While You Were Sleeping: 5 stories you might have missed, Aug 11

Lebanon government resigns amid outrage over Beirut blast

Lebanon’s prime minister announced his government’s resignation on Monday, saying a huge explosion that tore through Beirut and caused public outrage was the result of endemic corruption.

While the move by Prime Minister Hassan Diab attempted to respond to popular anger about the Aug. 4 blast, many Lebanese calling for a complete overhaul of the political establishment will not be placated.

In Paris, French Foreign Minister Jean-Yves Le Drian urged the swift formation of a new government, saying people’s hopes for reform and governance needed to be heard.

The detonation at a port warehouse of what authorities said was more than 2,000 tonnes of ammonium nitrate killed at least 163 people, injured more than 6,000 and destroyed swathes of the Mediterranean capital, compounding months of political and economic meltdown.


Spain defends pandemic response as Covid-19 case numbers overtake Britain

Spain’s government defended its response to the coronavirus pandemic on Monday after official data showed the country had overtaken Britain to register the highest total number of cases in Western Europe.

“Appropriate measures are being taken to control the pandemic in coordination” with the regions, the government said in a statement, after experts questioned its policies. “The data shows that we are being very active in tracking and detecting the virus.”

Health ministry data showed 1,486 new cases were diagnosed in the past day, bringing the cumulative total to 322,980, compared with 311,641 in Britain.


Pakistan rolls back social distancing restrictions as coronavirus cases drop

Pakistanis flocked to gyms, salons and restaurants that opened on Monday for the first time in five months after being shut to stop the spread of the coronavirus.

The South Asian country has recorded more than 280,000 cases of Covid-19 and nearly 6,100 deaths, but has seen a slowing of numbers since June, when it recorded nearly 7,000 infections and 118 deaths in a single day.

On Sunday, Pakistan recorded 539 new infections and 15 deaths. New daily cases have been under a thousand throughout August.


McDonald’s sues ex-CEO Steve Easterbrook for lying about sexual relationships with employees

McDonald’s Corp sued ousted leader Steve Easterbrook to recover tens of millions of dollars in severance pay after discovering evidence he had sexual relationships with multiple employees, tried to cover them up and arranged for one worker to get a lucrative stock award.

Easterbrook’s termination as chief executive officer last fall over a consensual relationship with one employee should not have included severance pay because he “concealed evidence and lied about his wrongdoing,” the company said in a filing.

McDonald’s said it uncovered sexually explicit photographs in Easterbrook’s corporate email account and other evidence of the additional affairs following an anonymous tip last month.


Tim Cook hits billionaire status with Apple nearing $2.75 trillion

Nine years after Steve Jobs stepped down and thrust Tim Cook to the top of Apple Inc, the company is more valuable than ever – and so is Cook.

Apple’s share price rose almost 5% last week, leaving the company Jobs co-founded 44 years ago in his parents’ California home on the cusp of stock-market milestone: a market value of nearly US$2 trillion (S$2.75 trillion).

It was valued at about US$350 billion when Jobs died. Cook, meantime, has joined one of the most elite clubs for CEOs who didn’t actually found the companies they run: his net worth has eclipsed US$1 billion, according to calculations by the Bloomberg Billionaires Index.


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