While You Were Sleeping: 5 stories you might have missed, Sept 12

Bahrain follows Emirates and normalises ties with Israel

Bahrain joined the United Arab Emirates in agreeing to normalise relations with Israel on Friday, a move forged partly through shared fears of Iran, but one that threatens to leave the Palestinians further isolated.

US President Donald Trump tweeted the news after he spoke by phone to Bahrain’s King Hamad bin Isa Al Khalifa and Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, the White House said.

“This is truly a historic day,” Trump told reporters in the Oval Office, saying that he believed other countries would follow suit.

“Opening direct dialogue and ties between these two dynamic societies and advanced economies will continue the positive transformation of the Middle East and increase stability, security, and prosperity in the region,” the United States, Bahrain and Israel said in a joint statement.

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Trump, Biden take break from campaign to mark 9/11 anniversary

President Donald Trump and his Democratic opponent Joe Biden separately commemorated the 19th anniversary of the 9/11 attacks on Friday, taking a pause from campaigning to honour the almost 3,000 victims killed in the single-most deadliest assault on US soil.

Biden participated in a solemn morning memorial ceremony in New York, where Al-Qaeda operatives destroyed the World Trade Center with two hijacked jets.

Trump began the day in Shanksville, Pennsylvania, where passengers crashed a hijacked plane believed to have been headed to the US Capitol or White House.

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France’s former president Nicolas Sarkozy in racism row

Former French president Nicolas Sarkozy has attracted fierce criticism after appearing to associate the word “monkey” with a racist term for a black person.

Speaking on a television show, Sarkozy was criticising elites “who are like monkeys that listen to no one,” when he suddenly stopped.

“I don’t know anymore, are we allowed to say ‘monkey’?”, he asked, adding: “Because… we’re no longer allowed to say… What do we say? ‘Ten Little Soldiers’ now? Is that it? Yeah… Society is really progressing. Maybe we’re allowed to say ‘monkey’ without insulting anyone.”

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Cycling: Fans barred from Tour de France stage finishes

No spectators will be allowed at any of the finishes of the Tour de France’s stages as the race heads through regions labelled as coronavirus “red zones”, organisers said on Friday.

In March, no spectators were allowed at the finish of the Paris-Nice race, with a no-spectator line drawn 300 metres from the finish line, and within 100 metres from the start podium.

The measure is intended to prevent mass gatherings as fears grow in France of a second wave of the Covid-19 pandemic.

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Wonder Woman movie sequel delayed two months to December

The Warner Bros movie studio on Friday postponed the debut of superhero sequel Wonder Woman 1984 until Christmas Day as many theatres remain closed due to the coronavirus pandemic.

The film starring Gal Gadot had been scheduled for release in cinemas on Oct 2 but will now debut on Dec 25.

It was the next big-budget Hollywood movie slated for theatres.

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