While You Were Sleeping: 5 stories you might have missed, Sept 27

German SPD edges ahead of conservatives in vote to decide Merkel successor

Germany’s Social Democrats came first by a narrow margin in Sunday’s (Sept 26) national election, projected results showed, putting them in pole position to lead a government for the first time since 2005 and to end 16 years of conservative-led rule under Angela Merkel.

The centre-left Social Democrats (SPD) were on track for 25.5 per cent of the vote, ahead of 24.5 per cent for Merkel’s CDU/CSU conservative bloc, projections for broadcaster ARD showed, but both groups believed they could lead the next government.  

The tight result, which saw the CDU/CSU slump to a post-war low for a federal election, means lengthy coalition talks will follow before a new government takes office, likely involving the Greens and the liberal Free Democrats (FDP).  

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5.7-magnitude quake shakes Philippines’ main island: USGS


A strong earthquake hit off the Philippines’ main island Monday (Sept 27), but there were no immediate reports of damage, the US Geological Survey and local officials said.

The deep 5.7-magnitude quake struck off Batangas province on Luzon island at 1:12 am (1712 GMT), with residents in the nearby capital of Manila woken by their buildings shaking.

The quake was recorded at a depth of 98 kilometres, the USGS said. The local seismological agency warned of damage and aftershocks.

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Canaries airport reopens after eruption, flights still suspended


The airport on the Canary island of La Palma reopened on Sunday (Sept 26) after a 24-hour closure because of ash emanating from the Cumbre Vieja volcano, but flights remained suspended until conditions improve, operators said.

A clean-up operation was carried out overnight, the airport management company AENA tweeted, adding that flights would be able to resume with the “prior agreement” of air traffic control authorities.

But Spanish carrier Binter said on Sunday afternoon that its flights to and from La Palma were still suspended.

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Two reported dead as cyclone slams into eastern India


Two fishermen were reported dead after a cyclone packing strong winds and rains barrelled into India’s east coast late Sunday (Sept 26), forcing the evacuation of more than 200,000 people in three states to shelters.

Cyclones are a regular menace in the northern Indian Ocean but many scientists say they are becoming more frequent and severe as climate change warms sea temperatures.

Cyclone Gulab made landfall between the coastal states of Odisha and Andhra Pradesh just after 6:00 pm local time (1230 GMT), bearing gusts of up to 95 kilometres per hour, the state-run India Meteorological Department said.

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Football: Arsenal trounce Tottenham as resurgence continues


Arsenal’s resurgence continued with a 3-1 victory over arch-rivals Tottenham Hotspur as the two north London clubs continued to move in opposite directions in the Premier League on Sunday (Sept 26).

Goals by Emile Smith Rowe, Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang and Bukayo Saka crowned a majestic first-half display by Arsenal who were sharper and hungrier than a listless Tottenham side.

Smith Rowe swept in Arsenal’s opener in the 12th minute and then set up Aubameyang in the 27th minute and when Saka made it 3-0 in the 34th minute the hosts were running riot.

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