While You Were Sleeping: 5 stories you might have missed, Oct 29

Vaccinated people easily transmit Delta variant in households: Study

The Delta coronavirus variant can transmit easily from vaccinated people to their household contacts, a British study found on Thursday, although contacts were less likely to get infected if they were vaccinated themselves.

The Imperial College London study illustrates how the highly transmissible Delta variant can spread even in a vaccinated population.

The researchers underlined that did not weaken the argument for vaccination as the best way of reducing serious illness from Covid-19 and said booster shots were required.

They found infections in the vaccinated cleared more quickly, but the peak viral load remained similar to the unvaccinated.


Facebook announces changing parent company name to ‘Meta’

Facebook changed its parent company name to “Meta” on Thursday as the tech giant tries to move past being a scandal-plagued social network to its virtual reality vision for the future.

The new handle comes as the company battles to fend off one of its worst crises yet and pivot to its ambitions for the “metaverse,” which would blur the lines between the physical world and the digital one.

Facebook, Instagram and WhatsApp – which are used by billions around the world – will keep their names under the rebranding critics have called an effort to distract from the platform’s dysfunction.


Tug of war over abortion for 11-year-old rape victim in Bolivia

The office of Bolivia’s human rights ombudsman said on Thursday it would help an 11-year-old rape victim obtain an abortion it said had been hindered by the Catholic Church – if she wants one.

The girl, who is 21-weeks pregnant, had been raped by her step-grandfather, but has been prevented by the Church, medical staff and local authorities from terminating the pregnancy, which she initially said she wanted to do, the office said in a statement.

It said it would “relaunch the procedure for legal termination of pregnancy” without interference from “her family, any body, group or religious sector.”


Students, teacher arrested for celebrating Pakistan cricket win

Indian police have arrested three Muslim students and a teacher for celebrating the Pakistan cricket team’s crushing victory over arch-rivals India at the Twenty20 World Cup, officials said on Thursday.

The students, originally from Indian-administered Kashmir, were taken into custody in Agra city in the northern state of Uttar Pradesh for “promoting enmity” and disrupting religious harmony, police inspector Pavindra Kumar Singh told AFP.

Teacher Nafeesa Attari was arrested in Udaipur in western India for posting “we won” on her WhatsApp status, after Pakistan routed India in Dubai.


Singapore ambassador develops bento meals in ‘food diplomacy’

Whipping up a storm in his own kitchen, Singapore’s Ambassador to Japan Peter Tan has been inviting local contacts and partners to his embassy residence for home-cooked Singapore fare as a form of “food diplomacy”.

To promote Singapore’s vibrant food culture, he has contributed his recipes for four dishes to upmarket Japanese supermarket chain Seijo Ishii for a Singapore Fair to be held from Oct 29 to Nov 30.

Since July, he has been working with chefs from Seijo Ishii’s food development team to fine-tune the taste of ayam sio (Peranakan-style braised chicken), beef rendang, dry mee siam and dry laksa, which are being sold as takeaway bento box meals.


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