While You Were Sleeping: 5 stories you might have missed, Sept 30

Biden discloses tax returns before debate, prods Trump to release his

Hours before his first debate with President Donald Trump, Democratic presidential nominee Joe Biden on Tuesday released his 2019 tax returns and his campaign called on Trump, who has come under fire for not releasing his returns, to do the same.

Biden, due to share the stage with Trump on Tuesday evening in Cleveland, took the step two days after the New York Times reported Trump paid just US$750 (S$1,000) in federal income taxes in 2016 and 2017 – and none in 10 of the previous 15 years – following years of reporting steep losses from business enterprises.

Trump had long sought to keep his personal financial records secret.

Biden’s taxes showed that he and his wife Jill paid more than US$346,000 in federal taxes and other payments for 2019 on an income of nearly US$985,000 before seeking a refund of nearly US$47,000 they said they had overpaid the government.

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Trump’s Supreme Court pick meets senators in race to confirmation

Republican senators meeting US Supreme Court nominee Amy Coney Barrett on Tuesday praised the conservative judge picked for the lifetime post by President Donald Trump, but faced questions about whether she should recuse herself from potential election-related cases that could reach the court.

Barrett began holding the customary meetings with individual senators that precede Senate Judiciary Committee confirmation hearings, making Majority Leader Mitch McConnell her first stop.

A favourite of religious conservatives, Barrett stood silently for reporters and TV cameras, flanked by Vice-President Mike Pence and McConnell.

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North Korea tells UN it has Covid-19 ‘under safe, stable control’

North Korea has a “reliable and effective war deterrent for self-defence” and will now focus on developing its economy, North Korea’s UN Ambassador Kim Song said on Tuesday, though he acknowledged that international sanctions were a hindrance.

Addressing the UN General Assembly, Kim also said the “anti-epidemic situation in our country is now under safe and stable control” as a result of measures taken to contain the spread of the novel coronavirus.

North Korea has said it has no confirmed cases, though some US officials have cast doubt on that claim.

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US astronauts on SpaceX’s Crew Dragon mission to cast ballots from space

Three Nasa astronauts launching next month on SpaceX’s first operational Crew Dragon mission plan to vote in the upcoming presidential election from the International Space Station, the crew said on Tuesday as they named the spacecraft “Resilience.”

SpaceX’s Crew Dragon Resilience capsule will carry Nasa astronauts Michael Hopkins, Victor Glover, Shannon Walker and Japanese astronaut Soichi Noguchi to the space station on Oct 31 as the company’s first non-test mission after completing a successful two-man preliminary mission last summer.

“All of us are planning on voting from space,” Walker told a news conference, explaining that the three US astronauts will fill out an electronic PDF file aboard the station some 250 miles above Earth and email it to election officials.

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Football: Man City seal €68m deal for Benfica’s Ruben Dias

Manchester City announced the signing of Portuguese international centre-back Ruben Dias on a six-year deal from Benfica on Tuesday.

Benfica on Sunday confirmed they had reached an agreement to sell Dias for €68 million (S$109 million) plus an extra €3.6 million in potential bonuses, with Nicolas Otamendi heading in the opposite direction for €15 million.

“To have the opportunity to join a club like Manchester City is a fantastic opportunity for me and one I couldn’t turn down,” said Dias in a City statement.

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