“We’ve found about 35 people in this country have, or have had, the illness and clearly there may be more. That is likely now to spread a bit more,” Johnson said during a visit to a public health facility in London.

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Hong Kong says not copying S’pore by having top officials donate salaries to charity amid virus outbreak

Hong Kong’s Financial Secretary Paul Chan has said that the government was not copying Singapore when it announced that top officials would donate a month’s salary to charity during the coronavirus outbreak.

Mr Chan said on Saturday that the decision was made because of the tough economic situation and to show solidarity with residents, the South China Morning Post reported.

Hong Kong announced the decision on Friday night, hours after Singapore said its President and Cabinet ministers will take a one-month pay cut. 

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Football: Manchester City hold off Aston Villa to retain League Cup

Manchester City claimed the League Cup for the fourth time in five seasons by beating Aston Villa 2-1 at Wembley on Sunday thanks to goals from Sergio Aguero and Rodrigo.

Mbwana Samatta pulled a goal back for Villa, but their wait for the club’s first silverware since 1996 goes on as Pep Guardiola’s men have now won six of the last seven major trophies in English football.

Guardiola made eight changes from the side that won 2-1 at Real Madrid in the Champions League on Wednesday with Kevin De Bruyne among those left on the bench.

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