While You Were Sleeping: 5 stories you might have missed, Nov 8

US finally reopening borders after 20 months to vaccinated travellers

The United States reopens its land and air borders on Monday (Nov 8) to foreign visitors fully vaccinated against Covid-19, ending 20 months of restrictions on travel from around the globe that separated families, hobbled tourism and strained diplomatic ties.

The ban, imposed by former president Donald Trump in early 2020 and upheld by his successor Joe Biden, has been widely criticised and become emblematic of the upheavals caused by the pandemic.

The restrictions were particularly unpopular in Europe and US neighbours Canada and Mexico.

In an effort to slow the spread of the coronavirus, US borders were closed after March 2020 to travellers from large parts of the world, including the European Union, Britain and China, India and Brazil. Overland visitors from Mexico and Canada were also banned.

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UK government denies corruption accusations over ennobled Conservative Party donors

British Prime Minister Boris Johnson’s government rejected fresh accusations of corruption on Sunday after a newspaper investigation found major donors to his Conservative Party were offered seats in parliament’s upper chamber.

The government has been embroiled in a corruption row over the past week, with Johnson forced to abandoned plans pushed through parliament to protect one of his lawmakers who was found to have broken lobbying rules.

The Sunday Times reported that all but one of the 16 Conservative treasurers over the last two decades had donated more than £3 million (S$5.46 million) to the party and then been been offered a seat in the House of Lords.

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Twitter has spoken: Elon Musk should sell 10% of his Tesla stock

Tesla Inc CEO Elon Musk should sell about 10 per cent of his Tesla stock, according to 57.9 per cent of people who voted on his Twitter poll asking users of the social media network whether he should offload the stake.

“I was prepared to accept either outcome,” Musk said, after the voting ended. The world’s richest person tweeted on Saturday that he would offload 10 per cent of his stock if users approved the proposal.

The poll garnered more than 3.5 million votes.

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Marvel’s Eternals tops North America box office despite mixed reviews

Marvel’s new superhero film Eternals took in an estimated US$71 million (S$95.8 million) this weekend to top the North American box office, a strong pandemic-era opening if a bit below expectations, industry watcher Exhibitor Relations said Sunday.

Written and directed by Chloe Zhao, fresh off her best-director Oscar win for Nomadland, the film faced some of the worst reviews of any Marvel film – the only one to draw a “rotten” rating on Rotten Tomatoes – but has fared well overseas, taking in an impressive US$91 million.

Led by actors Angelina Jolie, Salma Hayek, Richard Madden and Gemma Chan, Eternals tells the tale of an immortal race of aliens who emerge from several millennia in hiding to save the Earth from the evil Deviants.

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Football: West Ham end Liverpool’s unbeaten run with memorable win

West Ham United showed that their place in the Premier League’s top four was fully warranted as they outmuscled Liverpool for a memorable 3-2 victory at a rocking London Stadium on Sunday.

Victory for high-flying West Ham ended Liverpool’s club record 25-match unbeaten run in all competitions and lifted them above Jurgen Klopp’s side into third place in the table.

What always looked like a tough fixture for Liverpool began badly when keeper Alisson, who endured a difficult afternoon, flapped a cross into his own goal after four minutes.

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