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

Badminton: S’pore’s Loh Kean Yew stuns world No. 1 Axelsen at World Championships

National shuttler Loh Kean Yew has slain the biggest giant in the badminton world as he beat Denmark’s world No. 1 and Olympic champion Viktor Axelsen 14-21, 21-9, 21-6 in the first round of the Badminton World Federation World Championships in 54 minutes on Monday (Dec 13).

The Singaporean world No. 22 got off to a poor start in Huelva, Spain, going down 5-0 in the first game and while he fought back to 11-10, his opponent – the 2017 world champion – used his 1.94-metre frame to impose better court coverage and take down the opening frame.

However, Loh roared back after that with aggressive play, superb reading and pin-point finishing to record his first win over Axelsen in five attempts and inflict on the Dane only his fourth defeat in 65 matches this year.

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At least 64 people confirmed dead in Kentucky after barrage of tornadoes


The death toll is expected to increase, possibly to 70 or 80 as searchers continue to sift through the rubble.PHOTO: REUTERS

At least 64 people lost their lives in Kentucky after a raft of tornadoes tore through six states, Governor Andy Beshear said on Monday (Dec 13).

While the toll from the deadly twisters was lower than initially feared, the governor said he expects the death toll to increase, possibly to 70 or 80 as searchers continue to sift through the rubble.

“It may be weeks before we have counts on both deaths and levels of destruction,” Beshear told reporters.

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Thousands briefly shut indoors on Spanish volcano island


The Cumbre Vieja volcano continues to expel lava and ash on Monday (Dec 13).PHOTO: REUTERS

Spain on Monday (Dec 13) ordered more than 30,000 people to remain indoors on La Palma island for several hours because of toxic gases from a volcano that has been erupting for months.

After several days of low-level activity, the Cumbre Vieja suddenly sprang to life on Sunday with several explosions sending a vast cloud of ash and smoke into the sky.

The regional government of the Canary Islands, which lie off Africa’s north-west coast, on Monday morning ordered residents of three municipalities to lock down owing to high levels of sulphur dioxide in the air.

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Nassar victims reach US$380 million settlement with USA Gymnastics, Olympic committee: WSJ


US Olympic gymnasts Simone Biles, McKayla Maroney, Aly Raisman and Maggie Nichols arrive to testify on Capitol Hill, in Washington, D.C., on Sept 15, 2021.PHOTO: REUTERS

Victims of disgraced former USA Gymnastics doctor Larry Nassar have reached a US$380 million (S$519.63 million) settlement with USA Gymnastics, the US Olympic & Paralympic Committee and their insurers after a five-year legal battle, the Wall Street Journal reported on Monday (Dec 13).

The settlement was confirmed during a hearing in a federal bankruptcy court in Indianapolis on Monday, the newspaper said.

Reuters could not immediately independently verify the settlement figure.

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Olympics: Paris 2024 opening ceremony to be held on River Seine


Paris 2024 organising committee head Tony Estanguet addresses a press conference in Paris, on Dec 13, 2021.PHOTO: AFP

The opening ceremony of the Paris Olympics on July 26, 2024, will take part on the River Seine, organisers announced on Monday (Dec 13), breaking the long-held Summer Games tradition of a stadium procession of athletes and officials.

More than 160 boats filled with athletes and officials from more than 200 countries will sail almost 6km between the Pont d’Austerlitz and Pont d’Iena bridges in central Paris, with the closing ceremony scheduled to be held at the Trocadero, an expanse of gardens and fountains which overlooks the Eiffel Tower.

“Today is a stand-out moment,” said Tony Estanguet, a three-time Olympic canoe C1 gold medallist who heads up the Paris 2024 organising committee.

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